Pierpont shreds Big Wind Junk Science

Jan 15, 2011

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McCunney wins WTS.com’s Rubber Duck Award 2010!

In November 2010, Robert J McCunney, MD, one of the authors of the AWEA-CanWEA farcical report on Wind Turbine Syndrome (2009), filed a comparable report with the Public Service Board of the State of Vermont.  Once again, he attempted to trash Wind Turbine Syndrome.

The following month, Pierpont cooly reduced his report to rubble.  Click here for McCunney’s report and Pierpont’s response.  (See related editorial, “Pierpont KO’s McCunney.”)

WTS.com takes this opportunity to acknowledge Dr. McCunney’s on-going scientific contributions to Wind Turbine Syndrome by awarding him our annual Rubber Duck prize.*

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*The Rubber Duck Award was established two years ago by Canada’s Financial Post (FP) to recognize extraordinary achievement in Junk Science.  “
Winners are scored on the degree to which they succeed in meeting FP’s standard definition of Junk Science: When scientific facts are distorted, when risk is exaggerated or discounted, when science is adapted and warped by politics and ideology to serve another agenda.”

  1. Comment by Bob on 01/15/2011 at 2:12 pm

    Slowly but surely the truth is emerging. Dr. Pierpont’s refutation is more gentle than Dr. McCunney deserves.

    There are 2 key distinguishing features between IWT proponents and their critics. The latter group urge more research while the industry and governments deny the need, despite the fact that no research has ever demonstrated the safety of IWT. There are no evidence-based regulations anywhere in the world. Perhaps that is why regulations internationally are so erratic.

    The second major difference is that the proponents and their paid medical experts such as Dr. McCunney have never formally evaluated IWT victims.

    Truth will win the day — eventually. The question is how much more damage to people and the environment will there be before that happens?

  2. Comment by Mark Duchamp on 01/15/2011 at 4:19 pm

    The wind industry has deep pockets filled with taxpayers’ dollars. They can “buy the science” as easily as they can hire a scientist to conduct a study. In cases where they don’t like his report, they fire the man, edit his report, and hire another that will sign it. I’ve seen it done with ornithologists. A non-disclosure clause in the contract gags them good, and another one specifies that their report is property of the contractor. So their hands are tied. “Uncooperative” scientists are thus eliminated, and those who know how to please the industry are rewarded by being hired over and over again.

    This is how, for instance, the industry has managed to put a lid on the bird and bat mortality problem. In Australia, the consultant who lands most of the contracts regarding birds and windfarms is Biosis Research Pty. Ltd. They consistently make bird mortality predictions that have nothing to do with reality. In one case, their “error” was of two orders of magnitude (100 times less than reality). It has effectively condemned the Tasmanian Wedge-tailed Eagle to extinction, as the windfarms buit in Tasmania will continue killing the eagles until there is none left.

    This biodiversity disaster has not stopped the industry from hiring this consultant — on the contrary! So he carries on making ridiculously low mortality predictions for other projects in Australia, ensuring that windfarms are built even in the worst possible locations for bird life. He is the most prosperous ornithology consultant in the country. The government doesn’t mind his junk science, neither does Bird Australia, which also makes money from the wind industry.
    You can read the story here.

    I have no doubt that what goes on with ornithologists applies to acousticians and other scientific disciplines as well.

  3. Comment by Jack Sullivan on 01/16/2011 at 3:30 pm

    I recall leaving a Noble Environmental (wind developer) presentation back in 2005 and walking beside a wise octogenarian farmer.

    His comment: “If you gave those guys a shot of truth serum they’d be speechless!”

    Editor’s note: Jack Sullivan is a Town Councilor for the Town of Malone, New York.

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