Shifting winds on turbine front

wynneToronto Star letter
In the early stages of wind energy development, governments had no experience to guide them, so the Ontario government based its Green Energy Act on specious assumptions: turbines could be safely sited near residences and migration flyways, and they would have no adverse effects on property values.

But now governments are realizing that they were mistaken. Experience shows that proximity to the turbines is hazardous to human health and to wildlife, and causes significant property value diminution.

Several governments are establishing safer setbacks for today’s larger turbines. Leaders in parts of Europe, Australia and the United States are recognizing that turbines must be at least 2 kilometres from home sites, and some countries forbid turbines near important bird areas.

On Feb. 22 CTV reported that the Grey-Bruce Medical Officer of Health found a clear association between wind turbine proximity and human health issues, while that same day in another newspaper the president of the Canadian Wind Industry Association trumpeted the benefits of wind power.

And when the Ontario government recently approved a wind factory at Ostrander Point in Ontario’s busiest migration flyway, Nature Canada supported an appeal by local naturalists trying to protect this important habitat.

Kathleen Wynne and her colleagues were once enthralled by the wind industry’s promises. Will Wynne now recognize the truth about the turbines? Will she direct her ministers to amend the Green Energy Act, or will she merely ask them to “have a conversation” about it?
Jim McPherson, Milford

32 thoughts on “Shifting winds on turbine front

  1. WARNING!!!!!!!
    DO NOT PARTICIPATE IN

    “Terrible Crimes and Renewable Energy Technologies Study”

    UNIVERSITY OF WATERLOO
    SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SYSTEMS

    From the covering letter…

    You may change your mind about participation and not return the survey. All questions are voluntary and you do not have to complete all questions to participate. All information you provide will be considered confidential. To ensure the confidentiality of individuals’ data, each participant will be identified by a participant identification code known only to the University of Waterloo researchers. Any publications or reports that result from this study will primarily report average responses of groups of participants. In the case where individual data may be presented, the individual will not be identified.Your information will be stored safely and securely at the University of Waterloo at the School of Public Health and Health Systems. Any identifying information will be retained for seven years, after which it will be destroyed by confidential shredding. While de-identified data will be retained indefinitely, after this point, no identifiers will exist linking you to the data collected during the study. All information you provide will be kept confidential, except as required under law. There are no known or anticipated risks to participation in this survey.

    • Quality of Life and Renewable Energy Technologies Study

      Page 30

      What is your adress?
      This information will be used ONLY to measure distance to the closest renewable energy infrastructure and will NOT be used for ANY other purpose.
      Street address:
      City/Town:
      Township:
      County:
      Postal Code:
      Lot (if applicable):
      Concession (if applicable):
      Emergency Locator Number/Fire Number (if applicable):

      Page 11

      Part 2: Housing and Community

      This set of questions will ask about where you live and the characteristics of our community. Please answer these questions referring to your home as the location where this survey was delivered. If this suvey was delivered to a seasonal home, answer these questions based on your experiences in this summer home only.

      1. This suvey was delievered to a seasonal home (cottage, summer home, cabin). Yes No
      2. For how many years have you lived at your current residence?
      3. If you lived in another community before your current one, what was the postal code of your last residence?
      4. What are the ages and genders of the people living in your home (including yourself)?
      Person 1 (survey respondent) Age: Female Male
      Person 2 (if applicable) Age: Female Male
      Person 3 (if applicable) Age: Female Male
      Person 4 (if applicable) Age: Female Male
      Person 5 (if applicable) Age: Female Male
      Person 6 (if applicable) Age: Female Male

      • If you are interested in participating in this study, you can complete the survey on your own time and return the completed survey in the enclosed, self-addressed, stamped envelope. We will then enter your name into a draw. If selected, you will receive a $150 gift card for a store of your choice. The amount received is taxable. It is your responsibility to report the amount received for income tax purposes.

        Please indicate todays date: (__/__/__) day month year

        On behalf of the Renewable Energy Technologies and Health team, thank you very much for your time.

        Please complete the contact form and include it in the return envelope if you wish to take part in the draw.

        If you are interested in taking part in the second component of this research, more details are provided in the information letter and you can indicate whether you are interested in participating on the contact form.

      • Page 22

        Part 5: Health and Well-Being

        The following questions ask general information about your health and well-being.
        1. In general would you say your health is…
        2. In general would you say your mental health is…
        3. How would you rate your quality of life?
        – Excellent
        – Very Good
        – Good
        – Fair
        – Poor

        How often have you been troubled by the following symptoms in the last month?
        4. Headache
        5. Depression
        6. Not very sociable, wanting to be alone
        7. Irritable
        8. Resigned (e.g. feel like you’ve given up)
        9. Fearful
        – Never or seldon
        – About once a month
        – About once a week
        – Almost daily

        How often have you been troubled by the following symptoms in the last month?
        10. Concentratioin problems
        11. Nausea (e.g. upset or uneasy stomach)
        12. Vertigo (e.g. feel as if the room is spinning)
        13. Mood changes
        14. Migraine Headache
        15. Undue tiredness
        16. Pain and stiffness in the back, neck or shoulders
        17. Feeling tense or stressed
        18. Unusual body sensations
        19. Tinnitus (ringing in the ears
        20. Other (please specify):____
        – Never or seldom
        – About once a month
        – About once a week
        – Almost Daily (sic)

      • Page 7

        27. In your opinion, what is an appropriate setback (minimum distance from the closest home) for wind farms in Ontario?
        _____ metres OR _____ miles _ I don’t know _ I don’t care
        28. In your opinion, what is an appropriate setback (minimum distance from the closest home) for solar farms in Ontario?
        _____ metres OR _____ miles _ I don’t know _ I don’t care
        29. In your opinion, what is an appropriate setback (minimum distance from the closest home) for biogas plants in Ontario?
        _____ metres OR _____ miles _ I don’t know _ I don’t care
        30. If you would like to elaborate on any of your answers to the above questions in Part 1, please do so here: ___

      • Page 4

        Part 1: Renewable Energy in Ontario

        The following section asks for your level of agreement/disagreement with statements related to renewable energy technologies.

        How well do the following statements describe your view of renewable energy technologies in Ontario?

        Agree Neutral Disagree I don’t know
        5 4 3 2 1 _
        1. Ontarians have an obligation to reduce energy consumption.
        2. Ontarians have an obligation to generate cleaner electricity.
        3. Building wind farms to produce energy is acceptable if they are situated far away from homes.
        4. Building biogas plants to produce energy is acceptable if they are situated far away from homes.
        5. Building solar farms to produce energy is acceptable if they are situated far away from homes.
        6. Wind farms should be owned by people in the community.
        7. Biogas plants should be owned by people in the community.

        Page 5

        How well do the following statements describe your view of renewable energy technologies in Ontario?

        Agree Neutral Disagree I don’t know
        5 4 3 2 1 _
        8. Solar farms should be owned by people in the community.
        9. I am interested in renewable energy as a new source of income.
        10. A community that is producing its own renewable energy should receive electricity at a discount.
        11. Wind farms are built where the best available resources are.
        12. Biogas plants are built where the best available resources are.
        13. Solar farms are built where the best available resources are.
        14. Wind farms should only be located in communities that want this type of development.
        15. Biogas platns should only be located in communities that want this type of development.
        16. Solar farms shoudl only be located in communities that want this type of development.

        Page 6

        How well do the following statements describe your view of renewable energy technologies in Ontario?

        Agree Neutral Disagree I don’t know
        5 4 3 2 1 _
        17. Wind farms are a risk to wildlife.
        18. Biogas plants are a risk to wildlife.
        19. Solar farms are a risk to wildlife.
        20. Wind farms can cause negative health effects in nearby residents.
        21. Biogas plants can cause negative health effects in nearby residents.
        22. Solar farms can cause negative health effects in nearby residents.
        23. Wind farms are too visually dominant in a rural landscape.
        24. Biogas plants are too visually dominant in a rural landscape.
        25. Solar farms are too visually dominant in a rural landscape.
        26. Renewable energy technologies produce dirty energy (stray voltage).

      • Living by wind turbines
        At your own risk

  2. The Ontario government should have known that IWTs are horse-and-buggy contraptions that can’t produce a reliable supply of electricity or they would have been used long before this time frame. Fossil fuel backup is required and they do not lower CO2 levels which is the excuse used to install them here. They do not save on oil because oil generation is not used in Ontario anyway.
    The government was sold a bill-of-goods period by those who wanted to make huge amounts of money selling power to the Hydro System and a bunch of “greenies” who bought into the idea that using IWTs would save planet earth while they lined their pockets at the same time.
    An IWT cost benefit analysis was never done.
    So the present government is responsible for this whole renewable energy fiasco here in Ontario along with all of the ill efects caused by IWTs.
    The present government may or may not have known about IWT health related issues and if they did then this information was ignored.

  3. Setbacks are not an issue, to concede that
    they are implies IWT’s are fine if properly
    sited. No IWT’s anywhere.

  4. Are you serious S & D?
    Are those real questions from the research chair “health” study?
    Unbelievable!

      • Where did you find it? That is not even centered on health effects, ridiculous….

      • You wouldn’t believe it, even if I told you.

      • Happy to discuss this survey if you want the moderators to exchange our emails. I too have one…

        Would like to talk about impressions of the various sections.

      • I emailed “you” last night, I thought?

      • I would love a copy too if possible as I would like to discuss this at our local meetings regarding nrwc. Thxs.

      • Would you like to demonstrate transparency and have this conversation right here?

      • Well no because it would be easier done by telephone. It would take about 20 pages of typing for me to express my opinions and I’m just not up for it. I suspect you are likely about the same.

        But since you seem “suspicious” it probably is a waste of time to discuss further. Thanks for considering though.

      • BTW:

        Checked all my email accounts — nothing. Really appreciate the attempt though. …and don’t even imagine that my feelings about the survey are better than yours.

      • I no issue with transparency, however this is a pain to have a conversation. I continue to contact MPs from all parties. Sooner or later they will have to listen and use some common sense, or at least I hope….
        Nevy777@gmail.com

      • WillR, what a revelation! I guess you’re not the person I thought you were! No problem, sometimes it is nice to know with whom one is communicating. Our ‘opponents’ have moles, and like many people in these circumstances, I can’t afford to be misquoted..

        At this point, I am still sifting through the information that is available about University of Waterloo. It is safe to that by releasing this poor, unethical survey, these researchers have committed an offense that cannot be withdrawn. I’m still compiling my thoughts; perhaps we can postpone this conversation until I can get over this state of shock?

        Thanks again for all your work.

        The moderator would be free to provide me your contact info, at her convenience.

      • Hmmm yes no maybe so — I see the confusion. I am who I am, that all that I am… I think, maybe. (I guess.)

        Actually I wanted to discuss first impressions — but it sounds like you have a bellyful. rotflmao.

        Nev ain’t me and I ain’t he if that is what you are wondering.

        Why not just have the moderators post the PDF? This is painful.

  5. Why doesn’t the questionaire ask if Renewable Energy Technologies even make economic sense from a total Green House Gas Emmisions reduction based on Engineering evidence? Should Ontarians elect to pay more for Electricity than all of our North American counterparts? Why doesn’t it ask if we should spill clean Hydro from Niagara Falls to make room for Wind Turbine Energy that we don’t need?

    Hasn’t anyone in the Liberal Government taken Economics 101? Where is the study showing these projects even make sense for Ontario?

    If all the urban Ontario people don’t cringe at our electricity rates…I don’t know what will reach the urban people!!! How can they support us selling our excess Hydro to the US and Quebec? It is a crime!!!

    Never mind all the other issues….stray voltage, hurting PEOPLE (not NIMBY’s), losing more jobs due to increasing rates of electricity, property values diminishing, wildlife…..the list goes on….

    • It was easy to sell IWTs to urbanites because they know next to nothing about wind mills and the much larger versions of them known as IWTs.
      Not an easy sell to rural Ontarians many of whom remember the old the wind mills and how poor they were at pumping water compared to modern electric pumps.
      How many MSM journalists have experienced watching a farm wind mill in operation? The same goes for MPPs. They only work when the wind blows. Otherwise water for livestock had to be hand pumped and this could be a lot of water to pump.

      • And it ain’t only the wind turbines that come crashing down…
        http://www.cleanbreak.ca/2013/03/01/plans-for-green-jet-fuel-plant-in-ontario-north-come-crashing-down/

        Nearly two years ago, an LA-based company called Rentech Inc. announced plans to build a biofuels plant four hours north of Sault St. Marie, Ontario. It would use forest waste and “unmerchantable” tree species for making renewable jet fuel and naphtha, a chemical feedstock used to make all sorts of products. That plant was supposed to be operational in 2015. It was supposed to employ up to 1,000 people during peak construction, and keep 83 people directly employed full time in a region of the province that could really use those jobs.

        Ain’t gonna happen, it seems.

        There’s Green, Forest Green and the greene you heave up…

        Ah well, maybe another company will Wynne the contract. Maybe IWT’s will power the process.

  6. In the early stages of wind energy development, governments had no experience to guide them, so the Ontario government based its Green Energy Act on specious assumptions: turbines could be safely sited near residences and migration flyways, and they would have no adverse effects on property values.

    I guess what bothers me about the Red Star is that their reporters and editors live in a fantasy land.

    There were many warnings before the GEA was enacted. See many stories here — some in Spanish…
    http://www.juandemariana.org/en/

    Dr. Calzado was making speaking tours and taking engagements to discuss the economic disaster. Others were already discussing health effects.

    They are offering the excuse that “nobody knew” — it’s just not true — I have save some of the video clips and papers for posterity — perhaps for a future book about the “Religion of Science and the Study of Scientifically Induced Madness” — or something like that.

    What bunk! Writers at the Star should be ashamed. There was lots of experience — it was ignored and/or people made up stories about the scientists, economists and health workers to picture them as nuts and whack jobs.

    Don’t believe the story!

    • The history and science of wind mills was well known at the time and IWTs are just larger versions of wind mills.
      They just got sold a bill-of-goods by those who stood to profit from this scam.

      • Barbara:

        Agreed. Sometimes the liberal press and liberal politicians bought into the silly stories. While not about wind turbines this story just might help explain innumeracy and why some liberals cannot grasp the technical arguments….
        ********************************************

        America is in Trouble

        Ever wonder why?
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=u8-d95SO_3g

        Maxine Waters: ‘Over 170 Million Jobs Could Be Lost’ Due To Sequestration
        Maxine Waters is top Democrat on the House Financial Service Committee.

        There are currently about 150 million workers in America. Does that mean that 20 million could lose their job twice?

        Apparently, according to the video, some of the policies will affect 304 million American women. The current American population is about 350 million. We now know the reason that so many deadbeat American men are tolerated.

        Household data: see : bls.gov/cps/

        THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION: AUGUST 2008
        The civilian labor force, at 154.9 million, was about unchanged in August, and the labor force participation rate remained at 66.1 percent. Total employment, at 145.5 million, was little changed from July. The employment-population ratio fell over the month to 62.1 percent in August, down 1.3 percentage points from its most recent high of 63.4 percent in December 2006. (See table A-1.)

        *****************************************
        Admittedly numbers can confuse some people if they have no financial or economic knowledge. So there could be an excuse.

  7. Never have so few spent so much for so little.
    In loving memory of Dalton McGuinty

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