Buddhists Fear Wind Turbines Will Ruin Their Meditation

REUTERS/Chaiwat Subprasom

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Michael Bastasch Contributor
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Chinese Buddhists trying to build a pilgrimage site for others of their faith are worried the eyesore and noise from nearby wind turbines will distract them from meditation.

“We’re a major development, not a Mickey Mouse project. And it is disappointing for us that our projects, the four sacred sites, would be in jeopardy,” Diane Chen, the project manager for the Four Sacred Buddhist Mountains of China, told CBC News.

Chen said the “sight of the turbines and noise they make will distract them and ruin their meditation,” according to CBC, “especially when they are walking from one site to another.”

Chen is managing an $80 million project to recreate four Chinese buddhist sites in the Canadian province of Ontario, which they hope to make a major pilgrimage site for North American buddhists. Canada is home to more than 360,000 buddhists, including more than 160,000 in Ontario.

But now a wind power company wants to build two wind farms, sparking a legal battle between buddhists and local farmers against wind developers. Canadian regulators sided with the wind companies in two of three cases, which means they can build 10 turbines near the temple sites.

The companies building the projects, WPD Canada and Capstone, said the turbines were far enough away from the temples that there would be no noise.

“There will be no sound generated at the site, and, because of the topography of the area, the hills and the trees, the visual impact is going to be reduced,” Kevin Surette, a WPD Canada spokesman, told CBC.

That’s not good enough for buddhists, and they’ve put a hold on building the temples. Chen said they’ve been trying to build the site for 20 years and they will continue in due time.

“We have voiced our concern and we have to leave it in the hands of the Buddha,” Chen said.

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