It is no secret that the Parry Sound region is home to some of the windiest places in Ontario.
Preparations are already underway to erect a number of wind farms in the area, including one locally on Parry Island. The Ontario Power Authority has also recently commissioned a study suggesting that the 30,000 Islands are a prime location for Commercial Offshore Wind Farms.
In today’s day and age we are all concerned about climate change, carbon emissions and anything we can do help save the planet. That’s why for most of us, putting up wind farms sounds like a no brainer.
They are powered by nice clean air, with no emissions, no negative impact on the environment, and are an economic boost for the region. In short they’re big, it’s windy and therefore they must do a lot of good!
The sad truth is that the benefit of commercial wind turbines is one of the most controversial topics in environmental circles today. One of the major problems is the unpredictable nature of wind. A recent article in the Globe and Mail Wind turbine marketers are full of hot air, printed July 11, outlined the troubles Denmark has been having with its wind industry. Denmark generates more wind power per capita than any country in the world.
The Danes have found that their coal-fired generators still need to run on standby, ready to take over whenever the wind stops blowing. Wind power is expensive and hasn’t led to the shutting down of one coal fired plant.
The article further suggests that inadvertently Denmark’s wind turbines may have actually increased that countries carbon emissions.
Another issue is the devastating impact that wind farms can have on tourism and other local industries.
Parry Sound is one of Ontario’s top tourist destinations. Vacationers flock here from all over the world, in awe of the region’s natural beauty and heritage.
The United Nations has given the area special UNESCO status in recognition of its ecology and breath taking scenery. Even the popularity of the Group of Seven’s work is further proof that the 30,000 Islands are a national treasure. Wind farms threaten to change everything.
Profits from commercial wind farms are heavily subsidized by the government and pale in comparison to those brought in by tourism.
Make no mistake, wind farms are big money for the corporations that build them. As usual it is the working people who will suffer if this initiative goes ahead.
Are they really worth jeopardizing our economic viability and way of life?
seasonal Parry Sound resident
18 July 2008
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