Thursday, February 02, 2017
This past Saturday we decided to spend a couple of hours on Amherst Island just off Millhaven on our way to Kingston. It's a pleasant half-hour ferry ride, although we had a few anxious moments because a huge flock of birders were heading over and we weren't sure there would be room for us. We visited the famous Owl Woods, where we never see owls, and then made our way along the mucky south road before returning to the mainland. We always enjoy it there and sometimes go over with our bicycles rather than a vehicle.
The signs opposing wind turbines are still up everywhere, even though the Liberal government in Ontario summarily ended a three billion dollar plus green subsidy program last year. This will likely put the kibosh on many developments, including this one.
I have mixed feelings because I feel that as a Christian who cares for the Earth we need to get off fossil fuels and consider energy alternatives. At the same time my concern for Creation includes preserving vanishing habitats for migratory birds. There are many different species of owls and other birds of prey which frequent Amherst Island, and wind turbines can be the Cuisinart of our feathered friends. Not only that, there is a power plant visible on the mainland which is used at partial capacity. Where is the sense in this?
It's all very complicated, especially when some island farmers want the turbines because the additional income will allow their families to stay on land which has been farmed for generations. Many of the most vocal opponents are not year-round residents but want their holiday homes to be tranquil.
We also enjoy the silence of Amherst Island. We often just stand still and savour the quiet of the place, realizing that there is so much human-created noise in our everyday lives. Silence is a gift of God as well, one we take for granted.