A response from Sierra Club Canada
Re: "Wind turbine religion ignores rural people", Sept. 3
Although I was wearing my LL Bean pants when we saw an egret in the Ottawa River Friday, Mr. Den Tandt doesn't know much about me or electricity generation. Therefore, I would like to answer his question about what planet I'm on.
For starters, he misrepresented my comment on nuclear waste transport. If the decision to ship radioactive waste in the form of 100-tonne steam generators goes ahead, it will mean a fundamental change in nuclear waste policy in Canada. Instead of retaining the waste at reactor sites where it is created, it will be on the move around the province on trucks. Going from a handful of shipments to thousands clearly will increase the likelihood of an accident.
The word "efficiency" when used in relation to electricity production refers to the conversion of fuel to electricity. Coal-fired power plants, for example, turn about 20% of the energy in the burned coal into electricity -the rest is lost as waste heat. Turbines, on the other hand, are extremely efficient in turning wind energy into electricity. The challenge all renewable energy sources face is in terms of intermittent production. With wind, this can be solved by widely distributing power sources across the province.
On the question of local rights and whether municipalities have lost any rights, I merely pointed out quarries and mines have had very similar rights in Ontario for decades yet municipalities have not been passing resolutions calling for moratoriums on them. Why is that?
What kind of subsidies do you prefer? Paying a premium for electricity generated or guaranteeing a $250 million profit to a single private company? Wind generators must produce to be paid. Bruce Power has a guaranteed profit and that's on top of the $50 billion in federal subsidies to Atomic Energy Canada Limited and the $20 billion "stranded debt" we are paying off with our hydro bills.
When I started to hear stories of health problems associated with wind turbines, I didn't just accept what I was hearing. I looked into the complaints and the science. It turns out the science, both theoretical and observed, does not support the overblown complaints of the opponents of wind turbines. I learned something else in the process. When opponents of wind are confronted with the facts they turn to name calling and character assassination -anything to silence those who disagree.
Maybe I am on a different planet -mine is governed by facts and science, and not rumor and innuendo. I hope to pass it on to my grandson in better shape than I found it.
John Bennett, Executive Director
Sierra Club Canada
This letter also appeared in:
-- The Woodstock Sentinel-Review
-- The Collingwood Enterprise-Bulletin
-- The Sault Star
-- The Stratford Beacon-Herald
-- The Welland Tribune
-- The Niagara Falls Review
-- The Welland Tribune
-- The Lindsay Post
-- The Northumberland Today
-- The Kingston Whig-Standard
-- The Peterborough Examiner