“Understanding the Truth of Wind Energy”–Lecture Series, June 2011 (Cape Cod, MA)

—For Immediate Release:
Windwise~Cape Cod Announces June Lecture Series

“Understanding the Truth of Wind Energy”


Cape Cod, MA – May 24, 2011—Windwise Cape Cod is an alliance of neighborhood organizations and dedicated individuals who joined together to promote a more open dialogue on the planned proliferation of wind turbines. Windwise supports a reasoned consideration of the economic feasibility and the adverse effects of wind turbines on Cape Cod.

To this end, Windwise Cape Cod is sponsoring a free lecture series at Cape Cod Community College on the first three Tuesdays of June.

The “Understanding the Truth of Wind Energy” series includes presentations by leading national and international experts who will present the latest research on many aspects of wind energy.

Of special importance will be the presentation on Tuesday, June 14th. Two of the leading international experts on the health risks of wind turbines will present via WebEx. Dr. Nina Pierpont is the author of the most influential book on health problems caused by wind turbines, Wind Turbine Syndrome: A Report on a Natural Experiment (published 2009) and Dr. Sarah Laurie will present from Australia. Dr. Laurie is one of the founders of the Waubra Foundation in Australia, which is devoted to supporting national and international cooperative research initiatives on the health risks of wind turbines.

“Much has happened on Cape Cod since our lectures series in October of last year,” stated Shelia K. Bowen, President of Windwise Cape Cod. “In town after town there is rising controversy over wind turbine projects. Citizens and officials are struggling to better understand the risks and benefits of wind energy. Just a few weeks ago, the Cape Cod Assembly of Delegates adopted a set of Minimum Performance Standards for wind developments. Thus, there is a much greater urgency to ensure all residents and elected and appointed town officials have complete and accurate information on wind energy available to them.”

About the “Understanding the Truth of Wind Energy” Speakers

» Tuesday, June 7th, 7 pm Cape Cod Community College, Science Lecture Hall A. “Wind: So What’s the Problem?” presented by Lisa Linowes. Ms. Linowes is the Executive Director for the Industrial Wind Action Group, a national advocacy group focused on the impact/benefit analysis associated with industrial wind energy development. Her presentation will review current energy policies, the scale of proposed wind development nationwide and in Massachusetts, and whether our policy goals adequately satisfy the public’s need for clean, low cost, and reliable energy.

» Tuesday, June 14th, 7 pm Cape Cod Community College, Science Lecture Hall A.  “Wind Turbine Syndrome: An Overview” presented by Nina Pierpont, MD (Johns Hopkins), PhD (Population Biology, Princeton), via WebEx. Dr. Pierpont is the author of the peer-reviewed book Wind Turbine Syndrome: A Report on a Natural Experiment, the most influential book published on the health risks of wind turbines (www.windturbinesyndrome.com). She is the leading global authority on this topic and has been interviewed by news organizations and has testified in governmental hearings and court cases around the world.

“Recent Field Observations of Adverse Health Effects from Wind Turbine Developments in Australia,” presented by Sarah Laurie, MD (Flinders University, Australia), via WebEx from Australia. Dr. Laurie is a former rural family physician and one of the founders of the Waubra Foundation in Australia which is devoted to supporting national and international cooperative research initiatives on the health risks of wind turbines.

» Tuesday, June 21st, 7 pm Cape Cod Community College, Science Lecture Hall A. “Facts vs Fiction: Realities of Life with Wind Turbines,” presented by Lilli Green and Preston Ribnick. Lilli and Preston are founding members of Windwise Cape Cod. They are co-owners of a national healthcare consulting firm specializing in educational programs. Lilli and Preston have spent the past 18 months researching the impact of wind turbines on individuals and communities. They recently visited Australia and New Zealand where they videotaped people living in close proximity to wind turbines and international experts on noise and human health. Their presentation will include extensive video interviews.  (Read “The Green & Ribnick Report.”)

All lectures are free and open to the public.

Presentations will be followed by a question and answer period.

All lectures will be presented in Science Lecture Hall A, near Parking Lot 7, at Cape Cod Community College, 2240 Iyannough Road (Rt. 132) near the Burger King at Exit 6 off the Mid-Cape Highway (Rt. 6), West Barnstable, MA 02668.

Parking is free.

“The reason we titled this lecture series ‘Understanding the Truth of Wind Energy’ is that there is a vast amount of misinformation that is used to justify the placement of wind turbines in close proximity of homes, schools and businesses,” Ms. Bowen stated. “Windwise Cape Cod is committed to providing researched and accurate information so the citizens and officials on Cape Cod can make informed decisions on this vitally important issue. For this lecture series we will be extending personal invitations to all Cape Cod Boards of Selectmen, members of Planning Boards, Zoning Boards, Boards of Health, town managers, officials of Barnstable County Government, and State Representatives and Senators. We hope each and every one attends the presentations.”

About Windwise Cape Cod

Windwise Cape Cod is an alliance of community organizations and citizens formed to have a stronger voice in response to the rapid proliferation of wind turbines proposed and planned for the Cape, Islands and South Coast.

The mission of Windwise Cape Cod is to make complete and accurate information on wind energy available to residents, town governments, and state legislators. In addition, Windwise Cape Cod provides support and guidance to groups and citizens who want to bring information and expertise about wind turbines to their communities.

For more information, please contact:

Shelia Bowen, President
Windwise Cape Cod and the Harwich Neighbor Alliance
Phone: 508-432-7956
Email: windwisecapecod@gmail.com

“We now see families leaving their homes,” reports physician (Denmark)

To:  Editor, WindTurbineSyndrome.com
From:   Mauri Johansson, MD, MHH (Bording, Denmark)
Regarding:  Wind turbines in Denmark
Date:  May 26, 2011

Many thanks for posting the article, “We were compelled to leave the site due to severe nausea” (Australia).  A clear and revealing report!

The picture looks very similar to our experience in Denmark.  We now see families leaving their homes, even here.

The public debate in Denmark has been vivid, and continues to go on countrywide, including on radio and TV.

Our organization against these gigantic wind turbines has now more than 100 local groups.  Many communities are stopping their turbine plans.

Yesterday, the Danish Ministry of Environment and the Environmental Protection Agency announced that they plan to reduce the maximum level of low frequent noise (including infrasound) to 20 dB indoors. In open landscapes throughout Denmark the wind turbines are allowed to deliver noise up to 44 dB all day and night outdoors to neighbors, in contrast to traffic and industrial noise, where there are limitations during nighttime hours. There is also a rule that neighbors are not allowed to live closer than 4 times the maximum height of the turbine, which is obviously too close. However, if the new indoor maximum is accepted by law, it will probably be this limit that regulates the minimum distance to neighbors.

So, we have a feeling that something positive is happening.

Unfortunately the medical establishment and health agencies are ignorant, I am sad to say. The wind turbine industry is strongly resisting any change.  The medical authorities employ engineers, not physicians, to analyze the relationship between turbines and human health.  This is an outrage.  Moreover, the engineers oftentimes have a close connection to the wind industry.

Nevertheless, the fight goes on, here. There are still several open questions: (a) measuring protocols, especially low frequency noise (down to 0 Hz), (b) establishment of public offices for control measures where there is annoyance, and (c) other basic requirements to protect human health.

With all best wishes to Nina.

“We were compelled to leave the site due to severe nausea” (Australia)

Pharmacist recounts “whirlpool of disaster” he & friends experienced while visiting a wind farm

:  George Papadopoulos, Pharmacist
To:  Jillian Skinner MP, NSW Minister for Health; Brad Hazzard MP, NSW Planning Minister
Regarding:  Wind Turbine Syndrome victims of the “Crookwell 1 Trial Wind Turbine” site, New South Wales (Australia)
Date:  May 24, 2011

Dear Ministers,

I am a trained and registered, practising health professional (pharmacist).

Yesterday, I met two elderly ladies from the Crookwell region who have been for years quietly suffering the effects of what has been described as Wind Turbine Syndrome.

These ladies have been quietly suffering for years. Their local medical practitioners are unable to do much beyond prescribe antidepressants, sleeping tablets and other medication, or recommend that they move.

There is a lack of “published peer reviewed evidence” that these health problems exist, as the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council’s (NH&MRC) “Rapid Review” report pointed out. [Editor’s note:  Dr. Nina Pierpont’s published book, “Wind Turbine Syndrome,” was in fact peer reviewed, but Big Wind and its government enablers don’t wish to acknowledge that inconvenient truth.]  But that does NOT mean there is no health problem, which is what the wind developers and many individuals in government have been wrongly inferring or assuming from the NH&MRC’s report. They have ignored the NH&MRC’s advice to “adopt a precautionary approach.”

I asked one of these ladies why she hasn’t taken the matter further—why she isn’t discussing the matter with the locals. Well, surprisingly, the locals have ostracised her for making comments that might affect the tourist business in Crookwell. So she decided to shut up and suffer, or otherwise become a social outcast.

So who is listening to these quiet victims of this “innovative,” original New South Wales (NSW) wind turbine trial? Why is it that the suffering of these quiet victims has not affected the planning process of newer wind turbine developments?

Strange isn’t it? What was the point of this trial site?

I then decided with two companions to pay my own visit to the local trial industrial wind turbine site—situated amongst rural blocks. I have never been so close to a wind turbine site before. In fact, so close (within 250 metres) thanks to a third victim of this development, who allowed us to access their property. This third victim also needs sleeping pills to sleep and is unduly chronically ill due to Wind Turbine Syndrome.

Well, our experience was absolutely stunning! Almost immediately, pressure sensations in the head abruptly started—plus blocked ears that could not be relieved by swallowing or yawning. We couldn’t hear any loud deafening noises, but the constant whooshing noise was phenomenal—enough to drive you mad.

We were ultimately compelled to leave the site due to severe nausea in all three of us. Perhaps it wasn’t a good idea to get so close to the turbines. Eventually it was only at 5km away that we finally felt totally relieved and normal—we had finally escaped this whirlpool of disaster.

My dear politician, I am not having a joke. This is no good story. It is a very sad reality of what is happening here in Australia, in our meant-to-be progressive, clean democracy where the rights of the individual should be upheld against the little, if any, good that can be found in these developments.

Why are our planning departments ineffective in drafting policies to protect public health? Why aren’t our health departments effective in monitoring the health of individuals surrounding these industrial power sites? Why are the local medical practitioners and other local health professionals so slow in protecting these most sweet, kind-hearted elderly souls?

The reason is, despite these problems being reported globally, no government has listened to its citizens and ensured that appropriate independent acoustic and medical research is commissioned and funded, to help find out why these problems are occurring and how to prevent them. Or, in plain terms, research which will determine the safe distance between turbines and homes and workplaces.

If this were a drug, these experiences would be reported as “Adverse Events” and the drug would be withdrawn, pending further investigation until its safety from unanticipated side effects could be guaranteed. The equivalent in this situation is to immediately instigate a moratorium where turbines are close to homes, and fully investigate these occurrences.

It’s time to do something about it. The recent Federal Senate Inquiry has heard many stories such as the one above, in both written and oral testimony. I hope you feel compelled as a publicly elected official in a democratic country to do something about this great injustice—and stop it from happening again and again in different sites around NSW and the rest of Australia.

George Papadopoulos

Wind Turbine Syndrome so damn obvious, it hurts (Australia)

Nina Pierpont, MD, PhD, coined the name “Wind Turbine Syndrome” (WTS).  She wrote the definitive study.  Johns Hopkins MD, Princeton MA & PhD (Population Biology & Behavioral Ecology), Yale BA (Biology), a 300-page book that took years to research and write, a book refereed (peer reviewed) by a half dozen major medical school faculty and university scientists, a book that includes 60 pages of tables laying out the precise symptoms suffered by the Stepnells (see video, above), a book that explains in clinical detail the role of the (inner ear) vestibular organs in causing this industrial disease, and then re-explains the whole clinical picture in layman’s language (for non-clinicians)—a book that has been trashed by Big Wind and its government enablers around the world.

Except for one inconvenient truth.  People like Carl & Samantha Stepnell and their children suffer.  People are suffering egregiously wherever wind turbines are spinning.

The chief problem is the blade passing the tower.  So long as those blades sweep past the tower, there will be low frequency noise (much of it infrasound) and vibration.  And it can travel miles.  Through anything.  Air, water, rock, soil—yes, including your super well-insulated house, where it resonates within certain rooms.

No, Virginia, there is no clever engineering “fix” to stop this noise, much of it unheard—yet felt, as the Stepnells explain in the video.

Nina Pierpont?  She retired.  Went back to her medical practice, her flower gardens, her Adirondack wilderness.  She had enough abuse from shills hired by Big Wind and government.  (Big Wind and government, for all intents and purposes, being one and the same.)

Seven years of explaining Wind Turbine Syndrome to (mostly dense) media and the world at large.  After seven years, she felt she had served her time in the salt mines of this industrial plague.  (How many interviews did she give?  How many times did she testify?  How many letters did she write?  Frankly, she lost count.)

If you live in a community being stalked by Big Wind and you’re reading these words, there’s a strong likelihood you won’t believe either these words or this video.  And that’s okay—and that’s another reason Pierpont retired.  She got tired of trying to convince people like you that WTS is real and, for many, a living hell.  (Read the hundreds of articles posted under Resources.  Pour yourself a strong drink before you do.)

And that it gets worse over time.  That is, you don’t “get used” to WTS.  She explains why in her book.  However, since wishful thinking and industry blather trump science, there are many who don’t believe her or fail to pay attention when she points this out.

In any case, give those turbines six months to a year after they’re up and running in your backyard.  Then try to wrap your mind around the fact that the headaches vertigo tinnitus nausea intense pressure (head ears chest) weird chest vibrations nighttime panic awakenings, along with depression, visual problems and, above all, forgetfulness and lack of concentration plus your kids’ cratering school grades and their unaccountable withdrawal behavior—begin wrapping your mind around the fact that all this is textbook WTS.

No, it’s not because you’re getting senile or getting older or “getting forgetful.”

Welcome to WTS.  You’ve become a poster guinea pig for “clean, green, renewable” wind energy!

Incidentally, buy a copy of her book; it’s all there.  In plain, straightforward English.  No big words.  And if English ain’t your language, you’ve got eight others to choose from.

“Massive acoustic trauma incompatible with life” (Spain)

Calvin Luther Martin, PhD

If you’re a giant squid in the vicinity of a wind turbine being sunk into the ocean floor—you’re in serious trouble.  So suggests a research paper about to be published by the Ecological Society of America.

A team of bio-acousticians led by Dr. Michel André of the Technical University of Catalonia (Barcelona, Spain) is publishing the results of a study of giant squid wherein they duplicated the man-made undersea noise/vibration commonly experienced by marine life—acoustic pollution from naval exercises, sonar, seismic surveys, oil & gas exploration and extraction, pile driving and blasting, and a host of other industrial and shipping intrusions, including (in the authors’ words) “the operation of windmills” (M André et al, p. 5).

What they discovered surprised them: The delicate “vestibular” organs of squid and cuttlefish (together called cephalopods) are irreparably and dramatically destroyed by, in their words, “relatively low levels” of low-frequency sound (M André et al, p. 4).

Up till now, only high levels of low-frequency sound have been shown to damage marine life “hearing” structures.

Which brings us to the second big surprise for André and his team.  The neurological structures being destroyed are not used for hearing; they are motion, position, and balance detectors, with their attendant behavioral responses—as in “fight or flight” or “panic” response.

(Note to reader:  Does this sound familiar?)

In humans, these would be the vestibular organs of the inner ear:  saccule, utricle, and semi-circular canals.  In marine invertebrates like squid, however, they’re called “statocysts,” and they are evolutionarily similar to your and my vestibular organs.

Statocysts are fluid-filled, balloon-like structures that help these invertebrates maintain balance and position—similar to the vestibular system of mammals. The scientists’ results confirmed that statocysts indeed play a role in perceiving low-frequency sound in cephalopods. . . . “For example, we can predict that, since the statocyst is responsible for balance and spatial orientation, noise-induced damage to this structure would likely affect the cephalopod’s ability to hunt, evade predators and even reproduce; in other words, this would not be compatible with life.”  (From the Press Release by the Ecological Society of America, 4-11-11.)

Lateral view of interior of an Octopus statocyst (M André et al. 2011)

In other words, just as Dr. Alec Salt has demonstrated for humans, so for marine invertebrates:  “Even if you can’t hear the noise, it can indeed hurt you!”  (In the authors’ words, “The presence of lesions in the statocysts clearly points to the involvement of these structures in sound reception and perception,” M André et al, p. 4.)

Let it be clearly understood that these researchers were not duplicating noise/vibration from operating wind turbines, which, presumably, would be at lower sound pressure levels than André et al. used, although far more protracted and widespread.  (André’s team exposed squid to low-frequency bursts of sound for only 2 hours.)  What André duplicated was more akin to the blasting (dynamite) during the building of turbines:  a received sound pressure level of 157±5 dB in reference to 1 microPascal (μPa), peaking at 175 dB in reference to 1 μPa.

At the moment, nobody knows for certain what impact wind turbine low-frequency noise has on marine life, be it cephalopods (squid), whales (which include dolphins), fish, crustaceans, mollusks—or mermaids.  The same of course holds true for turbines installed in freshwater lakes.  (Nina Pierpont has conjectured—let’s call it an “educated” conjecture—that the effects are not good.  Click here and here.)

Still, it is not premature to ask, Can sea and aquatic life get “marine & aquatic” Wind Turbine Syndrome? Dr. Michel André and his colleagues have demonstrated the answer is, “Hmm, the likelihood is high.”

If the relatively low levels and short exposure applied in this study can induce severe acoustic trauma in cephalopods, the effects of similar noise sources [such as wind turbine arrays] on these species in natural conditions over longer time periods may be considerable.  Because invertebrates are clearly sensitive to noise associated with human activities, is noise, like other forms of pollution, capable of affecting the entire web of ocean life?  (M André et al, p. 5)

And that’s as far as we can take the research at the moment.

In any case, if you happened to be the unlucky squid exposed to Dr. André’s sound pressures, this is what your “vestibular” organs (statocysts) now look like.  (You don’t need to be a trained biologist to get the picture that something horrible has happened here.)

Immediately after exposure, damage was observed in the macula statica princeps and on the crista sensory epithelia. Kinocilia within hair cells were either missing or were bent or flaccid. A number of hair cells showed protruding apical poles and ruptured plasma membranes, most probably resulting from the extrusion of cytoplasmic material.

Hair cells were also partially ejected from the sensory epithelium, and spherical holes corresponding to missing hair cells were visible in the epithelium.

The cytoplasmic content of the damaged hair cells showed obvious changes, including the presence of numerous vacuoles and electron dense inclusions not seen in the control animals.

Underneath the hair cells, afferent nerve fibers were swollen and showed mitochondrial damage or complete degeneration. In some specimens, large holes in the sensory epithelium were also observed.

The appearance of these lesions became gradually more pronounced in individuals after 12, 24, 48, 72, and 96 hours.

Part of the cellular body of the damaged cells was extruded above the sensory epithelium into the statocyst cavity.

The most pronounced lesions were visible in specimens observed 96 hours after sound exposure. In these individuals, the sensory epithelium was severely damaged, with very few hair cells remaining; most of the hair cells had been extruded. The epithelium only presented supporting cells, creating a holed mosaic, where residual hair cells showed either very few bent, flaccid, or fused kinocilia, or none at all.  (M André et al, p. 3)

“Holed mosaic”?  Think “Swiss cheese.”

“The almost complete extrusion of the hair cells, as well as the holes present in the epithelium,” observe the authors, “are clear signs that the noise impact was acute and that hair-cell damage was immediate. In mammals and some fish species, such dramatic damage has only been observed after exposure to extremely high-intensity sound; low- to mid-intensity acoustic stimuli have to date not been known to lead to any obvious mechanical damage to the sensory epithelia” (M André et al, p. 3).

They go on:

In addition to hair-cell damage, the experimental animals showed swelling of afferent dendrites and neuronal degeneration, confirming that the neurons were also affected by the acoustic trauma.

In mammalian cochlea, swelling of afferent dendrites occurs during exposure to loud noise, and is the result of an excessive release of glutamate by the inner hair cell.  Under normal conditions, glutamate acts as a neurotransmitter among the inner hair cells, but has excito-toxic (toxicity to nerve cells and processes resulting from excess exposure to a neuro-transmitter) effects when secreted in large quantities.

The observed impacts on the stato-acoustic organs of the noise-exposed cephalopods suggests the occurrence of an excito-toxic process due to an excess of glutamate, which has also been identified as a neuro-transmitter in cephalopods.  (M André et al, p. 4)

In summary—again, I’ll let the authors speak for themselves:  “We present the first morphological and ultra-structural evidence of massive acoustic trauma, not compatible with life, in four cephalopod species subjected to low-frequency controlled-exposure experiments. Exposure to low-frequency sounds resulted in permanent and substantial alterations of the sensory hair cells of the statocysts, the structures responsible for the animals’ sense of balance and position.” (M André et al, Abstract, emphasis added)

“For the first time we are seeing the effects of noise pollution on species that apparently have no use for sound.  We were shocked by the magnitude of the trauma” (from UPI.com, 4-11-11).

Let’s rephrase Dr. André’s statement, to appreciate its full impact:  “For the first time we are seeing the effects of relatively low intensity low-frequency industrial noise on organs that are not used for hearing, but for motion, position, and balance sense—and we were shocked by the magnitude of the trauma!”

To all you human guinea pigs going nuts from Wind Turbine Syndrome, does this sound eerily familiar?  (Do you need the number for a good lawyer?)