Save On­tario’s Ea­gles from wind

National Post (Latest Edition) - - FP COMMENT -

This Open Let­ter was sent to the Gov­ern­ment of On­tario by Mark Duchamp, Pres­i­dent, Save the Ea­gles In­ter­na­tional and Chair­man, World Coun­cil for Na­ture, on Au­gust 27

One of our On­tario mem­bers, the As­so­ci­a­tion to Pro­tect Amherst Is­land, has ad­vised us of the ap­proval of a wind pro­ject that will cause a 25-year run­ning mas­sacre of “pro­tected” wildlife. Amherst Is­land, as you know, is an in­ter­na­tion­ally im­por­tant mi­gra­tion stopover point for Monarch but­ter­flies and many threat­ened bird and bat species. It is also a fa­mous win­ter­ing area for 11 species of owls, all of which are pro­tected by law, and all of which are par­tic­u­larly in dan­ger where wind tur­bines hap­pen to be erected. Words fail us to ex­press our dis­may at this abom­inable de­ci­sion, which re­lies on an en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact study (EIS) au­thored by a con­sul­tant hired by the pro­moter. Ex­pe­ri­ence shows that such stud­ies are so bi­ased as to be worth­less. The Wolfe Is­land wind farm proves the point: Its EIS, writ­ten by the same con­sul­tant (Stan­tec Inc.), did not pre­dict the tur­bines would be killing so many birds and bats, in­clud­ing ea­gles, ospreys, and dozens of other pro­tected species. They will keep do­ing it for another 20 years, in num­bers at least ten times higher than the of­fi­cial fig­ures, tak­ing a high toll on the pro­tected wildlife of On­tario, Que­bec, the United States and Mexico, a toll which is all the more un­sus­tain­able when con­sid­ered cu­mu­la­tively with other wind farms. Amherst and Wolfe is­lands are only sep­a­rated by 8 km of wa­ter. In the highly-de­vel­oped in­dus­trial and com­mer­cial en­vi­ron­ment along the shores of Lake On­tario, they stand as largely pre­served nat­u­ral habi­tats. They are es­sen­tial to the sur­vival of in­creas­ingly en­dan­gered mi­grat­ing species, which need stag­ing posts along their way. Wind tur­bines pro­duce in­ter­mit­tent energy, which in­de­pen­dent engi­neers de­nounce as use­less for a mod­ern econ­omy, and im­mensely costly to boot. This makes the crime of de­stroy­ing rare wildlife, ru­in­ing nat­u­ral ar­eas as well as the life of wind farm neigh­bours, a par­tic­u­larly odi­ous one. What is most re­mark­able about the ap­proval of the Amherst wind scam, is the cyn­i­cism it re­flects. The On­tario gov­ern­ment ob­vi­ously doesn’t mind about the slaugh­ter of pro­tected ea­gles, ospreys and other species that is oc­cur­ring year af­ter year on Wolfe Is­land: it is will­ing to re­peat the same mis­take on Amherst. It is the re­spon­si­bil­ity of Save the Ea­gles In­ter­na­tional and the World Coun­cil for Na­ture to de­nounce such ag­gres­sions against bio­di­ver­sity, at a time when greed and pol­i­tics have cor­rupted the main con­ser­va­tion NGO’s. Let the record show that we have con­demned the po­lit­i­cal de­ci­sion to con­vert Amherst Is­land into a pop­u­la­tion sink for owls, ospreys, ea­gles and other rare birds, rapidly de­clin­ing pop­u­la­tions of bats, and Monarch but­ter­flies.


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