Ontario & Québec soon to be drinking “treated” frack water?

Cuomo-backed plan would dump “treated” frack effluent into Lake Ontario

Tens of millions of people, including those living in Rochester and Toronto, draw their drinking water from Lake Ontario
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Ignore the red lines on the map

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—James Hufnagel, Sierra Atlantic, vol. 38, fall 2011

The motto of the City of Niagara Falls should be, “Give us your toxins, your carcinogens and poisons, the wretched waste from your teeming industries.” Because we make it go away. Itís big business here:

Chemical Waste Management (CWM), Love Canal, and other Superfund sites too numerous to list. Don’t eat more than one fish a month out of the Niagara River or Lake Ontario, because they’re lousy with dioxin and mercury, the legacy of toxic landfills that have been slowly leaching into our water supply for decades.

Despite all the cancer deaths, birth defects, the detrimental effects on our tourism and agricultural industries, the Niagara Falls Water Board is poised to accept “frack” water from Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York for treatment and discharge into the Niagara River. The river empties into Lake Ontario, from which tens of millions of people, including those living in Rochester and Toronto, draw their drinking water.

The water board has been paying a public relations firm, E3 Communications of Buffalo and Albany, $4,000 a month to develop a campaign to persuade us to open wide for the frack wastewater.

Meanwhile, a high-level source has confirmed that Paul Drof, executive director of the water board, was summoned to Albany in July by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to finalize plans for the importation of toxic “frack” water.

It was also revealed that the Cuomo administration and the water board are jointly considering implementation of a massive new transportation scheme to facilitate this latest effort to capitalize on the Niagara area’s willingness to shoulder the toxic waste disposal burden for the entire state.

If plans move forward, a Buffalo Avenue facility will be receiving scores, possibly hundreds, of tanker trucks on a daily basis laden with the frack water, which is awaiting an official determination by the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) as to whether it should be classified as “hazardous waste” due to its radioactivity and carcinogens. Cuomo is said to be heavily advocating for railcar transport as well

In a related matter, an internal state government report recently leaked to the Ithaca Journal estimated the huge transportation infrastructure costs associated with fracking. Intended only for the eyes of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), the Department of Transportation and Cuomoís executive staff, it stated bluntly, “The potential transportation impacts are ominous … the Marcellus region will see a peak year increase of up to 1.5 million heavy truck trips … it will be necessary to reconstruct hundreds of miles of roads and scores of bridges and undertake safety and operational improvements in many areas. The annual costs to undertake these transportation projects are estimated to range … from $121 million to $222 million for local roads.”

Not to worry, though, the Cuomo administration and the water board will surely pay those costs, not us taxpayers.

The supposed advantage the Niagara Falls water treatment plant holds over those of Ohio and Pennsylvania – or elsewhere in New York, for that matter – is the use of activated carbon to remove contaminants. However, the ability of the facility to remove the hundreds of chemical additives, radioactive substances and petrochemical waste contaminants is highly open to question.

The DEC lists on its website some of the components of “frack” water: potassium chloride to reduce friction; glutaraldehyde, which is a “biocide” used to kill plants and microorganisms; hydrochloric acid to prevent drilling mud damage; N-dimethyl formamide to prevent well corrosion; various petroleum distillates to reduce friction; and ethylene glycol, better known as antifreeze

Energy in Depth, an industry group, also lists polyacrylamide, a potent neurotoxin. In addition, the millions of gallons of frack water returning back up the average gas well bring to the surface heavy metals, arsenic, and radioactive radium and uranium from deep rock layers.

There are no national or state standards for what gas drillers can add to frack water before injecting it into a well, since Congress exempted frack water from regulation by the 2005 Safe Drinking Water Act.

A 2011 report released by the House Energy and Commerce Committee listed 750 additives, 29 of which are known carcinogens, that are routinely used by the scores of gas drillers who are poised to ship their toxic frack wastewater to Niagara Falls for treatment and discharge into the Niagara River.

A nationally recognized expert in the field of municipal water treatment and wastewater management is deeply skeptical about the ability of the water boardís plan to effectively remove contaminants from gas drilling frack water.

Walter Hang is president of Toxic Targeting, Inc., an Ithaca-based consulting firm. Toxic Targeting is not some tree-hugger organization dedicated to advancing burdensome regulations and killing jobs. Using cutting-edge mapping and database technologies, Toxic Targeting supplies information to business, government and private individuals engaged in property evaluation, regional planning and mortgage risk management with respect to proximity to superfund, toxic dump and brownfield sites.

With over 40 years of experience evaluating the efficacy of wastewater management processes and facilities, Hang has served as a consultant for 60 Minutes and The New York Times on the subject of water pollution, and is the author of The Ravaged River: Toxic Chemicals in the Niagara River, published in 1981.

Hang contends that the Niagara Falls treatment facility is incapable of effectively filtering many of the toxic compounds, which vary according to the unique recipes of scores of different drillers.

“There is no place in the country as lax as Niagara Falls with respect to regulatory violations involving water quality,” Hang told me. “The granular activated-carbon process is inadequate for filtering and removing the frack constituents.”

Pretreatment of wastewater, which is ordinarily performed by the industrial source, is designed to remove 85 percent of contaminants. But pretreatment of frack wastewater is inadequate or nonexistent when it is delivered by the drillers, most of whom are headquartered in Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana.

Hang also described how toxic waste from Niagara Falls landfills is easily detected in the drinking water of Niagara River communities such as Canadaís Niagara-on-the-Lake, and how these compounds primarily transport and concentrate along the south shoreline of Lake Ontario.

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James Hufnagel, a member of the Atlantic Chapter’s Niagara Group, writes for the Niagara Falls Reporter, from which this article is adapted.

“The windmills of your mind” (video)

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“Windfall”: The movie that’s busting Big Wind

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French scientist creates Wind Turbine Syndrome

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Prof. Gavreau and his “Wind Turbine Syndrome” machine

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Calvin Luther Martin, PhD

The following video is worth watching.  (Ignore the annoying 15 sec. ad at the beginning.)  It gives you an appreciation for why people get seriously sick when they’re around wind turbines.

The video is a dramatization of work done in France in the 1960s by an electrical engineer named Vladimir Gavreau, who stumbled upon “infrasound” in his laboratory, and, once he recognized its formidable properties for causing debilitating illness, began developing an “infrasound” weapon for military use.  (It’s unclear how far Gavreau’s “weapon” progressed, in terms of further development and use.  Yes, it’s well known that infrasound is used as a weapon; what’s unclear to me is how much of the current technology was pioneered by Gavreau.)

Be that as it may, notice the symptoms experienced by Gavreau and his assistants.  Their symptoms are the result of vestibular dys-regulation—the saccule and utricle (inner ear organs of balance, motion, and position “sense”) sending misinformation to the brain.  A phenomenon described perfectly and explained pathophysiologically half a century later by Dr. Pierpont in her book, “Wind Turbine Syndrome:  A report on a natural experiment.”

“Luckily,” wrote Gavreau in his journal, “we were able to turn it off quickly.  All of us were sick for hours.  Everything in us was vibrating:  stomach, heart, lungs.  All the people in the other laboratories were sick, too.  They were very angry with us.”

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Gerry Vassilatos, a high school science teacher and writer of popular science, describes Gavreau’s experience as follows.  While I can’t vouch for the point-by-point accuracy of his narrative, Vassilatos does accurately convey that Gavreau and his team blundered upon infrasound, which they then worked to adapt to military purposes.

Basically, Gavreau and his team fortuitously discovered a Wind Turbine Syndrome Machine which they tried to harness as a weapon.  Except for one insurmountable problem:  They couldn’t control its deadly emissions.

This puts Gavreau about 40 years ahead of the wind developers, with their Industrial Wind Turbine (IWT) Machine—1600 feet from your front door, dear reader.  Like Gavreau, they, too, can’t control its deadly emissions.  Unlike Gavreau, they are dishonest about that inconvenient truth.

The central research theme of Dr. Vladimir Gavreau was the development of remote controlled automatons and robotic devices. To this end he assembled a group of scientists in 1957. The group, including Marcel Miane, Henri Saul, and Raymond Comdat, successfully developed a great variety of ro­botic devices for industrial and military purposes. In the course of develop­ing mobile robots for use in battlefields and industrial fields, Dr. Gavreau and his staff made a strange and astounding observation which not only interrupted their work, but became their major research theme.

Housed in a large concrete building, the entire group periodically experienced a disconcerting nausea, which flooded the research facility. Day after day, for weeks at a time, the symptoms plagued the researchers.

Called to inspect the situation, industrial examiners also fell victim to the malady. It was thought that the condition was caused by pathogens, a “building sick­ness.”  No such agencies were ever biologically detected. Yet the condition prevailed. Research schedules now seriously interrupted, a complete exami­nation of the building was called.

The researchers noticed that the mysterious nauseations ceased when cer­tain laboratory windows were blocked. It was then assumed that “chemical gas emissions” of some kind were responsible for the malady, and so a thor­ough search of the building was undertaken.

While no noxious fumes could be detected by any technical means, the source was finally traced by building engineers to an improperly installed motor-driven ventilator.

The engineers at first thought that this motor might be emitting noxious fumes, possibly evaporated oils and lubricants. But no evaporated products were ever detected.

It was found that the loosely poised low speed motor, poised in its cavernous duct of several stories, was developing “nauseating vibrations.”

The mystery magnified for Dr. Gavreau and his team, when they tried to measure the sound intensity and pitch. Failing to register any acoustic readings at all, the team doubted the assessment of the building engineers. Never­theless, closing the windows blocked the sense of nausea.

In a step of bril­liant scientific reasoning, Gavreau and his colleagues realized that the sound with which they were dealing was so low in pitch that it could not register on any available microphonic detector. The data was costly to the crew.

They could not pursue the “search” for long time periods. During the very course of tracking the sound down, an accidental direct exposure rendered them all extremely ill for hours. When finally measured, it was found that a low intensity pitch of a fundamental 7 cycles per second was being produced. Furthermore, this infrasonic pitch was not one of great intensity ei­ther.

It became obvious that the slow vibrating motor was activating an infra­sonic resonant mode in the large concrete duct. Operating as the vibrating “tongue” of an immense “organ pipe,” the rattling motor produced nauseat­ing infrasound. Coupled with the rest of the concrete building, a cavernous industrial enclosure, the vibrating air column formed a bizarre infrasonic “amplifier.”

Knowledge of this infrasonic configuration also explained why shutting the windows was mildly effective in “blocking the malady.” The windows altered the total resonant profile of the building, shifting the infrasonic pitch and intensity.

Since this time, others have noted the personally damaging effects of such infrasonic generation in office buildings and industrial facili­ties. The nauseating effects of exposure to a low intensity natural or manmade infrasonic source is now well appreciated.

Dr. Gavreau and his research team now carefully investigated the effects of their “infrasonic organ” at various intensity levels and pitch. Changing the spring tension on shock mounts, which held the fan motor, it was possible to change the pitch. Various infrasonic resonances were established throughout the large research building. Shutting the windows blocked most of the symptoms. When the window was again opened, however weak as the source was made, the team felt the nauseating effects once again.

In the business of mili­tary research, Dr. Gavreau believed he had discovered a new and previously “unknown weapon” in these infrasounds. Aware of the natural explosives by which infrasonics are generated, Dr. Gavreau began to speculate on the ap­plication of infrasonics as a defense initiative. The haphazard explosive ef­fects of natural infrasound in thunderclaps were quite effective in demon­strating what an artificial “thunder-maker” could do. But, how could a thun­derclap be artificially generated in a compact system? These thoughts stimu­lated theoretical discussions on the possibility of producing coherent infrasound: an infrasonic “laser.”

The first devices Dr. Gavreau implemented were designed to imitate the “accident” which first made his research group aware of infrasonics. They designed real organ pipes of exceedingly great width and length. The first of these was six feet in diameter and seventy-five feet long. These designs were tested outdoors, securely propped against protective sound-absorbent walls. The investigators stood at a great distance. Two forms of these infrasonic organ pipes were built. The first utilized a drive piston, which pulsed the pipe output. The second utilized compressed air in a more conventional manner.

The main resonant frequency of these pipes occurred in the “range of death,” found to lie between three and seven cycles per second. These sounds could not be humanly heard, a distinct advantage for a defense system. The effects were felt, however. The symptoms come on rapidly and unexpectedly, though the pipes were operating for a few seconds. Their pressure waves impacted against the entire body in a terrible and inescapable grip. The grip was a pressure which came in on one from all sides simultaneously, an enve­lope of death.

Next came the pain, dull infrasonic pressure against the eyes and ears. Then came a frightening manifestation on the material supports of the device itself. With sustained operation of the pipe, a sudden rumble rocked the area, nearly destroying the test building. Every pillar and joint of the massive struc­ture bolted and moved. One of the technicians managed to ignore the pain enough to shut down the power supply.

Dr. Gavreau and his associates were dangerously ill for nearly a day after these preliminary tests. These maladies were sustained for hours after the device was turned off. Infrasonic assaults on the body are the more lethal because they come with dreadful silence. The eye­sight of Dr. Gavreau and his fellow workers were affected for days. More dangerously were their internal organs affected: the heart, lungs, stomach, intestinal cavity were filled with continual painful spasms for an equal time period.

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—from Gerry Vassilatos, Lost Science, chap. 8, “Deadly Sounds:  Dr. Vladimir Gavreau” (1999).

Wind turbines and cows (and people) don’t mix (Wisconsin)

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“At least eight families in Shirley, WI, in the Town of Glenmore just south of Green Bay, are reporting health problems and quality of life issues since the Shirley Wind project went online in December of 2010.

“Six families have come forward, five of them testify on the video, and at this time two of them have vacated their homes.

“STAND UP to protect people, livestock, pets, and wildlife against negligent and irresponsible placement of industrial wind turbines.”

—from the producers of the video

Doctor gets graphic re. wind developer’s anatomy (Australia)

Australian medical doctor blasts Infigen salesman for misleading the community about infrasound.  Offers medical opinion on, er, the man’s anatomy.

“If you check his fingernails, you’ll see that they are blue because his head is so far up his ass they are cyanosed.*

“This project is certain to succeed because it complies with the three needs of any wind farm project: greedignorance and subsidy. It has all three.”

—Dr Alan Watts OAM

*Cyanotic:  A bluish discoloration of the skin and mucous membranes resulting from inadequate oxygenation of the blood.

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Click here for related article, We oppose the project “in the strongest possible terms” (Australia).

Battling Big Wind (Australia)

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Click here to read the report shown in the video.

“Why the wind industry is costing you big bucks” (Fox News)


Image did not accompany the original article

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“Why the Wind Industry Is Full Hot Air and Costing You Big Bucks”

—Robert Bryce, FoxNews.com (12/20/11)

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The American Wind Energy Association has begun a major lobbying effort in Congress to extend some soon-to-expire renewable-energy tax credits. And to bolster that effort, the lobby group’s CEO, Denise Bode, is calling the wind industry “a tremendous American success story.”

But the wind lobby’s success has largely been the result of its ability to garner subsidies. And those subsidies are coming with a big price tag for American taxpayers. Since 2009, AWEA’s largest and most influential member companies have garnered billions of dollars in direct cash payments and loan guarantees from the US government. And while the lobby group claims to be promoting “clean” energy, AWEA’s biggest member companies are also among the world’s biggest users and/or producers of fossil fuels.

A review of the $9.8 billion in cash grants provided under section 1603 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (also known as the federal stimulus bill) for renewable energy projects shows that the wind energy sector has corralled over $7.6 billion of that money. And the biggest winners in the 1603 sweepstakes: the companies represented on AWEA’s board of directors.

An analysis of the 4,256 projects that have won grants from the Treasury Department under section 1603 over the past two years shows that $3.37 billion in grants went to just nine companies — all of them are members of AWEA’s board. To put that $3.37 billion in perspective, consider that in 2010, according to the Energy Information Administration, the total of all “energy specific subsidies and support” provided to the oil and gas sector totaled $2.84 billion. And that $2.84 billion in oil and gas subsidies is being divided among thousands of entities. The Independent Petroleum Association of America estimates the US now has over 14,000 oil and gas companies.

The renewable energy lobby likes to portray itself as an upstart industry, one that is grappling with big business and the entrenched interests of the hydrocarbon sector. But billions of dollars in 1603 grants – all of it  exempt from federal corporate income taxes – is being used to fatten the profits of some of the world’s biggest companies. Indeed, the combined market capitalization of the 11 biggest corporations on AWEA’s board – a group that includes General Electric and Siemens — is about $450 billion.

Nevertheless, the clock is ticking on renewable-energy subsidies. The 1603 grants end on December 31 and the renewable-energy production tax credit expires on January 1, 2013. On Monday, AWEA issued a report which predicted that some 37,000 wind-related jobs in the US could be lost by 2013 if the production tax credit is not extended.

But the subsidies are running out at the very same time that a cash-strapped Congress is turning a hard eye on the renewable sector. The collapse of federally backed companies like solar-panel-maker Solyndra and biofuel producer Range Fuels, are providing critics of renewable subsidies with plenty of ammunition. And if critics need more bullets, they need only look at AWEA’s board to see how big business is grabbing every available dollar from US taxpayers all in the name of “clean” energy. Indeed, AWEA represents a host of fossil-fuel companies who are eagerly taking advantage of the renewable-energy subsidies.

Consider NRG Energy, which has a seat on AWEA’s board. Last month, the New York Times reported that New Jersey-based NRG and its partners have secured $5.2 billion in federal loan guarantees to build solar-energy projects. NRG’s market capitalization:  $4.3 billion.

But NRG is not a renewable energy company. The company currently has about 26,000 megawatts (MW) of generation capacity. Of that, 450 MW is wind capacity, another 65 MW is solar, and 1,175 MW comes from nuclear. So why is NRG expanding into renewables? The answer is simple: profits. Last month, David Crane, the CEO of NRG, told the Times that “I have never seen anything that I have had to do in my 20 years in the power industry that involved less risk than these projects.”

Or look at E.On, the giant German electricity and natural gas company, which also has a seat on AWEA’s board of directors. In 2010, the company emitted 116 million metric tons of carbon dioxide an amount approximately equal to that of the Czech Republic, a country of 10.5 million people. And last year, the company – which has about 2,000 MW of wind-generation capacity in the US — produced about 14 times as much electricity by burning hydrocarbons as it did from wind.

Despite its role as a major fossil-fuel utility, E.On has been awarded $542.5 million in section 1603 cash so that it can build wind projects. And the company is getting that money even though it is the world’s largest investor-owned utility with a market capitalization of $45 billion.

Another foreign company with a seat on AWEA’s board: Spanish utility Iberdrola, the second-largest domestic wind operator. But in 2010,  Iberdrola produced about 3 times as much electricity from hydrocarbons as it did from wind. Nevertheless, the company has collected $1 billion in section 1603 money. To put that $1 billion in context, consider that in 2010, Iberdrola’s net profit was about 2.8 billion Euros, or around $3.9 billion. Thus, US taxpayers have recently provided cash grants to Iberdrola that amount to about one-fourth of the company’s 2010 profits. And again, none of that grant money is subject to US corporate income taxes. Iberdrola currently sports a market cap of $39 billion.

Another big winner on AWEA’s board of directors: NextEra Energy (formerly Florida Power & Light) which has garnered some $610.6 million in 1603 grants for various wind projects. NextEra’s market capitalization is $23 billion. The subsidies being garnered by NextEra are helping the company drastically cut its taxes. A look at the company’s 2010 annual report shows that it cut its federal tax bill by more than $200 million last year thanks to various federal tax credits. And the company’s latest annual report shows that it has another $1.8 billion of “tax credit carryforwards” that will help it slash its taxes over the coming years.

The biggest fossil-fuel-focused company on AWEA’s board is General Electric, which had revenues last year of $150 billion. Of that sum, about 25 percent came from what the company calls “energy infrastructure.” While some of that revenue comes from GE’s wind business, the majority comes from building generators, jet engines, and other machinery that burn hydrocarbons. The company is also rapidly growing GE Oil & Gas, which had 2010 revenues of $7.2 billion. GE Oil & Gas has more than 20,000 employees and provides a myriad of products and services to the oil and gas industry.

GE has a starring role in one of the most egregious examples of renewable-energy corporate welfare: the Shepherds Flat wind project in Oregon. The majority of the funding for the $1.9 billion, 845-megawatt project is coming from federal taxpayers. Not only is the Energy Department providing GE and its partners – who include Caithness Energy, Google, and Sumitomo — a $1.06 billion loan guarantee, as soon as GE’s 338 turbines start turning at Shepherds Flat, the Treasury Department will send the project developers a cash grant of $490 million.

On December 9, the American Council on Renewable Energy issued a press release urging Congress to quickly extend the 1603 program and the renewable-energy production tax credit, because they will “bolster renewable energy’s success and American competitiveness.”

But time is running short. Backers of the renewable-energy credits say that to assure continuity on various projects, a bill must be passed into law by March 2012. If that doesn’t happen, they are predicting domestic investment in renewable energy could fall by 50 percent. A bill now pending in the House would extend the production tax credit for four additional years, through 2017. The bill has 40 sponsors, 9 are Republicans. The bill is awaiting a hearing by the House Ways and Means Committee.
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Robert Bryce is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute. His latest book is Power Hungry: The Myths of “Green” Energy and the Real Fuels of the Future.

We oppose the project “in the strongest possible terms” (Australia)

The Flyers Creek Wind Turbine Awareness Group, Inc. has produced a 258-page response to Infigen’s proposed wind plant, giving the project a grade of “F.”

The following is the cover letter included in their 258-page response.

The Director General
Major Development Assessment
Department of Planning and Infrastructure
GPO Box 39
SYDNEY NSW 2001
Australia

Dear Sir,

Re: Proposed Flyers Creek Wind Farm, Blayney Local Government Area

Application reference: MP 08_0252

The Flyers Creek Wind Turbine Awareness Group Inc. (FCWTAG) is comprised of a large group of concerned residents of the Blayney Local Government Area.

We object to the Proposed Flyers Creek Wind Farm (“the proposal”) in the strongest possible terms. We believe this development [by wind energy giant, Infigen] is totally inappropriate.

This submission details our objections.

The FCWTAG requests that representatives of the group be given the opportunity to speak at the Planning Assessment Commission hearing related to this proposal.

Yours faithfully,

 

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Dr. Colleen J Watts OAM
On behalf of the FCWTAG Inc

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Click here for the full report.  (Note:  It’s a large file, 27 MB.  It will take approx. 50 seconds to download with high speed access.  Longer for DSL and longer yet with a dial-up connection.)

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The report insists that the World Health Organization’s “Precautionary Principle” must be followed.  (In fact, the WHO’s Precautionary Principle is being ignored by governments and wind developers the world over.)

8. Berglund, B., Lindval, T., and Schwela, D. (Eds) (2000). Guidelines for community noise. World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland.

Acousticians confirm Wind Turbine Syndrome

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“The Bruce McPherson Infrasound and Low Frequency Noise Study:  Adverse Health Effects Produced by Large Industrial Wind Turbines Confirmed”

—Stephen E. Ambrose, INCE (Brd. Cert.) & Robert W. Rand, INCE Member

Executive Summary  (click here for the full report)

The idea that infrasound doesn’t or can’t affect the ear is just flat-out wrong.”
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Dr. Alec Salt, Dept of Otolaryngology,
Washington University School of Medicine
St. Louis, Missouri

This study was commissioned through a private philanthropic grant created to determine why there were so many strong complaints about the loss of well-being and hardships experienced by people living near large industrial wind turbines operating in Falmouth, Massachusetts.

The purpose of this study was to investigate and confirm or deny the presence of infrasonic and low frequency noise emissions (ILFN) from the “WIND 1”, a municipally-owned Vestas V82 industrial wind turbine.

In March of 2011, after many months of vigorous neighborhood complaints and strong appeals to the town, selectmen voluntarily decided to curtail WIND 1 operations when hub height wind speed exceeded 10 m/s. This required that this study focus on noise emissions from the nearby “NOTUS” wind turbine, an identical make and model..

Acoustics

This study was conducted at a representative neighbor’s home in Falmouth and confirmed that there are dynamically modulated low frequency acoustic amplitudes and tones produced by the nearby wind turbine.

Dynamic amplitude modulations occurred at 1.4 second intervals that were consistent with the blades rotating past the wind turbine tower (the blade pass rate).

Dynamic amplitude modulations below 10 Hz were stronger indoors than outdoors. Modulations measured indoors were 0.2 Pascal peak to peak, consisting mostly of energy below 20 Hz. Two tones were detected from both the NOTUS and the WIND 1 turbines, at 22.9 Hz and 129 Hz, and are considered signatures of the wind turbines’ acoustic profile.

Outdoors, the A-weighted sound level decreased at a predictable rate of 6 dB per doubling of distance from the nearest turbine.

The linear unweighted sound level decreased according to cylindrical spreading at 3 dB per doubling of distance and was controlled by acoustic energy below 20 Hertz. A-weighting does not reveal this low-frequency information. Sound-level averaging with Leq for any time length hides the low-frequency dynamic amplitude modulations.

Health effects

The investigators were surprised to experience the same adverse health symptoms described by neighbors living at this house and near other large industrial wind turbine sites.

The onset of adverse health effects was swift, within twenty minutes, and persisted for some time after leaving the study area. The dBA and dBC levels and modulations did not correlate to the health effects experienced. However, the strength and modulation of the un-weighted and dBG-weighted levels increased indoors, consistent with worsened health effects experienced indoors.

The dBG weighted level appeared to be controlled by in-flow turbulence and exceeded physiological thresholds for response to low-frequency and infrasonic acoustic energy as theorized by Salt.

The wind turbine tone at 22.9 Hz was not audible, yet the modulated amplitudes regularly exceeded vestibular detection thresholds. The 22.9 Hz tone lies in the brain’s “high Beta” wave range (associated with alert state, anxiety, and “fight or flight” stress reactions). The brain’s frequency following response (FFR) could be involved in maintaining an alert state during sleeping hours, which could lead to health effects.

Sleep was disturbed during the study when the wind turbine operated with hub height wind speeds above 10 m/s.

It took about a week to recover from the adverse health effects experienced during the study, with lingering recurring nausea and vertigo for almost seven weeks for one of the investigators..

Further epidemiological and laboratory research needed

The research is more than just suggestive. Our experiencing of the adverse health effects reported by others confirms that industrial wind turbines can produce real discomfort and adverse health impacts. Further research could confirm that these ill effects are caused by pressure pulsations exceeding vestibular thresholds, unrelated to the audible frequency spectrum but are instead related to the response of the vestibular system to the low frequency noise emissions. The vestibular system appears to be stimulated by responding to these pressure pulsations rather than by motion or disease, especially at low ambient sound levels.

Dysfunctions in the vestibular system can cause disequilibrium, nausea, vertigo, anxiety, and panic attacks, which have been reported near a number of industrial wind turbine facilities. The study emphasizes the need for epidemiological and laboratory research conducted by medical health professionals and acousticians working together who are concerned with public health and well-being.

This study underscores the need for more effective and precautionary setback distances for industrial wind turbines.

It is especially important to include a margin of safety sufficient to prevent inaudible low-frequency wind turbine noise from being detected by the human vestibular system..

Acknowledgements

This study was initiated by the concerns of a private citizen, Bruce McPherson, who enjoyed the many quality of life benefits of living on Cape Cod. He was disappointed that there were no efforts being made by developers or government agencies to determine the real cause for the many complaints from Falmouth residents living near three new industrial wind turbines. He knew that neighbors were constantly complaining to town officials about receiving excessive noise, adverse health effects and the loss of well-being. Thanks are given by so many for the generosity of Mr. McPherson, who initiated and funded this independent investigation.

To the residents of Falmouth who welcomed us into their homes and lives, extended us their hospitality, told us their stories, and gave us their time and assistance, our deepest appreciation.

Sincere appreciation is given to Dr. Alec Salt, Dr. Timothy Hullar, Mr. Richard James, and Mr. Charles Ebbing for their insightful correspondence, professional reviews and comments.

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Click here for the full report.

Adverse health effects and industrial wind turbines (Canada)

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Adverse health effects and industrial wind turbines

August 2011

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Carmen Krogh, Carmen & Brett Horner (Canada)

Click here for the full document

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In previous communications, evidence has been provided regarding the risk of adverse health effects and industrial wind turbines (IWTs). Up to now, the siting of IWTs in Ontario is based on predictive computer modelling. While there is ample evidence regarding adverse health effects, the conduct of human health studies to determine regulations for setbacks and noise levels that protect health is still lacking.

The purpose of this document is to inform authorities and decision makers of new evidence, including articles published in peer reviewed scientific journals which advance knowledge on the topic of adverse health effects of IWTs.

Based on the evidence compiled in this document, no further IWT projects should be approved in proximity to humans until human health studies are conducted to determine setbacks and noise levels that will ensure the health and welfare of all exposed individuals.

Furthermore where there are reports of adverse health and/or noise complaints IWTs should be decommissioned until the human health studies have been conducted to determine regulations for setbacks and noise levels that protect health.

This summary may be used and submitted by other individuals.

No financial compensation has been requested nor received for this summary.

Carmen M.E. Krogh, BScPharm

Brett S. Horner, BA, CMA

Click here for the full document
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Contents:

» Denial of adverse health effects

» July 2011 Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT) Decision, Ontario

» August 2011 peer-reviewed articles published in a scientific journal

» Industrial wind turbine low-frequency noise and infrasound

» Wind Turbine Noise, Fourth International Meeting

» The need for research

» Inappropriate use of literature reviews

» Conclusion

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Based on the best available evidence, the following conclusions can be made:
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The Canadian Wind Energy Association–sponsored statements that industrial wind turbines do not pose a risk of adverse health effects in humans are scientifically incorrect.

Experts who have conducted original research and/or published peer-reviewed articles in scientific journals confirm that industrial wind turbines can harm human health if they are not sited properly.

Acknowledged adverse health effects include: annoyance, stress, sleep disturbance, headache, tinnitus, ear pressure, dizziness, vertigo, nausea, visual blurring, tachycardia, irritability, problems with concentration and memory, and panic episodes associated with sensations of internal pulsation or quivering when awake or asleep. Other adverse impacts include reduced well-being, degraded living conditions, and adverse societal and economic impacts. These adverse impacts culminate in expressions of a loss of fairness and social justice.

The above impacts in conclusion 3 represent a serious degradation of health in accordance with commonly accepted definitions of health as defined by the WHO and the Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion.

It is expected that at typical setbacks and with the noise study approach currently being used in Ontario to approve the siting of industrial wind turbines, a nontrivial percentage of exposed individuals will experience serious degradation of health.

Harm to human health can be avoided with science-based regulations based on research conducted on human response to industrial wind turbine exposure.

Experts who have conducted original research and/or published peer-reviewed articles in scientific journals confirm that research is required to establish science-based industrial wind turbine regulations to protect human health.

Until science-based research has been conducted, industrial wind turbines should not be sited in proximity to human habitation.

Geese slaughtered. Wind turbines suspect (New York)

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—Kelly Johnson-Eilola (St. Regis Falls, NY), in the Watertown Daily Times (12-15-11)

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On the night of Dec. 7, I drove through some very thick fog. As I traveled state Route 190 from Ellenburg to Brainardsville, my fog lights illuminated one of the grizzliest scenes I have experienced. I counted 15 bloody, mutilated corpses of snow geese spread out over several miles.

I counted only those on the road, because those were the only ones I could see due to the heavy fog. I do not know how many more were spread across the yards and crossroads.

Shortly after passing state Route 374, I noticed there were no more dead birds. I only saw the dead birds as I drove near the wind turbines.

The big corporation and landowners who stand to make large sums of money putting up wind towers of monstrous heights in the towns of Hopkinton and Parishville, NY, keep telling us that the towers are safe.

The wind industry propaganda says that windows kill more birds than wind turbines. How many geese have flown into your windows? I can’t say I have ever known that to happen.

But I do know that last night a whole flock of geese flying over the woods and farms their ancestors have always traveled were smashed, battered and thrown to their death.

I can only pray that no humans were injured when the falling dead geese struck them or their vehicles.

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Editor’s comment:  I posted this letter with misgivings.  It happens that I live near this wind plant.  I know the road Kelly traveled.  I am familiar with those turbines.  I am also a close watcher of geese and their ways.  

We have had thousands of snow geese here this autumn.  Last week they seemed to be starting their migration south.  (They stop-over in Franklin & Clinton counties for weeks, tanking up on corn.)  

Back to Kelly’s account.  It’s nighttime.  (Geese are not walking across roads at night, at least not in Franklin & Clinton counties.)  It’s foggy.  (I drive these roads all the time; I’ve never seen geese walking across roads at night in a fog.  Deer, yes.  Not geese.)  Fifteen mutilated corpses over several miles—miles of 2-lane road corresponding to the location of the turbines, which are several hundred feet from the road.  

Considering the size of a snow goose, the height of the blade above ground at impact, the tremendous speed of the blade (approaching 200 mph at the tip), the geometry, aerodynamics, width of the blade and how the blades happened to be “feathered” that night—and considering that turbine blades can hurl chunks of ice approx. 1700 feet—turbine collision is in fact a reasonable explanation.  

I had Dr. Pierpont read Kelly’s account, and she is adamant that turbine “strikes” are a reasonable explanation for what Kelly witnessed.  (Pierpont did a PhD at Princeton in Behavioral Ecology, studying bird behavior, then writing a doctoral thesis and publishing on the same.  She followed that with a year post-doctoral fellowship in Ornithology at the American Museum of Natural History, NYC.  She & I spend our vacations “birding” hither and yon across North America, from the Pribilofs to Newfoundland to the Everglades to New Mexico’s Bosque del Apache.  In sum, she’s pretty savvy about birds and bird behavior, and she’s got a good sense of wind turbines.)

“Lord, forgive us our trespasses” (Australia)

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From “Mary,” in South Australia:  “Horrible isn’t it? And these pictures only show about 40 of the turbines, which are Suzlon S-88 V3 2.1 MW.”

Click here for larger image.

Pâté de foie gras and feathers: A call to action! (North Carolina)

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Editor’s note
:  The following “cry from the heart” arrived in response to
The Carnage Was Mesmerizing.”  It’s worth acting upon.

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To:  You and me, dear reader

From:  Friends of Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge (North Carolina)

Regarding:  Turbines slaughtering migrating birds

Date:  12-15-11

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If anyone reads this and you really care about these beautiful creatures, we desperately need help in eastern North Carolina.

Invenergy, a wind energy company based out of Chicago, has been secretly planning to site a 49-wind turbine facility right in the middle of the foraging grounds of 70-80 percent of the migratory waterfowl popluation that make their annual trip from Canada and Alaska.

The decision was recently annouced after contracts from farmers were signed and govt. agencies were in place.

The NC legislature has given this company a free pass to place the turbines anywhere they please, without any enviornmental studies and, although they have received numerous letters from various agencies questioning their location choice, they have not stopped, nor do they plan to.

Please check out our website, Friends of Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, and help us.

The local commissioners (Beaufort Co.), NC Utilities Commission, and other govt. agencies can see only the “green” for dollar signs; they don’t care that these birds are in serious jeapordy.

Below are some numbers to call.  If we don’t put pressure on the people who can make a difference, there will be mass destruction of these birds, as their habit is to fly peacefully, at low altitude, from one field to another without any obstruction (wind turbines) turning them into pâté de foie gras and feathers.

This is a red alert!  Pass this email on to anyone you believe would care in preserving what has been called the Serengeti of the East.
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Who to call:

(1) Pete Jerome, Regional Director of the US Fish & Wildlife Service, in Atlanta, Georgia (404) 679-4000.  (Leave a message, as you will not talk to him, although we know he monitors the calls.)  Also call the Fish & Wildlife Service “Migratory Bird Program,” (404) 679-7206.

(2) Secretary Ken Salazar, US Dept of Interior, (202) 208-3100. This is the main number.  The switchboard will direct you to Salazar’s office.

(3) US Dept. of Interior Public Affairs Office, (202) 208-6416, and ask why they are approving the destruction of the Serengeti of the East?

(4) North Carolina Governor, Beverly Purdue, and ask for Veronica at (800) 662-7952 or (919) 733-2391.

“Get mad. Stay mad. Make history” (Fairhaven, MA)

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Editor’s note
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What is fabulous is the refusal of townspeople to put up with the board’s behavior.

Listen carefully, folks:  You are going to have to be just as vociferous as these people—and just as angry and adamant about not “shutting up”—if you are going to stop wind turbines from coming to your town.

Three cheers for the citizens of Fairhaven!  Visit their website, Fairhaven Wind Project.
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“Wind turbines and public health: It’s time to act!” (Australia)

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Press Release
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Wind Turbines and Public Health: It’s Time to Act1

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Waubra Foundation (Australia)

12-11-11

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It is now 6 months since the Australian Federal Senate inquiry Report into Rural Wind Farms was tabled.2 This Inquiry made 7 recommendations, including to:

(1) “Initiate as a matter of priority thorough adequately resourced epidemiological and laboratory studies” (recommendation #4).

(2) Develop noise standards which “calculate the impact of low frequency noise and vibrations indoors at impacted dwellings” (recommendation #1)

There has been no action on any of the recommendations.

Since then, the Clean Energy Legislation has been passed, which will inevitably result in many more rural residents being driven from their homes and farms, as “wind farm refugees.”

Governments in Australia have been warned about these consequences with the Explicit Cautionary Notice issued by the Waubra Foundation on 29th June, 2011.3

There is willing blindness on the part of the politicians and the bureaucrats, and fraudulent denial on the part of the wind developers who know only too well about the adverse health problems which are being reported globally.

These rural residents are being openly referred to as “collateral damage” or “policy roadkill” by developers, and their supporters, some admitting they know people are becoming ill, but state it is “for the greater good.”

It is yet another lie that “there are no problems anywhere else in the world,” and that “things are fine in Denmark.”  Distinguished Danish acoustician, Professor Henrik Møller, has been driven to speak out publicly at the current collusion between the Danish Environmental Protection Agency, the wind developers and the Danish Government regarding the proposed new low frequency noise guidelines.4

Lousy photo of Dr. Henrik Møller

All is not “fine” in Denmark, nor anywhere else where wind turbines have been built too close to homes.

On the eve of the commencement of the Australian Wind Industry’s “talkfest” in Melbourne (Australia), where no doubt the usual denials of any health problems will be evident, it is time for the Australian Federal and State Governments to address these serious and growing health problems in rural residents living within 10 km of current wind developments.

The latest victims are from the Daylesford region, casualties of Hepburn Wind’s community wind farm, and AGL’s wind development at Glenthompson, not yet commissioned.

The time for denial of serious health problems is over.

The time to act is now.

 

References

1. http://www.youtube.com/user/WaubraFoundation

2. http://www.aph.gov.au/senate/committee/clac_ctte/impact_rural_wind_far ms/report/index.htm

3. http://media.crikey.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/caution.pdf

4. http://www.epaw.org/media.php?lang=en&article=pr4

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Media Enquiries
:  Sarah Laurie, MD, Medical Director, Waubra Foundation,  sarah@waubrafoundation.com.au

 

“The carnage was mesmerizing” (Ontario)

… from the diary of a Tibbetts Point resident, Wolfe Island, Ontario (Canada)..

 

On Friday morning, September 30th, it was surprising to witness the destruction of a flight of Canada geese by one of the Wolfe Island turbines.

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I watched geese lift off and form up along the shore of Wolfe Island.  At about a hundred feet altitude they wheeled into the wind, heading in a west/southwesterly direction.  As their climb into the headwind slowly took them over Wolfe, the wind gauge at our house read a strong, steady 22-25 mph.  It was overcast.  The river rolling.

Crossing Wolfe, they flew into the plane of spinning turbine blades. (This one turbine is directly across from our home and closer to us, about 1.5 miles away.)

Through 8X binoculars the carnage was mesmerizing.

Imagine a scene of blade impacts repeatedly knocking dark puffs of feathers against a grey sky. With such a strong wind, limp bodies seemed to be blown backwards out of the turbine.

Amazingly, the rear portion of the flock followed into the blades; the birds seemed oblivious to the destruction of the flight leaders. With strong headwinds slowing their passage, the period of danger and destruction was prolonged.

After about two-thirds had entered this gauntlet, the flight finally broke off, lost it’s V shape, and scattered.

I called to my wife to run upstairs—but by then it was over. The time was 10, maybe 15, seconds.

It was strange to watch this happen in silence. I heard no honking. It seemed odd to witness movements that suddenly changed from the beauty of ordered, majestic flight to instant, plunging death.

It made such a vivid impression, I entered the details in my log that day.
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Editor’s note:  The author’s narrative has been lightly edited for clarity, without changing any of the substance or meaning of the original text.

Wind turbines make people sick (Australia)

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“Wind Turbines and Public Health”

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The Waubra Foundation, Australia
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Editor’s note:  Click here for full documentation of the references presented throughout the above video.

“This is forever!” (Vermont)

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—Paul Brouha, The Orleans Record (11/29/11)

Sutton, Vermont—I don’t have to wonder what it will be like anymore—now, with 16 wind turbines 420 feet high and their 153 foot long blades rotating, I know.

Much of the time their often pulsating roar is like living near an eight-lane beltway or next to an airport where the planes never stop taking off.  I say to myself, “This is forever.”

The noise leaves me feeling depressed and angry because the value and peaceful enjoyment of our home and property has been taken away.

This past couple weeks, as I sat at my deer stand, my eye has been caught by the movement, not of antlers, but of the blades of eight turbines visible and rotating from our upper field.  Even the deer seem more nervous and have become more nocturnal than in years past.

I’ve received calls from residents from as far away as Lyndon, Kirby, and Westmore complaining about the blinking red aircraft collision avoidance lights at night.  Neighbors are telling me they also can hear the turbines and that they are shocked to see the turbines from “everywhere they go”—from local roads, from I-93 near Franconia Notch (40 miles away!), as well as from nearer ridge lines between Littleton (NH) and St. Johnsbury (VT).

The anger and depression come from the feeling that the State of Vermont and the environmental organizations (with one notable exception) have abetted and supported the desecration of the Sheffield and Lowell ridge lines.  They have simply stood by and assumed we neighbors will bear the uncompensated environmental, social, and economic costs.  “It’s only a few people,” I’ve heard Avram Patt, Washington Electric Cooperative say.  If so, then make it right—the “Vermont Way.”

Avram Patt

In a larger context the anger and depression come from the conclusion that the state, and particularly Gov. Shumlin, don’t care about us and aren’t caring for us.  Why have I reached that conclusion?  Because, in addition to the local damage these projects are causing, the draft state energy plan, Shumlin’s vendetta against Vermont Yankee, and the legislature’s strong “encouragement” that utilities include unreliably available, high cost renewable (wind) power in their portfolios, are all going to ensure that our electric power costs a lot more in the future.

It’s not too late, however, to influence the current and proposed public policy and regulatory decisions as they are not yet fully implemented.  Let your legislators and Gov. Shumlin know they need to find constructive solutions to keep rates low for consumers.  They should not be arbitrarily raising energy costs by requiring our utilities to embed the significantly higher costs of wind energy in their portfolios.

 

 

“Wind energy a crock of shit!” (Australia)

Australia’s most popular radio show host, Alan Jones, doesn’t literally call wind energy a “crock . . . ,” but he comes pretty darn close.

Click anywhere on the image, below, to listen to Jones rip wind energy to shreds.  (Some would say, “rip wind energy another orifice.”)  There isn’t much left of the subject by the time he’s done.

Be sure to turn up your speakers, then sit back, relax, and hear what you’ve been dying to hear over the airwaves for years.  (Has anyone considered asking this man to run for public office?  For Prime Minister, maybe?)
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“Wup, wup, wup” (Cartoon)

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With appreciation to Steve Hunter

The Misuse of Infrasound: Industry, military, and now the cops

Editor’s note:  Most readers of this site are familiar with the wind industry’s misuse of infrasound:  The industry at first claimed there was zero infrasound coming from their turbines.  When they could no longer cover their genitals with that preposterous fig leaf, they went on to hire a fool who made himself famous brazenly declaring that, though there was infrasound, it was so insignificant as to be irrelevant.  When that fig leaf was likewise blown away by empirical evidence, they retreated to the pathetic argument, “Well, hell!  If people are getting sick, it’s their own damn fault!  They’re making it up!”  And so it goes.

Of course, the military industrial crowd has been jerking off over infrasonic weaponry (“acoustic weapons”) for decades.  Do a Google search to find titillating reading of varying degrees of credibility.

Now (see “Police Use Military Megaphone,” below) New York City cops are using it.  But, like Big Wind, they’re pretending they’re not.  And the manufacturer of this diabolical toy (“military megaphone” my ass!) is being just as coy.  The issue is not so much what the cochlea “hears,” but the sound pressure that messes up the vestibular organs—the sound pressure that, as others have put it, “kills us softly with its torture.”  Or not so softly, depending on intensity, duration of exposure, and pulse of the infrasound.

Read on.  The New York Civil Liberties Union, by the way, has been hornswoggled.  This $35K weapon is not about “communication”; it’s about torture.

Karen Piper, PhD, Dept of English, Univ of Missouri 

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Read Professor Karen Piper’s experience with this same device
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24. When the LRAD was activated, Plaintiff suffered immediate pain in her ears, and she became nauseous and dizzy. She developed a severe headache. She was forced to sit down and was unable to walk.

25. When the LRAD was activated, Plaintiff was an innocent bystander and was lawfully and properly exercising her rights and privileges to be on or about the streets and sidewalks of the City of Pittsburgh.

40. As a foreseeable and direct result of the actions of Defendants John Does No. 1, No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4 as described above, Plaintiff suffered injuries including permanent nerve hearing loss; tinnitus; barotrauma [trauma from intense pressure changes, typically in the inner ear and lungs—this is what bats die from when they encounter wind turbines—”exploding lungs”]; left ear pain and fluid drainage; headaches; dizziness; nausea; and physical pain and suffering. Plaintiff suffered the violation of her Constitutional rights as described in Paragraph 38 above.

41. Some of the aforesaid injuries may be permanent in nature and Plaintiff may be forced to submit to medical and medicinal treatment and to expend sums of money for doctors, medicines and other items in the future.

42. All of the above actions by Defendants John Does No. 1, No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4 were purposeful, malicious, arbitrary, capricious, irrational, reckless, wanton, without justification and outrageous, and they reflected a conscious and deliberate indifference to the needs and safety of Plaintiff. Said actions shock the conscience.

Dr. Piper experienced immediate and intense Wind Turbine Syndrome—without the turbines.  

 

“Police use military megaphone to amplify their point to protesters”

“Sound is the equivalent of a power saw at close range” (Except that’s only half the story; the other half being the part you don’t “hear” but “feel”—Editor)
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—Rocco Parascandola & Tracy Connor, NY Daily News (11/18/11)

The New York Police Department’s (NYPD) anti-protest arsenal includes an amplifier developed for the military — but it’s being used as a loudspeaker, not a “sound cannon” to break up crowds.

“Powerful megaphone awaits marchers,” reads the caption.  Bullshit!  An infrasonic weapon awaits them!  (Photo, courtesy of Todd Maisel/New York Daily News.)

It’s called a Long Range Acoustical Device (LRAD) and it has the ability to blast a small area with 110 decibels of sound — the equivalent of a power saw at close range.

But police officials say that’s not how it’s being used at Zuccotti Park and other protest sites, where it functions as the world’s clearest megaphone.

“We don’t use it to disrupt. We don’t use it as some horrible noisemaker,” said Police Department spokesman Paul Browne.

“We set it up away from where a crowd is. We create a 50-foot safety zone. It sends out a clear, uniform message that can be heard for several blocks.”

The California company that invented the device says it was developed after the bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen in 2000 so naval ships could communicate with anyone approaching.

The system sends out a highly magnified beam of sound in much the way a lens focuses a beam of light.

The company is loathe to say it can be used as a weapon or discuss the potential physical effects of being bombarded with ear-splitting noise at close range.

“Can your car horn be used as a weapon? Can you play loud noise with the LRAD? Absolutely,” said Scott Stuckey, vice president of business development.

“They could cover their ears if it’s too loud.”

Critics say the devices have the potential for misuse by civilian agencies and can cause hearing loss, headaches or nausea.

The New York Civil Liberties Union said the $35,000 devices should only be used for communication purposes.

“It clearly can be used to disperse people,” said Christopher Dunn, associate legal director. “They cause physical pain to make people move.”

He said the group has received no reports of the NYPD using either of its two LRADs as a weapon.

“Making announcements that people can hear is always good,” he said. “Using a sonic cannon to disperse people is not.”

Guidelines for wind turbine siting

Editor’s note:  The following document arrived in my Inbox the other day.  Sent from an outfit in Australia, I believe.  A group calling itself Windburst Publishing.  I don’t know who they are (a Google search turns up nothing), yet a careful reading of their document and cover letter tells me their material is sound and intelligent, and worth posting. Windburst’s email is shown at the end of the cover letter, if you want to contact them.
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Wind Energy Projects

Returning Control to Rural Citizens from Governments Captive to a Deceptive and Harmful Industry and Green Extremists

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Substantial progress has been made recently in the fight to relegate wind turbines to their proper place in the generation of power. However, it has to be acknowledged that health problems are still being caused by operating projects and will be certain to arise through the construction of projects approved under outdated, ill informed and inequitable guidelines.

Success in public exposure of the manifold negatives of wind is such that objectors now have a unique opportunity, perhaps worldwide, to tell the politicians and the developers what country residents will tolerate; otherwise there will be a permanent political campaign to enforce these demands and to show that governments are being negligent in their duty to preserve the environment , ensure the health and well being of all their citizens and provide for secure affordable energy supplies in the future.

Accordingly Windburst Publishing has commissioned the preparation of the attached document “Universal Rules for the Public Approval of Wind Energy Projects.”

The “Rules” are meant to address the matters that are common to virtually any onshore wind project and for that purpose do not engage in matters or problems that may be very important in a specific location. It is Windburst’s hope that these rules can, with local parameters separately addressed, be pushed on democratic governments all around the world wherever this useless and dangerous technology is viewed as an essential part of saving the planet.

Clearly by adopting common rules more pressure can be exerted on individual administrations. Here is the first issue of the Rules, it will be updated as required.

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Windburst Publishing

windburstpublishing@gmail.com

Click here to access this file (PDF)

 

Eskimo protest! (Alaska)

Editor’s note:  The “Occupy Wall Street” movement has something to offer communities being stalked by Wall Street-financed wind developers.  Protest!  WTS.com urges people in towns like Fairhaven (Mass.) to occupy the sites being brutalized by the Big Wind bullies.  We applaud the efforts at “occupation” by people protesting the Lowell, Vermont, wind project.

Take a page from a pissed off Eskimo elder, Esther Green, who occupied the Yukon River while fishing it.  (Or was it the Kuskokwim, below the Yukon?)  Esther, like many Eskimos, is deeply vexed and wounded by the exploitation of her homeland—the place of the animal beings and human beings known as the Yup’ik, “Raven’s People.”  (I wrote a book about living with Yup’ik Eskimos, published with Yale University Press, The Way of the Human Being.”  Nina & I lived on the tundra for two years, when Nina was a doc up by the Bering Sea.)

Read the story of Esther’s one-woman Occupy Alaska movement, below.  For more on this, click here.

Yup’ik Elder Esther Green and I went out on the river at her request. She instructed me to post this photo of her ‘Occupying the River.’ She also would like to include the sloughs, streams, brooks, and ocean. She wanted to be a part of the Occupy movement in her own way, while ice fishing for ‘lush fish.’ She does not want Pebble Mine or Donlin Creek mine ‘bothering the fish’ (in her words) and is worried about the impact those mines will have on the fish. She specifically told me to post it so ‘The Occupy Wall Street people can see it.’

Update 11/14/11: Tonight I called Esther to read her the comments. There are another large number of comments at the FaceBook page, so I read her those, too.

Mulling all of this over she said, ‘You know, I saw all of this on the news and then your picture went everywhere.  I remembered “find your spot, occupy it.”  And I thought about how I occupy all of Alaska—but that was too big, too general. I wanted to narrow it down, and I thought of the river. That’s it!  I found my spot. Water!  On the other side of the world there is water.  Everything is connected with water.  When are we going out again?’

Jennifer Kailukiak, Toksook Bay, AK (Courtesy of John Kailukiak)

Fairhaven residents hang tough (Mass.)

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Vinalhaven wind turbine fiasco (Maine)

The complexity of measuring wind turbine noise: What 99 percent do not to understand”

—Reprinted from the website, Fox Islands Wind Neighbors:  The truth about living near Vinalhaven wind turbines

One of the arguments of wind turbine advocates on Vinalhaven, Maine, is that noise is all around us. Just get used to it, they tell the turbine neighbors. The entire community was swept up, at first, by the public relations mantra that “the sound of the turbines would be masked by the wind moving through the trees.”

Controversy ensued as soon as the turbines were switched on in 2009. From that time, a protracted legal battle to measure wind turbine noise violations has engaged neighbors and the local utility that refuses to share its data, forcing neighbors to a costly effort to document turbine noise according to state regulations that they discovered, belatedly, were never designed to accommodate the complexity of wind turbine noise. As a result, neighbors of wind turbines are made victims not just of bad economics, benefiting investors, bad community relations, but also of the State that turns a blind eye to unwilling sacrifices by neighbors.

While critics shrug off these issues, neighbors also victimized by the complexity of acoustics related to wind turbines.

Most technical standards for wind turbine noise misplace an egregious fact: the formula averaging decibels levels (called the A weighted scale) was designed to avoid what wind turbine lobbyists knew to be its Achilles heel: low frequency noise that is barely perceptible to the human ear.

Fox Islands Wind Neighbors retained one of the nation’s foremost acoustic experts on wind turbine noise, Rick James, early in the dispute process. This summer, James and co-author Wade Bray presented a paper [wherein they explain the wind industry’s Achilles heel], “Dynamic measurements of wind turbine acoustic signals employing sound quality engineering methods considering the time and frequency sensitivities of human perception.” Presented at NOISE-CON 2011, Portland, Oregon, July 25-27, 2011.

Unless you live with wind turbine noise, it is difficult to appreciate the cost that these industrial machines impose on a rural landscape: it is not just the grinding noise of the turbines or the blade swoosh that plagues neighbors. The worst of it is the low frequencies that are not even captured by current wind turbine standards.

The wind industry knows this and fiercely resists a full cost accounting.

 

Wind energy: Following the money (NY Times)

Editor’s comment:  In case you’re wondering what’s driving the whole wind energy mania, here’s your answer.  My brother, a Chicago lawyer, once advised me to “follow the money” when looking for answers to questions like this.  Lipton & Krauss have followed the “clean energy” money—and it turns out it’s being taken out of your pocket.

This image was not part of the original article—Editor

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—Eric Lipton & Clifford Krauss, “A Gold Rush of Subsidies in the Search for Clean Energy,” NY Times (11/11/11)

Halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, on a former cattle ranch and gypsum mine, NRG Energy is building an engineering marvel: a compound of nearly a million solar panels that will produce enough electricity to power about 100,000 homes.

The project is also a marvel in another, less obvious way: Taxpayers and ratepayers are providing subsidies worth almost as much as the entire $1.6 billion cost of the project. Similar subsidy packages have been given to 15 other solar- and wind-power electric plants since 2009.

The government support — which includes loan guarantees, cash grants and contracts that require electric customers to pay higher rates — largely eliminated the risk to the private investors and almost guaranteed them large profits for years to come. The beneficiaries include financial firms like Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, conglomerates like General Electric, utilities like Exelon and NRG — even Google.

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Click here to read the remainder of this article . . .

“Smoke, mirrors & public deceit” (Australia)

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“Smoke, mirrors and public deceit”

Press Release

10/25/11

Senator John Madigan
(Australia Federal Senate)

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Questioning of the Department of Health and Aging during Senate Estimates last week cast great doubt over the legitimacy of positioning wind farms in rural areas and the wind energy conglomerates which recommended them.

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) was questioned about its decision to wait to correct its statement “There is currently no published scientific evidence to positively link wind turbines with adverse health effects,” to the public until May 2012.

Senator Madigan said the council’s lack of urgency on matters of public health was nothing short of abuse. “The Government is knowingly doing harm to its citizens by ignoring recent findings. This is against public policy.”

“There is plenty of published scientific evidence and recent health reports that link industrial wind turbines and the serious health effects of living too close to them. This evidence is being ignored as it does not sit with the current political agenda.”

“I personally know it has terrible health effects. I have people coming to my electoral office who are suffering the effects of wind farms being too close to their homes. They are in tears, distraught and feel that their health is simply being ignored.”

“Residents have had wind farms built too close to their homes and as a result have had to leave their properties to protect their health.”

“These wind farms are destroying the lives and the health of so many Australians—lives the government has a duty to protect.”

“It should not be up to members of the public who have been driven out of house and home to prove to the Government that wind farms are making them ill. The onus should be on the multimillion dollar companies to prove that there are no adverse health effects.”

“Serious health concerns were raised by health professionals in submissions to the Senate Inquiry into the Social and Economic Impact of Rural wind Farms.”

“It appears the overwhelming majority of submissions to the inquiry were simply ignored. The inquiry received more than 1000 submissions and made only seven recommendations—none of which have seen the light of day.”

“The next time the Senate sits I will be demanding for either that inquiry to be re-opened, or another inquiry opened to look at the health and safety impacts of these wind farms.”

Senator John Madigan:  
A man in high public office with integrity, common sense, and balls!

DLP Victoria
Canberra: Suite S1.24, Parliament House, Canberra. TEL: 02 6277 3473

Electorate office: 17 Albert St, Ballarat Vic 3350. TEL: 03 5331 2321

 

 

Corporate “dis-information”

Editor’s note:  The following letter is worth reading.  By a Cornell professor.  He puts his finger on the blatant lies of corporations, denying the harm caused by their products or activities—be the product Agent Orange or the hideous procedure known as “hydro-fracking” (“fracking”) for natural gas.

Everyone with brains and a conscience and a modicum of logic should be absolutely outraged over “fracking”!

Professor Sawyer has written about it in the Cornell University Daily Sun because “fracking,” folks, is coming to Ithaca, NY.

If you know nothing about fracking, start here.  Then browse the Internet, including YouTube.  Also, see the award winning movie, “Gasland.”

Lastly, get on Google and find a map of the Marcellus Shale, beneath the Appalachians and even beyond.  This is where they’re drilling down into.  Now find a map for the Utica Shale, beneath the Marcellus and bigger yet.  They’re going after this, as well.

Now go turn on your kitchen faucet and kiss your safe water goodbye.

(By the way, fracking has been used out west, in the SW in particular, for years—with disastrous consequences conveniently covered up and lied about by Big Fracking.)

The narrative you are about to read, below, could be applied almost verbatim to Big Wind’s mendacity.  To Big Wind’s so-called reports and studies about health effects from wind turbines.  Just as Professor Sawyer suggests that people scrutinize the credentials of the so-called experts vouching for Big Fracking, I urge you to check carefully into the credentials and connections of Big Wind’s scientists—the physicians and physicists and acousticians.  You will be unpleasantly surprised.

“Sifting through corporate ‘disinformation’ on fracking”
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Professor Paul Sawyer, Dept of English, Cornell University, in the Cornell Daily Sun (11/7/11)

How would it feel if, every time a person checked your driving speed, they saw two odometers that said opposite things, one of which was created deliberately to confuse them and risk their life? That’s like the situation faced by the American public today in regards to news on the environment, including the debate over hydrofracking.

The corporate disinformation machine has become so ubiquitous that virtually any news item on environmental risks produces an attack by an industry front group.

As a recent example, The Sun reported that an ILR study has found that the Keystone XL Pipeline will actually reduce American jobs instead of creating them. The same article quoted a blogger for ChamberPost, the blog of the American Chamber of Congress, that disputed the numbers used in the study, adding in a sneer: “Apparently math is not a specialty at Cornell.”

Fortunately, some readers will know that the American Chamber of Congress advocates for controversial industrial projects like the pipeline, and they’ll know that every word of the blog will be false or misleading. Still, The Sun felt obligated to include ChamberPost as a legitimate source of opinion — which is a mark of the disinformation campaign’s success.

But what about attacks on independent research that appear to come from independent sources and not from front groups whose job is to misinform?

Earlier this month, The Sun ran a letter denying that there are any credible risks to fracking. Among other things, the writer claimed that since only one case of contamination has occurred “among millions of wells developed in sixty years,” we must not “let ourselves be paralyzed by one-in-a-billion odds. We must act now or retreat to the caves with solar and wind power.”

If true, this would be extraordinary news for Ithaca residents and for Cornell, which has the right to lease up to 11,000 acres to oil and gas drilling.

But it’s not true. As for the single case of contamination, another letter on the same page correctly points out that property owners have to sign non-disclosure statements before leasing their property for fracking — so there may be many cases of contamination that cannot be legally spoken of, despite First Amendment rights.

The writer also ignores research by Cornell scientists Anthony Ingraffea and Robert Howarth, which points to the catastrophic effects of methane gas release into the atmosphere — a virtually inevitable result of hydraulic fracturing.

As for returning us to the days of the cave man, solar and wind power may, in the opinion of many independent researcher, be the only safe option. In short, the letter reads like standard corporate-funded blarney.

But here’s the twist: the author was Dr. Gilbert Ross ’68, Medical Director of The American Council on Science and Health. A Cornellian, a doctor and a group with “science” and “health” in the name: surely an unimpeachable source.

So what is ACSH? When it was founded in 1978, the president described the Center as a non-profit, pro-consumer organization doing independent research on issues of public health.

Oddly, all the Center’s “scientific” work arrived at conclusions counter to those of all other consumer advocacy groups and to the prevailing scientific consensus on topics related to public health. For example, its reports denied any link between high cholesterol levels and risk of heart attack (meaning you can eat as much junk food and sugar-enriched food as you like without worry); its report on cancer rates exonerated chemicals in the environment as a possible factor in the disease; its report on air pollution found that current levels pose no threat to health and that existing air quality controls are unnecessarily stringent; its report on 2,4,5-T (a component of Agent Orange) denied there was evidence of “any convincing relationship between the traditional use” of the herbicide “and adverse health effects in humans.” And much more.

Curious about findings like these, the well-respected Center for Science in the Public Interest reviewed the research of ACSH; its 70-page report, “Voodoo Science, Twisted Consumerism” (1992) found that the reports were seriously flawed (in some cases “shocking” and “stunning” in their omissions and errors) and that the reports’ conclusions always favored the interests of the corporations that contributed to the group.

These sponsors included Frito-Lay, Oscar Meyer, Hershey Foods and other producers of “junk food”; companies like Bethlehem Steel, Consolidated Edison and Texas Utilities, all of which have been cited by the EPA for air pollution violations; and of course Dow Chemical and Monsanto, which manufactured Agent Orange.

Since then, the Center has become notorious for its positions (including the claim that DDT is not toxic to humans) — to the extent that The Daily Show with Jon Stewart did a send-up of its founder in 2010.

In order to grasp fully how despicable ACSH is: The false statements about the component of Agent Orange appeared at a time when thousands of Vietnam Vets, poisoned when the US government sprayed the herbicide on the forests of Vietnam, were struggling in court to receive compensation from the Federal Government. (The effects on the Vietnamese were and remain one of the major public health catastrophes of the twentieth century. An estimated 500,000 Vietnamese children have birth defects resulting from their parents’ exposure to the deadly herbicide.)

The important point to grasp is that ACSH’s claims do not result from unconscious bias, or from poor judgment in its choice of sponsors, or from good intentions, or simply from shoddy work. Simply put, ACSH earns its money by lying for corporations; it has no other function. No wonder it hasn’t disclosed a list of funders since 1992. In 1991, however, the group’s list of contributors included Mobil and Shell.

Its stance on fracking is therefore unsurprising.

ACSH isn’t important as simply another example of corporate mendacity; it’s far more important as the symptom of a grave national crisis, one that (not to be too obvious about it) may very well determine the fate of the earth.

Though nobody is perfect, the only reliable way of predicting and controlling the future of our planet is through research conducted by the scientific method, independently of ideological or financial inducement — research of the sort that has made campuses like Cornell distinguished in the nation.

Yet the largest effect of the corporation disinformation machine — including the politicians who are also on the payroll, like the so-called “global warming skeptics” in Congress — is to confuse the public, not just about specific issues like fracking, but about the methods and integrity of science itself.

They get away with it, most importantly, by the collusion of the mainstream media. It’s an outrage that well-known prevaricators can appear over and over on TV and in editorial pages to “debate” their “points of view” side by side with credible experts and genuine consumer advocates.

Yet most viewers are poorly protected from this sanctioned sabotage of crucial knowledge — which amounts to the denial of a fundamental democratic right.

Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights — the freedom of speech section — states in part: “Everyone has the right . . . to seek, receive and impart information through any media and regardless of frontiers.” It follows that citizens have the right to the most accurate and reliable knowledge available to them as citizens so that they can make informed judgments. Above all, they have the right to knowledge crucially affecting their health, safety, and well-being of themselves and their children.

They get away with it because of another reason: the silence of institutions powerful and credible enough to challenge them — including universities like Cornell, which has so far failed to speak out against irresponsible attacks on its own researchers.

So who is Dr. Ross? When he was hired by the founder of ACSH, he had just served over a year in federal prison for medical fraud, with an added count of obstruction of justice. (The details of scam appeared in an article in Mother Jones entitled “Calling Dr. Ross.”)

In short, Dr. Ross simply moved from defrauding the government of New York to defrauding the American public — legally, and for bigger bucks.

Professor Paul Sawyer

Wind turbine turbulence. What are the micro-climate effects?

—Anthony Watts, Watts up with That? (4/28/11).  Editor’s comment:  The following text is adapted from Watts’s note.

I got wind of this photo, below, via the Wakey Wakey thread.

Photographer Christian Steiness. The above photograph shows the turbulence field behind the Horns Rev 1 offshore wind turbines. Unique meteorological conditions on 12 February 2008 at 1300 hours resulted in the wind turbines creating condensation (i.e. clouds) of the very humid air, thus making it possible to see the turbulence pattern behind the wind turbines.

The above photo appears to be a real world effect of the turbulence model, below.

It seems the turbulence caused by the wind turbines can be a catalyst for cloud formation.

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Comment by Willem Post (MS Mechanical Engineering):  “The air, with a relative humidity close to its condensation point, is cooled by the wind turbine as it removes energy from the air.  The result is cloud formation many miles downstream of the wind turbines.”

 

Lowell Mountain vandalized by Big Wind (Vermont)

Why are governments silent about wind turbine noise?

Noise pollution: Why the silence?

“Virtually no government in the world seems prepared to tackle the problem”

This image was not in the original article—Editor

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—Geoffrey Lean, The Telegraph (UK), 11/5/11

No other pollutant ruins nearly as many lives in Britain and other industrialised countries as noise—and it is the only one known to drive sufferers to murder—yet few receive so little public attention. Green pressure groups, so vocal on so many environmental threats, are almost universally silent about it. Virtually no governments, anywhere in the world, seem to be prepared to give the case for comprehensive action much of a hearing.

Yet two thirds of Europeans—450 million people—are exposed every day to noise levels that the World Health Organisation (WHO) says are unacceptable. In Britain, more than half a million people appear to move home every year to escape the din. Ten years ago, a survey found that 12 million of us were disturbed by traffic, 3.5 million by passing aircraft, and 11 million by noisy neighbours. This is bound to have got worse: household noise complaints have risen five-fold over the past two decades.

Of course, we have been surrounded by sound since before birth—the womb is quite a noisy place—and noise pollution is as old as civilisation. Two and a half thousand years ago, Buddhist scriptures recorded the “10 great noises” of contemporary cities as “elephants, horses, chariots, drums, tabors, lutes, songs, cymbols, gongs and people crying ‘Eat ye, and drink!.’”  Just over 100 years ago, a “plague of city noises” described in New York was not far different: “horse-drawn vehicles, pedlars, musicians, animals and bells”.

Within a few decades, this changed; the 10 most annoying noises identified in a New York survey in 1929 all emanated from machines, and since then the automated cacophony has escalated. Particularly disturbing—as a new book by one of Britain’s leading environmental campaigners, John Stewart, points out—is the low-frequency noise produced by aircraft, wind turbines and many household appliances such as washing machines and air conditioners. “The rise and rise of low-frequency noise,” he writes in Why Noise Matters, “is part of the reason for the growing number of noise complaints.”

But only part. More people say they hate piped music in shops, restaurants and public buildings than like it. Noisy neighbours occasionally provoke their victims to kill them. And while some endure—or even seem to enjoy—noise, about one in 10 people are particularly sensitive to it.

Hearing and health suffer. One in every eight American youngsters, aged six to 19, has been found to have noise-related hearing loss, while Stewart predicts: “Within a decade or two, the iPod in the ear could be replaced with the hearing aid.” Learning can be affected. A study in a Manhattan school found that children in classrooms beside a busy train track recorded reading scores 11 months behind their counterparts on the quiet side of the building. When measures were taken to reduce the noise, they caught up.

Noise also raises blood pressure and increases heart rates, especially at night, leading to cardiovascular and other diseases, as well as affecting sleep. The WHO calculated this year that Europeans collectively lose at least a million years of healthy living as a result.

Wildlife, which relies on sound to communicate, is affected too. It’s most obvious in the oceans, where underwater noise is estimated to have doubled each decade over the past 50 years—shipping has grown, oil and gas prospectors use loud blasts from “airguns” to scope the sea bed, and navies increasingly rely on sonar. Whole populations of whales and dolphins—which often use much the same frequencies—are potentially threatened, and fish catches have fallen. And noise on land disrupts intricate ecosystems of sound, where different species divide the acoustic spectrum between them so that they do not interfere with each other’s communication.

Many of the solutions are known: traffic noise could be cut by 70 per cent; shipping could be made much quieter; good insulation in homes could reduce neighbour noise; and piped music could be simply turned off. Indeed, on Tuesday, the Noise Abatement Society will hand out awards to pioneering British councils. But, Stewart reports, only two governments—China and Hong Kong—have undertaken comprehensive programmes.

In Britain, if anything, political interest has waned. The Labour government repeatedly promised to publish a consultation document on a national noise strategy, but never did so. Three years ago, the Lords passed a Bill to restrict piped music, but it was not taken up in the Commons. And the EU’s record is little better: it has neither carried out a comprehensive assessment of what the hazard costs people and society, nor set targets for its reduction—as it has with, for example, air pollution. One way or another, it is time to make a lot more noise about noise.

Wind turbines on ridgelines is madness (W. Va.)

Laurel Mountain Wind Project Bird Kill

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—Laura Jackson, President, Save Our Allegheny Ridges.

The massive bird kill at the Laurel Mountain wind facility near Elkins, West Virginia in early October is another example of tragic environmental consequences caused by industrial wind development.

Laurel Mountain windplant, W. Va.

The American Bird Conservancy reported on October 28, 2011 that almost 500 birds were “reportedly killed after lights were left on at an electrical substation.”  That report was confirmed when Stantec Consulting Services Inc. reported to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that 8, 250-watt high pressure sodium lamps were left on at the Battery Energy Storage System at the Leadsville substation, part of the AES Laurel Mountain wind facility.

Laurel Mountain windplant, W. Va.

AES staff found a significant number of dead birds on October 3, 2011 that appeared to be fresh kills. The weather over the weekend of October 1 and 2 was poor—high winds, low clouds, thick fog, and cold temperatures.

Leadsville substation, Laurel Mountain windplant

The Leadsville substation was built as part of the wind project, and is located at a high elevation in a largely forested area. It is presumed that low visibility weather conditions kept the migrating birds flying low over the ridge. When they encountered the lighted substation, it’s theorized they became disoriented and flew into the substation structures, which caused mortality.

Blackpoll warbler fall migration route

According to the Stantec report, a total of 484 dead birds were collected at the substation during searches between October 3 and 18, 2011. Searchers found 310 dead blackpoll warblers and over a dozen other different species of warblers. A sora, ruffed grouse, Virginia rail, and pied-billed grebe were also killed, as well as 9 unidentified birds.

Blackpoll warbler, spring plumage (With thanks to Bryan Pfeiffer, Wings Photography)

484 dead birds

(Fortunately, no bat carcasses were found, and no multiple-fatality events caused by turbines were reported.)

Three issues need to be understood: The first deals with negligence on the part of the Laurel Mountain wind project personnel. Kerlinger and Curry documented a multiple-fatality event of 33 birds at the Mountaineer wind project in 2003 and stated that lights should never be left on at night.  (Click here for their report.)  Other biologists have reported on bird kills caused by low visibility, high elevations, and lighting.

The Laurel Mountain wind developer should admit that this bird kill was due to gross negligence and should pay a substantial fine. A substantial fine would send a message to other developers that negligence is costly to both birds and wind companies.

The second issue deals with mountain top development—be it caused by industrial wind, coal mining, or drilling for Marcellus shale gas. Our forested ridges in the northeast are important migratory routes for thousands of birds and bats both spring and fall. Industrial development should not be permitted on the migratory ridges. The United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) recognizes this, but has not developed any mandatory regulations to protect our forested ridges. Voluntary guidelines do not offer any substantial protection and should be replaced with enforced regulations.

The third issue is one of monitoring and reporting. AES staff found significant numbers of dead birds on October 3, 2011, and reported their find to Stantec staff, who reported the mortality to West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (DNR) and to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) by telephone on the afternoon of October 3. There is a long history of wind developers hiding data behind claims of “proprietary information” and refusing to divulge facts to the public.  Fortunately, this was not the case at the Laurel Mountain substation, since the USFWS has released Stantec’s report. We have asked the USFWS to report the details of this event on their website, in a similar manner to the announcement that an Indiana bat was killed recently at the North Allegheny wind project in Pennsylvania.

Low cloud cover and fog are common events on our mountains and were not problems for migrating birds and bats until human development transformed our forested mountains into industrial development areas. It is clear that lighting should be regulated, so tragedies like the Laurel Mountain bird kill do not occur again.

Pandora’s pinwheels: The reality of life with wind turbines (Australia & New Zealand)

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“What the hell’s the matter with you people?” (Massachusetts)

From:  Eric Bibler
To: Falmouth Town Manager, Falmouth Select Board & Falmouth Board of Health
Date:  October 31, 2011
Regarding:  Your cruel and inhumane wind turbines

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Please see the anguished plea, attached, of Falmouth resident Sue Hobart.  (A copy was forwarded to me.)

As you will note, Ms. Hobart has also included a copy of a similar written plea to your board that she sent nearly a year ago, on December 30, 2010.

As you may know, thousands of people from all over Cape Cod, Massachusetts and the world are watching Falmouth to see if there will ever come a time when you take action to alleviate the suffering you have imposed on your own residents.

As all know, the Town of Falmouth is the developer, owner, operator and chief financial beneficiary of Wind I and Wind II. Wind I and the so-called Webb wind turbine have already brought punishing consequences to residents, and yet the Town of Falmouth expects to begin operation of Wind II as soon as it can obtain the necessary parts.

Heather Harper and other dignitaries at the opening of “Wind I”

I wonder if you can appreciate how baffling it is for people, the world over, to fathom the inaction of your town’s Select Board and, specifically, your callous treatment of your own residents.

As town residents and others who are sympathetic to the plight of the victims look on and try to comprehend your failure to acknowledge their suffering — and your failure to acknowledge that you are the cause of their misery, and that it lies within your power to end their misery, and that, as the developer of a faulty project, it is clearly your responsibility to stop torturing them — the same inevitable questions recur to all of us:

» Do you think your residents are lying to you?

Do you think that they are exaggerating? How else can you possibly ignore their anguished testimonies — and continue to induce such profound suffering — unless you simply don’t believe them? What town, what person, what Select Person could possibly be so callous that he or she would actually BELIEVE what they are telling you, yet shrug his or her shoulders and walk away, saying, “It’s just too expensive to stop torturing you. We can’t afford it.”

How is it possible that any humane person — any responsible civic leader — could fail to accept responsibility for such a mistake? Worse yet, how could any responsible civic leader claim that, even if the town had erred in its estimation that the project would be benign, his responsibility to the fiscal affairs of the town should override the fundamental responsibility not only to provide for the safety of one’s own citizens but, first and foremost, refrain from harming them?

So, again, do you think they are lying to you? How else can you explain your treatment of them — unless you simply don’t believe them?

» If you don’t believe the first-person accounts of your citizens, what basis do you have for doubting them?

How do you know they are lying?

Why do you think they are lying to you — especially since the symptoms they report are identical to the symptoms being reported by thousands of victims all over the world and which have been documented by numerous medical and acoustic experts and which have been reported in thousands of instances in the global press?

What basis do you have for believing that the victims in Falmouth are lying to you? Are they part of a vast global conspiracy? Have they asked you for money? Or have they merely asked you to accept responsibility for your error and to provide them with some relief?

» Are the increasingly desperate pleas from your citizens to their government for relief from this profound disruption to their lives unjust and unwarranted?

Isn’t it true the victims of your industrial project have asked no more of you, as a town government, than to provide them with the bare minimum consideration that any citizen would seem to have the right to expect, namely, that you refrain from threatening their health, from depriving them of sleep, from denying them the rightful use and enjoyment of their property, from severely degrading the quality of their lives, and from destroying the equity in their homes?

Is this an unreasonable request?

Do you believe that, in pleading with you that you show them this minimum consideration, the victims are somehow “blackmailing” the Town of Falmouth?

Do you believe they are lying about these profound adverse impacts for the express purpose of claiming something that doesn’t belong to them?

Do you ignore their pleas because you believe these citizens are seeking to claim something from the Town of Falmouth that they do not deserve?

Conversely, has the Town of Falmouth unjustly appropriated something from these citizens — their safety and their quality of life — which does not belong to the Town?

» If, on the other hand, you do believe the first-person accounts of your own citizens who have repeatedly testified to their suffering — and yet you do nothing to alleviate the suffering — doesn’t this imply that you believe the Town of Falmouth has a right to harm its citizens?

Does Falmouth have a right to harm its citizens — or some of its citizens — or a minority of its citizens — for commercial gain?

If so, what gives you that right?

How many citizens does the Town of Falmouth have the right to sacrifice, “for the greater good,” to avoid taking a loss on this ill-conceived project? Is there a limit?  A numerical value?

Do the members of the Select Board accept the notion that these citizens whose lives have been severely compromised constitute the inevitable “collateral damage” from such projects — and that such profound adverse consequences to some number of its citizens are inevitable and justifiable?

At the end of the day, does the Select Board simply subscribe to Lenin’s famous principle that “you have to break a few eggs to make an omelette” — and condone the notion that the victims should simply resign themselves to being the “broken eggs” in the town’s wind energy omelette?

» Why does the Town of Falmouth continue to operate the wind turbines — and continue harming its own residents — even as it professes to search for a way to stop harming them?

How can the Town profess to care about the plight of the victims, and to accept responsibility for the adverse consequences of the project, even as it continues to harm its residents? Why does the Town not stop harming the residents and forego operations until, and unless, it finds a way to operate the wind turbines safely?

—If the Town discovered contamination in some portion of its water supply, would it continue to provide contaminated water to residents while it searched for a solution?

–Would the Town justify continuing to provide the contaminated water on the basis that “it’s just too expensive to provide clean water, rather than contaminated water”?

–Would the town refuse to stop providing the contaminated water on the rationale that “the town just can’t afford to forego the revenues that it receives from the contaminated water”?

–Would the town allow an unsafe bridge to remain open because “it only accommodates ten vehicles” and therefore “will only affect a minority of residents if it collapses” — and it’s “just too expensive” to fix?

–Would the town allow elementary school students to study in a classroom contaminated by asbestos after the problem had been discovered, “because only a fraction of the children in the elementary school are exposed to the asbestos” — and because it’s “just too expensive” to remove this threat to their health?

–Would the Town of Falmouth be sympathetic to the owner of a movie theater or a public auditorium who informed the Town that “it’s just too expensive” to provide an adequate number of exits, or signage, or sprinklers in case of fire?

–Would the Town of Falmouth be sympathetic to a business or homeowner who declared that “it’s just too expensive” to comply with various building codes or provisions for waste disposal or runoff — because any problem “would only affect a minority of people”?

How is it possible — if the leaders in Falmouth don’t believe that citizens are lying to them — that the Town of Falmouth can justify continued operation of a health hazard on the grounds that “it’s just too expensive” to stop hurting people — especially when the Town is not merely creating a hazard that might hurt people, but is actually harming people profoundly, incessantly, relentlessly, on a daily basis?

How is it possible the Town of Falmouth, which would likely show zero tolerance for any of the above threats to citizenry, is willing to condone the evident harm that it’s imposing through the operation of its own commercial wind energy facility?

» Is the Town of Falmouth seeking to accept responsibility for its actions — and seeking to alleviate suffering — or is it merely seeking to justify the imposition of harm and evade legal responsibility for its own actions?

What more definitive and conclusive evidence can the Town of Falmouth ever hope to discover, regarding the potential adverse impacts of these projects, than the first-person reports of the citizenry of Falmouth who are most acutely affected?

What is the point of conducting noise studies, or health studies, unless you doubt the existence of substantial harm; or, more ominously, unless the intent of such studies is to justify the imposition of such harm upon Falmouth’s unfortunate “broken eggs”?

Why is the Town of Falmouth seeking proof of “compliance” with an antiquated and meaningless State noise statute, rather then declaring it unacceptable for the town to be the source of such profound harm, regardless of any “compliance” with an arbitrary statute — unless the intent of the Select Board is to buttress its claim that they have a legal right to impose such harm—because they are “in compliance”?

Why does the Town of Falmouth need a prolonged health study to determine the magnitude of the harm, to compile statistics on the precise number of occurrences of each symptom, their duration, their severity, their cumulative effects, and so forth, when the gross magnitude of the harm is already agonizingly apparent?

Would the Town of Falmouth continue to operate — or refuse to repair — a contaminated water main so that it could spend a year or two studying the precise extent of the health problems that it created — the number of people who were sickened, their symptoms, the duration and severity of their illnesses and the cumulative effects?

If not, why then is the Town of Falmouth so adamant about continuing the operation of its wind turbines — unless it either does not believe the complaints of its citizens (and what person who has witnessed any of these testimonies could fail to believe them), or unless the Town of Falmouth believes it has a right to harm its citizens, and prefers to perfect and protect that “right” by demonstrating compliance with the State noise statutes or making every effort to discredit the health claims?

Is this any way for a town to respond to citizens who come forward to testify that the town is harming them on a daily basis?

» The most fundamental question is this:

Will the Town of Falmouth choose to protect the health and well-being of its citizens and accept responsibility for these ill-advised ventures; or will the Town of Falmouth sacrifice them for the simple fact that they are in the minority, and because there is not sufficient moral character among the members of the Select Board to admit error and choose people over money?

Will the Select Board sell-out some number of its own citizens simply because it’s inconvenient and embarrassing and expensive to acknowledge their claims?

Will the Select Board continue to marginalize the victims for the simple reason that it can — until some court of law or some judge forces it to stop?

All eyes are on the Falmouth Select Board — many more eyes than you could ever imagine. All of them are watching with a sort of horrified fascination, wondering the same thing: When will the members of the Select Board — any members of the Select Board — step forward to “do the right thing”?

Will the members of the Select Board — any members of the Select Board — ever stop the nonsense of avoiding the central question of whether they have the moral character to do the right thing?

For the sake of your long-suffering residents (who have thus far shown the patience of Job), we hope that one day you will do the right thing.

“Wildlife, offshore wind turbines a bad mix” (Texas)

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Black terns

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Billy Sandifer, Corpus Christi Caller-Times (10/25/11)

I have fished Padre Island for 53 years and have been the only licensed fishing guide and naturalist providing tours on the National Seashore for the past 22 years. On average I am down island about 128 days per year. I am the founder of the Big Shell Beach Cleanup and have been its primary organizer for the past 17 years. During that time, 2.3 million pounds of debris has been removed by this volunteer effort. In 2010, I was chosen as one of the six Heroes of Conservation by Field & Stream Magazine. I received the first ever Lifetime Conservation Award from the Coastal Conservation Association and this year was the popular choice winner of the Making a Difference Award competition sponsored by Sports Fishing Magazine.

Hopefully this qualifies me to comment on the natural resources of the Coastal Bend.

Billy Sandifer

In early September I encountered what I roughly estimated were 750,000 black terns on Padre Island National Seashore. This represents only a fraction of the native and migratory birds on the island. Padre is recognized as a Globally Important Bird Area by the American Bird Conservancy and a site of hemispheric importance by the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network.

Following that sighting of black terns I spent the next seven days and a night down island. The number of birds I counted fluctuated greatly. One day I’d see 300 to 400 terns and on another day I estimated 350,000 birds. This was not a migration in or out of the area. On the contrary, the birds were coming and going to feed on incoming schools of dusky anchovies that wander near shore and offshore this time of year. When these huge shoals of anchovies are five or 10 miles offshore the birds follow, but they don’t return to shore when they’re not feeding. They simply sleep on the water to remain near their prey. All pelagic and shore birds that eat fish are attracted to schools of anchovies, menhaden and other such foraging species.

If hundreds of wind turbines are erected in the Gulf of Mexico within proximity of Padre Island, then baitfish will be drawn instinctively to the protective structure in the same way they are drawn to oil and gas platforms. And in turn the birds will follow.

But unlike oil and gas platforms, when the birds are drawn to feed or rest on these massive structures, they will be in peril.

Installing a bank of wind turbines reaching 700 feet above the water’s surface spread over 60,000 acres five to 10 miles off the Padre Island beach would be like chumming the birds into the killing blades.

I have a 25-foot boat that I regularly take offshore during migration season. I see wood warblers, hummingbirds, ducks, peregrine falcons, Hudson godwits and egrets migrating within 700 feet above the surface of the sea. There is no way to accurately record the number of birds that will be killed by these turbines. The Padre Island National Seashore’s list of other concerns includes the possibility of turbines interfering with the homing instincts of sea turtles, thereby jeopardizing decades of effort by Donna Shaver.

Why in the name of God would anyone who cares anything about the environment possibly pick this location for such a gigantic wind farm?

I live in a rather harsh and very real world. And I’ve learned some things. When you pull a trigger you can’t stop the bullet. It’s gone. Like an extinct species, there is no amount of “what-ifs” or “if we had just done something” that will bring them back.

But there is still time in this case. If we stand up for what we know is right and organize we can stop these Cuisinarts of the sky from coming.

As a native son of Texas and a lifelong resident of the Coastal Bend, I consider the beauty of our sunrises over the Gulf and abundance of wildlife not only a blessing but a birthright to behold. These are the things that residents and visitors alike treasure. And these are the things we have been entrusted to keep for our children and grandchildren.

Wind farms don’t make aesthetic sense, environmental sense or economic sense for the Coastal Bend. The fact that they have to be subsidized by our tax dollars should be an indication that they might not be in our best interest.And most of all I’m terribly offended by people willing to destroy my view of the Gulf horizon while unnecessarily killing thousands of birds for their own profit. Let’s keep our Texas wild, say no to these profiteers and stop the madness.

 

Why “Big Wind’s” noise measurements are a big fat lie

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“Dynamic measurements of wind turbine acoustic signals, employing sound quality engineering methods considering the time and frequency sensitivities of human perception.”   Presented at NOISE-CON 2011, Portland, Oregon, July 25-27, 2011.  Click here for a PDF of the paper.

Richard James & Wade Bray

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Summary:  What this paper adds to the discussion of wind turbine noise and potential adverse health effects

(The following was lightly edited by WTS.com to conform to the Chicago Manual of Style.)

The reason the wind industry experts can claim that wind turbines produce insignificant levels of infrasound and low frequency sound is not because there isn’t any, but because the instruments and methods they use cannot detect it.  In effect, they go hunting for a needle in the haystack using a magnet, when the problem is the needle is made of plastic.

When analyzed using a tool that can detect it, we find that infrasound and low frequency noise are there and they are there at Sound Pressure Levels (SPL’s) much higher than previously considered likely.

The infrasound from wind turbines in fact rises and falls in Sound Pressure Level (also called Amplitude Modulation) at a very rapid rate (approximately 60 milliseconds from peak to peak) and with a high dynamic range—phenomena too fast to be “noticed” when standard acoustical filters are used to isolate this region of acoustic energy.  (Note, first of all, that a millisecond is one-thousandth of a second.  Secondly, according to the American National Standards Institute, a 1 Hertz, 1/3-octave filter has an impulse response of about 5 seconds.)

The understating of the true peaks that occurs during analysis, using conventional acoustical instruments and methods, effectively flattens and stretches out the dynamic modulation (crest factor), leading to the misconception that the levels are insignificant.

This study shows that, when analyzed according to the time response of the human transducer, the peaks of the energy waves can be above 90 dB Sound Pressure Level (SPL).  When combined with the findings of Dr. Alec Salt, our analysis shows that the dynamically modulated infrasound can be perceived by the auditory system at levels that are below the conventionally-determined threshold of audibility.

It is the short duration and extent of the change in sound pressure, rather than the overall energy level, that is stimulating the vestibular system.  Hence, the issue is not the average energy, but the short duration, peak values, and extent of change in energy—assuming that some lower threshold, like Dr. Salt’s 60 dBG for cochlear Outer Hair Cell (OHC) activity, has been reached.

Farmers refuse wind turbine leases because of health impacts (Australia)

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“Backlash for wind farms over health impacts”

This image was not part of the original article—Editor

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—John McCarthy, The Courier-Mail (10/22/11)

The war between farmers and energy companies has moved into a new phase with the emergence of plans for a massive expansion of wind farms in Queensland.

Some farmers in the South Burnett have already walked away from lucrative payouts from wind farm companies of $140,000 a year because of feared impacts on their health and their business.

While the struggle against coal seam gas, coal mines and underground coal gasification rages in other parts of the state, companies like AGL and Ratch (formerly Transfield) are pushing investment of about $3 billion in wind farm technology and getting support from farmers.

The Energy Users Association this week released a report showing Australia will need to spend about $30 billion on wind farms by 2020 to meet with the Government’s renewable energy targets.

But there is also a backlash based on apparent impacts on the health of those living near similar facilities in South Australia and Victoria, as well as north Queensland.

Colin Walkden lives about 400m from the Windy Hill wind turbine, near Ravenshoe, in north Queensland, and is on medication for depression because of sleep loss allegedly caused by the constant noise from turbines.

“It’s like no other noise you have ever heard,” he said describing it as a strong whooshing sound that persists with a westerly wind. “That’s about 90 per cent of the year.”

South Australian farmer Andy Thomas lives near six turbines at Mt Bryan. In an affidavit in a case against the wind farm, Mr Thomas said the turbine noise was like a jet passing overhead.

“From my home, I can hear five or more turbines at the same time, so it is like having five or more jets overhead at once. At its worst it is like living next to a ball mill of the type used at mines to crush ore,” he said.

AGL is now planning a $1 billion, 115 tower wind farm at Coopers Gap, in the South Burnett, while a second project at Kumbia at the base of the Bunya Mountains for about 50 towers has been stalled by farmer opposition. There is also a $1.5 billion plan for 300 turbines outside Mt Isa and other smaller proposals across the state.

Coopers Gap horse breeder Brian Lyons has rejected advances from AGL, despite a potentially big payout of $12,000 a year for each of the 20 turbines planned on his property.

“It’s quite a good business for some of (the farmers), but I’m only going to live once,” he said.

Despite his rejecting the approach, his neighbours are backing the scheme and it is possible Mr Lyons will still have turbines on his boundary only a short distance from his house.

He said there were at least four wind farm proposals in southern Queensland, with his own community faced with a large new industry that initially they knew very little about.

While the industry maintains the wind farms generate only a small amount of noise, several residents complain it is as loud as a jet engine and that the noise is directional, meaning some residents may not hear it while others will.

“I don’t think a company with noise problems at its last operating wind farm should be treated any different to any other industry in Queensland,” Mr Lyons said.

Local councillor Cheryl Dalton said low-frequency vibration was also an issue. “I don’t understand why consideration hasn’t been given to buying all the affected properties,” she said.

As yet, there is no planning application before the South Burnett Council and there is confusion over whether it or the State Government will be the one who assesses the development.

Kumbia cattle farmer Paul Newman rallied local residents to a community meeting which overwhelmingly rejected a plan by Next Wind for a 53-turbine farm nearby. His compensation offer was worth about $140,000 a year, but he considered the project just as intrusive to his neighbours and the local community as that of a mine or an industrial development.

“Money is not the solution to everything,” he said.

He said that to live in a rural community you had to consider your neighbours and how a future project might hurt them.

AGL did not respond to requests for an interview.

 

WTS victims protest (Cape Cod, MA)

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Place?  Bourne, MA, at the traffic circle by the Cape Cod bridge

Who?  Falmouth, MA, victims of Wind Turbine Syndrome

Date?  October 10, 2011

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Wind energy bullies—and a burning barn (Vermont)

Painting by Edward Hopper, with appreciation

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Willem Post, Guest Editor (10/14/11)

Green Mountain Power (GMP) is offering to buy the Don & Shirley Nelson’s hillside farm at the asking price, to prove that real estate values do not decline due to noisy, 460-ft tall wind turbines on 2,000 ft high ridge lines, and to get the Nelson’s invited guests off the Nelson’s land so GMPs dynamite blasters can proceed with the partial destruction of Lowell Mountain.

If the Nelsons do not agree to sell and do not agree to remove their guests from their land, GMP will take the Nelsons to court and sue them for about $1,000,000.  (The Nelson’s are an elderly couple.)

Shirley & Don Nelson

This is a public relations disaster for Vermont’s wind energy oligarchy, that will be heard all over the world during Vermont’s foliage season.

GMP’s wind turbine facility, calling itself Kingdom Community Wind, is much larger than Vermonters had in mind when they agreed to wind power. They had in mind facilities more in line with Vermont notions of “small is beautiful” and complying with State Act 250.

They had in mind not ruining ridge lines with 21 strobe lights, cutting hundreds of trees without permission, filling in wetlands, building roads to haul up rotor blades that are 180 ft long, and building 21 wind turbine monsters on environmentally-pristine, 2,000 ft high ridgelines. The wind turbines make lots of noise, especially low frequency noise and infrasound, which are exceptionally harmful to people—noise that is, for all intents and purposes, ignored during “expedited” public hearings.

GMP is building this project not for Vermonters, but for its parent company in Quebec which will reap the financial benefits. The high costs of the expensive, variable wind energy will all be rolled into jobs-destroying higher electric rates for Vermont households.

Wind energy subsidized with an equivalent of 50% of the capital cost:  9.6 cents/kWh.

Average annual grid prices in New England: 5cents/kWh

That is just what working Vermonters “need”: paying for flood damage with higher gas taxes, a miserable economy, rising prices of goods and services, higher electric rates, and an irrationally-exuberant, renewables-vendor-inspired Vermont Energy Plan with 90% renewables to outdo the Germans (who are going for 50% by 2050).

The real kicker is that several recent, independent studies, based on real time, 1/4-hour grid operation data sets, performed in the US (Colorado and Texas) and the Netherlands have shown that wind energy does not reduce CO2 emissions, because gas-fired, quick-ramping gas turbine balancing plants are needed to operate at partial-load to be able to quickly ramp up when wind energy ebbs, and to quickly ramp down when wind energy surges.

This part-load-ramping operation is very inefficient for gas turbines, requiring extra fuel/kWh, resulting in extra CO2 emissions/kWh. The extra fuel and extra CO2 emissions mostly offset the fuel and CO2 wind energy was meant to reduce.

It would be much wiser and more economical to shift subsidies away from expensive renewables that produce just a little of variable, intermittent energy. Those renewables would not be needed if we used those funds for increased energy efficiency, because”energy efficiency”

  • provides the quickest and biggest “bang for the buck”
  • it is invisible
  • it does not destroy pristine ridgelines or upset mountain water runoffs
  • it would more effectively reduce CO2
  • it would create 3 times the jobs at less cost per job all over Vermont
  • it would not coddle the wind oligarchy in Vermont and Quebec
  • it could be accomplished without public resistance and controversy—and barns suddenly getting torched

Nelson barn, August 13, 2010

Don Nelson remembers Friday the 13th of August last year.

“I saw those flames go out the door with no smoke and I said: ‘The barn’s on fire!’ And I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.”

Nelson had slept past his normal dawn rising. Soon after he poured coffee, he saw his red barn erupt in flames.

“It didn’t go bang. It went ‘woooom!’ And then ‘wooom!’ like that. And the first one, it forced the flames right through the cracks in the roofing.”

Balls of flame leveled the barn within 30 minutes. State police couldn’t determine a cause. Nelson thinks his barn was torched. And he thinks his opposition to the wind project might have been why.

“All I know is that it’s a $160 million project and the town of Lowell is going to get $400,000-$500,000 a year. Money changes people. I don’t know. How do I know? All I know is: I know the barn was set, and I know that we didn’t set it.”

John Dillon, Vermont Public Radio News (2/1/11)

Court case to watch! (Australia)

“Case puts wind farms in doubt”

This image was not included in the original article—Editor

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—Rebecca Puddy, The Australian (10/14/11)

A court challenge in South Australia could disrupt plans to develop wind farms across the country after AGL Energy conceded tests at its wind farm in the state’s northeast detected a tonal noise above government-set limits.

The legal challenge by South Australian farmer Bill Quinn centres on an argument that the turbines in AGL Energy’s Hallett Wind Farm emit excessive noise that results in the sleep deprivation of residents living within 3.5km.

“It’s the noise of the things and how close they are to houses,” Mr Quinn said yesterday.

“The sound flows like water from the blades of the turbines, and it’s so bad up around Mount Bryan that many people have been forced to move away.”

The Victorian government last month honoured an election promise to place strict controls on how close wind farm developments could be built in proximity to houses and regional towns.

In NSW, the O’Farrell government is reviewing restrictions on wind farm developments that could put similar controls in place.

After losing his court case in the state’s environment court in November last year, Mr Quinn yesterday began his appeal to the Supreme Court to overturn the Goyder Council’s approval for AGL Energy to develop Hallett Wind Farm, a project comprised of five wind farms and more than 200 turbines.

Mr Quinn’s appeal hinges on new evidence discovered since losing his initial court case: evidence AGL found wind turbines at Hallett Wind Farm emitted an audible tonal noise.

In a statement to the Supreme Court, Mr Quinn’s counsel, Brian Hayes QC, said noise testing conducted since the initial trial had resulted in AGL shutting down eight of its turbines and showed neither AGL’s existing wind farm nor the proposed wind farm were “capable of satisfying the Environmental Protection Authority’s wind turbine noise limit of 40 decibels”.

The manufacturer of the turbines, Suzlon, continues to expand its operations in Australia. In August, it announced plans to build a further 180 turbines on South Australia’s Yorke Peninsula.

 

Senator, worried about WTS, calls for turbine moratorium (Wisconsin)


State Senator Lasee introduces bill to ban wind turbines in Wisconsin.  Says research is needed to show wind farms are safe

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—Doug Schneider, Green Bay Press-Gazette (10/11/11)

Glenmore, Wisconsin—The sights and sounds outside her son’s window made Sarah Cappelle consider something once unthinkable: Trying to sell the home in which her family has lived for generations.

The two-story house off Glenmore Road has become less dream, more nightmare since wind turbines were erected in 2010 on farmland just to the southeast.

Worries about the effects of the structures prompted Cappelle and husband Dave to stand in support Monday as state Sen. Frank Lasee, R-Ledgeview, proposed a state ban on wind-turbine construction until studies have deemed the turbines don’t harm humans and animals.

“It’s not fair to put something so noisy and so large so close to people, unless you can be sure it’s safe,” Lasee said.

A bill he introduced Monday would declare a moratorium on construction of wind farms until the state Public Service Commission is in possession of a report that ensures turbines like those dotting the landscape in this southern Brown County town don’t cause health problems. He wasn’t sure if the bill would gain the support needed for passage in the chamber, but said proposing it is the right thing to do.

Wind farms have prompted passionate debate, but limited agreement, on their long-term impacts on humans. And lack of regulatory agreement in Wisconsin, particularly on the issue of how far a turbine must be from a property line, has tempered developers’ enthusiasm about erecting wind farms. A corporation earlier this year scrapped plans for a 100-turbine development in the Morrison-Glenmore area.

Backers of wind energy say it is a clean, safer alternative to coal and nuclear energy, pointing to the fact that they don’t consume fuel and don’t produce ash or other waste. They also say wind-development could create thousands of jobs in technology and construction. Opponents say turbines can be noisy, unsightly, problematic for birds and bats and, most important, cause vertigo and sleep disorders. Concerns are growing about a condition labeled “wind-turbine syndrome,” and a daylight phenomenon called “shadow flicker.”

Regulators say the state’s wind developments are safe, and that they fall within noise-emission limits.

The Cappelles believe their toddler son’s inability to sleep, their 6-year-old’s recurring ear infections and Sarah’s never-ending colds are a product of the Shirley Wind development near their home.

They say that family members had never had health problems until the turbine near their house went into service last fall. That prompted consultation with a real estate agent — where they learned that no one likely would pay fair market value for a house with a view of a wind turbine.

“My mother grew up here. My grandmother was here for 50 years,” Sarah Cappelle said. “This is where I always wanted to raise our kids. But now, I’m not sure if we should stay.”

Lasee said he knows of at least three Glenmore-area families who have left their homes because of health problems that, while not formally diagnosed, didn’t appear until nearby turbines went on-line.

“There’s no impact to human health!” Really? (Ohio)

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“Can turbines generate health problems?”

This image was not part of the original article—Editor

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—Lou Wilin, The Courier.com (Ohio), 10/5/11

Living close to wind turbines can hurt your peace of mind, job performance and health, according to some health experts and researchers.

“If you’re within a mile, you’re asking for trouble,” said Alex Salt, an otolaryngology professor at Washington University in St. Louis.

Air Energy TCI, a company which plans to erect wind turbines between Arcadia, Fostoria and New Riegel, would locate some within one-third of a mile of a home, the company’s development manager, Rory Cantwell, said Tuesday. He said Air Energy’s standard exceeds the state standard by more than 500 feet.

Brett O’Connor BA Civil Engineering, TCI Renewables, from the website

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“(Wind turbines) don’t emit enough noise to do any permanent damage,” said Brett O’Connor, operations director for TCI Renewables in North America, the parent corporation of Air Energy. “All thoroughly peer-reviewed, properly conducted scientific analysis has concluded that there is no impact to human health.”

Professor Alec Salt, PhD, Department of Otolaryngology, School of Medicine, Washington University (St. Louis, MO)

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But Salt, who has studied the ear for 37 years, said wind turbines can, and do, cause some people problems. He has company.

In her book, “Wind Turbine Syndrome,” Dr. Nina Pierpont of Malone, N.Y., tells about some neighbors of wind turbines experiencing ear and health problems.

Sleep disturbance, memory and concentration problems, headaches, dizziness and nausea, and ringing or buzzing in the ears are among their troubles, Pierpont said. Those problems can lead to further health deterioration, said Pierpont and Salt: high blood pressure and heart palpitations.

Nina Pierpont, BA (Yale), MA & PhD (Princeton), MD (Johns Hopkins), formerly clinical professor of Pediatrics, College of Physicians & Surgeons, Columbia University (NY)

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“There are really distinct effects on susceptible people,” Pierpont said. “You just can’t function in this. It’s like you’re wading through mud mentally. You’re sick.”

Susceptible are those older than 50; those with migraine disorder, motion sensitivity, and existing inner ear damage from, say, exposure to industrial or military noise; and toddlers and early school-age children, she said.

Wind turbines produce low-frequency sounds, which the industry says cause no trouble because people do not hear them.

“That’s absolutely false,” Salt said. “The ear is designed so you don’t hear low-frequency sounds, but it isn’t insensitive to them. Those sounds are still going in and they are still being transfused. Even though you don’t hear it, it wakes you up.”

Salt said people over time have adapted to not notice their own body’s low-frequency sounds, like breathing and heartbeat. But when it comes to wind turbine sounds, sooner or later the brain notices they come from outside the body, and that’s when the trouble starts, Salt said.

For some, the trouble starts within a few weeks. For others, it happens immediately.

“People have difficulty describing the problem they’re having. It’s not a sound you’re hearing. It’s an uncomfortable feeling in your ears,” Salt said. “It’s a perceiving. You’re not hearing. It’s a fullness or a stuffiness in your ear.”

“It’s an odd feeling,” he said. “It’s close to motion sickness.”

Unfortunately, by the time residents experience problems, the wind farm has set up shop and enlisting its help is difficult, said Carmen Krogh, a board member for the Society for Wind Vigilance in Killaloe, Ontario. Wind turbines are more pervasive in Ontario than in Ohio.

“Once the turbines are established, it’s hard to get any kind of resolution to health troubles,” she said.

The health of those affected can deteriorate while they battle for years with a wind turbine company, Krogh said. Some people have abandoned their homes, rented elsewhere or moved in with a relative, she said.

Now, you can sue Big Wind! Maybe.

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Editor’s note
:  WTS.com has long recommended against suing the wind developers and town boards, urging instead civil disobedience.  But times are changing, and the chances of a big lawsuit being successful are looking more promising, indeed.

One of our readers put us on to this article in today’s Wall Street Journal.  This may be the route to take.  A truly large lawsuit.  It seems to us that with a high-powered law firm, and several million dollars invested in the lawsuit (invested by the law firm), there’s a better than even chance of winning against Big Wind and against town boards—like the Falmouth, Mass., town board.  

The problem with lawsuits heretofore has been that people couldn’t afford them.  According to this article, below, they’re now affordable—if you can persuade the law firm to seize the opportunity.  Up till now, lawsuits have involved small-time attorneys on a shoestring budget.  Big mistake!  If you’re going to take the legal route, you’re going to need a big ass law firm with a budget in the several millions, at least.  In part to hire expert witnesses, both to testify in person and to write the lengthy reports and rebuttals that will be required of them (which takes them hundreds of hours to write).  The law firms will also want to subpoena all sorts of documents, including email, from the wind companies and town boards.  This is time and money.  

WTS.com can say this with assurance.  Dr. Nina Pierpont, who is often asked to be an expert witness and yet routinely declines, would likely agree to be an expert witness in a big-ass suit—a suit that’s well funded and being handled by a major firm that’s prepared to “go the distance” with evidence, and whose attorneys have the training and brains to do a first-class job.  

Think about it.  If you need persuading, read this article recently posted on our site.  Focus on the bald-faced lies by the wind industry.  Does that make your blood boil?  Especially if you’re one of the victims interviewed in the article?  Read the rejoinder (Comment #1) by Chicago-based real estate appraiser, Mike McCann.  Why couldn’t a serious law firm, with a well bankrolled lawsuit, prevail against this industry sleaze?  Lying and deceit so fundamentally stupid, blatant, and frankly corny, one would expect it of an 8-year-old, not an adult, for God’s sake!

This image was not included in the original article—Editor

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“Funds Spring Up to Invest in High-Stakes Litigation”

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—Vanessa O’Connell, Wall Street Journal (10/3/11)

Lawyers-turned-financiers are laying plans to profit from what they hope will be the new hot investment: high-stakes U.S. lawsuits.

At least three start-up businesses are entering the fledgling “alternative litigation funding” market this year, creating funds that will invest at least a few million dollars in a case in exchange for a share of the lawsuit’s winnings, which can be in the several-million-dollar or even billion-dollar range.

One of the newcomers is John P. “Sean” Coffey, a former plaintiff lawyer at Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP and a former lead trial lawyer for investors in the case against Wall Street banks arising from the collapse of the former telecom company WorldCom Inc.

After helping WorldCom investors recover more than $50 million from the pockets of former WorldCom officers and directors, Mr. Coffey unsuccessfully sought the 2010 Democratic nomination for New York state attorney general. Now, on the 31st floor of a midtown Manhattan office building, he is focusing on maximizing returns for investors from high-stakes commercial litigation via a commercial-claim investor called BlackRobe Capital Partners LLC. BlackRobe is currently exploring ways to raise capital.

The idea has critics, who worry about a possible rise in frivolous lawsuits and increased pressure on defendants to settle. But some forms of third-party litigation funding have been around for decades. Search the Web for “lawsuit loans,” and you’ll find hundreds of companies offering cash advances, generally of up to $10,000, to people with personal-injury claims to help them offset living expenses while their claims are pending. There have also been occasional “syndicated lawsuits,” allowing investors to pay a plaintiff’s legal costs and gamble on receiving part of a monetary judgment or settlement.

The new breed of profit-seeker sees a huge, untapped market for betting on high-stakes commercial claims. After all, companies will spend about $15.5 billion this year on U.S. commercial litigation and an additional $2.6 billion on intellectual-property litigation, according to estimates by BTI Consulting Group Inc., a Wellesley, Mass., research firm that surveyed 300 large companies in 2011.

Backers say litigation funding will help to increase the number of legitimate claims that reach the legal system. Potential users of capital include small companies seeking to level the playing field against bigger opponents and publicly traded companies seeking off-balance-sheet financing for their litigation. “We have and will continue to entertain the use of third-party funding under the appropriate circumstances,” says Tom Sager, general counsel of chemical maker DuPont Co., who cites the rising cost of litigation in the U.S.

The business is gaining cautious backing from some partners within major U.S. law firms, including Latham & Watkins LLP, Patton Boggs LLP and Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP. The funders provide lawyers with potential referrals of new clients. They also provide an “extra measure of security that the legal fees are going to be paid without incident,” notes Barry R. Ostrager, a senior partner at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, whose standard rate is more than $1,000 an hour. In 2009, he introduced client Gray Development Group to a litigation-financing firm for funding of its July 2010 suit against a Chicago developer. Gray won the case.

“The added capital allowed us to upgrade the legal team without betting the company’s entire future on the outcome of one lawsuit,” says Bruce Gray, chairman of Gray Development, one of the largest apartment developers in Arizona.

Critics have philosophical concerns. John Beisner, a Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP partner, told a House subcommittee in May that litigation funding threatens to increase frivolous claims and exacerbate litigation abuse by making “unlimited amounts of money available to litigants and attorneys.” He spoke on behalf of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

“Investors are thinking, what’s the one thing you can always count on being around? It’s litigation. Let’s try to profit from that!” Mr. Beisner adds. “Is that what our litigation system is supposed to be about?”

Others worry that defendants might feel unfairly pressured to settle. The funders tend to bet on patent or antitrust cases for the biggest profit, but “the potential downsides for the defendants are huge,” says Joanna Shepherd-Bailey, an associate professor at Emory University School of Law. She cites a possibility of treble damages and preliminary injunctions as examples of “negative side effects that can ruin a company.”

Mr. Coffey says “the funding is not only going to result in more legitimate claims being brought, it’s going to result in more effective prosecution of claims that have been filed.”

“There are some claims that are prosecuted that are starved a little for oxygen,” he says. “Some claims that are being prosecuted somewhat anemically would be prosecuted more robustly.”

In the past, common law prohibited third-party financing of a lawsuit, as well as the acquisition of an interest in a lawsuit’s winnings. Currently, laws vary from state to state, Prof. Shepherd-Bailey says, and no U.S. court has yet considered the legality of third-party finance of commercial claims.

At the moment, BlackRobe is using space at the New York office of law firm Patton Boggs. It expects to move in the next few months, Mr. Coffey says.

Down the hall, rival Fulbrook Management LLC is subleasing from Patton Boggs. Founded in March by a former Latham senior partner, Fulbrook says it looks for cases with a potential recovery of $25 million or more on investments of $1 million to $10 million. It promises to provide “professional and commercial support for claims” it backs, says founder Selvyn Seidel. It plans to raise “a pool of capital that will be a serious fund” soon, he adds.

Another new U.S. player, Bentham Capital LLC, opened for business last Monday, and it’s focusing on commercial and intellectual-property litigation, according to its chief investment officer, Ralph Sutton, a former lawyer at Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams, & Sheppard LLP. Bentham’s parent, IMF Australia Ltd., has more than 87 million Australian dollars in assets.

Two existing players—Juridica Investments Ltd. and Burford Capital Ltd., both hedge funds publicly traded in the U.K.—reported promising results last month.

Wind turbines devastate property value (CBC News, Ontario)

“Ontario wind power bringing down property values”

 None of the images on this page were included in the CBC article—Editor

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—John Nicol & Dave Seglins, CBC News (10/1/11)

Ontario’s rapid expansion in wind power projects has provoked a backlash from rural residents living near industrial wind turbines who say their property values are plummeting and they are unable to sell their homes, a CBC News investigation has found.

The government and the wind energy industry have long maintained turbines have no adverse effects on property values, health or the environment.

The CBC has documented scores of families who’ve discovered their property values are not only going downward, but also some who are unable to sell and have even abandoned their homes because of concerns nearby turbines are affecting their health.

I have to tell you not a soul has come to look at it,” says Stephana Johnston, 81, of Clear Creek, a hamlet in Haldimand County on the north shore of Lake Erie, about 60 kilometres southeast of London.

Stephana Johnston

Johnston, a retired Toronto teacher, moved here six years ago to build what she thought would be her dream home. But in 2008, 18 industrial wind turbines sprung up near her property and she put the one-floor, wheelchair-accessible home up for sale.

“My hunch is that people look at them and say: ‘As nice as the property is going south, looking at the lake, we don’t want to be surrounded by those turbines.’ Can’t say that I blame them.”

Johnston says she has suffered so many ill health effects, including an inability to sleep — which she believes stem from the noise and vibration of the turbines— that she now sleeps on a couch in her son’s trailer, 12 kilometres away, and only returns to her house to eat breakfast and dinner and use the internet.

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Industry rejects claims of lower land values

Meanwhile, the industry rejects claims of lower land values.

“Multiple studies, and particularly some very comprehensive ones from the United States have consistently shown the presence of wind turbines does not have any statistically significant impact on property values,” says Robert Hornung of the Ottawa-based Canadian Wind Energy Association (CANWEA).

While acknowledging a lack of peer-reviewed studies in Ontario, Hornung says CanWEA commissioned a study of the Chatham-Kent area, where new wind turbines are appearing, and found no evidence of any impact on property values.

“In fact,” says Hornung, “we’ve recently seen evidence coming from Re/Max indicating that we’re seeing farm values throughout Ontario, including the Chatham-Kent area, increasing significantly this year as wind energy is being developed in the area at the same time.”

However, Ron VandenBussche, a Re/Max agent along the Lake Erie shore, said the reality is that the wind turbines reduce the pool of interested buyers, and ultimately the price of properties.

Ron VandenBussche

“It’s going to make my life more difficult,” says VandenBussche, who has been a realtor for 38 years. “There’s going to be people that would love to buy this particular place, but because the turbines are there, it’s going to make it more difficult, no doubt.”

Kay Armstrong is one example. She put her two-acre, waterfront property up for sale before the turbines appeared in Clear Creek, for what three agents said was a reasonable price of $270,000.

Two years after the turbines appeared, she took $175,000, and she felt lucky to do that — the property went to someone who only wanted to grow marijuana there for legal uses.

I had to get out,” said Armstrong. “It was getting so, so bad. And I had to disclose the health issues I had. I was told by two prominent lawyers that I would be sued if the ensuing purchasers were to develop health problems.”

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Realtor association finds 20 to 40 per cent drops in value

Armstrong’s experience is backed up in a study by Brampton-based realtor Chris Luxemburger. The president of the Brampton Real Estate Board examined real estate listings and sales figures for the Melancthon-Amaranth area, home to 133 turbines in what is Ontario’s first and largest industrial wind farm.

Chris Luxemburger

“Homes inside the windmill zones were selling for less and taking longer to sell than the homes outside the windmill zones,” said Luxemburger.

On average, from 2007 to 2010, he says properties adjacent to turbines sold for between 20 and 40 per cent less than comparable properties that were out of sight from the windmills.

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Power company sells at a loss

Land registry documents obtained by CBC News show that some property owners who complained about noise and health issues and threatened legal action did well if they convinced the turbine companies to buy them out.

Canadian Hydro Developers bought out four different owners for $500,000, $350,000, $305,000 and $302,670. The company then resold each property, respectively, for $288,400, $175,000, $278,000 and $215,000.

In total, Canadian Hydro absorbed just over half a million dollars in losses on those four properties.

The new buyers were required to sign agreements acknowledging that the wind turbine facilities may affect the buyer’s “living environment” and that the power company will not be responsible for or liable from any of the buyer’s “complaints, claims, demands, suits, actions or causes of action of every kind known or unknown which may arise directly or indirectly from the Transferee’s wind turbine facilities.”

The energy company admits the impacts may include “heat, sound, vibration, shadow flickering of light, noise (including grey noise) or any other adverse effect or combination thereof resulting directly or indirectly from the operation.”

TransAlta, the company that took over for Canadian Hydro, refused to discuss the specific properties it bought and then resold at a loss in Melancthon. But in an email to CBC, spokesman Glen Whelan cited the recession and other “business considerations” that “influence the cost at which we buy or sell properties, and to attribute purchase or sale prices to any one factor would be impossible.”

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Province says no change to tax base

Ontario’s ministers of Energy, Municipal Affairs and Finance, all in the midst of an election campaign, declined requests for an interview.

That’s what makes them sick is that, you know, they’ll get less money for their properties, and that’s what’s causing all this annoyance and frustration.

—Environment Ministry lawyer Frederika Rotter

A spokesperson for Municipal Affairs says his ministry has no studies or information about the potential impact wind turbines are having on rural property values.

However, last February, before an environmental review tribunal in Chatham, Environment Ministry lawyer Frederika Rotter said: “We will see in the course of this hearing that lots of people are worried about windmills. They may not like the noise, they may think the noise makes them sick, but really what makes them sick is just the windmills being on the land because it does impact their property values.

“That’s what makes them sick is that, you know, they’ll get less money for their properties, and that’s what’s causing all this annoyance and frustration and all of that.”

When Energy Minister Brad Duguid declined comment, his staff referred CBC News to the Ministry of Finance, which oversees MPAC (the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation), which sets values on land for taxation purposes. They indicated that MPAC has no evidence wind turbines are driving down assessed values.

However, CBC found one household in Melancthon was awarded a 50-per-cent reduction in property tax because the house sat next to a transformer station for the turbines.

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Losing the rural life

Almost all the people interviewed by the CBC rue the division between neighbours for and against the turbines, and said what they have lost is a sense of home and the idyllic life of living in the countryside.

Tracy Whitworth, who has a historic home in Clear Creek, refuses to sell it and instead has become a nomad, renting from place to place with her son, to avoid the ill effects of the turbines.

Tracy Whitworth

“My house sits empty — it’s been vandalized,” says Whitworth, a Clear Creek resident who teaches high school in Delhi. “I’ve had a couple of ‘Stop the wind turbine’ signs knocked down, mailbox broken off.

“I lived out there for a reason. It was out in the country. School’s very busy. When I come home, I like peace and quiet. Now, we have the turbines and the noise. Absolutely no wildlife. I used to go out in the morning, tend to my dogs, let my dogs run, and I’d hear the geese go over.

“And ugh! Now there’s no deer, no geese, no wild turkeys. Nothing.”

For the octogenarian Johnston, the fight is all more than she bargained for. She sank all her life savings, about $500,000, into the house, and she says she does not have the money to be able to hire a lawyer to fight for a buyout. But she is coming to the conclusion she must get a mortgage to try the legal route.

“I love being near the water and I thought, what a way to spend the rest of my days — every view is precious,” she said, as tears filled her eyes. “And I would not have that any more.

“And that is hard to reconcile and accept.”

Getting a mortgage on her house might not be that easy. CBC News has learned that already one bank in the Melancthon area is not allowing lines of credit to be secured by houses situated near wind turbines. In a letter to one family situated close to the turbines, the bank wrote, “we find your property a high risk and its future marketability may be jeopardized.”

“Con with the Wind” (Video)

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“Con with the Wind”:  Click anywhere above to watch the trailer

“Con with the Wind” has been years in the making.  By British filmmaker Nigel Spence.  Read a newspaper article on the forthcoming film, here.

The film will be released on DVD in the USA in November.  Mr. Spence and WTS.com are in discussion about having WTS.com distribute the film in America.

Physician calls for 10 km setbacks (Australia)

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… from a “Submission to the Joint Senate Committee on Australia’s Clean Energy Future Legislation”

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—Sarah Laurie, MD, Medical Director, Waubra Foundation (9/22/11)

I am writing to express my deep concern at the unintended but inevitable consequences of serious harm to the health or rural residents which will ensue if this federal government legislation is passed without the concurrent adoption of a precautionary approach to the siting of wind turbines with respect to homes and workplaces, and the immediate funding of proper independent acoustics and medical research, as recommended by the Senate Inquiry into Rural Wind Farms in June 2011.

There are now well over 20 rural families in Australia, who have been forced to leave their homes because of serious health problems they have developed since the turbines commenced operating.

  • One family I am aware of is essentially homeless.
  • Another is living in a shed.
  • Another in a caravan, advised by his treating doctor not to go back when the turbines are turning, as it is his professional opinion that this man’s life is in danger because of the worsening of his already serious health problems including angina.
  • Some individuals have endured significant ill health and chronic severe sleep deprivation for 13 years, and have not often spoken publicly about it, because of the ridicule they have endured.

Some farmers are saying even if they move away, they get sick when they return to farm their land, which is consistent with what we know about the effects of ongoing exposure to low frequency noise, once someone is “sensitised”.

Not all the health problems resolve, and a number of previously healthy productive and still young members of society find themselves significantly disabled, through no fault of their own, as a result of their chronic exposure to operating wind turbines. Some worked on the wind turbines.

After having interviewed over 80 people in Australia now, I have found that most of these people initially supported the wind turbines coming into their communities, seeing this as a good development for their area.

This pattern of illness, and the identical range of symptoms, is being reported all over the world, in conjunction with operating wind turbines. Universally, the symptoms ameliorate with cessation of exposure, only to return again when people are re-exposed to operating wind turbines. (For further detail, please see my submission to the Federal Senate Inquiry into Rural Wind Farms, together with the additional materials submitted to that inquiry—a peer reviewed journal article by Professor Carpuccio from Warwick University, a meta-analysis on the multitude of serious well known effects of chronic severe sleep deprivation on human health, with particular effect on increased risk of heart attacks, high blood pressure and strokes.

Some turbine hosts are also having to move because they too get sick, as do their young children and their elderly parents, as rural households and farms are often multigenerational. These farmers were all told by the wind developers that “there are no health and noise problems”, and are now realising that this is untrue.  Many are unwilling to speak out for a variety of reasons, which include in some circumstances confidentiality clauses. One large wind developer I am aware of has clauses in their host landholder contracts which stipulate that the host cannot complain “to any government department about the noise impact”. This, together with the confidentiality clause, has ensured people’s silence.

The CEO of the National Health and Medical Research Council, Professor Warwick Anderson, has expressed his concern on a number of occasions with the way the wind developers are ignoring his recommendation to adopt a precautionary approach, and are instead relying far too heavily on the summary paragraph in the 2010 NHMRC Rapid Review which states there is no evidence of direct pathological adverse health effects caused by wind turbines.

However, as Professor Anderson also points out clearly in his evidence to the Senate Committee on Rural Wind Farms (Hansard, 31st March, 2011), no evidence does not mean no problem, especially when there has been so little research done globally. In particular, when asked by Senator Fielding about the reliance the wind industry and governments are placing on the summary statement of the NHMRC, Professor Anderson explicitly says “we do not say that there are no ill effects. We definitely do not say it that way.”

Professor Anderson also mentions the growing number of case reports or anecdotes, and emphasises the importance of these reports to help inform future researchers. These sorts of case reports or anecdotes are the beginnings of true scientific discovery, and indeed have been reported over the world for almost 10 years in conjunction with operating wind turbines, starting with Dr Amanda Harry, in the UK in 2003, closely followed by Dr David Iser, Victorian Rural GP from Toora in 2004, and by Dr Nina Pierpont, who did her case series cross-over study over the ensuing years, which she submitted to the Australian Federal Senate Inquiry into Rural wind farms at Submission number 13.

Most recently Professor Robert McMurtry, former Dean of the University of Western Ontario Medical and Dental School, and former adviser to the Health Minister in Canada has established an organisation called the Society for Wind Vigilance, set up for the same reasons as the Waubra Foundation in Australia. He has now interviewed over 130 people in rural Ontario, and found exactly the same range of symptoms as his predecessors, and myself. Professor McMurtry’s learned literature review was submitted to the Federal Senate Wind Farm inquiry at Additional Materials Number 16. His recent paper in the peer reviewed publication devoted solely to this important issue of adverse health effects from wind turbines can be found here.

Rather than taking notice of the escalating calls by concerned medical professionals, instead, the clinical whistleblowers have all been routinely dismissed, as “scaremongers” or people with a “vested interest”. Some have been threatened. The affected residents themselves are told that “they couldn’t possibly be getting the symptoms they are getting” because “there is no evidence” and are routinely denigrated and vilified, and their complaints ignored or dismissed by arrogant uncaring wind developers, who privately admit that they know people are indeed getting sick but “the law allows it”.

I have heard of too many situations of rural residents being openly referred to as “collateral damage” or “policy roadkill”, even in their hearing, by bureaucrats at all levels of government. They seem unaware of the possibility that they could have a duty of care. I would urge them to ensure they read and take note of the Waubra Foundation’s Explicit Cautionary Notice.

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Developments since the Senate Inquiry Report Was Released in June 2011

This is a rapidly changing field. There are developments globally via court actions, via research into various aspects of health and noise subsequently published or presented at relevant conferences, and via changes in government regulations to take account of this new knowledge. A useful recent summary co-authored by the Senior Retired Pharmacist and co-founder of the Society for Wind Vigilance Carmen Krogh, entitled “Summary of New Evidence on Adverse Health Effects and Industrial Wind Turbines, August 2011.”

A recent court case in Ontario should give all involved pause for thought. The relevant extract is reproduced below:

While the Appellants were not successful in their appeals, the Tribunal notes that their involvement and that of the Respondents, has served to advance the state of the debate about wind turbines and human health. This case has successfully shown that the debate should not be simplified to one about whether wind turbines can cause harm to humans. The evidence presented to the Tribunal demonstrates that they can, if facilities are placed too close to residents. The debate has now evolved to one of degree.” (p. 207) (Emphasis added)1

There are currently cases in courts in the UK, Canada and Australia, which involve either harm to health, or allegations together with good evidence that noise conditions have been breached. This is all avoidable, with better informed planning regulations, based on credible independent research, which all parties can trust.

There are also reports of turbine developments which have been shut down by courts, because they have breached their conditions or because of the numbers of noise complaints (Scotland). Recently, the High Court in the UK has found that Amplitude Modulation, which for a long time was denied by the industry, is now something which they need to take account of.

The Danish Government’s Ministry of the Environment is implementing changes to their regulations with respect to low frequency noise, as they are recognising that this is a significant and growing concern.

Danish Minister for the Environment has decided that a limit value for low frequency noise [to 20dB inside] from wind turbines must be determined. . . . It is expected that the revised Statutory Order on Wind Turbines may be submitted for public hearing during autumn and may enter into force at the end of 2011.”

This has followed publication of a very important paper by Danish Acousticians Moller & Pedersen, published in a peer reviewed Acoustics Journal, (Moller H, Pedersen CS, Low Frequency Noise from Large Wind Turbines in J. Acous. Soc. of Am. 129 (6) June 2011 pp 3727-3744). They found that larger turbines emit more low frequency noise proportionately compared to smaller turbines, based on actual noise measurements, rather than models. The effects of this can be seen at wind developments where the turbines are larger such as Waterloo wind development in South Australia, where residents report the effects of the low frequency noise out to 10km in certain weather and wind conditions. Waterloo now has a total of 5 households who have left their homes semi-permanently, as they become too unwell when they are home if the turbines are operating and the wind is blowing from certain directions.

Low frequency noise has been known by acousticians for years to cause a range of non-trivial symptoms in some individuals, which Professor Geoffrey Leventhall himself has acknowledged on a number of occasions are identical to those described by Dr Nina Pierpont in her study on what she has called “Wind Turbine Syndrome”. Most recently, Professor Leventhall stated this at the NHMRC workshop in Canberra on 7th June, 2011. He now attributes these symptoms to “stress”, rather than to low frequency noise, a marked change from his position in 2003 before he started working for the wind industry. It is instructive to read a literature review of which he was co-author in 2003, entitled “A review of published research on low frequency noise and its effects Report for DEFRA UK May 2003“, with particular reference to page 49.

A paper by Dr Guo from Western Australia, presented in 2009 to an Acoustics meeting in Adelaide, illustrates the importance of doing acoustic and vibration measurements inside the homes of affected residents, as the Senate Inquiry has recommended, in order to establish what the causative mechanism for the health problems might be for these rural residents affected by operating wind turbines. In that instance, the source of low frequency noise was from a railway rather than a wind turbine, but the physical properties of the forces involved are similar, and the issues of the increased penetration of low frequency sound waves through dwellings and resulting amplification under certain circumstances is particularly relevant.

Just two days ago, a paper by Dr Michael Nissenbaum and delivered by co-author Dr Chris Hanning at the recent International community noise conference in London in July, was released for circulation. It is a small study, but clearly documents that the reported sleep deprivation in conjunction with wind turbines is very real, is reproduced at different developments with different topography and numbers of turbines, and has measureable effects using standardised questionnaires used globally to measure sleep disturbance, further confirming that these problems are real.

The Waubra Foundation is currently releasing two linked documents entitled “A Wind Turbine Noise Measurement and Control System (NMACS) System Specification”. This presents government with a simple and elegant noise measurement system applicable to current and future wind turbine developments.

Below is a list of medical practitioners who have done some work or research in the area, and who have expressed their concerns. It is followed by a list of relevant professionals from a variety of countries, and a variety of professions, who have also publicly expressed their concern about the reported problems, and the need for urgent independent multidisciplinary research. What unites us all is our concern for the current situation. The researchers’ work is almost all freely available from websites such as National Wind Watch, The Society for Wind Vigilance, Wind Turbine Syndrome, and The Waubra Foundation.

So are many of the case reports from affected residents, from around the world.

Dr Amanda Harry (UK), 2003

Dr David Iser (Australia), 2004

Dr Nina Pierpont (USA), 2009

Dr Robert McMurtry (Canada), 2010

Dr Chris Hanning (UK), 2010

Dr Michael Nissenbaum (USA), 2010

Dr Sarah Laurie (Australia) 2011.

 

Associate Professor Jeffrey Aramini (Epidemiologist, Canada)

Professor Arline Bronzaft (Psychologist, and researcher into effects of noise on Children, USA)

Dr Con Doolan (Mechanical Engineer, Australia)

Professor Colin Hansen (Mechanical Engineer, Australia)

Professor John Harris (Physics, Canada)

Mr Rick James (Acoustician, USA)

Dr Mauri Johanssen (Medical Practitioner, Denmark)

Ms Carmen Krogh (retired Pharmacist, Ontario)

Dr Andrew Lavendar (Former President of the South Australian Medical Association, Australia)

Dr Hazel Lynn (Medical Practitioner, Grey Bruce Health Unit, Canada)

Dr Andja Mitric-Andjic (Rural General Practitioner, Australia),

Dr Helen Parker (Psychologist, USA)

Mr Bill Palmer (Acoustician, Canada)

Mr George Papadopolous (Pharmacist, Australia)

Professor Carl Phillips (Epidemiologist, USA)

Mr Rob Rand (Acoustician, USA)

Ms Maggie Ross (retired Psychologist, Australia)

Professor Alec Salt (Physiologist, leading researcher into the effects of infrasound on the cochlea, USA)

Dr Peter Sharley (Current President of the South Australian Medical Association, Australia)

Dr Daniel Shepherd (Psychologist, New Zealand)

Dr Wayne Spring (Specialist Sleep Physician, Australia)

Dr Bob Thorne (Psychoacoustician, Australia and New Zealand)

Dr Henning Thorell (Medical Practitioner, Sweden)

Dr Alan Watts OAM (Rural GP, Australia)

Dr Colleen Watts OAM (Scientist, Australia)

Dr Max Whisson (retired Pathologist and Medical Researcher, Australia)

It is time the wind industry and government denials of the adverse health problems ceased, and that proper independent research was done as a matter of urgency. It is also time that Professor Warwick Anderson was listened to with respect to his urging of adoption of a precautionary approach, until we have further credible information.

On the basis of our field research, the Waubra Foundation recommends a distance of 10 kilometres, as that is the outer limit of where people are currently reliably reporting symptoms which correlate with wind turbine operation, particularly at the wind developments where larger turbines are placed on ridges. Until then, we do not know what distances are safe.

If this carbon tax legislation is approved by the Australian Parliament, and if there is no change to current practices at the State Government planning level, (preferably based on well conducted transparent independent research), it will inevitably result in serious harm to the health of many rural citizens of Australia, including vulnerable citizens such as the elderly, children, and the disabled. Such developments could be found to be in breach of UN Conventions, such as those pertaining to the Rights of Disabled Citizens. Such complaints have already been lodged with the UK government, and I understand that residents of other countries are also preparing similar complaints.

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References:

1. Environmental Review Tribunal, Case Nos.: 10-121/10-122 Erickson v. Director, Ministry of the Environment, Dated this 18th day of July, 2011 by Jerry V. DeMarco, Panel Chair and Paul Muldoon, Vice-Chair.

Wind turbines and birds don’t mix


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Griffon Vulture + Turbine Blade = 0

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Bats, birds and blades:  Wind turbines and biodiversity

—Mark Lynas (6/10/11)

All the conventional ‘green’ scenarios for reducing carbon emissions include a dramatic upscaling in renewable power generated by wind, both on and offshore. However, the environmental impacts of this large-scale industrial deployment – both of turbines and power lines, frequently in relatively natural areas – are often neglected by climate campaigners. Here two ‘planetary boundaries’ conflict: those of biodiversity and climate change.

That some wind farms kill worrying numbers of birds, especially large birds like raptors, is undeniable – yet the wind industry does its best to downplay the impacts. As the American Wind Energy Association puts it:

Wind power is far less harmful to birds than the fossil fuels it displaces. Incidental losses of individual birds at turbine sites will always be an extremely small fraction of bird deaths caused by human activities.

Both these statements may be technically true, but they do not mean that additional bird kills by increasing areas of wind farms are not a concern – they mean that new turbines are yet another human pressure on bird species which are already a matter for serious conservation concern. This is particularly the case as more power lines will be needed to connect disparate wind farms in upland or remote areas: in this sense the decentralised energy generation so beloved of greens is worse for conservation then centralised generation in big power plants, whose transmission infrastructure by and large already exists.

Here is an interview with the Norwegian ornithologist Alv Ottar Folkestad, who is concerned with the survival of white-tailed eagles in coastal areas of Norway:

…what to me is a really scaring prospective [sic] is the way wind power development has been introduced in this country. The first wind power plant of significant size in Norway, on Smøla, is localized into the most spectacular performance of nesting concentration of White-tailed Eagles ever known. There are plans for making wind power into huge dimensions, and most of them localized in the most pristine coastal landscape of the most important areas of the White-tailed Eagle. During the last five and a half years, the wind power plant on Smøla has been killing 40 white-tailed eagles, 27 of them adult or sub adult birds, and 11 of them during 2010. There are no mitigating measures taken so far, and hardly any to think of, and there is no indication of adaptation among the eagles to such constructions.

Similar stories are coming from Spain, where large-scale onshore wind development in recent years has reportedly hit some raptor populations hard

In Greece, this extraordinary video, above, shows an actual collision when a griffon vulture is hit by a spinning turbine blade.

Perhaps the best-studied wind farm in the world is at California’s Altamont Pass, where dozens of protected species from golden eagles to burrowing owls are killed each year, making the area a significant population sink for these birds. Expert Shawn Smallwood has conducted surveys in the area, and estimates that 70-80 golden eagles are killed each year by turbine blades, out of a total Californian population of 3000-5000 eagles. As he explains on this video:

We usually found the bird carcasses nearby the turbines. Usually they were found dismembered. A lot of times the head was knocked off, or a wing, or the bird was cut in half length-wise, or across the middle.

Remediation measures are now underway, removing those turbines located in areas most frequented by raptors. But how compatible is wind energy with bird conservation on a wider scale? I put that question to Clive Hambler, a conservation biologist at Oxford University’s Department of Zoology. This is his answer in full:

I think wind farms are potentially the biggest disaster for birds of prey since the days of persecution by gamekeepers, and I think wind farms are one of the biggest threats to European and North American bats since large scale deforestation. The impacts are already becoming serious for white-tailed eagles in Europe, as is abundantly clear in Norway. A wind farm – built despite opposition from ornithologists – has decimated an important population, killing 40 white-tailed eagles in about 5 years and 11 of them in 2010. The last great bustard in the Spanish province of Cadiz was killed by a wind development. In my experience, some “greens” are in complete denial of these impacts, or hopefully imagine that these bats and birds can take big losses: they can’t because they breed very slowly.

Birds of prey often soar where wind farms are best-sited, and may be attracted to their deaths by the vegetation and prey around the turbines. A similar deadly ecological trap has been proposed for bats, with some species attracted by insect prey or noise around the turbines.

There are very serious suggestions of a cover-up of the scale of the problem, by some operatives hiding the corpses of birds, but you only have to look at the Save the Eagles website to see the evidence accumulating despite scavengers or deception.

To my mind one of the worst problems is that wind farms will prevent the recovery of birds of prey, other threatened birds, and bats – denying them great swathes of the European and North American continent where they once dwelt. This flies in the face of the legally binding Convention on Biological Diversity, which encourages restoration of habitat and species whenever practicable. It makes a nonsense of the idea that wind is ‘sustainable’ energy – except in that it sustains and renews ecological damage.

Strong stuff. And as Hambler – who is equally critical of proposals for tidal barrages to harvest marine energy at the expense of mudflats, fish and seabirds – says, bats are just as much under threat as raptors. Earlier this year researchers writing in Science journal (sub req’d) suggested that large-scale wind development in the US Mid-Atlantic Highlands could join ‘white nose syndrome’ as a major killer of bats, potentially helping spur their extinction from wide areas of the country.

So where does all this leave us? The RSPB in the UK has been trying to carve out a sensible position amongst the conflicting objectives of supporting renewable energy whilst also protecting birds. It states:

…the RSPB supports a significant growth in offshore and onshore wind power generation in the UK.

We believe that this growth can be achieved in harmony with, rather than at the expense of, the natural environment. We will therefore continue to require that wind farms are sited, designed and managed so that there are no significant adverse impacts on important bird populations or their habitats.

Increasingly this does mean opposing windfarms sited in inappropriate areas, and encouraging developers to take note of which regions should be out of bounds entirely. As always there will be conflicts between the objectives of reducing emissions, protecting nature, and mitigating human impact on the land. Those whose enthusiasm for wind seems to know no bounds should duly take note

Wind farm whistle blower (Ontario)

Dr. Pierpont interviews WTS victims, #1 (Falmouth, MA)

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This is the first in a series of interviews of Falmouth (Massachusetts) “Wind Turbine Syndrome” victims by Nina Pierpont, MD, PhD.


Editor’s note
:  When you open the video, you will see the opening screen says “Part II of a Series.”  This is an error; this interview is Part I.  Secondly, the audio needs some tweaking.  The filmmaker is working on this.  Third, the blurb below the video mentions that Dr. Pierpont earned her PhD at Yale.  She didn’t; she earned it at Princeton.  (Her B.A. is from Yale.)  Fourth, Neil Andersen’s name is misspelled in the video credits.  It should be “Andersen.”  Fifth, the filmmaker didn’t intend for me to post this right away; she sent it to me as a draft.  I posted it anyhow, since I consider the video to be of sufficient quality to post as is, fully aware that time is of the essence for WTS sufferers.  They need their story brought to the attention of the world, now, not tomorrow.

“The government failed to protect my family’s health” (Australia)

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Plea to the Governor-General of Australia
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The Honorable Quentin Bryce

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Please do not let what has happened to my family, happen to anyone else!

Dear Governor-General Bryce,

I am writing to you, hoping that you will listen to people like me that have had experience living very close to wind turbines (wind farms).  We have had our whole lives destroyed from living extremely close to a very poorly planned wind farm built by Acciona Energy Company (Spain).

We have 4200 acres at Waubra, our entire farm is surrounded by wind turbines.  Our family home is 800 to 900 metres from 4 turbines.

Acciona has purchased 8 homes.  I can’t work it out; the company keeps telling us there is no problem at Waubra.  But why have they purchased 8 properties?  We think it was because the turbines were too close to homes, and were too noisy.

All those families did not want to leave their homes, but they had no choice because of the health impacts.  Living too close to the wind farm has destroyed what they once had, too.  The primary school has about 20 less children because so many families in the area have moved away—and we are one of those families.  (My son has had to leave Waubra Primary school.)

We had no choice but to walk away from our family home because the health impact and noise from the wind turbines were so bad.  I have had people call me from all over the place, WA, QLD, NSW, SA and America asking for advice.  People all over the world are having the same problems.  The turbines at Waubra were the biggest turbines that had been built and they are only going to get bigger and the health problem will, as well.

From the Acciona website

I just don’t understand why these wind farms aren’t being built all over Australia’s “open country,” and why are wind farms being built (or approved) in places where people live?  It is very un-Australian to be forced out of your home and have to purchase a house in Ballarat (which we did).  It has put huge financial pressure on my family and I, but we had no choice but to leave.  Our health is number one and it was really suffering, living so close to wind turbines. I do not want this to happen to other Australian families.

Wind farms have got to be better planned and there has got to be a health and impact study done properly.  The Senate inquiry recommended research, as well as independent noise monitoring inside people’s homes—but nothing has been done.  We, as people living 900 metres from wind turbines, are living proof that there is a very, very serious health problem living too close to wind turbines.  The only thing in our life that has changed is the Waubra wind turbines—in our backyard.

We as Australians do not just walk away for no reason from our home we built ten years ago.  We have a very big problem at Waubra.  Acciona submitted their first year report in last October, but the Minister clearly was not satisfied with the report.  I just don’t understand how a non-compliant wind farm can still operate if the Victoria Planning Minister, Matthew Guy, has not signed off on the wind farm which has been in full operation for 2 years this September.  The Minister still knows there is a problem with the non-compliant wind farm.  What is he going to do to fix the current mess he inherited?

Samantha Stepnell

I am no expert; I am a farmer and mother of three children.  We all care for our environment.  We plant thousands and thousands of native trees each year on our farm.  We are living proof that wind turbines built too close to homes is not the answer.

I am worried that this federal government is going to drive many more families off their farms with the proposed carbon tax, as it will just be used to build more wind turbines, too close to homes and working farms.  I have told Julia Gillard about my family’s situation, but she’s not listening.  Nobody is listening!

The government has failed to protect the health of my family.  Please do not let what has happened to my family, happen to anyone else!  Please stop giving Australia’s money away to Spain, and making us sick!

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Sincerely,

 

Samantha Stepnell
9/23/11

Sue the bastards! (Ontario)

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“Wind farm health risks claimed in $1.5 million suit”

Michel & Lisa Michaud

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—Dave Seglins and John Nicol CBC News (9/21/11)

A family from southwestern Ontario has launched a $1.5 million lawsuit accusing power company Suncor Energy of inflicting a long list of serious health issues on them by erecting a wind farm next to their home.

“It was just like the whole room was spinning,” says Lisa Michaud of Thamesville, Ont. as she recalled the weeks after the Kent Breeze wind farm began operating in May. “The noise at night keeps you awake. But it’s not just the noise that you hear.

“It’s something else that’s coming at you constantly that you don’t hear, but you feel. It’s just not right.”

Click on image to watch video interview with Michauds

·
Lisa, her husband Michel, and their two children, Elisha, 25, and Joshua, 21, claim that eight industrial turbines next to their property create a “tunnel effect” of noise pollution, light flickers and low-frequency sounds.

In their lawsuit, they accuse Suncor Energy Services Inc. and Macleod Windmill Project Inc. (owners of the Kent Breeze development) of negligence, nuisance and trespass, claiming the wind turbines have caused debilitating vertigo, sleep disturbance, headaches and ringing in the ears, as well as stress, depression and even suicidal thoughts.
· 

Report acknowledged potential health risk

The case is significant because it’s the first lawsuit involving the Kent Breeze project — the subject of extensive review and scrutiny by Ontario’s wind regulators, the Environmental Review Tribunal.

“People knew full well going into this specific project that there were likely going to be problems,” says the Michauds’ lawyer, Eric Gillespie. He says that while the ERT ruled in July that the Kent Breeze project can continue to operate, it also acknowledged testimony from numerous experts called by all sides — wind farm opponents, Ontario’s Environment Ministry, and even Suncor Energy itself — that the project could potentially pose risks to human health.

In its ruling, the ERT concluded that “the debate should not be simplified to one about whether wind turbines can cause harm to humans. The evidence presented to the Tribunal demonstrates that they can, if facilities are placed too close to residents …The question that should be asked is: What protections, such as permissible noise levels or setback distances, are appropriate to protect human health?”

Jennifer Lomas, a spokeswoman for Suncor Energy, would not address the suit directly, saying it’s now before the courts, but said:

“The tribunal decision did acknowledge that there are some risks and uncertainties associated with wind turbines that merit further research. However, we are confident that the large amount of research that was presented at the tribunal, and this is research from scientific experts right around the world, has not shown a direct correlation so at this time it should not defer wind development.”

Ontario regulations stipulate that wind turbines must be a minimum of 550 metres away from any homes.

The Michauds say they live twice that distance, a full 1,100 metres downwind from the closest turbine, but maintain they continue to suffer negative health consequences as a result.
· 

‘Indirect’ health consequences

Ontario now is home to more than 900 industrial wind turbines, with hundreds more planned.

The government continues to justify the expansion, relying on advice from Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Arlene King, who, in May of 2010, concluded after reviewing research from around the world that there exists no direct evidence of any link between wind turbines and human health problems.

“They can say what they want, but unless they come and live in my backyard, they are not going to know what it’s like,” Lisa Michaud told CBC News. “Reading literature and looking at a stack of papers, [instead of] coming out and talking to actual people who are living it every day on the front line, is totally different.”

The Michauds have recruited pharmacist and former Health Canada researcher Carmen Krogh, who has been collecting data on health impacts from more than Ontario families. Her peer-reviewed survey says there is ample evidence of “indirect” health consequences of living next to industrial wind turbines.

“They missed the indirect pathway, which is really critical,” said Krogh. “Things like sleep disturbance and annoyance, which is acknowledged as a health effect, because it increases stress levels.

“So the chief medical officer of health missed about half the equation here.”

“Turbine noise destroying our lives” (UK)

.
Nick Williams (Photo by Rob Tibbles, with appreciation)

·
—Unsigned article, North Devon Journal (9/22/11)

People living near the new Fullabrook wind farm claim their lives are being “destroyed” by the noise generated from each of the 22 turbines.

The residents, some who live only 400m from the structures, say they can no longer sleep as a result of the intrusive sound.

But despite numerous registered complaints about the noise at Fullabrook, North Devon Council (NDC) is unable to act until the whole site is complete and commissioned, which may not be for another three weeks.

Once the site is commissioned, officers from the council will visit Fullabrook to monitor the sound levels in order to ascertain whether they meet the requirements set out by the Secretary of State.

Jeremy Mann, head of environmental health and housing services at NDC said: “I can confirm that a number of the residents near to the wind farm have now expressed concern regarding the noise levels.

“The operator has strict noise limits imposed on their operation, and is required to give evidence to the council of their compliance with these controls when the site is no longer working intermittently.”

In the meantime, several residents feel they are trapped living with the noise because, if they tried to move house, few people would be interested in buying a property next to a wind turbine.

Nick Williams lives at Fullabrook itself, with six of the turbines near his house. He claimed the wind farm had destroyed the area he lives in, as well as his life.

He said: “It is like having tumble dryers in my bedroom, and so I mostly have to sleep on the sofa in my front room.  Why should I be forced out of my bed?

“I can’t afford to double-glaze the whole house.  Why can’t the people behind the turbines use this community fund to triple glaze all our houses? I have also had to buy a digital box for the television because the turbines interrupt the signal so badly it is impossible to watch.”

Another resident, who wanted to remain anonymous, has lived at Halsinger for over 23 years and can see three turbines from her kitchen window. She said: “I can feel the sensation from the blades turning through my pillow when I am trying to sleep at night.

“There is no option of keeping the window open any longer. It is just too noisy to sleep.  We were told they would be silent.

“And I have some chickens, I can’t prove it is related, but they laid eggs everyday before July (when the turbines started to be tested), but since then we have had just two laid.”

Kim Parker owns a stables with 15 horses at Pippacott and she believes the noise is a problem because it is unpredictable.

She said: “Most of the horses have got used to it now, but it is not a constant sound, so often unnerves them. Then they are jumpy and constantly looking up to where the noise is coming from.”

A spokesman for ESB International, which owns the site, confirmed it was working closely with the district council and that remedial steps could be taken if, once tested, it was found noise levels exceeded the limit.

Wind turbines kill (federally protected) birds with impunity

·
“Bird Death Fines Depend on Who Kills the Birds”
· 

—Jack Dini, Canada Free Press (9/19/11)

Oil companies face heavy fines: Wind farms get a free pass

Seven oil companies have recently been charged in federal court with killing migratory birds that died after allegedly landing in oil waste pits in western North Dakota.  The charges involve 28 dead birds that were discovered in oil waste pits between May 6 and June 20.  The maximum penalty for each charge under the Migratory Bird Act is six months in prison and a $15,000 fine.1

There’s more:  In July 2009, Pacificorp agreed to pay $10.5 million in fines, restitution and equipment upgrade costs for the deaths of at least 232 golden eagles, 46 hawks, 50 owls and nearly 200 other birds that had been electrocuted in Wyoming since January 2007.  The cost per bird computes to a little less than $20,000.2   “On August 13, 2009, ExxonMobil pled guilty in federal court to charges that it killed 85 birds—all of which were protected under the Migratory Bird Act.  The company agreed to pay $600,000 in fines and fees for the bird kills, which occurred after the animals came in contact with hydrocarbons in uncovered tanks and waste water facilities on company properties located in five western states,” reports Robert Bryce.  Each bird kill cost the company over $7,000.3

·
Wind Farms

The Fish and Wildlife service estimated in 2009 that about 440,000 birds were being killed by wind turbines.  Yet the wind industry has yet to face a single charge.

·
Ten thousand (10,000) annual bird deaths occur in the Altamont Pass wind turbines in northern California

One example is a study by the Alameda County Community Development Agency which reported that 10,000 annual bird deaths occur in the Altamont Pass wind turbines in northern California.  Deaths include 75 to 100 golden eagles, 380 burrowing owls, 300 red-tailed hawks, and 333 American kestrels(falcons) killed annually by Altamont turbines.4

With an anticipated twelve-fold energy build-out by the year 2030, bird mortality is expected to dramatically increase in the coming years, absent significant changes in the way wind farms are sited and operated.

So, what’s the life of a bird worth?  If you’re Big Oil it can range from $7,000 to $20,000 per bird.  Yet, if you’re wind energy, it costs nothing.  There are hundreds of cases that federal officials have brought against oil and gas companies over the last two decades for violations of the Migratory Bird Act, a statute on the books since 1918.  No question the cases were justified, but not one case was brought against wind farms even though they kill many more birds.  Somebody has given the wind industry a get-out-of-jail-free card.

When it comes to protecting America’s wildlife, environmental organizations and federal law enforcement officials have a double standard:  one that’s enforced against oil, gas and electric utility sectors, and another that exempts wind and solar power from prosecution despite evidence of a multitude of violations.

·
References

1.  Dave Kolpack, “Oil companies charged in ND migratory bird deaths,” forbes.com, August 25, 2011

2.  Ruffin Prevost, “Utility to pay for bird deaths,” Billings Gazette, June 11, 2009

3.  Robert Bryce, “Bird kills? What bird kills?”, September 11, 2009

4.  Andrew Walden, “Wind energy’s ghosts,” American Thinker, February 15, 2010

 

Government caught lying about WTS (Ontario)

·
“Ontario wind farm health risks downplayed: Documents”

This image was not included in the original article—Editor

—Dave Seglins & John Nicol, CBC News (9/22/11)

Ontario’s Ministry of the Environment (M.O.E.) is logging hundreds of health complaints over the province’s 900 wind turbines but has downplayed the problem, according to internal ministry documents obtained by CBC News.

According to 1,000 pages of internal government emails, reports and memos released under Ontario’s Freedom of Information Act, the government scrambled to figure out how to monitor and control noise pollution.

Barbara Ashbee

The documents were released after a lengthy and costly battle waged by Barb Ashbee. Ashbee and her husband Dennis Lormand say they suffered a series of ailments after wind turbines began operating near their home in Amaranth, near Shelburne, northwest of Toronto. The area is now home to 133 wind turbines—the largest industrial wind farm in the province.

After being told theirs was the only complaint in the area, Ashbee and Lormond learned that M.O.E. officials at the Guelph District Office had been tracking more than 200 complaints dating back to 2006 when the wind farm first started operating.

Their home was bought out by Canadian Hydro Developers (now TransAlta) in June 2009, one of six homeowners who sold their houses to the utility company.

Each seller had to sign confidentiality agreements. But the Lormands have risked legal repercussions by breaking their silence and speaking exclusively to CBC News this week. They said they want to warn the public about what they claim are the dangers of living near wind turbines and the supposed breakdowns in government monitoring.

“We were silent. I wouldn’t say boo to anybody. But the longer this goes on, nobody’s doing anything! And now we have an (Ontario) election two weeks away. Nobody understands what’s going on out here.”
 ·

Sleepless nights sparked activism

It was terrible—we’d go nights in a row with no sleep,” said Ashbee. “It was a combination of the loud noise—the decibel, audible noise—and also this vibration that was in the house that would go up and it would go down.”

The couple moved into their home in December 2008 just as the wind farm became operational. But they said they immediately noted a loud swooshing noise from nearby turbines and a persistent, unexplained hum resonating in their home.

Ashbee said she called the power company and the environment ministry night after night and was initially told by government enforcement officers that hers was the only complaint in the area.

“We were told [the wind company] was running in compliance, that there were no problems.

“We’d just have to get used to it.”

But she said the Ministry of Environment was misleading her, and that there had been hundreds of complaints.

Ashbee launched a lengthy battle using Ontario’s Freedom of Information Act and eventually received more than 1,000 pages of internal M.O.E. correspondence.

Acccording to the documents, government staff downplayed the problem while scrambling to understand and control wind turbine noise pollution.

·
MOE officers warn supervisor

According to the documents, M.O.E. field officer Garry Tomlinson was slow to process Ashbee’s noise complaints. But he began trying to conduct his own noise monitoring tests when confronted with many more complaints and consultants reports by Canadian Hydro Developers that revealed noise violations.

Tomlinson consulted acoustics specialists at Ryerson University and within the M.O.E. He concluded and warned his supervisors that the ministry “currently has no approved methodology for field measurement of the noise emissions from multiple [turbines]. As such there is no way for M.O.E. Field staff (and I would submit anyone else) to confirm compliance or lack thereof.”

Tomlinson also gave a tour to two assistant deputy ministers Paul Evans and Paul French on May 1, 2009, advising them of the problems they were encountering.

Ministry officials at the Guelph office, including manager Jane Glassco, attended community meetings in Melancthon and Amaranth townships in the summer of 2009, where Glassco acknowledged people were “suffering” and that many were claiming to have been forced out of their homes due to noise pollution.

By 2010, other staff at the Guelph office were warning officials at the ministry headquarters in Toronto that the computer modelling used to establish Ontario’s wind turbine noise limits and safe “set back distances” for wind turbines was flawed and inadequate.

Cameron Hall a fellow field officer at the M.O.E. in Guelph wrote to his managers warning that the province was failing to properly account for the “swooshing sounds.”

CBC News presented some of the ministry documents to Ramani Ramakrishnan, a Ryerson University professor and acoustics specialist who has written several reports and conducts noise pollution training for M.O.E. staff.

Ramakrishnan has recommended to the M.O.E. that wind turbines in rural areas should have far stricter limits but says if the province enforced the regulations—it would have a major impact on wind farms around the province.

“First implication,” Ramakrishnan says, “is that the number of wind turbines in wind-farms would have to be reduced considerably and wind-farm developers would have to look for localities where they are not impacting the neighbourhood.

“A five-decibel reduction in acceptable noise is quite noticeable and perceptible” and the M.O.E. field staff are recommending up to 10 decibel reductions in some cases.

Ashbee, who is returning to her old job as a real estate agent, said there are several people near turbines who won’t speak for fear that their land values will go down.

Her husband Dennis doesn’t blame the wind turbine company:

“It’s our government that backs it up. It’s the government that’s making people sick and forcing them out of their homes. And it’s all being suppressed.”

CBC News repeatedly requested an interview with Ontario’s Environment Minister John Wilkinson, who is also engaged in a provincial election campaign seeking re-election as MPP for the riding of Perth-Wellington. Those requests were denied.

From the TransAlta website

TransAlta, who took over the company that bought out the Ashbee-Lormand home, told CBC News in a statement that such confidentiality agreements are standard, designed to protect the privacy of both sides. Neither the company nor the couple would discuss the $300,000 price listed on local land registry records as being the amount for which the couple’s home was transferred to the power company.

New clinical article supports WTS

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Adverse health effects of industrial wind turbines: A preliminary report

By Michael Nissenbaum MD, Jeff Aramini PhD, Chris Hanning MD.  Tenth International Congress on Noise as a Public Health Problem (ICBEN), July 24-28, 2011, London, UK

Introduction

Guidelines and regulations for the siting of industrial wind turbines (IWT) close to human habitation are generally predicated on the need to protect the sleep of the residents. The recommended setback distances and “safe” external noise levels make the assumptions that IWT noise can be regarded as similar to other forms of environmental noise (traffic, rail and aircraft) and is masked by ambient noise. There has been no independent verification that these assumptions are justified and that the safeguards are sufficient to protect sleep.

Anecdotal complaints of annoyance and health effects from IWT noise have grown in number in recent years, not least because turbine size has increased and they have been placed closer to population centers. The predominant symptom of health complaints is sleep disturbance (Frey & Hadden 2007; Pierpont 2009; van den Berg et al. 2008; WindVOICe 2010). The consequences of sleep disturbance and the contribution of environmental noise are well documented (WHO 2009).

Complaints of adverse health effects were made shortly after IWT installations at Mars Hill and Vinalhaven, Maine, USA, began operating. A preliminary survey at Mars Hill, comparing those living within 1,400 m with a control group living 3,000-6,000 m away showed that sleep disturbance was the main health effect (Nissenbaum 2011, submitted for publication). A further study was therefore carried out at both Mars Hill and Vinalhaven using validated questionnaires and comparing those living within 1.5 km of the turbines with a control group living 3,500-6,000 m away.

Click here for the body of the report.  The “Discussion,” follows.

Discussion

This study, which is the first controlled study of the effects of IWT noise on sleep and health, shows that those living within 1.4 km of IWT have suffered sleep disruption which is sufficiently severe as to affect their daytime functioning and mental health. Both the ESS and PSQI are averaged measures, i.e. they ask the subject to assess their daytime sleepiness and sleep quality respectively, over a period of several weeks leading up to the present. For the ESS to increase, sleep must have been shortened or fragmented to a sufficient degree on sufficient nights for normal compensatory mechanisms to have been overcome. The effects of sleep loss and daytime sleepiness on cognitive function, accident rate and mental health are well established (WHO 2009) and it must be concluded that at least some of the residents living near the Vinalhaven and Mars Hill IWT installations have suffered serious harm to their sleep and health.

The significant relationship between the symptoms and distance from the IWTs, the subjects’ report that their symptoms followed the start of IWT operations, the congruence of the symptoms reported here with previous research and reports and the clear mechanism is strong evidence that IWT noise is the cause of the observed effects.

IWT noise has an impulsive character and is several times more annoying than other sources of noise for the same sound pressure level (Pedersen & Persson Waye 2004). It can prevent the onset of sleep and the return to sleep after a spontaneous or induced awakening. Road, rail and aircraft noise causes arousals, brief lightening of sleep which are not recalled. While not proven, it is highly likely that IWT noise will cause arousals which may prove to be the major mechanism for sleep disruption. It is possible that the low frequency and infrasound components of IWT noise might contribute to the sleep disruption and health effects by other mechanisms but this remains to be determined and further research is needed.

Attitudes to IWT and visual impact have been shown to be factors in annoyance to IWT noise (Pedersen et al. 2009) but have not been demonstrated for sleep disturbance. Most respondents in the present study welcomed the IWT installations as offering economic benefits. The visual impact of IWT decreases with distance, as does the noise impact making separation of these factors impossible.

We conclude that IWT noise at these two sites disrupts the sleep and adversely affects the health of those living nearby. The current ordinances determining setback are inadequate to protect the residents and setbacks of less than 1.5 km must be regarded as unsafe. Further research is needed to determine a safe setback distance and to investigate the mechanisms of causation.

“Big Brother” Wind?

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Komrad Wind!

Notice this announcement for the Second Conference on Climate Change/Social Change (Australia, 9/30/11–10/3/11).

Above all, focus on the clenched fist.

Notice the wind turbine.

Notice WTS.com’s question:  “A wind turbine wielded by that familiar-looking fist?”  The response from the keynote speaker?  “A global ecological revolution can only occur as part of a larger social revolution“—John Bellamy Foster.

Professor John Bellamy Foster

Has it come to this?

·
Editor’s note
:  I am well aware that the “clenched fist” salute has been used by many social movements, including the 1960s campus “radicals.”  (My college era.  University of California.  Riots.)  I am well aware that it stands for “solidarity” and “smashing” the power of those in control—whether it was the university administration or any other form of oppression (as perceived by the people with the clenched fist).  

Be that as it may, the “clenched fist salute” has been traditionally associated with (and cheerfully adopted by) Communism—as in, a forced social “cleansing” and “reform.”  Emphasis on the word “forced.”  Emphasis on “violence,” which is what a clenched fist has always stood for since the beginning of humanity—whether it was my angry father or the campus radicals.  

You are welcome to remove the hammer and sickle from the image, “Green, Red, See the difference,” if you prefer to imagine a clenched fist associated with some other “cause”; nevertheless a fist remains, and it is alarming to see it used as the symbol of the Climate Change/Social Change Conference.

Clenched fists, whether Green or Red or Black or Female or Male or Worker or what have you, always have been a gesture of violent defiance and violent “reform.”  As a professional historian who has published books (here and here) on the Philosophy of History, I can say categorically that no violent “reform” was ever worth a damn in History.  Ever!  

To the “clenched fist” Greens, I say:  No fists!  When you raise your fist, by definition you have corrupted your cause, making it as evil as your “enemy.”  Violence—the historical record is replete with confirmation—is its own end.  

Violence is the dragon that devours its tail.  

“Dirty Business”: New book on wind energy (Ontario)

·
Dirty Business”

The Reality of Ontario’s Rush to Wind Power
· 

… a new book, edited by Jane Wilson & Parker Gallant (North Gower, Ontario:  Wind Concerns Ontario, 2011)

From the website:

With Ontario in debt more than $230 billion as of mid-2011, the provincial government is intent on establishing a “green economy” in which there are manufacturing jobs galore and the urban dwelling voters can take pride in renewable sources of power. But this comes at a cost: huge subsidies to often foreign-owned wind power developers using taxpayer and ratepayer dollars, and despoilment of Ontario’s rural countryside to the detriment of rural homeowners and communities. As Ontario gradually industrializes its communities, complaints of health effects from the huge industrial wind power complexes increase while property values decline.

Will wind power replace coal as a power source? No. Will it create jobs long-term? No. Is it even “green”? Most decidedly, not.

Dirty Business: the reality behind Ontario’s rush to wind power features authors such as Margaret Wente, Tom Adams, Parker Gallant, and Ross McKitrick who tell the tale of what is really going on in Ontario.

“This combination of irresponsibility and venality has produced a lethal brew of policies.”
—Michael Trebilcock, Professor of Law and Econimics, University of Toronto.

“The truth is that all the turbines in all the world can’t run a toaster, let alone a home, on their own. It is a lie that is repeated in virtually every news story on wind development.”
—Rick Conroy, Editor, Wellington Times

Ordering:

  • e-mail dirtybusinessbook@yahoo.ca or use Paypal
  • $12.99 CDN plus shipping for hard copies
  • Cheques and Interac transfers accepted.

Sample page:

This excerpt is from the chapter by Ross McKitrick, Professor of Economics at the University of Guelph, Ontario. He was among the group of scholars who noticed some not-quite-right items in the research on climate change from the U.K.

Professor Ross McKitrick, PhD

The Ontario Clean Air Alliance has published claims that Ontario’s coal-fired power plants cause 316 deaths, 440 hospital admissions, 522 emergency room visits and 158,000 minor illnesses each year. Its numbers are based on a 2005 simulation study for the provincial government that focused almost entirely on the effects of PM2.5. (It also considered ground-level ozone, but emphasized that most of the ozone precursors originated in the United States).

“How plausible are these claims? If correct, they imply that wood-burning fireplaces cause 520 deaths per year, etc. But that is nothing compared with the implied effects from people driving on unpaved roads. According to Environment Canada, dust from unpaved roads in Ontario puts a whopping 90,116 tonnes of PM2.5 into our air each year, nearly 130 times the amount from coal-fired power generation. Using the Clean Air Alliance method for computing deaths, particulates from country-road usage kills 40,739 people per year, quite the massacre considering there are only about 90,000 deaths from all causes in Ontario each year. Who knew? That quiet drive up back country roads to the cottage for a weekend of barbecues, cozy fires and marshmallow roasts is a form of genocide.”

Why not Tent City protests?

·
Why not Wind Turbine Refugee camps?

Tent City, Madison, Wisconsin

·
Calvin Luther Martin, PhD

Bloomberg News yesterday reported a Tent City protest being launched on Wall Street.  “Protesters Converge on Lower Manhattan, Plan ‘Occupation.’

Why not similar Tent City protests in communities in America, Canada, Australia, and around the world where Wind Turbine Syndrome sufferers are being driven out of their homes, being driven to sleep in their basements, being driven to sleep in tents in their backyard, being driven to sleep in their cars or in hotels—or being driven to get no sleep at all?  Communities where wind turbine noise & vibration drive people to serious illness, including the contemplation of suicide.

Tent City, Kiev, Ukraine

I have long advocated civil disobedience as the most effective way to respond to wind developers and their government enablers and unscrupulous (often absentee) landowners who allow turbines on their land.  (Government enablers would be pretty much all governments on the face of the earth.)

President Woodrow Wilson
National Portrait Gallery painting

If the government is to tell Big Business men how to run their business, then, don’t you see that Big Business men have to get closer to the government even than they are now?

“Don’t you see that they must capture the government, in order not to be restrained too much by it?

“Must capture the government? They have already captured it.”

—Woodrow Wilson, 1913

Tent City, Madrid, Spain

I take my cue from Dr. Martin Luther King and Gandhi.  Mostly, though, I take my cue from Henry David Thoreau.  If you have never read his inspired, clear-minded essay, “On the Duty of Civil Disobedience,” you must.  It’s short.  Twenty-eight pages.  You can read it, um, on the toilet.

Tent City, Tel Aviv, Israel

Thoreau was a great writer, philosopher, poet, and withal a most practical man, that is, he taught nothing he was not prepared to practise in himself.  He went to gaol for the sake of his principles and suffering humanity.  His essay has, therefore, been sanctified by suffering.  Moreover, it is written for all time.  Its incisive logic is unanswerable.”

—Mohandas Gandhi

Here’s how.  Set up tents in front of the municipal buildings. Or in a prominent town square/park.

You will need banners, placards, bullhorn, and courage. Courage courage courage. You want to create a 24/7 magnet for the media. The more vociferous you are, the more ruckus you make, the greater the chance of attracting the Big Media. TV, for instance.

Have your own people out there with cameras and microphones and make this into a big story. All the websites affiliated with WTS.com, around the world, will run your stories. Your videos. Your reports. Your stories will appear in Germany, Poland, Scandinavia, France, UK, Italy, Spain, Australia, NZ, Canada, Japan—just about everywhere except the Moon.

Yes, of course the Big Media and local media will trash your Tent City. To hell with them! We have our own media! Contact Al-Jazeera and ask to have one of their reporters cover the Tent City—then we’ll get some honest, big time coverage.

You want to embarrass the b’jesus out of the municipal bureaucrats.  (Is it time to start referring to them as criminals—committing torture against their neighbors?)  Secondly, you want to bring WTS to the attention of the nation.

Cops will threaten you with arrest. Yes, you will have to get arrested. Then go back out there, once you’re released. And when it comes to a court appearance, you want a lot of theater there, too.  Drama.

Hell!  When you can’t sleep at night because of the damn turbines, grab your sleeping bag and tent and head over to Tent City, Your Town, USA.

Set up barbecues.  Have music.  Poetry readings.  Speeches.  Jugglers.  Acrobats.  Whatever.  Face painting for kids.  Balloons.  It’s called “street theater.”

It’s also called “civil disobedience.”

Above all, it’s called a “duty.”  This, dear reader, is Democracy.  Real Democracy (capital “D”).

This man thinks WTS research is worth pursuing (Harvard Med. School)

Calvin Luther Martin, PhD

Some weeks ago I sent an email to this man.  Dr. Nelson Kiang.

Professor Nelson Yuan-Sheng Kiang, PhD
Harvard Univ. School of Medicine

·
Why did I write him?  Because Dr. Alec Salt, at the Washington Univ. School of Medicine, had given a paper at Harvard Medical School in April of this year on his research pertaining to Wind Turbine Syndrome.  Salt’s presentation focused on the role of the mammalian cochlea under infrasonic stimulation similar to that generated by wind turbines.

It turns out that Dr. Kiang was in the audience.  At the end of Salt’s presentation, Kiang raised his hand and said something to the effect that the (inner ear) vestibular organs were likely involved, as well.  (Those of you who have read Dr. Pierpont’s book, “Wind Turbine Syndrome,” will immediately recognize this as her main thesis.)

Anyhow, Dr. Kiang wrote back to me last week, with the following observation.

There isn’t much [research? literature?] on  the specific involvement of the human vestibular system in WTS. However, there is every reason to pursue the idea [emphasis added].

He closed by inviting Dr. Pierpont to discuss this further, when he returns early next month (October) from a trip abroad.  (She will do so.)

Now, take a look at this man’s credentials.  This is precisely how he listed them below his name in his email.  Compare these creds to those of the wind salesmen who brazenly assure their audiences, “Wind Turbine Syndrome?!  Complete rubbish!  Merely an invention by Pierpont and other screwballs.”

While you’re at it, compare Kiang’s credentials to all the people who wrote the farcical AWEA-CanWEA rebuttal to Pierpont.

Eaton-Peabody Professor (Emeritus)
Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology
and
Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Professor of Physiology (Emeritus)
Department of Otology and Laryngology
Harvard Medical School

Founding and Former Director
Eaton-Peabody Laboratory,
and
Trustee,
Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary

Neurophysiologist (Emeritus)
Neurology Service
Massachusetts General Hospital

Founding and Former Director
Speech and Hearing Sciences Graduate Program
Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology

Lastly, compare Kiang’s credentials to those of the “expert panel” convened by the Massachusetts Dept. of Environmental Protection and the Dept. of Public Health to look into the credibility of WTS.

Notice, two of them have PhD’s in Mechanical Engineering—real relevant to clinical medicine, huh?  A third member has a PhD in Biochemistry—likewise totally irrelevant.  That’s 3, right off the bat, with non-starter credentials.

Two of the remainder are junior faculty—assistant professors, hoping to get tenure—which means they’re not likely to stick their necks out on such a politically charged issue.

Dora Mills, MD, MPH

The cherry on top of this weird confection is Dr. Dora Mills, former commissioner of health for the State of Maine.  In that capacity Dr. Mills demonstrated her disdain for Pierpont’s work and other relevant research.  (Additional relevant research?  Click here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here.  None of this seemed to make a dent on the 10-fingered commissioner.)

When this gang issues its report, what do you bet it will be at best a whitewash and at worst a total rejection of Wind Turbine Syndrome?  Either way, wind turbines will continue to be built in Mass., cheek-by-jowl to people’s homes.

But I digress.  Back to Dr. Kiang.  Why does Big Wind and its hireling physicians and junk scientists maintain just the opposite:  “There is no reason to pursue research on WTS”?  (Click here and here.)

Do you smell something “fishy”—as in, “these people are practicing fraudulent medicine and science”?  Is it for the sake of the wet dream of “saving the world from global warming by means of infrasound-generating pinwheels all over the place”?  Or is it that in combination with the fat consultant fees they garner?

Both explanations are plausible, even probable.

If these people were ever genuine physicians (Hippocratic Oath:  “Do no harm”) and bona fide scientists at some point in their careers, they certainly are not, now.  (Science pursues real evidence and real truth—truth that is sometimes as screamingly obvious and as politically inconvenient as Wind Turbine Syndrome.  Science is not led by wishful thinking pumped up by consultant fees, research grants, and academic advancement.)
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With thanks to the artist, Nate Owens

Got WTS? Call this man …

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Calvin Luther Martin, PhD

Got Wind Turbine Syndrome?  Do you live on the east coast?

If “yes,” it’s time to stop wasting your time …

  • with your town board
  • with the wind turbine propeller-heads in town
  • with financially strapped farmers and absentee property-owners who just want the money from turbine leases—and would sell their mothers for $10
  • with wind industry trade associations like the American Wind Energy Association and so-called non-profit “green energy” councils
  • with your local physician (who’s clueless about all this and, besides, frightened to death to get involved)
  • and with ludicrous nonsense like this (a model of illogic, non sequitur, and irrelevance) from Australia’s Clean Energy Council—although you can find this stuff on any wind developer’s website:

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It’s time to stop talking to turbine salesmen who insist wind turbine “noise” is no different from your “refrigerator’s”—for God’s sake!  (Doubtless there are times those turbines out back sound like your fridge.  But that evades the real issue, which Big Wind realizes full well.)

The issue being, of course, that, together with audible noise, turbines produce infrasonic noise & vibration—by definition below the level of human hearing—yet, as Pierpont demonstrates, catastrophic for the infrasonically-attuned, infrasonically-evolved vestibular organs of the inner ear (along with other organs of balance, motion, and position sense).

And that is the point—and the reason you WTS sufferers must contact Dr. Rauch (pronounced “Rosh”), a worldclass expert in vestibular disease and dysregulation.

… with thanks to Windtoons.com

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I’m going to make it easy for you.  Pick up your phone and call this man.  Operators are standing by . . .

Big Wind loves to trash Dr. Pierpont and her peer-reviewed “Wind Turbine Syndrome:  A Report on a Natural Experiment” (2009).  (Big Wind doesn’t seem to grasp that scholarly books, like Pierpont’s, are peer-reviewed.  They labor under the misconception that only journal articles are peer-reviewed.  These people wouldn’t know a “peer review” if it walked up and pissed on their foot.)

But Big Wind won’t trash Dr. Rauch; he’s the “pope” of vestibular disorders at Harvard Medical School.

My advice?  I urge all you sufferers in Falmouth (MA), Vinalhaven (ME), Mars Hill (ME), New York State, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Minnesota, Iowa, Arizona, California–to contact this man.  Write to him and tell him your WTS story.  And if you live on the east coast, call that number pronto and make an appointment.

Hundreds of you should make an appointment to see him.

What the heck, all you WTS guinea pigs in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, UK, France, Italy, Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Turkey, Japan, Hungary, Italy–you, too, can contact him.

Dr. Steven Rauch needs to hear from all of you, either in writing or, better yet, face to face.

It gets better.  Not only is Dr. Rauch a world leader in vestibular disorders, when he was interviewed in July by a (sappy) Boston Herald reporter for her (silly) article on Wind Turbine Syndrome, he is quoted as saying the following:

Turbine-induced health concerns are not just another Not In My Back Yard straw argument, said one top Boston ear doc.  Dr. Steven Rauch, a Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary otologist, said yesterday the state should take the issue seriously.

‘We know that in the animal kingdom, low frequency sound can cause harm, so it is not unreasonable to consider that same consequence in humans,’ Rauch said.  ‘You have to give them the benefit of doubt, and not dismiss them as cranks.’

Notice that he said this on the strength of scant acquaintance with the research on WTS.  Dr. Pierpont has never spoken to the man (although she is familiar with his work), nor, to the best of our knowledge, has he read her book, “Wind Turbine Syndrome.”

In other words, Harvard Medical School’s Dr. Steven Rauch realizes, on the basis of prima facie evidence, that WTS is worth taking seriously.  Think about it!

It’s now up to all you guinea pigs to lean on Dr. Rauch to do what he recommended to the Boston Herald:  take WTS seriously–and launch his own investigations into this industrial plague.

Faking it in Falmouth? (Mass.)

Faking it in Falmouth

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Mark J Cool, Falmouth, MA

The wind turbine issue in Falmouth is pitting community conscience against regulatory compliance.  Being “within compliance” obviously doesn’t mean physical harms don’t, or won’t, exist.

The Massachusetts Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) 40-decibel noise guideline, the wind turbine manufacturer’s recommended setback distance, the specific town emergency and fire contingency plan criteria, and the 23-mph turbine shut-off restriction—all have been, with some exceptions, met or exceeded.

Yet complaints by neighbors continue and will indeed be exacerbated as seasonal winds change, and Wind Turbine II comes online.  Very revealing of current regulation effectiveness, perhaps?

Is it a conspiracy?  Hatched by those anti-wind neighbors to thwart the good intentions of the Energy Committee’s “need for green” or municipal “need for green” energy cost savings?  Possibly—that is, if the neighbors hadn’t been supportive of the town’s wind project concept in the first place.

Oops!

Is it that these scoundrels are feeding off Internet exaggerations and fantasies of “Wind Turbine Syndrome” and are just plain lying about symptoms and lost sleep?  Maybe—hat is, if you believe that these neighbors (who were mostly strangers to one another before the turbines) just happened simultaneously to suffer from a range of identical physiological symptoms.

Combine their fabrications with their brazen willingness to spend money on the following:

    • sue Falmouth
    • sound-proof windows
    • pay for hotel rooms to allegedly get a few nights of sleep
    • attend wind turbine noise & health seminars and conferences to become more informed
    • pay for acoustic consultant testing, to acquire a third-party perspective
    • pay for numerous doctor appointments, prescriptions and medical aids offering temporary relief from their fabricated, turbine-caused ailments

The real facts are:  The Falmouth town boards (several of them) have been offered numerous reports from credible sources, institutions, acousticians and medical clinicians from around the country and indeed the world, all demonstrating the plausibility that industrial wind turbines negatively affect human wellness if poorly sited.  Most importantly, the Falmouth town boards have ready access to us sufferers, as well as the offer of personal experiences and symptoms as examinable evidence from neighbors.

Would these neighbors be willing to be examined to prove their claims?  Has anyone asked these human guinea pigs?  Why wouldn’t Town Hall join with medical experts and conduct a study of actual health outcomes (epidemiology), using medical science to directly find actual health risks from real-world (Falmouth) turbine exposures?

Instead of practicality and common sense, Town Hall is persuaded by conclusions from a Woods Hole Oceanographic Insitute biologist (health board member charged with a literary review), an acoustics firm (paid by the town), the Mass DEP and the town Energy Committee (minions of Govenor Patrick).  These advisors (amongst others), with the applause of local newspaper editors, would have you believe “they” should hold more authority on the subject than the studies and reports by actual medical doctors and medical professionals.

That’s like asking your auto mechanic to diagnose whether that lump on your neck is cancer or not.  Absurd?

Honest-to-God medical evaluations, specifically directed at accessing physiological impact from wind turbines, could certainly answer more questions than Town Hall’s craven reliance on regulatory compliance, ill-equipped citizen volunteers, or state agencies marching to the drumbeat of the governor’s “green” agenda.

The Falmouth wind turbine issue is a matter of conscience, not compliance!  I implore town members to force a full epidemiological study.  The town upheaval demands it, and without it the community fracture is guaranteed to widen.  And, for God’s sake, please vote to suspend turbine operations until medical questions are answered—rather than continue this Town Hall buffoonery and slavish attachment to ineffectual regulatory compliance.

Unless, of course, you believe Town Hall—and believe your neighbors are liars.
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Mark & Annie Cool.  Mark is an air traffic controller.  Annie is a realtor in Falmouth, MA

Big Wind gags WTS victims (Ontario)

“Farm couple challenges gag order of those who sell land to wind farms”
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This image was not part of the original article—Editor

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—John Spears, TheStar.com (9/13/11)

A Huron County farm couple is asking an Ontario court to lift gag agreements that were a condition of sale for landowners who sold their property to wind farms.

Shawn and Trisha Drennan are worried about the possible impact of a large wind farm planned for their district.

The project would place 100 to 150 large turbines in Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh Township north of Goderich, with the nearest turbine as close as 650 metres from the Drennans’ home.

Developers of two other large wind projects in the general area bought the properties of a number of nearby residents.

The Drennans asked to interview six of the former residents, in order to ask them if they had suffered any health problems. Neighbours of some wind farms say they’ve suffered various ills, including headaches, to ringing in their ears, dizziness and nausea.

But a lawyer for the former residents replied that they are “prohibited by agreement” from answering questions about their health. Silence was a condition of the sales.

The Drennans want the gag removed.

Photo courtesy of Terry Davidson, Toronto Sun

In an application to Ontario Superior Court of Justice, their lawyer Julian Falconer argues that “the concealment by contract of serious public health and safety concerns is fundamentally against the public interest.”

The application notes that a decision of the province’s environmental review tribunal earlier this summer acknowledged “there are certainly legitimate concerns and uncertainties about the effects of wind turbines on human health.”

The tribunal, however, said the onus is on landowners to demonstrate the risk of health problems.

That means it’s up to the Drennans to collect information on the health effects, if any, of a large wind farm.

The non-disclosure clauses that the former residents signed when they sold their properties, however, prevent the Drennans from doing just that, their application argues.

“Evidence of former residents who chose to leave their homes entirely could represent evidence of the most extreme cases of adverse health effects,” it states.

The application also argues that the approval of turbines close to the Drennans’ home “implicates their right to security of the person” as guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights, in view of the potential health impacts.

The Drennans have the right to oppose approval of the turbines, it argues. But the non-disclosure clause impairs their ability to gather evidence. That impairs their right to the security of the person “in a manner contrary to the principles of fundamental justice,” the application says.

 

The killing fields of Ontario

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Image was not part of the original article—Editor

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“Call to reduce wind-farm bird, bat deaths”
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—Richard Blackwell, GlobeAndMail.com (8/3/11)

A major conservation group is calling on TransAlta Corp. to periodically turn off turbines at its Wolfe Island wind farm in Ontario to cut down on the number of birds and bats killed by the machines.

Nature Canada says the project’s 86 turbines are among the most destructive of wildlife in North America. The organization argues TransAlta should shut down parts of the wind farm – one of the biggest in the country – during high-risk periods in the late summer and early fall, when swallows congregate in the region and bats migrate.

Ted Cheskey
Image was not part of original article

“That period is when the vast majority of birds seem to be killed,” said Ted Cheskey, manager of bird conservation programs at Nature Canada. “The evidence is there, and now there is an obligation for [TransAlta] to act.”

The controversy over bird deaths is just one of the many challenges facing Canada’s wind industry, which has run up against by increasingly vocal opponents who say turbines are ugly, cause health problems, and do not contribute to reduced carbon emissions.

The Wolfe Island site, near Kingston, Ont., began generating power in 2009, and an ongoing count of bird and bat deaths has been conducted by a consulting firm since then. Nature Canada says that while bird deaths have been in line with other wind farms on the continent, those numbers are far too high.

The bird death rates from the turbines “are consistently high,” Mr. Cheskey said. He is particularly concerned with the deaths of tree swallows and purple martins – which are in decline in the province – along with bat fatalities.

Purple Martin
Image was not part of original article

Mr. Cheskey said his comparison of the numbers in the Wolfe Island report shows the turbines generate one of the highest rates of casualties – about 1,500 birds and 3,800 bats in a year – of any wind farm.

But TransAlta disagrees with Nature Canada’s views. The numbers suggest that the Wolfe Island wind farm is no worse that most others, and is well within limits set by federal environmental regulators, said Glen Whelan, TransAlta’s manager of public affairs.

“The mortality rates that we are seeing in birds and bats are within ranges reported for other wind farms across North America,” he said. For bats, the death rate is well below what is often reported in the eastern United States, he added.

While “bird and bat mortality is unfortunately inevitable at wind power facilities, we are seeing numbers that are within the ranges that are called for by regulators,” Mr. Whelan said.

TransAlta is researching ways to mitigate bat deaths, possibly by turning off turbines at certain times, but the results are not in yet, he said.

Nature Canada is not opposed to wind farms in principle, but it thinks they should be in locations where birds and bats are not at serious risk. Because of its location on a migratory route at the eastern end of Lake Ontario, Wolfe Island is one of many spots where the risk of killing migrating birds and bats is particularly high, Mr. Cheskey said.

Image was not part of the original article

Other groups base their opposition to wind farms on other factors. Wind Concerns Ontario, one of the most vocal of the anti-wind groups, claims that noise and vibration from turbines causes sleep deprivation, headaches and high blood pressure. It is demanding independent studies of health impacts.

Anti-wind groups were outraged by a decision two weeks ago from Ontario’s Environmental Review Tribunal which ruled that a wind farm near Chatham, Ont., being developed by Suncor Energy Inc. can go ahead because opponents – who made detailed presentations at a lengthy hearing – did not prove that it would cause serious harm to human health.

Some groups also worry about the aesthetic issues that arise from the erection of thousands of new turbines across the country, while others suggest wind power is expensive, unreliable and needs fossil-fuel-generated back-up

“One-third of the dairy herd died since the turbines began operation” (Wisconsin)

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This image was added by WTS.com

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—Sandra Johnson, Greenleaf, Wisconsin, in Madison.com (9/2/11)

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What if siting massive 50-story industrial wind turbines close to peoples’ homes harms them, kills animals and disrupts lives?

All of this has happened to several families in southern Brown County, Wisconsin.

One couple tried to live with the six 50-story turbines west of their property, but she [the wife] had migraine headaches after the turbines went online in December 2010. They could not adjust to the low frequency noise emitted by the giant machines. My husband and I were invited to visit their home in April after they left to stay with their daughter. We all wondered if the swallows would return in May to their mud nests in the barn. They did not.

Recently, I learned of another farm family in the shadow of wind turbines who were having similar health problems. Their three children are now living with their grandparents, where their headaches have subsided. One-third of this farmer’s dairy herd have died since the turbines began operation. An autopsy of a calf showed no infectious cause for its death.

What now? For the past 20 months, I and my neighbors have written letters, paid for billboards and testified at hearings appealing to our representatives and State Board of Health for a moratorium until epidemiological studies can be done in Wisconsin wind projects to find the answers needed to help these families and others like them.

We are all still waiting.

 

Wind energy: The “least sustainable energy option”

“Our Least Sustainable Energy Option”

The images in this posting are from Windtoons, and were added by WTS.com

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Paul Driessen, TownHall.com (9/1/11)

President Obama and a chorus of environmentalists, politicians, corporate executives and bureaucrats are perennially bullish on wind power as the bellwether of our “clean energy economy of the future.”

In reality, wind energy may well be the least sustainable and least eco-friendly of all electricity options. Its shortcomings are legion, but the biggest ones can be grouped into eight categories.

Land. As American humorist and philosopher Will Rogers observed, “They ain’t making any more of it.” Wind turbine installations impact vast amounts of land, far more than traditional power plants.

Arizona’s Palo Verde nuclear plant generates 3,750 megwatts of electricity from a 4,000-acre site. The 600-MW John Turk ultra-supercritical coal-fired power plant in Arkansas covers part of 2,900 acres; two 600-MW coal-fired units in India use just 600 acres. Gas-fired units like Calpine’s 560-MW Fox Energy Center in Wisconsin require several hundred acres. All generate reliable power 90-95% of the year.

By contrast, the 600-MW Fowler Ridge wind installation (355 turbines) spans 50,000 acres of farm country along Indiana’s I-65 corridor. The 782-MW Roscoe project in Texas (627 turbines) sprawls across 100,000 acres. Oregon’s Shepherds Flat project (338 gigantic 2.5 MW turbines) covers nearly 80,000 wildlife and scenic acres along the Columbia River Gorge, for a “rated capacity” of 845 MW.

The Chokecherry-Sierra Madre project will blanket some 320,000 acres of sage grouse habitat and BLM land in Wyoming with 1,000 monstrous 3-MW turbines, to generate zero to 3,000 MW of intermittent power. That’s eight times the size of Washington, DC, to get an average annual output one-fourth of what Palo Verde generates 90% of the time. But C-SM has already received preliminary approval from BLM.

To replace just 20% of the United States’ 995,000 MW of total installed generating capacity, we would need to blanket an area the size of Kansas with wind turbines, and then add nearly a thousand 600-MW gas-fired backup generators … and thousands of miles of new high voltage transmission lines.

Raw materials. Wind turbine installations require vast amounts of steel, copper, rare earth metals, fiberglass, concrete, rebar and other materials for the turbines, towers and bases.

A single 1.7 MW wind turbine, like 315 of the Fowler Ridge units, involves some 365 tons of materials for the turbine assembly and tower, plus nearly 1100 tons of concrete and rebar for the foundation. Bigger units require substantially more materials. Grand total for the entire Fowler wind installation: some 515,000 tons; for Roscoe, 752,000 tons; for Shepherds Flat, 575,000 tons; for Chokecherry, perhaps 2,000,000 tons. Offshore installations need far more raw materials.

To all that must be added millions of tons of steel, copper, concrete and rebar for thousands of miles of transmission lines – and still more for mostly gas-fired generators to back up every megawatt of wind power and generate electricity the 17 hours of each average day that the wind doesn’t blow.

Money. Taxpayers and consumers must provide perpetual subsidies to prop up wind projects, which cannot survive without steady infusions of cash via feed-in tariffs, tax breaks and direct payments.

Transmission lines cost $1.0 million to $2.5 million per mile. Landowners get $10,000 per turbine, plus royalties on all energy produced from the turbine, plus payments for every foot of access road and transmission lines. However, taxpayers pay more, while the landowners’ neighbors suffer property devaluation, scenic disruption, noise, health problems and interference with crop spraying, but no monetary compensation. Direct federal wind energy subsidies to help cover this totaled $5 billion in FY 2010; state support added billions more; still more billions were added to consumers’ electric bills.

The Other People’s Money well is running dry. The “manmade catastrophic climate change” thesis behind the wind energy campaign is in shambles. Voters and consumers are understandably fed up.

Energy. Mining, quarrying, drilling, milling, refining, smelting and manufacturing operations make the production of metals, concrete, fiberglass and resins, turbines, and heavy equipment to do all of the above very energy-intensive. Ditto for transporting and installing turbines, towers, backups and transmission lines. That takes real energy: abundant, reliable, affordable – not what comes from wind turbines.

In fact, it probably requires more energy to manufacture, haul and install these monstrous Cuisinarts of the air and their transmission systems than they will generate in their lifetimes. However, no cradle-to-grave analysis has ever been conducted, for the energy inputs or pollution outputs. We need one now.

Health. Whereas environmentalists garner scary headlines over wildly speculative claims about health dangers from hydraulic fracturing (to extract abundant natural gas for wind turbine backup generators), they ignore and dismiss a growing body of evidence that wind turbines cause significant health problems.

Principal health issues are associated with noise – not just annoying audible noise, but inaudible, low-frequency “infrasound” that causes headache, dizziness, “deep nervous fatigue” and symptoms akin to seasickness. “Wind turbine syndrome” also includes irritability, depression, and concentration and sleep problems. Others include “shadow flicker” or “strobe effect” from whirling blades, which can trigger seizures in epileptics, “vibroacoustic” effects on the heart and lungs, and non-lethal harm to animals. Serious lung, heart, cancer and other problems have been documented from rare earth mining, smelting and manufacturing in China, under its less rigorous health, workplace and environmental regulations.

To date, however, very few health assessments have been required or conducted prior to permit approval, even for major wind turbine installations. Perhaps the trial lawyers’ guild could redress that oversight.

Environment. Raptors, bats and other beautiful flying creatures continue to be sliced and diced by wind turbines. Thankfully, the Bureau of Land Management has included an “avian radar system” to track the slaughter within its 500-square-mile Chokecherry region – and banned mining among the turbines.

Wind turbines are supposed to reduce pollution and carbon dioxide emissions. But because backup generators must repeatedly surge to full power and back to standby, as wind speed rises and falls, they operate inefficiently, use more fuel and emit more – much like cars forced to stop repeatedly on freeways.

Jobs. The myth of “green jobs” is hitting the brick wall of reality. While the turbines are installed in the USA and EU, far more numerous mining and manufacturing jobs are in China, where they are hardly “green.” As Spanish and Scottish analysts have documented, the “green” installer and maintenance jobs cost up to $750,000 apiece – and kill 2.2 to 3.7 traditional jobs for every “eco-friendly” job created.

Electricity costs and reliability. Even huge subsidies cannot cure wind power’s biggest defects: its electricity costs far more than coal, gas or nuclear alternatives – and its intermittent nature wreaks havoc on power grids and consumers. The problem is worst on hot summer afternoons, when demand is highest and breezes are minimal. Unable to compete against cheap Chinese and Indian electricity and labor, energy-intensive industries increasingly face the prospect of sending operations and jobs overseas. Bayer Chemical’s warning that it may have to close its German facilities is just the tip of the iceberg

When it comes to wind, Nat King Cole might have sung: “Unsustainable that’s what you are, unsustainable though near or far. Unsustainable in every way, and forever more that’s how you’ll stay.” Well, maybe not forever, but certainly for the foreseeable future.

So take a hint from Spoon’s lively tune and “cut out the middleman.” Forge a direct relationship with energy you can afford, energy that works nearly 24/7/365, energy that causes the least ecological damage and is far more sustainable than wind power: the hydrocarbon, hydroelectric and nuclear power that have sustained our society and brought unprecedented health, prosperity and living standards to billions.

Then help the planet’s least fortunate people to do likewise.

… still more furious people! (Ontario)

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Waubra Foundation pummels Hepburn Wind (Australia)

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—Peter Mitchell, Chairman, Waubra Foundation, in the Ballarat Courier (8/29/11)

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The recent reports of sick and exhausted residents living close to the Leonard’s Hill wind turbines were inevitable.

Sadly, no amount of community consultation or ownership in the developer, Hepburn Wind, has been effective in protecting the health and wellbeing of these residents.

The directors of Hepburn Wind cannot say they operated in a knowledge vaccum.

Firstly, in an email dated October 18, 2010, the Waubra Foundation’s medical director Dr Sarah Laurie told Hepburn Wind’s chairman Simon Holmes à Court and CEO Jack Gilding of her concerns about the proximity of residential housing to the siting of the then not-constructed turbines.

Further, at Dr Laurie’s instigation, a meeting was then held earlier this year between herself and Mr Holmes à Court at which Dr Laurie again reiterated her concerns and pleaded with Mr Holmes à Court to delay operating the turbines until a proper independent health study had been conducted.

Most unfortunately for some residents, Dr Laurie’s advice was without effect—except that Mr Holmes à Court, in his oral testimony to the Australian federal senate inquiry, accused Dr Laurie of scaremongering.

Dr Laurie, Dr Andja Mitric-Andjic from Daylesford, and Dr Wayne Spring from Ballarat, in common with Dr David Iser, who observed and wrote of problems at the Toora Wind project in 2004, are all trained rural medical practitioners with the sense of duty and the courage to raise their concerns publicly.  Not as scaremongers, but as genuine clinical observers—much needed, apparently, as the industry remains in denial and our Department of Health is making negligible progress in dealing with the matter.

The whistle has been blown and warnings have been given that serious health problems are the inevitable consequence of siting wind turbines too close to rural residents’ homes.  Forget the claims that projects meet the existing noise standards; those standards have been proven inadequate and dangerous.

Rural Australians need the protection of independent health and noise studies to identify safe siting of turbines.

Hepburn Wind now has some difficult choices: continue to operate and ignore or deny the ill health and misery of neighbours, continue to operate but purchase at full value the properties whose owners are suffering, or shut down the turbines until studies are completed.

Perhaps it is time for the Environment Protection Authority to become involved.

It is in everyone’s interests to get turbine siting decisions right at the planning stage, which is only possible on the basis of expert independent acoustic and clinical research.  Until those studies are completed, no new projects should be approved and no project previously approved but as yet unbuilt should proceed.

Native Hawaiians say “no” to Big Wind

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Click here for Molokai.com

Wind turbine misery (Massachusetts)

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“Wind Turbine Misery, in Thirteen Lines”
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With appreciation to Alexandra Knickel

Sue Hobart, Falmouth, Mass. (8/29/11)
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Hurricane Irene came to town today.

I sleep in the basement to relieve the pressure headaches I have when I am upstairs in my home.

Today, though, I sleep deep and late and actually wake up feeling—well, like I had slept!

Today I accomplish what I want to do and more, with a cheerful smile and a spring in my step.

Today I bake cookies and play with my dogs.

Today I actually have an appetite for real food and make steak and potatoes for dinner.

Today I am not dizzy and don’t have a headache.

I forget about days like today.

I have looked forward to sleeping in my real bedroom with my real husband, again.

Today the winds are high enough that my neighbor has turned his turbine off.

He has just turned it back on.

Still, a day without torture is a good thing.

I want more.

 

… still more Wind Turbine Syndrome (Ontario)

….

….

“Wind Energy and Health”: Special issue of science journal

Calvin Luther Martin, PhD
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Late last month we drew your attention to a Special Issue of the Bulletin of Science, Technology, and Society, devoted to Wind Energy and Health.  (Yes, this is a peer-reviewed journal.)  The articles are important; it’s worth underscoring this once again.  (Unfortunately, you have to buy them from the Bulletin, and they ain’t cheap.)

Helen Parker, PhD

Dr. Helen Parker (Lic. Clinical Psychologist, Martha’s Vineyard, MA) has kindly put together a PDF of all the article abstracts.  Reading merely the abstracts, it becomes clear that Big Wind’s knee-jerk denial of health impacts is a public health outrage and an insult to intelligence—a point Pierpont and others have made for years.  Big Wind’s across-the-board culture of denial has reached the point of outright buffoonery.  (One thinks of the Libyan bully, Muammar Gaddafi, a past master of similar buffoonery—now finally toppled by an outraged and insulted citizenry.)

Gaddafi:  Outrageous, insulting bully.  Patron Saint of Wind Energy (nominated by WTS.com)

Fast forward to reality.  We especially urge you to read Dr. Carl Phillips’s magisterial analysis of the existing research on Wind Turbine Syndrome.

Carl Phillips, PhD

Phillips is a Harvard-trained PhD specializing in public policy and epidemiology.  He has held a major post-doctoral fellowship in this field and has been faculty in schools of public health at several prominent universities.
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“Arrogant” windfarm projects (Australia)

“Moyne Shire axes ‘arrogant’ wind farm projects”
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Wind Developer Creed:  “It’s my way, or the highway!”

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—Alex Sinnott, The Warrnambool Standard (8/25/11)

Major wind farm projects at Hawkesdale and Yambuk have been thrown into limbo after the Moyne Shire advised the state government to block a permit extension to developers.

Planning Minister Matthew Guy yesterday indicated he would accept the council’s advice, effectively killing off $430 million worth of proposed investment in renewable energy infrastructure.

Moyne Shire councillors voted on Tuesday night to oppose extending permits for the proposed Hawkesdale and Ryan Corner wind farm projects, granted to developers Union Fenosa three years ago.

… from Union Fenosa website

The Standard understands the move is the first time that a Victorian council have been able to successfully oppose a wind farm proposal since the Baillieu government won office last year.

Mr Guy vowed earlier this year to return planning power on major energy projects to local government, in contrast to predecessor Justin Madden’s centralised approach to decision-making.

Moyne mayor Jim Doukas said many renewable energy developers had become arrogant and believed the council decision was a warning to other project operators. He said councillors were unimpressed with how Union Fenosa consulted council and the wider community.

“Renewable energy developers think they have carte blanche with local shires, that we’ll just rubber stamp whatever they want,” Cr Doukas said.

“Well, those days are over.  It has been overkill for the past couple of years and this Ryan Corner knock-back is a big wake-up call to the others (energy developers) that they need to lift their game.”

Cr Doukas said Union Fenosa had failed to update its wind farm blueprints for the Ryan’s Corner and Hawkesdale projects, omitting important details such as changes to state government set-back rules.

He said the developers had been “a little arrogant in assuming that Moyne Shire would rubber stamp the project.”

A spokeswoman for the Planning Minister said the state government was committed to returning energy project decision-making to local councils.

“The Coalition government committed to giving planning authority back to local councils on wind farms,” she said.

“We have done that and Moyne’s decision shows that this is now the case.”

Changes to noise standards, turbine “set-back” requirements and aesthetic reasons were cited by Moyne councillors as reasons to oppose the present permit lodged by Union Fernosa.

Cam Walker

Friends of the Earth spokesman Cam Walker said the decision would set a disturbing precedent.

Mr Walker said it would push wind turbine development interstate.

He said yesterday’s application knock-back was the first time a local council had opposed a renewable energy development under the state government’s new planning rules.

Former planning minister Justin Madden announced in August 2008 that the state government would give the go-ahead to the 68-turbine Ryan Corner development and a smaller 31-turbine project at Hawkesdale.

A Union Fenosa spokesman said wet weather during the past season had prevented developers from accessing the Ryan Corner site sandwiched between Orford, Yambuk and Port Fairy.

Similar wet conditions were reported at the Hawkesdale wind farm site, south-east of the township.

However, a company representative was unable to comment to The Standard last night on the Planning Minister’s decision.

“It made my husband feel ill, like motion sickness” (Illinois)

“When Big Sky first started erecting the turbines, my husband and daughter drove to one—they couldn’t hear a thing.  We thought, ‘Oh, this won’t be so bad.'”

 

With appreciation to James Wiens

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“Living with the negative effects of wind turbines”

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—Barbara Draper, Rock River Times (8/24/11)

I live 1 mile from the city limits of Ohio, Ill., in Bureau County on the Big Sky Wind farm, which covers approximately 13 square miles, more or less. In that area, there are at least 56 turbines, and 30 are on land owned by absentee landowners who do not have the negative effects of shadow flicker, poor TV reception or noise.

In that same 13-square-mile area, there are 47 homes, excluding those in the Village of Ohio. Ten of those homes belong to and are lived in by people who have turbines on their farm. The other 37 homes are owned and occupied by residents who are not participating in the wind farm.

We are among those 36 nonparticipating homes because we chose not to have a turbine on our farm, as did two other farmers in our area. However, most of those 36 homes are on small rural estates, and they had no choice for a turbine.

We have 12 turbines located around our house that vary in distance from less than a quarter-of-a-mile to three located less than a mile. There is no window in our home to look out without seeing turbine blades going round and round. I have taken pictures from my windows, if anyone is interested in looking at them.

As we sit on our patio, we are looking at 31 turbines spinning. The sound is a monotonous sound of whish, whish that can vary in intensity and, at times, has sounded like a train rumbling down a track. I refer to it as irritating, like a dripping faucet. It just never stops, unless the turbine is not running.

The beautiful countryside in our area has disappeared, along with the quiet and peaceful county living we once had.

We have shadow flicker many months of the year, from 15 minutes to more than an hour a day, whenever the sun is shining and turbines are running.

At a meeting before Big Sky was built, I asked about shadow flicker. The developer said I would have flicker for maybe two to three seconds a year. I should have had him write his statement down and sign it. My suggestion is that if a developer tells you something, have him sign a written statement to that effect.

Some mornings, we don’t need an alarm, because the flicker wakes us up. This fall, we will again have the most intense flicker starting in October and until the end of February. This comes from a turbine 1,620 feet (according to Big Sky measurements) southwest of our house.

The flicker is in every room in our house­ — we can’t get away from it. When we first experienced this, we thought something was wrong with our lights, but as our eyes kept moving to find the source — we just couldn’t figure it out. I then walked into the kitchen, and it was coming through the closed venetian blind — then we knew. That flicker lasted an hour. It made my husband feel ill, like motion sickness. The brighter the sun, the more intense the flicker.

This flicker is hard to explain to people. Flickering fluorescent lights in every room might be similar; however, they would not cast moving light on the walls and furniture.

This flicker comes through trees, blinds or lined drapes. Light-blocking shades would have to be sealed to the sides of the window.

The shadows are on our buildings, our lawn and across our field. Last fall, I covered the tops of my south windows with wide aluminum foil. I did this so I could look outside a few windows without seeing rotating blades. It didn’t keep out the flicker. I have now replaced the foil with pleated shades.

The Bureau County Zoning Board was told by a wind farm representative that 20 to 30 hours of shadow flicker a year was acceptable. It is not acceptable. I asked the representative if he lived on a wind farm. He answered, “No.”

Residents, especially nonparticipating residents, should not have any flicker in their house or any shadow from turbines on their lawn, outbuildings or farm land. I have read that this is a trespass.

An executive of Big Sky told us on the phone that we had a serious shadow flicker problem. The next time we talked with her, she denied saying it — another reason to get their statements in writing and signed.

A person has to live on a wind farm 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to really know what it is like. You cannot get the whole effect by just driving through it and stopping by a turbine for a short time. The conditions vary, hour by hour, day by day, and even season to season.

When Big Sky first started erecting the turbines, my husband and daughter drove to one — they couldn’t hear a thing. We thought, “Oh, this won’t be so bad.” One trip does not tell the story.

I realize wind farms are big money for participating farmers and tax-supported institutions. However, more consideration needs to be given in the placement of the turbines to eliminate what we are having in Big Sky.

We don’t live in the quiet rural county anymore. It has been replaced with an industrial wind park. They call it a wind farm — wrong — it produces no food. It just eliminates many food-producing acres.

These counties need to realize the impact of turbines and make their ordinances to protect the people. Shadow flicker should not have to be tolerated by rural residents. It is disturbing and has health consequences. I have been told that someone with seizures could not live in our home because of that intense flicker we have in the fall.

I also strongly believe no shadows from turbines should be cast across highways, as they are in Big Sky. Several drivers have told me they have been startled by them — slammed on their brakes, and some nearly ran off the road. I called the Illinois Department of Transportation, but was told they could do nothing as long as the turbine was not in their right of way — it was a county issue.

All of these problems are disturbing and serious problems, and there are health problems involved. I sometimes think this country has its priorities mixed up. I love nature and animals, but when a conservation area was given a farther setback from turbines in Lee County than we were given from our homes in Bureau County, I got disturbed.

I believe there needs to be much more study done on wind turbines before filling this nation’s countryside with them. In making your ordinances, please make sure your residents are protected from the negative effects of turbines.

Wind energy is the “equivalent of the corn ethanol scam” (Bentek Report)

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—Randall J. Bell, President, Victorian Landscape Guardians Inc (Australia)

You could be forgiven for wondering why the wind industry and its cheer squad, the Australian Clean Energy Council (which is NOT a Government agency), is going ballistic lashing out at opponents of wind farms.

The reason is simple: the public is waking up to some inconvenient truths about wind.

What happens when there is no wind? There is no electricity. What happens when the wind is too strong and the turbines have to be braked? There is no electricity. What happens when the wind fluctuates wildly and the wind farm is “kicked” off the grid because of surging? There is no electricity, unless it comes from coal or gas fired generators (perhaps a little bit of hydro) which have to be in “hot spinning reserve” constantly shadowing these events. And this is at the cost of consumers at least three times the cost of coal-fired and twice the cost of gas-fired electricity.

But the news gets worse for the industry—which suffered a 7% fall in sales in Europe last year and the continued withdrawal of subsidies—with the release of a new study on 19 July 2011 by USA, Colorado-based energy analytics firm Bentek Energy, discussed in Forbes Magazine 7/19/11.

… from the Bentek website

The Bentek study carries considerable authority because it dealt with real data not computer models and “covered about 110 million customers, or about one-third of the U.S population in four regions.”

Because of space I will quote selectively from the article:

… the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) and other wind boosters have vastly overstated wind’s ability to cut sulfur dioxide, nitrous oxide, and carbon dioxide.” In California “using wind energy doesn’t reduce sulfur dioxide emissions at all.”

“But the most important conclusion from the study is that wind energy is not “a cost effective solution for reducing carbon dioxide…”

“Wind’s energy carbon dioxide-cuttings benefits are vastly overstated”

“…The study undercuts the sector’s reason for existing.”

But here is the killer quote. “The wind energy business is the electric sector’s equivalent of the corn ethanol scam: it’s an over-subsidized industry that depends wholly on taxpayer dollars to remain solvent while providing an inferior product to consumers that does little, if anything, to reduce our need for hydrocarbons or cut carbon dioxide emissions.”
·

Denise Bode, CEO, American Wind Energy Assoc., testifying before Congress

Windplant Noise Measurement and Control System (Australia)

Editor’s note:  The following is an announcement from the Australian Waubra Foundation.  WTS.com considers it worthy of international circulation.
 ·

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“A Breakthrough in Noise Control of Wind Turbines and Protecting the Health Effects on Nearby Residents”

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Existing Wind Energy Projects (WEP) do cause serious health problems for people living nearby. This is a fact, despite the denial, dissembling and spin by the industry and a few of their supporters; and continuing and diverse personal attacks on us as the whistleblowers.

Some of the tactics of the WEP proponents and supporters are:

• to ignore on the ground evidence, as “anecdotal,” whilst making no such inquiries themselves

• to declare there are no peer-reviewed studies (Including redefining that term in an attempt to dismiss some very good overseas work)

• to commission studies from their much favoured consultants; and of course

• mount personal attacks which merely demonstrate an unwillingness to engage the issues

The Waubra Foundation is the only Australian institution actually doing work in the field, accumulating objective data (as opposed to anecdotal), researching studies and technical papers from overseas (which are becoming very significant), and climbing step by step the monumental peaks of indifference and hostility to the fact that WEPs are a danger to health. We also persist in trying to have government and industry money allocated to independent research about the emanation of noise, the type of noise, the physical mechanisms of the health problems and safe setbacks of WEPs from homes and workplaces.

A problem is that independent research and peer review will take time, two to three years at a minimum; so people will continue to suffer from existing and new WEPs for several years. This continuing damage is unacceptable, an indication of a political system that accepts and promotes damage to rural Australians, a greedy and deceptive industry, and a cruel impost on part of what we thought was an equal society.

The Foundation has therefore drawn from experiences of other industries and written a Specification of A Noise Measurement and Control System for WEPs (see below). This specification has been discussed with Noise Management Services Pty. Ltd., an independent firm of Brisbane-based acousticians who are nearing completion of a very similar system of continuous noise measurement and data logging (AcouSTar) which would require very little additional software to complete a system to our specification.

The final system will be a very affordable addition to existing and new WEPs and will be robust enough for use in the field. It does not rely on research, but simply on control of noise to proven (by experience and regulation) acceptable levels within adjacent dwellings and workplaces. Nor will it rely on any uninformed and inadequate current wind turbine noise standards that are simply not doing the job of protecting people.

We will shortly be advising governments of the availability of this method of solving this inhumane health problem and of controlling this unstructured industry.

We recommend that people suffering from existing, and likely to suffer from new, WEP, demand from politicians, bureaucrats, developers and operators of WEPs that this Noise Measurement and Control System be incorporated in existing and new WEPs. We can fashion the systems, but we cannot create the wake-up “pressure” to make these things happen. It is up to you.

Attached is copy of the Specification and of information released so far on the AcouSTAR Concept. The Waubra Foundation will continue to work with Noise Management Services on this exceptional development. These documents are in the public domain.
· 

 

Peter Mitchell

Waubra Foundation

………………

Noise Measurement and Control System (NMACS)


(A) The Need

Wind Energy Projects (WEP) exist in all states of Australia. At this time, (July 2011 some 2000 turbines of 1.5 to 2.5 MW capacity are in operation. It is clear the Federal Government is determined on adding another 9000 MW by 2020 which might be satisfied by around another 4000 turbines.

Projects have mostly been located by the presence of strong winds and the proximity and access of power grids. Locations have not been sensitive to the presence of farmers and other householders. Nor can this be expected to change substantially.

Despite much denial, it is a fact that too many project neighbours are suffering a group of serious health problems that are linked to noise emissions by turbines and this will be worsened by the increasing use of larger turbines.

The noise forecasts done by consultants to the industry omit infrasound as do the planning guidelines and or regulations for WEPs. Complaints by sufferers are largely ignored and relevant bureaucracies have not been keen to find any fault by an industry so favoured by Government.

The purpose of this document is to develop a simple specification for a noise measurement and control system that will allow residents adjacent to WEPs to live in their homes in a healthy and essentially uninterrupted environment.

The Waubra Foundation has prepared this specification for businesses or organisations that may be interested in proposing one or more technical solutions that could quite quickly be trialed and deployed on existing and new WEPs.

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(B) The System

The system is to be constituted in three parts:

1. to be set up inside homes, work buildings, schools, or places of assembly adjacent to wind turbines; this part encompassing the sound measuring, recording and transmitting equipment this “SMRT” unit must be moveable in and around the building in which it is housed. Multiple SMRT units will be required for a particular wind project.

2. The second unit is a receiving, recording and control (RRC) unit which will be located in an urban office environment operated by an independent authority tasked with control of wind project noise. A duplicate unit will be installed in the wind project control room located at the wind project.

3. The third unit will be located in the operators control room to effect the shutdown (or speed limit) and restart of specific turbines on instruction from the RRC unit at the independent authority’s location.

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(C) SMRT Unit

The SMRT is required to continuously measure sound levels in dB inside and outside buildings across frequencies from 0.5 to 20,000 hertz; (note: system designer to advise if there are cost or design benefits if bottom limit is higher, say 2 to 4 hertz).

The SMRT is to display, on demand or continuously, the measured sound levels across the desired frequencies sound levels on a suitable onsite desktop screen and to provide for onsite storage of X months of data.

The SMRT is to have the facility to transmit the measured data to multiple remote display and recording computers, one computer, the “RRC,” being in the independent entities measurement and oversight room; another, the “ORRC” being in the operating or control room of the project operator,

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(D) The RRC

The RRC is to accept, display on demand and store, the noise data from multiple (up to 50) remote SMRT units.

It will have the capability of storing maximum acceptable noise levels (“MANLs”) for each location where a SMRT is installed.

The RRT must be competent to continuously compare incoming data from the linked SMRTs with the predetermined MANLs for each linked SMRT site (note the MANLs may be different for each SMRT site) and must be capable of altering the MANLs but only through a security device or password.

Should the RRT determine that the MANL for a particular (or multiple sites) has been breached, then it must “flag” the SMRT(s) where this has happened, and also the ORRC (where, in addition to the visual flag, the operator may decide to have an audible alarm activated).

Additionally the RRT shall be connected to the operator’s turbine shutdown mechanism. If the recorded noise level exceeds the MANL, the RRT then the shuts down one or more previously selected turbines adjacent to the building where the measured sound has exceeded the MANL maximum allowable limits.

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(E) The ORRT

In addition the ORRT unit needs to have the capability once the measured noise level falls below the MANL to restart the shutdown turbine(s) manually whilst ensuring the MANL is not breached. Provision for this to be effected automatically should also be considered by the system designer.

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(F) Critical Elements

If the SMRT suffers a breakdown, then it is necessary to be able to manage the situation that may arise if noise levels become excessive during the offline period. The system designer is requested to consider the above situation and how to treat similar problems arising with the if the RRT is offline.

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(G) Robust Hardware

Given the likely locations of SMRT units they need to be of robust construction.

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(H) Application

The noise control system is to be designed so that it may be fitted to existing WEPs and built in to new WEPs.

“I want my life back!”: Wind Turbine Syndrome victim (Australia)

“Leonards Hill couple ‘under siege’ due to wind farm noise”

—Brendan Gullifer, The Courier (8/19/11)

Trevor and Maree Frost say they are under siege in their Leonards Hill home of 30 years because of noise from the Hepburn wind farm.

Mrs Frost, a part-time cleaner at Daylesford District Hospital, said she had suffered extreme sleep deprivation since the two turbines began operating earlier this year.

“I’ve had enough,” Mrs Frost, 57, said this week. “I want something done. I want my life back. That’s all I want.”

Mr Frost, a 65-year-old firewood supplier, said he was not so badly impacted but had witnessed the deterioration of his wife over recent months.

“She makes a lot of mistakes because of a lack of sleep,” he said.

Mrs Frost said the noise varied from a low whoosh to like a jet engine, depending on wind velocity and direction.

She said she was forced to wear earplugs while working outside.

“It’s not acceptable for country life,” she said.

“What we’ve worked for in the last 20 or 30 years, it feels like it’s all been for nothing.

“This is our place. I’ve never had anything that has interrupted my sleep like this, even when you’ve lost someone in your family. The stress is there all the time.”

And the couple say their daughter, Jenna, 22, was forced to move away from home because of noise from the turbines, about 520 metres from their house.

“She couldn’t hack it,” Mr Frost said. The situation is complex for the tightly-knit Leonards Hill and Korweinguboora communities around the wind farm.

The turbines are located on land owned by Mr Frost’s cousin, Ron Liversidge. The two men haven’t spoken in recent months.

Mr Frost said he and his wife had made an official complaint to Hepburn Wind and were keeping a diary of the noise impact.

»»»»»»»»»

Simon Holmes à Court, Chairman, Hepburn Wind

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Editor’s comment
:  It’s worth reading Dr. Sarah Laurie’s response to the Hepburn Wind Farm fiasco.  Turns out the “Hepburn Wind” crowd (including Simon Holmes à Court, Chairman of Hepburn Wind) were given explicit warning by Dr. Laurie and others about siting their turbines too close to people’s homes.  The Hepburn Wind Gang turned a deaf ear.  The result is casualties like the Frosts and Dr. Andja Mitric-Andjic—herself a victim of Wind Turbine Syndrome.

·

·
Sarah Laurie, MD, Medical Director of the Waubra Foundation

·
Hepburn Wind Chairman Mr Simon Holmes à Court was warned this was the inevitable consequence of locating turbines too close to homes in October 2010, before the turbines were constructed. I wrote to him informing him of this by email on 18th October, 2010 and was subsequently interviewed by a local journalist, who quoted a representative from Hepburn Wind saying that they were confident there would be no problems, “as there were plenty of studies showing there were no problems” and they had no intention of waiting until independent health studies were completed.

Hepburn wind representatives and directors cannot say they were unaware of the issues, and the possibility that their turbines might have this effect, because of where they were sited. They chose to ignore that advice at their peril, and have instead chosen to “shoot the messenger”.

Unfortunately, when I met with Mr Holmes à Court earlier this year, to plead with him to delay starting the turbines until a health study had been done, he admitted he had not read Dr Pierpont’s study, and proceeded to accuse me of scaremongering, both in a private meeting with him and publicly in the oral evidence he gave to the Australian Federal Senate Inquiry into Rural Wind Farms (Melbourne hearing 29/3/11, p. 54 onwards).

This conveniently ignores the fact that problems with wind turbines in Australia were being publicly reported well before I became aware of the problem in July 2010. For example, Dr David Iser was an Australian GP who documented cases in Toora in 2004 and notifed health authorities and the then government, but he was ignored.Trish Godfrey, the Waubra resident, had publicly discussed her problems on a number of occasions, well before July 2010.

“Clinical whistleblower” is a far more apt description than “scaremonger”, and I join the ranks of others such as Dr Amanda Harry (UK), Dr David Iser (Australia), Dr Nina Pierpont (USA), Dr Robert McMurtry (Canada), Dr Michael Nissenbaum (USA), Dr Chris Hanning (UK), Dr Mauri Johansson (Sweden), Dr Henning Theorell (Sweden), forty physicians in Quebec, Canada, who have petitioned the Quebec government to do health proper health studies, and numerous others including more recently Australian doctors such as Dr Andja Mitric-AndjicDr Max Whisson, and Dr Wayne Spring, the Sleep Physician at Ballarat who has seen a number of patients from Waubra.

We now have the dangerous situation of an Australian Federal Government hell-bent on implementation of a technology which is causing serious harm to health around the globe when it is sited inappropriately, yet no action has yet been taken on the findings of their own Federal Senate Inquiry, which recommended urgent research to investigate this problem. It’s full steam ahead, reminiscent of the Titanic…

The same government is using buckets of taxpayers’ money to advertise this new government policy, featuring Hepburn Wind in it’s advertisements for its government policies, while at the same time this well-intentioned “community-owned” (actually, it is shareholder-owned) wind development is driving people out of their homes of 30 years. And there are apparently 50 more such “community” wind developments planned across the country by Mr Holmes à Court and his colleagues. One can only hope that the others are more appropriately sited, based on good independent scientific study, not yet done, or a very conservative setback buffer. Why are they not apparently listening to the National Health and Medical Research Council’s own advice to adopt a “precautionary approach”?

No amount of well-intentioned wishful thinking on the part of the directors and investors in these community wind development initiatives will protect nearby residents from the deleterious effects of physical forces such as sound waves, particularly the extremely low frequency sound waves emitted by wind turbines, both airborne and seismic, and which are uniquely disturbing, and uniquely penetrating.

It is high time that Mr Holmes à Court and all the other directors of Hepburn wind faced up to their legal responsibilities as company directors, and took those responsibilities seriously, and did their due diligence with respect to the adverse health effects of these wind turbines. They need to ensure that the acoustics advisers they are using are indeed doing their job properly.

Already, after a very short time operating under the company Hepburn Wind, the turbines are causing harm to health, and have had a devastating impact particularly on one family living 500 metres away, with two of the family members being so severely impacted that they have had to move out, or go away, to get relief from the symptoms and problems they are experiencing.

ALL PREDICTABLE. And ALL PREVENTABLE with the safe siting of turbines, well away from homes.

We know from the Falmouth, Massachusetts (USA) experience, that just one turbine is enough to cause serious harm to human health, from the case reports of serious consequences for neighbouring residents, and visitors (including acoustician Rob Rand).

THE TIME FOR DENIAL OF SERIOUS HARMFUL EFFECTS OF THESE TURBINES IS OVER.

IF THEY ARE CONSTRUCTED BEFORE THE NECESSARY INDEPENDENT ACOUSTICS AND HEALTH STUDIES ARE DONE, THEY MUST BE CONSTRUCTED WELL AWAY FROM HUMAN HABITATION.

IN AUSTRALIA, THE LIMITS OF CURRENT REPORTS OF SYMPTOMS DIRECTLY ATTRIBUTABLE TO WIND TURBINES OPERATING (highly characteristic body vibrations and the nighttime waking in a panicked state with prolonged difficulty getting back to sleep) is 10 kilometres, which is why our Explicit Cautionary Notice has given this distance as the necessary buffer, based on current knowledge. As turbines increase in size and power generating capacity, this may well need to increase, because of the increase in low frequency sound generated (see Moller & Pedersen’s recent paper).

·
Dr Sarah Laurie

Medical Director, Waubra Foundation

Horse breeder discusses Wind Turbine Syndrome & horses

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“I’ve lost 6 of 8 babies . . . ” (this from a man who’s been professionally breeding & showing horses for 45 years)

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.

Click here for Nina Pierpont’s interview with a horse breeder discussing the disastrous effects of wind turbines on his breeding mares (March 2010).  (The breeder has asked for his name to be kept confidential.)

Animals, too, suffer from Wind Turbine Syndrome

“Chickens near wind farms may provide early clues to potential harm to health of humans and animals”

—Miriam Raftery, East County Magazine (8/21/11)

Like those proverbial canaries in the coal mine, chickens near wind farms may provide early clues to potential harm to health of humans and animals. That’s the contention of Hamish Cumming, a farmer battling proposed wind turbines near his home in New Zealand.

He has written a letter to East County Magazine seeking help from people living near wind farms locally (and in other locations) to document cases of shell-less eggs, dead chickens, or other animals that suffer internal hemmorrhaging.

The “humble chicken” is common in rural areas near wind farms and can be easily monitored, Cumming says. Chickens under stress may produce a soft-shelled or shell-less egg that can’t be laid, killing the chicken. Such incidents have been documented near wind farms, says Cumming, who has also collected examples of livestock and a dog that died from internal hemorrhaging near wind farms.

“There are reports from many wind farm locations that chickens within a 3 km distance from turbines exhibit shell-less eggs during some weather conditions,” he stated. “Some locations have reported shell-less eggs or dead chickens that coincide with residents’ complaints about “noisy nights” from turbines.”

In fact, shell-less eggs are also known as “wind eggs.” According to Broad Leys Publishing, which specializes in books for poultry owners, a yolk-less wind egg may occur in a young pullet, but “wind eggs can also occur in older hens if they are subject to sudden shock.”

Chickens aren’t the only species suffering ill health effects from living near wind farms, Hamish says.  (See this and this and this and this and this and this and this and this and this and thisEditor.)

“So far there are several records of dairy cattle in Canada and Australia reducing milk output by as much as 30%,” he wrote.

The Discovery Channel ran a report on massive deaths among bats that suffered lung hemorrhaging when flying near wind turbines.

Goats in Taiwan, verified by the Taiwanese Department of Agriculture, have reportedly died due to stress-induced conditions within 2 km of turbines. “I have had reports of high levels of stillborn lambs and calves (up to 10%) . . . and stillborn horses in Australia and overseas, only after wind farms commenced operations,” he claims.

Wind farms may even be damaging to the family pet, he believes. “A dog was verified by Werribee Veterinary Hospital as dying from multiple organ fibrosis, believed to be stress-induced—and it was also within 2 km of turbines.”

Animals grazing near wind farms have also exhibited fibrosis, or hemorrhaging of major organs, when butchered, he observed. He believes this may explain why some native birds abandon habitat and cease breeding close to wind turbines.

That’s of serious concern to Cumming, who has endangered bird species nesting on wetlands at his New Zealand farm.

There have also been claims around the world of human health impacts in some communities near wind farms. Dr. Nina Pierpont, a Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine-trained physician and Princeton University PhD, has authored a book titled Wind Turbine Syndrome documenting serious health effects in people living near wind turbines due to low-frequency sound waves. The wind industry has disputed her findings.

Cumming seeks residents in East County and elsewhere around the world who live within 5 km of wind turbines to create a large data pool. Participants may already own chickens, or be willing to acquire them for the study. Cutting open a dead hen will expose the shell-less egg, if that is the cause of death, he said.

He seeks the following data:

1. How close the nearest turbines are to your chickens or slaughtered animals

2. How many turbines are within 5 km

3. Brand and size of the turbines

4. Name of the wind farm

5. Your country

Data may be sent to Hamish.cumming@bigpond.com

East County Magazine is also interested in hearing about local cases of animal hemmorrhaging, wind eggs, or human health issues from people living near wind farms in San Diego’s East County.  Contact editor@eastcountymagazine.org.

Wind turbine “seismic” vibrations stop windfarm—cold! (UK)

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“Plans for hundreds of wind turbines blocked over claims that vibrations will interfere with recording station”

Editor’s note:  This image was added by WTS.com

·
—Rob Edwards, guardian.co.uk (8/19/11)

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) is blocking plans for hundreds of wind turbines because it says their “seismic noise” will prevent the detection of nuclear explosions around the world.

The MoD claims that vibrations from new windfarms across a large area of north-west England and south-west Scotland will interfere with the operation of its seismological recording station at Eskdalemuir, near Lockerbie. The station listens out for countries secretly testing nuclear warheads in breach of the 182-nation Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.

At a meeting today, Carlisle council rejected the latest application for six wind turbines at Hallburn Farm, near Longtown, because of the MoD’s objections. The noise from the turbines would increase interference to an unacceptable level, the MoD said.

The company that made the application, REG Windpower, warned that plans for many other windfarms in the area were similarly affected. As much as one gigawatt of renewable power was being held up by the MoD, the company told the Guardian.

This is equivalent to about a quarter of the UK’s current onshore wind capacity, and could make an important contribution to meeting UK targets to cut the pollution that is causing climate change, REG Windpower argued.

But according to the MoD, the swishing blades of wind turbines cause vibrations in the ground that can be detected by the sophisticated monitoring equipment at Eskdalemuir. The UK has an international obligation to protect the operation of the station to help prevent the spread of nuclear weapons, it said.

An expert study for the MoD concluded that although the station could cope with some seismic noise, increasing this beyond a certain level would cause interference. The limit has now been reached so the ministry is objecting to every new wind turbine within 50km of Eskdalemuir.

This has generated frustration among wind power developers because the area has many attractions for them. It has good wind speeds, is sparsely populated and is close to centres of electricity demand.

But REG Windpower’s development director, Matt Partridge, was hopeful of a breakthrough in finding a technical fix for the problem. “We’re optimistic there will soon be a solution,” he said.

One idea is to hang weights like pendulums inside turbine towers to deaden the vibrations from the blades. The MoD promised it would reassess its opposition if there were a proven technological solution.

Eskdalemuir was a “unique facility in the UK”, said an MoD spokesman. “It detects and accurately interprets seismic signals worldwide to detect nuclear explosions and deter the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Wind turbines can affect the readings.”

He added: “The MoD would not object to a planning application without due reason. Objections are only raised where such action is considered vital to adequately protect MoD interests.”

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Editor’s note:  For a relevant article, see Infrasound: Noise you can’t hear, but feel—over huge distances.

M.D. treats patients for Wind Turbine Syndrome (Australia)

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Hepburn wind farm: Local doctor speaks out”
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 Dr Mitric-Andjic

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—Brendan Gullifer, The Courier (8/18/11)  (The images used throughout this posting were supplied by WTS.com—Editor.)

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A local doctor has spoken out publicly for the first time after treating patients for symptoms associated with living near wind turbines.

Dr Andja Mitric-Andjic, who practises in Daylesford, said she had treated at least two local patients for sleep deprivation, and spoken with others living near the Hepburn wind farm.

Dr Mitric-Andjic, who lives at Korweinguboora, said she, her husband and14-year-old son had also suffered sleep interruption since the turbines began operating.

Dr Mitric-Andjic said she decided to speak out because the problems being experienced by local residents could not be ignored.

“Wind farm, what do you mean wind farm?” she said.

“This is industrial. No one is against green energy. Everyone would say yes, of course, but put it out of residential areas.”

Dr Mitric-Andjic, 49, practises at Springs Medical Centre. She and her husband bought land on the Ballan-Daylesford Road seven years ago and built a house there last year.

She said patients had come to see her to complain about the noise from the two local turbines.

“They can’t sleep and in the morning they wake up exhausted. They can’t function. They have poor concentration, probably because of poor sleeping.”

Hepburn Wind chairman Simon Holmes à Court said any claims of adverse health effects would be taken “very seriously”.

“As a community organisation, we’re very concerned about the well-being of our community,” Mr Holmes à Court said.

“If anyone is concerned that the turbines are harming them, we want to meet to understand their claims. Our project officer lives in Leonards Hill and is in frequent contact with the community around the wind farm.”

Turbine landholder Ron Liversidge said any claims of noise problems were “completely false”.

Mr Liversidge said he had been doing his own noise monitoring, by parking his car on the road and listening.

“Anybody can come and listen for themselves,” he said. “I don’t believe there’s any problems whatsoever.”

Click here for source on Hepburn Wind site

»»»»»»»

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Editor’s comment
:  Now for some real transparency in this whole sordid tale.  The following rebuttal was written by Sarah Laurie, MD, Medical Director of the Waubra Foundation (Australia).  Read her response to the “Hepburn Wind” crowd and see if you don’t agree that Hepburn’s “Complaint” process is nothing more than posturing and rhetoric (i.e., bullshit).

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Sarah Laurie, MD, Medical Director of the Waubra Foundation

Hepburn Wind Chairman Mr Simon Holmes à Court was warned this was the inevitable consequence of locating turbines too close to homes in October 2010, before the turbines were constructed. I wrote to him informing him of this by email on 18th October, 2010 and was subsequently interviewed by a local journalist, who quoted a representative from Hepburn Wind saying that they were confident there would be no problems, “as there were plenty of studies showing there were no problems” and they had no intention of waiting until independent health studies were completed.

Hepburn wind representatives and directors cannot say they were unaware of the issues, and the possibility that their turbines might have this effect, because of where they were sited. They chose to ignore that advice at their peril, and have instead chosen to “shoot the messenger”.

Unfortunately, when I met with Mr Holmes à Court earlier this year, to plead with him to delay starting the turbines until a health study had been done, he admitted he had not read Dr Pierpont’s study, and proceeded to accuse me of scaremongering, both in a private meeting with him and publicly in the oral evidence he gave to the Australian Federal Senate Inquiry into Rural Wind Farms (Melbourne hearing 29/3/11, p. 54 onwards).

This conveniently ignores the fact that problems with wind turbines in Australia were being publicly reported well before I became aware of the problem in July 2010. For example, Dr David Iser was an Australian GP who documented cases in Toora in 2004 and notifed health authorities and the then government, but he was ignored. Trish Godfrey, the Waubra resident, had publicly discussed her problems on a number of occasions, well before July 2010.

“Clinical whistleblower” is a far more apt description than “scaremonger”, and I join the ranks of others such as Dr Amanda Harry (UK), Dr David Iser (Australia), Dr Nina Pierpont (USA), Dr Robert McMurtry (Canada), Dr Michael Nissenbaum (USA), Dr Chris Hanning (UK), Dr Mauri Johansson (Sweden), Dr Henning Theorell (Sweden), forty physicians in Quebec, Canada, who have petitioned the Quebec government to do health proper health studies, and numerous others including more recently Australian doctors such as Dr Andja Mitric-Andjic, Dr Max Whisson, and Dr Wayne Spring, the Sleep Physician at Ballarat who has seen a number of patients from Waubra.

We now have the dangerous situation of an Australian Federal Government hell-bent on implementation of a technology which is causing serious harm to health around the globe when it is sited inappropriately, yet no action has yet been taken on the findings of their own Federal Senate Inquiry, which recommended urgent research to investigate this problem. It’s full steam ahead, reminiscent of the Titanic…

The same government is using buckets of taxpayers’ money to advertise this new government policy, featuring Hepburn Wind in it’s advertisements for its government policies, while at the same time this well-intentioned “community-owned” (actually, it is shareholder-owned) wind development is driving people out of their homes of 30 years. And there are apparently 50 more such “community” wind developments planned across the country by Mr Holmes à Court and his colleagues. One can only hope that the others are more appropriately sited, based on good independent scientific study, not yet done, or a very conservative setback buffer. Why are they not apparently listening to the National Health and Medical Research Council’s own advice to adopt a “precautionary approach”?

No amount of well-intentioned wishful thinking on the part of the directors and investors in these community wind development initiatives will protect nearby residents from the deleterious effects of physical forces such as sound waves, particularly the extremely low frequency sound waves emitted by wind turbines, both airborne and seismic, and which are uniquely disturbing, and uniquely penetrating.

It is high time that Mr Holmes à Court and all the other directors of Hepburn wind faced up to their legal responsibilities as company directors, and took those responsibilities seriously, and did their due diligence with respect to the adverse health effects of these wind turbines. They need to ensure that the acoustics advisers they are using are indeed doing their job properly.

Already, after a very short time operating under the company Hepburn Wind, the turbines are causing harm to health, and have had a devastating impact particularly on one family living 500 metres away, with two of the family members being so severely impacted that they have had to move out, or go away, to get relief from the symptoms and problems they are experiencing.

ALL PREDICTABLE. And ALL PREVENTABLE with the safe siting of turbines, well away from homes.

We know from the Falmouth, Massachusetts (USA) experience, that just one turbine is enough to cause serious harm to human health, from the case reports of serious consequences for neighbouring residents, and visitors (including acoustician Rob Rand).

THE TIME FOR DENIAL OF SERIOUS HARMFUL EFFECTS OF THESE TURBINES IS OVER.

IF THEY ARE CONSTRUCTED BEFORE THE NECESSARY INDEPENDENT ACOUSTICS AND HEALTH STUDIES ARE DONE, THEY MUST BE CONSTRUCTED WELL AWAY FROM HUMAN HABITATION.

IN AUSTRALIA, THE LIMITS OF CURRENT REPORTS OF SYMPTOMS DIRECTLY ATTRIBUTABLE TO WIND TURBINES OPERATING (highly characteristic body vibrations and the nighttime waking in a panicked state with prolonged difficulty getting back to sleep) is 10 kilometres, which is why our Explicit Cautionary Notice has given this distance as the necessary buffer, based on current knowledge. As turbines increase in size and power generating capacity, this may well need to increase, because of the increase in low frequency sound generated (see Moller & Pedersen’s recent paper).

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Dr Sarah Laurie

Medical Director, Waubra Foundation

Reality check on wind energy (Willem Post)

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Willem Post

Willem Post BSME (Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering) New Jersey Institute of Technology, MSME (Masters of Science in Mechanical Engineering) Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, MBA (Masters of Business Administration) University of Connecticut. P.E. Connecticut. Consulting Engineer and Project Manager. Performed feasibility studies, wrote master plans, and evaluated designs for air pollution control systems, power plants, and integrated energy systems for campus-style building complexes. Currently specializing in energy efficiency in buildings.

Contact:  wilpost@aol.com

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Willem Post, Dutch Renewables About-Face towards Nuclear

 Sample text (the author’s numerous weblink “references” have been removed by WTS.com, for formatting reasons)

Does Wind Energy Pay?: Because Denmark is a MODERATELY windy country, and many of its wind turbines are older, less efficient units, . . . its national average wind capacity factor (CF) was 0.242 for the 2005 -2009 period, not high enough for a private enterprise to make money with wind power, unless the subsidies are great.

The newer, offshore wind turbine facilities have CFs approaching 0.40. However, because the installed cost is well over $4,000/kW and the O&M (Operation & Maintenance) is about 3 times that of Danish onshore wind turbines, it is doubtful their wind energy is more competitive than onshore wind energy.

For a private enterprise to make money with wind power, low installed cost, say $2,000/kW, low O&M (1/3 of offshore) and a capacity factor of about 0.40, such as in many areas of the Great Plains states in the US, are required for the costs of moderately-subsidized, newer wind turbine facilities to be competitive with electricity of existing coal, gas and nuclear plants. Such Great Plains wind energy would cost less than the cost of electricity of NEW coal, gas and nuclear plants.

The low capacity factor, the additional grid management efforts to deal with wind energy, the transmission losses of sending wind energy to Norway’s and Sweden’s hydro plants, the wind energy output management, the wind energy integration fees paid to Norway and Sweden, and the above-market-rate FITs all make Danish wind energy a money-loosing operation; some of the losses are hidden in government accounts and the rest is recovered by adding very high taxes to Danish residential electric rates. As a result Danish household electricity cost of (energy+taxes+fees)/kWh are the highest in Europe. The untaxed Danish COMMERCIAL electric rates are at about 1/3 of the residential rate; a government manipulation to advantage its industrial companies?

The Danish wind elite will not find it easy to own up to this in public, so they advise other nations to “do as we do” and “go offshore”; Vestas, their national wind champion, will do more business as a result.

If the Danes cannot make wind pay at a national CF of 0.242, the Dutch (CF 0.186) and the Germans (CF 0.167) will not be able to make it pay either.

Growing Opposition to Wind Turbines: As the Danes became aware, largely because of the internet, that the poor economics of their heavily-subsidized wind energy is a major reason for Denmark’s high residential electric rates, opposition to the 400-ft tall onshore wind turbines increased so much over the past 6 years that Dong Energy, the giant state-owned utility, finally announced in August, 2010, that it would abandon plans for new onshore wind turbines and that any future wind turbine development would be offshore. This may have elicited a sigh of relief from the Danish people and a feeling they have some control of their government after all.

The reason for the slowness of Dong Energy is to protect Vestas, a national champion; with government subsidies it became the largest such company in the world (GE is second). . . .

Wind Energy and Job Creation: In 2009, the Institute for Energy Research commissioned the Danish think-tank CEPOS (Centre for Political Studies) to report on electricity exports from Denmark and the economic impact of the Danish wind industry. The report states that Danes pay the highest residential electric rates in the European Union (partly due to subsidized wind power), and that the cost of saving a metric ton of CO2 between 2001 and 2008 has averaged $124. The report estimates that 90% of the jobs were transferred from other technology industries to the wind industry, and that 10% of the wind industry jobs were newly created jobs, and states that as a result, Danish GDP is $270 million lower than it would have been without wind industry subsidies.

Subsidized job creation and industry building are economic downers not only in Denmark, but elsewhere as well, including Vermont, as shown by the White Paper Report by the Vermont Dept. of Public Service.

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Willem Post, Examples of Wind Power to Learn From

 Sample text (the author’s numerous weblink “references” have been removed by WTS.com, for formatting reasons)

Various government entities, eager to show their greenness regarding global warming, passed laws to subsidize renewable power, so-called “green power”, as if there is such a thing. Some governments even passed laws that declare hydropower as non-renewable, but, on reflection of its implications, reversed themselves and passed laws that declare hydropower IS renewable, as recently did Vermont’s legislature.

President Andrew Jackson, Democrat, Populist: “When government subsidizes, the well-connected benefit the most”. The renewables subsidies to the politically-well-connected often result in uneconomic wind power projects, some of which are described in this article.

Vendors, owners, financiers often claim “trade secrets”, whereas in reality they want to obfuscate wind power’s shortcomings, a too-generous subsidy deal, or other insider’s advantage. It would be much better for all involved, if there were public hearings and full disclosure regarding the economics of any project receiving government subsidies, to ensure the people’s funds receive the best return on investment.

EXAMPLE: UNIVERSITY of MAINE WIND POWER A DISMAL FAILURE?

The University of Maine, UM, decided to install a 600 kW wind turbine made by RRB Energy Ltd, an Indian company, at its Presque Isle Campus. Results from a 20-month wind resource assessment indicated the campus receives enough wind for a community wind project, not a commercial wind project.

Community wind power is defined as locally-owned, consisting of one or more utility-scale or a cluster of small turbines, totaling less than 10 MW, that are interconnected on the customer or utility side of the meter. The power is consumed in the community and any surplus is sent to the utilty which supplies power as needed.

The purpose was to generate power and to use the wind turbine as a teaching tool for the students. Because it is almost impossible to obtain operating data from the vendors, owners and financiers of wind facilities, UM, to its credit, decided to make available all of its wind turbine operating data.

Capital Cost and Power Production

Estimated capital cost $1.5 million
Actual capital cost $2 million; an overrun of 33%
The project was financed by UM cash reserves and a $50,000 cash subsidy from the Maine Public Utilities Commission.
Estimated useful service life about 20 years.

Predicted power production 1,000,000 kWh/yr
Predicted capacity factor = 1,000,000 kWh/yr)/(600 kW x 8,760 hr/yr) = 0.190

Actual power production after 1 year 609,250 kWh
Actual capacity factor for 1 year = 609,250 kWh/yr/(600 kW x 8,760 hr/yr) = 0.116; a shortfall of 39%
Value of power produced = 609,250 kWh/yr x $0.125/ kWh = $76,156/yr; if O&M and financing costs amortized over 20 years are subtracted, this value will likely be negative.

Actual power production after 1.5 years 920,105 kWh
Actual capacity factor for 1.5 years = (920,105 kWh/1.5 yrs)/(600 kW x 8,760 hr/yr) = 0.117

Operation and Maintenance

According to the European Wind Energy Association: “Operation and maintenance costs constitute a sizable share of the total annual costs of a wind turbine. For a new turbine, O&M costs may easily make up 20-25 percent of the total levelized cost over the lifetime of the turbine.”

Power Used by the Turbine (Parasitic Power)

Parasitic power is the power used by the wind turbine itself. During spring, summer and fall it is a small percentage of the wind turbine output. During the winter it may be as much as 10-20 % of the wind turbine output. Much of this power is needed whether the wind turbine is operating or not. At low wind speeds, the turbine power output may be less than the power used by the turbine; the shortfall is drawn from the grid.

Two little-wind days were selected; a summer day and a cooler winter day to show that in summer the parasitic power is less than in winter. In winter, the wind speed has to be well above 4.5 m/s, or 10.7 miles/hour, to offset the parasitic power and feed into the grid. Speeds less than that means drawing from the grid, speeds greater than that means feeding into the grid.

This will significantly reduce the net power produced during a winter. On cold winter days, even at relatively high wind speeds of 10.7 miles/hour, or greater, power is drawn from the grid, meaning the nacelle (on big turbines the size of a greyhound bus) and other components require significant quantities of electric power; it is cold several hundred feet above windy mountain ridges.

14 May, 2010, wind speed 2.9 m/s (6.9 miles/hour), net power output -0.3 kW.

20 Nov, 2010, wind speed 4.5 m/s (10.7 miles/hour), net power output -5.6 kW.

Below is a representative list of equipment and systems that require electric power; the list varies for each turbine manufacturer.

– rotor yaw mechanism to turn the rotor into the wind

– blade pitch mechanism to adjust the blade angle to the wind

– lights, controllers, communication, sensors, metering, data collection, etc.

– heating the blades during winter; this may require 10%-20% of the turbine’s power

– heating and dehumidifying the nacelle; this load will be less if the nacelle is well-insulated.

– oil heater, pump, cooler and filtering system of the gearbox

– hydraulic brake to lock the blades when the wind is too strong

– thyristors which graduate the connection and disconnection between turbine generator and grid

– magnetizing the stator; the induction generators used to actively power the magnetic coils. This helps keep the rotor speed constant, and as the wind starts blowing it helps start the rotor turning (see next item)

– using the generator as a motor to help the blades start to turn when the wind speed is low or, as many suspect, to create the illusion the facility is producing electricity when it is not, particularly during important site tours. It also spins the rotor shaft and blades to prevent warping when there is no wind.

Conclusions

The huge difference between predicted and actual capital cost and capacity factor would be disastrous for a commercial installation. Because this is for “teaching purposes” such a detail is apparently not that important. The capital cost and any operating costs in excess of power sales revenues will likely be recovered by additions to tuition charges.

UM should find less expensive ways to educate students in all areas, not just wind power. Cost per university student in the US is already well over 2 times that of Europe, a competitive disadvantage.

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Willem Post, Wind Power and Carbon Dioxide Emissions

Sample text (the author’s numerous weblink “references” have been removed by WTS.com, for formatting reasons)

The New England Electric Grid, NEEG, managed by ISO New England, ISO-NE, has a generating capacity of about 34,020 MW, electrical energy supplied to the grid is about 130,000 GWh/yr. It includes over 350 central power plants and 8,000 miles of high-voltage transmission lines to serve about 6.5 million customers. The supply to 2010 NEEG is 55.4% from CO2-producing fossil fuels (44% gas, 11% coal, 0.4% oil), 29% from CO2-free nuclear, 6.2% from CO2-free hydro, 3.3% from interstate transfers, 3% from CO2-producing wood waste, 2.4% from CO2-producing solid waste and 0.7% from Other i.e., CO2-free wind, solar, etc. Almost all of this energy is STEADY and the T&D systems of the NEEG are designed accordingly.

Historically, electric grids have experienced varying electric demands during a day and varied the output of their generating plants to serve that demand and, at the same time, regulate frequency.

Cold, quick-starting, quick-ramping peaking plants, such as a mix of gas-fired OCGTs and CCGTs, are turned on and off each day to serve normal daily peak demands which occur once or twice per day. From a cold start, CCGTs take about an hour before there is enough steam pressure to operate the steam cycle. During this hour they run as OCGTs at about 30 to 35% efficiency, instead of the 55 to 59% efficiency as CCGTs.

Base-loaded coal and nuclear plants, which take about 6-12 hours from a cold start to rated output, are less suitable for variable output operation. Usually they operate near rated output for about a year for coal plants, for about 1.5 years for nuclear plants, after which they are shut down for 3-4 weeks for maintenance and refueling.

Base-loaded coal plants, designed for most economical, least polluting, steady operation near rated output, are often used to follow daily demand profiles and are sometimes used for the frequent, rapid balancing operations to accommodate wind energy; the coal plants used for such balancing operations need to be designed for ramp rates of 5-10 MW/min for a 500 MW plant.

Balancing operations of coal plants require more fuel per kWh and emit more pollutants, including SOX, NOX, CO2 and particulate per kWh, as shown by coal plants used for balancing in Colorado, Texas, etc. The main reason utilities use coal plants for balancing is because they lack sufficient capacity of hydro plants and gas-fired OCGT and CCGT plants to accommodate the mandated “must-take” wind energy.

Base-loaded nuclear plants, designed for most economical, steady operation near rated output, are very rarely used for balancing operations. They typically have capacity factors, CF, of 0.90 or greater.

Increased wind energy penetration will present additional challenges to grid managers, such as ISO-NE. Because wind energy is variable and intermittent, additional spinning, quick-ramping units, such as a mix of OCGTs and CCGTs, must be kept in 24/7/365 operation to supply and withdraw energy as required. The units must respond to changes of:

– demand of millions of users during a day.
– supply, such as from unscheduled plant outages.
– supply due to weather events, such as lightning, icing and winds knocking out power lines.
– supply from wind turbine facilities.

If these changes, especially those due to wind energy, are of high MW/min, the CCGTs may have to temporarily operate as OCGTs, because their heat recovery steam generators, HRSGs, would be damaged by the frequent, rapid, high amplitude balancing; HRSGs have lower ramp rates than OCGTs. This increased OCGT mode of operation increases fuel consumption, NOX and CO2 emissions per kWh.

An example of what ISO-NE may have to look forward to: California’s wind and solar generating capacity will increase significantly in the near future largely due to government subsidies and “must-take” mandates. The management of their variable power on the grid is anticipated to be a significant grid operating challenge as:

– predicting day-ahead wind and solar outputs remains elusive, even with weather prediction systems
– sufficient balancing capacity of flexible generating units, such as OCGTs and CCGts, is not available at present
– the grid structure lacks the required transmission flexibility.

The US Energy Information Administration projects levelized production costs (national averages, excluding subsidies) of NEW plants coming on line in 2016 as follows (2009$) :

Offshore wind $0.243/kWh, PV solar $0.211/kWh (significantly higher in marginal solar areas, such as New England), Onshore wind $0.096/kWh (significantly higher in marginal wind areas with greater capital and O&M costs, such as on ridge lines in New England), Conventional coal (base-loaded) $0.095/kWh, Advanced CCGT (base-loaded) $0.0631/kWh.

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Willem Post, Was Vermont’s Lowell Mountain Wind Turbine Facility a Good Idea?

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The Green Mountain Power-proposed 63 MW Lowell Mountain wind turbine facility with (21) 3 MW Danish, Vestas V-112 wind turbines, 373-ft (112 m) rotor diameter, 280-ft (84 m) hub height, total height (280 + 373/2) = 466.5 ft, stretched along about 3.5 miles of ridge lines, has nothing to do with community-scale wind, everything with industrial, utility-scale wind. The housings, 47 ft (14 m) long, on top of the 280-ft towers are the size of a Greyhound bus.

The GMP name for this facility is “Kingdom Community Wind”. GMP is using blatantly deceptive PR to soft-soap/deceive Vermonters.

GMP claims to be all about renewables, but it recently entered into an agreement with the Seabrook nuclear power plant to buy 60 MW of steady, 24/7/365, CO2-free nuclear energy at 4.66 cents/kWh, about half the cost of the Lowell wind energy which is variable and intermittent and only partially CO2-free, because it requires gas-fired, CO2-producing, quick-ramping balancing plant energy to make it useful for use on the grid. See below.

Gaz Metro of Quebec, Canada, owns GMP. It recently accquired Central Vermont Public Service Corporation. It now controls at least 70% of Vermont’s electrical energy market.

The wind energy production would be about 63 MW x 1 GW/1,000 MW x 8,760 hr/yr x capacity factor 0.32 = 176.6 GWh/yr, or 176.6/6,000 x 100% = 2.94% of Vermont’s annual consumption.

The capital cost of the wind turbine facility would be at least 63 MW x $2,500,000/MW = $157.5 million, excluding grid modifications.

The Lowell wind turbine facility facility would have a 20 – 25 year useful service life. However, gearboxes and blades sometimes fail within 5-10 years.

The CF of 0.32 and the $2,500,000/MW are the averages of recently-built, ridge line wind turbine facilities in Maine.

The average CF = 0.32 of the Maine wind turbine facilities was determined from public data provided by project developers. Actual CFs are a closely guarded business secret. It would be better if a project receives public subsidies, all operating data were required to be made public to ensure the public’s money is not wasted on non-viable projects, as often happens because of political inside dealing.

On ridge lines the terrain upstream of the rotor usually creates non-uniform wind speeds and turbulence which can significantly reduce the capacity factor of a wind turbine, especially if it has a very large diameter rotor. Also, the wind speed at the tip of one blade may be considerably greater than the wind speed at the tip of another creating additional stresses on the equipment. This is less the case on the flat plains of Kansas or offshore.

The reality is the Lowell Mountain wind turbine facility would be a capital intensive, highly-visual, noisy facility (100 dB(A) minimum, 106.5 dB(A) maximum) that is proposed to be built on environmentally-sensitive ridge lines. The wind turbines would be about 466.5 feet tall, equal to a 40-story building, with noise-making rotors.

People living within about 2 miles would be disturbed by an around-the-clock machinery noise and an irregular, throbbing, whoosh-type sounds, especially during nighttime. The noise will be similar to (21) Greyhound buses spread out on 3.5 miles of ridge lines on top of 280-ft towers simultaneously and continuously running their engines at a distance, 24/7/365 for 20 or more years; a total madness cooked up by GMP, aided and abetted by its minions in Montpelier. See “Increased Energy Efficiency” below.

Decision makers in Montpelier are far away from it all. They will likely not heed the complaints from those who live near the facility. They will certainly not heed the complaints from the fauna and flora currently inhabiting this pristine ridge line. Because of them, Vermonters are in danger of losing an international reputation of being preservers of their environment, in danger of losing a part of their soul.

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Willem Post, Wind Energy Is Expensive

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As the US moves to increased use of renewable energy to reduce CO2 emissions, it is important to recognize efficient technologies, such as gas-fired, advanced, 60%+ efficient, combined cycle gas turbines, CCGTs, that emit about one third the CO2 per kilowatt-hour of a coal plant.

The more cost effective renewables should have incentives towards deployment. The less cost effective renewables should have incentives towards further development.

An undesirable situation would arise if politically-inspired deployment would occur prior to a renewable being ready for deployment, as was, and still is, the case with ethanol-from-corn which costs not only billions of dollars in subsidies each year, but does not even reduce CO2 emissions; a most egregious policy disaster. . . .

Levelized Costs of Energy:  A partial list

The US Energy Information Administration projects levelized production costs (national averages, excluding subsidies) of NEW plants coming on line in 2016 as follows (2009$) :

Offshore wind $0.243/kWh; PV solar $0.211/kWh (significantly higher in marginal solar areas, such as New England); Onshore wind $0.096/kWh (significantly higher in marginal wind areas with greater capital and O&M costs, such as on ridge lines in New England; significantly lower in the Great Plains states); Conventional new coal (base-loaded) $0.095/kWh; Advanced 60%+ efficient CCGT (base-loaded) $0.0631/kWh.

Onshore Wind Energy Is Expensive

Kibby Mountain Wind Turbine Facility: TransCanada Power which owns the 132 MW Kibby Mountain Wind Facility in Maine has a 10-yr PPA with NStar, an electric utility, at a flat $0.105/kWh, plus the associated renewable energy certificates.

Power production is estimated at 132 MW x 8,760 hr/yr x CF 0.31 = 0.357 GWh/yr.

Capital cost is estimated at $320 million, or $2,424/kW.

The Kingdom “Community” Wind Project: The Green Mountain Power-proposed 63 MW Lowell Mountain wind turbine facility with (21) 3 MW Danish, Vestas V-112 wind turbines, 373-ft (112 m) rotor diameter, 280-ft (84 m) hub height, total height 466.5 ft, stretched along about 3.5 miles of ridge lines. The housings, 47 ft (14 m) long, on top of the 280-ft towers are the size of a greyhound bus.

With subsidies the levelized energy cost would be about $0.096/kWh, according to GMP

Power production is estimated at 63 MW x 1 GW/1,000 MW x 8,760 hr/yr x CF 0.32 = 176.6 GWh/yr

Capital cost is estimated at 63 MW x $2,500,000/MW = $157.5 million, excluding grid modifications.

Useful service life is estimated at 20 – 25 year. However, gearboxes and blades sometimes fail within 5-10 years. Standard manufacturer warrantees of blades and gear boxes are about 2 years.

Offshore Wind Energy Is Very Expensive

Cape Wind: Cape Wind Associates, LLC, plans to build and operate a wind facility on the Outer Continental Shelf offshore of Massachusetts. The wind facility would have a rated capacity of 468 MW consisting of 130 Siemens AG turbines each 3.6 MW, maximum blade height 440 feet, to be arranged in a grid pattern in 25 square miles of Nantucket Sound in federal waters off Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket Island; the lease is for 46 square miles which includes a buffer zone.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities approved a 15-yr power purchase agreement, PPA, between the utility National Grid and Cape Wind Associates, LLC. National Grid agreed to buy 50% of the wind facility’s power starting at $0.187/kWh in 2013 (base year), escalating at 3.5%/yr which means the 2028 price to the utility will be $0.313/kWh. The project is currently trying to sell the other 50% of its power so financing can proceed; so far no takers.

A household using 618 kWh/month will see an average wind power surcharge of about $1.50 on its monthly electric bill over the 15 year life of the contract; if the other 50% of power is sold on the same basis, it may add another $1.50 to that monthly bill.

Power production is estimated at 468 MW x 8,760 hr/yr x CF 0.39 = 1.6 GWh/yr.

The capital cost is estimated at $2.0 billion, or $4,274/kW. Federal subsidies would be 30% as a grant.

Block Island Offshore Wind Project: The 28.4 MW Block Island Offshore Wind Project has a 20-yr PPA starting at $0.235/kWh in 2007 (base year), escalating at 3.5%/yr which means the 2027 price to the utility will be $0.468/kWh. A State of Rhode Island suit is pending to overturn the contract; the aim is to negotiate to obtain a lower price.

Power production is estimated at 28.4 MW x 8,760 hr/yr x CF 0.39 = 0.097 GWh/yr.

Capital cost is estimated at $121 million, or $4,274/kW. Federal subsidies would be 30% as a grant.

Delaware Offshore Wind Project: The 200 MW Delaware Offshore Wind Project has a 25-year PPA starting at $0.0999/kWh in 2007 (base year), escalating at 2.5%/yr which means the 2032 price to the utility will be $0.185/kWh.

Power production is estimated at 200 MW x 8,760 hr/yr x CF 0.39 = 0.68 GWh/yr.

Capital cost is estimated at $855 million, or $4,274/kW. Federal subsidies would be 30% as a grant.

Wind energy is neither “clean” nor “free”

.

.

(With appreciation to Wind Concerns Ontario, and whatever source they got it from.)

French Canadians alarmed over wind turbine health impacts (Quebec, Canada)

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Interviewing Wind Turbine Syndrome victims (Pierpont)

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Calvin Luther Martin, PhD

At a recent meeting with a group of people in the State of Maine, Nina Pierpont was asked to provide a list of questions that would help identify whether people living near wind turbines are suffering from Wind Turbine Syndrome.  She agreed to do so, and this is the result.  Click here.

The questionnaire begins with the following:

Interview for wind turbine victims

Note: This is designed to be an interview, providing guiding questions to a person being audio- or video-taped. It is not meant to be a questionnaire that a person fills out about him- or herself.

“Could you describe what you (or your child or other family members) have felt or experienced since the turbines started operating near your home?”

Let the person talk. Keep track on this checklist whether the person has covered each symptom area. Prompt with specific questions if the person does not cover these symptoms spontaneously, and encourage comparison to the past before turbines or to any periods away from home.

You are welcome to use this as you wish.  We encourage you to send your results to us at WTS.com, so we can report on them.

Infrasound: Noise you can’t hear, but feel—over huge distances

Calvin Luther Martin, PhD

Infrasound continues to mystify many readers of this website.  That’s a pity, because infrasound is the chief cause of Wind Turbine Syndrome (WTS).  If you don’t grasp the nature of infrasound, you’re going to have difficulty grasping WTS.

What we find, in particular, is that many people don’t appreciate how far infrasound can travel.  The answer is, “far!”  Even, “very far!”

Scroll to the bottom of this page and watch “The Sounds of Silence” by PBS’s Wired Science, explaining the remarkable propagation qualities of infrasound.  Pay close attention to the section where geophysicist, Dr. Milton Garces, sets up a small fan in a home—actually, a rotary sub-woofer, in some respects much like a wind turbine—whose oscillating blades produce infrasound.  (“It displaces a lot of volume—of air molecules—by shifting the pitch of the blades of the fan,” explains Garces.)  Notice how the infrasound—a 1 Hz pressure wave, in this instance—radiates through the walls of the house, and beyond.

Now, ponder those huge (and getting huger) “rotary sub-woofer” wind turbines being built 1500 feet or a mile from your home.  Or even several miles.

What turbines do is not only produce infrasound, but extremely strong bursts of infrasound—extremely strong & rapid (many times a second) bursts of pressure.  And that, dear reader, is undoubtedly the chief reason why people become ill.

Behold, Wind Turbine Syndrome:  extremely strong bursts of infrasonic pressure, radiating very far—through every barrier you can imagine.  As far as the vestibular organs of the inner ear are concerned—organs honed by Mother Nature over millions of years to respond to subtle pressure waves, to tell us (a) where we are in space and (b) control our spatial reasoning and cognition, and (c) to pinpoint our split-second sense of balance and motion—this is catastrophic.

Pierpont explains all this in detail in her book, “Wind Turbine Syndrome,” wherein she notes that you, dear reader, are the guinea pig in (what’s called in biology) a “natural experiment” being conducted by Big Wind.  (Read, “Your Guide to Wind Turbine Syndrome:  A roadmap to this complicated subject.”)

My advice?  Forget about suing the bastards, and forget about trying to present scientific proof to your town board (or any other government agency).  Your board is likely composed of knaves who were compromised at least a year ago by the wind developers (with turbine leases).  Instead, get mad.  Stay mad.  Make history.  After 8 years of running this website and reporting ad nauseum on this outrage, I say it’s time for civil disobedience.  Almost ludicrously and certainly tragically, it’s the only recourse offering any realistic hope of accomplishing something significant at this point in the Great Wind Energy Circus.

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(With appreciation to Frank Dehnke, Germany, for bringing this video to our attention.)

 

 

American Psychological Assoc. spotlights Wind Turbine Syndrome

“Silence Please!”

“Psychologists are increasing awareness of the harmful effects noise has on cognition and health”

—Amy Novotney, Monitor on Psychology, July/August 2011, vol. 42, no. 7, pp. 46-49 (Note:  The Monitor on Psychology is a publication of the American Psychological Association.)

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We’ve all been annoyed by a neighbor’s late-night partying or early-morning lawn mowing. But it turns out that living in a noisy neighborhood particularly one plagued by train horns blaring or airplanes overhead—is more than exasperating. It might actually be deadly, according to a report released in April by the World Health Organization and the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre.

A steady exposure to “noise pollution;’ the report concludes, may lead to higher blood pressure and fatal heart attacks. The report analyzed a large number of epidemiological studies, most of which were conducted in Europe.

The report also confirmed what several psychologists have known for decades: Chronic noise impairs a child’s development and may have a lifelong effect on educational attainment and overall health. Numerous studies now show that children exposed to households or classrooms near airplane flight paths, railways or highways are slower in their development of cognitive and language skills and have lower reading scores.

“There is overwhelming evidence that exposure to environmental noise has adverse effects on the health of the population,” the report concludes, citing children as particularly vulnerable to the effects of chronic urban and suburban racket.

As air traffic increases worldwide and politicians consider building noise-producing wind turbines in more residential neighborhoods (see “Noise isn’t always loud,” below), the negative effects of noise will only continue to grow unless more is done to abate  it, says environmental psychologist Arline Bronzaft, PhD, of the City University of New York. Her now-classic study from the 1970s was among the first to report the harmful effects of subway noise on children’s learning, and she has advised four New York City mayors on noise policy. New noise research in the United State has been scarce, however, since nearly 30 years ago federal funding for noise pollution research was cut after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Noise Abatement and Control was eliminated during the Reagan administration . . . (click here to continue reading from the source).

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Noise isn’t always loud

Another spate of psychological research is exploring the psychological and health effects of quieter—albeit constant—noise from wind farms. While these turbines are typically many decibels lower than the noise emitted by busy city traffic, power lawn movers or leaf blowers, sounds don’t have to be loud to be disturbing or to decrease quality of life, says Bronzaft.

“A dripping faucet may not measure that loud, but it sure can keep someone awake,” says Bronzaft, who has testified on the hazards of noise to government and health organizations in the United States and Canada and served as an expert witness in court cases on wind turbine noise.

Since the technology is still relatively new, a strong link between wind turbine noise and impaired human behavior or performance has yet to be proven—and the lack of federal funding means that research is unlikely to remedy this anytime soon.

Yet several small case studies and observational interviews have found an increase in sleep disturbance, psychological stress and headaches among those who live near the structures, according to New York pediatrician Nina Pierpont, MD, PhD.

Pierpont documents the individual experiences of families in Canada, Europe and the United States who live within several miles of the windmills in “Wind Turbine Syndrome: A Report on a Natural Experiment” (2009), and advocates for more  research on the health effects before additional harm is done.

Yet some experts, including Robert J. McCunney, MD, a staff physician at Massachusetts General Hospital, argue that to establish a better connection between wind turbines and health, an individual’s health status must be studied before and after the windmills are installed [Pierpont in fact did this in her report; it’s called a case cross-over study—Editor], and the research should be peer reviewed [Pierpont’s book was in fact peer reviewedEditor].

In addition, in 2009, a panel of independent experts [Hired by Big Wind, the members of this panel were hardly “independent” and, although they may have been generic experts in their respective disciplines, they were certainly not experts in this inquiry.  Not one of them had ever interviewed a Wind Turbine Syndrome victim and, furthermore, not one of them had read Pierpont’s book before trashing it.  “Experts” don’t behave this way—Editor] in public health, audiology and medicine commissioned by the American and Canadian Wind Energy Associations looked at peer reviewed studies on the health effects of wind turbines [They found no “peer reviewed” studies because—drum roll, please!—the recognition of the syndrome being so new, no one had published on it, except for Pierpont, and they blew her off without reading her book—Editor] and found that while some people might be annoyed by the “swish, swish” sound of the windmills, no medical basis existed for the health complaints that often arise near large wind-farm projects [Precisely the conclusion one would expect from a “study” commissioned and paid for by the two big wind energy associations—Editor].

“The sounds emitted by wind turbines are not unique,” panelists, including McCunney, contend in their review. “There is no reason to believe, based on the levels and frequencies of the sounds and the panel’s experience with sound exposures in occupational settings, that the sounds from wind turbines could plausibly have direct adverse health consequences.”  [Click here to read Pierpont’s blistering critique of McCunney’s attempt at science—Editor.]

Still, Bronzaft’s efforts- along with a continued focus by psychologists around the world on noise pollution research and on teaching psychology students about the potential negative effects of noise- can help to increase society’s understanding of how to help abate chronic noise.

—A. Novotney [Note to Ms. Novotney:  Why didn’t you contact Dr. Pierpont and interview her?  You interviewed McCunney—why not Pierpont?—Editor.]

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 Diagram of the AWEA/CanWEA report on Wind Turbine Syndrome (according to WTS.com, with appreciation to the unknown creator of this image)

“We have met the enemy—and he is us” (Pogo)

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Too many people on the earth. Too few

who hold the oak door open, or who nod

to the passing stranger as to the passing god.

 

Look from the stars and you will see whereto

this hungry fungus, man, has spread his drab

compactions, and is spreading, till the space

made rich by nature for his ease and grace

is petrified, as fruit is by a scab.

 

Packed on this dwindling planet, famished, men

will push and fight like beasts. No grandeur then,

no high design, no epic dream, no play,

no poised serenity in what they say

nor reasoned kindness in the things they do.

 

This is not fancy, this is deathbed true.

 

—Max Eastman

 

Uproar in Turkey over wind turbines

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Editor’s note
:  The following video was sent to WTS.com by this group, with the following message:

http://www.ibrahimkavagi.org No Wind farms! Yaşam alanlarımızda Rüzgar Çiftliği istemiyoruz!  (We do not want our fields of Life Wind Farm!)

Address:  Ibrahimkavağı Village / Cine / Aydin / TURKEY

If you open the link, you’re taken to the following video.  You don’t need to understand Turkish to understand what’s going on.  These people are getting arrested for opposing a windfarm next to their village.  (Sound familiar?)  Notice their civil disobedience:  refusing to disperse when the cops arrive.

VALİ GELMEDEN, ASKERLER GELDİ!.. from İbrahimkavağı Köyü Platform on Vimeo.

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The following is a screenshot of their website, using Google Translate (which gives a very rough translation, in this case).
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This is likewise taken from the website, again using Google Translate.  (Notice the text is cut off at the bottom, simply because I couldn’t get the entire text on my screen—and I didn’t want to scroll it.)

“Six acres and a nice, un-sellable home” (Mass.)

Editor’s note:  Sue Hobart, author of this letter, occupies the home wherein two professional acousticians became debilitatingly ill with Wind Turbine Syndrome (WTS).  

Robert Rand (Brunswick, Maine) and Stephen Ambrose (Windham, Maine) were hired by Sue and her husband to measure noise/vibration from the industrial wind turbine next door.  Rand & Ambrose have been in the business for decades.  Ambrose is Board Certified by the Institute of Noise Control Engineering (INCE); Rand is a Member of INCE.  Both men had taken noise/vibration measurements at other wind turbine sites.  Neither had experienced WTS before.  Both were flabbergasted by the experience, even as it was happening to them.  They basically had to flee the home.  

Sue, unfortunately, can’t do that; she is being forced to move out.  

When Robert Rand met Nina Pierpont recently, he shook her hand, looked her in the eye and declared, “”Nina, what you wrote about in your book is real!  Thank you!”
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Dear Falmouth (Mass.) Board of Selectmen,

The wind turbine issue rolls on, and my health is rapidly failing. I am in the acoustic range of the Webb turbine (see Dan Webb, below), and am trying to make plans to have some sort of future.  I need to know if anybody is going to hear, or pay attention to, anything I have to say.

I have closed my business for next year, and am just barely making it, physically, this season. I’m in pain and can’t think clearly.  I never sleep.  I work out of my home.

Life as I knew it is over.

I sleep in the middle of my dark basement.  Even so, I still vibrate and ache all the time. I have headaches all the time, and the only time they stop is when I am away from my home for 12 hours or more.

I have to give up my home because there is absolutely no possibility of any kind of restful or meaningful life, here, when that turbine is turning—which is just about all the time.  Occasionally there are several hours it is off—and I become human again.  I celebrate those few hours—but then they leave.

You have absolutely no idea how horrible this situation is. I cry and grieve every day for all that has been taken away, here.

There is talk and talk about caring, but I just don’t believe you.  It seems nobody actually wants to take responsibility for this horrendous mistake.

In the meantime, how does Dan Webb get off having that thing (wind turbine) paid for by grants, then selling it to himself, locking it up in a limited liability corporation, and dancing off with all the profits in his pocket?

Is his permit grandfathered? Is that turbine up for good, no matter what?

You see, I don’t have his millions to fight him. I just have 6 acres and a nice, un-sellable home.

My life will most likely be spent in a van or a rental, now, because my house is toxic to me.

Whatever.  I never get any answers, anyway.  Have a fun barbecue and sailing trip and community dinners at the Coonamessett Inn and cocktail parties, hobnobbing about and patting yourselves on the back for being “progressive.”  Apparently, that’s what matters more than quality of life, anyway.

I can’t wait till my wedding floral business is over, so I can get out of here and sleep again.

Make no mistake, however; this is your mistake to correct!

Even so, I expect the same response I always get.  Silence.

Sue Hobart
Hobart’s Fine Florals
476 Blacksmith Shop Road
East Falmouth MA 02536

508-548-5226
508-737-1450 cell

Annie: Chip off the old block (Maine)

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Brad Blake (Cape Elizabeth, Maine)

Annie went to Rockland (Maine) with me today, to a protest against the proposal for a huge off-shore wind project in the Gulf of Maine, which will be an immensely expensive waste of taxpayers’ money and will send electricity rates through the roof.

She was amazed at my ability to speak extemporaneously, but she caught on and I proudly watched my daughter talk effectively to people and hand out brochures.

A “chip off the old block”!

Wind Turbine Syndrome by Proxy (WTSp)

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Editor’s note
:  The following satire was composed by a friend of mine.  For the past 6 months or so, Tom Whitesell has been battling Iberdrola in St. Lawrence County, New York.  

Tom wrote this after sending me an email about a surreal public meeting he attended the other evening, a meeting between a gang of Iberdrola reps, on the one hand, and  farmers on the other.  

Something seemed to snap within Tom at the meeting.  “Snap,” as in “this meeting is so bizarre, it’s right out of Alice in Wonderland!”  

I wrote back the following, explaining Wind Turbine Syndrome by Proxy.  

There are two forms of Wind Turbine Syndrome. Both are nasty. One, the most commonly understood manifestation, comes from living too close to turbines. The other, less discussed and barely researched, is Wind Turbine Syndrome by Proxy. WTSp.

You’ve got WTSp. Bad. Me too. I’ve had it for years. I’m in remission. You’re not in remission; you’ve got a fulminant case.

WTSp is contracted by listening to too many “windies” or wind developers at meetings. Your symptoms are classic. Eventually you will recover. Well, sort of.  Recovery is only partial, because WTSp leaves one with PTSD—and that’s incurable.

To which Tom responded:

I appreciate your diagnosis. It seems dead-on. A kind of chronic, sometimes dormant irritation. Sometimes it flares up as depression, sometimes as anger. Sort of like shingles. Sometimes it gets really bad.

I wrote you a story (see attached) about the meeting. I think it conveys the credibility and substance of the meeting pretty clearly.
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Dear Mr. Martin,

I wrote a story.  Here it is.

On Monday night I went to a meeting with my friend Anne. There were people from the town, and 10 officials from the two towns, and 6 nice people from a company, Iberdrola. The 10 officials were sitting in a row behind a long table at the front of the room. Their lawyer was in the middle of the row. There was another long table along the side of the room where the nice people were sitting. We sat in chairs out in the room called the town hall.

The nice people from the company were so happy. They talked and talked. I think they know everything. After a long time the man called the supervisor said the people from the town could ask questions. He said each person could ask a question for 3 minutes, and the people from the company could talk as long as they wanted to. Anne said that wasn’t fair.

The pretty lady called Jenny talked a lot. I think she was really happy. She wanted to make everybody feel happy. There was a man called an environmental engineer, and a lawyer. The lawyer talked really fast. Sometimes his voice got louder. I think he got really excited sometimes, mostly when he thought one of the people from the town didn’t understand. He was a little bald man with glasses. His name was Mark Epstein. There was an environmental engineer. And a project licensing manager, and a weather expert.

One of the people from the town said something about infrasound and people getting sick. The environmental engineer said a lot of the company experts talked together, and they decided that infrasound doesn’t hurt people. That’s all he said. One of the people asked how much money the town would get, and another asked how much his taxes would go down. The lawyer said he didn’t know. He said that alot. He talked about it for a long time but I didn’t understand. Mostly I think he answered the people’s questions but talked about other things. He wanted us to be happy.

Some funny things happened. One time when Jenny was talking, she said that everything they do is transparent. Transparent means you can see through it. Then I looked at Jenny and I could see right through her! And then I could see right through all of the nice people from the company. It was like magic. Sometimes one of the supervisor men barked at people from the town. I thought he was a dog. But that doesn’t seem possible. He looked like a man.

Anne and I were writing things on paper. We wrote some jokes. Anne said the lady next to her was reading what she wrote. Then she said the man behind me was reading what I wrote. Anne ran out of paper. She turned her paper over. The other side was covered with writing. She started writing in the spaces in between. She wrote “can you read between the lines?”

One of the farmers from the town said he knows what manure smells like. I’m not sure what he meant.

Anne said one of the supervisors was staring at her. Later she said the town’s lawyer, Mr. Linden, was staring at her. She hadn’t talked. She was just sitting there listening. A girl told me once that when a boy stares at a girl it means he likes her. Maybe those men like Anne. I think they are glad she went to their meeting because she knows so much.

I like that nice book by Mr. Huxley, called Brave New World. It says that we don’t have to worry, because they are taking care of us, so we can feel good.

I like the windmills. I think they are pretty.

The people from the company want to build windmills here. I wonder if you can see through them? The windmills in Holland have big wooden fan blades on them that are full of holes and you can see through them. Anne said that what the nice people were saying all that time was full of holes. I’m not sure what she meant. She was smiling, but it was a sort of crooked smile, like after one of the grown-up jokes, almost like she was sort of mad.

Then the meeting was over. After the meeting, Anne said the people from the company were joking the whole time, playing word games. Maybe it was too complicated. I didn’t hear the people from the town laughing very much. Then we went home.

I don’t know how to end this story. Should I just write The End?

Anyway, maybe I’ll be a writer when I grow up.

Tom Whitesell
parhop.wind@gmail.com

 

Tom Whitesell

The courage & necessity of “We, the People” (Denmark)

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Calvin Luther Martin, PhD

I have long argued that Big Wind must be stopped by civil disobedience.  Not lawsuits (they don’t work), not public hearings (they’re a farce), not invoking empirical scientific, clinical, or economic evidence (it’s routinely ignored and trivialized).

By civil disobedience I don’t mean violence.  Violence is never acceptable.  Violence is absurd (I speak as a professional historian).

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The two keys to success are civil disobedience and voting—voting the bums out who vote for Big Wind projects.  And when one can’t go to the polls—then civil disobedience, alone.

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This past month, the Danes have resorted to civil disobedience.  Very effectively.  In an effort to stop Vestas from building a test center for large turbines—building it in a protected, wildlife area.

That outrage transgressed a line which many Danes refused to allow.

They turned out by the hundreds to say “no!”

They camped out, round the clock.

And when the police (cops) tried to remove them (gently, I am pleased to report), “We, the People” (I am calling them) simply lined up to be arrested.

A never-ending line of people willing to be arrested.

The same thing needs to happen on Cape Cod (Mass.), Ontario (Canada), Quebec (Canada), New York Wisconsin Michigan Illinois Indiana Minnesota Oregon California (USA), New Zealand, and throughout rural Australia.

These photos are provided, courtesy of Aleksaner Sønder.

 

“Wind turbine infrasound makes people sick” (Mass.)

Editor’s note:  The following document was submitted by Dr. Helen Parker to the State of Mass. Dept. of Environmental Protection and the Department of Public Health.
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Fact #1 Industrial-Scale Turbines Produce Infrasound

Fact #2  Infrasound Makes People Sick

Fact #3  End of Story

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—Helen Schwiesow Parker, PhD, Guest Editor (7/20/11)
Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Chilmark, MA 02535

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Can you put yourself in the backyards of folks living in Brewster, Massachusetts, listening to the platitudes passing for policy while the threat of the turbines looms larger by the day?

Consider that it is indisputable (but roundly ignored) that turbines produce infrasound. Seismologists in Italy have recently measured airborne infrasound emanating from nearby turbines as well as ground-borne vibration up to 6.8 miles away. I’m not implying that the health impacts extend 6.8 miles from the turbines. How far they need to be placed from human activity to obviate their impact is a critical question and is known to vary with many factors.

Around the world, however, minimum 1.25 mile setbacks from residences are being codified after the health impacts have been all-too-amply made clear.

Consider that infrasound has been used as high-tech crowd control by the Israeli army for some years now:

  • The Toronto Star (Canada), “The Cutting Edge: Military Use of Sound,” 6 June 2005: “Military weaponry exists that relies on low-frequency sound to disperse crowds or control crowd behavior. The effect of low-frequency noise at high intensities creates discrepancies in the brain, producing disorientation in the body: ‘The knees buckle, the brain aches, the stomach turns. And suddenly, nobody feels like protesting anymore. . . . The latest weapon in the Israeli army’s high-tech tool kit.’ ‘The intention is to disperse crowds with sound pulses that create nausea and dizziness. It has no adverse effects, unless someone is exposed to the sound for hours and hours.’”

Where does that leave people in those little cottages facing Craigsville Beach on Cape Cod when Cape Wind goes online?

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Industrial-Scale Turbines Make People Sick

Nearby turbine noise = sleep deprivation [unhealthy in itself] which leads to other significant health problems. Beyond that: Measurable sub-audible sound waves sent out as the blades spin past the shaft set up vibration and resonance in our homes as well as our body cavities—ears, ocular orbs, skull, our lungs and bellies. Of course they do. They are the ultimate, inescapable boombox moved in next door.

High doses of infrasound can only be exacerbated by the quality of the audible noise—rhythmic, repetitive, throbbing, thumping, percussive—or roaring and grinding . . . unnatural. People say that the noise gets into their head and that they can’t get it out.

Thousands of industrial wind turbine neighbors worldwide have reported the same symptoms, including headaches, fluctuating pressure and ringing in the ears, increased blood pressure, anxiety, nausea, difficulty with memory and concentration, depression, and panic attacks arising when awake or asleep.

*And as for those who decry these personal reports as ‘purely anecdotal,’ these know-betters are simply exhibiting their ignorance of statistical design. Pierpont’s “case crossover design” is as strong as you can get. Same people, different circumstances: near the turbines, they get sick. People distance themselves from the turbines and their symptoms abate or disappear (until they’ve become ingrained over time, unfortunately).

Back to the turbine area and the symptoms return. Turbines are the only changing variable. Results allow for easy interpretation without the participation of thousands.

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This is the Wind Turbine Syndrome

Turbine infrasound has a direct physical impact on ~10% of those living within 1.25 miles or more. More often the young, the old, those who are especially sensitive to stimuli (the autistic, those with a prior PTSD, those of us who for whatever reasons have retreated to rural areas).

Again, around the world, minimum 1.25 mile setbacks from residences are being codified after the health impacts have been all-too-amply made clear.

Let’s look at this from one more direction: Consider the announcement which showed up in the Watertown (NY) Daily Times: Sunday, May 16, 2010:

Hospital Shows Off Balance Center:  Lewis County General introduces new $100,000 facility

LOWVILLE, NY—Kicking off Community Health Awareness Day on Saturday, Lewis County General Hospital introduced the first balance center north of Syracuse.

The $100,000 center has equipment to diagnose issues stemming from vertigo, imbalance and traumatic brain injury. The new equipment can perform comprehensive patient evaluations by checking inner ear functions to test balance.

It also can test patients’ abilities to walk on stairs or step off a curb correctly. . . .

‘We expect to be busy fairly quickly,’ said Eric R. Burch, chief executive officer of the hospital.

Mr. Burch said the idea of a balance center came about when various ear, nose and throat specialists in the Syracuse and Utica areas mentioned they were getting a lot of patients from the north country. He said specialists in Utica plan to refer up to seven patients a week to the new center. . . .

Randy L. Lehman, director of rehabilitation services, said he expects the equipment to improve the quality of life for those in the north country who may suffer from balance problems.

Why open a clinical center to diagnose vertigo, dizziness, and related inner ear (vestibular) disorders in Lowville, pop. 3500, some 90 miles NE of Syracuse?

Maybe because Lowville is some five miles from the outskirts of the Maple Ridge Wind Farm whose 140, 1.65MW turbines make up the largest wind farm east of the Mississippi.

Maybe there’s another altogether different explanation for the vestibular (balance) problems—aka Wind Turbine Syndrome.

Maybe it’s just a coincidence.

Please address the very serious questions surrounding the health impacts of industrial scale wind turbines objectively and fairly.

Big Wind “Swindle”

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—Preston McClanahan, Guest Editor
Professor of Graphic Design (retired)
Rhode Island School of Design)

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The SWINDLE Genesis

The word swindle was used in my letters to the local editor early on from 2006.

A need arose (2007) for anti-wind propaganda in our small hill town of Savoy in North Berkshire County, Massachusetts. The word swindle transformed into the word-image fit the bill.

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SWINDLE:  The bumper sticker

National Wind Watch ran the image which was picked up and used by Bob Graham, Scotland:  June 9, 2008 Scotland Bob’s wind farm battle bus takes to the road.

The Big Swindle bus has hit the road in Moray. Anti-wind farm campaigner Bob Graham has taken his opposition to a new level by buying a battle bus.

Comments:

“Your bumper sticker is truly inspired!! Thank you!  I hope it gets posted on every available web site” (Glenn Schleede, Virginia).

“I’ve used Preston’s “Swindle” idea on bumper stickers, hats and T-shirts which we’ve been distributing across Western NY for the past few years now. Most recently, all of the contractors working on our new home left fully educated, and completely outfitted with their new “Swindle” gear” (Mary Kay Barton, NY State).

“Splendid, Preston. Thanks so much for this creative enterprise! Hope it generates a lot of blowback. And sWINDle stickers should everywhere, for Preston’s idea is just-so, with pitch perfect pith” (Jon Boone, Maryland).

SWINDLE billboard says it all, by S. C. Smith updated 7/11/11, Friends of the Grande Ronde Valley, between Oregon and Washington State.

SWINDLE billboard brings attention to what is really happening further down the road heading east on I 84 in the Columbia Gorge between Oregon and Washington.

Thanks to National Wind Watch’s graphic page, we found the idea for this SWINDLE billboard that originated from another individual fighting wind turbines. (Guess who?)
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The SWINDLE Stick

To show your colors. For rallies & Planning Board meetings.  To alert the unknowing.

It spins.  It says that energy from wind is just a swindle.

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If you want to make your own SWINDLE stick or have it made, I will send you the plans and the material list. Its fairly easy and not time consuming.

If you or your group need a protest sign or a bumper sticker for a public demonstration, here is the information:

Cost is @1.60 per sticker. Send a check or money order to Preston McClanahan at 74 Blue Gentian Road, Cranston, RI 02921

Note:  3 swindle bumper stickers minimum are needed, or 6 for front and back.

 

 

 

“Turbines murder Denmark”

The drawing is the shortest path between two brains” (Jens Hage)

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Calvin Luther Martin, PhD

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We’re often told by wind developers and the US government how much the Danes love their wind turbines.

Denmark.  The home of Vestas.

Copenhagen’s “Little Mermaid”

And yet, if political cartoons are an accurate reflection of popular sentiment, the Danes’ love of wind energy may well be exaggerated.

Consider the satire of prominent Danish cartoonist, Jens Hage.

“Turbines murder Denmark.”  I borrowed my title, above, from the caption of one of Hage’s more troubling cartoons, “Mord Danmark” (“Murder Denmark”).  (Caution:  The imagery is disturbingly graphic, depicting rape, and to many will be offensive.  You may prefer not to view it.)  Hage captioned it, “Når bare det er grønt, gør det ikke ondt!” (Translated to English: “As long as it’s green, it doesn’t hurt!”)

(Danish political cartoonists have a talent for getting our attention.)

On the other hand—and this is why I address it—“Murder Denmark” tells us that a front-rank Danish cartoonist felt compelled to express an apparently widespread outrage and disgust over the violence that wind developers have inflicted on the land of the Little Mermaid.

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Click anywhere above to watch a Danish television video of the outrage translated into civil disobedience

As Hage reminds us, “The drawing is indeed the shortest path between two brains.” 

Image © by Hage

Translation of sign:  “No thanks to oil, coal & gas.”  Image © Hage.

Meanwhile, as Danes by the hundreds protest against a Vestas “large turbine test” project in a wilderness area, they are turning to Jens Hage’s cartoons for their voice.

From “Finally, civil disobedience over wind turbines!

… a voice (a cri de coeur ) that contrasts starkly—and tragically—to the bombast of Vestas.

(From the Vestas website)

Finally, civil disobedience over wind turbines! (Denmark)

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“Blockade against Danish test centre for giant wind turbines

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Peter Skeel Hjorth, WTS.com reporter (reporting from Sweden)

Thursday morning, 15 July 2011, the local Danish police gave up removing the activists who since Friday, 15 July 2011, have prevented the cutting down of forest to make room for the planned National Test Centre for 250 metres high windmills in Thy, Northern Jutland [Denmark].

Ten police officers turned up to end the blockade, but withdrew when it turned out that there were more activists than expected.

The protestors are camping in the forest area where the authorities intend to cut down the trees to create the right wind conditions in the Test Centre. “We shall be back in greater numbers,” the police said.

The Test Centre will be situated between a protected bird sanctuary, a so-called Ramsar area, and a Natura 2000 area. The Danish Society for Nature Conservation finds that the law regarding the Test Centre violates the European Union (EU) Habitat Directive, and has brought the case before the EU Commission who has requested a detailed statement from the Danish government. Furthermore, a local association has filed a case against the Danish State.

Friday, 15 July, the bird breeding season ended and by midnight the Danish authorities intended to start cutting down the forest. Throughout the day, the local population protested against the demolition of one of Denmark’s last wilderness area.

The activists simply laid down in front of the authorities’ machines to prevent the cutting down to start. They are staying in the area in tents, day and night.

The ruling of the EU Commission is expected within a couple of weeks. The activists demand that the cutting be postponed until the ruling of the EU Commission and the verdict of a Danish court have been made public.

The Danish press is following the case every hour.

An open letter from the Danish Association for Improved Environment to the Minister for the Environment was published today, requesting the Minister to stop the work.

We find it very problematic that you, as the government’s representative, want to force through a very controversial Test Centre for windmills, when the most basic investigation of the negative impact on the surroundings have not yet been made.

The demonstration in Thy has no central organization, but arose spontaneously. A spokesman for the activists appealed for support and assistance from both Europe and the rest of the world—support as soon as possible.

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Contact Peter Skeel Hjorth, spokesman of EPAW in Scandinavia and the Baltic States. Email: peter@skeelhjorth.dk Phone: +46 708 166521

Or Aleksander Sønder. Email: aleksander.soender@gmail.com Phone: +45 26160630

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Click here for more photos.

Special issue of peer-reviewed journal devoted to Wind Turbines & Health

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Editor’s note
:  Click
here for a Special Issue of the Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society (a peer-reviewed, scholarly journal) devoted to industrial wind turbines and health.  

The image, below, shows just a portion of the articles; there are many more, including by Dr. Alec Salt (otolaryngology) and Dr. Carl Phillips (epidemiology) and Dr. Robert McMurtry (public health).  
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Health policy expert hammers wind energy junk science

Editor’s note:  Epidemiologist, Dr. Carl V. Phillips, has weighed in on Big Wind’s junk science approach to Wind Turbine Syndrome, shattering the credibility of the AWEA/CanWEA report, the Australian National Health & Medical Research Council’s “Rapid Review” of Wind Turbine Syndrome—and a host of other (palpably absurd) rebuttals by wind industry hirelings and shills.

The passages, below, written by Dr. Phillips and taken from his website, EP-ology, give you a sense of his argument and evidence.

For a much fuller analysis of the validity of the epidemiologic evidence for Wind Turbine Syndrome, we urge you to read a draft of his forthcoming, peer-reviewed article,

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Carl V. Phillips, “Properly interpreting the epidemiologic evidence about the health effects of industrial wind turbines on nearby residents,” Bulletin of Science, Technology, and Society, vol. 31, no. 4 (August 2011), pp. 303-315.

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Dr. Phillips holds a PhD degree in Public Policy from Harvard University (1995).  (Not just public policy, but public health policy.)  He did a two-year post-doctoral fellowship in Health Policy Research as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Scholar at the University of Michigan (1995-97), he has been a professor of Environmental & Occupational Health at the University of Minnesota (1997-2000), then Director for the Center for Philosophy, Health, and Policy Sciences, Inc. (2003-05), a professor at the Center for Clinical Research and Evidence Based Medicine at the School of Public Health, University of Texas Health Science Center (Houston, Texas), 2001-05, and Associate Professor in the Dept. of Public Health Sciences, University of Alberta, Canada (2005-09).  Currently he is Director and Chief Scientist for
TobaccoHarmReduction.org.

His publications are voluminous and his academic honors both numerous and of the highest distinction. Click here for his full curriculum vitae.

Carl V. Phillips, PhD

A final note. Dr. Phillips has been an expert witness in a number of court cases and government hearings on the epidemiological evidence for Wind Turbine Syndrome (WTS). WTS.com urges you to contact him, or have your attorney contact him, if you are suffering from WTS and you’re ready to sue the pants off Big Wind.  Or if your community needs an expert epidemiologist to testify before a government agency.  (Tell your attorney that courts recognize Dr. Phillips as an “expert in epidemiology and evidence-based policy making.”)

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Dr. Carl V. Phillips
cvphilo@gmail.com
(651) 503-6746 cell
ep-ology.blogspot.com
tobaccoharmreduction.org

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»»»»»»

Interpreting health science evidence:  The case of wind turbines

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—Carl V. Phillips, PhD (5/22/11)

Trying to draw scientific conclusions requires reviewing all of the evidence, whatever form it might take. This is true of health science, though you might never know it if you just observed the way many ostensible scientists behave in that area. There are activists and paid hacks who pretend to be doing science, but are just looking for sciency-sounding claims to support their goals.

But even apart from that, the majority of those writing in the field are basically lab technicians, not scientists: They know how to carry out some specific tasks and interpret the results, but really have no idea what constitutes good scientific inference.

The big picture is that there is remarkably little supply of or demand for (among those who control the market) good health science. One specific implication is the problem for those trying to communicate the health effects of wind turbines on nearby residents and have that considered in policy making.

There is quite a remarkable collection of information, but most of those commenting on it simply do not understand it (to say nothing of those who are paid to intentionally denigrate the evidence) (emphasis added).

Quite a good story by Don Butler on the topic ran in the Ottawa Citizen yesterday—probably the best I have seen on the topic. It covered points that are usually not talked about in a useful and intelligent manner. Still, it had the obligatory statement,

… the health impact of turbines has yet to be conclusively demonstrated. In a May 2010 report, Ontario’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Arlene King, found that scientific evidence to date “does not demonstrate a direct causal link between wind turbine noise and adverse health effects.”

That King report was pretty much a joke, ignoring most of the evidence. It provides a great example of how medics are typically not very good a evaluating scientific evidence (“medical officers of health” are an odd Canadian institution that puts physicians rather than public health science experts in charge of the science side public health policy—not much different from what happens to public health policy-making elsewhere, frankly, but completely institutionalized). Of course, being a physician does not prevent someone from understanding health science, it just does not promise it. Butler’s article followed immediately with another MOH (my only fault with Butler was not finding some scientists to quote rather than just government medics, but at least he found one who got the right answer):

But Dr. Hazel Lynn, medical officer of health for the Grey Bruce Health Unit, reached a different conclusion in a report in January. It’s clear, she found, that many people have been “dramatically impacted by the noise and proximity of wind farms. To dismiss all these people as eccentric, unusual or hyper-sensitive social outliers does a disservice to constructive public discourse.”

She is quite right. It also does a disservice to science. I will take this opportunity to post my paper, “Properly Interpreting the Epidemiologic Evidence About the Health Effects of Industrial Wind Turbines on Nearby Residents” (PDF). Anyone interested in the topic or sufficiently interested in my analysis of health science might find the whole thing interesting. (Note: It is not as long as it looks from the page count. There is a long appendix.) I mentioned a few days ago, when I criticized one lame dismissal of the wind turbine evidence, that I would write more on this topic. This paper offers some observations that are generalizable to interpreting health science that I will draw out on near-future slow health news days.

If you want a shorter read, I posted the abstract and final paragraph of an earlier version (which is almost the same) a few months ago (March 11, 2011):

I just finished up a paper about the epistemology and ethics of interpreting the epidemiologic evidence about the health effects of wind turbines. (Wow, that is a mouthful.) Here are the abstract and the final paragraph. The most Unhealthful-News-relevant of my points for the day can be found in the latter. (Anyone who wants to offer comments on the working paper version of this, please drop me a note. I am not going to post this version, and would like to limit circulation to those who might want to offer comments, but if you are one of them, please ask for a copy.)

Abstract: There is overwhelming evidence that wind turbines cause serious health problems in nearby residents, usually stress-disorder type diseases, at a nontrivial rate.

The bulk of the evidence takes the form of what are probably thousands of adverse event reports. There is also a small amount of systematically-gathered data.

The adverse event reports provide compelling evidence of the seriousness of the problems and of causation in this case because of their volume, the ease of observing exposure and outcome incidence, and case-crossover data.

Proponents of turbines have sought to deny these problems by making a collection of contradictory claims, including that the evidence does not “count,” the outcomes are not “real” diseases, the outcomes are the victims’ own fault, and that acoustical models cannot explain why there are health problems so the problems must not exist.

These claims appear to have swayed many non-expert observers, though they are easily debunked. Moreover, the last of them, coupled with other information, means that we do not know what, other than kilometers of distance, could sufficiently mitigate the effects.

There has been no policy analysis that justifies imposing these effects on local residents. The attempts to deny the evidence cannot be seen as honest scientific disagreement, and represent either gross incompetence or intentional bias (emphasis added).

This is not a case where dispassionate analysis and charitable interpretations of people’s actions are appropriate. The attempts to deny the evidence of health problems cannot be seen as honest disagreements about the weight of the evidence. Honest disagreements about scientific points are always possible. But when proponents of one side of the argument consistently try to deny the very existence of contrary evidence, make contradictory claims, appeal to nonsensical and non-existent rules, treat mistaken predictions as if they were evidence of actual outcomes, play semantic games to denigrate the reported outcomes, and blame the victims, then they are not being honest, scientific, or moral. They are preventing the creation of optimal public policy and damaging the credibility of science as a tool for informing policy.

Moreover, assuming their lack of plausible arguments really does mean that there are no defensible arguments to be made on that side of the issue, then their persistence in making implausible arguments is directly responsible for hurting lots of people.

“We, the People” demand proper health studies! (Australia)

.

The “clean, green, renewable” madness of wind turbines (Ontario)

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“I won’t back down!” (Cape Cod, Mass.)

·

“Won’t Back Down” Barry Funfar, Sergeant, US Marine Corps

.
My wife Diane and I attended the victory party thrown by the fine folks of Prospect, Connecticut, who are extremely fortunate to have kept the turbines out of their town and community.

It was hosted at the home of Tim Reilly and was a really first class event.

They are extremely grateful to the people of Falmouth who took the time and character to tell them our first-hand experience with living too close to wind turbines. Some of their residents would have been as close as 800 feet.

One huge difference I see in their battle vs. ours, besides the obvious that ours are already constructed and theirs were but proposed, is that they had 20% of the population of Prospect in their “Save Prospect” group. They spent approximately $150,000 to win their fight. The town of Holbrook, near them, evidently is getting wind turbines that actually could fall on abutter’s property. They did not fight the wind turbine proponents.  (Editor’s note:  See the comment, below, by Annette Smith that corrects this information about “Holbrook.”)

It was a super fun party. Despite it being their celebration, I felt good for them. I promised them that when Falmouth’s turbines come down, I will host a similar event and they will all be invited.

The attached song was their theme song.

Barry Funfar
Falmouth, Mass.

·
Editorial note:  We dedicate the following song to Heather Harper, Town Manager, Falmouth, Mass.  Be sure to turn up your speakers real loud!  This should become the theme song for Wind Warriors worldwide.

Before you play the fabulous song, below, click on the “Heather Harper” hotlink in the paragraph, above.  Read that article and look at those photos while you’re listening to “I won’t back down”—real loud!
·

·

I WON’T BACK DOWN

Performed by Tom Petty, written by Petty and Jeff Lynne

·
Well I won’t back down, no I won’t back down
You could stand me up at the gates of hell
But I won’t back down

Gonna stand my ground, won’t be turned around
And I’ll keep this world from draggin’ me down
Gonna stand my ground and I won’t back down

Chorus
Hey baby, there ain’t no easy way out
Hey I will stand my ground
And I won’t back down

Well I know what’s right, I got just one life
In a world that keeps on pushin’ me around
But I’ll stand my ground and I won’t back down

Hey baby there ain’t no easy way out
Hey I will stand my ground
And I won’t back down

Wind energy’s “trail of broken promises” (USA)


Lisa Linowes

·
Lisa Linowes, Executive Director, Industrial Wind Action

·
Congressional lawmakers arguing over how best to rein in spending, have set their sights on eliminating ethanol subsidies and oil and gas tax breaks while leaving renewable policies in place for now.

Our recommendation to Congress: Eliminate all of the energy subsidies. Let the economics of a free(er) market prevail. In particular, pay close attention to wind energy which has consistently failed to deliver on any of its promises.

Fourteen years ago, energy expert Robert Bradley wrote, “Wind power has proven itself to be a perpetual ‘infant industry,’ with its competitive viability always somewhere on the horizon.”

This week General Electric’s eco-magination VP, Mark Vachon, said this: “Without clean-energy mandates or tax subsidies, wind struggles to compete with cheap natural gas. And there’s uncertainty about those subsidies, particularly in the USA, where Congress is looking to manage budget deficits.”

The American Wind Energy Association insists wind is now a mainstream energy resource, but blames the 50 percent drop in USA installations between 2009 and 2010 on a lack of long-term, predictable federal policies.

Billions in public dollars have poured into the wind industry since the Carter Administration, and more is obligated every year for the next decade. Yet for all the promises made, we have little to show for the money spent.

Promise #1: Meeting USA Electricity Needs. A 1976 study by the Department of Energy (DOE) estimated that wind power could supply nearly 20% of all US electricity by 1995. By the end of 1995, wind represented only one-tenth of 1% of the US market. Today, wind delivers about 2% of the US electricity market. DOE now claims we will reach 20% wind power by 2030. Moving the goal post does not address the logistical and cost barriers to reaching the 20% goal. These barriers are significant; it’s unlikely the scenario will ever be realized.

Promise #2: Reducing Cost. In the mid-1980’s, wind power sold at around 25 cents per kilowatt hour. By 1995 prices dropped dramatically but were still double the cost of gas-fired generation, even after allowing for the production tax credit (1.5 cents per kwh in 1995). Today, wind pricing is even higher, despite continued federal support (figure 22, 2010 Annual Wind Market Report). Promises of technology improvements that could drive down costs have not translated into price improvements.

Wind’s intermittency still means that high upfront capital costs are spread over fewer hours of operation, which places upward pressure on the price of the energy sold. Cost pressures are also tied to policies on renewables. Aggressive renewable policies have placed developers in strong negotiating positions relative to energy buyers. They know full well that state regulators will approve their demands and pass through the higher costs to ratepayers (footnote 50, 2010 Annual Wind Market Report). And with power purchase agreements now a requirement in order to attract investor financing, above-market energy prices are locked in for extended terms ranging between 10-20 years.

Promise #3: Improved Performance. In 1994, ninety percent of the US wind energy capacity was located in the State of California and operated at a 24% annual average capacity factor. In 2010, the capacity-weighted average capacity factor for California projects in 2010 was only 27.2%. In most regions of the US, wind operated at under 30% capacity factor. New York State wind performed at 22.7% last year. While newer technology has resulted in modest production improvements, US wind has failed to meet the promised 35% capacity factor

Promise #4: Job creation. Over 85% of the nearly $6 billion in Section 1603 grants paid out in 2009 and 2010 went to wind energy projects. Yet by the end of 2010, the American Wind Energy Association reported jobs declined from 85,000 to 75,000. When installations dropped in 2010, it was no surprise that jobs dropped as well. And since growing the manufacturing base is predicated on installing more wind turbines, it’s hard to see where job growth is sustainable.

Has anything changed?

After 30 years of paying the way for this infant industry, apparently American taxpayers have still not done enough to create a market for its product.

Call Congress. Remind your representatives that wind energy has yet to deliver on any of its promises. And history has shown we have no reason to believe things will change.

Eliminate all wind energy subsidies and let’s finally move on to solutions that can deliver.

“We, the People” insist on proper health studies (Mass.)

Editor’s note:  The State of Massachusetts recently announced a study of the health effects of wind turbines.  Toward that end, WindWise ~ Massachusetts sent the following documents to the state Dept. of Public Health (DPH) and Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP), calling for health studies untainted by Big Wind influence.

The first document, below, is the more comprehensive of the two.  The second one, below that, is the cover letter sent to the Commissioner of the DPH and Commissioner of the DEP.

Both documents are well worth reading.
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Document #1

We are acutely aware that “there is ample scientific evidence to conclude that wind turbines cause serious health problems for some people living nearby”1 and thereby of the emergence—and growing potential—for serious public health and safety impacts of wind turbines in Massachusetts, exacerbated by the “rush to wind” and siting wind turbines too close to people.

The right action to protect the health and safety of the citizens of Massachusetts is to invoke the precautionary principle in your final report and to mandate a moratorium on the construction of industrial wind turbines until more research and independent studies have been completed.

When the results of such independent studies are available, there needs to be an appropriate consultative and fair solution developed to solve the problems which have been caused by the currently constructed but unsafely sited turbine developments, which are making people sick.

According to the report from the highly political review of “The Social and Economic Impact of Rural Wind Farms”—which included a review of the adverse health impacts as well—recently held by the [Federal] Senate in Australia, the following recommendation was made:

The Committee recommends that the Commonwealth Government initiate as a matter of priority thorough, adequately resourced epidemiological and laboratory studies of the possible effects of wind farms on human health. This research must engage across industry and community, and include an advisory process representing the range of interests and concerns.”2

In fact, on June 29, 2011 the Umatilla County commissioners in the State of Oregon approved changes to the county’s wind turbine siting rules which require a minimum of a two-mile distance between a home and a wind turbine. . . .

·
Click
here to read the remainder

Document #2

Dear Commissioners Kimmell and Auerbach:

A group of health professionals and representatives of citizen groups last year wrote a letter to Commissioner Auerbach and subsequently attended a meeting with the Commissioner along with two State Representatives. We formally requested a review of public health and safety standards near wind turbines. We expected to be contacted concerning a study and expected to have a seat at the table when study convened. We recently met with Suzanne Condon, Associate Commissioner/Director and Daniel Delaney, Legislative Director at the Department of Public Health.

As health professionals, citizens, representatives of citizen groups and members of a state-wide organization WindWise ~ Massachusetts, we submit this request for your immediate action.

Commissioners of the DEP and DPH are entrusted with the responsibility to protect the health and safety of the citizens of Massachusetts. We are therefore confident that you will enter into evidence the information we have collected, for review by the expert panel.

The additional information found attached to this email includes:

  • A catalog listing of over 200 documents containing studies, journal articles, scientific papers, reports, presentations, news articles, personal stories and a listing of videotapes available on the web to watch.
  • Additional supporting information which contains an overview and background information.

You will also receive in the mail the above items as well as the following, of which we formally request you make copies available to all members of your expert panel:

  • A CD-ROM with all of the materials submitted via email as well as the source documents that have been cataloged.
  • Several DVDs with videotaped footage of those living with wind turbines.
  • The book: Wind Turbine Syndrome: A Report on a Natural Experiment written by Nina Pierpont, MD, PhD.

We were assured by highly regarded administrators of DPH that the experts chosen for the panel will be totally independent and unbiased, and that no member of the expert panel has ever been paid, or is currently being paid, by the wind energy industry, pro-wind advocacy organizations, wind developers, or any related industries. . . .

·
Click
here to read the remainder

“We experienced nausea, headache, vertigo, inability to concentrate,” testifies acoustician (Maine)

·
Editor’s note
:  The following was submitted as testimony to the State of Maine Board of Environmental Protection, 7/7/11, by  acoustician Robert Rand.
·

·
Thank you for the opportunity to speak today as a Maine resident.

My name is Robert Rand.  I am a resident of Brunswick (Maine), and a member of the Institute of Noise Control Engineering (INCE). I have over thirty years of experience in general and applied acoustics, including ten years’ work on power plant noise control engineering in the Noise Control Group at Stone and Webster Engineering Corporation in Boston.

The story I relate today really happened.

I have conducted a number of independent wind turbine noise surveys in the last eighteen months in Maine and elsewhere, without ill effects. However in April 2011 I was unpleasantly surprised while on a wind turbine noise survey with my long-time colleague Stephen Ambrose, also a Member of INCE, where, indoors, variously we experienced nausea, loss of appetite, headache, vertigo, dizziness, inability to concentrate, an overwhelming desire to get outside, and anxiety, over a two-night period from Sunday April 17 to Tuesday April 19. It was a miserable and unnerving experience.

During the most adverse effects, the A-weighted sound level outdoors was at or above 42 dBA, and indoors at 18 to 20 dBA, due to the home’s solid construction. The dBA levels indoors were found to be completely unrelated to the adverse effects.

Adverse effects occurred indoors and outdoors when the infrasonic noise level was over 60 dBG, and the adverse health effects were absent when the wind turbine was idle and the infrasonic noise level was under 60 dBG.

It is worth noting that Dr. Alec Salt identified 60 dBG as the inner ear infrasonic sensitivity threshold in 2010. Thus this experience in April was consistent with Dr. Salt’s findings that the inner ear responds to infrasonic noise above 60 dBG.

The distance was approximately 1700 feet from a single 1.65 MW industrial wind turbine.

The owners who built this home for retirement are reluctantly preparing to abandon the home.

We obtained some relief during the survey, repeatedly, by going several miles away.

It took me a week or more to recover. I experienced recurring eye strain, nausea, sensitivity to low frequency noises, and reduced ability to work on the computer for several weeks.

The adverse health effects I experienced are similar to those reported by neighbors living near wind turbines in Maine and elsewhere. They are not addressed by the regulatory framework in place. I have not seen any consideration by wind facility applicants of potential adverse health effects or community reactions.

I now know personally and viscerally what people have been complaining about. Adverse health effects from wind turbines are real and can be debilitating. The field work points directly to wind turbine low-frequency noise pulsations, especially indoors, as a causative factor. I want all Mainers to be protected from these serious and debilitating health effects.

I welcome and urge your support of the Proposed Amendments to the Dept. of Environmental Protection Noise Rule for wind turbine projects.

·
Robert W. Rand, INCE
65 Mere Point Road
Brunswick, Maine 04011

Tel: 207-632-1215
rrand@randacoustics.com

 

“Blessed are they that mourn …” (Ontario)

·
“ … for they shall be comforted”
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Size matters! Yikes!

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Calvin Luther Martin, PhD
·

Just when you thought you’d seen everything …
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The new Vestas164-7.0 MW blade (courtesy of windpowermonthly.com)

·
Don’t bother getting out your calculator:  80 meters = 262 feet.  But remember, that’s only 1 of 3 blades.

Here’s all the statistics on the V164 7MW:

  • swept area  21,124 square meters (227,319 square feet = 5.2 acres = 4 National Football League football fields with both 30-foot end zones included)
  • blade length  80 meters (262 feet)
  • minimum hub height  105 meters (344 feet to nacelle from the ground)
  • rotor diameter  164 meters (538 feet)
  • tip height  187 meters (614 feet)
  • weight  800 tons

What does 800 tons look like?  It looks like this.
·

·
Now, read “
The bigger they are, the more low frequency noise.”

·

·
Vestas says these monsters are for offshore use.  Maybe.

Problem is, if you look at the history of industrial wind turbine installation, you soon discover that what we all thought were monsters “back then” were designed either for remote places (i.e., not in your backyard) or out at sea or giant lakes.

Guess what?  They wound up in someone’s backyard.  Lots of backyards.

The take-home message being:  If Big Wind can finagle putting these “goliaths” in your backyard, chances are very good they’ll do it.

How do they finagle that?  By continuing to deny infrasound/low frequency noise, by continuing to claim these machines are as quiet as a babbling brook or refrigerator, and by continuing to bombard government at all levels with the Chicken Little message that planet earth needs these structures, everywhere (read:  “your backyard”), to save us from Global Warming.  And, of course, by merely moving them back a bit further (setback), to, say, 2000 or 3000 feet.

So it goes.  (And if you insist on believing Big Wind—that these suckers ain’t gonna wind up in people’s backyards—I’ve got a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn. . . .)

Or your backyard, where your neighbor (often an absent property owner) has signed a “sweet” turbine deal for 20 years, renewable up to 50.  (By the way, your town supervisor or a close relative of his has also signed a lease, which is why the supervisor thinks these wind machines are just the ticket for your township.)

»»»»

My friends, you’re looking at the new Big Idol.  The new Golden Calf (of Hebrew tradition).  The new Sphinx.  From ancient mythology—a mythology which has not died, by the way.  It never died.

“History” is not over; the past is not dead.  It never was.  This kind of mentality—colossal, planet-saving machines—is deeply woven into the fabric of western history.

For the more scholarly among you, I strongly recommend reading Norman Cohn, Cosmos, Chaos and the World to Come: The Ancient Roots of Apocalyptic Faith (New Haven & London: Yale Univ. Press, 1993)—a peer-reviewed book, incidentally.  I also recommend my own, In the Spirit of the Earth:  Rethinking History & Time (Baltimore:  Johns Hopkins University Press, 1992)—likewise peer-reviewed prior to publication.  (Credentials check:  I was a tenured professor of history at Rutgers University for decades.  I wrote the “best book in American history” in 1978, as judged by the American Historical Association.  I have been a National Endowment for the Humanities Senior Fellow and a John Simon Guggenheim Fellow.  I know what I’m talking about, here.)

William Butler Yeats

The Irish poet W.B. Yeats captured the message in “The Second Coming.”

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches toward Bethlehem to be born?
·

 

Prelude to suicide (Falmouth, Mass.)

·
Three photos . . .
·

 

 

Barry Funfar, Sergeant, USMC

Finally, a realistic wind turbine poster! (Italy)

·
Calvin Luther Martin, PhD

Does this picture look familiar?  Happy cow + happy kid + happy turbine = Happy wind energy advertisement! You’ve seen them everywhere.  In all the media.  Visit any wind company website:  bingo, there you have it!

·
Problem is, it’s bullshit.  Actually, worse than bullshit:  it’s criminal.  And that’s what this website is all about:  the crime of inflicting Wind Turbine Syndrome on hapless victims around the world.  One means of doing so is through sleazy advertising by Big Wind.

A group in Italy has come up with an antidote.  A counter poster.  Counter image.  More closely resembling the truth of the matter.
·

·
Here is a digital (i.e., lousy) translation of the text accompanying their poster.  I have edited the text somewhat, to make it (hopefully) clearer.

We have seen too many images of pale white on blue skies and green meadows with grazing animals and smiling children. Do we still want to believe this?  This was the message of a poster prepared by Rocco Vitali and Luca Lombardi (Montaonda Editions), above.

All opponents of industrial wind farms:

Now we have a poster and a postcard with a strong impact against the wind industry.  Download it now!

Because a picture is worth a thousand words—as our enemies in Big Wind know—Rocco Lombardi and I have designed a postcard and a poster offering an instant snapshot of the tragic reality that lurks behind wind plants. It is strong, not easily forgotten by those who see it even once.

It is freely available to all (see below).

Suggest uses:

» Putting up posters in the streets of countries to raise awareness on the issue and to publicize the meetings of committees: just pay the council tax and paste them on a white band, with date and place, like the circus or musical groups on tour.

» Hang in the rooms where the meeting takes place.

» Use it as a poster on message boards, etc.

» In front of the gazebo and banquet facilities for collecting signatures and the like.

» The thousands of channels that exist on the Internet.

The postcard version, which has writing on the back, comes in two versions, one from the other ship to be deployed. Whoever wants to can add stamps, and similar written text. It lends itself to being distributed on the street, in letter boxes, etc., in the demonstrations.

For those who cannot print, or prefer having them printed in high quality printing at the printers, I proceeded to print a number that will be sent by mail to those who ask for them. I am a publisher, it’s my job.

Copyright notice:  I reserve the right to enforce the copyright for commercial printing.  It can be used freely by the media and associations that support the battle against the wind industry and the like.

Contact: info@edizionimontaonda.it

Luca Vitali
Montaonda Editions

Download the poster in PDF format

Download the postcard in PDF format

 

 

Jutta Reichardt: Wind Turbine Syndrome victim (Germany)

·
“Against the Wind”

·
Editor’s note
:  The following is a feature article in Germany’s premier newspaper and magazine, Der Spiegel.  Titled “Against the Wind,” it is the story of two women.  Two women who are environmentalists and who oppose nuclear energy.

One, Hildegard Muller, is a powerful government and industry figure, a confidante of the German chancellor, and an urbanite.  Hildegard Muller is a big promoter of wind energy.

The other, Jutta Reichardt, is a prominent environmentalist who took her beliefs about environmentalism back to the land.  Jutta and her husband, Marco Bernardi, live rurally.  Between them they have restored a failing farm.  Unlike Hildegard Muller, Jutta Reichardt is profoundly opposed to wind energy—because of what it has done to her health and her community.  Jutta is a poster child for Wind Turbine Syndrome.

The article is fascinating and well written.  The problem is the English translation, below.  It sucks!  It sucks because I did it using Google Translate.  Still, it’s worth reading, even though it’s a bit surreal owing to the digital translation.  Worth reading because you get the overall picture.  Mainly, you come to appreciate the travail of Jutta Reichardt.

The article (alas, only in German) is available here.

Jutta Reichardt & Marco Bernardi in front of their barn

·
—Von Dialika Krahe, Der Spiegel 27/2011 (7/5/11), pp. 54-58

The energy revolution blurs ideological boundaries: Hildegard Müller, power lobbyist, and Jutta Reichardt, wind opponent, both want the nuclear phase-out, but they are now female opponents in the argument about the sacrifices one must expect the Germans. Dialika From Krahe

The woman who wants to make Germany nuclear free, “quickly and completely,” sits in a leather chair in her office, above the government district, through the glass front is Berlin the morning sky, she shrugs and says: “Granted is beautiful now something else.”

“Wow,” was Hildegard Müller, until recently, the northern German countryside “beautiful,” she found the trip to the North Sea on holiday, always up the A31, two hours length, fields, meadows. Mueller is a lobbyist, a confidante of the Chancellor, 44 years old, the face of energy is called. She wears a dark blue suit, a thick silver rings on the wrist band. You must be a woman who can understand the fears of the Germans, fears of ugly wind farms, concerns about price increases, power lines in lovingly landscaped gardens. She says: “The landscape of pleasure with my vacation started earlier, I admit, is already counting of windmills weighting.” But would that be if Germany wanted the energy transition: “The country will change its face.”

Mueller is chief executive of the Federal Association of Energy and Water, a powerful merger of 1800, catering to companies, including public utilities and grid operators, but also the four large nuclear power plant operators, RWE, E. ON, Vattenfall and EnBW. She is in her 16th since the CDU Age, she recalls how she sat as a teenager in Dusseldorf in the Catholic girls’ school with their classmates and teachers and ’68 discussed nuclear power. It was the time of Chernobyl, the time of anti-nuclear button, the time to do this or-contrast-being, and Muller was at that time to those who considered the nuclear energy “despite the risks” for a good cause. For 40 years, defended the Union, nuclear energy as a clean, safe form of energy – across Harrisburg, across Chernobyl – and with it the long and did Hildegard Müller. Even in autumn it has lobbied the government for the term extension.

And now, not nine months later, she says things like, “I do not want this energy revolution will fail,” or Miller. “Renewables, the control system of the future are” wants the nuclear phase-out no later than 2022 – which is usually around, as the German Farmers’ Association would engage against factory farming.

Something in her world has shifted. For this time of the parent or other hand-being-has given way to something new: Nuclear power advocates are skeptical about nuclear power, nuclear skeptics are afraid of renewable energies for the scenery, because of the noise, because of the porpoises. Last week the Bundestag voted in a broad majority in favor of the nuclear phase. The energy revolution, you can feel Miller, is also a change of beliefs.

“When I look out the window here now,” she says, pointing towards the road, “then I see nothing that has to do with energy. So far we have been key sites, power plants, only to see those who live around it. “Most would have no sense of where the power come from for their fridge. Now we need networks, gas-fired power plants, storage. “The new power supply will be more visible.”

Visible. Probably there is hardly anyone who can get a better idea what this means, as Jutta Reichardt. With her energy revolution has started long before Fukushima.

Jutta Reichardt is on her pond, a bucket of food in hand for the animals, Canada geese, it’s a warm afternoon in Neuendorf, Saxony-gang, not 13 kilometers from the nuclear power plant Brunsbüttel away. Calves running behind the house singing, birds, and wind turbines that surround Reichardt plot make this a sound as if you were standing on the hard shoulder of a motorway.

Reichardt is an athletic woman, choreographer and presenter, mid-50s, the sun has dyed her skin golden brown. “Wind turbines 122 in a radius of few kilometers,” she says, turns around and points his finger into the distance. “That one,” she says, nodding his head toward wind turbine, “that’s because just 320 meters from our house.” She reaches into the bucket, scatters, she wears a red tunic, a pair of glasses with red frames, she looks young, but she was sick, she says, her husband was ill, “ill wind power.”

Tinnitus, insomnia, high blood pressure, heart rhythm disorders, ulcers in the mucous membranes – several hospital stays. Reichardt 17 years ago moved with her husband, an engineer from Hamburg here in the country. They bought a Farmstead, put their money into it, 400 000 €, a beautiful house, red brick. From their site you can admire the lowest land point in Germany, 3.54 meters below the sea surface, the North Sea is only about half an hour. “We wanted peace and nature,” says Reichardt, which was her dream.

In the beginning there were only three wind turbines, “what could have been 1994 to wind power?” She says. But there were more, from year to year to year. The Renewable Energy Law of the Red-Green government intervened. The local farmers could plant one after the other up on their fields, because of the lease, they reaped it, perhaps, because they thought doing something for the climate. Even with Jutta Reichardt they stood before the door that the wind power company representatives and the mayor. And when she locked herself and later founded a citizens’ initiative, they became the enemy of many in the community. They had been threatened, says Reichardt, strange things happen estates, scratched cars, night calls. “Stands for the farmers so much money at stake,” she says, “the cash 18000-20000 € per turbine.”

It is this noise, a “Whack-Whack-Whack”, it describes Reichardt man who draws up beside his wife, “this monotonous, always when the wing passes the mast.” In wind power one it sounds like a freeway, says Jutta Reichardt. In wind power as a two-throwing machine. And from three wind strengths equal to the noise of a baling. “A striking, pounding sound.” Then there was the infrasound, frequencies are not audible, but noticeable nonetheless. Vibrations that they can not sleep. Bird species that fail. Shadows that dart through the room, as if the world a loose connection. “This is not a home anymore,” she says.

Jutta Reichardt empties the bucket and sit on the terrace outside her house, there’s rhubarb cake and tea, located next to a book, about which they can always touch her hand: “Wind Turbine Syndrome”, a research study of an American doctor. A collection of cases, people who are doing similar Jutta Reichardt. Who suffer from tinnitus, high blood pressure. It is one of many documents that have accumulated Jutta Reichardt and her husband over the years. There are Australian studies, studies from Portugal and experiences of people from all over northern Germany, who see a connection between their health complaints and the wind power plants around them. Some people only express fears that others already see evidence.

Reichardt’s spokeswoman EPAW, the European Platform against wind turbines, activists from 22 countries are involved. She speaks of decibel, of the “vibration-acoustic disease,” the fact that some of the symptoms disappear when she and her husband go to France on holiday, and that they come back once they are back on their property. In Germany it was taboo to say anything against wind power. Because then as a climate killer applies or friend as an atom. But “long term it comes to public health,” she says.

Jutta Reichardt’s not like you imagine a wind opponent: it is not for nuclear power, does not vote CDU, before they had even been for the Greens, “which was, as it was in the party or conservationists.” She was a member of the Conservation Federation, the Bund, as a young woman she demonstrated in Brokdorf, her husband at Biblis. X times they had been hit by water cannons, her car stuck on an anti-nuclear sticker.

Reichardt would be for wind power, for this “green and clean alternative” as they say. And that it is not, shows how old ideological opinions reshuffle: An atomic force his opponent does not necessarily have to wind energy, a nuclear-lobbyist is no longer for nuclear energy.

Miller can tell when her view changed radically in the nuclear energy. It was the 11th March, Friday. Hildegard Mueller turned on the morning show on television, she tells it, she saw that the earth had quaked in Japan, magnitude 9.0, that a tsunami had rolled the Japanese coast, across Japanese nuclear power plants. On the tsunami of 2004, she thought, she says, more pictures and messages came rushing, every hour, every minute, emergency power aggregates fell from the reactor cooling system, the same day Mueller and her colleagues taught a crisis team one.

And now, she says it was these questions because they, the politics, the whole of Germany now, not four months after Fukushima, employ more: “What conclusions do we draw from this disaster? What does this mean for Germany? For the economy and society?”

A month later, Mueller was sitting at Maybrit Illner and discussed in the show for now and not against the nuclear phase. Since then much has happened in the German energy policy.

The federal government has imposed a moratorium, 7 of 17 power plants from the grid immediately taken an ethics committee has met, a reactor safety commission examined. And in late May, the federal government, in great haste, the new energy plan agreed a package of laws on energy transition.

“We are here to make open-heart surgery,” says Mueller, Minister of State from 2005 to 2008 by Angela Merkel, the mother of a four-year-olds. She speaks of risk assessment and accountability. She is good at talking. “It’s not even the case that we intend anything in this country,” she says, “the energy revolution, together with the CO 2 targets the most ambitious project, which has a manufacturing country in the world. “A national project, 80 million people have since participate.

Mueller did not hesitate: “It is certainly the case that more interventions in the areas of life are needed by people.” Under current energy law have always existed here and there expropriations. It could not tell everyone: energy policy, yes, but not in my front yard. “This is not a threat, but an objective look at the situation.”

Jutta Reichardt, the wind force opponent knows the situation. For 17 years she has lived in her house, the property, the pond, the meadow belong to her. Expropriated it feels anyway.”? Surrounded by 122 wind turbines,” “Who would buy such a property yet,” she asks, this house is their retirement, and “. My husband was here his office, his clients,” Reichardt would like to go away, perhaps into abroad, but at present is the almost impossible, she says.

Reichardt thinks for a moment. “I’ve always been against nuclear power,” she says, “but not easy to be against it.” It was not then the fear was before the disaster, they have driven on the street, “for me was the real scandal is that you did not know how to get rid of the stuff again, that one does not know to this day.”

She exhales audibly. “And now, with the wind, repeats everything,” she says, “we think today just as much about the consequences of this new form of energy after such time when nuclear power.” Germany would be plastered with wind turbines without having to know the health risks .

There is an aerial view of the landscape that is home Jutta Reichardt. It shows the full extent: Hundreds of windmills that rise from the flat landscape. At night they are flashing red, the day they cast shadows, around the clock they send their sound. Reichardt and her husband have put the photo on their website windwahn.de where there are headings such as “eco-dictatorship,” “disease” or “conservation”.

The picture is a view of the presence of Jutta Reichardt and her associates from the dozens of citizens’ initiatives, which exist now in Northern Germany. But it’s also a glimpse into the future, it might look if the energy revolution will succeed: not only the north but also in Bavaria, the Black Forest, along the scenic route of the Romanesque in Saxony-Anhalt. Of the currently installed wind turbines provide care to an average of 1.3 megawatts each, that’s enough for 600 households. More than 21,000 wind turbines currently in Germany – the equivalent of about seven percent of electricity generation.

By 2020 the share of wind power increased to 20 percent. The share of renewable energies in total from 17 to 35 percent. First, many of the old plants will be replaced by more powerful. “Repowering” is called the: larger machines, longer blades, higher towers. The new wind turbines are on average only 1.3 instead of 5.5 megawatts afford. The Fraunhofer Institute for Energy and Wind Energy Systems Technology has determined that two percent of the Republic come as locations for wind turbines in question. On these surfaces could be 62 839 wind turbines.

Not everyone will think you are sick, not everyone finds the noise of wind turbines as an impressive live prejudicial, and not everyone has a problem with the sight of power lines, new gas power plants and pumped storage plants. But everyone will perceive a change, they will see, hear and feel the energy change.

Hildegard Müller and driving it forward, the energy revolution is underway, “to steer the process in the right direction,” she calls it, if she wants to make a significant difference in terms of their policy of energy companies. She also appeared once on the German Parliament, speaking in a meeting room in Berlin, Unter den Linden, on “EEG – quo vadis”. She wears a lime green costume, black and brown leopard shoes. On the chair next to her sits Bareiß Thomas, coordinator for energy policy of the CDU / CSU faction in the Bundestag, the managing director of the Federal Association for Renewable Energy is here. Representatives of wind power company, EnBW, E. ON, but mainly it’s the day federal seconded, listen to what Mueller has to say.

Mueller has already said the same things many times in recent weeks. For example, she likes to talk about the fact that the federal government presenting a breathtaking pace, and the legislation would still technically be clean. That “at the end of the day” the consumer would have to live with this transformation. Also, she speaks of the new trade-offs: from environmentalists who have concern for the porpoise, because the vibration during the construction of offshore installations disturb the orientation. And opponents of nuclear power, which had suddenly against wind power. The audience will laugh. People like Jutta Reichardt are meant.

Hildegard Mueller told you by Jutta Reichardt and her situation, she smiles, then says that one must take these concerns as seriously as the concerns of opponents of nuclear power. “We urgently need a consistent distance control for wind turbines – in some provinces there are only 300 meters, in others, they want 1500, “she says. You understand that you also says that many people into such increase in anxiety.

Mueller and Reichardt are located, without knowing it, almost ever met. At a trade show, the Husum Wind Energy. Muller was there as a spokesperson for the energy industry, Reichardt came as a protester. Mueller said that day: “The wind energy has become a major pillar in the renewable energy generation. Their share in electricity production has risen to seven percent and still offers great expansion potential. “Reichardt said a wind power advocate, how many nuclear power plants because they have already shut down, thanks to the wind. The man replied: “Biblis A, for two years.”

Reichardt says, she wanted the honesty of politicians. “That does not do so, as if one could replace all German nuclear power plants by wind turbines.” Many people in Germany believe in it. Reichardt is a ridiculous, hypocritical and even undemocratic.

Reichardt wants the nuclear phase. But slower. Decentralized, as it wants the federal government: “That was good, as was planned, a gradual withdrawal. A period in which one would think about what you can really do as an alternative. “She and her husband think that an expansion of geothermal energy would be good that turbulent water power plants are an option. And also research into nuclear fusion as a possible energy source, but one needs no radioactive material. “And there are not sufficient, decentralized solutions, one needs of course, coal and gas.” Reichardt and her husband have long been a solar system on the roof, with ten fields. They should make it sometime to get away, they dream of a land with a small stream where you can connect a turbulent water power plant.

Just as Reichardt, the wind force opponent, is also Hildegard Mueller, the lobbyist that more than “the uncomfortable side” must be spoken and honest. For example “the fact that we will need to use more conventional power plants, coal and gas. Furthermore, we can not simply replace what is missing from photovoltaic or wind. ” Mueller says, “The photovoltaic system on every house roof, which makes the individual citizen in his private independent power supply is still no guarantee of a developed country, which needs around the clock so its power. We have no storage for renewables, not the networks, “she says, a shortfall of around 3000 kilometers. “There is no good if you have 1000 hours of sunshine a year, but 8700 hours a year, at which citizens are to be supplied.”

Mueller and Reichardt, two women who want the same, an end to nuclear power. But Mueller thinks that the citizens need to see the big idea behind the whole society and that great ideas sometimes mean sacrifice. Reichardt is that the great idea just ruined the country.

She stands at the ferry landing on Foehr and looks at how the cars drive from the mainland to the island. In the cab of a truck, a driver has set up three miniature wind turbines, which turn frantically behind the windshield. Says, “Well, that’s nice again,” Reichardt and twisted her eyes. Reichardt is in a hospital. In addition to the complaints, which she attributes to the wind turbines, she is suffering from lymphatic cancer. There were specialists in America and Australia, maintain a link between wind turbines and for possible cancer. Reichardt is in contact with them is not convinced, but looking at their position after every grain of truth, even if it can be found at the end of anything.

Every day she wears her blood pressure in a list, collect their medical findings and sends the data to foreign countries. She sits down at the beach, a pair of binoculars around his neck, which she can see the oyster fishermen, but also the wind turbines on the coast. The coast is not just coast, but a huge wind field. A power plant next to the other towers there in the air.

Reichardt says that in recent weeks, many citizens’ groups from all over Germany in their report, for example, “our colleagues from Brandenburg and Hesse.” Many people feel threatened by this energy revolution, they agree to professionalize themselves, send messages around: “Urgent action Hesse” or “the new people’s disease”. In many places, forming new civil initiatives against power lines and underground cables for, with pumped storage or biomass – always where the dream of a nuclear-free Germany in the lives of the people does.

So far, nuclear power phase-change and energy are just abstract concepts. Now, after the decisions of the Bundestag, is show whether the parliamentary consensus and a social consensus. Or whether many people insist that is not allowed to change their lives. Technological progress has always demanded sacrifice. Industrialization brought jobs, but also cost lives. The car brought mobility, but also emissions and traffic deaths. With the computer came the Internet, but also streamline and data misuse. A society without nuclear power is no green and no democratic idyll idyll: Some people will pay a higher price for the radiation-free republic.

Reichardt is sitting on a bench on the beach, looking through the milky light of the coastline. She says: “Over there, between the wind power bars, is now only a single gap-free.” You have heard that the well will now be closed yet. “Maybe we will see the variety of birds there for the last time”

Without the consent of such people as Jutta Reichardt is the energy transition for Miller and her company, tedious for the chancellor and her government. Reichardt knows she is not the expansion of wind power can prevent. But they also know that they can slow down progress.

Hildegard Mueller would say, “This is not a threat, but rather a sober consideration of the facts.”

 

 

Wind turbines hammer property & health (USA)

·
“People will be either trapped within or flee (abandon or sell at huge discounts) their family homes”

·
Editor’s note
:  The following was written by Michael McCann, a seasoned Chicago real estate appraiser who for several years has been examining the property value impacts of wind turbines.  Mr. McCann has made numerous, peer-reviewed reports to town boards faced with wind energy projects.

His letter is addressed to Kenneth Kimmell, Commissioner of the Mass. Dept. of Environmental Protection, and John Auerbach, Commissioner of Mass. Dept. of Public Health, in response to the State of Massachusetts holding an inquiry into Wind Turbine Syndrome.
·

·
Kenneth Kimmell, Commissioner, DEP
John Auerbach, Commissioner, DPH
MassDEP Wind Turbine Docket
1 Winter Street 4th Floor Mailroom
Boston, MA 02108

Dear Commissioners,

I am responding to your inquiry into health effects from industrial wind turbines. Since there is a noticeable correlation between reported health impacts and significant impacts on real estate values, as well as the real estate rights issue of peaceful use and enjoyment of one’s home, I believe the documented diminution of property values caused by improper turbine siting is an objective measure of this secondary impact.

I do not write as a medical expert; however, in 6 years of reviewing industry funded and independent reports, inspecting project locations, researching empirical prima facie sale price evidence and interviewing residents, I have found that there is a tremendous market aversion of the “market” to buying homes within visible and audible (or sub-audible) proximity to industrial scale turbines.

My value studies have included submissions to Massachusetts Towns of Wareham and Brewster, and have been written to address zoning compliance evaluation of proposed projects in those locales. (I am sure either Town’s Zoning Board of Appeals would be able to provide a copy of my submitted report or presentation, but if interested in reviewing these documents, feel free to contact me directly for a copy.)

I would note for your consideration that wind project developers in Massachusetts typically seek to obtain setback permissions that have proven to be unhealthy and so disturbing to some existing residents near other wind energy projects worldwide, that dozens of people have abandoned their family homes rather than continue to try to cope with an untenable level of impact. Impacts from noise, shadow flicker and the unhealthy physical and/or physiological reactions to same.

Industry prefers to couch their applications for approval with their self defined limits of how many hours of shadow flicker are acceptable, or with “modeled” rather than measured noise studies. They also prefer to discuss setbacks in terms of feet and meters, when projects broadcast their impacts on a scale measured in miles and kilometers. I have personally seen more official scrutiny of public officials hearing zoning requests for fast-food drive through lanes or lighted parking lots than what is often rubber stamped approval of wind applications, with no serious consideration of the multitude of actual impacts from wind turbines.

It is my belief that peaceful use and enjoyment of a residential property is simply a measure of the other side of the same coin; namely, health impacts. If both ways of describing people’s rights are to be adequately protected, then it is my recommendation that Massachusetts develop rules that require:

1. Setbacks be scaled to the size of turbines, i.e., 2+ miles for the 400-500 foot turbines typically proposed, reduced to perhaps ½ mile for turbines of 125 feet in height.

2. Mandatory shutdown of turbines during nightime sleeping hours.

3. Mandatory shutdown of turbines that generate noise complaints, until such time that actual noise levels can be MEASURED and demonstrated that background levels are not exceeded by independently determined health/acoustic study levels, including low frequency and infrasound levels.

4. Mandatory homeowner option to sell to developers at market value, if and when inadequate (i.e., 1,000 feet – 1,500 feet) setbacks are approved by any unit of government.

5. A moratorium on any further turbine construction within 2 miles of any residence, until such time that there are reliable studies addressing low frequency and infrasound impacts from turbines on human health. Claims made by industry put the burden of proof on homeowners, and it is the appropriate role of government to end this trend and rely on credible evidence to protect the public health, safety and welfare, and, indeed, their property values.

Any homeowners that lived at ground zero of Boston’s Big Dig project were certainly bought out for the greater public good. I suggest that enforcing this concept is an appropriate use of governmental authority with the claimed public good of wind energy projects, as well. Until then, the completely lopsided scale of turbine developments will surely continue to create health impacts, and people will be either trapped within, or flee (abandon or sell at huge discounts) their family homes.

Thank you for your attention to my response to your inquiry. I remain available to discuss the related real estate issues that correlate with health effects.

Sincerely,

Michael S. McCann
McCann Appraisal, LLC
500 North Michigan Avenue, Suite # 300
Chicago, Illinois 60611

Real Estate Appraisal & Consulting
cell (312) 961-1601
mikesmccann@comcast.net
·

Michael S. McCann
(whom we can forgive for living in Chicago)

 

Germany: 28,000 sign petition against wind turbines

Editor’s note:  The following is an email sent to Mr. Kenneth Kimmell, Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, and Mr. John Auerbach, Commissioner of Mass. Department of Public Health, in response to the State of Massachusetts holding an inquiry into Wind Turbine Syndrome.

(WTS.com did some light editing to the author’s English, since English is clearly not his first language.)
·

From The People’s Initiative against Wind Turbines

July 6, 2011

·
Dear Misters Kimmell & Auerbach,

We live in eastern Germany, near Berlin. Over the last 3 years we have been forced to suffer the noise of wind turbines.

Within a year of the first turbines being built, local residents began experiencing health problems. From tinnitus to sleep disturbance, etc.

·
You can read about the distress of citizens from wind turbines by visiting The People’s Initiative against Wind Turbines.  [If you are using Google as your browser, you can get Google to translate The People’s Initiative against Wind Turbines by clicking here.  Type this web address into the Google Translate box, select “German to English,” and hit your Return button—Editor.]

In the federal State of Brandenburg, 28,000 people signed a petition against wind turbines as being built too close to their homes.  [This figure of 28,000 has been confirmed by the author—Editor.]

Yours sincerely,

Wolfgang Neumann
·
. . . on behalf of many citizens of Brandenburg, Germany, and as Representative and Chairperson of the Construction Committee Golzow.
·

Click here and here to read Wolfgang Neumann’s impressive credentials

Massachusetts needs your help!

·
Lilli GreenWindwise~Cape Cod (7/5/11)

·
Wherever you live in the world, we need you to write a letter to the State of Massachusetts.

We now have an opportunity to communicate concerns about adverse health risks from wind turbines to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) and the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). There is a short timeline; all comments must be received by Friday, July 22, 2011.

Send an email with any information you think is important to: WindTurbineDocket.MassDEP@MassMail.State.MA.US, or by regular mail to: MassDEP Wind Turbine Docket, 1 Winter Street 4th Floor Mailroom, Boston, MA 02108.

Please address your letters to:  Kenneth Kimmell, Commissioner of MA Department of Environmental Protection and John Auerbach, Commissioner of MA Department of Public Health

Please write even one or two sentences expressing a concern:

  • It is so important to hear from as many people as possible.
  • Letters and information from experts would be much appreciated.
  • Anyone who has unfortunately already been adversely impacted:  It would be so helpful if you write a letter about your experiences.

Please inform every person you know who you think will take action:

  • Please ask the people you know to write letters.
  • Please ask to let anyone else they know, that action is needed by Friday, July 22nd.

Mass DEP, “in collaboration with [Mass DPH] is in the process of convening an expert scientific panel on potential health impacts associated with exposure to wind turbines. The product of this Expert Panel will be a written report which includes the results of the panel’s review of available scientific peer review literature, as well as other reports and articles on the nature and extent of potential human health impacts, and will specifically include:

  • The identification and characterization of specific attributes of concern (e.g., noise, vibration and light flicker) and documented or potential human health impacts;
  • The magnitude and frequency of potential human health risks associated with the design, construction and operation of existing wind turbines;
  • Documented best practices that could reduce documented or potential human health risks.”

I repeat, time is of the essence!  Please email or mail your comments and all attached documents before the July 22, 2011 deadline.

Thank you very much for taking the time to help all citizens of Massachusetts which, with your comments and information, will hopefully have a wide reach across the globe.

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Background information:

For over a year, a group of people have been urging the Massachusetts DPH to step up to the plate and protect the health of the citizens of the State of Massachusetts from adverse health impacts from wind turbines. We submitted a 6” binder full of materials substantiating the need to take action.

DPH and DEP have asked to hear from you. If you just express your concerns, there will be a reduced chance that the report will be a whitewash of the realities of the situation. Wind turbines make people sick!

A larger group of people from throughout the State of Massachusetts will submit materials, including peer-reviewed scientific studies, journal articles, reports, presentations, study findings, court evidence, thesis papers, personal stories from those in Massachusetts living too close to wind turbines, and personal stories from around the globe, newspaper articles, videos, and pending legislation from around the world.

We will urge the Commissioners and the DEP and DPH to:

1. Indeed select an expert scientific panel on health impacts associated with exposure to wind turbines that is completely impartial, where no member of the panel has been paid by the wind energy industry, pro-wind advocacy organization, wind developer, or any related industry.

2. Hold the meetings of the panel as public meetings and hold public hearings so the public is able to speak to the panel and to appropriately express concerns in a timely manner but without a three minute time limit.

3. Provide to the panel all the materials submitted and not a selected sub-set that has been sanitized so that the panel does not see the full scope of the adverse health impacts from around the globe.

4. Provide opportunities for the panel to talk with people who have been adversely impacted from a health standpoint.

5. Submit the evidence from people around the globe who are concerned about the adverse health impacts to people who are in close proximity to wind turbines because they live, work, are in nursing homes or hospitals, attend school and are incarcerated within 6.3 miles of wind turbines.

6. Submit the ample scientific information from around the globe that concludes there are adverse health impacts for people living and working too close to wind turbines.

7. Urge the panel to err on the side of caution and to recommend invoking the precautionary principle, and institute at least a one-year moratorium on the construction of wind turbines in the State of Massachusetts (as has been done in Connecticut), until further research is completed in order to conclusively determine what is a safe setback of turbines from people and to protect the health and safety of the citizens of Massachusetts.

The World Health Organization defines the precautionary principle as follows:

In all cases noise should be reduced to the lowest level achievable in a particular situation. When there is a reasonable possibility that the public health will be endangered, even though scientific proof may be lacking, action should be take to protect the public health, without awaiting the full scientific proof” World Health Organization, Guidelines for Community Noise (1999).

Tough questions from a homeowner (Washington State)

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—Roger Whitten, Oakesdale, Washington (6/17/11)

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My case against Whitman County, State of Washington, is a property rights case.

Does surrounding a residential property with an industrial wind turbine development decrease the value of the residential property?

Does placing one (or in my case, eight) industrial wind turbines within 3,500 feet of a residential property create a health threat? (At First Wind’s Mars Hill, Maine project, of the people who live within 3,500 feet of the turbines “82% of exposed subjects reported new or worsened chronic sleep deprivation, versus 4% in the non-exposed group.”)

Considering one must disclose possible health threats before selling a property, does residential property that is entirely surrounded by an industrial wind turbine development become completely unmarketable?

Is it wrong to dump 70 decibels of noise pollution onto a home all day and all night for days on end?

Is it wrong to place the “Danger Zone” of an industrial wind turbine over residential property? The “Danger Zone” is the turbine manufacturer’s term for an area of danger that extends thousands of feet.

Is it wrong to place the “Danger Zone” of an industrial wind turbine over the only public road that provides access to a residential property?

Does blocking safe access to a residential property with a “Danger Zone” decrease the property value?

Has the Whitman County government gone too far when it allowed an industrial wind turbine development to completely surround a residential property?

Has Whitman County’s land use decision concerning industrial wind turbines placed an undue hardship on the owners of residential property that is completely surrounded by the turbine development?

How you answer these questions and how our government answers them are two different things.

There is something seriously wrong with government when it responds to facts in a manner that is diametrically opposed to the will of the people.

Consider the possibility that government is not for the people, but, rather, government is for itself.

The time to change government is when you see government taking away your neighbor’s rights. If you wait until government steals your rights, it might be too late.

“Explicit cautionary notice to those responsible for Wind Turbine Siting decisions” (Waubra Foundation)

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This notice is intended for “Directors of Wind Developments, Publicly Elected Officials from Federal, State and Local Government, and Bureaucrats in Relevant Departments
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The Waubra Foundation, Australia (6/29/11)

Be advised that, as a result of information gathered from the Waubra Foundation’s own field research, and from the clinical and acoustic research available internationally, the following serious medical conditions have been identified in people living, working, or visiting within 10km of operating wind turbine developments.

The onset of these conditions corresponds directly with the operation of wind turbines:

» chronic severe sleep deprivation;

» acute hypertensive crises;

» new onset hypertension;

» heart attacks (including Tako Tsubo episodes);

» worsening control of preexisting and previously stable medical problems such as angina, hypertension (high blood pressure), diabetes, migraines, tinnitus, depression, and post traumatic stress disorder;

» severe depression, with suicidal ideation;

» development of irreversible memory dysfunction, tinnitus, and hyperacusis.

Other symptoms include those described by medical practitioners such as Dr Amanda Harry, and Dr Nina Pierpont in her landmark Case Series Crossover Peer Reviewed Study (submission No 13 to the Australian Federal Senate Inquiry into Rural Wind Farms) and published in Dr Pierpont’s book entitled “Wind Turbine Syndrome, A Report on a Natural Experiment,” 2009, published by K-Selected Books, Santa Fe.

These serious health problems were also identified by Australian General Practitioner Dr David Iser in 2004. Dr Iser formally notified the Victorian Government of the time after his patients became unwell following the start up of the Toora wind project. His warnings were ignored without being properly investigated by the authorities and politicians.

All this and supportive material has been made available to the boards of the major developers, State Ministers for Health and Planning and senior health bureaucrats. The time for denial, and of using the Clean Energy Council to shoulder the increasingly difficult task of denying the link between adverse health and operating wind turbines, is over.

At the Toora and Waubra wind projects, some seriously ill affected residents have been bought out by the developers, but only after they signed confidentiality agreements specifically prohibiting them from speaking about their health problems. This buy-out activity would support a conclusion that developers are aware of the health problems.

Meanwhile, wind developments have continued, with developers asserting that their projects meet acceptable standards, and thereby implying that they cannot be causing health problems.

The Foundation is also concerned that Vibro-acoustic Disease (VAD), as recorded and described by Professor Mariana Alves-Pereira’s team from Portugal, will develop in people chronically exposed to wind turbines. The disease has already been identified in the occupants of a house with levels of infrasound and low frequency noise identical to levels the Foundation is recording in the homes of affected residents in Australia.

The Foundation is aware of over 20 families in Australia who have abandoned their homes because of serious ill health experienced since the turbines commenced operating near their homes. Most recently, five households from Waterloo in South Australia have relocated, where the larger 3 MW turbines have had a devastating impact on the health of these residents. Some of these people have walked away from their only financial asset, to live in a shed or a caravan on someone else’s land.

The Foundation notes the mid-2010 advice from the National Health and Medical Research Council that a “precautionary approach” be followed. We are not aware that either industry or planning authorities have adopted this exceedingly valuable and important advice.

The Foundation’s position, as the most technically informed entity in Australia upon the effects of wind turbines on human health, is this: Until the recommended studies are completed, developers and planning authorities will be negligent if human health is damaged as a result of their proceeding with, or allowing to proceed, further construction and approvals of turbines within 10km of homes. It is our advice that proceeding otherwise will result in serious harm to human health.

We remind those in positions of responsibility for the engineering, investment and planning decisions about project and turbine siting that their primary responsibility is to ensure that developments cause no harm to adjacent residents.  And, if there is possibility of any such harm, then the project should be re-engineered or cancelled. To ignore existing evidence by continuing the current practice of siting turbines close to homes is to run the dangerous risk of breaching a fundamental duty of care, thus attracting grave liability.

Enquiries: Dr Sarah Laurie, Medical Director, 0439 865 914

Email address: sarah@waubrafoundation.com.au

Editor’s note:  Click here for a PDF of the above notice.

Renewable energy: Where’s the jobs?

The bigger they are, the more LFN (Denmark)

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—Henrik Møller & Christian Sejer Pedersen (click here for PDF of the article)

“Low-frequency noise from large wind turbines,” Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, vol. 129, no. 6, June 2011, pp. 3727-3744.

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Abstract
:

As wind turbines get larger, worries have emerged that the turbine noise would move down in frequency and that the low-frequency noise would cause annoyance for the neighbors. The noise emission from 48 wind turbines with nominal electric power up to 3.6 MW is analyzed and discussed.

The relative amount of low-frequency noise is higher for large turbines (2.3–3.6 MW) than for small turbines (2 MW), and the difference is statistically significant. The difference can also be expressed as a downward shift of the spectrum of approximately one-third of an octave.

A further shift of similar size is suggested for future turbines in the 10 MW range.

Due to the air absorption, the higher low-frequency content becomes even more pronounced when sound pressure levels in relevant neighbor distances are considered.

Even when A-weighted levels are considered, a substantial part of the noise is at low frequencies and, for several of the investigated large turbines, the one-third octave band with the highest level is at or below 250 Hz.

It is thus beyond any doubt that the low-frequency part of the spectrum plays an important role in the noise at the neighbors.

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Editor’s note:  A close reading of this article shows that it invokes some outdated assumptions to reach its conclusions—rendering those conclusions flawed.  As with the following:

The turbines do emit infrasound (sound below 20 Hz), but levels are low when human sensitivity to these frequencies is accounted for. Even close to the turbines, the infrasonic sound pressure level is much below the normal hearing threshold, and infrasound is thus not considered as a problem with turbines of the investigated size and construction.

In the main, however, Møller and Pedersen are to be commended for heading in the right direction.

Senate Committee whitewashes Wind Turbine Syndrome (Australia)

Calvin Luther Martin, PhD

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The Australian Senate Committee, which spent weeks listening to testimony on wind turbines and health, has issued its final report.  (Click here to read it and here for the source.)

Let’s restate that.  The Australian Senate Committee, which spent weeks of taxpayer money listening to testimony on wind turbines and health, wasted everyone’s time.  Including their own.

Many of us suspected it would be a farce from the outset:  a pretense of weighty deliberation on the health impacts of wind turbines—obviously placed too damn close to people’s homes, for Chrissakes!

Our hunch was prophetic; it was in fact a farce.  A political football game coached by Big Wind.  It’s a game which the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NH&MRC) continues to play in its own craven way.

Bottom line:  Despite much official posturing and expense and time, rural Australians will continue to suffer from Wind Turbine Syndrome.  There will be no relief.

Our advice to Australians (and others around the world) regarding future “government” hearings into the matter of WTS?  Don’t participate.  Boycott!  It’s a hoax.  A hoax for suckers.

“There is a problem!” Textbook Wind Turbine Syndrome (Australia)

Joza Krupka, “Weeping Woman”

Berni Janssen (6/7/11)

I’d like to thank the (Australian) National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) for organising this scientific forum and for inviting affected people to contribute—to tell their story. This is an important step in furthering our knowledge and understanding of an ongoing problem.

Be in no doubt that I am standing here because there is a problem, not because I am a flat earth, climate change denying, technophobic, anti-windfarm, luddite, NIMBY, and that any one of anger, fear, greed, jealousy, or the holy grail of compensation is a contributing factor to the adverse health we are experiencing. Nor am I an anxious, fearmongering, psychosomatic, hypochondriac. Nor disempowered. Neither is my partner. Nor the people I know in my local community who are experiencing adverse health effects since the Waubra Wind Farm commenced operation. A sweeping statement, I know, but I wanted to get the labelling out of the way.

There are several points regarding the proliferation of these labels:

  • I find it very disappointing that the people who have proposed these theories regarding motivations and causes have not tested their hypotheses by interviewing affected people and conducting psychological or sociological studies. Well not to my knowledge anyway. Whilst these are theories about what has and is occurring, we need robust research, rather than continued hypothesizing. Especially since it is in the context of a sensitive emotionally charged political issue.
  • It does not promote logical inquiry. These theories propose answers that suit certain agendas, and so have hindered the necessary questioning, probing.
  • It has contributed to the development of a toxic culture of put-down, ridicule and abuse.
  • People feel that their experience has been dismissed and they are being negated. It has also caused much distress and hurt for people who are already vulnerable.

I just wanted to get that out of the way, so that what you will hear is not framed by preconceptions.

I live in Evansford, with Gunther, my partner. We purposely built our home and studios using sustainable principles and materials, to create an environment we need to fulfil our philosophical bent and to pursue our creative work. We are situated on 6o acres of bushland on a hill on the northern edge of the Waubra Wind Farm, 3.385 kilometres from the nearest cluster of turbines. There are another thirty straddling the valley and hills, to our south, southwest. And the rest of the windfarm beyond that.

We did not object to the Waubra Wind Farm. We thought it would be good for farmers, the local and broader community and the environment. We believed what we had been told.

I have had good health all my life (taken an approach of prevention rather than cure, so have been attentive to diet, exercise etc. I have rarely had need to visit a doctor except more recently for the annual tests. Gunther, likewise, has had good health. He has had the same GP for 25 years, so a well documented record over that time.

The Waubra Windfarm commenced operation roll-out in February 2009 on the southern side and was fully operational by late June 2009.

In May/June 2009 I woke in the night with a rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, tightness in the chest. I had never experienced that before. It occurred several times over the course of the following month. I did not associate it with the wind turbines at that time. In July I visited my General Practitioner (GP), who noted that my blood pressure was elevated, so I was immediately sent to a cardiologist. Over the next three months all the tests were done—electrocardiogram, halter monitor, exercise stress test, and echo-cardiogram.  Results:  heart is in good health and functioning normally.

Some of the symptoms noted are: sleep disruption, headaches, ear and head pressure, tinnitus, muscular/joint aches, pain; body vibration—tingling, fizzy, prickly feeling—hypertension, cognitive impairment, emotional volatility, depression, amongst others. Myself, my partner and at least thirty people that I can confirm, and quite a few that I have heard of, are experiencing similar health issues, commencing around the same time in mid-2009. They live up to over 4 kilometres from the turbines. Not everyone has exactly the same set of symptoms, nor are they experienced with the same intensity.

Mostly, people did not initially associate their health issues with the turbines. It was only through conversations that we began to realise that something odd was going on—so many people experiencing similar health issues, starting around the same time. We heard about the Deans moving out of their home, began looking on the Internet, and found that there were people all over the world living near windfarms experiencing similar problems. We were introduced to the Deans (and here) and the Godfreys who were very badly affected. We began to keep a health journal, in an effort to see what was happening, check on whether this was what was really happening. We initially jotted down health issues and then documented wind direction, weather conditions and most lately have been noting blood pressure.

I don’t experience all of the symptoms, nor all of the time. It depends on the conjunction of turbines operating, weather conditions and wind direction. Most people have noted that the symptoms do not occur when they are away from the area or when the turbines are not operating, but return when they are in the windfarm area and the turbines are operating. Again, people have noted that the symptoms now, in comparison to when they first started, do not diminish as rapidly, and on return, the onset is quicker and intensity has increased (emphasis added).

Many people locally have noted the effect on their cognitive function.  Some say they feel as if their mind is foggy, vague.  Others that their memory has deteriorated. Certainly I feel as if concentration and focus, my ability to find a word, form a sentence, communicate clearly, my ability to plan, execute and multitask has seriously diminished (emphasis added).

Words, communication and my ability to organise and be organised are the tools of my trade. As a freelance cultural worker I have mostly managed multiple projects simultaneously for over twenty five years. Now there are days that I would be lucky and very happy if I could achieve any one of those tasks. I have had to change the way I work, like many people locally. I have to allow much more time to ensure that I meet a deadline, because I cannot reliably predict when I will be able to work efficiently and effectively.

I continue to experience rapid heartbeat, waking me from sleep, or it occurs at my desk or while gardening. It can last for varying amounts of time. Until recently, the symptoms had not occurred when I was away from the wind farm. However in just the last two months I have had the same experience in the city, both times when I was in very close proximity to air conditioning ducting in a shopping centre and a motor room opposite the room I was staying in a hotel—a very low industrial hum that triggered vibration, accelerated heart rate, tightness in the chest.

Over the two years I have noted, I have become more sensitive to noise.  I have difficulty in distinguishing words in conversations when more than one conversation is occurring. Sinusitis and a cough recur frequently, now, and I seem more prone to colds and viruses in general. Most days I feel exhausted, and all that means for your sense of well-being and simple enjoyment of life.

Gunther has similar issues.

Dr. Rimas Lubinas, our General Practitioner, stated:

It’s unusual, the manner of presentation of symptoms with regard to the timing of new hypertension, sleep disturbance, muscle pain, aches, cognitive dysfunction, for two individuals. Both individuals noticed reduction in these symptoms when away from windfarm area. These symptoms returned when back in the area.

“If synonymous with other’s experience, it is worth further investigation.”

We know that our experience is synonymous with others, locally, in Australia and across the world. The effects on some people are so severe it has driven them out of their homes. No one abandons their home without good reason. The Deans, Godfreys, Stepnells have moved out because of the huge impact on their health and their lives. It continues to be an emotional, physical and financial burden. Other people should not have to experience what we have.

All we know is that there are serious health problems associated with wind farms and there needs to be a range of independent studies conducted. That is what we have been, and continue to ask for—thorough, independent research.

Ah, the genius of wind energy! (Cartoon)

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(With appreciation to Cartoons by Josh.)

Pierpont & Laurie discuss Wind Turbine Syndrome (Cape Cod, Mass.)

Click here for a Webinar with Drs. Pierpont and Laurie, 6/14/11, put on by Windwise~Cape Cod.
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Editor’s note
:  In her book, “Wind Turbine Syndrome,” Pierpont ended her discussion of peer review with the following:

In the case of this book, a variety of scientists and physicians, all professors at medical schools or university departments of biology, read and commented on the manuscript and recommended it as an important contribution to knowledge and conforming to the canons of clinical and scientific research.   Moreover, they did in fact suggest revisions, even substantial revisions and additions, all of which I made. Some gave me written reports to include in the book itself. See “Referee Reports.” Others offered to review the book after it was published.

That said, the litmus test of scientific validity is not peer review, which, after all, is not infallible, as the history of science amply demonstrates. Peer review is an important first step in judging scientific or scholarly merit. Still, the ultimate test is whether other scientists can follow the author’s research protocol and get the same results, or if different lines of research point to the same conclusions.

That, of course, remains to be seen with this report.

I am happy to report that confirmation no longer “remains to be seen.”  Dr. Sarah Laurie’s research in Australia is daily confirming Pierpont’s case for Wind Turbine Syndrome.  (Click here for a PDF of Dr. Laurie’s Cape Cod PowerPoint presentation.)

Soul of Wolfe Island destroyed (Ontario)

“This is the sound they told us did not exist”
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See “86 hands, 86 turbines” (Wolfe Is., Ontario)

—“Windmills Blow” (7/11/09)

It’s not yet midnight. The sky is clear, except for a few small clouds moving across the sky.

I am standing on my back deck and I am in awe of the ominous, deep rumblings of the closest windmill.

It is a kilometre away. This is the sound they told us did not exist.

Just like the ones I saw in Lowville, the turbines sound like a jet—too high to be seen, but close enough to hear.

The difference is, the jet passes over, and the silence of the night resumes.

In the case of the turbines, the noise continues into the night, and then into the day.

When I went back into the house and went to bed, I could still here the noise coming through my open window. What was it that made the noise particularly thunderous last night? There was a soft breeze, the air was clear, atmospheric conditions.  Who knows? My hearing isn’t always the best, so I know I’m I am not overly sensitive.

Many years ago, I originally came to Wolfe Island to escape the sounds of the city. On my first night sleeping here, I was amazed at the silence. I relished the sounds of nature, frogs, crickets, and the intermittent howl of coyotes. After decades of listening to sirens, drunks, and screaming tires, the peacefulness of Wolfe Island was heavenly.

Residents who opposed the placement of turbines on Wolfe Island were assured that there would be no noise, which to me made no sense.  Everyone knows that when a stick, a whip, a skipping rope is lashed, there is a distinct whooshing sound. Cap’n Mike laughed at our concerns, telling us that one could stand right under a turbine and not hear a sound.  (Of course, standing under a windmill is like standing under a gigantic speaker—the noise radiates out.  Underneath is probably the quietest place to stand.)

We were even told that quite often, people like to picnic under them! Yes indeed Mr. Jablonicky, and we are all idiots!

I do not feel that I should change my way of living in order to block out the sound of the turbines. I do not want to close my windows at night; I do not want to run something that makes white noise to mask the noise; I do not want to move.

What I want is an apology, an admission from the corporations that they did in fact lie. I want to launch a class action suit against them.

I want everyone who was so eager to put a windmill on their property to go crazy from the noise and the guilt that were it not for their greed to get money from nothing, Wolfe Island would still be a peaceful oasis in a world of noise and confusion.

 

Wind turbines: “Not here! Not anywhere!” (USA & Canada)

Wind Turbine Syndrome, yet again (Ontario)

Finally, a govt. has the balls to shut down loud (infrasonic) windfarm! (Scotland)

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Local government shuts down windfarm after neighbors’ noise complaints to windfarm operator are routinely ignored

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—Caroline McMorran, The Northern Times (6/9/11)

The local authority has forced Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) to shut down a Sutherland wind farm after the company breached planning controls by failing to deal with excessive noise from the development.

People living close to the Achany wind farm near Rosehall are claiming their lives are being made a misery by the constant noise, and are angry that their complaints are being ignored.

Editor’s note:  We interrupt this newspaper story to present the following screenshot from Scottish and Southern Energy’s website, trumpeting their principles (misspelled “principals”) of something they call “corporate responsibility.”

No kidding!  They actually wrote this down and posted it!  You couldn’t make this stuff up!

In an unprecedented move, Highland Council issued a temporary stop notice on the 23-turbine wind farm at 3pm on Monday.

The turbine blades at the £55 million, 40MW windfarm, which came on stream in July last year, stopped turning that night.

The stop notice will remain in place for a month, until July 4, with the shut down representing a huge financial loss to the power company.

Highland Council’s principal planner Gordon Moonie confirmed yesterday (Thursday) that it was the first time the authority had issued a notice of this type.

He said he was unaware of any other council taking similar action.

“This temporary stop notice was introduced under a 2006 Act and it hasn’t been used very often, but it is quite an effective way of dealing with a breach of planning control. In a sense it affects the company where it hurts—in their pocket,” he said.

Mr Moonie revealed that the problems with Achany had been ongoing for about a year, with constant complaints to planners about noise.

“We were getting complaints from the local people and the community and we weren’t getting any action from SSE, so we decided that the best way forward was to serve this temporary stop notice,” he said.

“It means that the windfarm has to cease operating and we can then get round the table and agree a way forward that is in everyone’s interest.”

According to the stop notice, SSE breached planning controls by failing to provide a scheme for mitigating noise levels prior to the development coming on stream.

They also failed to comply with a request to measure noise levels at two local properties—Rosehall Cottage and a home at Durcha—when specifically asked to do so following complaints from the householders.

The Durcha property is just 2km away from some of the turbines.

The company has further breached planning controls by failing to notify the local authority of the date the development first supplied electricity to the National Grid.

Local resident Andy Simpson is the chairman of Kyle of Sutherland Against Braemore (KoSAB), the group protesting against a proposed wind farm at Braemore, near Lairg.

He told the Northern Times: “The householder at Durcha has been complaining bitterly about the noise in certain weather conditions and said it has made life unbearable at times.

“Therefore, I’m really pleased that Highland Council have done the right thing.

“However, it gives me grave concern that a developer appears to have dismissed a genuine noise complaint once a wind farm has been constructed.

“This surely shows scant care or empathy for local communities from these large corporates.”

He added: “An even greater cause for concern is the proposal for Braemore windfarm which KoSAB estimate is within 2km of 83 houses.”

Rosehall resident Colin Gilmour, who chaired the Achany Windfarm Liaison Group said: “When Achany became operational in July 2010, we closed the liaison group down because in effect we did not really have any more to do with the development and we were not aware at the time that SSE had not met these conditions.

“However, the issue of noise from Achany has come up at the liaison group set up for the Rosehall Hill wind farm which is being constructed by E.ON.

“There is now a worry that houses at Durcha could be affected by noise from both wind farms and that one operator will blame the other.

“They need to sort out the Achany issue before Rosehall Hill wind farm becomes operational.”

Mr Gilmour continued: “The householder at Durcha is particularly affected when the wind is coming from the north-east or in certain weather conditions. But he will be even closer to some of the Rosehall Hill turbines.

“Highland Council became a bit exasperated in the end with SSE over Achany because they just didn’t meet the conditions.”

When asked for a comment, a spokesman for SSE yesterday (Thursday) responded: “Following a request from the Higland Council, we have temporarily suspended generation at our Achany wind farm, near Lairg. We are working closely with council officials and will be meeting representatives later today. We are confident that we can reach an agreement with the council very quickly.”

National health institute hears testimony on Wind Turbine Syndrome (Australia)

I’m standing here because there is a problem,” Ms Bernie Janssen told the seminar.  Ms Janssen says she didn’t object to the wind farm at Waubra, in Victoria in 2009, until she began feeling unwell.

“In May-June 2009 I woke in the night with rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath. I didn’t associate it then with wind turbines. In July, my General Practitioner noticed that my blood pressure was elevated.”  She says she’s also felt body vibration, hypertension, tinitus, cognitive depression, sleep disruption, ear and head pressure.

She found out 37 people living up to 4 km away from turbines began experiencing symptoms at about the same time.

 

(This image was not used in the article, below)

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—Sarina Locker, ABC Rural (6/9/11)

“I’m standing here because there is a problem,” Ms Bernie Janssen told the seminar.

Ms Janssen says she didn’t object to the wind farm at Waubra, in Victoria in 2009, until she began feeling unwell.

“In May-June 2009 I woke in the night with rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath. I didn’t associate it then with wind turbines. In July, my GP noticed that my blood pressure was elevated.”

She says she’s also felt body vibration, hypertension, tinitus, cognitive depression, sleep disruption, ear and head pressure.

She found out 37 people living up to 4km away from turbines began experiencing symptoms at about the same time.

The National Health and Medical Research Council’s (NHMRC) hearing comes just one week before the Senate Inquiry in the impacts of windfarms is tabled in Parliament.

Many studies on so-called wind turbine syndrome have been based on interviewing sufferers.

But a Portuguese environmental scientist is studying the physical effects of low frequency noise on the body.

Professor Mariana Alves-Pereira, PhD

Dr Mariana Alves-Pereira of Lusofona University in Portugal has been studying vibroacoustics [Vibro-Acoustic Disease = VAD].  [Editor’s note:  Click here for Dr. Nina Pierpont’s clarification of the difference between Vibro-Acoustic Disease and Wind Turbine Syndrome.]

“We assess the effects of noise based on medical tests, so they’re objective medical tests.

“If we go in what we’ll do is get echo-cardiograms, we’ll do brain studies.”

Dr Alves-Pereira has degrees in physics, biomedical engineering and a PhD environmental science.

She bases her research on her earlier work on aircraft workers, dating back to the 1980s who’ve been exposed to high levels of noise, up to 200Hz.

“Noise in the aeronautical industry is very rich in low frequency components,” she says.

She found a specific set of symptoms associated with people exposed to low frequency noise, but says these levels are much lower than the levels of low frequency noise in houses near windfarms.

She says they studied one family and their horses near a windfarm, and the biological response of their tissues which she says relates to exposure to low frequency noise.

Geoff Leventhall, PhD

UK-based noise and vibration consultant Dr Geoff Leventhall says the media has been running scare stories about infrasound since the 1970s.

He cites NASA’s research with Apollo space program found no impact.

“The sort of energy exposure from the NASA work over 24 years would take a few thousand years to get from wind farms at the low levels that they have.”

He rejects the theory of a direct physiological effect of infrasound.  He says it’s an assumption.  [Editor’s note:  Leventhall is a physicist, not a physician or clinician of any sort. Moreover, he regularly consults for the wind industry, and has done so for years.  You can get a sense of the man’s grasp of WTS from this correspondence, along with this article and this and this and this.]

He says what annoys people is the audible swish of the blades not infrasound.

Renowned anti-smoking campaigner, public health Professor Dr Simon Chapman has entered the debate and says it’s a noisy minority who say they suffer from the noise.

Dr Chapman argues compensation from wind turbines situated on your farm could be the antitode.

“People who move to the country, often will feel [they] don’t want their environment disturbed . . . and they’re annoyed to see wind farms unless they’re benefitting economically from them.”

He doesn’t see the need for more research, because it might hold up development of wind power.

Despite the scepticism, Australia’s peak body supporting health research the NHMRC will conduct another review of the evidence over the next 12 months.

 

“We’re the unwilling guinea pigs in your experiment with wind energy” (Mass.)

It’s improper turbine siting,” she said. “It’s not how they work, it’s where they are.”

Hobart asserted that wind turbine syndrome was a real phenomenon.

“Every time we go away, we get better,” she said. “It’s a disease, we’ve been given it, and we can cure it—by going away.”

Hobart accused town officials of allowing “politics, money, and self-interest” to interfere with protecting the health and safety of Falmouth citizens, and said firms like Vestas “hide behind the big green picture.”

·
—Conor Powers-Smith, Falmouth Patch (6/7/11)

At a special meeting on Monday night, held at the auditorium of the Morse Pond School to accommodate what was expected to be a large crowd, the Board of Selectmen heard from scientists, engineers, state legislators and their representatives, and Falmouth citizens concerning the contentious issue of wind turbines, specifically the Wind 1 and Wind 2 turbines located at the town’s Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Moderated by Nancy Farrell, the meeting played out before a packed room, which included many of the turbines’ residential abutters—a number of whom who have complained of a variety of health and quality of life issues since the first turbine went into operation.

The first speaker, Steven Clark of the state’s Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, appeared representing the Deval Patrick administration. Clark voiced Governor Patrick’s commitment to wind and other alternative energy sources, and said Falmouth’s approach was “right in line” with the administration’s policy, and promised that “the state will continue to be involved and provide leadership as needed going forward.”

The board next heard from Gail Harkness, chairman of the Board of Health, who summarized the suite of health issues cited by abutters of the turbines. Among many such issues, which some have collectively called “wind turbine syndrome,” are headaches, vertigo, anxiety, sleeplessness, and nausea.

Harkness presented the steps the Board of Health had taken in response to the complaints, including the establishment of an online database of articles dealing with turbine-related health concerns from around the world, the creation of a complaint/comment form used to gather information from residents about their health issues, and repeated visits to the area in varying weather conditions.

Christopher Menge, an engineer with Harris Miller Miller and Hanson Inc., the firm Falmouth hired to conduct a study of noise at the turbine site, summarized that report’s findings. The sound samples, taken over the course of 10 days in June 2010, were measured against the background noise in the area, as is standard in determining whether a particular source of sound exceeds the maximum allowable levels set by the state’s Department of Environmental Protection.

That threshold is 10 decibels over background noise, and Menge said the study had found that the turbine noise could approach or exceed that limit late at night or early in the morning, when the lack of cars, singing birds, and other activity means that background noise is at its lowest. Menge insisted that the greatest problems would occur when wind speeds were low, and unable to mask the sound of the turbine.

Those findings were directly contradicted by the next speaker, Todd Drummey, who lives on Blacksmith Shop Road near the site of the turbines. Like most nearby residents, Drummey maintained that the disturbance was greatest at just the opposite extreme.

“It’s annoying at low speeds,” Drummey said. “It’s intolerable at high speeds. It drives people out of their houses.”

Drummey went on to call the HMMH report into question, saying that artificially low wind shear variables had been used, invalidating the model. He also said that the study had been conducted during nights of low wind, and no data from times of higher winds had been gathered.

Michael Bahtiarian of Noise Control Engineering, Inc., the firm contracted privately by a group of abutters, presented his own findings concerning what he called “aerodynamic amplitude modulation,” which he defined as “the swishing noise” the turbines are known for. Bahtiarian said that, while MassDEP regulations are based on hourly averages, within a single minute the noise from the turbines can fluctuate widely, often exceeding the 10-decibel allowance. Also, the fluctuation itself could be an irritant.

“It’s not only the level, it’s the fluctuation of the sound,” he said.

Asked by Selectman Frietag whether sound barriers similar to those used alongside busy highways could mitigate the noise from the turbines, Bahtiarian said, “Your barriers would need to be nearly as high as your turbine, or nearly as high as your house.”

Representatives of Weston & Sampson and Vestas, the consulting and engineering firms which sited and built the turbines, said there was no evidence that the devices’ noise exceeded allowable levels, and urged the board to consider the revenue lost by curtailing the turbines’ use. Currently, the Wind 1 turbine is shut down in wind speeds in excess of 10 meters per second.

Thomas Mills of Vestas said this was exactly the opposite strategy the town should be pursuing, and recommended shutting down the turbines in lower wind conditions, in line with the HMMH study’s findings that this is when their noise rises highest above background levels.

Malcolm Donald, another resident, showed videos depicting light flicker, the strobe-like effect caused by the continuous blocking and unblocking of sunlight.

“The inside of the house looks like a disco in the mornings,” he said.

Donald went on to assert that the town had originally approached General Electric to construct the turbines, but that the company had turned those plans down due to its safety guidelines, which call for a significantly larger setback area than those of Vestas. Due to the possibilities of the turbines flinging shards of ice in cold conditions, and of the blades themselves flying away from the turbines in the event of a catastrophic mechanical failure, said Donald, GE considered many of the homes around the facility, a stretch of Route 28, and the wastewater plant itself, to fall inside the minimum safe distance.

Susan Hobart, another resident of the area, blamed Vestas’, and the town’s, shorter setback-distance standards for the problems with the turbines.

“It’s improper turbine siting,” she said. “It’s not how they work, it’s where they are.”

Hobart asserted that wind turbine syndrome was a real phenomenon.

“Every time we go away, we get better,” she said. “It’s a disease, we’ve been given it, and we can cure it, by going away.”

Hobart accused town officials of allowing “politics, money, and self-interest” to interfere with protecting the health and safety of Falmouth citizens, and said firms like Vestas “hide behind the big green picture.”

More abutters came forward to tell the board about their experiences with the turbines. Opinion was strongly and universally against the machines as currently sited.

Barry Funfar said, “I can no longer stand even the sight of these out-of-place monoliths,” and urged the town to “take the things down while you can still resell them.”

Terri Drummey referred to the turbine issues as “the so-called Falmouth Effect,” and described the difficulty sleeping and concentrating which she said had led to her 10-year-old son’s declining grades, as well as her daughter’s headaches, and the ringing in her husband’s ears.

“We are the unwilling guinea pigs in your experiment with wind energy,” she said.

The board is scheduled to hear further testimony from those affected by the turbines at its July 11 meeting.

“I can hear the turbines through my pillow at night” (United Kingdom)

—Andy Keeble, North Devon Gazette (6/8/11)

A Torrington couple are selling their home and business following the erection of a wind farm in a field opposite their bungalow.

Patricia and Arthur Poulton say they are being kept awake at night by the noise from a trio of giant turbines less than 500 metres from their home at Higher Darracott.

The couple, who have operated their Deepmoor Metal Processors scrap metal business from the site for the last 21 years, said they now had no option but to sell up and move on.

“I can hear the turbines through my pillow at night,” said Mrs Paulton, 70.

One of the three wind turbines at Higher Darracott, near Torrington.

“It’s a droning whooshing sound and as the blade passes the upright, the windier it gets, the noisier it gets. I have to close the window but you can still just about hear it through the double glazing.

“When they were first put up we had a long spell of really nice weather and they weren’t working at all. But since we’ve had the wind and the recent spell of bad weather the noise is unbearable of a night time.”

“It’s unbelievable the noise they make sometimes,” said Mr Paulton, 68.

“They are supposed to be no more than five decibels above background noise but when the wind blows across the bungalow it’s surprising how far it travels.”

The 240ft turbines were constructed by FIM Services Ltd in March and became operational in April. Planning consent was originally refused by Torridge District Council in May 2004 but later granted by a Government Inspector following a High Court appeal by land owners.

When the Gazette visited the couple on Wednesday, heavy blobs of white and grey cloud blotted out all but a few snatches of blue sky. On the hillside overlooking Torrington, two of the three turbines turned in a stiff breeze.

On the approaches to the town, the first of 22 ESB Wind Development UK turbines can be seen being built at Fullabrook Down on the other side of the Taw Estuary.

When the sun does shine here—especially towards the end of the day—the couple say the blades produce a “flicker shadow” over their bungalow.

“The sun goes down right behind the turbines and you get this strobe effect,” said Mrs Paulton, who suffers from Ménière’s disease—a disorder of the inner ear that can affect hearing and balance.

“They also produce a low frequency noise that you can’t hear but can cause dizziness, nausea and headaches. I’m not sure if it’s a coincidence but I’d not been ill for about five months but as soon as the turbines started I was sick for two weeks and have had to take the medication.

“We had a couple of break-ins at the yard last year and were thinking of selling up, but this has been the final straw.”

The couple have been in contact with Torridge District Council and have been asked to fill in forms to record their disturbance.

A spokesperson for the council said an official investigation had already started.

A statement from the council said: “The necessary forms have been sent to the complainants and our environmental protection team is awaiting the return of the paperwork with a diary of noise disturbances to see whether or not further investigation is required.”

Regarding shadow flicker, it said: “In the planning permission the inspector stipulated that a report should be submitted on shadow flicker which concluded that there would be very little chance of it happening. However, should it occur, effective steps should be taken to stop it.”

The couple were keen to point out that they were not concerned about the turbines’ impact on the landscape.

“We’re not bothered about how they look,” said Mrs Paulton.

The Gazette contacted FIM Service but a spokesperson was unavailable for comment.

June 6, 2011, 6:45 pm (NY City time)

Editor’s note:  June 6th, 6:45 pm (New York City time), turn on your computer and click here.  This will take you to the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) website, where you can listen to a live-streamed webcast of the following symposium.

We recommend Dr. Mariana Alves-Pereira (one of the principal researchers on Vibro-Acoustic Disease, including VAD from wind turbines), Dr. Bob Thorne (an acoustician who has studied wind turbine noise), and Dr. Sarah Laurie (the Medical Director of the Waubra Foundation, dedicated to researching and addressing Wind Turbine Syndrome in Australia).

The other speakers?  They’re worth listening to, as well, although they may make your blood boil.

All the speakers’ scientific and professional credentials are listed and more or less explained in this document.

For Nina Pierpont’s scathing review of the NHMRC’s report on Wind Turbine Syndrome, click here.

My guess is that this symposium is a fig leaf designed to cover the NHMRC’s backside for its scandalously stupid report.  Yes, they invited some outstanding speakers—but will they be taken seriously?  Were I a betting man, I’d say they won’t.  My guess is the NHMRC will pretend to deliberate on the evidence, then announce they can find nothing “scientifically” sound about Wind Turbine Syndrome.  And wind energy companies will be permitted to charge ahead with their projects—with the blessing of the National Health and Medical Research Council.

Dr. Laurie disagrees with me; she’s convinced the symposium isn’t a sham.

I hope she’s right.
·

“The biggest regret I’ve ever experienced” (Wisconsin)

Editor’s note:  Wisconsin farmer, Gary Steinich, recently sent this letter to Better Plan, Wisconsin, asking that it be published.  We reprint it here with appreciation to both Mr. Steinich and Better Plan, Wisconsin.

From one farmer to another . . .

·
—Gary Steinich, Steinich Farms, Inc. (Cambria, Wisconsin)
June, 2011 ·

This is an open letter to Wisconsin farmers who are considering signing a wind lease to host turbines on your land. Before you sign, I’d like to tell you about what happened to our family farm after we signed a contract with a wind developer.

In 2002, a wind developer approached my father about signing a lease agreement to place a MET (meteorological) tower on our land. My father was in his 70’s at the time. The developer did a good job of befriending him and gaining his trust.

He assured my father that the project wasn’t a done deal and was a long way off. They first had to put up the MET tower to measure the wind for awhile.

He told my father that if the project went forward there would be plenty of time to decide if we wanted to host turbines on our farm. There would be lots of details to work out and paperwork to sign well before the turbines would be built. The developer said my father could decide later on if he wanted to stay in the contract.

In 2003 the developer contacted us again. This time he wanted us to sign a contract to host turbines on our land. We were unsure about it, so we visited the closest wind project we knew of at the time. It was in Montfort, WI.

The Monfort project consists of 20 turbines that are about 300 feet tall and arranged in a straight line, taking up very little farmland with the turbine bases and access roads. The landowners seemed very satisfied with the turbines. But we were still unsure about making the commitment.

We were soon contacted again by the developer, and we told him we were undecided. Then he really started to put pressure on us to sign.

This was in March of 2004, a time of $1.60 corn and $1200 an acre land. It seemed worth it have to work around a couple of turbines for the extra cash. We were told the turbines would be in a straight line and only take up a little bit of land like the ones in Monfort.

And we were also told that we were the ones holding up the project. That all of our neighbors had signed, and we were the last hold-outs. It persuaded us.

What we didn’t know then was the developer was not being truthful. We were not the “last hold-out” at all. In later discussions with our neighbors we found out that in fact we were the very first farmers to sign up. I have since found out this kind of falsehood is a common tactic of wind developers.

My father read through the contract. He said he thought it was okay. I briefly skimmed through it, found the language confusing, but trusted my father’s judgment. We didn’t hire a lawyer to read it through with us. We didn’t feel the need to. The developer had explained what was in it.

The wind contract and easement on our farm was for 20 years. By then my dad was 75. He figured time was against him for dealing with this contract in the future so we agreed I should sign it. A few months later, my father died suddenly on Father’s Day, June 20th, 2004

After that, we didn’t hear a whole lot about the wind farm for a couple years. There was talk that the project was dead. And then in 2007 we were told the developer sold the rights to the project. A Wisconsin utility bought it.

After that everything changed. The contract I signed had an option that allowed it to be extended for an additional 10 years. The utility used it.

The turbines planned for the project wouldn’t be like the ones in Monfort. They were going to be much larger, 400 feet tall. And there were going to be 90 of them.

They weren’t going to be in a straight row. They’d be sited in the spots the developer felt were best for his needs, including in middle of fields, with access roads sometimes cutting diagonally across good farm land. Landowners could have an opinion about turbine placement but they would not have final say as to where the turbines and access roads would be placed. It was all in the contract.

Nothing was the way we thought it was going to be. We didn’t know how much land would be taken out of production by the access roads alone. And we didn’t understand how much the wind company could do to our land because of what was in the contract..

In 2008 I had the first of many disputes with the utility, and soon realized that according to the contract I had little to no say about anything. This became painfully clear to me once the actual construction phase began in 2010 and the trucks and equipment came to our farm and started tearing up the field.

In October of 2010 a representative of the utility contacted me to ask if a pile of soil could be removed from my farm. It was near the base of one of the turbines they were putting on my land. I said no, that no soil is to be removed from my farm.

The rep said that the pile was actually my neighbor’s soil, that the company was storing it on my land with plans to move it to another property.

Shortly afterwards I noticed the pile of subsoil was gone.

In November of 2011 I saw several trucks loading up a second pile of soil on my land and watched them exiting down the road. I followed them and then called the Columbia County Sheriff. Reps from the company were called out. I wanted my soil back.

A few days later the rep admitted they couldn’t give it back to me because my soil was gone. It had been taken and already dispersed on someone else’s land. I was offered 32 truck loads of soil from a stockpile they had. I was not guaranteed that the soil would be of the same quality and composition as the truck loads of soil they took from my farm.

I was informed by the lawyer for the utility that I had until April 30, 2011 to decide to take the soil. There would be no other offer. Take it or leave it.

I contacted the Public Service Commission for help. The PSC approved the terms of project and I believed the utility was violating those terms. The PSC responded by telling me they could do nothing because the issue involved a private contract between myself and the utility.

They told me my only option was to sue the utility.

My father and I both worked those fields. Watching the way they’ve been ripped apart would sicken any farmer. But what farmer has the time and money it would take to sue a Wisconsin utility?

By signing that contract I signed away the control of the family farm, and it’s the biggest regret I have ever experienced and will ever experience. I have only myself to blame for not paying close enough attention to what I was signing.

We had a peaceful community here before the developer showed up, but no more. Now it’s neighbor against neighbor, family members not speaking to one another and there is no ease in conversation like in the old days. Everyone is afraid to talk for fear the subject of the wind turbines will come up. The kind of life we enjoyed in our community is gone forever.

I spend a lot of sleepless nights wishing I could turn back the clock and apply what I’ve learned from this experience. Now corn and bean prices are up. The money from the turbines doesn’t balance out our crop loss from land taken out of production. The kind of life we enjoyed on our family farm is gone forever too.

I would not sign that contract today. As I write this, the utility is putting up the towers all around us. In a few months the turbines will be turned on and we’ll have noise and shadow flicker to deal with. If I have trouble with these things, too bad. I’ve signed away my right to complain. These are some of the many problems I knew nothing about when I signed onto the project.

If you are considering signing a wind lease, take the contract to a lawyer. Go over every detail. Find out exactly what can happen to your fields, find out all the developer will be allowed to do to your land. Go through that contract completely, and think hard before make your decision.

I can tell you from first-hand experience, once you sign that contract, you will not have a chance to turn back.

·
Update:  June 5, 2011, Gary Steinich contacted Better Plan to let us know he and the utility have reached an agreement on his soil restoration.

Turbines “vibrate the walls” (Ontario)

“There’s no garden this year.  My yard is a mess.  I can’t go out more than 20 minutes to do anything.”

Symptoms:  Dizziness, tinnitus, ear pressure and pain, disturbed sleep, vibrations in the house (“vibrates the walls”), headaches, heart palpitations.  None of this experienced before the turbines began operation.
·

·
Editor’s note:  Posted with appreciation to Wind Concerns Ontario.

Gag clause

Editor’s note:  The following article is reprinted verbatim from Better Plan, Wisconsin, with appreciation.  WTS.com recommends Better Plan as one of the best, most up-to-date websites on the matter of wind energy.  All praise to Lynda Barry for running the site!

·
Question
:  What’s black and white and you can’t talk about it for the rest of your life?
Answer:  Sorry. I signed a wind lease. I can’t discuss it.

·
Better Plan, Wisconsin has been collecting copies of wind leases for the last few years and has yet to find one that didn’t contain a confidentiality agreement—also known as a “gag order.”

Landowners who share wind leases are taking a clear risk, but more are coming forward anyway. One farmer who shared his contract said, “I don’t care anymore. I just don’t want this to happen to anyone else.”

The section below is copied from a wind lease contract recently sent to us. The landowner who signed it agreed to allow noise, vibration, shadow flicker and any other disruption the turbines might cause to take place on his property. If he has problems with these things, he can’t talk about it because the gag order requires that he:

» Not to talk about the contents of lease to anyone.

» Not to talk about the construction or operation of the turbines.

» Not speak to reporters or anyone in the media or issue statements or press releases unless the wind company gives the landowner its written permission.

The landowner also had to agree that the gag order would still apply long after the turbines are gone, because this line, “This section shall survive the termination of expiration of this lease,” means this gag oder is forever.

The landowner can talk to his lawyer or accountant and certain others about the contract, but only after they agree to a gag order too.
·

Straight from the Contract:

Confidentiality

(Landowner) shall maintain in strictest confidence, for the sole benefit of (wind developer), all information pertaining to the terms and conditions of this lease, including, without limitation, the construction and power production of the wind farm.

Without first obtaining written permission from the (wind developer), (the landowner) shall not issue any statements or press releases or respond to any inquires from news media regarding such matters.

(Landowner) shall maintain the strictest confidence, for the sole benefit of the (wind developer), all information pertaining to the terms and conditions of this lease, including, without limitation, the financial terms hereof.

This section shall survive the termination of expiration of this lease.

Nothing in this section shall prohibit sharing or disclosing information with any party’s (lawyer), accountants, or current or prospective investors, purchases, lenders, or as required by law, provided that the party sharing or disclosing such information requires the recipient to maintain the confidentiality of such disclosed information.

“Understanding the Truth of Wind Energy”–Lecture Series, June 2011 (Cape Cod, MA)

—For Immediate Release:
Windwise~Cape Cod Announces June Lecture Series

“Understanding the Truth of Wind Energy”

·

Cape Cod, MA – May 24, 2011—Windwise Cape Cod is an alliance of neighborhood organizations and dedicated individuals who joined together to promote a more open dialogue on the planned proliferation of wind turbines. Windwise supports a reasoned consideration of the economic feasibility and the adverse effects of wind turbines on Cape Cod.

To this end, Windwise Cape Cod is sponsoring a free lecture series at Cape Cod Community College on the first three Tuesdays of June.

The “Understanding the Truth of Wind Energy” series includes presentations by leading national and international experts who will present the latest research on many aspects of wind energy.

Of special importance will be the presentation on Tuesday, June 14th. Two of the leading international experts on the health risks of wind turbines will present via WebEx. Dr. Nina Pierpont is the author of the most influential book on health problems caused by wind turbines, Wind Turbine Syndrome: A Report on a Natural Experiment (published 2009) and Dr. Sarah Laurie will present from Australia. Dr. Laurie is one of the founders of the Waubra Foundation in Australia, which is devoted to supporting national and international cooperative research initiatives on the health risks of wind turbines.

“Much has happened on Cape Cod since our lectures series in October of last year,” stated Shelia K. Bowen, President of Windwise Cape Cod. “In town after town there is rising controversy over wind turbine projects. Citizens and officials are struggling to better understand the risks and benefits of wind energy. Just a few weeks ago, the Cape Cod Assembly of Delegates adopted a set of Minimum Performance Standards for wind developments. Thus, there is a much greater urgency to ensure all residents and elected and appointed town officials have complete and accurate information on wind energy available to them.”
·

About the “Understanding the Truth of Wind Energy” Speakers

» Tuesday, June 7th, 7 pm Cape Cod Community College, Science Lecture Hall A. “Wind: So What’s the Problem?” presented by Lisa Linowes. Ms. Linowes is the Executive Director for the Industrial Wind Action Group, a national advocacy group focused on the impact/benefit analysis associated with industrial wind energy development. Her presentation will review current energy policies, the scale of proposed wind development nationwide and in Massachusetts, and whether our policy goals adequately satisfy the public’s need for clean, low cost, and reliable energy.

» Tuesday, June 14th, 7 pm Cape Cod Community College, Science Lecture Hall A.  “Wind Turbine Syndrome: An Overview” presented by Nina Pierpont, MD (Johns Hopkins), PhD (Population Biology, Princeton), via WebEx. Dr. Pierpont is the author of the peer-reviewed book Wind Turbine Syndrome: A Report on a Natural Experiment, the most influential book published on the health risks of wind turbines (www.windturbinesyndrome.com). She is the leading global authority on this topic and has been interviewed by news organizations and has testified in governmental hearings and court cases around the world.

“Recent Field Observations of Adverse Health Effects from Wind Turbine Developments in Australia,” presented by Sarah Laurie, MD (Flinders University, Australia), via WebEx from Australia. Dr. Laurie is a former rural family physician and one of the founders of the Waubra Foundation in Australia which is devoted to supporting national and international cooperative research initiatives on the health risks of wind turbines.

» Tuesday, June 21st, 7 pm Cape Cod Community College, Science Lecture Hall A. “Facts vs Fiction: Realities of Life with Wind Turbines,” presented by Lilli Green and Preston Ribnick. Lilli and Preston are founding members of Windwise Cape Cod. They are co-owners of a national healthcare consulting firm specializing in educational programs. Lilli and Preston have spent the past 18 months researching the impact of wind turbines on individuals and communities. They recently visited Australia and New Zealand where they videotaped people living in close proximity to wind turbines and international experts on noise and human health. Their presentation will include extensive video interviews.  (Read “The Green & Ribnick Report.”)

All lectures are free and open to the public.

Presentations will be followed by a question and answer period.

All lectures will be presented in Science Lecture Hall A, near Parking Lot 7, at Cape Cod Community College, 2240 Iyannough Road (Rt. 132) near the Burger King at Exit 6 off the Mid-Cape Highway (Rt. 6), West Barnstable, MA 02668.

Parking is free.

“The reason we titled this lecture series ‘Understanding the Truth of Wind Energy’ is that there is a vast amount of misinformation that is used to justify the placement of wind turbines in close proximity of homes, schools and businesses,” Ms. Bowen stated. “Windwise Cape Cod is committed to providing researched and accurate information so the citizens and officials on Cape Cod can make informed decisions on this vitally important issue. For this lecture series we will be extending personal invitations to all Cape Cod Boards of Selectmen, members of Planning Boards, Zoning Boards, Boards of Health, town managers, officials of Barnstable County Government, and State Representatives and Senators. We hope each and every one attends the presentations.”

·
About Windwise Cape Cod

Windwise Cape Cod is an alliance of community organizations and citizens formed to have a stronger voice in response to the rapid proliferation of wind turbines proposed and planned for the Cape, Islands and South Coast.

The mission of Windwise Cape Cod is to make complete and accurate information on wind energy available to residents, town governments, and state legislators. In addition, Windwise Cape Cod provides support and guidance to groups and citizens who want to bring information and expertise about wind turbines to their communities.
·

For more information, please contact:

Shelia Bowen, President
Windwise Cape Cod and the Harwich Neighbor Alliance
Phone: 508-432-7956
Email: windwisecapecod@gmail.com

“We now see families leaving their homes,” reports physician (Denmark)

To:  Editor, WindTurbineSyndrome.com
From:   Mauri Johansson, MD, MHH (Bording, Denmark)
Regarding:  Wind turbines in Denmark
Date:  May 26, 2011

·
Many thanks for posting the article, “We were compelled to leave the site due to severe nausea” (Australia).  A clear and revealing report!

The picture looks very similar to our experience in Denmark.  We now see families leaving their homes, even here.

The public debate in Denmark has been vivid, and continues to go on countrywide, including on radio and TV.

Our organization against these gigantic wind turbines has now more than 100 local groups.  Many communities are stopping their turbine plans.

Yesterday, the Danish Ministry of Environment and the Environmental Protection Agency announced that they plan to reduce the maximum level of low frequent noise (including infrasound) to 20 dB indoors. In open landscapes throughout Denmark the wind turbines are allowed to deliver noise up to 44 dB all day and night outdoors to neighbors, in contrast to traffic and industrial noise, where there are limitations during nighttime hours. There is also a rule that neighbors are not allowed to live closer than 4 times the maximum height of the turbine, which is obviously too close. However, if the new indoor maximum is accepted by law, it will probably be this limit that regulates the minimum distance to neighbors.

So, we have a feeling that something positive is happening.

Unfortunately the medical establishment and health agencies are ignorant, I am sad to say. The wind turbine industry is strongly resisting any change.  The medical authorities employ engineers, not physicians, to analyze the relationship between turbines and human health.  This is an outrage.  Moreover, the engineers oftentimes have a close connection to the wind industry.

Nevertheless, the fight goes on, here. There are still several open questions: (a) measuring protocols, especially low frequency noise (down to 0 Hz), (b) establishment of public offices for control measures where there is annoyance, and (c) other basic requirements to protect human health.

With all best wishes to Nina.

“We were compelled to leave the site due to severe nausea” (Australia)

Pharmacist recounts “whirlpool of disaster” he & friends experienced while visiting a wind farm

·
From
:  George Papadopoulos, Pharmacist
To:  Jillian Skinner MP, NSW Minister for Health; Brad Hazzard MP, NSW Planning Minister
Regarding:  Wind Turbine Syndrome victims of the “Crookwell 1 Trial Wind Turbine” site, New South Wales (Australia)
Date:  May 24, 2011

·
Dear Ministers,

I am a trained and registered, practising health professional (pharmacist).

Yesterday, I met two elderly ladies from the Crookwell region who have been for years quietly suffering the effects of what has been described as Wind Turbine Syndrome.

These ladies have been quietly suffering for years. Their local medical practitioners are unable to do much beyond prescribe antidepressants, sleeping tablets and other medication, or recommend that they move.

There is a lack of “published peer reviewed evidence” that these health problems exist, as the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council’s (NH&MRC) “Rapid Review” report pointed out. [Editor’s note:  Dr. Nina Pierpont’s published book, “Wind Turbine Syndrome,” was in fact peer reviewed, but Big Wind and its government enablers don’t wish to acknowledge that inconvenient truth.]  But that does NOT mean there is no health problem, which is what the wind developers and many individuals in government have been wrongly inferring or assuming from the NH&MRC’s report. They have ignored the NH&MRC’s advice to “adopt a precautionary approach.”

I asked one of these ladies why she hasn’t taken the matter further—why she isn’t discussing the matter with the locals. Well, surprisingly, the locals have ostracised her for making comments that might affect the tourist business in Crookwell. So she decided to shut up and suffer, or otherwise become a social outcast.

So who is listening to these quiet victims of this “innovative,” original New South Wales (NSW) wind turbine trial? Why is it that the suffering of these quiet victims has not affected the planning process of newer wind turbine developments?

Strange isn’t it? What was the point of this trial site?

I then decided with two companions to pay my own visit to the local trial industrial wind turbine site—situated amongst rural blocks. I have never been so close to a wind turbine site before. In fact, so close (within 250 metres) thanks to a third victim of this development, who allowed us to access their property. This third victim also needs sleeping pills to sleep and is unduly chronically ill due to Wind Turbine Syndrome.

Well, our experience was absolutely stunning! Almost immediately, pressure sensations in the head abruptly started—plus blocked ears that could not be relieved by swallowing or yawning. We couldn’t hear any loud deafening noises, but the constant whooshing noise was phenomenal—enough to drive you mad.

We were ultimately compelled to leave the site due to severe nausea in all three of us. Perhaps it wasn’t a good idea to get so close to the turbines. Eventually it was only at 5km away that we finally felt totally relieved and normal—we had finally escaped this whirlpool of disaster.

My dear politician, I am not having a joke. This is no good story. It is a very sad reality of what is happening here in Australia, in our meant-to-be progressive, clean democracy where the rights of the individual should be upheld against the little, if any, good that can be found in these developments.

Why are our planning departments ineffective in drafting policies to protect public health? Why aren’t our health departments effective in monitoring the health of individuals surrounding these industrial power sites? Why are the local medical practitioners and other local health professionals so slow in protecting these most sweet, kind-hearted elderly souls?

The reason is, despite these problems being reported globally, no government has listened to its citizens and ensured that appropriate independent acoustic and medical research is commissioned and funded, to help find out why these problems are occurring and how to prevent them. Or, in plain terms, research which will determine the safe distance between turbines and homes and workplaces.

If this were a drug, these experiences would be reported as “Adverse Events” and the drug would be withdrawn, pending further investigation until its safety from unanticipated side effects could be guaranteed. The equivalent in this situation is to immediately instigate a moratorium where turbines are close to homes, and fully investigate these occurrences.

It’s time to do something about it. The recent Federal Senate Inquiry has heard