August 5, 2011
Letters, Ontario

Poll cited in wind power POV fails to tell whole story 5 August 2011

This letter is response to John Kastner’s Aug. 3 Point of View column, Perth County Won’t Escape Opposition to Wind Turbines. The use of statistics quoted from the Ipsos-Reid poll that “89% support wind power, even when it is in or near their community,” is very misleading.

First, the poll was commissioned by the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA). The sampling included only 1,361 people which represents approximately 0.0001% of the population of Ontario. One could hardly consider this significant.

Second, the finding that people are still in favour of wind power, even if a turbine development is planned for their own community, is a bit of a stretch. The survey results show that four in 10 “are aware of wind energy developments (either proposed, in construction or already build [sic]) in your area.” BUT the majority of people surveyed are either “not very aware” or “not at all aware” of wind turbine developments in their area. More than half (or 56%), in fact, have no awareness of wind turbine developments in their area.

What does this high level of lack of awareness mean? That the people surveyed were not particularly well-informed.

This is even the case in regards to Sebringville. Festival Zorra Wind Farm has been on the OPA website for about two years, but how many people in that area knew of its existence?

Human nature has also shown time and time again that if something doesn’t impact you directly there is no real motivation to learn about it. This is also true with industrial wind turbine developments. Until a turbine development plan shows up near their homes, all they know is that the turbines are “clean” and “green” and without problems, which is not true (but that is another issue).

When the survey asked people to identify the chief problems with turbine developments, at the top of the list was “loud/noisy/noise pollution.” AND, when asked what the top benefits of wind energy are, the most often cited was “cheap/affordable/ cost saving,” which, as anyone who has read any articles about wind energy development knows, is not true. Just look at your current hydro bill!

The survey then mentions the BP oil spill which is both irrelevant and manipulative. Wind energy could never hope to replace oil as a source of energy in this country.

The Ipsos-Reid survey does shows one thing – how poorly informed the people of Ontario are about wind energy development.


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