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Ocean ecosystems threatened by Industrial Wind Turbine technology

It isn’t enough that mining companies are currently planning the destruction of thousands of hectors of sensitive tundra and boreal forest ecosystems here in Canada in pursuit of “rare earth metals”, particularly dysprosium and neodymium, for the construction of the permanent magnets necessary to the engineering of the now omnipresent 2 to 5 MGW Industrial Wind Turbines (over 2 tons of these rare earth metals are required for a single 3 MGW IWT)… and that China, that currently holds a virtual monopoly on the mining and production of these elements has in the process polluted/destroyed tens of thousands
of hectors of land, polluted water tables and river systems, and exposed many of their rural population to the additional harm of toxic levels of thorium radiation from open tailing ponds (a by-product of rare earth metals production)… now Japan is preparing to mine the Pacific ocean floor for these rare earth metals.

In a recent article in Nature Journal, (http://www.nature.com/news/2011/110703/full/news.2011.393.html) Craig
Smith, an oceanographer at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, has raised concerns about the environmental consequences of deep-sea mining, stated that “ecosystems on the cold ocean floor regenerate very slowly, he says, so any damage done by mining could take decades or centuries to heal.”

As well, it is only now being recognized that offshore IWT installations have necessarily caused damage to the ecosystems,
particularly coastal ecosystems, where they are erected, and that the infra sound generated by their vibration may in fact be altering the ecosystems surrounding them by causing echo location species such as whales and dolphins and other mobile species to avoid them. No science was employed to investigate these possibilities prior to their erection and as yet, no science has been employed to explore these implications. I recommend you read the following study,  “Offshore renewable energy: ecological implications of generating electricity in the coastal zone” published in the Journal of Applied Ecology, by Andrew B. Gill of the Institute of Water and Environment, Cranfield University, (http://www.vliz.be/imisdocs/publications/73257.pdf&sa=X&scisig=AAGBfm2IMg0lkhj49dv03OoCdW1iiH0J4Q&oi=scholarr&ei=yB0XUI2lC4ag6QHqsoHACQ&sqi=2&ved=0CFYQgAMoAjAA)

I’m amazed and dismayed that pro Industrial Wind Turbine pundits like David Suzuki continue to endorse and support this scientifically unproven, environmentally destructive IWT ideology. I suppose, as Jean Renoir poignantly stated, “the real hell of life is that everyone has their reasons”.

David Norman, Rogue Primate of Bloomfield

Filed Under: Letters and Opinion

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  1. David Norman says:

    Paul, you give no reference for your statement “Hence, a 3MW turbine would use just over half a tonne, not “over 2 tons” as stated here.” My research has it at 500+ kilos per MGW with an even higher amounts in the new direct drive models, about 650 kilos. These amounts are based directly on the specs for GE models. I was in fact understating these amounts since they do not reflect the REE’s used as hardening agents in the tower steel, of about 5%.

  2. Paul Adamthwaite says:

    The content of Rare Earth Elements (REE) dysprosium and neodymium in wind turbines is somewhat overstated in this article. Five years ago, a figure of 250 Kg per MW of plate power was the norm, but the scarcity of REEs has led to improved manufacturing technology and today 180 Kg is closer to the truth. Hence, a 3MW turbine would use just over half a tonne, not “over 2 tons” as stated here.

    While I agree with the author that reading Andrew Gill’s paper (cited above, Journal of Applied Ecology, 2005) is recommended, please remember that it is now seven years old. Further research has in fact been carried out — none of it very good news for the IWT industry

  3. Lori Cairns says:

    Very interesting, David. I did not know that.

    Now I can add another factor to the list of what could poison our air and cause our demise.

    There are a lot of posts on online forums that speculate that the powers that be are actually using chemtrails to cool our atmosphere. That is a very eye opening rabbit hole to explore.

  4. David Norman says:

    Lori, I got to thinking about methane after reading your comment… did you know that the sulfide pollution (SO2) from the processing of rare earth metals turns into a aerosol sulfide in our atmosphere and actually serves to balance the methane gas green house effect. It actually promotes cooling. Now there’s an irony for you… one anthropogenic pollution mitigating the climatic effects of another.

  5. Lori Cairns says:

    Hey, look at the bright side, David.

    When all that methane gas is released from the ocean floor, we can build a pipeline and have another fuel to heat our houses and run our cars.

    Problem solved.

    Carry on, nothing to see here.

  6. Doris Lane says:

    David what a thoughtful aericle. I never stopped to think about the effects that the installations of turbines. in the oceans would have. Scary

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