Who’s killing the birds?

A news report is out today on an Environment Canada study of how many birds are killed in Canada each year, and why. Pro-wind power commenters are gleeful: see, they say, it was cats all along!

Well, we knew that.

The fact that the majority of bird deaths is supposed to be from cats, wild and domestic, does not, however, dismiss or minimize the damage being done to birds by large-scale wind power generating machines or turbines.

Here’s a difference: wind turbines typically kill larger birds including raptors such as eagles and red-tailed hawks. Because these large birds have a life expectancy of as much as 20 years, or more, each raptor killed means the deaths of generations of raptors with it.

These birds are critical to the environment, preying upon rodent pests.

So, of course cats, and power lines and buildings are responsible for thousands of bird deaths each year—but that’s not an excuse to kill more with industrial-scale wind turbines put right in the path of migratory birds.

 

Prince Edward County’s “Angry Bird”: don’t kill me too

 

The view from Brinston: aren’t they “green”?

A local pilot photographed the activity from the air, and we bring you a photo of what a turbine construction site looks like from above. This is just ONE turbine and actual construction on it has not really begun.

 

What’s interesting about Brinston is that the wind power project, which was opposed by local residents, represented by WCO member South Branch Wind Opposition Group, will be up and running next spring, just months before Ontario’s municipal election in October, 2014.

By then, residents will be experiencing the brunt of what it’s like to live near 500-foot, 3-megawatt turbines.

We’re sure that experience will help them make decisions as to whom to vote for on the South Dundas Council. Despite numerous well-researched presentations by local resident, many councillors just threw up their hands and said, there is nothing we can do. Or worse, they actively supported the power project, citing the wind industry claims of job creation and benefits to the community.

Time will tell.

Charter Challenge info meeting October 8

Join the Oppose Belwood Wind Farm group on Tuesday, October 8th for an important meeting about legal strategy.

 

Here from leader Janet Vallery:

Over the past several years many rural communities have been investigating their legal options in the fight against wind industrialization. Recently there has been a development that could be beneficial to all communities led by Barrister Julian Falconer.  The case is based on the merits of a Charter Challenge of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

 

Section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms states that: “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice.”  The Appeal states the right to security of a person and principles of fundamental justice have been violated.

 

Julian will be joining us in Belwood by teleconference to provide details on the case and the progress made to date.

 

This is an opportunity to get first hand information on the status of the case as well as to discuss how we can work together to raise the necessary funds to support it.  The Belwood group is organizing this meeting because they believe the claim is a viable legal option.  After the presentation, their community will vote to determine financial support.  Other communities at risk from wind turbines are welcome to participate as the legal action has the potential to benefit all of us in rural Ontario.

 

Place:       Pine Meadows Retirement Community (Grand Hall)

Address:  8473 Wellington County Road 19 (between Fergus and Belwood on the north side of Lake Belwood)

Time:       7:00pm

Date:        Tuesday October 8th

 

If you plan on attending please contact Janet Vallery at jvallery@everus.ca

Perth Wellington Liberal candidate says maybe turbines aren’t so great

Stewart Skinner plans to run for the Liberal Party of Ontario in the next provincial election in the riding of Perth-Wellington, an area of prime farmland. Turbines might not be such a great idea, he says; a better use of the land might be for crops and livestock.

He says he has to “listen to the community” and his obviously doesn’t want wind power generation projects.

The riding is currently held by PC Randy Pettapiece, who defeated former Environment Minister John Wilkinson for the seat. Perth-Wellington has the reputation of being one of the best dairy areas in Canada.

The CTV interview is here.

Wind turbine turbulence affects weather radar

Environment Canada has put out information to the effect that industrial-scale wind turbines produce turbulence that can affect the quality of information produced by Canada’s radar stations.

Gee, and we thought they were just pretty little things, beautifying the landscape.

Check out the Environment Canada website, here. http://ec.gc.ca/meteo-weather/default.asp?lang=En&n=1D1B608B-1

CBC: wind turbines a “hot” topic at municipal conference

Here is a link to a CBC story on the recent Association of Ontario Municipalities conference. We should add here what Enniskillen Mayor Kevin Marriott said: “a year from now, in August 2014, wind power is going to be the hot topic in the Ontario municipal elections.”

Turbines in Windsor-Essex region

 

 

Amherstburg, as well as several municipalities in Lambton County, have put their foot down when it comes to wind turbines.

Amherstburg is among 64 communities that are on an “unwilling hosts” list. Those municipalities don’t want any more wind turbines going up. Another 33 municipalities have “expressed concern” about turbines. Leamington is on that list.

Currently there are more than 100 hundred wind turbines in the Windsor Essex Region and like Amherstburg – Leamington may soon join the “unwilling” list as well. A recent proposal to ban wind turbines in the Leamington area was brought to council last week.

Along with solar power, wind energy is hailed as the way of the future but this type of power generation has many in the province divided.

Until a recent trip to Ottawa, the Ontario government may not have been listening to the concerns of municipalities, according to Leamington mayor John Patterson.

“We had no authority, no power to say where solar farms or wind turbine products could be located,” said Patterson. “Now we have a say … but if the government determines that it’s viable they will probably approve the farm.”

But after attending the Association of Municipalities of Ontario Conference last week, Patterson says the government is willing to listen to concerns from across the province.

Patterson was glad to hear that, because some residents say turbines are a drag on the municipality.

“Property values are driven down because wind turbines are established everywhere and driving down our tax base. There’s an argument on both sides of that point,” he said. “Knowing past discussions on this when there was a proposal to put 750 turbines out in Pigeons Bay, it caught the attention of every tax payer in both communities. I suspect the same kind of feeling may exist on council in regards to turbines on the land.”