One of nine wind turbines at White Pines Wind Project in Prince Edward County. Mike Postovit / Global News
I read the op-ed by Alan Whiteley entitled “The Two Faces of Government” in the January 22 edition of the Wellington Times and am compelled to respond.
It’s underlying premise is that wind energy is unnecessary as we in Ontario have more energy than we need. This completely fails to square with not only the facts but with common sense.
We are in a Climate Emergency. Our own Council declared it last May 16. Since then our carbon emissions continue to go up when acting on this Climate Emergency clearly and without compromise demands they go down.
To solve this we need a massive transition from our fossil-fuel driven economy and way of life to one that emits no carbon whatsoever. The scientists have presented this to be fact. To make this transition, all vehicles and all homes (just for starters) will have to move to clean energy alternatives. Every vehicle electric. Every building electric. I would think that such a large-scale transition to clean energy is going to require a lot more power-generation that we currently have. We do not have on oversupply or abundance of electric energy. Not when we actually act on the Climate Emergency. We will need all we can get.
The nine wind turbines constructed (and now dismantled) in the County were able to generate enough energy to power half the households in the County. And were doing so all with private investment – saving the Ontario taxpayer in the process. The dismantling cancelled clean energy we will need to solve the Climate Emergency and put the Ontario taxpayer on the hook for $141-million and counting to take them down.
But it gets worse when the argument for the dismantling is based on the NIMBY effect (Not In My Back Yard). Time for us to get real: The solutions to the Climate Emergency will require adjustment and inconveniences. Wars typically do. The underlying NIMBY argument is killing us all because it fails to recognize that we are in a war for our lives. The interests of the few do not outweigh the interests of the majority of us who want a future for all life on this planet.
A January 3 Abacus Data Poll showed that three-quarters of all Canadians recognize that Climate action is a priority; wants Government to work on it; and wants Government to not work against it.. Three-quarters. That is a majority of us. The dismantling of the nine turbines squarely is Government working against Climate Action.
This action to dismantle the White Pines wind energy project – and other clean energy projects – is clearly Government working against Climate Change action. It is not leadership. And we need leadership now more than ever.
The majority of us want and need our elected leaders to show the courage to act and to take the responsibility of informing us of what we need to do. How can you fight a war without courageous and responsible leadership? You can’t. Not if you expect to win it.
The debate should not be focused on taking these nine wind turbines down; but to double it – put eighteen wind turbines up. That would demonstrate the leadership we need and Canadians are clearly looking for.