Impact on Wildlife and Canada
Biodiversity that takes centuries to evolve cannot be reinvented overnight, neither can the bald eagles that nested in a 100 year old cottonwood tree at Fisherville be expected to accept a Tupperware nest platform on a pole somewhere, when their instinct tells them they should be in a natural tree somewhere else. Legislation is purportedly in place to protect species at risk - that's why it is there. Legislation that can be bought, and then twisted to serve the needs of development is not legislation. It smacks of a corrupt system of the worst possible kind perpetuated by money and greed.
This home to nature is shortly to be under attack, not from hunters or foragers but from a Government approved industrial wind developer. Those of us throughout the province who admire and want to protect nature stand in disbelief at the carnage that will unfold and that is a result of the Green Energy and Economy Act (GEA) passed by the GTA centric Liberal Party.
By using mathematical formulas derived from these studies, the average distance of a large bird carcass found under the 2.3 MW turbines at Wolf Island would be 101 meters from their towers. This average is far outside the search areas used. The Wolf Island mortality studies used search areas of only 60 and 50 meters. These studies clearly missed most of the carcasses. It also does not account for wandering cripples and wind personal interference.
The province's efforts to increase the use of wind power must be balanced against the equally valid goals of protecting Ontario's wildlife and natural environment. ...rigorous guidelines are needed to protect bats and birds.
Almost all post operational studies of wildlife mortalities from wind turbines in Ontario have been kept secret from the public, allowing government and industry to contend that wind turbines kill very few birds. Until we have public access to independent mortality studies, we will not know the full cumulative impact.
The damage to the environment, however, goes well beyond the slice and dice effect of the turbine blades.
I know that Manitoulin Island is the largest island in a freshwater lake in the world. First Nations have lived on the island and nearby mainland for more than 10,000 years. This proposed wind factory has caused a lot of division in communities; between various Aboriginal tribes, some who wish the project to proceed and hope to gain financially and those who wish to see the lands and air remain untouched.
The people pushing industrial wind farms won't be too happy once this gets out, but one of their machines killed a bald eagle in Ontario last summer.
The official cause of death: "Blunt force trauma," according to Scott Petrie, a PhD waterfowl biologist who says he was "privy to the results" of the autopsy. "They're trying to keep it hush-hush," he says of government biologists.
With the passage of the Green Energy and Economy Act last May, the Province signalled that it would no longer tolerate grassroots opposition that smacked of NIMBYism. To get green developments (along with the flood of envisioned jobs) moving at top speed, municipalities were stripped of their planning powers on such projects. In this climate of aggressive fast-tracking, there is simply no imperative to create a Canadian equivalent of the AWWI.
It's a dilemma that forward-thinking, environmentally conscious people do not want to face: Will moving toward carbon-free energy sources mean disrupting bird migration routes and having a negative impact on wildlife populations? This weekend sees the July 12 deadline for public comments on the massive NaiKun wind farm proposed for Hecate Strait. ...The problem arises, however, that this exact location, the shallow water around McIntyre Beach and Rose Spit, is a designated important bird area under the BirdLife International program that lists critical sites for bird populations in over 200 countries worldwide.
It is with great· sadness that we have come to the realization that the "Mohawk Point Wind Farm" has virtually destroyed our backyard avian population. (Lowbanks Wind Facility, Haldimand County, Ontario) ...The only tenants in the nesting box and brand new $120.00 Purple Martin House will be sparrows. The constant drone of the turbine closest to us is, in my opinion, comparable to the sound of the heavy duty cycle on a clothes dryer. The drone continues non-stop, 24 hours a day, and it will be interesting to see how long the sparrows and starlings continue to put up with it.
It is time for Ontario to work with citizens and environmental specialists to establish guidelines for the careful development of wind energy (Who Could Object To Wind Power? - Nov. 25). There are some places where wind turbines simply don't belong. ...Build wind developments in the wrong places and the environment will be collateral damage.
Accompanying the myth that wind turbine energy will replace fossil fuel energy is denial of the ecological impacts and health effects of wind turbines by governments and promoters. The ugly reality is that wind turbines are a serious addition to the industrialization of quiet rural landscapes, places that people have long valued for quality of life, retirement and recreation.
The environmental costs imposed on wildlife and people have been systematically ignored by a political and regulatory system that has corrupted individual and societal freedom and environmental integrity by relegating these values to some distant offshoot of economic growth.
People have been hoodwinked into promoting wind turbine energy as some sort of Nirvana all while human population growth and per capita energy consumption continue to spiral upward. Turbine energy generation is fueling growth in human population and energy consumption and growth in a false "economy". It is NOT doing the opposite.
Matching the folly of the energy replacement misunderstanding is denial by governments and promoters of the ecological impacts and health effects of turbines; the ugly reality is that they are a serious addition to the industrialization of quiet rural landscapes that people have long valued for quality of life, retirement, and recreation. ...Wind turbines are an assault on human well being and act to degrade the human "gestalt". Promotion of wind turbine energy is a case of serious misjudgment by those who fraudulently use green wash to promote their commercial aspirations.
Yet the Ontario Government seems to be committed to opening up this sensitive area to the burgeoning wind-farm industry. In a recent report commissioned by the Ontario Power Authority, Georgian Bay has been singled out as an excellent place to locate offshore wind farms. A number of land-based farms have already been proposed along its shoreline.
Gilead Power, a privately owned renewable energy company, is proposing a wind farm of up to 13, 90-metre high turbines in Ostrander Point Crown Land block, directly west of the National Wildlife Area and in the heart of the Prince Edward County South Shore Important Bird Area. ...now is the time to ask politicians and the candidates the hard questions about this important part of Canada's natural heritage. Is the provincial government willing to protect the integrity of migratory bird habitat and say no to the wind farm at Ostrander Point? Are our leaders in Ottawa ready to ante-up the required resources to get our national wildlife areas off life-support? Demand answers!
Is the proposed wind-energy farm on Wolfe Island an example of a community making environmentally sound choices? The honeybee story has made me skeptical. Are decisions being made because they are good for the environment and the residents of Wolfe Island or because the project is going to line the pockets of the people involved? Are people so anxious to make money they won't wait for an environmental assessment? Has anyone taken into consideration the location of the turbines and their impact on the people who live near the site? Do those residents have a say?
Chatham-Kent is proud to be known for its farmland, outstanding fishing and hunting and most importantly our quality of life.
Now threatening all of this is AIM PowerGen Corp. proposing a possible 100 wind turbine generators and Gengrowth proposing nine wind farms with five wind turbines on each.
With government grants and incentives, there will be more. Before we make it easier for them to destroy our quality of life with our tax dollars and by changing existing development bylaws, please stop and consider.
Over the past several months there have been three notices in The Citizen regarding use of provincial lands for installation of monitoring towers to investigate the potential of wind energy.
There have been similar notices in Vanderhoof for additional lands in that area.
Taken individually, these seem not too intrusive, but cumulatively, looking at the big picture, the possibility of having one big wind farm, stretching from the south side of Cluculz Lake over to the area between Bednesti and Dahl Lakes, then across Highway 16 from Cobb Lake to Eskers Provincial Park - alarm bells start going off. I would like to embrace the concept of wind energy but I am really concerned with regards to the impact these possible installations may have on both resident and migratory birds.
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.