20 cures for Ontario’s green energy disaster
Originally published in the Toronto Sun on June 14, 2016 by Jim McPherson.
The Ontario government has massively subsidized with our money the creation of wind and solar factories across the province that are unhealthy and unsafe, both for human beings and the wildlife we claim to care about.
Wind factories are unsafe because they make many of their human neighbours sick.
They are proven killers of birds, bats and other wildlife.
Wind turbine noise causes community annoyance, as determined by a 2014 Health Canada study that was denied scientific peer review.
Health Canada has set no standards for potentially harmful acoustic radiations from industrial wind turbines, the largest radiating devices in rural communities.
An Ontario Environmental Review Tribunal confirmed last week that a wind turbine project would cause serious and irreversible harm to endangered Blanding’s turtles in Prince Edward County.
Wind and solar factories are inappropriate, giant megastructures that have been imposed on rural municipalities across Ontario, whose power to influence such decisions was taken away by the Green Energy Act of 2009.
The Ontario Society of Professional Engineers reports wind and solar farms do not reduce greenhouse gases. But they do reduce property values.
They threaten tourism-based economies, raise electricity prices and expropriate democracy.
Concerned citizens have suggested at least 20 answers to these problems:
1. Repeal the Green Energy Act.
2. Cancel planned cap-and-trade partnerships, which are cap-in-hand begging appeals by government to major emitters.
3. Replace Feed-In-Tariff (FIT) contracts with taxation of carbon emitters.
4. Develop incentives, not laws, to encourage less fossil fuel use for transportation and home heating.
5. Rely on nuclear and hydroelectric power: reliable, emission-free and affordable.
6. Invest in energy storage research to enable future use of unreliable wind and solar power.
7. Make interest-free financing available to homeowners who invest in small, renewable energy generators supplying home and grid.
8. Provide more public transport in cities and small towns.
9. Provide free power from existing wind and solar farms, through home-based switches controlled remotely by electricity providers. Inherently-fluctuating “nuisance” electricity could charge electric vehicles, supplement home furnaces and supply applications not requiring immediate power.
10. Independently explore whether more regional dams could provide more affordable electricity than less reliable wind and solar farms.
11. Investigate whether more water can be diverted to hydro facilities at Niagara (requires U.S. agreement).
12. Legislate against placing solar or wind factories in municipalities without local approval.
13. Processes leading to Renewable Energy Approvals (REAs) must be transparent, open to real public input.
14. Abolish government-appointed Environmental Review Tribunals and substitute appeals only to our courts.
15. Abolish the right of wind and solar power to be “first to the grid”. In case of oversupply, shut down wind and solar before more reliable nuclear, hydro or natural gas power.
16. Remove rights assumed by wind and solar proponents to local roads and require them to negotiate with municipalities.
17. Require proponents to provide security up front for any damages caused by their projects, and for the eventual removal of installations.
18. Consider making uninhabited Northern Ontario Crown land available for future wind and solar projects.
19. All future green energy initiatives should be primarily private efforts. Stop the top-down manipulation by misguided government bureaucrats.
20. Turbine setbacks from housing should be 10 times turbine height as recently legislated in Poland, and turbines should be kept out of environmentally sensitive areas.
Let’s make green energy safe and appropriate.