I want to follow up on the presentation I gave at the Harriston meeting of August 16/14. I will illustrate the ultimate goal of TNT and how it can be implemented anywhere IWT’s are an issue. I view it as another front in the battle against this unnecessary policy.
During the course of the continued placement of IWT’s many stories crop up in the media and the comment sections are flush with arguments from both sides. I, for one, along with Laura and many others do battle with uninformed people who for the most part assume that IWT’s are a pathway to saving the planet, replacing coal plants and reducing CO2 emissions. We also participate in protests, mustering up a few hundred and hoping to be heard. Those who would call us “against the environment” continually ask for us to provide an alternative even though they can’t make the case for IWT’s themselves.
What is common amongst IWT proponents is their belief that excess CO2 is an existential threat to humanity and the planet. What I have found is that it’s too time consuming to argue this point and choose to challenge those who believe that IWT’s provide the best option to reduce CO2 emissions and provide a better option.
Up until now, the wind industry has occupied an undeserved pedestal of moral authority. They have, through good PR, been able to claim this high ground and have defended it well. I feel the goal is to knock them off that position and expose them for what we know them to be. This “high ground” is their oxygen. It makes them look good and for now, that’s most important to them.
So how to do that.
With some digging and thought, I’ve come up with “Trees Not Turbines- Join The Real Green Movement”.
With facts, we can show that trees do a better job mitigating CO2 than do IWT’s. In fact, trees are multi-taskers that provide so many more benefits than IWT’s ever could. Here are some examples how trees are superior to turbines;
1) Trees absorb CO2 and release O2. An acre ( .405 hectares) of trees will absorb enough CO2 to offset a city driven car for a year, while producing enough O2 for 18 people per day. IWT’s can do neither.
2) IWT’s have a large initial carbon footprint before becoming operable. Trees start their work right away with no initial carbon footprint.
3) IWT’s have within their components, many detrimental compounds detrimental to the environment. Turbine blades contain bisphenol A, a known carcinogen and the hubs contain gear oil that has high levels of mercury. Trees, of course, are without these issues.
4) Trees are superior to IWT’s when it comes to preventing erosion, providing shade, providing habitat for birds and attracting many other forms of wildlife. IWT’s in fact enhance erosion, kill bats and birds and provide no attraction to wildlife.
5) IWT’s are infinitely more costly than trees, trees require no electricity to operate and are for the most part, maintenance free. Trees have proven to enhance property values and provide years of enjoyment no matter if you live in a rural or urban environment.
6) IWT’s require to work in tandem with other power generators. While we’ve essentially eliminated coal as a source of generation, gas plants have come on line to replace coal and to act to back-up wind generation. In order to do this, gas plants run in the most inefficient way possible and in the final tally don’t substantially reduce emissions at all. Trees of course require no gas plant backup and can help reduce heating and cooling costs.
Now for the implementation of this strategy.
Over the years, I’ve seen how difficult it is to mobilize our forces in meaningful numbers to protest. What I propose is to assemble a “kit” available for, and tailored to wind groups to be able to enact within short notice and with just a few people required. The only constant is to have this banner or sign present to show that our message is wide spread;
After this, other signs and banners could be used depending on the area’s current situation.
The other constant is to have small seedling trees available for sale or depending on resources given away. Check local nurseries for availability. In Ontario for example, the provincial tree is the White Pine. A nursery close by to me was able to provide 500 and we put them in biodegradeable pots for immediate planting. The social media opportunities of showing people with seedling trees is immense. Try planting an IWT.
With this “kit”, keep tabs on Wind Industry sponsored events and set up a booth nearby. Farmers Market canopies also work well as a way to affix signage drawing people in. Fall Fair season is upon us providing another opportunity to get the message out. When confronted by proponents of IWT’s and asked why you oppose them, put them back on their heels by saying;
“I oppose IWT’s because I’m not an anti-environmentalist like you are.”
Then you can list all the environmental damages IWT’s inflict. We know what they are. Right after that you can challenge them on the fact that if they believe that excess CO2 is a threat, why do they support IWT’s and not a program of tree planting with it’s inheirent environmental superiority?
Lastly, there’s the concept of “CIPK”. This refers to “Carbon Intensity Per Kilowatt”. This is a measure of how much CO2 the sum of the grid generators are producing. In Ontario, even without wind, CIPK is considered low. Denmark with it’s much higher percentage of installed wind has a CIPK that is on average 3-4 times that of Ontario. So why would we be installing more IWT’s when around the world, including Germany, CIPK rises with more installed wind capacity? There are websites that chronicle each jurisdictions CIPK values.
For Ontario, the final nail for the continual installation of IWT’s is the generator availability. For the most part, it exceeds the highest peak demand ever by a couple thousand mega-watts. If we have all this availability, why do we need more generation, especially in the form of IWT’s? A white board present at your display, showing real time values,can illustrate this fact.
This in my mind will knock Big Wind off it’s undeserved moral high ground, changing the publics opinion of IWT’s, and convincing politicians, who would still cling to IWT’s as a solution, to think otherwise.