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Canada Earth Power Politics

Canadians Protest Wind Turbines 533

NIK282000 writes "Ontario farmers rallied in downtown Toronto to protest the subsidization of wind turbines. Several of the protesters stated that they fear for the the health of their families and that they refuse to live near wind turbines. Others fear that the value of their property will be reduced significantly by the presence of turbines. With the cost of gas and oil on its way up it's a wonder that any one would be against the use of renewable energy sources."
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Canadians Protest Wind Turbines

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  • Re:Reality check (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ClintJCL ( 264898 ) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <todhsals+lcjtnilc>> on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @02:58PM (#39574979) Homepage Journal
    The real problem is people who want to control everything within eyesight of the property they own, as if buying property at location X gives you authority over everything within eyesite of location X. We can thank them for the zoning laws that make any family wanting to own its business have to rent (and drive to) a separate building to operate their business because OMG SOMEBODY MIGHT USE THE PARKING ON MY STREET (which you don't own).

    I'm glad I don't give a fuck what's on my horizon and aren't contributing to making the world worse place with entitled assholeism.

    Well, at least not that kind of entitled assholeism ;)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @03:03PM (#39575053)

    From what I understand, many turbines are considerably louder than claimed, particularly at low frequencies. If nothing else, this could affect sleep md hence health.

  • by mackai ( 1849630 ) on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @03:04PM (#39575081)
    In general, the sounds are not all that pleasant to live with. The make a lot more noise that most people would think until you actually get close to one or, even more, close to a whole wind farm of them. Most (but not all) people who complain about the noise of nearby trains or airports are at the disatvantage that the tracks or airport was there first. In this case, if you already have a home and someone else wants to put this unpleasant noisemaker near by, it seems that you might have some right to complain.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @03:05PM (#39575101)

    Imagine living in the shadow of one of these, even if only a few hours a day. You're basically sitting under a strobe light.

    Headaches, epileptic seizures, etc, etc.. The same environmentalists hating on the people who don't want these are probably the guys who cant work under flourescent light because it upsets their eyes.

    They also have a distracting/hypnotic effect on drivers, and there are lots of long empty stretches of road out Mount Forest way (where they are, highest point in Ontario), so they become something that helps lull drivers to sleep.

    I'm in Canada, where these things are, there are valid complaints.

    Also it's bullshit pork spending and is not adding any appreciable power to the grid. In fact, we already overproduce so much power we have to pay Quebec and New York to take the surplus from it.

    Yeah, I'm against wasteful pork spending, even if it does make some simple-minded california liberal feel good about himself.

  • by Anaerin ( 905998 ) on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @03:15PM (#39575265)
    When we finally get settled into a place of our own, up here in the windy prairie of Saskatchewan, we're intending to get an acreage or more just outside the city and put wind and solar on it. A pair of 14KW turbines and a 10KW solar array would be easily attainable, and overkill, but would ensure that on even the most dreary and becalmed day we still have power (When it's not windy, it's sunny here, though we'll probably also invest in a diesel/WVO generator, just in case those long cold winter nights leave us with a little shortfall). This would also mean we don't need natural gas for heat/cooling (Geothermal and electric under-floor heating, electric "instant heat" water). Then our municipal requirements drop to phone/internet. And the "NIMBY" price reduction for having a turbine or two on our land will be more than paid for by the self-sufficient nature, without having to sacrifice any modern luxuries. We'd even have enough excess power to put power back onto the grid for a profit (Well, we would if SaskPower had that option), and/or to run an EV.
  • Astroturf, ho! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by qeveren ( 318805 ) on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @03:15PM (#39575275)

    This whole thing is actually astroturf by a competing energy company in the region. They've been going around basically stirring up the farmers and whatnot with BS about the wind turbines, posting protest signs along the country roads, etc. All with their little energy company website url at the bottom.

  • by cbiltcliffe ( 186293 ) on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @03:23PM (#39575479) Homepage Journal

    It's not that people are against wind energy, per se. It's that the Ontario government passed a law giving them final and absolute authority over where they were placed, effectively killing any municipal control over zoning, land use, etc.

    It's basically a bunch of idiot urban politicians saying to a rural county "We're putting a wind farm in your county, right here on the map, complete with massive construction traffic and huge amounts of concrete for the bases of these things, and it doesn't matter to you, because there's hardly anybody living there to complain. After all, you've got, what, 1/100th the population density of Toronto?"

    If the local county had zoned that area agricultural, or had plans for a shopping mall that had been years and hundreds of thousands in the making, and were ready to break ground tomorrow, then tough luck.

    Another thing is, considering the amount of concrete involved, it effectively kills the land for any agricultural use, anyway. Even if the turbine and its base is removed, the leach from the concrete will have done serious damage the the ground's ability to grow crops. Since the provincial government is frequently putting them in prime agricultural areas, rather than in, place where the soil is too shallow over bedrock to be productive, it's a reasonable concern.

  • by Chris Burke ( 6130 ) on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @03:24PM (#39575487) Homepage

    there is actually tangible reasons and evidence that there could be some health risks associated with living near large turbines.

    Oh? Like what?

    It's about constant exposure to low frequencies as I understand it, which is not something that people are generally exposed to in their daily lives.

    Yeah I'm pretty sure we're all exposed to low-frequency EM radiation constantly. How exactly are low-energy photons supposed to be more dangerous than high-energy? Are all the Wi-fi/cell-phone people crazy for going after that rather than radio towers?

    Now, I don't know if there are actual health risks or not - all I'm saying is that I accept the possibility.

    Sure, it's possible. It's possible that there's some heretofore unknown mechanism that allows this to damage you. I just find it hard to believe that these protesters have stumbled across this revelatory new science so as to make them so sure that it's real.

    If there is a real effect of being near wind turbines, then I'd bet anything it's actually due to a chemical like an herbicide with a perfectly understandable mechanism for causing harm. I don't know if these are organic farmers, but if they're not, then I have a hard time believing their occupation is less hazardous in this regard than wind towers.

  • by sysadmintech ( 704387 ) on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @03:40PM (#39575809)
    The people complaining are always the wealthy land owners thinking their property values will drop, which has been proved false. I live and fish on Lake Erie. Lake Erie is very shallow and is a perfect place for a wind farm. The structures would create reefs that would support aquatic life and would improve sport fishing. The fishermen, DNR, and environmentalists were all for the wind farm. Idiots over in Cleveland tied to electric utilities protested a wind farm would lower property values and destroy aquatic life. It's always the people with the most money can make their opinion loudest and drowned out the truth.
  • by tbannist ( 230135 ) on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @03:54PM (#39576053)

    Yes, to be fair the province did allow some turbines to either be built too close to houses or houses built to close to turbines, I'm not sure the exact order. Apparently that group (which is smaller than this group of scared people) has a legitimate gripe, because they can't sleep because of the constant low, but audible, noise. The lack of sleep is causing other health problems which they are then blaming on the turbines rather than the insomnia. At least, that's the way I understand it.

"An open mind has but one disadvantage: it collects dirt." -- a saying at RPI