Archive | Industrial wind turbines – ungreen, subsidy-sucking, destructive, useless RSS for this section

There will be blood on the ground: permission to kill and do serious, irreversible harm

IMG_4363

An Ontario Divisional Court overturned last year’s decision by the Ontario Environmental Review Tribunal that stopped the construction of nine industrial wind turbines that would despoil the environmentally sensitive Ostrander Point, situated on provincially-owned Crown land in Prince Edward County. Last year, the Tribunal had revoked the approval, given by the Ministry of the Environment (MOE) in December 2012, on the basis that the Blanding’s turtle would suffer serious and irreversible harm if the development went ahead.

The MOE joined the project proponent, Gilead Power, in an appeal of the Tribunal’s ruling to the Ontario Divisional Court. “Three lawyers from the Ministry of Environment and the Attorney General’s office argued that their own MOE-appointed panel had erred,” said the Wellington Times.

With the Divisional Court’s decision on February 20, 2014, Gilead Power Corporation is presumably once again entitled, according to the permit it was originally granted on July 23, 2012 by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) under the Endangered Species Act, 2007 (ESA), “to ‘damage and destroy the habitat of Eastern Whip-poor-will’, as well as to ‘kill, harm, harass, capture, possess and transport’ both Blanding‟s turtle and Whip-poor-will, resulting from the development and operation of the Project” (from the Tribunal’s ruling, see Alliance to Protect Prince Edward County v. July 3, 2013).

Permits to kill, harm, harass, capture, possess and transport a species at risk or to damage and destroy its habitat are no longer issued to industrial wind turbine developers, but not for the reasons you may think.

Seven months ago the Ontario government almost completely undid its leash on the marauding weasels of wind. It gave up its power to monitor and regulate what the industrial wind turbine developers do to wildlife and the environment, making it even easier for the wind companies to do their dirty work, and harder than ever for concerned citizens and communities to assert their rights. New regulations granting more special rights to wind companies state in part:

On July 1, 2013, a series of regulatory amendments came into force creating broad exemptions from the ESA’s requirements to obtain a permit or agreement prior to harming a species at risk or its habitat. Instead of requiring permits or agreements, the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) now allows companies to follow rules set out in regulation. This is generally called a permit-by-rule system.

Under the amended regulation, eligible proponents are automatically given an exemption provided they follow the prescribed rules. MNR has given up its power to say “no” to any project, regardless of the ecological importance of the area or the possibility there will be damaging cumulative impacts on the species at risk or its habitat.

Although proponents are generally required to document the measures they will take to minimize “adverse effects” on species, proponents almost never have to submit the documentation to MNR. MNR will therefore have no ability to know whether the permit-by-rule system is actually protecting species at risk.

The government’s own Environmental Commissioner has stated:

“By eliminating the permit process, the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) has shed its ability to say ‘no’ to a proposed activity, no matter how harmful it may be to an imperilled species,” says Commissioner Miller. “And since proponents don’t have to file any monitoring reports with the ministry, MNR will be blind to the effectiveness of its new rules.”

The Ontario Liberal government is wilfully enabling the destruction of the environment (not to mention people’s health, communities, property values, quality of life) for a fake-green technology that has proven to be useless and has already wasted billions of dollars. It’s enough to make you scream at the insanity, the government’s dereliction of fiduciary duty to the people, and the perversion of democracy in Ontario.

Victims of a massive global warming fraud

IMG_3887

So the Blanding’s Turtle must once again prove that it is in sufficient danger to warrant protection against industrial wind turbines from bestriding and destroying its unique, fragile habitat at Ostrander Point in Prince Edward County. Not only that, the proponents of the proposed wind factory, (Gilead Power) claim in their appeal of the recent decision of the Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT) protecting the turtle, that the reptile’s advocates, Prince Edward County Field Naturalists (PECFN), must “prove that the project would cause serious and irreversible harm to the turtle population province wide.” (Our emphasis.)

This is an interesting tack to take considering that the original decision of the ERT rejected such extrapolations, insisting on case-by-case assessment, when it came to previous Tribunal findings about the harmful effects of industrial wind turbine operations on human health!

But Gilead, and the Ministry of the Environment (MOE), which is also appealing the ERT decision, know they have the upper hand.  Laws and rules, specially written so that all kinds of inconvenient obstacles have been swept aside to facilitate the wind industry’s free rein, are heavily weighted in favour of allowing industrial wind factories to be built practically anywhere, over the objections of unwilling hosts, damn the consequences. Two things worth considering here:

1. Let’s stop calling industrial wind factories ‘farms’ or ‘parks’ or ‘projects’ as if they complement a rural setting, as if they are benign, productive or beneficial. Make no mistake: these are sprawling industrial factories, useless ones, plonked ruthlessly and cold-bloodedly into the middle of working farms, and right beside homes, schools, and airports, and in pastoral landscapes and environmentally sensitive natural beauty.

Anyone who doubts this characterization of what’s going on should take a drive through Melanchton Township or the Chatham-Kent area, or any one of the locations marked on this map, and spend some time looking at and contemplating the uglification and utter ruination of the scenic countryside. The sight is unnerving.  At times you’re surrounded 360˚ by the un-green white and grey monsters. You know that you’re in a vast industrial area that was once bucolic countryside. The eye tries in vain to focus on the fields, the trees, the sky, the clouds, but the constant, dizzying motion of the industrial behemoths engenders a disorienting, nervous tension. Your anxiety mounts as you see herons, raptors, the August flocks of gathering starlings flying perilously close to the turbines. You just want to get out of there. You flee even though you haven’t experienced the noise, the vibrations, the infrasound, the light flicker and other deleterious side effects of turbine operations relentlessly torturing rural residents whose homes are under seige by the monster machines.

2. How did we arrive at this crazy, insane situation where different ministries and arms of the Ontario government are fighting each other, reversing or trying to reverse each other’s decisions, each side’s lawyers and experts funded out of the same taxpayer purse? Where the Ministry of the Environment belies its name and grants permits for wind factories to be placed at designated Important Bird Areas, when the MOE knows they slice and dice birds and bats? Where Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health sticks her head in the sand and pretends that rural residents’ complaints of ill health caused by turbines are all in their heads? Where, despite overwhelming evidence that wind turbines are an environmental and billions-of-your-dollars economic disaster, the current Wynne government recklessly, heedlessly perpetuates the so-called ‘green‘ energy policies of her discredited, cowardly-slunk-away McGuinty predecessor? Where wind companies get a guaranteed, free-ride sinecure for a mind-boggling 20 years, paid for by you and your children, and in the process are free to blight the landscape, trample on property rights, and rob us of our democratic heritage, as allowed by the pernicious Green Energy Act?

Who and what is behind the forced imposition of useless industrial wind turbines on the people and their land, made possible by an unprecedented, legislated abrogation of democratic rights, resulting in the callous ruination of quality of life, homes, and property, wasting billions of our dollars, and hobbling the economy with sky-rocketing electricity costs and job losses?

.…one of the greatest scientific scandals in the history of the world on which billions of dollars of taxpayers’ money…squandered. (James Delingpole, Watermelons)

The shocking answer is that the Liberal government of Ontario is hell-bent on sacrificing the province’s people, land, wildlife, treasure, democracy and economic future on the altar of a false global warming god, brought to you courtesy of the United Nations (UN), the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the UN’s Agenda 21, the UN’s International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI), propagandists like carbon trader Al Gore and name-caller David Suzuki, and many other dishonest, even disgraced-but-still-influential players in the ‘green’ and environmental movement – Climategate scientists, lobbyists, politicians, NGOs, charities, and not-for-profit organizations.

Man-made global warming has to this day not been scientifically proven, notwithstanding what the mass media take as a given, and what proselytizers and profiteers like Al Gore and David Suzuki and many others of their ilk want you to believe.

‘Climate change’…It’s not a genuine problem to be solved, but a handy excuse – with a fashionable green patina – to advance a particular social and political agenda under the cloak of ecological righteousness and scientific authority. (James Delingpole, Watermelons)

The UN’s ICLEI, for example, has probably infiltrated and signed up your community and provided your leaders with its cookie cutter blueprint for eroding your property rights, most likely without your knowledge or your vote. The UN’s Agenda 21, a master plan for a world government to control every aspect of your life under the guise of ‘saving the planet’, has been implemented under our noses for the last 21 years and has influenced, even bound our governments and nibbled away at our sovereignty. Scary stuff, and most of us are completely unaware of what is really going on. The fix is in, Big Money is being made and spent, a good part of it coming out of your pocket.  The Blanding’s Turtle is not the only one in danger.

Increasingly when you read what is said and done by our governments in the name of ‘combatting climate change’, you have to pinch yourself in disbelief…wishful thinking and economically suicidal lunacy has managed to worm its way into twenty-first-century representative democracy. (James Delingpole, Watermelons)

Follow the links in this post, but also do your own research. Find out exactly how it has come to pass that Ontario has been invaded by useless, dangerous wind turbines that have wreaked economic, environmental and social disaster, and why the Wynne government is wilfully blind to the carnage, promising more of the same. If you want to trace the dots from the costly, destructive industrial wind turbines in your backyard back to the workings of a UN-led sinister, international web of global warming fraud and the malevolent, venal grab for money and domination, start with the very readable Watermelons: How Environmentalists are Killing the Planet, Destroying the Economy and Stealing Your Children’s Future, by James Delingpole.

Three-armed bandits with special rights to attempt Toronto heist

IMG_4660

Three-armed bandits with special rights. That’s how some Germans describe industrial wind turbines, according to the German news magazine Der Spiegel. And that label seems to be a universal truth. Wherever in the world you find wind turbines, you’ll also see misguided government legislation specially designed to remove inconvenient barriers for wind companies so they can have their way unimpeded over the democratic rights of tax- and ratepayers, the environmental protection of flora and fauna, and health and welfare of people. The invasive, financially rapacious scourge of wind turbines has continued almost completely unabated in Ontario, were it not for the Blanding’s turtle, which stopped one such industrial complex from being erected on Crown land in Prince Edward County.

To date no industrial wind factory has managed to gain a foothold in any large urban centre in Ontario, though not for lack of trying. Now, a new threat: a planned wind factory on the Leslie Street Spit, also known as Tommy Thomson Park, “Toronto’s Urban Wilderness“. The man-made park with its over 300 bird species, “wildflower meadows, cottonwood forests, coastal marshes, cobble beaches and sand dunes” is a favourite destination for nature-starved urban visitors, families on bikes and rollerblades, or hiking on foot equipped with bird watching scopes, cameras or fishing poles. The park is one of Ontario’s 70 designated Important Bird Areas, which, incredibly, have no legislated protection from industrial wind development.

Trying to create an urban-rural divide on this issue would miss the mark. Some people may be tempted to engage in wind turbine Schadenfreude, jubilating that the seemingly uncaring, Liberal-voting Toronto populace finally has its comeuppance, for once facing having to host the monster turbines themselves.  Fact is that for a variety of reasons, most people, urban or not, who aren’t directly affected by the health and environmental evils of wind turbines, have been living in blissful ignorance. But once the uninformed dig deep and find out the sorry truth about the unprecedented wind energy scam that is being perpetrated by government held in thrall by foreign wind companies, they get it. When properly informed, urbanites and others are fully on board with the plight of rural wind turbine victims (the people, the communities, the birds, bats and other animals, the landscape), and enraged that government is wasting billions of taxpayer dollars on this useless, destructive technology.

Informed rural residents and urbanites can stand united with the same goal, namely that there should be no further wind energy development anywhere, and that the turbines that exist should be torn down. There is no urban-rural divide. There are only the odious, venal government and wind deceivers who would claim that their green is brilliant when the truth is it’s putting us all in the red for decades to come. In the process they’re destroying people’s lives and homes, human health, property values and the beautiful, restorative natural environments prized by all Ontarians, no matter where they happen to live.

Human health denied

IMG_2863Human health was given short shrift in the recent Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT) hearing that saw Blanding’s Turtle singlehandedly win the day and save Ostrander Point on Prince Edward County from being turned into the industrial wind factory that had been approved by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment.

The Prince Edward County Field Naturalists advocated successfully for the turtle, but their arguments that birds, bats, Monarch butterflies, and alvars, “naturally open areas of thin soil over flat limestone or marble rock” would also suffer “serious and irreversible harm”, the legal test demanded by the Tribunal, were rejected.

And the Alliance to Protect Prince Edward County (APPEC) did not succeed in making its case for protecting human health, failing to sway the ERT that the approved wind factory project would cause serious harm to people’s health.

In a July 4, 2013 news release, APPEC said it was “baffled by the ERT’s decision on human health.”  APPEC went on to suggest that the ERT process was “fundamentally flawed.” In order to succeed, APPEC would have had to provide scientific evidence to the ERT that human health was going to be harmed through “direct effects (i.e., audible noise) or indirect effects (i.e., infrasound, low frequency sound, severe annoyance, or by some other mechanism)” caused by the proposed wind factory in question when it was being operated in accordance with the Renewable Energy Approval (REA). APPEC rightly complains that “citizens are required to undertake acoustical and epidemiological research” in order to have any success in making their case to the ERT.

The Ontario government and wind power proponents don’t bother themselves with any such scientific rigour. The REA’s 550-metre residential setback appears to be an arbitrary distance without any scientific basis. Furthermore, the Ministry of Health has conducted no studies on the health effects of industrial wind turbines. This does not stop Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health from asserting that the “weight of the evidence does not support any direct health effects associated with wind turbines if they are appropriately placed, and that is with a minimum of a 550-metre set-back.” But even that paltry set-back concession to protecting human health is routinely nullified by wind companies in the agreements they present to Ontario landowners.

The ERT heard, and acknowledged in its decision, information given by Dr. Cornelia Baines about a University of Auckland study that purports to show that adverse health effects from wind turbines are due to suggestibility. This questionable study has been hauled out ad nauseam, including by David Suzuki, to bolster the notion that adverse health effects of wind turbines are all in the head. The researchers conclude that “psychological expectations could explain the link between wind turbine exposure and health complaints”, when really all their study does is confirm that there is such a thing as suggestibility, period.

The lead author of the study, doctoral candidate Fiona Crichton, states in her abstract that 54 (or 60, depending on which of her reports you want to believe) participants were involved in a “sham-controlled double-blind provocation study” where they were presented with information “designed to invoke either high or low expectations that exposure to infrasound causes specified symptoms.” Lo and behold, the high-expectation group reported more symptomatic changes than the low-expectation group. In this study, which is completely useless insofar as health effects of wind turbines are concerned, you could substitute the infrasound with any non-wind turbine sound and posit high-expectation symptoms of your choice to the subjects and get the same result – a demonstration of suggestibility.

If there is any invocation-of-high-expectations-leading-to-false-beliefs going on, it’s the wind power lobby that has the McGuinty/Wynne government convinced that wind energy is useful, reliable, harmless, economically feasible, environmentally attractive, green, when it really isn’t any of that.

Serious and irreversible harm

IMG_4363We know that wind energy is economically ruinous, a faux-green shell game that has no benefit whatsoever, except for the wind companies and their political enablers. And yet the only thing that was able to stop nine useless industrial wind turbines from invading an environmental and tourist treasure in Ontario was—a little reptile.

Thanks to evidence that “serious and irreversible harm” would befall Blanding’s turtle, a globally endangered species that is threatened in Ontario, on July 3, 2013 the Environmental Review Tribunal revoked the approval for a wind factory at Ostrander Point in Prince Edward County that had been issued by the Ministry of the Environment in December 2012.

It was the danger to the turtle and its habitat alone, not the distinct prospect of turbine-slaughter of other animals such as birds and bats, not the likelihood of turbine-construction related destruction of plant life, not the probability of turbine-syndrome harm to human health, not the insult of a useless project allowed to squat on the people’s Crown land (it is “the policy of the Ontario government to promote the use of Crown land for renewable energy projects”), not the shock of turbines licensed to impale a designated Important Bird Area (explicitly permitted by the government) that swayed the Tribunal in this case. Only the turtle’s predicament met the very rigorous legal test of “serious and irreversible harm”, and thus the threatened reptile managed to protect all the other potential wind turbine victims as well.

The Ostrander Point outcome is welcome news for “anti-wind” warriors, but not every appeal to the Tribunal will have a handy endangered or threatened turtle to help out. The harsh reality is that it is very difficult to meet “the statutory onus” of proof of harm. But the damage is all too real and proven for the scientists who study the adverse effects of wind turbines on birds, bats and the environment and for the people who have had to move out of their homes because nearby wind turbines have made them too ill to stay.

The Tribunal’s decision (see Alliance to Protect Prince Edward County, 03 Jul 2013) is recommended reading for anyone interested in how tortuous a path anti-wind turbine advocates must tread, even when the Ontario government’s wind power scheme has been thoroughly discredited as a scam and very costly sham.

Tundra swan migration may face wind turbine blades

Tundra swans stopping to rest and feed near Grand Bend, Ontario may face a phalanx of industrial wind turbines on their traditional migration habitat next March if the proposed Goshen Wind Energy Centre receives approval from the Ontario Ministry of the Environment. This proposal falls under a regulation of the Environmental Protection Act.

In the 2011 video above, tundra swans feed on a corn stubble field located north of Greenway Road, east of Parkhill Creek, part of the area proposed for an industrial wind turbine factory.

That this proposal is being given any Ministry consideration begs the question: where is the environmental protection for one of Ontario’s most unique spectacles in nature when every March up to 15,000 tundra swans stop in the Grand Bend area to rest, feed and stage in preparation for continuing their epic journey to the western Arctic?

If the Goshen project receives approval, how will the swans manage to evade being sliced in two by the hundreds of gigantic wind turbines that would surround the bog where they rest, and that would dot the agricultural fields over which the birds must fly, land on and take off from in search of food? Would the proposed wind factory completely disrupt and destroy their traditional migration habitat? Would that be an acceptable price to pay for this so-called “green” renewable energy? Since we already know that wind energy is not green, not sustainable, and not useful, the Goshen proposal would appear to be doubly deplorable.

The public is invited to review and comment on the proposal. The Ministry’s website states:

This proposal has been posted for a 45 day public review and comment period starting June 26, 2013. If you have any questions, or would like to submit your comments, please do so by August 10, 2013 to the individual listed under “Contact”. Additionally, you may submit your comments on-line. All comments received prior to August 10, 2013 will be considered as part of the decision-making process by the Ministry of the Environment if they are submitted in writing or electronically using the form provided in this notice and reference EBR Registry number 011-9473.

For the option to submit a comment to the Ministry online, click here. The individual listed under “Contact” mentioned above is: Kristina Rudzki, Senior Project Evaluator, Ministry of the Environment, Operations Division, Environmental Approvals Branch, 2 St. Clair Avenue West, Floor 12A, Toronto Ontario M4V 1L5 , Phone: (416) 314-6802 , Toll Free Phone: (800) 461-6290.

Wind power blowback

xWhy is Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne persisting with the heedless and cruel deployment of monstrous industrial wind factories when, by now, people who’ve done their homework know that wind turbines are economically and environmentally ruinous, cause untold health and property misery, destroy avian life, and despoil the Ontario landscape? What kind of government wilfully continues to inflict a billion dollar failure, an utterly destructive faux-green energy scheme, on its people? Urban dwellers, and anyone else not living within sight of industrial wind turbines, should take the time to inform themselves. They will realize this colossal wind turbine fraud already appears to dwarf former Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty’s gas plant debacle in scope, cost, and human and environmental tragedy. Its architect, meanwhile, will closet himself in a Harvard ivory tower while his successor fiddles, even as rural Ontario burns with pain and outrage. How much longer are we willing to tolerate this?