MEDIA RELEASE: Toronto Wind Action and Great Lakes Wind Truth, Canada
Sherri Lange, Founding Director of Toronto Wind Action and Executive Director, Canada, Great Lakes Wind Truth, today expressed her group’s excitement about the turnaround decision by the Province to halt offshore turbine development. The potential dangers posed by wind turbines are finally being recognized and she praised the Province for listening and indicating that full scientific studies would be conducted first.
But while this represents a reprieve for communities across the Canadian side of the Great Lakes, “We have studies in hand that attest to the evidence that huge industrial turbines are horrifically expensive, subsidized out of hydro customers’ pockets to a multiple of four times, and create environmental havoc,” Lange said. “In short, they don’t belong anywhere.”
This grass roots resistance to industrial wind turbines is international. On the other side of Lake Ontario, NY State residents are fighting the GLOW (Great Lakes Offshore Wind) project of 166 offshore turbines proposed by NYPA (New York Power Authority). Whether turbines are on either side of the Lake, Lange said, we will all suffer. Lange and Tom Marks of NY State have co-founded Great Lakes Wind Truth, a bilateral watchdog organization that aims to prevent any industrialization of the Great Lakes.
Lange remarked that the official announcement indicates no offshore turbines “for now” and the fact that the Province wishes to wait for the US shores of Lake Erie to be the “experimental canary” offshore, do not mesh with the permanent moratorium that residents hope for. “If turbines are premature on the Canadian side, why not contact Erie legislators, and share with them the task of doing the studies; environmental studies, including migration studies that are independent and transparent?” she asked. Where are the sound and noise propagation studies there, the aquatic studies, the health studies? Dr. Lu Lombardi is a well –known sound researcher and family physician in the Toronto Bluffs, who has spent thousands of hours examining all the available data and studies on sound and turbines, and their effects over water. Dr Lombardi has estimated that 60 miles off shore might be safe for human cohabitation with turbines. It’s only 34 miles (51 kilometres) across the widest part of Lake Ontario. Therefore, any turbine installation in the Lakes on the US side of the Great Lakes will affect Ontario as well.
Lange also commented on the recent ABC (American Bird Conservancy) announcement that with the proliferation of turbines “millions” of birds and bats are dying. She added that an eagle expert from Spain, Mark Duchamp, has more deeply researched the inadequacies of bird mortality studies. He estimates that with approximately 200,000 wind turbines internationally, there are eight million bird and 16 million bat deaths per year. “The alarming rate at which bird life is being chopped up, and lost to habitat fragmentation by turbines, is beyond frightening. Please don’t talk house cats and buildings. The numbers and equations don’t even come close. When is the last time you saw a cat with a Golden Eagle in its mouth? These developers have a get out of jail free card,” she echoed of Dr. Michael Fry, President of ABC. “If you or I kill an endangered species, it’s jail time.”
Lange also documented that Ontario is seen as a leader in wind turbine education. We have a very high number of moratoriums in this province. Councillor Paul Ainslie was very proactive and instrumental in attaining the Moratorium vote at the TRCA (Toronto and Region Conservation Authority), the largest Conservation Authority in Ontario. International groups are watching Ontario and are certainly feeling encouraged by the Province’s announcement today, she said.
With this announcement, comes the fervent wish that this is only the first step and that rural communities will now benefit from the provincial U-turn on offshore turbines. It has been documented that people have left their homes, or been bought out by developers, and have recorded unacceptable levels of stress and sleep deprivation, dizziness and a host of other ailments, loss of property values, and community disruption. This is not news. The Premier was made aware of these for some time now, even in the Legislature, she added.
Lange feels that the off shore announcement will bear more fruit. “The evidence is accruing internationally, we know the science doesn’t work, we know the environmental standards are not being met, we know that this technology is the worst possible of the so called “renewables.” What people want is truth, and to know that their lives and health, their economy, and their love of nature is not for sale. The passing of the Green Energy Act by the Provincial Liberals, has forced the creation of grass roots citizens groups to become audible and to organize and provide research which confirms that the Province has moved way too fast with turbine proliferation. The province’s recent caution with offshore turbines shows that the people are being heard and that people can hope and expect to be heard now in all parts of Ontario,” she said.