On the matter of wind turbines the question facing residents of the Municipality of Meaford shouldn’t be: do we want wind turbines here?
The true question should be: do wind turbines actually provide a real benefit to society as a whole?
Meaford is now one of many municipalities that are facing the prospect of having wind turbines constructed within its borders. A week ago International Power Canada held a public meeting about the proposed wind park it would like to build in northwest Sydenham Township.
Opposition to the plan is heavy. Hundreds of residents turned out for the meeting and very few of them were in favour of the project.
There is no doubt that IPC will benefit from this project – obviously that’s what the company is in business for. The owners of the properties that will host the turbines will also receive a benefit. In addition, the Municipality of Meaford will receive tax revenue from the turbines should they be constructed.
Premier Dalton McGuinty would like everybody to believe that his government is leading a green revolution with its wind power policies. McGuinty’s motives are clear: he wants to appear green and putting up wind turbines is something “green” for him to point to.
However, just because the Premier says they are “green” doesn’t mean they are green. We have a lot of questions about wind turbines.
Are they really an efficient way to generate electricity? Turbines are not a brand new technology. They have been around for decades. Critics at the meeting last Wednesday said there are far more efficient and environmentally friendly ways to generate power in these modern times. Our question is: are there better ways to create “green” energy than just putting up wind turbines?
What about the health effects? Wind turbine proponents say there are no health issues. However, what else would they be expected to say? Many people that live near existing turbines say something different. Who is right? The key to answering this question is real and independent studies conducted by health authorities. There are enough turbines in Ontario that such a study should be possible.
What happens to turbines when they’re no longer useful? Are the company’s that build these machines responsible for taking them down in a few years when they’re not longer useful?
These and many other questions should be answered before we can truly decide whether or not we want this kind of development in Meaford.