Another Kafkaesque industrial wind turbine nightmare in Ontario. A regional airport (Collingwood), with an aerodrome close by (Stayner), and eight 500’ (152 metres) air-space-invading industrial wind turbines (wpd Canada’s Fairview Wind Project) to be wedged between both airfields, posing grave danger to pilots and their passengers—and the whole thing approved by the Ontario Liberal government.
What could possibly go wrong when pilots, flying visually without instrumentation (as is the case in over 90% of the flights at these two airports), have to negotiate a safe take-off or landing through a blur of Georgian Bay fog, or lake-effects snow, and an indiscernible phalanx of gigantic 50-storey-tall white windmills?
All eight of the planned wind turbines will “penetrate” the safe arrival and departure airspace mandated by Transport Canada standards.
The Collingwood-Stayner airspace is a no-man’s-land of regulation, a lawless vacuum with respect to wind turbine installations. Ontario’s Green Energy Act deliberately has no safety provision for wind turbine setbacks near airports. All eight of the planned wind turbines will “penetrate” the safe arrival and departure airspace mandated by Transport Canada standards, as prescribed by the International Civil Aviation Organization.
If the turbines are built, and they thereby are found to create an unsafe situation, Transport Canada could shut the airports down.
However, here is the kicker. Transport Canada has no jurisdiction over where wind turbines are located with respect to the air space of registered, uncertified airports such as the Collingwood Regional Airport and the Clearview Aerodrome in Stayner. But, when the turbines are built, and they thereby are found to create an unsafe situation, Transport Canada could shut the airports down. The airports, not the wind turbines!
In this case, there is a dangerous jurisdictional vacuum. Neither Transport Canada, nor the Ontario government, nor the local governments, which the Liberals’ Green Energy Act stripped of their planning powers, have any legal say over the aeronautically-safe siting of wind turbines at registered, uncertified airports.
Wind companies—often foreign-owned—pretty well get to do whatever they want.
Such is the looney landscape of Ontario’s sickly “green” wind energy program that wind companies—often foreign-owned—pretty well get to do whatever they want, aided, abetted, enabled, financially rewarded, and legally defended by the Ontario Liberals’ Green Energy Act and their kangaroo court of (hopeless) appeal, the Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT). Only two of the scores of wind turbine project appeals to the ERT have had partial success, with final outcomes still pending.
wpd Canada’s Fairview Wind Project between the Collingwood-Stayner airports is being appealed, with an ERT hearing scheduled for May 16, 2016 in Collingwood. What are the chances that the safety-minded appellants will prevail? The onus is on them to prove “serious harm” to human health. You’d think that this would be a no-brainer, logical, obvious. But the narrow terms of reference by which the ERT operates and the unfair burden of proof heaped on the appellants usually spell defeat.
For a mind-blowing overview of this particular Kafkaesque situation involving wind turbine approvals and appeals, watch the 30-minute media event held at Queen’s Park on April 21, 2016 (starting at 3:09). At the press conference, Simcoe-Grey MPP Jim Wilson, Kevin Elwood (the pilot owner of the Clearview Aerodrome), and Charles Magwood, area property owner, outlined chilling facts about the lawless loophole that could endanger the lives of pilots and their passengers, and potentially close down an economically vital airport and aerodrome for good.
The trio also discuss possible graft and corruption in this case: wpd Canada’s payments made to the Liberal party, followed immediately by government approvals for wpd Canada’s project, and wpd Canada’s creation of a shell company with no assets in order to evade liability for accidents and de-commissioning of wind turbines.
In Ontario: lawless loopholes, callous, criminal disregard for human health and safety, apparent bribes for wind project approvals, calculated liability evasion, democracy-robbing legislation—all for economically useless, environmentally-destructive, subsidy-sucking industrial wind turbines, ugly symbols of a bankrupt, immoral, dishonest, fake planetary climate emergency.
The same goes for Kevin and Gail Elwood, John Wiggins, and the residents’ group Preserve Clearview, after the Environmental Review Tribunal dismissed an application for costs related to their appeal of a decision to grant WPD a renewable energy application for the Fairview Wind Project.
(Scroll down for updates)
Take a look at what happens when Ontarians try to oppose an industrial wind turbine project.
Laws, regulations, and processes seem to have eliminated every conceivable obstacle for the mad rush of the (economically useless, environmentally destructive) wind industrialization of rural Ontario. At the same time they effectively, undemocratically block wind project opponents at every turn. The Ontario Green Energy Act (GEA) and its quasi-judicial complaints department, the Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT) pitch opponents headlong into a Kafkaesque nightmare.
- The government gives the Proponent permission to undertake an industrial wind turbine construction project, which includes granting a special environmental permit that allows the Proponent to kill, harm, and harass a Victim or two.
- Locals launch an appeal on the grounds that the project would, amongst other troublesome consequences, cause serious and irreversible harm to the Victims.
- The appeal is heard by a Tribunal, which issues a very rare decision favouring the Victims, finding that the Proponent’s project will indeed cause serious and irreversible harm to two classes of Victims.
- The Tribunal orders a further hearing to consider the Proponent’s proposed mitigations of this serious and irreversible harm.
- In the meantime, however, the Proponent is legally entitled (and signals the intention) to go ahead and begin the project site pre-construction work, and in the process kill, harm, and harass Victims, without first having to table mitigation plans at the next Tribunal hearing (see 4 above).
- Lawyers for the Victims file a motion to have the Tribunal issue a stay of the Proponent’s pre-construction on-site activity associated with the special permit to kill, harm, and harass.
- The Tribunal dismisses the Victims’ motion, with reasons for its decision to be given at a later time.
- Lawyers for the Victims then appeal to a Divisional Court with a motion for a stay.
- The Divisional Court also dismisses the appeal because the Victims’ lawyers, through no fault of their own, are unable to establish specific grounds for said appeal, given that they are in the dark about the reasons for the Tribunal’s dismissal of the motion (see 7 above).
- The Victims’ lawyers are entitled to renew their Divisional Court motion (see 8 above), if and when they ever receive the reasons for the Tribunal’s dismissal decision (see 7 above).
- Meanwhile, the circle is complete, with the Proponent apparently free to go ahead and kill, harm, and harass the Victims, even though there is to be a future Tribunal hearing (see 4 above) at which the Proponent is supposed to make proposals for mitigating the killing, harming, and harassing that probably will already have taken place by then.
That is the saga thus far with respect to the battle between the Alliance to Protect Prince Edward County and the wind energy company wpd Canada Corporation.
The ERT appears to be nothing more than a Kafkaesque-Potemkin-kangaroo-emperor-with-no-clothes court.
The GEA and its companion, the ERT have allowed wind energy companies, eager to cash in on the Ontario Liberal government’s 20-year-guaranteed, above-market returns, to ride roughshod over democratic rights of people and municipalities. The kleptocratic subsidy scheme is footed by the taxpayers, and consumers’ electricity charges triple as a result.
Wind project opponents are spending inordinate amounts of time and money to fight a losing battle, the contest rigged from the start. For wind project opponents, the ERT appears to be nothing more than a Kafkaesque-Potemkin-kangaroo-emperor-with-no-clothes court.
The ERT gives people the illusion of offering democratic equality and justice before the law. In reality, it forces them to accept the industrialization of rural Ontario against their will, while depleting their wallets and spirit.
What’s at play here is just one aspect of the insidious implementation of the UN’s one-world-government Agenda 21, a blueprint for an anti-prosperity, anti-democratic sustainable development and wealth transfer movement. It uses the cudgel of the massive scientific deception of manmade climate change to clobber and guilt people into phony-green-energy submission. It has them running in circles, looking in vain for democracy and laws to protect their rights.
APRIL 6, 2016 – A hearing on a motion for a stay in the Court of Appeal for Ontario did not quite go as planned. As is the case in any ERT or court proceedings brought on by wind project opponents, the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change deployed its lawyers to fight on behalf of the wind developer, in opposition to the people, who not only must pay their own lawyers, but, as taxpayers, also foot the bill for the Ministry’s lawyers!
This work began in areas known to be habitat for the endangered Blandings Turtle; the power developer is continuing even though there are reports that milder weather has resulted in the turtles emerging early from their winter hibernation, and are at great risk.
…Sylvia Davis, lawyer for the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change, cited a ruling from over fifty years ago that only a panel of three judges could hear an appeal of this nature.
It became clear at that point that the motion would not be heard until after the legal matter of whether this was properly before the court had been dealt with, with a potentially unfavourable decision.
Rather than spend considerable time and money on legal wrangling the decision was made to withdraw our motion for a stay on all physical activity at the White Pines project site. The motion was withdrawn on consent of all parties and without costs.
We will immediately be going to the Tribunal to once again request a stay.
APRIL 8, 2016 – And then, mirabile dictu, the ERT granted a temporary stay!
Late this afternoon the Environmental Review Tribunal granted a temporary stay of WPD’s Renewable Energy Approval (REA). As a result of the stay all construction work at the project site has been brought to a halt. The Tribunal will schedule a written hearing at a later date to decide on the merits of a more permanent stay.
People living in the Ontario’s large urban centres may not realize to what extent the Liberals, by means of undemocratic fiat, have imposed massive, invasive industrialization on rural Ontario. In many cases it has happened against the will of communities and people.
The Liberals’ Green Energy Act and its companion, the Environmental Review Tribunal—a toothless kangaroo court for any person or organization NOT a wind energy proponent—rob municipalities and property owners of their rights and any fair chance to prevent wind companies, mostly foreign-owned, from riding roughshod over their land and property values, wildlife and environmental protections, and human and livestock health concerns, never mind from visually polluting and despoiling the natural beauty of the Ontario landscape.
To make matters worse, none of the Liberals’ totalitarian-like “green” “renewable” energy push has made any economic sense, as was again confirmed by the Auditor General of Ontario Annual Report 2015, and in fact would appear to be willful appropriation and squandering of taxpayer money and the deliberate imposition of astronomical electricity costs to consumers and business:
Expensive wind and solar energy—We calculate that electricity consumers have had to pay $9.2 billion…more for renewables over the 20-year contract terms under the Ministry’s current guaranteed-price renewable program than they would have paid under the previous program…We found that the prices under Ontario’s guaranteed-price renewable program were…double the market price for wind and three and a half times the market price for solar energy in 2014.
Watch this video—industrial wind turbines in southwestern Ontario, near Shelburne—and weep.
“Don’t tell me about the science” – Wind Turbines and Human Health: An Emotional Topic
You already knew from the cavalier seminar title where this presentation was going to be heading. However, in his introduction, the presenter promised a balanced discussion on the issue of wind turbines and human health so that health care practitioners and academics could have informed dialogue. Mmmm. Really?
The seminar/webinar was hosted in Toronto by Public Health Ontario on March 20, 2014, and was given by Loren Knopper Ph.D., an environmental health scientist and co-lead of Intrinsik Environmental Science’s Renewable Energy Health Team, with stated expertise in industrial wind turbines and human health.
Knopper failed to offer a disclaimer that “a number” of his clients are wind developers (unless he stated it when the webinar’s sound failed for two brief periods). This information came to light in the question period following his presentation. It’s a very important point because the wind industry denies, despite some good evidence, that industrial wind turbines can cause adverse health effects. Obviously, one would not want any inconvenient truths alienating clients with deep, government-guaranteed, subsidy-enhanced pockets.
Knopper started out by asserting that, “Generally, public attitude favours the idea of wind energy.” It was interesting that this Ph.D. scientist who insisted heavily on research rigour in his critique of the research studies later on, was in this instance not presenting any empirical evidence to support his statement. Instead, he showed a slide of a silly HSBC ad depicting splayed banana skins stood upright to look like wind turbines with the tagline: “In the future, there will be no difference between waste and energy.” The same slide had a photo of a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency window with a small picture of wind turbines in it, meant to support his claim that there is general public acceptance of wind energy. Of course, neither of these organizations’ displays reflect public attitude, but rather self-interested propaganda for what is actually a green energy disaster. But never mind. Knopper did admit that his version of public favour does not mean local acceptance of wind projects. No surprise there.
Scientific merit depends on the objectivity and scientific rigour of the beholder
Knopper’s seminar was essentially a look at the issue of industrial wind turbines and human health, an overview of the scientific literature on the subject, and his conclusions of the weight of evidence based on studies he deemed to have scientific merit.
In judging any scientific study, it’s imperative to go to the original work and evaluate the soundness of the methodology and analysis the researchers used. In his presentation, Knopper did not hesitate to allege statistical and other deficiencies that he thought negated the results of key studies that have concluded that industrial wind turbine operations do cause adverse health effects. He also emphasized that “many” of these studies were published in one journal, The Bulletin of Science Technology & Society, and stated more than once that their authors were on the advisory board of the Society for Wind Vigilance, an obvious attempt to imply that these facts tainted their work.
As we have already mentioned, Knopper failed to disclose his close business association with wind developers until he was asked the question after the presentation, and he certainly did not mention it when he talked about his own published research. And in fact, some people in the audience noted that in at least one case, the research he himself conducted in collaboration with his colleagues had serious problems of its own (Projected contributions of future wind farm development to community noise and annoyance levels in Ontario, Canada). Critics in the audience took exception to the fact the data Knopper used were derived from computer models that came from wind turbine developers’ asessments of noise for proposed or approved projects, not data from actually operating wind turbines. He also had to admit that he could not “speak exactly to what the developers and their consultants have been measuring or modelling” (with respect to which type of decibel). His knowledgeable audience critics questioned why he was showing them this study if he could not identify, consider or control for an important variable in the data he analyzed.
So while Knopper seemed keen to allege deficiencies in studies showing that there are health problems associated with the operations of wind turbines, he avoided any such analysis of studies that come to the opposite conclusion. Amongst others, he mentioned an often-cited study from New Zealand purporting to show that psychological expectations explain health complaints due to wind turbines. In fact, the flawed study merely confirms that there is such a thing as suggestibility and says nothing credible about wind turbine health problems per se. But wind proponents and their supporters love to refer to it as support for the notion that adverse health effects relating to wind turbines are not real, just in people’s suggestible-prone heads.
Weight of scientific evidence is heavily biased
Knopper concluded, not surprisingly, that “based on the findings and scientific merit” (his emphasis) of the available studies, the weight of the evidence indicates that wind turbines are not connected to adverse health effects, when sited properly. But do we even know what “sited properly” means? (Not that these useless and destructive industrial monsters should be sited anywhere.) In Ontario, the 550 metre set-back for industrial wind turbines is an arbitrary standard drawn out of thin air. No government health study was conducted to come up with this measure.
Knopper went on to support his conclusion with reference to government statements to the same effect, that is, governments that had or have a vested interest in removing all conceivable obstacles to the implementation of their misguided green energy programs. He also cited legal proceedings such as 19 Ontario Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT) hearings, and an Ontario Divisional Court appeal. What he failed to mention is that in those arenas, the rules ensure that the odds are stacked against being able to prove that industrial wind turbines cause adverse health effects. Under the unfair stipulations of Ontario’s Green Energy Act and the ERT, appellants have to achieve the impossible feat of proving that there will be serious health effects from a project that has not yet been built. He also did not mention that some wind companies have violated the mandatory setbacks, and when they do in Ontario, the Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry of Health reportedly do next to nothing to enforce the standard, such as it is. What effect does that have on people’s safety?
Indeed, don’t tell me about the (biased, compromised) science!
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.
Human 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.