Kafkaesque: Lawless loophole lets wind company endanger human lives
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 Environmental Review Tribunal has ruled to revoke the approval for eight 500-foot-tall wind turbines in an area near the Collingwood Regional Airport.
WPD Canada has decided not to appeal a decision of the Environmental Review Tribunal to revoke the renewable energy approval (REA) for the Fairview Wind Project.
Local taxpayers will be on the hook for the successful challenge to a plan to erect eight turbines in Clearview Township.
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.
Industrial wind turbines: the scourge of Ontario’s economy, farmland, and people
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.
Voices from the Thedford Bog (Part 3): “It’s just shocking! The Liberal government is destroying Ontario!”
I can’t see it not affecting tourism. It’s going to affect the residents, it’s going to affect the businesses. I know I don’t want to be in this community anymore, and I just dread what it’s going to look like.
Most people in Ontario’s urban centres, or even those living in small towns, or rural settings where there are no industrial wind turbines, probably have no idea. They may never have heard the stories of rural residents who are having to cope, through no choice of their own, with life in the midst of an industrial wind plant forced on their community, one that has ruined their rural way of life, that has disrupted their communities, livelihoods, health, wildlife, and their environment.
The suffering and sacrifice might at least mean something if there were any common good to be found in the Ontario Liberal government’s deployment of industrial wind turbines invading the landscape, but such is demonstrably not the case, in fact, quite the opposite. The industrial wind turbines are utterly useless, and extremely destructive. The people, communities, wildlife, the environment and the economy are being severely damaged, and yet the government is tone deaf, dumb and wilfully blind. It continues to use the punishing Green Energy Act, and the toothless Environmental Review Tribunal to ram its fatally-flawed, fake-green alternative energy program down the throats of the people of Ontario.
*Most of the mainstream media are blinded by the UN’s IPCC/Al Gore/David Suzuki-driven fake-green, phoney-planetary-emergency-of-climate change agenda (the rationale for industrial wind turbines), or even shamelessly act as chief propagandists for it, our national broadcaster CBC included. In Ontario, they are missing the unfolding real, big-picture tragedy, of which the gas plant scandal is just one part of a much more massive and costlier catastrophe.
The Ontario Liberals have handed out lucrative permits giving wind companies unprecedented rights to industrialize vast swaths of the Ontario countryside in the absence of any cost benefit analysis or human health studies, and with environmental assessments and turbine-caused bird and bat death monitoring conducted by the wind companies themselves. Ontario now has the most expensive electricity costs in North America, while it is at the same time giving away or selling excess power at a loss.
How much longer are Ontarians going to endure this utterly insane, socially and financially ruinous situation?
Muriel Blair lives in the area of Middlesex-Lambton counties and joined industrial wind turbine protesters at the Thedford Bog near Grand Bend, Lake Huron, on Sunday, April 6, 2014:
I’m concerned about the health issues with the cumulative effect of the hundreds of wind turbines. It is going to be pretty substantial for the residents of my community. We’re going to be surrounded by a NextEra project, a couple of Suncor projects, and a couple more NextEra projects going towards the lake. So this whole community is going to be one huge wind turbine, industrial area.
And I’m also concerned about the wildlife. Currently there is an eagle’s nest that is active in the Bornish wind project. It is now a little over 800 metres from the substation that they’ve built, and the MInistry of the Environment has been monitoring it and they have confirmed that the eagles have nested in it. But what they’re planning on doing is running transmission lines into the protected area of the eagle. So that is definitely going to affect the eagle.
But I also worry…I mean, this beautiful area here, where we have this fantastic migration area for these swans…I don’t know…these swans are not going to be coming back, they are not going to be coming back. There are going to be too many wind turbines. So it’s a big concern.
And can you imagine how tourists are going to want to come and spend their money and their time here when it’s surrounded by industrial wind turbines? And even today, early April, late March, this is tourism because the people coming to see the swans are coming from all over. They come from the States, they come from Toronto. You know, they flock here. And do they spend their money here? Yes! I don’t think this is going to be here when the wind turbines are up and operating.
CLICK ON IMAGE TO PLAY VIDEO (some wind noise)
It’s just shocking, is just shocking. The Liberal government is destroying rural Ontario! Not to mention our Hydro. Our Hydro system is just going down the tubes, when residents are paying 45% more for their Hydro, thanks to the Green Energy Act. And the subsidies that are being paid to these multinational corporations that aren’t even Canadian! It’s crazy! I think that the sooner we get rid of the Liberal government, the better.
They want the residents of rural Ontario to be shipped into the cities and the farms taken over by corporations, and the corporations do the farming. Then they can put all the industry they want next to the farms and they don’t have to worry about people. And everybody is in an urban centre. I really believe that’s what their long-term goal is. Because there’s so much to offer out here and I don’t think they’re going to stop at the wind turbines. I think once they have control of that land they are going to start frakking. Because they’re already talking about natural gas prices going up and how they are running out of natural gas because we have had such a cold winter. So I really believe that is the next thing that rural Ontario is going to see.
If history is anything to judge by, mainstream media reports will overflow with misinformation written by two kinds of people: reporters relatively new to the topic who don’t have the first clue how the IPCC actually functions – or ‘environmental journalists’ who are fundamentally confused about what their job is.
A journalist’s first loyalty is supposed to be the public interest. Ensuring that the public is informed about the shortcomings and limitations of powerful organizations is what journalists are supposed to do. Instead, we’re now plagued by “environment correspondents” who think their primary purpose is saving the planet.
Those people have long parroted the IPCC’s rose-coloured view of itself. They haven’t conducted the most basic fact-checking. They haven’t asked the most rudimentary questions. As Australian writer Joanne Nova is fond of saying, the opposite of skeptical is gullible and the world now has no shortage of that kind of journalist.
Voices from the Thedford Bog: Wind turbines are “a social experiment, a mess, a failure”
Protesters joined the remaining migrating tundra swans at the Thedford Bog near Grand Bend, Lake Huron, on Sunday, April 6, 2014, to condemn plans to build a bristling barrier of industrial wind turbines in what is a designated Important Bird Area. Every March some 10-15,000 tundra swans stop at the Thedford Bog and environs to rest and feed before continuing on their migration to the western Arctic.
Waterfowl scientist Dr. Scott Petrie told CBC News in 2012:
By putting the turbines in inappropriate places, it actually is tantamount to habitat loss. You wouldn’t put an office tower next to a coastal wetland, why would you put a wind turbine there?
Monte McNaughton, Progressive Conservative Member of the Provincial Parliament of Ontario (MPP) for Lambton-Kent-Middlesex, reminded the protesters that his party’s leader, Tim Hudak, has promised, if elected, to repeal the Green Energy Act, the draconian legislation that has given unprecedented rights to industrial wind turbines over people, communities and wildlife. The Green Energy Act was enacted in 2009 in part as a response to the fake planetary emergency of man-made global warming/climate change.
CLICK ON IMAGE TO PLAY VIDEO (some wind noise)
The Dalton McGuinty and Kathleen Wynne Liberal governments have allowed the Ontario landscape to be despoiled and blighted by thousands of useless industrial wind turbines. The machines, towering as high as 50-storey buildings, built on a foundation that requires 800 tons of concrete each that will remain in the ground of prime farmland forever, have been erected in the absence of any cost-benefit analysis or human health studies, and accorded special rights by the Liberal government with its elimination of environmental restrictions inconvenient to wind companies.
Premier Kathleen Wynne has promised to build thousands more of the extortionate-to-taxpayers, destructive, un-green industrial monstrosities.
Industrial wind turbines and human health: Whitewash for the white coats
“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!
Bitter, cold (Part 3): Lives at risk, fiscal finagling, wind turbine torture
People spoke from the heart in front of the Ontario Legislative Building at Queen’s Park on a bitterly cold February 24 at the demonstration against the massive proliferation of useless industrial wind factories in the countryside. In the videos below, speakers decried the lack of protection for people and wildlife, and lambasted the government for its “green” energy-driven fiscal fiasco. A victim of industrial wind turbines told her story of shocking personal loss and the government’s complete indifference to her plight.
In the video below, Lorrie Gillis, chair of the Ontario Regional Wind Turbine Working Group, threw out challenges to the people of Toronto and to Ontario’s political parties:
So far government and courts have provided no protection for people wildlife or wildlife habitat. Instead of holding itself or the wind industry accountable for mismanagement and misinformation, Liberals simply rewrite the rules, claim to be unable to monitor compliance, deny the harm to families … continue to approve more turbines.
Toronto: keep waking up about what this Liberal provincial government is really about. NDP: you will see the results at election time if you continue to prop up this corrupt Liberal government. Until you NDPers acknowledge the harm being done to people and the economy by industrial wind turbines, you are no different than the LIberals! PCs: we need you not only to put a moratorium on future wind turbine projects but to address families who have already been harmed by existing projects and problems to come for those who are about to face wind installations … People’s lives are at stake!
CLICK ON PICTURE TO WATCH VIDEO (some wind noise)
In the video below, Parker Gallant, retired banker, energy critic, described the government’s toxic math and resultant tax grabs as reflected in people’s electricity bills:
Last year the cost of electricity went up by 16%, and that’s without all these new wind turbine projects coming up, so you can expect your electricity bill to keep going sky high.
Residents of Ontario have been conserving consistently since we’ve been asked to when the Liberals came to power. What that has done is forced the distribution companies to say “Hey, we’re losing revenue because people are conserving their electricity, so we need a rate increase.” So delivery rates continue to go up even though you conserve! It’s a weird, weird way to run the province!
CLICK ON PICTURE TO WATCH VIDEO (some wind noise)
In the video below, Norma Schmidt, registered nurse, industrial wind turbine victim spoke of the destruction of her way of life when she found herself engulfed on all sides by an Enbridge industrial wind factory:
I remember phoning Enbridge after I had many official complaints placed with the Ministry of the Environment and I asked them what they were going to do about all the [health] issues I was having, and they responded and I quote: “Absolutely nothing. We have a license from the government and we are going to continue to do what we have always done.” And they have indeed continued to torture me for over five years, and forced me to leave my home, my career, and the life I chose.
To our government, both federal and provincial, I say: shame, shame, shame! They have seen multiple peer-reviewed and published and unpublished research that states what we have been saying for years: industrial wind turbines cause harm to human health. And still they ignore the truth! The Ministry of the Environment willfully opposes anyone trying to protect themselves. When will this madness stop?
It is important to be here to educate the people of Toronto, to give them the facts and the truth. We have been here before and thrown out of the Legislature for speaking truth to lies. This Premier refused to meet with me when we were only a few feet apart. I wonder why? We will keep coming back again and again, until we get results.