Senator accuses Public Health professor of ridiculing Wind Turbine Syndrome victims (Australia)

Jun 18, 2014

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Editor’s note:  Simon Chapman.  Simon is a Professor of Public Health at the University of Sydney, Australia’s flagship university. Simon is quoted in media all over the world, dismissing Wind Turbine Syndrome as baloney.  (He goes a step further.  He ridicules WTS victims.)

It’s important to understand that Simon has zero clinical credentials.  (It’s difficult to define what his PhD is in.  As best I can tell, it seems to be in sociology with some health-related whistles and bells. Simon came to fame by investigating the tobacco industry for deceptive advertising.)

Hence, when Simon trashes WTS, he does so not as a scientist or clinician.

Let me put it this way.  I, too, was a university professor.  My PhD degree is in history with a minor in anthropology.  My BA degree is in biology and I was briefly enrolled in a PhD program in molecular biology and, after that, in immunology.

Nevertheless, I don’t call myself a biologist.  Simon Chapman’s pronouncements on Wind Turbine Syndrome are no more credible than mine.

Surprised?  My credentials lie in the humanities, period.  Simon’s are in the social sciences, period, even if his academic appointment is in a school of public health.  Neither of us is in a position to speak with anywhere near the authority of a clinician like Dr. Nina Pierpont, or a scientist like Dr. Alec Salt, each of whom has the requisite scholarly credentials and at least one of whom has done clinical interviews of victims (Dr. Pierpont). Neither Simon nor I has done anything remotely resembling Dr. Salt’s laboratory research on inner ear neuropathology triggered by infrasound.  (Dr. Salt is considered a world leader in neurophysiology.)  Nor has either one of us done anything remotely like Dr. Pierpont’s research into the health effects reported globally by people living in proximity to wind turbines.

Forgive me for laboring the issue, yet it’s time that Simon’s credentials be clarified.

The obvious conclusion is that when Simon Chapman dismisses WTS as moonshine, it should be instantly apparent that the man doesn’t know what the fuck he’s talking about. The question becomes, “Does Simon realize he’s making a fool of himself?”

On the other hand, maybe I’m wrong.  Maybe he’s not making a fool of himself.  Maybe Simon Chapman is really saying, “I’m neither a scientist nor a clinician. I’m a social scientist with some health-related whistles and bells.  That said, in my opinion as a scholar I think the evidence for WTS is weak.”

There would be nothing foolish in his saying this.  In this case, Simon Chapman is not a fool; the people who take him seriously and credit his opinion are fools.  It’s sort of like people believing Barack “Barry” Obama if Barry toured the country announcing WTS is horseshit.  Barry’s a lawyer. He’s a prominent man — he was even a professor of constitutional law at the University of Chicago — but his statements on WTS would fall within what’s called “personal opinion.”

Same goes for Simon Chapman.

In any case, Simon has gotten under the skin of Senator John Madigan in the Australian Federal Senate. Evidently Madigan appeared on a radio “talk” show recently and expressed doubt about Simon’s academic credentials to speak authoritatively on WTS. He questioned, as well, Simon’s  financial relationship with wind energy companies.

Simon responded with a threat of lawsuit for libel.  Sen. Madigan’s response is printed, below.

Personally, I think the senator should be dancing in the streets.  I think he should welcome the opportunity to deconstruct Simon before a court of law.  (Incidentally, I know nothing about Simon Chapman’s connections with wind energy companies.) What I know is what I said above: the man speaks with no more authority on the subject than you or I.

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Senator John Madigan

I rise to speak tonight on the privilege of this parliament to operate without fear or favour. Members and senators have the right to undertake their duties freely to represent their constituents—it is the reason we are here. Any attempt to gag a senator or member of parliament, any attempt to exert influence by means of threat or intimidation is a breach of parliamentary privilege. This could incur the most serious penalties. Tonight I will speak of such an attempt by a high-profile Australian academic. This academic has a track record of making fun of people in regional and rural communities who are sick. He trades in scuttlebutt. He makes consistent attacks on anyone who makes a complaint against his network of corporate buddies. This academic has become the poster boy for an industry which has a reputation for dishonesty and for bullying.

Click here to read more.

  1. Comment by Kaz Pease on 06/18/2014 at 12:37 pm

    Another hero for our friends Down Under for the victims, worldwide.

    Thank you, Senator Madigan!

  2. Comment by Simple Simon? on 06/18/2014 at 12:56 pm

    Regardless of blacksmithing [Senator Madigan is a professional blacksmith] or wordsmithing, Sen. Madigan and you, Calvin, are more qualified to address this subject than Simon. Simply, you both have actually spoken with many of the human experimentees, to seek the truth. And Simon? He simply regurgitates PR statements in his chosen vacuum of intellectual “Noceboism.”

    Given his credentials gained looking into cigarettes and advertising, he should be ashamed to have switched his energies from uncovering the truth to what he’s doing, now — denigrating the ill.

  3. Comment by Itasca Small on 06/18/2014 at 2:08 pm

    BRAVO!!!

    Thank you, Senator Madigan!

    And, thank you, Calvin!

  4. Comment by BARRY FUNFAR on 06/18/2014 at 2:11 pm

    Jesus, help me . . .

    Living under the Falmouth, Massachusetts industrial wind turbines for now over four years, I plead my case. Is there anyone, regardless of their field of study or university degrees, who knows more about the adverse affects of these machines than I do? (There are a few other neighbors I may concede too).

    To me, firsthand experience, the actual attempting to live with relationship between myself and these turbines, gives me the “expert” badge of knowing WTS is actually occurring. In the beginning, with the Wind 1 turbine going into operation on March 23, 2010, the Town of Falmouth officials seemed to express consideration for the many complaints from neighbors of that first turbine. In hindsight, the town officers put us victims off with a continual “kicking the can down the road” process.

    Through all the “professional” sound studies, noise logs from residents over a two-week period, the hiring of a “consensus” interviewer, the $388,000 CBI WTOP, the Selectmen agreeing on a shutdown, the same Selectmen suing their own ZBA in two separate cases overruling the building commissioner — the sum of their actions is a very belligerent FU to us wind turbine victim neighbors.

    These same Selectmen proceeded with the construction, completion, and putting into operation of Wind 2.

    Both of these turbines are mis-sited, TOO BIG AND TOO CLOSE, something that needs be addressed with the Massachusetts MTA, CEC, DEP, DoH, Falmouth’s Energy Committee, and a host of others who were in it for the $$$$, not correctness of siting.

    I am more irked than ever. The overall blame, I feel, lies with our state’s governor. This is a huge mis-step on his part, with most Massachusetts state agencies catering to his will.

    This is government at its worst…

  5. Comment by Curt Devlin on 06/18/2014 at 10:34 pm

    What is the saddest thing of all about Simon Chapman?

    He promulgates his crackpot theory about wind turbines and the nobebo affect. This is actually something that a well designed study in social science could shed light on. The problem is that a simple survey of WTS victims will show that the vast majority of sufferers welcomed these mechanical oppressors at first. They actually had a very positive outlook about them–due to the lies, deception, and innuendos spread by the wind industry, who have lead a sustained campaign to convince people that turbines are safe and benign and good for the environment–all an unmitigated, steaming pile of bullshit, of course!

    Chapman has never conducted such a study because he knows that it will quickly and resoundingly disprove his own cock-and-bull story.

    The saddest thing of all about Chapman: His only credentials are in social science, and he’s not even competent at that. He’s pathetic, really, and nothing more than a boorish bully, as Senator Madigan has accurately described him. If anything actually comes out of Chapman’s mouth that is actually true, you can be sure it is an utter coincidence. Only that, and nothing more.

  6. Comment by Katarina Dea Zetko on 06/25/2014 at 1:16 pm

    Jesus, have mercy on us!

    I thought that such professors only existed in ex-Communist countries. However, as I can see, “green communism” or “green fascism” is just the same. They hire “professors” or other so-called “experts” with no moral boundaries.

    Our hearts were touched by Senator Madigan’s speech. He gives us hope. A bright ray of hope.

    God bless him, and Calvin and Nina, in their efforts to convey the truth about this horrible industry.

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