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Barrie Gilbert, Arts'62, offers a Wolfe Islander's perspective on wind turbines.
Re: “Queen’s Flag flies over Wolfe Island” -- ISSUE #2-2012
When I read the promo for offshore wind turbines highlighting the accomplishments of two Queen’s engineering grads, I was reminded once again how limited is the technical “education” of engineers.
As a recent Wolfe Island resident and retired university scientist I have spent five years attempting to point out the science-based ecological, economic and health risks of industrial scale wind turbines. The truth is that Wolfe Island’s 86 turbines, developed by Ian Baines, Sc’74, were erected in one of the worst places in Ontario for slicing into 20 million or so migrating birds twice a year and are now a constant source of mortality for resident wildlife.
Society needs more than wind-velocity data before projects like this proceed. Wind energy may be very profitable to developers (when subsidized by taxpayers), but the cumulative effects of upwards of 1,000 monster turbines proposed on- and off-shore in eastern Lake Ontario make them costly to energy consumers, nearby residents, and documented millions of birds that fly across Lake Ontario. The Lake is a natural resource for all of us, and it should be off-limits to damaging industrialization.
By the way ... the Review editor need not have apologized about “data” as singular. It is accepted both ways by The New York Times and the Oxford English Dictionary.
DR. BARRIE GILBERT, ARTS’62
WOLFE ISLAND, ON