Annoyance is not ‘harm,’ turbine defender says

2014_05140206Deborah Van Brenk, London Free Press
Health safeguards are “baked right in” to the Ontario process for wind turbine applications, a lawyer for the province said Wednesday. Lawyer Matthew Horner told a panel of three judges Wednesday it’s not correct to suggest the province is violating turbine neighbours’ constitutional right to live free from government harm.

“The safety aspect is baked right in with the regulations . . . instead of an ad hoc, application-by-application process,” Horner said. He disputed lawyer Julian Falconer’s argument that the province’s approvals process is unconstitutional.

It’s the first anti-turbine case with a constitutional challenge to reach Ontario divisional court. And it’s being watched throughout Ontario, where thousands of turbines are in place or planned. Many of the 50 people in the courtroom had driven through snowstorms from Huron, Bruce and Lambton counties or stayed overnight in hotels to hear the third day of arguments. Clinton-area farmer Luke Schilder, for example, started his barn chores at 4 a.m. and was at court for 11 a.m. in the hope of hearing he might not have to put up with proposed turbines near his farm. Read article

19 thoughts on “Annoyance is not ‘harm,’ turbine defender says

    • Tye, If your friends want to talk about the money involved in IWTs then there is plenty of information on this issue.

      There are huge amounts of money to be made off from IWT projects. One way this is done is through tax incentives. Another way is through guaranteed returns in investments such as the FIT program that Ontario has. Sometimes there is a combination of these to create tax incentive packages that includes both federal and provincial/state monies.

      You can go to NASDAQ and look up who the big time investors are in renewable energy thru stock ownwership. Then investors can also provide money thru debt financing/loans to fund projects. Google NASDAQ and then look for major share holders of a particular company. Debt financing is harder to locate but it’s available.

      Since this is an English class project it’s important to read the foot notes and bibliography for articles or papers as these provide clues for further investigation. Often a report or paper needs to be read twice so information is not missed.

    • Tye,

      Morningstar is a good source of information on debt/loans supplied to renewable energy companies.

      Google: Company name + stock quote + Morningstar > to ownership section is a quick way. Same for NASDAQ.

      There you will find pages on both debt and equity/stock ownership for companies. Just look to see how much any other companies provide in debt/loan financing to said company you are looking for.

      Post if you need more information on this topic.

      • My friends keep saying the videos are fake and that the people in the videos are liars. They keep saying they just want money. I am shocked that they are saying this and are diening by video evidence. How do I convince them the the videos are true and not fake?

        Thanks for your help

      • Sorry. Autocorrect changed denial into dieing. It was supposed to be denial.
        Thanks again

      • Tye,

        Ask your friends what is the source of their information that people in “Down Wind” are lying?

      • My friends said that they are just lying so they can sue the government and get money from the government. I stop trying to agure with them because they keep saying the same thing.

      • If you checked out my post they brought up the David Suzuki foundation website and showed me a story about how wind turbines do not effect anyone’s health on David’s website.

      • Tye,

        Are your friends aware of the history of medicine where it often takes a considerable amount of time to prove causality for medical conditions?

        An example of this is that for a very long time ulcers were presumed to be due to psychological causes including stress.

        It was recently discovered that most ulcers are caused by a bacteria. Who knows why it took so long to discover this but it did?

        No one had a reason to look into the health effects of industrial size wind turbines because they were not in use. No IWTs and no health effects.

        The old fashioned farm wind mills/turbines were not big and not a problem. They were used to pump water for livestock. Sure they made noise but were shut down until water was needed. Water troughs were filled when the wind was blowing.

        My grandfather had quite a large wind mill on his farm and so I know what it was like and how it was used.

      • I happen to know the founders of Greenpeace, and the Suzukyites — the early ones anyway. I was at the meetings where they discussed that they would lie to the media and publish false information because it was “justified in the cause”.

        I did not hear this or read this — I was there. I also had one-on-one conversations where tactics and rationale were discussed.

        But, tell you what Tye — believe whatever you wish…

  1. Some would say that’s “hate”.
    Thanks for helping us document the damage.

    ‘[excerpt] Falconer represents four families in Huron and Bruce counties whose homes are close to dozens of proposed turbines.

    They say turbines pose a potential serious health impact — including dizziness, headaches, heart palpitations and other illness — and that placing them close to homes violates their constitutional rights.

    On the other side is the province and three wind companies.

    For the government side, Horner said the Green Energy Act process is much better than the patchwork process that once existed.

    They include a minimum 550-metre turbine setback from homes, environmental screening and checklists and guarantees of safe noise levels that put human health front and centre, he said.

    “This is not a (regulatory) regime that causes harm to human health. This is a regime that is protective of human health,” Horner said.

    Nor is the government depriving them of life, liberty or personal security, he said.

    “The legislation isn’t preventing anyone from doing anything,” and has a suitable process to give people the right to challenge turbines, he said.

    Falconer had argued the annoyance factor of turbines was enough to cause significant distress and health issues. But Horner said annoyances are ubiquitous in modern society, including traffic noise, but that doesn’t qualify as unconstitutional, “serious harm.”

    Colleague Sarah Wright said there’s an administrative process in place through the Environmental Review Tribunals to address residents’ concerns, a process that makes this appeal to the judges unnecessary.

    The three-judge panel is to hear a fourth day of arguments Thursday, from lawyers for wind energy companies. Part of the argument is expected to be a request that the judges stay the proceedings.’

  2. Sometimes I start by asking,
    “do you think fraud is ok?”

    Ask your friends if they would like to be forced
    into the middle of a WIND ENERGY FRAUD.

    Would they be distressed? Traumatized?

  3. Government lawyers negligently misrepresenting [?]

    ‘[excerpt] An interesting development was the fact that the judges themselves asked questions of the government lawyers with regard to the nature of citizens’ warnings about health and safety issues. One pointed question concerned the recently released summary of the results of Health Canada’s wind turbine noise and health study. The judge asked, if the study design was such that no conclusions can be made about an association between turbine noise and adverse health effects, why should the study be used to show that there are NOT?’

  4. More scientific delinquency:

    Credit: Sean Fine, Justice Writer | The Globe and Mail | Nov. 21, 2014 |

    ‘[excerpt] The stakes are high. Ontario has 62 separate wind farms approved or proposed, under rules that allow them to be built 550 metres from homes, and at a noise level of up to 40 decibels in rural areas – the level at which the adverse health effects of annoyance set in, according to the World Health Organization.’

    Ontario wind farms are approved to cause “51 decibels of sound to be received” at a “receptor”.
    In some cases 53 decibels???

  5. What’s causing “annoyance”???
    What IS “annoyance”???

    DATE: October 14, 2010 – 2:36 PM
    FROM : Citizen of Clear Creek, Ontario

    Hi Tim,
    Could you please describe, in your words, the vibrations that you sensed at our house last week at Clear Creek. I was trying to describe those vibrations to friends last weekend in my words. The noise/vibrations were not present last weekend.

    DATE: October 14, 2010 – 16:10
    TO: Citizen of Clear Creek, Ontario

    I would describe it as a sensation that was neither a discernable sound nor a detectable vibration, but somewhere between the two. Definitely more felt than heard. If I concentrated very hard, I could sense something below the hearing threshold, but above what can be felt as a vibration. I have to say, though, that it takes an unusual amount of concentration to even notice it.

    Tim Webb
    Provincial Officer #125
    Hamilton District Office
    Ontario Ministry of the Environment’

  6. Health safeguards are “baked right in” to the Ontario process for wind turbine …

    It’s true.

    Though it bears mentioning that that particular cake was “half baked” by inexperienced bakers.

    Just sayin’

    Now if they had baked in a file so that we could have escaped this high priced prison where the wardens are insane — now that would have been an act of mercy.

  7. Wind industry body Renewable UK
    acknowledges “Amplitude Modulation”
    and that sound can be “minimized”:

    Noisy wind farms face ban as ministers launch review into ‘annoying’ sound levels
    By Emily Gosden, Energy Editor
    30 Nov 2014

    ‘[excerpt] Noisy wind farms that disturb local communities could be banned, after ministers launched an unprecedented review into the annoyance they cause.

    In the first official admission that wind turbine noise can adversely affect local residents, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has commissioned an independent investigation to assess the levels of sound wind farms produce and the extent of disturbance caused as a result.
    Wind industry body Renewable UK said it had already conducted extensive research into the extent of the thumping problem – known as Other Amplitude Modulation – and had devised the ways of tackling it.

    Independent research published by the lobby group late last year had helped “to pinpoint when, where and how this sound varies”, Gemma Grimes, the group’s Director of Onshore Renewables said.

    “We found that this can be addressed by using computer software to adjust the way turbines operate, changing the angle of the blades to minimise the sound levels.

    “We’re hoping that this will now be incorporated within the Institute of Acoustics’ existing Good Practice Guidance document,” she said.

    But she said she did not believe the existing guidance on swishing noises would or should be changed. “In this [Institute of Acoustics] guidance, which they published last summer, there was no question of changing the current noise limits, which are rightly very stringent, so we wouldn’t expect any alteration in that when they update the current document,” she said.’

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