something other than wind blows here

Dave Bidini‘s article in today’s Globe & Mail, An ill wind blows (now irritatingly hidden behind a paywall, but helpfully cached here) troubles me about what got through basic fact-checking:

  • The turbines expected on the island are open-bladed, a style being replaced in Europe by closed-blade turbines, which do less damage to wildlife.” What are closed-blade turbines? I’m in weekly contact with colleagues in the European wind energy industry. If people were installing a radically different type of machine, I’d know about it.
  • The article cites the National Center for Policy Analysis as a source. Quoting the NCPA on wind energy and the environment is a little like quoting the NRA on gun control. Check out the NCPA’s E-Team: Providing Accurate Information on Energy & Environment Issues. Overall, I’d say that ExxonMobil are getting great VFM on their donations to NCPA [PDF] if they’re now being quoted as a credible, balanced source.


  1. Unbelievable. Do you honestly think the wind industry is made up of a bunch of holy environmentalists wearing green halos? Take a used car salesman, give him free reign to industrialize and exploit our natural areas with no full environmental assessments, lie to rural residents, manipulate small rural municipal councils and feast at the public trough.

    You are a naive “feel-good” environmentalist who has absolutely no idea what is really happening right now in rural Ontario. Wind turbines are simply a “symbol” of green and do absolutely nothing to reduce CO2 given the fact the fossil fuel plant MUST keep burning away at all times. Educate yourself, Robyn.

  2. Maureen:
    [Wind turbines] do absolutely nothing to reduce CO2 given the fact the fossil fuel plant MUST keep burning away at all times.

    It’s unclear why that would be the case. Which fuel? Which plants run at 100% capacity all the time? What proportion of Ontario’s power comes from plants that can’t be throttled?

    Clue to the answers: Which fuel has the provincial government been trying to phase out? The other widely used fossil fuel for electric production is natural gas. Natural gas is not used for base load (always-on) production in Ontario; we have the big nuclear plants and our hydro dams for that.


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