Ontario’s amateur engineers, phony economists and sorry sailors: unprofessionals on electricity

Writing my Cold Air blog, I try to remind myself of the premise that “nobody cares that you’re mad. What’s your point?”

One reason I have this alternative blog is the possibility that premise is wrong.

A sometimes very annoying part of writing is it causes more reading. Two of the dullest things I’ve recently read were bad legal rulings regarding wind at Ostrander Point and the Darlington nuclear new built environmental assessment.

I was motivated to read the Darlington decision due to a lawyer’s implication (twitter) the judge considered the impacts of nuclear units within a context of options. This was not so.

Lawyers and judges are, in general, annoying. Generalizations being a little cowardly, let me be specific: Diane Saxe is annoying.

Diane Saxe co-writes a pedestrian summary of a legal ruling with:

We hear from folks on the ground that, once projects start running, many neighbours have privately expressed pleasant surprise that the turbines cause them no difficulty and are easy to get used to. Nocebo effects only happen if people believe in them.

Figure 4: Exposure-response relationship for annoyance indoors

This statement is offensive, although there’s some reason in the sentiment.  I ran a blog for Wind Concerns Ontario for 18 months or so, and tried to avoid making reports of negative health impacts as fear mongering.

The graphic shown here I displayed in the post, Belgium’s Supreme Council of Health: A thoughtful development on wind energy. At the end of that post I noted pro and anti industrial wind arguments frequently cite the very same studies. In my opinion, which is far more informed than most, there is little doubt there are impacts of living in proximity to industrial wind turbines which are seen in a dose-response relationship, but the impacts are far from universal. Put in simpler terms, the closer one resides to turbines the more likely one is to be impacted negatively by them, but the majority of people won’t report negative impacts.

Diane Saxe’s desire to dismiss all complaints as being in the heads of the annoying victims is not uncommon – a sad corollary of my “nobody cares that you are angry rule” is “nobody cares that you are suffering.” – but there are few, anywhere, more demonstrably incompetent in the area of providing electricity than Saxe. She became the President of the lousy Windshare operation in 2010. Windshare attempts to operate, frequently unsuccessfully (ie. now), Toronto’s lousy little turbine. It’s mainly used now to deceive kids about the viability of industrial wind in Ontario.

Speaking of which… alleged doctor Gideon Forman was published again this past week, with a new routine dancing around his old terror.

Over three and a half years ago, a cancellation, publicly referred to as a moratorium, on offshore wind was announced. The Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE) is perplexed by the lack of action in advancing a far-offshore wind sector in Ontario.


As I write this, in the middle the afternoon, Ontario is paying to divert steam away from generators to curtail electricity generation at 5 nuclear reactors while exporting a great deal of power at no cost.

Perplexed is going to happen a lot to whatever collection of fools comprise CAPE if the spectacularly stupid introductory sentence to Forman’s article is indicative of their intelligence level.

That sentence is by no means the singularly ridiculous thought in the article:

The dynamics of wind over water means that far-offshore wind is capable of providing reliable power throughout the day, including when electricity demand is highest.

It’s also capable of providing sweet fuck all throughout the day – or just at peak periods.

The ambitious Forman is seemingly not content with only being not be a doctor, but this article also shows he’s striving to not be a sailor, not an economist, and he may best be suited to not be an engineer.

The reappearance of the lobbyists of the Smitherman/McGuinty era is to be expected as Premier Wynne leads a majority back to the fall legislative session for the next 4 years. Spurred by McGuinty’s quickly abandoned promise not to raise taxes following his 2003 victory, career kooks will be looking for Premier Wynne to quickly abandon the elements of the long-term energy plan they dislike, despite the fact an election was run on the platform.


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