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Posts Tagged ‘bat kills wind turbines’

Premier McGuinty announced a shuffle of his cabinet yesterday, and a new minister of the environment. In case anyone was hoping for a breath of fresh air, perhaps a free thinker particularly on the issue of industrial wind turbines, there is only disappointment.

New minister Wilkinson has a history of following orders where the wind industry is concerned. Here is a brief history of relevant actions (or inactions).

  • 04/28/2010:  Voted against the motion to give local government a say on green energy
  • 04/22/2010:  Perth-Wellington MPP John Wilkinson said on Monday he was not previously aware of the planned demonstration. He said anyone opposed to wind turbines should look at the renewable energy process in its entirety.

    He noted any project, including wind farms, must meet the strict standards set by the Ministry of the Environment, including guidelines for turbine location and setbacks that are among the largest in North America.

    Wilkinson said the province is taking all the precautions necessary, though he encourages anyone with concerns to voice them through the approval process for the projects.

  • 10/29/2009:  Voted against the motion to conduct health study for wind turbines in Ontario

For news daily, check http://windconcernsontario.wordpress.com for excerpts and links to opinions and comment, http://northgowerwindturbines.wordpress.com and to contact the North Gower Wind Action Group Inc., email northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

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Employing wind to generate power doesn’t work (see previous post). It also isn’t “green”, causing harm to the environment and wildlife. Here from the June 2010 issue of Canadian Geographic, a report on the work of Dr Robert Barclay.

GONE WITH THE WIND

Bats are among Canada’s most mysterious animals. They’re small and fast and usually fly at night. But University of Calgary professor Robert Barclay has gained some insight into both bat migration and the impact of wind turbines on a pair of underappreciated species.

Barclay, who has been studying bats since 1976, began researching migration routes and wind turbine fatalities in 2006. Specifically, he wanted to find out whether bats follow random or deliberate paths and whether the location and height of turbines affect death rates.

By acoustically monitoring the unique echolocation calls of two species common across Canada—hoary and silver-haired bats—Barclay determined that bats select migration routes based on land features, such as the availability of trees in which to roost during the day He also concluded that taller towers kill more bats, although not solely because the small mammals are hit by the rotating blades. About half of the bats in his study died after flying into pockets of low air pressure near the blades, which caused barotrauma—their lungs overexpanded, which led to internal hemorrhaging, says Barclay, who likens the condition to “the bends” that a diver experiences when surfacing too quickly.

Barclay hopes these findings can be used to help guide where and how wind farms are built so that bat fatalities can be minimized. Bats are an essential part of our environment, he stresses, and are the main consumer of insects that fly at night, such as mosquitoes and insects that damage crops. “Eliminating these bats,” he says, “would change the entire ecology of the area.”

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Key points for North Gower:

1. taller towers, i.e., in the 600-foot range the corporate wind developer is proposing (because there is no wind in North Gower/Richmond/Beckwith) cause more bat kills

2. killing the bats will affect the whole environment here and can result in an increase in insects that can damage crops

3. In 6 months at Wolfe Island, more than 1200 bats were killed.

Also, we learned from a landowner that the corporate wind developer planned to spend ONE NIGHT in one of the proposed turbine areas in North Gower studying bat migration patterns. One night.

To contact us, email northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

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A local resident felt compelled to send us a photo of a dead bird, found on the shore in the U.S., covered in oil. Its death, he asserted, is on “our hands” because we “live in big houses” and “drive cars”.

The oil event—it is hardly a “spill” at this point– is due to many things, not the least of which is the failure in the U.S. to conserve energy. Anyone who has travelled to the U.S. knows the cars are big and so are the air conditioning bills… people in Florida in particular seem to drive everywhere.

But also complicit is the U.S. government in its failure to regulate drilling operations or even to provide proper oversight. The Deepwater drilling project did not undergo any environmental assessment, and no equipment or facilities were deemed necessary in case of an emergency. They quite simply didn’t plan for one, and now look.

Here is a chart prepared by consultants Torrie Smith for the David Suzuki Foundation in the report Beyond Kyoto, on the potential for improving how we meet our electrical power needs, factoring in environmental effects. Note that industrial wind rates lowest, and conservation rates highest.

conschart31

As Margaret Wente of the Globe and Mail remarked in a recent article, Ontario is the “envy of the world” because we already have renewable energy—hydro. The best approach would be to employ conservation and improvements to the efficiency of the resources we already have, not tear up the land and affect wildlife and people in order to develop an inefficient and unreliable resource.

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One of the things the wind developers, Ontario MPPs on the government side, and our Premier keep saying is that wind turbines have been in use in Europe for years and there seems to be no problems.

Really.

May 15th that idea should change with a worldwide march to protest industrial wind turbines that kicks off in Berlin.

Here is a comment from a family living in the Schleswig-Holstein area of Germany: they want to leave things are so bad, but wind turbines appear to be a threat everywhere today.

Hello to Nova Scotia.
I’m from Germany and my wife and me are going to leave this country, because of that wind madness. We have over 25,000 wind turbines in Germany with an installed capacity of more than 27 GW. That is cir. 30% more than the capacity of our nuclear power plants (please, don’t start a debate about nuclear power – earth is flat, pigs can fly and nuclear power is save). The nuclear power plants produce 25% of our needed energy, the wind turbines only 6.6%. And the price for this 6.6%? In 2009 German energy customers had to pay cir. 4 billion Euro (over 5 billion $) for wind energy, money that is missing in other parts of life. Over 2 million birds are killed every year by wind turbines. People fall ill by wind turbines ([my wife] and I have insomnia, tinnitus and she was in hospital, because of heart rhythm disorder; we are living 320 to 600m besides 6 windturbines for the last 15 years).
But back to our emigration plans.
Our first thought was Nova Scotia, because weather and landscape is very similar to ours. Than we read about the story of the d’Entremont family from Lower West Pubnico. About wind farms in Pictou County and the plans to destroy Digby Neck.
Could you imagine, what will happen to the migration routes of the birds? We see it every spring and autumn. The migration routes from north east to south west continue over our area. But the routes are cut off by wind turbines and the birds, which had a long way over sea, have to make long detours. And don’t forget: birds are killed by the blades of the turbines. The same will happen in Nova Scotia.
Another problem is the infrasonic and its disturbance for the whales. Nova Scotia has established a green tourism especially with whalewatching. The sound pollution underwater will scare away the whales and thus the income of many people.
Again back to our emigration plans: it seems, Nova Scotia is not the place, we want to spend our old age.

More news daily at http://windconcernsontario.wordpress.com

To email the North Gower Wind Action Group: northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

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