March 30, 2010

Better strategy needed

OK, this is an opinion but one worth considering.

The technology columnist at the Windsor Star seems to be saying that those in opposition to large-scale wind developments have arguments that are not without merit but that there are some “weak sister” arguments, too.

Good ideas. But at the heart of it all, for most people, one issue: the noise.

March 26, 2010

Smog deaths: more mythology

One of our thoughts about wind turbines and the health effects in particular is, Where are the doctors? Well, one spoke up by writing to The Financial Post; his letter appears today.

In it, Dr Paul Cary of Cambridge, Ontario, refers to the recently released study by Ross McKitrick at the University of Guelph which has exposed “more than statistical fiddling” regarding the number of smog-related deaths, specifically that declared by the Ontario Medical Association.

Cary goes on to say that the OMA statement was based on a “simplistic epidemiological comparison of death rates and air pollution.” The OMA then stated that air pollution contributes to deaths in Ontario. However, as Cary says, “as any experienced physician is aware, what kills the frail elderly and the severe heart and lung patients on hot days is dehydration and heat stroke.”

He concludes: “I would hope that Dr. McKitrick or another researcher will lift the rocks necessary to expose the original Ontario Medical Association paper to scientific light before Premier Dalton McGuinty ruins the Ontario economy with his alternative energy policy.”

Hear, hear!

And to you, Bart Geleynse of Prowind, we don’t anymore want to hear your CanWEA-directed bleat, “Coal is killing people!” It isn’t true, never was.

Dr Cary’s letter is here:

March 25, 2010

Ottawa: fake cows before health

This city is getting to be ridiculous. No, we don’t mean the Anne Coulter debacle (though we think it might have been better to let the silly brat speak and reveal herself), we mean the ongoing saga of the cow that sits atop an Orleans cheese shop.

Apparently, the cow could fall down and hurt someone, a resident complained. So, the City told the shop owner he had to take the cow down. Within a few days the cheese shop owner had 1500 signatures on a petition to the city, asking if the cow could stay. Now, we read in the Citizen this morning, due to efforts by Councillor Rob Jellett, the cow has been reprieved subject to a review…at a cost of $20,000.

A cow. A councillor. A petition. $20,000.

And yet here in south Ottawa, in North Gower and Richmond, 626-foot industrial wind turbines are being planned that will change the rural landscape forever, alter the water table and the environment, inject 40+ dB of noise into the environment constantly, possibly affect the health of the many residents living within a kilometer of these gigantic, noisy structures, and reduce property values… we get no reprieve, no attention, no support. Basically, one landowner can do this, and get away with it, due to the Green Energy Act.

Another example of the sad–and needless–divide between rural and urban residents in Ontario, a rift that has been created and nurtured by the provincial government and utterly ignored by Ottawa City Council.

We have cows, too. Only ours are real.

March 23, 2010

The mythology persists

Our horoscope for the day said we should maybe take a day off from trying to get other people to see clear on issues…but how can you when people—well-meaning and otherwise educated and informed people—have been so misled.

Chatting with a health care professional today we told him about the North Gower-south Richmond proposal for wind turbines and he paused for a moment and said, “Well, I suppose they’re not nice to live near, but these are the things we have to do if we are to have clean energy, aren’t they?”

Most decidedly NOT. As Lawrence Solomon of Energy Probe put it, writing in The Financial Post last March, “Ontario’s Green Energy Act should more accurately be called Ontario’s Gangreen Act.
No piece of legislation in memory will do more to simultaneously undermine Ontario’s economy and environment. This one act rolls back decades of environmental gains in the energy sphere and opens the door to a future of environmental outrages.”

Studies from Denmark and Spain show that CO2 is not reduced, not one single fossil-fuel-burning energy plant has closed because of wind development, and there are NO new jobs, just jobs stolen from other sectors which results in no net gain in productivity or economic development. And, once the government subsidies stop, so does wind development, because that’s really what it’s all about.

Oh, and the air pollution question? Now that’s even in doubt, based on a study out of the University of Guelph, released last week. Pollution in Ontario comes from the United States and from CARS (the Ontario Power Authority’s VP of Communications Ben Chin has said that.)

The mythology of wind persists: the people in Ontario, New York State and other locations where they are now suffering the effects of wind turbines will tell you, they used to believe, too … until the turbines started up.

Such madness on a scale never before seen. Leslie Frost, John Robarts, Frank Miller—the great premiers of Ontario are spinning in their graves.

To get in touch with the North Gower Wind Action Group (this is not it) email them at or visit

March 17, 2010

Troubles in East Garafraxa–and time for a law suit

We’ve been saying this for months now: if the landowners who care nothing for their community and their neighbours go ahead and lease their land to a wind developer for the operation of industrial wind turbines, then people are going to take the only course of action they have open to them in Ontario now— class action law suits.

In East Garafraxa, which is near Amaranth and Melancthon, the location where there are now almost 200 industrial wind turbines, another 100 announced, and where Melancthon has finally said, STOP, residents are indeed calling for legal action. The Ontario government has removed every democratic process from this rush to build wind turbine developments, but, and we’ve said this before, people are not going to stand idly by while they have their health affected and their property values diminished.

They know it’s coming, even if the government doesn’t: they’re seeing that happen all over Ontario where wind turbine developments have been poorly sited near homes. In Amaranth and Melancthon, homes have been made uninhabitable and the wind developers have had to buy them, requiring the homeowners to sign “gag” orders and not discuss the details of their settlements. Property values decline by as much as 30 percent, and some homes are unsellable, according to a study done by Brampton’s Chris Luxemberger.

A sign of the public’s awareness now: a simple public meeting held last week in Marsville attracted 1,500 residents… none too happy either.

Isn’t there a TV show called Dirty Jobs? They should do an episode on what it’s like to work for a wind developer in Ontario, and to present your company’s plans to a community. Now, that‘s a dirty job.

Read the whole article here:–turbine-proposal-stirs-up-angst-in-east-gary

March 16, 2010

“The onus is on us”

In an article in today’s Windsor Star, a member of the Lake Erie citizens’ group against the 715-turbine wind development proposed there has said the Green Energy Act has stacked the deck against the citizens of Ontario, leaving us to prove that there are environmental and health impacts of wind turbine developments… when it should be industry and anyone who is profiting from these developments. Instead, “The onus is on us,” he said.

Read the full article here.

Which of course is just so upside-down. And almost impossible. It will cost thousands to critique the submissions to the Ontario Power Authority and thousands to pay credible experts to refute the wind developers’ claims that there are no health effects, there are no dead birds, there are no dead bats, the water table will be just fine, and property values will not be altered.

Another course of action, one being taken in at least one part of Ontario, is to prepare a class action suit against the landowners who have proceeded to lease land to developers with total disregard for the effect of their actions on the community and their (involuntary) neighbours. If money talks for big business, let it also speak for the people.

March 13, 2010

Meeting announced

The North Gower Wind Action Group has announced its public information meeting on the potential effects of industrial wind turbines. Speakers coming from all over Ontario to this special event:

Dr Robert McMurtry, professor emeritus of medicine, University of Western Ontario, speaking on health effects
Dr John Harrison, professor of physics, Queens University, speaking on noise and vibration
Stephana Johnston, an Essex County resident who is living in the midst of 18 industrial wind turbines, telling her story
Chris Luxemberger, realtor and president of the Brampton Real Estate Board, on the effects on property values, based on his study of properties near wind turbines in the Shelburne-Amaranth-Melancthon area
and pharmacist Carmen Krogh, who will share the results of her research and experiences with wind turbines.
April 13 at 6:30 p.m. at the Alfred Taylor Centre in North Gower.

March 12, 2010

“Without due care and planning”

In the current edition of Western News out of the University of Western Ontario is a letter to the editor commenting on Dr Robert McMurtry’s recent article in that newsletter on the harm being caused by industrial wind turbine developments, written by Wayne Hocking, professor of physicas and astronomy.

He says the health concerns associated with wind turbines are significant … but there are more issues than that. “If these major facilities continue to grow to the extent that they start extracting significant fractions of total available energy (typically 10 per cent) from the wind, they will unquestionably alter both the local micro-climate and potentially larger scale wind motions. The potential effects could be dramatic.”

“The decision to go ‘green’ on a massive scale, without due care and planning, is risky,” he continues.

Amazingly, he says that solar cells are also damaging to the environment–they deliver less energy over their lifetime than is required to make them!!

Finally, the coup de grace: “A planned approach is crucial. Kneejerk reactions simply demonstrate the impact of the ‘Peter Principle’ in modern politics.”

Could not have said it better.

March 9, 2010

“Open Ontario”: open to higher costs

The Premier is just bubbling over with enthusiasm for his new Ontario which, he says, is “open” for business, “open” for international students, and “open” to innovation and green energy opportunities.

Trouble is, we’re open to a whole lot more expense, too: electricity rates will climb by more than 20% in the next two years, and with the HST there will be a whole lot more taxes to pay. Foreign students? Who currently pay four times as much as Canadian students to attend our universities/ Mr McGuinty says they will come and they’ll probably stay, which is good because they’re eating food, buying clothes and–he said inexplicably on CBC’s Ottawa Morning today–they’ll be taking taxis.  

This is not a good business plan.  

And business is starting to clue in to the effects of the Green Energy Act. Up to now, they thought the emphasis was on conservation and they were OK with that, ethusiastic even. Now they’re beginning to notice that that wasn’t enough, and worse is yet to come.  

Here, from the March 8 edition of the Ottawa Business Journal, one landlord’s account:  


Landlord Bill Sioulas thought he’d be paying less for hydro after cutting his consumption by almost 20 per cent.

.The regional director of Conundrum Capital Corp. changed the lighting and upgraded the rooftops on many of the commercial properties he manages. The investment paid off, as Mr. Sioulas drew 1.8 million fewer kilowatt hours at 15 of his light industrial and suburban office buildings last year. 

Expecting big savings, Mr. Sioulas says he was shocked to open his hydro bill and find a skyrocketing provincial fee had eroded the payoff of his conservation efforts. Labelled a “provincial benefit,” the line item is charged to large power users and customers who’ve signed contracts with electricity retailers. It’s used to pay private and other non-utility power generators that are growing in number as the government offers generous incentives for green power producers. In Mr Sioulas’s case, the provincial benefit on those 15 buildings added up to a little more than $45,237 in 2008. A year later, he says it climbed to $239,428, an increase of 429 per cent. “How do I budget for this next year?” he asks. “It doesn’t make any sense.”

 The situation is so dire that the Building Owners and Managers Association in Ottawa is considering issuing an industry-wide alert. Real estate appraisers are scrambling because these new costs affect building valuations and lease agreements.

We’re open for business alright: any business that doesn’t mind skyrocketing costs, high taxes, and a government that sells out to foreign interests just to appear to fulfill election promises.

March 8, 2010

It’s still us!

Don’t let our new format fool you, it’s still us, still bringing you opinions and analysis and still not happy with this poorly sited proposal for industrial wind turbines in North Gower and south Richmond.

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