I would prefer not to have Scarborough Bluffs used as an experiment to see if it really is true that sound carries easier over water than land. Physics 101 ought to have taught Toronto Hydro that bit of trivia. Digging deep into my memory of earlier physics courses, I vaguely remembered a study showing the effects of sound on sand. Here is an interesting experiment, you might want to think about before giving Toronto Hydro 'carte blanche' over our Bluffs and waterfront. It doesn't directly answer our questions but it should be enough to convince you, strict environmental assessments must be done by a third party. Toronto Hydro, has to date, only convinced me that they can not be trusted with our future in their self assigned role of power generation.
If it wasn't for the dreadfully poor record some of our politicians have had in the past of providing full disclosure, and the countless examples of the private sector bilking consumers of our hard earned income or destroying
"The Commons" for profit, I wouldn't be spending every free moment searching the internet trying to discern the truth in the plethora of articles available. My first objective, like many other Guildwood residents, when hearing of the planned anemometer, was to find out if it was necessary to sacrifice our peaceful setting of the Scarborough Bluffs. Throughout the myriad of opposition to the wind plants, I almost never found a single piece of supporting evidence to contradict the positions being put forward. I DID find an awful lot of ignorance, name calling and empty platitudes.
If you can provide evidence of any incorrect data found on this website or any of the attached links, please use the contact form and I will look into it. If you can prove your hypotheses satisfactorily, I will gladly remove the offending statement or link.
SaveTheBluffs.ca Website System Administrator
The following article is from 2001. I am giving it such a high profile position on the Save The Bluffs website because of the many comments I have received saying that - 'you don't hear them complaining in Denmark or Germany'. Well, as a matter of fact yes you do, - if you are willing to hear/read/search out the information.
PROFIT FOR NOTHING — And a loss for you all. - by Lotta Nilsson
Wind turbines produce nothing but a nightmare for neighbourhoods: conflicts between former friends and within families, stress and ill health. The reason? Profit for nothing. In Sweden, Denmark and Germany the situation seems to be the same. When residents try to protect themselves, their homes and the landscape, they have not only the wind company to fight but also the environmental movement and the government. This is a stressful and horrible situation for those who try to stop the violation of the quiet countryside, especially since many of them are true friends of environmental issues but do not think that it is necessary to put wind turbines, the size of Big Ben, a few hundred metres from people’s homes. Soon those who try to learn something about wind turbines also find out that it is not only a threat to the environment but also completely meaningless to put them up. This is because wind turbines rely on something as unreliable as the wind. The turbines only produce electricity in certain wind conditions (not all of the time or not always when they are rotating). Over a year, the turbine produces about 25% of the installed effect. This means that you have to have some other reliable power station ready to use all of the time. Then you might just as well use only that source instead of destroying people’s health, birds and the landscape.
I am an ordinary person who used to love the wind, rainy storms or breeze and enjoy the silent evenings in my garden and the early morning birds outside my window. Today I literally panic when I listen to a weather report, and my body starts to “run away”. I can never listen to the silence or hear the birds or look out over a stormy landscape in peace. Last easter the only way for me and my neighbours to be out in our gardens (beautiful weather, hardly any wind on the ground but wind 70 m above the ground) without having to listen to the horrible noise from the wind turbine was to let our oldest grass cutting machine run.
I left my home because of a wind turbine placed 650 m from my house. One day in November 1998 mine and my neighbours’ lives changed dramatically. The wind turbine, totally about 90 m high started to rotate for the first time. The noise is a torture. After one year I understood that we would not get any help and that no one can or will measure the sound level and so I decided to move. I could not cope with the noise. Others are having troubles with low-frequency noise or a very high tone. Hundreds of families in my small, formerly beautiful community on the west coast of Sweden are suffering enormously. Even people who “sold” their land to wind companies or bought shares regret their action. We can not be out in our gardens, we can not sleep with an open window and many people have the noise indoors as well as outdoors. Some of us want to give up and sell our homes — but who wants to buy? I have been trying to sell my house, and market values are dropping in Sweden in wind turbine areas. Another problem are the shadows which make people and animals crazy. You can not prevent the shadows from getting in to the house unless you put “masonite” over the windows. So, if your community now is being “attacked” by these companies — stick together and say no. Otherwise you will be in our situation before you know it. Help each other: politicians, landowners and citizens.
Do not let them ruin your countryside. >more... >Government disregard for wind turbine noise and health problems
Reaction to Jan. 20 Toronto Hydro Anemometer Meeting in Guildwood
- by John Laforet
The answer to every question relating to what would constitute a viable project or requests for information about the wind turbine at the EX or the Pickering turbine were met with responses along the lines of ‘that information is commercially sensitive’. Read: so bad, we don’t want to go there. Although if we’re talking about bird deaths, Toronto Hydro can go there to defend turbines. They can also be used to cite experience with these types of projects. When asked if the data they plan on collecting would be publicly available, the answer was no. Because it is commercially sensitive. How you ask? Well that is a good question. Considering Toronto Hydro has already leased the lake bed they plan to put the industrial wind turbine station on, and only they can use their data for financing or throw up these turbines on that site. ...more
Jack Simpson - Cover Your Eyes "commercially sensitive" information about to be disclosed
- by John Laforet
The 2007 Toronto Hydro Financial Statement states: "TH Energy/WindShare wind turbine at Exhibition Place has produced approximately 4 million kWh of green energy since 2003". Sounds impressive right? Sure, except that capacity over those same
four five years was 26.3 32.9 million kWh hours (750KWh x 24 hours per day x 365 days per year x four 5 = total four year capacity), meaning the TH Energy/WindShare wind turbine (a project Joyce McLean was instrumental in and appears immensely proud of) has a four year average operating output that represents 15% 12% capacity. That output number is the one Simpson refused to disclose and said was ‘commercially sensitive’. A little math makes it clear it was closer to being ‘commercially humiliating’ than it was to being ‘commerically sensitive’. It appears the Toronto Hydro wind turbine that is literally right on shore is in fact worse (I didn’t even think this could be possible) than the Pickering Wind Generating Station on the other side of Toronto. ...more
John Laforet hits the mark almost every time with his excellent take on issues affecting Guildwood.
Please bookmark his Blog to visit every day - I'm going to!
Zero manufacturing jobs will be created in Ontario by wind turbines. There are no wind turbine building facilities in Ontario. There isn’t even a foreign owned branch plant in Ontario. This would require turbines to be purchased overseas and brought to Toronto by freighter, providing little help to Ontario workers who’ve lost high paying manufacturing jobs in Ontario. I highly doubt 8000 moving parts made somewhere else will have any economic benefit for anyone on this side of the pond.
Message from the System Administrator
What's wrong with this picture? Most of us don't want to burden the next generation with a mountain of debt or a sea of pollutants. Yet we are all shareholders by means of consumerism of the corporations and governments that resort to tactics that deteriorate the level of participation to an environment where only the powerful succeed.
This is a time for rational minds to come together and explore affordable solutions for global problems. Let's raise the bar to a level of meaningful dialogue.
All dialogue is constructive when all parties have an open mind and all are focused on the greater good. Not one contribution is meaningless. Let's all take responsibility for questioning the costs and benefits, not only of this wind project but in all aspects of our life.
A few points to consider are:
- Ontario is paying $0.42 per kilowatt to buy solar power and $0.11 to buy wind power from producers. Presently we are paying as low as $.05 per kw for home consumption. Who's making up the difference?
- To rush in to installing wind power everywhere and anywhere so we can make a 'feel good green contribution', without proper environmental assessments makes no sense whatsoever, except perhaps to the recipients of the huge subsidies being handed out by our governments.
- Prime agricultural land is being set aside for wind development.
Wind companies boast a) of the small footprint - not if you consider the roadways required,
and b) growers are still able to farm around them - in fact fields are often broken up into small unworkable sections.
There is a battle being waged between corporate and community interests, pitting 'the I'm green friendly' against those perceived to be 'not green friendly'. They must not be green friendly if they are against windmills...right? Folks, Green friendly DOES NOT EQUAL Industrial Wind Turbines placed irresponsibly.
I am not against windmill farms. I am against the present generation wind solution being pushed on us by Toronto Hydro. I am not saying I will never support a wind farm off our shores, I am saying this project doesn't provide a rate of return that justifies the sacrifice.
Ask us to sacrifice this view for a real solution and I will answer, I don't want to give it up, but if it's for the greater good, WE MUST!! That's not what we're being asked to do. We're being asked to give up our peaceful setting for what equates to a 'spit in the wind'. The contribution we are being asked to make is out of proportion with the good that can come from it.
If Toronto Hydro and the City of Toronto is making an error in judgment, which I strongly believe they are, given all the documentation I have read, we and our future generations, will be the ones left to lick our wounds while we are left to witness the monuments to our loss of innocence.
Let's all question this project. Let's all do the research. Maybe then we'll get the solution that really is for the greater good!!
Many of you have sent comments that I don't have time to respond to. The Save the Bluffs committee is not affiliated with this website. They operate from www.savethetorontobluffs.com . If you have ideas for improvements or solutions, keep them coming - be sure to forward them to your politicians, the media, environmentalists and keep the dialogue alive.
SaveTheBluffs.ca Website System Administrator