Southern Ontario residents are facing down a new threat.
The Ontario governments Green Energy Act is facing its first constitutional challenge to the proposed construction of a wind farm spread across two kilometers from residents of Lambton Country who believe wind turbines are dangerous. The turbines are known to give off a low level hum and cause "light flickers" depending where the sun is. Local residents contest this will make their current homes unlivable, equating the turbines to an annoying neighbor.
“This neighbor never once ruptured your eardrums but that neighbor slowly drives you crazy,” lawyer Julian Falconer told the court. “These turbines are those nightmare neighbors.”
The case focuses on the long term health effects of feeling annoyed. When asked how locals currently deal with annoying neighbors, polls showed most responded "Ignore them and get on with life" with a small minority believing "There are no annoying people here".
With renewable energy sources like wind turbines becoming popular, area residents are quick to point out there are unforeseen dangers with any new technology. In an unrelated study, all residents admitted to owning a fan, an air conditioner, a forced air furnace or a combination of the three. No detrimental health effects from these items were reported, though some claim they cant sleep unless there is a fan present.
With similar successful renewable energy programs in places like Germany and Denmark, Ontario's provincial government was surprised by the resistance.
"If we proposed fracking wells they'd of been excited" said one government official, "but somehow wind is too dangerous. I don't think there's a better argument for why public education needs better funding."
Even though there is no scientific data linking wind turbines to any negative health effects, one resident voiced his concern the government may be in collusion with the wind turbine's manufacturers to hide that information.
“I must prove it will harm me, where if I was a drug company, they would have to prove they were safe,” Shawn Drennan told the media. “The wind company does not have to do that.”
Research into cases of wind overdoses are still inconclusive.
The Environmental Review Tribunal had heard 20 health-based challenges, all of which failed to provide credible links between wind turbines and negative health effects, before approving the project. When asked about the failed challenges, one resident said simply, "This isn't about science, it's about facts, and what I believe are facts. Everyone has a right to their beliefs".
When asked about the success of wind farms in Europe and other parts of North America, another resident simply replied "We're not as easily fooled as Europeans are."
The knowledge dropping didn't end there as many residents explained why they feel wind turbines are dangerous.
"I saw one segment on Fox News that said wind turbines slow down the wind." voiced one concerned resident. "If there's no wind, how would we breathe?".
Other concerns were even further outside the box.
"Turbines are just like those old cartoons where you look at something spinning and it controls your mind" explained an outside supporter. "That's why you never hear anything negative about them. People look at 'em, become hypnotized, and walk right into the blades."
If only we could be so lucky.