General and Canada
And although the government talks bravely about having 5 per cent of the generating capacity coming from new wind plants and other forms of renewable energy, one need look no further than the current situation in Amaranth Township to realize that little of the needed new capacity will be ready by 2009.
And even if it were, the wind plants are hardly a reliable source of power during the hottest summer weather, when all too often there's little wind apart from that generated by thunderstorms, which also routinely shut down the wind plants through lightning strikes.
The battles over wind farms in Ontario and New York state have had no shortage of press coverage. The battle lines are most often drawn between those who place a premium on scenic and historic preservation, property values and other quality-of-life factors, versus those who place a priority on the personal and municipal income the wind projects offer.
But the processes that decide these battles are seldom fair or transparent, and are skewed in favour of the few over the many.
Nova Scotia has the potential to become a world leader in tidal power. But to be successful, we have to make sure we get it right economically, socially and environmentally.
That's why it's disappointing and even a little alarming that Premier Rodney MacDonald's government rushed out an announcement last Tuesday on a multimillion-dollar test centre on the shores of the Minas Basin - four months before an extensive environmental report is due that is supposed to establish the ground rules for tidal development in the Bay of Fundy. ...In its haste to claim progress on green energy, the government failed to establish a regime of best practices [on siting wind farms]. No standards were put in place, for example, for minimum setbacks from residential properties, protecting sightlines, or trying to engage community ownership. This resulted in acrimony in many rural villages that suddenly found themselves hosting towering industrial turbines owned by people living far away.
It wasn't until this past fall that MacDonald's government agreed to cost-share a $45,000 study with the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities on best practices for bylaws regulating wind turbine siting.
Some say opponents are uninformed, anti-green, against everything that is good for business, for people, for communities, for the country -- in fact, good for the planet. The industrial wind turbine has become a green icon. Saying you are "against wind" frequently leads to puzzled looks, disbelief or even anger.
It's unfortunate that it took a group of citizens to push Environment Minister John Gerretsen out of the approval process for a wind farm on Wolfe Island. He should have bowed out long before this week - a mere three days before he was to make a final ruling on the windmill mega-project proposed by Canadian Hydro Developers Inc. ...When business and community interests collide, as they do now on Wolfe Island, citizens should not feel that campaign contributions or corn roasts may be giving their opponents any kind of real or perceived advantage with their political representatives. Gerretsen should have dismissed himself from the process long before this. It's unfortunate his own constituents forced him to do so.
A large and quickly increasing number of residents in our county and township, as well as in neighbouring Wellington, are deeply concerned about the proposed Belwood Wind Energy Centre Project that Invenergy is seeking approval for. Seeing that there seems to be little awareness of how close to Orangeville this massive proposal will be, we would like to draw your attention why we, and many more residents in this area, do not deem the proposed site appropriate.
Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Liberal Premier Gordon Campbell recently had a tête-à-tête to discuss how B.C. could assist California in dealing with its energy crisis. At the same time, the California Utilities Commission gave Pacific Gas and Electric US$14 million to explore renewable energy sources in B.C. and the feasibility of a new transmission corridor stretching from B.C. to the Golden State.
Conspicuously absent from the self-congratulatory press releases about co-operation between the jurisdictions in pursuing a "green" agenda was the most important issue: Who will own - and benefit from - the development of B.C.'s renewable energy?
A closer look at the B.C. government's wind energy policies reveals an enormous giveaway of literally billions of dollars in wind farm assets and future public revenues to private power developers. Yet there has been virtually no public discussion of the scope and cost of the government's wind energy policies.
There is enough deuterium for millions of years of energy supply, and easily accessible lithium for several thousands of years. With essentially zero long-lived radioactive waste, zero greenhouse-gas emissions and none of the safety concerns associated with fission reactors, one can begin to see the attraction of fusion power.
It is the green technology with the most potential to make a real difference to the climate-change debate.
To question the wisdom of wind power in Canada these days is to risk winding up impaled on a rotor blade. Environmentalists, politicians and investment bankers all seem to agree that wind energy is the next big thing. Unfortunately, few seem to have consulted Mother Nature on this...............Wind power may be today’s “it” energy. But eventually, the hype — like that unreliable northern gust itself — must die down.
It flies in the face of what McGuinty has said - that the only legitimate opposition to wind farms is for environmental and safety reasons and people who object over anything else - including aesthetics - are "NIMBYS" who just don't want the things anywhere near them for irrational reasons.
This argument has been constantly leveled at rural residents.
Every Ontario citizen should be outraged about wind turbines. Since Dalton's Green Energy Act was passed with little fanfare, we have lost the right to determine what happens in our communities. Many of us seem to be oblivious to the big picture. Whether or not you have any opinion about wind turbines, you should be aware of what's happening around us.
If wind turbines are as green as wind developers profess them to be, the studies we want will show that. The wind industry's fear of having these very specific studies done seems proof positive that they are fully aware the results will not be in favour of wind energy.
No one should feel guilty about questioning industrial wind. Regardless of how big the turbines get, the ability to produce meaningful energy for consumers is extremely limited.
To understand the limits of industrial wind power there needs to be an understanding of how our grid works. Energy must be maintained at all times. Drops or increases in voltage can cause the grid to fail.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper came under attack from environmentalists last week following his announcement, in Washington, that Ottawa will provide $130-million from the Green Infrastructure Fund for a power line in northwestern British Columbia. Was the criticism justified? Or did Mr. Harper get unfairly attacked?
He was accused of "greenwashing" the Northwest Transmission Line, a $404-million project that will push power cables along the scenic Stewart-Cassiar Highway.
The active engagement of citizens concerned about decisions imposed on them from above and afar - especially in seeking to protect the health and wealth that constitutes their most precious assets - is more to be applauded than demeaned.
Across the province are numerous examples of local folks fighting just such David and Goliath battles.
Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher used to say that she was happy when her opposition resorted to attacking her or her colleagues’ character. It meant, she said, that they (her opponents) could not win the battle of ideas.
If that is true, then the eco-extortionists are definitely on the run.
CanWEA, as a lobbyist organization for the multi-national wind industry will make every attempt possible to discount or minimize any potential problems in order to keep government subsidies rolling in to the corporations they represent and get their towers erected. CanWEA is not an environmental advocacy group.
These [wind] companies stand to make huge amounts of money from the "gold rush" of construction of wind turbines and a great deal of that money is coming from your pocket in the form of government subsidies.
Whose interests are they looking out for? It sure isn't yours. ...If you live in rural Ontario you need to educate yourself and you need to do it quickly in order to keep your home and community as a safe place to live in.
Who are the global warming deniers, those scientists who downplay the human cause of climate change, who claim that manmade climate change, if it's occurring at all, may have modest costs or even bring benefits, who claim that the science is not settled on climate change?
To discover whether these deniers are crackpots from the fringes of academia, as their detractors so often claim, I decided to investigate scientists at odds with the UN's Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change, the official body organizing the great bulk of the climate research that dominates the public airwaves.
After writing 10 columns on the subject, one for each "denier" and his theories, one fact is undeniable: The science is not settled. Not on man's role in causing the warming we've seen this century. Not on the consequences of this warming. Certainly not on the extent of warming –or cooling – to come.