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Question for the Great Wind debate

With all of the debate raging about wind turbines, I have a very simple suggestion that I think would solve the entire issue.

It appears the vast majority of residents of the GTA, Burlington, Hamilton, Stoney Creek, and all the way out to Oshawa. are in support of Premier McGuinty’s Green Energy Act, which has stripped away the rights of local government and rural citizens to decide whether they want these 600 to 1000 foot structures blanketing the countryside of Ontario.

The shorelines of Lake Huron, Lake Superior and Lake Erie have already taken on their fair share of turbines.

Here’s our question: If all of the other Great Lakes are so perfectly suited to industrial wind turbines, why are there not an equal number dotting the shoreline of Lake Ontario, specifically in the Toronto area? There is already over 1500mw worth of turbines in Ontario. McGuinty’s goal is 10,000mw. You could easily fit 2,000 , 2.5 mw turbines if not more right from Hamilton to Oshawa. It would solve many problems.

First of all, the power would be produced closest to where the greatest use and need for energy is …. the GTA. Thousands of turbines producing power all along the Toronto harbour front and all places east and west, could really offset the GTA’s dependency on fossil fuels and help to reduce it’s carbon emissions footprint, as well as improve the poor air quality that is apparently so prevalent in that city. You wouldn’t have the transmission problems and costs because you could tap directly into the grid right where it’s needed most. City residents who favour turbines have never been shy to say that they’d be “happy” to have a turbine “in their back-yard”.

Secondly, McGuinty wants to be known as a world-leader in the green energy movement. What greater feather to put in his cap than to be able to boast that one of the largest cities in Canada, is powered by it’s OWN turbines, set up right in front of the city. Imagine the glory that Toronto could bask in, pointing to these turbines and boasting that the electricity from them is powering it’s water treatment plants, it’s subways, streetcars and LRT’s and major highway lighting. You have an international airport right there. Every day, thousands of planes would be flying over these symbols of Toronto’s true commitment to green energy. And I’m not talking about a dozen or so turbines. I mean build one every 500 feet (from Hamilton to Oshawa), just like they’re doing all over the rest of Southern Ontario. And if you zigzag them, you could put in twice as many.  The Ontario Place land would be the perfect spot for a half-dozen or so.

Third, there would no longer be the need for the FIT program, which pays farmers billions of dollars over 20 years for the use of their land. Since the GEA can arbitrarily decide where it’s going to put these industrial structures, why can’t the Liberal government expropriate all of the land or even just off-shore, along the northern Lake Ontario shoreline (again from Hamilton to Oshawa – where the need for energy is highest) and build turbines to it’s hearts content?  Look at the money that would be saved with no more FIT contracts! Why are we putting these wind turbines so far from the place where consumption is the greatest? It only makes sense to put them right at the spot that they are most needed.

Fourth, it would satisfy all of the environmentalists in the GTA who accuse rural Ontario of nimby’ism. They could lead by example and show that they’re willing to make the same commitment to green energy that they expect of rural residents. They could sit each morning, with their cup of espresso, gazing out their condo windows over the sea of turbines along the shoreline and feel that sense of pride in their contribution towards the reduction of Global warming.

And finally, it would preserve the much-needed fertile farmland for food production and eliminate the need to encroach on fragile ecosystems and nature areas.  Rural residents can once again turn their attention to the production of food and urban residents can do their part by producing it’s own energy. With all of these positives, why has it not yet been done?

When are the residents of Toronto and the GTA going to put their money where their mouths are and start petitioning the McGuinty government for full turbine construction all along their shoreline (as well as off-shore)? Can anyone answer that question?

We’ll wait….

Donna & Don Quixote

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3 Comments on “Question for the Great Wind debate”

  1. Murray Lovering April 30, 2012 at 5:35 pm #

    Solar and wind farms should never be on arable farm lands!! The world is soon to face food shortages and green energy does not make food.Your GTA wind comment is very appropriate. His green ideas was a ploy to win votes in the big city at the detriment of rural Ontario!
    malovering@amtelecom.net

  2. thebiggreenlie April 30, 2012 at 8:05 pm #

    Maybe a nice array of turbines could be laid out behind the Boulevard Club on the Lakeshore by the CNE grounds and then the sailors who race on a steady basis could use these as “markers” for the races!
    Of course there could be the odd complaint from members when they want to take pictures of their boats in the harbour, but then they could “Photoshop” the turbines “out”…..unlike the rural residents who can’t eliminate the head aches and nausea that goes with these monsters!

  3. Paul Harpley April 30, 2012 at 10:44 pm #

    As is suggested the same comments are relevant to Solar Farms. Anyone interested in critique of Solar Panel Farms in northern York Region, please contact me at paul@harpley.ca

    Paul Harpley
    Director, The Zephyr Society of Lake Simcoe (wwwzephyrsociety.ca)

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