Ackerman offers approximately $20 thousand lease money per year for 20 years to the County to get the turbines spinning
Thank you Mayor Ferguson and Councilors. My name is Jen Ackerman , and I am here to speak about the climate emergency, and to request a willing host declaration for wind farms in Prince Edward County. The outdated “unwilling host ” declaration needs to be revisited,since it was decided when the anti-wind people from South Marysburgh were fighting about the Gilead wind farm. This is no longer the situation as there are no turbines planned for that area by any wind company.
I am not one for talking in public, I get really nervous,so for me to put myself through this unnerving situation it has to be something hugely important. I consider saving my kids future to be of the utmost important to me. So I have to speak up about what we ALL should be doing to save our planet, our future, and the future of all life sharing this communal space.
There are a lot of deniers in this room who really do think that money and business,tourists and housing developments are what we need more of in the County. But all the money in the world isn’t going to prevent the waters from rising around the fancy new high rise housing development or another new cottage resort on our once pristine shoreline.
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Your bank account could be worth millions of dollars, but what good is that if you are completely miserable from the effects of climate change. Drought,intense heat,lack of fresh food or drinking water and,if that doesn’t bother you, your sky high hydro bill will. Everyone’s air conditioners running full blast day and night will put an added strain on the hydro system, causing a shortage of electricity leading to blackouts. We already start the year off complaining that it is too cold outside,so the kids stay home from school, and the warming stations are opened. Next comes the complaining about too much snow,then spring comes and it’s too wet, and the homes and farm fields are flooded. Then a late frost kills all the buds on the grapevines, which leads to no wine for the tourists to spend their holiday bucks on. The damaging hot and dry conditions that follow cause poor crop production, dry wells, massive forest fires,and we are told to stay indoors with the air conditioner on, especially seniors as their lives are put at risk. All this extra use of hydro as people are trying to keep cool,causes an overload creating blackouts. These uncomfortable conditions will continue to worsen each year as the global temperature rises at a rate that we can not adapt to.
This is, of coarse, the reason countries around the globe are declaring climate emergencies. As this County continues to make wrong decisions about how to care for natural habitat and continues to change existing property zoning, and continues allowing developers to rape the woodlands, shorelines,heavily treed areas and meadows, then all you are doing is adding to the climate problem and being hypocrites by saying we have a climate emergency but not changing your life choices.
Going against all the warnings and continuing to think like Ford with his wrecking ball mentality, is not an intelligent way to deal with global warming. These nearsited decisions are not only taking away the attraction to the County, but you are also putting another nail in the earth’s coffin.
If the County acknowledges that we have a emergency to deal with, then I think some serious decisions have to be made,and a lot of those decisions may not be popular with everyone in the County.When we see that other countries are all switching to green , renewable energy choices, the decision makers in this County and Quinte area (namely Todd Smith ) only stand out as fools , moving against the crowd. And that crowd is getting bigger, louder, and more determined to do whatever needs to be done to keep the earth livable.
We have something in this County that we should be feeling proud to show off to the tourists and locals,to all the other counties and to all of Ontario. We have a wind farm that should have been generating clean energy for many months now. Some people don’t like the look of them. Well too bad for them. I don’t like the look of dead dried up lawns and trees. I don’t like the look of corn fields without corn because the ducks are swimming in them. I really don’t think a forest looks so great when it is left smouldering after another forest fire. The green and blue algae in the contaminated water is a really pretty colour but is any one going to be at the Outlet beach spending those tourist bucks if the “BEACH CLOSED ” sign is posted, and the shore stinks so bad from dead fish.
We have something here in the County that the tourists love to see, WIND TURBINES! But they come in my shop and question me as to why they are not spinning and I tell them the whole story about Todd Smith and the couple of dozen anti wind people that got their way last July and halted progress and stopped the completion of our wind farm.
I get a shocked response of disbelief from these visitors and County residents. They question what is wrong with people? We are in a worldwide climate emergency, and they do something as stupid as this? I hear it over and over.
The best thing that the people of the County can do to prove to the world that we are not just a money hungry tourist trap destination, and that we really do care about the future of ALL life on Earth,and we want to do our part to help, slow down the effects of climate change, is to get our wind farm project back on track. It needs to be completed and allowed to start generating clean energy! We need to show our intelligence and set an example to all of Canada. We are not as backwards-thinking as it appears we are, from past mistakes. There were a few South Marysburgh residents, who thought they had some kind of special rights to decide for all the people in the area, that a wind farm was a bad idea. Many of those people have now moved out of Milford, or have died.
This outdated mistake needs to be changed to willing host, NOW.There isn’t much time to waste. If there is an agreement reached soon that forces WPD to tear down our wind farm, we will pay an unacceptable environmental price plus a ridiculous 100 million dollars. There will be many months upon months of exhaust pollution from approximately 1000 dump truck loads carrying tons upon tons of smashed up rebar and cement and dumping it in some landfill. There will be months of exhaust fumes from huge ram hoes, cranes, dozers, adding carbon pollution, noise, vibrations, road damage, squishing all those endangered Blanding’s turtles, disrupting the habitat that has adjusted to the turbine sites, and appalling the tourists and majority of County residents!
The news of this disaster will hit all the media because it does not only effect one little area like the County. This is a world wide problem, and every decision made here or anywhere else in the world effects all life. Cutting down rainforests in Brazil effects us in Canada. Shutting down a wind farm in the County negatively effects everyone everywhere. County leaders that plan to sit back and turn a blind eye to this wind farm will be ridiculed and attacked from environmentalists,the Green Party,the media, the general public, the Fridays for Futures kids, and eventually your own children as their future happiness and health disintegrates.
The negative effect of the cancellation of White Pines goes beyond just energy creation. The creation of a beautiful meadow, 74 hectares of bird and pollinator habitat will be plowed underground and turned into a hay field. This thriving bird paradise was planted in in 2015,and has been paid for and maintained by WPD.
To establish such a spectacular meadow, composed of millions of wild flowers and a selection carefully chosen special grasses, is a move in the right direction. This habitat was intentionally created and planted to encourage and increase the population of threatened species such as bobolinks and whippoorwills. Also, it was designed to attract and feed our dwindling numbers of butterflies and bees which we all know have been put at risk due to humans destroying their habitat. The Blanding’s turtle, which has been highly overused as leverage to stop the wind farm would have had a chance to be removed from the threatened species list, if WPD was allowed to build the turtle nursery and education area at the Toronto zoo as they had offered to do at a cost to them of over two million dollars but like all their offers, the County turned it down.Turtles can not fly, so how would a turbine kill a turtle anyways? The turbines are already built , so they won’t get run over by WPD workers’ trucks.
Now I would like to present the County councilors with an offer.
Since I have been endlessly accused of only wanting a wind farm because I am a landowner to turbine nine and would be making money because of the project, I would like to prove that my passion for wind farms has nothing to do with money. I am offering my entire 20 year lease money to the County which would be approximately $20,000 a year,to be used only for the purpose of helping the many environmental issues we face here, The money would be spent on such things as wetland protection,and rehabilitation, bird and pollinator habitat creation,educational programs in schools, injured wildlife rescue and release, tree planting programs,shoreline protection, garbage cleanup to name a few. This offer is ONLY if this White Pines wind farm cancellation decision is reversed and the blades start spinning. Consider also, how far 100 million dollars would go if put towards fighting climate change instead of being taken from Ontario residents,including you,to pay the dept owed to WPD.
I am here asking you today to commit to doing more than just giving up plastic drinking straws as a solution to the climate emergency problem, but to do the right thing. I am asking this new council to reverse this insane decision handed down from the past council,and lets proudly boast a willing host status in support of clean energy. Lets be a place where we are proud to say, we are doing our part,and helping our children, and all living creatures.
Thank you .