Pierpont KO’s McCunney

Jan 10, 2011


Calvin Luther Martin, PhD

It’s difficult to get Nina Pierpont to respond to her critics.  “Calvin,” she fires back with withering look, “it’s a waste of my time. (1) I wrote the book.  (2) Salt & Hullar published their research in a peer-reviewed journal.  (3) Salt continues to publish.  (4) The Society for Wind Vigilance held its WTS conference last October, where loads of clinical evidence was presented.  (5) Every day, people come forward—around the world—complaining of the same symptoms I described.  My critics never, ever, interview a single WTS victim!  Never!  I waste my time replying to their clinical ignorance and—what’s worse—confounded intransigence.”

Nevertheless, I recently succeeded.  Sort of.  In response to a man who’s got a new gig railing against Wind Turbine Syndrome.  A medical doctor who should know better.  Like a man who’s found Jesus (or a lucrative corporate sponsor), Robert J. McCunney has been fervently working the New England states, preaching “Prepare ye the way of Big Wind!  Wind Turbine Syndrome is bunk!”

By way of background, McCunney was one of the authors of the AWEA-CanWEA rebuttal to Pierpont’s “Wind Turbine Syndrome” book—a transparent and shameful farce released by Big Wind mere days after Pierpont’s book came out.  (It would have been impossible for these jokers to have read her book and composed their report in 2 or 3 days.  Suggests they . . . didn’t read it, but based their response on book excerpts posted online over the previous few years.  Hardly respectable scholarship on their part.  But, then, you’re dealing with Big Wind and its hirelings.)

As 2010 wound down, McCunney testified before the Public Service Board of the State of Vermont (November).  Shortly thereafter a Vermont physician forwarded McCunney’s testimony and asked Pierpont if she would respond.

She did—in a “back of the envelope” manner.  When I gingerly suggested she re-work this into a more formal statement, she shot me that withering look.

Here it is.  Best I could do.

Robert J. McCunney, MD

My two cents?  For years I was a professor at a worldclass university—just as MIT is worldclass.  I read McCunney’s affidavit and wonder how on earth this man got tenure.  Scholarship does not appear to be this man’s strong suit.

Reflecting on this whole tragic comedy and people like McCunney, I recall H.L. Mencken’s portrayal of Wm. Jennings Bryan.  “Bryan always had one great advantage in controversy,” recalled Mencken after the famous Scopes (“Monkey”) Trial.

He was never burdened with an understanding of his opponent’s case. His talents, indeed, were always far more homiletical than dialectical; he was at his best, not in argument, but in denunciation. The fact made itself felt brilliantly during his last great combat with the evolutionists. Whenever he stated their doctrines he stated them inaccurately, and whenever he undertook to refute them he resorted to nonsense. His mind was of the sort that is simply unable to grasp scientific facts. They fevered him as flies fever a bull, and he got rid of them by lashing his tail.

—Mencken, “The Bathtub Hoax and Other Blasts and Bravos from the Chicago Tribune” (1958) p. 131.

† See this statement by Robert A. Dobie, MD, a physician who ought to know better.  The man actually has outstanding credentials.  Dobie has often represented industry in his consulting and legal testimony, and he has published important papers in otolaryngology.  He was one of the authors of the AWEA-CanWEA report trashing Pierpont’s research—one of the shameless authors who did not read her book before signing that report.  One wonders about his professional ethics.

  1. Comment by Jon Boone on 01/10/2011 at 9:03 pm

    Good for Nina. She might remember this quote from Emerson, “politeness was invented by wise men to keep fools at a distance.” Emerson was not talking about pundits, however.

  2. Comment by Tom Whitesell on 01/10/2011 at 9:22 pm

    Dr. Pierpont, might I respectfully submit: “Yes. Tear it up.” It is indeed beneath your dignity to participate in this foolishness.

    However, thank goodness you are!

  3. Comment by Hube (France) on 12/19/2011 at 6:35 pm

    Many of us across the world, I think, are just holding on a bit longer just because they’ve come across this site, or Nina’s book, or Calvin’s or Sarah Laurie’s help or the many stories or comments from people suffering from turbines, everywhere around the world, thanks to this site.

    That’s my case anyway. I’m holding on a bit longer, thanks to Nina first and then you all, before going away from my home because of 6 turbines I don’t even see from here.

    So, this is for you, Nina: I’m ANGRY when I see people like this McCunney, or any other of his kind, deny the evidence without even knowing what they’re talking about and attack those like you who fight honestly for the truth. It’s strange how those people don’t even realize how pathetic they look. Maybe it’s simply that unconscious thought of being pathetic — that is: not being up to the task of questioning what they think they “know” and somewhat knowing that deep inside — that makes them add meanness to ignorance? Would a bit of WTS help reorganize their mental organization and open new perspectives in their sad minds? They too have responsibility, Godamnit!, and real people, people who suffer, are at the other end of their wicked lines or speeches. People who don’t know, people of good faith who do not experience WTS, might believe those people.

    Grrrrrr…. I AM angry.

    BUT, on the other hand, I’m HAPPY when I see Nina fight successfully and stay up after being forced to climb on a ring to defend herself. You fought reluctantly, I understand, and that tells us about your peaceful intentions, Nina, that tells us of how good a person you are. But Nina, by doing that effort, by “participating in that kind of foolishness”, as Tom above says, you fight for us. Your dignity is there. It’s not where you go, it’s the mere fact that you go there. Because you go there FOR US!

    So, I’m happy, but as it is at your expense, sort of, I’d like here to send you back a bit of that happiness I feel, Nina. May it, with thousands of other supportive thoughts, help you go on fighting, when you have to. May it give you energy, because that’s the only thing you’ll temporarily lose in that kind of disagreeable process. You’ll never lose your dignity or your soul. You’ll never lose anything we grant you or (poorly but so heartily) give you in return for the help you offer to us all.

    I can’t do much more for you, but all my heart is there.

    God bless you, Nina.

  4. Comment by Marsh Rosenthal on 01/23/2012 at 7:01 pm

    McCunney’s and Dobie’s ethics are out. Ethics, like toothpaste, cannot be gotten back up into the tube once it is squeezed out.

    On the other hand, the ethical—and, Nina, you are my role model—seem to have an endless supply of this magical substance!

    Editor’s note: Thanks for your kind words!

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