Rick Conroy, The Times
Sylvia Davis has a peculiar job. She is paid by the Ministry of Environment to argue that there is nothing particularly valuable, salvageable or even worthwhile about the environment. Or, at least, not so much that the animals and plants who live there, or their genetic descendants, won’t recover after decades of abuse and industrialization.
The contradictions of her job mean she lives in a relative world: the land was ruined already, she reasons —it was used as a military training ground. What additional harm can 500-foot high industrial wind turbines, the attendant roadway network and grid infrastructure do?
In her job as lawyer for the ministry, Davis must challenge experts who have dedicated their lives to researching specific aspects of the ecosystem. Folks who understand better than anyone the tender balance upon which species and habitats exist and disappear. Her job is to tear down this research, discredit the findings and marginalize its implications.
At the end of the day she hops in her taxpayer- funded hybrid car with Ontario logo and trillium emblazoned on the door and zips eco-smugly down the 401 home to Toronto.
Paul Catling seems a polite and gentle man. Last week he skillfully managed to turn an otherwise dry and tedious Environmental Review Tribunal hearing into an entertaining and at times compelling seminar, for a day at least, on the qualities and features of an alvar ecosystem—specifically, the alvar that comprises much of the terrain at Ostrander Point upon which Gilead Power proposes to populate with massive wind turbines. Read article