May 26, 2012

The madness of this venture

Just had a conversation with a small business owner in Manotick: the rising electricity bills are a severe punch to his business. And he deeply resents paying those bills when he knows part of the increases are going for huge subsidies for wind and solar power.

“It just makes no sense at all,” he said. “What kind of province will this be when the Liberal government is done? What will be left?”


Here are some local facts:

-wind power developers are subsidized about $500,000 per turbine per year. In North Gower, assuming 8 (though we don’t for a moment believe that) that is $4 million per year.

-there are no jobs. Wolfe Island has 3 jobs for 86 turbines, where do you think that leaves North Gower after the construction period is over? No jobs.

-research out of the U.S. is showing that the average property value loss for properties within 2 miles/3.2 km of wind turbines is 40%. For North Gower, that represents a $47 million property value loss for young families, seniors and other homeowners

-at $10-15,000 a year per turbine, the farm owner isn’t going to get rich on the lease payments, but the cost to the community is much much more

-wind power is not “green”, it requires fossil fuel back-up due to its unreliability and tendency to produce power out of phase with demand, i.e., when it’s not needed

-Ontario never did a cost-benefit analysis for this, or a business case study. The government simply doesn’t know what it’s getting into.

The Manotick store owner is right: this is just crazy.

March 25, 2011

Ottawa’s villages to become ghost towns? Does anybody care?

In today’s Ottawa Citizen, columnist and Osgoode resident Joe Banks writes that amalgamation has virtually killed Ottawa’s rural villages; he says the lack of local councils that used to work to encourage development, means there is none now, and the villages will be “ghost towns.” He thinks Ottawa should care about that.

We wish Ottawa cared about that. Or cared about anything in its villages, or the quality of life for village residents. If they did, they would almost certainly have some thoughts about having North Gower transformed into an industrial power plant, with huge industrial wind turbines proposed for just outside the village proper boundary, but still very close to homes and families in North Gower subdivisions. The same goes for south Richmond. (And, it must be stated, that the 10 turbines proposed could only be the beginning: Shelburne started with 20, they now have 150, and dozens more are planned.Haldimand/Norfolk already has dozens, and the province just annnounced another 176.) The same thing is happening right across Ontario, as rural communities are being used as “resource plantations” for industrial wind turbine developments, gravel quarries, and dumps.

Here is Joe Banks’ column from the Citizen:

Ottawa’s villages could become ghost towns

By Joe Banks, Ottawa CitizenMarch 25, 2011


The eight-foot-high for-sale sign adorning the former Main Street Café has been standing for so long, it is now less an ad than a part of the landscape. Across the street, the old bakery has been closed for a decade, converted to a home, and the once-bustling Sweet Peas Pantry and gift store is a more recent casualty, as is Julee’s craft and quilt shop, which closed last year.

The former brown Boyd-block food store beside the long-gone rail yards that will soon become a bike path, has been an empty shell for as long as anyone can remember, alternating as a storage for the amateur theatre group and some residential rentals. Mary’s Dollar Store, and even the Sundays-open flea market, both once operating out of the little mall, is largely forgotten by the villagers.

If we didn’t have an arena, the popular Red Dot Café, Raymond’s convenience, Pat’s gas and video and Ozzie’s Pizza, it’d look to a visitor as if Osgoode Village was up for sale -or on its way to becoming a ghost town.

It’s sad, yes, but Metcalfe, North Gower, Vernon, Kars, and Fitzroy Harbour, all have their own versions of village gentrification.

None of this happened overnight. It has happened over a decade, coincidentally since amalgamation.

That this is news to you is because it transpired like a slow dissolve at the end of a movie. Nobody noticed.

It’s not a reach to say that Ottawa’s smallest villages have become true bedroom communities in every sense of the word, attracting everyone who wants rural quiet within reach of urban amenities.

My fellow villagers blame amalgamation, and it’s tempting to agree with them.

Prior to that forced marriage, the former cities and townships that made up the Region of OttawaCarleton competed with each other. Each had a council and separate staffs that did what they could to attract residential, and consequently, business development, into their communities. The regional government kept on eye on the bigger picture, including the prospect of urban sprawl.

That competition, virtually overnight, disappeared, as the city was ordered by the province to become one big happy family. Since then, in our determination to halt development from the city’s inside, there has been a steady decline in the economic activity of the villages, even as their populations grew, and continued to become, like ours, highly attractive places to live. To urbanists, this is evidence of tough love, that development intensification inside the Greenbelt has worked, that the line has been held on sprawl, and contained to where existing services end.

But from the rural perspective, it’s a policy that is working a little too well, as a perception is reinforced that limiting growth here, in fact, means no growth at all.

That’s not the kind of signal to send to future small rural business owners. Who would want to chance a million-dollar mortgage on a village diner in Osgoode, for example, when they could get one for a ground floor condo in Hintonburg, or a new one in Carleton Place or Kemptville?

Investment dollars follow certainty. And right now, the city’s intensification policy doesn’t give rural entrepreneurs or their lenders that warm and fuzzy feeling that its villages will be anything more than bedrooms for the urban city’s living room.

Hence the rise of what I call PIMBYism -the Please In My Back Yard advocates. These are people who believe in some development, some growth, and some tinkering with the city’s plan. It was in play in Manotick when the silent supporters of the Minto subdivision proclaimed their support of that village’s growth, even as thousands of their neighbours rallied against it.

Our village’s PIMBYists have been rooting for a 90-unit development on the south side of Osgoode known as the Buckles subdivision, and the further progression of the 30-unit Fairfield Estates on the north side.

Buckles was approved 10 years ago, but hasn’t had a single house built on it yet for reasons only the developer knows. Fairfield is in its third phase but two-thirds of it remain empty.

But is true modest growth possible when we have been so fixated on containing it inside the Greenbelt? It’s a timely question as the city’s planners have embarked on the latest review of the official plan, and villages are on the agenda. Public consultations in the lead-up to the OP review, which will regulate the city’s growth over the next halfdecade, are already under way, to help planners learn whether villages should be allowed to grow, and if so, by how much.

Any at all would be a welcome relief from the sight of for sale signs that would, in any other neighbourhood in this city, be temporary.

Joe Banks is an Osgoode Village resident and a former Ottawa area community newspaper editor and publisher.

© Copyright (c) The Ottawa Citizen

If you’d like to comment, email the Citizen at

February 28, 2011

“Biggest scam ever” wind power in the U.K.

From today’s Daily Mail online, a review of industrial-scale wind power in Britain, and the status in other countries in Europe. Note his comment that Britain must buy much of its power from nuclear-generated power plants in France, and that the companies despoiling the U.K. are from Denmark, Germany and Spain.

Here is Christopher Booker’s article:

Why the £250bn wind power industry could be the greatest scam of our age – and here are the three ‘lies’ that prove it

By Christopher Booker
Last updated at 11:20 AM on 28th February 2011


Scarcely a day goes by without more evidence to show why the Government’s obsession with wind turbines, now at the centre of our national energy policy, is one of the greatest political blunders of our time.

Under a target agreed with the EU, Britain is committed within ten years — at astronomic expense — to generating nearly a third of its electricity from renewable sources, mainly through building thousands more wind turbines.

But the penny is finally dropping for almost everyone — except our politicians — that to rely on windmills to keep our lights on is a colossal and very dangerous act of self-deception.

Green and unpleasant land: The wind farm at Ingbirchworth, West Yorkshire, one of the landscapes blighted by turbinesGreen and unpleasant land: The wind farm at Ingbirchworth, West Yorkshire, one of the landscapes blighted by turbines

Take, for example, the 350ft monstrosity familiar to millions of motorists who drive past as it sluggishly revolves above the M4 outside Reading.

This wind turbine performed so poorly (working at only 15 per cent of its capacity) that the £130,000 government subsidy given to its owners was more than the £100,000 worth of electricity it produced last year.

Meanwhile, official figures have confirmed that during those freezing, windless weeks around Christmas, when electricity demand was at record levels, the contribution made by Britain’s 3,500 turbines was minuscule.




To keep our homes warm we were having to import vast amounts of power from nuclear reactors in France.

Wind turbines are so expensive that Holland recently became the first country in Europe to abandon its EU renewable energy target, announcing that it is to slash its annual subsidy by billions of euros.

So unpopular are wind turbines that our own Government has just offered ‘bribes’ to local communities, in the form of lower council tax and electricity bills.

Taking over: Europe's biggest onshore wind farm is Whitelee, on the outskirts of GlasgowTaking over: Europe’s biggest onshore wind farm is Whitelee, on the outskirts of Glasgow

In Scotland, the 800 residents of the beautiful island of Tiree are desperately trying to resist Alex Salmond’s plans to railroad through what will be the largest offshore windfarm in the world, covering 139 square miles off their coast, which they say will destroy their community by driving away the tourists who provide much of their living.  

So riddled with environmental hypocrisy is the lobbying for wind energy that a recent newspaper report exposed the immense human and ecological catastrophe being inflicted on northern China by the extraction of the rare earth minerals needed to make the giant magnets that every turbine in the West uses to generate its power.

Here in a nutshell are some of the reasons why people are beginning to wake up to the horrific downside of the wind business. And since I began writing about wind turbines nine years ago, I have come to see how the case for them rests on three great lies.

The megawatts supplied by our 3,500 turbines is derisory: no more than the output of a single, medium-sized conventional power station

The first is the pretence that turbines are anything other than ludicrously inefficient.

The most glaring dishonesty peddled by the wind industry — and echoed by gullible politicians — is vastly to exaggerate the output of turbines by deliberately talking about them only in terms of their ‘capacity’, as if this was what they actually produce. Rather, it is the total amount of power they have the capability of producing.

The point about wind, of course, is that it is constantly varying in speed, so that the output of turbines averages out at barely a quarter of their capacity.

This means that the 1,000 megawatts all those 3,500 turbines sited around the country feed on average into the grid is derisory: no more than the output of a single, medium-sized conventional power station.

Furthermore, as they increase in number (the Government wants to see 10,000 more in the next few years) it will, quite farcically, become necessary to build a dozen or more gas-fired power stations, running all the time and emitting CO2, simply to provide instant back-up for when the wind drops.

This means that the 1,000 megawatts all those 3,500 turbines sited around the country feed on average into the grid is derisory: no more than the output of a single, medium-sized conventional power station.Not green: Greenpeace activists raise an inflatable model of a wind turbine, but they do not save a lot of CO2

The second great lie about wind power is the pretence that it is not a preposterously expensive way to produce electricity. No one would dream of building wind turbines unless they were guaranteed a huge government subsidy.

This comes in the form of the Renewables Obligation Certificate subsidy scheme, paid for through household bills, whereby owners of wind turbines earn an additional £49 for every ‘megawatt hour’ they produce, and twice that sum for offshore turbines.

This is why so many people are now realising that the wind bonanza — almost entirely dominated in Britain by French, German, Spanish and other foreign-owned firms — is one of the greatest scams of our age.

The third great lie is that this industry is somehow making a vital contribution to ‘saving the planet’ by cutting our emissions of CO2 – it is not

What other industry gets a public subsidy equivalent to 100 or even 200 per cent of the value of what it produces?

We may not be aware of just how much we are pouring into the pockets of the wind developers, because our bills hide this from us — but as ever more turbines are built, this could soon be adding hundreds of pounds a year to our bills.

When a Swedish firm recently opened what is now the world’s largest offshore windfarm off the coast of Kent, at a cost of £800million, we were told that its ‘capacity’ was 300 megawatts, enough to provide ‘green’ power for tens of thousands of homes.

What we were not told was that its actual output will average only a mere 80 megawatts, a tenth of that supplied by a gas-fired power station — for which we will all be paying a subsidy of £60million a year, or £1.5billion over the 25-year lifespan of the turbines.

The third great lie of the wind propagandists is that this industry is somehow making a vital contribution to ‘saving the planet’ by cutting our emissions of CO2.

Too many windmills: Holland is slashing its renewables subsidiesToo many windmills: Holland is slashing its renewables subsidies

Even if you believe that curbing our use of fossil fuels could change the Earth’s climate, the CO2 reduction achieved by wind turbines is so insignificant that one large windfarm saves considerably less in a year than is given off over the same period by a single jumbo jet flying daily between Britain and America.

Then, of course, the construction of the turbines generates enormous CO2 emissions as a result of the mining and smelting of the metals used, the carbon-intensive cement needed for their huge concrete foundations, the building of miles of road often needed to move them to the site, and the releasing of immense quantities of CO2 locked up in the peat bogs where many turbines are built.

When you consider, too, those gas-fired power stations wastefully running 24 hours a day just to provide back-up for the intermittency of the wind, any savings will vanish altogether.

Yet it is on the strength of these three massive self-deceptions that our Government has embarked on one of the most reckless gambles in our political history: the idea that we can look to the vagaries of the wind to provide nearly a third of the electricity we need to keep our economy running, well over  90 per cent of which is still currently supplied by coal, gas and nuclear power.

It is true that this target of raising the contribution made by wind by more than ten times in the next nine years was set by the EU.

But it is no good blaming Brussels for such an absurdly ambitious target, because no one was keener to adopt it than our own politicians, led first by Gordon Brown and Ed Miliband and now by David Cameron and the Energy Secretary Chris Huhne.

To meet this target, our Government wants to see us spend £100billion on building 10,000 more turbines, plus another £40billion on connecting them all up to the grid.

This country will soon be facing a colossal energy gap, and dependent on politically unreliable countries such as Russia and Algeria for gas supplies

According to the electricity industry, we will then need to spend another £100billion on those conventional power stations to provide back-up — all of which adds up to £240billion by 2020, or just over £1,000 a year for every household in the land.

And for this our politicians are quite happy to see our countryside and the seas around our coasts smothered in vast arrays of giant industrial machines, all to produce an amount of electricity that could be provided by conventional power stations at a tenth of the cost.

This flight from reality is truly one of the greatest follies.

But what turns it from a crazed fantasy to a potential catastrophe is that Britain will soon face a huge shortfall in its electricity supplies, when we see the shutdown of conventional power stations, which currently meet nearly 40 per cent of our electricity needs.

All but two of our ageing nuclear power stations are nearing the end of their useful life, with little chance of them being replaced for many years.

Six of our large coal-fired stations will be forced to close under an EU anti-pollution directive, and our Government is doing its best to ensure that we build no more.

There is no way we can hope to make up more than a fraction of the resulting energy gap solely with wind turbines, for the simple and obvious reason that wind is such an intermittent and unreliable energy source.

Meanwhile, this country will soon be facing a colossal energy gap, while relying on politically unreliable countries such as Russia and Algeria for gas supplies.

What we are seeing, in short, is the price we are beginning to pay for the past two decades, during which our energy policy has become hopelessly skewed by the siren calls of the environmentalists, first in persuading our politicians to switch from coal and not to build any more nuclear power stations, and then to fall for the quixotic dream that we could gamble our country’s future on the ‘free’ and ‘clean’ power of wind and sun.

All over the EU, other politicians are waking up to the dead-end to which this madness has been leading us.

The Danes, who have built more wind turbines per head than anyone, have realised the idiocy of a policy that has given them the highest electricity prices in Europe, while they have to import much of their power from abroad.

In Spain, their rush for wind and solar power has proved a national disaster. In Germany, having built more turbines than any other country in the world, they are now building new coal-fired stations like crazy.

In Holland, meanwhile, they have now given two fingers to the EU by slashing all their renewables subsidies.

Only in Britain is our political class still so imprisoned in its infatuation with wind that it is prepared to court this dangerously misguided pipedream.


Explore more:

Ed Miliband,
Alex Salmond,
Gordon Brown,
David Cameron
The Netherlands,

Read more:


To contact the North Gower Wind ction Group,

December 13, 2010

Robert Hornung on Ottawa: “not a windy area”

Robert Hornung, CEO of the industry lobby group the Canadian Wind Energy Association or CanWEA, participated in a live online chat event sponsored by the London Free Press today.

When he and Energy Minister Brad Duguid were asked if they would like to live right next to an industrial wind turbine, Hornung replied that he lived in Ottawa which wasn’t a windy area but otherwise, he said, he would LOVE to have a turbine on his property.

He’s right: it IS NOT a windy area. So why is Prowind proceeding and why is the OPA even entertaining their application? Because it’s not about wind or energy or the environment, it’s about money.

December 6, 2010

“Anticipatory nuisance”: we like!

From the Huffington Post, an opinion related to gas drilling in the U.S., but applies equally to industrial wind turbines. Here is the article:

 December 6, 2010


Andrew Reinbach

Andrew Reinbach


Posted: November 24, 2010 10:21 AM

Read More: Environmentalism , Fracking , Hydraulic Fracturing , Natural Gas , Natural Gas Drilling , Green News

Basic real estate law could stop gas drilling in the Northeast.

Here’s the idea. When you bought your house you didn’t buy just dirt and bricks; you bought what your lawyer calls a bundle of rights. That includes what he or she calls the right of quiet enjoyment.

Quiet enjoyment means more than the right to sit on your porch and watch the sunset; it includes the right to enjoy the value of your property. If your neighbor does something to hurt this right, he has to pay you the before-and-after difference — to make you whole, as they say.

It’s called nuisance law, and means everybody has the right to do what they want with their property — as long and they don’t hurt anybody else. If they do, they have to pay.

So, since banks won’t lend on a house near a gas well unless the owner can prove their water supply will always be safe, and that can’t be done — i.e.: where there’s gas drilling, property values collapse — it follows as the night the day that if your neighbor leases his land for gas drilling, you can sue said boneheaded neighbor to make you whole.

“It’s just Real Estate 101,” says the co-chair of one of the American Bar Association’s practice groups. “I’m surprised nobody’s using it now.”

As it happens, it is being done now. Two recent Pennsylvania lawsuits, filed separately against Southwest Energy Co. and Chesapeake Energy Corp., claim that their gas drilling has contaminated local water supplies and harmed the related property values.

That first claim — that gas drilling contaminated the local water — is the hot button issue for anti-drilling activists. But Peter Cambs, the partner in Parker Waichman Alonso LLP fighting the suits, likes the property value issue better.

“It’s the stronger claim,” he says. “I don’t think there is a defense” against it. Nationwide, the statistical case that gas drilling depresses property values is practically bullet-proof.

On the other hand, says Cambs, defense attorneys can try to play out the clock on the water contamination claim with what you could call the tobacco defense — first deny there was any contamination, then that gas drilling caused it, then insist the issue needs more study, and finally say there’s no way to quantify the damage.

By the time they’re ready to settle, it’s many years later, and drilling’s gone on apace. He says his case will be an appeal to common sense — that the water was fine until drilling began, so it obviously caused the contamination.

How useful common sense will be in a court room remains to be seen. In any case, says Cambs, he expects the case to last at least two years — before appeals.

Of course, the problem for many property owners living near gas drilling is that they didn’t buy their rural property to live in an industrial zone. And they’re remarkably uninterested in being hurt in the first place.

Enter Gregory Alexander, A. Robert Noll Professor of Law at Cornell University. He says there’s a well-trodden legal path that could stop drilling before it begins.

Called anticipatory nuisance, it’s basically the notion that you can stop your neighbor from doing something if waiting to sue until you’re harmed is ludicrous. In a western, this is where the marshal says you shot in self-defense.

“It’s a doctrine that’s established in common law,” says Alexander. “A court would not be making new law” by supporting such a claim, and “it presents a plaintiff with a lot of ammunition.”

The beauty here is that applying the case law to gas drilling is no stretch. According to George P. Smith, II, who wrote an article about this in the Vermont Law Review, it was established in 1864 America, when a court found that one Mr.Tipping’s property rights would be harmed by a proposed smelting operation, even though there were several factories nearby. More rulings followed.

These are really two different sorts of lawsuits; one compensates you if drilling’s already taken place and the other would stop it before it happened. And anybody can tell you that what anti-drilling activists want to do is the latter — which is why they’re trying, at least in New York, to convince Governor-elect Andrew Cuomo to either throw out the regulations already drawn up by the state’s Department of Environmental Protection and start over (they’re not yet adopted), or ban modern, horizontal gas drilling — so-called “fracking” — altogether.

Only Mr. Cuomo knows if he’ll ever do that, and so far, he hasn’t committed himself. But even if he did completely disappoint the anti-drilling forces, they could use Prof. Alexander’s idea in a test case that would tie up drilling for a long time — and maybe stop it altogether. It would cost plenty; but the money and legal talent could probably be found, if it came to it.

Since each state has their own case law in these matters and states like Texas and West Virginia don’t favor such lawsuits, this leaves us with the problem of what to do in Pennsylvania, New York, and, maybe, Ohio. It’s where things will get messy and people will have to get their hands dirty.

Here’s the scenario. Most gas leases in New York, Ohio, and much of Pennsylvania are running out and need to be renewed. It’s one of the big reasons drilling’s taking place now; if they are renewed, the lease prices will jump, but if the well’s drilled before the lease expires, the old deal still holds.

This is where you get together with the neighbors who don’t want drilling around them, and then explain to the neighbor with the lease that if he does drill, he’ll have to make their neighbors whole, and if he renews, he’ll be sued for anticipatory nuisance.

If, in the first case, he’s looking forward to getting, say, $10,000 a month in lease payments, he’ll suddenly be looking at paying it all out to make his neighbors whole — not much of a deal for him. And of course, in the second case he won’t be drilling at all — just fighting a lawsuit he has a good chance of losing.

Of course, many landowners in both states have joined coalitions to get themselves the best possible deal. And in those cases, there’s a clause in the uniform lease that indemnifies each of them from legal fees.

The problem? Those indemnification clauses typically only cover the first $2 million in legal fees, with a $10 million cap on total legal expenses. That sounds like a lot, sure — but it’s not. It’s only enough to trap them in a case that could drag on for years and cost multiples of those amounts. As for the neighbor who signed an individual lease at his kitchen table; he’s out of luck, big time.

As for you and your friends willing to sue; as I said earlier; it’s not impossible you could find some group interested in backing a test case — a case that would establish a new, exact legal precedent anybody could invoke to stop their neighbor from making money at their expense.

Taking this approach probably wouldn’t make your neighbor your best friend; but a cynic might point out that he probably wasn’t thinking about you when he signed the lease in the first place. And it does offer the promise of letting you sit on your porch for years, watching the sunset.

April 14, 2010

The trials of people living near wind turbines

Her stories may be “anecdotal” but they are compelling: Long Point, Ont. resident Stephana Johnston drove six hours to North Gower yesterday to tell her story at a public information meeting organized by the North Gower Wind Action Group.

Within days when the 18 turbines that surround her house began operating, Johnston began to experience health problems she didn’t have before: ringining in the ears, anxiety, a strange feeling in her head, and an inability to sleep due to the turbine noise and vibration. Her neighbours began sharing their stories too. A close neighbour who was always a “health nut” Johnston said, became unwell, suffering frequent headaches.

“I don’t want your community have happen what happened to us,” she said.

The CBC’s Steve Fischer interviewed Prowind’s Bart Geleynse prior to the North Gower meeting (he claims he wasn’t allowed to attend which isn’t true) and Geleynse said turbine neighbours’ complaints are merely “psychosomatic… largely based on emotion… a reaction to something new.”

Geleynse, who has no medical training whatsoever and is merely a salesperson for German-based Prowind, also claimed that the opinion of the majority of the medical community was that there is no substance to the reports of ill health. This is patently untrue as medical reports are mounting monthly. When Dr Michael Nissenbaum’s Mars Hill report comes out, according to Carmen Krogh who also spoke at the North Gower meeting, the results will show that the vast majority (in this case 81%) of people exposed to turbines have health effects.

Stephana Johnston said, “You won’t find anyone who is in the wind industry living next to 18 turbines.”

There are links to health-related documents on our documents page.

For more international scientific evidence, go to

For more on North Gower in specific, go to

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 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 2, 2010

Wind turbine noise: the urgently pressing question

Last week, a new report came out in the U.S. which stated that there is no proof that industrial wind turbines cause damage to hearing.

Nobody said it damages hearing!!!!! What people are saying is that the constant noise disturbs sleep and drives people insane.

How nice then to see an article in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal, written by the author of the upcoming book, Power Hungry: the myths of Green energy and the real fuels of the future, Robert Bryce. The article, entitled “Impartial, international study of the effects of wind turbine noise should eb undertaken without delay” (it’s not available online, but you can view the whole thing at reviews the noise complaints in the United States and lists some of the lawsuits that are resulting.

“…if turbine noise and sleep disturbance aren’t problems,” Bryce says, referring to the  infamous CanWEA/AWEA-sponsored literature review, “then why are so many people in so many different locations complaining in almost identical ways? Such questions are only going to be pressed with more urgency in the future.”


We’ll have to see what Ontario’s (electrical engineer) research chair does with the $1.5 MM granted by Ontario. We’re betting, nothing substantial. Which means, North Gower is a sitting duck to experience all the problems being reported around the world.

To get in touch with the North Gower Wind Action Group (we’re not it) email them at

January 8, 2010

Wind power: ” rapacious demands of a subsidised dead end”

From The Yorkshire Post, January 5th, on Britain’s declining and desperate energy situation. Billions of taxpayer funds have gone toward wind turbine development, only to have the country worse off than ever.

Only one of these pillars – nuclear – is sustainable. It is safe – not a single UK death from a radiation accident in 50 years – secure, economic and clean, emitting next to no carbon dioxide. It is proof against price increases because its fuel – uranium – represents only a small proportion of its costs and it enhances our energy security by minimising the use of fossil fuels. No nation is secure that is on course to import 80-90 per cent of its gas.

Renewables – whether wind, waves, tides or solar – are as grossly overblown as they are expensive. Their intermittency provides no security of supply. It can actually increase carbon emissions because for every 1,000MW of wind turbines built we need to provide 900MW of fossil fuel back up.

On the Government’s own figures, we pay up to five times as much for wind power as for nuclear. This is a scandal that drives more and more people into fuel poverty. Gordon Brown would have it cost the consumer another £100bn with thousands more turbines all over Yorkshire and the North Sea. Cameron would do Britain a good turn if he immediately called a halt to the rapacious demands of this subsidised dead end.

The link to the entire story is here:

So, it’s expensive and unreliable and won’t ever significantly contribute to our needs for power… then why is Ontario doing this?

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