I've been impressed during the past few days by two separate posts on a Canadian wind blog, Harvesting Wind Support, and want to recommend it to readers looking for a thoughtful analysis of anti-wind groups and their arguments.
The first post, Pro-Wind … And Proud Of It, begins as follows: “I am Pro-Wind and I’ll tell you why. I’ve spent many hours reading all the arguments for and against wind turbines. If you were to measure the issue by bulk of material and sites on the internet alone, the anti-wind groups come out on the heavy side. But quantity doesn’t equal quality. Dig deeper and read, not the rhetoric, but the facts.” Anti-wind groups take some hits for their conduct (lack of due diligence in researching issues, splitting communities with “unwillingness to compromise,” and more) and the author concludes with several pointers to the websites of authoritative sources on Ontario's energy supply.
The second post, Misinformation Fouls the Wind Debate, largely consists of a letter to the editor from Mike Brigham, chair of the Toronto Renewable Energy Co-Operative (TREC), describing the discussion tactics of anti-wind groups. The following lengthy quote should give a general idea of Mr. Brigham's experience:
“Here are but a few statements thrown around at the meeting with no backup information:
“-The CNE [Canadian National Exhibition] wind turbine [in Toronto] broke down three years ago and was abandoned. Wrong. When asked where this information came from, the response was ‘through a friend’. It would appear that no attempt was made confirm that the 'friend' was correct or any attempt to admit that the information being shared was indeed false. In fact, in fiscal 2009 the ExPlace turbine saw the highest production ever.
“-No country in the world has seen a drop in coal-fired generation due to the addition of wind power. Wrong. The meeting was told that Denmark [is] an example where the use of coal had supposedly increased by 50% in the past 30 years, despite the addition of substantial wind power. In fact the Danish government reports that in the period between 1994 and 2007, the use of coal has declined by more than 40%. When the Danish report was presented at the meeting, again no admission of misinformation, just an attempt to switch the topic once again to the next point.”
The post about Mr. Brigham's letter ends with an affirmation that while he chairs TREC, a nonprofit, “He makes his living completely outside the renewable energy field and is not supported or directed by the wind industry in any way.”
It's nice to see the anti side of the wind debate being held up to the sort of scrutiny that wind project developers routinely undergo.