Hocus Pocus Australia

Jan 14, 2011

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Editor’s note:  The Australian government says it’s conducting a study of wind turbines and human health.  They’re calling it “An Inquiry into the Social & Economic Impact of Rural Wind Farms.”

Yes, it includes a health component.  Supposedly. This is the Committee’s agenda: “The social and economic impacts of rural wind farms, and in particular:

(a) Any adverse health effects for people living in close proximity to wind farms;
(b) Concerns over the excessive noise and vibrations emitted by wind farms, which are in close proximity to people’s homes;
(Etc.)

Pierpont was asked to make a submission by the bill’s sponsor, Senator Steve Fielding, Leader of the Family First Party.  The Senator apparently thinks the Senate Committee will consider evidence submitted from people outside Australia.

That’s where the problem lies.

Senator Steve Fielding (Australia)

Doubtless Steve Fielding is a nice fellow, and well-meaning and all, but neither he nor his staff (see David Lipshutz, below) seems to grasp that there’s a serious “disconnect” between what Fielding thinks is going on and what this Senate Committee is actually doing.

What it’s actually doing is obstructing the submission of evidence—at least from Dr. Pierpont, the leading researcher on Wind Turbine Syndrome.

The posting, below, is a letter (email) we sent to Fielding’s Senior Policy Advisor, David Lipshutz, explaining that we’re meeting with nothing but stonewalling from the Senate Committee.

We urge you to contact the Senate Committee and Fielding (Lipshutz) and apply pressure.

Now, what do you bet the Senate Committee is quite happy to accept any amount of evidence from wind developers anywhere in the world?

Sound cynical?  You bet.  We’ve been on this merry-go-round for six years, and counting.

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To:
David Lipshutz
Senior Policy Advisor
Office of the Leader of FAMILY FIRST, Senator Steve Fielding
+61 413 303 062

From:
Calvin Luther Martin, PhD
Editor, WindTurbineSyndrome.com

Date: January 14, 2011

Regarding: Australian Senate Standing Committee on Community Affairs: Inquiry into the Social & Economic Impact of Rural Wind Farms

·
David, this just came in from—well, from the gal who wrote it.

Dear Dr Pierpont

Further to my email below, please accept my apologies for sending this. Your submission to the committee is still being considered and, as yet, has not been published. You will hear from the committee further on this matter.

Many thanks

Di Warhurst
Administrative Officer
On behalf of the Australia Senate Standing Committee on Community Affairs on the Social & Economic Impact of Rural Wind Farms

First of all, she apologizes for acknowledging receipt of Dr. Pierpont’s submission (click here). In fact, Ms. Warhurst’s email constitutes a retraction of that acknowledgement. “Your submission to the committee is still being considered” and “you will hear from the Committee further on this matter.”

Sounds like Dr. Pierpont’s evidence may not be accepted by the Committee? That there is some debate whether it’s “acceptable”?

David, I must say that I think you’re a tad naïve in this matter; I’m not sure you grasp that Wind Energy is a religion for many people, including people in high government office. (Why religion? Because Big Wind is going to save us from the Apocalypse of Global Warming. Brilliantly simple-minded.)

By the way, the explanation you were fed (below) about the “computer program” not accepting foreign addresses is baloney. It’s a simple matter to change (fix) the program. Laughably simple.

Dear all

We have had a number of people contact our office in relation to the upcoming wind farm inquiry alerting us to the fact that people overseas are encountering difficulties in posting their submissions to the Senate Inquiry. I understand the problem concerns the requirement to include an address, with the online system only recognising Australian addresses.

I have spoken to one of the staff on the Senate Committee and she has informed me that it is certainly not their intention to exclude overseas submissions, rather it is merely a computer glitch [emphasis added by CLM].

To overcome this computer glitch, those people overseas wishing to post their submission should leave the “State” and “Postcode” details blank [emphasis added by CLM].

Alternatively, should people still encounter difficulties, they may send in their submissions by email to the following address community.affairs.sen@aph.gov.au. Those preferring this option should ensure, that full address details are included.

Should you know anyone overseas who is having difficulties posting their submissions, I would appreciate if you please forward this email on to them.

Regards

David Lipshutz
Senior Policy Advisor
Office of the Leader of FAMILY FIRST
Senator Steve Fielding
www.stevefielding.com.au

You should know that, moments ago, I tried logging into the registration site, following the instructions you gave, above: leave the State and Postcode blank. See screenshot 1. After filling out screenshot 1, I clicked Save & Continue. See screenshot 2. Rejected!  (I was willing to put serious money on being rejected.)

Now, you offer that, “alternatively, should people still encounter difficulties, they may send in their submissions by email to the following address community.affairs.sen@aph.gov.au.”

Um, Dr. Pierpont did that, too. On January 8, 2011. (I copied you with that email.)

Dear Web Senate,

Dr. Nina Pierpont just made an online submission to the Senate Inquiry on the Social and Economic Impact of Rural Wind Farms. I have attached the confirming email from your office.

A word of explanation. In order to register for the online submission, your program required an Australia address. Dr. Pierpont does not have one. So we took the liberty of using Senator Fielding’s office address (see attached PDF), since Senator Fielding is the person who invited Dr. Pierpont to make a submission to the Senate Inquiry. Makes sense, right?

Dr. Pierpont’s actual address is the following:

Nina Pierpont, MD, PhD
19 Clay
Malone, New York 12953
USA
Tel. (518) 483-6481 (office)

Note that I have copied this email to David Lipshutz, Senator Fielding’s Senior Policy Advisor.

Cordially,

Calvin Luther Martin, PhD (Nina Pierpont’s husband)

I gather from Di Warhurst’s email, above, that this is not being accepted, either.

David, when do we stop playing games?

I would like to go on record saying:  The Australian Senate Standing Committee on Community Affairs is stonewalling. I’ve witnessed this kind of performance not infrequently in other government agencies worldwide.

David, I think you need to get your boss involved. Yes, Senator Fielding. This is a pretense of “transparency” and “accountability” and “democracy.”

Senator Fielding is leader of the Family First party, correct? Here’s an email I received today from two Americans currently touring wind industrial plants-built-in-people’s-backyards in Australia. (The Americans are from Cape Cod, Massachusetts. They are the principals of a medical consulting firm, and are filmmakers. Yes, making a film of their findings.)

Here are their preliminary findings, on the back of an envelope. (By the way, their trip was coordinated by Dr. Sarah Laurie, a civilian doc. No help from Family First and no help from the much vaunted Australian Senate and its Committee on blah blah blah.)

SO, WHEN WE ASKED ABOUT REAL ESTATE VALUES, THE PEOPLE IN WAUBRA LAUGHED! They said the real estate values have not declined, because the wind developers have bought some properties. Therefore the statistics say that real estate values have not declined. But the reality is something else.

The ONLY real estate that is selling is the homes that are purchased by the wind energy industry. They have bought only 8 homes of those who have been very vocal in the Waubra area. They pay the going rate and a little bit more. The home owners have to sign a gag order to not say anything negative about the wind developer. There are for sale signs all over the area in Waubra. No one can sell, is what we were told.

The wind developers only bought from the most vocal people when their properties are relatively cheap. There are landowners with vast amounts of land. If they want to sell, the wind developer will not buy them out, as the cost is greater. Most do not want to relocate. They love it in Waubra, just like we love the Cape and you love where you live. It was beautiful land, quiet and peaceful, but not now. Every place you look there are wind turbines turning turning turning and red flashing lights at night one hour before sunset until one hour after sunrise—128 of them. They are even constructed so close to roads that you will not believe it.

Once the realtors tell people the property is near even a proposed wind ‘farm’…power plant, people do not want to look at the property—is what those close to Waubra told us.

The stories are heartbreaking.

Preston and I were speaking this morning about writing some preliminary findings based on the interviews we conducted. We intend to email this to everyone within the week. When we return and edit the film more will follow. Everyone needs to know now what we have heard.

The fine people of Waubra are even feeling the adverse health effects 10 km from the turbines.

Cheers from Australia,

Lilli Green & Preston Ribnick

David, why is this information not being presented, in this detail, in this tone, with this urgency, to the Australian Senate? Why is it not being widely reported in the newspapers (which, in fact, barely explore these issues, referring to them as “concerns” and “alleged health effects” and other weenie language)? One of the few exceptions is Brendan Gullifer. There are others, especially in Australian television news media. But, as far as I can tell, all together it’s merely a handful. A handful of heroes and heroines.

Family First? Where’s Family First in this? Where’s Steve Fielding? Is he out there with the suffering people (witness Green & Ribnick email, above)? Is he inviting the media to accompany him—Steve in shirtsleeves and girding his loins with indignation—exposing this outrage? This horror. (Click here and here and here and here and here and here and here.)

Lastly, what are the odds that Dr. Pierpont’s contribution to this Senate debate is a charade?

Charade? Consider this:

The Committee notes the concerns expressed by Inquiry participants regarding ‘Wind Turbine Syndrome.’ The Committee further notes that research findings of ‘Wind Turbine Syndrome’ have not been published in a peer-reviewed journal.

The Committee is concerned that the significance of ‘Wind Turbine Syndrome’ is being unnecessarily exaggerated because Dr Pierpont is a medical doctor and has published a book on the issue, rather than any scientific merit of such a syndrome. As a result, a degree of fear is being instilled in communities that may host wind turbines. The Committee is concerned that, based on evidence received, this unwarranted fear may be causing greater health impacts than the presence of any actual ‘Wind Turbine Syndrome’ (p. 121).

Where’s this from? It’s from a report produced by the government of New South Wales. Legislative Council, General Purpose Standing Committee No.5. “Inquiry into Rural Windfarms.” December 16, 2009. (Click here.)

Let’s get this crystal clear:  The committee that produced this report considers Dr. Pierpont’s research on Wind Turbine Syndrome (WTS) to be kangaroo poop. In fact, worse than poop:  The committee opines that Dr. Pierpont fabricated Wind Turbine Syndrome.

Let me rephrase this, since it’s a real gem: These politicians basically accuse Pierpont of inventing WTS and foisting this (illusory) terror on the world.

Welcome to Australia! Hence, my question: What are the odds Pierpont’s contribution to this debate is a farce?

One final question: Why are all those stories, hotlinked above, all over my website and not all over Steve Fielding’s? Family First, after all. (Remember, I live in northern New York State, USA. But, yes, they are all over our website, which is read around the world.)

Just to bring this into tighter focus: Why are your stories all over my website and not all over yours?

Sincerely,

Calvin Luther Martin, PhD
Associate Professor of History (retired)
Rutgers University

  1. Comment by pat gabb on 01/15/2011 at 2:52 am

    Sock it to them Calvin!!! If only our world were open and honest — what a difference it woud make and what wonderful outcomes would be achieved!!!

  2. Comment by pat gabb on 01/15/2011 at 2:54 am

    Sock it to them, Calvin! FANTASTIC!!!

  3. Comment by John Gilbert on 01/15/2011 at 5:03 am

    Are you so angry with criminal, greedy white men that you feel like going to an untraceable computer terminal and sending emails about how you illegally and knowingly damaged a wind turbine? Well, don’t do it! Yes, there are websites that will accommodate you. To stay at arm’s length they say “We don’t make the news. We just report the news.” They would ask you to remain anonymous, and launder your target before you report your illegal activity. You could even try the second amendment and overthrow the state, but the security police will only let right wing militia groups practise. The last time I looked, it is legal to applaud or glorify sabotage in Canada.

    Editor’s reply: I understand your frustration, John. To repeat, we never condone violence or destruction or menacing or law-breaking — of any sort. I believe you know that. We consider it vulgar, obscene, dehumanizing, irrelevant, and it never does any good. (I can say as a professional historian that violence has never, ever, accomplished anything of value over the course of History.) One does not need violence; all one needs is a voice and a pen and courage, and, if necessary, civil disobedience in the tradition of M.L. King and Gandhi. To participate in violence (any violence) is to stop being a human being. That is a price I am unwilling to pay. I shall never surrender my humanity. Violence, ipso facto, is such a surrender.

  4. Comment by berni on 01/16/2011 at 12:04 am

    Hi All

    Below is the advice I received from the Senate Committee on 29 October 2010. Contact Dr Timothy Kendall if problems persist.

    Dear Ms Janssen

    Thank you for your inquiry about submissions to the reference on ‘The Social and Economic Impact of Rural Wind Farms.’

    The Committee would be happy to receive submissions from overseas.

    However, please note, that while all submissions to Senate inquiries become Committee documents upon receipt, and are protected by parliamentary privilege, this protection may extend only to Australia. You should therefore be aware of the limitation of this protection. For example, if it is possible that a submission could give rise to legal action in another country, the Committee cannot afford protection. If this was to be of concern to an international submitter they should seek local legal advice.

    More information about parliamentary privilege is available from the Senate fact sheet titled How to make a submission to a Senate Committee Inquiry.

    Please contact me again if you have any concerns.

    Regards

    Tim Kendall
    Dr Timothy Kendall
    Standing Committee on Community Affairs
    Australian Senate
    Parliament of Australia

    Ph: (02) 6277-3517 | Fax: (02) 6277-5829 | Timothy.Kendall@aph.gov.au

  5. Comment by Berni M Janssen on 01/19/2011 at 12:38 pm

    Let me clarify a few points on “Hocus Pocus Australia”:

    1. Real Estate

    (a) 7 Property owners have been bought out: 4 prior to the construction of the windfarm and 3 after. Trish Godfrey was one, post construction – surrounded by 65 turbines, suffering adverse health effects and vocal. Kaye and Denise were bought out – and whilst Kaye had spoken out at local meetings, we suspect that it may have more to do with the Sound monitoring, finding that the wind company was in contravention to noise guidelines.

    (b) Note that the term ‘property owner’ was used rather than ‘property’. This term was used by a staff member of the Wind Company, in an article by Brendan Gullifer. Locally people suspect that there are more properties that have been bought by the Wind Company.

    (c) Whilst many properties are taking a long time to sell in the area, especially those where the turbines dominate the view, or are visible, there are other houses that have sold quite quickly. We know that a local real estate agent has said that if you can see the turbines then it makes it much more difficult to sell.

    It is not true that the only properties to have sold in the past 18 months have been to Acciona, the wind developer. We have even heard the landowners who have turbines complain about real estate prices being low – but they blame the local people who complain about the problems, even though one of the landowners was heard to say “ I haven’t had a good night’s sleep in 2 years”. (Which was when the Wind Farm began operation)

    2. Senator Steve Fielding

    Senator Steve Fielding did come out and meet with people from Waubra and Cape Bridgewater and heard their stories on 27 July, 2010, at the Stepnell’s. Noel Dean launched the Dean Report on the same day. Steve had the media in tow. He promised on that day, after hearing the stories, that he would push for a Senate Inquiry, which he delivered on. He came back for a media opportunity on Nov 11 – to provide info to local people re Senate Inquiry. We know it’s politics but you can’t say that he has not been out to meet people.

    On one hand we have been very hopeful for the Senate Inquiry, but on the other know the political reality of it – Big Wind Big Bucks Big Lobby. Still, this story strengthens our resolve to ensure that as many of our stories have to be submitted as possible.

    Editor’s note: Ms. Janssen lives within the Waubra (Australia) wind turbine complex.

  6. Comment by windy on 02/18/2011 at 10:10 pm

    Congratulations to all those who are prepared to stand up to the governments and big businesses who push wind energy without thought for the well-being of humans (and animals).

    Much is made of the fact that there is “no scientific evidence” for Wind Turbine Syndrome. However, I can find no scientific evidence for post-natal depression, colic in babies, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and a lot of other illnesses. Many of them are simply a collection of symptoms which, over the years, have gradually been accepted by the medical fraternity and given credence and a name.

    To say there are no adverse health effects is to say there are a lot of people near wind farms who, then, are liars, malingerers or neurotic.

    Oddly enough, this is a worldwide phenomenon, so there are, co-incidentally, a lot of neurotic people who happen to live near wind farms. (I’d like to see the statistical probability of people living near wind farms suffering the same “imaginary” symptoms!)

    Try telling a mother suffering post-natal depression that it is all in her head. Try telling a parent with a “colicky” baby that they are imagining things. Try telling someone suffering RSI that their pain isn’t real.

    Editor’s reply: What a splendid letter! Well said!

The comments are closed.