Rural Ontario tormented by wind developers

NoMore WT RefugeesLondon Free Press
You just missed it; you’re five minutes late”.

I had just got out of the car and hurried over to the nearest person standing along the gravel roadside, anxiously asking what had happened.

Looking a mile across the snow drifted field we could see the dismembered cottonwood tree, and vaguely, a branch hanging in the air with what appeared to be the bald eagle nest embedded in it. Dammit, we had driven two hours to get to the site, hoping we had a chance of arriving before they went too far with the chainsaw, but pessimistically prepared our thoughts for being too late.

“It could be ugly by the time we get there…”, I had surmised over my shoulder to Muriel, who was riding in the back as my dad made tracks down to Haldimand County that early January morning.

The police had blocked the road leading to the tree and the nest, informing locals they would be charged with trespassing if they drove in, so onlookers had watched the limb come loose from the road.

It was at this time, I had to stop and think – the eagle nest was gone, there was nothing we could do to put it back in place, yes, much like death. The home that they had chosen to raise their young had been destroyed, “for their own safety”, the wind company NextEra and Ministry of Natural Resources said.

I think of people who have suffered the same fate in rural Ontario: Barb, Stephana, Glen, Sandy, Tracy, Aaron, Kay, Lisa, Ernie, Ted, Roger, Larry, Bert, Helen, Ross, Darlene, Paul, Nikki – more than I can list, and their families. They have been forced out of their homes, their habitat, by wind turbines being pushed up too close. Many are still trying to escape, but unable to do so, due to finances and unsellability of their homes.

The last few years wind developers have, and continue, to advance into our communities- clearing out all pieces that do not fit with their planned projects. A pair of eagles nesting 20 metres from the proposed turbines blade sweep does not fit with their plan. The tree the nest was in did not fit either- it was smack dab in the middle of where the access road was to be bulldozed through. People who live close to turbines should not be there either, especially if they are prone to illness brought on, or aggravated, by the vibration, noise and flicker from their machines. They must go too. You start to view it as The Rural Ontario Clearances.

In a land where we usually work with very few ‘figures’, mostly moving with the seasons, the rise and fall of the sun, the rain, the drought, we now find ourselves being given ‘receptor numbers’, and ‘minimal setbacks’, and are expected to welcome these machines into our community, for ‘species benefit’. The MNR and Nextera will argue the eagle nest removal was necessary for ‘species benefit’ too – yes the eagles should move aside and let this Florida based industry come in – they are here to save us, if they don’t maim, harm, harass or destroy us first.

We have several ‘receptor numbers’ for our home due to the number of projects nearby; my kids school has many too. It’s not a privilege to have a number, it’s a sentence.

With this number you may or may not be told how much of an audible noise increase you will now be subject to. You will not be told about the vibrations and the low frequency noise. In most cases you won’t be told about the amount of shadow flicker you will now have to tolerate – this is the flashing produced when the turbine blade passes in front of the sun, subjecting your home to the same sensation of having your kid flick the light switch on and off, for half an hour or so, every morning/evening as the sun rises and sets. You will not be told about the stray current and dirty electricity, the electrical surges – when you inquire about these issues, the wind company will tell you that it is the outdated electrical system’s fault, and the wind turbines are only merely amplifying the problems.

Perhaps the eagle nest should have had a number as well – a receptor it was to be of the noise, blade sweep, vibration and flicker. But it would be pointless- the number wouldn’t have saved the nest. It wouldn’t have given the eagle a voice, or protection- anyone living in a wind project could tell you that.

Numbers and permits only make the destruction by these companies legal, that is all.

The MNR gave Nextera the permit to remove this bald eagle’s nest.

Now we have to ask, who gave Nextera and all other wind companies the right to remove us from our homes?

Esther Wrightman, Kerwood


Posted on January 28, 2013, in Ethics, Government, Green Energy Act, Health, London Free Press, Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Natural Resources, Next Era. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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