Wind farm to destroy Canada's first 'dark sky preserve'


#1

[Read the post]


#2

I’m missing the connection between wind turbines and light pollution.

Couldn’t they just run in the darkness, night sky undisturbed?

ETA: well, I guess you’d need beacons to alert planes. Shoot. Just no-fly-zone the whole thing?


#3

Oh, noes, green energy near rich people’s summer houses. This is an outrage.


#4

There’s a solution. Don’t use any lights on the wind farm. If planes crash into the towers, rebuild the towers.


#5

When it comes to carbon-neutral energy, to quote Joe Louis (or whoever actually said it first) — everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die.


#6

Yep. “When I voted to prohibit fracking, and to dismantle the dams, and to decommission the reactors, how was I to know they were going to build a wind turbine RIGHT WHERE IT BLOCKS MY VIEW???”


#7

O frabjous day, the standard list of Big Oil talking points got a new entry!


#8

People who live there should look at the good side. Lots less shit on their driveways from all those migrating birds.


#9

Are they really that loud? I’ve walked through a few large windfarms (Tehachapi was one, but can’t recall the others) and they didn’t seem that loud to me, although I wasn’t actively trying to discern windfarm noise versus standard wind/forest noise. Damage to the local wildlife would be my foremost concern.


#10

This. Yes.


#11

NIMBYs attack. Why is this on BoingBoing? And seriously Jason, “expensive and loud” energy? Is this a talking point from a coal industry ad?


#12

What am I missing about this? Isn’t like a 95% of Canada a ‘dark sky preserve’? There’s NOTHING THERE! Canada has roughly the same land area as the US (which has plenty of dark sky) with 1/10 the population. And almost all of that is within 100 mi of the US border.


#13

I think anything high enough is going to need some blinkers for planes. And I also think anything making use of that darkness is going to need super dark.


#14

well at least a wind turbine can be torn down in the future. It’s a little more reversible than, let’s say, an oil spill or strip mining.


#15

A dark sky preserve is not a nature preserve, except in the sense that the night sky is part of nature. Unless the wind farm will be brightly illuminated, it’s no threat to the dark sky status of the preserve.


#16

Though actually the construction is going to bring lights in for a good period of time, next to the possible idea that anything with electricity running through it is going to have lights of some sort.


#17

Oil & coal are pumping money into Ontario, purchasing loud nimby attacks on any and all renewable energy plans. Much louder than the wind turbines.

Unfortunately the current Ontario government is fairly corrupt, does make some of the worst energy investment decisions in North America, and lines it’s pockets all the while. It isn’t as though oil & coal are the only bad guys. Big energy is Big energy.

So what to do?

Have renewable energy anyway, since you’re stuck with corruption in any case. Vote out the current provincial government to try and secure something less corrupt for a few years (difficult, the provincial NDP sorely needs new leadership to win an election IMO) and ignore the minority nimby attacks.

As for dark skies…

It hasn’t proved that much of a draw for tourists.
Tourists are their own brand of ecological trouble.
Cottagers leave their lights on all the damn time.
Even so, it’s pretty frickin dark around here. Naked eye star-gazing at night at my cottage on a lake is awesome, I can’t say regarding telescopes & such.

As for lights on towers… have we not by now got some transponder technology that could replace this? And if there is some schmuck mucking about in a low tech plane late at night with no flight plan or clue… need we plan so much for them?

While Big (green) Energy is devoted to not leaving money in the areas they exploit, many people around here do support wind and solar, though the preference is solar despite the province fucking that up as well.

But the complaints about the source/intent of anti-wind efforts are very much justified… it is nimbyism, it is a concerted effort by fossil fuels & given the alternatives, I’d do wind & solar over fossil fuels. I’d even accept nuclear so long as they don’t try and shove a uranium mine down our throats (another frontenac drama, hopefully past)


#18

Build it in the daytime and make the towers’ anti-aircraft lights directional so they can’t interfere with ground-based astronomy.


#19

I think a ‘dark sky preserve’ is a wonderful thing, and maybe the farm should be built elsewhere. But, yes, calling wind energy “expensive and loud” is… well… it’s more than wrong… it seems uninformed to the point of the author playing stupid on purpose.


#20

Oh and BTW, regarding the post title. Frontenac boasts Canada’s -latest- dark sky site. About 16 years from being first.

edit - As for the letter,

Hardly, and it’s teh worst one. Manitoulin Island is far less developed and farther from urban centres to boot. Also, all communities are local communities, stop talking that way.