Lawyer suggests wind leases can be voided because of health risk deception (Ontario)


“Lack of information on health could be the way out of wind leases: Attorney Eric Gillespie”

—Heather Wright, Sarnia-Lambton Independent (6/23/13)

An environmental lawyer says there is hope for landowners who want out of wind turbine leases.

Eric Gillespie, who currently is working for Plympton Wyoming in its court battle with Suncor Energy over wind turbine bylaws, gets “dozens” of calls from landowners who signed leases long before anyone realized the potential problems associated with the industrial turbines. Gillespie, who was slated to speak at a meeting organized by Conservation Of Rural Enniskillen Saturday, says some of those landowners are successfully getting out of what many people had believed are ironclad leases.

“We’re aware of at least three situations where it appears we have been successful,” says Gillespie.

“One of the elements that factually they all have in common is the apparent lack of information provided by the wind company at the time the agreement was signed,” he says. “Quite consistently there appears to be a lack of disclosure around potential health issues.

“Experts around the world have been saying for many years that industrial wind turbines cause certain effects on certain people; that is part of the reason why there is a mandatory setback in just about every country that has a high or a significant number of wind turbines. If you could place people safely in very close proximity, there would be no need for a setback. The problem is that while governments around the world acknowledge the health risks, participants, people who signed up in Ontario, don’t get any setback protection,” says Gillespie.

“When you sign the agreement you give up, in almost every case it appears, the 550 meter protection. It’s erased, it no longer applies.”

And that, Gillespie says, means farmers could find the lease they signed puts a turbine right in their backyard without ever being told that some people have headaches, tinnitus, and sleep deprivation because of the low frequency noise coming from the turbines.

“Those families who have agreed to take a turbine there are some with turbines 350 meters away from their homes. They’ve given up their protection often without knowledge of the risks.”

Gillespie says that would not happen in other industries.

“I’m going to sell you a car with no seatbelts without explaining the risks you take in not even having a choice to put a seatbelt on.”

So far, Gillespie says, landowners have been fairly successful using that argument in court. “There are going to be some other factors that will have to be considered but if somebody gave up their rights and were never told what they were putting at risk that is certainly a good starting point for a discussion with a lawyer.”

“Why I call wind turbines bat-chomping, bird-slicing eco-crucifixes” (United Kingdom)


This image was not included in the original article

“Why do I call them bat-chomping, bird-slicing eco-crucifixes?”

—James Delingpole, The Telegraph (6/17/13)



Gull decapitated by a Brighton wind turbine (© Marian Cleary)

I wonder what it will take before the world truly wakes up to the horror, the corruption, the expense, the pointlessness, the total wrongness-in-every-way of the wind industry.  My guess – and it will happen – is the decapitation, by a rogue turbine blade, of an innocent passer-by.

Till then, though, we have photographs like this to send the mind boggling as to why anyone, anywhere can still be so purblind as to go on championing these bat-chomping, bird-slicing eco crucifixes.  What’s particularly interesting about this one is that it was taken in the constituency of one of wind power’s most fervent and tireless advocates, Caroline Lucas MP.

Here’s a picture of the Brighton Bird Chomper.


Brighton Bird Chomper (© Marian Cleary)

And here is another picture of the hapless gull.


© Marian Cleary

Marian Cleary – who Tweets as @soundwords – takes up the story on Twitter:

All quite horrific really. Been asked if it’s photoshopped. Nope. Was at Varndean College, Brighton.

The wind turbine was going bonkers so I was filming it with the clouds moving behind the blades.

I didn’t get the incident on film but then a guy called me over and said that the bird had been got.

Careful, Marian.  You now run the risk that someone from the wind industry will claim you chopped off that gull’s head yourself, probably because you are in the pay of Big Oil. . . .

Now it might have been interesting to ring up the RSPB for a reaction.  But there’s no point because we know what they think already.  As far as the RSPB is concerned, the many thousands of birds destroyed by wind turbines each year are acceptable collateral damage in the war on “climate change.”  So committed is the Royal Society for the Prevention of Birds to renewable energy that it has actually teamed up with Ecotricity – the one run by Dale Vince – in a promotional deal to encourage more wind farm building.  For chapter and verse, read my expose here.

But the birds and bats are the least of it, terrible though the carnage is.  It’s the human cost, surely, which should concern us more.

Consider the plight of the communities in Canada, where the wind industry is even more aggressive than it is here.  One Ontario resident, Esther Wrightman, so objected to the Golgotha of 400 foot wind turbines being planned for her area that she created a satirical website mocking the wind developer NextEra energy.  She even filmed them chopping down a tree with an eagle’s nest in it in order to make way for the turbines.  How did NextEra – market capitalisation $32 billion – respond to her not exactly unreasonable objections?  Why by suing the pants off her, of course.

Fortunately, thanks to the coverage it has been getting from Ezra Levant, Esther Wrightman’s story is becoming an international cause celebre – and the rent-seeking nasties at NextEra are getting the negative publicity they fully deserve.

So the anti-wind backlash has begun, of that there’s no doubt.  In Australia, where resistance is especially strong, they’re holding a rally in the next few hours in Canberra to protest against an industry described by Alby Schultz MP as “the biggest government sponsored fraud in the history of our country,” so rife with “manipulation, intimidation, lies and cover-up” that there’s enough evidence to justify a royal commission.  I wish I could be there at the barricades with my Aussie mates.  Sounds like it’s going to be quite an occasion.

What I wish is that one of our MPs could be quite as outspoken as good old Alby.  Chris Heaton Harris has fought a good fight, as have Owen Paterson, John Hayes, Peter Lilley and Glyn Davies.  But they’ve all been hamstrung by the presence in the Coalition of ideological eco-loons like Ed Davey who, even now, despite the copious evidence against, persist in championing wind energy as the way forward.  They’re further hamstrung by the Conservative party’s ludicrous policy fudge whereby, apparently, there is such a thing as a “wind turbine in the right place” and that this mythical beast includes all offshore wind developments.

Economically, of course, offshore wind makes even less sense than onshore, not least because it requires twice the subsidy, but also because, as most engineers privately admit, these sea-based turbines are disasters waiting to happen and are highly unlikely to stay up any length of time.  And while we’re on this subject, what on earth is The Times doing shilling for Big Wind with this utter non-story about how Donald Trump is apparently threatening to cost “British SMEs dear” thanks to his opposition to an offshore wind development near his golf course in Scotland?  The supposedly neutral source they quote for this story is The Carbon Trust, the government quango to which we taxpayers must contribute £44 million a year to enable it to dream up inventive new ways to cripple our economy with carbon emissions reductions schemes.

Yet another reason to vote UKIP, the only British party with a sensible policy on this green nonsense.


This image was not part of the original article 

Vestas the wind turbine giant fights back (Denmark)

Editor’s note:  The following article appeared in Denmark’s largest daily newspaper, Jyllandsposten.  Alas, the article is written in Danish.  We used Google Translate to translate into English.  It’s a pretty bumpy translation, but it gives you the general idea of what’s going on.

What’s going on is that Vestas, the turbine giant, is pissed off at sites like ours and Australia’s Stop These Things and Ontario Wind Resistance and at people like Drs. Pierpont and Laurie—and, by golly, the “big guy” is fighting back.

Sit back and enjoy!  (None of the images, below, were used in the original article.)


This image was not used in the original article

Vestas struggles against windmill headwind

—Jannik Brinch, (6/18/13)

Provides wind turbines children learning difficulties? No, says Vestas is ready to campaign.

There will be scattered too many falsehoods and myths about wind turbines and wind energy.

It believes the Danish wind turbine company Vestas, on Tuesday launched a major campaign against what it calls anti-wind movement.

The problem is, according to Vestas, the movement has succeeded in spreading malicious and false messages that slows the process of construction of the turbines.

We therefore believe that wind turbines totaling 1.7 GW was delayed on the ground in Australia in 2012.

A factual counterpart

Therefore, it has now decided to take up the fight, and the weapon is a so-called Act on Facts campaign, which aims to provide wind opponents a factual counterpart based on scientifically based information.

“The goal of the campaign is to give a more proactive response to the anti-wind movement that has gained momentum during several parts of the world in recent years, although it represents only exceptional few attitude towards wind energy,” says Communications at Vestas Morten Albaek.

The campaign is based in Australia, which is one of the most suitable nations to wind energy, but also a hotbed of anti-wind movement.

In addition to wind turbine customers and Vestas also suffer the environment and transition to green energy under the pressure of turbine opponents. It feels campaign creators, who points out that wind energy projects that could save the environment 5 million. tonnes of CO2 per year will be curbed.

Professional actors

The problem is that it is difficult to find out who is behind the anti-wind movement. According to Vestas, these are professionals with strong resources that are able to influence citizens and politicians.

anti-wind movement viking

This image was not used in the original article

“It’s hard for us to understand what it is for a financing behind, and what kind of interests that anti-wind movement represents. But they are very professional and stands behind violent attacks on our customers,” says Morten Albaek.

He points out that the industry too long sleepy and thus has left the stage to opponents, for example, is behind reports that the car starts to shake when they come within a distance of 10 km from a wind turbine.

WTS Rolls

This image was not used in the original article

From grassroots to players

But it is the kind of misinformation that Vestas will to life. Therefore, one with experts in wind, climate, health and regional development and through the use of digital media to try to win the battle of the agenda when it comes to wind energy.

It all begins today with a panel discussion in Australia, with the participation of experts and stakeholders in wind and carried on with a web portal where you can find “evidence-based response to the myths, rumors and half-truths about wind turbines.”

“It is believed to be the first time that a private company sits at the head of a movement that stretches all the way from the outer grass roots to the commercial players in order to get the great majority of the population to put action behind their silent support,” says Morten Albælk with regard to that about three-quarters of the population is on the whole positive about having wind turbines within visible distance.

The campaign to get home at the address, is designed so that with a few adjustments may be launched in other markets.


This image was not used in the original article

Wind turbines threaten paradise (Hawaii)

This child’s family does not want their ancestral Hawaiian island devastated by wind turbines.

Click anywhere, below, to watch a powerful video.


Wind energy companies bully, threaten, and intimidate those who oppose this monumental fraud


How Big Wind blows away its opponents

—James Delingpole, The Australian (6/18/13)

Since 2007, household electricity prices in Australia have risen by more than 40 per cent and by next year are projected to rise by around about 30 per cent.  If this bothers you then the place you should be today is Canberra, joining the people’s revolution against what Alby Schultz MP says is the “biggest government-sponsored fraud in the history of our country.”

Schultz was speaking to parliament about Big Wind, an industry so rife with “intimidation, manipulation, lies and cover-up” he believes there’s enough evidence “to justify a royal commission.”  So how come, you may be wondering, so many of us have been kept in the dark for so long?

The short answer seems to be that money buys both silence and public ignorance. For just one large-scale wind turbine, a developer can make nearly $500,000 in taxpayer subsidies called Renewable Energy Certificates.  Under current government carbon emissions reduction plans, some $50 billion of these RECs are to be issued, every cent of them funnelled out of your pocket and into the (often offshore) bank account of your friendly neighbourhood Big Wind outfit.  Meanwhile your energy bills (part of which, by government mandate, must come from “renewables”) skyrocket.

With all this free loot, Big Wind has more than enough money to hide its secrets.  It does so in three main ways: first by hiring silver-tongued lobbyists; second with lavish propaganda campaigns ranging from brainwashing programs at schools to misleading claims on their websites about all the wonderful benefits wind farms supposedly bring; third by being able to afford the world’s most expensive lawyers.

I got a taste of what I saw as this legal bullying the last time I wrote about wind farms in The Australian.  A stiff, threatening letter swiftly came winging its way from a high-end Sydney law firm, followed by a complaint to the Press Council.  This complaint was upheld, even though my facts were correct and the supposedly “offensive” phrase came not from me but from a sheep farmer understandably incensed that his little patch of NSW paradise was about to become a Golgotha of bat-chomping, bird-slicing eco crucifixes.

But I got off quite lightly.  Around the world, anyone who dares to take on Big Wind may endure a campaign of smears and character assassination.  It’s bad enough in Australia—just ask Sarah Laurie—but even worse in Canada, where a young environmentalist called Esther Wrightman is being sued by a $32bn wind developer called NextEra energy.  Why?  For creating a website in which she protested against the ugly, noisy 120m-high turbines NextEra planned to erect in her part of Ontario.

At this point some of you may be thinking:  “Oh come on. There’s got to be another side to this.”  And I would concede that on the surface the case for wind looks quite compelling:  it’s “free”; it’s carbon-neutral; it’s eco-friendly; it boosts the economy.

Except when you examine the details you realise that none of these claims stands up.

Being intermittent, unreliable, unpredictable and enormously expensive, wind is a very poor substitute for the cheap fossil fuel in which Australia abounds.  It doesn’t create real jobs just heavily subsidised Potemkin jobs.  (In Britain every wind industry job costs the taxpayer pound stg. 100,000 a year in subsidies.)  And that’s before you get on to the terrible health problems that can be caused by the low-frequency noise of those giant whupping blades; and the devastation they cause wildlife, especially bats and birds of prey.  Tony Abbott’s business adviser Maurice Newman calls wind farms “an obscene wealth transfer from poor to rich” and a “crime against the people” and wants the renewables target scrapped.

He’s dead right, but if anyone has the guts to do it they’re going to face a lot of entrenched resistance from the pollies and big business alike.

The ALP, as I’ve written here before, is heavily involved, not least because of the vast sums of industry super-fund money that have been pumped into it.  And if you think Big Wind’s crony capitalists are going to give up without a fight, you clearly don’t know the kind of people you’ll be dealing with.

God, I wish I could be there at the barricades with the protesters in Canberra today!  If ever a cause was worth fighting for, this is the one.

Wind energy is “a crime against the people” (Australia)

crime turbine

Top … [government] business adviser wants renewables target scrapped

—Lenore Taylor, (6/12/13)

The chairman of Tony Abbott’s proposed business advisory council, Maurice Newman, has called for the renewable energy target (RET) to be scrapped because he believes the scientific evidence for global warming and the economic case for renewable energy no longer stack up.

Newman, the former chairman of the ABC and the ASX, said persisting with government subsidies for renewable energy represented a “crime against the people” because higher energy costs hit poorer households the hardest and there was no longer any logical reason to have them.

Newman acknowledged Coalition policy was to retain the current target to generate 20% of renewable energy by 2020, but told Guardian Australia in his opinion “the whole science on which this is based is somewhat in tatters”.

Speaking of the advisory council he would chair under an Abbott government, Newman said: “It is inevitable energy prices will be one of the issues that will be of concern to business. Low energy prices are what has always made Australia internationally competitive and because of the RET and the carbon tax we have lost that advantage.

“Whether the Coalition will change their policy on the RET is up to them … I believe it should be removed because the basis upon which we accepted in good faith that we needed it is no longer there.

“When we look at the experience of Germany, they have not been successful in reducing emissions; when we look at the science it no longer supports the global warming theory and when we look at the health and economic effects of windfarms and the obscene wealth transfer from poor to rich we have to ask: why are we persisting with them? I think it is a crime against the people.”

Guardian Australia contacted Newman after seeing minutes of a meeting of an anti-windfarm group called the Crookwell District Landscape Guardians at his southern highlands property on 28 April.

Newman appeared to warn the 56 attendees they might not sway the Coalition.

“Given the experience of the NSW Coalition which promised much when in opposition, but in government pursued the same policies as Labor … we should reserve judgment until after the election,” he said.

But other anti-windfarm activists are preparing for a 18 June rally at Parliament House, effectively trying to use the same “people’s revolt” strategy encouraged by Abbott against the carbon tax to try to push the Coalition leader to drop the RET and stop new windfarms.

A slick, anonymously-run website called Stop These Things (STT) urged readers to attend the June rally because “while it’s safe to assume the Coalition will cruise to victory in September, don’t assume they are on our side”. It added: “It’s time to put them in the spotlight and find out precisely where they stand … the main game is in Canberra where the RET policy was started and where it has to end. The Coalition need to get the message loud and clear – and the message is simple. Australia simply can’t afford the great wind power fraud.

“With the federal government effectively sanctioning a doubling of power prices over the next two or three years, the Coalition will be helping to destroy businesses and harm families … We’d never advocate a riot, but the time is right for marching in the streets. So grab your placards, don your T-shirts and put your angry face on for a march on parliament.

“STT thinks it’s time to let the Coalition know that Australia is not going to pay exorbitant prices for electricity simply on the basis of some ideological whim … This is not just a matter for country people trying to protect their rural communities. It’s about a battle for affordable electricity and the future of the country.

“STT throws down the gauntlet to Coalition MPs to turn up and front the mob that assembles on 18 June to explain what the Coalition plans to do about the greatest fraud in Australian history.

“STT thinks that the wind industry is well and truly on the ropes, but our ‘never say die until it’s dead and buried’ attitude means we won’t be happy until there is a garlic-coated crucifix driven through the heart of this rort-ridden scam of the century. Turn up, be loud and take our country back. Let 18 June 2013 be a day the Coalition won’t forget.”

Coalition senators Chris Back and Ron Boswell and backbencher Craig Kelly are scheduled to attend the rally.

As reported by Guardian Australia, the Coalition’s yet-to-be-released resources policy will pledge to mandate continuous noise monitoring of windfarms, a requirement the industry says is crippling in cost and will not provide useful information.

The Coalition resources spokesman, Ian Macfarlane, says the Coalition supports windfarms and the policy aims to allay community fears and provide transparent information. But many Coalition MPs want to see the RET scrapped and new windfarms banned.

Newman has previously made his anti-wind power and climate sceptic views clear, but has not put the business case for the Coalition to remove the RET.

Last January Newman wrote in the Spectator that windfarms were “grossly inefficient, extremely expensive, socially inequitable, a danger to human health, environmentally harmful, divisive for communities, a blot on the landscape, and don’t even achieve the purpose for which they were designed – namely the reliable generation of electricity and the reduction of CO2 emissions”.

Abbott has said the prime minister’s Business Advisory Council, to be chaired by Newman, would meet three times a year.

Newman said he imagined it would be similar to the financial sector advisory committee he chaired under the Howard government, which had a secretariat in the treasury.

As well as health and landscape concerns, members of the Crookwell Landscape Guardians at the meeting were concerned that “electro magnetic electricity” could be transferred from windfarms through the air and the ground, possibly causing failures of farm machinery and the danger of electric shocks from farm bores.

Newman’s property is close to the Crookwell 1 and 2 windfarms proposed by Union Fenosa.

Journalist slams NextEra for suing Esther Wrightman, Canada’s Joan of Arc (National Review)


“Big Wind SLAPPs Critic”

—Robert Bryce, National Review Online (6/11/13)

The Goliath of the wind-energy business is suing David. The defendant is Esther Wrightman, an activist and mother of two from the tiny town of Kerwood, Ontario, which sits roughly halfway between Detroit and Toronto.

Wrightman, 32, has angered the Florida-based NextEra Energy (market capitalization: $32 billion) by starting a couple of bare-bones websites, and, as well as a YouTube channel, which she uses to lampoon the company. In its lawsuit, filed on May 1, NextEra claims that Wrightman has misused its logo and libeled the company by calling it “NexTerror” and “NextError.” And while the company doesn’t specify the amount of damages it seeks from Wrightman, it says that it will donate any proceeds from the litigation to United Way.

NextEra owns some 10,000 megawatts of wind-generation capacity, or about one-sixth of all U.S. capacity. And the company is aggressively developing six new wind projects in Canada, one of which, the Adelaide Wind Energy Centre, aims to put 38 turbines just north of Wrightman’s home. (You can see her property and the surrounding land by going here.)

NextEra’s filing against Wrightman is a textbook case of a SLAPP suit, a strategic lawsuit against public participation. And it’s a particularly loathsome one as NextEra filed it in Ontario, the epicenter of the backlash against the encroaching sprawl of the 150-meter-high, noise-producing, bird-and-bat-killing, subsidy-dependent wind-energy sector.

Making it yet more loathsome: The suit was filed just before the Ontario legislature began considering a bill that would limit SLAPP suits. SLAPP suits have been common — and largely successful — in recent years in several Canadian provinces, including Ontario and British Columbia. Limits are needed, says Ontario’s attorney general, John Gerretsen, because SLAPPs have a “chilling effect” on public debate. Nearly 30 U.S. states have enacted laws to prevent SLAPPs.

Ontario is home to more than 50 active anti-wind-energy groups. Numerous towns in the province have passed regulations to prevent the construction of turbines in their areas. Last year, Health Canada said it would conduct a study into the health effects of the infrasound and low-frequency noise generated by wind turbines.

Ontario currently has about 1,500 megawatts of installed capacity. By early 2014, that number is expected to nearly triple, to some 4,300 megawatts. NextEra alone has plans to develop 600 megawatts of wind in Ontario, according to its spokesman Steve Stengel.

Peter D. Kennedy, an attorney based in Austin, Texas, whose practice focuses on technology and libel law, says NextEra’s suit is an attempt to silence Wrightman. “Besides being almost impossible to win,” he told me, “these kinds of lawsuits are almost never a good idea. They turn critics into martyrs and make the company look like a bully.” Like Americans, Canadians have the right to, as Kennedy puts it, “express their opinions in unpleasant ways, and they can use parody in their criticism.”

Perhaps the most stunning aspect of NextEra’s lawsuit is its claim that Wrightman — by merely opposing its wind projects — is a “competitor insofar as she is seeking donations in order to divert business from NextEra to other energy-producing businesses in Ontario.”

Just for a moment, let’s consider the outrage that might be heard from the Sierra Club or Greenpeace if an oil and gas company were to file a similarly specious lawsuit against one of the many activists who oppose drilling and/or hydraulic fracturing. What’s to prevent Shell or Chevron from suing Yoko Ono? She’s a leading critic of hydraulic fracturing. On the logic of NextEra’s lawsuit, therefore, she has become a “competitor” to Shell and Chevron thanks to her promotion of renewable energy. Or what if Devon Energy sued Josh Fox, the poseur/auteur behind the film Gasland, which contains numerous false statements about oil and gas production?

What’s at stake here? For Wrightman and other anti-wind activists, the issue is freedom of speech and their right to fight to protect themselves and the value of their homes from the noise and other issues that come with having 500-foot-tall turbines in their neighborhoods. Regardless of your feelings about wind energy, NextEra’s SLAPP suit against Wrightman should be condemned. She is simply exercising her rights. She should not be harassed just because she has hurt the feelings of someone at NextEra, a company that was named to the 2012 Dow Jones Sustainability Index.

Sustainable or not, NextEra clearly sees big profits in Canada. The company’s 60-megawatt Adelaide project, the one it plans to build near Wrightman’s home, has been awarded a contract for a lucrative feed-in tariff from the Ontario Power Authority. That contract guarantees the company 11.5 cents (Canadian) for each kilowatt-hour of electricity it generates from the Adelaide project for the next 20 years. That’s an enormous subsidy. In the U.S., wind-energy producers usually get a subsidy of 2.2 cents per kilowatt-hour. The Ontario subsidy for wind energy exceeds the average cost of electricity in the U.S., which, according to the Energy Information Administration, is now 9.7 cents per kilowatt-hour

A back-of-the-envelope calculation shows that with the feed-in tariff, NextEra’s Adelaide project (assuming it operates at full capacity one-third of the time) will produce about $20 million per year in revenue. That will result in a huge return on investment. Installing each megawatt of onshore wind-energy capacity costs about $2.2 million. Therefore, NextEra will likely make back its entire investment in the Adelaide project (about $132 million) in less than seven years. After that, all the revenue will be profit.

NextEra calls itself “a leader in clean energy.” But the company also has the distinction of being the only company to ever be publicly pressured by a governmental entity over the birds that are killed by its turbines. In 2010, then–attorney general Jerry Brown brokered a $2.5 million settlement with NextEra Energy Resources for the bird kills that were occurring at the company’s Altamont wind project, located about 40 miles east of San Francisco. In 2011, the Los Angeles Times reported that about 70 golden eagles per year are being killed by wind turbines located at Altamont. That finding follows a 2008 study funded by the Alameda County Community Development Agency, which estimated that about 2,400 raptors, including burrowing owls, American kestrels, and red-tailed hawks — as well as about 7,500 other birds — are being killed every year by the wind turbines at Altamont. (Despite numerous violations of both the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Eagle Protection Act, not a single wind-energy company has ever been prosecuted by the U.S. government under those laws.)

Wrightman has put a spotlight on NextEra’s bird policies in Canada. In January, she filmed the company’s workers as they cut down a bald-eagle nest in Haldimand County in southern Ontario and posted the video on YouTube. (NextEra did have permission from the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources to remove the nest, which was located close to one of the company’s wind-turbine projects.)

In picking a fight with Wrightman, NextEra has acquired a feisty foe. When I spoke to her by phone last week, Wrightman made it clear she won’t alter her website or quit speaking out. Of the 100 wind turbines planned for her county, more than a dozen are slated to be built within a couple of miles of her home, and one could be built just 1,600 meters away. “I was born and raised here,” she told me. “You know every tree. Every animal. You know the sky. And for that sky to be industrialized and to have absolutely no say in the process infuriates me.”

In an e-mailed statement, NextEra — which is represented in the litigation by McCarthy Tétrault, the fourth-largest law firm in Canada, with 590 lawyers — told me its lawsuit against Wrightman is “not a SLAPP suit” and that its litigation is “a measured response to protect the goodwill associated with NextEra’s name.” The company said it sued because Wrightman is “distorting, mutilating or otherwise modifying NextEra’s corporate names and logos.”

What if NextEra wins in court? Wrightman, who can’t afford to hire a lawyer and wrote her own defense (and has asked the court in Toronto to waive the $144 filing fee), says she’s not overly worried. “We have nothing,” Wrightman told me. She works part time for her parents in their small mail-order nursery business, Wrightman Alpines. Her husband is on disability. They rent the house they live in, for $825 per month. They transport their two children, Thomas, ten, and Clara, seven, in their one car, a silver 2001 Toyota Echo, which has over 200,000 miles on it.

If NextEra wins the lawsuit against her and “they want that car, go for it,” Wrightman told me with a gentle laugh. “What else can they take?”

Robert Bryce, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, is the author, most recently, of Power Hungry: The Myths of “Green” Energy and the Real Fuels of the Future.


Wind developers hire thugs to intimidate residents (Taiwan)


—J. Michael Cole, Taipei (6/10/13)

WHITE SHIRTS:  A German firm is hiring muscle as security at a controversial construction site in Miaoli, but there is a problem: The guards are operating well beyond their authority.

It became clear as the taxi entered the narrow road, hemmed in on both sides by lush rice fields, that we were not welcome there.

The moment the cab driver brought his car to a halt and rolled down his window, a group of individuals who were sitting on rocks, smoking cigarettes, stood up and approached the car. Most of them wore white construction helmets, simple white shirts and black pants.

The yellow construction cranes jutting above the tree line indicated that we had reached our destination. We were in Yuanli Township (苑裡), Miaoli County, at the site of a controversial wind turbine project by German wind power company InfraVest GmbH, which for the past eight months has met growing opposition by villagers, most of them farmers, who claim that the devices are intrusive and too close to their homes.

We stepped out of the car and were immediately approached by one sunglasses-toting white shirt, who curtly asked us who we were and what we wanted. A few meters away, a group of men, one of them busily chewing on betel nut, cast hostile glances in our direction.

After we had explained the reason for our visit and that this writer was with the Taipei Times, a woman — InfraVest Taiwan vice president Wang Yun-yi (王雲怡) — joined us and agreed to give us some background information about the project.

As she was doing so, a white shirt pointed a hand-held video camera and started filming us.

Our brief conversation with Wang over, we began taking pictures of the site, wind turbine No. 26, which was behind schedule, the result of recent protests.

A crane was lifting a large cubic device; we later learned it housed the electronics that will operate the 80m-tall wind turbine, one of many that are projected to be built in the area.

We then attempted to walk past the construction area and toward the beach beyond, but the men — by then we understood that they were some type of security, as all were equipped with ear pieces and microphones clipped to their shirts, though none wore any identification or insignia — blocked our way.

The area was off-limits, they told us, adding that this was for our safety.

This was in clear violation of a June 4 request by the Forestry Bureau, which had ordered InfraVest take down fences on the road and told it that it could not block access to the beach by local residents, unless the latter were notified seven days in advance and prior to construction.

The Water Resources Agency made a similar request on May 20, saying that roadblocks could cause problems during flooding.

A young protester, a law student at National Taiwan University in Taipei, eventually joined us.

Accompanied by her, we again tried to edge past the security staff. This time around let us through, though they immediately shadowed us.

They followed us wherever we went, all the way to a sandy ridge that overlooks the construction site, smoking their cigarettes, talking into their microphones and constantly staring at the unwelcome visitors through their mirrored sunglasses.

We were on public land, property of the Forestry Bureau.

After a brief conversation with protesters and a US technician overseeing the installation of the equipment, we climbed into a car and left the site. The white shirts had lined up on either side of the car and were looking in on us, threateningly. It felt like we had stepped into a bad Hong Kong action movie.

Later that day, we received a telephone call informing us that local residents were blocking the access road to the same site and were preventing a construction vehicle from entering.

We doubled back to observe the protest.

There were about 30 protesters, while two young women were sitting on the unpaved road in front of the gigantic truck, eating a boxed meal.

A surly female employee of InfraVest loomed over them, while the white shirts, who by then had been joined by equally stern-looking men in gray uniforms, looked on.

One white-shirted, high-strung man, his eyes bloodshot, walked around in a daze. He had evidently chewed too much betel nut.

A handful of police officers arrived at the scene, but did not do much aside from meekly calling on the residents to allow the truck in.

One of the gray uniforms, tall, dark-skinned, was more willing to talk, and let on that the white and gray uniforms were “security” that had been hired by InfraVest.

I asked Jerry, as he called himself, which security company they worked for.

“It’s not a company,” he said, adding that they were “kung fu,” possibly a reference to where they had been recruited.

“You know, for when things get a bit rough,” he said.

According to Jerry, the white shirts were receiving NT$1,600 per day, the uniforms like him NT$2,000, while the “certified” security staff were paid NT$5,000 daily for their pains.

Most, if not all, were not from the area.

“They are simple, you know” Jerry said, pointing to one of the protesters. “They are telling lies [about the project].”

He said that a larger number of white shirts had been called in for the next day, when more protests were expected.

We then approached a Miaoli police officer and asked him whether the private security guards that InfraVest had hired had any authority to request personal identification, film people or deny people free movement outside the construction site, as they had done when we had visited earlier in the day.

The officer confirmed what we already knew: They had absolutely no such right.

By about 5pm, after Wang had made a brief, but tempestuous appearance, the standoff had run its course and the truck had declared defeat.

As the residents celebrated their small victory, we overheard one of the white shirts angrily tell a police officer that if it had been up to him, “I would have run the truck right over the goddamned protesters and would make sure that a wind turbine is built on each of their properties.”

The white shirts were obviously on edge, ready to snap — and they did the next day, on Saturday, during another protest near the site.

Video footage obtained by the Times shows a larger number of white shirts pulling at and dragging protesters away, both near the site and atop the ridge.

Another one repeatedly knees and kicks a female protester on the ground, while others are being pushed against construction vehicles.

A female protester was sent to hospital after being forced to the ground and, she claims, was kicked in the head.

Meanwhile, police at the scene, who were far too few to handle the situation, failed to intervene and simply asked the protesters to clear the area.

One protester is considering pressing charges against the security personnel.

Commenting on Saturday’s clashes, InfraVest said yesterday that the security staff intervened the way they did because they were in fear for the students’ safety.

It added that there was some miscommunication and misunderstanding on the part of the students about the pushing and shoving.

Dr. Sarah Laurie formally cleared of trumped-up charges (Australia)

Editor’s note:  The following statement was formally published by the CEO of Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).  Click here.

Now click here for a splendid report on Dr. Laurie’s tireless (and largely thankless) endeavors to warn Australians about Wind Turbine Syndrome.


Allegations concerning Dr Sarah Laurie

Professor Warwick Anderson AM
Chief Executive Officer

Recent media and web based commentary has concerned allegations, originally published in the blog Croakey, about Dr Sarah Laurie of the Waubra Foundation conducting human research without ethical approval.

Australians expect that those conducting research adhere to the highest ethical standards. These ethical standards are set out in NHMRC’s National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research 2007 (National Statement). Given the significance of these ethical standards, the National Statement and any amendments to it are tabled in both Houses of Parliament. The National Statement was tabled in the Australian Parliament on 28 March 2007. All human research in Australia should be conducted in accordance with the National Statement which provides clear and strong guidance to those involved.

It has been suggested that NHMRC has been investigating the allegations concerning Dr Laurie. I can confirm that NHMRC asked Dr Laurie to respond to the allegations as a courtesy.

I have today advised all relevant parties that NHMRC will take no further action in relation to these allegations. Neither Dr Laurie, nor the Waubra Foundation, has contractual arrangements through a signed NHMRC Funding Agreement. Therefore, there is no remit for NHMRC to act.

These recent events have, however, raised important issues for me as the CEO and NHMRC. Accordingly, I have asked the Australian Health Ethics Committee to advise me, as soon as possible, on the current requirements of the National Statement and the broader implications relating to research being conducted without ethical approval and any advice I may be able to provide to governments.

NHMRC acknowledges that the potential health effects from wind farms are an important public issue. Once the review of the current literature of health effects from wind farms is received in the coming months, if research is needed, NHMRC will support further research.


Member of Parliament reams Simon Chapman another a**hole (Australia)


—by the Honourable Alby Schultz, Member of Parliament for Hume, New South Wales, May 30, 2013

Mr. Schultz is a Member of the (Federal) House of Representatives, Liberal Party of Australia.  Click here for the speech in Hansard (the official parliamentary record).

I rise to record my utter disgust at the attempted character assassination of a very dedicated, committed and concerned rural resident, a lady of outstanding credentials. This is a lady who established a rape and sexual assault centre in outback Australia, was the general medical practitioner liaison for regional mental health, operated an Aboriginal healthcare centre, was an examiner for the Royal Australian College of General Medical Practice, was a committee member of the South Australian branch of the Australian Medical Association and is a cancer survivor; whilst her husband is a public health dentist operating in remote Aboriginal communities. However, this lady is not without error as she has in the past openly voted for the Greens, an error she confesses will not be repeated.

You may wonder how this lady is being repaid for her outstanding community efforts and social contribution. Currently, a significant orchestrated attempt to assassinate her outstanding reputation and undeniable credibility is underway, assisted and promoted through left-aligned media outlets. This is a campaign strongly suspected of being led by the non-medically accredited Professor Simon Chapman of the University of Sydney, a person who obtained his PhD from the Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, a self-proclaimed expert in marketing and public manipulation via media sources. He is a person who is not lawfully permitted to conduct any form of medical research or study in relation to human health.

Simon Chapman

I am of the firm belief that Professor Chapman is close to the author of this anonymous letter of baseless and faceless complaint made for no other reason than a seedy attempt to salvage his fast-dwindling reputation as a credible, reliable and balanced source of information. Professor Chapman, with his nose in the public trough—through the apparent never-ending funding of the NHMRC—for bewildering reasons unbeknown, other than regular speaking engagements at industry conferences and committees, has connected himself to the insidious industrial wind turbine industry.

Through his joint authorship, misleading to the extent of being potentially fraudulent, publications such as the highly criticised 2010 Rapid Review of selective literature, provided the wind turbine industry with support whilst placing many rural communities in peril. As the evidence mounts in relation to the potential corrupt behaviour of this industry and those associated with it, both politically and professionally, it is of no surprise to me that those deepest entrenched in this fraud against the Commonwealth, the Australian energy consumer and rural residents of Australia will stop at nothing to protect their personal and professional interests—in this case, the deliberate self-motivated instigation of serious allegations against a lady of high regard.

It is not the allegations that are of concern, as they will be defended and proven baseless. It is the matter of the anonymous letter of complaint being provided to several media outlets prior to the alleged offender being notified of the details of the anonymous complaint. Coincidently, these media outlets appear to be all associated in many ways with both Professor Simon Chapman and the initial recipient of the complaint, the Public Health Association of Australia CEO, Mr Michael Moore.

This outrageous document was clearly provided for no other reason than a further seedy attempt to assassinate the good standing and character of Dr Sarah Laurie. These allegations will be proven baseless and defamatory; the so-called ‘anonymous’ author of the complaint knows this, as does Mr Michael Moore, otherwise why is the complaint anonymous? As they will be proven baseless, the author would be exposed for what he truly is, and face potential criminal defamation charges. Does anyone truly believe that a genuinely anonymous letter of complaint would be referred from a trusted association and then, astonishingly, receive attention from relevant bodies if the anonymous person were not well known to them?

Professor Chapman, you are devoid of any decency and courage. If you truly believe an offence has been committed, put your name to it and stand accountable for the baseless claims within. Michael Moore, by your grubby unprofessional actions you have destroyed all credibility of the association you control. If you genuinely believe the allegations to be true and had no involvement in the production of the defamatory document, you should publicly disclose the identity of the so-called anonymous author or resign for your own despicable actions. Dr Sarah Laurie, as you know, is well above your levels of gutter public manipulation and only deals with the truth; you should take a leaf out of her book and do something good for the community in which you reside—for free.

Editor’s note:  We encourage you to write directly to the Honourable Alby Schultz and thank him, personally, for outing Chapman.  Email


This is a “must see”: Journalist pounds NextEra for suing Esther Wrightman (Canada)

Part one . . .


Part two . . .