The case against industrial wind turbines:
1) Industrial Wind Turbines Have Minimal Impact on Carbon Emissions
2) Industrial Wind Turbines Are Uneconomic
3) Industrial Wind Turbines Cause Insufficiently Researched Health Effects
4) Industrial Wind Turbines Have Adverse Effects on Adjacent Property Values
‘Even if one thinks (contrary to my views), that wind turbines are a good idea environmentally and economically, there is a simple solution to the impact on rural residents, who are being conscripted to bear most of the burden of solving a problem they mostly did not create. Ensure that set-backs from residences conform to international standards as endorsed by renowned medical and scientific bodies that have closely examined the health and environmental risks. The French Academy of Medicine recommends 1.5 km, pending further research on health effects of persistent exposure to low-intensity noise. Alternatively, the government could concentrate wind farms in more remote or sparsely populated areas, as has been done in Quebec and much of Europe. These measures would also minimize negative impacts on property values. But these are modest palliatives to the fundamental policy flaws in Bill 150 and do not address industrial wind power’s failure to reduce significantly carbon emissions and its exorbitant cost to taxpayers and consumers. …
‘This unholy alliance of these two kinds of greens (doomsdayers and rent seekers) – a classic Baptist-Bootlegger coalition, harking back to the Prohibition era – makes for very effective, if opportunistic, politics (as reflected in the Ontario government’s Green Energy Act), just as it makes for lousy public policy: politicians attempt to pick winners at our expense in a fast-moving technological landscape, instead of creating a socially efficient set of incentives to which we can all respond. ‘
Michael J. Trebilcock
Professor Law and Economics
University of Toronto, Faculty of Law
April 7, 2009
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