Wind Turbines in Ontario: An Examination of Perceptions and Potential Health Effects, and How They Relate To Policy and Decision-Making Processes
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This thesis explores resistance to wind turbine development in Ontario: perceptions of wind turbines, the impact of policy and decision-making on perceptions, possible health effects and how they relate to perceptions, and how to improve policy and decision-making processes related to wind turbine development. The dissertation is comprised of four manuscripts. The first reviews the literature pertaining to perceptions of wind turbines, and planning practices used for wind turbine development. This paper suggests a connection between current planning and decision-making processes with resistance to wind turbines and reported health effects. The second manuscript focuses on the development of a survey, through a review of the literature, to assess perceptions of wind turbines and quality of life. Pilot testing of this survey is described in the manuscript and the survey was subsequently used for a cross-sectional study of eight communities with wind turbines. The third manuscript is an analysis of the survey results from the cross-sectional study, using factor analysis to extract key themes related to perceptions of wind turbines. The extracted factors were compared to health measures through logistic regression and a relationship between perceptions of wind turbines and health status was found. The fourth manuscript is a case study involving interviews with residents and politicians in communities with wind turbine developments. The study aimed to understand experiences with wind turbines in order to provide suggestions for policy and decision-making processes. A key finding was that perceived inequalities was a common source of opposition. This work concludes by emphasizing the results of the case study in understanding sources of opposition in Ontario: perceived inequalities appear to be a root cause of resistance to wind turbines. It is suggested that policies that support cooperative ownership would be an effective way to address resistance while reaching provincial-level goals for the implementation of wind turbines.
Cite this work
Tanya Christidis (2016). Wind Turbines in Ontario: An Examination of Perceptions and Potential Health Effects, and How They Relate To Policy and Decision-Making Processes. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/11125