Toronto Star on the Blandings Turtle

Blanding’s turtle has won a temporary reprieve.
Hello, it’s me again.

Blanding’s turtle blocks turbines again

A judge has placed a temporary halt on a wind farm that naturalists say could harm the threatened animal in Prince Edward County.

By: Business reporter, Published on Wed Mar 26 2014
Blanding’s turtle has won a temporary reprieve, as a court blocked construction of a wind farm that could damage its habitat at Ostrander Point in Prince Edward County.
That means construction of the wind farm can’t start before next fall at the earliest.
Mr. Justice R.A. Blair of Ontario Court of Appeal issued an order Tuesday placing a stay on construction until the Prince Edward County Field Naturalists can seek leave to appeal an earlier court ruling.
Gilead Power wants to erect a nine-turbine wind farm at Ostrander Point. It was at first blocked by an Environmental Review Tribunal, which said the development might harm the habitat of Blanding’s turtle.
The naturalists had also argued that the development threatens migratory birds, bats, and the unusual local ecosystem.
A divisional court ruling earlier this year threw out the tribunal’s decision, and said the wind farm could proceed.
Gilead said following the divisional court ruling that it would start construction this spring.
The naturalists then sought leave to appeal the divisional court ruling — and asked Blair to block activity on the site until that application is decided.
Eric Gillespie, lawyer for the naturalists, said in an interview Tuesday that it will take several months for the two sides to file their arguments on the leave application, and for the court to consider them….

Read the full story here.

Lake K-2?

Here’s an item from the news website Ontario Wind Resistance:

Samsung makes a lake in K2 wind project

Posted on 03/22/2014 by

Well, the destruction beside us has taken a turn. K2 has begun creating LAKE K2 at a rapid pace. It’s quite a show, high hoes and bulldozers trying to keep ahead of the water that’s flowing.

We called the MOE about this yesterday and they were out today. Not sure why K2 did not notify the MOE themselves when the water problems began to multiply.

They are trucking the water from the site beside us to a treatment plant in Waterloo Ontario, having it tested before it is discharged. According to the MOE at great cost to K2.

So anyone willing to take a dip in the local electrified LAKE K2 then come on over. Heads up it might be a little chilly right now!!!

Blog editor note: K2 is a wind power generation plant in Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh, being developed by a partnership between Samsung, Pattern and Capital Power

Promote awareness of danger to Tundra Swans

THE GOOD NEWS The swans have started to arrive. Within a couple of weeks – with luck – there should be large numbers.

We will be having the annual information day/demonstration on Sunday, April 6 from 11am to 1pm.

REASONNextEra plans to put a turbine in the bog, and many more all around it, which will impede the migration of the swans.

Greenway Road at the Thedford Bog—we need support to provide information to the public who are coming to see the Tundra Swans at their stopover location.

Greenway Road runs south from Hwy21/ Lakeshore Rd, just east of the Lambton Heritage Museum


Please plan to attend this event beginning at 11am.  Bring signs and print outs.  We plan to let the public know that the turbines will inhibit the migration of the swans to this area.  
 At the Bornish ERT appeal, NexTERROR’s ‘kept’ bird ‘expert’ from New England said that the turbines weren’t a danger to the swans because they avoid them.
While it may be true that swans are seldom killed by turbines, this neatly avoids the fact that they avoid them so completely that they probably won’t come to the bog once the turbines are in place.
Of course, the swans are only part of the wildfowl that stop at the bog and we don’t know if the other species will stay away or be cut down by the NexTERROR bird blenders.
One concern, then, is whether there is any alternative site where they can land, feed, and rest on their journey north.
We will have a petition and information handouts.


Dr McMurtry statement on Australian Medical Association statement

Dr McMurtry with career achievement award

As you may know, the Australian Medical Association last week released a statement on wind turbines and health effects, which concluded that there was no evidence to support a link.

Dr Robert McMurtry, a member of the Order of Canada, former Dean of Medicine at Western University, and former Associate Deputy Minister for Health Canada, has responded.

Re AMA Position Statement Wind Farms and Health

1. I am a Canadian citizen, formerly a dean of medicine, assistant deputy minister of health federally and a practising orthopaedist. I am a founding member of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research funded Evidence Network.

2. I have engaged with over 100 exposed individuals residing near industrial wind developments in the province of Ontario. These cases are documented.1

3. I have appeared as an expert witness on behalf of plaintiffs in actions versus the erection of wind farms too proximate to human habitation.

4. I am writing to comment on the AMA Position Statement. The position statement is surprising. It is not well informed, references are absent and the authors of the document are undisclosed. Many of the phrases and claims in the document faithfully reflect wind industry claims, claims which cannot be substantiated.

5. Review of the existing evidence in which direct assessment of exposed individuals has been carried out uniformly reveals adverse health effects2. The common denominator of complaints consists of sleep disturbance, inner ear disturbance and stress response. These are serious adverse health effects. These adverse health events have been reported globally in the media and grey literature.

5. I concur with that part of the AMA document that asserts that siting of wind farms “should be guided by the evidence”. Unfortunately the remainder of the AMA document fails to meet that standard.

6. I challenge the AMA to support third party research that leads to simultaneous physiological monitoring of exposed individuals during sleep and concurrent recording of sound pressure levels (SPL) including all frequencies (infrasound and low frequency sound) as well as weighted and unweighted decibel or sound intensity levels in the bedroom and outside the home. [Note averaging of SPL should not be done exclusively since key characteristics of the noise such as cresting and amplitude modulation will be excluded.]

7. In the absence of the information outlined in #6 above there has not been nor can there be evidence–based guidelines for the siting of wind turbines. This fact ought to concern the AMA and all responsible physicians.

8. More details are available upon request.


Ontario: following the German path to economic doom, says economist

Ontario to follow Germany in renewable failure

(March 21, 2014) Germany has been experimenting with its renewable energy law for 14 years and is now highlighting its failures. Ontario, which copied that law, will likely do the same. 

Ontario passed the Green Energy Act in 2009 in a bid to create a thriving renewable energy sector that would provide low-cost energy, thousands of jobs, new investment and a competitive business environment. Yet residents of Ontario need to look no further than Germany – the economic powerhouse of Europe – which passed a similar law in 2000 to understand why the Green Energy Act will fail to deliver on its promises.
According to analysis by a government-appointed commission on research and innovation, the law, known as the Renewable Energy Sources Act, has stymied innovation, produced power at times and levels that are unnecessary, failed to demonstrably create new jobs and burdened low-income households. In its annual report to German lawmakers, the Commission of Experts for Research on Innovation concluded that the law had “serious shortcomings”, had “failed as an industrial policy instrument” and was a “costly” means to reduce emissions.
Like Ontario, the German law offers renewable energy producers – ranging from wind mills, biogas and solar producers – a guaranteed rate for their power through a Feed-In Tariff (FIT). This ensures that these producers receive a premium for their generation – which, like in Ontario, is significantly higher than the market price for that power.
But, according to the report, the FIT ensures that technologies receiving a high premium – such as solar – attract too much investment and, as a result, “too much solar power is being produced.” Rather than allowing the cheapest forms of renewable energy to take hold and provide renewable power, the FIT ensures that investment will flow to those technologies receiving the largest government handout – not those that make the most economic sense.
And because the law requires grid operators to connect renewable energy producers – no matter the cost – to the grid, those producers are able to “disregard” the cost of such connections. In doing so, renewable energy producers pay little attention to the demand for their output, the report says – meaning they dump electricity on the grid when few consumers have any use for it, yet are still being paid higher-than-market prices for that output.
Because renewable energy producers don’t bear the cost of connecting to the grid, and also have little regard for whether there power is needed, as they receive a fixed, subsidized rate regardless of demand, “renewable energy not only increases system integration costs, but also jeopardises the security of supply.”
The FIT scheme has “failed as an industrial policy” since it doesn’t help bring new, innovative renewable technologies to the market. The report says that the FIT scheme largely acts as a “means of promoting the import of photovoltaic modules from foreign manufacturers – instead of providing German companies with a sustainable competitive edge.” The report found that research and development has decreased “considerably” in relative terms since the energy law was first put place and now acts more as a “production subsidy for electricity rather than an R&D funding measure.”
“Especially companies with fairly mature technologies do not feel the need to invest in research,” the report says. “The excessive growth of the market has indirectly led to market entry barriers for less mature technologies, while at the same time facilitating lock-in effects in favour of established renewable energy technologies.”
Promises that the renewable energy subsidies will create new jobs are also “unclear.” The renewable energy subsidies are financed through taxes and fees tacked onto electricity bills, which in turn, lowers consumption and investment in other areas – resulting in an overall drag on the labour market. As the German report concludes: “energy policy cannot serve as a substitute for labour market strategies to reduce unemployment.”
And finally, the renewable energy policy in Germany is regressive, hitting low-income households harder than high-income households, the report says…
Read the full blog post here.

Member of Scottish Parliament to reap hundreds of thousands from wind “farm”

Herald Scotland

Watchdog damns top Tory’s wind farm

Scottish Political Editor
A MASSIVE Highland wind farm proposal which could make the Scottish Conservatives’ environment spokesman more than £8 million has been damned by the nation’s environment watchdog.
The proposed wind farm at Ardchonnel in Argyll would include 15 turbines, 364ft tallPhotograph: Marc Turner
The proposed wind farm at Ardchonnel in Argyll would include 15 turbines, 364ft tallPhotograph: Marc Turner

Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) has warned that the huge Ardchonnel wind farm in Argyll would have “significant adverse impacts” on local villages and the skyline, spoiling the countryside “for residents and visitors alike”. It also says the development is “out of scale” with the surrounding landscape.
The Ardchonnel scheme, which is being developed by German energy firm RWE Innogy, is on a 3500-acre estate owned by Tory MSP Sir Jamie McGrigor, who stands to earn more than £300,000 a year in rent for 25 years if the project goes ahead.
The scheme would see 15 turbines 111m (364ft) tall erected above Loch Awe, generating up to 45 megawatts – enough to power 40% of the homes in the Argyll and Bute Council area.
It has been denounced by dozens of McGrigor’s constituents, who fear it will be a noisy eyesore and kill the local tourist trade.
The nearby hamlet of Dalavich could become a “ghost village”, residents have warned.
McGrigor, 64, an Old Etonian baronet who has been a Highlands and Islands list MSP since 1999, insists the project would help the local community and provide jobs.
“The proposed location is in an area which has been identified as suitable for a renewable development of this kind,” he told the Sunday Herald earlier this month.
Although SNH has not formally objected to Ardchonnel, its official advice is scathing.
In a submission last week to Argyll and Bute Council, which is handling the planning application, SNH says the proposal “will have significant adverse visual impacts” when viewed from some villages and parts of the loch.
The proposal is “not in keeping” with local wind farm advice, “nor Scottish planning policy” it says.
If approved, the wind farm would become a “dominating feature in views from Dalavich and Inverinan from where it will be overwhelming both horizontally and vertically in the undulating skyline”….

Read the full story here.

Survey: tourists don’t like turbines

Results a ‘stark warning’ to government of Scotland as revenues fall

Survey shows wind farms are damaging Scottish tourism


A new survey shows that walkers and climbers are turning their backs on Scotland as electricity companies industrialise wild lands.
The Scottish Government is being called on to act now to protect wild lands as a survey reveals that wind farms in mountain areas are damaging a key area of tourism. The call from Scotland’s representative body for mountaineering comes ahead of tomorrow’s debate at Holyrood when MSPs will discuss the Draft Third National Planning Framework.
A survey of nearly 1,000 climbers and hill walkers, carried out by the Mountaineering Council of Scotland, revealed that 68% say parts of Scotland are now less appealing because of wind farms. Around two thirds have already been put off by wind farms from visiting or revisiting places in Scotland they had visited before.
Over four-fifths of respondents said there must be protection for National Parks, National Scenic Areas and Core Areas of wild land. Two-thirds want buffer zones so developers cannot spoil these special areas by placing industrial-scale wind farms around their perimeters.
67% say wind farms are making Scotland as a whole a less appealing place to visit. The findings come as large electricity generation and other renewables companies lobby the Scottish Government to abandon proposals for stronger planning guidelines which would offer some extra protection for wild lands.
David Gibson, MCofS Chief Officer, said: “The survey results are a stark warning to the Scottish Government – badly sited wind farms are a serious threat to Scotland’s reputation as a tourism destination. The more that are built in our mountains, the more visitors are put off.
“Many of the wind farms planned for Scotland’s most remote and beautiful areas have yet been built and the evidence from this, and other surveys, suggests that visitors dislike them more and more as they cease to be a novelty.
“Natural heritage tourism is worth £1.6 billion (see Notes for Editors) to the Scottish economy and tourism organisations have consistently emphasised the importance of nurturing these kinds of visitors. One of the main ways of doing this is to ensure that Scotland is seen as offering an “authentic” experience.
“We have written to Energy, Enterprise and Tourism minister Fergus Ewing, who holds the brief both for the approval of large scale renewable energy developments and for tourism, asking for a meeting to discuss the urgent need to protect Scotland’s rapidly diminishing wild, open mountain landscapes.
“It is deeply disturbing that the renewables lobby is …

Read the full story here