How to set aside Vancouver’s Wind Turbine bylaw in one easy lesson

Explaining Vancouver's "Law of Windmills"

Municipal lawyers make money by knowing things that are generally not worth knowing.

The idea of encouraging the installation of wind turbines in the relatively dense areas of Vancouver is probably no more idiotic than the other things done by our Council. A permit issued for one of these things could quite likely be set aside by a court.

Section 10 of the Zoning and Development Bylaw contains a grab bag full of general regulations. These regulations apply to each of the uses listed in the land use section of the bylaw. It says:

Relaxation of Limitations on Building Height
10.11.1 Height Increases for Buildings

(d) access and infrastructure required to maintain green roofs or urban agriculture, or roof-mounted energy technologies including solar panels and wind turbines, provided that the Director of Planning considers:
(i) their siting and sizing in relation to views, overlook, shadowing, and noise impacts, and
(ii) all applicable policies and guidelines adopted by Council;

A zoning bylaw regulates the use of land. Use means the purpose for which land can be used. All things that are not expressly permitted are forbidden. The use section of the RS-5 Residential Zone for example allows a one family dwelling. (One family dwelling actually means something else but we can deal with that some other time.) It also allows:

Accessory Uses customarily ancillary to any of the uses listed in this section.

Is a wind turbine in Vancouver customarily ancillary to a single family dwelling?

The simple answer is: No

The City has adopted by resolution a bulletin which sets out certain guidelines for Wind Turbines. This is not a zoning bylaw. Zoning bylaws must be adopted by "bylaw" following a public hearing. The city has no power to adopt zoning bylaws in any way other than as permitted by the Vancouver Charter. A resolution will not do the trick. There must be a public hearing at which the public has its say. [That the councilors pay any attention to what you have to say is what is known as a legal fiction.]

It use to be that where there is an ambiguity in a zoning bylaw it was construed in favor of the taxpayer. That has changed over the years. Now it favors the Government. So, it is always possible that a court would hold that the sleight of hand involved in leaving turbines out of the listing of uses, and slipping them into the general regulations does the trick. If I were the developer though, I would not count on it. It does not pass the 'bad odor' test.

So when the City issues a permit for a wind-turbine for the house next door, and if you think there is a enough wind in Vancouver (other than at City Hall) to make the infernal contraption squeak in the night, then apply the latin maxim Petendam in adulteri. File a petition for judicial review to quash the the permit. While you're at it, ask the court to declare that wind turbines are not a permitted accessory use. Also ask for court costs.

– post by Jonathan Baker. See Jonathan's earlier commentary about urban wind turbines here. For more background on this story see the original report by CBC TV.

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  • Steven Forth

    “It use to be that where there is an ambiguity in a zoning bylaw it was construed in favor of the taxpayer.”

    Surely it would be in the tax payer’s interest to be allowed to install a wind turbine if they felt it was in their interest. You seem very confused in this post and eager to enforce government control over property.

    The neighbours might object, and if the wind turbine impacts the value, use and enjoyment of their property then they should be able to block it. That is true of many things.

    So anyone who wants to install wind turbines will need to seek out (or yet better invent) designs that are inbotrusive, respect neighbours and birds, and that make sense for them.

    What is ‘customarily ancilliary’ is not something fixed in the past, it will change as technology, culture and lifestyles change.

  • Ken Lawson

    Get this clear in your heads, we are not interested in wind turbines, if you want them you pay for them out of your own pockets, not the taxpayer nor the carbon tax fund which will be eliminated after the next provincial election, keep your g.d. hands out of others peoples pockets!

    • Steven Forth

      Get this clear in your head Ken, you are not “We”. You speak for yourself. I speak for myself.

      Nothing in the above post had anything to do with a government subsidizing wind turbines. It simply addresses the question of whether I, as a home owner, should be allowed to invest my own money installing wind turbines if I choose to do so.

      I believe the answer should be that I am allowed to invest in wind turbines provided they do not interfere with my neighbour’s use and enjoyment of their own property and provided the design is not excessively dangerous to local bird and cat populations (if we kill too many birds we deprive cats of an important source of food, which then cascades to the racoons and coyotes, not to mention the makers of shamisens).

      The same should apply to chickens, front yard gardens, garages and parketing spaces, etc. Let me make my own decisions as long as I am willing to carry my own costs and I do not damage the environment, my neighbour’s property or the larger social space.

  • gman

    And people thought the Hatfields and McCoys had issues LOL.Let the games begin.

  • Ron

    Rather than come up with a good policy, lets just start suing everyone!

    Great suggestion!

    Of course, the city COULD elimate the lawsuits by having the fortitude of standing up to the public. What are the odds of that I wonder?

    So clearly once again another great day in the making for lawyers at the expense of the public!

    • jonathan baker

      The post argues that the City has not yet made free standing wind turbines legal by holding a public hearing as required. What does “having the fortitude of standing up to the public mean?” The City can easily hold a public hearing and legalize free standing windmills in back yards. As far as law and lawyers are concerned, if you ever have problems with the government, forget the lawyers: -hire an organic farmer to solve it.

      • Ron

        It means that putting in the idea of letting everyone have a clanking bird killer jetting into the sky like some sort of futuristic steampunk flag would require some serious fortitude because it would be met with a seriously angry torch and pitchfork crowd!

        I.E. rather than put in the effort they sneaked it in and now we will have some nice income opportunities for lawyers.

        But while hiring a lawyer is fun and I agree the organic farmer even better the best way is to vote with you feet!

        Now if only I could get White Rock out of the GRVR and Translink I wouldn’t have to cross the border to buy gas and the withdrawl from the crazy COV dominated region would be complete!

  • Steven Forth

    Well, lawsuits is how this stuff generally gets handled in the US and it has its benefits. Property owners should have some rights. I doubt my current neighbours would mind a wind generator, we might even want to get together and build some.

    But I have no problem with the city coming up with guidelines as long as these are around noise, sightlines, etc. and not an attempt to limit designs.

  • Max

    I wonder if the ‘City’ has taken into consideration the number of bird deaths that result from wind tubrines.

    Not the best ‘green’ technology out there.

    As for Vision ignoring the Charter in order to push their agenda – this is not the first time.

    • jonathan baker

      You raise another point. The City in its administrative Bulletin sets no standards at all for wind turbines. Since they affect neighbours you would expect that they would determine some kind of trade off. If they work and generate lots of power the utility may justify the nuisance. If they don’t work and are just ornamental for sustainability that is another matter. The City mentions impact on neighbors but has no interest in whether they work or not. It is like everything they do.

  • rf

    Environmentalists of today seem to mold their ethics to what is convenient to their hypothesis.

    If ducks die in a tailings pool in Ft. McMurray it’s front page news and a purported reason to stop production.

    If a wind turbine kills birds (and bats), it’s ok, because the energy produced is more in line with their customized morals.

    • Bill

      Yet in Rio, they are raising the alarm about the decline in bat populations and how that is a bad thing. Never underestimate the ability of Progressives to turn logic into pretzels if that’s what is needed to get the desired outcome.

  • Richard Unger

    Dear Mr. Baker,

    I am glad to see your voice added to the rooster of City Caucus, as you are one of the rare people with commonsense and decency on many things in respect to how our (any) city works, or it’s supposed to.
    Thanks for your humble contribution.
    Now, I am not familiar with this technology, capturing the wind, my only encounter withof windmills was during my trip to The Netherlands and through the travels of Don Quixote… 🙂
    IMHO, this is lunacy!
    As if it wasn’t enough bird population killed by reflective glass from the tall buildings downtown, or from the waves transmitted from the numerous Cellphone poles/ towers (I read not long ago about that local guy, Cupland who proposed the proliferation of Vancouver Poles (high tech I believe) throughout the city… LOL!
    So, long story short, now people want to bring trauma to birds from installing “miniature windmills in their backyards?

    You better explain that to me, like how it works and if it really helps, at all!!! I don’t think they will be grid free anytime soon.
    Too much symbolic moves for a city. It goes nowhere, but it cost a lot!

    have a good one,

    Dr. Richard Unger MD (Ret)

    • jonathan baker

      Dear Dr. Unger,

      Thanks for your comment.I don’t know if you saw my earlier post entitled “Wilting at Tinmills” in which I describe these things as “sustainable chic.” You can find my blog at

      These things are useful in areas that have no power. As with solar collectors you can keep a car battery charged and with LED lamps you can light the house and charge your cell phone.

      The article is satire. We laugh because we must not cry.

  • Steven Forth

    There are many ways to design a wind turbine. Not all of them are dangerous to birds and not all of them have to be looming towers. Jonathan Baker’s original post (see his link) is much better than the CityCaucus post.

    The real issue here is the city blocking innovation, or in this case, possibly moving to allow innovation. The innovations have to respect wildlife and livability (noise) and Baker may be quite right that wind power is not an important part of Vancouver’s future. Or he may be wrong. I don’t know and as he recognizes neither does he.

    The rabid right on this blog seems to oppose anything the city does except for building more parking and roads and pipelines etc. But they like to make sure that the status quo increases its subsidies and that the city tells us what we can and can’t do around providing parking, what we do with our front lawns, preventing innovations. Talk about double standards.

    • Ron


      I would say the real issue it putting an industrial facility in a residential area. And not a quiet, nor unobtrusive, nor one that doesn’t have it’s own enviromental impact.

      If you want to really lower our enviromental footprint and lower emissions simply put a high effecientcy garbage incineration plant somewhere in the lower mainland. Even with it’s (dramatically overestimated by the public) emissions it would probably end up with a net reduction in emissions (waaaaay lets truck trips to Cache Creek which is hardly a hop skip and a jump) while providing more power than putting one of these contraptions in every lot in the city!

      • Steven Forth

        Not sure how you get to ‘industrial facility’. There are many micro turbines that will be used for point energy generation in the future. Wind is just one of them. I may even get one of those cute machines powered by a bike so I can get some cardio while watching TV and generate some spare energy at the same time.

        The simple facts are that none of us know what kinds of innovation are coming so lets minimize government regulations that block change. Not eliminate, minimize.

        And I agree that a high efficiency incineration plant inside the COV is a good idea. Vancouver should process its own waste in its own borders.

        In any case, I find the whole concept of residential zoning problematic, we should encourage a fix of workspaces, light manufacturing, etc. in with residential. And I still want to invest in your backyard rendering plant.

        • Ron

          Well, the metal thing in the picture looks pretty industrial and being a power plant sounds industrial to me.

          Now if it wasn’t annoying to the neighbours (like say roof top solar panels made to look decent) or something in your house like a bike thing (which given the amount of energy to make it the first place would be a net energy consumer IMO) then by all means that’s fine. But a bird killing steampunk energy flagpole in the back yard isn’t going to win you any friends any more than my back yard rendering plant (which would only kill your nostrils but the birds would be safe!).

          Incidentily, if we were to put an incinerator plant on Annacys it could be made to be super hot by supplementing it with natural gas. They could then increase it’s effecientcy by selling off heat to nearby industry.

          We could do another cogeneration plant in delta to take care of farm waste and rather than have composting we could put the organics in with the farm waste and once again make it super effecient by selling the heat to the greenhouses.

          You already have to roll the windows up going over the Alex Fraser and perhaps a modern plant providing heat and electricty with modern scrubbers would actually allow some of the industry to be less polluting by using that energy source.

          Or alternatively you could put the combo garbage gas plant near the dump in Delta.

          And if you want to call me a NIMBY while it wouldn’t fit in White Rock (litterally) if they wanted to put it in south surrey that would be fine with me. Most people don’t know there’s already one in Burnaby and while it’s not pretty it’s not in the residential area so it’s no big deal.

  • Steven Forth

    It should not be up to the city or any other government to determine if wind turbines work or not. They should confine themselves to a minimum of guidelines to protect wildlife, noise and other properties that impact the neighbourhood. I am perfectly capable of making my own investment and risk/reward decisions and do not need someone up at Cambie, or in Victoria, or in Ottawa trying to figure this out for me.

  • gman

    I heard China announced today that they are running out of Rare Earth that is required to build windmills and electric cars and considering 50% of Rare Earth is in China and they own 95% of the deposits in the world it looks like we are seeing Peek Rare Earth…….So whats next cesspools in our back yard to produce methane to run the barbeque.

    • Steven Forth

      I think you mean ‘peak’. Yes China has been way ahead of most of us in recognizing the importance of rare earths (which have may uses beyond turbines and electric cars, a tiny percentage of demand). So we need to develop alternatives (and use BCs mining expertise to find new sources of rare earths). And backyard septic systems are fine if you can figure out how to do one without provoking your neighbours.

    • teririch

      China does have a lock on the REE market, however, Greenland is a serious competitor. China has plans/given notice that they won’t be ‘sharing’ their stash by the end of 2012.

      Why this is concerning, not only do REE’s contribute to wind turbines and electric cars, medical devices require them. (an military, but we won’t go there)

      Canada does have mining companies that are exploring for REE’s but it takes time to bring a mine to fruition as well as millions upon millions upon millions of dollars.

      With the markets being in their current state , many of the junors can’t move forward – no money and regardless of fundraising efforts, still no money.

      The second concern hitting the BC mining sector – the prospect of the NDP forming government in 2013.

      The ‘left’ can try to deny it, but that conversation is being had by many Vancouver based companies that have stakes in BC mines.

      Things did not go well for the BC mining sector under the NDP government in the 90’s and what the ‘left’ fail to realize, many of the current company presidents, CEO’s, chairman, etc worked in the industry at that time, and they remember how they were treated.

      Fun fact: Do you know that the mining sector (Canada wide) employed over 306,000 people in 2010 and brought in over $8.4 billion in taxes?

      • gman

        teririch I agree,I heard several months ago they were looking at an REE mine in Manitoba but I don’t recall the details.Unfortunately the greens have railed against any type of this mining in North America which is a shame because it is a dirty business and it would have been done in a much more environmentally friendly manner in this country than in China and very profitable for Canada.

        • teririch


          The mine in Manitoba is Gossan Resources.

          There are many other companies that are looking for various REE’s, lithium and vanadium being the two most popular. They just may not be looking in Canada.

          For BC, silver, gold, base metals, and coal are the most common.

          Uranium, which is not mined in BC, had for sometime been ignored. But with nuclear power gaining popularity there are companies gathering war chests to go after low lying urnaium stock and or companies.

          Canada has someof the most stringent rules surrounding mining, hence the long process to bring a mine on-line. And unlike many countries where mines operate, they are good paying, long term jobs.

  • Bill

    Wind turbines in residential neighbourhoods. Have the Greens finally jumped the shark? It is unfortunate but the way the Greens have tried to exploit AGW to advance their agenda (and failed miserably) has only set back the cause of true environmental issues as more and more people just tune them out.

    • gman

      Bill I couldn’t agree more,they couldn’t care less about the pollution caused in China and the third world or the deaths caused in the production of these useless gadgets that will produce next to nothing and forget about your neighbors they can just go pound sand.Nope they blindly spew the party line and think they have some kind of moral high ground.I would suggest its the exact opposite.

      • Ron

        Heck if Robertson was as green AND pro business as he claims to he would be calling for a waste to energy plant where the current transfer station is in South Vancouver!

        It would make money, reduce greenhouse gases (and that’s without the trucking), reduce total landfill amounts and be a net energy producer rather than consumer.

        Of course that would be rejected out of hand by the green types that assume (very much making ass out of all of us) that anything with a smoke stack is bad and that they can simply wish away waste through recycling (handy tip – one advantage of a modern incinerator is you actually have the highest recycling because many materials that end up in the waste anyways are removed – yet another effecientcy!). But what we get is a scenario instead where we truck it to the interior (and soon the states I hear, I wouldn’t put up with that if I was them) to rot in a landfill – a far more costly, enviromentally harmful, and highly ineffecient system.

        • Steven Forth

          Which ‘greens’ are you thinking of when you say we would oppose an incinerator at the current transfer station? A properly designed incinerator is a great idea and waste should be processed locally. I am always surprized at all the people that know what I think before I do and who know all sorts of things that are very hard to know (like when peak oil will occur).

    • jonathan baker

      Usually when I feel that I should be fair to City Hall, I lie down until the feeling passes. In this case the initiative for the windmill came not from City Hall but from a developer. He must have thought that if he put a windmill in the yard of a house he was selling he would attract a Quixotic buyer. While I assume that the concerns over climate change is driven by scientists on both sides of the issue, the many remedies whether it be diverting farm land for ethanol fuel production, or wearing filtered underwear to reduce methane is just old fashioned snake oil.

      • Thought of The Night

        “To Kill a Mockingbird!”

        Great entry for today Johnatan!
        Needless to say that I am in complete agreement with you.
        This week started weird, with the announcements coming out of the city of Vancouver, with the projected 2040 deadline for Greeen-washing. The Bureau of Phantasmagorical Transportation did not dissapoint. Only thing missing from Jerry Dobrovolny’s wish list was Tom the Cat.
        Listening to this guy explaining the rationale behind his wish list is better than a Night At The Improv!

        Windmills in people’s front yards!
        Chicken coops in people’s back yards!
        Wheat fields lining the boulevards!
        Bee hives on all the roofs!
        Transit extravaganza.
        All the roofs… green roofs!
        Walking shoes.
        Bike lanes on back lanes, back lanes on memory lanes, and bikes on both.

        Just by looking at the picture that accompanies this post, the rotating blades of that windmill are like some sort of a trap, out of an Indiana Jones movie where Indiana is played by a little Mockingbird.

        Is that right? Is that wrong?
        I’d say, follow Atticus’ advice:

        “Atticus, you must be wrong….”
        “How’s that?”
        “Well, most folks seem to think they’re right and you’re wrong….”
        “They’re certainly entitled to think that, and they’re entitled to full respect for their opinions,” said Atticus, “but before I can live with other folks I’ve got to live with myself. The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s… conscience.”

        We live in Vancouver and this keeps us busy.

        • Steven Forth

          Out of curiosity, what would your desired future be? (Perhaps CC could have you do a full post on this.) Look forward to your views on

          1. Economic base
          2. Housing affordability
          3. Transit mix
          4. Density
          5. Culture (I will leave that vague)
          6. Environmental footprint (I suspect you think this irrelvant)

          Also curious about your view on the future of the NPA.

          • boohoo

            I have no idea why you bother Steven. Anything this administration proposes is met with ‘yeah well chicken coops are stupid!’ or ‘wheat fields are dumb’ or whatever other stupidity. This blog and many of its commenters reek of fear of change, fear or thinking outside the box, fear of some nebulous boogey man.

          • Glissando Remmy

            Good morrow Steven,

            I will take you up on that, but I’ll go even further… I’ll do two!

            First, one that the Environmentalists and Comp. can take to the Urban City Fares around the World to do the Bike and Pony and V-poles Tricks they usually do, while sipping champagne and spooning caviar at fancy Parisian bistros.
            Second, one for the rest of us that live in the real world.
            I’ll try to touch on all points.

            I like to read, but when you read a Power Point presentation coming out of City Hall these days, it seems like everybody and their dog, are in the business of writing science fiction.

            The beaut’ and where the real problem is, all their deadlines and deliverables are always way, waaay in the future, when their present actions, promises, and guarantees can flourish in virtual impunity.

            It’s a gift and it’s a curse.


        • Ron

          Bang on Glissy!

          But whatever you do it seems don’t build HOUSING in the city! Instead place the various componants of a farm throughout the city! Vancouver will be much greener that way!*

          *Of course the fact that means the housing people require need to go somewhere, ironically in this case, out in valley farmland.

        • Oh, because you dared invoke one of my Dear Mum’s favorite characters from literature, I have to pop your self-aggrandizing balloon. Atticus Finch wouldn’t hide behind anonymity and would have nothing but contempt for the manner in which you attack those you disagree with. For shame, GR, for shame.

          “Every author in some way portrays himself in his works, even if it be against his will.”
          – Goethe

          • ned

            LOL, Chris Keam,
            Every pub you enter, every stand-up show you attend, you have to be the perpetual heckler.
            Keep up the good work! Wahahahahaha… 🙂

  • What kills birds:

    Cars – 6 million
    wind turbines – 33,000
    cats – 500 million

    • boohoo


      Stop it! It feels good to rant!

    • gman

      I found it interesting what they said about turbine bird kills.
      ” Wind turbines may kill 33,000 birds per year, and, as in the case of electrocutions, these birds tend to be large and scarce (e.g. raptors). The recent surge of interest in wind power has heightened concerns about their effect on birds, and has led to at least the discussion of efforts by the wind power industry to design more benign windmills and to choose locations that are less “birdy”. It’s difficult for an environmentalist to come out against renewable energy like wind turbines, but as long as the electricity generated is considered a “supplement” to satisfy increasing demand, wind power will not really help the fight against global warming. Establishment of wind farms should go hand-in-hand with drastic cuts in electricity use, and there is a real need for more study of the relationship between birds and wind farms.”
      And as far as cat kills,is there a 1-800 number the cats call when they make a kill or how does that work?

  • Andrew Browne

    Customarily ancillary could just as easily mean small scale vs utility scale (and the language gives the Director the latitude to reflect on this). Your “short answer” is one hell of a jump. But boy, your advice to sue sure is helpful. That’s just what we want to encourage – a culture of civil litigation. o_O

  • @Gman:

    I realize your question was rhetorical, so you can plunk down a witty remark, but the link supplied within the original reference does answer your question to some extent. Let me link (and quote) that for you. 🙂

    “Cat Predation Studies
    Extensive studies of the feeding habits of free-roaming domestic cats have been conducted over the last 55 years in Europe, North America, Australia, Africa, and on many islands. These studies show that the number and types of animals killed by cats varies greatly, depending on the individual cats, the time of year, and availability of prey. Roughly 60% to 70% of the wildlife cats kill are small mammals; 20% to 30% are birds; and up to 10 are amphibians, reptiles, and insects. However, birds can be up to 100% of a cat’s prey on some islands.”

    • Steven Forth

      Chris, please don’t confuse gman with facts. At the very least, let him pick and choose those that confirm his reality. He is concerned about the use of rare earths in wind turbines and electric cars.But is he concerned about their use in all those micro motors in cars, in flat screens, in MRIs, in just about everything using magnets?

      • Bill

        Perhaps should do a little of your own research, Steven, before accepting Chris’ comment and slagging gman. The Sibley’s reference is from a chart produced in 2003 – not exactly current. A more current estimate was presented at the First Scientific Congress on Wind Energy and Wildlife Conservation in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain held in January this year where a paper was presented estimating that between 6 and 18 million bats and birds are killed annually in Spain. The US has twice as many turbines as Spain.

    • gman

      Now lets see Chris says cats kill birds therefore if turbines kill birds that’s OK….then Steven chimes in and attacks me for posting a direct quote from what Chris linked to…mmmm..yep I got it now guys makes perfect sense right…..right…ohhhh its just so confusing ..LOL.
      Great logic guys keep up the good work.
      PS:Steven didnt you also bring up subsidies for roads and cars and evil oil while in a conversation on wind energy….wow thats classic..LOL

  • boohoo

    “Now lets see Chris says cats kill birds therefore if turbines kill birds that’s OK”

    Nice logic.

    I’m pretty sure he means if your concern is actually for birds, you would be advocating for a ban on cats rather than a ban on windmills.

    • Exactly.

    • gman

      Yep Boo I want to kill all the kitty’s its the only way to save Gaia,maybe we could hurl them all into turbines..LOL. Its called moving the goal posts Boo when your argument holds no weight.The question is,do you think its OK for your neighbor to put up a ten meter whirligig in their back yard when the data shows that this geographical area will not support any measured return on your investment and most likely will only cause dissension among neighbors.
      PS:I hope my spelling was OK,cause we know how that upsets Steven.

      • boohoo


        Who said you want to kill all the kitties? You and others made the point that wind turbines kill birds. The assumption there is that you care for birds and don’t want them to be killed. If that assumption is true then your energy would much better be spent on the far greater killer of birds.

        If saving birds was not your point, then I wonder why you brought it up?

        • gman

          Boo if you want the simple answer I didn’t.

          • boohoo

            What? Don’t worry about it gman, it was pretty obvious from the start.

          • gman

            Whats obvious Boo?I responded to CKs cherry picked link that didn’t seem to help his cause at all and you guys got your panties in a knot.Then another link was posted that refuted the first link so what is so obvious Boo?Can you say have your cake and eat it too?

          • boohoo

            It’s obvious the welfare of birds is not your actual concern. Nothing wrong with that, kinda silly to mask your faux rage about windmills behind it though.

          • gman

            Rage Boo what are you talking about.I’m a realist Boo and this is a stupid idea it has zero merit but you jump on board with it why?Is it because you are caught up in some phoney right left paradigm and feel some obligation to your peeps even if it is a stupid idea? I asked several pertinent questions and all I got was crickets and abuse.Maybe you might want to try to answer them instead of playing lapdog.

      • Here we find the crux of the issue. You think this is an argument. I’m under the impression we are having a discussion and sharing information. You appear to want to ‘win’. I’m just sharing some information from various sources about the topic. I haven’t even ventured an opinion on wind energy or this project, yet you have helpfully assigned one to me. Thanks, but no thanks.


  • From the Guardian:

    Windfarms do not cause long-term damage to bird populations, study finds

    A large majority of birds can co-exist or thrive with operating windfarms, but some species are harmed during construction

    • gman

      Chris your first link said they kill mostly raptors your next link to the guardian says no problem for the raptors…mmmm..your a great little dancer aren’t you.Chris I have some questions,do you think its OK to have thousands of these turbines in our neighborhoods and do you think the average joe will maintain them properly and if we have another freak windstorm which we certainly will who will be responsible for the damages caused by failing turbines?

      • Yeah, I’m like Travolta crossed with Nureyev when the mood strikes me. How did you know? But since I’ve ventured no opinion on the matter and have done nothing but provide two links that provide additional insight into bird kill statistics, I’m not quite clear why you are trying to pigeonhole (pun intended) me when you have absolutely no idea whether I am in favour or opposed to this project of the idea of wind energy in general.



    • Bill

      Are you serious? Substitute “oil pipeline” for “wind turbines” and this article would be entered as evidence against the Enbridge pipeline. Can you imagine Enbridge saying “Don’t worry, we only kill some species during construction and not during the operation of the pipeline.”

      • @Bill:

        I don’t know what Enbridge’s official position is, but they are also in the wind turbine business, so unless they have some radically different approach to building and operating them…..

        Interestingly, I did some googling, but all Enbridge’s official communications seem to say is that they always try to minimize impacts on the environment, so one assumes they recognize their projects do have some negative impact on wildlife.

        • Bill

          Chris, you again choose to ignore the point I raised – the reference you cited to support wind turbines in fact did not.

          • Bill:

            Where have I expressed any opinion pro or con on the issue? I provided some links that offer more information on bird kills and wind turbines. That is all. It seems you are like Gman, wanting to win an argument that doesn’t exist, because the person you are assuming has a certain veiwpoint, in fact has given no indication of their perspective.

          • Bill

            Chris, the reference you cited supports wind turbines whether or not you do. If you agree that it in fact does not support wind turbines and that is why you referenced it then we have no arguement.

  • Ron

    Um, pretty much every form of energy production has some sort of enviromental impact.

    Usually that impact isn’t literally in your backyard though.

  • boohoo

    I don’t think it has zero merit but that’s not the point. The point was about birds and their welfare.Your (and others) pseudo concern for the poor birds was all I was commenting on. I think windmills have some issues, but to trot out the ‘they kill the little birds’ line is pretty meaningless when that’s clearly not an actual concern of yours. Again, nothing wrong with that, but call a spade a spade…

    Also this:

    ‘ Is it because you are caught up in some phoney right left paradigm and feel some obligation to your peeps even if it is a stupid idea?’

    LOL. I have consistently belittled the right left bullshit that’s spewed on his blog so spare me that little gem….

    • Bill

      boohoo, it was the environmentalists who trotted out the bird issue when 1,600 ducks died in a pond in the oil sands yet they go silent when the issue of milions of dead birds and bats is raised in connection with wind turbines. Do you think they really care about the birds or is it just a tactic to stop development of the oil sands.

      • boohoo


        I don’t know what they may or may not think about birds. Sounds like you’re arguing that if they’re doing it, so can you. That’s a quick race to the bottom I’m not interested in.

        • Bill

          Yet you know what gman (and others like him) think about birds. Is this selective ESP?

          • boohoo

            Like I already said, I assumed they were concerned for the birds because they brought up the issue of bird deaths and windmills. Usually when one brings up an issue it is because they are concerned about that issue and not just trying to argue for the sake of arguing or scoring pathetic political points.

            If they aren’t concerned about birds, then yeah my point is moot. But that would also make their point about bird deaths ring pretty hollow and cheap.

  • gman

    Boo what the hell is the matter with you,read back and show me where I raised the bird issue,I didnt so no matter how many times you want to say I did its BS and you know it is.I commented on a very weak link that was thrown up without much thought because I found it amusing and when the second link was thrown up that refuted the first one I thought it was hilarious.Have a nice day.

  • Max

    I raised the ‘bird’ issue.