Three ways CanWEA plans to “persuade” you that wind is good
The Nanos Research survey conducted for CanWEA was meant to lay the foundation for the Ontario Campaign and for the messaging meant to persuade the general public and the government(s) that wind power is wonderful.
In fact, Nanos Research suggests three steps.
“Refine all messaging to be positive and forward-thinking. Continue to refocus public debate from wind energy’s economic proposition today to one of investing in a cleaner, healthier and more sustainable future for our kids (Track 1 Narrative) while focusing on cost competitiveness in the narrative targeted to provincial governments (Track 2 Narrative).”
It is clear that the messaging to the general population in respect to this step is to focus on the survey’s high marks for wind being seen as “environmentally friendly” while ignoring its effect on the cost of electricity. Appealing to the “sustainable future for our kids” message is meant to strike a chord with young families, while ignoring the negatives related to the health effects on people due to noise and infrasound, shadow flicker, the killing of birds (including endangered species) and bats (more endangered species). Sweep the bad news under the carpet.
At the same time as those electricity bills rise higher and higher, caused by past and future additions of renewable energy to the grid, industrial wind production appears competitive if one ignores the need to back it up with fossil fuel (natural gas) plants. Likewise, the intermittent nature of wind causing it to present power when not needed is also ignored, meaning the costs of exporting power below cost is not something that will be messaged. A recent quote from CanWEA’s Ontario regional director, Brandy Giannetta tells the story on their relationship with the Ontario Liberal Party; she says “There is more political stability with a majority government that supports our industry and has a commitment to renewables development and capacity”.
In other words, lobby group CanWEA is delighted the Liberals were re-elected because Ontario communities will remain without the democratic right to refuse industrial wind projects.
The second step recommended by Nanos Research plays to people’s fondness for celebrity.
Humanize the industry: Shift the overall communications strategy from a relatively autonomous wind industry talking to Canadians to an effort to engage Canadians and celebrities in dialogue on wind energy issues.
The fall issue of CanWEA’s magazine Windsight featured a “celebrity” Olympian who endorsed wind energy. The process of engaging celebrities has already been successful so expect other endorsements from the likes of David Suzuki, Neil Young, etc., to follow.
How can the approach be “humanized” one wonders when the industry, as seen in the Nanos survey, views adverse health complaints as a non-issue. On page 75, noted as a “Consideration”: “Linking positive emotions to wind can be a powerful means to manage perceptions (e.g. focus on the well-being of families and children). Fear is the dominant weapon of those opposed to specific wind-energy projects – alleged detrimental effects on health, property values, wildlife, and utility costs. Framing wind as forward-thinking infers those opposed are backward and out of touch.”
Nanos Research has completely ignored reports and studies that have confirmed the detrimental effects on health, property values, wildlife and utility costs.
Interestingly enough, the survey under another heading of “situational analysis” does note: “Several wind-related issues such as perceived health effects of turbines are locked in a virtual stalemate of conflicting expert opinions.”
So those “backward” and “out of touch” people actually do have “expert opinions” at odds with the wind industry narrative.
Make children and young families the face and voice of the wind industry – they represent the future and are already the strongest supporters of renewables.”
This one has already commenced as a visit to CanWEA’s website will attest. The first thing hitting your eyes is a very young girl holding up a tablet that says: “Wind energy. It’s a bright idea.”
Further down the page claims wind energy is “cost-competitive,” has a “stabilizing effect on electricity rates,” and the fuel turning the blades is “free.” Needless to say the ratepayers in Ontario are becoming aware that none of those claims have any truth in them.
Conversely, CanWEA doesn’t explain that 80% of the time the power they produce is not needed, or because of production out of phase with demand, we export over 10% of Ontario’s generation at a huge loss. They also don’t explain that wind is backed up by fossil fuels, or that wind generation has played a major role in the doubling of our electricity rates.
The concept of using children as the face of the future in which utility-scale wind power generation is in direct opposition to the fact that a cost benefit analysis (never done) would reveal wind turbines to be a dated and worthless source of electricity except for remote communities without access to a grid. How futuristic would wind power seem if people knew it is technology that traces back to the late 1800s and is actually older than the diesel engine.
The final look at the Nanos survey will explore the other two “Steps” recommended and touch on the costs to our electricity bills in the province, the damage to the economy, and the reason why knowledgeable people get the message that wind turbines deliver expensive, unreliable, intermittent power.