Doctor pleads before the Australian Federal Senate

Editor’s note
:  The following is the text of
Dr. Sarah Laurie’s oral testimony before the Australian Federal Senate, March 29, 2011.

Madam Chair and Fellow Senators:

I would like to thank you for giving me the opportunity to present to you in person.

I began this quest for knowledge when I was made aware of the proposed wind development near my home, almost a year ago, and was asked by my neighbour to comment on a study, by Dr Amanda Harry, a Cornish rural GP. It was only after reading this study that I really became concerned, and decided to look into the matter further, and find out what “patient” research had been done.

Sarah Laurie, MD
Medical Director, The Waubra Foundation

Prior to this I had been reassured by the official pronouncements from government health bodies that “there was no evidence of health problems.”

Like Dr David Iser, the Australian GP from Toora in Victoria, who investigated this a number of years ago, I did not want to find a problem. Locally, it has made things awkward for me with longstanding friends, former patients, and farming neighbours who have been through some very difficult years.

It has also made things very awkward with longstanding friends who are Greens, or who are passionate environmental advocates.

Dr Iser and I have both compared notes on our reluctance to accept that a technology in which we had invested so much hope for the future of the planet, could possibly be making people sick.

But it is. And we urgently need to find out why, in order to site turbines safely, so they will not seriously harm human health.

As I have listed in my submission, there are numerous doctors now, both in Australia and overseas, who have either conducted small studies on their patient populations, or conducted larger studies on patients who had developed the same health problems, since the wind developments had started operating near to their homes. We are all very concerned that these serious and mounting health problems are being ignored by our respective governments and health research institutions, previously held in high esteem.

I realized very early on that any research I did would be immediately seen by others to be tainted and, besides, some of that work had been done and had been ignored. Hence my acceptance of the position of Medical Director of the Waubra Foundation, and the objectives of the Foundation, particularly to collect field observations and use those to then ascertain what research is needed, and to then ensure that the best independent researchers in the particular scientific fields were encouraged to investigate the problems.

I have been privileged to get to know and now work closely with researchers around the globe who are trying to help identify and describe the problems, and to work out the scientific mechanisms for the damage being done to health. These include medical practitioners from a variety of disciplines, acousticians, physiologists, physicists, psychologists, and others. We are all united in our determination to find scientific answers to these questions.

We all have limited time and resources, and we need to ensure that any research which is done can be trusted by all parties, who are now very distrustful of each other. There is a lot at stake, for all parties. I am advised by Dr Bob Thorne, one of the independent acoustics researchers who has submitted a research proposal to the Foundation, that some very useful information and data could be gathered within 6 months.

If our original requests for funding had been granted 6 months ago, when asked, we could have had some results by now. There is no more time to lose.

There is absolutely no doubt that these turbines, particularly at some developments, are making nearby residents very sick, and that their symptoms worsen over time. This is resulting in people abandoning their homes and farms, if they can afford to. A recent example of this aired on South Australian ABC Stateline last Friday night. I was told by a local from Waterloo in South Australia yesterday that there are now five households who have left or are leaving Waterloo, primarily because they cannot sleep. That wind development seems to be particularly damaging to the local residents’ health. We need to find out why some developments seem to be worse than others.

We need to find out what the mechanism for their symptoms is. We have our strong hypotheses that one of the mechanisms is low frequency sound and infrasound, but these need to be formally tested, with concurrent measurement of infrasound, and other indices such as sleep and blood pressure, in the homes of the affected residents, while the turbines are turning. We then need to compare this to what happens when the turbines are not turning, which will require the cooperation of the industry. Alternatively, we can measure what happens to these residents when they are away from their homes, if such industry cooperation is not forthcoming.  (more…)

“With the breeze from your refrigerator door” (Comic Strip)

“If you thought pink batts were a poorly implemented, badly designed, money-wasting, deadly green disaster, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

“Try wind turbines.

“The [Australian] Government’s rush to make green energy provide 20 per cent of the nation’s power by 2020 is despoiling and dividing once peaceful rural communities, slashing the value of properties, driving people mad with their infrasound throbbing, while driving up electricity prices, and doing absolutely nothing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“And all of it is subsidised by you, the hapless taxpayer.

“Wind farms are regarded as the most expensive, inefficient way to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Wind will never replace fossil fuels because it is not reliable enough to supply base-load electricity, so another form of power always has to be at the ready. On hot, still days when people want air conditioning the turbines don’t move.

“Such are the unforeseen consequences of slap-dash good intentions, which just goes to show the road to hell is paved with green policies.”

—Miranda Devine, The (3/20/11)


“Vomited 5 more times by 9 am” (Ontario, Canada)

Editor’s note:  The following is the submission by a man named Paul Thompson to the Australian Federal Senate hearing on the Social & Economic Impacts of Rural Wind Farms.  Mr. Thompson lives across the road from a wind farm substation (power collecting station, which then sends the power on to the grid).  The turbines, themselves, are (I believe) several miles away.  How much of his Wind Turbine Syndrome is owing to the substation and how much to the turbines themselves—I have no idea.

—Paul Thompson

I reside in the township of Amaranth in the County of Dufferin in the Province of Ontario, Canada.  I have lived for 5 years (on February 16, 2011) with a Commercial Electrical Substation (T/S) energized 360 meters (1,181 feet) from my home, which provides the provincial grid connection for a 199.5 MW industrial wind turbine facility.

I was born on this “97-acre more or less” rural property 47 years ago and severed off a 1 acre parcel in 1989 and built my current home from the ground up.

I have included excerpts from my daily diary in an attempt to help demonstrate to you the adverse effects imposed on my body by this installation. I have been renting other accommodations to sleep in at night since May 1, 2009, and driving to and from daily, thereby increasing substantially the financial encumbrance and wear and tear on my vehicle and my person.

I have been to my family doctor and have exhausted the headache, tinnitus testing regimen of my physician, including a MRI, CT scan, neurologist and a pain management clinic, etc.

The conclusion reached by the medical profession after all of these tests seems to be that the problem is not with me. The “pain management clinician” told me “this is my shortest diagnosis ever.  You already know what the problem is.  What are going to do to move out?”

The only conclusion I can reach is that it must be the environment I live in. The only change in the environment I live in since my home was built is the installation of the T/S across the road from my property.

An example from my diary of my worst day yet to occur on my property:

» Arrived home at 6 am OK. (I discovered last October what I have been calling OK in my diary for years is just what has become a “normal” amount of adverse effects to me, this I determined after spending two days in a secluded cabin in the woods with electricity.  It is possible, in a “clean” location, to enjoy no ringing in ears at all and not even a slight headache.)

» Wicked ringing in ears on entering house.

» By 6:30 am could easily vomit, wickedly dizzy, nauseous, medium headache, and diarrhea.

» By 6:45am felt really rotten (vomited twice) after having one bite of a waffle for breakfast, which I threw up almost instantly along with a sip of my morning coffee before I left the house for outside (being outside usually helps to alleviate symptoms) at 7 am.

» By 7:30 am condition has worsened.  It is unsafe (extremely dizzy) to drive to leave here, so I lay down in my pickup in the front yard (where I parked it on coming home, unfortunately, between my house and T/S—I had to move very slowly to avoid falling and vomiting) until 12:20pm.

» Vomited 5 more times by 9 am.

» Entered house for lunch (unsuccessful).  Still same symptoms as above except now I have progressed to a wicked headache.

» In house I could hear an “electric motor running” type noise coming from the T/S. (This happens on occasion, may be the low frequency noise aspect affecting my brain?)

» In house until 1 pm.  Struggled outside to truck parked in front yard till 3 pm.  By then felt capable (vision cleared to the point of being able to see and feel well enough to drive around house and shed, hopefully without hitting it) of moving the pickup to back yard out of view of passersby (two visitors came by while parked in front yard; it’s hard to talk when this sick without vomiting) and behind shed hoping, that with the house and my shed behind house blocking “line of sight” to T/S, I might feel better. Stayed there until 7 pm. By then symptoms had backed off to slight headache and medium ringing in ears (almost “normal”).  Other symptoms have backed off as well.

» Entered house.  By 7:20 pm back to medium headache and slight ringing in ears, almost diarrhea, had something to eat (first time today it stayed down) by 9:30pm, when felt semi-safe to drive to leave here—I could easily vomit again.

» By the next morning on awakening at 6am, all is well again.”

An example of a good day:

» Awoke at 6:15 am.  Arrived home at 6:45 am.  Felt OK.

» Instant medium ringing in ears on entering house.

» By 7 am, medium headache started.  In house until 7:45 am.

» Away on service call until 11:40 am.  Felt OK by 10:30 am, on entering house at 11:40am OK until 11:50 am then slight ringing in ears and slight to medium headache started.

» Left house at 12:30 pm on service call.  Away until 7:45 pm. I felt OK by 2 pm. On entering house at 7:45 pm instant medium ringing in ears started and slight to medium headache.

» By 8:40 pm it had progressed to medium ringing in ears and medium headache

» I left house at 9:30 pm.”  (more…)

Pierpont blasts health report (Australia)

Wind turbines [health] report ‘pitiful’”

Graham Lloyd, Environment Editor, The Australian (3/26/11)

Editor’s note:  All the images and links, below, were added by WTS-com.

A National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) report dismissing concerns about wind turbines was a “pitiful and dubious document” that misrepresented research and relied on industry-funded reports, a Senate hearing was told yesterday.

Nina Pierpont, MD (Johns Hopkins), PhD (Princeton, in Population Biology/Behavioral Ecology)

Nina Pierpont, the US-based physician whose research led to the term Wind Turbine Syndrome, said the NHMRC report relied on statements by government departments and wind industry lobby groups and was not a credible report.

To read “Wind Turbines & Health:  A Rapid Review of the Evidence,”
click on Alfred E. Neuman, above.

“This is not a scientific critique; there is obvious conflict of interest in what these documents and people have to say,” Dr Pierpont told the Senate hearing by telephone hook-up.  [Click here for Pierpont’s opening remarks to the Committee.]  (more…)

Seismologists say wind turbines produce airborne infrasound plus ground-borne vibration “up to 6.8 miles from the wind farm” (Italy)

Calvin Luther Martin, PhD

A new study by a team of earthquake scientists (seismologists) in Italy has made a signal contribution to our understanding of wind turbine noise & vibration and, by extension, Wind Turbine Syndrome (WTS).

Before examining their research, however, we need to put it in context—the context of Wind Turbine Syndrome (WTS) and the central role played by the utricle and saccule in triggering WTS.

Those of you who’ve read Pierpont’s book, “Wind Turbine Syndrome,” are already familiar with the “vestibular organ story”:  that the utricle and saccule (vestibular organs in the inner ear) evolved over millions of years to detect ground-borne (substrate-borne) low frequency vibration.  The eyes—to see.  The nose—to smell.  And the ear—to hear (via the cochlea) and detect low frequency vibration (via vestibular organs).  Indeed, as you learned from her book, the utricle and saccule are the low frequency vibration detectors for a host of creatures, in fish all the way up through mammalians—including yours truly.

Secondly, we already know from human experimentation (Todd et al. 2009) that the utricle or saccule of the human is 15dB more sensitive to 100 Hz substrate-borne vibration than the cochlea.  In other words, when incoming noise is so quiet you can’t hear it, the utricle and saccule still pick it up.  Such is their phenomenal sensitivity!  Moreover, we know there is definitely an infrasonic (low frequency) range of sensitivity in the utricle and saccule, although, at this point, it’s unclear what exactly the range of these frequencies is.

In other words, the amount of vibration/bone-conducted sound was so small that the subjects could not hear it, yet the vestibular parts of their inner ears still responded to the vibration and transmitted signals into the balance and motion networks in the brain, resulting in specific types of eye muscle activation (eye muscle activation is a well-known marker for vestibular stimulation).

Since dB is a base 10 logarithmic measure, 15 dB below means a signal 0.0316 (10–1.5), or about 3%, of the power or amplitude of the signal these normal subjects could hear” (Pierpont, Wind Turbine Syndrome, pp. 86-87).”

(Thanks to Dr. Alec Salt’s research, scientists now know that the cochlea suppresses the hearing detection of low frequency noise.  Notice, this does not mean the low frequency noise has no effect on the brain; it merely means our ability to hear it is suppressed, a fact the wind developers and their acoustician consultants don’t seem to grasp—or want to grasp?)

With this as background, consider the following:

VIRGO Gravitational Wave Observatory, Italy

Seismic Noise by Wind Farms: A case study from the Virgo Gravitational Wave Observatory, Italy”

—by Gilberto Saccorotti, Davide Piccinini, Léna Cauchie, Irene Fiori


We present analyses of the noise wave field in the vicinity of Virgo, the Italian–French gravitational wave observatory located close to Pisa, Italy, with special reference to the vibrations induced by a nearby wind farm. The spectral contribution of the wind turbines is investigated using (1) onsite measurements, (2) correlation of spectral amplitudes with wind speed, (3) directional properties determined via multichannel measurements, and (4) attenuation of signal amplitude with distance.

Among the different spectral peaks thus discriminated, the one at frequency 1.7 Hz is associated with the greatest power, and under particular conditions it can be observed at distances as large as 11 km [6.8 mi] from the wind farm.

The spatial decay of amplitudes exhibits a complicated pattern which we interpret in terms of the combination of direct surface waves and body waves refracted at a deep (≈800m = half a mile) interface between the Plio-Pleistocenic marine, fluvial, and lacustrine sediments and the Miocene carbonate basement.

We develop a model for wave attenuation that allows determining the amplitude of the radiation from individual turbines, which is estimated on the order of 300-400 µms-1/√Hz for wind speeds over the 8–14 m/s range.

On the basis of this model, we then develop a predictive relationship for assessing the possible impact of future wind farm projects.”

The following are key points from the paper. (Text in grayscale was inserted by CLM to clarify the translator’s imperfect English.  Sometimes the grayscale text is meant as a substitute for the confusing original text, as in the first line, below; other times it is an elaboration on the original text.)

By In mid 2008, a wind park composed by of four, 2MW turbines was installed at some 6km east of VIRGO’s NE. After then subsequently, plans were submitted to local authorities for (i) adding three additional turbines to the existing wind park, and (ii) installing a new, 7-turbine wind park at a site located about 5km west of VIRGO’s WE. As a consequence, EGO (the European Gravitational Observatory) asked the Italian Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia (INGV hereinafter) to conduct a noise study aiming aimed at (i) verifying properties and intensity of the vibrations produced by the present aerogenerators wind turbines, with the ultimate goal of (ii) assessing the possible impact of the project wind parks.

Wind turbines are large and vibrating cylindrical towers strongly coupled to the ground through a massive concrete foundation, with rotating turbine blades generating low-frequency acoustic signals noise.

The Vibrations depict show a complex spectrum, which includes both time-varying frequency peaks directly related to the blade-passing frequency, and stationary peaks associated with the pendulum modes of the heavy rotor head and tower, and to flexural as in flexing modes of the tower.

These disturbances noise/vibrations propagate via complex paths including directly through the ground or though principally through the air and then coupling diving locally into the ground.  (more…)

US Congress moving toward mandated “clean energy” standard

Glenn Schleede, Virginia

By whatever name—a national Clean Energy Standard (CES), Renewable Electric Standard (RES), or Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS)—means trouble for electric customers.

In case you are not yet aware of it, on March 21, 2011 the Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee Chairman (Bingaman) and Senior Minority member (Murkowski) issued for public comment, by April 11th, a “White Paper on a Clean Energy Standard,” along with a set of very specific instructions on how comments must be submitted, if they are to be considered.

I urge you to consider submitting comments—even though Bingaman-Murkowski (or their staff) have made it difficult to do so.   Further, I urge you to consider opposing any and all national CES, RES or RPS, rather than suggesting that a national measure, if “properly” formulated, might be acceptable.

The White Paper references President Obama’s State of the Union proposal for a Clean Energy Standard (CES) to require that 80 percent of the nation’s electricity come from “clean energy technologies by 2035.”  The White Paper then asks 6 “basic” questions and 36 “clarifying” questions about how the national Clean Energy Standard should be formulated.

In effect, the paper assumes that a national Clean Energy Standard will be passed by Congress, though one purpose of the paper is to ascertain whether or not consensus can be achieved.   (more…)

Wind Turbine Syndrome—again (Australia)

Click anywhere, above, to watch video

“I’ve experienced never-before health events” (Ontario, Canada)

Dear WTS-com,

I have read several of your articles forwarded to me by Barrie Gilbert, and ask you please to add me to your mailing list.

I live at 9 Mile Point, Simcoe Island, separated from 86 wind turbines (on Wolfe Island) by the narrow Batteau Chanel.

Since the operation of these giants, I’ve experienced never-before health events, including loss of balance, mini-strokes, dizziness and suspected peripheral neuropathy.

“Simcoe Island Sunrise,” by Fred & Julie Bertram

Other members of my community are similarily affected.

One of many who objected to Council in the planning stages due to environmental concerns, as you will know, our concerns were over-ridden by the then Township Council on the basis of generated income. It felt like a hostile take-over without a vestige of democratic process, leaving the island communities divided and angry.

“Simcoe Island Golden Field,” by Fred & Julie Bertram

I’m presently in Australia, where I live part-time, in Sydney, arriving in November after experiencing many falls due to loss of balance and a series of mini-strokes on Simcoe Island in late September 2010. I note a reduction of those symptoms and no new events here whilst undergoing extensive medical tests locally to determine the cause.

So far we have found no physical basis for my events.

I’ve been reading excerpts of your Dr. Pierpont’s book, and also similar studies by Dr. Sarah Laurie in Australia. (I’ll buy Dr Pierpont’s book as soon as I return to Simcoe Island, mid-April.)

Thank you and with kind regards,

Carol Leonard
9 Mile Point
Simcoe Island K0H 2Y0 Ontario


Dear Carol,

Welcome to the eerie reality of Wind Turbine Syndrome! I’m not a physician, but you can probably stop going to doctors, searching for an explanation of what ails you. It’s almost certainly WTS. (I am copying this note to Dr. Sarah Laurie, by the way.)  (more…)

Spanish Goliath preys on the gullible, well-meaning rural poor—again (New York)

Editor’s note
: The wind developer, Iberdrola, is being squeezed out of Jefferson County, New York, by the very able efforts of citizen activists.  Like leaked oil from a busted nacelle, the Spanish company is now oozing its way east into adjacent St. Lawrence County.

Parishville and Hopkinton, famous for their rural beauty and gentle Amish ways, are being hammered by the windies.  Many farmers already have signed leases.

Happily, a homegrown citizen’s group has risen to the threat.  David meets Goliath—once again—this time on the sunny, bobolink hayfields of Northern NY State.

We urge you to contact the brave people fighting this outrage, and offer to come speak to a community meeting—telling the Amish and Mennonites and others of your bitter experience with Big WindBig Illness, and Big Property Value Damage.

At the moment, the Mennonites & Amish are unaware of all this; they think the money is a gift from heaven.  Let us have our own community “barn raising”—and correct this misconception.

The following is from the website’s Home page:

Are you aware that even as you read this, a huge foreign-national corporation, Iberdola, is laying the groundwork for a full scale Industrial Wind Generation Facility in the area straddling the boundary of Parishville and Hopkinton?

Do you feel well informed about this developing situation? This website was created to inform the public about the significance of this turn of events. There is a lot of information here, covering a range of related subjects. You will find a table of contents; this is followed by a brief synopsis of each topic, with a link to a full article. You might be quite surprised at what you read here.

In the left hand column, please find links to external sites where you can further inform yourself about the Wind Industry and how it is influencing the lives of many thousands of people in New York State, around the U.S., and all over the world.”

Big Wind “dishonest,” says former Big Wind executive (Scotland)

“I couldn’t stomach the hypocrisy of working for a business sector which was so dishonest with the public.”

Editor’s comment:  A wind developer with a conscience!  Mike Haseler, who describes himself as once a prominent wind developer in Scotland, bailed out of the business because of its sleaze.  Hooray for Mike!  Maybe he could start a mass exodus? The following is from Mike’s blog.  Write him a note and congratulate the man!

This is the blog of Mike Haseler and what you may wish to know about me is:

» I studied physics, electronics and some philosophy at St. Andrews University.

» I have an MBA from Strathclyde.

» I am studying archaeology in Glasgow.

» I worked in a variety of industrial manufacturing companies in which I worked on a large range of projects controlling or monitoring temperature.

» I started my own temperature control company and designed precision temperature controllers.

» Then decided to enter the new area of renewables, and did extensive market research into renewables in the UK through which I gained extensive knowledge of the different development strategies adopted for renewables in the UK and Denmark and consider myself an expert in understanding the factors affecting the early development of renewables.

» In the process I learnt Danish in order to “understand the competition” and in the hope of doing business with the main wind companies in Denmark.

» I was selected as a Green candidate for the Scottish Green party in 2003, but decided not to stand when the first candidate on the list refused to support our local hospital.

» I worked in the wind “industry” in Scotland erecting weather monitoring equipment and was well known in Scotland at the highest level. I eventually took the decision to leave after I accidentally informed a farmer that a wind farm was going to be built next to them.

I still remember their absolute horror!  I couldn’t stomach the hypocrisy of working for a business sector which was so dishonest with the public.

» I am proud to have once stood as a Liberal Democrat councillor and doubled their vote receiving a massive 208 votes!

» I am proficient in dozens of programming languages and now write PHP/MySQL websites as a hobby.

» I am an agnostic on man-made warming, a sceptic by scientific training and disgusted with so called climate “science” which isn’t science as I was taught it.

Another doctor pleads for turbine moratorium (Australia)

From:  Alan C. Watts, MD
To:  The Editor, Blayney Chronicle, New South Wales, Australia
Date:  March 21, 2011

The residents of the Blayney Shire by now are well aware of the wind turbine project at Flyer’s Creek that is currently before the New South Wales Department of Planning for final approval.

Forty-four wind turbines (as high as the Sydney Harbour Bridge with wing spans equal to the height of the present Blayney wind farm turbines) are proposed for the area. Anyone who has seen the wind turbines in the Gunning area will have some concept of the enormity of these structures envisioned for our shire by Infigen Energy.

… from the Infigen Energy website, with appreciation

There are many aspects of this project that are of concern. Wind turbines are not only ugly, the most expensive form of renewable energy with poorly constructed contracts and a limited life span, but they may very well represent a significant health hazard to our residents.

For some years, now, wind turbines have been hailed as the panacea for clean, renewable energy production, and their construction has been enthusiastically embraced by many countries, including Australia. It is only now that health implications are being recognised. Experience around the world, including Canada, USA and Europe, is raising questions that have yet to be fully answered, and some countries are now sufficiently concerned to cease wind turbine construction in closely populated areas.

Claims are being made that infrasound frequencies created by turbines are producing a suite of symptoms in people living in close proximity to wind turbines. These include but are not limited to headaches, insomnia, feelings of confusion, middle ear problems, nausea, tinnitus, tachycardia and panic attacks. The results of these small but alarming indicative studies and surveys are sufficient to raise serious doubt about the present continuation of turbine construction. Although it may be argued that these symptoms can be found in populations not subject to the effects of wind turbines, there is enough evidence to mandate formal research.

This can only be done by properly designed trials involving significant cohorts of people—both affected and unaffected. Considering the ramifications of getting it wrong, this seems to me to be a small request. Funding must be made available from the wind generating industry to pay for this research as a matter of urgency. For the industry and government to ignore this potential hazard would not only represent a callous disregard for its citizens’ safety, but reprehensible ignorance of the potential for compensable litigation.  (more…)

The “Green & Ribnick Report” (Australia)

It begins with . . .

After traveling to Australia and meeting with and interviewing dozens of people who have been profoundly adversely impacted by industrial wind turbines or are fighting the construction of wind turbines in their communities, we now understand with certainty that the very dramatic and real problems with wind energy are much, much worse than we had previously imagined.”

By two healthcare professionals . . .

Preston Ribnick is President and Lilli-Ann Green is CEO of Professional Resource Group (PRG), a USA company established in 1979.  For over 30 years, PRG has been a major player in healthcare quality improvement, consulting and market research.”

And it’s stunning.  Click here to read it.

It will change the way you think about wind energy.



“Headaches so bad you can’t think straight!” (Australia & Canada)

Editor’s comment
:  Two letters we received over the weekend.  One from South Australia, the other from Ontario, Canada.  Two victims—guinea pigs, really—of Wind Turbine Syndrome.

We dedicate this article to the Board of Health of Falmouth, Massachusetts.  (See “A Disgrace to Science and Public Health.”)

John B. Waterbury, PhD
Member, Falmouth Board of Health

I agree with Dr Sarah Laurie.

I came here, to Waterloo, South Australia, for the rolling hills and the peace and quiet—and what did we get? Yes, high blood pressure—fast heart rate—no good sleep—nausea—chest pain—headaches so bad that you can’t think straight—and that sound of the “jet” coming over the mountain—and the nights you wake up in a panic with your heart racing and vibrations going through your body, just like an earthquake.

Some have moved into town. I can’t go; I just got here 6 years ago and have put all my money into my house.  Besides, who would want to buy my house or live with these wind turbines?

Please listen to what she is saying!

I think a 15km distance from people and their homes is a good start.

Andreas Marciniak
Waterloo, So. Australia


As a resident living with turbines, I can see how symptoms progress with time, with some people, and are immediate with others.

The saddest part is that those who are suffering are not able to associate their symptoms to the turbines.

I now have neighbours talking about elevated blood pressure and migraine headaches. Yet they continue to deny that the turbines are the result of this.

What can one do?

Colette McLean
Ontario, Canada

A disgrace to science and public health (Massachusetts)

Editor’s comment
:  Read the following news story of a recent meeting between a group of residents (Falmouth, MA) and the town Board of Health (BoH).  The former, quite reasonably, asked the BoH to intervene in the egregious matter of the wind turbine which is making these people ill.  They presented both their own illness and worldwide evidence for the same—global Wind Turbine Syndrome.

We’re sorry, Misters Donald and Cool and Murphy and Ford, but our epidemiological metric tells us you’re not really sick.  You may think you’re sick.  And it’s conceivable that with your obvious irritation and angst, you’re making yourselves sick.  However, until we read an article in the New Eng. Jour. of Medicine letting us know this turbine is in fact making you ill—well, frankly, we simply can’t believe you.

Don’t take it personally, okay?

To repeat, our metric, our science, our hocus pocus tells us we can’t believe you when you say it’s from that turbine next door.  Remember, we all have PhD’s in epidemiology and science and stuff.  This means we’re smart—certainly smarter than you are about what’s making you ill.

Besides, it’s a political issue and source of revenue for the town.  We don’t get involved in that stuff.

John B. Waterbury, PhD
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Dr. John B. Waterbury is a member of the Falmouth Board of Health.  He’s a specialist in the “purification, developmental patterns and properties of some fresh water and marine cyanobacteria belonging to the orders Chamaesiphonales and Pleurocapsales” (title of PhD thesis)—presumably gazillions of which are swimming around in those brightly colored beakers.

But what expertise do Waterbury and his colleagues on the Board of Health have in old-fashioned, off-the-shelf, garden variety, plain vanilla, screamingly obvious common sense?  (You know, the kind of stuff you don’t have to measure in a beaker to know, “Hey John!  This shit is real!“)

Anyhow, read the article, below.  Then ask yourself why the good people of Falmouth tolerate these self-important fools.

If had an Alfred E. Neuman award, the Falmouth Board of Health would win it.

—Elise R. Hugus, Falmouth Enterprise, as submitted to National Wind Watch (3/15/11)

Falmouth Board of Health will request that health impacts from the town’s wind turbines be studied by the state Department of Public Health, and that a complaint log based on science be established online for residents to report adverse effects from the turbines.

In a meeting last night, the board heard a presentation from Ambleside Road resident J. Malcolm Donald on health effects from a 28-turbine wind farm in Mars Hill, Maine. The controlled study, conducted by Dr. Michael A. Nissenbaum, found that a large percentage of residents living within 1,100 meters of the turbines experienced symptoms, compared with residents who lived three miles away. According to Mr. Donald, the study found that 77 percent of abutters to the wind farm experienced feelings of anger, and over 50 percent felt feelings of stress, hopelessness, and depression. Over 80 percent reported sleep disturbances, compared with 4 percent in the control group, he said, and 41 percent of abutters experienced headaches.

The study, which was completed in March 2009, has yet to be published in a creditable journal—and, as several board members pointed out, has yet to stand up to the rigors of the scientific method, which include peer review and replication.

Board member John B. Waterbury, a biologist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, said he had carefully read the study and other documents sent by Mr. Donald over the weekend. “As a scientist, I look and see there isn’t much peer-reviewed literature. Then there are people who are clearly impacted by this thing in a number of ways,” he said. Fellow board member George R. Heufelder said he was not convinced that the physiological symptoms listed in the study are connected to the turbines. “I can’t dismiss your irritation and angst, but my analysis says, show me the facts. It takes someone to do a good, controlled study,” he said. Mr. Donald cited the “precautionary principle,” a legal term that allows policy makers to make decisions that are not based on scientific evidence. “You don’t really need to know why something is happening. If we know it’s happening, we need to take preventive mesures to stop it from happening,” he said. Board member Jared V. Goldstone pointed out that although the principle has been adopted in the European Union, it is not law in the United States. “The legal underpinnings of [Dr. Nissenbaum’s study] just aren’t there. Right now it’s a political issue,” he said.  (more…)

Wind Turbine Syndrome prompts state lawmakers to propose 2-year “wind farm” moratorium (Idaho)

Editor’s note:  A postscript to the following article:  On Tuesday, March 22, 2011, the Idaho House State Affairs Committee voted 11 to 8 against the moratorium.

“House committee considering moratorium on wind turbine construction”

—Mitch Coffman, (3/18/11)

The [Idaho] House State Affairs Committee got an earful on the issue of wind turbines during a hearing Friday. House Bill 265 proposes a two-year moratorium for those projects not already approved. Rep. Erik Simpson, R-Idaho Falls, introduced the bill. Simpson believes that wind energy isn’t a viable resource compared to others and costs more as well.

Testimony on the bill was split fairly evenly with those against the bill falling into two categories: businesses and those with business relationships with them, and farmers/ranchers looking for some supplemental income.

Suzanne Leta Liou, a representative for RES Americas and an opponent of the bill, said this bill would jeopardize her company’s wind turbine project in Twin Falls County and others like it. “This bill overrides local authority and local control,” adding, “Idaho is a place where we want to do business. To be honest, if this bill was to move forward we would question the decision to be in Idaho.”

Scott Vanevenhoven, a member of Idahoans for Responsible Wind Energy and a proponent for the moratorium, believes proper ordinances and guidelines are not in place for local governments to make tough decisions. “These guidelines we currently have are insufficient. We should take this two-year pause and research everything,” he said. Vanevenhoven believes it’s a state issue and the state should therefore take a more active role in providing rules and regulations for building wind turbines. “The state has given incentives for people to use, so clearly it’s a state issue,” adding, “Idaho’s wind development is radically higher than other states. Is this really a desirable thing for Idaho?”

Errol Jones, a member of the Bonneville County Planning and Zoning Commission, who is also for the moratorium, said at one time as a member of the board he was in favor of wind farms, but now says people need to really sit back and think about the consequences of building them. He also is in favor of some state oversight, not takeover, of the building process. “There is a definite learning curve. The state should take a good look at this process and what the counties have done.” He also had a list of things he thinks the state can help with during this process including statewide guidelines for placing windmills, getting the fish and game department involved early, and having a longer timetable for county boards and commissions to study the issue and make sure it’s a good decision.

Dr. Louis Morales, also a proponent of the bill, discussed health concerns with wind turbine farms. He believes wind turbines are a substantial health risk and should be looked at closely. “We need to sit down and look at these ordinances. This moratorium gives us the timetable to do this. These turbines give off a low frequency sound that causes what is known as Wind Turbine Syndrome. It’s an inner ear problem resulting in vertigo, headaches, stress, migraines, and sometimes tachycardia.”

Rep Lynn Luker, R-Boise, asked Dr. Morales if studies focused on the distance from a turbine and what the harmful distance is. Morales explained that Wind Turbine Syndrome can happen when a person is within about 1.3 miles of a turbine. “To be safe,” he said, “it’s best to not live much closer than 1.25 miles.”

According to testimony, many of the homes in southern Idaho located near wind turbine farms are within ¾ mile to a mile away from wind turbines.

The committee was unable to hear all of the testimony Friday. It will resume testimony Monday morning at 7:45.

“Windfall”: The movie (Review)

“Research has suggested that their constant low-frequency noise and the flickering shadows they cast affect public health”

—Ann Hornaday, The Washington Post (3/18/11)

Faucets don’t spit fire in “Windfall,” making its local premiere Saturday at the Environmental Film Festival. But incendiary water may be the only side effect not associated with wind power in Laura Israel’s absorbing, sobering documentary about the lures and perils of green technology.

With the Oscar-nominated “Gasland” (and its flame-throwing plumbing) enlightening viewers on the environmental and public health implications of natural gas drilling, and with nuclear power’s reputation in meltdown as a global community turns an anxious gaze toward Japan, some hardy souls may see hope in wind power. After seeing “Windfall,” those optimists will probably emerge with their faith, if not shaken, at least blown strongly off course.

“Windfall” takes place in Meredith, N.Y., a once-thriving dairy-farming community of fewer than 2,000 tucked into a bucolic Catskills valley that is teetering between post-agricultural poverty and hip gentrification. When Irish energy company Airtricity offers leases to build windmills on some residents’ properties, the deals initially seem like a win-win. A little extra money in the pockets of struggling farmers, an environmentally sound technology, those graceful white wings languorously slicing the afternoon sky — what’s not to like?

Plenty, as the concerned residents in “Windfall” find out. Not only do the 400-foot, 600,000-pound turbines look much less benign up close, but research has suggested that their constant low-frequency noise and the flickering shadows they cast affect public health; what’s more, they’ve been known to fall, catch fire and throw off potentially lethal chunks of snow and ice.

Soon Meredith succumbs to drastic divisions between boosters, who see Airtricity’s offers as a godsend for the economically strapped community, and skeptics, who see the leases as little more than green-washed carpetbaggery. “Windfall” chronicles the ensuing, agonizing fight, which largely splits lifelong residents and the relatively new “downstaters,” who’ve moved in from Manhattan and want to keep their views and property values pristine. (more…)

Is this Vibro-Acoustic Disease? (Germany)

Calvin Luther Martin, PhD

Is this VAD?  We don’t know.  Read on.

Marco Bernardi and his wife Jutta Reichardt have been living next door to wind turbines (Schleswig-Holstein, Germany) since 1994.

At first it was 3.  Each, 39m (128ft) high and each 200kW, 450-750m (0.28-0.47mi) from their home.

Soon, several more went up, with the same specifications—except closer still, 320-450m (0.20-0.28mi).

The building frenzy began in 2001, when 115 more appeared like huge mushrooms, 2.3km (1.4mi) to 15km (9mi) from their front door.  This last batch ranged from 1 to 5MW, with a height of 90m (295ft) to 189m (620ft).

The Wind Turbine Syndrome symptoms started soon after the initial 3 began operation.  By Marco and Jutta’s account, the symptoms have markedly worsened over time.  (The following is an imperfect, digital translation.)

Jutta:  tinnitus (4 different tones), insomnia, nausea (for about 3 years continuously), high blood pressure (at certain wind directions), angina pectoris vibrating of the upper body, ear pressure (a feeling like cotton wool in the ears), urgency, difficulty falling asleep, palpitations, heart flutters or tachycardia, reddish-white ulcers in the mouth, fluctuating blood pressure at highly variable pulse, internal unrest with urge to work more and more.

Marco:  tinnitus (4 different tones), sleep disorders, high blood pressure (at certain wind directions), angina pectoris (not as pronounced as with Jutta), vibrating of the upper body, ear pressure (a feeling like cotton wool in the ears), difficulty falling asleep, palpitations, heart flutters or tachycardia, reddish-white ulcers in the mouth, fluctuating blood pressure at highly variable pulse, lethargy in conjunction with internal unrest.

Recently, Nina Pierpont was notified by Marco that Jutta is now hospitalized with tissue damage which Nina suspects the Vibro-Acoustic Disease (VAD) research group in Portugal (Castelo Branco and Alves-Pereira) might well diagnose as VAD—from the turbines. (more…)

“You can’t ignore the fact that people are getting sick,” says doc (Australia)

—Erin Somerville, Central Western Daily (3/18/11)

They may look harmless, but the increasing amount of wind turbines freckling hills and skylines around the central west may be doing more harm than good.

Insomnia, nausea and headaches are just some of the health complaints slowly being brought to the surface by people living near wind farms.

Dr Sarah Laurie,who has done extensive research into the health effects of wind turbines in rural communities, spoke to residents around Blayney on Wednesday night about her findings.

Residents and land holders were particularly interested as they face a proposed $200 million wind farm being built in the Flyers Creek area across 16 properties.

“I am not anti-wind, but there’s a problem,” Dr Laurie said. “You can’t ignore the fact that people are getting sick.”

The sudden and unexplained common symptoms presented by those living up to 10 kilometres away from wind farms include nausea, headaches, sleep deprivation, tinnitus, panic attacks and high blood pressure.

Children are also presenting unusual symptoms including waking with night terrors and sudden bed wetting, despite having gone years without wetting the bed.

Residents report they can only solve these problems by leaving the area.

Dr Laurie said that medical practitioners, wind turbine companies, and the government can no longer ignore the evidence linking wind farms with negative health affects.   (more…)

Do marine wind turbines drive whales to beach themselves? Nobody knows for certain. (UK)

Editor’s comment:  The other day (March 15th), The Telegraph (UK) flashed the bulletin that “Wind farms blamed for stranding of whales.”  The article peaked my interest.

As is my habit, I began tracking it down—to its source.

After several minutes of digging, I discovered the article had not only been pulled from the Telegraph, it was conspicuously absent from the lead investigator’s website.  (The lead author being Professor Ian Boyd, at the University of St. Andrews—Scotland.)

Beginning to suspect something was amiss, I fired off an email to Professor Boyd, asking if he could send me a copy of the paper on “whales responding to wind turbine noise.”

Within minutes, I got this reply:

The press reports that you probably saw are wrong. One reporter jumped to a conclusion that was incorrect and it snow-balled out of control.

The paper itself (attached) says nothing about wind farms and I never talked to anybody from the Press about wind farms. This is a non-story manufactured by a part of the British Press.

Below, is the Abstract from Professor Boyd et al’s paper, “Beaked Whales Respond to Simulated and Actual Navy Sonar.”  Click here for the entire paper, published in an Open Access journal.

If you do a “search” through the paper, there is nothing about wind turbines therein.

The punchline?  All you readers who were, as I was, intrigued by the headline news about beaked whales being troubled by wind turbines at sea, had better withhold judgment on the matter.  They may indeed be affected by turbine infrasound and low frequency noise—but this paper does not demonstrate that.

Beaked whales have mass stranded during some naval sonar exercises, but the cause is unknown. They are difficult to sight but can reliably be detected by listening for echolocation clicks produced during deep foraging dives.

Listening for these clicks, we documented Blainville’s beaked whales, Mesoplodon densirostris, in a naval underwater range where sonars are in regular use near Andros Island, Bahamas. An array of bottom-mounted hydrophones can detect beaked whales when they click anywhere within the range.

We used two complementary methods to investigate behavioral responses of beaked whales to sonar: an opportunistic approach that monitored whale responses to multi-day naval exercises involving tactical mid-frequency sonars, and an experimental approach using playbacks of simulated sonar and control sounds to whales tagged with a device that records sound, movement, and orientation.

Here we show that in both exposure conditions beaked whales stopped echolocating during deep foraging dives and moved away.

During actual sonar exercises, beaked whales were primarily detected near the periphery of the range, on average 16 km away from the sonar transmissions. Once the exercise stopped, beaked whales gradually filled in the center of the range over 2–3 days. A satellite tagged whale moved outside the range during an exercise, returning over 2–3 days post-exercise.

The experimental approach used tags to measure acoustic exposure and behavioral reactions of beaked whales to one controlled exposure each of simulated military sonar, killer whale calls, and band-limited noise. The beaked whales reacted to these three sound playbacks at sound pressure levels below 142 dB re 1 μPa by stopping echolocation followed by unusually long and slow ascents from their foraging dives.

The combined results indicate similar disruption of foraging behavior and avoidance by beaked whales in the two different contexts, at exposures well below those used by regulators to define disturbance.

Wind Turbine Syndrome diagram: Not accurate, but gettin’ there (Ontario)

Editor’s comment:  The following diagram appeared in the London Free Press (Ontario, Canada) earlier this month.  We had to crop it to make it fit, below.  Click here for the full version.

The good news is, the message is finally sinking into media consciousness.  The bad news is, the diagram ignores the vestibular organs of the inner.  Alas, these are the organs most likely responsible for the great majority of Wind Turbine Syndrome symptoms.

“Cuisinarts” in the sky (Texas)

“Turbines on Texas coast killing thousands of birds, bats each year”

—Colin McDonald, San Antonio Express News (2/27/11)

SARITA — The 260-foot-tall wind turbines of the Kenedy Ranch stand like a steel forest along the edge of the Laguna Madre and pump out hundreds of megawatts of emission-free electricity.

The spinning blades, alongside some of the most important habitat in Texas and one of North America’s largest migratory flyways, are killing thousands of birds and bats each year.

How many isn’t publicly known because, unlike California counties, Texas and the federal government don’t require turbine operators to make public reports, according to state and federal officials.

Aside from the quantity of bird and bat deaths, a more complicated question remains unanswered as more wind turbines are put up along the Texas Coast: Have the turbines changed the ecosystem and displaced wildlife? (more…)

“It was emitting a pressured ‘whooshing'” (United Kingdom)

“Personal Diary of [Wind Turbine] Environmental Disturbance”

—Kathryn Austin, South Yorkshire, England (Feb 2011)

Wednesday 2/23/11

5.00am. Early start to take my husband to Manchester Airport. Home for breakfast then to work at college, came home at 9.00pm. Watched a little TV then to bed at 11.00pm.

Thursday 2/24/11

Worked all day from home at the kitchen table and in office. Did not go out. At night, became conscious of a pulsating noise or sensation at bedtime. Checked the central heating/radiator/boiler which were off. Eventually took paracetamol to try and sleep.

Friday 2/25/11

Holiday. Awoke without the alarm at 7.45—unusual for me as I usually sleep until 8.30-9.30am on days off—to be aware of the same pulsating. Checked the central heating again, listened for other appliances—similar to a muck spreader working in a nearby field—thought it might be one of our local farmers having an early start. Seemed to be coming from the lane/gable end of the house.

Left the house at 10.30am. As I went to my car I was immediately aware of the same throbbing, pulsating noise, along with a very rapid click/clink with each pulse. I turned towards the noise and saw the wind turbine, full-facing towards me, going at high speed revolutions. It was emitting the same rhythm of pulsating noise and sensation as that during the night. It was also emitting a pressured “whooshing.”  I immediately returned to the house and phoned the clerk to Hunshelf Parish Council, to ask advice on whom to contact at BMBC. He suggested Matthew Woodward in Planning.

I then left home for the day.

Returned at 8.30pm. On opening the car door, the same sounds were present. Once inside the house, with the central heating boiler/TV/computer on, this was masked.

To bed at 11.15pm. (I had forgotten about the pulsating.) As I settled to sleep, the pulsating became very evident. I sat up and listened. It was still there but with body movement was not so noticeable. Its direction was from the ceiling/wardrobe area of the bedroom. I went to a radiator in the corridor to check this was off/on; went downstairs to check the boiler was off and then back to bed.

After half an hour of pulsating experience, I again rose to analyse the noise; went into the lane/gable bedroom to listen there; laid on the bed to see if the sound was more evident when my head was touching the bed. It was still there; opened the window to listen. The pulsating matched the rhythms and was more pronounced as sound when received through the air.

Back in bed, the pulsating vibration sensation grew the quieter I became. My heart seemed to be making irregular beats. I wondered whether there was a link with my own internal blood pressure, ie: listening to the sound of your heartbeat. I tried putting the covers over my ears, tissues in the ears but still the pulsating became more intense the more rested and quiet I became. At the point when sleep would come, the regular “whoof, whoof” seemed to invade and draw the body rhythm.


“It was beyond their Geiger counter’s limit” ( reports on Japan’s nuke crisis)

—Yuki Tsuruta, Guest Editor (Japan)*

*Yuki Tsuruta is the Japanese journalist who graciously translated Pierpont’s Wind Turbine Syndrome book into Japanese.  She lives with her two children near Tokyo.


Monday, March 14, 2011

The Citizens Nuclear Information Center (CNIC) is the most reliable Non Profit Organization on nuclear power plant issues in Japan. They are having the press conferences regularly after the power plant accidents.

Video streaming by Ustream

The Japanese government is trying to hide important information. They said radiation leakage is very little around the power plants.  But when a freelance journalist group went to Futaba-cho (Fukushima) and measured radiation level there, it was beyond their Geiger counter’s limit.

As for iodine tablets I don’t think I should take it now. Thanks anyway.  Actually I am totally lacking information. So I am not sure how dangerous my current situation is.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I am angry at the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), because it started rolling blackouts yesterday.  TEPCO is the owner of Fukushima nuclear power plants.

The Metropolitan area is divided into 5 groups.  Each area is having its power supply cut for about 3 hours.

TEPCO insists they are running out of 10 GW electricity because of the power plants’ accident.  But I don’t believe it.  The capacity of Fukushima nuclear power plants is about 9 GW.

Moreover, some reactors had been stopped for a periodic inspection before the accident occurred. And Japanese energy demand in March is not high. Its peak time demand is about 60% of high noon in summer. TEPCO has a plenty of fired and hydro power plants. Their capacity is about 45 GW.  (They insist some of them are not operating and only 31 GW is available now.)

TEPCO and the Japanese government don’t want Japanese people to find nuclear power plants are not necessary at all.  They are fear that Japanese people could make a decision not to build more nuclear power plants or abolish the existing ones.

TEPCO has changed the time of the rolling blackouts so many times, people feel like they’re being spun around and around.

But people never complain. Because the earthquake victims are more miserable.

The accident is really disastrous, indeed. We should think of the victims first.

But we have to think another thing, too. Similar accidents could occur again in other areas in Japan.

We don’t need dangerous power stations, anymore. We have to say “no” to nuclear power.   (more…)

“How can you live here?” (Germany)

Editor’s note:  The following was sent to us by the German website, Windwahn.  (Click on the website for a better photo).

The text, below, is a digital translation, with a little editorial help to make it more intelligible in English.

This is not a photo montage, but an aerial view of northwest Schleswig-Holstein, taken over Dithmarschen, looking north to Friesland.

The sight of the concentrated wind madness from the plane reminded the photographer, Dr. Musehold, of a military cemetery.

We often hear such remarks.

  • “From the air, Schleswig-Holstein looks like war zone” (TV team, Wings, tourists).
  • “Such a blighted landscape is rarely seen” (tourists passing through).
  • “Sweet, friendly and natural, we have previously seen in Schleswig-Holstein, aggressiveness has given way to a cold. Today, we see basically no longer out of the box” (flight attendants from Sweden).
  • “The jagged rotors of wind turbines create a threatening and aggressive appearance.”
  • “How can you live here, without being depressed or angry?” (visitors).

How you can live here?

With thanks to Dr. Musehold for the photo.

Japanese Nuclear Disaster: Medical alert for West Coast residents

Several people from the west coast of North America have asked me if they should take iodine because of radioactive isotope releases from the damaged nuclear power plants in Japan.

The answer is “no,” for North America.

However, children in Japan (within 300 miles or 500 km, up to age 15 to 18) of the plants do need to be treated, I believe, with at least one dose of potassium iodide, especially the younger children. Adults age 18 to 40, especially those with higher exposures, may also be treated, but adults over 40 should be treated only under extraordinary conditions of very high radiation exposure.1

The best data concerning protection from the deleterious health effects of exposure to fallout from nuclear plant accidents comes from the Chernobyl accident in 1986 and subsequent studies of health effects.

The most susceptible people are children, especially young children, babies, and fetuses not yet born (pregnant women).

Thyroid cancers in children (usually a very rare disease) increased many-fold after the Chernobyl accident because of exposure to a radioactive isotope of iodine, 131I, which is inhaled or ingested in food or water, especially in fresh milk from cows grazing in fields exposed to the fallout. The appearance of thyroid cancers is marked and fast in children (within 4-12 years), especially young children.2

The data for adult thyroid cancer is ambiguous and still evolving: overall the thyroid glands of adults are far less sensitive to damage by radioactive 131I than the thyroid glands of children. Even among people with high degrees of exposure (who lived in highly contaminated areas or were employed in the clean-up after the accident), some studies have shown slight increases in thyroid cancer or nodules compared to less exposed people, and other studies have shown no difference. Two groups of clean-up workers, one from Estonia and the other from the Russian Federation, are still being followed.

Studies of leukemia in children across Europe and Turkey after the accident did not show increases that could be attributed to radiation exposure. Likewise, studies have not supported any link between the Chernobyl release and leukemia in adults, or in solid tumors in children or adults (other than thyroid cancers). It may take three to five more decades to fully assess the risk, because cancers may emerge slowly after genetic damage is done by ionizing radiation. (more…)

“Wind turbines bad for health: US doctor” (Australia)

—Graham Lloyd, Environment Editor, The Australian (3/10/11)

The American doctor who pioneered controversial research into the health effects of living near wind turbines will be the first witness at a Senate inquiry into the issue.

Nina Pierpont, who uses the term Wind Turbine Syndrome, will appear by teleconference from the US to be questioned over her submission to the inquiry when public hearings open in Canberra on March 25.

Dr Pierpont argues the clinical evidence is unambiguous that low frequency noise and “infrasound” from wind turbines disturbs the body’s organs of balance, motion and position sense.

“Case studies performed by me and other medical scientists have demonstrated unequivocally that many people living within two kilometres are made seriously ill, often to the point of abandoning their homes,” Dr Pierpont says.

Nina Pierpont, MD (Johns Hopkins Univ School of Medicine)
PhD (Princeton Univ:  Population Biology)

Her work has been both widely lauded and criticised. It has been described by the Australian-born chief scientific adviser to the British government, Robert May, as “impressive, interesting and important”.

Professor Lord (Robert) May, PhD, of Oxford University

In its submission to the inquiry, the CSIRO said it had conducted a review of press reports and that the documented high levels of societal resistance to wind farm development were based on negative perceptions of health, financial and legislative aspects.

“There is currently no evidence positively linking noise impacts with adverse health effects, the majority of property sales do not show any reductions in value after wind farm installation, and planning processes that are transparent and participatory from an early stage of planning result in greater acceptance of wind farms,” it said.

Wind energy’s Brave New World: Intermittent power (National Grid)

The Daily Telegraph (United Kingdom), 3/2/11

The days of permanently available electricity may be coming to an end, the head of the power network said yesterday.

Families would have to get used to only using power when it was available rather than constantly, said Steve Holliday, chief executive of National Grid.  Mr. Holliday was challenged over how the country would “keep the lights on” when it relied more on wind turbines as supplies of gas dwindled. Electricity provided by wind farms will increase six-fold by 2020, but critics complain they only generate on wind days.

Mr. Holliday told Radio 4’s Today programme that people would have to “change their behaviour.”  “The grid is going to be a very different system in 2020, 2030,” he said.  “We keep thinking that we want it to be there and provide power when we need it.  It is going to be much smarter than that.

Steve Holliday, CEO National Grid

“We are going to change our own behaviour and consume it when it is available, and available cheaply.”

Mr. Holliday was speaking ahead of a speech last night to the Royal Academy of Engineering, in which he warned that the government was “looking more to communities and individuals to take power into their own hands.”

Click, above, to watch Mr. Holliday’s speech to the Royal Academy of Engineering (UK)

The following is a summary of Holliday’s speech—Editor.

Crucial decisions need to be made this year in order to deliver low carbon energy for the UK according to National Grid chief executive, Steve Holliday FREng.

Speaking to a packed theatre as a guest lecturer at The Royal Academy of Engineering on 1 March, Holliday warned that the UK faces a pivotal year as decisions loom on replacing critical assets, many of which are now 50 years old, with new infrastructure that will enable the UK to cut carbon dioxide levels by a third ahead of the 2020 deadline.

He said: “We cannot underestimate the scale of the engineering challenge that will be needed to deliver a sustainable energy future—one which I believe is going to lead to a renaissance in engineering.”

He believes the targets are “ambitious and demanding” as a quarter of the UK’s energy plants will be retired by 2020 and stressed that the UK must become less reliant on coal and embrace wind power, nuclear options plus carbon capture and storage technologies.

“The biggest increase will be in wind power with current plans set to target 15 percent of the energy mix by 2020 and up to a third of generation capacity by 2030, from less than 2 percent today,” said Holliday.

However, he predicts that gas will continue to play a big part in electricity generation and is likely to provide around a third of the UK’s energy mix in 2030, although it will be used predominately as a back-up to wind technology.

“We are headed for a greater diversity in electricity generation coming from a much greater geographic spread. We have to plan for flexibility in the system to manage more intermittent energy flows because a large share of our energy will rely on when and where the wind blows,” he said. (more…)

Is press coverage of wind turbine noise merely “annoying”? (Editorial)

Editor’s introduction:  Guest Editor, Eric Bibler, wrote the following in response to an article by NPR’s Heather Goldstone, PhD, titled “Is Annoyance a Health Impact?

Before reading Bibler’s rebuttal, be sure to watch the PBS interview with Goldstone and NPR reporter Sean Corcoran regarding their coverage of Wind Turbine Syndrome in Falmouth, Massachusetts (Cape Cod).

Heather Goldstone, PhD

Is Press Coverage of Wind Turbine Noise Merely Annoying? Or Does It Allow Wind Energy Developers to Evade Their Responsibility for Imposing Profound Adverse Health Impacts on Innocent Neighbors?

Eric Bibler, Guest Editor

First, I would like to thank Sean Corcoran and Heather Goldstone for all of the time and effort that they have spent reporting the devastating impacts to residents of the Falmouth (Massachusetts) wind turbine and, to a lesser extent, the adverse impacts of wind energy installations worldwide.

This is a difficult and complicated subject and it is critical that residents of Cape Cod, Massachusetts and other locations around the world understand the implications of government-backed efforts to install new industrial wind energy facilities on a massive scale.

Nonetheless, after having listened to the recent interview with Mr. Corcoran and Ms. Goldstone on PBS, and having reviewed this article contributed by Ms. Goldstone (and countless others in the NY Times, the Washington Post, the WSJ, et al), I continue to be extremely troubled by the inability, or the reluctance — in any event the repeated failure — of the Press to state, unequivocally, some obvious aspects of industrial wind energy.

All too often, we find that reporters, no matter how well-meaning, are prone to discussing the relevant issues within a framework proposed by the wind industry — rather than bringing their full professional skepticism to bear on this topic and seeking to frame the debate in terms that are independent of the public relations talking points used by the American Wind Energy Association and the developers.

So, for example, we have here an entire article that is offered under a headline that completely misses the point: “Is Annoyance a Health Impact?”

The truth is that the question of whether the adverse impacts from wind turbines constitute mere “annoyance” or a “bona fide health impact” is not open to question at all. Once the impacts from wind turbines are properly understood, and considered — and once one experiences the endless repetition of this “talking point” from AWEA’s website reverberating through the cookie cutter presentations of every wind energy proposal — it becomes obvious how transparently deceitful it is even to pose this question.

See “What do you say when you find him hanging on the turbine fence
with a [self-inflicted] .357 round in his head?

Consider the following:

(1) In literally thousands of cases around the world — as reported in every form of traditional media, in first person testimonials, in court cases and public hearings, and in clinical medical studies — residents living near industrial wind turbines have reported the same symptoms, including: sleep deprivation, headaches, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), fluctuating pressure in the ears, increased blood pressure, anxiety and depression.

I repeat: thousands.

(2) The onset of all of the above symptoms is reported to coincide with the operation of wind turbines — and to cease when the same stimulus is removed (either by turning them off or by virtue of the resident fleeing the impacted area).

(3) All of the above symptoms are considered by the World Health Organization to be bona fide health impacts, in and of themselves, or to be conditions whose persistence constitutes a direct threat to good health (as, for example, prolonged sleep deprivation is well known to have direct, and very adverse, impacts upon human health).

In other words: (a) we know that wind turbines cause the symptoms; and (b) we know that the symptoms constitute a serious threat to human health.

I repeat: both of these aspects are proven — not debatable, not open to question. (more…)

“We’ve been deceived and conned all along” (Australia)

“Rumbling from turbines puts wind up sleep-deprived locals”

—Rebecca Puddy, The Australian (2/17/11)

Dreaming of building a house and farming the land, Julie Quaft and her husband, Mark, bought a quiet 16 ha property 100 km north of Adelaide six years ago.

Since then, a wind farm has been built next to her house, which she said had not only robbed her of her dreams, but affected her health.

“It’s made things very hard for me because I can’t sleep,” Mrs Quaft said. “It sounds like a huge jet engine rumbling on the hill.”

The wind farm in Waterloo, near Clare, 100km north of Adelaide, began operating in October, but will be opened today by Mike Rann, amid criticism from the divided country community.

While many farmers have supported the project — particularly those earning an income from turbines built on their land — others have claimed to have suffered significant health effects.

Waubra Foundation medical director Sarah Laurie has studied the health effects of wind turbines and is concerned about the symptoms reported worldwide.

“The main symptoms are chronic sleep deprivation, night terrors, people waking up in the night in a panic for no reason and bed-wetting,” Dr Laurie said.

“We think that what is happening is that people’s sympathetic nervous systems are being stimulated so they get a massive rush of adrenalin in the middle of the night.”

The state’s push to develop wind farms is being driven by a target of having 33 per cent of energy generated by renewable sources by 2020.

More wind power is generated in South Australia than in any other state or territory, with 13 farms operating. As in Victoria, wind farms have attracted strong opposition from locals.

In October, Family First senator Steve Fielding asked federal parliament to examine their social and economic impact.

The parliamentary committee received hundreds of submissions, many expressing community concern over the turbines’ health effects. Owned by Roaring 40s, the farm near the Quaft family has 37 turbines. Bill, a Waterloo resident who did not want to be identified, has all but moved to a nearby town to escape the constant roaring and pounding effect from the soundwaves.

He said the wind farm developers had put a wedge into the previously close-knit community.

“We’ve been deceived and conned all along,” Bill said. Roaring 40s managing director Steve Symons said the wind farm had strong support from the community and the organisation had tried to work with those who had objections.

“With the health issues, as an industry, that hasn’t been medically proven, but to the extent we have complaints from residents in relation to noise, we go to their houses and test the noise levels with microphones,” Mr Symons said. “We are in compliance with the noise requirements of the EPA (Environment Protection Authority) and they are the most stringent noise requirements in Australia.”

Two cases are before the state’s courts, with residents questioning the health and environmental impact of planned wind farms.

For every “green job” created, 3.7 jobs are lost (United Kingdom)

Editor’s introduction:  Compare this study to a comparable analysis done for Spain several years ago, where economists discovered that  2.2 jobs were destroyed for every “green job” created.

Obama, are you reading this?  Ontario Premier McGuinty, are you reading this?  (Are the lunatics running the asylum, after all?)

The Economic Impact of Renewable Energy Policy in Scotland and the UK

—Richard Marsh & Tom Miers, Verso Economics (March 2011)

Executive Summary

I. This report examines the costs and benefits of government policy to support the renewable energy industry in Scotland and the UK. The Scottish Government in particular is promoting the renewables sector as an economic opportunity, and the purpose of this report is to assess whether this is justified. The report therefore does not investigate measures designed to reduce carbon emissions directly, nor does it consider the merits of renewable technology as part of the attempts to slow climate change.

II. The report’s key finding is that for every job created in the UK in renewable energy, 3.7 jobs are lost. In Scotland there is no net benefit from government support for the sector, and probably a small net loss of jobs.

Green Energy busts jobs

III. The lower level of job displacement in Scotland is because of the greater concentration of renewable energy generation in Scotland. This means that electricity consumers and UK taxpayers subsidised the Scottish industry by c £330m in 2009/10 over and above subsidies paid for by Scottish taxpayers and consumers. To the extent that the Scottish industry is a success, it is reliant on the wider UK policy making framework, in particular the Renewables Obligation Certificate (ROC) scheme.

IV. The main policy tool used to promote renewable energy generation is the Renewables Obligation, which effectively raises the market price paid for electricity from renewable sources. This scheme cost electricity consumers £1.1bn in the UK and around £100m in Scotland in 2009/10. The UK government plans similar schemes to promote renewable heat and renewable fuels. (more…)

Letter in a bottle (Italy)

To put it in a nutshell:

We moved into and enjoyed our new house (Scansano, Italy) for exactly 4 weeks—until the newly erected 121m wind turbines (10 of them, the nearest 800-900m from the house) started operating.

I quickly developed the following symptoms, with which I’d never been troubled before:

» insomnia
» panic attacks at all times of the day and night
» nausea
» tinnitus
» depression
» loss of concentration

Coupled with this, I heard a strange humming or buzzing noise in my house, loud enough to be extremely distressing and also perceived by visitors.

I couldn’t enjoy a peaceful evening outside on my terrace and I couldn’t invite friends or relatives for this reason.

I became paranoid about returning home after a day’s work because I knew I would not be able to rest.

After a year of keeping a diary of the daily horror (published 2008 on and spending extended periods away from home to recuperate, we moved out for good—abandoning the work of a lifetime.

Our house is unsaleable, our old age “pension” worthless.

Gail Atkinson-Mair

“Life under the blades” (Massachusetts)

Editor’s introduction:  The following was written by Guest Editor, Eric Bibler, responding to “The Falmouth Experience:  Life under the Blades“—an interview with Falmouth resident, Neil Anderson.  Neil and his wife are suffering horribly from Wind Turbine Syndrome.  As Bibler explains, the town administrator, Ms. Heather Harper, doesn’t “get it.”

Read “The Falmouth Experience” before reading Bibler’s response.  Listen to Sean Corcoran’s WGBH interview with Neil Anderson (click here).

The Andersons’ calendar of “life under the blades.”  A.k.a. Hell

—Eric Bibler, President, Save Our Seashore

Mr. David McGlinchey’s statement that “existing peer-reviewed studies suggest that there are no health effects associated with the sound and noise from wind turbines” is false and misleading, in my opinion. This is the classic starting point for defending the indefensible — to insist, despite ample evidence of harm from wind turbine noise, or hydrofracking for gas, or any other harmful activity, that the science is “inconclusive” and that “more study is needed.”

Since the technology is relatively new, there have not been a large number of clinical studies done, but the ones that HAVE been done have clearly, and unequivocally found that the industrial noise from wind turbines causes significant harm. Articles in publications like Audiology Today and Acoustic Ecology have also reported, after reviewing all available current research, that wind turbine noise poses a clear threat to human health and well-being and to the quality of life for residents.

The more salient point made by Mr. McGlinchey (in an apparent attempt to please everyone) is his admission that people are clearly experiencing symptoms. The fact of the matter is that there are literally THOUSANDS of reports of devastating effects to residents, from around the world, who have the misfortune to be subjected to wind turbine noise.

So how is it that “existing peer reviewed studies suggest that there are no health effects”? The fact is that this is simply not true.

Think about it.

Hell’s Calendar

What is a clinical study of the health effects from wind turbine noise other than a statistical compilation of symptoms — a catalogue of the percentage of people affected, the severity of their symptoms, the various distances that may lie between themselves and the huge machines, the wind direction, their orientation relative to prevailing winds and the like. Do we really need a series of controlled, peer-reviewed studies to confirm this when THOUSANDS of people describe the same set of intolerable symptoms — in some cases leading to abandonment of their homes — as reported in virtually every major newspaper and mainstream news magazine in the world?

The spectacle of thousands of victims complaining of the same symptoms is not sufficient “proof” to warrant concern? This is not sufficient “proof” to believe that the victims in Falmouth are telling the truth about their suffering? Do we need a peer-reviewed study in Falmouth to “prove” that Neil Anderson and 50 of his neighbors are not lying when they say that they are experiencing profound negative impacts — such as chronic sleep deprivation, headaches, ringing in the ears, anxiety and depression?   (more…)

“I feel very depressed. Some days I could just curl up and cry” (Australia)

Editor’s introduction:  Three letters.  One written by the husband, Carl, one written by his wife, Samantha, and the third written by their family physician, Dr. Scott Taylor.

Three letters written to Acciona Energy, begging them to do something about the devastating Wind Turbine Syndrome this family suffers from—suffers so much that they had to abandon their farmhouse and buy a house in town.  Except, they are forced to spend their days on the farm, working its livestock and crops, for this is the family business.

Their letters were also sent to the Australian Federal Senate, which is investigating Wind Turbine Syndrome and other disasters caused by wind turbines built close to people’s homes.  (The letters can be found on the Australian Federal Senate website, items 129 and 130.)

I lightly edited each for clarity, brevity, and style.  None of the meaning has been altered.

Read and weep.

Stepnell Farm, Waubra, Australia

The husband . . .

I am a third generation farmer on our Waubra farm.  We farm 4200 acres of high quality farming land, and are currently running 16,000 to 20,000 sheep, 500 acres of crop and 100 acres or irrigated land included.

From the first day we were asked to have wind turbines on our farm, we were very concerned about the impacts of a wind farm in our community. We declined to have 4 wind turbines on our land.

Acciona’s Waubra wind farm

The closest wind turbine is 900 metres from our house, and we have 5 wind turbines within 1500 metres from our family home, where I live with my wife Samantha and three children, Jacob, Courtney and Joshua. There are about another 6 wind turbines within 2000 metres of our land, at another location on our farm. We can see nearly all the wind turbines from most areas of our farm.

The first day the turbines started operating closest to our home, my wife started feeling ear and head pressure. Similar to flying in an aeroplane, she said. About six months after, I started feeling similar effects.

As the weeks went on it has gotten worse and worse.

We now suffer headaches, chest pains, a feeling of heart palpitations, and continuous lack of sleep. Every night we can’t sleep.  We go to sleep, then wake and just never settle into a good night sleep.

I have never seen my wife of 18 years look so tired, stressed and unhealthy. This is a huge concern. My children are also more tired and emotional. We have no other illness or medical conditions that could cause us to feel like this.  We have not changed anything in our lifestyle since we started feeling like this.


Doctor’s bombshell report to government confirms Wind Turbine Syndrome (Australia)

Editor’s introduction:  It’s been over a year since Nina Pierpont published, “Wind Turbine Syndrome:  A report on a natural experiment” (K-Selected Books, 2009).  In those 16 months, the book has riveted people’s attention around the world—as this website amply illustrates.  It’s been translated into 6 foreign languages, with Danish and Czech translations currently underway.  Making it 8.  It’s sold thousands of copies.  And it has been featured in countless newspapers (including the Wall St Journal, France’s Le monde, and The Huffington Post), magazines, TV newscasts, radio programs, and so on.  And, increasingly, it’s appearing in clinical articles.

In short, it has become the benchmark analysis of what is now uniformly called Wind Turbine Syndrome (a term Pierpont coined).

Last fall, Nina was the keynote speaker at the First International Symposium on Adverse Health Effects and Industrial Wind Turbines (Ontario, Canada).  Here, the Society for Wind Vigilance, an international association of scientists and clinicians, with loud huzzahs presented her with its “Excellence in Research & Leadership” award.

There is another side to this story.  If you can imagine this story as the equivalent of the biblical David & Goliath fable, then everything said, above, is “David’s” side.  The “little guy” armed only with slingshot and, as it happened, one heck of a well-aimed stone.

Then there’s Goliath, the blustering bellowing larger-than-life multi-billion-dollar overblown corporate object of that well-aimed stone.  The Global Wind Industry.  “Clean, Green, Renewable” Big Wind.

Big Wind has tried its damnest to bury Pierpont and her book.  The American Wind Energy Association, the Canadian Wind Energy Association, the British Wind Energy Association, endless hirelings and shills and self-styled environmental blogs and Global Warmist Jeremiahs & Jihadists—have ridiculed, scorned, assailed, crucified, pilloried, twisted, tarred & feathered, pummeled, huffed & puffed, and otherwise endeavored to discredit both book and author.  (A spectacle at once appalling and hilarious.  The Great Wind Energy Opera, as it’s known in our household.)

The stone hit home.

In her first chapter, Nina explains the scholarly process known as “peer review.”  (Big Wind’s bombast regarding “peer review” has been the most entertaining aspect of this whole comedy.  These guys wouldn’t know a “peer review” from a beer can.) Pierpont notes that the report, in fact, was peer reviewed.  What’s more, the reviewers (called “referees,” in academia) prompted her to change, elaborate on, further examine and flesh out issues she had not originally intended and was frankly unaware of.  It was because of a rigorous peer review process that the report took at least another 6 months to complete.

Be that as it may, Nina ended her discussion with a caution:

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.

—Nina Pierpont, “Wind Turbine Syndrome” (2009), p. 16.

That no longer remains to be seen.  Dr. Sarah Laurie’s submission to the Australian Federal Senate Inquiry on Rural Wind Farms confirms Pierpont’s data in spades!  Many times over!  Peer review is merely a predictor or value; independent research which turns up the identical data is confirmatory.  Let there be no more whining by Big Wind that Wind Turbine Syndrome is a NIMBY myth, an anecdote, a nocebo.

Now, let the lawsuits begin in earnest.

Meanwhile, here is Dr. Laurie’s magisterial report.  Short, succinct, not a wasted word throughout, on point, passionate, professional, brilliant—and appalling.  The story she tells of WTS victims throughout rural Australia is nothing short of horrendous.  Read and weep.  

Read this and hope the Australia Federal Senate has the courage to end this nightmare.  Stupid, foolish, egregious, criminal nightmare.  It’s time to ring down the curtain on The Great Wind Energy Opera insofar as it insists on taking place in people’s backyards.

A final word.  Pierpont ended her report with a 2 km punchline.  “Industrial turbines,” she concluded from her data, “need to be setback a minimum of 2 km from people’s homes.”

Dr. Laurie disagrees.  Her data leads her to call for 10 km.

Sarah Laurie, MD, Medical Director
The Waubra Foundation

Wind Turbine Syndrome “sensitization” (Ontario)

Editor’s note:  The following is from a Wind Turbine Syndrome victim, a school teacher, who had to vacate her home well over a year ago.  Lock the door and leave.  She is currently living in a rented home 6 km from the “wind farm.”

Even at this distance, however, she has begun experiencing WTS symptoms.  As Pierpont takes pains to explain in her book, many people become sensitized to the turbine infrasound.

The writer, by the way, has asked to remain anonymous, for reasons that will be obvious as you read on.

Last weekend in Ontario we
had a holiday, making it a three-day weekend.  I currently live 6 kms from the nearest turbine. I spent the entire weekend at home—which wasn’t a good thing, unfortunately.

We had a very strong west wind Friday night, Saturday and Sunday. Turbines are to the west, meaning the noise/vibration from the approximately 80 turbines came my way. I was very ill, Friday night to Sunday.  In bed all day Sunday.

I experienced typical Wind Turbine Syndrome—nausea, tinnitus, blurring of vision, headache, dizziness, high blood pressure, achey bones.  All very severe. I also had pain in the center of my chest, more towards the left side, near the bottom of my heart. I experienced this another time and thought it was likely pleurisy (I had that two times in the past and felt about the same).

In hindsight now, I think Nina was correct in saying she thought I had Vibroacoustic Disease, when she interviewed me at the Picton WTS conference last October. This is the second time at my current residence that I have experienced the above-mentioned symptoms. The first time it happened, our dog, as well, had a seizure. (more…)

“Infrasound: The hidden annoyance of Industrial Wind Turbines” (France)

Editor’s note:  The remarkable thing about the following article is that it was written by Prof. Renard years ago.  Although it does not bear a date, first became aware of it (if memory serves) 5 or 6 years ago.  It simply appeared on the French website, Vent de Colère.  Yes, in French.  (Our French is pretty decent, and we did look it over, but we failed to grasp its full import.)  Notice, however, that Prof. Renard says in his first paragraph that this is a revision of a lecture he delivered in 1997!  Wow!

In other words, he was talking about Wind Turbine Syndrome long before it had a name and years before there was a Nina Pierpont or Amanda Harry or any other physician pondering the subject.

On further reflection, perhaps it’s not so remarkable after all, given that Prof. Renard was faculty at the French Naval Academy, where he specialized in underwater acoustics and “noise quieting” technology.  Infrasound has been, for many years, a subject of absorbing interest to the military, especially the navy.  One of the puzzles being the problem of silencing engine and propeller low frequency noise (LFN) aboard naval ships (not just submarines) and merchant marine vessels.

In any case, what’s fascinating is that it took a Navy infrasound specialist to join the dots between what he knew as a noise engineer, and the reports filtering in away back then from people living near industrial wind turbines—to join the dots and point to infrasound—yes, wind turbine infrasound—as the obvious source of their distress.

Apparently he was saying this years before Dr. Amanda Harry and certainly well before Dr. Nina Pierpont made the same observations.

A final observation.  Dr. Harry was assisted in her WTS research by working closely with a British noise engineer and physicist named Dr. David Manley.

I am Dr. David Manley, Chartered Physicist, Acoustician and Engineer.

Much work has been done by me near windfarms to evaluate the acoustic effects. It is found that people living within five miles of a windfarm cluster can be affected and if they are sensitive to low frequencies, they may be disturbed.

I am currently working in conjunction with Dr Amanda Harry, a practicing physician in this subject, and she has over fifty examples of people affected by low frequency windfarm noise.

What is happening is the high velocities of the large turbines’ wind foils cause aerodynamic noise modulated by the regular dynamic pulse when the wind foil [blade] passes the base [tower] of the turbine.

It has been found that an extensive seismic signal passes through the earth and may well, at night-time, affect people’s sleep. It is admitted by fellow acousticians that much more research in this subject is needed and that none has been done since 1996 by the DTI [former Dept. of Trade & Industry, United Kingdom]. At many inquiries, windfarm promoters will not accept there is an acoustic problem.

We are getting much data from Europe, as well, to paint a more accurate picture, and feel that no more windfarms giving an alternative to power stations should be built. I gave two talks as an invited speaker at the recent successful Saddleworth Conference. These talks were about the evidence of “hot lines” from clusters of turbines, which will at times cause much higher LFN signals than first thought.

Surely this is where Dr. Harry got her training in LFN—from Manley.

The problem is, Manley died (2006).  Shortly after he died, Dr. Harry abandoned the nascent field of WTS, informing Dr. Pierpont (personal communication) that she was no longer available to discuss the subject—a subject she, herself, helped define.


Professor Claude Renard (retired)*†‡
Naval College & Military School of the Fleet (France)

Click here for a PDF of the following article.
Click here for the original article, in French.


This article is an updated summary of a lecture given by the author in 1997, entitled “Infrasound: Quiet, Pernicious Pollution.” At that time, it was given in response to concerns arising from the marketing in Sweden of a non-lethal infrasound weapon designed for riot control, the recognition of “Sick Building Syndrome” (SBS) caused by infrasound emitted by air conditioning systems, and the increase in the number of wind turbine installations in Brittany.

The rural areas of this region have a high population density, and the nuisances caused by infrasound would be as great or even greater than that of the visual pollution or radio interference preventing television reception.

In the weeks that followed, several points of information came to light, revealing that, in the first Airbus 340 planes, the setting of the pressurisation was such that it caused infrasound that affected the passengers. It was also disclosed that a “Euralille” high-rise block in Lille (France) had been evacuated due to vibrations on the 5th floor. Reports revealed that 644 agents of the new “Archet” hospital in Nice (France) had suffered from nausea and headaches. Some had even had to be admitted to the hospital. In 2005, there were accounts of similar health problems at the “Nord” hospital in Marseille.

This article has now been published in response to some good news: The (French) Académie de Médecine has recommended to the (French) government that the construction of wind turbines exceeding 2.5 MW at less than 1500 m from dwellings should from now be suspended.

This is good news, but not very good news.  The writer is concerned that this venerable institution has only taken into account the ”annoyance” caused by audible noise (hissing of the blades, the noise from the gearings in the multiplier), and not the annoyance caused by infrasound.  In view of this omission, the aim of this article is to inform the public about these inaudible but harmful noises.

In this article, the word “decibel” (dB) is not used, as it can lead to confusion. In fact, acoustic engineers use a different decibel than underwater acoustic engineers, because it relates to a different power reference level. In addition, they use decibels with an “A” weighting (dBA) as well as weighting for average sound levels over a given period of time: Leq dBA. (Infrasound is not included [in A-weighting].) (more…)

Dr. Pierpont said “Yes!” (Australia)

Dear Dr Pierpont,

As you are aware, the Senate Community Affairs References Committee is currently conducting an inquiry into the social and economic impacts of rural wind farms, and to which you made a submission.

The Committee will be holding a public hearing on Friday, 25 March 2011 in Canberra. The Committee would like to invite you to appear via teleconference from 10.00 am to 10.45 am AEDT (7.00 pm to 7.45 pm on Thursday, 24 March 2011 in New York, NY).

Can you please advise at your earliest convenience whether you are available to appear at this time; and if so, please provide the telephone number on which the Committee can reach you?

Yours sincerely,

Sophie Dunstone
Senior Research Officer
Senate Standing Committee on Community Affairs

Dr. Pierpont said “Yes!”

40 doctors sign Wind Turbine Syndrome petition (Quebec)

—Roc Lebel, Terre Citoyenne

I am not a physician, but I work in the health care field. My work involves Research & Development and product formulation, and I have close ties with a number of physicians.

Indeed, this is what made it possible for Terre Citoyenne, a citizens’ organization to persuade 40 physicians to sign a petition (click here for French version, see below for English translation), urging the Québec Government to halt all wind turbine projects located in inhabited areas that are in development or under construction, until the research is sufficiently advanced to enable our public health authorities to establish beyond all doubt what is a safe minimum distance between a wind turbine and a home.

Forty physicians say “No!” to Big Wind

This is consistent with the principles of Québec’s Sustainable Development Act (R.S.Q. c. D-8.1.1) and, in particular, with the Precautionary Principle.

Dr. Linda Bernier, O.R.L., department head at the Arthabaska Hospital (Victoriaville, Québec), played a key role in this achievement. She reviewed the recent literature on this subject, and having freely translated the words of Dr. Nina Pierpont, finally took a clear position as follows:

As a specialist in oto-rhino-laryngology, there is no doubt in my mind that the harmful effects that have been described actually occur. The level of audible disturbance can easily be measured, although the guidelines need to be adjusted to take into account the low-frequency noise. Many studies have dealt with the effects of noise on the inner ear, but unfortunately not many studies can be found dealing with or proving the effects of these vibrations on the inner ear, and this is mainly where the problem lies.

Owing to a petition signed by 40 physicians in Québec, we received good media coverage on the risks to health caused by wind turbines. Moreover, we have continued to receive signatures from other physicians. (more…)