Saturday, 11 February 2012

People divide people - not legislation
February 08, 2012
Robert Knox Letter to the Editor

Here's the original article.

In his recent opinion piece, our MPP, Jim Wilson, says the Green Energy Act is dividing Ontario. It isn't. People divide communities not legislation, particularly if the legislation provides opportunities for people to provide input, to object to submissions and to appeal decisions, as is the case with the Green Energy Act. 
Mr. Wilson, who is an experienced, knowledgeable, and principled legislator knows this is so. Mr. Wilson also knows that municipalities never had the authority to decide where turbines and solar panels can go, anymore than they can establish their own building codes, ignore provincial public health and education regulation, or determine policies for electrical generation and distribution.
Municipalities can decide where hot dog stands go, but a hot dog stand is not part of a provincial wide electrical system. Even hot dog stands have to respect clear municipal bylaws approved by the appropriate provincially established authority and impartially applied, provincial health regulations, provincial building codes and provincial commercial rules.
Most of Ontario's operational wind projects were approved before the Green Energy Act was in place. Municipalities participated in their development by applying Provincial rules, overseen by Provincial regulators including the Ministry of the Environment, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs, the Ministry of Energy, the Ontario Energy Board and Hydro One Networks Inc.
What's changed? Nothing, except now we have clear and consistent province-wide rules and oversight and approval processes for renewable energy projects.
Wind opponents who use misinformation and disrupt legitimate community consultations divide communities. Stigmatizing foreign owned developers divides communities.
Robert Knox

And here's the reference to the original Jim Wilson opinion piece.


  1. Subject: People divide people – the Judgment of Solomon

    Dear Robert Knox of Collingwood;

    I read with great interest your reply to MPP Jim Wilson’s contention that “the Green Energy Act is dividing Ontario”. Your contention that “People divide communities not legislation, particularly if the legislation provides opportunities for people to provide input, to object to submissions and to appeal decisions, as is the case with the Green Energy Act” is just as divisive since by its impetus it legislates choice on dictated terms, it does not provide for self determination or a more environmentally just alternative. That is, to foster a clean-green environment without, in my anti-Industrial Wind Turbine environmental perspective, doing it further harm.

    This brought to my mind the Judgment of Solomon in this respect. As you may recall, Solomon (the legislator) was presented with a custody dispute by two women, both claiming to be the true mother of a child. In a metaphorical sense the “mothers” represent the opposing factions of pro and anti, wind. The child represents the preservation of our environment here on earth. Solomon, does not have the scientific tools, DNA analysis, to decide which is the true mother. This is illustrative of the lack of science and theoretical merit supporting the use of Industrial Wind Turbines (IWTs). So Solomon contrives a method to determine the true mother. He requests a sword. The sword can be seen metaphorically as an IWT. He then threatens to use the sword (IWT) to divide the child in half, a piece of which he will give to each claimant mother, however, costing the child its life. The woman who is not the true mother demands that this be done. The true mother, to spare the child’s life, offers to relinquish the child to her opposer. And here in lies the metaphorical moral. The anti-wind folk have not been offered any alternative to IWTs, hence the need for legislation, the sword of the Green Energy Act (GEA).

    I say, as an anti IWT proponent, put away the GEA sword. I offer an alternative of which there are many similar others, as a more “natural” solution, to preserve the health (life) of our environment (children): Extensive cropping of hemp is a far more efficient and quicker way of preserving our environment by achieving carbon sequestration and lessening the production of other greenhouse gases, particularly when replacing grain and fodder crops for animal meat and dairy production. In this process we create highly nutritious food in the form of hemp seed, oil and flour, biodegradable products such as hemp insulation, hempcrete, fibre for cloth and plastics. The additional benefits are that hemp prospers even on marginal agricultural land, is extremely drought tolerant and, does not require the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides which have been recognized as human carcinogens and are otherwise wreaking havoc on animal life. As a rotational crop it conditions the soil and reduces the need for added chemical additives required by other food crops. As well, hemp cropping is an extraordinarily effective manner to achieve soil remediation of heavy metals and other introduced soil pollutants, thus helping to cleanse the water table. As an aside, in areas where extensive hemp cropping occurs, there is a noted increase in bird populations, particularly songbirds. Hemp cropping is also a most efficient way to produce fuel sources such as ethanol, biodiesel and biogas. Ontario represents an ideal setting for this industry. With some industrial hemp infrastructure, like that in Manitoba, achieved at far less cost than just even a few IWT developments, many jobs would be created and farmers would benefit from a certainty of cash crop remuneration with far less risk and energy output. This I feel more truly represents the Judgment of Solomon.


    David Norman, Rogue Primate of Bloomfield

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