Wind Power: Failing to “win hearts & minds” – or “when push comes to shove”

Wherever it tries to set up shop these days, the wind industry faces growing “community opposition”.

This “dreadful” phenomenon has arisen all over the world. Could the “soundtrack” to this video provide a clue, perhaps?

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Covered in this post – Cape Bridgewater locals have not only had to tolerate an endless barrage of turbine generated low-frequency noise and infra-sound since 2008 but, for the last 3 years, long-suffering neighbours have also had to put up with an excruciating “screech” emitted by Pac Hydro’s giant fans and heard in the video, which has become a periodic feature of daily life at Cape Bridgewater since 2011. There has been more than just a little “community opposition” to Pac Hydro and its non-compliant operations at Cape Bridgewater. Funny about that.

Although to term what’s happening in communities around the world mere “opposition” is to understate the sentiment that led somewhere between 7,000-10,000 Irish protestors to hit the streets of Dublin a couple of weeks ago – on the offensive against the great wind power fraud there (see our post here).

1397574371-dublin-thousands-gather-to-protest-against-pylons-and-wind-turbines_4479876

“Opposition” doesn’t explain 7,000 Irish protestors.

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And it was something more than mere “opposition” that caused a group of normally timid Taiwanese – out to prevent giant fans being lobbed into Yuanli Township, Miaoli County – to storm its Economic Ministry and stage a sit-in (see the story here). The crowd wasn’t large but they were, after all, taking their lives into their own hands – the last time this group protested about the project they were beaten to a pulp by a squad of the developer’s goons (see our post here).

Now that the wind industry and its parasites have been squarely rumbled on the fact that wind power represents the greatest economic and environmental fraud of all time, their “sell” has become a whole lot harder.

Communities in Australia, Europe and North America are getting organised and fighting back hard. It’s not just “opposition” it’s a form of “seething outrage”.

A while back we likened the response of affected and threatened communities in Australia to the wind industry’s “Vietnam” – where, like the United State’s military – its people “on the ground” failed to “win the hearts and minds” of locals (see our post here).

Ecofascist bloggers have now started claiming that it’s all the developers’ fault because they failed to put enough effort into “community consultations”. Apparently, all these angry people need is a little more “education”. They need to be “corrected” in their red-necked, climate-change-denying ways so they can see more clearly the “wonders” of wind power. If they did “opposition” to wind power would melt away like snow in springtime. Ah, Stalin would be proud.

All that it takes, apparently, are some “well-oiled” words of wisdom on the “wonders of wind” (provided, of course, by the Clean Energy Council) – a cup of tea and some lamingtons.

Fine in theory, but in practice “community consultation” – when run by a team of determined thugs, liars and bullies merely serves to galvanize the majority of any threatened community firmly against the developer and what it’s trying to “sell” (see our post here).

Holding “consultations” where prospective turbine hosts literally beat up their opposition (as happened at the meeting run by CERES on Yorke Peninsula, SA in January last year) to prevent the “correct message” being spoiled by pesky questions from people who get the fact that the whole thing is a fraud of the highest order could be just a little “counter-productive” to efforts to “win hearts and minds” (see our post here).

And when the developer gets one of its goons to try to and infiltrate their opposition prior to a planning panel meeting by lying to locals about his identity in a series of emails – as RATCH’s Nick Valentine did (aka “Frank Bestic”) – the developer has probably already lost the “game” (see our posts here and here and here).

lamingtons

Hey Frank, surely this will get ’em back on side!

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The communities set upon by the wind industry and its goons today aren’t the receptive audience they were even 12 months ago.

These people now have a keen and thorough understanding of the scale of the wind power fraud – both economic and environmental. They’re well aware that wind power can only ever be delivered at crazy, random intervals; that it disappears entirely from the grid hundreds of times each year; and, therefore, requires 100% of its capacity to be backed up 100% of the time from conventional generation sources.

And, they’re alive to the fact that when wind-watts go missing, power consumers (which they all are) foot the bill for the insane costs of running fast start-up peaking power plants, mostly Open Cycle Gas Turbines – which belt out of 3-4 times the CO2 per unit generated compared to coal/gas thermal and cost around $300 per MW/h to run (compared to $25 per MW/h for coal/thermal).

In Australia, they also understand that wind power generators secure guaranteed minimum payments from retailers with 15 year Power Purchase Agreements of between $90-120 per MW/h – which is 3-4 times the cost of power from conventional generators. They’re onto the workings of the mandatory Renewable Energy Target; and the fact that the Renewable Energy Certificates dished out under it have directed more than $8 billion from power consumers to wind power generators – with another $50 billion or so to head in the same direction over the next 17 years. And they haven’t missed the fact that this unprecedented stream of corporate welfare will be paid for by power consumers – killing (real) industries and punishing the families who can least afford it.

They’re also well aware that incessant turbine generated low-frequency noise and infra-sound will drive them nuts at night and result in sleep deprivation – and other associated adverse health impacts – and that, as a result, they may well have to abandon their homes – just like 40 other Australian families already have (see our post here).

So, when the wind industry goon – or one of its parasites – stands up at a “community consultation” and starts telling a community that it’s time to “take one for the planet” these people are entitled to be more than just a little sceptical about the spruiker’s story – and maybe, just maybe, a little hostile to fact that they’re being taken for fools.

But, these days, what incenses them most is that all of that insane cost – and all of that unnecessary suffering – is all for NOTHING – because, in the end result, wind power fails in it’s only purported justification: it cannot and will never reduce CO2 emissions in the electricity sector (see our posts here and here and here).

The Canadians are hip to the facts above and have mounted huge protests against the roll-out of giant fans in Ontario (see our post here).

In Ontario, thousands of individuals have taken up the cudgels, forming hundreds of groups and launching dozens of websites – no doubt spurred on by the thuggish treatment dished out by Nextera (aka Next-terror) to a diminutive young mother named Esther Wrightman (see our posts here and here).

Well, Next-terror – true to name and form – is at it again with its latest project causing the local community to fight back, with some of them taking matters into their own hands.

Wind farm approval sparks rage
petroliatopic.com
Lynda Hillman-Rapley, QMI Agency
21 April 2014

The recent green light given the Jericho Wind Project has some demonstrators seeing red.

What had been peaceful demonstrations has now turned to anger, vandalism and criminal charges since energy company Nextera received its approval recently to build a 92-turbine industrial wind farm in Lambton and Middlesex counties.

That OK may have prompted the graffiti splashed on Grand Bend Highway 21 businesses and the municipal sign April 18.

The entry sign north to the Caldwell Banking sign “Stop wind power” was clearly written in red paint. At the Ausable Inn, one car was splashed in red paint and the tires slashed.

When asked if she was aware of the damage in Grand Bend and if her group of protesters had any knowledge of who did the spray painting, Lambton Shores resident Laureen Maurizio replied the act was deplorable and destructive and there would be “hell to pay” if she found out it was one of their protesters.

“We are here to educate; not aggravate,” she said.

Fellow protester Bob Lewis said while they have always displayed peaceful demonstrations, he could see that changing and become aggressive or violent as people become more frustrated.

The OPP charged two protesters recently with assault and uttering threats following a March 18 meeting at South Huron council.

“This whole Green Energy Act is unconstitutional! It was done in a manner that prevented public input and impeded the democratic oath taken by government officials,” said Maurizio.

She has called on council to request the Ontario Ombudsman to launch a criminal investigation into the Ontario Ministry of Energy, Ontario Energy Board, Ontario Power Generation, Hydro One and the Ministry of Environment, as it relates to the Green Energy Act.

Bill Weber, mayor of the Municipality of Lambton Shores, told the QMI Agency “it’s disappointing that it would come to this in Lambton Shores.”

Even more frustrating for Weber is that the municipality – which includes Grand Bend – is one of nearly 100 unwilling host communities in Ontario.

The municipality has been fighting to keep turbines out of the community and stands largely on the same side as those in the anti-wind movement.

“Everyone understands the frustration that the anti-wind people have, that’s the frustration the municipality has with the Green Energy Act,” Weber said, adding he does not believe this destruction helps to further the protesters’ cause.

Provincial approval to build 92 new wind turbines near Grand Bend was handed down recently and although Grand Bend is not directly involved in the wind debate, yet, the businesses may have been targeted because they are close to homes and apartments being rented by wind company employees.

“The OPP understands this is a very sensitive issue in our communities. Bottom line is, it’s mischief, it’s against the law and we’re not going to tolerate this,” said Lambton County OPP Const. Chrystal Jones.

Weighing in on social media, one poster said “Shameful! This is not about wind power being a good or bad thing – this is about morons out vandalizing neigbourhoods!”

Another agreed, stating “Did they think this was going to change anything? What a bunch of fools!”

Ontario’s Ministry of the Environment has issued a Renewable Energy Approval (REA) for the company’s proposal to build a 150-megawatt wind farm spanning Lambton Shores, Warwick Township and North Middlesex.

Some final details still need to be worked out, but construction of the Jericho Wind Energy Centre is expected to begin as soon as possible, said Ben Greenhouse, director of development with Nextera Energy Canada.

The project has been in the works since 2008, he said, and was submitted for ministry approval 14 months ago.

“We’re excited,” he said, noting a laydown yard — headquarters for construction — will soon be built on Thomson Line, north of Jericho Road and south of Northville Road.

But not everyone is enthused about the approval.

Lambton Shores resident Marcelle Brooks, with the Middlesex-Lambton Wind Action Group, has been a vocal opponent of the project.

“It was just devastating that our voices simply aren’t being heard.”

Members of the Lakeshore Coalition met with the Middlesex-Lambton Wind Action Group to discuss what actions can be taken to appeal the decision.

“The fight isn’t over yet,” Brooks said. “The ministry’s working against us; we have industry working against us. But we’re fighting for our homes, for our communities.”
petroliatopic.com

While the spokespeople for the community groups quoted above are right to deplore the vandalism committed by a few hotheads, it won’t be the last time people from affected or threatened communities take the law into their own hands.

These people are, quite rightly, angry; and, funnily enough, angry people sometimes react angrily. When faced with institutional corruption and entrenched government-endorsed treachery, lies and deceit – the better angels of patience, reason and rationality can end up taking a backseat.

But, there have been more than a few occasions in human history where citizens have tossed patience and reason aside and risen against the tyranny of the state – and the powerful few that have benefited handsomely from that tyranny. And very few of those scores were settled over cups of tea and lamingtons.

storming_the_bastille1-e1318690559144

If only Marie Antoinette had told them to eat lamingtons, instead.

About stopthesethings

We are a group of citizens concerned about the rapid spread of industrial wind power generation installations across Australia.

Comments

  1. Keith Staff says:

    Please send this STT posting all politicians, agencies, the press and your local shire councils.
    Don’t just get angry, do something.
    We will prevail.
    Keith Staff.

  2. Jackie Rovenksy says:

    You cannot expect people to support this industry when they are treated with contempt.

    At Allendale, Acciona were asked at a community information event, if they would still go ahead if 100% of the local community said they did not want it – they answered – No, it’d make no difference to them.

    As we know, they did not go ahead because one man stood up to them and the local council by going to court to stop them – and it worked – they went away with their tails between their legs saying it was not economically viable to continue with it. If it wasn’t viable after being shot down by the ERD court and one man then it was not viable from the beginning, so why put everyone through the torment?

    This industry is a ‘chancer’ if it can get away with it, it will.

    The thing to do is to keep fighting it and going to and using available avenues to hinder and/or stop it.

  3. Terry Conn says:

    STT is correct to refer to ‘seething anger’ becoming the predominate feeling for many who oppose the development of windfarms and it is apparent from the comments made by ‘The Callous Wind’ on this post.

    I recently saw a copy of a letter from former NSW Planning Minister, Brad Hazzard, to fellow Minister for Agriculture, Katrina Hodgkinson, where he nonchalantly dismisses her concern for a constituent in respect to ‘property devaluation’ and cites a Valuer General’s report saying there is ‘no problem’. I am also aware that that report is widely criticised and hundreds of pages of well researched submissions have been lodged with The Planning Department pointing out the fallacy of his position. To the best of my knowledge no one who has ever sent in such a submission has ever received a reasoned response and so it is for many of the submissions on every topic heading for wind farms (from health to economics to impacts from intermittency of generation). Now, even fellow Ministers get the short thrift. Indeed, those in opposition do give up on writing to these people in power who continue to dismiss them, but the ‘resentment’ will just grow and grow. Someone in power who is foisting these useless monstrosities upon us needs to sit down with us over ‘tea and lammingtons’ and explain coherently why our arguments are so wrong or ultimately deal with some unsavoury consequences. Secondly, they need to acknowledge that people do suffer ‘impacts’ and that compensation is necessary. For planning authorities and ‘hosts’ of wind turbines to think the destruction of local communities can just go on and on throughout the world and pretend that the ‘resentment’ will just go away, as if ‘wind farms’ are just like ‘a new freeway’ is nonsense because they are just ‘too big, too noisy, too useless, too costly and over too big an area with too many consequences for too many people’ and can bring a once mighty nation to its knees. The recent US Energy Institute report on Germany is proof of this last point.

  4. Well said STT.

    While we do not condone violence or vandalism, I can see things like that happening here, if construction starts on Ceres,

    There has already been some pushing and shoving with one of the proponents, neighbours angry at their turbine host neighbours, for not showing them any consideration when signing up for turbines.

    You can not treat a Community with contempt, like they did at the meeting you mentioned and then construct an industrial power generating facility, that is going to impact on many people’s quality of life, reduce their property values, as well as interfere with their business operations and not expect tensions to rise.

    Many things in the way of reprisals, have been discussed in jest, already, but in situations like this, desperate people do desperate things.

    One particular blogger needs to tread very carefully as well, he continues to antagonise and denigrate members of our Community in his blog, on the internet, he needs to remember that he does not live very far away and he has publicly advertised his address. If I were him, I would take that blog down and move house, because if Ceres goes ahead, it could just come back and bite him in the arse, as they say, ‘karma can be a bitch!’

    I have never in my whole life time, seen anything like this, the stress, the tension, people avoiding each other, Communities divided, all caused by the wind industry.

    TCW.

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