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Amherst Island will be overwhelmed by wind turbines

Elizabeth Barr — Toronto Star — June 28, 2013

Back when children sat too close to television screens, I used to press my small nose to the TV to watch a dreadful show called Queen for a Day. Contestants would tell their sad stories, and say what a monetary prize would do to make them happier. The audience, using a sort of misery meter, would determine who was the saddest of them all and crown her Queen for a Day. Even as a kid, I thought those contestants had hit the end of the line.

Never say never. I wrote in support of an application for my beloved Amherst Island to be named one of Heritage Canada’s 10 most endangered places, hoping that my letter help would push the needle on Heritage Canada’s misery meter and bring the island’s plight to public attention. Amazingly, it did. Amherst Island made the 2013 list, released Wednesday.

Amherst Island is a relatively small farming island in eastern Lake Ontario.

There is archeological evidence of the presence of First Nations people on Amherst Island between 4,500 and 3,800 years ago. Champlain first mapped the island in 1615, and European settlers arrived in the late 18th century. Immigrants from England, Scotland and Ireland arrived throughout that century and the population supported two villages, five churches and a truly impressive number of taverns.

The larger village, Stella, still occupies the footprint of the 19th century village. It is remarkably unchanged from that time. With the exception of a few houses, a café, and a municipal shed, all of the buildings date back to the 19th century. Two general stores survive (one as a museum), as does the blacksmith shop and the Victoria Hall, former site of island dances and concerts. The shops and taverns are now homes. Typical of a 19th century village, the buildings are built very close to the road.

Our ancestors of a century ago would still recognize the island as their home.

It is very likely that Amherst Island will be transformed into an industrial landscape within the next few years.

A large wind turbine plant is planned for the island and is within months of getting government approval. Such approval is almost certain, given the province’s continued commitment to expediting alternative energy projects. This haste to push projects along has meant that there has been little, if any, planning as to where they should be located, and that people’s serious concerns have been brushed aside.

If this project goes through, the island will be covered with up to 36 turbines, each 50-storeys tall: the height of the Toronto-Dominion tower in Toronto. Construction vehicles bearing cement and massive turbine parts will make thousand of trips past our school and through the village of Stella, spewing exhaust and almost certainly causing vibration damage to the stone foundations of the historic buildings that line the road. Outside the village, roads will be straightened and widened. Trees will be destroyed. For each of the turbines, new access roads will be cut into fields, destroying wildlife habitat.   Continue reading, here….

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6 Comments on “Amherst Island will be overwhelmed by wind turbines”

  1. Steve Morris June 28, 2013 at 3:05 pm #

    The UK is now facing exorbitant energy prices and blackouts at the insane destruction of our land and seascapes continues to spread like an environmental cancer. Carbon is not our enemy, subsidies are. If wind energy is that good let it stand alone or not at all. Places like Amherst Island need protection from the excesses of environmental zealots – there is no justifiable scientific evidence for this madness only financial. I ask those who hope to profit from the destruction of such places to stop and consider the environment. Ironic yes?

    • Donna Quixote June 28, 2013 at 3:24 pm #

      Steve! Great comment. Could you post it on the Star article as well?

  2. Luann Therrien June 28, 2013 at 4:33 pm #

    This is a letter I sent to newspapers.

    Like a bad neighbor, big wind is there.

    I am having a hard time wrapping my head around all this.

    Let’s see if I can get this straight. The federal and state governments have given wind companies the ability to destroy our natural resources by blowing off our mountain tops, have been given permits to kill while not being held responsible for any harm they are responsible for. The worst of it is they are harming children while being backed by the very people who are supposed to protect us. We feel our State and Federal governments have forsaken us to side with the large faceless corporations.

    They are using the disguise of green energy to sucker in job poor areas with the promise of jobs and money for the town. For the locals the jobs are temporary as they have a fleet of workers that travel from job to job. Then the wind companies reap the benefits of tax credits that are coming out of the very pockets of the citizens they are harming, with Billions of these tax credit dollars being spent out of country.

    Is it right to sacrifice even one family under the guise of something that is supposed to be for the greater good?

    Study after study have shown living in close proximity to wind turbines make people ill, with all the studies being ignored.

    The results of these studies are very real to us as we are now ill.

    If you could see the dark circles around my children’s eyes due to the lack of sleep caused by the wind turbines, maybe you’d better understand my frustration.

    It is a parent’s duty to protect their innocent children from harm. If we were to knowingly put our children in harm’s way the State would be after us. But in this situation it is the State that has helped put my family in harm’s way.

    There have been many times through history that supposedly well meaning men have pushed their own agenda under the guise of doing something for the greater good. But in reality the deed is self-serving and innocent people are sacrificed along the way.

    During times of war sleep deprivation was used to weaken the enemy.

    We feel the longer we stay at our home they know we will become sicker, weaker and more apt to give up without a fight. But if they think for one minute we will go quietly into the night, they could not be more wrong.

    Every Vermonter impacted and not impacted needs to stand up and be heard. For those not impacted by wind projects with a State that does buisness with reckless abandon, the next project supposedly for the greater good could be knocking on your door.

    What is the next project that will require problems and sacrifice to be made of Vermont citizens?

    This is not someting I chose to do. This is something I’m being forced to do. We need to be heard. People need to understand. We are not playing a game.

    We are not only fighting for ourselves, we are fighting for every Vermonter who may be threatened with the loss of their home, land and sanity.

    United we stand, divided we fall.

    Steve Therrien, Green Mountain Boy. Sheffield, Vermont

  3. Alison Taylor June 28, 2013 at 4:48 pm #

    This is madness and it must stop before all the most beautiful and wild places in the world are decimated by these monstrosities. There is no going back; once they are built the damage is done and can never really be undone….. And what for? Not to save the planet or help the environment or to stop carbon emissions but simply so that mega businesses can take advantage of the huge stash of cash that is being thrown at renewable energy in the form of subsidies. Shame on them and on the governments that are allowing this to happen. It is a massive scam and we are heading for environmental disaster.

  4. Luann Therrien June 28, 2013 at 4:49 pm #

    Am adding links to testimony given at the Vermont State House, it explains all.

    Attached is Dr. Shapiro’s presentation and the rest of the audio, testimony from our side: http://www.vce.org/SandyReider _SHW_042413.mp3 http://www.vce.org/StanleyShap iro_SHW_042413.mp3 http://www.vce.org/LuannTherrien_CommDisc_SHW_ 042413.mp3

    Video of Luann’s testimony: https://vimeo.com/64765558

    and the evening news coverage of the health committee hearing, which begins with coverage of a 4 turbine 2.5 MW Goldwind project that has not been operating for much of the last week: https://vimeo.com/64766628

    I also find it interesting that NASA had done their own studies related to the impact on human by wind turbines….. No one cares.

    http://docs.wind-watch.org/Swinbanks-NASA-Langley-noise-re search.pdf

  5. Donna Davidge July 1, 2013 at 9:29 pm #

    some of the most beautiful places in the planet are being destroyed in the name of the environment..I hope the public wakes up before it is too late-

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