Turbines Impress Officials?

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A story posted on behalf of Gregory Scratch, from
Blenheim, ON.
in response to “Turbines impress officials; C-K councilors visit Port Burwell facility.

Hello.  I live in Chatham-Kent, in the southwestern part of Ontario, near Point Pelee National park anf Rondeau Provincial Park, major centres for bird watching. There is a rush on here to pass zoning changes allowing over 40% of our area to be covered by 600-1000 industrial wind turbines.  This cannot be good for migratory birds, to say the least.

I am part of a group here fighting the re-zoning, but would request your advice or help as we are hitting deaf ears.  The local council is poised to pass the changes on March 25th, 2008!! I can send copies of what i have written and research done from the internet.  Is there anything you can do to help avert this dilemma?

Thank you so much,

Gregory Scratch

March 16th, 2008

I have just finished reading the article in the March 13th issue of the Chatham
Daily News called “Turbines Impress Officials“.  Marjorie Crew and Joe
Faas visited a Port Burwell wind farm and gave comments. This article, if a true
reflection of the councilor’s thoughts, scares me.

Ms. Crew claims to have found being underneath the “massive tower” a “peaceful
feeling” and described the sound like that of listening to your air conditioner
running outside.  A definition of “peaceful” may be required here for purposes of interpretation. I would
also like to point out that residential air conditioners are placed as far away
from seating area’s as possible, hidden in gardens, and can be turned off or on at the owner’s discretion.  Not so
with an industrial wind turbine.  She also mentions the flicker affect
that has no major impact because of set backs, and seeing a flock of birds “near” a turbine.  How long was Ms. Crew there, an hour,
maybe two?

Mr. Faas and Ms. Crew found that “local” politicians embraced and marketed the
concept.  How many of those politicians or members of their families have
contracts with the AIM group for land rental? There could be direct or indirect conflict of interest involved in the decision
process.  This is something that needs to be asked and divulged by our
local councilors.

I attended a meeting held by AIM in Benheim on February 28th at St. Mary’s
Hall.    I went with an open mind, but found the AIM people to expect
me to be led down a path like an animal to slaughter, and ask no questions.
The fact that their “simulated” pictures of homes and parks showed no
windmills because the pictures were taken basically from the trunk of a tree,
and they expected me to believe that we would not see hundreds of these 400
foot towers from our back yard, was ludicrous and insulting.  Any
credibility that AIM had as a corporation interested in Green Power was
destroyed by their own doing.

I do not intend to malign or disrespect Ms. Crew or Mr. Faas.  However, I
do not think their observations were scientifically based or unbiased.
Until three weeks ago, I was fine with industrial wind power myself, the
wave of the future, the saviour of the earth, the heritage we want to leave our
children and future generations.  However, after having learned what I
have learned in the last few weeks, not only about noise levels and vibration issues that have been proven to cause health
problems for humans ( many studies through out Europe and elsewhere are
available by doing a search on the Internet), but also about how our energy
grid actually works, what contribution these wind turbines may or may not make
to that grid, the huge tax subsidies these companies receive from the
government in the name of “Green Energy”, the drop in land value where the
turbines actually are (just ask yourself if you would purchase property that
has one on it or beside it, as demand determines market value), the
re-assessment of property tax on the farmer’s from farm land to a industrial
tax base (sure to come), and the environmental issues of filling the earth with
tons of concrete per tower, what happens to the turbines when they are no
longer efficient( life span of about 20 years), and the view of 600 plus towers littering our sacred landscape of Chatham Kent?  This does not
even begin to include concern over the migratory paths of the birds, deaths of
birds and bats, and what that will do the area ecologically and financially.  The article mentions the wind turbines as
tourist attractions.  What about all the birders that come here from around
the world? This is the main corridor for migration in North America, a unique and beautifully natural aspect of Chatham-Kent.  Are we
willing to risk that to make a few corporations rich?

I do not claim to have all the answers by any means, and I am sure that industrial
wind turbines have their place, but shouldn’t these questions and many more
that people have be answered before we decide to devastate our future because
corporations say it is a good thing?



All we have to do is look at the history of the planet and
corporate greed for the obvious answer.

Please, please, please think about what we are doing in the long run, and not
what financial gain we might receive in the short term.  All, and others
concerned about this want, is that Chatham-Kent councilors lead us with
integrity and wisdom to a future that all of our children can be proud.
Farmers need help financially; we understand that and want to support
them.  This isn’t a “we against them” issue.  It is an “US” issue.
The best we can do is study all the facts, ask questions, remove our personal
agenda’s, and try to be an example of how Chatham-Kent can lead, not followers,
but a team of which we can all be proud.

Thank you

Gregory Scratch

18935 Communication Road

RR 4

Blenheim, ON.

N0P 1A0

11 thoughts on “Turbines Impress Officials?

  1. A hurricane in a pig barn wouldn’t whip-up as much sh*t as I’ve heard from these anti-turbine Chicken Littles in the last two months. Contrary to what they keep repeating, the sky is NOT falling and the earth will NOT be knocked out of its orbit because wind turbines are going up. Utter nonsense! This is NOT a new technology, Chatham-Kent is NOT the world’s wind turbine guinea pig! These precision-manufactured blades are balanced down to the ounce, there is NO “ultrasonic vibration” from them, and if there was you wouldn’t know because it is ULTRAsonic. Look it up! People make it sound like we’ll all be living on the San Andreas Fault for Heaven’s sake! There is NO stray voltage — there are these people called “Electricians” and they do a pretty good job connecting these things called “Wires” that do a pretty good job of getting electricity from Point A to Point B without burning your toes or zapping your cats. And as for the ghastly expectations of perpetual mass graves under the blades to bury all the dead birds and bats — there are these things called “trees” that also rise hundreds of feet into the air, and some of these trees even have “branches” that sway violently in the wind, and once in a while during a “storm” one of these awful branches will move violently and unexpectedly into airspace it did not previously occupy, no doubt startling birds and bats and sometimes even striking one or two of them when they least expect it. Yes the world would be a lot safer for birds and bats if all trees were banned too. But luckily we don’t have to do that, because birds and bats have evolved over millions of years too, and they’ve become rather good at avoiding things. Oh, and what about this horrific Shadow Flicker scourge that reportedly drives women insane and men to drink? Well you know there already are these damned things called “Clouds” and sometimes, on a sunny day, these clouds occasionally float across the sky briefly interrupting the sunlight, causing an identical “flicker” effect that is very, very difficult to avoid. And if you happen to be standing near one of the aforementioned trees on a sunny day, they might also blow around in the wind and cause a similar shadow flicker. (God help you during a solar eclipse!) If you’re still not clear on what I mean, rapidly jiggle your sunglasses up and down and you’ll get a pretty good sense of it. And if you don’t own sunglasses, blink your eyes rapidly. As you can see, enduring the endless horrors of shadow flicker is an unavoidable part of HAVING EYES. If you don’t like it, keep ’em closed!
    I am sick and tired of hearing all this anti-wind rhetoric with its increasingly bizarre list of false claims. Wind turbines don’t cause cancer, they don’t make you blind, they won’t make your cat dizzy, and they won’t make your cattle lethargic because they’re already lethargic, they’re cows! God gave this area strong, steady winds. He didn’t give us coal, he didn’t give us vast reserves of oil, he didn’t give us Niagara Falls, and evidently he didn’t give us too many people with real high IQ’s. Anybody who is even slightly environmentally conscious has to see through these insane arguments for what they really are — a vocal closed-minded minority opposed to any sort of new development in this community. And for the record, if any website called thegreenpages.ca refuses to endorse harnessing the wind as a source of energy — in a sparsely populated rural area much less — you’d better unplug your computers and close-down your website because DUDES, YOU JUST DON’T GET IT!!!


  2. Some of us in Chatham-Kent do have IQs. We realize that our trees are not 400 ft tall, nor do they have branches that rotate in circles at speeds up to 200 mph. We also know that we live in a bottleneck of land that concentrates migrating birds, bats and butterflies from one of N.Am. largest migration corridors. We have also visited and spoken with people whose lives have been adversely affected by industrial wind turbines that are not sited properly.


  3. A Different View,
    OK, sweetie, calm down. I think YOU’ve lost the argument when you go off on a diatribe that brings in all sorts of silliness to the debate.
    Educate yourself. Look at the countless links to legitimate news sources pouring in daily from all over the world at this site:
    ….Then come back and tell me all is well in green fairyland.
    HEY DUDE…perhaps you are offended that this “symbol” of virtue and greenness may have some cracks…Try looking at some information other than what the wind corporations and lobbyists are feeding you.


  4. A Different View –
    Posers like you are a dime a dozen. They think it’s OK to:
    -chop down large tracks of trees
    -pour tons and tons of concrete (50 truckfuls per turbine)
    -construct giant memorials, each with more steel than a jumbo jet
    -obstruct all the important migratory routes with hundreds of chopping blades (tip speed 200 mph…do the math) “Hey WE need electricity…to hell with the eons old migratory routes.”
    -destroy forests and farmland by building miles of access roads
    -let children play and sleep within meters of these giant industrial electrical generators
    All for what? An tiny trickle of unreliable energy which will do virtually nothing to reduce CO2. Someone, somewhere, told you these were the cat’s-meow…and you bought it. You and many others been scammed by some of the best con-men out there. Read “Enron-the Smartest Guys in the Room” to see who thought up this smooth hoax.


  5. Hi everyone, here is a perfect opportunity to interject and to cut and paste our usual blurb….
    “A comment is a comment (whether positive or negative). thegreenpages.ca network is committed to encouraging intelligent discourse among our web site visitors and to creating a forum where diverse views and opinions on these issues, stories, and events listed on this web site can be shared.”


  6. Suzuki Foundation,
    The problem is…not ONE environmental assessment has been done for ANY turbine being pushed through in all of Ontario. They are all being rubber stamped at the developer-provided, quick review level which consists of extremely inadequate casual observances paid for by the big wind companies.
    It’s all very nice that you can sit back and not get involved in this by ignoring the situation (which I KNOW you have) but those of us whose lives have been turned upside down, trying to bring some sanity to the situation, will hold your organization responsible when the next “Altamont” hits the newstands. 500 to 1000 turbines are now in the works for the most critical bottleneck of globally-significant bird migration in Canada which is located on the shores of Lake Erie near Point Pelee and all along the Lake Erie shoreline.
    But, gee, who cares? It’s not politically correct to question anything labelled “green”, is it?


  7. Hey y’all
    The David Suzuki Foundation does not have a position on the Ontario wind farms, but here is our general thoughts on wind turbines and the issues surrounding them.
    Dr. Suzuki and the David Suzuki Foundation support properly sited wind farms and wind turbines. You can find a brief overview of our position on wind power on this page of the David Suzuki Foundation website: http://www.davidsuzuki.org/Climate_Change/Energy/Renewables/wind.asp.
    Currently in Ontario, there are overlapping planning regulations that govern the location of wind turbines (especially at the municipal level) and there are also ongoing regulatory modifications that are being discussed at the provincial level.
    Our organization feels that a properly sited wind farm would go through the appropriate environmental assessments as required by the municipality and the province. In addition, the assessment of any wind farm should ensure that it’s not in the flight path of birds. Our Foundation especially supports renewable energy projects that provide strong benefits for local communities, and we would hope that any proposed project solicits input and feedback from local residents.
    A good source of information is the website of the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association (http://www.ontario-sea.org). This organization was formed to implement community sustainable energy projects across Ontario. More specifically, you can view the contents of their Community Power Guidebook. This guidebook elaborates in detail about the benefits of projects implemented at the local level, and the guidebook also lists the steps required to begin permit planning and environmental assessments for community power projects. See http://www.ontario-sea.org/reports for the Community Power Guidebook produced by the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association. You may also be interested in learning that the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association will soon be releasing a a guidebook focused exclusively on planning guidelines for renewable energy projects. You can contact them directly about this (see http://www.ontario-sea.org for their contact information).
    Eli at the David Suzuki Foundation


  8. Dear MAnderson et al.,
    So let me get this straight — now you’re mad at the DAVID SUZUKI FOUNDATION because they don’t blindly support what you’re saying either? Hmmm…. I thought they were fairly good environmentalists. But why stop there? I’m pretty sure Greenpeace likes wind power; the Sierra Club too. Actually, pretty much all the environmental groups do. Better take ’em all on. Isn’t it suddenly just a little lonely where you’re standing?
    I made my first posting deliberately “silly” in order to metaphorically show just how silly your own anti-wind energy arguments are. Yet they get more and more bizarre. I listened to that ridiculous “call-in show” on CFCO sponsored by that local vitamin store; in fact I called-in to CFCO’s program director to complain about it and I am considering writing to the CRTC about it as well. For those readers not local, the anti-wind energy cadre actually bought an hour-long block of time on a local radio station to espouse only their side of this politically-charged topic under the guise of a call-in show. They frequently repeated invented (but admittedly catchy) phrases such as “vibroacoustic disease” and “wind turbine syndrome”. So what will my boss say, when I call-in sick with “wind turbine syndrome”? I think we can all answer that already.
    You may have read today’s Chatham Daily News? Three more C-K council members (and one reporter) went on a fact-finding mission (facts? who needs facts?) to an existing wind turbine site and discovered that it received virtually unanimous community support. They’ve got ’em there, and they love ’em there. Or do you consider any such fact that happens to be contradictory to your own opinion to be irrelevant? I’ll take either a yes or a no on that one, thank you very much.


  9. I am sorry our points of view have outraged you to such a degree. However, nothing has been “made-up” or “fabricated” as you would imply. There is a browser on your computer. Using it could be quite revealing.
    Not one person I have talked to concerning this subject is against wind power. Studying the facts as presented in mutitudes of research papers by professionals around the world, looking at the math concerning costs and returns, and just looking at a picture of the massive concrete and steel bases that are poured into the valuable agricultural ground of our community should make anyone who thinks “green” ask a few questions. There are not one or two, or even ten wind power turbines suggested for our area, but instead 600, let me spell that out for you, SIX HUNDRED, and more being planned for this area alone. How can destroying some of the most fertile agricultural ground in Ontario be a good thing for the earth????
    Again, I am sorry that our points of view have caused you such angst. Perhaps if your first comment had not been so “silly”, as you say, we all could have been more constructive here and actually listened to each other.
    Thank you


  10. A Different View….
    As for Port Burwell, we DO have the other side of the story…not the one the wind companies tell you. Human lives have been affected here. There’s not much I can say to make you accept that because your hostility shows there is more than that at stake for you obviously.
    AIM doesn’t even own Port Burwell anymore. They sold it almost as soon as construction was complete…they know nothing of what’s gong on there. Why are you so eager to believe everything they tell you? Financial interest?


  11. I have been traveling to Chadham Kent alot this summer with my family. I have actually travelled to the turbine sites that are miles from any thing and there are not alot of houses close to the building sites. Maybe you would rather see a nuclear power plant in your back yard because i don’t see any other options other that wind energy. I think the people of Chadham should be more concerned about the massive Bio fuel plant that stinks up your little city, and if you are staying at the Wheels Inn and the wind is in the right direction that smell is foul. I would be more concerned about that than wind turbines I couldn’t imagine that wind turbines pose any threat to your health maybe if one fell on your head but i can’t see that happening. I think you should be thankful that you live in an area that can produce as much renewable energy as you do unfortunatly for me i live further down the lake just down from Nanticoke and we have a coal energy facility that produces huge amount of pollution. I would much rather see huge wind turbines as opposed to the air polution that hangs over our town. And i would travel to see wind turbines i think they are an increadable structure harnassing the earths natural energy, how could you find any thing wrong with that…..


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