Nurses for Safe Renewable Power

Looking for a healthy environment for everyone

RNAO picks winners and losers; rural Ontario, you lose

We had a document passed along to us from the recent Queen’s Park Day for the Registered Nurses Association, called the Supplementary Notes. This is a companion document to the disappointing and deeply flawed Briefing Notes document.

Among the questions and answers presented was this:

Q: Shouldn’t we go slow on wind turbines due to concerns about health?

RNAO A: We are balancing known and unknown risks due to dirty coal against unproven and much smaller risks in the case of solar energy [sic] and wind turbines. Proper siting and rigorous environmental assessments will help to address community concerns. Solar and wind are just two of a number of safer sources of energy. The cheapest and safest energy is the energy you save through conservation and efficiencies–conservation must be the number one priority.

First, who says you have to “balance” risks? Why can’t we find a solution for everyone, so that everyone enjoys a safe environment?

Second, it is a complete myth that people are “dying” from pollution from coal-fired power plants. Ontario is presently using coal for less than 3% of its power, and the plants are only kept on because of the possibility of a peak in demand. They could be turned off, right now, today.

Third, “proper siting”…Ontario’s 550-meter setback is not adequate for health; see earlier post on the Society for Wind Vigilance suggested setback of 2 km, which they acknowledge is only a first step–the truly safe setbacks will have to be much greater.

Fourth, “rigorous environmental assessment”? This is a cruel joke: Ontario’s environmental approval process is a rubber stamp. And how do you accept the fact that Ontario is allowing projects to proceed with pre-Green Energy Act setbacks of 400 meters (e.g., Port Elgin, Grand Valley)?

Wind power generation is not safe; it’s not even “green” and will certainly never replace coal.

Isn’t it time, RNAO, you did proper research and stopped accepting news releases from groups like Environmental Defence, Ontario Clean Air Alliance and Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (which is NOT a medical organization) without doing due diligence?

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