Meaford Express Author: Chris Fell, Staff
I have a confession to make. Sometimes I have a hard time keeping a straight face while I listen to our elected politicians debate certain issues.
On January 18 I was almost bursting at the seams listening to Meaford council debate wind turbines.
The issue was simple. Some councillors wanted to pass a resolution telling the province and federal government that they need to do more research into the growing concerns about negative health effects being experienced by people living near wind turbines. The resolution also asked, based on that research, for the upper levels of government to implement new policies governing the location of industrial wind turbines.
As I said, the issue was simple. Meaford council defeated the resolution in a 4-3 vote. The message is clear: the Municipality of Meaford is now wide open for the provincial government and big business to pave over our countryside to build as many of these massive contraptions as possible.
During the debate, virtually every single member of Meaford council prefaced their comments with this: “I certainly support wind turbines…” Each time they said that I felt like screaming: “Why?”
Heaven forbid that any elected politician, anywhere, be seen as not being “green” enough. To a politician supporting wind turbines equals being “green.” Green = good! Therefore, they all “support wind turbines”, even if they do have concerns.
The question I have is this: why does anybody support wind turbines?
They’re horribly inefficient. They produce negligible power. They take away from our natural landscape. They don’t do anything to help our environment.
There is only one reason there is even a wind turbine debate in Ontario: massive government subsidies. Big power generation companies have been promised big bucks by the McGuinty government (which must look “green” at all costs) to help build industrial wind turbines and to place them all over rural areas where we have to put up with them so city folks don’t have to worry about having their views distorted. The government has also promised these companies guaranteed energy rates far above the current energy market for any power produced by wind turbines.
Without massive government subsidies there simply isn’t a marketplace for wind turbines. They’re too expensive to build and generate too little power to be economical.
All voters should think about that reality when their local school or hospital is threatened with closure because of provincial government cutbacks.