Cohocton Wind Watch: Wind farm worries must be addressed, not dismissed
Cohocton Wind Watch is a community citizen organization dedicated to preserve the public safety, property values, economic viability, environmental integrity and quality of life in Cohocton, NY and in surrounding townships. Neighbors committed to public service in order to achieve a reasonable vision for a Finger Lakes region worthy of future generations.


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Saturday, September 05, 2009

Wind farm worries must be addressed, not dismissed

It's really quite easy to dismiss opponents of wind farms as suffering more from the "not-in-my-backyard" (NIMBY) syndrome than any particular health problem.

Wind farms are the cleanest form of energy we have, consuming no fuel and emitting no pollution. They are one part of the solution to wean the world off fossil fuels.

And they are being built as quickly as the turbines can roll off the assembly lines, especially in Southwestern Ontario where the wind coming off the Great Lakes and the relatively flat landscape provide optimal conditions.

But for the Ontario government to dismiss what appears to be growing concern about potential health problems generated by wind farms is folly, reeking more of political desperation than science.

On the surface, the fact there have been no full-blown environmental studies on any of the 31 projects approved in the last four years should not be a surprise. Wind turbines are not new technology. They've been operating around the world for decades. How many studies do we need?

In recent years, however, there is growing concern and anecdotal evidence that the turbines may, in fact, be causing health problems for people living nearby, including sleep problems, headaches and heart palpitations, which some health experts suspect may be caused by the ever-present low frequency noise and vibration from the rotating blades.

Not unlike many new technologies, it can sometimes take time for problems to surface, for connections to be made linking the technology to the problems. Look no further than pesticides such as DDT and its impact on wildlife, such as bald eagles.

As history has shown, business has little interest in uncovering the negative impacts of its products or technologies, especially when they're dealing with a government desperate to find solutions to a growing shortage of electricity, growing public concern about global warming and an economy searching for new industries unrelated to the automobile.

It would be folly for the province not to listen to the concerns about wind farms and consider taking some action such as a major health study.

To ignore it only to later discover there are serious issues could deliver a serious blow to an industry this world desperately needs to succeed.

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Risks of Industrial Wind Turbines is a group of citizens and organizations dedicated to preserve the public safety, property values, economic viability, environmental integrity and quality of life of residents and future generations.

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