Pierpont KO’s McCunney
Jan 10, 2011
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.
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.