By Elena Christopoulos
On the 6th of October this year an election will be held in the province of Ontario and the ‘environment’ has become a hot button topic; with the focus on the Great Lakes Wind Turbines.
The Premier of Ontario seems to be stuck in the blade of a turbine as he flip-flops on a ‘possible’ moratorium on the development of wind farms in the province of Ontario. This will also impact the United States, as there was a plan to look at the Great Lakes as a place to install wind farms to benefit both countries.
Apparently, there is not ‘enough science’ to develop these wind farms and onshore wind turbines are causing health issues. As a scientist, environmentalist and a proud Torontonian who installed the first 90m high urban wind turbine in downtown Toronto, this disturbs me on many levels. We have proven studies regarding sound emittance, radiation, bird migration and there is little to no evidence of any health issues caused by wind farms.
In 2007, Mike Daulton, Director of Conservation Policy for the National Audubon Society, stated, “On balance, Audubon strongly supports wind power as a clean alternative energy source that reduces the threat of global warming. Each individual wind project, however, has a unique set of circumstances and should be evaluated on its own merits.”
Wind turbines are one of the safest energy sources yet developed. In comparison, there are tremendous files and research on polluting coal-fired plants and the deadly health related issues that they have caused for years.
Oh less we not forget the hidden dangers of nuclear power plants. Why don’t we strengthen standards for the release of the carcinogen tritium from them? Tritium, found in nature in tiny amounts and a product of nuclear fusion, has been linked to cancer if ingested, inhaled or absorbed through the skin in large amounts. It now taints at least 27 of the United States 104 nuclear reactors — raising many concerns about how it is escaping from the aging nuclear plants.
President Barack Obama, in his State of the Union address, called for “building a new generation of safe, clean nuclear power plants.” His 2011 budget request to Congress called for $54 billion in additional loan guarantees for nuclear power.
In the United States there are 104 nuclear reactors operating in 31 states that provide only 20 percent of their nation’s electricity. But they are responsible for 70 percent of the power from non-greenhouse gas producing sources, including wind, solar and hydroelectric dams. Many of the nuclear plants in Canada and the United Sates were built in the 1960s and 1970s and they are leaking tritium.
I hope this piece causes you to think and engage in dialogues with your friends, family and co-workers. If you have any comments, please do not hesitate to contact me. Global warming is not a myth; there is the science to prove it indeed exists. I just hope that we continue to develop green energy technologies and implement them. Or will these ideas just be caught up in a political juggernaut and be blowing in the wind.
Now to hear that wind turbines are possibly causing health issues is alarming as it is simply not true. If you live in the province of Ontario, Canada, I implore you to vote this year on October 6th and find out for yourself the accurate research about these ‘green energy’ turbines.
This proud Canadian scientist is not so proud right now. We are smarter than this! Each vote does make a difference. Please use your voice and vote! I know I will be voting.
Elena Christopoulos is an environmental consultant based out of Los Angeles and Toronto. Ms.Christopoulos has advised some of North America’s most recognizable Fortune 500 companies, and also advises political campaigns and parties on electoral strategy, in both the public and private sectors in Canada, Europe, and the United States.
Her areas of specialty: are green environmental initiatives, alternative energy and health related initiatives and she is often referred to as a ‘wind guru’.
In 1997 she implemented the first urban turbine in North America (erected in downtown Toronto in 2002), the first community-owned power wind project in Ontario, and she has been involved in similar projects worldwide ever since — implemented recycling programs globally and lobbying for environmental issues to help frame public policy.
This ‘wind guru’s’ latest achievement is erecting the first wind turbine on a community college campus in LA County.