Upon hearing about the risks of the high voltage power lines and windmills coming near our homes, many of us residents have a lot of fears and concerns. But can you blame us?
Hindsight is 20-20. Many decisions in the past were made with the best of knowledge and intentions, yet many we now know were incorrect. For example, approximately 15-20 years ago you could smoke cigarettes anywhere you wanted to. You may have known you were harming yourself, but didn’t know the effects of second hand smoke.
Nowadays, with new knowledge, government has made new laws prohibiting smoking in public buildings and will introduce legislation against smoking in your vehicle with young children present. Had we known what we now know, much sickness may have been avoided.
For the landowners who have leased their land, it’s difficult to argue that they have the right to put windmills on their land. They own it and have paid their taxes. However, do landowners have the right to potentially cause harm or nuisance to their neighbours? Windmills do not make good neighbours! Are we willing to wait to take action against these windmills and high voltage lines 20 years down the road when we find out it is too late? Many parents who exposed their children to harmful cigarette smoke wish they had known the consequences of their actions?
When I look around my home, I see many young children playing. I wonder, in 10-20 years will they be young adults coping with cancerous growth cells in their bodies. Why sit back with the wait and see approach? Once again hindsight is 20-20.
For those of you who do not know; Electric Magnetic Fields(EMFs) is radiation that is transmitted off the power lines. One can find scientific research that proves there is no immediate danger to our health from the EMFs being transmitted from low frequency transmissions. We, however, are not dealing with low frequency transmissions. Most of the studies that have been conducted do with low frequency levels of radiation.
EMF Solutions Canada says; “The new scientific evidence linking EMF’s to many adverse health conditions and diseases is very compelling. Countries like Sweden and Germany among others, have recently taken steps to protect their citizens from harmful EMF’s as a significant portion of the population in these countries is now displaying adverse health symptoms related to EMF exposure.” The steady exposure to EMF energy has been linked to many health problems such as, sleep disorders, muscle and joint pain, depression, dizziness, headaches, ringing in the ears, and many more (http://www.emfsolutions.ca/). Also, high exposure has been linked to chronic diseases like Alzheimer’s disease, tinnitus, diabetes, and childhood cancers.
Until we get a clearer picture of risks of the high voltage EMFs, we should not take the chance in running these lines by our homes. Governments need to step in and make legislation to protect everyone.
Everyone knows that renewable energy is crucial and that technology is important to sustain the demands from our growing populations. However, what price do we have to pay? Why should we have to give up our beautiful island as an experimental ground for windmills?
We do not have the land capacity to support these huge wind farms. This proposal has two sides, so why not take the safe side? The side we know for sure can ensure the preservation of our landscape, nature and most importantly the health and safety of our people.
If windmills must be put on our island all measures should be taken to make sure our health will not be put at risk now, or ever. Let’s face it, the wind blows everywhere. Find another area to turn into an industrial park of metal, noise and unsightliness.
I encourage local residents to do some research and look on the Internet. Read about the effects of windmills, see videos and hear personal accounts of people already affected. Check www.wind-watch.org/ and decide if this is what you want for PEI, your community, and better yet, your backyard?
If we go ahead with this project what will be next? How can we sit back and let large corporations take over our landscape? This is affecting our whole island, and it is dividing our tight-knit community. We need to think about our family, friends, loved ones and most of all our little children who cannot speak for themselves. Think of the future generations that will have to deal with the aftermath of this, especially if this turns out to be a bad decision. Hind sight won’t mean much then, will it?
Concerned Citizens of Palmer Road
Josie Gaudet and Jessica Ellsworth
4 June 2008