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“Cutting Down the Nets” of the Wind Industry

Paul Kuster — April 6, 2014

Many who know me, know I love basketball.  This time of year is great since the NBA is heading for the play-offs, but it’s NCAA “March Madness” that makes this time even better.  As this years tournament enters the final weekend, it hasn’t disappointed in terms of excitement and improbable victories by underdog teams.

One of the most improbable wins was back in the 1983 tournament when an underdog NC State beat a Houston team that was highly favoured with a last second buzzer beater shot.  It is acknowledged as the #1 moment in college basketball.

Later on, the coach (the late Jim Valvano) would describe in a speech just how he was able to motivate a young team, constantly looked upon as underdogs.  Valvano would keep telling his players to visualize winning the championship by invoking the tradition of “cutting down the nets”.

Cutting the nets is an act done after the game for the championship is won and the trophy is handed out.  It involves all the team players taking turns snipping the strings of the netting until the coach makes the final cut.   It’s a powerful symbol of the accomplishment just achieved.

I find myself also thinking of this when I look at the battle against wind turbines and their placement here in Ontario and around the world.  Let’s face it.  We’re still the underdogs and facing some very dark forces.  Problem is, wind warriors around the world have to confront these forces at varying degrees of the implementation of this despicable agenda.  It’s not easy to feel upbeat about the battle all the time.

There’s the shock of learning that turbines are coming to an area.  There’s the fight trying to prevent their approval.  There’s the sickening feeling watching them go up.  Finally there’s the despair of watching the beginning of their onslaught on the environment and on human health.  On top of all of this, you are fully aware that the formidable forces against you include your own government and their various agencies who are supposed to put your welfare ahead of wind lobbyists and the wind industry.

It’s times like this, I like to think about what would be my version of ‘cutting down the nets’. I like to visualize sitting on the beach here in Port Elgin with a cigar and a glass of really good single malt Scotch.  Could be difficult though here in Premier Stepmom’s Ontario.  More probable is to spring for one hell of a party with lots of fireworks.  Though I like quiet celebration, I think it is obligatory to have a very overt celebration as well.  It would illustrate the importance of the fight as well as the victory.   Those dark forces must have it known to them that they’ve been defeated.  If that means cutting down the nets, spiking the ball, rubbing it in their faces, etc., so be it. My hope is it will sink into the scarred brains of these dark forces.

What’s important is to make sure we complete the job before we celebrate.  The Southgate wind facility cancellation this week, or if the Conservatives form the next government, while reasons to be optimistic, does not mean the battle has been won.  It may seem that the tide has turned and maybe it has to some slight degree, but there’s a long way to go.  When the time comes and we think we’ve won, like forest fires, there’s always some hot spots that need to be attended to and extinguished.

We’ll want many “heads on a spike”… people like Dalton Mcguinty; Kathleen Wynne, George Smitherman; Bob Chiarelli, Chris Bentley (all members of the LPO);   Dr. Arlene King, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health; Doris Dumais; the MOE; the CAW leaders; Gideon Foreman of CAPE; Dr. David Colby … the list is too great to go on, but we know who they all are.  People who knowingly brought harm to the very residents they are sworn to protect.  People who will claim they were ‘just following orders’.  That excuse doesn’t let war criminals off the hook and it won’t hold with us.  We’ll want their jobs and in some cases, criminal charges filed.  No amber left burning.

So, until then, even during the darkest moments, think about what will be your version of cutting down the nets.  It will help us to continue on, because as wind warriors, we know we will never give up.  Not ever.

We’ve seen some victories, albeit small, but battles won nonetheless.  We must keep our eyes on the prize and the eventual dream of ‘cutting down the nets’.

South Carolina Gamecocks v Florida Gators

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2 Comments on ““Cutting Down the Nets” of the Wind Industry”

  1. Alfred Alexander April 6, 2014 at 10:11 pm #

    Thank you!

  2. BIX April 8, 2014 at 1:09 pm #


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