September 18, 2010

“Are you frying your eggs at 4 am yet?”

Lawrence Solomon, executive director at Energy Probe asks that question and a few more in his column today in The Financial Post. Noting that Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty is under fire for the smart meter program (which is supposed to cost $2 billion but is more like $ 10 billion) which, critics say, makes no economic sense for consumers. We can’t win in other words.

“Mr McGuinty isn’t in this for the money–if he was, he wouldn’t be closing economical coal plants while sinking cash into money-losing nuclear plants and money-losing long-distance transmission lines to carry power from money-losing industrial wind farms. These and his other money-losing initiatives will causeOntario’s power prices to double or triple should he get his way.”

Unfortunately, as Mr Solomon points out, the technologies are going against Mr McGuinty’s grand plans: “…power from wind turbines can’t be dispatched to customers when customers need it–the wind has a mind of its own. To make matters worse, the wind tends to blow best overnight when it’s least needed [Ed.: and when the turbines’ involuntary neighbours are trying to SLEEP].”

So, what he’s doing instead is using time-related power rates to “punish people and businesses,” says Solomon. But the punishment isn’t enough. “Too few people are frying their eggs before 7 a.m.–the time at which the punishment starts–and too many are cooking their dinners at 7 pm, smack dab during peak punishment period.”

Remember what ENRON stands for: Electricity Nightmare Ripoff Ontario Next.

Not added into this scenario at all is what the cost of declining property values will mean for communities throughout Ontario.

See the entire article here.

July 20, 2010

Survey says: Ontarians uninformed on wind energy

CanWEA or the Canadian Wind Energy Association, the lobby group for corporate wind developers in Canada, has paid polling firm Ipsos-Reid for a survey on opinions and attitudes on wind energy in Ontario. Clearly, this is another attempt to marginalize those who oppose  large-scale, industrial wind turbine developments by showing that they are in the minority. The implication is, because wind is “clean” and “green” and also provides jobs, “right-thinking” people are in favour of it, and anybody who doesn’t is in the minority.

Problem is, none of those things are true, and wind energy development will NEVER be an effective or reliable source of electric power in Ontario.

Here is the news release which hits on some of the survey findings.

New Ipsos Reid survey shows economic and environmental benefits leading factors

For Immediate Release

OTTAWA, July 15 – A new Ipsos Reid poll commissioned by the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) finds that nine in 10 Ontario residents support the production of wind energy in their region of the province for its economic and environmental benefits. The level of support remains high even when respondents were asked if a wind project’s location is within their own community.

“The poll found that 89 per cent of Ontario residents either strongly supported or somewhat supported wind energy in their region of Ontario,” said Sean Simpson of Ipsos Reid. “Most also agreed (86 per cent) that their municipal government should encourage and facilitate wind energy development, while a similarly high percentage (85 per cent) believe wind energy can provide economic opportunities and benefits.”

The poll also found that most Ontario residents think it is important that Ontario’s electricity supply become more environmentally friendly and that 87 per cent of those surveyed believe that wind energy has less impact on human health compared to other sources of electricity.

“This poll clearly indicates that wind energy enjoys broad support across the province, regardless of where residents live,” said CanWEA president, Robert Hornung. “Those polled clearly believe that wind energy not only brings environmental benefits but it can also play a vital role in spurring local and regional economic development. There is much to be optimistic about wind’s future in the province, and the poll reflects the fact that Ontario citizens believe in the promise of this growing industry.”

The poll is available online at The poll was conducted June 25 to 30, 2010. For this survey, a sample of 1,361 adults living in Ontario from Ipsos’ Canadian online panel were interviewed online, including residents in Southwest Ontario, Central Ontario, Northern Ontario, Eastern Ontario and the GTA. A survey with an unweighted probability sample of this size and a 100 per cent response rate would have an estimated margin of error of +/-2.7 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what the results would have been had the entire population of adults living in Ontario been polled.

For more information:

Ulrike Kucera
Media Relations Officer, CanWEA  
Direct: 613 234-8716 ext. 228  
Mobile: 613 867-4433

Sean Simpson
Senior Research Manager, Ipsos Reid Public Affairs  
Direct: 416-572-4474
Mobile: 519-571-3896

First off, a sample of 1,361 people represents 0.0001 percent of the population of Ontario. Hardly significant and certainly not a basis for claiming that “nine out of 10” Ontario residents support wind energy development.

The finding that people are still in favour of wind power even if a turbine development is planned for their own community is a bit of a stretch. The survey results show that 4 in 10 “are aware of wind energy developments (either proposed, in construction or already build [sic]) in your area.” BUT the majority of people surveyed are either “not very aware” or “not at all aware” of wind turbine developments in their area. More than half (or 56%) in fact, have no awareness of wind turbine developments in their area. The exception is the south-west, where only 32% were not aware. In the East, 58% are “not at all aware” or “not very aware” of wind developments. Did the “East” include Kingston? Prince Edward County???? Ottawa?

What does this high level of lack of awareness mean? That the people surveyed were not particularly well-informed.

We have learned that if people aren’t directly affected by industrial wind turbine developments, i.e., they think one is going to happen near them, they don’t have any motivation to learn about industrial wind turbines and the effects of large-scale wind development. In other words, until a turbine development plan shows up near their homes, all they know is that the turbines are “clean” and “green” and without problems. Which is not true.

Having said that, when the survey asked people to identify the chief problems with with turbine developments more than 1 in 5 (to use the pollster spin method of quoting results) or 23% put “loud/noisy/noise pollution” at the top of the list.

AND, when asked what the top benefits of wind energy are, the most often cited was “cheap/affordable/cost saving”. Which as anyone who has read even ONE article about wind energy development knows is not true.

The mention of the BP oil spill was specious, irrelevant and manipulative. Wind energy could never hope to replace oil as a source of energy in this country (and wait a minute, oil? electricity? How does oil enter into it when the Liberals want to replace coal?).

Our conclusion: the Ipsos-Reid survey shows one thing—how poorly informed the people of Ontario are about wind energy development, and about how the power authorities are investing taxpayer/ratepayer money.

We suggest a change in headline for the news release. Rather than “New Ipsos Reid survey shows economic and environmental benefits leading factors,” how about “Half of Ontario unaware of impending wind developments in their area”? Or, “Half of Ontario uninformed on wind energy”? Or, “Majority of people in Ontario brainwashed by the wind industry”?

For more information on the proposed industrial wind turbine development for North Gower and Richmond areas of Ottawa, please go to

May 26, 2010

“Learn how to cheat” reporter tells Ontario municipalities

With the Green Energy Act packing Ontario municipalities’ democratic rights and abilities to protect citizens in its pocket now, municipalities are struggling to find ways to get their planning powers back, where wind turbine installations are concerned.

As more developments are planned and built–the corporate wind developers have all but given up the pretense of community “buy-in”–concern grows due to health issues and property values.

One reporter in the Simcoe area has written the following opinion piece on the issue.

  • Chris Fell, Staff,
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  • May 25, 2010 – 4:36 PM
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  • Reporter’s Notebook

    Chris Fell.

    To say that opposition to industrial wind turbines invading our rural landscape is growing would be an understatement.

    Several municipalities in Grey and Bruce counties are now pondering the possibility of challenging the McGuinty government’s draconian Green Energy Act through the Canadian Charter of Rights of Freedoms.

    I hope every municipality in both counties – including the counties themselves – get on board with this possibility. If they all combine their resources, a legitimate challenge is possible. There is strength in numbers and it has to happen now – before these industrial installations destroy our rural countryside.

    Since the Premier of Ontario demolished the land use planning rights of municipalities by passing the Green Energy Act, municipalities that want to preserve their rural landscapes and stop an industrial invasion of the natural environment must look for other options to stop these projects.

    Grey Highlands council has already tabled a road agreement that would allow the wind energy company that wants to put 11 turbines in the southern end of Osprey Township.

    This is exactly what local municipalities must do since their planning authorities were removed by the government.

    Municipalities must look at every bylaw, every provincial/federal statute and every other regulation on the books for ways to stop these projects.

    In layman’s terms: municipalities have to learn how to cheat. To use a more sporting term: they need to find some grey areas in the rule book.

    If turning down the road agreement stops the process – great. If municipalities are really serious about protecting their citizens they have to examine every single option available to them.

    Can special development charges for these proposals be implemented? Who will pay for their decommissioning in years to come?

    Can special building fees be implemented, for tighter controls over these kinds of things?

    Since the projects propose industrial uses in rural/agricultural areas perhaps a special “industrial road toll” can be put in place to ensure the municipality’s roads are kept in top shape.

    Are there old height restrictions on the books? Are there any bylaws on the books governing towers with moving parts (remember, small windmills used to be ubiquitous on family farms of years gone by)? Maybe there are even some old, hand-written bylaws from 1854 that are relevant.

    The point is, the province made this a dirty fight by quashing the planning authority municipalities are charged with. Those planning authorities were designed to be fair and to protect the public

    Mr. McGuinty shouldn’t be surprised when municipalities look under every rock, search through every file cabinet and read every bylaw book to find other ways to protect their citizens.

    April 8, 2010

    “Coal is killing people”–oh wait, it’s actually—


    One of the mantras produced by the wind energy development lobby and spoonfed to its unquestioning acolytes (who are too busy filling their pockets to think analytically anyway) is that “Coal is killing people!” They refer to the claim that coal-fired power generation plants pump CO2 and pollution into thei air, and are responsible for the deaths of thousands of people in Ontario each year.

    This ignores the fact that:

    -most of Ontario’s pollution comes from industry south of the Canada-U.S. border

    -significant pollution comes from cars (and the OPA knows this)

    But now, what ho! According to Harrowsmith Country Life magazine, it’s not coal that’s killing people and causing global warming, it’s … cows!! Further investigation finds that yes, environmentalists (real ones, not publicity hounds like Al Gore) say that the focus on eliminating carbon dioxide/CO2 emissions is a “serious miscalculation.”

    According to EarthSave, “It’s true that human activity produces vastly more CO2 than all other greenhouse gases put together. However, this does not mean it is responsible for most of the earth’s warming. Many other greenhouse gases trap heat far more powerfully than CO2, some of them tens of thousands more powerfully. … it turns out that gases other than CO2 make up most of the global warming problem.”

    They continue: “By far the most important non-CO2 greenhouse gas is methane and the number one source of methane worldwide is animal agriculture.”

    In other words, cows. EarthSave says that if people starting to eat less–or no–meat, the effect would be dramatic: “shifts in diet lower in greenhouse gas emissions much more wuickly than shifts away from fossil fuel burning technologies that emit carbon dioxide. … decreases in meat consumption would result in almost immediate drops in methane emissions. The turnover rates for cars and power plants, on the other hand, can be decades.”


    Makes you think: the farmers who are leasing their land for wind turbines and promoting themselves as saviours of the environment when really, all they’re doing is pocketing a minimal amount of cash, putting more money in the hands of foreign turbine manufacturers, wrecking the rural landscape, harming the health of involuntary neighbours…and all the while their cows go on emitting, for want of a better word, methane into the environment.

    “Coal is killing people.” No, it’s not. Think about who is. And then think about what’s not going to make a difference: industrial wind turbines.

    Read the entire paper here:

    For news about North Gower, go to

    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 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 8, 2010

    “This could be game-changing”–the Sierra Club

    Wind energy development is frequently labelled as “clean” and “green” and an exciting new technology when the truth is, it is none of those things. Certainly, improvements are being made to industrial wind turbine technology and the manufacturing of the turbine components, but the turbine technology itself is not new.

    What is new is an exciting breakthrough in boosting the efficiency of fuel-using processes. A company called Calera has developed a process that captures carbon and fuel emissions, and promises to improve efficiency by 100%. They say they can do that with processes that use coal.

    Here is their description of how they believe they can help. More information is available at

    Calera’s unique services and products can benefit a variety of sectors in many ways. Capturing carbon cost effectively and creating carbon negative building materials can help government policy makers at the local, national, and international levels, as well as environmental groups tasked with addressing the thorny issue of global climate change.  

    Calera can help providers of coal and other fuels, as well as companies that use fuel to produce electricity and products. Since our process is applicable at any major source of carbon dioxide, Calera can capture emissions from the manufacture of cement, steel and other materials as well as oil refiners.  

    Our carbon-negative products can help architects, builders, municipalities, building material suppliers, home owners, and other groups interested in creating a future in which buildings and paved surfaces contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, rather than increasing them.

    Because Calera’s process strips minerals and alkalinity from dirty, mineralized, and caustic water, it acts as a water freshening system. The production of fresh water can be a significant benefit of Calera’s process, particularly in parts of the world that lack clean drinking water.  

    We don’t pretend to understand what they’re doing or how they do it, but some pretty important people seem to think it’s a great idea. “This could be a game-changer,” says the Sierra Club’s president, Carl Pope. And, in the New York Times, Thomas Friedman says the process might make the idea of “clean coal” a reality. Read his entire opinion, here.

    So why, Ontario, with all this talk of innovation and leadership, are we ravaging Ontario with expensive, unreliable, inefficient and old technology, when we can achieve power generation more efficiently and cleanly, in other ways?

    For more information on the North Gower Wind Action Group and their work, go to or email them at

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