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Ontario’s version of the US birthers – the ‘turbine truthers’

I’m of course talking about the anti-Wind turbines folks, better known as Wind Concerns Ontario. They’re in the background of the Ontario election – allying themselves with the Conservatives who they feel will nix the Wind turbines project if they’re elected. BigCityLib has a column on them this AM, noting their book’s connection to Energy Probe, the so-called environmental group.

I won’t take credit for the ‘turbine truthers’ label; that comes from Martin Regg Cohn in the Star yesterday:

Until we stop subsidizing the rest of the energy sector, and most of the corporate world, it makes no sense to selectively pull the rug out from under Ontario’s green economy. Unless the goal is to unplug it.
That’s the objective of a hardy band of mostly rural protesters and transplanted urbanites who shadow McGuinty across the province, berating him for pressing ahead with wind turbines. No credible studies show evidence of harm, but these righteous turbine truthers have forsworn the science, swear by their headaches, and harangue anyone who questions their questioning.

The last part of the equation is the key; these folks have been going around, largely unopposed with their point of view, claiming how bad wind turbines are, when they don’t have any proof of the so-called negative effects. I equate it to those people who fear wireless internet being allowed in schools, due to some claim it will hurt their kids, or the “birther” movement in the US who claim the copy of President Obama’s birth certificate is forged, and he’s a covert Muslim born in Indonesia, or Kenya – same sort of deal.

It’s about time these folks and their claims were put under the microscope and challenged.


4 comments to Ontario’s version of the US birthers – the ‘turbine truthers’

  • stan

    Your so called green energy at work, the waste from the REE refined for the wind power magnets:

    “The lake instantly assaults your senses. Stand on the black crust for just seconds and your eyes water and a powerful, acrid stench fills your lungs.
    For hours after our visit, my stomach lurched and my head throbbed. We were there for only one hour, but those who live in Mr Yan’s village of Dalahai, and other villages around, breathe in the same poison every day.
    Retired farmer Su Bairen, 69, who led us to the lake, says it was initially a novelty – a multi-coloured pond set in farmland as early rare earth factories run by the state-owned Baogang group of companies began work in the Sixties.

    ‘At first it was just a hole in the ground,’ he says. ‘When it dried in the winter and summer, it turned into a black crust and children would play on it. Then one or two of them fell through and drowned in the sludge below. Since then, children have stayed away.’
    As more factories sprang up, the banks grew higher, the lake grew larger and the stench and fumes grew more overwhelming.

    ‘It turned into a mountain that towered over us,’ says Mr Su. ‘Anything we planted just withered, then our animals started to sicken and die.’
    People too began to suffer. Dalahai villagers say their teeth began to fall out, their hair turned white at unusually young ages, and they suffered from severe skin and respiratory diseases. Children were born with soft bones and cancer rates rocketed.
    Official studies carried out five years ago in Dalahai village confirmed there were unusually high rates of cancer along with high rates of osteoporosis and skin and respiratory diseases. The lake’s radiation levels are ten times higher than in the surrounding countryside, the studies found. ”

    Read more:

  • Stig

    I don’t post here very often, but it does seem the BCL article struck a nerve among some WCO members. I’m intrigued. Let me make a quick suggestion to help bring to an end this overly contentious matter, and let the these bucolic worry warts, have their peace and quiet. Instead of wind turbines, we begin mining the hell out of the north, removing all its uranium ore, then process it, on sight, to be used as fuel, for the dozen or so nuclear reactors, built around their sorry, self-righteous asses. There, a 2-4, problem solved.

  • Roll Tide

    Every energy source has a environmental cost. Wind mills kill birds.

    You want to put up with the noise with a wind farm next to your house, be my guest.
    Others had to get their silence bought out by the government (taxpayer) subsidized corporation.

    What a mess McGuinty has created.

  • There is a kernel of truth to their concerns. What people experience when around wind turbines is probably analogous to what people experienced with silicone breast implants back in the ’90’s. There was never any good evidence of physical harm, but you had pretty much the same symptom cluster — sleeping difficulties, diffuse and constant pain, headaches, etc. My guess is it’s psychosomatic, probably a stress reaction of some kind. Which means it’s a real problem, but one sustained by social and psychological factors rather than physical ones. So, Wind Concerns is on to something when they say that there should have been more local involvement in placing turbines. That probably would’ve helped to nip the problem in the bud. (Compare here to people’s kneejerk reaction to living near a garbage dump, where “near” means “I know there’s a garbage dump within 20 miles”. You could solve a lot of complaints by listening and explaining that there’s nothing to be afraid of.)

    That said, ironically, groups like Wind Concerns are really making the problem worse. They’re one of those cultural/social factors that can keep a psychosomatic complaint going, by continuing to insist there is a problem.

    I’ve always thought that Wind Concerns in particular had Tory ties, though. They’re virulently anti-Liberal — fair enough — but they’re also not helping out the NDP, which has indicated it’s willing to put the issue to further study. Sort of odd for them to ignore that, if they’re really just concerned about turbines.

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