CanWEA Spins Truths

When presented with a statement that says: “We are pleased to see that more than 80 % of respondents were not at all disturbed by wind turbines, but we would like to see a higher figure.” most people would quickly agree that the remaining 20% of respondents must have been disturbed!

Put that statement in the hands of the wind spinners however, and the claim is made that;

“A June 2012 survey from the Danish Ministry of Energy, Climate and Buildings, however, showed that 83 per cent of Danes support continued development of wind power both on- and offshore.”

This is how CanWEA viewed the commentary on that June 2012 Danish survey and reported on it in a press release on February 8, 2013 where they try to discredit the CBC documentary “Wind Rush” that had been presented the previous day on the “Doc Zone”.  The documentary was critical of industrial wind turbines principally because they cause health problems because of “noise” issues. The documentary didn’t examine the costs to ratepayers, nor the requirement to back up wind generation with fossil fuel generators, nor the effects on the natural environment through the killing of birds and bats, nor did it look at the negative effect on property values that industrial wind turbines have!

The documentary dealt only with the health issues and it was damning, particularly in Ontario where it suggests the government rushed ahead without proper due diligence in respect to siting wind turbines because of inadequate setbacks.  The documentary also featured commentary from highly regarded Dr. Nissenbaum, a member of the advisory group, with the Society of Wind Vigilance.  CanWEA’s press release comments that much of what Dr Nissenbaum has researched “has been reviewed by experts at the first Environmental Review Tribunal.” The apparent illusion they are trying to create with that statement is unknown but I believe the inference is that Dr. Nissenbaum’s research was overwhelmed by the experts of the pro-wind segment.  What CanWEA don’t say in their press release is that those “experts” were hand picked by the Renewal Energy Approval (REA) holder’s high priced Bay Street legal counsel to ensure they would sway the Environmental Review Tribunal.  Despite that the Tribunal found; 

“This case has successfully shown that the debate should not be simplified to one about whether wind turbines can cause harm to humans. The evidence presented to the Tribunal demonstrates that they can, if facilities are placed too close to residents. The debate has now evolved to one of degree.”

CanWEA’s efforts are aimed at stifling debate and to continue the proliferation of industrial wind turbines throughout rural Ontario. They claim in the same press release; “As the voice of Canada’s wind energy industry, CanWEA supports the responsible and sustainable development of wind energy.”

Based on the way CanWEA spin their critique of “Wind Rush” it is the opinion of this writer that “responsible” doesn’t include how they spin information. CanWEA took that negative Danish report indicating that 9% (115 humans) of the 1275 people surveyed who stated they were “disturbed by wind turbine noise “to a major extent,” or are “moderately” disturbed and claim the Danes think wind turbines are great.

Is this the renaissance of the “Marlboro Man” holding a wind turbine instead of a cigarette or can we simply put it down as wind spin?

Parker Gallant,
February 11, 2013

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