Western University researchers calling on governments and wind farm developers to avoid feeding war of words

Adelaide WG MacDonald SchoolJohn Miner, London Free Press
After studying two Lake Erie communities, Western University researchers are calling on governments and wind farm developers to avoid feeding the war of words that has broken out between supporters and opponents of wind turbines.

In a study published in the journal Environment and Planning, the Western geography department researchers found people who have raised health concerns and other objections to wind turbines are denigrated, dismissed and ostracized by supporters of the developments in their communities. They also endure shots by senior politicians, such as former premier Dalton McGuinty, who dismissed health concerns as “unreal.”

The treatment only makes the situation worse for individuals with concerns, said associate geography professor Jamie Baxter, one of the study’s authors. “If you get right down to the micro level of the community, life is not good for these people,” Baxter said Wednesday. Read article

Support for wind farms
Port Burwell: 80%
Clear Creek: 66%

Average number of turbines within 2 km of homes
Port Burwell: 3.7 turbines
Clear Creek: 6.8 turbines

Percentage claiming health impacts
Port Burwell: 3%
Clear Creek: 22%

16 thoughts on “Western University researchers calling on governments and wind farm developers to avoid feeding war of words

  1. Those in poverty suffer a lot more health problems than better-off people do and there are plenty of studies to prove this to be the case.
    Driving Ontarians into energy povery will increase the health problems in Ontario.

  2. Author Chad Walker, “… the wind turbines are both useful and considered an attraction.
    “The wind turbines are a great attribute to the city of Bowling Green,” Walker said. “They help power a good portion of the city and are very efficient. They also look sweet from the air.”


    Chad Walker Education: The University of Western Ontario, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green State University

  3. This would be Bowling Green,Ohio and Sandusky, Ohio and south of there took more than 2 hours of lightning last night. Ohio really gets pounded weather wise. Also in tornado alley.
    These IWTs might not be near any homes where people would be affected by them.

  4. Google: Map for Bowling Green, Ohio wind turbine locations.
    Bowling Green Wind Farm is just west of the Wood County Sanitary Landfill. Looks like maybe 500 metres?

  5. Squeeze 2-3 of those suckers on Wesrern campus. Study that. A neurosurgeon at University health sciences said to one of his patients: the topic of negative health effects from industrial wind turbines are controversial. He said he knows nothing about them and doesn’t want to!! I expect he still thinks smoking cigarettes does cause cancer

    • Smoking cigarettes does cause cancer. i love how people are concerned about the setbacks of turbines yet they are more than ready to put them 50meters from homes in the city. Do you really think this proves a point?

      • I think it proves that rural folk have had enough of stupid city slickers trying to run the rural areas. Think of the city slickers as the Environmental Ignoratti.

        Think of the wind turbines in cities as well deserved punishment in return for that inflicted upon us.

        High Park and The Beaches (offshore) would be perfect — for example.

        Have a nice day.

      • The Greenbelt Cabal – is thrilled @ creating –
        the mantra of the – urban/rural divide;
        and, seeing it put to good use – in everyday conversation;
        ………..sends a thrill up their leg!

        I’m a little bit city, and a little bit country;
        and, I really love Costco.

        Vote Conservative!

  6. Robert,
    This is a puff piece about IWTs but then you find their location is right next to the county dump where they are not likely to harm people you can bet this is pure propaganda.

  7. Considering the data collected by Baxter, Walker and Ouellette,
    this conclusion is implausible AND VERY DANGEROUS:

    ‘[excerpt] Our findings support the growing evidence, including another Ontario study (Baxter et al, 2013), that sharing of financial and other tangible benefits among households in the vicinity of local turbines predicts turbine support (Bolinger, 2005; Murphy and Smith, 2013; Walker and Devine-Wright, 2008; Warren and McFadyen, 2010). The interviews again provide important subtlety, in the sense that being happy for former tobacco farmers who lease land to turbine developers need not be interpreted as a rejection of the idea that neighbours should also get a share of profits (Ellis et al, 2007). We concur that the local context and rhetoric present a formidable challenge as residents do not want to be portrayed to either be gold digging or duped by ‘bribes’ (Bell et al, 2005). Indeed Aitken (2010b) found intracommunity conflict can be linked to how and when community benefit packages are introduced. […]

    Thus, the ‘how’ of benefits distribution remains an important area for future research and policy experimentation.’

  8. Sometimes issues are brought up during elections to “muddy the waters”.

    But the issue of rising energy costs do affect all Ontarians.
    “Plamondon: Hydro One’s rising costs” Ottawa Citizen, May 23, 2014
    Use the link to this article thru the Ottawa City Press

    Cost of power at Hydro One has exceeded the rate of inflation by a factor of 3.6 which far outstrips the rate of inflation.
    The information in this article is what voters need to know. Every dollar your hydro bill goes up means you have a dollar less to spend at the grocery store. And urban Ontarians understand this issue.

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