“Con with the Wind” (Video)

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

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

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

Physician calls for 10 km setbacks (Australia)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Developments since the Senate Inquiry Report Was Released in June 2011

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dr Amanda Harry (UK), 2003

Dr David Iser (Australia), 2004

Dr Nina Pierpont (USA), 2009

Dr Robert McMurtry (Canada), 2010

Dr Chris Hanning (UK), 2010

Dr Michael Nissenbaum (USA), 2010

Dr Sarah Laurie (Australia) 2011.


Associate Professor Jeffrey Aramini (Epidemiologist, Canada)

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

Dr Con Doolan (Mechanical Engineer, Australia)

Professor Colin Hansen (Mechanical Engineer, Australia)

Professor John Harris (Physics, Canada)

Mr Rick James (Acoustician, USA)

Dr Mauri Johanssen (Medical Practitioner, Denmark)

Ms Carmen Krogh (retired Pharmacist, Ontario)

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

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

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

Dr Helen Parker (Psychologist, USA)

Mr Bill Palmer (Acoustician, Canada)

Mr George Papadopolous (Pharmacist, Australia)

Professor Carl Phillips (Epidemiologist, USA)

Mr Rob Rand (Acoustician, USA)

Ms Maggie Ross (retired Psychologist, Australia)

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

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

Dr Daniel Shepherd (Psychologist, New Zealand)

Dr Wayne Spring (Specialist Sleep Physician, Australia)

Dr Bob Thorne (Psychoacoustician, Australia and New Zealand)

Dr Henning Thorell (Medical Practitioner, Sweden)

Dr Alan Watts OAM (Rural GP, Australia)

Dr Colleen Watts OAM (Scientist, Australia)

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

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

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

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


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

Wind turbines and birds don’t mix

Griffon Vulture + Turbine Blade = 0

Bats, birds and blades:  Wind turbines and biodiversity

—Mark Lynas (6/10/11)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wind farm whistle blower (Ontario)

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


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

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

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

Plea to the Governor-General of Australia

The Honorable Quentin Bryce

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

Dear Governor-General Bryce,

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

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

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

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

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

From the Acciona website

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

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

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

Samantha Stepnell

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

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

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



Samantha Stepnell

Sue the bastards! (Ontario)

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

Michel & Lisa Michaud

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

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

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

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

Click on image to watch video interview with Michauds

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

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

Report acknowledged potential health risk

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘Indirect’ health consequences

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Turbine noise destroying our lives” (UK)

Nick Williams (Photo by Rob Tibbles, with appreciation)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wind turbines kill (federally protected) birds with impunity

“Bird Death Fines Depend on Who Kills the Birds”

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

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

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

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

Wind Farms

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


Government caught lying about WTS (Ontario)

“Ontario wind farm health risks downplayed: Documents”

This image was not included in the original article—Editor

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

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

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

Barbara Ashbee

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

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

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

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

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

Sleepless nights sparked activism

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

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

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

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

“We’d just have to get used to it.”

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

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

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

MOE officers warn supervisor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

From the TransAlta website

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

New clinical article supports WTS

Adverse health effects of industrial wind turbines: A preliminary report

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

“Big Brother” Wind?

Komrad Wind!

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

Above all, focus on the clenched fist.

Notice the wind turbine.

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

Professor John Bellamy Foster

Has it come to this?

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

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

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

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

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

Violence is the dragon that devours its tail.  

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

Dirty Business”

The Reality of Ontario’s Rush to Wind Power

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

From the website:

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

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

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

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

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


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

Sample page:

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

Professor Ross McKitrick, PhD

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

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

Why not Tent City protests?

Why not Wind Turbine Refugee camps?

Tent City, Madison, Wisconsin

Calvin Luther Martin, PhD

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

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

Tent City, Kiev, Ukraine

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

President Woodrow Wilson
National Portrait Gallery painting

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

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

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

—Woodrow Wilson, 1913

Tent City, Madrid, Spain

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

Tent City, Tel Aviv, Israel

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

—Mohandas Gandhi

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It’s also called “civil disobedience.”

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

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

Calvin Luther Martin, PhD

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

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

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

It turns out that Dr. Kiang was in the audience.  At the end of Salt’s presentation, Kiang raised his hand and said something to the effect that the (inner ear) vestibular organs were likely involved, as well.  (Those of you who have read Dr. Pierpont’s book, “Wind Turbine Syndrome,” will immediately recognize this as her main thesis.)

Anyhow, Dr. Kiang wrote back to me last week, with the following observation.

There isn’t much [research? literature?] on  the specific involvement of the human vestibular system in WTS. However, there is every reason to pursue the idea [emphasis added].

He closed by inviting Dr. Pierpont to discuss this further, when he returns early next month (October) from a trip abroad.  (She will do so.)

Now, take a look at this man’s credentials.  This is precisely how he listed them below his name in his email.  Compare these creds to those of the wind salesmen who brazenly assure their audiences, “Wind Turbine Syndrome?!  Complete rubbish!  Merely an invention by Pierpont and other screwballs.”

While you’re at it, compare Kiang’s credentials to all the people who wrote the farcical AWEA-CanWEA rebuttal to Pierpont.

Eaton-Peabody Professor (Emeritus)
Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology
Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Professor of Physiology (Emeritus)
Department of Otology and Laryngology
Harvard Medical School

Founding and Former Director
Eaton-Peabody Laboratory,
Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary

Neurophysiologist (Emeritus)
Neurology Service
Massachusetts General Hospital

Founding and Former Director
Speech and Hearing Sciences Graduate Program
Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology

Lastly, compare Kiang’s credentials to those of the “expert panel” convened by the Massachusetts Dept. of Environmental Protection and the Dept. of Public Health to look into the credibility of WTS.

Notice, two of them have PhD’s in Mechanical Engineering—real relevant to clinical medicine, huh?  A third member has a PhD in Biochemistry—likewise totally irrelevant.  That’s 3, right off the bat, with non-starter credentials.

Two of the remainder are junior faculty—assistant professors, hoping to get tenure—which means they’re not likely to stick their necks out on such a politically charged issue.

Dora Mills, MD, MPH

The cherry on top of this weird confection is Dr. Dora Mills, former commissioner of health for the State of Maine.  In that capacity Dr. Mills demonstrated her disdain for Pierpont’s work and other relevant research.  (Additional relevant research?  Click here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here.  None of this seemed to make a dent on the 10-fingered commissioner.)

When this gang issues its report, what do you bet it will be at best a whitewash and at worst a total rejection of Wind Turbine Syndrome?  Either way, wind turbines will continue to be built in Mass., cheek-by-jowl to people’s homes.

But I digress.  Back to Dr. Kiang.  Why does Big Wind and its hireling physicians and junk scientists maintain just the opposite:  “There is no reason to pursue research on WTS”?  (Click here and here.)

Do you smell something “fishy”—as in, “these people are practicing fraudulent medicine and science”?  Is it for the sake of the wet dream of “saving the world from global warming by means of infrasound-generating pinwheels all over the place”?  Or is it that in combination with the fat consultant fees they garner?

Both explanations are plausible, even probable.

If these people were ever genuine physicians (Hippocratic Oath:  “Do no harm”) and bona fide scientists at some point in their careers, they certainly are not, now.  (Science pursues real evidence and real truth—truth that is sometimes as screamingly obvious and as politically inconvenient as Wind Turbine Syndrome.  Science is not led by wishful thinking pumped up by consultant fees, research grants, and academic advancement.)

With thanks to the artist, Nate Owens

Got WTS? Call this man …


Calvin Luther Martin, PhD

Got Wind Turbine Syndrome?  Do you live on the east coast?

If “yes,” it’s time to stop wasting your time …

  • with your town board
  • with the wind turbine propeller-heads in town
  • with financially strapped farmers and absentee property-owners who just want the money from turbine leases—and would sell their mothers for $10
  • with wind industry trade associations like the American Wind Energy Association and so-called non-profit “green energy” councils
  • with your local physician (who’s clueless about all this and, besides, frightened to death to get involved)
  • and with ludicrous nonsense like this (a model of illogic, non sequitur, and irrelevance) from Australia’s Clean Energy Council—although you can find this stuff on any wind developer’s website:

It’s time to stop talking to turbine salesmen who insist wind turbine “noise” is no different from your “refrigerator’s”—for God’s sake!  (Doubtless there are times those turbines out back sound like your fridge.  But that evades the real issue, which Big Wind realizes full well.)

The issue being, of course, that, together with audible noise, turbines produce infrasonic noise & vibration—by definition below the level of human hearing—yet, as Pierpont demonstrates, catastrophic for the infrasonically-attuned, infrasonically-evolved vestibular organs of the inner ear (along with other organs of balance, motion, and position sense).

And that is the point—and the reason you WTS sufferers must contact Dr. Rauch (pronounced “Rosh”), a worldclass expert in vestibular disease and dysregulation.

… with thanks to Windtoons.com

I’m going to make it easy for you.  Pick up your phone and call this man.  Operators are standing by . . .

Big Wind loves to trash Dr. Pierpont and her peer-reviewed “Wind Turbine Syndrome:  A Report on a Natural Experiment” (2009).  (Big Wind doesn’t seem to grasp that scholarly books, like Pierpont’s, are peer-reviewed.  They labor under the misconception that only journal articles are peer-reviewed.  These people wouldn’t know a “peer review” if it walked up and pissed on their foot.)

But Big Wind won’t trash Dr. Rauch; he’s the “pope” of vestibular disorders at Harvard Medical School.

My advice?  I urge all you sufferers in Falmouth (MA), Vinalhaven (ME), Mars Hill (ME), New York State, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Minnesota, Iowa, Arizona, California–to contact this man.  Write to him and tell him your WTS story.  And if you live on the east coast, call that number pronto and make an appointment.

Hundreds of you should make an appointment to see him.

What the heck, all you WTS guinea pigs in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, UK, France, Italy, Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Turkey, Japan, Hungary, Italy–you, too, can contact him.

Dr. Steven Rauch needs to hear from all of you, either in writing or, better yet, face to face.

It gets better.  Not only is Dr. Rauch a world leader in vestibular disorders, when he was interviewed in July by a (sappy) Boston Herald reporter for her (silly) article on Wind Turbine Syndrome, he is quoted as saying the following:

Turbine-induced health concerns are not just another Not In My Back Yard straw argument, said one top Boston ear doc.  Dr. Steven Rauch, a Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary otologist, said yesterday the state should take the issue seriously.

‘We know that in the animal kingdom, low frequency sound can cause harm, so it is not unreasonable to consider that same consequence in humans,’ Rauch said.  ‘You have to give them the benefit of doubt, and not dismiss them as cranks.’

Notice that he said this on the strength of scant acquaintance with the research on WTS.  Dr. Pierpont has never spoken to the man (although she is familiar with his work), nor, to the best of our knowledge, has he read her book, “Wind Turbine Syndrome.”

In other words, Harvard Medical School’s Dr. Steven Rauch realizes, on the basis of prima facie evidence, that WTS is worth taking seriously.  Think about it!

It’s now up to all you guinea pigs to lean on Dr. Rauch to do what he recommended to the Boston Herald:  take WTS seriously–and launch his own investigations into this industrial plague.

Faking it in Falmouth? (Mass.)

Faking it in Falmouth

Mark J Cool, Falmouth, MA

The wind turbine issue in Falmouth is pitting community conscience against regulatory compliance.  Being “within compliance” obviously doesn’t mean physical harms don’t, or won’t, exist.

The Massachusetts Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) 40-decibel noise guideline, the wind turbine manufacturer’s recommended setback distance, the specific town emergency and fire contingency plan criteria, and the 23-mph turbine shut-off restriction—all have been, with some exceptions, met or exceeded.

Yet complaints by neighbors continue and will indeed be exacerbated as seasonal winds change, and Wind Turbine II comes online.  Very revealing of current regulation effectiveness, perhaps?

Is it a conspiracy?  Hatched by those anti-wind neighbors to thwart the good intentions of the Energy Committee’s “need for green” or municipal “need for green” energy cost savings?  Possibly—that is, if the neighbors hadn’t been supportive of the town’s wind project concept in the first place.


Is it that these scoundrels are feeding off Internet exaggerations and fantasies of “Wind Turbine Syndrome” and are just plain lying about symptoms and lost sleep?  Maybe—hat is, if you believe that these neighbors (who were mostly strangers to one another before the turbines) just happened simultaneously to suffer from a range of identical physiological symptoms.

Combine their fabrications with their brazen willingness to spend money on the following:

    • sue Falmouth
    • sound-proof windows
    • pay for hotel rooms to allegedly get a few nights of sleep
    • attend wind turbine noise & health seminars and conferences to become more informed
    • pay for acoustic consultant testing, to acquire a third-party perspective
    • pay for numerous doctor appointments, prescriptions and medical aids offering temporary relief from their fabricated, turbine-caused ailments

The real facts are:  The Falmouth town boards (several of them) have been offered numerous reports from credible sources, institutions, acousticians and medical clinicians from around the country and indeed the world, all demonstrating the plausibility that industrial wind turbines negatively affect human wellness if poorly sited.  Most importantly, the Falmouth town boards have ready access to us sufferers, as well as the offer of personal experiences and symptoms as examinable evidence from neighbors.

Would these neighbors be willing to be examined to prove their claims?  Has anyone asked these human guinea pigs?  Why wouldn’t Town Hall join with medical experts and conduct a study of actual health outcomes (epidemiology), using medical science to directly find actual health risks from real-world (Falmouth) turbine exposures?

Instead of practicality and common sense, Town Hall is persuaded by conclusions from a Woods Hole Oceanographic Insitute biologist (health board member charged with a literary review), an acoustics firm (paid by the town), the Mass DEP and the town Energy Committee (minions of Govenor Patrick).  These advisors (amongst others), with the applause of local newspaper editors, would have you believe “they” should hold more authority on the subject than the studies and reports by actual medical doctors and medical professionals.

That’s like asking your auto mechanic to diagnose whether that lump on your neck is cancer or not.  Absurd?

Honest-to-God medical evaluations, specifically directed at accessing physiological impact from wind turbines, could certainly answer more questions than Town Hall’s craven reliance on regulatory compliance, ill-equipped citizen volunteers, or state agencies marching to the drumbeat of the governor’s “green” agenda.

The Falmouth wind turbine issue is a matter of conscience, not compliance!  I implore town members to force a full epidemiological study.  The town upheaval demands it, and without it the community fracture is guaranteed to widen.  And, for God’s sake, please vote to suspend turbine operations until medical questions are answered—rather than continue this Town Hall buffoonery and slavish attachment to ineffectual regulatory compliance.

Unless, of course, you believe Town Hall—and believe your neighbors are liars.

Mark & Annie Cool.  Mark is an air traffic controller.  Annie is a realtor in Falmouth, MA

Big Wind gags WTS victims (Ontario)

“Farm couple challenges gag order of those who sell land to wind farms”

This image was not part of the original article—Editor

—John Spears, TheStar.com (9/13/11)

A Huron County farm couple is asking an Ontario court to lift gag agreements that were a condition of sale for landowners who sold their property to wind farms.

Shawn and Trisha Drennan are worried about the possible impact of a large wind farm planned for their district.

The project would place 100 to 150 large turbines in Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh Township north of Goderich, with the nearest turbine as close as 650 metres from the Drennans’ home.

Developers of two other large wind projects in the general area bought the properties of a number of nearby residents.

The Drennans asked to interview six of the former residents, in order to ask them if they had suffered any health problems. Neighbours of some wind farms say they’ve suffered various ills, including headaches, to ringing in their ears, dizziness and nausea.

But a lawyer for the former residents replied that they are “prohibited by agreement” from answering questions about their health. Silence was a condition of the sales.

The Drennans want the gag removed.

Photo courtesy of Terry Davidson, Toronto Sun

In an application to Ontario Superior Court of Justice, their lawyer Julian Falconer argues that “the concealment by contract of serious public health and safety concerns is fundamentally against the public interest.”

The application notes that a decision of the province’s environmental review tribunal earlier this summer acknowledged “there are certainly legitimate concerns and uncertainties about the effects of wind turbines on human health.”

The tribunal, however, said the onus is on landowners to demonstrate the risk of health problems.

That means it’s up to the Drennans to collect information on the health effects, if any, of a large wind farm.

The non-disclosure clauses that the former residents signed when they sold their properties, however, prevent the Drennans from doing just that, their application argues.

“Evidence of former residents who chose to leave their homes entirely could represent evidence of the most extreme cases of adverse health effects,” it states.

The application also argues that the approval of turbines close to the Drennans’ home “implicates their right to security of the person” as guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights, in view of the potential health impacts.

The Drennans have the right to oppose approval of the turbines, it argues. But the non-disclosure clause impairs their ability to gather evidence. That impairs their right to the security of the person “in a manner contrary to the principles of fundamental justice,” the application says.


The killing fields of Ontario


Image was not part of the original article—Editor

“Call to reduce wind-farm bird, bat deaths”

—Richard Blackwell, GlobeAndMail.com (8/3/11)

A major conservation group is calling on TransAlta Corp. to periodically turn off turbines at its Wolfe Island wind farm in Ontario to cut down on the number of birds and bats killed by the machines.

Nature Canada says the project’s 86 turbines are among the most destructive of wildlife in North America. The organization argues TransAlta should shut down parts of the wind farm – one of the biggest in the country – during high-risk periods in the late summer and early fall, when swallows congregate in the region and bats migrate.

Ted Cheskey
Image was not part of original article

“That period is when the vast majority of birds seem to be killed,” said Ted Cheskey, manager of bird conservation programs at Nature Canada. “The evidence is there, and now there is an obligation for [TransAlta] to act.”

The controversy over bird deaths is just one of the many challenges facing Canada’s wind industry, which has run up against by increasingly vocal opponents who say turbines are ugly, cause health problems, and do not contribute to reduced carbon emissions.

The Wolfe Island site, near Kingston, Ont., began generating power in 2009, and an ongoing count of bird and bat deaths has been conducted by a consulting firm since then. Nature Canada says that while bird deaths have been in line with other wind farms on the continent, those numbers are far too high.

The bird death rates from the turbines “are consistently high,” Mr. Cheskey said. He is particularly concerned with the deaths of tree swallows and purple martins – which are in decline in the province – along with bat fatalities.

Purple Martin
Image was not part of original article

Mr. Cheskey said his comparison of the numbers in the Wolfe Island report shows the turbines generate one of the highest rates of casualties – about 1,500 birds and 3,800 bats in a year – of any wind farm.

But TransAlta disagrees with Nature Canada’s views. The numbers suggest that the Wolfe Island wind farm is no worse that most others, and is well within limits set by federal environmental regulators, said Glen Whelan, TransAlta’s manager of public affairs.

“The mortality rates that we are seeing in birds and bats are within ranges reported for other wind farms across North America,” he said. For bats, the death rate is well below what is often reported in the eastern United States, he added.

While “bird and bat mortality is unfortunately inevitable at wind power facilities, we are seeing numbers that are within the ranges that are called for by regulators,” Mr. Whelan said.

TransAlta is researching ways to mitigate bat deaths, possibly by turning off turbines at certain times, but the results are not in yet, he said.

Nature Canada is not opposed to wind farms in principle, but it thinks they should be in locations where birds and bats are not at serious risk. Because of its location on a migratory route at the eastern end of Lake Ontario, Wolfe Island is one of many spots where the risk of killing migrating birds and bats is particularly high, Mr. Cheskey said.

Image was not part of the original article

Other groups base their opposition to wind farms on other factors. Wind Concerns Ontario, one of the most vocal of the anti-wind groups, claims that noise and vibration from turbines causes sleep deprivation, headaches and high blood pressure. It is demanding independent studies of health impacts.

Anti-wind groups were outraged by a decision two weeks ago from Ontario’s Environmental Review Tribunal which ruled that a wind farm near Chatham, Ont., being developed by Suncor Energy Inc. can go ahead because opponents – who made detailed presentations at a lengthy hearing – did not prove that it would cause serious harm to human health.

Some groups also worry about the aesthetic issues that arise from the erection of thousands of new turbines across the country, while others suggest wind power is expensive, unreliable and needs fossil-fuel-generated back-up

“One-third of the dairy herd died since the turbines began operation” (Wisconsin)


This image was added by WTS.com

—Sandra Johnson, Greenleaf, Wisconsin, in Madison.com (9/2/11)

What if siting massive 50-story industrial wind turbines close to peoples’ homes harms them, kills animals and disrupts lives?

All of this has happened to several families in southern Brown County, Wisconsin.

One couple tried to live with the six 50-story turbines west of their property, but she [the wife] had migraine headaches after the turbines went online in December 2010. They could not adjust to the low frequency noise emitted by the giant machines. My husband and I were invited to visit their home in April after they left to stay with their daughter. We all wondered if the swallows would return in May to their mud nests in the barn. They did not.

Recently, I learned of another farm family in the shadow of wind turbines who were having similar health problems. Their three children are now living with their grandparents, where their headaches have subsided. One-third of this farmer’s dairy herd have died since the turbines began operation. An autopsy of a calf showed no infectious cause for its death.

What now? For the past 20 months, I and my neighbors have written letters, paid for billboards and testified at hearings appealing to our representatives and State Board of Health for a moratorium until epidemiological studies can be done in Wisconsin wind projects to find the answers needed to help these families and others like them.

We are all still waiting.


Wind energy: The “least sustainable energy option”

“Our Least Sustainable Energy Option”

The images in this posting are from Windtoons, and were added by WTS.com

Paul Driessen, TownHall.com (9/1/11)

President Obama and a chorus of environmentalists, politicians, corporate executives and bureaucrats are perennially bullish on wind power as the bellwether of our “clean energy economy of the future.”

In reality, wind energy may well be the least sustainable and least eco-friendly of all electricity options. Its shortcomings are legion, but the biggest ones can be grouped into eight categories.

Land. As American humorist and philosopher Will Rogers observed, “They ain’t making any more of it.” Wind turbine installations impact vast amounts of land, far more than traditional power plants.

Arizona’s Palo Verde nuclear plant generates 3,750 megwatts of electricity from a 4,000-acre site. The 600-MW John Turk ultra-supercritical coal-fired power plant in Arkansas covers part of 2,900 acres; two 600-MW coal-fired units in India use just 600 acres. Gas-fired units like Calpine’s 560-MW Fox Energy Center in Wisconsin require several hundred acres. All generate reliable power 90-95% of the year.

By contrast, the 600-MW Fowler Ridge wind installation (355 turbines) spans 50,000 acres of farm country along Indiana’s I-65 corridor. The 782-MW Roscoe project in Texas (627 turbines) sprawls across 100,000 acres. Oregon’s Shepherds Flat project (338 gigantic 2.5 MW turbines) covers nearly 80,000 wildlife and scenic acres along the Columbia River Gorge, for a “rated capacity” of 845 MW.

The Chokecherry-Sierra Madre project will blanket some 320,000 acres of sage grouse habitat and BLM land in Wyoming with 1,000 monstrous 3-MW turbines, to generate zero to 3,000 MW of intermittent power. That’s eight times the size of Washington, DC, to get an average annual output one-fourth of what Palo Verde generates 90% of the time. But C-SM has already received preliminary approval from BLM.

To replace just 20% of the United States’ 995,000 MW of total installed generating capacity, we would need to blanket an area the size of Kansas with wind turbines, and then add nearly a thousand 600-MW gas-fired backup generators … and thousands of miles of new high voltage transmission lines.

Raw materials. Wind turbine installations require vast amounts of steel, copper, rare earth metals, fiberglass, concrete, rebar and other materials for the turbines, towers and bases.

A single 1.7 MW wind turbine, like 315 of the Fowler Ridge units, involves some 365 tons of materials for the turbine assembly and tower, plus nearly 1100 tons of concrete and rebar for the foundation. Bigger units require substantially more materials. Grand total for the entire Fowler wind installation: some 515,000 tons; for Roscoe, 752,000 tons; for Shepherds Flat, 575,000 tons; for Chokecherry, perhaps 2,000,000 tons. Offshore installations need far more raw materials.

To all that must be added millions of tons of steel, copper, concrete and rebar for thousands of miles of transmission lines – and still more for mostly gas-fired generators to back up every megawatt of wind power and generate electricity the 17 hours of each average day that the wind doesn’t blow.

Money. Taxpayers and consumers must provide perpetual subsidies to prop up wind projects, which cannot survive without steady infusions of cash via feed-in tariffs, tax breaks and direct payments.

Transmission lines cost $1.0 million to $2.5 million per mile. Landowners get $10,000 per turbine, plus royalties on all energy produced from the turbine, plus payments for every foot of access road and transmission lines. However, taxpayers pay more, while the landowners’ neighbors suffer property devaluation, scenic disruption, noise, health problems and interference with crop spraying, but no monetary compensation. Direct federal wind energy subsidies to help cover this totaled $5 billion in FY 2010; state support added billions more; still more billions were added to consumers’ electric bills.

The Other People’s Money well is running dry. The “manmade catastrophic climate change” thesis behind the wind energy campaign is in shambles. Voters and consumers are understandably fed up.

Energy. Mining, quarrying, drilling, milling, refining, smelting and manufacturing operations make the production of metals, concrete, fiberglass and resins, turbines, and heavy equipment to do all of the above very energy-intensive. Ditto for transporting and installing turbines, towers, backups and transmission lines. That takes real energy: abundant, reliable, affordable – not what comes from wind turbines.

In fact, it probably requires more energy to manufacture, haul and install these monstrous Cuisinarts of the air and their transmission systems than they will generate in their lifetimes. However, no cradle-to-grave analysis has ever been conducted, for the energy inputs or pollution outputs. We need one now.

Health. Whereas environmentalists garner scary headlines over wildly speculative claims about health dangers from hydraulic fracturing (to extract abundant natural gas for wind turbine backup generators), they ignore and dismiss a growing body of evidence that wind turbines cause significant health problems.

Principal health issues are associated with noise – not just annoying audible noise, but inaudible, low-frequency “infrasound” that causes headache, dizziness, “deep nervous fatigue” and symptoms akin to seasickness. “Wind turbine syndrome” also includes irritability, depression, and concentration and sleep problems. Others include “shadow flicker” or “strobe effect” from whirling blades, which can trigger seizures in epileptics, “vibroacoustic” effects on the heart and lungs, and non-lethal harm to animals. Serious lung, heart, cancer and other problems have been documented from rare earth mining, smelting and manufacturing in China, under its less rigorous health, workplace and environmental regulations.

To date, however, very few health assessments have been required or conducted prior to permit approval, even for major wind turbine installations. Perhaps the trial lawyers’ guild could redress that oversight.

Environment. Raptors, bats and other beautiful flying creatures continue to be sliced and diced by wind turbines. Thankfully, the Bureau of Land Management has included an “avian radar system” to track the slaughter within its 500-square-mile Chokecherry region – and banned mining among the turbines.

Wind turbines are supposed to reduce pollution and carbon dioxide emissions. But because backup generators must repeatedly surge to full power and back to standby, as wind speed rises and falls, they operate inefficiently, use more fuel and emit more – much like cars forced to stop repeatedly on freeways.

Jobs. The myth of “green jobs” is hitting the brick wall of reality. While the turbines are installed in the USA and EU, far more numerous mining and manufacturing jobs are in China, where they are hardly “green.” As Spanish and Scottish analysts have documented, the “green” installer and maintenance jobs cost up to $750,000 apiece – and kill 2.2 to 3.7 traditional jobs for every “eco-friendly” job created.

Electricity costs and reliability. Even huge subsidies cannot cure wind power’s biggest defects: its electricity costs far more than coal, gas or nuclear alternatives – and its intermittent nature wreaks havoc on power grids and consumers. The problem is worst on hot summer afternoons, when demand is highest and breezes are minimal. Unable to compete against cheap Chinese and Indian electricity and labor, energy-intensive industries increasingly face the prospect of sending operations and jobs overseas. Bayer Chemical’s warning that it may have to close its German facilities is just the tip of the iceberg

When it comes to wind, Nat King Cole might have sung: “Unsustainable that’s what you are, unsustainable though near or far. Unsustainable in every way, and forever more that’s how you’ll stay.” Well, maybe not forever, but certainly for the foreseeable future.

So take a hint from Spoon’s lively tune and “cut out the middleman.” Forge a direct relationship with energy you can afford, energy that works nearly 24/7/365, energy that causes the least ecological damage and is far more sustainable than wind power: the hydrocarbon, hydroelectric and nuclear power that have sustained our society and brought unprecedented health, prosperity and living standards to billions.

Then help the planet’s least fortunate people to do likewise.

… still more furious people! (Ontario)


Waubra Foundation pummels Hepburn Wind (Australia)


—Peter Mitchell, Chairman, Waubra Foundation, in the Ballarat Courier (8/29/11)

The recent reports of sick and exhausted residents living close to the Leonard’s Hill wind turbines were inevitable.

Sadly, no amount of community consultation or ownership in the developer, Hepburn Wind, has been effective in protecting the health and wellbeing of these residents.

The directors of Hepburn Wind cannot say they operated in a knowledge vaccum.

Firstly, in an email dated October 18, 2010, the Waubra Foundation’s medical director Dr Sarah Laurie told Hepburn Wind’s chairman Simon Holmes à Court and CEO Jack Gilding of her concerns about the proximity of residential housing to the siting of the then not-constructed turbines.

Further, at Dr Laurie’s instigation, a meeting was then held earlier this year between herself and Mr Holmes à Court at which Dr Laurie again reiterated her concerns and pleaded with Mr Holmes à Court to delay operating the turbines until a proper independent health study had been conducted.

Most unfortunately for some residents, Dr Laurie’s advice was without effect—except that Mr Holmes à Court, in his oral testimony to the Australian federal senate inquiry, accused Dr Laurie of scaremongering.

Dr Laurie, Dr Andja Mitric-Andjic from Daylesford, and Dr Wayne Spring from Ballarat, in common with Dr David Iser, who observed and wrote of problems at the Toora Wind project in 2004, are all trained rural medical practitioners with the sense of duty and the courage to raise their concerns publicly.  Not as scaremongers, but as genuine clinical observers—much needed, apparently, as the industry remains in denial and our Department of Health is making negligible progress in dealing with the matter.

The whistle has been blown and warnings have been given that serious health problems are the inevitable consequence of siting wind turbines too close to rural residents’ homes.  Forget the claims that projects meet the existing noise standards; those standards have been proven inadequate and dangerous.

Rural Australians need the protection of independent health and noise studies to identify safe siting of turbines.

Hepburn Wind now has some difficult choices: continue to operate and ignore or deny the ill health and misery of neighbours, continue to operate but purchase at full value the properties whose owners are suffering, or shut down the turbines until studies are completed.

Perhaps it is time for the Environment Protection Authority to become involved.

It is in everyone’s interests to get turbine siting decisions right at the planning stage, which is only possible on the basis of expert independent acoustic and clinical research.  Until those studies are completed, no new projects should be approved and no project previously approved but as yet unbuilt should proceed.

Native Hawaiians say “no” to Big Wind


Click here for Molokai.com

Wind turbine misery (Massachusetts)

“Wind Turbine Misery, in Thirteen Lines”

With appreciation to Alexandra Knickel

Sue Hobart, Falmouth, Mass. (8/29/11)

Hurricane Irene came to town today.

I sleep in the basement to relieve the pressure headaches I have when I am upstairs in my home.

Today, though, I sleep deep and late and actually wake up feeling—well, like I had slept!

Today I accomplish what I want to do and more, with a cheerful smile and a spring in my step.

Today I bake cookies and play with my dogs.

Today I actually have an appetite for real food and make steak and potatoes for dinner.

Today I am not dizzy and don’t have a headache.

I forget about days like today.

I have looked forward to sleeping in my real bedroom with my real husband, again.

Today the winds are high enough that my neighbor has turned his turbine off.

He has just turned it back on.

Still, a day without torture is a good thing.

I want more.