Category Archives: Watford Guide Advocate

Convincing the masses

Watford Guide Editorial  —  By Jackie Rombouts

Many years ago a professor of mine once told me that in order to convince the masses of something, you must first discover what motivates them. This comment has stayed with me over the years and has served me well and it came to mind again today as I listened to Monte McNaughton and Bev Shipley discuss their views on why they have requested a moratorium for the continued industrial wind turbine developments and why they feel the government should rethink things before rushing into these expensive and inefficient projects.

Bev Shipley took the stance that health studies should be conducted before the projects should continue and I agree with him whole-heartedly. As a rural resident I am concerned for the health of my community who will be forced to reside beside these new developments, however I don’t think those who live in the city would really be all that concerned about the health and well being of those living close to the turbines. After all, I remind you of the comment given by one of the workers at the Zephyr project. He stated that it’s better for a few to suffer for the betterment of those in the city. So why should we care what the people in the city think? Well for one thing they make up the majority when it comes to voting rights and votes equal change in a democratic society. Those in political office need to respond to the majority or they won’t find themselves in office next term. So if the people in the larger urban centres don’t care about the well being of those in the rural communities and feel that the “green energy act will be in the best interest of all, what will motivate them to stand behind us to combat the building of more turbines? Read the rest of this entry

Introducing T.O. to the Brooke-Alvinston wind turbines

Watford Guide-Advocate

Dear Editor,

The upcoming Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT) appeal hearing into the Zephyr wind project  in Brooke/Alvinston will have testimony from 2 well qualified acoustical experts, Dr. Robert Thorne, an environmental noise consultant to the NZ  Ministry of Health, and Steve Ambrose, P.Eng. and a member of  the Institute of Noise Control Engineering (INCE).

While the expert testimony provides the scientific basis to challenge the current MOE siting rules, it can only describe the human effects in a very cold, impersonal way. To the Ministry of Environment (MOE), residents are not “humans”, they are “receptors.” Our houses are called “receptor locations”.  Setback distances are measured to the centre of the receptor location.  Excess noise  can intrude and take over most of your property as long as the centre of the house is “safe”. You no longer have a house and property; you  are left with a “bunker.” If you sign any sort of agreement with the wind company, you waive all rights to even these inadequate standards. The farmer who signs a wind lease is no longer a farmer; he is now a landlord with one very nasty tenant who dictates all the rules for 50 years. These are the things that expert testimony cannot describe; but, ordinary people can.

So, in this hearing for the first time, residents who live  in wind projects will provide the gritty details that models, maps, and calculations cannot display. They will tell what it’s like from a personal perspective to live with these machines day and night. They will tell what it feels like to be caught in these wind ghettos – the constant thumping noise, the sleep disturbance, the hopelessness of being trapped and unable to even sell a property they wish to escape – their own homes.  Experts cannot give this kind of testimony. The wind companies deny the problems, dismiss and belittle the people affected. The government ignores their plight and facillitates whatever the wind companies want.  Now, for the first time these residents/witnesses will be heard, all 25 of them – and there are many more willing to testify. Think about it. Why are these people testifying? They already live in wind projects; what gain is there for themselves? Would you put yourself out in public to be scrutinized?  Read the rest of this entry

Government wind plan is abusive

The way the wind energy program has been imposed on rural Ontario is more than a shame – it is an abuse.

Watford Guide Advocate – May 12th 2011

I read with interest the recent article based on interviews with two households experiencing negative health effects from the turbines sited near Kettle Point and Ravenswood. What struck me most was Laura Wilde’s statement, “…she has a tall dresser leaning against the south-facing window in her bedroom to help muffle the noise. On worse nights she will throw a few pillows in between.” 

Clearly she is having a problem with intrusive noise that is causing sleep disturbance, and the obvious source of the disturbance is the wind turbine noise.  After 10 PM there would be little else in a quiet, rural community to cause someone to be suddenly awakened. Her experience is not singular, rather it is the very essence of most complaints about wind turbine noise – sleep disturbance. Repeat this experience over many nights and other more serious health problems will develop. Sleep disturbance  is a well-known cause of serious health effects, and acknowledged by the medical community.

Why is this happening?  One would expect as the ground wind dies in the evening, the turbines would cease turning and there should be no noise. There is another feature of wind turbines that is obvious, but overlooked. They are not “ground sources” of noise like a highway or an industrial plant. They are “aerial sources” more like a helicopter albeit one that remains in one place. At the height that wind turbines reach , 80m – 130m ,  wind conditions are quite different than they are at ground level. 

The dirty little secret the wind industrydoesn’t want you to know is a phenomenon called, “WindShear”, which describes a condition where the ground winds are very light or nothing at all; but, the upper level winds are blowing very strongly. Upper level winds blow at a more constant velocity than ground winds because the temperature is cooler and much the same, day or night  -”stable atmosphere” is the term. Ground winds vary more due to the surface temperature difference between day and night. During the daytime surface heating from  sunlight  causes convection currents to rise,and so mix the upper level winds with the surface winds. As a result, the wind speed is constant from 0 – 100m or more. In the evening the surface heat subsides and the ground winds drop. Read the rest of this entry