The roads to turbine Hell
60 Km of new roads and over 40Km of transmission/collector lines cut through the forest.
Despite our desperate resistance to the economic suicide of the allegedly ‘Green’ Energy Act, giant monuments to greed and gullibility blight our iconic landscape which inspired artists, most notably the Group of Seven, whose masterpieces have been part of the Canadian “brand” for generations.
In scope the following photo captures fewer than half of the Bow Lake/Nodin Kitigan Industrial Wind Turbines (IWT) visible from this Hwy 17N location near Montreal River Harbour. Even so the wide angle photograph tends to reduce the overwhelming scale of the towers.
Taken at a focal length representative of what the human eye sees, the visual impact is more true-to-life:
Driving by at 90kph some might quibble about aesthetics and the “industrialization” seen at distance. At ground zero the effect is, I think, unarguable , but you be the judge from the photographic record.
To understand the remoteness and wilderness context, consider that you have travelled approximately 100 km on Hwy 17N, south from Wawa or North from Sault Ste Marie, then braved the sometimes challenging conditions of a main forestry road for another approximately 23 km to arrive at this paradise.
Still thinking the view is “green” and pleasant?
For years the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources has been trying to remove culverts and close forestry roads, limiting recreational activities and camp access; oddly the wind industry is allowed to claim a tiny environmental footprint because it uses “existing logging roads” though they mostly look like this on the way to reverting to a closed canopy.
An existing logging road junction at first use for wind development and geotechnical exploration stockpile…
…and as it appears now, more than double the surface area yet an impediment to public access.
Here now is the wind industry’s idea of using the existing roads: double the width, blast or fill to reduce the grade and clear the forest back 8m to 10m from the edges of the new road.
And then there are the slashes for met towers and transmission lines on ridges, through wetland and across waterbodies.
Why are the green groups, who claim pipelines and logging roads fragment and degrade ecosystems, so content with this extravagant road construction? Where is the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement whose steering committee is made up entirely of agencies of government? While they do list wind development as a threat, it is at the very bottom, which does seem inappropriate all things considered.
Neither economic nor environmental good sense, only lack of transmission capacity, has prevented the approval of additional projects here and in the rest of the Superior watershed.