Here are a couple of letters I have sent to local Prince Edward County newspapers this Week. There were a few minor variations between each letter!
I attended the lively Wind Energy information meeting on Wednesday 20th August kindly hosted by Mayor Finnegan which he said will be the first of many. Can I use this well read newspaper to thank “Jim Vanden Hoek,”the Mayor of Frontenac Islands (including Wolfe Island) for painting such a contrasting picture between there and the successful agricultural and creative rural economy of PEC. Also thankyou for showing us the misty aerial pictures that made Wolfe Island look a somewhat bleak, desolate and baron place. I came away with the distinct impression that Hoek gave his support for enormous 2.3 MW wind-turbines because his local economy had nothing left, that the 8 jobs for the community the project would bring would not be at the risk of anything else – that for the 3000 or so summer residents it was just tough luck if they were affected. I cannot recall Hoek making any mention of Green intention or conscious.
If you love Prince Edward County , or to that end any unspoilt rural location because of the tranquility that can be found in scenes like these, photographed by myself a few days ago, then please feel uneasy. Within 18-months these views may have gone for the rest of our lives, and rural landscapes everywhere are under threat.
These images are all taken from a 50 m stretch of Bethel Road, just about 10 minutes drive from Picton or Bloomfield and illustrate the kind of landscape that will no longer be able to enjoyed for it’s peace and quiet because of the dramatic changes that will happen if the proposed industrial wind mine (farm) developments like the Byran Farm proposal by Skypower that will plant about 66 nearly 400′ high turbines over 12000 acres, including right here along Bethel Road.
In all honesty if the council use 40m setbacks as I was advised in a telephone call then just driving along these roads would present additional life threatening risk, especially in winter time when ice can be thrown off the blades at high speed towards the ground.
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m 100% behind renewable energy, conservation, putting back more than I take out. It’s just that you have to be careful that while looking for the “green” solution you don’t destroy the ability to renew your own human energy by destroying areas such as these that attract people to the countryside either to live or to visit.
Even the mist won’t hide the effects on the landscape, although with no wind thankfully you may still get some quiet!
If, like me, you do feel concerned about the inappropriate placement of industrial wind turbines the please leave me a comment, check out the questions I have, and / or write to as many people as possible and let then know what you think. Links to councillors, government and energy companies are now here!