Wind Turbines - Green or Greenwashing? What should NDP position be?

107 posts / 0 new
Last post
Mike from Canmore
Wind Turbines - Green or Greenwashing? What should NDP position be?

This week 300 protesters traveled to Queen's Park to voice their concerns over industrial wind projects. These people were dismissed as Not-In-My-Back-Yarders... maybe crazy. Because who in their right mind would say wind turbines are not green? It's a given... isn't it?

Lately, I have been attending kitchen-table meetings in regards to industrial wind turbines and I'm no longer convinced that wind turbines are "green" bullet we've been waiting for. 

First, who is getting rich off these projects? Dirty tar sand companies are the driving force and p developers of industrial wind farms. This is because they receive carbon credits. Additionally, natural gas companies are also promoting wind farms. This is because wind energy requires a back up energy source because it's unreliable and only works 30% of the time. Nuclear power plants were not designed to compensate for dramatic unplanned fluctuations created by wind turbines. Natural gas, on the other hand, is able to be turned off and on at the flick of a switch and therefore is the most suitable source of back-up energy. It should noted that Germany underwent wind farm development as a means to shut down coal power plants - not a single plant was closed. In fact, new coal plants were built. 

Second, what is at stake? There are hundreds of health reports filed in Ontario alone in regards to wind turbines. Many people were compelled to move after having a turbine erected on their property or close to their property. There are also impacts on our environment. A Guelph study found the bodies of dead bats in fields surrounding wind turbines. Based on autopsies, they believe the low frequency emitted by the turbines caused the blood vessels in the bat's lungs to burst forcing them to drawn on their own blood. The wind turbines request giant holes to be dung in the ground and filled with 30 trucks of cement. That leaves us with the question of how this impacts the water shed. 

These are all very important questions that I believe need answers too before we plow full steam ahead with industrial wind farm development. In today's society everything and everything is marketed as green. Dirty oil companies making money off of "green" technology is always a red flag for me. 

Issues Pages: 
Life, the unive...

I used to be excited about these developments.  Now I see them as a force for evil. 

The tactics and actions of these companies in rural areas is truly appalling.  The progressive farm organization the National Farmers Union has recently begin questioning these developments as well, despite being intially supportive.  As democratic socialists why the NDP is supporting these developments is beyond me.  It seems like if you slap the word alternative on it people naively believe it is universally good.  I used to be like that too, but seeing what is happening in my community and in neighbouring areas I am no longer so naive.

These developments are giving alretnative energy a very bad name.  Most of the most vocal critics I know have been long term supporters of alternative energy generation but also get what is happening on the ground in rural Ontario.

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

Get a grip. Coal kills. And why don't you look behind the anti-wind movement. You might find nuclear. It is also BS that the tar sands industry is behind wind. As corporations invest they may have some investments in wind, but for the most part that is patent nonsense.

 

 

remind remind's picture

Have come to realize the word "green" in and of itself means little, either way.

In fact, we need to move along and change it back to language that actually means something.

 

Other than that, I think you have some salient points about moving into correct technology that is actually condusive to homeostasis amongst the ALL the species alive on this planet.

 ...compare digging a few holes, and  having a few dead bats, to filling  a whole valley 100's of miles long, with water,  for example, which is better?

 ETA:

In thinking about "what to do, in the face of (fill in the blank) over the years, really what it comes down to is personal responsibility, at a high level. This means halting the belief in every expanding consumption, whatever it may be of....

 

Sineed

MikefromCanmore wrote:
A Guelph study found the bodies of dead bats in fields surrounding wind turbines. Based on autopsies, they believe the low frequency emitted by the turbines caused the blood vessels in the bat's lungs to burst forcing them to drown on their own blood.

Srsly??

You got a link for that???

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

The arguments I've seen against wind turbines all verge on the nonsenscial.

Bookish Agrarian

Actually FM- You might want to educate yourself a little more.  Nuclear is NOT behind the anti-wind movement, at least not the grassroots groups I have had contact with.  And it is very much true that many of the companies now owning industrial wind developments are based in some pretty un-environmental sectors. These developments have a history of flipping many times and becoming owned by larger and larger, often mulit-national corps. One of the developments near me that I know the most has flipped 4 times since coming online.

 

The simple reality is that the companies involved in these industrial wind developments are giving alternative energy a bad name. I used to take our kids by the first turbines up because I was really enthusiastics about them and wanted them to see the future. I was dismissive, like you, of their concerns until I took the time to find out more. Now I curse them. As a strong and long time supporter of alternative energy I have grave concerns about what these companies are doing and the tactics they use. A number of long time alternative energy activists I know from rural communites- are starting to majorly question what is happening too.

 

I tried to find the NFU Ontario resolution Life refers too, but can't find it online. I will try to get a copy and post the resolution from these nuclear industry patsies. Tongue outBasically, going from memory the resolution calls for more local control, a more transparent process and questions who is really benefiting from these developments.

 

Bookish Agrarian

Boom Boom wrote:

The arguments I've seen against wind turbines all verge on the nonsenscial.

Then you should look at some of the 40 page contracts farmers are being asked to sign and find out about the tactics these companies are using.  In my circle of friends and aquaintances, who I admit might not be representative, there is a lot of support for small scale - dispersed alternative energy projects, but they are becoming deeply disturbed by what is happening on the ground in rural Ontario with these industrial wind developments.

 

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

My comment was about wind turbines themselves, not the industry built around them.

Sven Sven's picture

Mike from Canmore wrote:
 

First, who is getting rich off these projects?

If someone could invent the cure cancer and resolve all of our environmental issues in the most environmentally-friendly way possible but, in the process, become a billionaire, then some people would trash the whole effort because someone...(gasp!!)...made a profit.

Farmpunk

Samsung is doing quite well thanks to Ontario taxpayers.

It's a neat trick for the province to create a premiumum market for green energy that was supposed to promote a made-in-Ontario industry.... then sign a partnership with a foreign multi-nat and give the company a big chunk of the green grid.

Oh, and don't put the windmills where the energy is needed.  Kinda like Nanticoke...  Seems that if there's enough people concentrated in a certain area, NIMBYism does still work, despite McGuinty's claims to the opposite.

KenS

There are a ton of good arguments against the Samsung deal. And farmers and others have every reason to resist the placement of wind turbine farms.

But talking about the profits to be made only states the obvious. If there weren't profits to be made, we wouldn't get them... just like we wouldn't get anything else except a limited number of public services [and re-nationalizing utility companies wouldn't change the market dynamics a bit... they still wouldn't be public services like education and health care in the sense that matters].

The profits to be made and who makes them is important for fairness and economic efficiency and outcomes reasons, but its a red herring for the policy and public planning choices of whether they are "green or greenwashing"?

Wind farms suck in a lot of ways... most of them because they are wedded to the hyper-centralized model of power production and use that we have to break out of.

But if you have ever been part of any kind of exercise to figure out transition away from the power economy that WILL kill us all if we don't start transforming it right now.... there just is no way to do it without some big uses of very evironmentalistally unholisic power production. Even with using those, the scenarios require some gulping about the feasability and just saying "we have to do it." So trying to reach minmal survival oriented goals without very flawed solutions like wind farms, amounts to collective suicide [though inflicted on the persons of our children and grandchildren rather than ourselves].

Bookish Agrarian

Yet Ken they are being placed in areas that can resist the least.  In southern Ontario the most logical place to put turbines in terms of efficiency, transmission losses, and environmental reasons is the Lake Ontario shoreline.  But it will NEVER happen.  Yes we need to move towards greater use of alternatives, but how we do it, says a lot about the kind of society we have and the equity and justice within it.  Right now we are failing on that score in Ontario- failing miserably.

Charter Rights

Then we have the consumer dilemma....

 

Wind generation costs about $8 per megawatt to produce. Nuclear is about $2 per MW and oil, gas, coal and hydro-electric less than that. On the flip side photo-voltaic solar runs in about $12 per MW. Are we prepared to pay 4 or 5 times more for our electricity? Our obscessive consuption of power and power-hungry devices will put us on the brink of an economic collapse as the cost of goods and service will fly out of reach of all but the very rich. And as demands lessons, the cost will drive up even higher.

 

There are currently many side benefits to nuclear that have not been fully explored because there is a limited market. However, the CANDU reactors produce 200°F hot water, and 140°F air that cold be used for something else, both of which are dumped as wastes into the environment to the detriment of the environment.

 

While nuclear has its problems, it is pretty much the only affordable form of generation right now. The incentives should be given to companies who find ways to use power better, more efficiently or to generate at a lower cost, not to technologies that become increasingly more expensive (and more prone to breakdowns).  I guess my point is that we should not permit govenrment to subsidize new technologies when they have not fully utilized the existing ones.

KenS

I understand what you are saying BA. I'm arguing strenuously against the very premise of the opening post, and the title of the thread itself.

Never thought about the comparison with Ontario- but in Nova Scotia we have an easy avoidance of that placement conundrum: hilly landscape with the bulk of that having no farms or houses.

Farmpunk

Greenwashing is the application of bad science with a green sheen wedded to public policy.  And that's exactly what the McLibs are doing with the Green Energy Act.  Don't quibble about terminology when the end result is the same ill concieved and poorly applied policy.

Wind turbines should be in the water along Lakeshore Road in Toronto.  The ecologically and environmentally conscious people of the GTA should be pushing for this.  Are they? 

I suspect the next move will be for the Green Belt "protected" areas to become host to solar and wind farms.

 

Bookish Agrarian

Ken I forgot to mention the comments of a friend and prominent Green Party activist at a meeting we were both a panelist at.  He described the situaiton as 'wild west capitalism' and that government has given all the guns to industry.  It was very apt description of what I see around here.

 

Just got an email back from the NFU.  Here is that resolution Life referenced above. 

  Green Energy Act (GEA) and Rural Communities

Whereas the NFU advocates for the right of farmers and rural communities to have control over and to benefit from food production in their communities and;

 

Whereas the NFU supports efforts to move toward renewable, clean sources of energy such as wind and solar to help revitalize rural communities and;

 

Whereas in the past rural municipalities, like Wolfe Island and Melancthon, were able to negotiate amenities agreements with industrial wind developers, which acknowledged the impact on rural communities of industrial wind developments and provided some compensation to the full community and;

 

Whereas such amenity agreements are no longer possible under the GEA, because the GEA takes away all control over siting, land use planning and zoning related to industrial wind developments from municipalities and gives the control to the province alone and;

 

Whereas the community and municipal consultation required under the Renewable Energy Approval (REA) process for wind developments is intended to 'help build local support' for the project, and virtually eliminates any public or municipal say or input into industrial wind developments in rural communities and;

 

Whereas this type of pseudo consultation is demeaning and insulting to farmers and rural communities that will be impacted by industrial wind developments in their backyards and;

 

Whereas industrial wind developments have the potential to take the control and benefit of a rural resource, wind, away from farmers and rural communities;

 

Therefore be it resolved that

(1)       the NFU strongly voice its concern about the lack of real community consultation under the GEA ;

 

(2)       advocate for the rights of landowners and rural communities/municipalities to have control over industrial wind developments in their communities by negotiating amenity agreements or putting in place bylaws or permits with regard to siting, size, zoning and so on, which acknowledge the impact of industrial wind developments on the full community;

 

  • (3) (a) connect with other organizations and municipalities with similar concerns about industrial wind developments and

(b) bring forward the shortcomings of the GEA to organizations like the urban-based environmental organizations that are allies of the NFU on other issues and to the government;

 

  • (4) commit NFU research and communication resources to look at who controls and benefits from industrial wind developments - landowners and rural communities or outside, corporate and private interests. CARRIED

Life, the unive...

Thanks BA.  Sure makes it seem like people in the know are questioning not alternative energy, but how it is evolving in Ontario.  It sure seems to me that the NDP could have a role to play in that.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Diversity is the key to all planetary systems.  When the scale of the technology gets too big it becomes harmful to the environment.  We need a lot of solar panels and small wind turbines and some very aggressive conservation programs.  In Ontario your big problems come in the hot summer when you need air conditioning.  Well duh isn't that when the solar panels would provide the most electricity. Large scale projects appeal to politicians who are in the pockets of big developers.  We need small scale electricity generation at the consumer level.  We can also employ a lot of people if we go to small scale.  People to build the panels and turbines, people to install and maintain them and RR to improve them.  Far better than a model where we build big projects with foreign based companies who get permits to import workers.

remind remind's picture

Agree with this observation of what needs to  happen kropotkin

KenS

We need both the small scale and the different 'unholistic' large scale alternatives like wind farms. Like I said, as it is, even using both we're going to have to push harder to have any chance of bringing down GHGs before its definitely too late [as opposed to maybe already too late].

Whats required is political agitation for the small scale- and especially governments role in that. But dissing large wind farms of any kind is not the path to that.

Mike from Canmore

BA captured my thoughts in post 12. Despite the many negative experiences and concerns raised by my friends and neighbors, we are not against wind power development. We are asking that wind power be developed ethically; in ways that do not harm humans or the environment. We are asking for more research and development to go into wind turbines and until an ethical model is developed we are asking for a moratorium on industrial wind farm development. 

When I asked what the NDP policy should be I did not expect such a black and white discussion to take place. The NDP can support wind power; but as a compromise to those baring the negative consequences of turbines the NDP could instead support small scale, household run wind mills. Small scale wind mills could produce enough energy for a household or farm. Excess energy could get sold back into the grid (putting money in the hands of households and farmers rather than big industry). I'm curious to learn more about productivity comparisons between large scale and small scale wind turbines and will report back when I learn more.

I must comment that I find it really bothersome every time wind power discussions degenerate into it's either wind or coal or problems caused by coal or more than problems caused by wind. Those comments make rural people feel like we're dispensable to our urban neighbors - that somehow our problems can be dismissed because we're a minority. That's not the spirit of the NDP. Be creative rather than defensive and look for a solution that works for everyone.  

Sineed: google dead bats and wind turbines and you'll find loads of articles and news clippings. 

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

Bookish Agrarian wrote:

Actually FM- You might want to educate yourself a little more.  Nuclear is NOT behind the anti-wind movement, at least not the grassroots groups I have had contact with.  And it is very much true that many of the companies now owning industrial wind developments are based in some pretty un-environmental sectors. These developments have a history of flipping many times and becoming owned by larger and larger, often mulit-national corps. One of the developments near me that I know the most has flipped 4 times since coming online.

 

The simple reality is that the companies involved in these industrial wind developments are giving alternative energy a bad name. I used to take our kids by the first turbines up because I was really enthusiastics about them and wanted them to see the future. I was dismissive, like you, of their concerns until I took the time to find out more. Now I curse them. As a strong and long time supporter of alternative energy I have grave concerns about what these companies are doing and the tactics they use. A number of long time alternative energy activists I know from rural communites- are starting to majorly question what is happening too.

 

I tried to find the NFU Ontario resolution Life refers too, but can't find it online. I will try to get a copy and post the resolution from these nuclear industry patsies. Tongue outBasically, going from memory the resolution calls for more local control, a more transparent process and questions who is really benefiting from these developments.

 

BA, the business your in, agriculture, is dominated by some very evil global corporations with cross ownership and management with big oil and coal and the tar sands. Welcome to capitalism. And you know, I live in and near wind turbines. And, I did a little research on a man who organized an anti-wind workshop in Woodstock. Google being my friend, uncovered a former employee (and likely still a consultant) at Bruce Power. Gadzooks!

Ontarians want all the electricity they can get and they want it cheap and they want the harmful and toxic effects out of sight and out of mind. People dying quiety of heart and lung disease or cancer is perfectly okay. Near abouts where I live, they are opposing, now, solar farms. Solar farms. Silent. Passive. No shadows. No profile. And do you know what they say? They say prime agricultural land ought not to be lost to solar farms. They say that from among the subdivisions popping up like wild mushrooms. They say that as they commute from subdivisions near Simcoe to jobs in Hamilton on roads cutting wide, sterile ribbons across prime farmland.

I believe the Ontario government ought to conform to all environmental reviews, and I think the Ontario government could assist with those people, and I believe there are some. who do suffer negative effects from turbines to relocate and sell their homes.

But demonizing alternative energy is part of an agenda that opposes any migration away from fossil fuel energies, mega-dam projects, and uranium.

If I was dictator of Ontario I would hold current OPG generation static and as a baseline. And I would tell municiplaities that if they want any more power than what the baseline provides, they must provide it themselves and it must be 90% renewable and zero emissions.

A wind spill

 

 

 

Mike from Canmore

Frustrated Mess, I'm not surprised you found a former Bruce Power employee against industrial wind projects. Dozens of wind farms have gone up around Bruce Power and around the small towns located near Bruce Power. Many farmers in this area also work at the plant or have a spouse that does (because you pretty much need a second income to run a farm these days). 

I disagree with your reasoning that raising health and environmental concerns is part of an agenda to maintain fossil fuel energy. Talk with the people whose health is suffering. Many of them eagerly registered to have wind turbines placed on their property because they were convinced it was the green thing to do. Then they started having health problems.  People were forced to move away from their family homes and farms. For others, moving wasn't a financial option and I have had lots of people tell me they have become addicted to sleeping pills. Once people started speaking out they quickly learned that those 40 page contacts stipulate you are legally gaged from speaking about any health issues that may result from having a wind turbine on your property. Yet these same companies claim the turbines are safe. These are not the voices of a fossil fuel agenda: these are the voices of desperate and devastated people.

There is a solution that works for everyone - a compromise.  Rather than large scale wind farms, and large scale solar fields for that matter, the NDP could promote small scale wind and solar. Every Ontario household should be environmentally refitted. 

Unionist

Mike from Canmore wrote:

There is a solution that works for everyone - a compromise.  Rather than large scale wind farms, and large scale solar fields for that matter, the NDP could promote small scale wind and solar. Every Ontario household should be environmentally refitted. 

Ah yes. Each home could have its own hydro dam as well. Small is beautiful.

 

outwest

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/real-estate/wind-power-gets-urban-friendl... And the Germans are light-years ahead of us on all of this, using wind turbine design that avoids bat and bird carnage, and inventing solar panels that are the size of small, letter-size window panes. Where there's a will there's a way. Likewise, where there are objections promoted by the fossil fuel industry, any excuse will do.

Mike from Canmore

Actually Unionist small scale hydropower has been used for hundreds of years without dams to manufacture grain, logs and clothing. You may know them as waterwheels. Today they are known as micro-hydro installations and are considered an excellent complement to small scale solar and wind.

I was thinking an excellent place to install small scale water turbines is in urban sewage systems. Massive and predictable amounts of liquid are pumped through our sewage systems everyday. It wouldn't be hard to install water turbines in our sewage system, which in turn could help power the sewage system itself. 

Unionist

Mike, I know small scale hydropower has been used for hundreds of years. So has small scale food and clothing and everything production. I don't believe in it. I think history has bypassed it. I don't think big is the source of problems. I think exploitation is. I think big is beautiful, when divorced from exploitation. I am not a frontiersperson. I am not a libertarian. I do not believe in people looking after themselves. I believe in society. Sorry, but that's just me.

Cueball Cueball's picture

remind wrote:

Unionist, in actual fact mike from canmore has  very  valid points about  every home being fitted with solar panels and a small efficient wind mills, is there absolutely no reason why it cannot be done, and every reason why it should.

Yes. Obviously we have huge areas of urban space that are not properly utilized in this manner. If Unionists objection is that it should not be the responsibility of the individual to take care of these problems, but instead something that needs to be organized and funded at a society wide level, I am all for that, but there is nothing about small scale power generation that is antithetical to that idea. Small scale power generation can be created on a large scale, as part of the solution.

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

I am actually quite a fan of wind and solar... but I hate the way the discussion usually gets framed. There is truth to the argument that neither is THE alternative... the wind doesn't always blow, the sun doesn't always shine... and if they play a major role, there will always have to be a "conventional" stand-by generation capacity for when the wind isn't blowing and the sun isn't shining. What infuriates the hell out of me is when proponents of wind and solar refuse to challenge the presumption that this standby capacity has to be governed by market rules... foremost of which is that any idle capacity is wasted, and standby generation should be engaged at all times and the electricity be available for export.

Conventional standby capacity is a necessary evil and should only be used when the wind/solar fall below demand. The market, apparently, abhors idle capacity, so take the generation of electricity out of the market model entirely. The generation of electricity should be a state monopoly and the real costs of generating electricity (like GHGs and other things that degrade the environment) should be considered as important as the monetary costs involved in generation. Someone should say this up front, the market worshipping private sector should be excluded from any involvement in the industry, and perhaps even from the debate itself.

I will agree that neither wind nor solar are THE solution, I don't think that there is a single solution. Life is complex. Cope. But stop trying to come up with solutions that require appeasing the market.

Unionist

I agree with the last three posters. I do not agree with any suggestion that individuals should provide for their own power generation. Or health care. Or education. And I am suspicious of any criticism of renewable energy that does not take, as a first principle, that reliance on non-renewable energy must stop immediately.

 

Mike from Canmore

I am the first to say that as a society we should take care of each other. That means EVERYONE should benefit and NO ONE should suffer. This means that the urban majority has a responsibility not to sacrifice the rural minority so that urbanites can have their power needs met. The urban majority has a responsibility to produce ethical energy and right now that starts with a moratorium on industrial wind turbines until there's been further R&D and development of small scale energy sources instead. 

Farmpunk

Nice to see babblers from areas far outside the affected areas telling us how it is.

My Grandparents lived on a farm, etc.

Tommy_Paine

Then we have the consumer dilemma....

 

Wind generation costs about $8 per megawatt to produce. Nuclear is about $2 per MW and oil, gas, coal and hydro-electric less than that. On the flip side photo-voltaic solar runs in about $12 per MW. Are we prepared to pay 4 or 5 times more for our electricity? Our obscessive consuption of power and power-hungry devices will put us on the brink of an economic collapse as the cost of goods and service will fly out of reach of all but the very rich. And as demands lessons, the cost will drive up even higher.

 

I can't help but think that such costing might be skewed by selective book keeping: for example, do health care costs associated with coal and oil, and other environmental costs (tack on the unfolding disaster in Louisianna, for starters) figure into that costing?   Does this costing include the new information that solar cells are lasting 30 years, and not the original projection of 20 years?  That changes the amortization on the capitalization of such projects by a whopping 33%.

 

I will agree that creating new power generation seems like road improvement projects:  widen the roads, create more roads and you create more traffic as driving a car suddenly becomes more attractive to people to whom it wasn't previously.    Create more electric power, and someone seems to suck that extra and then some.   

We'll always be at peak demand.

That is until there is agressive conservation.   And, I'm not talking about changing from incandescent to flourescent bulbs.   There needs to be serious regulation of industry and business.  

 

And, that's not on any political party's agenda at the moment.

 

Once again, the health concerns concerning windmills.   I'm not sure what to make of this, other than the people who insist there's nothing wrong with them also insist on the windmills being located hundreds of KM from their abodes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Charter Rights

Take goethermal for instance. Great technology, producing heat from the ground. However, since the demands is still relatively low, the capital cost of the equipment and installation usually has a payback of 30-35 years. The equipment has a lifespan of 20-25 years and so anyone who uses it today is essentially paying for the privilege.

 

Same goes for small scale wind or PV solar. The capital costs drive it beyond affordability. What we really need are very basic technology that is maximized to efficiency. Sure the PV cells are becoming more efficient, but the cost of manufacture is going up equally. Then of course the "green" movement is a corportist's delight - a new way to squeeze more money out of naive consumers. If they make us think we are doing something good for the environment are we really doing something good for the environment? In most cases the answer is "no" primarily because of all the non-green manufacturing, oil-based products and delivery of goods made in China or Taiwan.........

Low-velocity hydro-electric still shows promise but because they can made in the garage of the average home out parts in boxes and tools owned by the average homeowner, very few companies want that kind of technology. There is too much risk that a back-yard mechanic could steal the design and reproduce it a lot cheaper.

 

Wind is not great and for the most part is unreliable and prone to mechanical problems. And until we find a way to make it more reliable and produce the equipment for much cheaper it will be out of reach for the average homeowner, who is less concerned with the environement and more concerned about whether or not the mortgage gets paid at the end of the month, and whether there will be enough left over to add some fresh food to the table fare. It isn't a matter of conciousness, but one of necessity and economics.

 

 

 

Sven Sven's picture

Mike from Canmore wrote:

Every Ontario household should be environmentally refitted. 

At what cost per household?

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I'd like to see more folks growing their own veggies and other stuff. I have a small property out here in the boondocks, but I have a veggie garden that gives me more than 75 heads of lettuce, 100 carrots, and God knows how many beets and radishes. And I got flowers growing all over in the summer and fall.

Sven Sven's picture

Boom Boom wrote:

I'd like to see more folks growing their own veggies and other stuff. I have a small property out here in the boondocks, but I have a veggie garden that gives me more than 75 heads of lettuce, 100 carrots, and God knows how many beets and radishes. And I got flowers growing all over in the summer and fall.

How much time, in an average week, do you spend tending your garden?

Bubbles

Sven wrote:

Mike from Canmore wrote:

Every Ontario household should be environmentally refitted. 

At what cost per household?

If your life support system is failing, do you ask how much it costs to avoid that failure?

Mike from Canmore

@ sven how about a $7 billion dollar budget be created to refit every Ontario household... the same budget that McGuinty awarded Samsung to build wind turbines. 

How come $7 billion for a foreign company to build wind turbines is applauded without question yet people get spooked and ask all kinds of questions about costs when we even mention refitting Ontario households to be more environmentally. 

Sven Sven's picture

Mike from Canmore wrote:

@ sven how about a $7 billion dollar budget be created to refit every Ontario household... the same budget that McGuinty awarded Samsung to build wind turbines.

Do you have a link for what it would cost to retrofit every household in Ontario for solar?  What would $7 billion deliver for each household?  In other words, would $7 billion in solar panels for the 3.9 million households in Ontario provide enough energy to run a household?  Just a water heater?  Or, what?

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Sven wrote:

Boom Boom wrote:

I'd like to see more folks growing their own veggies and other stuff. I have a small property out here in the boondocks, but I have a veggie garden that gives me more than 75 heads of lettuce, 100 carrots, and God knows how many beets and radishes. And I got flowers growing all over in the summer and fall.

How much time, in an average week, do you spend tending your garden?

Not much. An hour a day, most days I could just leave it to itself, but gardening is my hobby, very relaxing. Occasionally I pull weeds out and that takes a while longer, but not something I do regularly. If it's going to be warm and dry, I get the watering hose out early in the mrorning.

Sven Sven's picture

Bubbles wrote:

If your life support system is failing, do you ask how much it costs to avoid that failure?

You're not arguing that understanding the cost of such a retrofitting is irrelevant, are you?

We could make every car on the road as crash-safe as a NASCAR race car and that would save a lot of lives, too.  But, would people be willing to spend, say, an extra $20,000 or $30,000 for their vehicle to do that (not to mention wearing a helmet while driving a car and sitting in a full-body restraint system)?

Probably not.

Mike from Canmore

Do your own research Sven and while you're at it find out how much energy $7 billion for Samsung wind turbines is going to produce. I can tell ya right now our present Ontario wind farms are barley making a dent in the system. You can check the energy levels of some wind turbine projects on line and last time I checked some where running at 1% capacity. 

Tommy_Paine

If it's going to be warm and dry, I get the watering hose out early in the morning.

So, in your locale, that amounts to what, twice a year?    Laughing


Sven Sven's picture

Boom Boom wrote:

Sven wrote:

Boom Boom wrote:

I'd like to see more folks growing their own veggies and other stuff. I have a small property out here in the boondocks, but I have a veggie garden that gives me more than 75 heads of lettuce, 100 carrots, and God knows how many beets and radishes. And I got flowers growing all over in the summer and fall.

How much time, in an average week, do you spend tending your garden?

Not much. An hour a day...

So, you put in about one full workday of work on your garden every week.

If a person is doing that as a hobby and for relaxation, it should like a great use of time.

But, for most people that would not be an economical use of their time for the quantity of food they produce.

And, that's probably why most people don't do it.

Sven Sven's picture

Mike from Canmore wrote:

Do your own research Sven...

Well, you are the one who advocated spending $7 billion on retrofitting the 3.9 million households in Ontario with solar.

Based on that, I think it would be fair for a reader to assume that you would have some idea as to what kind of energy production would be gained for that kind of expenditure.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Sven wrote:
But, for most people that would not be an economical use of their time for the quantity of food they produce.

And, that's probably why most people don't do it.

Then most people are idiots. Laughing

It's not just growing your own food, it's also relaxing exercise and doing something healthy and constructive with your time instead of being glued to computer or television screens. Plus, gardens are attractive additions to an otherwise drab property.  Folks have to get away from this "economical use of their time" mindset and get back to things that matter.

Mike from Canmore

@ Sven

A lot of things are not economical but we do it anyway. And just because something is economical doesn't mean we should do it. For example, why ship fresh produce hundreds of thousands of miles, all the while burning up oil, harming the environment and exploiting laborers, when we can grow our fruits and vegetables locally and pay our farmers a fair wage? I opt for fair over cheap any day. I opt for supporting my local economy over foreign economies.

I realize that not everyone can afford the price of locally produced goods. That's why our governments should be investing "our" tax dollars in our local communities by supporting locally grown food and environmental refitting. It puts money back into the community, communities become prosperous, and in turn citizen become financially able to pay fair wages. A win-win situation. Trickle-up theory. 

outwest

On a purely economic basis, retrofitting for wind and solar (and greywater) on the small scale may seem unprofitable now, but as peak oil heats up in the next few years, I believe those who do will increasingly be sitting pretty with regard to utility bills. 

Bubbles

Sven wrote:

Bubbles wrote:

If your life support system is failing, do you ask how much it costs to avoid that failure?

You're not arguing that understanding the cost of such a retrofitting is irrelevant, are you?

We could make every car on the road as crash-safe as a NASCAR race car and that would save a lot of lives, too.  But, would people be willing to spend, say, an extra $20,000 or $30,000 for their vehicle to do that (not to mention wearing a helmet while driving a car and sitting in a full-body restraint system)?

Probably not.

You got it. Some things are to big to fail.

Look at Obama pulling out all the stops with the oil leak of your coast. Can you put a figure on the cost of failure?

Pages

Topic locked