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Wind critic resents being characterized as lacking green ethic  

Credit:  The Manitoulin Expositor, www.manitoulin.ca 15 December 2010 ~~

Northland Power Inc. (NPI) is an entirely off-Island company looking to build an industrial wind farm in our community, solely for profit. They, along with the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) have been promoting the wind industry to Island residents using various means. Much of their propaganda has included very misleading information, and much of their activity in our community has been conducted very secretively. I suppose it is entirely acceptable for a business to protect its interests using any means necessary. What, in my opinion, is unacceptable is for NPI (in a November 17 letter to the editor of this publication) to suggest that anyone opposing the McLean’s Mountain Wind Farm is a selfish individual lacking an environmental conscience and unable to differentiate between fact and propaganda.

NPI continues to attempt to claim the moral high ground in this debate by suggesting that their wind farm is an environmentally friendly alternative to using fossil fuels for producing power. While there is no evidence to support this claim, many people continue to accept it, or at least not take exception to it. Troublesome as this is, it is only bordering on unethical. However, to accuse concerned citizens of being selfish for not supporting NPI’s corporate interests is going too far.

Many opponents of the McLean’s Mountain Wind Farm are genuine environmentalists who are committed to directly reducing their impact on the environment. They have thoroughly informed themselves on the negative impacts that industrial wind farms have on communities, and are only trying to share this information with their neighbours. Some are people who are living off-grid or working towards living off-grid, who grow much of their own food, and who support a local economy. They have nothing to gain from stopping NPI’s project; they are only trying to protect the health, property rights, and heritage and culture of our Island.

Opponents of the wind farm realize that the wind will never blow on demand. Unless we develop new technologies for storing electricity, or begin to use electricity when the wind is blowing, wind will never be a practical energy source to make electricity for a provincial grid.

Opponents of the McLean’s Mountain Wind Farm will support alternative energy projects that have community as a focus, rather than community as an obstacle. They are also committed to reducing our energy consumption used for both electricity and transportation. They also realize that industrial wind farms are not a realistic solution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions; there are options. It is not wind farms or the end of the world.

It is understandable that the growing opposition to the McLean’s Mountain Wind Farm is frustrating NPI’s representatives. I would imagine that as they sat in their corporate offices planning this project years ago, that they never expected us to be intelligent and organized enough to form any sort of opposition. They terribly underestimated the people of our great Island. Now they know that we will not just roll over and be exploited by an off-Island corporation.

Nic Harfield

Manitoulin Island

Source:  The Manitoulin Expositor, www.manitoulin.ca 15 December 2010

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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