Go green and win friends. Go green and win elections. Go green and try to convince people you know what you are doing. I came up with that last one myself. As you know, today’s politicians vie with each other to be the greenest. What they need to learn is that it’s a lot like being in favour of motherhood. After a while, you get more people saying ‘That’s nice. So what?’
The Ontario government is very much in favour of being green. Judging from the cancelation of plans to go more nuclear in Ontario, the premier and vice-premier (McGinty and Smitherman) will have no choice but take Ontario green whether anyone likes it or not. McGinty drew a line on the grass earlier this year and declared that NIMBY’s need not try to impede the greening progress.
At the time, our pemier was pointing a finger at some Scarborough ratepayers who object to a scheme to put a wind farm of generating turbines out in Lake Ontario off the Scarborough Bluffs. “Not in my backyard” stated the NIMBY’s—which explains why they are referred to as NIMBY’s.
To be fair to these ratepayers, the location is not my backyard. I therefore looked out at my view of the bay here in Babel and imagined how it would look with an arrayof wind turbines off shore. Sorry NIMBY’s but I think it would look great.
There is just something lyrical and beautiful about wind turbines. They have such a gentle dignity as they turn in concert to the breezes. I will take the wonders of wind turbines over dark and sombre solar panels any day.
What leaves me a little confused is the why of putting the things out in open water. They would probably not be a hazard to commercial shipping because those people prefer deep water but there are bound to be collisions with Saturday sailors. I always thought higher winds were higher up. Why are we not putting wind turbines on top of the Scarborough Bluffs, where they can catch a better breeze? And what is wrong with using the Sandbanks Provincial Park? There can be no denying what centuries of reliable winds have wrought in that strikingly beautiful area of Prince Edward County. Or is that the back yard of Ontario’s rulers?
Even in Babel’s bay, I would worry about drunken Seadoo drivers in summer and the same drunks on their Skidoos in the winter. They would end up hitting the wind turbines. I expect these wind catching structures could also whack a few seaplane pilots, capture an occasional wind surfer or parachute-skier, and be a hazard to wandering fishing persons.
No doubt, all suitable locations have their problems. There will always be those who disagree no matter where we put them.
But in all this to-do about locating wind turbines, we never hear much about the economics of their generating value. When checking out both wind turbines and solar panels over the last few years, I have learned that the cost of establishing the generating capacity and connecting it to the Ontario grid seems to the same as the contractual payment from Ontario Power Generation. Frankly that is not a deal that has any appeal to me. It sounds like I can loan my provincial power authority money for years without interest. I might like to be green but that should not have to include being stupid!
Besides, there is little sense to wind turbines or to solar panels until our scientists show us how to store power efficiently. Our greening of our environment is never going to happen until we can use the power of the wind when it is not blowing and the power of the sun when it is not shining.