These are not the words of a single NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard). These words represent an ever growing chorus of citizens rising against the onslaught of industrial wind. Of course, the dismissive term NIMBY, used by wind shills to attack folks with whom they disagree, is quickly losing its potency as more and more evidence surfaces about the dismal performance of these over-sized tax shelters and their terrible impact on the environment. The wind lobby has to wake up to the fact NIMBYs are the least of their problems. The greatest threat to the wind industry’s growth is, in fact, the wind industry’s growth.
Melodie Burkett, concerned enough to post these comments to a recent AT post on Cape Wind, represents the increasing louder voice of citizens willing to speak out against these inefficient erector sets. She writes:
Hello from my 100 acre farm in Ontario where my farm and my health have been deemed expendable, by our Liberal Majority Government & our Premier Dalton McGuinty! Nine 40 story Industrial wind turbines are slated to go up on the farm beside our farm! What I will lose:
1- SLEEP- due to low density sound or Infrasound-
2- Equity- After 40 years of upkeep and taxes, can’t sell it!
3- Wildlife- leaves the area, Deer, Coyote,Rabbits, turkeys,etc!
4- Raptors, Bats, Eagles & Hawks killed by turbines!
5- Earth worms and morning dew, so important for crops!
6- Frogs and Peepers have died in ponds with IWT’s near!
7- $$$$$, as I will use a gas generator rather than pay triple hydro bills!
8- Perhaps most importantly, my faith in government and democracy that has deemed that myself and my family is expendable! And for what? No reduction in emissions, No gain, intermittent and paltry out put of power!
I say North America must REVOLT big time and put a stop to this madness! This period of time will be known as the biggest Boondoogle of all time in North America! Especially when history proves that Al Gore was wrong! So damn wrong!
A single voice?
From our friends at National Wind Watch:
Wind revolt won’t die; Rural opposition to massive turbine farms in the countryside won’t blow over
Credit: By MICHAEL DEN TANDT, QMI Agency, Toronto Sun, www.torontosun.com 14 May 2010
Employees of the wind industry and Ontario Liberal politicians are scratching their heads. Why the fuss about wind turbines?
Some of them still think the furor will blow over. It’s just the griping of a few malcontents and health quacks — people who wear tinfoil helmets in their living rooms to ward off spy beams. The march of progress can’t be stopped. The Green Energy Act is law, turbines are coming to the countryside and that’s it.
Here’s a tip, from the hinterland. This is incorrect. The furor is building, not waning. Premier Dalton McGuinty was already a long shot for a third term. With wind in the mix and barring a radical re-do of the Green Energy Act, he is positioned to lose every rural and small-town seat.
People who live in the country do so by choice. Some stay because we wish to raise our children close to family. Others leave to pursue a career and then eventually come home. And others still, mainly boomers, retire to a small town or a farm because they’re tired of city life.
People who live in small towns or on farms are connected to the countryside in a way that most city people are not. We hunt, fish, cycle, hike, walk or drive through it all the time. Many residents of small towns are linked through family to a farm or plot of land.
For 30 years now, people who live on or near the Niagara Escarpment, a UNESCO World Biosphere Preserve, have lived within the strictures of the Niagara Escarpment Commission. This appointed body tells rural people what they can or cannot build on their property.
There are many rules. They do not account for family circumstances or in many cases for common sense. For example, the NEC won’t permit a landowner to build a second home on a 100-acre plot of land to house an ailing parent. Yet it does permit the Blue Mountain ski resort in Collingwood, Ont.
Despite these seeming contradictions, farmers and landowners have grudgingly learned to live with the NEC. But now along comes Big Wind, propelled by the vision of former Ontario deputy premier George Smitherman.
The vision is one in which the Ontario landscape, including land directly proximate to the Escarpment, is festooned with massive industrial turbines. Suddenly, preserving our agricultural and geographic heritage is less important. Indeed, such values don’t even seem to figure in the debate. Nor has there yet been a serious effort to expand nuclear — still the only way to produce huge quantities of energy without emitting carbon.
An irony about current-day Ontario: We have a government that says it is deeply committed to environmental protection. If a rare species of dung beetle is unearthed in a marsh, chances are no building will be allowed there. But disrupting the ecosystem of thousands of rural people? Not a problem. Disrupt away.
There was a good way to bring in wind energy.
The good way would have respected the wishes of communities that chose not to allow industrial-scale projects. It would have induced industry to offer small, farm-sized wind turbines at a reasonable price. It would have made it much easier for people to use wind (or solar) to satisfy their own energy needs, and sell any excess back to the grid. It would have been a local-first movement.
Instead McGuinty chose big industry, backed by big government. In doing so he trampled on the most important political idea to hit rural Canada in modern times: Greater local control of the food supply and stewardship of the land.
No, this revolt will not go away.
AT Note: Citizen’s groups such as Wind Concerns Ontario continue to build strength in Canada as similar groups consolidate here in the US. It would be wise for the politicians who have been riding the wind express, courtesy of the industrial wind lobby, to think about getting off at the next stop. Once people realize it is not about NIMBY, but the heavy cost burden placed on taxpayers and rate payers to finance these dismally performing 747 size tinker toys, they will begin to look to the legislatures that permitted the scam. When the high cost/low performance of industrial wind is exposed, likewise the inept politicians who support this scourge on citizens, animals and landscape will find themselves under the spotlight.
There is no border when it comes to pillaging the land and assaulting the great migratory flyways. As demonstrated by the concerns raised by our friends to the North, and the growing frustration here in the States, politicians who continue to support industrial wind in spite of the mounting evidence against it, will be replaced. It is as simple as that!
The pulse of industrial wind is weakening and soon the transfusion of government subsidies will be cut off. As this ancient power source fades once again, so will the political life of those who chose to support it with taxpayer earnings and the heavily inflated rates paid by consumers.
Should you care to learn more about the reality of wind as a modern energy source, these links will direct you to a variety of information resources and an organization near you:
National Wind Watch: Wind Energy Opposition and Action Groups, the North American Platform Against Windpower Signatories, and the Industrial Wind Action Group: Links to Organizations & Individuals
Thanks to folks like Melodie for speaking out, and the numerous groups who continue to expose this industry.
Great phrasing and very quotable:
“The greatest threat to the wind industry’s growth is, in fact, the wind industry’s growth.”
And then there’s “the more wind, the more coal, all other conditions remaining constant”
Nice work, Mike.
I urge Americans to get organized and consolidate your efforts. This is a global onslaught and if you only worry about fighting your project in your community…you will lose…as will everyone else doing the same thing. They are picking off one small rural community at a time.
Join together. It is not easy but it is the only way. Pick a place, meet and create a coalition.
Here in Ontario we now have 43 citizen groups who all share, support and join together for protests and campaigns. We haven’t won the battle but we have certainly be heard and the coming election will tell the tale.