Don Ross: Speech at the White Pines Decomissioning

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Don and Heather Ross have been advocating for green energy initiatives in Prince Edward County for over a decade. Photo by Cole Burston

My name is Don Ross and I’m here today with my wife Heather. We’re members of the County Sustainability Group since it was formed in 2005.

We’ve lived in Milford for nearly 40 years, working and raising our 3 children here and are grandparents to 4 grand kids. We’ve been supporters of renewable energy projects for 20 years, since the turn of the century when the County would have been the first place in Ontario to produce clean electricity from wind farms.

Our wind resource here is among the best in the province. Instead of being known as the 21st century leader in wind energy for Ontario, we will be known forever as the first place in the world to tear down a wind farm. This shame will never go away and will remain long after these magnificent turbines are gone.

“ Come to where the status quo thrives and hope for change comes to die. Firmly entrenched on the wrong side of history. —Don Ross”

Perhaps our new motto for Prince Edward County can be : “ Come to where the status quo thrives and hope for change comes to die. Firmly entrenched on the wrong side of history .” Where we used to feel proud of living in the County “ pre-gentrification “,  we now feel embarrassed . We find ourselves saying to people who ask where we live…..” Near Kingston and Belleville.”

At about this same time last year, were it not for the unchecked powers granted to a vindictive government by our outdated first past the post electoral system, we’d have been celebrating the commissioning of the first and only wind farm in PEC. Instead, we now will be witness to it’s destruction, at huge environmental and financial cost, while some local and provincial politicians, anti-wind lobbyists, lawyers, Nimby’s and media pat each other on the backs for a job well done.

Fear and Smear campaigns once again proven effective. FUD ( Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt ) works! In destroying this wind farm, hope is being destroyed with it.

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Our generation, the Boomers and Zoomers, have known since the 60’s what could happen when infinite growth continued on a finite planet. We are the problem and we are the solution. What will you tell your descendants that you did once you knew?

I’d like to finish by reading this letter to the editor in a local paper last week by one of our CSG members- Rod Holloway. It sums up well this situation we are facing. If Greta Thunberg were here today I feel she would agree and have much more to say to us all. We had better start listening to her.

 Letter to the Editor:

The dismantling of the White Pines wind turbines is sheer madness and it begins this month.

 The climate emergency has been ignored by the provincial government, the federal government and sadly, local government. Lip service is paid to the approaching climate catastrophe, while no credible measures are taken to halt the rush toward climate Armageddon.

The scientists have made it clear. We need drastic cuts to carbon emissions by 2030, or the planet becomes uninhabitable. Instead of cutting emissions, the federal government imposes a carbon tax while building an oil pipeline. The provincial government illegally removes cap and trade in Ontario, and the local council allows the destruction of wind turbines that would at least be a symbol of hope for saving the environment.

Scientists have warned us that the result of doing nothing will be the utter devastation of planet Earth. How selfish and short-sighted we and our leaders are.

I’m not overstating the case, the destruction of the turbines and all the rest is sheer suicide and may even be murder. The present generation may survive, but if we continue our wilful blindness to consequences of our actions, we doom future generations to extinction.

We should be building wind turbines, not tearing them down. The house is on fire, and instead of calling the fire department, we cut the water hoses, slash the tires on the emergency vehicles, rip the smoke detectors off the walls and pretend that everything is fine.

It’s not!
Rod Holloway-Picton

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