Journalist insists wind developers aren’t thugs or a**holes (Australia)

Sep 17, 2012

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—Calvin Luther Martin, PhD

There is a journalist in Australia who ferociously insists wind developers should not be called thugs and a**sholes.  (Don’t believe me?  Click here.)

Frankly, I find the man’s objections surprising.  I would like to ask him, “Why not?”  (I mean, journalists are supposed to have integrity, do their homework, tell the truth, stick to facts, blah blah blah.  Right?)


Derek (“I tell the truth”) Maitland & friend

The guy’s name is Derek Maitland, whom I would like to address rather personally.  (If you are squeamish about personal and, um, anatomically-enriched language, stop reading here.  Long ago I was a biologist.  Comparative anatomy was one of my favorite courses.)

Derek, buddy!  Take a look at this photograph.

The family who lived here was driven out by a wind developer.  Derek, stop jerking off over wind turbines and listen up:  What do you call someone who drives people out of their homes?  A thug, maybe?  A criminal degenerate?  Villain?

Derek, you misunderstand something fundamental about me and my colleagues & spouse:  I began calling these people thugs and bums and bullies and a**sholes and all that, not for their benefit or yours—but to warn NIMBY’s around the world (NIMBY:  Next Idiot Might Be You) that the wind developer schmoozing them and their town board was a villain of the worst sort.  Someone who makes you profoundly ill and tosses you out of your home is a villain—wouldn’t you agree?  (Ever read Charles Dickens?  He had plenty to say about this.)

Derek, words like a**hole were positively invented for people like that!  I know you didn’t go to college and stuff, but if you had you might have learned that language is beautiful and, well, it’s “okay.”  Use the language generously, not feebly or narrowly, and bring its full symphonic richness to bear where needed—as in labeling people-who-make-you-sick-and-eject-you-from-your-home “a**holes.”  (Some people would add the adjective “f**king” in front of “a**holes.”  That’s okay, too.  Don’t panic; really, it’s okay.  You call yourself a journalist; get a grip!)

What, after all, are you going to call them?  “Businessmen”?  “Wind developers”?  (Are the Mafia businessmen?  Were the Nazis who ran the death camps social workers?  When you’ve been made homeless and sick to the point where you can barely function, all in the name of “this is good for the fatherland”—doesn’t that bring to mind Nazis?)

What really clinches the aptness of the nomenclature (look it up) is that these, well, a**holes don’t stop.  Absolutely refuse to stop!  They have now done this foul deed to many people virtually around the world.  Australia, even.  Lots of abandoned or “forced-sale” homes in Australia, Derek!  Where academics like Simon Chapman soil themselves by ridiculing these victims as dupes of people like me and Dr. Pierpont and Dr. Laurie.  (In confidence, I have sometimes wondered whether God, not content with denying Mr. Chapman the faculty of thinking, perversely endowed him with the faculty of writing.  Have you ever seen his c.v.?  Comes with a Table of Contents.  But I digress.)

Derek, I’ll make you an offer you can’t refuse.  Nina & I will actually contribute serious money to your living in the abandoned home of one of these Wind Turbine Syndrome victims.  But you’ve got to give it 3 months.  Yeah, live there 3 months, minimum.  You pick the country.  Canada?  USA?  Australia?  New Zealand?  France?  Italy?  Scotland?  Ireland?  England?  Germany?  Scandinavia?  Even Japan?  There’s more countries; these merely come to mind.  (Why do you think Pierpont’s book has been translated into 8 foreign languages, with #9, Danish, in the works?)

You pick the country; I’ll make the arrangements.  You see, buddy, I hear from all these people, beginning years ago with the d’Entremonts in Nova Scotia, Canada (see the aerial photograph, above).  I get the phone calls, or my wife does, and we get the emails.  Thousands of ’em in the 8 years we’ve been dealing with wind developer a**holes.

Derek, before sealing this letter with a kiss—see picture, above—I think it’s fair to say you consider Wind Turbine Syndrome to be complete bullshit, correct?  (Is it okay if I use that word?  Maybe you’d feel better if I wrote it “bulls**t”?)  I mean, that’s why you wrote that article, after all—correct?

By the way, you got a whole sh**t-load of your information wrong.  Just two examples:  (a) I’m not the guy in the photograph.  That’s the retired Director of the Wead Memorial Library in Malone, NY.  David Minnich.  Friend of mine.  The guy, below, is me—with my better half, Nina Pierpont.  (b) Secondly, the snappy line “never rose above the rank of Associate Professor because, shortly after getting tenure, he refused to attend another department meeting, since he discerned that department meetings cause early dementia”—I wrote that for the Kerulos Center.  (An international organization that seeks to protect animals from violence.  I’m on their faculty.)  Yeah, it was me!  Poking fun at myself!  (Derek, buddy, don’t sweat it; I don’t think your pal, the editor, is gonna sh*t-can you for being a sh*tty researcher—you’re safe.  And, for the dementia part:  Would you really want to attend faculty meetings with guys like Simon Chapman?)

Of course I tell the truth. In fact, honesty and integrity were the key principles I learned from my first on-the-job . . . apprenticeship in journalism straight out of high school in Sydney more than half a century ago.

“Unlike the university and college ‘media degree’ courses of today, I was trained as a working cadet journalist by older journalists, editors and chiefs of staff and, like many of them, my first crucial moment of truth, or test of integrity, came on a newspaper assignment, not in a classroom lecture. . . .

“It means I don’t just approach any issue like a stenographer, I research it, I investigate it, even if it’s just to give readers a little bit of background that’ll help them get a better understanding of who’s who and what’s what and why something’s going on.”

—Derek Maitland, “Protecting Decency, Beating the Bullies” (8/23/12)

In other words, you’re proud of being a self-taught rustic ignoramus (evidently innocent of a college degree) with a flair for bombast and belligerence and, withal, not too too worried about “fact, honesty and integrity”—despite your loud protests to the contrary.  (Derek, it’s not too late to go to college, you know.  Might expand the mind a bit, mate!)


Nina Pierpont & Calvin Luther Martin

Back to WTS = bullshit.  I’m okay with that.  Surprised?  I’m okay on one condition:  You go live in one of those abandoned houses for 3 months—at my expense.  (Well, I won’t pay your entire freight, but a serious chunk of it.  You buy your own booze.)

After that, you write another article, letting people know whether WTS is bullshit (bulls**t) or not.

Now, I’m taking a gamble here, ‘cause you may be one of the lucky ones not affected by turbine infrasound.  Not everyone is flattened by it, you know, just as not everyone gets cancer or TB (pass this tidbit along to Chapman).  Nevertheless I’m gonna bank on your getting sick.  Puking and horrible headaches and, well, no sleep worth a damn—the whole 9 yards.

Sound like a deal?

Can I be honest?  If you don’t take me up on this, buddy, all the people who follow this website are gonna think you’re an a**hole like those developers—for not putting your backside where your mouth is.

Oh, almost forgot!  The article you allude to, “How to fight Big Wind”:  It’s one of the finest essays I’ve ever written (not a “thesis,” as you call it—see “going to college,” above).  No sh*t!  I admit the language is a little robust and colorful, but that’s beside the point; it’s actually done more good than anything scholarly I ever wrote.  Here I bust my a** to publish books with Yale Univ. Press, Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, Oxford Univ. Press, Univ. of California Press, and I win the “best book of the year” award (Albert J. Beveridge Award) from the American Historical Association, plus a Guggenheim and Senior National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship and American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship and blah blah blah—and, Jeez, I publish this vulgar little piece online and—wow!—it saves countless NIMBY’s from getting f**ked by the wind developer a**holes!

  1. Comment by Melodie Burkett on 09/17/2012 at 8:26 pm

    Way to go Calvin! Remember in the the 60’s a show called “Laugh In”?

    Well, “sock it to em … sock it to em … sock it to em”!

    Derek, if you do not take Calvin up on his offer, you are even a bigger Asshole than we all thought you were!

  2. Comment by Marsh Rosenthal on 09/17/2012 at 9:10 pm

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    Derek Maitland & friend

    Derek,

    You strike me as the pompous kind of bully that knows that paper can stand to take all manner of cr*p, and there seems to be an unlimited readership among the bored and the “greenwashed” that will support you.

    You and your imagined cheering squad can be as strident and insulting as you can contrive to be, but you are going down. When the faucet of free money is turned off, when the Production Tax Credits are abolished, along with the RECs, and whatever these things are called in every country across the world, you will be whistling in a graveyard for renewable energy, alias, wind power projects.

    You know, it’s not very nice to attack good people who are smart enough to defend themselves.

    Good luck,

    Marsh

  3. Comment by sue Hobart on 09/17/2012 at 9:46 pm

    Well, Calvin, I can even offer our house in the next month or so because we are almost out of there at last. Yes, indeed, the site of the Bruce McPherson Infrasound and Low Frequency Noise Study. Bring on the science projects if you dare! (Wonder if there will be any grants in this area?) It would certainly be its highest and best use, in my opinion!

    Keep on giving ’em hell dear friends. Once I get a life back, I will come out kicking again, too. It’s been a long hard summer fixing up the little replacement house, but it will be good to be able to rest and work toward getting a life back.

    In all this I have come to a discernment of true brilliance: THAT is coming from those who are actually smart enough to know that we do not have the final say, no matter what we attempt to rationalize. Thanks for being some of those higher beings . . . Science is Nature and Nature is God and God we are not qualified to understand fully. But fools think otherwise. How convenient to know it all ! But wait for the “Oops,” ’cause it’s coming down on ’em fast!

  4. Comment by Tom Whitesell on 09/17/2012 at 9:57 pm

    Oh Calvin, how can you be so ‘real’? You stop it now! You be a good boy!

  5. Comment by George Papadopoulos on 09/17/2012 at 11:34 pm

    Calvin, the quote from Derek Maitland’s self-appraisal sounds typical of a personality who lives in his own world, creates his own rules, and frankly needs to spend some time under some nasty army officer in order to learn how to appreciate and deal with reality.

    Here’s an extract of my exchanges with him last year with relation to his article on an environmental assessment conducted by a wind developer on a local project at: http://www.orangenewsnow.com.au/key-wind-farm-complaints-addressed-by-environmental-probe/

    My comment to this article, suppressed by Derek, follows:

    “It is interesting to have such a rapid appraisal of the environmental concerns of the development by journalists dedicated to an industrial machine.

    “So no problem with environmental concern? And if there are any pregnant ewes, then what? Do you suggest they might have to undergo forced abortions or shuttled to distant paddocks? (and who is going to enforce this?), and/or the owners going to get fined for breeding sheep (on the grounds of animal cruelty???- job for PETA to follow up???).

    “This article also states that there will be ‘no lights at night “other than safety lights for aviation if required” that would attract nocturnal birds.’ So are the turbines going to be equipped with lights visible only to aeroplanes and nothing else???

    “Jounalism at its best?”

    His didn’t stop at refusing to publish my comment but he e-mailed me the same day to give me a dose of his rage (I’ve never been so honoured by a sensitive and fragile journalist in the past).

    “Dear George,

    “This was not a ‘rapid appraisal’ it was a simple report on the finding of a comprehensive environmental assessment… I have had to deal today with an arrogant, abusive, personally insulting phone call from your leader, and a snide text from another who accused me of being in ‘Infigen’s bed.’ I would hope she ran that by her solicitors before putting it into print.

    “Now I have your angry, almost hysterical diatribe, and again going far beyond the issue and into personal attack — ‘Journalism at its best?’

    “Your implied charge that I am dedicated to an industrial machine is so wrong, and so fatuous that I would like to suggest that if the Flyers Creek Awareness Group wants to be taken seriously then learn a few life skills, learn how to put forward your case without hysteria and abuse at every challenge, and maybe you’ll be listened to.

    With regards

    Derek Maitland”

    Of course this tantrum-prone, sensitive darling, that can’t swallow criticism went a bit further. His research on me, or rather lack thereof, produced another report attacking me here: http://www.orangenewsnow.com.au/onn-opinion-the-tarnishing-of-the-freedom-to-speak/#comment-2641 . (He has removed some of the errors I point out below, but still considers me a “local resident,” even though I told his boss over the phone that I live 300km away!)

    My response to this was as follows:

    “Mr Derek Maitland,

    “I note your recent article at http://www.orangenewsnow.com.au/onn-opinion-the-tarnishing-of-the-freedom-to-speak/#comment-2641.

    “Please note my following comments in relation to your article:

    1) You have misspelt my surname
    2) I am not a doctor
    3) I am not a member of the Flyers Creek Wind Turbine Awareness Group Inc.
    4) You have concealed the nature of my complaint against your previous article ‘KEY WIND FARM COMPLAINTS ADDRESSED BY ENVIRONMENTAL PROBE,’ yet have selectively chosen to portray my character as one denying the key principle of democracy.

    “I wish to emphasize that this is evidence of shoddy, poor quality, misinformed, and biased journalism, and I thank you for letting the public know how I feel about your disgraceful conduct, and your clueless employer. The length of your 45-year career in journalism means nothing. Your failure to engage yourself in providing balanced reporting would have been a matter of investigation should you have agreed to bind yourself to the code of conduct of the Press Council.

    “I therefore request that you immediately correct the errors and omissions highlighted above. I also encourage you to freely quote those sections of this letter that are in bold—I appreciate having my opinions about you known to the public.

    Yours sincerely,

    George Papadopoulos”

    My conclusion: To state the obvious, he’s a man who loves to attack, but gets seriously hurt by criticism. A man who likes to harshly judge others but works for an employer who refuses to bind his online publication to the code of conduct of the Press Council. (And you will be surprised how credible this guy is with the wind industry. They have referenced some of Derek’s reports to theirs.)

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  6. Comment by Colette McLean on 09/18/2012 at 7:33 am

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    Derek Maitland

    Obviously Derek sees himself as one of the anointed in our society. You know the kind that are easily satisfied with condenming others for colourful language rather than understand that the word “asshole” is just a word (an appropriate word BTW that conveys fully the truth about wind developers, I like to use it regularly) or understand that using critical thinking skills denies them that self satisfying feeling of being “right” because it’s critical thinking that makes one use cognitive skills for contemplation and asking questions, examining data, etc. No, that would simply remove that feeling of power the green-washed seem addicted to.

    Try reading some of the horror stories on the http://www.illwind.org site, Derek, and see if you can continue denying the problem. If you can, then Calvin has it right, you are an asshole.

  7. Comment by GS on 09/18/2012 at 9:55 am

    Editor’s note: The following was written in response to Derek Maitland’s, “Wind Energy: New Government Pledge Means More Wind Farms, More Activist Rage.”

    Awesome article—though not for the reasons intended! It’s obvious Maitland is either a dishonest, cynical shill for the industry or a willfully ignorant acolyte of wind religion.

    Maitland illustrates that the celebrants of the religion of Wind are feeling threatened. Not a single attempt to address any anti-wind position. Simply an outright, unrelenting—and therefor weak—string of ad hominem attacks.

    The giveaway is the statement, buried in the middle of this diatribe: “It would be a threatening prospect if it wasn’t so much hot air.”

    So—Maitland isn’t threatened—which is why he’s written a lengthy screed attacking wind critics—without countering a single anti-wind statement.

    For any genuinely informed observer, it is well known that wind proponents tout rated turbine capacity rather than actual turbine output. That’s because turbines typically produce a paltry 8-15% of the energy they are theoretically capable of producing. Wind proponents pretend turbines offset carbon output, but the ugly truth is that turbines are so erratic and unpredictable that new conventional electric plants must be built to provide instant backup capacity. In China, this means hundreds of new coal plants are being built to provide backup for their government subsidized wind scam. Der Spiegel magazine says “not one gram” of carbon has been offset by the world’s industrial wind facilities.

    Wind turbines undeniably kill thousands of birds yearly. They add to, rather than offset, carbon pollution. And the low frequency sound they produce inflicts great harm on thousands of people (and undoubtedly animals, too) worldwide. The clinical science is catching on to this fact—and finally, thank god, is being published and disseminated.

    Wind survives only because of the nexus of corrupt politicians, public money and greedy profiteers. It is an epic environmental and economic disaster.

    But Maitland’s rant is heartening. The dyke is cracking. Maybe there’s yet hope for mankind. Sauron’s dark tower, Barad-dur, will yet fall.

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  8. Comment by preston mcclanahan on 09/18/2012 at 10:56 am

    To readers of Mr. Maitland: Look at the unvarnished, global facts on the basic, complex issues of productivity from the “sometime” wind—its costs, profits, homes served, health risks, equity values, revenue returns, etc. Those who are FOR are either uninformed, delusional, totally biased, on the dole from the winders, on an opportunistic self-promoting tangent, or all of these together with more un-named motives.

    After the facts, who wants to live near a wind plant?

    Mr. Maitland’s article is replete with adjectives which mean zero without any backup references, a typical political propaganda ploy.

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  9. Comment by Marie Burton on 09/24/2012 at 8:57 pm

    Dear Mr. Martin,

    I do not think that 3 months in an abandoned home is long enough for the likes of Derek Maitland, a journalist who may never have read any article about what industrial turbines do to people and animals. I tried corresponding with him at one stage, but all I got was rhetoric and wind industry tripe. It seems to me that any meeting involving reps from both the wind industry and journalists, repeats the same words each time. Try something with proof against turbines and you get ignored and the subject is changed. Thanks for this great article and for your choice of words for Derek Maitland.

    As for Simon Chapman, I suspect he is paid by the wind industry to spout his ignorant and biased articles. I have also had the same problem with him, to the point I told him not to bother to reply to me in the end.

  10. Comment by Bruno on 04/07/2013 at 2:48 am

    Typical of this idiot Derek Maitland, he only ever prints his opinion never the facts, just look on his blog which he claims to be an online news site, at the way he has attacked the Orange Ratepayers Association (ORA) & the lies he has told. Early on many ORA members replied to his rants online but true to form, he won’t allow any comments online that disprove his claims or don’t agree with his lies.

    He does the bidding of the Orange City Council and in particular it’s mayor who don’t like been held accountable to the Rate Payers of Orange in NSW. Might have something to do with the fact his boss, Bob Holland, who wrote letters to all councillors offering to sell his weekly rag to the Council, I saw one of the letters myself.

    One day Maitland hopefully will be put before the courts to answer for his lies.

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