Wind Turbine Syndrome in Denmark

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“Stop that sickening sound!” (Ontario)

“Harvest the wind,” these seducers whispered (A Poem)

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Sold Out By Spin – A Story of the Wind

—Noel Abbott (12/16/13)

They came
to this quiet community
first the smooth talking
carpetbaggers
with their glib promises
of abundance
of how these machines
would save the world

The big lies
told with conviction
the big lies

Then the turbines
huge Industrial Machines

In between
a community divided
part of the plan

a war without guns
fought with the weapons
of treachery, lies, lobbyists, lawyers

No match for this armada
most small town boards
no time to make the wise long-term commitments
that their positions called for

To go to war with the very landowners
who may have built their towns
who have lived there for generations

“Harvest the Wind”
“Free Cash Crop”
“Save Your Farms”
“Free Money”
these seducers whispered

Then the machines
went up
and turned the world black
for so many
a quiet town
now an industrial wasteland
for so many
Skies still bright
but darkness in the lives
of those affected

And the invaders
many from foreign lands
reaping tax benefits
from our hard-earned hands
without our consent
and often without our knowledge

No sleep
dizziness
headaches
loss of concentration
personality change
anger, grief
Wind Turbine Syndrome

Too late, the mountains gone
skylines gone

Let’s stop this madness
wake up!

I tell you this
this policy
driven by a triangle of bad laws-lobbyists-vested interest
Renewable Portfolio Standards (set by whom?)
and tax rebates are reaping the harvest
by raping the land

How could it be
that something so pervasive
is suicidal policy?

Look at war and ask the same question
Look for yourself
educate yourself
to the real facts
ask these questions:
Has one of these Industrial blights
ever meant the removal
of a single coal fired, oil fired, nuclear, or gas fired plant?
Not!

Time to wake up
“But we have to do something”
the critics and spin artists counter

If that something
is to drive yourself
off the edge of a cliff faster, stop!

It takes courage
to admit
that something so widespread
is suicidal policy
but it is

Energy efficiency will help
more efficient grids will help
localizing power will help
changing the laws will help

End this useless suffering.

Three families abandoned their homes because WTS symptoms are so severe (Wisconsin)

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Wisconsin State Senator Frank Lasee, “Take the politics out of wind power,” WisOpinion (12/13/13)

Last Christmas, I was grateful the Public Service Commission (PSC) funded a study on the connection between wind turbine noise and the illnesses people who live near the towers are consistently reporting. The scientists agreed and their finding was clear that more studies needed to be done.

The pieces were finally in place to definitively answer the health question – are the wind turbines making people sick?

One year later we still don’t know. Why? In spite of its own recommendation of more studies, the PSC has shelved the report for a year and done nothing.

Nothing.

No one from the PSC has made a phone call or sent an e-mail to check on the more than fifty people in my district who have documented health problems that started when those massive wind turbines were built too close to their homes.

The pro-wind forces want you to believe the wind turbines are good for the environment because, after all, they’re “green” and nothing green could ever cause a problem.

If only that were true.

Let’s start with a report from the World Health Organization. By any reasonable standard the WHO is a nonpolitical research group dedicated to health. Their report found that low frequency noise generated by the turbines was, “sufficiently strong to warrant immediate concern.” The WHO report is just one of dozens raising concerns about the health effects of wind power.

“Immediate” is the key word in the previous paragraph. More than ten years ago the World Health Organization was one of the first to raise the alarm – ten years ago – and the Wisconsin Public Service Commission ignores its own report for a year?

Not only does the PSC ignore its own work, the pro-wind lobby continues to argue there are no “legitimate” reports questioning the safety of wind turbines.

If the PSC wants to learn about the health problems connected to wind turbines all they have to do is make a telephone call.

Your neighbors have been hurt by these wind turbines.  They are farmers, housewives, and their children. One or two cases of health problems could be dismissed as a fluke but dozens?  Three Brown County families have abandoned their homes because the symptoms are that severe. These are good and honest people and their only agenda is to get their lives and health back again.

In Massachusetts, a judge recently ruled that a utility company had to dramatically scale back its operating hours because homeowners were suffering, “irreparable physical and psychological harm.”

Public Service Commissioners have the rare chance to show both courage and leadership in this debate. Stop ignoring the elephant in the room, follow your own recommendation, and commission a new study investigating the link between wind turbine noise and the people who are ill around them.

Set the gold standard for safety and show us you think people are more important than politics.

Ask the questions.

Don’t make the people of northeastern Wisconsin wait another year for Christmas.

 

Senator exposes fraud & malfeasance of the wind industry and govt. enablers (Australia)

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Editor’s note:  The following amazing speech (click here for PDF) was delivered by Senator John Madigan (Australian Federal Senate) on the Australia Federal Senate Floor on December 10, 2013.  Madigan’s speech applies to every  nation and every state and province that promotes wind energy.  This website has been documenting this fraud and malfeasance — and scandalous cover-up of Wind Turbine Syndrome — for 9 years.

Senator Madigan “gets it”!

In South Africa, Nelson Mandela has died.  A phenomenal leader, a man of phenomenal courage.  Australia has produced a man worthy to walk in Mandela’s shoes.  (Contact him personally, here, and tell him as much.)
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In 2002, well before Professor Simon Chapman’s nocebo effect and five or more years before the Waubra Foundation was set up, people in the once quiet seaside town of Toora in South Gippsland started complaining about noise nuisance. They had not been visited by anybody stirring them up or telling them that one day they might feel sick. What had happened is the construction of a wind farm near this little town by the Queensland government’s Stanwell Corporation.

Toora was one of the earliest wind farms in Australia. The people reported their complaints and illness to the local GP, Dr David Iser. He had not been visited by any anti-wind-farm activists either. He was just the local GP doing his job on Gippsland’s beautiful coast and now wondering why so many people were turning up in his surgery complaining about noise and reporting various symptoms.

South Gippsland Shire Council started receiving complaints too. In 2005, they commissioned an independent review of the noise-monitoring data collected at Toora by the Stanwell Corporation. The review found all sorts of problems with the way the noise monitoring was being conducted that distorted and limited the data. It also found that the wind farm was breaching Victoria’s wind farm noise standard. The complaints continued, more reviews were done and nothing improved.

In 2007, or thereabouts, the local council stopped checking the noise monitoring at Toora. Over the next couple of years, the operator bought out some of the complainants and their houses were removed and destroyed. Other complainants were paid out too. Gag money coupled with legally binding confidentiality agreements were papered over the problem, silencing the complaints. Yet Toora wind farm continued churning out noise into the local community and still does to this day. What happened at Toora was the pattern of the wind industry’s behaviour that would be repeated across Victoria—and probably Australia.

Today I tabled a petition from more than 1,000 people across rural and regional Australia. They are concerned about noncompliant wind farms rorting the renewable energy certificate system being allowed to operate when they are noncompliant and causing a range of harms and costs. Wind farm planning permits stipulate a noise standard. If residents near a wind farm make complaints about noise, this triggers a compliance pathway where testing occurs, and then more testing occurs. Wind farm planning permits then stipulate turbines in noncompliant wind farms to be shut down and removed, yet Victoria’s regulator has never ordered these final steps to be taken. In fact, Victoria’s regulator for large wind farms, the Victorian Minister for Planning and his department, the regulator for small wind farms and local councils have never publicly declared a single Victorian wind farm to be in breach of the noise standard stipulated in their planning permits—not one.

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Over the years, thousands of complaints have been made by local residents about noisy wind farms scattered across Victoria, yet the regulators have not publicly declared one wind farm to be noncompliant. Why is that? How could that be? To answer those questions I turn to Waubra wind farm, owned by ACCIONA but operating as Pyrenees Wind Energy Development. Waubra is Toora wind farm on steroids. It is the case study of regulatory failure at state and Commonwealth levels. Located northwest of Ballarat, Waubra is a large facility comprising some 128 turbines spread over two municipalities. It started operating in 2009.

To understand what is causing regulatory failure, we need to part the curtains and look behind the scenes. Over the last 12 months, my office has used freedom of information to access various documents from the Victorian Department of Planning and the Commonwealth’s Clean Energy Regulator. While the Minister for Planning and his department have never formally and publicly declared Waubra wind farm to be noncompliant, behind the scenes a different story was, and still is, being told.

Tonight I put on record some excerpts from those FOI documents, because this story is not just about Waubra breaching its planning permit conditions; it is about a culture of noncompliance arising from systemic regulatory failure that impacts every wind farm in Victoria. The authors of this story are the wind farm companies, the Victorian Planning Minister and his department, the Commonwealth’s Clean Energy Regulator, local councils and others in the regulatory community who are not paying attention. This story involves the pain and suffering of little people living in rural Australia, environmental damage, fraud on a grand scale, deception, lies and concealment.

Sadly, it is not a new story. There have been too many examples of governments and corporations colluding to circumvent regulation and accountability, harming and stealing from people along the way. What is different about this story, however, is the optimism and high regard felt toward this particular technology. Wind farms were believed to solve problems, not create them. Wind farms and the wind energy industry were promoted as the shiny white knights riding out across the countryside, abating pollution and befriending all who looked upon them. While this fairy tale captured our collective hope that wind farms would solve our energy needs, minus pollution, it has blinded us to the technology’s problems.

Our short-sightedness has been added to by governments hiding information from the public at the same time as they fail to regulate. We have been misled by an industry that engages in sophisticated public relations and spin.  We have trusted an environmental movement whose support has been manipulated by the wind industry and its master, the fossil fuel industry.

Let’s go behind the curtains to see the real story. Less than two weeks after the November 2010 Victorian state election won by a coalition government, the newly appointed Minister for Planning, Matthew Guy, requested a briefing from his department about compliance issues at ACCIONA’s Waubra wind farm. He was advised by his department:

… the Department of Planning and Community Development—

DPCD for short—

requested Pyrenees Wind Energy Development—

PWED for short—

to provide a copy of the complaints register required under the planning permits.

This complaints register indicated that 63 complaints had been received by PWED. DPCD is aware that complaints have also been received by the EPA and both local councils. Some of these complaints are not assessed as part of the noise compliance report.

DPCD understands that approximately 11 dwellings located within 1.5 kilometres of the Waubra wind farm have been vacated with noise cited as the reason. The wind farm proponent has purchased eight of these properties.

A recent site visit by the Joint Municipal Association of Victoria and DPCD working group on wind farms to the Waubra wind farm reported significant audible noise impact on an adjacent dwelling. The occupiers of this dwelling have recently vacated the premises due to this noise issue. This dwelling is not assessed as part of the noise compliance report.

The ministerial briefing also advises:

… an independent noise construction noise monitoring program was to be undertaken to the satisfaction of the Minister for Planning. PWED submitted the report to the Department of Planning and Community Development on 8th October 2010.

On 13th October 2010 DPCD provided a copy of the report to the Environment Protection Authority for preliminary comment. Preliminary advice from the EPA indicated several concerns with the report.

On 15th October, 2010 DPCD commissioned Heggies Pty Ltd. (now called SLR Acoustic Consultants) to prepare an independent technical review of the noise compliance report. On 1st December, 2010 the final peer review was provided to DPCD.

This briefing note proposed that Minister Guy tell PWED their postconstruction noise compliance assessment was not to his satisfaction, that they had breached condition 16 of the planning permit and needed to run some of their turbines in noise optimisation mode. He was advised to tell them to document an operating program that would result in compliance with the applicable noise standards.

On 10 December 2010, four days after being briefed by his department, Minister Guy wrote to PWED in a letter that identified multiple breaches of its planning permits:

The complaints register required under Condition 15 of the planning permits should have been assessed to establish whether complaints received were investigated in terms of potential non compliance and the results of any investigation … I am not satisfied with the independent post construction noise monitoring program required by condition 17 of the relevant planning permits.

A response to the issues and concerns raised in this letter are required from PWED, including the review of the Waubra post-construction noise compliance report within 28 days of receipt of this letter in order for me to be satisfied under the permit conditions.

Further, the report details that the operation of the facility does not comply with the relevant noise standard at several dwellings.

I am therefore not satisfied in accordance with Condition 14 that the operation of the facility complies with the relevant standard in relation to these dwellings. In accordance with Condition 16 I request PWED to noise optimise the operation of the relevant turbine or turbines.

I require PWED to document the operation of the wind farm in a noise optimised mode … I expect that this program will respond to any omissions or additional non compliance identified during the revision of the report.

In 2010 we see a newly elected government and its planning minister taking advice from his department about the noise noncompliance of Waubra wind farm. The advice contained in these and other briefing notes are not the rants of a department infested with climate change sceptics or infected with the nocebo effect. Instead, we see a regulator giving the appearance of doing its job. As time rolls on the number of ministerial briefing notes about Waubra noncompliance grows. Eight months later, we catch up again on the DPCD’s advice to its minister. On 22 August 2011 we learn, and I quote:

SLR Acoustic Consultants identified a number of limitations in the Marshall Day Acoustics post construction noise assessment report. These have been communicated to the wind farm operator who has advised you that it has purchased two additional dwellings and made a commitment to operate the wind farm in noise management mode.

Noise management mode allows certain turbines to be selectively modified to reduce rotation speed or to shut down turbines by sector. These actions have not prevented the continuation of noise complaints and the Department considers that operating the facility in noise management mode will not enable the facility to meet the application 35dBA noise limit …

The ministerial briefing note recommends the minister request that the operator test for special audible characteristics and provide another report, plus maintenance records, and updated information from the complaints register. If the operator refuses, the briefing advises that the minister could call upon the EPA to order the operator to hand over the documents.

Ominously, the rest of the briefing note is redacted; the department’s advice on the next steps in the compliance pathway have been removed from sight. What do the planning permits say must happen next?

They require the minister to direct the offending turbines to be shut down and removed by the operator. As just demonstrated in the department’s own documentary record, the minister had reached that point in the compliance pathway by August 2011. We also know that in December 2013 Waubra’s wind turbines are still operating in gross non-compliance of the wind farm’s planning permits. There is no evidence to suggest that Waubra’s turbines have ever been noise optimised. We have also confirmed that no compliance notice has ever been issued by the DPCD or the EPA against Waubra. And we know that complainants to ACCIONA are now being given reference numbers that indicate they have received more than 1,300 noise related complaints since mid-2010. So what happened between then and now? If the minister has not taken the prescribed steps, why not?

On 27 March 2013 I received a letter from Mr Andrew Tongue, the then Secretary of DPCD.  He has since become the Secretary of the Department of Premier and Cabinet. His letter advised me:

… the minister for Planning has not determined whether the wind farm is or is not compliant with the relevant planning permit (sic). The minister or the department have never stated that the Waubra wind farm is not compliant with the current planning permit.

So here we have a case where you are neither compliant nor non-compliant; you are in the so- called demilitarised zone. Mr Tongue goes on to reveal that the DPCD, the EPA and the operator have been toying with a new noise-testing methodology. They were and are hunting around for a noise-testing methodology that will magically make Waubra appear to be compliant.

Since 2011 most of the public servants who had been advising Minister Matthew Guy have been moved away from wind farm regulation. I understand their roles have been centralised in the hands of one gentleman known far and wide for his skills at playing games and hiding information. I think the Australian public should know that before I received Mr Tongue’s letter, it had already been emailed to ACCIONA. It was emailed to Ms Lisa Francis, senior manager at ACCIONA, by Mr Paul Jarman, Assistant Director, Regional Projects, Planning Statutory Services, DPCD. He emailed the letter to Ms Francis, on the day the original hard copy was posted to me, with a message to her that read:

I promised you a copy of the letters once sent. Here they are.

The other letter he is referring to was sent by DPCD’s Mr Tongue to then House of Representatives member Mr Alby Schultz. Ms Francis got a copy of that letter before Mr Schultz did.

ACCIONA’s Ms Lisa Francis emailed my office telling me to expect the letter from DPCD’s Mr Tongue. She was not doing me a favour so much as delivering me a message that DPCD was ACCIONA’s friend; DPCD would look after ACCIONA before it looked after me and the constituents being harmed by non-compliant wind farms turning to me for help. The relationship between DPCD and ACCIONA is so cosy that, three years after he was first advised by his department about Waubra’s non-compliance, Minister Guy still has not formally made a decision. It is so cosy that I have been confronted with almost 12 months worth of obfuscation, being ignored, my staff treated with open contempt by DPCD, public documents being hidden, and planning permit documents withheld courtesy of Minister Guy and his servant Mr Jarman.

As recently as last week, Minister Guy responded to a letter I had sent three months ago in which he infers that his ALP predecessor had privately accepted ACCIONA’s own assessment that Waubra was compliant. It is another too cute answer that betrays the cosy relationship between the operator and the Victorian government, regardless of the political party. Minister Guy, his department and the wind industry are playing games, hiding the truth while people are being driven out of their homes.

Victoria’s wind industry is churning out multiple millions of dollars worth of renewable energy certificates it is not entitled to and is being allowed to rort the REC and LRET systems. Banks and superannuation funds are lending billions of dollars for the construction of wind farms, exposed to serious risk arising from the planning permit non-compliance being orchestrated by the wind industry and its public servant, Minister Matthew Guy. Is the wind industry telling its financiers that they are funding wind farms that breach their planning permit conditions? I take this opportunity to forewarn Australia’s financial institutions: you better start doing your homework because the unfettered behaviour of this industry is risking your jobs, your investment decisions and the billions you have poured into this industry.

“An Ill Wind” (Video)

Click anywhere above to watch this “trailer.”

Baily Therrien: Poster child for Wind Turbine Syndrome (Vermont)

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—Calvin Luther Martin, PhD

If Wind Turbine Syndrome (WTS) had a poster child, surely it would be 2-year-old Baily Therrien (Vermont).

A quick review.  For several years (three? four?) Baily’s mom & dad have been pleading with the State of Vermont to put a stop to the industrial wind turbines that are tormenting them and their two children with WTS.

Vermont, of course, in its corporate-spun cocoon, turned a deaf ear—and continues to.  The news media gave the Therriens some slap and tickle notice, and then went on to more pressing, titillating news.

Four years of pleading accomplished exactly zero results; the Therriens were being “hung out to twist in the wind,” as the morbid saying goes.

Till readers of this website rode to the rescue!

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Within a week, people pledged $6,000 to help the Therriens find a new home!  Yes, $6,000!  Initially we thought it was $5,000, but pledges kept pouring in, totaling $6,000.  (Update 10/26/13:  Since publishing this article yesterday, pledges have climbed to $6,200.  Wow!)

Better yet, the Therriens now have all that money in hand.  To say that Luann & Steve Therrien are “over the moon” with appreciation would be an understatement.

The story gets better.  Earlier this week, the Executive Director of Vermonters for a Clean Environment, Annette Smith, launched an additional fund-raiser, and so far it’s approaching $1,000, I am told.

Back to our poster child.  The other day, Luann filed this report with the Vermont public agency responsible for logging (and immediately ignoring) complaints about WTS.  (These would be the same “non-complaints” referred to by the American Wind Energy Association when contacted by an ABC News correspondent last week.)

The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), which represents the industry, said that wind power was “an inexhaustible resource,” which did not harm the environment and provided a “direct health benefit by reducing air pollution and related health impacts, including asthma.”

Spokeswoman Lindsay North, who did not comment on the Falmouth cases, said health complaints were “rare.”

“Rare” huh, Lindsay?   How about “denied” and the whole issue buried under platitude and “clean energy” bullshit.

(Bullshit, except it wounds people like Baily Therrien—and that of course makes it far worse than bullshit.)

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Luann wrote her AWEA-certified “rare” complaint at 3:30 am on October 21, 2013.  She filed it as Public Comment Docket # 7156.  Here’s what it said.

Here I am up at 3:30 a.m.

Why?  You really don’t need to ask that question, do you?  No, you do not!

That’s right, we’re getting “Whoosh Whoosh Whoosh”!

Have been awake for awhile, and repeatedly, by my baby girl Baily, who will be 2 in January.

My sweet little petunia wakes up, cries and tells me she is tired.  That’s right, wakes up to tell me she is tired!  

Does this seem odd to anyone other than me?

Note to Luann:  Vermont won’t reply.  You know that.  This is corporate and government-sponsored abuse, including child abuse.

The good news, Luann, is that readers of this site responded.  An international response, as you discovered when all those checks arrived in the mail this week.

People of conscience and people who are still human beings apologize to you and your family.

Luann, we’re happy—really happy!—that Baily and Seager won’t be terrorized by these damn turbines any longer.  Nor will you and Steve.  We’re sorry you must abandon your beloved home in the woods.

Let us all pray, “Dear God, may Baily forget—may she never carry the emotional scars, the PTSD—of her experience with ‘clean, green, renewable’ wind energy.”

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“Stop wind turbine torture now!” (Editorial)

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“Life-Saving Skeletons Dance from NASA Closets”

by Helen Schwiesow Parker, Ph.D.
Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Chilmark, MA

Dismissing or denying the serious health impacts of industrial-scale wind turbines, wishful thinking akin to presuming tobacco harmless because we like it, has met its match in skeletons dancing from NASA closets.

Graham Lloyd, Environmental Editor for The Australian, on 7-8-13 published the first of recent reports revealing that “health impacts caused by low-frequency noise from wind turbines have been known to US researchers and the renewable energy industry for more than 25 years.”

The Windpower ’87 Conference heard from Neil Kelley, principal scientist (atmospheric physics) at the NREL’s Wind Technology Centre 1980-2011.  Kelley’s research, following earlier NASA research and prepared for the US Dept. of Energy (DOE), found that under laboratory conditions people do indeed react to low-frequency noise; the disturbance from the turbines is often worse indoors than outside; and “far from becoming inured to the disturbance, people become increasingly sensitive to it over time.”

US acoustics expert, Rick James, notes, “the ‘Kelly paper‘ is just one of many studies published in the 1980’s by acousticians and other researchers working under grants from the DOE, NASA, and others.  The acoustical conferences, at least in the US, all had presentations on wind turbine noise; it was one of the ‘hot’ topics in the field.”

The industry response? Ignore or deny the science.  Indeed, its standard has been specifically to exclude measuring the lower frequency “infrasonic” noise known to cause problems, to measure outside, not inside dwellings, to claim neighbors “will get used to it,” and to deny that the victims’ suffering has any basis in reality, let alone science.

The wind industry’s campaign to silence well-known truths has been highly successful.  They’re masters at minimization-speak.  Replace “suffering” with “annoyance” and “strobing” with “flicker” and problems recede or vanish.

For thousands around the world, turbine health impacts include headaches, pressure and ringing in the ears, increased blood pressure, anxiety, nausea, difficulty with memory and concentration, depression, and panic attacks arising when awake or asleep, along with sleep deprivation (unhealthy in itself).

As with sea-sickness, not everyone is similarly affected.  Most vulnerable are the young, the old, and those especially sensitive to stimuli (the autistic, PTSD sufferers, many who have retreated to more rural areas).

It’s disturbing to hear trusted “scientists” or physicians undermine legitimate physical and mental health suffering with perhaps well-intended “skepticism.”  Or breezy reassurances that, for instance, “shadow flicker is only present at less than 1400 meters from the turbine” (1400 meters = .86992 mile), or “any issue pertaining to flicker is easily remedied,” a position (at-best) poorly thought-out and in any case dead wrong.

Worst are the bold-faced lies, like the wind developer’s brushing aside a question about “flicker” at a public forum, characterizing it as “occurring mostly before 7am.”  Wait!  What!?

“Shadow flicker results from rotating blades passing between the sun and the observer.”  Blades of 40-story-high turbines spin between the sun and “observer/victim” long after sunrise, and again, long before sunset.  And that’s only part of the story.  Expansive “flicker” ricochets when the blade’s shadow strikes anywhere within viewshed—strobing rock-face across the valley or trees across the park.

And “independent experts”?  Beware!  Summarizing his 25-page critique of the infamous MA Dept. of Environ. Protection (DEP) Turbine Health Impact Study, Dr. Ray Hartman, Professor of Economics (degrees from Princeton/MIT) cautions:  “The Panel comes to some very strong conclusions which are simply contradicted by the research they cite as reliable.  They are certainly contradicted by the research they improperly dismiss.”  He goes on:

If the results of this Wind Turbine Health Impact Study were not given such widespread credence, these assertions would be comical, given the evidentiary record.  Unfortunately, public policy affecting peoples’ lives is being determined based upon these conclusions.”

Responsible stewardship demands critical thinking, common sense and grade-school science, not just following a Pied Piper with good intentions.

Maine turbine neighbor Kaz Pease doesn’t need an M.D. or Ph.D. to tell us: “The MA study needs to be trashed.  Shredded.  Thrown on the burn pile.  That common-sense people could take such a biased and poorly-researched report as authoritative is ludicrous.”

He said-She said?  No, common sense, and facts a-plenty.  From “The Cutting Edge” in The Toronto Star, June ‘05: “Military weaponry uses low-frequency sound to . . . control crowd behavior.  Low-frequency noise at high intensities creates discrepancies in the brain, producing disorientation in the body:  ‘The knees buckle, the brain aches, the stomach turns.  And suddenly, nobody feels like protesting anymore.  The latest weapon in the Israeli army’s high-tech tool kit. . . . It has no adverse effects, unless someone is exposed to the sound for hours and hours.’”

For humanity’s sake, we must move out of denial and stop the turbine torture now.

Helen Parker2

Helen Parker, PhD

“Wind Turbine Syndrome blamed for mysterious symptoms in Cape Cod Town” (ABC News)

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In 2011, a doctor at Harvard Medical School [Steven D. Rauch, MD, Director of the Clinical Balance & Vestibular Center] diagnosed Hobart with wind turbine syndrome, which is not recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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—by Susan Donaldson James, via Good Morning America, ABC News (10/21/13)

Sue Hobart, a bridal florist from Massachusetts, couldn’t understand why she suddenly developed headaches, ringing in her ears, insomnia and dizziness to the point of falling “flat on my face” in the driveway.

“I thought I was just getting older and tired,” said the 57-year-old from Falmouth.

Months earlier, in the summer of 2010, three wind turbines had been erected in her town, one of which runs around the clock, 1,600 feet from her home.

“I didn’t put anything to the turbines — we heard it and didn’t like the thump, thump, thump and didn’t like seeing them, but we didn’t put it together,” she told ABCNews.com.

Hobart said her headaches only got worse, but at Christmas, when she went to San Diego, they disappeared. And she said the same thing happened on an overnight trip to Keene, N.H.

“Sometimes at night, especially in the winter, I wake up with a fluttering in the chest and think, ‘What the hell is that,’ and the only place it happens is at my house,” she said. “That’s how you know. When you go away, it doesn’t happen.”

Medical mystery: 19 teens develop Tourette’s syndrome-like symptoms.

Hobart and dozens of others in this small Cape Cod town have filed lawsuits, claiming that three 400 feet tall, 1.63 megawatt turbines (two owned by the town and one owned by Notus Clean Energy) were responsible for an array of symptoms. A fourth, much smaller turbine, is owned by Woods Hole Research Center, but it receives fewer complaints.

The wind turbines have blown up a political storm in Falmouth that has resonated throughout the wind energy industry. Are these plaintiffs just “whiners,” or do they have a legitimate illness?

“It goes all day and night. My initial take was that she was being a hypochondriac, but I went to their house two years ago with a little skepticism and within 10 minutes of being in the house, I could feel it and hear it.” — Brian Mannal, lawyer for Sue Hobart

In 2011, a doctor at Harvard Medical School diagnosed Hobart with wind turbine syndrome, which is not recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The name was coined by Nina Pierpont, a John Hopkins University-trained pediatrician, whose husband is an anti-wind activist, criticizing the economics and physics of wind power. Pierpont, who lives in upstate New York, calls wind turbine syndrome the green energy industry’s “dirty little secret.” She self-published “Wind Turbine Syndrome” in 2009, including case studies of people who lived within 1.25 miles of these “spinning giants” who reportedly got sick. . . . Click here for the remainder of the article.  

New research supports Wind Turbine Syndrome (Canada)

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“Wind Turbine Noise, Sleep Quality, and Symptoms of Inner Ear Problems” (10/17/13)

—poster presentation by Claire Paller, Phil Bigelow, Shannon Majowicz, Jane Law, and Tanya Christidis (School of Public Health & Health Systems, University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada)
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Editor’s note:  The following text was provided by Carmen Krogh, a Canadian researcher into the health problems caused by wind turbines.  

Click here for a high quality PDF of the poster presentation by Paller et al.  (With thanks to Ms. Paller for furnishing us with the poster.)

At a recent symposium in Toronto facilitated by former Toronto Mayor David Miller titled Symposia of the Ontario Research Chairs in Public Policy, a poster entitled ‘Wind Turbine Noise, Sleep Quality, and Symptoms of Inner Ear Problems’ was displayed by Claire Paller, Phil Bigelow, Shannon Majowicz, Jane Law, and Tanya Christidis.

The research indicates statistically significant results for sleep, vertigo and tinnitus (excerpt):

“All relationships were found to be positive and statistically significant.”

The University of Waterloo-Ontario Ministry of Environment funded industrial wind turbine (IWT) health study was publicly displayed during the symposium on sustainability held at York University, Toronto on October 17, 2013.

It is reported that 396 surveys were included in the analysis (excerpts include):

“In total there were 412 surveys returned; 16 of these survey respondents did not provide their home address. Therefore, 396 surveys were included in the analysis.”

Of note is the acknowledgement that as the distance from the IWT increases, sleep improves:

“The relationship between ln(distance) (as a continuous variable) and mean Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) was found to be statistically significant (P=0.0096) when controlling for age, gender and county. This relationship shows that as the distance increases (move further away from a wind turbine), PSQI decreases (i.e. sleep improves) in a logarithmic relationship. Multivariate analysis involved assessing distance to the nearest wind turbine as both distance and ln(distance). In all cases, ln(distance) resulted in improved model fit.”

In addition the authors state that the relationship between vertigo and tinnitus worsened for those living closer to IWTs:

“The relationship between vertigo and ln(distance) was statistically significant (P<0.001) when controlling for age, gender, and county. The relationship between tinnitus and ln(distance) approached statistical significance (P=0.0755). Both vertigo and tinnitus were worse among participants living closer to wind turbines.”

The conclusion states:

“In conclusion, relationships were found between ln(distance) and PSQI, ln(distance) and self-reported vertigo and ln(distance) and self-reported tinnitus. Study findings suggest that future research should focus on the effects of wind turbine noise on sleep disturbance and symptoms of inner ear problems.”

Counties and projects in the study include:

* Bruce (Enbridge project)

* Chatham-Kent (Raleigh)

* Dufferin (Melancthon)

* Elgin (Erie Shores)

* Essex (Comber)

* Frontenac (Wolfe Island)

* Huron (Kingsbridge)

* Norfolk (Frogmore/Cultus/ClearCreek)

Based on this evidence, it is not clear what the next steps will be for the Ministry of Environment. However, based on these results, evidence gathered by other researchers in Ontario and elsewhere supports these statistically significant findings.

 

Seventy people sign petition, complaining of Wind Turbine Syndrome (Michigan)

outrage

excerpt petition

Click here for the entire petition with signatures

 

The Hero: The story of an extraordinary man (Mass.)

soldier silhouette

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Curt Devlin, Guest Editor

Barry Funfar wants to live an ordinary life in a small Garden of Eden he created in his backyard in Falmouth, MA.  He earned this respite in ways few of us can imagine.

Barry spent nineteen months in the hell on earth called the Vietnam War.  He won’t tell you this, at least not easily.   Perhaps he needs to leave this part of his life behind; but one look into the haunted blue eyes of this tall, soft-spoken soldier tells you that his past follows him like a scent.  Nineteen months as an avionics technician in the Marine Air Wing of the United States Marine Corps—right off the farm in North Dakota.

A teenager used to baling hay, suddenly on the other side of the earth in a firefight.

soldier on guard

Posted to a base under relentless rocket and mortar attack and feeling like a proverbial sitting duck, Funfar started looking for a way to hit back. He began volunteering as a door gunner.

Remember the scene in the Civil War movie, “Dances with Wolves,” where Lieutenant Dunbar leaps on the back of a horse and—to his comrades’ horror—rides it back and forth in front of the enemy lines—the enemy troops who are furiously trying to gun down this seeming madman?  The Union general, surveying the scene through his field telescope, remarks to his incredulous aide:  “Looks like a suicide!”

dances_with_wolves_suicide_attempt2

Funfar did a “Dunbar”—standing in the open doorway of a hovering Huey, behind an M60 machine gun.  Funfar volunteered for 127 missions like this—preferable, he thought, to suffering through day after night of deafening, terrifying enemy barrages.

“Looks like a suicide mission”—though he survived. Many others didn’t.  Their names are included among the 58,000 other names on the Wall.

He survived, but didn’t come home unscathed. Sgt. Funfar was gravely wounded in ways invisible to the untrained eye. For decades he struggled with sleeplessness and mood swings, sudden fits of anger followed by deep depression, despair, and sporadic bouts with alcohol—the festering wound now called PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder).

Much has been learned about how to diagnose and treat this illness because of Vietnam, but help was slow in coming for many victims like Barry.

ptsd

He was not properly diagnosed until 2003, more than thirty years after the war ended. Like rehabilitation for a serious physical injury, the healing process for PTSD is slow, requiring tremendous effort and determination by everyone involved. Setbacks are common and, often, the residual effects must be managed for a lifetime. In Barry’s case, one of the most vital elements of his therapy was his gardening; it was medicine for the soul.

Perhaps, the seasonal rhythms of gardening in New England helped him reestablish a healthy rhythm in his own life. The hard work and hope of spring renewal, the joys of summer flourishing, the riot of fall color ending in the quiet solace and closure of winter snow. Or, maybe gardening was just a healthy distraction that kept a man’s mind and body preoccupied with the task at hand, rather than drifting into the troubling corners of the past—the hell’s mouth of a helicopter gunship.

eyes_of_a_hero__by_kirbymuffinz-d5iqody

Whatever his garden was for him, he needed it like a diabetic needs insulin. He was getting better. He was enjoying life again.  His family was enjoying him again.

All this came to an abrupt end when two huge wind turbines were erected nearby—right in town.  The sound that the turbines emit by day makes being outdoors unbearable for him now. It drove Barry from his beloved secret garden, which soon fell into neglect, standing as a painful reminder of how good life could be.

His mental and physical health have spiraled downward since the turbines started spinning. His chest vibrates constantly when they’re running. His cardiologist says he has developed coronary artery disease. As the weeds creep back into the garden, the tendrils of gloom, depression, and thoughts of suicide creep back into life.

To fight the demons of war, he and Diane take long trips to escape the prison—of their home.

Recently, I sat in the audience and listened while Barry and Diane pressed their “private nuisance” complaint to the Falmouth Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA). They described the relentless onslaught of mind-numbing noise that deprives them of the peaceful enjoyment of their home, their property value, and their precious family life.

Barry supplied the ZBA with thirty-two pounds of documentation, an accumulation of correspondence with other officials, records documenting his declining health, and detailing the impact he has suffered in the past four years. Even so, his complaint seemed doomed before he spoke a word. If the ZBA were to recognize Barry’s complaint as valid, the only reasonable solution would be to shut the turbines down during the day—but the town Select Board has already decided to shut them down only at night.

In military terms, it’s a SNAFU.

When the Town Attorney, Frank Duffy, rose to speak on behalf of the town, he delivered the psychic coup de grace. Duffy argued that the board must reject Barry’s complaint on the grounds that the town bylaw defines a nuisance as something that would bother an ordinary person—and Mr. Funfar clearly was not an ordinary person. His honesty and his PTSD were being used against him.

Funfar-400x396

Sgt. Barry Funfar, US Marine Corps

Having put his life on the line for his country, having quietly suffered the debilitating consequences for decades without treatment, having lived in Falmouth as a good citizen and good neighbor for over 34 years—the town was now depriving this extraordinary man of the simple consideration and justice due to any ordinary man.

The English literary scholar and Oxford don, C.S. Lewis, reflecting on the recently ended World War, coined the phrase “men without chests.”  Meaning, men lacking the honor, courage, and moral backbone necessary to recognize these same virtues in others.  Soulless men who lack the organ of humanity necessary to accord the proper esteem and consideration that people like Barry Funfar rightfully deserve.

ptsd_by_jjutt-d5y47we

Understand, this is not justice or the rule of law being applied to this man.  This is lesser men using cunning legal technicalities to exert a tyranny of the majority over a few good men to justify their own selfish greed for money, power, and status. This twisted reasoning is a moral obscenity and grotesque injustice, masquerading as democratic process. Its ilk is not limited to Falmouth, MA.

Lewis went on to warn that “the power of man to make himself what he pleases, means, as we have seen, the power of some men to make other men what they please.”  Though such men don’t regard their power as such, it is nothing less than the malignant seed of fascism taking root in America—the triumph of the spiritually bankrupt over a few extraordinary men with chests, polished by valor.

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We did it! Raised $5K for the Therriens! (Vermont)

Jesus rescues.

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—Calvin Luther Martin, PhD

Sometimes we are required to “walk on water”—that is, do something we don’t know how to do.

So, we do it—then worry about how to do it, later.

It’s called a “miracle.”  (“Did I really do that?”)

This is such a miracle.  This past week, 20 people together pledged $5,000 to move this family—the Therriens—out of their home.  A home that is no longer a “home,” but an acoustically toxic nightmare that is swallowing them, whole.

Nina & I have been doing this “wind energy” bullshit for 9 years.  “Bullshit” because it shouldn’t have lasted 9 years.  Wind energy was already discredited, at least from the human health standpoint—in the 1980s!

It turns out that “reason” and “empirical evidence” and “common sense” and “justice” have nothing to do with wind energy.  Instead, one quickly discovers that wind energy is an ideological zombie; it refuses to die.  Its human casualty list is long.  Very long, and global.

All in all, it’s a really depressing story, with no clear end in sight.  Sometimes, however, there’s a bit of good news.  Truly good news!  Like this:  Readers of this site managed to dig deep and send serious money to a drowning family.

When I spoke to Luann last week, I raised the specter of suicide.  (Don’t raise your eyebrows.  It’s happened in Ontario and elsewhere.  And will happen, again.)  After all, the Therriens’ world has been pulverized and they are penniless.  (I had this corroborated by a third party source who knows them well.)

Instead, today there is rejoicing.

Therrien thanks

To all of you generous, kind-hearted, humane people who are helping us move out of our toxic home:

Honestly, I am stunned!  Flabbergasted!  And grateful—to know there are such honorable people who will give of themselves to someone they have never met.

My family’s heart has been touched in a way I never believed possible.

A simple Thank You just doesn’t seem enough to express how we feel right now!

Nevertheless, ‘Thank you so much!’

—Luann, Steve, Seager & Baily Therrien (Sheffield, Vermont)

Sometime during the course of the week, as I sent Luann daily updates, she wrote back to the effect:  “I can’t believe you people are doing this!”

I liked that!  I liked her incredulity!

But, people were doing it!  By God, they were!  And—they did!

I answered Luann’s amazement with words I, frankly, never thought I would once again say in my life.  “My dear, evidently the message of ‘Peace, goodwill to men & women’ is not dead!”

Luann & baily

Luann & Baily

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Note to those of you who pledged
:  I will be contacting you, individually, tomorrow (Monday, Oct 14th) with the Therriens’ mailing address.  

Luann tells me she will be sending each one of you a “thank you” note via postal mail.

 

Baily is suffering. I’m shelling out $500. Please join me (Vermont)

Bailey final
Baily

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—Calvin Luther Martin, PhD

Here’s the deal.  Steve & Luann Therrien live off-grid in Vermont.  On 50 acres of mixed hardwood which they’ve turned into a wilderness haven, complete with cozy cabin, wood stove, and all the good stuff Henry David Thoreau and John Muir rhapsodized over.

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear.

I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms.”

—H.D. Thoreau, Walden: Or, Life in the Woods

In God’s wildness lies the hope of the world.

—John Muir (founder of the Sierra Club)

God’s wildness got shattered two years ago by the noise and vibration of newly built gigantic wind turbines within a mile of their home.

The Therriens, mind you, were not notified of the impending wind plant.  Nor did they oppose it when they noticed it being built, convincing themselves it would be a minor nuisance.  (After all, they had lived here within earshot of the Interstate for 17 years.)

By the end of 6 months they admitted to one another that they were horribly wrong.  That something weird and very wrong was happening to their health.  And whatever it was, it was getting worse.

No, they did not read Dr. Pierpont’s book, nor had they heard of her or “Wind Turbine Syndrome” (WTS).  (In fact, as I write this, they still have not read the book.)  They had no idea of the public uproar that has been raging, for over a decade, over people suffering bizarre health effects from badly placed turbines.

All they knew is that they were getting more and more nausea, vertigo, headaches, problems concentrating, feelings of pressure in the head, tinnitus, anxiety, little to no sleep, awakening in the night in a panic, etc.

They were “living” Pierpont’s book—without the slightest clue the book existed.

I just got off the phone with Luann.  I told her that they have “textbook” WTS.  Since they are flat broke at the moment—a point I will come back to—I said I would mail a copy of the book, gratis.  “You will be reading about yourselves, and will weep,” I warned.  “Read it anyhow, to understand what’s really going on.”

It’s not just Steve & Luann.  It’s Baily (2-year-old daughter) and Seager (4-year-old son).  Both children are suffering—except, with limited communication skills, their parents have difficulty pinpointing exactly how.  Clearly there is fear in both children (seeking refuge in their parents’ bed at night).  And at times pain.  Head pain?  Earache?  And Seager refuses to get on the swing he used to love.

Seager
Seager

I have said they have classic WTS.  Luann, who was a cook at the now shuttered King George School nearby, is having trouble remembering and following simple recipes.  (Right out of Pierpont’s book!)  Steve, a carpenter and master mechanic—the kind of man who can build and equip a sturdy cabin for his young family—had to quit his job at the wood-shop because he couldn’t follow directions and was in danger of hurting himself with the saws.  (Right out of Pierpont’s book!)

They have to move.  Flat broke, having spent what little money they had fighting this terrorism—the Therriens absolutely have to move.  (Yes, they put their 50 acres up for sale—but no takers.)  The wind energy company (First Wind), preoccupied by the lucrative business of saving the planet from global warming, refuses to acknowledge their illness and refuses to buy them out.  The governor’s office and state agencies are indifferent, having drunk the Kool-Aid that “wind energy can do no harm.”

They have to move, pronto!  This is northern Vermont; winter comes early to these boreal forests and mountains.  All those trees lose their leaves in winter, making turbine noise & vibration worse than in summer.  And in winter, the family is confined indoors much of the time, where the infrasound is demonstrably worse than outdoors.

Besides, they are discovering the horrific sequelae of WTS:  one becomes increasingly sensitized to it.  (Luann confirmed this on the phone a few minutes ago.)

This website has been at the forefront of fighting this scourge.  It’s one thing to argue with the likes of Simon “Nocebo-effect” Chapman and Geoff “If-you-can’t-hear it, it-won’t-hurt-you” Leventhall.  It’s another to provide emergency financial support for victims of WTS.

I’m asking for money.  Your money.  Sent directly to Luann Therrien.  By check.  Please.

It sucks asking for money.  To try and sweeten this embarrassing task, Nina & I propose the following:  We will contribute $500 to the Therriens if 20 other people each contribute $500—a matching funds proposition, with 20 other people.  (Please, no checks over $500!  I mean that.)  If you’re not in a position to contribute $500, then I propose that you find someone you can pair up with so that, between you, your combined gift is $500.

Twenty people, or twenty groups, each contributing $500.  No more than this.  So these people can buy a crappy old mobile home (I’ve seen photos of the one they’re considering) and move it onto land belonging to Steve’s mother, nearby, where they hope to start life anew.  (Unfortunately, they can’t just lock the door of the cabin and, traveling light, go live someplace else.  Luann explained that all the cabins in their forest are routinely broken into and robbed and vandalized.  Broken windows.  Kicked-in doors.  Trashed.  Yes, even when the cabins are left—unlocked.  No, they have to assume the cabin will be rendered uninhabitable in their absence.)

I don’t have $500 to give these people.  You don’t either.  But I’m doing it anyhow.  And I hope you join me.  Somewhere in this narrative, basic humanity kicks in, and we wind up doing things we’d prefer not to—because altruism is a primal human instinct.  And because you and I have not forgotten that key ingredient of the “immense journey” of our species.

Do it this way, if you will:  Send me an email (rushtoncanoe@aol.com) pledging your $500 or portion thereof.  I will match up donors with others, so each chunk amounts to $500 in total.  With 20 “chunks” of $500 each.  When we’ve reached the $10,000 mark, I’ll contact Steve & Luann and tell them they are going to receive a bunch of checks.  I will then contact you with their mailing address—along with their profound appreciation.

Instead of donating to your favorite environmental organization this Christmas, make an early Christmas present to these victims of “environmentalism” run amok.

Nina & I thank you.

We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread.  They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing:  the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.

A thought transfixed me:  for the first time in my life I saw the truth as it is set into song by so many poets, proclaimed as the final wisdom by so many thinkers.  The truth—that love is the ultimate and the highest goal to which man can aspire.

Then I grasped the meaning of the greatest secret that human poetry and human thought and belief have to impart:  The salvation of man is through love and in love. I understood how a man who has nothing left in this world still may know bliss, be it only for a brief moment, in the contemplation of his beloved.

In a position of utter desolation, when man cannot express himself in positive action, when his only achievement may consist in enduring his sufferings in the right way—an honorable way—in such a position man can, through loving contemplation of the image he carries of his beloved, achieve fulfillment.”

—Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning (1988)

 

October 9, 2013 update:  Here is the note we got from Luann Therrien the other day:

Seager & Bailey

Please please please help us. We are a family of 4, ages 52, 44, almost 4 & 2, having children so late is whole other heart-wrenching story.

We live in Sheffield, Vermont by 16 wind turbines. The closest is under 3/4 of a mile, 5 are under a mile, and all 16 are under 2 miles away.

We are suffering terribly, my husband and I have all the signs of Wind Turbine Syndrome- (1) Sleep disturbance. Not simply awakened, but awakening in a panic (“flight or fight” response). (2) Headache. (3) Tinnitus. (4) Ear pressure. (5) Dizziness. (6) Vertigo. (7) Nausea. (8) Visual blurring. (9) Tachycardia. (10) Irritability. (11) Problems with concentration and memory. (12) Panic episodes associated with sensations of internal pulsation or quivering, which arise while awake or asleep. (This latter involving other, non-vestibular organs of balance, motion, and position sense.)

Have also been put on anti-depressants + sleeping pills + motion sickness medication, and as per our Dr. have been told to not even try to work.

The children are too small to articulate how they are being impacted. But when we get a lot of noise we see a definite change in their behavior and not for the better.

How long will we have to wait for officials to admit there is a problem associated with living in too close proximity to wind turbines? Needless to say they will not tell us if our still developing children will have long term damage. In the meantime we are getting more and more ill.

We desperately need to move. Wind Turbine Syndrome is no joke.

Our hope was to get into a reasonably decent home.  That was why we original posted in gofundme asking for $90,000.00. In the hopes of covering the cost of a home, moving expenses, and all the other expenses that would be necessary.

Winter is coming and we have to get out of here. The worst of the noise for us has begun. With the hopes for a home slipping away from us we realize an older mobile home is more realistic, but at this point nowhere near in sight.

We have gone through all of our savings and are flat broke. We have reduced our goal to $40,000.00.

We HAVE reached the point of desperation. We HAVE to move for the sake of our health and sanity.

Please if you or someone you know could help us, we are desperate.

 

School superintendent reports Wind Turbine Syndrome epidemic at school (Illinois)

bus1

Editor’s note:  Click here for a copy of this astonishing letter, dated (we are told) October 8, 2013.

We dedicate the letter to the UK’s Geoff “If-you-can’t-hear-it, it-won’t-hurt-you” Leventhall (physicist with zero clinical credentials), Australia’s Simon “Nocebo-Effect” Chapman (a sociologist, likewise zero clinical credentials), and America’s busy busy Robert McCunney, MD, winner of this site’s celebrated Rubber Duck Award.

Dear Chairman Weinard,

My name is Bill Mulvaney and I am the Superintendent of Schools for Armstrong Township High School and Armstrong-Ellis CUD #61. I also served on the wind panel that met to try and give direction to the county board on wind turbine ordinances. Our panel did not come up with any recommended changes, but I would like to share a few thoughts with you.

I have noticed that we have some children in our district that appear to be having some medical issues related to the wind turbines. Headaches, lack of sleep and jaw issues seem to be the most common. The students also complain about not being able to sleep or not getting a full night’s sleep due to sound issues.

We have also been advised that we will be losing a couple of families because the wind turbines were placed close to homes and the families can no longer handle the flicker and noise issues.

While these issues were brought up at our panel discussions, I was not fully aware of the impact that the wind turbines would have to my school districts. It is never a good thing when children have health issues or families have to leave their homes to get away from the turbines. The revenue generated by the turbines is a blessing to our schools, but the unintended consequences are real.

I hope this letter sheds some light on real issues that affect districts that house wind farms. I also hope that when ordinances are discussed in the future, that these issues are considered.

Sincerely,

mulvaney2

William C. Mulvaney
Superintendent
Armstrong Schools

F**ked wind company lease! (Maine)

lease 2

Editor’s note:  Read the passage, below, from a wind energy lease in Maine, USA.  In our experience, the shocking language is pretty typical.

It’s one thing for the property owner to blithely allow the wind developer to render his property acoustically toxic—but do property owners have the right (moral or legal) to inflict this acoustic terrorism on their neighbors?  (Hmm, does the offensive property owner even live there?)

After all, does the “sound generated from the Wind Power Project” and the “audio, visual, light, vibration [infrasound], electromagnetic . . . hazard resulting from the Wind Power Project” and the “right to cast . . . shadow flicker . . . onto the Property”—do these injurious forces and events somehow magically stop at the property line?  As though a fictive property boundary effectively blocks and contains these noxious and dangerous by-products of “wind energy”?

Do wind turbine “hosts” have the right to inflict such injury on neighbors?  Or is this a theft of “commons” rights—a theft being slyly perpetrated and encouraged by wind developers?  (Consider, for a moment, what all this does to a rural community as the wind company salesman drives away with his signed lease.  Neighbor hating neighbor!  The soul of “community,” human habitat, sold for . . . thirty pieces of silver.)

Judas coins 2-1

“And Judas went out and hanged himself”  (Matthew 27:5).

Whereas, the Wind Power Project may emit sound at levels that may exceed current or future Maine Department of Environmental Protection quiet nighttime sound limits for the Property, and additionally may cast shadows onto or produce a shadow flicker effect on the Property;

Now, therefore, for good and valuable consideration, the receipt and sufficiency of which are hereby acknowledged, Grantor hereby grants, with Quitclaim covenant, a perpetual easement to Grantee for: (a) the right to have sound generated from the Wind Power Project impact the Property and exceed otherwise applicable federal, state, local or other maximum sound level limits applicable to locations on the Property; (b) the right to have any audio, visual, light, vibration, electromagnetic, ice or weather hazard resulting from Wind Power Project operations or activities impact the property; and (c) the right to cast shadows or shadow flicker from the Wind Power Project onto the Property.

 

“The Next Terror”: Coming soon to a field or ridgeline near you!

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*What, if anything, is the difference between these two “Infrasonic Fear Generators”?.
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monster1

Click here for website.  This thing is . . . real!  Read the text describing infrasound!  Yikes!  They got it . . . right!

The Infrasonic Fear Generator is the first commercial product of its kind. Simply put, the Fear Generator can cause a range of strange feelings, anxiety, sorrow, chills, unnerving feelings, heightened emotions, including visions and vibrations in the chest and other parts of the body, in a large percentage of people.

Infrasound refers to extreme bass waves or vibrations, with a frequency below the audibility range of the human ear. Even though these waves can’t be heard by us, they can be felt and sensed and have been shown to produce a range of effects in some people.

Based on previous studies, 20% to 60% of people have reported strange feelings when tests were performed at concerts, in pressure chambers, at home, and in test facilities. No tests were conducted in a scary environment. We believe the percentage of people affected in a haunted house setting will be even greater. Most people will feel vibrations in parts of their bodies (commonly the chest area) similar to audible bass but won’t know where it is coming from since they can not hear it. Vibrations in the chest are a common symptom of extreme terror.

Infrasound is very difficult, if not impossible, to recreate from a standard stereo system. Most subwoofers are only rated down to 40 Hz and the amplifiers, filters, and crossover systems can limit the low frequencies you need to hit even further. The Fear Generator is specially designed to produce a specific infrasound frequency that has been scientifically tested to produce these effects in people.

One of the best places to put the Fear Generator would be near your wait line, where anticipation and anxiety start to build naturally.

NOTE: A large pipe is required for the Fear Generator and is not included.

 

monster2

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*With thanks to Eric Rosenbloom of National Wind Watch, who brought this monstrous device to our attention.

 

Distinguished MIT economist issues damning report on wind energy

turbines failure

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“The Performance of U.S. Wind and Solar Generating Units”*

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Richard Schmalensee, PhD, the Howard W. Johnson Professor of Management, Emeritus; Professor of Economics, Emeritus; and Dean Emeritus of  the Sloan School of Management, Mass. Institute of Technology (Boston, MA).  Written for the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Click here for a full copy of the paper.

Concluding Remarks (pp. 30-33)

This study has used a unique dataset to produce a large number of results on the performance of individual wind and solar generators across the US – some new results and some that confirm the prior literature.

In interpreting these results, it should be kept in mind that, as noted in the introduction, these data are incomplete on important dimensions. And they can shed no direct light on performance of wind and solar generators in regions that still lack organized wholesale electricity markets. But they do have some clear implications for the design of policies to support use of wind and solar energy.

Perhaps the most striking result regarding the value of generation from wind and solar energy was that in this sample in 2011, a kilowatt-hour produced by a solar facility was on average worth about 32% more than a kilowatt-hour from a wind plant. The average value of wind and solar output relative to baseload output may have declined during the sample period as more of both non-dispatchable technologies were deployed. Wind capacity factors were generally, but not always, above solar capacity factors, and in both cases regional differences accounted for most of the dramatic within-technology differences in capacity factors.

True to stereotype, wind plants tended to generate more at night than in the day and less in the summer that in other seasons, but there were exceptions to both generalizations, and the average differences were not dramatic. Solar plants all generated more on average during peak-price periods than at other times, while wind plants generally produced less. Outside ISONE, which alone barred negative bids, all of the plants in the sample faced negative spot prices during 2011, and 12 faced negative prices for more than 500 hours. Both wind and (during the day) solar plants generally produced positive outputs during hours with negative prices – they paid the market to take their electricity.

Two dimensions of the variability of output from wind and solar facilities were studied: hour-to-hour and day-to-day variation in generation and the incidence of low or zero output. Different measures of variability are generally highly correlated across plants and show substantial variation. On average, short-term trends or ramping events accounted for over a third of the hour-to-hour changes in wind plant output. Both wind and solar plants showed more day- to-day than hour-to-hour changes, and for wind plants differences among ISOs were considerably more important for day-to-day changes than for hour-to-hour changes. On the other hand the potential gain from geographic averaging seems greater for hour-to-hour variability, at least for wind plants.

Wind plants in this sample averaged 948 hours a year with zero generation, mainly in episodes of three or more hours. While hours with zero generation in all sample plants in an ISO were considerably rarer, such hours occurred much more frequently than if plant-level zeros were statistically independent. If generation was positive in the adjacent hours, solar plants rarely produced less than half the mean output of those hours, and instances of zero generation in such cases were very rare indeed.

All but one of the tables discussed above provide information on the cross-section variation of various dimensions of individual generating plant or ISO average performance, and half the tables provide information on variation between early and late periods. Figures 1 and 2 depict the cross-section variation in value and capacity factors, and Table 2 demonstrates that regional differences drive the striking variation in value factors. Variation on some other dimensions of performance is also substantial among plants in 2011, between early and late periods, and, in some cases, between ISOs.

Most wind plants generate less in the summer than other seasons, for instance, but not those in CAISO. Most wind value factors are less than those of constant-output baseload plants, but not those of the two coastal plants in ERCOT. For other technologies, historical averages may be good predictors of the performance of new facilities, but that is clearly not true for wind or solar generation. Site selection is important, regions differ, and performance varies over time.

Two of the patterns noted above that seem particularly robust have clear implications for public policy. First, when spot prices are negative and they can generate, wind and solar plants generally do so. One can debate whether it is desirable to subsidize renewable generation at all, since doing so is clearly more costly than taxing emissions of carbon dioxide as a means of slowing climate change and is a similarly inefficient approach to reducing local air pollution. But there can be no doubt that encouraging renewable generation when its marginal value to the electric grid is negative raises costs to society, but that is what both the federal production tax credit (for wind) and state RPS programs (for both wind and solar) do – along with most of the feed-in-tariff schemes in widespread use outside the US.53

In regions with organized wholesale markets and nodal pricing, it would be more efficient to pay output subsidies only when the spot price is positive or even to make them proportional to the spot price. In regions that have not yet adopted this modern design, however, there is no obvious way to provide incentives for wind or solar generators to reduce their output when it has negative social value.

A second robust pattern is the huge regional differences in facility performance – most clearly the capacity factor differences presented in Table 2 and depicted in Figures 1 and 2. One important reason why plants are sometimes built on sites that will produce poor performance is that site choice is constrained by state RPS programs that limit the locations of facilities that can be used to satisfy utilities’ renewable energy requirements, often because of a desire to create in-state jobs. Since wind and solar generation are very capital-intensive technologies, it is not clear that these limits can ever in fact have much impact on any state’s employment. But it is clear that for the nation as a whole it would be more efficient to generate electricity from solar power in CAISO than in ISONE, and it would be more efficient to generate electricity from wind in SPP than in NYISO.

If there is a national interest in subsidizing the generation of electricity from wind and solar power, a national RPS program or feed-in-tariff would give a much higher return per dollar spent than a collection of state plans that restrict generator siting.

53 See Schmalensee (2012) and the references there cited. It should also be noted that the efficiency of the production and investment tax credits are further reduced because firms without substantial taxable income must engage in tax equity financing in thin markets with high transactions costs (Bipartisan Policy Center, 2011). But, of course, tax expenditures don’t look like spending at first glance, and their costs are generally well hidden.

schmalensee.
Professor Richard Schmalensee

* Editor’s note:  My appreciation to Dr. Carl V. Phillips for alerting me to this article.

Judge orders wind company to demolish turbines due to Wind Turbine Syndrome (France)

wrecking_ball

The situation, instantly out of place, permanent and quickly unbearable, created a problem that went beyond the typical inconveniences of neighbours and constituted a violation of property rights.”

—Judge

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“Couple win wind turbine ruling”

The Connexion (10/2/13)

A windfarm has been ordered to demolish ten turbines and pay compensation and fines after it was successfully sued by a couple.

Speaking to Le Figaro newspaper, the couple’s lawyer, Philippe Bodereau, said: “This decision is very important because it demonstrates to all those who put up with windfarms with a feeling of powerlessness that the battle is not in vain, even against big groups, or authorities who deliver building permits, that legal options are available to everyone, that we have a right to live in peace and that people can do other things than suffer.”

The couple bought their 18th century listed property, the Château de Flers, in 1993.

800px-Flers_Chateau

A tribunal in Montpellier ruled that the couple had suffered due to the “degradation of the environment, resulting from a rupture of a bucolic landscape and countryside.”  It also agreed the couple had suffered from the noise of the turbines and from the flashing lights.

“The situation, instantly out of place, permanent and quickly unbearable, created a problem that went beyond the typical inconveniences of neighbours and constituted a violation of property rights,” ruled the judgement.

The value of the property had no bearing on the ruling.

The wind farm owners, Compagnie du Vent, have been given four months to take down the turbines, which were erected in 2007 on two sites next to the property in Nord-Pas-de-Calais. It has appealed the decision.

“Our projects are in the general interest, following the Grenelle de l’environnement and not in the interest of individuals,” said the president of Compagnie du Vent, Thierry Conil. “However, it’s right that democracy should allow people to take action.”

The two sites are a €20m investment and produce enough electricity for 22,000 people according to the company.

In 2010 it was ordered to demolish four turbines near Narbonne after it was taken to court by four farmers who were granted €430,000 in compensation. However after appealing it reached an out of court settlement.

Le Figaro said that lawyers associated with these cases said that they were often resolved amicably out of court. “I don’t know an example in France where a demolition was ordered and followed through,” one lawyer told the paper.

Lawsuit over Wind Turbine Syndrome (New York & Mass.)

Pierpont not qualified to testify re. Wind Turbine Syndrome? (Ontario)

WTS-book-cover-447 re. MOE

—Calvin Luther Martin, PhD

This is priceless!

On a different note, could you please advise of how you will ask the [Environmental Review] Tribunal to qualify Dr. Pierpont?

You have watched some hearings before, so you will likely know that a party tendering an expert witness will ask for a proposed witness to be qualified as having expertise in a particular area.

The Chair has asked for qualifications to be dealt with in advance of the beginning of the hearing so we ask that you provide the area of expertise that you intend to have Ms. Pierpont qualified in.

Katie Clements
Counsel
Ministry of the Attorney General
Legal Services Branch | Ministry of the Environment
135 St. Clair Ave. West, 12th floor
Toronto, ON M4V 1P5
Phone: 416-327-1425
Fax: 416-314-6579
Katie.clements1@ontario.ca

Priceless! This, alone, is worth the price of admission—to this freak show! I’m 65; I thought I had heard everything!

Ladies and gentlemen, you just read an excerpt from an email sent to Esther Wrightman from Attorney Katie Clements, wondering how on earth Dr. Nina Pierpont might demonstrate her qualifications to give expert testimony before the Ontario Ministry of the Environment on — Wind Turbine Syndrome.

Only in Ontario! (In Ontario, believe it or not people actually elect people who hire people like Mighty Katie!)

Note to Dr. Laurie: Notice how Nina Pierpont’s credentials are being smeared from “Dr. Pierpont” to . . . “Mizzz Pierpont.” Sound familiar? Do these jackasses all use the same How-To manual?

Welcome to the Ontario Environmental Review Tribunal Circus!

 

Wind Turbine Syndrome in Massachusetts (again)

sick

We need to know why these people are experiencing health problems. Over three years ago, I and other Massachusetts citizens requested that the Massachusetts Department of Public Health conduct a comprehensive study of the public health and safety impacts of the land-based wind turbines.

More than a year later, a panel was appointed by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. Following the department’s release of what it characterized at the time as preliminary findings were more than 500 comments with more than 4,600 pages. Most comments were highly critical of the limited literature review, the panel and the process. All meetings were held in secret with no public participation. No meeting minutes or accounts of any of the proceedings have been released.

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“Find facts on turbines’ health effects”

—Lilli-Ann Green*, Cape Cod Times (9/26/13)

Many families and communities throughout Cape Cod and our commonwealth are being severely affected by land-based wind turbines. Individuals have developed health problems. Real estate prices have dropped. Otherwise peaceful towns are in an uproar over existing and proposed turbines.

There are concerns on both sides. Some people say that those living near wind turbines have become ill or can’t sell their homes, and that solar energy is more fiscally responsible and better for the environment.

Others say wind energy will save communities money and provides an appropriate source of renewable energy.

However, the fact is there are 21 confirmed locations in Massachusetts where people living close to wind turbines are reporting health problems they did not have before construction of nearby wind turbines.

The symptoms they report include sleep disturbance and deprivation, headaches, ringing in the ears, tachycardia (fast heart rate), dizziness, vertigo, nausea, visual blurring, panic and loss of concentration.

We need to know why these people are experiencing health problems. Over three years ago, I and other Massachusetts citizens requested that the Massachusetts Department of Public Health conduct a comprehensive study of the public health and safety impacts of the land-based wind turbines.

More than a year later, a panel was appointed by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. Following the department’s release of what it characterized at the time as preliminary findings were more than 500 comments with more than 4,600 pages. Most comments were highly critical of the limited literature review, the panel and the process. All meetings were held in secret with no public participation. No meeting minutes or accounts of any of the proceedings have been released.

State Rep. Sarah Peake has introduced a bill (H. 2048) that calls for the commonwealth to convene a health commission to study the health impacts from land-based wind turbines. This legislation is about conducting honest scientific and medical research, developing educational materials and developing training for health care professionals. Massachusetts citizens deserve no less.

H. 2048 is modeled after the highly successful Lyme Disease Commission bill, for good reason. In the early days of Lyme disease, just like the situation today with wind turbines, people who became sick and health care professionals did not have enough information to understand the problem. Many medical professionals told those who complained of health problems that the symptoms were psychosomatic. This assessment proved wrong.

It is time to quiet the rhetoric and make decisions regarding wind turbines by finding the real facts about the health impacts of the turbines.

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* Lilli-Ann Green of Wellfleet is CEO of a health care consulting and quality improvement company and a board member of Wind Wise~Massachusetts, a statewide organization, and Windwise ~Cape Cod, a regional organization, both being alliances of grass-roots environmental groups and individuals.

 

American Wind Energy Assoc. hammered by protestors (Ohio)

Editor’s note:  The following is a report on a demonstration recently held in Columbus, Ohio, against the American Wind Energy Association, which was holding a so-called Midwest Summit.

Protest Photo-1

Protest Photo 2

Friends,

A great day in Columbus, Ohio, with about thirty protesting citizens marching in front of the Hilton Hotel where the American Wind Energy Association was holding its Midwest Summit.

It was an IMPORTANT effort coordinated by the Interstate Concerned Citizens and Kevon Martis.  We were joined by wind warriors from Indiana, Michigan and Pennsylvania!  Thank you!

Woody Allen said once that “Eighty per cent of success is just showing up.”  Amen.  Please read the breaking coverage from the legislature’s news service.  Woody was right.

Diane and Julie.

 

“Wind Industry, Other Groups Gear Up For Fight Over Green Energy Law” (Gongwer Report)

On the eve of a key senator’s unveiling of his plan to overhaul Ohio’s clean energy law, the wind industry warned that the proposed changes cloud a sunny forecast for renewable energy development in the state.

The American Wind Energy Association’s news conference on Tuesday kicked off what will likely be a pitched battle over Republican efforts to scale back the state’s renewable energy and energy efficiency requirements on electric utilities (SB221, 127th General Assembly).

Wind energy opponents also rallied against “industrial wind cronyism and taxpayer fleecing” in Columbus Tuesday afternoon, and the Ohio Advanced Energy Economy Institute scheduled a news conference Wednesday morning to tout a report on the benefits of the clean energy law.

Wednesday afternoon the Senate Public Utilities Committee is set to accept a substitute version of placeholder legislation (SB 58) that Chairman Sen. Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati) introduced earlier this year.

Among other things, the substitute version would eliminate the requirement for half of the 12.5% of Ohio’s electricity supply to come from renewable energy facilities located in the state, Sen. Seitz said last month. The sponsor said a federal court ruling found in-state energy preferences elsewhere were an unconstitutional violation of the Commerce Clause. (See Gongwer Ohio Report, August 21, 2013)

Eric Thumma, director of institutional relations for Iberdrola Renewables, said the in-state renewable energy requirement was a “prime driver” for the company to construct the 304-megawatt Blue Creek Wind Farm in Van Wert and Paulding counties.

“The great thing about the Ohio requirement is you’re getting energy from Ohio, you’re getting investment in Ohio,” he said.

“The policies that the Ohio General Assembly put in place are working. We’re meeting the benchmarks,” he said, urging lawmakers not to alter the renewable energy portfolio standards (RPS).

Susan Innis, senior manager of public affairs for Vestas, said Ohio’s RPS, combined with a robust supply chain and proximity to wind farms, makes the state fertile ground for wind turbine manufacturers.

New technology that enables turbines to generate electricity with winds as slow as six miles per hour have also made wind power more viable in the state, she said.

Dayna Baird, contract lobbyist for AWEA, said changes to the RPS could jeopardize development of the seven proposed wind farm projects that have already been certified by the Ohio Power Siting Board and are ready to move forward.

Wind developers are waiting for electric utilities to issue the next request for proposals to secure a long-term contract before breaking ground on the projects, she said. “When the next RFP does come out, there’s going to be a lot of serious competition.”

Meanwhile, another group protested what it called “the lies and manipulation” of the wind industry and its legislative allies during a rally scheduled later in the day.

Kevon Martis, of Interstate Concerned Citizens, said elected officials allowed the industry to encroach on private property and endanger the wellbeing of rural residents.

“The emperor has no clothes and it is time the media and state legislatures admit it,” he said in a news release.

The wind industry is dependent on “massive public subsidy at both the federal and local level as well as on unconstitutional state mandates,” the group said, and warned that other countries are working to undo policies that encourage wind development.

“The U.S. and Ohio should learn from the failures abroad, and stop wasting taxpayer dollars on an endeavor destined to raise electricity rates, make the U.S. a less attractive place to manufacture and ultimately costing jobs,” Interstate Concerned Citizens said.

In other developments, the Ohio Advanced Energy Economy Institute said it would unveil an Ohio State University study that shows Ohioans will pay $3.65 billion more on their electricity bills over the next 12 years if Sen. Seitz’s proposal is enacted.

Ohioans saved 1.4% on their electricity bills since energy efficiency and renewable energy standards were enacted in 2008, according to the study. The law also stimulated investment in the energy sector that expanded gross domestic product by $160 million in 2012, and created more than 3,200 Ohio jobs in the period from 2008 to 2012.

Sen. Seitz has said his bill would also make it easier for electric utilities to comply with the state’s energy efficiency standards and limit the amount they could spend on the mandate.

The monumental blunder known as “wind energy”

windmills2

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“Wind Energy:  Chalk It Up as a Loss”

—Ben Acheson, “Huffington Post—UK” (9/23/13)*

Another week, another plethora of news reports attacking wind farms. The latest headlines include; November date for Trump’s wind farm challenge”, “Approval for wind turbines sparks protest at ‘ring of steel'” and “Wind turbines may be killing bats by ‘exploding’ their lungs”, to name but a few. Yet will the stories about Donald Trump, exploding bats and Scotland’s version of the Iron Curtain help to stem the spread of mammoth turbines across our land and seas?

Probably not.

Still, it was only two years ago that anyone who publicly opposed wind turbines was considered a social pariah and practically ostracised from society as if they were modern-day lepers. Things have changed. Not a day goes by without a new story slamming wind energy or highlighting the increasing wind farm opposition across the UK. Just as it was once popular to support wind energy, it has almost…almost…become fashionable to oppose wind turbines.

The problem is that many of the news reports are nothing more than filler. If they are printed on a Tuesday, they are forgotten about by Wednesday; such is the nature of the fast-paced, up-to-the minute, 24-hour news cycle that is available to us. Despite the constant barrage of anti-wind press, the spread of massive industrial wind turbines continues unabated.

In the last year alone we have seen news reports outlining how wind farms have surrounded some of Britain’s most untouched landscape and blighted some of our most bucolic and treasured towns and villages. We have heard horror stories about planning departments ignoring guidelines and forcing homeowners to live next to monstrous whirling steel turbines. We have been warned that property values have plummeted due to the inappropriate placement of wind farms and we have seen hundreds of anti-wind protest groups spring up across the nation, incensed at the lack of democracy in the planning system.

We have read how turbines impact human health and after years of mockery from pro-wind groups, we now have the first peer-reviewed, science-based report confirming that turbines do have harmful impacts on humans.

We have watched videos of turbines exploding in high winds and crashing to the ground in storms. We have witnessed precious habitats and ecosystems torn apart to make way for turbines and we have seen stories about birds being chopped to bits. We have heard how offshore wind farms will destroy precious undersea carbon stores, affect aquatic animals and close important fishing grounds.

We have been told that the tourist industry will be damaged and the golf industry will take a hit. We read explanations of how sailing routes will be impacted and even how Britain’s strategic nuclear deterrent could be hampered. The Ministry of Defence has objected to many wind farms which will affect radar systems and we have even seen how turbines could prevent the detection of secret nuclear weapons tests.

Mountaineers, ramblers, cyclists, equestrians, aviation enthusiasts and bird-watchers have protested. Celebrities have come out to support anti-wind campaigns. Members of every political party, except the Greens, have spoken out against turbines. Over 100 MPs petitioned David Cameron to stop the madness. Members of the European Parliament have repeatedly urged the European Commission to get involved. The Scottish Government has received 10,000 objections from people who oppose wind farms – and that was just for large developments (>50MW).

We have read that schoolchildren are being utilised as pro-wind propaganda tools and we have even seen how the United Nations has ruled that the UK is in breach of international law regarding public participation and the right to receive information in regard to wind farm developments. In the last few weeks, we have heard how IPCC climate change projections, which formed the basis for renewable energy targets, have been called into question by leading scientists.

We have watched as turbines have had to be shut down in high winds and how consumers foot the bill when they are. We have seen their minimal contribution the UK energy supply, even when they are needed most. We have been affected when energy bills have skyrocketed thanks in part to a misguided focus on wind energy. Unfortunately we have also heard how millions of households have been forced into crippling fuel poverty, now having to choose between food and fuel.

We have read about noise abatement orders and residents’ legal challenges. We have seen some communities torn apart by wind farm proposals and others handed bribes in return for their silence. We have read how landowners pocket exorbitant amounts of cash in return for housing turbines and we have seen developers reap vast profits from the UK’s subsidy regime. We have heard how peat bogs have been ripped up and forests torn down to make way for wind farms. We are now being told that wind energy has not made even the slightest difference to carbon emissions.

We have even seen those who peddle ridiculous pro-wind arguments about green jobs debunked and refuted. There is enough credible evidence and enough of an opposition to end a policy of support for industrial wind energy. Yet still we see wind farms popping up all around the country.

Isn’t it about time that we looked at all the evidence cumulatively? Isn’t it about time that we just chalked it up as a loss and tried something else?

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*Ben Acheson is the Energy and Environment Policy Adviser and Parliamentary Assistant to Struan Stevenson MEP at the European Parliament in Brussels.

 

Psychiatrist rebukes Health Board for rejecting wind turbine-induced sleep deprivation (Falmouth, MA)

brain

Let’s hope the Town of Falmouth comes to its senses and stops the abuse [of Wind Turbine Syndrome victims]”

—William Hallstein, MD
Psychiatrist (Falmouth, MA)

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Jed Goldstone, Chairman
Falmouth Board of Health
September 13, 2013

Subject: Falmouth wind turbines and sleep deprivation
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Dear Mr. Goldstone:

In way of introduction, I have been a Falmouth resident since 1970. I am a psychiatrist, my career working its way through its 44th year. Consultation/liaison psychiatry has been my primary setting. In this role one treats patients with combined physical and psychiatric illnesses in the general medical center population, be it medical, surgical or emergency units, in addition to the most severely psychiatrically ill patients admitted to locked psychiatric units and correctional institutions.

I am thoroughly acquainted with the turbine issues and neighbors who are affected. I have made it my business to spend significant amounts of time experiencing the turbine effects. I know exactly what they are describing and have experienced it (emphasis added).

Turning now to the topic of sleep interruption and deprivation. Sleep disturbance is not a trivial matter. Children with inadequate sleep perform poorly academically, emotionally and physically. Errors in judgement and accident rates increase with inadequate sleep and fatigue for everyone: athletes, truck drivers, ship operators , aircraft pilots and physicians. No one is exempt.

In the world of medicine, illnesses of all varieties are destabilized by fatigue secondary to inadequate sleep. Diabetic blood sugars become labile, cardiac rhythms become irregular, migraines erupt and increase in intensity, tissue healing is retarded, and so forth, across the entire field of physical medicine. Psychiatric problems intensify and people decompensate. Mood disorders become more extreme and psychotic disorders more severe.

People with no previously identified psychiatric illness are destabilized by sleep deprivation. Sleep deprivation experiments have repeatedly been terminated because test subjects become psychotic; they begin to hallucinate auditory and visual phenomena. They develop paranoid delusions. This all happens in the “normal” brain. Sleep deprivation has been used as an effective means of torture and a technique for extracting confessions.

I could work my way through the presentation of 43 years of sleep deprivation observations, but that is more than the scope of this letter. I am writing because I have witnessed Town of Falmouth officials and members of other boards trivialize symptom reports from people living close to the wind turbines. I have witnessed attempts to discredit people who are being hurt by the turbines.

Sleep deprivation breaks down individual defenses and mimics a broad range of physical and mental illnesses. Let’s hope the Town of Falmouth comes to its senses and stops the abuse.

Sincerely,

Hallstein signature

William Hallstein, MD
Falmouth, MA

Garbage in, garbage out: New “Berkeley” property analysis

Garbage in

Editor’s note:  The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) has released a new version of its property value analysis, assessing whether wind turbines degrade property value.  Like their previous study, the authors conclude there is no appreciable loss in value.   Click here to read the report.

It’s horseshit—just like the earlier attempt by Ben Hoen at al. to paper over huge property devaluation.  Mike McCann, a Chicago-based property appraiser with sterling credentials, explains why it’s, well, horseshit.  What the LBNL data really demonstrate is the following (in McCann’s words);

1,198 sales within 1 mile of turbines demonstrate a 28% lower value, and the data provides a compelling basis to determine there is a causal relationship between distance and impact.”

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—Michael S. McCann
McCann Appraisal, LLC
Chicago, IL

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The new LBNL value report has been placed with many media outlets, as part of the follow up public relations campaign to dismiss value impacts as a mere “concern”, while doing little to address the very real problem. I have received many requests for comment on the latest LBNL effort.  A thoughtful review of the claims stated therein is warranted, and my preliminary remarks follow.

First, the August 2013 LBNL report conclusions should not be relied on for any purpose other than showing that statistics can be used to support any biased position they choose, but it is far from being an empirical value study.  There was certainly enough data to perform a study that incorporated the accepted methodology of paired sales and/or resale analysis, with careful analysis of marketing times and other value influencing factors. But LBNL once again ignored the primary data source for residential values; the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) active in any given study area. (Marketing times do not show in Assessor data)

Once you bother to read through all the scientific sounding discussion and internally supported citations (Hoen citing Hoen, for example), I recommend that you refer to the last sentence of paragraph 2 on report page # 5, wherein the authors disclose an apparent bias as follows: “Therefore for the purposes of this research we will assume 3-4% is a maximum possible effect.”

Review of Table 7 arrays the data and reveals impact on a factual basis.  The empirical evidence is presented on Table 7before the sale price data was “crunched” to obtain the stated results.  On a side note, the focus is on claims of statistical significance; not upon value impact.

Regardless of terminology or focus, the fact is that the raw data shows a post construction negative impact of 28% for homes < 1 mile from turbines vs. homes in the 3-10 mile range, as follows:

McCann2

Second, the methodology utilized in the LBNL analysis is not an accepted, proven regression model.  It pools data from 67 different projects in 27 counties in 9 states, and simply cannot be deemed reliable because of the wide value variations that exist between these local markets.  To the contrary, it insures  that the variables have such wide variation that any impact measured after running the data through their hedonic “model” will not be able to identify any impact at the level needed to establish statistical significance (see Al Wilson, Rubber Rulers)

In contrast, however, the raw data is substantively significant, as it shows the real market reaction, without any assumptions, alteration or adjustment of the numbers, and no built in bias (i.e., 3% to 4% max impact).  (Click here.)

Further, given that the Table 7 data includes 1,198 sales located within 1 mile of turbines, and also that it covers 67 different projects, it seems quite clear that there is a high level of casual significance to establish there is a direct relationship between distance and value impact, and these market reactions are commonly repeated throughout the USA.

The attached Rubber Rulers paper by Al Wilson addresses the numerous problems with the 2009 LBNL analysis, and it appears that the majority if not all of these problems are replicated in the 2013 LBNL report. (Note: see Wilson bio.  This professional appraiser literally wrote the book on environmental impact on property values and other value impairment research, statistical standards studies, etc.)

What non-appraisers (i.e. LBNL authors) refer to as “anecdotal” evidence, in their attempts to dismiss actual examples of value loss, is what appraisers refer to as Comparable Sales and other market evidence.  From an appraisal perspective, the 1,198 sales within 1 mile that find a 28% loss of value is meaningful, but actual local examples are potentially a higher level of proof.

Realtors such as Annie Cool (Falmouth, MA) are in the trenches on this issue, and consistently find that buyers will not pay prices that are at “no turbine proximity” value rates, and that most buyers simply will not even make an offer on homes near turbines.  Homes that sit on the market for extensive periods of time have downward pressure on list price, and while some owners elect to pull the property off the market rather than accept a large (or total ) loss of equity, others end up selling for whatever the “market” will pay.  The 1,198 sales represent a sample of the latter group, and again, show a 28% lower value, on average.

These types of marketing facts are completely ignored in the LBNL studies, which is a major failing of the academic approach to addressing this issue.  My own recent study of 13 paired sales in Illinois found marketing times within 1 mile to be exactly 1 year longer than competing homes (paired sales) located an average of 10+ miles away from the turbine projects. (All 2012 sales near turbines were paired with one or two sale further away, but which would otherwise be considered competing homes while on the market)

McCann1

As an appraiser, I would prefer to have 5 good “comps” than 50,000 meaningless data points.  In fact, many billions of dollars in mortgage loans are made across the country on the basis of 3 to 5 good “comps”.  But no mortgages or sales will be based on the LBNL report…it is irrelevant for real world purposes.

Third, Assessed values may or may not be accurate.  My experience dictates that AV data is not reliable for purposes of establishing value of a given property.  It is merely a method of spreading the taxes levied on a supposedly uniform and ad valorem basis across the properties in a given jurisdiction.  AV’s may have decreased in some locations while increasing in others, but it seems pretty consistent that Assessor’s Offices are not being compelled to seriously address local impacts from turbines.  I have been told by one Assessor that “since none of the properties nearby sold, there is no basis for reducing the values”.  This statement was despite the fact that several of the properties in question had been extensively marketed and could not elicit even a single offer at ANY price.

Remember, Assessors have a different job than independent appraisers; Assessors are required to assess properties uniformly, whereas appraisers are required to value each property individually and with attention to all relevant factors that affect value.  Stocks are a far more “liquid” asset than is real estate typically, as it can be sold in minutes, or days at most.  Real estate marketing times are an important component in setting values, and when the asset loses all or virtually all of its liquidity, that is indeed a significant value impact.  One might look to foreclosure sale data to support the discount that is needed to attract a buyer of a “problem” property, in a time frame that preserves reasonable liquidity.

Finally, the LBNL study is completely inappropriate as “evidence” for developers to submit to zoning boards, when considering turbine SU permit applications.  Typical Zoning Bylaw standards for approval require a finding that the “project” will not have any adverse impact on neighboring property values (as well as the public health, safety & welfare).

The LBNL report does not address this standard(s) of approval, but instead attempts to recast the question as whether turbines have a far reaching, uniform and statistically significant impact.  Home sales that are not in the neighborhood of turbines are irrelevant, as is whether the impact is widespread or uniform. Zoning regulations require denial of applications when there will be ANY significant adverse impact on neighboring values, and do not provide the right for any development to diminish the value of neighboring property.  The regulations also do not typically require a neighboring or abutting property owner to be “pooled” with the level of impact for an entire Town or State.  Zoning regulations are intended to preserve values (etc.), but not to create sacrifice zones to accommodate wind energy development.

I trust this will help save a little time in addressing the recycled claims of no value impact from turbines.  But if you choose, ignore all opinion and just go to the facts:  1,198 sales within 1 mile of turbines demonstrate a 28% lower value, and the data provides a compelling basis to determine there is a causal relationship between distance and impact.

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Contact mikesmccann@comcast.net

Rally to “Stop the Terror,” Sept 24 (Columbus, Ohio)

screwed turbine

 

Rally1

 

Click here for details, and here for the IICC website.

 

Ontario’s hilariously screwed up wind energy program!

evolution turbine2

Click here if you can’t directly access the video, above.

“The sound of corn growing in a field of wind turbines” (USA Midwest)

corn illustration isolated on white background

—Ella Rupprecht

I’ve been going out to Gilford township when possible, to a wooded area owned by a friend. He has acreage, and is surrounded by the turbines on three sides.  There are about seven to eight turbines within a half mile radius of his property—east ,west and north.

So, Sunday I did a little walkabout. All the turbines were running and as, we know, you can absolutely hear them from all sides.

Just happens to be corn this year growing in this area.  (Farmers, here, rotate corn, beans, sugar beets and wheat. This is a bonus compared to other agriculture practices since the soil here is some of the best in the world.)

soil

“That there is some pretty soil!  Imagine the color when it’s wet!” (Ella)

I walked into the corn field towards one of the turbines. I am wondering, Has anybody ever been inside a corn field when turbines are running?

corn will cut you

Ella Rupprecht

I can tell you, the sound is eerie. (Click here and here for the videos.  I should have made them longer, but I wasn’t thinking at the time.)

I don’t know if anyone is interested in what I discovered, or if this is already known. When traveling through the field, I can certainly understand why the animals would flee. The sound tunnels beneath the fields, like you’re inside an actual tunnel with noise flowing through.

The only sound is the turbines. No road traffic, nothing but turbine “whoosh” through acres and acres of land.

I felt like I was transported from the Star Ship Enterprise to the Borg Ship.

Borg turbine

 

Fix “Big Wind’s” problems–before creating more (Editorial)

bandaid turbine

Editorial, “Stop supporting harmful projects.  Start protecting people and fixing the problems” WindAction (9/6/13)

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Hundreds of individuals, victims and groups sent a letter today to the Northeast region’s governor and premiers asking for an end to utility-scale wind development until those projects’ impacts have been addressed.

The letter comes as the officials gather this weekend in La Malbaie for the 37th Annual Conference of New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers.

“We are asking them to take clear, compelling, and compassionate steps to solve the problems they have created by supporting the deployment of ‘big wind’ in our region,” said Windwise Massachusetts president Virginia Irvine. “These projects are happening in no small part because of the legislative requirements and generous subsidies for developers pushed by Governors and supported by elected officials. Those officials need to take responsibility for what has happened to individuals and communities as a result.”

The letter highlights the many impacts of utility-scale wind projects, including stresses to the grid, the increased need for expensive transmission lines, public health issues, habitat disruption, negative impacts on tourism, increasing electricity costs, and leading to more greenhouse gas emissions.

“According to ISO New England, it will cost between $11 and $15 billion to build the transmission infrastructure needed to support the Governors’ and Premiers’ goals. Who will pay for that? Where will it go? What communities will be forced to pay the price? They need to answer those questions before they push more projects,” said Chris O’Neil, Public Affairs Director for Friends of Maine’s Mountains. “We hope they will start that discussion this weekend.”

“Wind energy is the least effective renewable energy option both economically and environmentally,” according to Lori Lerner, president of New Hampshire Wind Watch. “We oppose the continued destruction of our state’s most precious natural resources at the hands of industrial wind developers.”

Signers to the letter include physicians, PhD’s, a state poet laureate, victims of already-built big wind turbines, neighbors of areas threatened by big wind projects, groups grappling with wind energy development, and individuals from throughout New England.

The noise and human health concerns raised by residents living near the Falmouth Massachusetts wind turbines are not isolated cases. Luann Therrien is a neighbor to the Sheffield VT wind project whose family (including two young children) has been suffering health problems for more than a year. “The developers lied about the noise from these giant machines, and the health impacts they create,” she said. “Headaches, nausea, sleep disruption – it’s happening right now to our family and too many others. Lives are being ruined, homes and futures are being destroyed. This has to stop. At conferences like the one this weekend, protecting public health has to be on the agenda.”

The letter calls on the region’s governments to increase their coordination and share resources to better respond to the issues created by wind development. It asks officials to, “Revise or withdraw your plans that support the expansion of wind and a wind build out in rural areas to support the urban areas. Start evaluating and fixing the problems that have been created by your policies.”

“As the letter states, we need a respectful, honest dialogue about all of these issues,” Annette Smith of Vermonters for a Clean Environment said. “We don’t have ramping plants, so these projects can increase, not decrease, our region’s greenhouse gas emissions. Why aren’t we talking about that? People are as we speak getting sick and being forced to abandon their homes. Let’s have a conversation that addresses what is happening now that so much big wind has been developed in our region. Until these problems are resolved, it would be irresponsible for the Conference to continue to advocate for even more utility-scale wind projects in our region,” she concluded.

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Selected comments from letter signers:

We are having adverse property value around the lake, my parents in Barton are having adverse health effects, noise, and drop in their property values.

Industrial wind energy projects cause social upheaval. They can set neighbor against neighbor and pit towns against one another. Wind developers foment and exploit these divisions and the result is long-lasting damage to communities.

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As a Maine resident who cares deeply about Maine’s environment, I strongly oppose Industrial Wind Energy development in our state and all Industrial Wind in general. It is a fact that it is not effective in reducing CO2, it’s too expensive and seriously degrades our quality of Place and our health!

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We are victims whose property is less than 1000 feet from 1.65 MW turbine; 3 turbines can be heard and felt here. This siting is unacceptable; distance is key. Fix EXISTING problems and don’t make mistakes again!

We support significant further research and serious pause before any wind factory projects on our irreplaceable ridgelines. We also support more transparent information as to who the REAL stakeholders are as well as research into permanent ecological damage and health risks for the people involved, no less permanent property value loss and resulting damage to the local economy without any accountability regarding the wind factories!

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I endorse this letter. I would clarify that “Big Wind” can be just 1-2 industrial-sized turbines in certain climates and coastal areas, and that New England does not have an auspicious wind resource even for smaller wind generators. There are many opportunities for distributed solar on rooftops, solar parking canopies and brownfields.

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The wind turbines are really not going to remedy our power situation. I will not list all the drawbacks to these monster towers on the mountains overlooking Newfound Lake. I was told by the selectmen of my town that my taxes are high and I am paying for the view, and now it looks like the view will change very radically. This is a minor consideration compared to the damage done to the environment and the power produced will not be used by the people of NH, or so I’ve been told. Please don’t let this happen.

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I am a victim. I can hear the throbbing turbines from Iberdrola’s Groton Wind Plant located 2 miles to the east of my home through dense woods. The EDPR’s Spruce Ridge Wind Plant is a second industrial wind facility proposed within 2 miles to the south west of my home, with no vegetative buffer. The Juwi North America’s Alpine Ridge Wind Plant is a third proposed industrial wind facility within 1 mile to the west of my home, with no vegetative buffer. The Iberdrola Wild Meadows Wind Plant is a fourth proposed industrial wind facility within 10 miles of my home.

In total, approximately 100 500 foot turbines could be located on the mountain ridges surrounding my home. I am scared to death what this will do to my health and well being, as well as my neighbors’, the quality of the watershed and the fragmenting of wildlife. My home is located in one of the highest ranked wildlife habitats in New Hampshire.

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These industrial sized wind turbine projects have divided towns and countries so much like the Derby Line wind project did. Dividing people and neighbors who will never speak again all for greed. At least we do not have a project here, I really feel for those that have to put up with the monstrosities.

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I am an individual who had a wind turbine project proposed for adjacent to my neighborhood but due to the fact that in our town we had the benefit of notification, unlike many communities in Massachusetts, we were able to educate ourselves as to the true cost and benefits. In the end our town officials opted to pursue a more benign renewable energy platform, and our wind project was tabled.

The wind developer “is proposing a grand experiment with the town residents as the guinea pigs” (Noise engineer)

The proposed turbines are too big and emit too much noise energy. Highland Windfarm, LLC, is proposing a grand experiment with the Town residents as the guinea pigs”

—Paul D. Schomer, PhD, Noise Engineer, testimony before the Wisconsin Public Service Commission, July 29, 2013

Guinea-pig-and-wind-farm-2-447x304

Editor’s note:  The following testimony by Dr. Paul Schomer is of great importance to any community currently facing the prospect of wind turbines.  Dr. Schomer is a seasoned noise engineer with considerable experience measuring wind turbine noise emissions.  He has now become convinced that (a) wind turbines do in fact cause direct health effects (as opposed to the silly, even inane, idea proposed by Simon Chapman and Geoff Leventhall [and here)] that this is all a matter of “nocebo” effect—that is, “power of suggestion”); (b) he argues that the current generation of huge turbines is inappropriate for communities of people; and (c) he scoffs at the facile and clueless efforts of wind company-hired noise engineers to somehow curtail the infrasound emissions.

Below are excerpts from Schomer’s recent (7/29/13) testimony before the Wisconsin Public Service Commission regarding a proposed windplant in the Town of Highland, Wisconsin.

Click here for the full, original document.
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“Rehearing direct testimony Paul D. Schomer” (7/29/13)  Application of Highland Wind Farm, LLC, for a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity to Construct a 102.5 MW Wind Electric Generation Facility and Associated Electric Facilities, to be Located in the Towns of Forest and Cylon, St. Croix County, Wisconsin.  Docket No. 2535-CE-100

» “Highland is proposing a grand experiment with the Town residents as the guinea pigs. The proposed turbines are too big and emit too much noise energy. In the wake of the severe health impacts experienced by some residents in the Town of Glenmore, which has similarly large turbines, it is troubling that Highland refuses to consider a full redesign of this project.”

» “There is significant evidence from all over the world that large turbines placed too close to residences cause very serious health problems. While the research is underway, there is continuing focus on balancing the size and output of wind turbines with public health. I do not believe that the right balance has yet been struck. The wind industry continues to claim that there is no known link between wind turbine noise and health effects.”

» “In a recent paper, which is being submitted as Ex.-Forest-Schomer-20, I show that for a small group of specially selected people, the probability that motion sickness-like symptoms experienced by wind farm residents are unrelated to wind turbine noise is less than two in a million. This analysis proves that it is virtually certain that these individuals are adversely affected with serious health effects that result from the acoustic emission of nearby wind turbines. This changes the dynamic of the situation. Since it can no longer be said that there are no known health effects related to wind farms, it follows that the industry must prove that there will be no adverse health effects from what they plan to do, or that the industry must state what the adverse health effects will be.”

» “In a paper to be presented and to be published in December 2013, which is being submitted as Ex.-Forest-Schomer-22, we show that the Massachusetts study’s conclusions about the lack of connection between human health and infrasound and wind turbine noise are flat out wrong.”

» “All the experts in this proceeding agree that the louder the turbines are in audible noise and the larger the turbines are in structure, the more infrasound will be produced. The larger mega turbines seem to correlate very starkly with health impacts. It is significant that in a wind farm with only eight turbines, three families have left their homes in the Town of Glenmore. As I testified earlier, if this farm is built as designed, it is likely that the same result will occur – with or without curtailment.”

» “Infrasound flows in all directions and its amplitudes are not reduced by which direction the sound originates. Adverse health effects from infrasound will not be abated by directivity. This is another reason to stick with ISO 9613-2 and IEC 61400-11, each as is, and not venture into the unknown.”

» “The history of wind turbines, as young as they are, is one of ever increasing size. Current units go from 1.5 to 3.5 MW, and bigger units can be expected in the future. Larger turbines may have the advantages of greater efficiency and net profit but they create more problems for people living close by. There is strong evidence that the very low infrasound frequencies produced by large wind turbines are the sources of acoustic emission that are adversely affecting people. As the power generated by wind turbines grows, the blades grow and hence the tip’s speed is reduced to avoid too high an advancing blade tip Mach number.”

» “According to a paper by van den Berg (2004), which is being submitted as Ex.-Forest-Schomer-22, the increase due to a typical nighttime wind profile (the change in velocity with altitude) was 5 dB for a wind turbine with a 58 m hub height, and up to 15 dB for a turbine with a 98 m hub height. That is, the increase in low frequency energies in size and magnitude may be substantial because of this blade-loading, wind-gradient effect, much greater than what is predicted for constant blade loading. The conclusion is that unless mitigation methods and strategies can be developed and implemented, bigger turbines are not necessarily better. They may actually be much worse for people.”

Wind energy’s government-approved wildlife genocide

dead_bird_by_rustyarm-d4ruhvo

The wind industry is hiding over 90% of the bird and bat mortality caused by their turbines. This statement is supported by the industry’s own data and reasonable adjustments for its manipulations.

“The wind industry is … producing faulty, misleading and even fraudulent documents to hide the serious and growing mortality. This situation has continued for years but has been shielded by state and federal agencies and other supporters of wind power.

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Hiding “Avian Mortality”: Where ‘Green’ is Red (Part I: Altamont Pass)

—Jim Wiegand, MasterResource (9/4/13)

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A “green energy” wildlife genocide is depopulating wildlife habitats across the world where vital species once found refuge. Industrial wind turbines have invaded these habitats and are devastating bird and bat species.

Rather than avoiding these critical habitats or taking steps to minimize impacts on important species, the heavily subsidized wind industry is responding by producing faulty, misleading and even fraudulent documents to hide the serious and growing mortality. This situation has continued for years but has been shielded by state and federal agencies and other supporters of wind power.

Having studied these installations and their wildlife impacts for years, I can say without reservation that most of what people hear and read about the wind industry’s benefits and environmental costs is false. However, buried in thousands of pages of wind industry documents are data, omissions and calculations that tell a wind turbine mortality story that is far different from what is portrayed in industry press releases, mainstream news stories and official government reports.

I have frequently said the wind industry is hiding over 90% of the bird and bat mortality caused by their turbines. This statement is supported by the industry’s own data and reasonable adjustments for its manipulations. These calculations will help people understand how the industry is using its studies to hide millions of fatalities; they will also help local residents and officials understand “wind farm” impacts and their role in species extinctions that could soon exact an irreversible toll in many regions.

My analysis focuses on two North American wind resource areas that are well known for killing raptors, other birds and bats: Altamont Pass in southern California and Wolfe Island in eastern Lake Erie, on the Ontario-New York border.

While studies prepared for these two wind resource are quite different, both were designed to hide mortality. Indeed, hiding mortality is an industry-wide practice, and it is easy to discredit any mortality or cumulative impact study produced by wind energy developers.

Altamont Pass Tricks

The Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area (APWRA) provides an excellent introduction to this problem. Its environmental impacts have been well publicized, but now the industry wants to replace small older 50- and 100-kilowatt turbines with huge 2.3-megawatt turbines that it claims are safer. This claim is without merit. Industry studies used to promote the plan are deeply flawed and the much larger 2.3 MW turbines will add more than twice the deadly rotor sweep to Altamont, along with much faster blade tip speeds.

Probably more studies have been conducted in Altamont Pass than at any other wind farm in the world. Unfortunately, however, the wind industry has used that information and lessons from the public relations firestorms those studies ignited to develop clever methods for hiding bird and bat mortality impacts.

One of the most effective methods is limiting searches for dead and injured wildlife to progressively smaller areas around increasingly larger turbines – thereby omitting increasing numbers of fatalities as larger turbines catapult birds and bats further, often into grass, brush and wooded areas that hide bodies.

For the relatively small 50-100 kW turbines at Altamont, roughly 85% of fatalities can be found within a 50-meter search radius, which suggests that this radius is appropriate, if the missing 15% are accounted for. But even with these turbines, industry-paid researchers are able to hide Altamont’s true mortality figures by employing improper study methodologies, raw data manipulation and inaccurate methods for estimating annual death tolls.

All wind turbine mortality studies find bodies. Indeed, some researchers say wind turbines provide a fatal attraction for birds and bats. It is how carcass counts are conducted and interpreted that renders the process faulty or fraudulent – while also enabling the wind energy industry to claim it has satisfied commitments to reduce bird and bat mortality, and thereby justify installing much larger (and potentially deadlier) wind turbines. Comparing earlier and more recent studies illustrates how this is done.

In a 1998–2003 study, raptor carcasses were found in searches conducted about six weeks apart. Analysts then developed and applied numerical factors designed to account for the facts that: on-the-ground teams were likely to find only a certain percentage of all dead and injured birds and bats; some wounded individuals would crawl off and die elsewhere; and coyotes, ravens and other scavengers would remove and eat many turbine victims.

Applying those factors to actual carcass counts, researchers calculated that Altamont turbines were killing 116 golden eagles per year (an average of 10.8 times the actual carcass count per year) Wind turbine mortality for red-tail hawks, burrowing owls and American kestrels were likewise estimated by using factors of 7 to 28 times actual body counts.

The study demonstrated that Altamont wind turbines were having a devastating impact on Diablo Range populations of raptors and other birds. It explained why many nests were no longer occupied and why fewer and fewer of these species were seen in succeeding years around the Bay area foothills. As a result of this impact the wind industry realized it had to reduce the death tolls dramatically – or at least make it appear that the tolls were decreasing to minimize public outrage.

Manufacturing a Decline

In 2012, Altamont Pass turbine operators released the results of their 2005–2010 study. They claimed they had achieved substantial reductions in raptor and other bird mortalities, and that part of this reduction resulted from the industry replacing small older turbines with much larger new units.

The claim raised questions and eyebrows among knowledgeable bird researchers, who know that mortality searches at Altamont are still finding an increased number of bodies amid the turbines. They also know there are many ways to manipulate mortality studies to achieve the desired outcome.

For instance, industry-paid researchers arbitrarily reduced their golden eagle death estimating factor to one-fifth of their previous (10.8) body-to-carcass ratio (down to 2.2); otherwise their estimated mortality would have been an intolerable 200 eagles per year. They slashed mortality factors for the other raptors (originally 7 to 28 times actual body counts) to between 2.2 and 7.6 times. This was done even though turbine size, blade length and area swept by the bird-butchering blades had skyrocketed.

The only way these changes make sense or can be justified is by recognizing that these bird populations have already been decimated so many times that the species are now rapidly declining in the area, and this wind facility is killing off a higher percentage of the smaller remaining population. Other realities are also involved, however.

On the largest turbines, researchers continue to use an undersized 75-meter search radius, even though the much larger turbines are known to catapult birds and bats much further from turbine towers. They may also be attributing mortality from the large turbines to the smaller ones nearby (see Figure 1). While the smaller 75-meter search area is generally fine for the 50-100 kW turbines, since some 85% of all fatalities are found within that search radius, the search radius must be much wider (200-250 meters) for the 2.3-MW turbines, to achieve valid results.

In addition, hundreds of carcasses were eliminated from mortality estimates, because they were picked up by wind farm personnel ahead of searchers looking for high priority species like eagles and hawks.

Researchers are also assuming higher search efficiencies; that is, a suddenly increased ability to spot bird carcasses. But the improved search efficiency rates are themselves based on studies that cannot possibly be considered credible. They used dead pigeons, gulls and ravens, whose white and black feathers make them easy to spot on gravel pads around turbines – instead of the primary species, whose camouflaged bodies are hard to see.

For example, a study intended to determine how many bird carcasses are removed by scavengers used Japanese quail bodies that were too big for Altamont’s most prolific scavengers (gulls, ravens and crows) to remove. This made it appear that scavengers are eating few of the turbine fatalities, which again lowers mortality calculations. In addition, an equally clever and far more sinister tactic is also being employed.

First Remove, then Search

Instead of daily searches over a period of several weeks, mortality studies employ occasional searches conducted only every 30 to 90 days. This virtually ensures that small birds and bats are removed, decay and/or are eaten. Studies from across the country indicate that nearly 90% of small carcasses vanish in the first two weeks, and 97-100% are gone within 30 days. This is especially true for Altamont Pass, where thousands of gulls patrol for food. It also explains why Altamont searchers found only 21 bat carcasses, whereas probably thousands were consumed during the six-year study.

The 2005–2010 data from Altamont recorded an average of 372 small carcasses per year. However, applying a 85% search area factor, a small bird searcher efficiency rate of 38-40% (based on other studies), and a 97% removal rate (3% remaining) after 36 days of scavenger activity reveals that the annual death toll for small birds at Altamont is actually much closer to 73,000 to 76,840 for its current 500 MW of installed capacity.

This is why daily searches are so important. It is also why they have been avoided. With each passing day, the mortality data become less reliable – and without a body, if nearly all the carcasses of a species vanish, searcher efficiency and scavenger removal rates mean nothing. Scavenger removal for small birds and bats are known to be 100% within 21 days at some wind turbine locations, and without a body there are no data to extrapolate.

In short, the methods used at Altamont (and other wind energy facilities) violate scientific integrity principles. But they are perfect for hiding true mortality counts. The 24 hour search intervals are critical for reliable data. Even mortality studies going back decades on communication towers used daily searches for the most reliable carcass data.

However, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, California Fish and Wildlife Department, and supposed bird protection groups have given the wind industry carte blanche to write its own study criteria and kill countless protected birds and bats. That is something these groups have never done for any other industry. Wind energy gets a pass, because it is supposedly reducing America’s “carbon footprint,” these groups do not want to sully the wind industry’s eco-friendly reputation, and the industry in turn provides generous contributions to environmental groups and politicians that support wind energy.

The 48-hour Study

Altamont Pass researchers are well aware that they are missing thousands of birds and bats in their mortality studies. That is why they insist on using 30-90 day search intervals when looking for carcasses. They want these carcasses to disappear.

This conclusion is supported by a four-month study conducted at Altamont Pass several years ago.

Areas around roughly 24 MW of Altamont Pass turbines were searched using 48-hour search intervals. This 48-hour window is important, because thousands of gulls and other scavengers patrol the Altamont wind turbines looking for easy meals around the turbines (and often get killed themselves).

Searchers looking in undersized 40-meter search areas found 70 small bird carcasses. After adjusting for these undersized search areas, injured birds (which will die but are not counted by the wind industry) and carcass removal, I rounded the four-month total to a conservative total of 100 small birds. At first blush, this appears to be a tolerable bird kill (unless it is compared to prosecutions for the accidental deaths of 28 common birds in oil and gas facilities over an entire state during an entire year).

However, once these 100 birds are used to calculate mortality counts for Altamont’s total installed capacity (2008) of 580 MW and a full twelve months, the small bird kill rate soars to 7,250 per year. Combining this body count with a reasonable searcher detection rate of 40% and a credible scavenger removal rate of 30% over two days results in an estimated total of 25,900 small birds per year! If the scavenger rate is boosted to an equally reasonable rate of 60% over a two-day period, small bird mortality jumps to 29,500.

That’s 925 to 1,050 times more birds than resulted in the federal prosecution of seven oil companies in North Dakota in 2011 with no investigation or prosecution of wind companiesIt is also ten to eleven times more small birds than the 2,700 fatalities that Altamont operators admitted killing per year, based on their “eco-friendly” research methods during the period when the 48-hour study was conducted.

Proper Studies for the Real Death Toll

Considering the critical analysis presented in this article, it seems very reasonable to conclude that new studies employing proper search areas, trained dogs, 24-hour search intervals and no pre-search collecting of birds by wind energy employees would produce far greater totals – easily exceeding 25,900 small birds per year, plus thousands of bats, raptors, and other birds.

There can be no doubt that the Altamont mortality is far greater than what is being reported. In my opinion, Altamont pass is actually killing 50,000-100,000 birds and bats per year and has been for decades. And that is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg of wind turbine mortality, considering that more than 40,000 turbines are now operating in the United States, many of them in or near important bird and bat habitats.

As Paul Driessen, Mark Duchamp and others have concluded, based on careful bird and bat mortality studies in Spain and Germany, it is highly likely that the 40,000 US wind turbines are killing between 13 million and 13 and 39 million birds and bats every year – including hundreds of bald and golden eagles, thousands of hawks, falcons, owls and other raptors, and dozens of extremely rare whooping cranes!

My own previous articles (here and here) strongly suggest that these conclusions are accurate.

No wonder the taxpayer and consumer subsidized wind industry is so intent on rigging its mortality methodology and making sure that no meaningful or accurate studies are conducted. They would raise such a public outcry that nearly all 40,000 turbines would be shut down.

Considering the trivial amount of electricity they produce (less than 2% of all US electricity output) and the vanishingly small amount of carbon dioxide they reduce, though, even a nearly total wind turbine shutdown would be justified and would hardly be noticed.

References

Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area Bird Fatality Study, Bird Years 2005–2010, Prepared by ICF International (Doug Leslie, Jesse Schwartz and Brian Karas) for Alameda County Community Development Agency, November 2012.

Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area Bird Fatality Study, Prepared by ICF International for Alameda County Community Development Agency, January 2011.

Draft Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area 48-Hour Search Interval Bird Fatality Study (kestrel/burrowing owl report), prepared by ICF Jones & Stokes for Alameda County Community Development Agency, June 2009 (M32).

Developing Methods to Reduce Bird Fatalities in the Altamont Wind Resource Area,Final Report by BioResource Consultants (Smallwood, K. S., and C. G. Thelander) for the California Energy Commission, August 2004.

2008/2009 Annual Report for the Buena Vista Avian and Bat Monitoring Project, prepared by Insignia Environmental for Contra Costa County, September 4, 2009.

Post-Construction Avian And Bat Impact Assessment of the University of Delaware Wind Turbine in Lewes, DE, Jeffrey Buler, Kyle Horton, & Greg Shriver, Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology, University of Delaware, May 2012.

An Estimate of Avian Mortality at Communication Towers in the United States and Canada, Longcore T., Rich C., Mineau P., et al., PLOS-one, April 25, 2012.

Wind energy is both a demonstrated flop and dangerous for grid stability (Australia)

wind bullshitter

Editor’s note:  The next time a wind turbine salesman tells your town board that “wind farms,” interlinked over a widely dispersed area, provide constant, realistic energy to the energy grid—stand up and inform him that he’s a liar.  (If you have not yet learned this, better learn it now:  Wind energy companies “make up” facts as they go along, like snake-oil salesmen have done for millennia.)

They fabricate this piece of information, as well.  Paul Miskelly, an Australian engineer, carefully examined “operational data for 21 large wind farms” in eastern Australia over a 12-month period, at 5-minute increments, and discovered that wind energy is a flop.  Worse than a flop, it’s a real hazard to grid stability.

Click here for the full article.

Abstract

Academic discussion continues as to whether a fleet of grid-connected wind farms, widely dispersed across a single grid network, can provide a reliable electricity supply. One opinion is that wide geographical dispersion of wind farms provides sufficient smoothing of the intermittent and highly variable output of individual wind farms enabling the wind farm fleet to provide for base load demand. In an examination of the 5-minute time-averaged wind farm operational data for 21 large wind farms connected to the eastern Australian grid – geographically the largest, most widely dispersed, single interconnected grid in the world (AER, [1]) – this paper challenges that opinion. The findings also suggest that the connection of such a wind farm fleet, even one that is widely dispersed, poses significant security and reliability concerns to the eastern Australian grid. These findings have similar implications for the impact of wind farms on the security of electricity grids worldwide.

Miskelly graph2 

Conclusion

Engineers are required to do more than merely analyse and report on natural phenomena. They are required to create practical solutions to real world problems. In so doing they must test and design systems ensuring that they have addressed the worst case scenarios. As a result, they may not concentrate merely on average values. With these requirements firmly in mind, to the electrical engineer, a careful scrutiny of the available wind farm operational data shows that, on the eastern Australian grid, it is not possible for wind energy ever to displace dispatchable, reliable generation supplying the base load demand. In this regard, an examination of the graphs comprising Figure 3 clearly indicates that the proposal by some Australian policymakers to replace major coal-fired power stations with a fleet of wind farms is not technically achievable.

Additionally, the analysis shows that further increased wind penetration, even if spread evenly across the eastern Australian grid, will result in an increasing contribution to grid instability, potentially making wind energy an increasing threat to grid operational security and reliability. To continue a policy strategy to increase wind penetration across the eastern Australian grid, to seek to meet a target of some 20% installed capacity, as has already been achieved in South Australia, (with the presumption that wind may thereby meet 20% of base load requirements), has the potential to be a dangerous strategy.

To address the increased instability due to wind, a fleet of fast-acting OCGT generation plants may well be required to back up wind’s intermittency. The use of a significantly greater proportion of this form of generation, rather than the more thermally-efficient CCGT, in the gas-fired generation plant mix may lead, seemingly paradoxically, to both higher gas consumption and higher GHG emissions from the resulting OCGT/CCGT generation mix than if wind generation was not included in the generation portfolio.

As the eastern Australian grid is:

» the world’s most geographically dispersed single interconnected grid,

»as the present wind farm fleet is dispersed across it at its widest portion in the east-west direction, that is, in the direction of the prevailing mesoscale atmospheric circulation,

» and that this fleet also occupies a significant region in the north-south direction,

these conclusions are significant for grids worldwide.

 

The poetry of Esther Wrightman (website)

Editor’s note:  The following is the preface to Esther Wrightman’s new webpage, “The Poetry of Esther Wrightman.”
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pen.

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Calvin Luther Martin, PhD, author of “The Way of the Human Being” (Yale) and “The Great Forgetting” (K-Selected)

Last month, the Canadian author Alice Munro made international news when she announced she was laying down her pen.  “No more books; I’m done.”

For me, the news was especially poignant.  Alice Munro is not Canadian so much as she is Ontarian—a place dear to my heart.  I’ve jogged its back roads, listening to the soothing rasp of  crickets, filling my lungs with the pungency, sweetness and musk, heat and summer brightness of its fields.  I have canoed its lakes.  I’ve lived there.

Rural Ontario grew Alice’s voice, just as it grows meadowlarks, bobolinks and swallows.  And now her familiar voice is fading, though crickets and fireflies still define the night, and sweetgrass, clover, and marsh willows still bend before playful winds.

I rejoice to announce that another voice is being born from this same soil.  A poet’s voice, this time.  Quietly thrusting up through the same humus, like some new, never seen before, wildflower.

Esther Wrightman refuses to acknowledge she’s a poet.  (One isn’t sure how to respond.  Perhaps best to say nothing—and pretend she never said it or you heard her wrong.)

Read Wrightman’s poems, herein, then open any collection by the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-winning Cape Cod poet, Mary Oliver.  Start reading.  If you want to be more precise about it, start with “Trilliums.”  Then “Sleeping in the Forest” and “White Night.”  Then “Storm” and “Bone Poem.”

Now take a look at Dylan Thomas’s “Fern Hill.”  Perhaps even Frost’s “Birches.”

You see my point.  If Wrightman’s not a poet, neither are they.

Still, I doubt this will make her change her mind.  (She’s descended from Scots and Mennonites.)

Really, so long as she keeps writing, what does it matter what she calls herself?

There is an urgency in my question.  Rural Ontario is under assault—from giant, useless, habitat-destroying and (literally) sickening wind turbines.  It is also being targeted by so-called “hydro-frackers”:  madmen who inject a toxic chemical cocktail into the earth’s crust, to release and spew out the natural gas entombed there.

The Ontario that nurtured Alice Munro and Esther, and me, is wounded.  Esther writes out of this passion and wound—a personal wound, since her township is the center of much of the battle against this terrorism, as she calls it.

There is a larger reason I hope she keeps writing.  We live in a world where “man’s mind [has] grown venerable in the unreal,” eerily removed from the magic of earth, water and sky (Wallace Stevens, “Credences of Summer”).  Removed from what Aldous Huxley called Mind at Large, from Stevens’s “amassing harmony.”

There was a muddy centre before we breathed
There was a myth before the myth began,
Venerable and articulate and complete.

—Wallace Stevens (from “It Must Be Abstract”)

We need Esther’s perception of that “muddy centre.”  We need to see, through the amassing harmony of her mind, what she sees.

Certainly, I need to.  After a life as a university professor and author of books, I no longer require a lesson in economics or political science or history or biology.  I am unrepentantly beyond all this.

When despair grows in me
and I wake in the middle of the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting for their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

—Wendell Berry, “The Peace of Wild Things”

Esther Wrightman brings me into the peace of wild things.

Fairhaven’s (entirely predictable) wind turbine fiasco (Mass.)

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Click to watch the video

UN rebukes UK govt. for jamming wind turbines down people’s throats

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Plans for future wind farms in Britain could be in jeopardy after a United Nations legal tribunal ruled that the UK Government acted illegally by denying the public decision-making powers over their approval and the “necessary information” over their benefits or adverse effects. . . .

The controversial decision will come as a blow for the Coalition’s wind-power policy, which is already coming under attack from campaigners who want developments stopped because of medical evidence showing that the noise from turbines is having a serious impact on public health as well as damaging the environment.”

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“UN ruling puts future of UK wind farms in jeopardy”

—Margaret Pagano, The Independent (UK), 8/27/13

Plans for future wind farms in Britain could be in jeopardy after a United Nations legal tribunal ruled that the UK Government acted illegally by denying the public decision-making powers over their approval and the “necessary information” over their benefits or adverse effects.

The new ruling, agreed by a United Nations committee in Geneva, calls into question the legal validity of any further planning consent for all future wind-farm developments based on current policy, both onshore and offshore.

The United Nations Economic Commission Europe has declared that the UK flouted Article 7 of the Aarhus Convention, which requires full and effective public participation on all environmental issues and demands that citizens are given the right to participate in the process.

The UNECE committee has also recommended that the UK must in the future submit all plans and programmes similar in nature to the National Renewable Energy Action Plan to public participation, as required by Article 7.

The controversial decision will come as a blow for the Coalition’s wind-power policy, which is already coming under attack from campaigners who want developments stopped because of medical evidence showing that the noise from turbines is having a serious impact on public health as well as damaging the environment.

Legal experts confirm the UNECE decision is a “game-changer” for future wind-turbine developments in the UK. David Hart, QC, an environmental lawyer, said: “This ruling means that consents and permissions for further wind-farm developments in Scotland and the UK are liable to challenge on the grounds that the necessary policy preliminaries have not been complied with, and that, in effect, the public has been denied the chance to consider and contribute to the NREAP.”

The UN’s finding is a landmark victory for Christine Metcalfe, 69, a community councillor from Argyll, who lodged a complaint with the UN on the grounds that the UK and EU had breached citizens’ rights under the UN’s Aarhus Convention.

She claimed the UK’s renewables policies have been designed in such a way that they have denied the public the right to be informed about, or to ascertain, the alleged benefits in reducing CO2 and harmful emissions from wind power, or the negative effects of wind power on health, the environment and the economy.

Ms Metcalfe made the legal challenge on behalf of the Avich and Kilchrenan Community Council at the Committee Hearing in Geneva last December. She and the AKCC decided to take action after their experience of dealing with the building of the local Carraig Gheal wind farm and problems surrounding the access route, an area of great natural beauty.

The retired councillor said she was “relieved” by the UN decision. “We were criticised by some for making this challenge but this result absolves us of any possible accusations of wrong-doing… The Government needs to do more than just give ordinary people the right to comment on planning applications; they deserve to be given all the facts.”

A Department of Energy and Climate Change spokesperson said: “We are aware of this decision and we are considering our response. Wind is an important part of our energy mix providing clean home-grown power to millions of homes. Developers of both offshore and onshore wind farms do consult with communities and provide generous benefits packages.”

The Aarhus Convention: What is it?

The Aarhus Convention, or the Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters, is named after the Danish city where it was first established by a UN summit.

It sets up a number of rights for individuals and associations in regard to the environment. People can request to know the health risks linked to the state of the environment and applicants should be informed within one month of the request.

It also ensures the public get a say in any environmental project such as a wind farm. Public authorities must provide information about environmental projects, and those affected by such schemes must be told if they are going ahead and why.

Noise that creates havoc with your body and mind (NY Times)

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This image was not part of the original article

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“I’m Thinking. Please. Be Quiet.”

—George Prochnik, NY Times (8/24/13)

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SLAMMING doors, banging walls, bellowing strangers and whistling neighbors were the bane of the philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer’s existence. But it was only in later middle age, after he had moved with his beloved poodle to the commercial hub of Frankfurt, that his sense of being tortured by loud, often superfluous blasts of sound ripened into a philosophical diatribe. Then, around 1850, Schopenhauer pronounced noise to be the supreme archenemy of any serious thinker.

His argument against noise was simple: A great mind can have great thoughts only if all its powers of concentration are brought to bear on one subject, in the same way that a concave mirror focuses light on one point. Just as a mighty army becomes useless if its soldiers are scattered helter-skelter, a great mind becomes ordinary the moment its energies are dispersed.

And nothing disrupts thought the way noise does, Schopenhauer declared, adding that even people who are not philosophers lose whatever ideas their brains can carry in consequence of brutish jolts of sound.

From the vantage point of our own auditory world, with its jets, jackhammers, HVAC systems, truck traffic, cellphones, horns, decibel-bloated restaurants and gyms on acoustical steroids, Schopenhauer’s mid-19th century complaints sound almost quaint. His biggest gripe of all was the “infernal cracking” of coachmen’s whips. (If you think a snapping line of rawhide’s a problem, buddy, try the Rumbler Siren.) But if noise did shatter thought in the past, has more noise in more places further diffused our cognitive activity?

Schopenhauer made a kind of plea for mono-tasking. Environmental noise calls attention to itself — splits our own attention, regardless of willpower. We jerk to the tug of noise like sonic marionettes. There’s good reason for this. Among mammals, hearing developed as an early warning system; the human ear derived from the listening apparatus of very small creatures. Their predators were very big, and there were many of them.

Mammalian hearing developed primarily as an animal-detector system — and it was crucial to hear every rustle from afar. The evolved ear is an extraordinary amplifier. By the time the brain registers a sound, our auditory mechanism has jacked the volume several hundredfold from the level at which the sound wave first started washing around the loopy whirls of our ears. This is why, in a reasonably quiet room, we actually can hear a pin drop. Think what a tiny quantity of sound energy is released by a needle striking a floor! Our ancestors needed such hypersensitivity, because every standout noise signified a potential threat.

There has been a transformation in our relationship to the environment over the millions of years since the prototype for human hearing evolved, but part of our brain hasn’t registered the makeover.

Every time a siren shrieks on the street, our conscious minds might ignore it, but other brain regions behave as if that siren were a predator barreling straight for us. Given how many sirens city dwellers are subject to over the course of an average day, and the attention-fracturing tension induced by loud sounds of every sort, it’s easy to see how sensitivity to noise, once an early warning system for approaching threats, has become a threat in itself.

Indeed, our capacity to tune out noises — a relatively recent adaptation — may itself pose a danger, since it allows us to neglect the physical damage that noise invariably wreaks. A Hyena (Hypertension and Exposure to Noise Near Airports) study published in 2009 examined the effects of aircraft noise on sleeping subjects. The idea was to see what effect noise had, not only on those awakened by virtual fingernails raking the blackboard of the night sky, but on the hardy souls who actually slept through the thunder of overhead jets.

The findings were clear: even when people stayed asleep, the noise of planes taking off and landing caused blood pressure spikes, increased pulse rates and set off vasoconstriction and the release of stress hormones. Worse, these harmful cardiovascular responses continued to affect individuals for many hours after they had awakened and gone on with their days.

As Dr. Wolfgang Babisch, a lead researcher in the field, observed, there is no physiological habituation to noise. The stress of audible assault affects us psychologically even when we don’t consciously register noise.

In American culture, we tend to regard sensitivity to noise as a sign of weakness or killjoy prudery. To those who complain about sound levels on the streets, inside their homes and across a swath of public spaces like stadiums, beaches and parks, we say: “Suck it up. Relax and have a good time.” But the scientific evidence shows that loud sound is physically debilitating. A recent World Health Organization report on the burden of disease from environmental noise conservatively estimates that Western Europeans lose more than one million healthy life years annually as a consequence of noise-related disability and disease. Among environmental hazards, only air pollution causes more damage.

A while back, I was interviewed on a call-in radio station serving remote parts of Newfoundland. One caller lived in a village with just a few houses and almost no vehicular traffic. Her family had been sitting in the living room one evening when the power suddenly cut off. They simultaneously exhaled a sigh of relief. All at once, the many electronic devices around them (including the refrigerator, computers, generator, lamps and home entertainment systems and the unnatural ambient hum they generated and to which the family had become oblivious) went silent. The family members didn’t realize until the sound went off how loud it had become. Without knowing it, each family member’s mental energy was constantly diverted by and responsive to the threat posed by that sound.

Where does this leave those of us facing less restrained barrages? Could a critical mass of sound one day be reached that would make sustained thinking impossible?

Is quiet a precondition of democracy? The Supreme Court justice Felix Frankfurter suggested it might just be. “The men whose labors brought forth the Constitution of the United States had the street outside Independence Hall covered with earth so that their deliberations might not be disturbed by passing traffic,” he once wrote. “Our democracy presupposes the deliberative process as a condition of thought and of responsible choice by the electorate.”

The quiet in Independence Hall was not the silence of a monastic retreat, but one that encouraged listening to others and collaborative statesmanship; it was a silence that made them more receptive to the sound of the world around them.

Most likely Schopenhauer had in mind a similar sense of quiet when he chose to live in a big city rather than retiring from society: apparently he, too, believed it important to observe as much of life as possible. And when he moved to Frankfurt, he didn’t bring earplugs. He brought along a poodle known to bark on occasion, and the flute he loved to play after writing. Most people who are seeking more serenity from the acoustical environment aren’t asking for the silence of the tomb. We just believe we should be able to hear ourselves think.

George Prochnik is the author of the forthcoming book “The Impossible Exile.”

 

 

Wind energy: “A system designed by delirious politicians, not prudent power engineers”

Asses__by_Miccy

“‘Green’ politics harvest subsidies, not energy”

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—Viv Forbes, “Letter to the Editor, Washington Times (8/20/13)

The “green” energy twins, wind and solar, are parasitic power producers. They cannot produce continuous, predictable electricity without sucking backup from their hosts — real power plants using coal, gas, nuclear, hydro or geothermal energy.

Wind and solar power start their freeloading life by attaching themselves to an electricity network built and paid for by their hosts. They seldom contribute to the capital or maintenance cost of the transmission network, and they force consumers to subsidize the feed-in price received for their unreliable output.

From Day One, the green energy parasites force their hosts to support them with electricity during the frequent periods when they produce no power. At times, in cold, still weather, wind farms drain power from the network to keep the turbines from freezing.

All green energy plants in a region tend to produce either peak power or zero power at the same times. This surging creates serious network instability and forces fluctuating output in backup facilities. Because of this continuous need for backup, not one unit of real power can be closed. This causes periodic overcapacity in the network. All plants generate lower revenue and profits, and both producers and consumers bear the cost of supporting the parasites.

Problems already loom in Europe, where coal, gas and nuclear plants face closure because their revenue stream is weakened by overcapacity and interrupted by solar/wind surges.

Green energy has a low capacity factor, intermittent operation, more access and transmission costs, and creates operational inefficiencies in backup plants. It is a destructive and stunningly expensive way to achieve a minuscule overall reduction in carbon dioxide emissions, even if that were a sensible aim. It is a system designed by delirious politicians, not prudent power engineers, and its main achievement is to harvest subsidies, not energy.

If all green energy welfare were removed, the parasite power producers would die. Until it is removed, the hosts and the customers will continue to be weakened.

 

Vaseline + Wind Turbine = Rectal Reality Check (Ontario)

Editor’s note:  This is an honest-to-God true story.

Melodie Burkett is an Ontarian who has had it up to “here” with the wind turbine salesmen’s lies and fraud and bullying and abuse.  I mean, she’s HAD IT!  She’s also ballsy.  (Except that, in a woman it’s said, “She’s got ovaries!”)

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In any case, Melodie was attending the annual “Ontario Mayor’s Conference” in Ottawa this past week, since her husband, Michael, is Mayor of Whatever.  (Doesn’t matter for purposes of this story.)  Cruising the grand ballroom with its many booths, Melodie spotted a wind company booth bristling with small toy wind turbines—as propaganda devices (“party favors”) for attendees.

Melodie promptly took the escalator down to ground level, exited the hotel and found the nearest drugstore.  She had the clerk ring up a jar of Vaseline.  (Melodie betrays her age, here.  These days, people use K-Y Jelly for intimate purposes.)

In any case, she marched back in, rode the escalator while clutching her little jar of symbolic outrage, strode over to the booth, uncapped her Vaseline and plunked it down on the table.  “You guys keep this jar open on this table,” she loudly exclaimed.  “Anyone who wants one of your toy wind turbines will want to dip it in this jar and proceed to the washroom and—shove it!  ‘Cause that’s what’s really going on!”

Vaseline

“We thought we were going to be far enough away and would be safe” (Michigan)

Editor’s note:  The following was written by a woman in Michigan named Ella Rupprecht.  She sent it to Paul Schomer, PhD, a prominent noise engineer who has studied wind turbine noise and vibration.

Mrs. Rupprecht, who suffers from Wind Turbine Syndrome, wrote in response to Schomer’s failure to acknowledge Pierpont in his research into the health impacts of wind turbine noise.

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From:  Ella Rupprecht
To:  Paul Schomer, PhD, Noise Engineer
Date:  August 7, 2013
Regarding:  Wind Turbine Syndrome

As I read your initial statement to Dr. Pierpont and the others responding to you, I hesitated to respond since I have no academic degrees to put behind my name.   (I wondered if you would take me seriously.)  Regardless, I can only pray you collaborate with the others in a quest to get to the truth about the harm of LFN produced by IWTs.

In December of 2012, just 7 months ago, 68 industrial wind turbines in Gilford, Michigan, went online.  Soon there will be over 200 installed in sequence toward two more townships east of the Gilford installations.  If the wind company has its way, there will be 3000 (three thousand!) in the heart of the Michigan thumb.

My community, south of the Gilford project, has fought hard the last 2 years to keep them out.  As of now, we have succeeded by informing the public and I have personally given my township officials over 500 pages of information (a drop in the bucket!), which led them to dig deeper for facts and the true impacts of placing these massive industrial structures around our community.  Not only that, contracts were withdrawn recently and there are several farmers wiping their brows with relief to know they are no longer bound by a their own, signed confidentiality contracts to destroy their prime farm property and harm their neighbors.  Also realize, confidentiality contracts bind the signer never to speak ill in any way, shape or form.  (Ask yourself how many people with contracts have become ill, but can’t speak of it.)

Mr. Schomer, we thought we were going to be far enough away and we would be safe. We were wrong.

The turbine installation is approximately 7 miles north of me. I can see them clear as day.  More, I can tell you which way they are pointed, and I can tell you when they are pointed towards my property and running, all without looking out my windows.  How?  I wake during the morning to nausea and have ringing ears during their operation.  My head is pressurized during these times.

I never, ever had this problem before.  Just a few days ago while speaking to a neighbor north of me one mile, she tells me that she has had the same problems. Her ears are now plugged on a constant basis and her doctor has found no reason for this.  Soon there will be many people with unexplained sickness coming out of these areas—a region that will soon be a Mecca of Ill-Destruction with no recourse for the people it will affect.

I talked to my physician a few months back and asked if she knew anything about Wind Turbine Syndrome.   She said she does know about it and has read Dr. Pierpont’s book.  (Incidentally, my ears are ringing as I type this.)

I happened to spend four hours the other day in a friend’s wooded area right in the heart of the Gilford Project.  I can tell you that these monsters are loud and disruptive to the human ear.  The wildlife in this wooded area are beginning to move away.  The question is, Why?  Answer:  Because animals have the ability to flee the LFN.  The humans who live in this turbine array do not.  They are left with the anguish of health effects in homes they can’t sell—the homes they perceived as being their “castle.”  Homes with heart and HEALTH.

They no longer have that.

As an individual who believes in “Do No Harm” as the World Health Organization declares, I ask you to do the humanitarian thing and get to the truth before more misery is inflicted on more of humanity.

In your response to Dr. Pierpont, you said your conclusions and recommendations are for research and cooperation to solve the problems so that wind farms can exist but that people should not be made ill in the process.

I can assure you, Dr. Schomer, these are not “farms” by any stretch of the word.  They are industrial wind installations that do not belong among humanity, nature, or anywhere.

 

“Nina Pierpont has endured endless vilification by members of the acoustics community” (Malcolm Swinbanks, PhD)

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Editor’s note:  The following was written by Malcolm Swinbanks, PhD, to Paul Schomer, PhD, a prominent noise engineer who has studied wind turbine noise and vibration.

Swinbanks wrote his letter to Schomer in response to Schomer’s failure to acknowledge Pierpont in his research into the health impacts of wind turbine noise.

Nina Pierpont has endured endless vilification by members of the acoustics community; she was accused of incorrectly describing wind turbine infrasound as impulsive, when I have myself measured such impulsive effects.

“She has been accused of being an activist when she opposed the construction of a windfarm near to her, expressing health concerns.  That exact same windfarm developer, at exactly the same time designed and built another windfarm not far from where I live.   It has proven to be a disaster, with some residents having to abandon their homes, and others sleeping in the basement, constructing concrete enclosures for themselves in order to make sleeping tolerable.”

 

Malcolm Swinbanks, PhD (Cambridge Univ.)

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From
:  Malcolm Swinbanks, PhD
To:  Paul Schomer, PhD, Noise Engineer
Date:  August 5, 2013 (revised 8/9/13)
Regarding:  Wind Turbine Syndrome

Many of the issues you have listed in your reply to Dr. Pierpont are issues that have been highlighted by people who have doggedly addressed the problems of wind turbines for many years, without any significant support from the acoustic community.    You argue that these effects have been known for many years, (agreed—I have been aware of them since 1974), so why could so many of your acoustics colleagues fail to acknowledge that there may indeed be such problems generated by wind-turbines?

You appear to have dismissed Nina Pierpont’s work and given up reading her work because she stated there could be problems out to distances of 2 miles.   I live 3 miles from a recently constructed windfarm of GE 1.6 MW 100m turbines.   On occasions during this past winter, in particular under conditions of temperature inversion, both my wife and I have been unable to sleep, and indeed on random occasions have experienced completely unexpected effects entirely consistent with reports that Nina Pierpont has described.   Since these effects have occurred quite unexpectedly, without any prior expectation, I believe they are genuine unfamiliar experiences and can in no way be explained away by platitudes about “nocebo effects.”  Three miles, not Nina Pierpont’s 2 km.

Nina Pierpont has endured endless vilification by members of the acoustics community; she was accused of incorrectly describing wind turbine infrasound as impulsive, when I have myself measured such impulsive effects.   She has been accused of being an activist when she opposed the construction of a windfarm near to her, expressing health concerns.  That exact same windfarm developer, at exactly the same time designed and built another windfarm not far from where I live.   It has proven to be a disaster, with some residents having to abandon their homes, and others sleeping in the basement, constructing concrete enclosures for themselves in order to make sleeping tolerable.

Yet that same acoustician who has levelled these accusations worldwide, stated publicly in the United Kingdom that permitted sound levels in the USA are too high, and has personally stated to me that they are “disgraceful.”  So apparently when in the UK, the USA sound pressure levels are “disgraceful,” but when people in the USA should protest about this they are dismissed as “activists.”

Nina Pierpont has consistently argued that she believes the effects to be caused by interaction with the vestibular organs, and indeed there is a direct fluid interconnection from the cochlea to the saccule, as illustrated on page 201 of Nina Pierpont’s book.   I understand that you have now identified the physical mechanism by which pressure pulsations can excite the nerve ends in the utricle and saccule, thus completing the perspective that Nina Pierpont has set out in her book.

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Editor’s note:   Dr. Swinbanks added the following addendum (8/9/13):

There are two central aspects relating to wind-turbine technology that are still not properly understood.

“First, the low-frequency sensitivity of individuals varies enormously, by 18dB or more, representing a far larger variation than any arguments about permitted levels of 45dBA, 40dBA or 35dBA.

“Secondly, under cold winter conditions on the ground with warmer air higher in the atmosphere, temperature inversions cause low frequency and infrasound to propagate with minimal attenuation over distances well in excess of any conventional setback boundaries.  This is firmly-established acoustics, and should not be the subject of question or argument.”

 

Did ILFN Syndrome cause Spain’s worst train wreck? (Nina Pierpont, MD, PhD)

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Editor’s note:  Please send this article viral.  WTS.com has been unable to reach the engineer’s lawyers, who should be aware that ILFN Syndrome may have had a role in Mr. Garzon’s bizarre behavior.

ILFN, incidentally, is shorthand for Infrasound & Low Frequency Noise.  While we are clarifying things:  Ignore the fact that Mr. Garzon is talking on a cellphone in the photograph, below.  As you will see from reading Pierpont’s article, the problem is not cellphones, the immediate problem is the ILFN-rich engineer’s cockpit of the train engine.
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train final

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Nina Pierpont, MD, PhD

His name is Francisco Jose Garzon Amo.  Minutes before this snapshot was taken, he was extracted from the cockpit of a high speed train in Spain.  Minutes earlier, he had been at the controls of this train as it hurtled around a bend in the tracks.

As all the world learned in the evening news—Mr. Garzon’s death-defying high speed stunt failed.  Spectacularly.

The entire nauseating episode was captured by video camera mounted slightly further down the track.  One moment the track is empty.  Suddenly, an engine pulling a string of passenger cars comes barreling around the bend—tilts—tips over—the flimsy aluminum cars, loaded with people, smashing helter skelter into the pitiless concrete wall.

“I can’t explain it,” a stunned Garzon is quoted as saying.  “I still don’t understand how I didn’t see . . . mentally, or whatever.  I just don’t know!”

He was ‘going fine’ until the curve was upon him, he said.  When the danger became clear, he thought, ‘Oh my God, the curve, the curve, the curve!  I won’t make it.’

The driver activated the brakes ‘seconds before the crash . . . the electric one, the pneumatic one . . . all of them.  Listen, when . . . but it was already inevitable.’

Garzon went back to court, voluntarily, to offer more evidence on Wednesday. . . . He said he was talking by phone to the train’s on-board ticket inspector moments before the derailment. . . . Garzon was on the phone at the time of the derailment.

—Associated Press, 2 Aug 2013, in Al Jazeera English

“The curve . . . by the time I saw it, I knew I wouldn’t make it,” Garzon told a state prosecutor.

Prosecutor: ‘Did you activate the braking system when you entered the tunnel?’

Garzon:  ‘Everything was activated before the train derailed, but by then I saw that no, no, no—I wouldn’t make it!’

Prosecutor: ‘What were you thinking about before entering the second tunnel?’

Garzon:  ‘I don’t know!  If only I knew!  The disgrace which I’m going to have to bear for the rest of my life is tremendous.’

Prosecutor: ‘We are all working on this, the police and others, to find out what was going through your mind.  I’m asking you to try harder to see if we are correct . . .’

Garzon:  ‘Sir, I’m telling you sincerely, I don’t know!   I’m not so crazy that I wouldn’t apply the brakes!'”

—Video by Associated Press, 2 Aug 2013, in Al Jazeera English

The NY Times (7/30/13) reports that Mr. Garzon had received a telephone call from an official of Renfe, the train company, and was “reading a map or some kind of paper document” at the time of the crash.

Investigators say the driver of a Spanish train that crashed . . . received three warnings to reduce speed in the two minutes before the train hurtled off the tracks.  The court statement . . . revealed the driver was talking on the phone to a colleague when he received the first automatic acoustic warning in his cabin of a sharply reduced speed zone ahead.  The statement said police forensic tests on the train’s black box data recorders showed the last warning came just 250 metres before a dangerous curve where the accident occurred last week.

—Associated Press in Madrid, 2 August 2013, in The Guardian

“Spanish news agencies, quoting police and court sources, said that he admitted he had acted recklessly.  But, according to subsequent versions, he said he was confused as to which bit of the route he was traveling on” (The Guardian, 30 July 2013).

“The Alvia has a hybrid electric-diesel engine,” reports The Observer, 27 July 2013.  “Video footage shows Garzon’s train hurtled into the bend where the accident took place at more than twice the permitted speed of 80 km/h.  Yet the driver was reported to have been famed among colleagues for his prudence.”

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Juxtapose this narrative by Mr. Garzon of his thought processes and behavior in the moments before the crash (note:  in the cab of an electric-diesel train, traveling at high speed, which had just passed through one tunnel and was entering another), to the following descriptions of the ways in which cognitive processes can be affected by exposure to infrasound in the cab of diesel locomotives, as explained “Infrasound and Low Frequency Noise in the Locomotive Cab,” by B.J. Willingale, presented at the Tenth International Congress on Acoustics in Sydney, Australia, July 1980 (attached):

» “Many engine-men [engineers] complain that both physical and mental fatigue, which sets in fairly early in a shift on a diesel-electric locomotive . . . is in some way contributed to by the cab environment of the diesel-electric locomotive and particularly in relation to noise exposure” (page 1).

» “Complaints were received from engine-men operating on this line relating to the experiences of headaches, nausea and depression. The complaints came from engine-men who would normally show little interest in raising issues concerning their working conditions to the union” (page 1).

» “For some considerable period of time now, the union has shown an interest in literature dealing with infrasound and low-frequency noise exposure. This interest has been cultivated in the light of the alertness and attention an engine-man must pay to his duties in respect to decision-making in the locomotive.  While trains do not operate in this state to [at] the speeds encountered in other countries, prompt response to signals and the situation concerning other hazards and operating conditions in the locomotive cab is nevertheless very important one’s to safety. . . . Accurate and prompt response to operating procedures on these larger and faster trains requires a clear mental state” (page 2).

Known literature at the time with regard to the physiological response to infrasound and low-frequency noise (ILFN) is summarized in Table 1 of this paper (pp. 2-4):

» Item 3 shows the response to frequencies of 1-20 Hz at 115 to 120 dB is a “30-40% increase in reaction time, lethargy, euphoria (running off road to drive into danger without being able to mentally reverse one’s actions).”

» Item 25 shows the response to frequencies of 2-15 Hz at 105 dB is “increased reaction time by 10% in 1⁄2 the subjects of a test group.”

» Item 26 shows the response to frequencies of 10-15 Hz, particularly below 10 Hz, and 95 dB to be “increase in tracking error by 10% in a visual experiment.”

» The other 27 items in the list deal with responses related to balance, dizziness, nausea, chest sensations, modulation of speech, swallowing, visual blurring, and headaches.

Noise measurements in the operating diesel-electric locomotive cab revealed levels of infrasound and low-frequency noise sufficient to cause these effects.

Infrasound/low-frequency noise exposure in industrial settings is typically associated with reduced productivity. There is a substantial scientific literature on this.

Exposure to infrasound/low-frequency noise at much lower decibel levels in community settings from the ventilation systems of large buildings (“sick building syndrome”), large wind turbines, or pumps or compressors is likewise associated with disturbed mental processes, particularly difficulty in multi-tasking and difficulty with visual-spatial problem-solving (Pierpont N, 2009, Wind Turbine Syndrome, K-Selected Press, Santa Fe, NM). These effects tend to be cumulative over longer periods of exposure.

In summary, I hypothesize that significant amounts of infrasound/low-frequency noise were present in the cab of the diesel-electric train driven by Mr. Garzon, and that this infrasound/low-frequency noise slowed his reaction time, impaired his ability to multi-task, and interfered with his ability to solve critical visual-spatial problems—where he was in the route, and the immediacy of the approach to the curve.

Immediately before the crash, Mr. Garzon was multi-tasking—it is said that he was talking on the phone on a matter of train business and looking at paperwork. At the same time, he appears not to have registered the auditory warning signals to slow down, nor to have registered and processed the high- speed visual-spatial problem of the approaching curve.

In addition, he had just passed through one tunnel, in which resonance could magnify any noise or infrasound he was exposed to, and was moving into another tunnel.

I suggest that Mr. Garzon’s inability to describe what his mental processes were in those moments, and the suggestion that he was even confused about where he was in the journey, could be the effects of his exposure to infrasound/low-frequency noise. This could explain why someone typically described as responsible and highly competent could do something so apparently out of character.

steam-train-night-aloysius-patrimonio

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Editor’s note:  Dr. Pierpont sent the above article to the editor of a Spanish newspaper that had done extensive reporting on the accident.  The editor responded with some questions.  Pierpont answered as follows.

Question #1:  What, exactly, is ILFN?

Answer:  ILFN is infrasound/low frequency noise.  Infrasound is defined as noise at the very lowest end of the spectrum, the deepest or lowest-pitched sounds, for many people too low to be heard.  It is defined as sound below 20 Hz (which means the number of waves per second).  Low frequency noise is the frequencies or pitches above 20 Hz up to 200 Hz or 500 Hz, the upper limit having a flexible definition.

Question #2:  How does ILFN affect train drivers?

Answer:  In a variety of situations, including in industry, in the aeronautical industry and military, and in large buildings with poorly designed and reverberating ventilation systems (“sick buildings”), the effects of ILFN exposure include nausea, dizziness, fatigue, general malaise, slowed thinking, poor concentration, and difficulty with reading, multi-tasking, productivity, and solving problems with a visual-spatial component (judging distances, for example, or remembering where you are on a mental map). The paper I attached, above, which was a talk given at a technical conference in 1980, shows that the noise inside the cab of new diesel-electric trains in Australia, at the time, was of the correct frequencies (Hz or pitch) and amplitudes (energy, power, or loudness) to produce these kinds of effects on the drivers of trains (whom I called “engineers” in the last e-mail because that is what train drivers are called in the USA). The noise study presented in this paper was undertaken because of the complaints of mental fatigue by the drivers of these trains when the trains were introduced.

Question #3:  Do you think something similar happened to Mr. Garzon?

Answer:  Yes, I do think something similar could have happened to him. The high speed of the train would intensify the noise. The tunnel or wall he was traveling through or next to could intensify the noise. The driver’s accounts of his mental confusion, slowed reactions, and his inability during his phone call to notice important signals and to mentally grasp how close the curve was and how fast he was approaching it—these features of slowed and ineffective thinking are all consistent with the effects of ILFN exposure on mental processes.

Question #4:  What symptoms would a person affected by ILFN present with?

Answer:  In my work on ILFN exposures, I have discovered that some people are more susceptible to these effects than others. In particular, migraine disorder, the tendency to become carsick or seasick, and a history of noise-induced damage to the hearing are all risk factors for having ill effects from ILFN. Age over 50 is also a demonstrated risk factor for developing these symptoms.

Question #5:  Is there a cure?

Answer:  With regard to a remedy, I suggest first that Mr. Garzon be examined by an oto-neurologist, which is an otolaryngologist who specializes in the nerve connections to the ear and balance systems, to see if he has any of the susceptibility factors.

A noise study of the cab of the type of train involved might be useful, with a focus on measuring the infrasound and low frequency noise, by a specialist in this type of noise (it takes special measuring apparatus and expertise to adequately measure it).

Question #6:  Has this problem been detected in other train accidents?

Answer:  I don’t know of any accidents in which this factor has been examined.

Question #7:  Is it only train engineers who are at risk for this?  Could operators of other means of transportation be vulnerable?

Answer:  With regard to drivers of other modes of transport, Professor Mariana Alves-Pereira (University of Lisbon) and her colleagues have done extensive research on airline pilots, but I don’t know of any accidents that have been ascribed to the ILFN factor.   The group she is a part of has measured the ILFN in airline cockpits.  I don’t know if anyone has measured ILFN in the cabs of large trucks.

Question #8:  Can the symptoms of ILFN be experienced and resolved in minutes, hours, or days?  How long do symptoms last?

Answer:  There appear to be several stages and perhaps different physiological explanations for early and later effects of ILFN, if someone has repeated episodes of exposure over a long period of time, as we think the train driver did.

The first level involves detection through the sensory system, probably the balance system of the inner ear.  Such effects come on in the time frame of minutes to hours and resolve in a similar time frame after the exposure stops.  However, there is sensitization over time, so that after repeated episodes the effects happen faster and are stronger, and may take longer to resolve.

The research group of Dr. Nuno Castelo Branco, who did much of his research while working for the Portuguese Air Force, believes that there is more than an effect on the senses when there is long-term, high-intensity exposure to ILFN.  They think that tissues of the brain and other organs, such as the heart and blood vessels, are damaged and thickened by long-term, high-intensity exposure to ILFN.  The pathology and long-term effects they present in their papers are similar to the effects of multiple concussions in professional American football players.

The Portuguese group uses electrophysiological tests on the brain and echocardiography to diagnose damage from ILFN.

(Professor Mariana Alves-Pereira is a member of this research group.  They are the main elucidators of Vibro-Acoustic Disease, or VAD.)

Question #9:  What symptoms could Mr. Garzon have had?

Answer:  If you look at my analysis of the problem in the article, above, you will see the symptoms I thought the driver had. (Bear in mind, I based all this on newspaper accounts.)  Essentially these are malfunctioning of his attention, alertness, ability to think quickly, ability to register and think about multiple things at once or in rapid succession, and ability to rapidly solve visual-spatial problems (such as knowing where you are at a glance and also knowing what is coming next and what speed you should be going).

Symptoms he might have felt himself would be mental fatigue and confusion, slowness of thinking, and confusion after the fact about not having noticed something or not having done something that should have been second nature (meaning, done easily and automatically without much conscious thought).

Question #10:  Are there medical tests for identifying susceptibility to ILFN in, say, prospective train drivers?

Answer:   If there are mental, cognitive effects that persist after the end of the episode of exposure to ILFN (which there may be—see #8, above), then neuropsychological testing including tests of divided attention and tests of reaction speed might pick up an abnormality.  A normal physician’s history and physical would not pick up abnormalities unless the patient told the physician about the mental struggles.  If there is no good explanation for the mental difficulty, then a person might be reluctant to talk about it for fear of being blamed for the problem and losing his job.

Apropos of this, I interviewed an air traffic controller who had noticed problems in his work (as did his co-workers) after an ILFN source started up near his home but not near his work.  He told the physician about it in his yearly exam for work.  The physician considered the problem to be a result of poor sleep and counseled the man to get more sleep, but did not remove the man from work.
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Nina Pierpont can be reached at pierpont@twcny.rr.com.  She wishes to thank Dr. Sarah Laurie, CEO of the Waubra Foundation, for sending her the article on Australian locomotive engineers and ILFN. 

Nina-Pierpont-447x600-f

Greece’s wind energy time-bomb

time-bomb-1

Editor’s note:  Watch the first 13 minutes of this amazing video about Greece’s corrupt energy and “waste disposal” industry.  Notice the phrases, “licensed abuse,” “public health crimes,” and “toxic businesses” when applied to wind energy.

Is not wind energy merely “licensed abuse”?  Ask property owners in rural Ontario.  Or Nova Scotia.  Or Wisconsin, Oregon, Minnesota, Michigan.  (Or Sue Hobart in Falmouth, Mass.)  Or Australia and New Zealand.  Or, for that matter, Greece.  Throughout Scandinavia and the Netherlands.  France.  Spain.  Italy.  Or Japan.

And is not Wind Turbine Syndrome a “public health crime”?  Ask Dr. Laurie or Dr. Pierpont or Dr. Harry.


Toxic Crisis by Omiros Evangelinos (2012) by Aioleus

The following is quoted from this video, in the riveting section on wind energy and wind turbines.

They [energy companies] come to an area as guests, to find a place to invest. Then they begin extracting any natural resources they are allowed to. Suddenly and abusively they become conquerors, affecting the lives and financial prospects of the local population. . . .

“Green energy quickly became an extremely lucrative sector for entrepreneurs. The biggest banks in the world are investing in wind power, because it has been heavily subsidized by governments, and was deemed a safety valve for the CO2 stock market.

“Greece has experienced a violent onslaught [of wind farms], without any planning whatsoever, leading to an unfolding, unprecedented disaster. The last forests in Greece, on the mainland and Evia and in other areas, are under attack and are turned into huge building sites. People become accustomed to the sight of wind turbines from afar, and don’t realize their true dimensions, saying, “So what? It’s no big deal. These don’t pollute!”

“But things aren’t as simple as that. All mountaintops and all ridges are violated, huge craters are dug and filled with thousands of tons of concrete to erect huge wind turbines, some as tall as 200 m. Furthermore, wide roads are required to transport the turbines to their pads. More concrete to widen the country roads, since the turbine parts are transported by enormous trucks. Especially at the bends, the mountain roads are widened by as much as 30 or 40 m! As a a result, the mountain is fragmented, and forest ecosystems become compartmentalized, isolated, and eventually lost entirely.

“Another aspect of this issue is that the power that is being produced is sold at a price many times above that produced in traditional power plants. You see, all wind farms are private, and DEI [the Greek govt.] hardly participates in this field. The public utility has been kept out of the field of RES [Renewable Energy Sources] on purpose, to secure the profitability of private energy groups. This results in the imposition of a RES surcharge in the electricity bill. Currently it isn’t much, for not many wind farms have been connected as yet to the national grid. But this surcharge will increase in the future.

“This signals a double disaster. A financial one, because all these have not been developed on the basis of some national energy plan and are not controlled by the govt., and an environmental disaster will have taken place, for the last forests and mountains will be crammed with such energy facilities.”

 

“Please do not allow our lives to be destroyed again” by wind turbines (United Kingdom)

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Editor’s note:  The following handwritten letter was sent to me by Jane Davis, a British nurse-midwife who, with her husband Julian, was driven from her home due to Wind Turbine Syndrome.  The Davis’s sued the wind company and were bought our for an undisclosed sum —with a gag clause attached.

Click here to read the handwritten original.

Jane sent her note with the following explanation.

Calvin, this is written by Julian’s parents—who also lost their home when we did—due to the wind farm.  They are in their 80’s and now threatened with another wind farm less than 3 miles from the new bungalow we moved them too.  Their words are their own.  The document is in the public domain.

—Jane

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From: Mr. & Mrs. John Davis
To: The South Holland District Council
Regarding: The proposed windfarm at West Pinchbeck (Ref. no. H14-0110-13)
Date: August 13, 2013

We are writing to ask [that] the application for this windfarm is refused.

We are frightened that if this application goes ahead, that we will lose our home for a second time because of the impact that living near a windfarm has on day-to-day life.

We had to leave our home of 28 years because of noise from a nearby windfarm — long periods of noise from the blades, mostly worst during the evening and at night. The noise could be heard both inside and outside of our home.

Another noise problem caused by the windfarm near our old home was the persistent quiet buzzing noise which made our old home feel as if there was some sort of presence there. It made you feel agitated and edgy.

For Mr. Davis, this was diagnosed as tinnitus, but moving away from the DSN windfarm has cured the problem — no more buzzing in the ears.

We did not realize how much these noises from Deeping St. Nicholas Windfarm were affecting us. Our sleeping was not good. Both of us could wake up 3 times a night, finding it very difficult to go back to sleep. Now, we only wake up once and find it much easier to drop off to sleep; it feels a lot more relaxing in our current home.

We are also not disturbed by turbine noise outside our new home when gardening — something that often was not possible at our old home, especially in the evening.

Initially we did not see how living near wind turbines could affect us. But having lived too near to Deeping St. Nicholas Windfarm for nearly six years, we can say the noise from it changes your life for the worse. It there is a noise problem the only answer is to move house. The noise is not something you get used to.

We are both 80 and happy and peaceful in our new home. We sleep at night and are able to enjoy life again.

The prospect of having wind turbines near our new home fills us with fear. I urge SHDC not to allow this application — not to allow our lives to be destroyed again.

Yours faithfully,

E.E. Davis
J. T. Davis

Davis letter1

 

“Dr. Pierpont & Dr. Laurie are more full of arrows than St. Sebastian” (Eric Bibler)

st sebastian

Editor’s note:  The following was written by Eric Bibler (Connecticut) to Paul Schomer, PhD, a prominent noise engineer who has studied wind turbine noise and vibration.

Bibler wrote his letter to Schomer in response to Schomer’s failure to acknowledge Pierpont in his research into the health impacts of wind turbine noise.

We don’t need to understand the mechanism [of Wind Turbine Syndrome] in order to know the impacts, any more than Socrates needed to know how and why he would die if he drank hemlock in 399 B.C. He didn’t know how it worked, but he knew what would happen if he drank it.”

“Dr. Pierpont and Dr. Laurie are more full of arrows than St. Sebastian. You don’t have to canonize them as saints, but you should at least give them their due.”

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From
:  Eric Bibler
To:  Paul Schomer, PhD, Noise Engineer
Date:  August 7, 2013
Regarding:  Wind Turbine Syndrome

I hadn’t expected to weigh in on this discussion because I don’t feel particularly qualified to judge whose work should, or shoudn’t, have been cited in your recent paper, but now that comments have been offered by many people for whom I have the highest respect (Dr. Pierpont, Dr. Swinbanks, Dr. Laurie, Curt Devlin, George Kamperman, Eric Rosenbloom and others), I feel compelled to offer a few observations.

First, I would like to say that experience shows that the adverse impacts of wind turbines are devastating to both humans and wildlife — and that the adverse impacts to wildlife are by no means limited to the collisions of birds and bats with the wind towers and the rotors.

I didn’t know a wind turbine from a window fan until late 2009 when I stumbled on to a very pregnant proposal to install one (possibly three) 1.8 MW wind turbines in the heart of a national park, the Cape Cod National Seashore, in Wellfleet, MA in the pristine outer reaches of Cape Cod.

As a small group of us began to learn about the profound consequences that would ensue if this proposal were approved and implemented, we discovered, that the superintendent of the CCNS had convened an informal committee of representatives from each of the towns abutting the national park (some of whom, like Wellfleet, held title to town-owned legacy parcels of land within the Seashore that were completely bounded by the national park). Through a chance relationship, we obtained the minutes of this “Roundtable” of town representatives who were participating in an exercise lead by the Park Planner (under the supervision of the Superintendent) to scout “suitable” locations for wind turbines within, and abutting, one of the nation’s most cherished national parks.

I contacted George Kamperman after reading articles on wind turbine noise that were were authored by George Kamperman and Rick James. Soon after, I was referred to a group of acoustic engineers within the National Park Service (the Natural Sounds Program) whose function is to evaluate, and minimize, the impacts of anthropomorphic noise in our national parks. I noticed in one of the e-mail chains that one Paul Schomer had seemed to make the essential connection between me, through Kamperman, to Dr. Kurt Fristrup at the NPS Natural Sounds Program.

I have no idea what role you actually played in this process, but I know that I was eternally grateful for this assistance. As you know, Dr. Fristrup, in addition to performing his duties at the NPS, was just about to publish a paper on the effects of “Chronic Noise” on habitat and wildlife. Dr. Fristrup was kind enough to provide me with a copy of the paper, prior to its publication, and we managed to insist that this group within the NPS be engaged by the Superintendent (much to his chagrin, after considerable resistance) to evaluate the potential impacts of the wind turbine upon the park.

This wind turbine, like all other wind turbines, was being advertised as “benign” — “no louder than a refrigerator” — and as having virtually no impact upon its surroundings. The Superintendent introduced this topic of wind turbines at the first meeting of his Advisory Committee that I attended with the words: “You all know how I feel: it’s not IF we should have wind turbines (in the national park); but where to put them.” He then went on to note that some people found them beautiful — even though the proposed wind turbine would be 410 feet tall as compared to the average tree line of 30 feet; and notwithstanding the absolute prohibition of the Organic Act of 1916 that explicitly states that there shall be “no commercial or industrial use” of the land within any of our national parks — period.

A group of scientists commissioned by the NPS Natural Sounds Program reviewed the noise study provided by a Massachusetts noise control expert — reported to be “the gold standard” of acoustic specialists in MA — and declared it “grossly misleading” and completely worthless. The NPS evaluation catalogued all of the flaws in the study, including opportunistic positioning of microphones, short test horizons, unusual weather conditions, unwarranted extrapolations and conclusions, and numerous other tricks of the trade — which was all the more devastating since it was delivered in such bland bureaucratic language — as if speaking in a hushed voice because of the embarrassment at having to discuss such transparent fakery in public.

Scientists and layman (including hunters and other outdoors men) will tell you that noise, especially chronic noise, does adversely effect wildlife habitat and the willingness of wildlife to continue to inhabit an area. The hunters will tell you that in areas where wind turbines have been installed, the wildlife has been driven off and relocated. The wind turbine developers, on the other hand, will insist that this information is purely “anecdotal” or that there are insufficient “peer reviewed studies” to prove the point. Presumably, the developers will not be satisfied until hundreds of deer, pheasants and wild turkeys have been interviewed in a double blind study in various locations all over the world with the results of these interviews published in a journal like “Nature.”

These impacts are obviously understudied — largely because the agencies that might take an interest (such as the NPS, the USFWS, various other federal, state and private conservation agencies) have been put into harness in a concerted effort to pry open these last remaining areas of habitat and make them available to prospecting wind energy developers!

There is no money for these studies. Because there is no money, there are not enough “peer reviewed studies.” Because there are not enough “peer reviewed studies” the developers — and the officials who manage these areas, in trust, for the public — are becoming ever more insistent about abusing them based upon their unsupported claim that wind turbines producing 100+ decibels at the hub, from a source that is 300 feet across and 400 feet tall, will have no adverse impacts.

Since 2009, and especially after March of 2010 (when the Wellfleet Board of Selectmen did an about face and voted unanimously to kill the wind turbine project there, based upon the information we provided to them), I have been deeply involved in a number of these projects on Cape Cod, Nantucket, Connecticut and Rhode Island.

Along the way, a few of us unearthed some profound corruption at work within one of the public agencies which was formed (illegitimately) to be the point of the spear, the primary mechanism, for turning Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard into “the Saudi Arabia of Wind.” Their ambition was to install 20 to 40 mammoth wind turbines on Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard — all of them land-based — notwithstanding the fact that Cape Cod is only 10 miles wide, at its widest point and that the whole of it is rural and scenic and historic and notwithstanding the fact that the vast majority of the Outer Cape belongs to one of our most unique, and beloved, national parks (including Wellfleet, 61% of which is owned by the CCNS).

This particular public body — a municipal “electric cooperative” that was formed to facilitate the installation of the “community wind” projects and which is politically well connected, all the way up to the Governor’s office — has failed to install a single wind turbine (but not for lack of trying) and currently has its hands full as it has been investigated by a special committee of the county government (thanks to a few brave souls) and by the Massachusetts Inspector General. An impressive amount of effort has been expended to overcome the defenses of this public body — which has not been shy about flexing its political muscle or unabashedly ignoring, violating or perverting the spirit, if not the letter, of the MA open meeting law, the public records laws and conflict of interest laws — and to bring this public body to heel.

As in many places all over the United States and the world (including Canada, England, Australia, of course) this “municipal electric cooperative” is nothing more than an arm of the government that was designed to overwhelm any local objections to this myopic and dangerous public program by bludgeoning them into submission with the brute force of governmental power and resources.

Not one of the projects that we contested — all of which received substantial financial grants and other backing from local and state governments; all of which had a 3 to 5 year head start; all of which were bankrolled with generous amounts of public and/or private funds; and all of which received the uncritical blessing of corrupt acoustic professionals, state and federal agencies (such as the NPS superintendent, the Mass Clean Energy Center and the MA Dept of Environmental “Protection”); and all of which received overwhelming initial public support — were ever built. Not one.

The reason for this is simple. They were all dangerous. They were all detrimental to other legitimate interests in the area. It became apparent to all, within a short amount of time, once they were educated, that the developers — including first and foremost their hired professional acoustic consultants, members in good standing of INCE, every one of them — were omitting significant information or lying about the effects of the projects.

As one attorney put it to me recently when I asked, incredulously, how one of the most “distinguished” acoustic engineering firms in Massachusetts could possibly escape liability for one particularly grossly inaccurate feasibility study (provided one month after the same engineer had filed a report on the Falmouth tragedy that included detailed information about the victims there), he said there there was “a whole lot of pretending going on.”

“Pretending, my ass,” I replied. This particular engineer certainly knew better; yet he filed a report to help obtain the permits for a project that would absolutely, positively, harm a great number of individuals — families with children — if the permitting authorities accepted the results of his “study” at face value.

In all of my experience, I have never encountered a single person who said: “I used to be AGAINST wind energy. Now that I have done my homework and learned as much as I can about them, I SUPPORT wind energy.” Never. Not once.

On the contrary, this is a one-way street. Once you learn the facts, you can only be against wind energy — and you can never, ever be won back to the other side. The only people who are “for” wind energy are people who have a vested interest or people who are ignorant of the facts and who simply don’t know any better.

Here is something about this battle that you may already have observed: wind energy proponents relentlessly claim to have “science” on their side — and then attempt to denigrate and silence their critics with their insistence that the critics do not have “enough peer reviewed evidence” to support their contention that wind turbines are capable of imposing grave harm. Any evidence of harm that does exist is then haughtily dismissed as “merely anecdotal” or simply preposterous on its face — just as you decided that there was no point in giving any weight to Nina Pierpont’s research after reading that she believed that the effects of wind turbine noise might be felt as far as 2 km from the source. Preposterous! — or so you thought.

In fact, the opposite is true. The critics have all the evidence on their side — thousands and thousands of data points. And, in any event, the critics should not need to bear the burden of the proof since, in virtually all proceedings, it is the developer’s burden to prove that his proposal will not create such profound adverse impacts — and they never meet this burden.

Here is what is true:

1. Industrial wind turbines produce prodigious amounts of high energy noise that is unlike any other noise in our experience — if for no other reason than the fact that the source of the noise is outside, often in quiet rural areas; the source of the noise is immense; the source of the noise is perched 400 feet (or more) above the landscape; and the source of the noise is relentlessly persistent, churning away day and night, 24 hours a day.

2. After the wind turbines are installed and begin to operate, large numbers of people that are exposed to the noise become profoundly ill.

3. When the wind turbines stop operating — or when the affected people remove themselves to a safe distance — their symptoms vanish.

This set of circumstances has been proven for thousands of people and hundreds of locations all over the world. Not everyone gets sick. Not everyone gets the same symptoms. Not everyone is affected at the same distance, or under the same conditions. But a very significant number of people become profoundly ill, almost every time, when these things are installed.

Here is the conclusion that I draw from this set of facts:

Wind turbines make some people profoundly ill. Wind turbines can, and do, devastate lives.

And here is the fallacy in the “scientific” argument that drives me crazy — and which is habitually wielded as a cudgel by the wind turbine proponents:

THEY all insist that until we understand the mechanism in the ear (or in the body) that translates the noise into misery, we must dismiss these “anecdotal” accounts as so much voodoo.

Until hundreds, if not thousands, of human subjects have their misery calibrated in a series of “scientific” experiments that records 20, or 50, different variables (size and location of wind turbine, components of the noise, wind speed, preexisting medical conditions, topography, distance from the source, etc, etc), and cross references these variables and analyzes their statistical significance……well, until then, it’s simply not “true”. It’s not “scientific”. It’s not “verified.” It is only “anecdotal” — and therefore, no reason not to build another “wind farm.”

The truth is that WE DON’T NEED TO KNOW THE MECHANISM TO KNOW THAT THERE IS A CAUSE AND EFFECT RELATIONSHIP HERE!

1. WIND TURBINES ARE INSTALLED AND OPERATED;

2. SIGNIFICANT NUMBERS OF HELPLESS PEOPLE BECOME PROFOUNDLY MISERABLE AND ILL;

3. WE DON’T FULLY UNDERSTAND WHY — BUT WE KNOW THAT IT IS TRUE!

The truth is that we don’t really even know how to estimate the outer limits of the impacted area from these projects. How far away must one be to be “safe” from this scourge? Surely one would think that 5 miles is enough. 7 miles must be more than enough. And ten miles must be far beyond the limit of any perceptible impact.

Yet haven’t I just read in this thread of discussion the first person testimonials of people who live 7 miles away . . . and 11 miles away . . . who are suffering agonies from these installations?

What is needed to protect the public in this unfolding mass tragedy — which assumes ever larger proportions as we speak — is more people of the stature of Dr. Schomer to sound the alarm.

I recently referred this paper by Dr. Schomer to a friend — after reviewing his resume to refresh my memory (I had done the same in 2009-2010) — and told him that Dr. Schomer was considered a god among mere mortals in the acoustics profession. I told him how pleased I was to see that he had finally offered a paper on this important topic since his reputation and his prior accomplishments were so clearly unassailable.

I venture to state that there can be no more urgent topic to merit such close attention from the noise acoustics profession than the phenomenon of wind turbine noise and its impacts.

What other source of industrial noise can possibly have a more profound impact on so many people — and yet is so poorly understood?

What other source of industrial noise is more pathetically devoid of meaningful regulation than wind turbine noise?

What other source of industrial noise is so unlikely to be regulated even under woefully inadequate existing regimes by regulators such as the MA Dept of Environmental “Protection,” who are politically influenced and sympathetic to wind energy, than wind turbine noise?

The truth, Dr. Schomer, is that we need you, and others of your stature, in this fight. We do not need for you to become “advocates” of our cause — to become “anti-wind” for any reason other than the abundance of evidence that is screaming for attention and demanding caution in constructing these projects.

The symptoms that have reported throughout the world, in mainstream publications too numerous to count, do matter. The “anecdotal” evidence does matter. The global misery that has been so amply documented and so exhaustively reported does matter.

The cause of this misery is not in doubt.

The mechanism should be pondered and studied — no doubt about that. But we don’t need to understand the mechanism in order to know the impacts, any more than Socrates needed to know how and why he would die if he drank hemlock in 399 B.C. He didn’t know how it worked, but he knew what would happen if he drank it.

I urge to read this brilliant essay by Curt Devlin on the “The Science of Wind Turbine Syndrome” that was recently published on the Wind Turbine Syndrome website.

I then urge you to read the “open letter” to an NPR (National Public Radio) Chief Science Reporter that I wrote in response to Mr. Devlin’s essay, from the perspective of an EMT (Emergency Medical Technician).

Above all, I hope that you will reconsider your skepticism about the severity of these impacts, presumably based upon what you think you already know about acoustic impacts (which is a prodigious amount of knowledge), and consider if perhaps there are things that we simply don’t know yet — but which we will likely all understand better in the future.

The impacts are real. The “anecdotal” evidence — which is empirical evidence, after all — is compelling. The misery is profound and it is widespread. In my view, it is criminal to justify building another “wind farm” — and subjecting some new population of hapless individuals to these appalling effects — just because we do not fully understand the mechanism and cannot accurately predict the extent of the damage.

One last thought for you, which I urge you to consider. There is an old, half-humorous expression about the risks of being the one to break ground in any endeavor that says:

The pioneers get the arrows; the farmers get the land.”

I hope that you can appreciate that people like Dr. Nina Pierpont, Dr. Laurie, Eric Rosenbloom, and many other brave pioneers have been shot through and through with arrows for the sin of having identified a problem and doggedly insisted that it warrants serious attention.

Believe me, I know. Just recently, when one member of the local Assembly attacked me from the floor during a public meeting for my “activism” in exposing corruption (saying that even though she was “not normally one for paranoid conspiracy theories” that it was impossible to escape the conclusion that “Mr. Bibler is a tool — T – O – O – L — of the oil and gas interests”) the most vigorous argument that one of the more supportive Delegates could muster in my defense was to say that “even crazy people are sometimes right.”

I know for a fact that this Delegate is extremely appreciative of all of the work that I, and others, have done to expose this corruption and that she is resolute in seeing that the corruption is rooted out. But just as it is extremely impolitic for you to actually give any credit to Nina Pierpont, it was counter-productive for her to align herself with me in any way publicly, even to argue that our mantra of “openness, transparency and accountability” in public government was deserving of any respect (the other Delegate accused us of using this as a sort of camouflage to hide our secret agenda to destroy renewable energy).

Dr. Pierpont and Dr. Laurie are more full of arrows than St. Sebastian. You don’t have to canonize them as saints, but you should at least give them their due.

Above all, I think that you should consider closely the attention that some of your colleagues have recently focused on the INCE (Institute of Noise Control Engineering) Code of Professional Conduct and the INCE Code of Ethics — and the paramount moral responsibility of every acoustic noise expert to be honest in gauging the COMMUNITY IMPACT and NOT to participate in any exercise which will KNOWINGLY create such profound harm.

The shills in your profession who are hired to help obtain the permits for the wind energy developers can, and do, know better. They can, and do, know that great harm will ensue. It is my hope that you will devote more attention as a leader of your profession that this overriding first principle is not so routinely ignored: DO NO HARM.

Thanks for listening.

$5 million lawsuit over Wind Turbine Syndrome (Oregon)

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Houston Chronicle (8/11/13)

IONE, Ore. (AP) — A year ago, Dan Williams moved from his home near Ione’s Willow Creek wind farm to Walterville, Ore. He said he couldn’t take the noise of whipping turbine blades any longer.

“It’s hard to explain it to people unless you experience it,” Williams said. “There’s the actual noise that wakes you, but there’s also the infrasound you can’t hear but your body feels. The best I can describe it is like a train or an airplane coming and going.”

Williams filed a lawsuit Friday against Invenergy, the Illinois-based company behind the wind farm, for non-economic losses up to $5 million, as well as economic losses — mostly related to property value depreciation — for $170,000.

Since Invenergy began construction on the 50 wind turbines at Willow Creek in 2008, it has fought in the courts over noise compliance.

First, the fight was over the actual noise limits. Invenergy said the Morrow County noise limit of 50 dBa was acceptable, Williams and a few neighbors argued that the wind farm had to comply with the state limit of 36 dBa.

Although neither enforced it, both the county and the state upheld the 36 dBa limit in seven different court findings.

“I’m extremely disappointed that county and state of Oregon both agree that there’s violations but won’t do anything about them,” Williams said.

After a 2009 noise study conducted on Williams’ property by Invenergy showed turbine noise levels reaching 42 dBa, the wind company embarked on an effort to comply with the noise levels through methods such as triggering turbine shut-downs at certain noise levels. Williams is also claiming the current technology takes too long to shut down after the noise limits are reached.

In the complaint filed Friday, Williams claims “emotional distress, deteriorating physical and emotional health, dizziness, inability to sleep, drowsiness, fatigue, headaches, difficulty thinking, irritation and lethargy” as a result of the turbines’ noise and flickering glare.

In a statement issued Friday, Invenergy said it wasn’t aware of any alleged health impacts to Williams until he filed the lawsuit and would “vigorously defend” itself against his claims.

“Notwithstanding the non-specific nature of these claims, it’s important to reiterate that numerous rigorous studies … have found no evidence to support a link between adverse health effects and sound emitted from wind turbines,” the company stated.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, a noise level of 40 dBA is equal to a running stream or refrigerator humming, 30 dBa is a whisper and 50 to 60 dBa is a quiet office.

But Williams’ attorney, Jim McClandish, who did not want to talk specifically about the case, argued new research shows low-frequency wind turbine noise could be dangerous. While “wind turbine syndrome” was once pure speculation, recent studies show the low-frequency infrasound can cause symptoms such as the dizziness and nausea Williams said he experienced.

“The reverberation at low frequencies affects people’s inner ears. It impacts their ability to sleep, their concentration,” McClandish said.

The lawsuit is expected to take at least a year to make its way through the courts. Williams still owns his Ione home. He said even though he has left the property, he has no plans to stand down.

“What other option do I have?” Williams said. “I was there first. This was forced upon me. I’m a human being with strong convictions.”

Swallows & bats “massacred in batches” (Fairhaven, Mass.)

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Curt Devlin, Fairhaven, MA

These pictures are emblematic of what happens when birds and turbines share the same environment. They were taken by one of the folks in Fairhaven soon after the turbines went up. There can be no doubt regarding its authenticity because the chain link fence and black bolts are somewhat distinctive due the special construction technique used to anchor the turbines into the granite shelf here.

turine workers kicking gravel over dead bird

One depicts one of the Chinese engineers from Sinovel (a Chinese manufacturer), kicking dirt over the broken body of a hawk killed by the turbine blade to hide it from view. Turbines of this size may look slow and graceful from a distance, but the actually rotate at a tip speeds approaching 200 mph.

Once the turbines went up, what we observed was a pattern that has resulted in a fairly routine massacre of birds around the marsh. First, the turbine nacelle collects heat throughout the day. Then, as the air cools in the evening, the lingering warmth attracts various swarming insects such as mosquitos. The mosquitos attract bats and smaller predators like swallows and such. They are massacred in batches.

This pattern was so prevalent that someone from the wind developer was sent in the morning to walk the grounds beneath the turbines looking for corpses. Sometimes, the harvest would fill a hefty bag. This was done to hide the carnage because the developer has assured the town that turbines don’t pose a danger to birds. I presume many more were flung into the dense undergrowth, undetected or obliterated by direct hits from the blades.

hawk fairhaven

Finally, as bats and smaller birds preyed on the mosquitos, they also attracted larger predators like hawks. You can see this final result for yourself. Gradually, of course, the pace of carnage slowed. I presume this is due to the depletion of the species that once inhabited the marshes there. The population of mosquitos appears to remain prolific, however.

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Editor’s note:  Photos courtesy of Earl Jorgensen, Fairhaven, MA.

 

Want to rendezvous with folks fighting Big Wind? (Vermont)

Editor’s note:  Want to visit Vermont this weekend?  Want to get together with like-minded people fighting Big Wind and Big (Natural Gas) Fracking?  Consider attending the “Rendezvous.”

Click here.

The following description of taken from the website.

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The Rendezvous

August 17 and 18, 2013 | Irasburg, Vermont

The Rendezvous is a bold beginning to reorder human life on the planet, starting with our own region. It is an event for anyone who cares about maintaining a livable planet. It is a time to explore a collective vision for the future guided by the Truth about finite resources; Culture grounded in a right relationship with the Earth; Peace and environmental and social Justice; and Energy generation that protects the natural systems on which we depend.

The Rendezvous is organized by the northern Vermont coalition, Mountain Occupiers; along with members of regional groups such as Rising Tide and 350 Vermont. Attendees will include members of environmental and social justice groups from across New England and Québec.

 

Wind Turbine Syndrome victim weeps before town council (Ireland)

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WTS victim and wife forced to leave their now worthless home

Leinster Express (8/7/13)

A Roscommon man broke down in tears in the Council Chambers, last week, as he claimed his health had been destroyed by two turbines just 700 metres from his home.

Mr Keane received a standing ovation from councillors and members of the Laois Wind Energy Group who had gathered in the public gallery after he pleaded with the council not to give planners a free hand.

“Would you build a 100 metre high turbine 250 metres from your front door, then why would you allow it to happen to someone else,” he said.

Mr Keane and his wife, Dorothy, moved to Roscommon in 2004 to retire in a rural and peaceful location. In 2011 a wind farm was built and commissioned on a hill facing their house.

They had not objected or made a submission to An Bord Pleanala as they thought the worst would be having to look at them.

But the effect of the noise on the Keane’s has been chronic stress, sleep deprivation and anxiety which were disgnosed by a consultant psychiatrist in their local hospital, who has told them the only long term solution is to leave their home.

They are now on a cocktail of medications such as sleeping tablets and two anti depressants for the short term.

Mr Keane broke down as he told the councillors that they would be leaving their home, which is now worth nothing, next month.

“At the age of 65 we have been evicted by a windfarm, we have been evicted and let down by our Government, we have been let down by the ineffectual guidlines.

“The windfarm that brought us to our kness has two turbines 100 metres tall, 700 metres from our home.

“If two people can be brought to their knees, how many people will be in our situtation if 2,500 turbines are built in the Midlands,” he said.

Mr Keane spoke as part of a presentation by members of the Laois Wind Energy Group, who said they did not want to be in his position in two years time.

 

“Gunfight at the O.K. Corral”: Pierpont vs. Schomer

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Editor’s note:  Paul Schomer is an acoustical engineer of distinction.  (Click here to read his resumé and here to visit his company website.)  Which explains why Nina Pierpont was especially exercised when she read his latest report on health effects from industrial wind turbines (IWT’s).

Click here to read it.

Anyone familiar with Pierpont’s research will immediately recognize the eye-popping correspondence between Schomer’s latest research and Pierpont’s 2009 book on Wind Turbine Syndrome.  In Pierpont’s mind, as you will see below, that startling correspondence crosses the line from “Gee, we’re both working on the same thing!” to “Oh my God, this guy pirated key elements from my work, without crediting me!”

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So, Pierpont did what any offended pioneering woman scientist would do.  Loaded her Colt Peacemaker, pinned on her “sheriff” badge, contacted Schomer and demanded satisfaction—or his hide!  (See following email.)

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So began a fruitful and fascinating correspondence, not just between these two titans, but soon including a dozen or so bystanders who took it upon themselves to weigh in.  (We will be publishing some of the correspondence contributed by “bystanders.”  Including Dr. Malcolm Swinbanks, Dr. Sarah Laurie, Curt Devlin, Eric Bibler, Eric Rosenbloom, George Kamperman, Jane Davis, Itasca Small, and others.  We have secured their permission to reprint, and will post their pieces in the next day or two.)

It is this “ferment,” this dialogue (sometimes with live rounds—from popguns), that makes this website especially valuable.

(In case you’re wondering, this story has a happy ending for both Dr. Schomer and Dr. Nina.  Read on.)

From:  Nina Pierpont, MD (Johns Hopkins), PhD (Princeton, Population Biology)
To:  Paul Schomer, PhD (Univ. of Illinois, Electrical engineering/Acoustics)
Date:  8/5/13 (revised 8/8/13)

Regarding:  Your unacceptable failure to credit my work

Dear Dr. Schomer,

I have reviewed your manuscript for your presentation at the 5th International Conference on Wind Turbine Noise, to be presented later this month. (See attached, “A proposed theory to explain some adverse physiological effects of the infrasonic emissions at some wind farm sites.”) This manuscript is in the public domain, as you submitted it to the Wisconsin Public Service Commission on July 29, 2013.

I have also read the Shirley, Wisconsin infrasound and resident symptom monitoring report of December 27, 2012 (click here).

I am aware, as well, that you personally ordered and were sent (on April 24, 2013) my original research on the clinical effects of exposure to wind turbine noise, published as a peer-reviewed book called “Wind Turbine Syndrome” in November 2009.

I admire your work enormously, and am delighted that someone of your stature in the acoustical community has undertaken to fill in the specific gaps in my own work (which I could not fill, being a physician and population biologist, not a noise engineer or an experimental physiologist). These gaps being, first, measurement of the specific relevant acoustic energies and, second, a specific mechanism for how airborne infrasound manages to perturb the otolith organs (a phenomenon on which there is disagreement among vestibular researchers, I find).

You and others (your colleagues in the Shirley study, and Rick James and Wade Bray) have demonstrated the relevant sound energies. Alec Salt has demonstrated why we don’t hear the low frequencies and proposed a mechanism based on signals to the brain from the outer hair cells of the cochlea. You have now proposed a specific force transduction model for how airborne infrasound might impinge on the otolith organs, and compared this to the whole-body forces experienced by nauseated pilot trainees.

What I did was detailed, structured before-during-after exposure symptom interviews on more and less affected people, including all household members within households where there was at least one severely affected person (thus ensuring that all participants were exposed to clinically adequate levels of sound energy, eliminating level of sound energy as a variable). I also did detailed clinical interviews on all participants for their baseline health status, allowing me to statistically analyze the group for the presence of risk factors, thus addressing what I laid out at the beginning as the main focus of my research—why some people are affected and others not. Motion sensitivity was one of the statistically significant risk factors. So was preexisting migraine disorder and preexisting damage to the inner ear through industrial noise exposure or chemotherapy.

The nature of the risk factors was then used as the basis for my hypothesis that the low frequency noise or infrasound disturbs the vestibular system and in particular the utricle or saccule, as well as potentially activating important position-detecting receptors in the viscera of the chest or abdomen, which are the recently discovered 4th sensory arm of our body systems for detecting motion and position (the other 3 being vision, vestibular, and somatosensory, as you know). Once the vestibular system in the broad sense is perturbed, many symptoms can result, including nausea, unsteadiness, anxiety and panic (even causing panicked awakening from sleep), and difficulty concentrating and thinking, especially visual-spatial thinking. There is a broad clinical and anatomic literature behind this broader concept of vestibular disturbance.

Dr. Schomer, I see three of my own contributions in your July paper which were absent from your December (Shirley, Wis.) report. I find this disturbing, as you do not refer to my work in any way in your July paper. Yet you consider this to be an academic paper, not just a government report.

The ideas that I believe you picked up from my published book are 1) the idea of a risk or susceptibility factor for being affected, to explain why some people are affected and others not, 2) the idea of deriving a probability for chance association between a risk factor and a symptom (though you didn’t actually know how to do it—more below), and 3) attributing the symptom to perturbation of the otolith organs. The idea of low-frequency noise perturbing the otolith organs in fact originated with me, as I know from literature review and consultation with neuro-otologists during the writing of my book in 2008.

In academic scientific writing, as I expect you know, even well-accepted, common ideas are often referenced with one or two classic citations; new ideas are absolutely cited. Thus I think that you were working in haste—or possibly lacking in integrity? (Perhaps you thought that, because the wind industry has used every method to bury me and my work, that somehow—though a published book and peer reviewed, with the reviews included in the book, in case anyone was in any doubt—you could disregard it, even as you seemingly absorbed and, I believe, reproduced parts of it.)

In case you thought you got any of the above ideas from Rob Rand, he and I had a lot of communication after he developed his symptoms in Falmouth, Mass., including his reading my book and contacting me in amazement at the accuracy of my descriptions of what he had just experienced for the first time (despite years of working on other types of community noise), and a many-hour conversation at his home in Brunswick, Maine. These ideas still need to be credited to my published work.

With regard to your analysis of the significance of the association you found between motion sensitivity and susceptibility to wind turbine disturbance—you don’t need to reinvent statistics, and you don’t need to use a population estimate of the frequency of the trait. You can just use a simple 2 x 2 contingency test like a Chi-squared or Fisher exact test, in which your 4 cells are 1) people with symptoms and sensitivity; 2) people with symptoms but without sensitivity; 3) people without symptoms and with sensitivity; and 4) people without symptoms and without sensitivity. In this instance you derive your own population frequency of each trait in your sample population, and use the test to see if they are significantly associated with each other. (I wonder, though, if you had data on all 50 symptomatic people with regard to their motion sensitivity or presence of the symptom of nausea. Perhaps you were just using a seat-of-the-pants calculation in the absence of this data.)

I would think a sentence like, “Pierpont (2009) showed a statistically significant relationship between motion sensitivity and the most severe symptom set, including nausea, panicked awakenings, and vibratory sensations inside the chest, further demonstrating that motion sensitivity is an important risk factor for the level of symptom severity that drives people from their homes,” would only strengthen your work.

Some have suggested that we should collaborate, which of course makes sense when two researchers have come to a common conclusion but have different strengths and expertise. However, at this point, I believe that you have taken and used without attribution several specific, published ideas of mine about the very subject you are researching.

I will be very interested in your reply. I expect that appropriate attribution will be inserted into your paper before it is presented in an academic setting such as the conference at the end of this month. If you do not do this, I will contact the conference organizers, INCE (Institute of Noise Control Engineering), and the Acoustic Society to share my concerns with them. If the paper appears in a journal without appropriate attribution, I will do the same with the editor.

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Dr. Schomer replied later that day (8/5/13).  He blew her off.  Entirely.  His opening line:  “Everything I put in my paper, I developed on my own.”  He then elaborated on his position, mainly by asserting a half dozen untruths (called “straw men”) regarding Pierpont’s research, and then—naturally—shooting them down.

The only problem with his depiction of Pierpont’s work is that . . . she never made the claims he says she did.  Oops!

But wait a minute:  In his Shirley (Wisconsin) report, in December 2012—before he bought the book—Schomer trots out none of Pierpont’s work.  Six months later, after buying her book—he trots out her stuff without attribution.  According to Pierpont, there are points he makes which he could not have gleaned except from her work—either first-hand or second-hand.

Yet, according to his reply, she was irrelevant to his (identical) thinking.  Hmm.

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“Smells fishy,” by Nate Owens

Since I don’t have Dr. Schomer’s permission to reprint his response, all I can do is summarize the gist of it, here.

Then a light went on in Nina’s head.  She re-read his reply.  She talked to some people who know his work and who know him, personally.  “Hmm.  Maybe we’re talking past one another!”

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That evening, Pierpont dialed down the rhetoric and extended an “olive branch” (8/5/13):

Dear Paul (if I may),

Thank you for your reply, and I appreciate it that you are actually now going to read my work.

I realize I made you very angry, so you may not have considered my letter so carefully, but I (of course!) did not claim to have originated the idea of the correlation between seasickness and infrasound exposure. What I could not find any reference to when doing the research for the book was the idea that infrasound could disturb the otolith organs. In fact, my suggestion that it could made one researcher, Neil Todd in England, quite indignant, saying that his work on vibration measurably affecting otolith organs in normal human subjects could most definitely not be extended to airborne infrasound. I got an opposite opinion from Steve Rauch, MD, head of vestibular research at Mass Eye & Ear in Boston, saying that airborne infrasound could reach the inner ear via the tympanic membrane.

That is why I am delighted with your work–you take on this issue. Alec Salt and I have had a debate on this since we presented back to back, answered questions together, and sat together at the wind turbine noise and health conference in Picton, Ontario in 2010. In his model, we know the mechanics of the effects of infrasound on the outer hair cells of the cochlea, but nothing about the effects of outer hair cell nerve signals on the brain once they get past the auditory nuclei; he just calls these “subconscious effects” to explain their effects on symptoms and behavior. I have been insisting throughout that these are vestibular effects of infrasound, because the set of symptoms is congruent with other diseases of the vestibular organs (with symptom sets that extend far beyond nausea), but otologic researchers were not in agreement about whether airborne infrasound could impact the vestibular organs. In terms of a chain of events, Alec’s model is a black box after signals reach the brain. In my model, there is only one little black box, a missing link, in the question of how infrasound impinges on the inner ear. Once signals reach the brain, there is massive congruence between what vestibular disease does and what wind turbine syndrome sufferers experience.

In reading my book, please read the clinical chapter. I gather you have already read the symptom accounts.

One other “straw man” in your reply to me—I have never said that everyone is affected inside any radius, whether it is 2 km (the setback I propose in the book, since I had affected subjects at 1.5 km), 2 miles (which I suggested for mountainous regions), or Sarah Laurie’s extremely long radii for effects in Australia. My work, as I said, is entirely about risk factors for being affected by infrasound and about the complex phenomena of vestibular-linked brain effects, which I show to be present in this situation of noise-induced disease.

All the best,

Nina

The olive branch bore fruit.  Dr. Schomer contacted her several days later and suggested she call him, and they . . . talk.

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So she did.  He’s finally reading her book.  They’ve agreed to keep up the dialogue.

There’s still the vexing issue of where he got his ideas, and why he didn’t “reference” Pierpont.  But we will leave that to the two of them to hash out—with an olive branch, instead of two blazing Peacemakers.

Stay tuned.

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“Infrasound from wind turbines: An overlooked health hazard” (Clinical report, Sweden)

Editor’s note:  The following clinical review article, sent to us by Dr. Mauri Johansson, MD, MPH, is from the Swedish medical journal, Läkartidningen.  Unfortunately for us, it is available only in Swedish.  Fortunately for us, “Google” offers a reasonable translation service.  Behold the result!  If readers spot mistakes in translation, please contact me and I’ll correct them.

Notice that the lead author, Dr. Enbom, is not only an MD, PhD, but—this is crucial!—he’s a neuro-otologist.  A neuro-otologist is a combination “neurologist + otolaryngologist.”  In plain English, this means that Dr. Enbom’s research and clinical expertise focus on disorders of the inner ear (along with the nose & throat).  Wind Turbine Syndrome (WTS) is chiefly a disease of the inner ear, it increasingly appears.  The good news is, this physician/scientist (that’s what the PhD is about) has the exact clinical and research credentials to pass judgment on WTS.  (This separates him from amateurs like Geoff Leventhall, a Brit with a physics PhD, and the Australian “wonder,” Simon Chapman, armed with a sociology PhD.  Both men see fit to scoff at WTS, despite neither one having the slightest expertise or remotest credential to do so.  To call this ludicrous is to grossly understate the matter.)

Click here for a PDF of the original (Swedish).

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Infrasound from wind turbines:  An overlooked health hazard,” Läkartidningen, vol. 110 (2013), pp. 1388-89.

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Håkan Enbom, MD, PhD, Ear/Nose/Throat specialist, otoneurology and specialist in dizziness disorders, and Inga Malcus Enbom, Ear/Nose/Throat specialist and specialist in allergy and hypersensitivity reactions.  Both authors are employed at the City Health ENT, Angelholm.  Contact:  inga.malcus@telia.com

Abstract:

Infrasound from wind turbines affects the inner ear and is a potential health risk for people with migraine or other type of central sensitization. The authors maintain that the legal framework for the creation of new wind turbines should be revised, taking into account this fact.

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Previous scientific studies on wind turbines and infrasound have been contradictory. They have therefore not been sufficiently credible when planning a framework for the establishment of wind turbines. In recent years, however, a new insight has emerged on the central sensitization, providing a better understanding of migraine, fibromyalgia and other chronic pain syndromes [1, 2] and some cases of tinnitus and dizziness. This understanding is also important for understanding how infrasound from wind turbines can affect health. Several studies have found that living near wind turbines often create severe sleep disturbance and depression. They have also found an increased incidence of dizziness, tinnitus, hyperacusis, headache, increased activation of the autonomic nervous system, etc. [3, 4].

In addition to the audible sound, which can provide noise damage and be generally disruptive, mentally, spinning wind turbines also produce a vibrant infrasound that affects the inner ear and the central nervous system without damaging the hearing.

Infrasound is sound with frequencies below 20 Hz, corresponding to wavelengths of 17 meters and above, that is not perceived with normal hearing. This sound, if it is not mitigated substantially, propagates over very long distances. It arises from several sources, such as pulsating flows from chimneys, large eddies (such as wind turbines and large jet engines) and large vibrating surfaces. In scientific studies, infrasound from wind turbines has been measured at levels so low that the sound is not perceived by humans. It has also been determined that infrasound from wind turbines does not give rise to noise damage in the traditional sense [5].

In general, what has not been taken into account in many of these studies, is that infrasound from wind turbines has a rhythmic pulsing sound, and the pulsating sound pressure affects the inner ear, although no sound is perceived by the individual. The pressure waves propagate into the inner ear fluid-filled cavities, and this “massage effect” affects the sensory cells in the inner ear hearing and organs of balance [6]. Many studies fail to take into account the fact that some people are more sensitive than others to the sensory impact. Some are significantly affected by the pulsating sound pressure while others are not affected by it in a significant way.

The rhythmic, pumping infrasound from wind turbines stimulates inner ear sensory functions [7, 8]. Such sensory stimulation can occur in people with sensory hypersensitivity, causing symptoms such as unsteadiness, dizziness, headache, concentration difficulties, visual disturbances, and more [9].  The problems arise even if the noise level is relatively low, since infrasound constantly affects and rhythmically changes the pressure in the inner ear via the sound paths. The pulsing sound pressure from wind turbines also indirectly activates the autonomic nervous system, causing increased secretion of adrenaline with consequent stress effects, risk of panic anxiety, high blood pressure and heart attacks for people with increased sensory sensitivity.

Migraine is caused by a genetic central sensory hypersensitivity causing risk for central nervous sensitization. Migraine prevalence is about 30 percent in the general population [10, 11]. In addition there are other causes of central sensitization, which means that more than 30 percent of residents in the vicinity of wind turbines could be, to greater or lesser extent, affected by wind-related “annoyance.” Risk groups include people with migraine disorder or a family history of migraines, people over 50 years of age, people with fibromyalgia and those with a tendency to anxiety and depression [12].  Children and adults with ADHD and autism are at risk and could have their symptoms worsened.

The issue is not noise damage in the traditional sense, but the effect of a constant pulsating sound pressure that constantly changes the pressure in the inner ear and excites sensory organs there. One can liken it to pulsating or flickering lights—many people are not bothered noticeably, while people with sensory hypersensitivity may experience discomfort. Flickering light can even trigger epilepsy. Likewise,constantly pulsating, non-audible infrasound from wind turbines triggers considerable problems in people with central sensory hypersensitivity. These problems can become chronic, debilitating and lead to anxiety and depression and increase the risk of heart attack.

The current regulatory framework for wind turbines has not taken into account the potential risk to people with central sensory hypersensitivity. Wind turbines are being erected too close to buildings [homes]. The current regulatory framework should be revised with an increased safety distance from buildings [homes] to prevent or reduce the risk of wind-related excess morbidity.

(Potential ties or conflicts of interest: None declared.)

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References

1. Woolf CJ. Central sensitization: Implications for the diagnosis and treatment of pain. Pain. 2011: 152 (3 Suppl): S2-15.

2. Aguggia M, Saracco MG, Cavallini M, et al. Sensitization and pain. Neurol Sci. 2013, 34 Suppl 1: S37-40.

3. Farboud A, Crunk Horn R, Trinidade A. ‘Wind Turbine Syndrome’: fact or fiction? J Laryngol Otol. In 2013, 127 (3) :222-6.

4. Shepherd D, McBride D, D Welch, et al. Evaluating the impact of wind turbine noise on health-related quality of life. Noise Health. 2011: 13 (54) :333-9.

5. Work Environment Authority. Noise and noise management. Stockholm: Swedish Work Environment Authority; 2002.

6. Salt AN, Hullar TE. Responses of the ear to low frequency sounds, infrasound and wind turbines. Hear Res. 2010: 268 (1-2) :12-21.

7. Todd NP, Rosengren SM, Colebatch JG. Tuning and sensitivity of the human vestibular system to low-frequency vibration. Neurosci Lett. 2008: 444 (1) :36-41.

8. Enbom, H. Vestibular and somatosensory contribution to postural control [dissertation] Lund: Lund University; 1990.

9. Lovati C, Mariotti C Giani L, et al. Central sensitization in photophobic and non-photophobic migraineurs: possible role of retinoblastoma nuclear way in the central sensitization process. Neurol Sci. 2013, 34 (Suppl) :133-fifth

10. Ashina S, Bendtsen L, Ashina M. Pathophysiology of migraine and tension-type headache. Tech Reg Anesth Pain Manag. 2012 (16) :14-8.

11. Aurora SK, Wilkinson F. The brain is hyperexcitable in migraine. Cephalalgia. 2007: 27:1442-53.

12. Desmeules YES, Cedraschi C, Rapiti E, et al. Neurophysiologic evidence for a central sensitization in patient with fibromyalgia. Arthritis Rheum. 2003, 48:1420-9.

The Science of Wind Turbine Syndrome: Part 3

Editor’s note:  The following was written as a “comment” in response to “The Science of Wind Turbine Syndrome:  Part 1.”  As you can see, I elevated it to a feature article.  (Start reading it and you will immediately understand why.)

As editor, I must say that these spontaneous essays by thoughtful, educated, ethical people give me unbounded joy.  This kind of dialogue more than justifies the existence of this blog.

Let the conversation continue!

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“To reach the level of a gold standard, reproducibility has to be achieved through triangulation of results achieved by using a variety of approaches that respect the scientific method”.

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Jerry L. Punch, PhD, Professor Emeritus, Dept. of Communicative Sciences & Disorders, Michigan State Univ. (8/6/13)

Great article! I agree completely with your points regarding the peer-review process, but I would like to add a few more thoughts regarding reproducibility. I agree with the comments made by Carl Phillips on that topic, as it is quite possible to reproduce results—including the effects of confounding—that are entirely erroneous. I think that to reach the level of a gold standard, reproducibility has to be achieved through triangulation of results achieved by using a variety of approaches that respect the scientific method. Together, these approaches provide a means to an end, the end being truth. They include observations, case studies, case-series studies, and epidemiological approaches such as crossover, case-control, cohort, and cross-sectional designs. Other experimental and quasi-experimental approaches can also be useful, if they can be administered ethically.

The wind industry continues to demand definitive, peer-reviewed epidemiological evidence that wind turbines cause adverse health effects (AHEs). Epidemiological research designs, as well as most experimental and quasi-experimental designs, rely heavily on analyses using inferential statistics. Such statistics estimate or infer the characteristics of a population based on an analysis of a sample taken from a population. AHEs stemming from exposure to wind turbine noise are multiple and highly variable across the population, and they apparently occur in a minority of the population. Because statistical significance increases with both large numbers of subjects and low variability, establishing a causal link between wind turbine noise and AHEs may be somewhat difficult to achieve using standard research methods.

More detrimental, though, is the fact that the U.S. Department of Energy is concerned mostly with promoting wind energy, and neither it nor the corporate wind industry have been willing to provide the financial support necessary for the types of studies that could well show the definitive causal relationship they insist is not there! Reliance on evidence from various researchers and scientific approaches, therefore, is currently the most trustworthy path to scientific conclusions regarding this relationship.

Even if Dr. Pierpont’s work on Wind Turbine Syndrome were to be considered merely observational, her findings are well supported by numerous reports of individuals and families around the world who have suffered AHEs in the proximity of wind turbines. These observations by multiple observers are a simple example of triangulation, and when combined with scientific evidence from multiple researchers, they form a corpus of data that overcome the weaknesses or intrinsic biases and other problems that come from a single observer or single researcher.

Finally, to those who say there is little scientific evidence of a link between noise from wind turbines and AHEs, some of the best evidence comes from multiple observations that people suffer such effects when in their homes, symptoms disappear when they leave their homes, and symptoms reappear when they return to their homes. These types of observations have the hallmarks of crossover designs used by epidemiologists and single-subject designs used by social scientists to show whether and the extent to which different treatments affect the behavior of individuals. There are also instances in which people have reported the appearance and disappearance of AHEs while remaining in their homes during on-and-off cycles of turbine operation. Such observations are a powerful indication that the wind turbines, and not other factors in the home, are causing their symptoms.

Jerry Punch

Dr. Jerry L. Punch

Esther Wrightman: Profile in Courage (Ontario)

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“Along with the head pressure, I experience nausea, a tight chest and a pounding heart” (Australia)

Editor’s note:  Below is an Opinion editorial by a woman named Annie Gardner, Australia.  Mrs. Gardner is grievously suffering from wind turbine infrasound.  Her symptoms are classic Wind Turbine Syndrome.  The wind factory is named the Macarthur Wind Farm, owned by a firm named AGL, which in turn was till recently owned by the government of New Zealand under the name, Meridian Energy.

Dr. Sarah Laurie’s comment on Mrs. Gardner’s plight:  “This is what happens to people and to the cohesion of rural communities when 140 Vestas V112’s are installed as neighbors.”

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“No right to destroy health”

—Annie Gardner, Op-Ed in the Hamilton Spectator (8/3/13)

Quite some time ago, I complained to the Spectator after there appeared an entire two page spread (no doubt pretty well written by Hamish Officer) about how “awesome” the Macarthur wind factory was.

The impacted community felt very strongly that our local newspaper had given AGL and the Macarthur wind factory, two pages, without any equal time to the residents being forced to live around this monster.

No doubt money had something to do with it of course. At the time I was told the Spectator would willingly publish an “opinion piece” from me. However I simply have not had enough time to do so until now.

We saw, once again, in lat week’s Spectator that AGL had placed an advertisement claiming “there is no extra infrasound at the Macarthur wind factory to before construction”.

At the time of writing this email I am experiencing severe pressure in my ears/throat/noise/jaws and teeth from the infrasound within the walls [i.e., inside] of my home. Having been outside this morning, I was forced to come inside, as the pressure is extreme and along with the head pressure I experience nausea, a tight chest and a pounding heart.

These are the conditions which we have been forced to live with day in day out, and night in night out, since beginning October 2012, when the first 15 turbines began operation. Of course AGL deny our symptoms are caused by their turbines, but how can so many families living out to five kilometres from the nearest turbines, all together begin experiencing such serious, constant symptoms, when they’ve lived in this district, with no health symptoms for between 30 and 60 years?

Of course the farmers affected by this disaster of a development cannot afford to place ads in the local papers. I am told ads like those placed by AGL in local papers last week cost nearly $2000 — or near that amount anyway.

Who can afford to match that?

Of course it is no doubt wonderful income for the local newspapers . . . but we would appreciate if our local newspaper would recognise that the local people living around the Macarthur wind factory do not have access to the millions of dollars from this totally taxpayer-subsidised wind factory.

We are furious with AGl, in that the infrasound testing they carried out was only carried out at two homes around the wind factory.

In addition to that, I have a string of emails outlining AGL’s intention to carry out infrasound testing at our home, and others, as we have been particularly impacted by infrasound. They even sent their manager power generation, Mr Adam Mackett, to meet with our independent acoustic expert, to literally learn a bit about the spectrums of noise testing, as he was particularly ignorant of such. We had to pay for that meeting, and AGL have not carried out their commitment to do infrasound testing at our property, nor at any other property where families have complained.

AGL have received over 100 written complaints from several families severely impacted by infrasound (those families are forced to leave their homes and properties for at least two days and nights weekly) and yet they hurriedly released this report saying “no extra infrasound”.

In fact, our independent acoustic expert has discovered serious flaws in their methodology, which of course meant that infrasound (which is emitted when blades pass the towers), is attenuated.

Of course the truth will eventually prevail, but in the meantime nobody has the right to destroy people’s health and take away the right given to them by the World Health Organisation to a good night’s sleep in their own home. We and many others around the wind factory have had this right taken away from us.

Of course litigation in Australia in the near future is inevitable.

Recently the truth has started to emerge, with the discovery that it has been known since 1985 in the US that turbines do emit infrasound, and that they do endanger health.

 

Wind developers (still) lie about turbine health effects (Australia)

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Editor’s note:  Wind developers would have you believe that the health effects from “down-wind” turbines, used in the 1970s and 80s, have magically vanished—presto!—by the simple expedient of installing the blade on the “upwind” side of the tower, thus creating the familiar “upwind” turbine seen pin-cushioning the landscape hither and yon.  In Australia, a bloke named Russell Marsh, Director of an outfit calling itself the Clean Energy Council, says that comparing health effects from “down-wind” turbines to “upwind” turbines is “the equivalent of taking a study about Ataris and applying it to the latest iPads.”

The US research was conducted on older-model wind turbines which the CEC [Clean Energy Council] said were known to have noise problems as the blades were exposed to airflow patterns caused by the wind swirling its way through the supports of the trestle tower structure before flowing on to the blades.

Would you be surprised if I told you that Mr. Marsh’s claims are totally fanciful?  Another instance of Big Wind “making up the facts” as it goes along?  Fudging the truth?  Dr. Neil Kelley, the physicist who was lead author of several wind turbine health studies for the U.S. Dept. of Energy in the 1980s, directly contradicts Mr. Marsh:  “We found the majority of the physics responsible for creating the annoyance associated with this downwind prototype are applicable to large upwind machines.”

Once again, wind energy and its shills are caught lying—but don’t expect them to stop anytime soon.  Read on, below.

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This image was not used in the original article


“Newer wind turbines could be just as harmful as prototypes”

—Graham Lloyd, Environment Editor for The Australian (7/24/13), p. 8

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Modern wind turbines could cause the same health impacts for nearby residents as an older prototype rejected by the industry because of proven concerns, says the author of a 1987 study that established the link.

Neil Kelley, who presented the findings of a comprehensive study prepared for the US Department of Energy to the renewable energy industry 25 years ago, said in- home testing of low frequency noise from wind turbines was the only way to establish the truth.

The wind industry in Australia has rejected the findings of the 1987 NASA study because the type of wind turbine studied was no longer in use.

The study used laboratory simulations to prove a link between low frequency noise from the older model wind turbines and health impacts. It found the impact of low frequency noise generated by wind turbines was often “confined to within surrounding homes” and that residents became more sensitive to the impact over time.

The National Health and Medical Research Council is conducting a review of its guidelines on whether wind turbines can cause health concerns.

Leading public health officials have said publicly that reports of ill health are the result of a “nocebo effect”, with symptoms caused by apprehension about possible dangers.

Mr Kelley, who served as the principal scientist (atmospheric physics) at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s National Wind Technology Centre in the US from 1980 to 2011, said research had shown it was possible for modern wind turbines to create “community annoyance”.

“Many of the complaints I have heard described are very similar to those from residents who were exposed to the prototype wind turbine we studied.”

He said the original research was performed to understand the “totally unexpected community complaints from a 2MW downwind prototype wind turbine.

“While follow-on turbine designs moved the rotors upwind of the tower, the US Department of Energy funded an extensive multi-year research effort in order to develop a full understanding of what created this situation.

“Their goal was to make such knowledge available to the turbine engineers so they could minimise the possibility of future designs repeating the experience.

“We found the majority of the physics responsible for creating the annoyance associated with this downwind prototype are applicable to large upwind machines.”

Mr Kelley said the 1987 study revealed it was the low frequency content of the turbine noise and its impact on the homes that was responsible for the annoyance of the residents involved. “It is similar to the noise and vibration that occurs when a heavy truck rumbles past a house with the windows closed,” he said.

“The house walls filter out much of the higher frequencies and leave only the low frequency sounds and vibrations.”

In Australia, the wind industry has been reluctant to conduct in house testing despite a Senate recommendation it be done.

Wind turbine manufacturer Vestas has argued in a submission to the NSW government that low frequency noise from wind turbines not be measured.

Mr Kelley said if low frequency noise from turbines did not influence annoyance within homes, “then why should (the industry) be concerned?”

 

“Wind turbine dangers known since ’87 ” (Australia)

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—Graham Lloyd, Environment Editor for The Australian (7/9/13)

Health impacts caused by low-frequency noise from wind turbines have been known to US researchers and the renewable energy industry for more than 25 years.

American researchers used mock homes, big speakers and seven volunteers to simulate and measure the impact of low-frequency noise produced by early model, two-blade wind turbines under controlled conditions.

A November 1987 report prepared for the US Department of Energy said the impact of low-frequency noise generated by wind turbines was often “confined to within surrounding homes” and that residents became more sensitive to the impact over time.

The laboratory experiments found that “people do indeed react to a low-frequency noise environment”.

The study, A Proposed Metric for Assessing the Potential of Community Annoyance from Wind Turbine Low-Frequency Noise Emissions, was prepared in response to earlier research into “acoustic disturbances” associated with the operation of a wind turbine near Boone, North Carolina.

It found that the standard A-weighted measure for sound was “not an adequate indicator of annoyance when low frequencies are dominant”.

The research was sent by an American acoustics expert to Australian wind health campaigners and has now been published internationally.

The US report built on earlier research by two NASA facilities and several universities. It was presented to the Windpower 87 Conference & Exposition in San Francisco by physicist ND Kelley from the Solar Energy Research Institute in Golden, Colorado.

Wind health groups in the US and Australia said although modern wind turbines were different to the one studied, the 1987 research was significant because industry noise-testing regulations had been specifically designed to exclude testing inside buildings and did not concentrate on low-frequency noise — the two main issues identified in the report.

A federal Senate inquiry recommended two years ago that in-house testing be conducted in Australia but it is not included in the present noise guidelines.

Clean Energy Council policy director Russell Marsh said the study was not relevant to modern turbines.

“This is the equivalent of taking a study about Ataris and applying it to the latest iPads,” Mr Marsh said.

The US research was conducted on older-model wind turbines which the CEC said were known to have noise problems as the blades were exposed to airflow patterns caused by the wind swirling its way through the supports of the trestle tower structure before flowing on to the blades.

“Australia has some of the toughest noise guidelines for wind power anywhere in the world and there is a growing body of more recent evidence that wind turbines do not produce enough low-frequency noise or infrasound to directly cause health problems,” Mr Marsh said.

But other research has shown that as wind turbines get larger, a greater proportion of the sound is emitted in the lower frequency range.

“The (US) research is highly relevant, even though the acoustic emissions themselves are different between old downwind turbines and upwind ones, where the turbines turn around to face into the wind,” Waubra Foundation chief executive Sarah Laurie said.

“What is important is the impact on the people from the sound energy emitted from the respective wind turbines, how it is experienced by them inside their homes and the acknowledgement that the symptoms are real, and that the symptoms may be perceived but not heard,” Dr Laurie said.

Health campaigners said the results of the laboratory simulations in the US study proved there was a direct cause-and-effect relation between the low-frequency noise and “annoyance”.

The National Health and Medical Research Council has said there was no published evidence linking wind turbines to health impacts. The NHMRC is conducting a review of its advice but its updated report on the issue is now overdue. The South Australian Environmental Protection Agency has recently completed a major sound monitoring program at Waterloo where there have been significant complaints from residents, but the results are not yet available.

When the lights go out: Inter-linked wind farms fail to provide “base load” electricity (Australia)

Editor’s note:  Wind developers gin up politicians by claiming that connecting widely dispersed “wind farms” in a daisy chain is sufficient to keep up with energy demand (called “base load”) and maintain grid stability.  According to this research paper published in “Energy & Environment,” it’s “baloney!”—if you want to skip reading the paper and get directly to the punchline.

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“Wind farms in eastern Australia: Recent lessons”

Author: Miskelly, Paul

ABSTRACT: Academic discussion continues as to whether a fleet of grid-connected wind farms, widely dispersed across a single grid network, can provide a reliable electricity supply. One opinion is that wide geographical dispersion of wind farms provides sufficient smoothing of the intermittent and highly variable output of individual wind farms enabling the wind farm fleet to provide for base load demand. In an examination of the 5-minute time-averaged wind farm operational data for 21 large wind farms connected to the eastern Australian grid – geographically the largest, most widely dispersed, single interconnected grid in the world – this paper challenges that opinion. The findings also suggest that the connection of such a wind farm fleet, even one that is widely dispersed, poses significant security and reliability concerns to the eastern Australian grid. These findings have similar implications for the impact of wind farms on the security of electricity grids worldwide.

Energy & Environment · Vol. 23, No. 8, 2012

Click here for the paper.

 

Wind energy’s colossal lies about bird & bat mortality (Wildlife Biologist)

Editor’s note:  Lately, there has been a flurry of media articles expressing indignation over wind energy’s creative and colossal lies.  (What else does one call them?)  We have published several of the articles and editorials in these pages; there are many more we have not bothered to post.  You can find them on National Wind Watch.

Here’s another one, by wildlife biologist Jim Wiegand, decrying the phony  “bird & bat mortality reports” by wind companies—wind companies working in collusion with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, at the moment a captured agency of Big Wind.
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—Jim Wiegand, Wildlife Biologist

No matter how anyone feels about wind turbines, no one should condone the corruption, the silent fraud, and bogus studies supporting this industry.

I cannot stress this enough.  From what I have see from looking at wind industry bird & bat mortality studies, this industry and our wildlife agencies are so corrupt they might as well all be selling used cars with their odometers turned back at least 90%—because this is how bad it really is.

Across the nation official bird and bat-kill estimates have been derived from studies rigged to hide mortality. The real numbers are at least 10 times the amount being reported and sometimes far more. Altamont Pass has reported less than a hundred dead bats in 30 years of service, although thousands have been killed there. This industry is “set up” to hide mortality and the latest “incidental take” or “kill permits” for a few endangered bats could end up being 5000. A single permit for an eagle could easily end up with dozens being killed.

One wind turbine in Delaware was reported to be killing about 82 birds and bats per year. This may sound like a lot, but after looking over the study I believe they covered up over 95% of the mortality. With their tiny searches on the gravel area around the turbine, all the data collected using flawed search intervals, flawed searcher efficiency trials, and flawed scavenger removal rates—rendering the mortality figures completely meaningless. Even two gulls that were seen killed by this turbine were not counted because they fell outside the “designated” little search area.

The distance carcasses travel is one of the primary ways the industry uses to rig their mortality studies. Industry studies are designed to look in an area that goes out no more than 50 meters and AWAY from the direction of carcasses throw. The blades on most of the larger turbines are 50 meters or longer.

One study that slipped through the cracks on midsized turbines showed approximately 45 percent of fatalities being found at 50 meters or more. On the newer 2-3 MW turbines, it is likely to be 80% or more.

Goodhue County, Minnesota, put up a several-year battle and defeated this industry. The community was unified in the effort to save their eagles and other species from these turbines. I believe the project developers knew a court battle was inevitable and, since it meant the industry’s hidden mortality would be publicly disclosed, they left town.

When you think about it, no matter what experts or representatives from conservation groups the developers called in for testimony—what could they really say? They would all look like idiots trying to defend the industry’s bogus mortality data.

Then think of all the new information that would be revealed from subpoenas compelling this industry and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to produce documents.  (I keep an entire list handy, awaiting that glorious day.)

Big Wind knows their data will not hold up. This is why every community should be dragging these people into court.

A generation ago these were the people we incarcerated or ran out of our neighborhoods. Now these same people are fleecing us of our tax dollars while putting us on the path of massive industrial blight and extinction of species.

This man-made disaster, this gothic horror story, will be the wind turbine legacy we hand our children.

Jim Wiegand

Jim Wiegand

Over 2,000 protest wind turbines (Ireland)

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“These wind farms they ain’t pretty, and they sure ain’t bloody green” (Australian ballad)

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“An Ill Wind Blows No Good”

Murray Hartin (6/18/13)

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The good old Aussie Farmer is without peer and that’s the truth
Some might choose to argue but the pudding holds the proof
Governments give them nothing except a bit post-flood or drought
Squeaky wheels get the attention while the farmer toughs it out

More dangerous than the weather, they battle government decisions
That truly challenge logic, well, except to politicians
The live cattle export ban, what were they thinking there?
Allowing imports willy-nilly, it’s like they just don’t care
Desalination plants, billions down the drain
Just because some boffin said it wouldn’t rain again

They could’ve spent that cash on dams or to farm wet-season water
Give a little hope to the farmers’ sons and daughters
But they don’t know how to budget and they don’t know how to plan
There’s no vision for the future, politics is just a scam
Where you lie to get in power then keep on lying when you do
Hang in for a decade and get a lifelong pension too
Look they aint all rotten apples but jeez the stench is hard to cop
And you don’t need a crystal ball to know it starts right at the top
So when they start preaching “green” you know they’re really talking cash

Forget the carbon footprint, what they’re leaving is a rash
That will mutate to a cancer if they keep bowing down to greed
When it’s plain to everyone that common sense is what we need
If Coal Seam Gas is safe let’s see some guarantees
Otherwise get your poison spikes out of our water table please
Think Exxon Valdez or the Gulf of Mexico
It’s just too big a risk so the poison spikes must go
Bass Strait has still got plenty, there’s lots of gas to go around
We can’t risk the CSG if the process isn’t sound

Which brings us to the wind farms, Green Power so they say
But it’s just another con job at the back end of the day
A ruse to recoup millions corporations have outlaid
For a dodgy power source that just doesn’t make the grade

You still need a back-up system when the wind gets sick of blowing
Then it’s either gas or coal to keep the system going
So the so-called carbon credits don’t add up to much
But they sell them for a fortune so someone’s getting touched
And sure as hell it’s you and me, our wallets fund the scheme
While the wind turbine brigade they sit back and live the dream

Well, there was no blind eye being turned by Alby Schultz, now here’s a bloke
Who wasn’t being fooled by the mirrors and the smoke
He’s stood with them toe to toe, called them at their game
And when they finally tell the truth they will hang their heads in shame

Government-funded fraud while they masquerade as Green
They can’t survive without the subsidies, this goes way beyond obscene
Ten billion dollars plus is what they’ve promised these pretenders
That’s just in the next five years, you know there’s more on the agenda
All for a thing that doesn’t work, one of the dumbest plans on earth
The power that it generates costs way more than it’s worth

But they’re not just burning dollars, the environment suffers too
There are a heap of bloody things that they’re just not telling you
Those 60m blades, they can’t be broken down
So they’re encased in concrete coffins and buried underground
And you can’t ignore the fact they’re ugly, a blight on every farm
And they lie right to our face and say they don’t do any harm
Well tell that to the birds who get slaughtered every day
Or the bats whose lungs explode from the sound and pressure waves

With the birds all dead or gone, the insects have a ball
Where are the impact studies, were there any done at all?
Or were they done by those whose funding comes from government allocations
So they bodgy the results and join in the celebrations
The scientists keep their funding, the pollies get their dirty bucks
And we’re left to hold the baby, well I’m sorry but that sucks

And you can’t ignore Wind Turbine Syndrome, it’s making people sick
Headaches, nausea, tinnitus, these folk aren’t playing tricks
They don’t like seeing doctors, it’s hard to get them in the car
So if farmers say they’re crook well you know they bloody are
And it’s causing splits in families and neighbours having blues
You’ve got the ones who take the cash and you can’t blame them if they do.

A huge boost to pay the mortgage but it’s a decision based on fraud
And sadly they’ll find out the risk far outweighs the reward
See they’re swapping health for wealth and it’s a dangerous game to play
Can’t afford to leave but then they can’t afford to stay
If they do get crook and then get stuffed by farm devaluation
Will the Wind Turbine Brigade offer any compensation
Well we know the answer’s “no”, there’s no way that they care
So we need the people we elected to stand up and do what’s fair

Enough of all the bullshit, stop treating us like fools
We watch you prostitute yourselves to let people break the rules
Well the line has now been drawn, this is it, no ifs or buts
Put all the spin away, it’s time to show some guts
Throw your hands up in the air and admit that you’ve been wrong
All the crap we’ve had to wear has gone on way too long
So lets stop all the subterfuge, wind turbines are a farce
Giant bloody fire-traps, huge pains in the ass
Killing birds and killing bats, making people ill,
Humungous ugly money pits and we’re left to pay the bill

We’ve laid the facts out on the table, if we’re wrong then show us how
And when you own up to the truth, then the time to act is now
Reclaim your integrity, stand up and join the fight
Look into your hearts and just do what’s bloody right
Nothing’s set in stone, you know it’s not too late
Front the turbine people and just say “it’s over, mate”
The dollars just aren’t worth it, that’s the way it’s always been
Because these wind farms they ain’t pretty and they sure ain’t bloody green

 

Three hard-hitting websites!

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Editor’s note:  Three websites worth visiting often.  “No More Lies,” “Stop These Things!”  (Australia), and “Ontario Wind Resistance” (Canada).

What distinguishes the three from the rest of the pack—and there’s a lot of ’em!—is their calling a “spade a spade.”  Most anti-turbine websites are polite.  These three definitely are not.  If you’re polite to these bums (wind developers, their academic & acoustician shills, and government enablers), you’re not paying attention!

The only appropriate name for a thug is—a “thug.”  That’s why the word was invented.

No more lies

Stop these things2

OWR2

 

Outrage over wind turbines! (Mass.)

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Outrage over wind turbines! (UK)

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“Wind turbines are a human health hazard: The smoking gun” (UK)

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—James Delingpole, The Telegraph (UK), 7/25/13

How much more dirt needs to come out before the wind industry gets the thorough investigation it has long deserved?

The reason I ask is that it has now become clear that the industry has known for at least 25 years about the potentially damaging impact on human health of the impulsive infrasound (inaudible intermittent noise) produced by wind turbines. Yet instead of dealing with the problem it has, on the most generous interpretation, swept the issue under the carpet – or worse, been involved in a concerted cover-up operation.

A research paper prepared in November 1987 for the US Department of Energy demonstrated that the “annoyance” caused by wind turbine noise to nearby residents is “real not imaginary.” It further showed that, far from becoming inured to the disturbance people become increasingly sensitive to it over time.

This contradicts claims frequently made by wind industry spokesmen that there is no evidence for so-called Wind Turbine Syndrome (the various health issues ranging from insomnia and anxiety to palpitations and nausea reported by residents living within a mile or more of wind turbines). Until recently, RenewableUK – the British wind industry’s trade body – claimed on its website: “In over 25 years and with more than 68,000 machines installed around the world, no member of the public has ever been harmed by the normal operation of wind farms.”

In a section called Top Myths About Wind Energy’ section it claimed that accusations that wind farms emit ‘infrasound and cause associated health problems’ are ‘unscientific’.

Other pro-wind campaigners, such as Australian public health professor Simon Chapman, have gone still further by insisting that the symptoms reported by Wind Turbine Syndrome victims around the world are imaginary and often politically motivated.

But the 1987 report, based on earlier research by NASA and several universities, tells a different story. A team led by physicist ND Kelley from the Solar Energy Research Institute in Golden, Colorado tested under controlled conditions the impact of low-frequency noise generated by turbine blades.

It found that the disturbance is often worse when indoors than when outside (a sensation which will be familiar to anyone who has heard a helicopter hovering above their house).

In subsequent lab tests involving seven volunteers, it found that “people do indeed react to a low-frequency noise environment”. As a result of its findings, the report recommended that in future wind turbines should be subject to a maximum noise threshold to prevent nearby residents experiencing “low-frequency annoyance situations.”

However these recommendations – widely publicised at the Windpower 87 Conference & Exposition in San Francisco – fell on (wilfully, it seems more than plausible) deaf ears.

Rather than respond to the issues raised, the industry devised a code of practice apparently contrived to ignore those very acoustic levels of most concern. ETSU-R-97 – the UK industry standard, which became the model for wind developers around the world – places modest limits on sound within the normal human hearing range, but specifically excludes the lower frequency “infrasonic” noise known to cause problems.

Last month the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) published a report by the Institute of Acoustics examining whether ETSU-R-97 was still adequate to the task. Remarkably, instead of stiffening regulations, it made them more lax, not only continuing to ignore the Low Frequency Noise and infrasound issue, but actually giving wind farms leeway to make more noise at night and to be built even closer to dwellings.

John Constable, director of the Renewable Energy Foundation, commented: “The report may represent current wind industry practice but it is very poor guidance and fails in its duty of care.”

The industry’s response is that turbine design has grown so much more sophisticated since the late Eighties that the problems identified in the 1987 report – which built on work from another report two years before – no longer apply.

“We’re often hearing these weird and wacky reports on the effects of wind. It seems anyone can stand up and say anything, which we find somewhat worrying because it gives a false impression. We don’t accept the suggestion that there are any health impacts caused by wind turbine noise, though we welcome any new research into the issue,” a spokesman for Renewable UK told me.

However this is contradicted by the author of the original reports Neil Kelley. Kelley has told Graham Lloyd – the environment editor from The Australian who (uncharacteristically for an environment editor puts truth before green ideology) broke the story – that research has shown that it is still possible for modern wind turbines to create “community annoyance.”

Kelley, who served as the principal scientist (atmospheric physics) at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s National Wind Technology Centre from 1980 to 2011, told Lloyd:

“Many of the complaints I have heard described are very similar to those from residents who were exposed to the prototype wind turbine we studied.”

He said the original research was performed to understand the “totally unexpected community complaints from a 2MW downwind prototype wind turbine.”

He said: “While follow-on turbine designs moved the rotors upwind of the tower, the US Department of Energy funded an extensive multi-year research effort in order to develop a full understanding of what created this situation.”

“Their goal was to make such knowledge available to the turbine engineers so they could minimise the possibility of future designs repeating the experience. We found the majority of the physics responsible for creating the annoyance associated with this downwind prototype are applicable to large upwind machines.”

The wind industry has resisted demands from campaigners to investigate this problem further. For example, in Australia, Lloyd reports, the wind turbine manufacturer Vestas has argued in a submission to the NSW government that low frequency noise not be measured.

But as Kelley said to Lloyd, if low frequency noise from turbines does not influence annoyance within homes, “then why should [the industry] be concerned?”

Those readers with an appetite for even more technical detail may be interested in the views of acoustics expert Dr Malcolm Swinbanks:

The important aspect to understand is that the old-fashioned downwind rotor-turbines did indeed generate a wider spectrum of infranoise and low-frequency noise, extending from 1Hz to 50Hz or 60Hz. Modern upwind rotor turbines are definitely very much quieter in the 32 and 64 Hz octave bands, but under some circumstances they can be similarly noisy over the frequency range 1Hz – 10Hz.

The wind industry denies this aspect, namely that they do not generate impulsive infrasound – I was present at a public meeting, with 400 farmers enthusiastically wanting wind-turbines on their land, when a wind-industry representative argued that I was incorrect to quote NASA research because the NASA research related only to downwind turbines. In fact NASA led the world in developing upwind rotor turbines, with the first, MOD-2 in 1981. They were fully aware of the differences between downwind and upwind configurations as long ago as 1981. Although upwind turbines are indeed quieter in respect of audible sound, NASA was well aware that inflow turbulence or wind-shear could give rise to enhanced infrasound from upwind turbines.

In the context of that particular public meeting, the chairman refused to let me respond at that time to correct the wind-industry presentation, and argued that I could only send a letter to the Planning Committee, which I duly did under strong protest. So I have encountered the wind-industry position directly at first hand.

The problem is that while the acoustics community fully acknowledge that the audible component of low-frequency sound (>20Hz) can cause adverse human reaction, they consistently deny that infrasound (<20Hz) can cause similar effects unless it is “above” the threshold of hearing. Yet there is at least one reported laboratory experiment (Chen et al, 2004) which showed that infrasound 10dB below the hearing threshold caused adverse psychological and physiological effects after 1 hour exposure. This particular test signal was a tone 110dB at 2.14Hz, where the threshold is around 120dB. So infrasonic sound pressure levels “below” the threshold of hearing have indeed been shown to cause adverse effects.

The response of the Australian Senate Inquiry to this information was that wind-turbines don’t generate 110dB. But just as sound pressure levels are always weighted in the audible frequency range, using the dBA scale – one does not quote absolute sound pressure levels, but dBA levels, so the infrasound range is correctly measured using the weighted dBG scale. This is an ISO internationally approved scale, and 110dB at 2.14Hz represents 82 dBG on the dBG scale. Modern wind turbine peak infrasonic impulsive levels have been measured as high as 76-80dBG, which is only marginally below the 82dBG level that was found to cause adverse effects in the Chen laboratory tests.

It is notable that when some acousticians wish to argue that wind turbine infrasound is not a problem, they quote known problematic infrasonic sound levels using the unweighted decibel dB scale, which makes these levels seem well “out-of-reach” of wind turbine infrasound levels. Yet these same acousticians would not dream of using absolute sound pressure levels to evaluate conventional audible sound, but will always quote correctly weighted dBA levels.

Thus, for example, the Chen infrasonic tests were at 110dB at 2.14Hz. This is 82dBG. In contrast, a “child-on-a swing” is also quoted by some acousticians as “not-a-problem”, when it is experiencing 110dB. This 110dB is at around 0.5Hz, so the corresponding dBG level is only 50dBG. Although the absolute sound pressure levels are identical, the perceived infrasound levels in these two cases are very different and cannot be equated to each other.

So I am unimpressed by the casual practice of quoting absolute sound pressure levels for describing infrasound, in order to exaggerate differences, when it is well recognized that the response of the ear is not uniform, and weighted sound pressure levels should be used for describing the likely hearing response.

This feature is responsible for much of the confusion that arises – interchange of unweighted and weighted levels can lead to very different conclusions – a situation which does not help to clarify the overall impact of infrasound.

It is noteworthy that some recent research indicates that at the very lowest frequencies (around ~1Hz) infrasound may be perceived by a different, separate mechanism than the ear’s conventional auditory mechanisms, so that at these frequencies, the G-weighting may no longer be accurate. But this is only a very recent deduction. Wind turbines undoubtedly generate their strongest signals at around 1Hz, so this is a new area of investigation which may also reveal additional adverse effects.

Malcolm Swinbanks, PhD

Malcolm Swinbanks, PhD

And here is the expert opinion of another US acoustics expert, Rick James – who thinks it somewhat unlikely that the wind industry is unaware of the problem:

The “Kelly paper” is just one of many studies and reports published in the period from 1980 to 1990 by acousticians and other researchers working under grants from the US Dept. of Energy (DOE), NASA, and other agencies and foundations. All of these papers are still available on web sites open to the public. I have attached one of the later papers (“Wind Turbine Acoustics, Hubbard and Shepherd”) that summarize many of those studies.

The acoustical conferences, at least those here in the US, all had presentations on wind turbine noise and it was one of the “hot” topics in the field. Earlier papers such as the 1982 Hubbard paper on Noise Induced House Vibrations was reporting some of the early research showing wind turbines were heard at lower auditory thresholds and that the infrasound was affecting people inside homes in much the same was jet noise at airports was affecting communities along flight paths.

As a general rule, all of this research noted the need for caution if large upwind wind turbines of the type being installed today were to be located near homes and communities. As you can see in the Kelly paper there was concern over health impacts by the research community.

Concurrent with this type of work the US DOD and NASA were investigating human response to infrasonic sound and vibration to help select candidates for jet pilots and space missions. This led to studies of nauseogenicity like the “1987 report on Motion Sickness Symptoms and Postural Changes……”

Suffice it to say that between the issues of dynamically modulated infra and low frequency sound causing adverse health effects called “Sick Building Syndrome,” similar effects observed from wind turbines leading to the Kelley paper, military interest in motion sickness and other similar issues for large ships with slowly rotating engines to jet aircraft noise few acousticians in that period would have discounted the premise that for some people these types of sounds posed serious issues.

Rick James

Rick James, Acoustician (USA)

Can anyone imagine a potential scandal of this magnitude in the fossil fuel industry going uninvestigated by the green lobby – and hitting the front pages of all the newspapers?

I can’t.

The Science of Wind Turbine Syndrome: Part 2

Editor’s note:  Eric Bibler wrote the following as an “open letter” to Heather Goldstone, Science Editor of a Cape Cod (Mass.) radio station that happens to be an affiliate of National Public Radio (NPR).  He takes her to task for, evidently, routinely dismissing Wind Turbine Syndrome as so much moonshine.  (If you haven’t read  Curt Devlin’s “The Science of Wind Turbine Syndrome:  Part 1,” you should.  Bibler bases his remarks on Devlin’s article.)

It’s our understanding that Goldstone holds a PhD degree (believe it or not!) from MIT.  In marine biology (we think).  Ostensibly, this qualifies her as a scientist, though not a clinician.  There is another point to be made about Goldstone.  Her husband, on the faculty at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, is a member of the Falmouth Board of Health—a board that for the longest time dismissed WTS as—once again—moonshine.

Looks like a Goldstone family habit.

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To:  Heather Goldstone, Science Editor, WCAI National Public Radio
From:  Eric Bibler, Rhode Island
Date:  July 25, 2013

Re. “The Science of Wind Turbine Syndrome”: The real gold standard of science is not “peer review”; it’s something called “reproducibility

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Dear Ms. Goldstone,

I am writing to provide you with a copy of a recent essay by Mr. Curt Devlin regarding a dangerous fallacy that has been repeatedly promoted by you, and others, regarding the true nature of the scientific method.

The essay, which refers to you by name, explains in plain English why the obsession with “peer reviewed” studies is nothing more than a ploy used by the wind energy industry — and its sympathizers — to create an artificial and illegitimate standard of “evidence of harm” from wind turbines whose practical effect — and obvious intent — is to dismiss the torrent of evidence from all over the world that demonstrates, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that these adverse impacts are occurring on a global scale.

I, too, have long been troubled by your dismissive public remarks concerning the research of Dr. Nina Pierpont’s book, “Wind Turbine Syndrome.”

Specifically, I have been amazed that someone with your training should continue to insist this work is (a) “not peer reviewed,” and (b) that the gold standard of science is peer review.

In the first instance, it seems that you have not even bothered to read Dr. Pierpont’s book. If you had, you would have discovered, to your shock and amazement, that the work was actually read in advance of publication by a distinguished group of medical doctors, including clinicians, epidemiologists and other medical researchers, all of whom found merit in the work. And if you had bothered to dig a little deeper, you would find that many other distinguished scientists who read the book after its publication (and considered the quality of the research) had commented favorably on its contribution to knowledge.

Such minimal research would not seem like too much to ask of someone who regularly reports on science for the National Public Radio.

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In the second instance, it is a source of constant dismay that you fail to understand the simple point that Mr. Devlin makes in his essay — namely, that peer review isn’t really worth a damn, other than acting as a screen to publication in various journals.

As you know, scientists offer competing hypotheses all the time to explain events around us, including medical phenomena that make their presence known through the assertion of symptoms without immediately revealing all of the intricate details of the mechanisms that produce the symptoms. In other words, the effects are always appreciated, first; only later — typically after a considerable amount of hard work and ingenuity are brought to bear — are the causes of those effects completely comprehended.

As the Science Editor at NPR, surely you must be able to appreciate that his is how we came to achieve a detailed understanding of every disease or medical illness on earth, including malaria, polio, mercury poisoning and mesothelioma (from exposure to asbestos).

The gold standard of science is “TRUTH” — not the “truthiness” of “peer review,” which is subject to all of the distorting and falsifying influences enumerated by Mr. Devlin — all of which are familiar and well-understood by every practicing scientist.

As Mr. Devlin cogently explains, the way we verify the “truth” of any scientific hypothesis is through “reproducibility” — not through “peer review.”

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As Mr. Devlin explains, “peer review” is just an opinion; “reproducibility is where the rubber meets the road.

If scientists of all persuasions are able to reproduce the findings of a study, that adds credibility to the accuracy of the hypothesis; conversely, if other scientists — such as the paid shills of the wind energy industry and sympathetic science editors — are unable to contradict the findings of the original study, this also confers credibility on the conclusions of the study.

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I regret to inform you, Ms. Goldstone, that “peer review” is only the “Goldstone Standard” — and not the “gold standard” — of science. Nothing more, nothing less. And that the “Goldstone Standard” of science is a rather pathetic and misguided one, at that.

Please also consider — in this context of our mutual quest for the truth about the adverse health impacts from industrial wind turbines — that you and your like-minded cohorts in the wind industry have regularly sneered at first person testimonials from the victims of these installations, haughtily dismissing them as “anecdotal” and “unscientific” — and therefore largely irrelevant, according to you.

You habitually and sanctimoniously dismiss all of this information, notwithstanding the fact that these testimonials and the pattern of adverse health impacts that are reported are eerily similar — virtually identical — regardless of where they come from.

All of the complainants share the following circumstances, regardless of what country or continent they inhabit:

» They live in relatively close proximity to newly installed wind turbines.

» They were doing fine before the wind turbines arrived.

» They are profoundly disturbed — sometimes physically ill — while the wind turbines are operating.

» Their symptoms disappear — or greatly alleviated — when the turbines stop operating or when they remove themselves to a safe distance.

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Even though there are literally THOUSANDS of these reports from residents located on six continents describing the same pattern of symptoms — and the same cause and effect — this is not “scientific” enough for you.

You want them to tell their symptoms to a scientist who will diligently record all this information as “data.”  God knows where you think that money for this exercise will come from, with no profit potential for anyone.  And if the victims hired their own researcher, you would doubtless declare the results to be “biased” — and dismiss them as “invalid.”

Then you want some OTHER group of scientist to review the “data” — the description of the symptoms that have been described by the victims and diligently recorded by the researcher — and to bless it as worthy of publication.

Only then will the “data” be considered to satisfy the “Goldstone Standard” of excellence — and be credible to anyone, in your view.

Do you not understand the absurdity of dismissing thousands and thousands of first-person accounts in this way, based on the idea that it is “not credible” unless it is “peer reviewed” by the editors of some medical journal?

Let me try to explain this to you a different way.

I am not a trained scientist — at least no beyond a typical high school education in the subject. But I am a practicing Emergency Medical Technician (EMT).

As you can appreciate, EMT’s are pretty low on the food chain in the rarefied realm of “science” that you inhabit. We respond to medical emergencies, we assess the condition of patients and provide emergency medical care to stabilize and improve their condition, and we drive them to the hospital in an ambulance for further treatment, if necessary. We’re not PhD’s and we’re not brain surgeons, but we’re trained to provide basic medical assistance that sometimes proves to be vitally important.

Guess what we do when we first encounter a patient in distress: We ask them to tell us their symptoms. Why did they call 911?  What’s wrong?  What’s different?  What are they feeling?

And do you know why we do this, Ms. Goldstone?

Because the patient is the only source of this information!

I can observe the scene of an accident. I can tell if there has been a significant “mechanism of injury” if a car has hit a tree at high speed.  I can tell if someone obviously has a broken arm. But I can’t tell if his abdomen hurts, if he is dizzy, or if he has chest pain or tingling in his legs.

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Do we summon a doctor with a clipboard to interview the patient and tabulate the results in a fancy spreadsheet — and wait for him to compile similar data from 50 other car crashes — before addressing the immediate problem?

Do we dismiss the information we receive from the patient until some other team of scientists has had a chance to subject the first scientist’s findings to a “peer review” — the “Goldstone Standard” — to confirm our suspicion that the patient might be in serious jeopardy if we do nothing?

Do we tell the patient that we’d like to believe him — that we certainly sympathize with his predicament — and that we think it’s highly possible he might be telling the truth — but, unfortunately, we can’t really do anything until the scientists all get together and publish their findings?

Or do we tell him — as in the Town of Falmouth, where your husband is a member of the Board of Health — that we’d like to take him to the hospital — God knows he’s in bad shape — but the Board of Selectmen has decided to limit ambulance trips to one a day — as part of their “balancing of interests” and to save the taxpayers’ money — and, unfortunately, we already made a trip to the hospital earlier in the day — so he’ll just have to suck it up?

No. We don’t do any of these things.

Why?

» Because there is only one expert on “symptoms” — and that is the patient. We cannot see or hear his symptoms. He feels them and he reports them to us.

» Because have no reason to doubt the patient — especially when we know that similar patients in similar circumstances are likely to report the same symptoms. Why should I be shocked if a victim in a car crash reports neck pain? Or if a diabetic is dizzy and disoriented? I know from experience that one thing leads to another — without a “peer review.”

» Because the patient’s “first person testimonial” seems credible — particularly if the patient has no reason to lie. Am I to suspect that victims of car crashes are part of some vast global conspiracy because they report similar symptoms after the same “mechanism of injury” in the absence of a “peer review”?  Really?  Why do they do it?  How did they manage to communicate with each other and make sure they got their stories straight — time after time after time, a thousand times, in a thousand places?

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The reason we don’t apply the “Goldstone Standard” and insist upon a “peer review” of this information is simple:  If we did, we would have a lot of dead and dying patients.  People would be in agony, walking around with broken arms.  Or in a diabetic coma.  Or suffering anaphylactic shock from an acute allergic reaction.  Or experiencing the initial stages or the warning signs of an imminent heart attack — while we all awaited the “peer review” of our initial assessment.

It’s the same with “wind turbine syndrome” — a simple term which you, and others, love to ridicule and dismiss.  This is a straightforward reference to “a concurrence of symptoms” that tend to occur in people who live too close to wind turbines.  No brainer.

How do we know this?  Because the victims report this same “concurrence of symptoms” — or some variation thereof — over and over and over again in the presence of wind turbines.

How did Dr. Pierpont discover this?  She contacted a wind turbine site and asked the residents to describe their symptoms. Then she recorded the results of these “first person testimonials” — as they were described to a scientist.  She then organized and compiled them in a manner that passed “peer review” with flying colors (fulfilling the rigorous terms of the “Goldstone Standard”).  Then she published them to alert the world that she thought there was a burgeoning problem that merited our attention — and further study.

As Curt Devlin notes, Dr. Pierpont also called attention to the limitations of her study — primarily the modest sample size — and invited others to “reproduce” her studies to validate the truth of her findings.

In fact, other researchers have validated her findings, and no researcher has invalidated her conclusions.

We can go further.  There is a growing consensus — even at the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (which never laid eyes on a wind turbine project it couldn’t love, including proposals to install 500-foot wind turbines less than 600 feet from residences in Eastham and Bourne); and even at the Massachusetts Department of Environmental “Protection”, headed by Ken Kimmell, author of the ill-fated Wind Energy Siting Reform Act to ram wind turbines down the throats of recalcitrant communities and who engineered the infamous MA DEP sham science study — that wind turbines cause serious adverse health impacts.

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Why?  Largely because it is increasingly difficult — if not impossible — to ignore the voices of thousands of people who have suffered the direct consequences of these installations — the patients whose symptoms even you will one day grudgingly acknowledge — no doubt with a wistful sigh, saying:  “If only we had had the peer-reviewed studies then that we have today, we could have avoided this whole problem.”

Although the main reason is that sooner or later, with or without a “peer review” and with or without any reference to the “Goldstone Standard,” the truth always asserts itself.

I hope you don’t mind that I am circulating this letter to some of your peers in the press who, like you, regularly report on wind energy in Massachusetts.  I will also be posting it on the same website where Curt Devlin published his critique of the fundamental bankruptcy of your religious devotion to the concept of “peer review” — even as you ignore the immense weight of evidence right in front of you on this important subject.

I hope that you will take the opportunity to respond, so that we can all gain a better understanding of your point of view, and that you will post your response on the same website for the benefit of all.

Sincerely,

Eric Bibler

Note:  None of the opinions expressed above have been “peer reviewed.”

 

Eric Bibler

Eric Bibler

 

The Science of Wind Turbine Syndrome: Part 1

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The real gold standard of science is not “peer review”; it’s something called “reproducibility.”
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—Curt Devlin (Fairhaven, MA), 7/1/13

Science has become a rareified business these days. It is conducted far outside the bounds of the average person’s experience. As a result, it’s easy to mislead people about how science actually works and what counts as good science or bad science. Most people know that evolution is considered to be good science and creationism is considered to be bad science, but they still would be largely at a loss to explain why.

When told that the “gold standard” of science is peer review, most people tend to accept this as gospel. If science has become so sophisticated that only experts in the field can understand it, then surely it makes sense to have any scientific conclusions evaluated by other experts in that field. Right?

Unfortunately, the idea that peer review is the gold standard of science is absolutely false.

To the extent that peer review is based on authority or expert opinion, it is completely contrary to the true spirit of science. Peer review is not a bad practice, but its true purpose is to improve the work and decide if it is worthy of being published. You could say that peer review is the gold standard of publication—nothing more and nothing less.

At its heart, the real core of science is a handful of simple ideas called the scientific method. It involves careful observation, precise measurement, and accurate reporting of both the conditions under which measurements were made, and the measured results themselves. The whole point of the scientific method is to eliminate human authority, opinion, or bias of any kind from consideration.

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The real gold standard of science is something called reproducibility. Simply put, this means that if you do the same experiment under the same conditions and same measurement precision, you get the same results.

You could say the mantra of science is “see for yourself.”

If we apply the standard of reproducibility to the findings reported by Dr. Nina Pierpont in her book, “Wind Turbine Syndrome” (WTS), her conclusions hold up remarkably well because her work is based on very careful observation and measurement. Her reporting of experimental conditions and measurements is extremely detailed and meticulous—even to the point of publishing all the raw data in her book. (No one who is interested in selling a book puts raw data in it.) Presumably, Pierpont did this to ensure that serious defects would be obvious. This type of transparency and disclosure is a signature of scientific integrity.

Predictability is also a very important element of good science. The findings of a study should support specific predictions about outcomes under certain conditions. As a resident of Fairhaven, Massachusetts, where two 1.5 MW industrial wind turbines were sited in a dense neighborhood two years ago, WTS has proven to be an excellent predictor of the adverse health effects that have occurred since then. I have absolutely no doubt that the results of Pierpont’s study could be reproduced in Fairhaven tomorrow.

Pierpont’s critics within the wind industry could easily fund an independent study to determine whether her experiments can be reproduced, but they never have and never will. Perhaps they already know too well that these attempts will only result in confirming her findings. Pierpont’s findings are simple enough. When people live near wind turbines, they experience nausea, dizziness, sleeplessness and stress-induced illnesses. When they get away from them, they begin to feel much better and may recover completely.

Just the other day, I heard a science editor on public radio, Heather Goldstone, leveling criticism that WTS is not peer reviewed and parroting the claim that peer review is the gold standard of science. Anyone who has read WTS (as I have) knows that Goldstone is factually incorrect. Pierpont sought review, advice, and criticism from her peers throughout her research and publication. This group included highly regarded clinicians, acoustic experts, researchers in neurology and public health, among others. The referee reports (aka peer reviews) are all included in the book, for those who trouble themselves to actually read it.

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Heather Goldstone

Goldstone also claimed that Pierpont’s study was flawed because she studied subjects only in one small location. This is also factually incorrect, proving only that our “science” editor, Goldstone, had never bothered to actually read WTS herself. (Maybe she got this information about the book from “good authority,” perhaps a friend in the wind industry?)

As Pierpont explains in the book, she went to great lengths to identify subjects from other geographies and countries to avoid this limitation in her case study. That is why she had to restrict the participants to those who spoke English, to ensure that she could clearly understand their reports.

By contrast, the process of peer review does not stand up so well under close scrutiny. Several studies have shown that the peer review process can be fraught with petty professional jealousy, personal grudges, and other conflicts of interest created by ambition, academic competition, and so forth. Some studies have shown that this problem is even worse in blind and double-blind peer reviews, because reviewers can hide behind anonymity and offer reviews that they would not stake their professional reputation on.

So much for peer review as the ultimate standard of scholarly publication.

Advocates of wind energy would have you believe that anything that is not peer-reviewed should be discredited and disregarded. Let’s see how this idea holds up.

In 1904, if you had argued that apples fall from the tree to the ground because the immense mass of the Earth causes space to warp, you would have been treated to some strange looks. If you had claimed that time slows down as things speed up, or that matter and energy were really two forms of the same thing, you probably would have been diagnosed with dementia praecox (that’s what Alzheimer’s was called in those days). Truly, such ideas simply defy common sense. (Note:  Good science often does.)

You would have been subjected to raucous laughter if you had mentioned that you learned all this from a third-rate clerk at a Swiss patent office in Bern.

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And yet, as improbable as all this sounds, this is more or less what Albert Einstein did tell us in an article he published in a German periodical called Annals of Physics in 1905. It established one of the very pillars of modern physics for the next century.

Amazingly, Einstein’s work was not peer-reviewed at all. It was read by Max Planck, the pre-eminent physicist of the day, who gave it a wink and a nod. Then it was published. Since then, Einstein’s theories have been experimented with, scrutinized, and tested as much as any in history. Science must accept or reject it based on evidence alone, not a “peer reviewer’s” authority or opinion.

Einstein’s ideas—most, at least—have been confirmed over and over again.

Based on the “gold standard” of peer review, however, we are presumably expected to discard the theory of relativity until it has been properly peer reviewed.

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James Watson

In 1953, two Harvard biologists, James Watson and Francis Crick, published a paper in the journal Nature claiming that the chemical structure of DNA, the code for all life on Earth (and probably the universe), is a double helix—like a spiral staircase, which in fact gave them the idea.

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Again, they did so without a single peer review. It would seem that we must disregard the foundations of modern biology and genetics, too. The “gold standard” of peer review demands it, correct?

When given fairly and honestly, peer review can be a powerful ally of science. Often, peer review can provide an invaluable exchange of ideas between researchers. Sometimes it can be the beginning of fruitful collaboration between scientists, each of whom is holding a different piece of the same puzzle. But the idea that peer review is the final arbiter of science is absurd. If there is such a standard, it is, and must be, reproducibility. Replicability.

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Darwin’s “Origin of Species” was not “peer-reviewed” before publication.  But it was “replicated”—and it revolutionized biology.

Let’s face it.  The chant of peer review coming from religious devotees of wind is becoming nothing more than lip service by those who have been turned into intellectual zombies by the incessant propaganda of a wind industry that places profits above health, politics before science, and opinion over genuine knowledge.

In the case of WTS, this chant has been used as a weapon of mass delusion, a device to dismiss a superb piece of science and a pioneering contribution to our knowledge about the impact of wind turbines on human health and wellbeing. This has been done because legitimate criticism and ground-level research only serve to strengthen the conclusions arrived at in this book.

If you are interested in some of the most cogent and legitimate criticisms of WTS that I have read, consider these:

» The study was done by interview and limited to available medical records.

» Participant memory limitations or distortions.

» Possible minimization or exaggeration effects.

» The study was limited to English-speaking subjects.

» Small case series sample.

» Limited duration of follow-up.

The details of these specific criticisms and limitations of the Pierpont report can be found on pages 124-125 of WTS. Pierpont herself wrote them to alert her peers and fellow clinicians, and to identify the limitations of her own work; undoubtedly realizing that the study should be done on a much larger scale to address them. This was a task she did not have sufficient resources to do herself.

Calling attention to the defects or limitations of your own study does not invalidate it. On the contrary, it is one of the hallmarks of good science and an invitation to further study by other scientists who may be in a position to eliminate those limitations and either confirm or reject its conclusions on the basis of the evidence alone.

At the end of the day, you must ask yourself why a study of such profound social importance has not been repeated on a large scale. Could it be that those with the most to lose are afraid of what they will find?

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“Wind Turbine Syndrome” is good science. The devotees of wind turbines, who would challenge the results reported in its pages, must do so on the basis of more good science—or not at all. Either they must exercise the Principle of Reproducibility or accept Ludwig Wittgenstein’s famous caution, “Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.”

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Devlin2

Curt Devlin

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Editor’s note:  Notice “Google’s” home page image, today.  Celebrating Rosalind Franklin on her 93rd birthday.

Google

Wind energy protestors man-handled by cops! (Ontario)

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Editor’s note:  Ontario’s new premier, Kathleen Wynne (pronounced “win”), is a loser (pronounced “loser”) when it comes to respecting civil liberties and freedom of speech.  Ontario Liberals are continuing with their neo-fascist agenda of slamming wind turbines down the throat of unwilling communities and, along the way, slamming wind protestors—literally.

Where’s the outrage, Ontario?  Why just a handful of people expressing the outrage?  Where are the academics—the professors and teachers?  The medical doctors?  Lawyers?  Other professionals?  The poets?  The writers?  The clergy?  Um, off writing weighty tomes on subjects like “freedom of speech”?  Civil liberties?

My disdain for these professionals, a good many of whom I have known personally over the past decades, is large.  And growing larger.

 

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The end of (bullshit) wind energy is in sight! Hurrah!

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This image was not part of the original article

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“The greens can’t defy gravity. They’re finished”

—Tim Montgomerie, “The Times” (7/22/13)

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Seven years ago, pulled along by huskies, David Cameron visited a Norwegian glacier. Vote blue, he implored, and go green. One year later Kevin Rudd became Prime Minister of Australia after identifying climate change as the “greatest moral challenge of our time”. Climate change campaigners interpreted his victory as one of seismic importance and governments across Europe rushed to pour money into the renewable energy sector. Then in 2008 along came Barack Obama. The wicked George W. Bush was replaced with a president who promised to stop global warming. Hurrah!

And, for a period, Mr Obama seemed determined to deliver. Here, after all, was the president, some would have us believe, who could walk on water. One year into his blessed reign he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize without having secured peace in any part of the world. He was top of the pops in global opinion surveys. Just about every world leader wanted to be photographed alongside him.

Super-Obama’s great opportunity to save the planet came in 2009 at the Copenhagen climate change summit. He was at the height of his political powers. His Democratic party controlled all of Washington: the presidency, the House of Representatives and the Senate. And yet Copenhagen ended in the same way as almost every other climate change summit of recent times: in failure. Having failed to persuade members of his own party to cut greenhouse gas emissions, Mr Obama also failed to persuade the governments of New Delhi, Beijing and Brasília.

The writing may have been on the wall in 2009, but the green movement has soldiered on. Theirs, they believed, was a moral mission of such importance that nothing would or should get in their way. Whatever the economic, social or political price they were determined to succeed. The doubts of sceptics like me could always be ignored, but when the politicians who once championed green politics are in retreat it is perhaps time for even ecological diehards to get real.

And in the past ten days one of the greenest of green politicians has to all intents, constructions and purposes given up. Last week Australia’s green movement suffered a defeat at least as big as those of the country’s cricket and rugby teams. Mr Rudd announced that he would ditch the carbon tax that had threatened to consign his Labor Party to one of the worst defeats in its history.

All over the world green politicians are presiding over similar climbdowns. From Washington to London, shale gas rather than any renewable technology is seen as the future. Even nations such as Germany and Spain, which led the march to green energy, are slashing unaffordable subsidies to the renewables industry. Lord Lawson of Blaby has claimed that the average share price of companies in the renewable sector has fallen by 80 per cent over five years. “One renewable company after another is going bankrupt,” he declared.

The heavy cost of green energy policies might have been justifiable if they had delivered results, but they haven’t. Since the Kyoto treaty on climate change, global emissions have continued to rise. Since 1990 they have increased by about 50 per cent. China’s increase in emissions has been 25 times greater than the reduction by the EU’s core nations. In so far as Europe has actually met its environmental obligations it has only done so by exporting industrial capacity (and jobs). Once the environmental impact of imported goods has been added to its carbon footprint Europe has clearly failed to keep its environmental promises.

One commentator, Bjørn Lomborg, spelt out the futility of Europe’s unilateral environmentalism. Germany’s efforts to combat climate change might, he calculated, just possibly delay a rise in global temperatures by 37 hours, but that delay will have cost German taxpayers and consumers more than $100 billion in the form of renewable subsidies and higher electricity costs. That’s about $3 billion an hour.

Green enthusiasts are kidding themselves if they blame the global economic slump for the failure of climate change policies. Their policies were always an attempt to defy economic gravity. No half-decent politician in any part of the developing world was ever going to delay economic progress by embracing expensive energy sources. Any policies that prevent a clinic in India from being able to refrigerate medicines or a student in China from being able to read at night were always destined to fail.

I am not one of those people who deny that the climate might be changing. I don’t feel qualified to question the majority of scientists who insist that warming is both real and man-made. My objection to global warming policies is more practical. They aren’t succeeding in cutting emissions and they aren’t going to succeed until so-called clean energy is similar in cost to conventional energy. Until then — and we should be investing in green technologies in the meantime — the demands of millions of wealthy green campaigners will continue to be overwhelmed by the demand from billions of poor people for economic growth and the social justice that it affords them.

Two decades of green policies haven’t just failed to stop global warming. Old age pensioners in Britain and in other developed countries have been forced to bear electricity bills inflated by renewable subsidies. Blue-collar workers have lost their jobs as energy-intensive manufacturing companies have relocated overseas. Beautiful landscapes have been ruined by bird-chopping wind turbines.

There have also been huge opportunity costs. What could world leaders have achieved if they hadn’t spent the past 25 years investing so much money and summitry on global warming? In a brilliant book — How to Spend $75 Billion to Make the World a Better Place — Mr Lomborg has documented how politicians could have been tackling more pressing problems facing the world’s poorest people. Action on HIV/Aids, for example, the provision of micro nutrients to hungry children, the control of malaria, guarantees of clean water and the liberalisation of trade would all have been better uses of politicians’ time and taxpayers’ money.

Many of Britain’s politicians — notably the Chancellor, George Osborne — know all of this. But outside of last week’s welcome but overdue encouragement of fracking, Britain’s statute book is still creaking under the weight of yesteryear’s laws and their commitments to invest in expensive green energies. Until those laws are repealed British businesses and consumers will be paying a very high price for no earthly benefit.

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COMMENT

Nigel Toye 1 hour ago

“The cash wasted on failed global warming policies would be better spent on tackling the problems faced by the poor” Couldn’t agree more. If we are doomed as a species, like all dominant species in the past, then so be it. It is vain to try to stop the inevitable and, let’s be honest, we aren’t that worth saving of all the species on the planet.

Chris D

This is hilarious. We’ve been berating the evil Chinese for their lack of green policies for years. They have been ignoring us and ploughing on with expansion, quite rightly. And now we need a bit of economic growth we are doing a complete about turn. Cracks me up.

Mr Gerald McDermott

The problem is not the futility of green policies,but the sheer power of the industrial forces we have unleashed. It was not so bad when only Manchester and a few other places existed,and we could glory in our achievements and mock those who did not like getting their hands dirty, but the price paid in death and destruction of the environment convinced even the most die hard we were better off without it.

Some years ago I met a former Hungarian communist diplomat who knew more about our industrial history than most Brits. She said. We Were The First We made all the mistakes.And others Learned From Our Mistakes. Alas that last part was not true and the mistakes are being repeated on an ever vaster and more damaging scale.

Spike

About time anyone with an ounce of common sense has been saying this for years, it was a reckless misuse of resources when we needed common sense not wishful thinking, are well some people made a fortune out of one of the biggest cons in human history.

Robert Baker

Cracks are already starting within the green movement. The greens in Germany are supporting the building of new coal fired power stations required because they insisted nuclear be shut down. Even though they have spent enough to generate around 25% of their energy needs from renewables, they still need backup always available power from these new stations in case the wind does’t blow.

 

Danish health expert calls the wind industry “totalitarian & ruthless”

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Editor’s note
:  Click here to listen to an eye-opening interview with Danish health expert, Peter Hjorth, discussing “wind power as industrial imperialism.”  He focuses many of his comments on Danish wind energy giant, Vestas, and its current propaganda campaign in Australia.

Mr. Hjorth recently published a book wherein he writes, “Everything about wind power coming from Denmark—I’m sorry to say—is a  danger to the whole world.”  Invoking Shakespeare’s Hamlet, he ominously adds, “There’s something rotten in the state of Denmark!”

Click here for the source of the interview.

 

Expert dismisses Mass. “Wind Turbine Health Impact Study” as junk science (Dr. Raymond Hartman)

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“Critique of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Planning (DEP) ‘Wind Turbine Health Impact Study, Report of Independent Expert Panel,’ January 2012”

Raymond S. Hartman, PhD (6/5/13)

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Editor’s note:  Dr. Raymond Hartman thoroughly trashes the Mass. DEP’s “Wind Turbine Health Impact Study” that claimed there are no real health effects from industrial wind turbines.  (If you’re not familiar with the Mass. DEP report, read “State of Mass. pronounces Wind Turbine Syndrome [expletive deleted].”)

Dr. Hartman is a magna cum laude graduate of Princeton University (in economics), and holds the PhD in economics from MIT (Mass. Institute of Technology).  He is currently Director and President of Greylock McKinnon Associates (GMA), a consulting and litigation support firm located in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  For forty years he has been a professor at a variety of universities (including the Univ. of Calif. at Berkeley and Boston University) in mathematical economics, focusing on microeconomics, econometric and statistical modeling and the study of industrial organization.

Over the last 35 years, I have submitted oral and written testimony before United States federal and state courts of law and regulatory commissions. I have submitted testimony to international arbitration panels, international governments and the World Bank.

My testimony as an expert witness has addressed anticompetitive behavior, fraudulent pricing schemes, merger efficiencies, breach of contract, employment discrimination, patent infringement, class certification, adverse health impacts of particular technologies and products, and the estimation of damages in a variety of markets and industries including, but not limited to, the pharmaceutical industry, the health care services industry, the electric power industry, the banking industry, the copper industry, the defense industry, the cable TV industry, the tobacco industry, the electrical and mechanical carbon products industry, the medical devices industry, the automobile industry, and the construction industry.

My testimony has been upheld by federal appellate courts.

My two primary areas of specialty are the economics of energy markets and the economics of the markets for health-care services, health-care devices and pharmaceuticals.

Over the last twenty years, I have analyzed and/or submitted testimony in approximately 100 matters of litigation in a variety of health-care, pharmaceutical and medical device industries. The cases most frequently involved antitrust allegations of market foreclosure and economic injury.

My testimony in these matters addressed market definition, product competition, antitrust violations, class certification, unlawful promotion (under RICO) and/or consumer protection laws, and/or damage estimation. My CV provides a more complete presentation of my testimony.

Finally, he writes:

In rendering my opinions, I have relied upon the materials reasonably relied on by experts in my field in forming opinions and drawing inferences on subjects such as these.

Click here to read why he judges the State of Mass. “Wind Turbine Health Impact Study” to be garbage.  In his succinct wording:

I have reviewed and responded to reports like this in excess of 100 times over my career, as an expert witness and as a peer-reviewing academic research referee.

The Health Impact Report fails to rise to the level of reliable scientific research. In matters of litigation, research or testimony that does not reflect, or indeed violates, standard scientific practices is excluded from the record as Junk Science. As noted above, I have submitted many pieces of testimony over the last 35 years. My testimony has never been excluded as Junk Science.

I find that the Health Impact Study is Junk Science. As Table 1 summarizes, there are major flaws with the Health Impact Study.

Click here to read his entire report.

Table 1:

Hartman table2

Screenshot of cover page:

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Click here to read the final conclusions.

 

Does this sound like it’s coming from NIMBY’s? (Not in My Back Yard)

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Editor’s note:  Are these people NIMBY’s (Not in My Back Yard)?  Click here.

Or is the epithet “NIMBY” a cruel & cynical diversion from what’s really happening in rural communities around the world?

DufferinFamily-full-wind turbines

 

Wind Turbine Syndrome was being documented in science journals in the late 70s, early 80s (U.S. Dept. of Energy)

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Editor’s note:  Read this article—or skim it, with attention to the highlighted passages—to discover why the corrupt bastards with PhD’s and MD’s, who argue for the hilarious “nocebo effect” as the cause of Wind Turbine Syndrome, ought to be horsewhipped.

For it turns out that researchers were reporting and analyzing WTS decades ago, in the late 1970s and early 1980s—because the poor saps living within 3 km of wind turbines were complaining of the same symptoms away back then!

Horsewhipped or tarred and feathered?  And definitely stripped of their professional credentials!

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Why wind developers are sharks (Mass.)

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Mr. Michael J. Rzewuski, Chairman
Zoning Board of Review
Charlestown, Rhode Island

July 9, 2013

Dear Chairman Rzewuski and Members of the Zoning Board of Review,

As residents of Massachusetts know, it seems that every day brings some new report of the profound tragedy that has been imposed on communities that have recently condoned the installation of industrial wind turbines, including (but not limited to) Falmouth, Fairhaven, Kingston and Scituate.

Some notable recent bulletins from Fairhaven and Falmouth (where the Board of Health and the Board of Selectmen, respectively, have ordered curtailment of the wind turbine operations) are reprinted below.

This news should provide a loud wake-up call to the Town of Charlestown, RI — or any other town that contemplates the possibility of treading down the same path — for all of the following reasons:

» In every one of these towns — Falmouth, Fairhaven, Kingston and Scituate — the developers insisted that fears about the disruptive adverse impacts of the wind turbines upon the health and well-being of the residents, their quality of life and their property values were overblown. In every single instance, the wind turbine proponents were tragically wrong; in every single instance, there have been widespread complaints regarding each one of these adverse impacts.

» In every one of these towns, the developers promised that the wind turbine noise would have little or no impact — that it would be “audible” but that it would be “no louder than a refrigerator” — and that the noise would comply with applicable noise standards. In fact, the wind turbine noise has been found to exceed the applicable noise limits in every single one of these towns — proving, yet again, that the developers virtually always underestimate the predicted noise levels of the projects by 10 dBA, or more.

»The wind turbines proposed for installation in Charlestown, RI (Vestas V90) are bigger; louder and closer — much closer — to homes than the wind turbines in Falmouth, Fairhaven, Kingston and Scituate where numerous residents have registered anguished health complaints.

Every wind turbine developer insists — without a shred of evidence or justification — that his wind turbines are different from other wind turbines that have caused problems all over the world. Every developer — including Whalerock — insists that his wind turbines are more modern; quieter; and less problematic than the “older” wind turbine models that are wreaking havoc all over New England and beyond. But this is categorically untrue.

The Vestas V90 wind turbine proposed for Charlestown is actually louder than its predecessor, the Vestas model V82, which has been installed in Falmouth. And the fact of the matter is that there is no way to “mitigate” or “resolve” the most obnoxious and problematic elements of wind turbine noise, including:

a) its unnatural, repetitive, man-made quality (particularly in a rural area like Charlestown);

b) its persistence — night and day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year;

c) the rhythmic rise and fall in the volume of noise at one second intervals — the “whooshing” sound described as “amplitude modulation”;

d) the asynchronous sound pattern of two wind turbines operating in close proximity to each other — but not necessarily together — because of their separation, wind turbulence, or other factors;

e) the very high power output of low frequency and sub-audible noise (infrasound), which does not readily attenuate over distances and which may cause the organs of the human ear, body cavities and even structures to respond and to vibrate in unnatural and unhealthy ways.

All of these elements which are currently being imposed on the residents of these towns — in a vast, unauthorized scientific experiment on unwitting human populations — should cause the Charlestown Zoning Board of Review to insist upon very robust proof that the Whalerock wind turbine project will not subject the residents of Charlestown to the same terrible fate.

In this regard, it should be noted that the developer of the proposed wind turbine project — the “Applicant” — is nothing more than a shell corporation — “Whalerock Renewable Energy, LLC” — whose primary purpose is to insulate the owners from any personal or financial liability beyond cost of the machines.

If the Applicant is wrong; if his noise estimates are faulty; if the adverse impacts to the health and well-being, the quality of life and the property values of Charlestown residents are dramatic; the consequences of these profound errors in judgement will be borne not by “Whalerock, LLC” — the paper corporation — but by the residents and the community of Charlestown.

Keeping this point in mind, it should be noted that neither the Applicant nor any of his hired consultants have ever unequivocally declared — much less proven — that the proposed project will be “safe.” Not once.

And needless to say, the Applicant has never offered any guarantees of any kind that he will accept the responsibility if his estimation of the potential adverse consequences proves to be tragically mistaken.

On the contrary, when pressed on this point, Mr. Menge, who oversaw the noise study for HMMH, demurred, saying that he was not a health expert. Furthermore, when repeatedly pressed about the potential adverse impacts of the wind turbine noise upon residents, Mr. Menge would only say that the wind turbine noise “would be audible at some residences.”

In fact, as Mr. Menge knows from his prior experience — including Falmouth, where he was hired by the Town of Falmouth to help diagnose the dire problems that occurred there and where Mr. Menge actually filed his report one month prior to the delivery of his report to Charlestown — the impact upon some residences is likely to quite severe.

But Mr. Menge did not share this knowledge with the Charlestown Zoning Board of Review — because Mr. Menge knows who hired him and who signs his checks. Instead, Mr. Menge would only say that the wind turbine noise will be “audible at some residences” — as if there is no distinction between classical music which is “audible” and fireworks or bulldozers — or wind turbines — which are also “audible.”

Similarly, when Dr. Singer — the audiologist [not a medical doctor–ed.] who posed as the Applicant’s wind turbine “health expert”; who had never heard of Dr. Nina Pierpont [a medical doctor–ed.] and who lionized Dr. Simon Chapman [not a medical doctor–Chapman has a PhD in sociology–ed.] of Australia (who has been denounced from the floor of the Australian parliament by an M.P.; and who appeared recently as a featured speaker at a Vestas public relations event) — appeared before the Charlestown ZBR and was repeatedly asked if there were likely to be any significant adverse health impacts to Charlestown residents, Dr. Singer would only say: “nothing is perfect; nothing is 100% fool proof.”

Dr. Singer then proposed that if we insisted on not harming people, we could never fly in airplanes or drive cars — failing to note that people who fly on airplanes or drive cars undertake these risks of their own free will and not involuntarily — as with residents who have the misfortune to live too close to someone who decides to erect a huge, pulsating machine directly over their heads where it will operate relentlessly, around the clock.

It is clear from the testimony that has already been presented; from numerous studies of wind turbine noise, adverse health impacts and significant, often devastating, property value impacts; from the cautions of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service regarding the very high risk to wildlife, including migrating birds and endangered species of bats; and from the real-time, first hand experience of communities all over New England — and the world — where wind turbines have been indiscriminately installed; that the Whalerock Project is extremely risky and that, from all available evidence, it must be considered to be fundamentally UNSAFE and UNSOUND.

If any member of the Zoning Board of Review is tempted to vote in favor of granting a special permit for the construction of this project, that member must be prepared to defend his, or her, decision by citing a compelling body of evidence that proves, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the project will not significantly harm anyone in the Charlestown community and that it will not significantly compromise the legitimate interests of any legitimate stakeholder in the region.

And any such member of the Zoning Board of Review who grants such approval — only to find that the adverse impacts from the wind turbines were grossly underestimated — must be prepared to defend his errant decision to his friends and neighbors in the Charelstown community.

I once again respectfully urge the members of the Zoning Board of Review, not to do this to your community. Please do not consent to create another Falmouth, Fairhaven, Kingston or Scituate.

I respectfully urge you to DENY this application for a special permit by a unanimous vote of the members of the Board.

Sincerely,

Bibler sig

Eric Bibler
Hopkinton, RI

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Editor’s note:  Mr. Bibler has long been exposing the nasty underbelly of wind energy and its thuggish practitioners who call themselves “wind developers.”  He’s a resident of Rhode Island, with strong family ties to Cape Cod, Mass.

 

U.S. government has known about Wind Turbine Syndrome since 1987 (U.S. Dept. of Energy)

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Editor’s note:  October 1987.  The Windpower ’87 Conference & Exposition in San Francisco.  A paper read by a physicist named N.D. Kelley from the Solar Energy Research Institute in Golden, Colorado.  A research project funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, Contract No. DE-AC02-83CH10093.

Dr. Kelley titled his paper “A Proposed Metric for Assessing the Potential of Community Annoyance from Wind Turbine Low-Frequency Noise Emissions.”  “Emissions” means “noise & vibration.”  And the “low frequency” includes infrasound.  And the sterile phrase, “community annoyance,” is code for Wind Turbine Syndrome–except, Dr. Pierpont had not coined the name in 1987.

Here’s Kelley’s paper.  Rob Rand sent the paper to Rick James (Rand and James are America’s premier experts in measuring and assessing wind turbine noise/vibration), and James then sent it to Dr. Sarah Laurie in Australia.  Dr. Laurie forwarded the paper to us.

Now, it’s yours.  Notice the parts highlighted in yellow.  Notice that the U.S. Dept. of Energy knew about Wind Turbine Syndrome as long ago as this conference.  It was so aware of WTS that it funded a study on it—the study that is the subject of Kelley’s paper.  Notice how Kelley’s paper focuses on infrasound & low frequency noise & vibration inside homes, that is, ILFN caused by wind turbines inside nearby homes.

Yeah, the government and industry knew all about this shit in the 1980s.  It’s now 2013, and the government and industry are still pretending they don’t know about this shit.

Are you angry, yet?

Kelley1

Kelley2

 

Corporate_Pandemonium____by_andi3olotic

Lawyer suggests wind leases can be voided because of health risk deception (Ontario)

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“Lack of information on health could be the way out of wind leases: Attorney Eric Gillespie”

—Heather Wright, Sarnia-Lambton Independent (6/23/13)

An environmental lawyer says there is hope for landowners who want out of wind turbine leases.

Eric Gillespie, who currently is working for Plympton Wyoming in its court battle with Suncor Energy over wind turbine bylaws, gets “dozens” of calls from landowners who signed leases long before anyone realized the potential problems associated with the industrial turbines. Gillespie, who was slated to speak at a meeting organized by Conservation Of Rural Enniskillen Saturday, says some of those landowners are successfully getting out of what many people had believed are ironclad leases.

“We’re aware of at least three situations where it appears we have been successful,” says Gillespie.

“One of the elements that factually they all have in common is the apparent lack of information provided by the wind company at the time the agreement was signed,” he says. “Quite consistently there appears to be a lack of disclosure around potential health issues.

“Experts around the world have been saying for many years that industrial wind turbines cause certain effects on certain people; that is part of the reason why there is a mandatory setback in just about every country that has a high or a significant number of wind turbines. If you could place people safely in very close proximity, there would be no need for a setback. The problem is that while governments around the world acknowledge the health risks, participants, people who signed up in Ontario, don’t get any setback protection,” says Gillespie.

“When you sign the agreement you give up, in almost every case it appears, the 550 meter protection. It’s erased, it no longer applies.”

And that, Gillespie says, means farmers could find the lease they signed puts a turbine right in their backyard without ever being told that some people have headaches, tinnitus, and sleep deprivation because of the low frequency noise coming from the turbines.

“Those families who have agreed to take a turbine there are some with turbines 350 meters away from their homes. They’ve given up their protection often without knowledge of the risks.”

Gillespie says that would not happen in other industries.

“I’m going to sell you a car with no seatbelts without explaining the risks you take in not even having a choice to put a seatbelt on.”

So far, Gillespie says, landowners have been fairly successful using that argument in court. “There are going to be some other factors that will have to be considered but if somebody gave up their rights and were never told what they were putting at risk that is certainly a good starting point for a discussion with a lawyer.”

“Why I call wind turbines bat-chomping, bird-slicing eco-crucifixes” (United Kingdom)

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This image was not included in the original article

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“Why do I call them bat-chomping, bird-slicing eco-crucifixes?”

—James Delingpole, The Telegraph (6/17/13)

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Gull decapitated by a Brighton wind turbine (© Marian Cleary)

I wonder what it will take before the world truly wakes up to the horror, the corruption, the expense, the pointlessness, the total wrongness-in-every-way of the wind industry.  My guess – and it will happen – is the decapitation, by a rogue turbine blade, of an innocent passer-by.

Till then, though, we have photographs like this to send the mind boggling as to why anyone, anywhere can still be so purblind as to go on championing these bat-chomping, bird-slicing eco crucifixes.  What’s particularly interesting about this one is that it was taken in the constituency of one of wind power’s most fervent and tireless advocates, Caroline Lucas MP.

Here’s a picture of the Brighton Bird Chomper.

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Brighton Bird Chomper (© Marian Cleary)

And here is another picture of the hapless gull.

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© Marian Cleary

Marian Cleary – who Tweets as @soundwords – takes up the story on Twitter:

All quite horrific really. Been asked if it’s photoshopped. Nope. Was at Varndean College, Brighton.

The wind turbine was going bonkers so I was filming it with the clouds moving behind the blades.

I didn’t get the incident on film but then a guy called me over and said that the bird had been got.

Careful, Marian.  You now run the risk that someone from the wind industry will claim you chopped off that gull’s head yourself, probably because you are in the pay of Big Oil. . . .

Now it might have been interesting to ring up the RSPB for a reaction.  But there’s no point because we know what they think already.  As far as the RSPB is concerned, the many thousands of birds destroyed by wind turbines each year are acceptable collateral damage in the war on “climate change.”  So committed is the Royal Society for the Prevention of Birds to renewable energy that it has actually teamed up with Ecotricity – the one run by Dale Vince – in a promotional deal to encourage more wind farm building.  For chapter and verse, read my expose here.

But the birds and bats are the least of it, terrible though the carnage is.  It’s the human cost, surely, which should concern us more.

Consider the plight of the communities in Canada, where the wind industry is even more aggressive than it is here.  One Ontario resident, Esther Wrightman, so objected to the Golgotha of 400 foot wind turbines being planned for her area that she created a satirical website mocking the wind developer NextEra energy.  She even filmed them chopping down a tree with an eagle’s nest in it in order to make way for the turbines.  How did NextEra – market capitalisation $32 billion – respond to her not exactly unreasonable objections?  Why by suing the pants off her, of course.

Fortunately, thanks to the coverage it has been getting from Ezra Levant, Esther Wrightman’s story is becoming an international cause celebre – and the rent-seeking nasties at NextEra are getting the negative publicity they fully deserve.

So the anti-wind backlash has begun, of that there’s no doubt.  In Australia, where resistance is especially strong, they’re holding a rally in the next few hours in Canberra to protest against an industry described by Alby Schultz MP as “the biggest government sponsored fraud in the history of our country,” so rife with “manipulation, intimidation, lies and cover-up” that there’s enough evidence to justify a royal commission.  I wish I could be there at the barricades with my Aussie mates.  Sounds like it’s going to be quite an occasion.

What I wish is that one of our MPs could be quite as outspoken as good old Alby.  Chris Heaton Harris has fought a good fight, as have Owen Paterson, John Hayes, Peter Lilley and Glyn Davies.  But they’ve all been hamstrung by the presence in the Coalition of ideological eco-loons like Ed Davey who, even now, despite the copious evidence against, persist in championing wind energy as the way forward.  They’re further hamstrung by the Conservative party’s ludicrous policy fudge whereby, apparently, there is such a thing as a “wind turbine in the right place” and that this mythical beast includes all offshore wind developments.

Economically, of course, offshore wind makes even less sense than onshore, not least because it requires twice the subsidy, but also because, as most engineers privately admit, these sea-based turbines are disasters waiting to happen and are highly unlikely to stay up any length of time.  And while we’re on this subject, what on earth is The Times doing shilling for Big Wind with this utter non-story about how Donald Trump is apparently threatening to cost “British SMEs dear” thanks to his opposition to an offshore wind development near his golf course in Scotland?  The supposedly neutral source they quote for this story is The Carbon Trust, the government quango to which we taxpayers must contribute £44 million a year to enable it to dream up inventive new ways to cripple our economy with carbon emissions reductions schemes.

Yet another reason to vote UKIP, the only British party with a sensible policy on this green nonsense.

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Vestas the wind turbine giant fights back (Denmark)

Editor’s note:  The following article appeared in Denmark’s largest daily newspaper, Jyllandsposten.  Alas, the article is written in Danish.  We used Google Translate to translate into English.  It’s a pretty bumpy translation, but it gives you the general idea of what’s going on.

What’s going on is that Vestas, the turbine giant, is pissed off at sites like ours and Australia’s Stop These Things and Ontario Wind Resistance and at people like Drs. Pierpont and Laurie—and, by golly, the “big guy” is fighting back.

Sit back and enjoy!  (None of the images, below, were used in the original article.)

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This image was not used in the original article

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Vestas struggles against windmill headwind

—Jannik Brinch, EPN.dk (6/18/13)
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Provides wind turbines children learning difficulties? No, says Vestas is ready to campaign.

There will be scattered too many falsehoods and myths about wind turbines and wind energy.

It believes the Danish wind turbine company Vestas, on Tuesday launched a major campaign against what it calls anti-wind movement.

The problem is, according to Vestas, the movement has succeeded in spreading malicious and false messages that slows the process of construction of the turbines.

We therefore believe that wind turbines totaling 1.7 GW was delayed on the ground in Australia in 2012.

A factual counterpart

Therefore, it has now decided to take up the fight, and the weapon is a so-called Act on Facts campaign, which aims to provide wind opponents a factual counterpart based on scientifically based information.

“The goal of the campaign is to give a more proactive response to the anti-wind movement that has gained momentum during several parts of the world in recent years, although it represents only exceptional few attitude towards wind energy,” says Communications at Vestas Morten Albaek.

The campaign is based in Australia, which is one of the most suitable nations to wind energy, but also a hotbed of anti-wind movement.

In addition to wind turbine customers and Vestas also suffer the environment and transition to green energy under the pressure of turbine opponents. It feels campaign creators, who points out that wind energy projects that could save the environment 5 million. tonnes of CO2 per year will be curbed.

Professional actors

The problem is that it is difficult to find out who is behind the anti-wind movement. According to Vestas, these are professionals with strong resources that are able to influence citizens and politicians.

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“It’s hard for us to understand what it is for a financing behind, and what kind of interests that anti-wind movement represents. But they are very professional and stands behind violent attacks on our customers,” says Morten Albaek.

He points out that the industry too long sleepy and thus has left the stage to opponents, for example, is behind reports that the car starts to shake when they come within a distance of 10 km from a wind turbine.

WTS Rolls

This image was not used in the original article

From grassroots to players

But it is the kind of misinformation that Vestas will to life. Therefore, one with experts in wind, climate, health and regional development and through the use of digital media to try to win the battle of the agenda when it comes to wind energy.

It all begins today with a panel discussion in Australia, with the participation of experts and stakeholders in wind and carried on with a web portal where you can find “evidence-based response to the myths, rumors and half-truths about wind turbines.”

“It is believed to be the first time that a private company sits at the head of a movement that stretches all the way from the outer grass roots to the commercial players in order to get the great majority of the population to put action behind their silent support,” says Morten Albælk with regard to that about three-quarters of the population is on the whole positive about having wind turbines within visible distance.

The campaign to get home at the address actonfacts.org, is designed so that with a few adjustments may be launched in other markets.

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This image was not used in the original article

Wind turbines threaten paradise (Hawaii)

This child’s family does not want their ancestral Hawaiian island devastated by wind turbines.

Click anywhere, below, to watch a powerful video.

Hawaii

Wind energy companies bully, threaten, and intimidate those who oppose this monumental fraud

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How Big Wind blows away its opponents

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—James Delingpole, The Australian (6/18/13)

Since 2007, household electricity prices in Australia have risen by more than 40 per cent and by next year are projected to rise by around about 30 per cent.  If this bothers you then the place you should be today is Canberra, joining the people’s revolution against what Alby Schultz MP says is the “biggest government-sponsored fraud in the history of our country.”

Schultz was speaking to parliament about Big Wind, an industry so rife with “intimidation, manipulation, lies and cover-up” he believes there’s enough evidence “to justify a royal commission.”  So how come, you may be wondering, so many of us have been kept in the dark for so long?

The short answer seems to be that money buys both silence and public ignorance. For just one large-scale wind turbine, a developer can make nearly $500,000 in taxpayer subsidies called Renewable Energy Certificates.  Under current government carbon emissions reduction plans, some $50 billion of these RECs are to be issued, every cent of them funnelled out of your pocket and into the (often offshore) bank account of your friendly neighbourhood Big Wind outfit.  Meanwhile your energy bills (part of which, by government mandate, must come from “renewables”) skyrocket.

With all this free loot, Big Wind has more than enough money to hide its secrets.  It does so in three main ways: first by hiring silver-tongued lobbyists; second with lavish propaganda campaigns ranging from brainwashing programs at schools to misleading claims on their websites about all the wonderful benefits wind farms supposedly bring; third by being able to afford the world’s most expensive lawyers.

I got a taste of what I saw as this legal bullying the last time I wrote about wind farms in The Australian.  A stiff, threatening letter swiftly came winging its way from a high-end Sydney law firm, followed by a complaint to the Press Council.  This complaint was upheld, even though my facts were correct and the supposedly “offensive” phrase came not from me but from a sheep farmer understandably incensed that his little patch of NSW paradise was about to become a Golgotha of bat-chomping, bird-slicing eco crucifixes.

But I got off quite lightly.  Around the world, anyone who dares to take on Big Wind may endure a campaign of smears and character assassination.  It’s bad enough in Australia—just ask Sarah Laurie—but even worse in Canada, where a young environmentalist called Esther Wrightman is being sued by a $32bn wind developer called NextEra energy.  Why?  For creating a website in which she protested against the ugly, noisy 120m-high turbines NextEra planned to erect in her part of Ontario.

At this point some of you may be thinking:  “Oh come on. There’s got to be another side to this.”  And I would concede that on the surface the case for wind looks quite compelling:  it’s “free”; it’s carbon-neutral; it’s eco-friendly; it boosts the economy.

Except when you examine the details you realise that none of these claims stands up.

Being intermittent, unreliable, unpredictable and enormously expensive, wind is a very poor substitute for the cheap fossil fuel in which Australia abounds.  It doesn’t create real jobs just heavily subsidised Potemkin jobs.  (In Britain every wind industry job costs the taxpayer pound stg. 100,000 a year in subsidies.)  And that’s before you get on to the terrible health problems that can be caused by the low-frequency noise of those giant whupping blades; and the devastation they cause wildlife, especially bats and birds of prey.  Tony Abbott’s business adviser Maurice Newman calls wind farms “an obscene wealth transfer from poor to rich” and a “crime against the people” and wants the renewables target scrapped.

He’s dead right, but if anyone has the guts to do it they’re going to face a lot of entrenched resistance from the pollies and big business alike.

The ALP, as I’ve written here before, is heavily involved, not least because of the vast sums of industry super-fund money that have been pumped into it.  And if you think Big Wind’s crony capitalists are going to give up without a fight, you clearly don’t know the kind of people you’ll be dealing with.

God, I wish I could be there at the barricades with the protesters in Canberra today!  If ever a cause was worth fighting for, this is the one.

Wind energy is “a crime against the people” (Australia)

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Top … [government] business adviser wants renewables target scrapped

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—Lenore Taylor, Guardian.co.uk (6/12/13)

The chairman of Tony Abbott’s proposed business advisory council, Maurice Newman, has called for the renewable energy target (RET) to be scrapped because he believes the scientific evidence for global warming and the economic case for renewable energy no longer stack up.

Newman, the former chairman of the ABC and the ASX, said persisting with government subsidies for renewable energy represented a “crime against the people” because higher energy costs hit poorer households the hardest and there was no longer any logical reason to have them.

Newman acknowledged Coalition policy was to retain the current target to generate 20% of renewable energy by 2020, but told Guardian Australia in his opinion “the whole science on which this is based is somewhat in tatters”.

Speaking of the advisory council he would chair under an Abbott government, Newman said: “It is inevitable energy prices will be one of the issues that will be of concern to business. Low energy prices are what has always made Australia internationally competitive and because of the RET and the carbon tax we have lost that advantage.

“Whether the Coalition will change their policy on the RET is up to them … I believe it should be removed because the basis upon which we accepted in good faith that we needed it is no longer there.

“When we look at the experience of Germany, they have not been successful in reducing emissions; when we look at the science it no longer supports the global warming theory and when we look at the health and economic effects of windfarms and the obscene wealth transfer from poor to rich we have to ask: why are we persisting with them? I think it is a crime against the people.”

Guardian Australia contacted Newman after seeing minutes of a meeting of an anti-windfarm group called the Crookwell District Landscape Guardians at his southern highlands property on 28 April.

Newman appeared to warn the 56 attendees they might not sway the Coalition.

“Given the experience of the NSW Coalition which promised much when in opposition, but in government pursued the same policies as Labor … we should reserve judgment until after the election,” he said.

But other anti-windfarm activists are preparing for a 18 June rally at Parliament House, effectively trying to use the same “people’s revolt” strategy encouraged by Abbott against the carbon tax to try to push the Coalition leader to drop the RET and stop new windfarms.

A slick, anonymously-run website called Stop These Things (STT) urged readers to attend the June rally because “while it’s safe to assume the Coalition will cruise to victory in September, don’t assume they are on our side”. It added: “It’s time to put them in the spotlight and find out precisely where they stand … the main game is in Canberra where the RET policy was started and where it has to end. The Coalition need to get the message loud and clear – and the message is simple. Australia simply can’t afford the great wind power fraud.

“With the federal government effectively sanctioning a doubling of power prices over the next two or three years, the Coalition will be helping to destroy businesses and harm families … We’d never advocate a riot, but the time is right for marching in the streets. So grab your placards, don your T-shirts and put your angry face on for a march on parliament.

“STT thinks it’s time to let the Coalition know that Australia is not going to pay exorbitant prices for electricity simply on the basis of some ideological whim … This is not just a matter for country people trying to protect their rural communities. It’s about a battle for affordable electricity and the future of the country.

“STT throws down the gauntlet to Coalition MPs to turn up and front the mob that assembles on 18 June to explain what the Coalition plans to do about the greatest fraud in Australian history.

“STT thinks that the wind industry is well and truly on the ropes, but our ‘never say die until it’s dead and buried’ attitude means we won’t be happy until there is a garlic-coated crucifix driven through the heart of this rort-ridden scam of the century. Turn up, be loud and take our country back. Let 18 June 2013 be a day the Coalition won’t forget.”

Coalition senators Chris Back and Ron Boswell and backbencher Craig Kelly are scheduled to attend the rally.

As reported by Guardian Australia, the Coalition’s yet-to-be-released resources policy will pledge to mandate continuous noise monitoring of windfarms, a requirement the industry says is crippling in cost and will not provide useful information.

The Coalition resources spokesman, Ian Macfarlane, says the Coalition supports windfarms and the policy aims to allay community fears and provide transparent information. But many Coalition MPs want to see the RET scrapped and new windfarms banned.

Newman has previously made his anti-wind power and climate sceptic views clear, but has not put the business case for the Coalition to remove the RET.

Last January Newman wrote in the Spectator that windfarms were “grossly inefficient, extremely expensive, socially inequitable, a danger to human health, environmentally harmful, divisive for communities, a blot on the landscape, and don’t even achieve the purpose for which they were designed – namely the reliable generation of electricity and the reduction of CO2 emissions”.

Abbott has said the prime minister’s Business Advisory Council, to be chaired by Newman, would meet three times a year.

Newman said he imagined it would be similar to the financial sector advisory committee he chaired under the Howard government, which had a secretariat in the treasury.

As well as health and landscape concerns, members of the Crookwell Landscape Guardians at the meeting were concerned that “electro magnetic electricity” could be transferred from windfarms through the air and the ground, possibly causing failures of farm machinery and the danger of electric shocks from farm bores.

Newman’s property is close to the Crookwell 1 and 2 windfarms proposed by Union Fenosa.

Journalist slams NextEra for suing Esther Wrightman, Canada’s Joan of Arc (National Review)

Joan_of_Arc_by_skullsquidattack

“Big Wind SLAPPs Critic”

—Robert Bryce, National Review Online (6/11/13)

The Goliath of the wind-energy business is suing David. The defendant is Esther Wrightman, an activist and mother of two from the tiny town of Kerwood, Ontario, which sits roughly halfway between Detroit and Toronto.

Wrightman, 32, has angered the Florida-based NextEra Energy (market capitalization: $32 billion) by starting a couple of bare-bones websites, ontariowindresistance.org and mlwindaction.org, as well as a YouTube channel, which she uses to lampoon the company. In its lawsuit, filed on May 1, NextEra claims that Wrightman has misused its logo and libeled the company by calling it “NexTerror” and “NextError.” And while the company doesn’t specify the amount of damages it seeks from Wrightman, it says that it will donate any proceeds from the litigation to United Way.

NextEra owns some 10,000 megawatts of wind-generation capacity, or about one-sixth of all U.S. capacity. And the company is aggressively developing six new wind projects in Canada, one of which, the Adelaide Wind Energy Centre, aims to put 38 turbines just north of Wrightman’s home. (You can see her property and the surrounding land by going here.)

NextEra’s filing against Wrightman is a textbook case of a SLAPP suit, a strategic lawsuit against public participation. And it’s a particularly loathsome one as NextEra filed it in Ontario, the epicenter of the backlash against the encroaching sprawl of the 150-meter-high, noise-producing, bird-and-bat-killing, subsidy-dependent wind-energy sector.

Making it yet more loathsome: The suit was filed just before the Ontario legislature began considering a bill that would limit SLAPP suits. SLAPP suits have been common — and largely successful — in recent years in several Canadian provinces, including Ontario and British Columbia. Limits are needed, says Ontario’s attorney general, John Gerretsen, because SLAPPs have a “chilling effect” on public debate. Nearly 30 U.S. states have enacted laws to prevent SLAPPs.

Ontario is home to more than 50 active anti-wind-energy groups. Numerous towns in the province have passed regulations to prevent the construction of turbines in their areas. Last year, Health Canada said it would conduct a study into the health effects of the infrasound and low-frequency noise generated by wind turbines.

Ontario currently has about 1,500 megawatts of installed capacity. By early 2014, that number is expected to nearly triple, to some 4,300 megawatts. NextEra alone has plans to develop 600 megawatts of wind in Ontario, according to its spokesman Steve Stengel.

Peter D. Kennedy, an attorney based in Austin, Texas, whose practice focuses on technology and libel law, says NextEra’s suit is an attempt to silence Wrightman. “Besides being almost impossible to win,” he told me, “these kinds of lawsuits are almost never a good idea. They turn critics into martyrs and make the company look like a bully.” Like Americans, Canadians have the right to, as Kennedy puts it, “express their opinions in unpleasant ways, and they can use parody in their criticism.”

Perhaps the most stunning aspect of NextEra’s lawsuit is its claim that Wrightman — by merely opposing its wind projects — is a “competitor insofar as she is seeking donations in order to divert business from NextEra to other energy-producing businesses in Ontario.”

Just for a moment, let’s consider the outrage that might be heard from the Sierra Club or Greenpeace if an oil and gas company were to file a similarly specious lawsuit against one of the many activists who oppose drilling and/or hydraulic fracturing. What’s to prevent Shell or Chevron from suing Yoko Ono? She’s a leading critic of hydraulic fracturing. On the logic of NextEra’s lawsuit, therefore, she has become a “competitor” to Shell and Chevron thanks to her promotion of renewable energy. Or what if Devon Energy sued Josh Fox, the poseur/auteur behind the film Gasland, which contains numerous false statements about oil and gas production?

What’s at stake here? For Wrightman and other anti-wind activists, the issue is freedom of speech and their right to fight to protect themselves and the value of their homes from the noise and other issues that come with having 500-foot-tall turbines in their neighborhoods. Regardless of your feelings about wind energy, NextEra’s SLAPP suit against Wrightman should be condemned. She is simply exercising her rights. She should not be harassed just because she has hurt the feelings of someone at NextEra, a company that was named to the 2012 Dow Jones Sustainability Index.

Sustainable or not, NextEra clearly sees big profits in Canada. The company’s 60-megawatt Adelaide project, the one it plans to build near Wrightman’s home, has been awarded a contract for a lucrative feed-in tariff from the Ontario Power Authority. That contract guarantees the company 11.5 cents (Canadian) for each kilowatt-hour of electricity it generates from the Adelaide project for the next 20 years. That’s an enormous subsidy. In the U.S., wind-energy producers usually get a subsidy of 2.2 cents per kilowatt-hour. The Ontario subsidy for wind energy exceeds the average cost of electricity in the U.S., which, according to the Energy Information Administration, is now 9.7 cents per kilowatt-hour

A back-of-the-envelope calculation shows that with the feed-in tariff, NextEra’s Adelaide project (assuming it operates at full capacity one-third of the time) will produce about $20 million per year in revenue. That will result in a huge return on investment. Installing each megawatt of onshore wind-energy capacity costs about $2.2 million. Therefore, NextEra will likely make back its entire investment in the Adelaide project (about $132 million) in less than seven years. After that, all the revenue will be profit.

NextEra calls itself “a leader in clean energy.” But the company also has the distinction of being the only company to ever be publicly pressured by a governmental entity over the birds that are killed by its turbines. In 2010, then–attorney general Jerry Brown brokered a $2.5 million settlement with NextEra Energy Resources for the bird kills that were occurring at the company’s Altamont wind project, located about 40 miles east of San Francisco. In 2011, the Los Angeles Times reported that about 70 golden eagles per year are being killed by wind turbines located at Altamont. That finding follows a 2008 study funded by the Alameda County Community Development Agency, which estimated that about 2,400 raptors, including burrowing owls, American kestrels, and red-tailed hawks — as well as about 7,500 other birds — are being killed every year by the wind turbines at Altamont. (Despite numerous violations of both the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Eagle Protection Act, not a single wind-energy company has ever been prosecuted by the U.S. government under those laws.)

Wrightman has put a spotlight on NextEra’s bird policies in Canada. In January, she filmed the company’s workers as they cut down a bald-eagle nest in Haldimand County in southern Ontario and posted the video on YouTube. (NextEra did have permission from the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources to remove the nest, which was located close to one of the company’s wind-turbine projects.)

In picking a fight with Wrightman, NextEra has acquired a feisty foe. When I spoke to her by phone last week, Wrightman made it clear she won’t alter her website or quit speaking out. Of the 100 wind turbines planned for her county, more than a dozen are slated to be built within a couple of miles of her home, and one could be built just 1,600 meters away. “I was born and raised here,” she told me. “You know every tree. Every animal. You know the sky. And for that sky to be industrialized and to have absolutely no say in the process infuriates me.”

In an e-mailed statement, NextEra — which is represented in the litigation by McCarthy Tétrault, the fourth-largest law firm in Canada, with 590 lawyers — told me its lawsuit against Wrightman is “not a SLAPP suit” and that its litigation is “a measured response to protect the goodwill associated with NextEra’s name.” The company said it sued because Wrightman is “distorting, mutilating or otherwise modifying NextEra’s corporate names and logos.”

What if NextEra wins in court? Wrightman, who can’t afford to hire a lawyer and wrote her own defense (and has asked the court in Toronto to waive the $144 filing fee), says she’s not overly worried. “We have nothing,” Wrightman told me. She works part time for her parents in their small mail-order nursery business, Wrightman Alpines. Her husband is on disability. They rent the house they live in, for $825 per month. They transport their two children, Thomas, ten, and Clara, seven, in their one car, a silver 2001 Toyota Echo, which has over 200,000 miles on it.

If NextEra wins the lawsuit against her and “they want that car, go for it,” Wrightman told me with a gentle laugh. “What else can they take?”

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Robert Bryce, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, is the author, most recently, of Power Hungry: The Myths of “Green” Energy and the Real Fuels of the Future.

 

Wind developers hire thugs to intimidate residents (Taiwan)

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—J. Michael Cole, Taipei Times.com (6/10/13)

WHITE SHIRTS:  A German firm is hiring muscle as security at a controversial construction site in Miaoli, but there is a problem: The guards are operating well beyond their authority.

It became clear as the taxi entered the narrow road, hemmed in on both sides by lush rice fields, that we were not welcome there.

The moment the cab driver brought his car to a halt and rolled down his window, a group of individuals who were sitting on rocks, smoking cigarettes, stood up and approached the car. Most of them wore white construction helmets, simple white shirts and black pants.

The yellow construction cranes jutting above the tree line indicated that we had reached our destination. We were in Yuanli Township (苑裡), Miaoli County, at the site of a controversial wind turbine project by German wind power company InfraVest GmbH, which for the past eight months has met growing opposition by villagers, most of them farmers, who claim that the devices are intrusive and too close to their homes.

We stepped out of the car and were immediately approached by one sunglasses-toting white shirt, who curtly asked us who we were and what we wanted. A few meters away, a group of men, one of them busily chewing on betel nut, cast hostile glances in our direction.

After we had explained the reason for our visit and that this writer was with the Taipei Times, a woman — InfraVest Taiwan vice president Wang Yun-yi (王雲怡) — joined us and agreed to give us some background information about the project.

As she was doing so, a white shirt pointed a hand-held video camera and started filming us.

Our brief conversation with Wang over, we began taking pictures of the site, wind turbine No. 26, which was behind schedule, the result of recent protests.

A crane was lifting a large cubic device; we later learned it housed the electronics that will operate the 80m-tall wind turbine, one of many that are projected to be built in the area.

We then attempted to walk past the construction area and toward the beach beyond, but the men — by then we understood that they were some type of security, as all were equipped with ear pieces and microphones clipped to their shirts, though none wore any identification or insignia — blocked our way.

The area was off-limits, they told us, adding that this was for our safety.

This was in clear violation of a June 4 request by the Forestry Bureau, which had ordered InfraVest take down fences on the road and told it that it could not block access to the beach by local residents, unless the latter were notified seven days in advance and prior to construction.

The Water Resources Agency made a similar request on May 20, saying that roadblocks could cause problems during flooding.

A young protester, a law student at National Taiwan University in Taipei, eventually joined us.

Accompanied by her, we again tried to edge past the security staff. This time around let us through, though they immediately shadowed us.

They followed us wherever we went, all the way to a sandy ridge that overlooks the construction site, smoking their cigarettes, talking into their microphones and constantly staring at the unwelcome visitors through their mirrored sunglasses.

We were on public land, property of the Forestry Bureau.

After a brief conversation with protesters and a US technician overseeing the installation of the equipment, we climbed into a car and left the site. The white shirts had lined up on either side of the car and were looking in on us, threateningly. It felt like we had stepped into a bad Hong Kong action movie.

Later that day, we received a telephone call informing us that local residents were blocking the access road to the same site and were preventing a construction vehicle from entering.

We doubled back to observe the protest.

There were about 30 protesters, while two young women were sitting on the unpaved road in front of the gigantic truck, eating a boxed meal.

A surly female employee of InfraVest loomed over them, while the white shirts, who by then had been joined by equally stern-looking men in gray uniforms, looked on.

One white-shirted, high-strung man, his eyes bloodshot, walked around in a daze. He had evidently chewed too much betel nut.

A handful of police officers arrived at the scene, but did not do much aside from meekly calling on the residents to allow the truck in.

One of the gray uniforms, tall, dark-skinned, was more willing to talk, and let on that the white and gray uniforms were “security” that had been hired by InfraVest.

I asked Jerry, as he called himself, which security company they worked for.

“It’s not a company,” he said, adding that they were “kung fu,” possibly a reference to where they had been recruited.

“You know, for when things get a bit rough,” he said.

According to Jerry, the white shirts were receiving NT$1,600 per day, the uniforms like him NT$2,000, while the “certified” security staff were paid NT$5,000 daily for their pains.

Most, if not all, were not from the area.

“They are simple, you know” Jerry said, pointing to one of the protesters. “They are telling lies [about the project].”

He said that a larger number of white shirts had been called in for the next day, when more protests were expected.

We then approached a Miaoli police officer and asked him whether the private security guards that InfraVest had hired had any authority to request personal identification, film people or deny people free movement outside the construction site, as they had done when we had visited earlier in the day.

The officer confirmed what we already knew: They had absolutely no such right.

By about 5pm, after Wang had made a brief, but tempestuous appearance, the standoff had run its course and the truck had declared defeat.

As the residents celebrated their small victory, we overheard one of the white shirts angrily tell a police officer that if it had been up to him, “I would have run the truck right over the goddamned protesters and would make sure that a wind turbine is built on each of their properties.”

The white shirts were obviously on edge, ready to snap — and they did the next day, on Saturday, during another protest near the site.

Video footage obtained by the Times shows a larger number of white shirts pulling at and dragging protesters away, both near the site and atop the ridge.

Another one repeatedly knees and kicks a female protester on the ground, while others are being pushed against construction vehicles.

A female protester was sent to hospital after being forced to the ground and, she claims, was kicked in the head.

Meanwhile, police at the scene, who were far too few to handle the situation, failed to intervene and simply asked the protesters to clear the area.

One protester is considering pressing charges against the security personnel.

Commenting on Saturday’s clashes, InfraVest said yesterday that the security staff intervened the way they did because they were in fear for the students’ safety.

It added that there was some miscommunication and misunderstanding on the part of the students about the pushing and shoving.

Dr. Sarah Laurie formally cleared of trumped-up charges (Australia)

Editor’s note:  The following statement was formally published by the CEO of Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).  Click here.

Now click here for a splendid report on Dr. Laurie’s tireless (and largely thankless) endeavors to warn Australians about Wind Turbine Syndrome.

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Allegations concerning Dr Sarah Laurie

Professor Warwick Anderson AM
Chief Executive Officer

Recent media and web based commentary has concerned allegations, originally published in the blog Croakey, about Dr Sarah Laurie of the Waubra Foundation conducting human research without ethical approval.

Australians expect that those conducting research adhere to the highest ethical standards. These ethical standards are set out in NHMRC’s National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research 2007 (National Statement). Given the significance of these ethical standards, the National Statement and any amendments to it are tabled in both Houses of Parliament. The National Statement was tabled in the Australian Parliament on 28 March 2007. All human research in Australia should be conducted in accordance with the National Statement which provides clear and strong guidance to those involved.

It has been suggested that NHMRC has been investigating the allegations concerning Dr Laurie. I can confirm that NHMRC asked Dr Laurie to respond to the allegations as a courtesy.

I have today advised all relevant parties that NHMRC will take no further action in relation to these allegations. Neither Dr Laurie, nor the Waubra Foundation, has contractual arrangements through a signed NHMRC Funding Agreement. Therefore, there is no remit for NHMRC to act.

These recent events have, however, raised important issues for me as the CEO and NHMRC. Accordingly, I have asked the Australian Health Ethics Committee to advise me, as soon as possible, on the current requirements of the National Statement and the broader implications relating to research being conducted without ethical approval and any advice I may be able to provide to governments.

NHMRC acknowledges that the potential health effects from wind farms are an important public issue. Once the review of the current literature of health effects from wind farms is received in the coming months, if research is needed, NHMRC will support further research.

 

Member of Parliament reams Simon Chapman another a**hole (Australia)

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—by the Honourable Alby Schultz, Member of Parliament for Hume, New South Wales, May 30, 2013

Mr. Schultz is a Member of the (Federal) House of Representatives, Liberal Party of Australia.  Click here for the speech in Hansard (the official parliamentary record).

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I rise to record my utter disgust at the attempted character assassination of a very dedicated, committed and concerned rural resident, a lady of outstanding credentials. This is a lady who established a rape and sexual assault centre in outback Australia, was the general medical practitioner liaison for regional mental health, operated an Aboriginal healthcare centre, was an examiner for the Royal Australian College of General Medical Practice, was a committee member of the South Australian branch of the Australian Medical Association and is a cancer survivor; whilst her husband is a public health dentist operating in remote Aboriginal communities. However, this lady is not without error as she has in the past openly voted for the Greens, an error she confesses will not be repeated.

You may wonder how this lady is being repaid for her outstanding community efforts and social contribution. Currently, a significant orchestrated attempt to assassinate her outstanding reputation and undeniable credibility is underway, assisted and promoted through left-aligned media outlets. This is a campaign strongly suspected of being led by the non-medically accredited Professor Simon Chapman of the University of Sydney, a person who obtained his PhD from the Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, a self-proclaimed expert in marketing and public manipulation via media sources. He is a person who is not lawfully permitted to conduct any form of medical research or study in relation to human health.

Simon Chapman

I am of the firm belief that Professor Chapman is close to the author of this anonymous letter of baseless and faceless complaint made for no other reason than a seedy attempt to salvage his fast-dwindling reputation as a credible, reliable and balanced source of information. Professor Chapman, with his nose in the public trough—through the apparent never-ending funding of the NHMRC—for bewildering reasons unbeknown, other than regular speaking engagements at industry conferences and committees, has connected himself to the insidious industrial wind turbine industry.

Through his joint authorship, misleading to the extent of being potentially fraudulent, publications such as the highly criticised 2010 Rapid Review of selective literature, provided the wind turbine industry with support whilst placing many rural communities in peril. As the evidence mounts in relation to the potential corrupt behaviour of this industry and those associated with it, both politically and professionally, it is of no surprise to me that those deepest entrenched in this fraud against the Commonwealth, the Australian energy consumer and rural residents of Australia will stop at nothing to protect their personal and professional interests—in this case, the deliberate self-motivated instigation of serious allegations against a lady of high regard.

It is not the allegations that are of concern, as they will be defended and proven baseless. It is the matter of the anonymous letter of complaint being provided to several media outlets prior to the alleged offender being notified of the details of the anonymous complaint. Coincidently, these media outlets appear to be all associated in many ways with both Professor Simon Chapman and the initial recipient of the complaint, the Public Health Association of Australia CEO, Mr Michael Moore.

This outrageous document was clearly provided for no other reason than a further seedy attempt to assassinate the good standing and character of Dr Sarah Laurie. These allegations will be proven baseless and defamatory; the so-called ‘anonymous’ author of the complaint knows this, as does Mr Michael Moore, otherwise why is the complaint anonymous? As they will be proven baseless, the author would be exposed for what he truly is, and face potential criminal defamation charges. Does anyone truly believe that a genuinely anonymous letter of complaint would be referred from a trusted association and then, astonishingly, receive attention from relevant bodies if the anonymous person were not well known to them?

Professor Chapman, you are devoid of any decency and courage. If you truly believe an offence has been committed, put your name to it and stand accountable for the baseless claims within. Michael Moore, by your grubby unprofessional actions you have destroyed all credibility of the association you control. If you genuinely believe the allegations to be true and had no involvement in the production of the defamatory document, you should publicly disclose the identity of the so-called anonymous author or resign for your own despicable actions. Dr Sarah Laurie, as you know, is well above your levels of gutter public manipulation and only deals with the truth; you should take a leaf out of her book and do something good for the community in which you reside—for free.

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Editor’s note:  We encourage you to write directly to the Honourable Alby Schultz and thank him, personally, for outing Chapman.  Email alby.schultz.mp@aph.gov.au.

 

This is a “must see”: Journalist pounds NextEra for suing Esther Wrightman (Canada)

Part one . . .

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Part two . . .

 

What’s the best way to fight wind turbines? Get sued!

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—Calvin Luther Martin, PhD

On September 15, 2004, I fell down the rabbit hole into the make-believe world of “wind energy.”  Nine years ago the wind turbine hucksters arrived in Franklin County, NY, oiling their way from townhall to townhall, farmhouse to farmhouse, selling the (palpably absurd) idea of  “clean, green, renewable” wind energy.  (Just another snake-oil, yet spectacularly lucrative.)

For nine years, I’ve been witness to a colossal corporate scam that flourishes despite all the contrary evidence of physics, clinical medicine, economics, environmentalism—and common sense.  Nine years wracking my brain for ways to vanquish it.

 WTS-book-cover-340x309

We tried publishing Nina’s book, “Wind Turbine Syndrome:  A Report on a Natural Experiment,” thinking (not unreasonably) that 300 pages of clinical and scientific evidence would shut it down.  We were naive.  Zealots driven by dollar bills and the magical thinking of “clean energy” countered with a tsunami of junk science in various junk formats—and, horrifically, it worked.  (Never underestimate the ingenuity of corrupt fools, especially the ones with PhD’s.)

I debated the merits of suing wind companies.  Nope, that was a non-starter.  I pondered the likelihood of convincing local governments to reject these useless grotesqueries marching across the landscape.  This had mixed results.

Finally, despite knowing better, I confess I hoped federal governments—browbeaten by the Corporate Green lobby—would get a grip, do the arithmetic, and pull the plug on the massive subsidies.

Meanwhile, the heart-wrenching stories of Wind Turbine Syndrome multiplied.  This website is loaded with them.  From virtually every continent and both hemispheres.  The stories are a carbon copy of one another; the script is identical for all of them.  I keep posting them, though I’m not convinced it does much good:  How many hundreds of identical stories does it require to stop this nightmare?  The answer is becoming increasingly obvious:  “Mr. Martin, the number of WTS casualties is irrelevant.”

Next Terror

Then—a breakthrough.  A lawsuit.  In Ontario, Canada.  Triggered by this woman.

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Her name is Esther Wrightman.  (Remember the name.  It’s going down in Canadian history under the heading, “Heroes.”)  Esther is to wind energy what Rosa Parks was to the American Civil Rights movement.  (Rosa had the common sense and courage to refuse to give up her seat on the bus to a white guy.  Rosa understood truth and integrity and fairness—and the American Constitution.)

I’ll go a step further.  Esther is to wind energy what Dr. Martin Luther King was to the Civil Rights movement.  King became a leader when there was a huge injustice crying out for a leader.  He was jailed and reviled for non-violent disobedience.  In his now famous letter from the Birmingham jail, King outlined his agenda:

The purpose of our direct action program is to create a situation so crisis-packed that it will inevitably open the door to negotiation. . . . Indeed, this is the very purpose of direct action. . . . It seeks so to dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored. . . .My citing the creation of tension as part of the work of the nonviolent resister may sound rather shocking.  But I must confess that I am not afraid of the word “tension.” I have earnestly opposed violent tension, but there is a type of constructive, nonviolent tension which is necessary for growth.

Notice the line:  “It seeks so to dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored!”  Enter Esther Wrightman.  A mom.  A wife who runs the family (plant) nursery.

Esther’s not a lawyer, not a physician, not a PhD.  Her credentials are more “grounded” than this.  Esther’s someone who can distinguish a purple martin from a swift or a bobolink.  (See if a wind company CEO can do the same!)  She can also tell a bog orchid from a begonia.  With her naturalist’s eye, she’s especially adept at distinguishing corporate fraud, harm, and bullshit from garden-variety common sense and truth.

Esther the gardener has decided it’s time to “weed out” NextEra from rural Ontario.  Paraphrasing Martin Luther King, above, Ms. Wrightman has resolved to so dramatize the issue of wind energy “terrorism” that it can no longer be ignored.

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“NextEra,” she has publicly and loudly declared, is misnamed.  “More truthfully, it is Next Terror!”  Brilliant!  Succinct.  Snappy.  And true.

For this, ham-handed NextEra sued her.  (Click here for the entire suit.)

Lawsuit

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Remember the biblical David and Goliath?  Bellowing Goliath, reincarnated as a 500′-tall giant industrial wind turbine, has swung round and fixed its bewildered gaze on the mere wisp of a girl standing before it—all 5′, 100 pounds of her.

Perhaps “Joan of Arc” would be a more apt name than “David.”

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In her formal reply to NextEra’s legal bullshit, Esther filed the following “intent to defend” with the Ontario Superior Court.  (Click here for the entire document).

Through it’s own means, [NextEra] discredited its own business in the ways and means it dealt with the public, and earned the name “NextError” and “NexTerror” through these actions.  These include . . . [whereupon follows a long list of evidence].

Whoa!  This is unprecedented!  Improbable as all hell!  And—brilliant.

moment of truth

Ladies and gentlemen, I believe Esther Wrightman has shown us the way forward.  The moment of truth:  Publicly accuse the wind developers of being terrorists and bullies and liars, and invite them to sue you.  Then, make them defend their lies, terrorism, and bullying in court and—best of all—before the media who will stampede you for a juicy story.  (Yeah, it helps if you’re a 5′ tall, 100 lb. young mom with zero financial assets.)

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Don’t use a lawyer.  Keep it cheap.  Let Goliath hire the blue-stocking Toronto law firm with its $500/hour “fee” meter running.  (Of course, Goliath writes it all off as a tax credit.)

Go for the jugular:  Ask the court for subpoena powers—to get Goliath’s records.  Go after emails and other correspondence.  Find the government/industry corruption, the sleaze, the broken laws.

Call expert witnesses, including Dr. Pierpont, Dr. Laurie, Dr. Salt, Dr. Hanning, Dr. Nissenbaum, Dr. Swinbanks.  And noise engineers:  Rick James, Rob Rand, and their counterparts in Australia and the UK and Canada.  And professional property assessors, like Mike McCann (Chicago).  And wildlife biologists, like Jim Wiegand.  I can say with confidence that Dr. Pierpont, at least, would waive her (normally large) “expert witness” fee and testify pro bono.  (Her fee is large because of the hundreds of hours required to prepare her testimony.  In this instance, she will do it—free.)

In sum:  Get sued!  Keep it cheap, keep it true, keep it honest.  And hammer the sons of bitches in court.  Most of all, create a media spectacle—at the wind company’s expense.

And if the court decides against you—you still win the moral argument, and you win zillions of onlookers who are drawn to the huge spotlight you are shining on these terrorists.  And when you’re hauled off to prison for a (brief) period of time, because you can’t pay the fine—you win even bigger!  Dr. King, Nelson Mandela, Henry David Thoreau—all did jail time to drive home the justice of their cause.  (Get used to the idea of wearing an orange jumpsuit for a week or two. Bring along some good books.  I recommend Thoreau’s classic essay,  “On the Duty of Civil Disobedience.”)

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The persecution of a medical heroine, Dr. Sarah Laurie (Australia)

Dr. Sarah Laurie

Editor’s note:  When I was an academic, one of my specialties was “Disease in History.”  I taught this course at a worldclass university, where I was a tenured professor.  In addition, for several years I had a courtesy appointment at the Institute of the History of Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

All by way of background to this:   Dr. Sarah Laurie will one day have a postage stamp bearing her image.  Yes, in Australia.  Dr. Laurie will one day be featured in textbooks.  Dr. Laurie will have at least one book written about her—at least one of them, a scholarly book.  Dr. Laurie will be likely the subject of a Hollywood movie, like Erin Brockovich.  Dr. Laurie will be routinely taught in courses on the History of Medicine at medical schools.

The people persecuting Dr. Laurie are cowards and contemptible.  A year or so ago I contacted one of them and referred to his “fabulous imbecilities” regarding Wind Turbine Syndrome—and, frankly, most everything else I saw on his pretentious academic resumé.  To pronounce this man an academic buffoon would be generous.  That he’s taken seriously in Australia is nothing short of appalling.  (I predict this man will, as well, turn up in textbooks—whenever the history of The Big Wind-Energy Folly is written.  History will not be kind to him.)

But I digress.  The European Platform against Windfarms and North American Platform against Windpower have issued a joint declaration of support for Dr. Laurie.  We, at Wind Turbine Syndrome.com, are honored to join the signatories to this ringing endorsement.

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Click here to read more.

 

Memorandum of a personal catastrophe (Mass.)

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Memorandum to the Massachusetts Dept. of Environmental Protection

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—Michael Fairneny (5/10/13)

This note is in regards to my wife’s hearing loss, the Hoosac Wind Project, and the current compliance testing done by Iberdrola.

My wife, Jo Ann, has been to an ear specialist on three different occasions within the past few months.  (She has never had ear problems!).  Her hearing has definitely been affected and deteriorating since her initial visit.

The debilitation happened so dramatically that the doctor had her have an MRI of her ears and head. The test evidently showed nothing significant, but the ringing/buzzing in her ears still persists each and every day we are home. This has caused her many sleepless nights and continues to wake her up.

She says she doesn’t look forward to coming home, being at home, gardening in our yard (which is her passion), and has been looking for an opportunity to work, live, and get away from our “dream home” of 29 years. When she is away at work or leaves for awhile, the symptoms dissipate and eventually go away, but I (we) are afraid the hearing loss could become permanent.

I find this situation very distressing and I ask you what solution would you suggest?

I am also having some sleep disturbance and headaches when I am home (not from her), and even if I wasn’t having symptoms, what choice do I have? We are now seriously considering Plan B.  Unfortunately, we don’t know what that is.

I am now 60 years old with 4 grandchildren who all love it up here.  What has been allowed to happen here is devastating to me and my family.

I still have a very hard time trying to see though and evaluate the true benefits of what seems to be very questionable science and obscure guidelines, without any proper governmental/state standards for siting/setbacks as well as noise pollution (audible and inaudible sound) to protect us. Aren’t we, the residents (citizens), part of the environment? Don’t we deserve to be protected, as well as the birds, the bats, and the earth?

Just because we have chosen to live in a sparsely populated, rural area and there are only a few dozen of us (that have not taken the money offered by Iberdrola’s so-called Good Neighbor agreement, but what I call a gag agreement), does that mean our health and well-being can be cast aside? That the agencies set up to protect us don’t even have in place adequate standards/protocol to evaluate the technology that has been jammed down our throats:  Why?

I’ll tell you why!  Money!  Big money!  This is not fair.  This is not right to have our “pursuit of happiness” thrown out the window.  If we can’t feel safe in our own home, then how can we be happy?  Isn’t this our right?

How can it be acceptable that (1) the only sound test done is paid for by the developer, (2) the acoustic firm is chosen by the developer, (3) monitoring sites are selected by developer, (4) positioning/placement of monitoring devices is chosen by developer, (5) stablished DEP procedures (however inadequate) are totally disregarded by developer, (6) interpretation of data is done by the developer?

I am asking for proper testing.  This means current standards are to be followed (i.e., attended monitoring, proper intervals, duration and times of testing, assurance of maximum output and speed of turbines, etc).  Also essential is that the new, current knowledge for infrasound and low frequency noise be included.

I am no sound expert, nevertheless I am very much aware of my own headaches and symptoms as well as what my wife of well over 30 years has been experiencing day after day.

We want an explanation and relief!  We want our peaceful world back!

Please help!

 

Wind Turbine Syndrome victims plead for Congressional inquiry (Maine)

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—Alan Farago, Vinalhaven, Maine (4/10/13)

My family and I are victims of wind turbine noise. With neighbors on our small Maine island, we have spent three years litigating the State of Maine on wind turbine noise regulations and enforcement, and lack thereof.

My friend, Art Lindgren, trudged through the Maine woods near our homes in fall, winter and spring; taking noise measurements in all kinds of weather, to prove the failure of state regulation and enforcement. This battle has taken a toll on our health, our peace and quiet, and finances.

There are additional penalties incurred by citizens with no ulterior motive except protecting their peace and quiet, their health and property values. Our group of neighbors on Vinalhaven is suffering like many communities the United States where wind turbine farms have been permitted too close to homes.

The Lindgrens have made efforts to engage their Maine US Senator Susan Collins, asking that Senator Collins support a Congressional hearing on impacts to people from wind turbine noise. Their letters are attached (click here).

We all have stories to tell, and it is important for Congress to hear your stories now.

Please support our effort for a Congressional hearing on the impacts of wind turbine noise.

Please write a letter now, to Senator Collins and to your own elected Congressional representatives. (And if you do, please copy me at alanfarago@mac.com.)

 

Donna’s journal (Ontario)

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Weaver journal

 

Click anywhere, above, to read the entire journal and accompanying Wind Turbine Syndrome report.

 

Chef Big Wind: “If you chop an eagle to pieces in a wind turbine, that’s okay” (USA)

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Editor’s note:  Before reading the article, below, watch this video.  (With thanks to Tim & Ella.)

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“Obama administration gives wind farms a pass on eagle deaths, prosecutes oil companies”

FoxNews.com (5/14/13).  Read this companion article.

CONVERSE COUNTY, Wyo. – The Obama administration has never fined or prosecuted a wind farm for killing eagles and other protected bird species, shielding the industry from liability and helping keep the scope of the deaths secret, an Associated Press investigation has found.

More than 573,000 birds are killed by the country’s wind farms each year, including 83,000 hunting birds such as hawks, falcons and eagles, according to an estimate published in March in the peer-reviewed Wildlife Society Bulletin.

Each death is federal crime, a charge that the Obama administration has used to prosecute oil companies when birds drown in their waste pits, and power companies when birds are electrocuted by their power lines. No wind energy company has been prosecuted, even those that repeatedly flout the law.

Wind power, a pollution-free energy intended to ease global warming, is a cornerstone of President Barack Obama’s energy plan. His administration has championed a $1 billion-a-year tax break to the industry that has nearly doubled the amount of wind power in his first term.

The large death toll at wind farms shows how the renewable energy rush comes with its own environmental consequences, trade-offs the Obama administration is willing to make in the name of cleaner energy.

“It is the rationale that we have to get off of carbon, we have to get off of fossil fuels, that allows them to justify this,” said Tom Dougherty, a long-time environmentalist who worked for nearly 20 years for the National Wildlife Federation in the West, until his retirement in 2008. “But at what cost? In this case, the cost is too high.”

Documents and emails obtained by The Associated Press offer glimpses of the problem: 14 deaths at seven facilities in California, five each in New Mexico and Oregon, one in Washington state and another in Nevada, where an eagle was found with a hole in its neck, exposing the bone.

One of the deadliest places in the country for golden eagles is Wyoming, where federal officials said wind farms had killed more than four dozen golden eagles since 2009, predominantly in the southeastern part of the state. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to disclose the figures. Getting precise figures is impossible because many companies aren’t required to disclose how many birds they kill. And when they do, experts say, the data can be unreliable.

When companies voluntarily report deaths, the Obama administration in many cases refuses to make the information public, saying it belongs to the energy companies or that revealing it would expose trade secrets or implicate ongoing enforcement investigations.

Nearly all the birds being killed are protected under federal environmental laws, which prosecutors have used to generate tens of millions of dollars in fines and settlements from businesses, including oil and gas companies, over the past five years.

“What it boils down to is this: If you electrocute an eagle, that is bad, but if you chop it to pieces, that is OK,” said Tim Eicher, a former U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service enforcement agent based in Cody, Wyo.

The Fish and Wildlife Service says it is investigating 18 bird-death cases involving wind-power facilities and seven have been referred to the Justice Department. A spokesman for the Justice Department declined to discuss the status of those cases.

In its defense, the wind-energy industry points out that more eagles are killed each year by cars, electrocutions and poisoning than by turbines. Dan Ashe, the Fish and Wildlife Service’s director, said in an interview Monday with the AP said that his agency always has made clear to wind companies that if they kill birds they would still be liable.

“We are not allowing them to do it. They do it,” he said of the bird deaths. “And we will successfully prosecute wind companies if they are in significant noncompliance.”

But by not enforcing the law so far, the administration provides little incentive for companies to build wind farms where there are fewer birds. And while companies already operating turbines are supposed to do all they can to avoid killing birds, in reality there’s little they can do once the windmills are spinning.

Wind farms are clusters of turbines as tall as 30-story buildings, with spinning rotors the size of jetliners.

Flying eagles behave like drivers texting on their cell phones — they don’t look up. As they scan for food, they don’t notice the industrial turbine blades until it’s too late.

Former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, in an interview with the AP before his departure, denied any preferential treatment for wind. Interior Department officials said that criminal prosecution, regardless of the industry, is always a “last resort.”

“There’s still additional work to be done with eagles and other avian species, but we are working on it very hard,” Salazar said. “We will get to the right balance.”

Meanwhile, the Obama administration has proposed a rule that would give wind-energy companies potentially decades of shelter from prosecution for killing eagles. The regulation is currently under review at the White House.

The proposal, made at the urging of the wind-energy industry, would allow companies to apply for 30-year permits to kill a set number of bald or golden eagles. Previously, companies were only eligible for five-year permits.

“It’s basically guaranteeing a black box for 30 years, and they’re saying `trust us for oversight’. This is not the path forward,” said Katie Umekubo, a renewable energy attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council, who argued in private meetings with the industry and government leaders that the 30-year permit needed an in-depth environmental review.

But the eagle rule is not the first time the administration has made concessions for the wind-energy industry.

Last year, over objections from some of its own wildlife investigators and biologists, the Interior Department updated its guidelines and provided more cover for wind companies that violate the law.

Under both the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, the death of a single bird without a permit is illegal.

But under the Obama administration’s new guidelines, wind-energy companies don’t face additional scrutiny until they have a “significant adverse impact” on wildlife or habitat.

That rare exception for one industry substantially weakened the government’s ability to enforce the law and ignited controversy inside the Interior Department.

“U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service does not do this for the electric utility industry or other industries,” Kevin Kritz, a government wildlife biologist in the Rocky Mountain region wrote in internal agency comments in September 2011. “Other industries will want to be judged on a similar standard.”

The Obama administration, however, repeatedly overruled its own experts. In the end, the wind-energy industry, which was part of the committee that drafted and edited the guidelines, got almost everything it wanted.

“Clearly, there was a bias to wind energy in their favor because they are a renewable source of energy, and justifiably so,” said Rob Manes, who runs the Kansas office for The Nature Conservancy and who served on the committee. “We need renewable energy in this country.”

Doctor describes classic Wind Turbine Syndrome in patient (Vermont)

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Click here for transcript of doctor’s testimony.

We shall prevail (Australia)

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Horses get Wind Turbine Syndrome (Portugal)

Editor’s note:  Horses, as well as humans, suffer from being in close proximity to wind turbines, strongly suggests a study performed last year at the School of Veterinary Medicine, Technical University, Lisbon, Portugal.  The study was written up as a Master’s thesis, titled “Acquired flexural deformity of the distal interphalangic joint in foals.”

On this stud farm, the owner has been breeding normal and physically sound horses since 2000. There were no changes in diet, exercise or any other significant alteration in management. Until in 2008, wind turbines were installed adjacent to the property and grazing paddocks.
  Since this date, a good number of foals and yearlings have developed deformities.

The subjects of the study were:
  11 Lusitano horses. Age between 0 and 48 months old.
  6 males and 5 females
.  9 were born at the stud farm, 2 were acquired from a different breeder.

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The M.A. thesis was presaged in a conference paper by Professor Mariana Alves-Pereira et al. several years ago, and summarized as follows.

In 2007, at the 2nd International Conference on Wind Turbine (WT) Noise, held in Lyon, France, low frequency noise (<500 Hz, LFN)-induced pathology, consistent with vibroacoustic disease (VAD), was shown to be emerging in the R. Family, exposed to residential LFN generated by 4 WT installed in close proximity (300-700 m) to their home. Herein, a follow-up is provided.

The wife and 2 children no longer reside within that home. Mr. R., however, must remain to care for the thoroughbred Lusitanian horses and bulls that he trains and breeds for bullfights.

In addition to the continued deterioration of Mr. R’s health and well-being, his financial situation is aggravated by the condition now appearing in his horses during the first year of life. Between 2000 and 2006, 13 healthy thoroughbred Lusitanian horses were born and raised on Mr. R’s property. All horses (N=4) born or raised after 2007 developed asymmetric flexural limb deformities. WT began operations in November 2006. No other changes (constructions, industries, etc) were introduced into the area during this time.

Tissue analyses of the defected tendons were performed and revealed the classical features of LFN-induced biological responses: thickening of blood vessel walls due to proliferation of collagen in the absence of an inflammatory process.

In a personal communication, Alves-Pereira underscores, “The observation in these horses of abnormal growth of collagen in the absence of an inflammatory process is in conformity with the same observations found in low frequency noise (LFN)-exposed rats, and in vibroacoustic disease patients who are employed in LFN-rich environments.”

The following text is taken from here, with appreciation.

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Abstract:

Since 2008, a high prevalence of front limb acquired flexural deformities was observed in a Lusitano stud farm. This work aims to evaluate this problem by reporting the results from tissue alterations in the affected animals as well as environmental conditions and management changes, which could have led to this observation. A total of eleven affected animals were studied. In these, a complete physical and orthopaedic examination were performed specifically the determination of the angle between the dorsal hoof wall and the floor. Radiographic examination, CT imaging, determination of the thickness of the cortical bone of the third metacarpian and histopathology of some tissues collected in biopsy and necropsy were done in a subset of affected foals.

All the animals had been supplemented with balanced commercial diet for equine. To investigate a possible genetic cause, two foals from distinct bloodlines were brought to the stud. These also developed the deformities after 6 months. Two of the affected foals were placed in a
pasture away from the initial one and two others were admitted at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of Lisbon. In those animals, except for one that had to be euthanized for humane reasons, an improvement was observed on their condition, with partial recovery of the deformity.
Histopathology was performed from (i) the tendon obtained by surgical desmotomy in one foal, (ii) tendon biopsies were performed in three foals and (iii) from the tissue of one foal during necropsy. Histologically the most significant alterations were the dissociation of myofibrils of the smooth muscle. This was predominantly seen in the small intestine but also in the walls of small capillary vessels, including those of the tendon vasculature. The flexural deformities have a complex and multifactorial etiopathogeny. They occur due to uncoupling of the longitudinal development of the bone and its adjacent soft tissues, but also from shortening of the tendon-muscle unit in response to pain.
In the case series presented here, there was no obvious cause for the development of this problem, therefore we hypothesised that unusual environmental conditions might have played an important role in the development of this condition, especially those introduced in recent years.

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The following is the summary of a case study of a group of Lusitano horses that have been monitoried over 4 years which were the subject of a masters thesis at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Technical University, Lisbon, completed in 2012.

The study was performed by Teresa Margarida Pereira Costa e Curto,  ADVISOR: Dr. Maria da Conceição da Cunha and Vasconcelos Peleteiro CO-ADVISOR: Dr. Maria Luisa Jorge Mendes.

The study reports the findings from a stud where 11 foals developed flexural deformities of the front limbs, after they were born. (Acquired flexural deformity of the distal interphalangeal joint.)

Foal-Deformity

The above image shows the same foal at 3 and 6 months of age

 foal-deformity-1

A foal was bought from another breeder to exclude a possible genetic link to this problem. He came to the farm at 15 days old and like the others, developed a flexural deformity.

Foal-Deformity-2aFoal-Deformity-2b

Radiological examination of front limbs

The following tests were used for the study:  
• Anamnesis
• Clinical examination
• Goniometry
• Ultrasound and x-ray
• Measurement of cortical bone
• CT
• Desmotomy of the check ligament
• Histopathology
• Sound measurements
• Measurements of ground vibration

Foal-Deformity-3

Proximity of horses to wind turbines

Foal-Deformity-4

Aerial view of farm proximity to wind turbines

Foal-Deformity-5aFoal-Deformity-5b

Measurements of ground vibration were made at different distances from the wind turbines, with the same equipment that is used to detect seismic vibrations (earthquakes). The results of these measurements, showed ground vibration at different frequencies.
Research has shown that vibration effects bone metabolism.

Mechano

The above research project was based solely on this case study. Therefore, further research is necessary in order to validate these preliminary findings and hypothesis. Regarding the sound that the wind turbines produce, measurements were taken and studies have demonstrated some cellular damage is caused by low frequency noise.

The full thesis can be downloaded here in Portuguese.

The face & voice of Wind Turbine Syndrome in Vermont

Vermont2

Israel trashes wind energy

Editor’s note:  The following note was written by Michelle Levine, an environmentalist who helped lead a campaign in Israel to defeat wind turbines.  Michelle wrote her note to Esther Wrightman who, like Michelle, is a young woman of courage and formidable will.  Evidently the battle in Israel is not definitively over; nonetheless it’s encouraging to see that the courts have upheld the principle that wind turbines slaughter birds.  I am unaware of any other court in the world which has such common sense.  Bravo to the Israelis!

Trash3

—Michelle Levine

Esther, you are fighting a righteous battle, but my prayer for you is that you should be joined by legions, and that some of them will take a different tack—by helping you fight in the courts, by raising public awareness, as Nina clearly has done.

I believe it is usually the combined efforts of many that help bring a win—and with you as their leader, your legions would be tenacious indeed.

My colleagues have successfully fought off wind farms in Israel, but we had a lot more organizational support, from the nationwide environmental movement—the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel (SPNI). SPNI attorneys took the Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) to court, and though it took a judge to issue the ruling, the IEC also understands SPNI’s position of massive nationwide public support.

Interestingly, the campaign in Israel has been and continues to be about the threat turbines pose to decimating species of migrating birds, rather than focusing on public health. Wind farms continue to be proposed, however, so it is an ongoing battle.

I will pass on word about your struggle, so that this obviously critical issue be considered as well.

B’hatslacha—to your victory!

Michelle-Levine2

Behavioral pediatrician warns of Wind Turbine Syndrome in children (Ontario)

child

With thanks to the telegraph.co.uk

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—Donna Quixote, “Parents Demand Protection for Their Children from Wind Turbine Emissions,” Quixote’s Last Stand, 4/16/13

A group of determined parents will arrive at Queen’s Park on Thursday morning April 18 at 11:30 to demand a meeting with Premier Kathleen Wynne to discuss the risks to their children from industrial wind turbines. The group is led by Shellie Correia of West Lincoln whose son Joey has Sensory Processing Disorder.

“I met with Kathleen Wynne in my hometown just before Christmas when she was campaigning for the leadership of her party,” says Correia. “I gave her many reports and a letter from Joey’s doctor and I haven’t heard from her since.” Correia’s concerns and those of parents all across Ontario are for their children, some with special needs such as autism and other issues who are at risk.

Dr. Chrystella Calvert is a Behavioral Pediatrician and treats Joey. She agrees. “Noxious stimuli (or unexpected, or unnatural stimuli) are a source of environmental stress that affect the human brain. . . . Wind turbines concern me, given my strong knowledge of neurobiology,” says Dr Calvert. “I, as a “normal brain” (or typical brain) individual, would not want this risk to my mental health (or my children’s) in my neighbourhood.”

The vast 77-turbine wind project is slated for the area with massive 3 megawatt wind turbines, some at exactly 550 meters from Joey’s home.

In her letter Dr. Calvert states, “Science has no evidence that this abnormal, incessant stimulus does not have long-lasting effects on the developing fetal, child, and adolescent brain. In a developed society like Canada, we must advocate and protect the most vulnerable members.”

Non-consenting neighbours have filed complaints about the wind project in West Lincoln and are aware that the government sponsored Research Chair from the University of Waterloo wants to use them as part of a pre- and post- wind turbine study. The group says it is unethical to impose a health risk on a community and then study it to see what happens.

Shellie Correia and the other parents at Queen’s Park tomorrow need answers.

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Click here for video.

 

Brian and Joanne (Australia)

With appreciation to Stop These Things!

 

Expert flushes Chapman’s “Pissed Off” Thesis down the drain

Editor’s note:  Australia’s Simon Chapman, a sociologist on the faculty of the School of Public Health at the Univ. of Sydney, has become a wind industry evangelist arguing that Wind Turbine Syndrome is frankly nothing more than the hypnotic powers of suggestion being diabolically exerted  (by Drs. Pierpont, Laurie, and others) on weak-minded, envious homeowners who are pissed off that their neighbors, and not they themselves, are profiting from lucrative wind turbine leases.  (Some of these simpletons are so spectacularly conned and pissed off that they abandon their homes at great, indeed ruinous, financial loss.)

Simon Chapman

One might call this novel theory, Chapman’s Pissed Off Postulate.  (Presumably, «le grand professeur’s» logic makes more sense in the field of sociology—which, by the way, is not to  be confused with real science.  As an academic discipline, sociology has never overcome the accusation of being either stupendously obvious or stupendously absurd.  Chapman’s Postulate illustrates the latter.  There are those who argue sociology would be better classified as “literature,” in which case Chapman’s pronouncements could be more appropriately accepted as comedy or satire in the tradition of Jonathan Swift’s “Modest Proposal” or Rabelais’s “Gargantua and Pantagruel.”)

hamster and swift3

Still, something rankles.  There is a more sinister undercurrent, here.  Like the proverbial sorcerer’s apprentice, Chapman doesn’t grasp the repercussions of the genie he has conjured up.  Ridiculing and dismissing WTS victims transforms them—poof!—into guinea pigs who can be sacrificed for the “greater good” of the “global warmist” movement.

Seriously, what do we call such preaching by the likes of Mr. Chapman and, to a lesser degree, Tim Flannery?  Crude comedy?  Or satire, along the lines of Swift’s “modest proposal” that poor Irish women should rear children for the dining pleasure of English aristocracy eager to pay for such tender delicacies?

swift2

In my mind, Chapman is a literary comic.  Fair enough.  But when does literature, like Chapman’s absurdist comedy, become pseudo-science—pseudo-science in the service of public policy?  This is what alarms me about Chapman et al.  (Chapman’s a professor at a School of Public Health, after all, and Flannery is Chief Commissioner of the Australian Climate Commission.)  Notice that when Dr. Pierpont, a genuine scientist and genuine clinician, was interviewed several weeks ago by National Public Radio regarding Wind Turbine Syndrome, a substantial portion of the resulting article was given over to Professor Chapman.

Simon Chapman, a professor of public health at the University of Sydney, . . . believes that wind turbine syndrome, which has been an especially contentious issue in Australia recently, is “probably an example of community panic.” . . . Chapman and others have said that wind turbine syndrome is a result of the nocebo effect, in which merely suggesting that something could be harmful to your health causes it to be so.

—Audrey Carlsen, “Could wind turbines be toxic to the ear?” Shots:  Health News from NPR (4/2/13)

Remember National Socialism.  If Nazism’s modest proposal of “racial cleansing” had been regarded merely as a kind of vulgar satire or comedy, this would have been bad enough.  But when it became, horrifically, canonized as “science” undergirding public policy—it was then the true madness was unleashed.

Guinea-pig-and-turbine-300x250

We are indeed experiencing wind energy “totalitarianism.” Witness Ontario’s Green Energy Act, mandatory “renewable portfolio standards,” and town governments on Cape Cod and Vinalhaven (Maine) literally sacrificing human “receptors” (or to use Swift’s satirical imagery, hapless children, together with their parents) for the “greater good.”  In this brave new world, Chapman’s absurdist comedy can swiftly become a justification for evil.  Indeed, it already has.

banality-of-evil2

The author of the article, below, is one such “receptor” who, dammit, is fed up with being sacrificed!  He and his wife suffer from Wind Turbine Syndrome.  (More alarmingly, perhaps, they are victims of “WTS without turbines”—something that would be better called ILFN Disease.  Which illustrates that WTS is clearly a subset of a much larger acoustic epidemic.)  The author is, moreover, evidently a scientist aware of how real science works, as he takes pains to explain.

Toilet Seal2

—Simon G.

My wife and I—like so many others—got our Wind Turbine Syndrome (WTS) not from a wind turbine installation but from inaudible ILFN (infrasound/low frequency noise) from the fans of a heat exchanger unit on a neighboring lot.  After 3 months of exposure, I checked into the Emergency Room of our hospital.  So yes, people with WTS / SBS (Sick Building Syndrome) do end up in hospitals . . .

A few months later we got the authorities to conduct an analysis of the ILFN in our house. The result:  A peak at 18Hz, at levels just below the threshold of hearing. When presenting the facts to the medical faculty of a major university in our country (in Central Europe), we were surprised to learn that the effects of ILFN were known to them since 1985, when they did a survey on the effects of low-level infrasound from heating/ventilation systems on office workers.

In that report, they clearly define the symptoms as a result of the effects that ILFN has on the central nervous system. The possibility of a “nocebo” effect is actually discussed as a potential explanation.  But with a much better-fitting model available, the “Nocebo Theory” was quickly dismissed by the research team.

So, Professor Simon Chapman’s hogwash is only a mere 28 years behind what proper scientists in the field of occupational medicine know today.  Some early literature describing the effects of ILFN on the vestibular system even dates back to 1969 (Tempest) and even earlier.

Now, my background is in human factors / occupational medicine and not sociology (Prof. Chapman’s field).  Before I would even as much as think of issuing a statement about some effect that might fall in the territory of sociology, I would first do some basic homework on the issue.  The benefit of this approach is 3-fold:

a) it follows the rules of common sense

b) that’s how scientists work

c) it minimizes the risk of publicly making an ass of myself

Apparently, this is not how know-it-all Chapman approaches things. Therefore, one should seriously question his ability to work according to scientific standards as well as his ability to apply common sense. And why anyone would want the world to see their cognitive and/or professional shortcomings, I have no clue.

Usually, seemingly irrational behaviour can make a lot of sense when money is involved—but that’s just speculation.

Wind energy a failure, reports Economics think tank (Ontario)

Editor’s note:  Professor Ross McKitrick, a University of Guelph economist who for years has been analyzing wind energy, discusses the new Fraser Institute Report on the economics of wind energy in Ontario, Canada.

RMcKitrick

In two words, the Fraser Institute (using data provided by the Ontario government) concludes that wind energy in Ontario is a “flop” and a “fraud.”  The report uses more high falutin’ language than this, but it amounts to the same thing.

Dr. McKitrick is a member of the Fraser Institute.

Listen to CBC’s short interview with McKitrick , here.

Click here for the full report.

 

“Huge wedge cut through the heart of the forest” (Russia)

 

forest2

Editor’s note:  This man (below) died to save a forest from developers.  No, they were not wind developers; they happened to be destroying a forest for a highway.  Same effects, different purpose.  Click here to watch the video.

Mikhail Beketov was a Russian newspaper editor who opposed the destruction of the Khimki forest (and its resident wildlife) for a highway between Moscow and St. Petersburg.  He was warned by anonymous phone callers that he would be “maimed” for his continuing opposition.

beketov2-cp-5883061

They made good on their threat; one frigid night, two men beat him with an iron bar, smashing his hands, legs, and skull.  Though left alive—in a pool of blood and a coma in subzero weather for days—he lost his speech, and several of his fingers and a leg were amputated.

Within 5 years, he died of his injuries.  His attackers have never been found.

Will Wind Warriors be subjected to this brutality when they, like Beketov, stand up to wind developers destroying ridgelines and wilderness and farmland?  So far, it has not happened, despite threats of harm.

Mikhail Beketov’s murder reminds me that, yes, this is possible.  Same effects on wilderness or farmland and wildlife, same corruption, same greed.  What is to prevent another murder?

 

“The pressure in my head is unbearable. My ears are killing me” (Australia)

nutcracker

Editor’s note:  Listen to the reports of Wind Turbine Syndrome victims in the following radio interview.  Click here.  Then ask, Why is this torture allowed to continue?

Alan Jones, well-known Australian radio host, interviews Australia Federal Senator Ron Boswell and Ann Gardner (past award-winning super-fine wool producer in Victoria whose business was forced to shut down because of turbines next door).

 

“Wind farms aren’t noisy—are they?” (Australia)

 

Wind Turbine Syndrome triggers (doomed) lawsuit by 17 families (Michigan)

judge

Editor’s note:  Unfortunately the pending lawsuit, described below, will likely go nowhere.  Wrong law firm.  Wrong court.  Though, mostly, wrong tactic.

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—John S. Hausman, www.mlive.com (4/8/13)

LUDINGTON, MI – Seventeen neighbors of the Lake Winds Energy Park wind farm south of Ludington have sued Consumers Energy Co., alleging that noise, vibrations and flickering lights from its 56 towering turbines are causing sleeplessness, headaches, dizziness and other physical symptoms as well as economic loss.

The neighbors filed their lawsuit April 1 in Mason County Circuit Court. They seek monetary damages in excess of $25,000 and a court order for Consumers to “cease and desist in their activities” and to “abate the intrusions.”

Consumers Energy declined to comment on the case on Monday. But the company will issue a statement in response to the lawsuit Tuesday morning, spokesman Dan Bishop said Monday.

The neighbors’ lawyer, Craig W. Horn of Saginaw, declined to comment on the case Monday.

According to the complaint, the neighbors allege that throughout the project’s testing period and immediately after it began operation last November, they noticed the following “intrusions” on their properties and homes:

• Frequent, “highly disturbing” noise from the turbines.

• Vibrations or a pulsing sensation as the blades pass by the pedestal.

• A flicker/strobe effect inside their homes when sunlight passes through the blades.

• Glare when sunlight shines on the turbines.

• Numberous flashing red lights reflecting off the rotating blades that “overwhelm the night sky” and are visible inside their homes.

The lawsuit alleges the neighbors, all of whom say they own property and live in homes within a half-mile of some of the turbines, have suffered “some and/or all” of the following physical conditions, which they attribute to the wind farm:

• Inability to sleep and repeated awakening.

• Headaches and pressure.

• Ringing and aching in the ears.

• Dizziness.

• Stress and tension.

• Extreme fatigue.

• Reduced ability to concentrate.

• Nausea.

The lawsuit claims the plaintiffs will continue to suffer harm, including physical injury, emotional distress and loss of property value if they continue to be exposed to the wind farm’s operation.

The $250 million Lake Winds Energy Park development in Mason County’s Riverton and Summit townships, between Ludington and Pentwater, generates 100.8 megawatts of electricity. Its Vestas turbines are 312 feet high at the hub, with rotor blades having a 328-foot diameter.

 

Esther the Giant Slayer (Ontario, Canada)

Esther2

She’s stands 5 feet tall, weighs 100 pounds, and is going eyeball to eyeball with one of North America’s mightiest wind energy companies.

So far, neither Esther nor NextEra has blinked.

Esther Wrightman publicly and unabashedly contends NextEra Energy has committed acts of terrorism against her community—against both people and wildlife.

NextEra has responded by hiring a Toronto law firm to notify the young mother of two that they have had enough of Mrs. Wrightman referring to them as “NextTerror” or “NextError.”  I quote:

All such uses of the NextEra name and logo in the Video, the Second Video and on the Website are unsanctioned, in violation of NextEra’s intellectual property rights, and defamatory.

Accordingly, please remove the Video and Second Video from YouTube.com and any other internet sites, and please remove all pages and postings from the Website that contain the altered “NEXTerror” and “Nextterror Bullies Canada Inc.” logos or the word “NextTerror” by Friday, March 22, 2013 at 5:00pm and confirm that you have done so.

Failing removal of the Video, Second Video, the “NEXTerror” and “Nextterror Bullies Canada Inc.” logos and “NextTerror” word from the Website, NextEra will take the legal steps necessary to ensure removal.

While we sincerely hope that we can engage in a discussion of these issues and that legal action will not be required, NextEra reserves all of its other legal rights and remedies, including an action for damages or defamation as appropriate.”

As of this writing, this is where matters stand.  Deadlocked.

Esther tells WTS.com that she took a call this morning from a breathless reporter asking “if I had to ‘think about it’ before responding to NextEra.”

“Well yeah,” she matter-of-factly replied, “but it wasn’t a matter of whether I’d fight it; it was a matter of how I’d fight it.”

Click here to read how Esther is fighting it.

She intends to defend her charge in a court of law, if necessary, and prove that NextEra is intimidating, bullying, bungling, nasty, and hurtful to her community and protected wildlife. (NextEra recently created an uproar when it audaciously removed, with government approval, and “re-located” an active eagle’s nest in order to build wind turbines nearby. Esther and her colleagues filmed the event, which they judged—quite rightly—despicable.)

david and goliath

Armed with nothing more than a high school education, the unqualified support of a husband who is disabled and out of work owing to an acoustically toxic workplace, a courage and sense of righteousness to match the biblical David, and abundant brains (read her response to NextEra; a Harvard-trained lawyer could not have done better)—this mom is going to take on Mr. Big.  Before a judge, if necessary.  Certainly before a huge public audience.  (Click open “Ontario Wind Resistance” and notice that there are, at last count, 98 Comments to Esther’s article—an article which has gone viral around the world.)

Esther3

If I may address a note to Esther:

Young lady, you’re a hero! You’ve grabbed Goliath by his beard and told him he’s a bully and a philistine.  And you’re not backing down, even as he threatens you with calamity.

My dear, the eyes of the world are on you.  Already we are getting emails about you from Denmark, Spain, and Australia, and many from the USA and of course Canada.

Well done!”

And if I may address NextEra:

You folks have maneuvered yourselves into a corner.  There is little doubt you could win a lawsuit.  There is even less doubt you would lose—spectacularly—the public relations battle.

Rural Ontario is a powder keg of outrage over what wind developers like you have done to communities—a powder keg waiting for a spark to trigger massive, convulsive civil disobedience.  People are made ill by wind turbines built too close to their homes.  Many of these Wind Turbine Syndrome victims have abandoned their homes.

This diminutive mom may turn out to be the spark that triggers a major push-back.  I suggest you re-read the Old Testament story of David & Goliath.

By the way, many of us, including Dr. Nina Pierpont and Dr. Sarah Laurie (Australia), have volunteered to testify on Esther’s behalf.  Drs. Pierpont & Laurie would relish explaining to a judge and jury how wind energy companies willfully and recklessly harm people’s health.  Which may be why Esther pointedly uses the word “terrorism.”

I realize you folks have no quarrel with her right to resort to the word “terrorism”; your point is that she does not have the right to pin it to your company name.  As I say, legally you may be proven correct.  Morally, however, may be a different story.  Inevitably, a legal confrontation will generate a moral confrontation, where the latter will dwarf the former in significance.

Think carefully how you proceed down this slippery slope.

slingshot

Quebec bans wind turbines within 2 km of homes and 1 km of public roads (Canada)

PQ doc

Editor’s note:  The following article was translated from French using Google Translate.  The photo, below, accompanied the article.  It shows the wind developer, Mr. Desgroseillers, pointing out where he had planned  to build his “wind farm”—before  the new law, passed last month, booted him out.

Quebec

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—Patrice Laflamme, TVA Nouvelles, 3/25/13

No wind turbines can be built less than 2 km from a home and 1 km of a road in the Haut-Saint-Laurent, in the Montérégie.

The Quebec government has officially endorsed the amended interim control (RCI) of the Haut-Saint-Laurent surrounding these structures in its territory, which the council of mayors adopted on 9 January.

The Minister of Municipal Affairs, Regions and Land Occupancy (MAMROT), Sylvain Gaudreault, approved the new RCI in a letter dated March 13.

“The Regulation respects the policies of the government in terms of development.  Therefore, under the Planning Act and planning, it shall take effect the day on which this notice is served,” the minister said in this letter for the prefect of the MRC, Alain Castagner.

In the territory of Haut-Saint-Laurent, this revised version of RCI forbids the erection of wind turbines 2000 m (2 km)  from any dwelling and 1000 m (1 km) from any public road.

The new version of RCI also seeks to protect agricultural fields, cultivated floodplains, and woodlands, as well as bike lanes from the presence of wind turbines. It also establishes the 1000 m distance between the turbines and the Linear Park of the Haut-Saint-Laurent and 2000 m separating the site Droulers / Tsiionhiakwatha Saint-Anicet.

“As a prefect, I’m glad that the RCI has finally been accepted by the Minister,” said the mayor of Saint-Anicet and prefect of the MRC, Alain Castagner, in a telephone interview.

Mr. Castagner stated that the Minister would have been wrong not to endorse the RCI changes because, he said, “the government had endorsed the approach taken by the Haut-Richelieu last year and we were inspired to amend ours.”

The prefect insisted that any wind farm developers in the region will meet the requirements of the new RCI. “The aim of RCI does not prevent the construction of wind turbines in the MRC, but establishes reasonable distances (setbacks) in an effort to protect the citizens,” he said.

Godmanchester residents opposed to the construction of ten turbines in the municipality, warmly welcomed Minister Gaudreault’s decision. “I’m very happy for all citizens. This is very good news.  People felt they were listened to by our leaders. The minister’s response pleases us greatly,” said the spokesman of the group, Carole Trepanier.

Ms. Trépanier recalled that in a letter sent Nov. 13 to Minister Gaudreault, she wanted to raise awareness of the mobilization orchestrated by those citizens who oppose construction of  ten turbines in Godmanchester. “We wanted to persuade the government to be protect us from wind turbines affecting our health. We wanted to demonstrate that wind turbines in Godmanchester would have negative impacts on the beauty of the landscape and property values,” she said.

Ms. Trépanier also pointed out that 570 people have so far signed the petition launched in recent weeks in the region against the construction of a wind farm in Godmanchester. “There was no community support for the project. Citizens have supported us in our efforts, because we educated them,” she said.

Ms. Trépanier said she was relieved to see that all elected municipal leaders of Haut-Saint-Laurent became aware of the “health hazards posed by wind turbines.”

The president of International Barter, Jean-Claude Desgroseillers, said he was disappointed by the acceptance of the new RCI by the minister, adding that such a decision would effectively block any future construction of wind turbines in the MRC.

With this new version of RCI, the prefect of the MRC wondered if there are still areas of land in the Upper St. Lawrence where it will be possible to build wind turbines. “If such areas remain, they would have to be large,” he said.

Wind energy: Medieval torture as public policy (Canada)

Wind energy medieval torture

Receptor #62 addresses protest rally in Toronto, Ontario, 4/3/13

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—Ginny Stewart, Ontario Wind Resistance (4/6/13)

I am known as Receptor 62 of Mike Crawley’s Plateau Wind Project in Grey Highlands, Grey County; a faceless, nameless person to our government and to AIM/IPC/GDF Suez who labeled me as such. This is the way they want it; out of sight, out of mind. If they can dehumanize us then they can ignore the pain and suffering that their policies, their regulations, and their machines are causing.

receptor 62

I have a name and a face as do 22 others from 8 families in my community. We have all been stricken with symptoms that we did not have prior to the installation of IWTs near our homes. Each us reside less than 1500 meters from the nearest turbine. Some of our common symptoms are interrupted sleep, sleeplessness, heart palpitations, headaches, nausea, ringing in the ears, pressure in the head and ears, a tingling or vibrating feeling in the body, dizziness, nose bleeds, high blood pressure, lack of energy, depression, irritability and yes, anger. We have phoned the developer, and the MOE, we have filed complaints we have appealed to the Medical officer of health, all to no avail. We are aware of others who choose to remain silent for reasons important to them, but who none the less deserve to be counted.

There is a young man in my community, who was vibrant and active, dynamic in his job. Now he misses work because he cannot bring himself to get out of bed in the morning after a restless night to make the long commute required to get to his place of employment.

A young father who suffers from vertigo which now has become more pronounced since the turbines began to operate, worries about the health of his children. His doctor has recommended that he be fit with a pacemaker. He is only 35 years old.

Young children have begun to have chronic nose bleeds; adults now have high blood pressure. Some complain that they can no longer think or function properly. They lack energy and are depressed most of the time, preferring not to return home at the end of the work day to face another sleepless torturous night.

One family has already moved away but not before giving the lease holder nearest his home a piece of his mind as he was leaving. Another family just a few days returned from a three week holiday has also made the decision to leave. You see after only 2 days away from home and the turbines they felt a renewal of their health. The wife while monitoring her blood pressure was able to stop taking the drug she had been prescribed. The husband felt relief by being able to sleep again, the pains in his abdomen disappeared. 2 days after coming home all of their symptoms returned in full force. Now they are making preparations to put the house on the market, hoping that they can sell it with a minimal financial loss.

I too fear for the loss of my home and my health, which has already been degraded. I suffer from loss of sleep, excessive ringing in my ears. Sometimes there is pressure in my ears. Many of you I’m sure can relate to the pain caused by a rapidly descending aircraft. Just imagine that lasting for several hours. Nausea and headaches are no longer a stranger to me. I have also suffered many infections no doubt caused by my immune system being compromised.

My home along with some of my neighbour’s homes was the subject of Dr. Nick Kowen’s Noise Survey which demonstrates that the turbines exceed the noise limits set by the MOE most of the time. We have phoned the developer and the MOE we have filed complaints, we have appealed to the Medical officer of health, all to no avail.

We are not wind opponents or activists we are people, unwilling participants, walking wounded, and singled out by our government to participate in a nightmare that has been imposed on us without our consent. And now we are to be studied by our governments to determine the depth of our suffering, and what would be an acceptable percentage of people harmed. They are talking about 29%! They are looking at raising the noise level to 45dB! They are looking to make policy changes under the guise of a health study.

In September of last year I made a presentation on behalf of my neighbours and myself to the Medical Officer of Health for Grey/Bruce counties, Dr. Hazel Lynn. As a result the Board of Health requested her to conduct a literature search and provide summary conclusions. In a letter to me she states that “every published peer-reviewed study we considered demonstrated some level of positive correlation between self reported adverse health effects and living distance from turbines” but more research needs to be done. Well I did not sign up to be a lab rat, did you?!! We do not have 10 or 15 years to wait for more research! A positive correlation has been determined! So what are they waiting for?

Prevention, precaution and do no harm are well established health principals. To allow harm is inconsistent with these principals especially the precautionary principal. It is time for the medical community to step up to the plate. Medical Officers of Health in counties where people are being harmed have an obligation to respond that harm and should be ordering the turbines shut down. The threshold of impairment of health has been met and exceeded. We are about to have an epidemic in this province as our government feeds the industry frenzy to install more turbines and as they go online.

Last night I had the honour of speaking for the people of Huron East at a council meeting. The families are looking down the barrel of their future, one that will condemn them to the horrors of a policy gone wrong. They are fearful and looking to their leaders to protect them from what is coming. The room was filled to capacity, standing room only. Sitting on the floor in front of me was a young mother with her four children. They are innocent and their parents are helpless to protect them; the council says that the law will not allow them to protect them either.

Please look at our faces, remember them and not the receptor numbers that we have been assigned. Send a message to The Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Arleen King and tell her that we will not be dismissed. It is our right to be respected and to have our health and dignity protected and restored regardless of the circumstances of our ill health. Dr. King has the power to shut them down. The time has come to shut the turbines down!!! Shut them down!!

Grandmother abandons home (Ontario, Canada)

Stephana Johnston2

Stephana Johnston, an eighty-one-year-old former schoolteacher, with a wind turbine visible through her kitchen window, 526 metres from her property in Clear Creek, Ontario. There are eighteen turbines within a 3-kilometre radius of her home. Within days of the turbines going into operation, Stephana says that she began to experience physical symptoms that she hadn’t had before:  ringing in the ears, anxiety, a feeling of pressure in her head, and sleep deprivation due to the turbine vibrations.

She now sleeps in a trailer 16 kilometres from her house, where she says those symptoms dissipate.

Stephana was a Green Party candidate in the 2008 federal election and is active in campaigning against proposed wind turbines in areas near homes.

—Peter Bregg, Photographer

Editor’s note:  Stephana wrote the following as a comment upon this article, “Clean wind is clean only until it enters the blades. After that it is dirty wind.”

For the last four years, I have been attending Emergency Rooms, where the E.R. physicians don’t know what to do. A family physician has tried to eliminate every cause (Like testing for syphilis! Negative), testing for sleep apnea (negative), West Nile virus (negative), Lyme disease (negative), but has no treatment to offer.

It’s really an uphill battle to educate medical professionals who believe they know more than their patients do about themselves.  (Stephana holds a B.A. degree from the University of Toronto in Anatomy—Ed.)

My son has been working on a solution this last winter and spring. He outfitted his trailer, which is 15 km away from IWTs, with hydro (What a shock as to the cost!), built safety features into the entrance and put in a back-up generator. Once the night-time temperatures are 5 degrees C, I will make the change to “roughing it in the bush” until the night time temperatures drop below 5 degrees C again.

While living this simple life, I’ll have to investigate another living arrangement well away from the IWTs.

Reading Thoreau should be a great help.

All suggestions from readers will be most welcome as well.

All the best to every Wind Warrior.

Stephana2

Residents across Ireland up in arms over turbines

man shoots turbine

Protest groups say talk of jobs and profits are a joke

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—Jim Gallagher, Sunday World (3/31/13)

To many they have become the scourge of 21st Century Ireland.

Families around the country are being driven from their homes by the noise and disruption of windfarms.

Those living close to the turbines claim their lives have been ruined by the noise, vibrations and light flicker from the giant machines.

Protesters claim windfarms were built without local consultation and without any debate into long-term health effects.

And yet there are plans to bring thousands more of the towers to every corner of Ireland.

Power

Developers boast they will make billions of euro for the country and create tens of thousands of jobs. But opponents demand to know where this mass employment will come from as the turbines are all made abroad and once erected are remotely controlled from places like Germany and Denmark.

The most contentious plan of all is to bring a staggering 2,000 turbines to five midland counties and offshore locations to make power for the UK – because Wales refused to have them.

Two companies, Mainstream Renewable Power and Element Power, are currently signing up landowners across Offaly, Tipperary, Laois, Kildare and Meath to allow the towers on their land, following the signing of “a memorandum of understanding” between the Irish and British governments in January.

Once up and running, all the power created will be sent directly to the UK. The news has sparked the launch of a wave of protest groups to protect the rights of local communities.

Most say they are not against windfarms, but want turbines built away from homes and with proper consultation.

In Co. Cork, seven households have taken the unique step of suing local developer Enercon Services for driving them out of their homes. Life became so tough for the Banteer residents that they quit their properties 18 months ago and never went back.

The landmark case could set a precedent for multiple actions in the future.

Another couple in their 60s were temporarily forced out of their home near Roscommon after becoming traumatised by the lack of sleep. Michael and Dorothy Keane now plan to move to rented accommodation.

Dorothy said they had moved to their rural home for a peaceful retirement, but the constant humming inside their house drove them demented.

“Our doctor put us on sleeping tablets but told us to get out of the house,” she said. “Going into our bedroom is like going into a torture chamber. That relentless pitch drives you insane.”

Furious

Michael said: “When a Galway friend said come and stay with us we left our home.”

The Keanes are furious that An Bord Pleanala gave permission for the windfarm at Skrine Hill with no noise level conditions.

“It’s outrageous. If anyone else makes noise you can ring the police, but windfarm companies have carte blanche to do what they like,” said Dorothy.

In Kilrush, Co. Clare, Astrid Adler said her health had suffered from the Monmore Windfarm 750m away and she now regularly hyperventilates.

“There are seven turbines, but they want to build 45 more.We would leave, but nobody would buy our house,” she said.

“We have tried to track down the mysterious German owners but if you want to complain there is nowhere to go. The original planners sold it on immediately and nobody takes responsibility.”

Philip Hickey (51), lives just 370m from one of six turbines erected in Ballylusk, Co.Wexford, in breach of planning rules which stipulate they should be a minimum of 500m from homes.

“We have to listen to it all day. This was our dream home but they have ruined it,” said Philip.

“If we could move we would, but nobody would buy our house now. It was once worth €300,000, but now it’s worth zero.”

Campaigner Yvonne Cronin, of Moycullen, Co. Galway, said 103 turbines had been given planning permission within an 8km radius of her house and 17 were currently being erected. She said 60 per cent of the land zoned for windfarms by the council was in densely populated areas.

“We’ve had two years of public meetings, but the developers never come. They just do not seem interested in defending what they do.”

Yvonne said her group had found 14 breaches of planning rules which should have ruled out planning permission.

She said the council was interested only in money – €8,000 per turbine in planning fees and €18,000 in rates for the next 15 to 20 years.

Meanwhile, the Lakelands Windfarm Information Group (LWIG) has been set up to fight the Midlands development.

Biggest

Spokesman Andrew Duncan said it would be the biggest windfarm in Europe, with the tallest turbines, and would cripple local property prices. And all for the benefit of the UK.

The new turbines will be a massive 185m (610 ft), with 75 ton blades, requiring 1,000 ton concrete bases, the size of an Olympic swimming pool.

Landowners were being offered a €1,000 signing on fee, another €10,000 when planning permission is approved and €18,000 to €24,000 annual rent once a turbine begins producing power.

LWIG claims the windfarms will split communities because landowners get the cash, but locals have to live with the consequences. It said claims that 40,000 jobs would be created and the country would make billions were laughable.

“The whole thing is nonsense. It’s a huge money-making venture for the companies and the power is for export,” Duncan said. “It was originally intended for Wales but they won’t tolerate them.”

The LWIG believes the companies will sell off the development once planning permission is acquired and won’t be involved in construction.

“Windfarms should be put in appropriate locations with proper planning to protect communities,” said Andrew.

The action group called for a moratorium on windfarms while the government reviews its outdated 1998 guidelines. A report is due at the end of the year.

A Mainstream spokesman said yesterday that the sale of 5,000MW of energy to the UK would be worth €2.5 billion. And he said the aim would be to build the giant turbines in Ireland by persuading foreign manufacturers to open a plant here.

“Once we know where we want to build the windfarms we will start an environmental impact assessment and will go out to every area to hold information days,” said the spokesman.

“We will always act within the regulations. We are not developers who build a wind farm and then run away.”

 

“Clean wind is clean only until it enters the blades. After that it is dirty wind.”

wind_blowing-blue

Editor’s note:  Wind energy is billed as “clean” by its promoters—as in the slogan “clean, green, renewable.”  The truth of the matter is wind turbines are major “noise polluters.”

Noise engineers Richard James and Robert Rand explain.

Noise polluters is the proper way of framing the issue with wind turbines.  An honest discussion about wind energy that is based on evidence from operating projects would have to say that “clean wind” is “clean” only until it enters the blades.  After that it is “dirty” wind.  The interaction between in-flowing air and the blades of the wind turbines changes the wind from something that is healthy and refreshing to something that causes people and animals to become sick. How can any machine that changes wind from healthy to unhealthy claim to be “Green” or “Clean?”

When nuclear energy was first promoted it, too, was promoted as a safe, clean way to produce electricity.  Even if there had been no risks associated with radiation, there were consequences to the environment which included heating of the water used to cool the reactors, which altered fishing and other natural habitats.

With wind energy production, the turbine blade alters the air moving across it.  The consequences of this change are complex and not always intuitive.  New studies are giving rise to concerns about warming of areas around large arrays of turbines.  In addition, the pressure changes that appear as large wakes propagating at the speed of the wind and also noise emissions which propagate at the speed of sound have been shown to be detrimental to weather radar and have produced radar “blind” spots in communities with big projects.

Both sources of modulating pressure have effects on people, agricultural animals, wildlife, and structures—effects that were not properly accounted for during the design of the machines or mitigated by evidence-based safety margins when siting projects. Given that wind energy is only produced during periods with sufficient upper level winds, there is still a need for backup electric production, with the result that the anticipated benefit of less pollution from coal and gas-fired utilities has not occurred.

In sum, wind turbines are neither “clean” nor “green.”

—Richard James, E-Coustic Solutions (Okemos, Michigan)

 

“Noise polluters” is an appropriate way to refer to wind turbines and those who operate them with adversely affected neighbors complaining.

Acoustically speaking, wind turbines are “dirty”:  they create noise pollution, also known as unwanted sound.  We know this from reports by affected neighbors.  It is worth noting that the wind coming into the turbines is not always even and smooth; the fuel, as it were, is “dirty,” and the wind turbine acoustic output is also “dirty.”

Just like a gasoline or diesel engine stumbling, thumping, and backfiring on dirty fuel, a wind turbine is noisier when running in turbulent or shearing winds.  Turbulent and shearing winds are the norm in many areas where wind turbines have been located.

However, the wind turbine test standard IEC 61400-11 prevents a full accounting of wind turbine acoustic emissions by (1) requiring testing be done only under very smooth airflow conditions (shear <0.2), and (2) requiring A-weighting which filters out low-frequency emissions from analysis, and (3) requiring time averaging which hides dynamic modulations.

People often ask me, “What is a safe distance for a wind turbine?”  I appreciate the question because it indicates the questioner has some concept that there can be noise pollution problems for people (and animals) near wind turbines. After reading the reports from Australia, and especially since April 2011, when Steve Ambrose and I got clobbered by the wind turbine noise & pressure emissions in Falmouth, Massachusetts, I have been replying that I know of no safe distance from wind turbines at this time.  Ambrose & I suggested in our reports that we experienced a dose-response relationship between the wind turbine pulsations and adverse health effects, with a time onset and a time to recovery, and recovery related to our being many miles away or the wind turbine being off.

—Robert Rand, Rand Acoustics (Brunswick, Maine)

 

Can’t sleep at night because of Wind Turbine Syndrome?

WTS keeping you awake at night?  The wind company won’t believe you?  The govt. won’t believe you?  Are you forced to spend nights in a hotel?

insomnia

Your solution may lie in the picture, below.  If you live in Canada or another country with free medical care (not really “free”; it’s paid for by taxes), consider checking into—not a hotel room—but a hospital and spending the night snoozing in a hospital bed.  Free!

After all, you’re sick, right?  You’ve probably got vibrations going on inside, perhaps a headache & nausea, and you awaken in the night in a panic—all classic WTS symptoms.  When you’re sick, do you . . . check into a hotel?  No!  You get admitted to a hospital!

Do this whenever you’re suffering from WTS at night.  If enough WTS victims do this, by golly the government might start taking you seriously.

This clever solution was suggested by Jackie, below.  Consider it as a form of civil disobedience.

hospital bed

My heart goes out to all WTS victims.  I fear that very soon I will live the same tragic experiment.

Recently, an Industrial Wind Turbine project leader asked, “If WTS is a problem, then why aren’t our hospitals full of these so-called sick people?”  Our anger & discussions led to a “lightbulb” moment.  Fortunately, we have a national healthcare system in Canada.  I urge all victims to go to your local hospital, to get a good night’s sleep.  The nurses might wake you up occasionally to take your temperature, but this would be better than spending your hard-earned tax dollars on a hotel room.

If they won’t do health studies, then a regular trip to the hospital, several nights in a row, may make them pay attention.

—Jackie

 

“Truly, I was dying” (Arizona)

lithomariposawhite

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Editor’s note
:  The following is a “cry of the heart” from a wind turbine refugee.  Itasca Small (in the grainy photo, below) is a registered member of the Chickasaw (American Indian) Nation in Oklahoma.  Wind Turbine Syndrome drove this woman from her home.  She wrote her letter as a comment to “Wind Turbine ‘Hosts’ Get Wind Turbine Syndrome (Australia).”  I took the liberty of elevating her letter to a posting in its own right.

ItascaPicVert4

Itasca’s comment underscores the need for WTS victims, including WTS refugees, to unify.  We must give them a forum, a “safe haven,” where they can commiserate with one another, give each other strength and support, and forthrightly, without fear of ridicule (Simon Chapman, are you reading this?) express their suffering to the rest of us.  God bless you Itasca for doing so!

Andreas fixed

Andreas Marciniak is a South Australian whose comment to “Wind Turbine ‘Hosts’ Get Wind Turbine Syndrome (Australia) prompted Itasca’s response.  Andreas had to abandon his home and for the past year or two has lived—believe it or not—in a shed on his aged mother’s property.

I was once a professor of history at a big, fancy university.  I am enraged as I write the above paragraphs—enraged this inhumaneness is happening.  Inhumaneness to “little people.”  I remember that the corporate machinery of History has often ground vulnerable people to a fine powder.  As long as I have breath, I will give these victims a voice; I will let them bear witness to what has been done.  I care not about their literary skills, their religious enthusiasms, or political party; I care they are being brutalized.

I used to write learned books.  I do so no longer.  My books did nothing to save people from the atrocity recounted, below.

rose

Dear Andreas Marciniak,

I am very sorry that you are a “Displaced-Refugee Victim” of IWTs, as am I.  I thank God that my sister has been able to give me shelter in her home.  Otherwise, I don’t know what I would have done when my adrenal glands were driven down into Addison’s Disease by the IWTs at least approximately 11.25+ miles from my home.  TRULY, I WAS DYING!  I am still striving to recover from the devastating effects.

Other neighbors are experiencing effects from the IWTs at least as far as 12.5 miles distant, and I haven’t talked with “neighbors” farther away.  Unless my calculations are wrong, 12.5 miles is roughly equivalent to 20.1 km. This distance is to the closest turbine, the others are farther away across the total miles of the “wind power plant,” which originally affected me with just 30 IWTs, and now consists of 60 – 2.2MW IWTs.

The distance the infrasound travels depends upon more factors than just measured distance!  Ten km is not a sufficient setback in some locations; who knows just how far the damaging influence extends given the right conditions?  After all, it is the infrasound generated and propagated that is measured across-the-globe to monitor earthquakes and nuclear weapon tests!

These perniciously destructive monsters SHOULD NOT BE SITED ANYWHERE ON EARTH!  Living beings are located within the contaminated, or threatened, areas over most of the face of the earth!  I can’t locate the report right now, but in addition to Ivan Buxton’s revealing report, there is an excellent study that reveals just how insidiously destructive off-shore-sited IWTs are to sea-based lifeforms and to the entire oceanic environment.

And, that doesn’t even address all the other reasons why this TRULY Man-Caused Plague should be eliminated from the planet!

We must fight on a larger front than 2 km setbacks!  NIMBYism (Not in My Backyard) applies to any willingness to accept arbitrary, measured setbacks in any location.  Until Warriors Against the Wind come to grips with this truth, we will not be united in an effective way, and we and others will continue to be injured in many ways by those who still believe wind and solar energy will save the planet—just not in their backyard!  Well, although I am not a pantheist nor a Gaia-worshiper, the WHOLE EARTH IS MY BACKYARD!  And, THE WHOLE EARTH IS EVERYONE’S BACKYARD!

But, the carpetbaggers will continue to reap unconscionable, ill-gotten profits aided and abetted by those well-meaning, misguided, indoctrinated minions who honestly believe they are saving the environment. (“Carpetbaggers” is a pejorative term for the unscrupulous Northerners who infested the American South in the aftermath of our Civil War of the 1800s, feeding upon the misery and misfortune of the defeated Southerners.)

I pray that We, the Displaced-Refugee Victims of Industrial Wind Energy, will not long continue to suffer the devastating effects caused by our misguided fellow-human beings.

Amen.

Itasca

Wind Turbine Syndrome continues to decimate rural Australia

Editor’s note:  Watch this video and weep.  Watch this video and burn with anger.
·

With appreciation to the Editor of Stop These Things!  If you are not regularly reading STT, you are missing one of the great revivals of investigative journalism.  Just when you thought journalists were ciphers (ass-kissers) for government and industry, STT joined the blogosphere.  Thank God!

 

Wind turbine “hosts” get Wind Turbine Syndrome (Australia)

david-and-alida

·
Editor’s note
:  The couple, above, leased their land to a wind company.  They subsequently became ill with Wind Turbine Syndrome (WTS).  They were recently interviewed by Australia’s radio talk-show host, Steve Price.  Joining them in the interview is the CEO of the Waubra Foundation, Dr. Sarah Laurie.

Click here for the interview.

Simon Chapman

Professor Simon Chapman, a sociologist in the School of Public Health at the Univ. of Sydney (Australia), insists WTS is contracted by the power of suggestion.  (No, I’m not kidding!)  It turns out this is news to Mr. & Mrs. Mortimer, who think Mr. Chapman’s thesis is—dare I say it?—horseshit.

 

“Wind power works great, if . . .”

mouth

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Jim Wiegand, Naturalist (California)

Just remember, wind power works great if you are being paid to sell it.

Wind power works great if politicians can help the wind industry food-chain steal tax credits from taxpayers and then turn around and reward them again with carbon credits.

Wind power works great if ridding the world of species like whooping cranes and eagles is not a concern.

Wind power works great in PowerPoint presentations, animated clips, and sappy commercials.

Wind power works great if you would rather see an industrial landscape over god-given beauty and productive ecosystems.

Wind power is fantastic if your goal is to waste time and resources on a non-solution to society’s energy needs.

But wind power works best of all when Democracy takes a back seat to an assembly-line of corruption allowing outsiders to plunder and pillage communities.

I would take any other energy source over wind.

It is essential that people realize that no energy source comes anywhere close to killing as many raptors as wind energy does. No other energy companies are allowed to pick up bodies of rare and protected species from around their production sites on a day-to-day basis, year-in and year-out. No other energy producer has a several-thousand-mile mortality footprint (the highly endangered whooping cranes’ migratory corridor), like what wind energy has.

Wind is not clean energy. It is nothing but a filthy, disgusting excuse to bleed taxpayers.

.

Wind Turbine Syndrome is forcing elderly woman to abandon her home (Australia)

 

“Wanted: Five acres to bury dead birds” (Michigan)

deadbird2·

Editor’s note:  Since posting this, I have corresponded with the writer, Ella. She has given me the specific, blow-by-blow details of her claim that a wind company employee indeed approached a local resident, inquiring about renting 5 acres to use as a surreptitious burial site—for turbine-slaughtered birds. The resident declined. I will take the matter further and, if given permission by Ella and her associates, will reveal more. Suffice it to say, for now, that I have verified the accuracy of her claim—to my satisfaction, at least.  (See my earlier comment, at the bottom of this posting.)

·
—Ella (last name withheld)

Need some cash, anyone? (Sarcasm!)

In Gilford Township, Michigan, 75 newly installed turbines that went on line in December 2012 are looking to rent 5 acres to bury birds.

They are trying to install 3000 IWT in the Thumb of Michigan, which is rated as the 3rd best agricultural soil on this planet.

“Please Lord Jesus, help us all!”  Why do these farmers not realize their soil is Black Gold, the Saudi Arabia of soils on the planet?

I can only pray someone will read this. I can only pray someone will document the slaughter in Gilford. I can only pray this madness stops.

owl 3

·
Editor’s note:  Some readers are contacting me privately and wondering why I posted this, with nothing more than this woman’s “say so.”  I don’t want to dismiss her claim out of hand. It’s an intelligently written comment, and the remainder of it seems sound. I have contacted her for clarification.

My gut leads me to credit, more or less, this kind of statement. Largely because it’s obvious birds are getting whacked. It’s also clear that bodies are being hidden. What’s surprising is not (a) birds being slaughtered, or (b) an effort made at “cover-up.” What’s novel is the company passing the word around that it needs a burial site. There is so much chicanery by wind developers (“chicanery” is putting it politely: These people are pathological liars), that I’m gonna assume this woman’s right till proven wrong.

Incidentally, there is nothing to say the wind company intends to “fill” 5 acres with birds.  Be that as it may, I’ll be interested to hear the writer’s reply to my request for more information.

Do you really believe corporate claims of getting “all” their energy from “renewables”?

Editor’s note:  The following illustrates how corporate claims about getting 100% of their energy from “renewables” is “rhetorical trickery” joined to “political appeasement.”   Read Chesser’s editorial and you will never again fall for this nonsense.

fraud

“Apple’s 100% Renewable Claim Fails the Sunlight Test”

This is America, where the rich and politically powerful can cut deals for their own benefit and shift the costs onto those less able to afford it.

·
Paul Chesser, National Legal and Policy Center, 03/26/2013

Apple, Inc. has grown into a widely admired and one of the most valuable companies in the world, producing terrific products that generate long waiting lines every time a new innovation is announced. You would think executive leadership would not feel the need to bow to environmental pressure groups to appear it is eco-friendly.

But apparently acceptance by the likes of Greenpeace, and a warm reception at Silicon Valley liberals’ cocktail parties, still ranks high in importance in the corner offices in Cupertino, Calif. – even though their boastful claims aren’t true.

The latest example surrounds Apple’s absurd assertion that its electricity-sucking data centers, which support services like cloud computing and iTunes, are powered completely by renewable energy. Why the Mac-makers would brag about a phony achievement that is so easily debunked makes you wonder how smart they really are.

“Our goal is to power every facility at Apple entirely with energy from renewable sources…,” the iCompany proclaims on its Web site. “So we’re investing in our own onsite energy production, establishing relationships with suppliers to procure renewable energy off the grid, and reducing our energy needs even as our employee base grows.

“Our investments are paying off. We’ve already achieved 100 percent renewable energy at all of our data centers, at our facilities in Austin, Elk Grove, Cork, and Munich, and at our Infinite Loop campus in Cupertino…. We won’t stop working until we achieve 100 percent throughout Apple.”

The iCompany is particularly proud of its new computer server farm in Maiden, N.C., where it has built what it calls “the nation’s largest end user–owned, onsite solar photovoltaic array” on land that surrounds the facility. The supposedly eco-friendly project – which spurred the London Daily Mail to label it “Apple’s NC iSore” last year – killed 100 acres of trees, which the clear-cutters initially burned until the smoke and soot inhalation got to be too much for the neighbors. Apple has embarked on another round of forest cleansing to build a similar-sized array on adjacent property, to generate more erratic power (only when the sun shines) by the end of 2013.

Calling the Maiden solar swath “end-user owned” is about as far as you can stretch the truth without calling it the opposite. If Apple truly depended on the electricity generated from its solar farm, customers would be smashing their iPods and iPads in frustration over sporadic cloud computing services. Instead what Apple does is sell much of the sun power to Duke Energy, which puts it on the grid where dependable sources – coal, nuclear and natural gas – provide the consistent electricity that Apple actually needs.

The same kind of arrangement exists for Apple’s 10-megawatt fuel cell facility – also adjacent to the Maiden data center – the nation’s largest such project to generate electricity that doesn’t belong to an actual utility. Apple contracted with Bloom Energy, a start-up company with big investor friends (including Al Gore) in Silicon Valley, to build the power generation project. As The News & Observer of Raleigh reported last April, “According to a recent report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, fuel cells are among the world’s most expensive forms of electricity, costing $6.7 million per megawatt….”

Fuel cells are considered “renewable” because they require natural gas, but can use “biogas,” which can be captured from landfills and animal waste. Only Apple won’t be using biogas in its cells, but instead will buy renewable credits for landfill gas that is injected into natural gas pipelines. Gigaom.com reported in December that the fuel cell electricity and the renewable credits Apple earns will also be sold to Duke Energy.

So what’s on the surface – and what Apple wants everyone to believe – is that these large renewable projects are powering its massive data center in the foothills of Western North Carolina. But in reality, Apple is generating the very expensive electricity and selling it to Duke Energy, which will then recapture the cost in the overall rates it charges Tar Heel State businesses and residents. Meanwhile the power that Apple is actually using – which must be uninterrupted, round-the-clock and cheap – is sold to them at a sharply discounted rate by Duke.

If there was any doubt about that, it evaporated when Wired.com discovered on Duke Energy’s Web site a four-page paper (since removed, but saved by Wired) from its business development team that explained how they were able to convince Apple to come to North Carolina. As Wired recounted:

“Data center operators such as Apple are ‘the type of customer where the meter spins and spins at an exponential pace,’ said Clark Gillespy, a Duke vice president of economic development, according to the paper. ‘It may be the most ideal customer we could have.’ Their top concerns include ‘power cost and reliability,’ Gillespy said. ‘We were able to convince Apple that we were capable of providing the low cost and reliability they needed for their operations.’”

Besides the attractively priced electricity rates, Apple also was granted $46 million in special tax breaks from state and local government for the Maiden facility, which added to the savings. But no aspect of the location could have been more important than the power cost, which represented the single greatest ongoing expense they’d need to control in perpetuity.

So Apple’s claims that its massive server projects are “100-percent renewable” can be attributed to rhetorical trickery and political appeasement rather than reality. Duke gets 98 percent of its grid power from nuclear and coal plants, which is the real reason Apple was drawn to North Carolina and has been joined there by Google and Facebook, which also have been big cloud computing support facilities there. As Wired noted, Greenpeace in 2011 called the three tech giants the “dirty data triangle.”

The sale of solar and fuel cell power to Duke also helps the crony capitalism cause. As NLPC has reported, Apple worked with Bloom Energy to build the costly, otherwise unjustified fuel cell project. Al Gore, an Apple director, is a senior partner with Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers, which in 2002 helped launch Bloom on its independent mission to “make clean, reliable energy affordable.” Kleiner Perkins and its high-profile partner John Doerr – a friend of late Apple CEO Steve Jobs – are identified by Bloom as its first investors, and Bloom is also credited as Kleiner Perkins’s “first clean tech investment.” Thus Gore has a conflict of interest in his dual roles as an Apple director and as a beneficiary of a sales deal with Kleiner Perkins client Bloom Energy.

In a world without cronyism, renewable mandates, and utility monopolies, electricity-hungry Apple would have laughed at Bloom Energy after hearing its sales pitch about some of the most expensive power on the market. But this is America, where the rich and politically powerful can cut deals for their own benefit and shift the costs onto those less able to afford it.
·

Paul Chesser is an associate fellow for the National Legal and Policy Center and publishes CarolinaPlottHound.com, an aggregator of North Carolina news.

Wind energy’s stupendously false claims (United Kingdom)

fat lie

·
“Call for Full Facts on Wind Turbines”

—Tony Wakefield, Rutland & Stamford Mercury (UK), 1/9/13

In the 60s I was professionally involved in the design of wind turbines for electricity generation. Even then it was clear that they could never be an economical source of energy for the Grid.

It is always inefficient to convert low-level energy into high-level energy.

Our applications were confined to pipelines in remote desert areas. I have consequently taken a peripheral interest in their development and application ever since, regarding their only good feature being that, unlike nuclear power plants in particular, their decommissioning is cheap and easy.

The picture has been muddied by the apparent environmental implications, both pro (possibly) and con (definitely).

In particular I would mention that it can be argued that anything that increases carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is to be encouraged since that is where virtually 100 per cent of our food supply comes from.

A letter appeared in Professional Engineering in 2012, the organ of the UK Institution of Mechanical Engineers drawing attention to a report listing the five common assertions made by the wind industry, Government representatives and agencies.

(1) “Wind turbines will generate on average 30% of their rated capacity over a year.”

(2) “The wind is always blowing somewhere.”

(3) “Periods of widespread low wind are infrequent.”

(4) “The probability of very low wind output coinciding with peak electricity demand is slight.”

(5) “Pumped storage hydro can fill the generation gap during prolonged low wind periods.”

An analysis using publicly available data for a 26-month period between November, 2008 and December, 2010, and the facts in respect of the above assertions are:

(1) Average output from wind was 27.18 per cent of metered capacity in 2009, 21.14 per centin 2010, and 24.08 per cent between November, 2008 and December, 2010 inclusive.

(2) There were 124 separate occasions from November, 2008 til December, 2010 when total generation from wind farms metered by National Grid were less than 20MW. (Average capacity over the period was in excess of 1600MW).

(3) The average frequency and duration of a low wind event of 20MW or less between November, 2008 and December, 2010 was once every 6.38 days for a period of 4.93 hours.

(4) At each of the four highest peak demands of 2010 wind output was low being respectively 4.72 per cent, 5.51 per cent, 2.59 per cent and 2.51 per cent of capacity at peak demand.

(5) The entire pumped storage hydro capacity in the UK can provide up to 2788MW for only five hours then it drops to 1060MW, finally runs out of water after 22 hours.

The myths surrounding wind energy’s contribution have to be scotched.

The analysis is very detailed and show that in the period from November, 2008 until December, 2010 wind power generation was below 20 per cent of capacity for more than half the time.

The extremes are revealing. At 3am on March 28, 2011 the entire output from 3,226MW of installed capacity was 9MW. Three days later at 11.40am the output was 2618MW, the 
highest ever recorded. So discussions about energy balance and availability efficiencies are pretty meaningless in the face of such wild swings in output.

One must read the report to fully appreciate how using average wind speed to infer average power output has been very misleading. The instantaneous values are what really matter.

The assumptions that periods of high pressure are confined to summer and that the wind is always blowing somewhere in the UK is wrong. High barometric pressure and low or no wind can occur at any time over the whole of the UK.

In Northamptonshire there are planning applications in place for no less than 53 windmills out of a total of 94 new windmills currently projected for the UK.

Northants does not have any areas of outstanding natural beauty, National Parks, big cities or major airports, which makes it relatively plain sailing for windfarm developers to defeat local concerned groups.

It also has relatively low wind speeds—about 6m/s—but that doesn’t stop the use of average values hoodwinking the gullible into believing some inflated projections for electrical energy production.

During the Industrial Revolution when the steam engine and electrical power generation appeared, local cereal millers became less cost effective and went out of business because their windmills were an unreliable source of power. Nothing has changed.

It is disturbing to find Government policy still, in defiance of irrefutable evidence freely available from National Grid still pushing ahead with a policy discredited at every level.

Claims made by vested interest, in which I have to include Government members, are demonstrably at variance with the facts. We have a right to expect integrity, at least from our Government, but we are not getting it.
·
Tony Wakefield, who lives in Little Casterton Road, Stamford, is a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers, a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and a Fellow of the Association of Consulting Engineers.

Wind Turbine Syndrome: Physician tells couple to leave their home (Ireland)

 

Stamp out wind turbines (Scotland)

 

“Ten ways to kill Big Wind” (Hawaii)

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Mike Bond, Professional Writer (3/8/13)

Despite many victories, communities around the world are still facing a plague of industrial wind projects that like hideous War of the Worlds steel monsters are destroying communities, mountains, and wildlands, slaughtering birds and bats, sickening people and driving them from their homes.

Even though these wind projects do not reduce greenhouse gases or fossil fuel use, they have dreadful environmental, social and economic impacts on whole regions. But they are a tool for energy companies and investment banks to make billions in taxpayer subsidies that get added to our national debt.

The good news is that communities worldwide are learning how to defeat these dreadful projects. More and more laws and moratoriums are being passed against them, while other projects are defeated on legal grounds or by overwhelming public opposition.

In Hawaii, an industrial wind project that would have constructed ninety 42-story turbine towers across seventeen square miles of Molokai has been defeated by a determined two-year effort of the island’s residents. In the process we learned many tactics, which I’ve tried to summarize below and are further described in Saving Paradise:

Show wind projects for what they are: industrial. Not environmental, not green, not renewable, and cause no reductions in greenhouse gases or fossil fuel use, no long-term jobs and few short-term ones.

Don’t be nice. These wind developers are your enemies: they want to destroy where you live, steal your money (property values), and are quite happy to literally drive you from your homes. They will lie, cheat, bribe, buy politicians, and do whatever else they can to win. They won’t be fair and you can’t trust them.

Create a group and get your community behind you. Point out property value loss, human health issues, environmental destruction, tourism impacts, and all the other dreadful results of industrial wind. If you have a homeowners’ associations, make them aware of the danger so they can join the fight.

Publicize your case. In the newspapers, TV and radio, on blogs and in nationwide petitions. Use good graphics. Go viral, worldwide. Develop a good professional website with lots of information and ways for viewers to participate. Community members should write op-eds and letters to the editor. A very powerful tool is frequent press releases that pass on news reports from National Wind Watch and other groups about the devastating impacts of industrial wind. These press releases should be sent to all relevant media outlets and local, state and national legislators.

Do mailings to everyone. In Molokai we sent two mailings to all the island’s 2,700 addresses. The first mailer described the dangers of the project and included a survey with a stamped return envelope. We had a massive response, with 97% of responses against the project, and our group gained hundreds of new members. A year later we sent a second mailer with photo mockups showing how the turbines would tower over homes and landscapes. This mailer also included a bumper sticker which many residents then put on their cars.

Be visible. Put up lots of signs, both homemade and professionally done. Put up billboards if you can. Professional signs show you mean business, and are taken more seriously.

Find legislators who will help you. On the state level, Republicans are often more responsive and more concerned about the environment than traditionalist Democrats who have bought the idea that wind is environmental (or who are receiving contributions from wind companies).

Litigate. Find every avenue to impair or slow the wind developers. Once the Washington industrial welfare subsidies are removed, industrial wind companies will vanish overnight.

Get property value loss appraisals. Average losses of 40% or more are being reported; in Molokai, one of the reasons the landowner planning the project cancelled it was they estimated a 75% property value loss on their lands near the project. Publicize the loss of assessed value at county level, and how that will reduce tax revenues. In most cases, property value loss far exceeds any revenue the county might receive from the project.

Civil disobedience. Politicians and energy companies are terrified of this. Don’t be afraid to go to jail to protect the land and homes you love. On Molokai we planned if necessary to start a hunger strike on the island, and there were people ready to starve to death to protect our island. The level of your commitment is equal to the level of your success.

Doctors blow the whistle on wind turbines (Global)

Editor’s note:  The following is a news release from the European Platform against Windfarms (EPAW).

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An impressive number of health practitioners, researchers and acousticians around the world are voicing their concern about the effects of wind turbines on people’s health.  The list was just published by the Waubra Foundation, the European Platform Against Windfarms (EPAW) and the North-American Platform Against Windpower (NA-PAW), the latter two representing over 600 associations of windfarm victims from 27 countries.

These health professionals should be honored, assert the three NGOs:  it takes courage to uphold the rights of victims against the powerful coalition of vested interests which supports the wind industry.

In Australia, where the controversy is reaching new heights, a wind industry executive has been singling out Dr Sarah Laurie in a bid to make the public forget the many other health professionals who alert to the dangerous effects of wind turbines:  “. . . the largest public relations issue for the industry at the moment is the theory of an ex-doctor [“ex-doctor” is false—Ed.] that infrasound or low frequency noise from wind turbines is likely to make anyone within 10 km of a wind turbine sick.”

The Australian blog, Stop These Things, which rose to prominence denouncing the wind industry, responded:  “So, the largest public relations issue for the wind industry is Sarah Laurie?  One woman against the deep pockets of the pro-wind lobby.  One woman speaking with local communities.”

Click here to read the entire article.

 

Marine wind turbine construction harms porpoises’ hearing & survival (Germany)

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“Wind park building noise ‘can kill porpoises’”

—Unsigned article, The Local:  German’s News in English 2/26/13

German scientists are working to prevent the noise from building oceanic wind parks from damaging the hearing of whales and dolphins, after it emerged that the noise could be deadly for sea mammals.

Anja

Anja Gallus, from the German Oceanic Museum in Stralsund, said the noise created by hydraulic hammers used to ram the steel base pipes into the sea bed, could kill in particular porpoises in the area.  (Editors note:  You may contact Ms. Gallus at anja.gallus@meeresmuseum.de.)

“Damage to hearing means the loss of their navigation and thus the possibility of hunting. If the hearing damage remains, the animals mostly die,” she told Die Zeit weekly newspaper.

Porpoises navigate, hunt and communicate with each other with echolocation, making clicks and other noises and hearing the reflection of the noises off objects such as fish, to create an understanding of what is around them.

But the level of noise created by underwater building sites needed to set up the wind parks drown out these subtle noises. Each wind turbine requires an 800-tonne steel base which must be fixed 30 metres deep into the sea bed – and is simply hit with a huge hammer to ram it in.

Estorff

“The construction work is very noise intensive,” [Professor] Otto von Estorff, from the Technical University Hamburg-Harburg told the paper. “The particularly conductive quality of the water means the noise can be clearly heard for several kilometres.”  (Editor’s note:  You can reach Prof. Estorff at estorff@tu-harburg.de.)

He and his research team have measured around 200 decibels at the construction site – and it remains at around 180 decibels within 750 metres of the work.

“The maximum noise levels as prescribed by the Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency for underwater are at 160 decibels – which is about the noise level of an Oktoberfest band on land. The average noise level around the German coasts is around 90 decibels,” von Estorff said.

The most effective way to keep the noise at site is to create a bubble curtain around the work which acts insulation against the sound waves in the water – effectively breaking them up so they do not travel so well.

The bubble curtain – created by laying a pipe with holes in it on the ground around the foundation work and pumping air through it – can be badly affected by heavy seas though, as strong currents can simply whip the bubbles away, leaving no noise barrier.

Von Estorff and his team are working to try to evaluate other possible methods of reducing the noise pollution from the construction, Die Zeit said. Delays due to adverse conditions preventing the bubble curtains working can easily cost €90,000 for each wind turbine, but there is not yet any other way, said Cay Grunau, from Hydrotechnik Lübeck, a firm which lays the bubble curtain pipes.

“If we are deciding upon environmentally friendly energy, we also have to protect the environment with the building measures necessary. Anything else would be a big contradiction.”

 

Why the wind industry’s turbine noise measurements are worthless

ruler

Why dBG, dBC, and dBA “hide” the true “dose” of infrasound below 10 Hz

The actual level of infrasound in this figure at 1 Hz is above 90 dB. Measuring infrasound with dBG at 1 Hz gives a level of only 50 dB.  Thus 40 dB is “hidden.”  Forty dB is a huge amount of sound energy, which will not be heard at that level, but may be perceived.

The graph also demonstrates why dBA is useless at accurately measuring below 200Hz.  Measurement with dBC likewise fails to measure the true low frequency noise and infrasound level once you get below 100 Hz.

The figure below came from the following sources:

» Salt, A.N. and Kaltenbach, J.A. (2011). Infrasound from Wind Turbines Could Affect Humans. Bulletin of Science, Technology and Science. (Aug 2011). 296-302.  (Downloadable from here.  Scroll down to the fourth article.)

» Van den Berg, G. P. (2006). The sound of high winds: The effect of atmospheric stability on wind turbine sound and microphone noise.  PhD dissertation. University of Groningen, Netherlands.

dB graph

 

The “Waterloo Wind Farm Refugees” (Australia)

Waterloo refugees

 

Wind turbines at sea get Wave Resonance Syndrome (Norway)

Editor’s note:  Turns out ocean waves create a phenomenon called “ringing.”  Ringing makes a resonance (vibration) which can break turbines and other such structures (oil rigs) “like matchsticks.”

The problem is, turbine towers are just the right size to be “vibrated apart” (my term) by ocean wave resonance.

Thus far it has not been possible to measure the force exerted by ringing. Laboratory measurements show that the biggest vibrations in the wind turbines occur just after the wave has passed and not when the wave hits the turbine. Right after the crest of the wave has passed, a second force hits the structure. If the second force resonates with the structural frequency of the wind turbine, the vibration is strong. This means that the wind turbine is first exposed to one force, and is then shaken by another force. When specific types of waves are repeated this causes the wear to be especially pronounced. This increases the danger of fatigue.”

—Professor John Grue, University of Oslo

This is akin to what happens inside a house. Turbine infrasound creates a resonance (vibration) within certain-sized rooms, in some cases shaking the house apart.  (Witness the home of Anne & Mark Cool, Falmouth, MA, where nails are coming out of the walls in a relatively new home.  Annie Hart Cool is a Sotheby’s realtor, incidentally.  WTS.com has heard similar accounts from homeowners, elsewhere.)

Can you see the irony?  Turbines at sea being vibrated apart by a resonance from ocean waves!  Turbines getting Wave Resonance Syndrome (WRS)!

How many marine turbines do you think will want to, er, abandon ship?  I can imagine the Australian sociologist, Simon Chapman, arguing turbines are faking WRS because they’re envious of land-based turbines, which get most of the media attention.  Others might counter that marine turbines are getting WRS because of a nocebo effect.

Wind energy has entered the realm of slapstick. Three Stooges comedy. Except, it’s so tragic.

row of match sticks

“Windmills at sea can break like matches”

Medium-sized waves can destroy wind turbines at sea, causing them to break like matches. Mathematicians are trying to explain why.

·
—Yngve Vogt, Apollon:  Research Magazine, University of Oslo (Norway) 2/26/13

When waves above 13 metres hit wind turbines, an unfortunate force arises at the rear of the turbine. This is called ringing.  Professor John Grue is now looking for a general mathematical formula that can explain the special phenomenon.

Medium-sized waves can break wind turbines at sea like matches. These waves occur even in small storms, which are quite common in the Norwegian Sea. “The problem is, we still do not know exactly when the wind turbines may break,” says Professor John Grue from the Department of Mathematics at the University of Oslo. Grue is one of the world’s foremost experts on wave research. In 1989 he discovered an inexplicable wave phenomenon called ringing, which is a special type of vibration that occurs when choppy waves hit marine installations. The discovery was made in a 25-metre long wave laboratory located in the basement of the mathematics building at Blindern Campus.

Prof. Grue

So far scientists have studied ringing in small and large waves, but as it turns out, ringing is more common in medium-size waves.

For wind turbines at sea with a cylinder diameter of eight metres, the worst waves are those that are more than 13 metres high and have an 11-second interval between them.

Financial ruin

The ringing problem may increase significantly in the years ahead. There are plans to build tens of thousands of wind turbines at sea.

“If we do not take ringing into consideration, offshore wind turbine parks can lead to financial ruin,” warns John Grue.

Today, the largest windmill parks at sea are outside the coasts of Denmark and Great Britain. They are nevertheless like small miniatures compared to Statkraft and Statoil’s enormous plans on the Dogger Bank outside Scotland. This windmill park is to produce as much electricity as 60 to 90 Alta power plants. A windmill park with the capacity of two Alta power plants will be built outside Møre og Romsdal.

“Thus far it has not been possible to measure the force exerted by ringing. Laboratory measurements show that the biggest vibrations in the wind turbines occur just after the wave has passed and not when the wave hits the turbine. Right after the crest of the wave has passed, a second force hits the structure. If the second force resonates with the structural frequency of the wind turbine, the vibration is strong. This means that the wind turbine is first exposed to one force, and is then shaken by another force. When specific types of waves are repeated this causes the wear to be especially pronounced. This increases the danger of fatigue.”

It is precisely this secondary force that creates ringing and that the mathematicians until now have not managed to calculate.

Unfortunate vibrations

All structures have their own vibration frequencies, whether they are wind turbines, bridges, oil rigs or vessels.

When the vibration matches the structural frequency, things get tough. This phenomenon is called resonance, and can be compared to the steady march of soldiers on a bridge. If the soldiers march in time with the structural frequency of the bridge, it can collapse.

Unrealistic calculations

The Norwegian University of Science and Technology and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have already made a number of calculations of ringing. Ecole Centrale Marseille and the French Bureau Veritas have also made such calculations. Det Norske Veritas is among those who use versions of these models.

“Current models are the best we have, but the estimates are too rough and erroneous. The theories are applied far outside of their area of validity. This means that we cannot calculate the fatigue adequately.”

Ringing is not related to turbulence. Ringing is systematic and is about high underpressure at back of the cylinder.

Difficult mathematics

Internationally, very little has been done on this phenomenon. John Grue now has two Doctoral Research Fellows calculating these movements. He also collaborates with the Danish research community on wind power at Risø National Laboratory and the Technical University of Denmark.

“Ringing is very difficult to calculate. There is great uncertainty. We want more precise descriptions of the physics of ringing. We are now trying sophisticated surface elevation models and complex calculations to reproduce these measurements accurately. We want to show that the ringing force arises systematically according to a general mathematical formula.”

Saga Petroleum has previously conducted an extensive set of measurements of the ringing force in waves.

“These fit our measurements very well”, says Grue.

Differences between deep and shallow waters

The scientists must also consider whether the installations are in deep or shallow waters.

“The structural frequency also depends on the conditions on the seabed.

You can compare it to a flagpole in a storm. The flag pole vibrates differently depending on whether the pole is fixed in concrete or on softer ground.”

“There has been no research on the connection between vibrations and the conditions on the seabed.”

Oil rig damaged

Ringing does not just harm wind turbines. Ringing has already been a great problem for the oil industry. The designers of the YME platform did not tak ringing into account, and lost NOK 12 billion.

“It is possible to build your way out of the ringing problem by strengthening the oil rigs. However, it is not financially profitable to do the same with wind turbines”, says John Grue.

Improves the models

Arne Nestegård, Chief Specialist in hydrodynamics at Det Norske Veritas, confirms to Apollon that wind turbines at moderate depths may be exposed to high-frequency resonant oscillations if the waves are extreme, but they safeguard against this. Nestegård says that in the past twenty years, Veritas has developed ringing models and that they now work on improving the models for wind turbines at sea.

Video: Suffering from windfarms (Australia)

 

Hard data on why wind energy is bullshit (New York)

toilet paper 3

“Lessons from New York”

—Jack Sullivan, MS (Nuclear Physics, Cornell University), Rutland Herald 2/14/13

As Vermonters grapple with the pros and cons of industrial wind power, many of their questions may be answered by studying the track record of northern New York wind projects.

This area has been host to hundreds of turbines for nearly five years. The wind resource of northern Vermont is very close to that of northern New York. We can certainly expect nearly the same performance from turbines in both locations. I have tracked four northern New York projects since their inception with a comprehensive study centered on the Noble Chateaugay project, which has 71 GE 1.5 SLE turbines and is capacity-rated at 106.5 megawatts. The capacity rating is the maximum sustained output of the project.

The actual annual output of the Chateaugay was only 23 megawatts, giving an efficiency (capacity factor ) of 21.6 percent. The other northern New York projects had similar capacity factors. This is quite far removed from the 30 percent to 35 percent commonly predicted by wind developers.

All northern New York wind projects had more than 1,200 hours annually that they produced no electricity at all (that’s the equivalent of 50 24-hour days) or 14 percent of the time with zero generation. It appears wind developers notoriously inflate expected capacity factors to entice investors and increase chances of permitting approvals.

Both Vesta and GE turbines have a manufacturer’s life expectancy rating of 20 years, yet no northern New York wind project is on track to sell enough electricity in 20 years to pay for itself. There are few locations in the Northeast that have a sufficient wind resource to support a viable wind generating project;; not only are area winds light compared to the Midwest, but they have a huge problem of being very intermittent.

Wind power can never supply a steady base-load power, nor can it supply reliable and predictable electricity in any amount. This is especially true in marginal wind areas like New York and Vermont. Large-scale power storage is only a future dream, so a huge influx of wind power only increases its inefficiency.

Vermonters must look carefully at the current rush to cover their ridgelines with giant industrial wind turbines. Wind advocates, including Gov. Peter Shumlin, claim Vermont must switch to wind power in order to avoid another Hurricane Irene.

If this wasn’t so serious, it would be laughable. Irene originated in the Caribbean, so I find it hard to believe that a few wind turbines on Lowell Mountain can stop a major storm forming in the Caribbean. If storms of Irene’s ilk are caused by climate change, then Vermont’s electrical generation is a very minor concern, since 96 percent of its carbon dioxide is caused by heating and transportation. It might make more sense for Vermonters to concentrate on conservation and energy efficiency rather than destroy their ridgelines with inefficient wind turbines.

An in-depth study done by the prestigious Pacific Research Institute found that a wind project needed to have a capacity factor of 35 percent before it could erase its carbon footprint within its life expectancy. Manufacture, transport and construction of a wind project produces huge amounts of carbon dioxide emissions;; for example, just moving a single turbine across northern New York produces nearly five tons of carbon dioxide.

Even if Vermont wind projects produced less emissions, little reduction would occur since most of Vermont’s electricity comes from hydro and nuclear, both already emission free.

A driving force behind the Shumlin administration’s strong support of wind power seems to be the desire to destroy Vermont Yankee. The fact of the matter is that it would take more than 1,000 3-megawatt wind turbines to produce the average output of Yankee, and that output would be erratic and unpredictable.

Since Vermont electrical generation produces an infinitesimal part of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions, there is no way they have any measurable effect on climate change.

The Lowell Mountain project is interesting in that Green Mountain Power claims its 21 three-megawatt turbines will produce an annual average of 20 megawatts. This would mean a capacity factor of approximately 32 percent, rather unbelievable for a Northeast installation. I fear the people of Vermont are being sold a bill of goods not unlike what happened in northern New York.

Other considerations in the northern New York wind projects were changes in the rural ambiance of the landscape, a major factor for Vermonters as ridgelines are scalped and bulldozed. Here in northern New York woodlot and meadow scenery gave way to an industrial array of 500-foot turbines. The landowners who were near turbine sites found their property values decreasing. Studies in New York, Texas, Wisconsin, the United Kingdom and Ontario all agree that sites in view of turbines less than a mile away lost 20 percent to 50 percent of their value once they were installed.

Additionally, we have had cases of ill health caused by neighboring turbines, a condition known as wind turbine syndrome and verified by medical professionals worldwide. A further negative effect that wind developers in northern New York have generally denied is the death of birds and bats due to wind turbines. It has been alleged that some projects have employees who scour the areas around turbines and remove carcasses, thus literally “knowing where the bodies are buried.”

Vermonters should remember that once their ridgelines are dynamited, bulldozed and covered with giant wind turbines they will never be reclaimed.

·

Jack Sullivan
Jack Sullivan is a town councilor in Malone, N.Y.

Wind turbines coming down! “Timber!” (Falmouth, MA)

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“Cape Cod community considers taking down wind turbines after illness, noise”

—Molly Line, FoxNews.com (2/26/13)

Two wind turbines towering above the Cape Cod community of Falmouth, Mass., were intended to produce green energy and savings — but they’ve created angst and division, and may now be removed at a high cost as neighbors complain of noise and illness.

“It gets to be jet-engine loud,” said Falmouth resident Neil Andersen. He and his wife Betsy live just a quarter mile from one of the turbines. They say the impact on their health has been devastating. They’re suffering headaches, dizziness and sleep deprivation and often seek to escape the property where they’ve lived for more than 20 years.

“Every time the blade has a downward motion it gives off a tremendous energy, gives off a pulse,” said Andersen. “And that pulse, it gets into your tubular organs, chest cavity, mimics a heartbeat, gives you headaches. It’s extremely disturbing and it gets to the point where you have to leave.”

The first turbine went up in 2010 and by the time both were in place on the industrial site of the town’s water treatment facility, the price was $10 million. Town officials say taking them down will cost an estimated $5 million to $15 million, but that is just what Falmouth’s five selectmen have decided to move toward doing.

“The selectmen unanimously voted to remove them. We think it’s the right thing to do, absolutely,” Selectman David Braga said. “You can’t put a monetary value on people’s health and that’s what’s happened here. A lot of people are sick because of these.”

·
Click here to read more and watch the video.

 

“Acoustic trauma produced by large wind turbines is real and significant,” Sandy Reider, MD (Vermont)

Editor’s note:  The following testimony was given by Harvard Medical School-trained physician, Sandy Reider, MD, to the Vermont Energy & Natural Resources Committee on January 31, 2013.

Dr. Reider documents classic, textbook Wind Turbine Syndrome among his patients.  (If he is aware of Dr. Pierpont’s peer-reviewed book on the subject, he chose not to mention it.)

doctor

Good morning, thanks very much for the opportunity to speak about some clinical observations regarding the health impacts of living in close proximity to large wind turbines.

My name is Sandy Reider.  Since graduation from Harvard Medical School in 1971 I have practiced more or less continuously in VT in various capacities, most recently for the past 17 years in a primary care setting in Lyndonville.

In the brief time I have, I’d simply like to share some of my clinical observations and impressions regarding the health impacts related to living near these turbines and leave a review of the available science to others.  (Parenthetically, I am delighted you will be hearing from Stephen Ambrose, because it was his on-site Falmouth, MA, study that I selected to pass on to Commissioner Chen when he came to speak in Newark this past summer.)

At this point I have seen 6 persons in my office with symptoms that seem to stem from these turbines, but for the sake of clarity and brevity, I will describe just one case in detail … keeping in mind that the symptoms described by all those I have seen are quite similar and characteristic of what has become known, somewhat euphemistically, as Wind Turbine Syndrome.

This was my first patient who turned out to suffer from this syndrome, and I must say that it took a few months for us to connect the dots. He was a healthy 33 yo man who I had treated for several years and knew quite well. He had no preexisting medical problems, took no prescription meds, was happily married (no children), and had lived in his home for several years before a single NPS 162 foot wind turbine was installed in the late autumn of 2011, approximately 1800 feet from his residence. At the time of installation he paid no attention at all to the turbine and had no particular feelings about it one way or the other, aesthetic or otherwise.

About 3 weeks after the installation he began to experience quite severe insomnia, something he had never dealt with before, and he had no clue why. He worked at home and spent most of his days as well as all nights there, unlike his wife who worked in Newport and was gone most days. He complained of abrupt waking 30-40 times a night, like a startle reflex, associated with some anxiety. As a result he was almost never able to fall into a deep restful sleep, very distressing for someone used to sleeping soundly for 10-11 hours every night.

Additionally he developed a kind of pressure headache, ringing in his ears, and slight dizziness. These symptoms weren’t constant but varied from day to day (eventually discovered to be related to wind speed and direction). His ability to concentrate diminished and it became difficult to get his work as a financial advisor done, as well as feeling irritable and somewhat depressed.

On his 3rd visit over 6-8 weeks during the spring of 2012, he quite emphatically declared that he was experiencing something called WTS. At the time I inwardly rolled my eyes, but after conducting some research, I decided it might just be possible. To test this hypothesis, he and his wife went on a 3 week vacation, and within 1-2 days of being away from home, ALL his symptoms resolved. On return, the same distressing sensations gradually returned. This amelioration when away was confirmed dozens of times … he became aware that when the wind was coming out of the north or northwest he was particularly affected, and so arranged to sleep at a friend’s house on those nights …. Generally he spent 3-4 nights away from home throughout the spring and summer of 2012, and on those nights felt and slept well.

Interestingly, at no time at home did he actually hear any noise … his distress was likely the reflection of very low frequency sound/vibration, sound below the audible range. In trying to compare this to something in my own experience, the closest image that comes to mind is that of a teenager driving around in the spring with those big bass speakers in the trunk of his car … a rhythmic thumping that can be sensed, and felt, from over a block away, while the rest of the higher frequency musical tones cannot be heard at all.

Most patients have complained about audible noise as well as a rhythmic flickering shadow as the turbine blade crosses the sun, also the rhythmic flashing glare from the reflection of the sun on the blades (such flickering lights are known in the medical literature to precipitate seizures in susceptible individuals ), and these are of course significant, but I have chosen to describe this case because so little attention has been given to inaudible low frequency vibration. My patient was fortunate, he and his wife were able to afford to abandon their home, and they are now living happily far from any wind turbine and feeling quite well.

As I said, I have seen 5 other individuals with similar syndromes, and it easy to imagine how this state could easily presage more chronic illness … depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, chronic headaches, the list goes on … and all the pharmaceutical drugs that these maladies might eventually necessitate. I would be concerned for those whose nervous systems are sensitive and vulnerable …. infants and small children, children with ADHD or autism spectrum syndromes, and constitutionally nervous adults. I know you will hear stories this morning from Vermonters who have already been directly impacted.

The old saw that a doctor’s best teacher is his patient is true and obviously applicable here. From a purely clinical perspective I believe the acoustic trauma produced by large wind turbines is real and significant, and that this makes the siting of these turbines especially critical.

Keep in mind that the turbine affecting the person I described previously is only 160 feet high, whereas the turbines already spinning in Lowell and Sheffield are about 450 feet high, and those proposed for the Newark/Brighton/Ferdinand project are close to 500 feet. I note that a minimal setback of 1 mile from the nearest residence is specified in S.30 , but due to the great variety of atmospheric conditions and geography in VT, who knows if even this is adequate?

Also, I was surprised that in the bill there is no specific mention of effects on health, though “quality of life” comes close. These health effects are more than nuisances, a term used in much of the literature to characterize the symptoms. A nuisance might be something like black flies buzzing around your head, whereas these vibratory and acoustic effects are something else altogether, and describing them a nuisances seems a disservice and demeaning to those who experience them. What about “chronic vestibulo-acoustic trauma syndrome” … we certainly need better science, and more study is needed.

I believe these health impacts should be specifically cited in the bill, with a recommendation directing the VT Department of Health to adopt a more direct, proactive role in the public health issues raised by these huge turbines.

I fully support the three year moratorium on all industrial wind development as outlined in the current bill, in order to try to understand more clearly the sacrifices we are asking of our citizens and of the complex ecology of our sensitive and beautiful ridgelines.

Sandy Reider, MD
P.O. Box 10
East Burke, VT  05832

(802) 626-6007
sandyreider@yahoo.com

Pierpont comments on “Effects of Industrial Wind Turbine Noise on Sleep & Health” (Jour. of Noise Health)

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Editor’s note:  This past autumn, 2 physicians and a statistician published a significant article in the journal Noise & Health on the “Effects of industrial wind turbine noise on sleep and health.”  This website didn’t feature the article, worthy as it is, until we could twist Dr. Pierpont’s arm to review it—peer review it, if you like.  She has now done so, below.

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—Nina Pierpont, MD, PhD (1/28/13)

Comment on:  Nissenbaum MA, Aramini JJ, Hanning CD.  2012.  Effects of industrial wind turbine noise on sleep and health.  Noise Health 14:237-43.

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This paper demonstrates a significant relationship between distance from wind turbines (as a marker for noise intensity) and questionnaire assessments of sleep disturbance, daytime sleepiness, and mental well-being.  Physical well-being was also assessed by questionnaire but had no significant relationship to distance from turbines.

This is a good paper.  Its strengths are:

» Study and control populations (near and more distant from turbines, respectively) were selected by a random sampling method and assessed identically using the same questionnaires.

» The questionnaires are published and have been used and statistically refined in other populations for other kinds of problems.

» The data was analyzed in a complex multivariate fashion by a statistician.

» Significant relationships were found even though the sample size was small.

It appears to me that the investigators limited the scope of their inquiry to maintain the above conditions with the goal of keeping the study focused, easily explained, and publishable (a strength).  In the process, however, they disregarded salient aspects of the wind turbine noise problem which are harder to explain and more controversial (a weakness of this study from my point of view).

Specific comments are as follows:

» The focus on sleep quality and use of general questionnaires about well-being exclude the unique and striking health effects from wind turbines, which are at present borne out by the recent Shirley, Wisconsin (2012) noise study.  These effects include nausea, headache, and cloudy thinking independent of sleep disturbance (see Pierpont 2009, Ambrose and Rand 2011, Rand et al 2011, Shirley Wind report 2012).

» The sampling process for households and individuals within households is not made clear.  Data are presented for numbers of adults sampled, but not for numbers of households sampled.  The process for sampling households near turbines is clear (all were approached), but not the process of sampling the adults within the households (were all asked to participate?  who and how many declined?).  The process of choosing more distant households is also not specified, nor the process of sampling adults within these households.  (To get a random sample, you can use all, a random selection [e.g., drawing straws], or a regular selection [e.g., every third entry in a tax list of properties].  Refusal to participate biases the results, as do processes that involve volunteering to participate.  Thus all studies have some degree of sampling bias.)

» Physical well-being was assessed but results were not presented.  Negative or non-significant results can also tell us something about a phenomenon and should perhaps be included.

» The statistical modeling process used for drawing the regression (relationship) curves on the graphs is not clear.  In what way, for example, were age, gender, and site incorporated into the regression (as noted in the descriptive legends of Figures 1-3)?  How much of the variation in survey scores did these variables account for?

» However, there are simpler results presented numerically in Table 3, showing near vs. far comparisons for the various measures used, with their degree of significance.   We find there, for example, that the average Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index is significantly higher (meaning worse sleep) close to turbines, with a significance level of 0.046 for near vs. far.  The percentage of high results is not significantly different.  The result for the Epworth Sleepiness Scale is similar, with the near vs. far difference in average value being significant at 0.032.  The near vs. far difference in the average Mental Health well-being score is significant at 0.002, meaning it is 15 to 20 times more likely to be a real, non-random difference than the sleep measures.  Significance levels for the calculated regression equations (relating scores to distance as a continuous variable and incorporating some other variables) are similar, as shown in the descriptive legends for Figures 1-3.

» You can see this difference if you compare Figure 3 to Figures 1 and 2, looking at the patterns of scatter of the data points close to turbines compared to far away.  The fact that you can see a clear difference between near and far in the mental health results, but not for sleep results, is reflected in the degree of significance of the results.  The difference is due to the dense cluster of low points (poor mental health) for locations close to turbines, compared to only scattered, isolated low points for the locations far from turbines.

» I am pleased that, unlike an earlier, draft version of their report, the authors no longer attribute the mental health effects to the sleep deprivation, but just note that both are significant health effects that vary with distance from wind turbines.  They recognize that other symptoms they did not study may contribute to the mental health effects, drawing a parallel with low-frequency-noise-induced Sick Building Syndrome (page 242).

» The discussion of mechanism is measured and seeks to comfortably embed wind turbine effects with other types of noise disturbance.  In fact, there are qualitative differences due to the dominance of inaudible, low-frequency or infrasonic components over the audible components in wind turbine noise (see Shirley Wind report 2012).

» These authors, like others who study wind turbine noise effects, asked their subjects before-and-after questions about their subjective experiences and preferences.  These authors present these data in Table 3, showing significant near vs. far differences in responses to questions about changes when the turbines began operation, differences sleeping at home vs. away from home and turbines, and desire to move away.   These kinds of subjective explorations are typical in studies of wind turbine noise, the results often discussed informally in an introduction or discussion.  Face-to-face with affected people, researchers tend to step down from their posture as people who only measure objectively, ask natural before-and-after questions, find their own reasons for believing people, and present the information so gained as critical for their understanding of wind turbine noise effects (e.g., Ambrose and Rand 2011, Rand et al 2011, Shirley Wind report 2012).  Only my study (Pierpont 2009) documented before-and-after effects systematically in a natural experiment case-crossover format, basing the entire analysis on the premise that believing what the subjects have to say about their experiences of wind turbine noise is both reliable and the most efficient means to develop understanding of these significant new noise-related phenomena.  Though the scientific posture doesn’t recognize this kind of approach, every researcher does it anyway, because it is real and valid.  Even Eja Pedersen did this, though she confined the results of her in-depth interviews (in which she discovered people driven from their homes) to her thesis (2007), never publishing them in a journal.

» New research proposals in this field are wisely suggesting case-crossover formats.  The 2012 Shirley Wind  report, for example, recommends a short-term, prospective, experimental case-crossover exposure format using previously affected people, asking them to quantify their immediate sensory responses to wind turbines being on or off without other knowledge of the state of the turbines.  This approach could clarify experimentally the sensory, low-frequency-noise-associated phenomena that disturb physical sensation and mental processes apart from sleep, contribute to sleep disturbance, and differ among exposed people.

 

References

A Cooperative Measurement Survey and Analysis of Low Frequency and Infrasound at the Shirley Wind Farm in Brown County, Wisconsin.  Submitted in expurgated form to the Wisconsin Public Service Commission on December 27, 2012 and in complete form on December 28, 2012; both forms are available with commentary here.

Ambrose SE, Rand RW.  2011.  The Bruce McPherson Infrasound and Low Frequency Noise Study:  Adverse Health Effects Produced by Large Industrial Wind Turbines Confirmed.  Available here.

Rand RW, Ambrose SE, Krogh CM.  2011.  Occupational Health and Industrial Wind Turbines:  A Case Study.  Bulletin of Science Technology & Society 31: 359-362.

Pedersen E.  2007.  Human response to wind turbine noise:  perception, annoyance and moderating factors.  PhD dissertation, Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, Göteborg University, Göteborg, Sweden.  86 pp.

Pierpont N.  2009.  Wind Turbine Syndrome: A Report on a Natural Experiment.  Santa Fe, NM, K-Selected Books.  294 pp.

Nurse experiences wind turbines as “absolute, living hell” (Ontario)

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James Lovelock on wind energy as “vandalism” (UK)

Editor’s note:  The following was sent by James Lovelock, creator of the Gaia Principle and a founder of the international Green movement, to the Torridge District Council as testimony against the proposed Witherdon Wood Wind Turbine project.  He by-lined it “Carey and Wolfe Valley Opposition to wind turbines.”  His statement was circulated by his wife, Sandra Lovelock.

Click here for the original.

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December 11, 2012

I am James Lovelock, scientist and author, known as the originator of Gaia theory, a view of the Earth that sees it as a self-regulating entity that keeps the surface environment always fit for life.

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When I was a schoolboy in the 1930s, I cycled from my home in Kent to Land’s End and back. England then enjoyed a countryside that was seemly and probably the most beautiful anywhere; every mile of my joumey was along quiet lanes in fresh air unperturbed by traffic. I passed through an ever changing landscape that reflected in its vegetation a diverse geology going from the recent rocks of Kent back almost to the Precambrian in Cornwall. Our land had evolved by chance to become a place where humans lived in peaceful coexistence with the natural world and so became a part of it.

In that humane ecology, animals and plants benefited from our presence as we did from theirs. Blake’s dark satanic mills existed, but within densely populated cities that occupied only a small part of the whole and, from those cities, untouched countryside was no more than a tram journey away.

Sadly, that splendid countryside has all but vanished; replacing it is an agribusiness, factory farming that is more efficient at producing food but dull to look at and ecologically poor. At the same time, better cars and roads have enabled a vast expansion of suburbia and of second homes. England is becoming one large town haphazardly interspersed with ‘Greenfield sites’. The few sizeable stretches of original countryside that remain are in rural North and West Devon and Northumberland, and here people and wild life still coexist in a more or less seemly and sustainable fashion; these are places where woodland and hedgerows still serve both humans and wild life.

This remaining English countryside is much more than an aesthetic asset; Earth scientists now recognise our planet to be a self-regulating system that sustains habitability for its inhabitants and for this function we need the natural forests and life in the coastal and deep ocean waters to interact with the air and ocean and so keep a constant and habitable environment.

Ideally, humans should live in coexistence with the other forms of life so that our presence is benign; but in most of the world this rarely happens. We need to treasure the few exceptions, such as the North Devon countryside, so that they can be an example of how humans can live sustainably with the Earth. A whole library of books, going from Gilbert White’s Natural History of Selbourne to the New Naturalist series of the 1960s, testifies to the richness, health and beauty of England as it once was. We are fortunate indeed that some of it remains in North West Devon and we must look upon it as our most precious of assets.

It is true that we need a better way of producing energy, and there is little doubt among scientists—and I speak as one of them—that the burning of fossil fuels is by far the most dangerous source of energy. By using it to power industry, our homes and transport, we are changing the composition of the air in a way that will have profoundly adverse effects on the Earth’s ecology and on ourselves.

Anything we do in the United Kingdom about energy sources is mainly to set a good example before the other nations; if we drew all of our energy from renewable sources, it would make only a small change in the total emission of greenhouse gas. But such examples are needed and are something to be proud of. The benign way we, in North Devon, live with our countryside is also an example to set before the world about how to live sustainably with the Earth.

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How foolish to set two such noble ideas in conflict and arrange that one good intention destroyed the other. To erect a large wind turbine on the Broadbury Ridge above the Carey and Wolfe Valleys is industrial vandalism that will diminish the regard with which the countryside is held and make the region vulnerable to urban development and unsustainable farming. Even if there were no alternative source of energy to wind, we would still ask that this 84 metre high industrial power plant was placed in less ecologically sensitive areas. Better still, we should look to the French who have wisely chosen nuclear energy as their principal source.  A single nuclear power station provides as much as 3200 large wind turbines.

I am an environmentalist and founder member of the Green, but I bow my head in shame at the thought that our original good intentions should have been so misunderstood and misapplied. We never intended a fundamentalist Green movement that rejected all energy sources other than renewable, nor did we expect the Greens to cast aside our priceless ecological heritage because of their failure to understand that the needs of the Earth are not separable from human needs.

We need take care that the spinning windmills do not become like the statues on Easter Island, monuments of a failed civilisation.

James Lovelock

 

The Wisconsin Towns Assoc. calls for immediate wind turbine moratorium

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The above image was “pinched” from  Stop These Things

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Editor’s note
:  The Wisconsin Towns Association is calling on the State of Wisconsin to halt further installation of wind turbines across the entire state, until proper and thorough studies are done to clarify the impact of turbine infrasound and low frequency noise on human health.  The trigger for this startling and welcome resolution (by the WTA) was the Shirley ILFN Report, completed last month and described in detail, here.

Folks, this is a big deal!  A very big deal!  The WTA represents virtually all the towns and villages throughout the State of Wisconsin.  I have copied the following from the WTA website.

The Wisconsin Towns Association (WTA) is a statewide, voluntary, non-profit and non-partisan association of member town and village governments in the State of Wisconsin controlled by its Board of Directors. WTA’s twin purposes are to (1) support local control of government and to (2) protect the interest of towns. In furtherance of those goals WTA provides three types of services for its members: legislative lobbying efforts, educational programs and legal information.

If you visit the Home Page of the WTA, you will read the following.

WTA Board of Directors Action Regarding Wind Power

(1/23/13) The Wisconsin Towns Association has expressed concern since PSC 128 [Public Service Commission bill #128] was released about two years ago that the setback distances from non-participating residences to large industrial wind turbines of only 1,250 feet is too little.

In addition, a recently released report [Shirley ILFN Report] including work by four separate acoustical consultants has recommended that additional study be conducted on an “urgent priority basis” regarding the possibility of any human health effects from low frequency sound and infrasound generated by large industrial wind turbines.

Wisconsin Towns Association is not opposed to alternative energy, including wind turbines. However, serious health concerns have been raised by individuals and supported by this report that warrant further study.

We are urging the PSC to stop permitting the installation of large industrial wind turbines until such studies can be completed.

Click here to read the official resolution issued by the WTA.

Wisconsin resolution1

 And so forth.  It ends with the following earnest request.

Stadelman

Richard Stadelman, Executive Director of WTA, has added the following commentary.  Click here for a copy.

It is significant that this report was prepared by four acoustical consultants with differing backgrounds and relationships with the wind turbines, in part with funding from PSC to a non-profit organization (Clean Wisconsin) who coordinated the survey who is generally pro-alternative energy such as wind turbines. It is also significant that all four consultants agreed upon the recommendation on an “urgent priority basis” for more study on the impact of low frequency sound and infrasound from wind turbines.

Several towns in the area of the Shirley project and in towns in nearby counties where additional wind turbines similar to the Shirley project have been proposed, have been pushing for this type of additional health study to determine the impact of such low frequency sound and infrasound on humans living near these types of turbines. Two towns in Manitowoc County asked the WTA board of directors to consider adoption of a resolution in support of asking the PSC for a moratorium on permitting and installation of any additional large wind turbines pending the completion of a sound survey and health study as recommended by the consultants in the report.

The WTA Board of Directors on Monday, January 21, 2013, adopted such a resolution with the following resolved clause:

Now Therefore, Be It Resolved, by the Board of Directors of the Wisconsin Towns Association that the Wisconsin Public Service Commission and the State of Wisconsin enact a moratorium to stop the permitting and installation of industrial wind turbines until further studies are done, solutions are found, and the State’s wind siting rule (PSC 128) is modified to implement standards that address ultra low frequency sound and infrasound from wind turbines that will protect the health and safety of residents.

The Wisconsin Towns Association has expressed concern since PSC 128 was released about two years ago that the setback distances from non-participating residences of only 1,250 feet was too low. In addition this report of four acoustical consultants has recommended additional study be conducted on an “urgent priority basis.” Wisconsin Towns Association is not opposed to alternative energy, including wind turbines. However, serious health concerns have been raised by individuals and supported by this report that warrant further study. We are urging the PSC to stop permitting the installation of large industrial wind turbines until such studies can be completed.

As always, we dedicate this story to that learned professor of public health, Australia’s very own Professor Simon Chapman.

Simon Chapman

 

Falmouth Town Meeting asks Selectmen to “Take Down the Turbines!” (Mass.)

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“Falmouth residents:  ‘Take the turbines down!'”

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—Sara Mannal, Falmouth Patch 1/24/13

Nearly one hundred Falmouth residents attended a Board of Selectmen meeting last night to peacefully protest and speak out against the ongoing operation of three identical industrial wind turbines in the Falmouth Industrial Park, pleading with selectmen t [sic]

The public was invited to provide comments at Wednesday night’s meeting in Town Hall related to various options that will be presented to voters at town meeting this spring.

Prior to the meeting, dozens of residents held a candle light vigil and prayed that the selectmen would not only hear their voices, but also take immediate action to stop what they described as a nuisance and danger to their health.

Nearly 50 residents voiced their opinion during the public comment session, with almost every comment opposing the future operation of the turbines.

Eric Sockol’s home at 819 Falmouth Highway is just 1,000 feet from Wind 2, a town-owned industrial wind turbine. Sockol passionately urged selectmen to remove the turbines immediately. He said Falmouth has an obligation to protect the health of its citizens, despite any economic consequences that may come from tearing down the turbines.

“Understand there are some issues that are more important than simply economics,” Sockol said.

Richard Bowen’s home also neighbors one of the town-owned turbines. Bowen said that the town had somehow made a great error by installing the turbines and feels town officials are not willing to own up to the mistake. Bowen also urged selectmen to take the turbines down.

“Do the right thing, please, for our sake,” Bowen said.

John Ford, a resident living on Blacksmith Shop Rd., said neighbors of Wind 1 and Wind 2 have lost peace and quiet and good health. Ford suggested using solar panels as an alternative to wind power.

“I request that you join your fellow residents and neighbors and decide to remove the wind turbines and replace them with people friendly photovoltaic arrays,” Ford said.

Judy Fenwick does not live near the turbines, but she was a member of the working group that was organized by the town to develop options for dealing with the wind turbines. Fenwick told selectmen that after much deliberation she believes that the health of Falmouth residents should be placed above any financial repercussions of removing the turbines.

“I ask that you don’t be counter dependent and that you ask the state for help before you ask the Falmouth taxpayers,” Fenwick urged.

Residents who were unable to make Wednesday night’s meeting can still submit a statement to the Selectmen’s Office by 4:30 p.m. Monday January 28th. Statements can also be emailed to townmanager@falmouthma.org by the deadline.

 

“Big Wind” is today’s “Big Tobacco” (Wisconsin)

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—Steve Deslauriers, Green Bay Press-Gazette 1/23/13

The wind energy industry is today’s “big tobacco.” Big tobacco fabricated studies, denied the truth and tirelessly pushed lies upon the American people at the grave expense of the health and lives of the American people.

For decades, big tobacco successfully suppressed the inconvenient truth that smoking harms people’s health. The wind development industry closely follows big tobacco’s deception playbook — taking advantage of people’s best intentions to protect our environment as they desperately cling to outdated and inaccurate studies.

While society said “enough” when it comes to smoking, especially as it pertains to public spaces and second-hand smoke, the wind industry unapologetically continues to force its harmful product on Wisconsin families — not just intruding on public spaces, but primarily invading people’s homes with devastating effects.

The wind industry has proven time and again that their corporate greed is unencumbered by the inconvenient truth that turbines near people destroy lives.

The wind industry does not share the fact that many homes in Wisconsin have been purchased and some even bulldozed by wind developers because of unlivable conditions, or the fact that residents in every wind development in Wisconsin report common and debilitating effects from being forced to live in close proximity to industrial turbines.

Your child screams because of the pressure in her head. Your elderly mother suffers from debilitating headaches, dizziness, and heart palpitations. A soldier fighting for our country overseas has to learn that his wife and children are sleeping in the basement in a futile attempt to escape the conditions in their home. Or, at Duke’s Shirley Wind, three families have abandoned the homes they still own.

These experiences are not isolated to a few people in Glenmore. Just in this relatively “small” wind project of only eight turbines, sworn statements representing more than 50 Glenmore residents have been presented to the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin attesting to their own suffering that is alleviated once they are away from their homes near the turbines.

What about the fact that the current peer-reviewed science (that the wind industry says does not exist) validates the experience of these wind project prisoners and refugees. This reality is confirmed by the words of the wind industry’s own experts after testing at Shirley Wind for low-frequency noise (LFN). Their own expert said, “The completed testing was extremely helpful and a good start to uncover the cause of such severe adverse impact reported at this site. … The four investigating firms are of the opinion that enough evidence and hypotheses have been given herein to classify LFN and infrasound as a serious issue, possibly affecting the future of the industry. It should be addressed beyond the present practice of showing that wind turbine levels are magnitudes below the threshold of hearing at low frequencies … We recommend additional study on an urgent priority basis…”

Predictably, the industry and the organizations they substantially fund, like Clean Wisconsin and RENEW Wisconsin, seem to be doing everything they can to minimize the impact of the study of Shirley Wind in Glenmore despite its raw data and findings being circulated and studied throughout the scientific community. The current wind industry practice of irresponsibly siting turbines near people needs to stop until the harm already levied upon innocent people in Glenmore and elsewhere is completely understood and addressed.

It is beyond understanding how an industry that claims to be built on the desire to help the environment appears not to care for the people, livestock, or wildlife living in that environment. Read the Shirley Wind Study, and note the words of the wind industry’s own experts. Read current peer-reviewed literature on wind turbine noise. Listen to the experiences of those currently suffering near turbines. Do any of this, and we think you will agree that it seems the wind energy industry has now perfected the unconscionable tactics of “big tobacco.”

Despite the millions of dollars they have spent attempting to rewrite the facts, the truth cannot be altered.

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Steve Deslauriers is a spokesperson for Brown County Citizens for Responsible Wind Energy, a community-based and community-funded nonprofit organization.

“Europe’s Ill Wind” (UK video)

 

Big Wind and the “winning” of the New West (California)

Editor’s note:  Huge windfarms are being planned for southern California, inland from San Diego.  The following excerpts are taken from an alarming article describing the process.  Note that there is already a relatively small windfarm on a Native American reservation, where people even 3 miles away are reporting Wind Turbine Syndrome.

Most disturbing is the revelation that the federal government seems intent on turning large areas of wilderness into an “energy corridor”—a sanitized phrase meaning, “We are going to drive out the residents of these rural places, and turn the landscape into a massive industrial zone.  We will also drive out the wildlife, which are likewise repelled by turbine ILFN.  So we can power Los Angeles, San Diego, etc.”

If you live in rural America, you’d better give some thought to the idea that your federal government may be planning on driving you off the land.  Sound outlandish?  History is filled with illustrations of this.  Look no further than American history itself, when Native Americans were systematically run off the land in what was called, romantically, “the winning of the West.”  Now, the New West is being turned over to Big Wind (Big Energy), and that landscape is going to be “won” from—you and what remains of the wildlife.

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Some of you free-spirited westerners, who’ve read the Constitution, might want to hang onto your Winchesters.  Fire a few shots in the air when the wind turbine salesmen, working for the foreign company that’s gonna run you & the wildlife off the land, drive up in their fat little white trucks (all of them leased, by the way).

To read the entire article, click here.

New West

“The Betrayal of Boulevard:  Can This Happen to Your Town, too?”

—Miriam Raftery, East County Magazine (1/11/13)

Retired tugboat captain Don Renard worked hard all his life before purchasing a little piece of heaven in San Diego’s rural East County. He bought a historic house, the former Ruby Store, once a stage coach stop in Boulevard. He and his family have been working to restore it—in between savoring quiet times spent watching the hawks, owls and song birds among the old oak groves around their home.

 

Iberdrola, developer of Tule Wind, successfully fought to remove significant protections in Boulevard’s Community Plan during the County’s General Plan Update – changes that made it easier to build massive energy projects. Supervisors approved those changes in August 2011, tossing out years of planning by residents. Those changes appall the vast majority of those who live in this quiet rural community.

But even more changes lie ahead. Boulevard Community Plan amendments are proposed in the County’s Wind Energy Ordinance and Soitec’s Programmatic EIR for the company’s four projects planned in Boulevard. The changes would remove protections and allow big wind and solar projects to be built next to homes, livestock, sensitive habitat and other resources even though the area is not zoned for commercial or industrial development.

Supervisors and Planning Commissioners for the County are also considering zoning the area as a renewable energy resource zone. Astoundingly, the proposed amendment claims renewable energy projects such as wind and solar are not considered “industrial-scale projects or facilities” for the Community Plan. Those changes align with the federal government’s plan to turn the region into an “energy corridor” – a designation made in Washington D.C., far from the places that will be impacted.

 

This energy corridor is to include three massive new wind farms in the Boulevard Planning Group’s jurisdiction – Iberdrola’s Tule Wind, Invenergy’s Shu’luuk, and Enel’s Jewel Valley – slated to cover thousands and thousands of acres. A fourth is planned just south of the border and a fifth, Ocotillo Wind, is nearing completion east of here, impacting habitat shared by local bighorn sheep. That’s in addition to the existing Kumeyaay wind facility on adjacent tribal land.

 

Tule Wind will despoil McCain Valley, sacred to Native Americans, settled by pioneers, and long a recreational favorite for people across the Southwest for its spectacular scenic visits. On federal Bureau of Land Management property, it is also the gateway to three federal wilderness regions. Do a hundred or more skyscraper-height turbines really belong here, towering over campgrounds and pristine views of this boulder-studded terrain?

Turbines will also be visible at Carrizo Gorge, a place known as “our Grand Canyon” to locals. It’s rugged terrain, where the explorer De Anza and the Spanish army once marched, a place where Lost Rock served as a sentinel landmark guiding Native American tribes in their seasonal migrations, as well as later pioneers.

Other projects are in various stages of application. No one at the higher levels of government seems to be looking at the cumulative impacts of multiple energy projects on communities like Boulevard.

 

The Campo tribe operates the area’s existing Kumeyaay wind facility – with turbines much smaller than the new giants proposed.

But some of Campo’s existing turbines are very near homes – and residents living near them complain of serious health impacts that they believe are related to infrasound and stray voltage—voltage measured at 1,000 times higher than normal in their tribal hall, homes, and church. Stray voltage can travel through the air or through the ground, entering homes through plumbing pipes or powerlines.

Campo built its turbines so close to the boundary of the Manzanita Indian reservation that blade flicker shadows the Manzanita tribal hall, where the thumping and whirring of turbine blades is a near-constant presence. View a video provided by a community member: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B5RCciotwIY

“In the tribal hall, two women were talking on their phones and a blue arc went between them,” Tisdale says. Pointing to a house about a quarter-mile from the turbines, she adds, “That woman just had part of her kidney removed.” A neighbor has suffered from sinus and ear problems, chronic fatigue, intestinal disorders, and “her well [pump] kept shorting out,” Tisdale adds.

 

Manzanita tribal members have been accepted into a California State University San Marcos health study to confirm whether cases of cancer and other illnesses are caused by the turbines, as an epidemiologist who measured the stray voltage believes. But even some residents far off the reservation claim to be negatively impacted. Don Bonfiglio, who lives three miles away, has written that he is kept awake by turbines. He has also stated that he witnesses a dozen slaughtered large raptors being placed in a golf cart for disposal after they were killed by the wind turbines at Campo.

My own ear throbs and hurts near turbines in the Campo area, easing as I move farther away.

We turn onto a road leading through the La Posta reservation. A La Posta tribal member who was exposed to turbines both at home and work said they were “making her crazy,” Tisdale noted.

From Receptor 98288 to Auschwitz 98288 (Editorial)

WTS Receptor

—Calvin Luther Martin, PhD

If you live within the shadow of a “windfarm,” did you know that you are no longer considered a “person”?  You’re now a “receptor” and you’re given a number.  Say, Receptor 15.

You think I’m joking?  I’m not.  Wind companies now refer to people as “receptors” — a receptor with a number assigned by the wind company.

Thus, my name is Calvin Martin, except, if I live within a windfarm, I would be Receptor 15 — or whatever number I am assigned by Big Wind.

I’m going to repeat this.  I am no longer a human being—a person—suffering from wind turbine infrasound & low frequency noise; I am Receptor 15 who is “annoyed” by what I “allege” to be infrasound & low frequency noise.

The people driving me out of my home and destroying my health, the people driving my livestock to distraction and driving away the wildlife, the people turning my bucolic landscape into an industrial wasteland and turning me and my neighbors against one another — these people call me Receptor 15.

Or Receptor 98288.  (Just a bigger number.)

Consider Leon Greenman.  Mr. Greenman was “Leon Greenman” till he found himself living within the boundary of a concentration camp in Hitler’s Germany.  A concentration camp where the Third Reich was engaged in the “natural experiment” of liquidating what the National Socialists (Nazis) considered the “weaker” and “less desirable” members of the human species.

Thus Mr. Greenman got hauled off to a camp called Auschwitz, and was stripped of his name.  To the staff at Auschwitz, he became No. 98288.

Auschwitz

Here’s what keeps me awake at night.  How short a step is it from Receptor 98288 to Auschwitz 98288, I wonder? Both programs being necessary—Were they not?—for the greater good of society, for the greater good of the earth (to avert global warming, in the case of wind energy), and of course the greater good of the fatherland.  Both create jobs—don’t forget that bonus.  And both create a large redistribution of income.  Both are technological, organizational, and propaganda marvels—one showcasing the ingenious technology of mass genocide-while-pretending-it’s-okay (inspired by the Chicago stockyard/slaughterhouse model, some historians argue), the other the ingenious technology of mass illness-while-pretending-it’s-not-happening.

Both programs are altogether brilliant “natural experiments.”

 

Blaming the victims of Big Wind (Curt Devlin)

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—Curt Devlin, Guest Editor, WTS.com

During my years at Boston College, I had the good fortune to study with Dr. William Ryan, then Professor of Social Psychology and author of a the acclaimed book, “Blaming the Victim.”  At the time of its writing, Dr. Ryan focused attention on pressing social issues of the day, such as poverty and racism.

He contended, for example, that we blame the poor for poverty and that we blame minorities for their own disfranchisement.  We fault victims for somehow inviting the social inequities they endure.  In effect, we hide behind an ideological façade rather than face our responsibilities to redress these injustices.

Lately, I have been struck by how Dr. Ryan’s description of this phenomenon applies to the victims of Big Wind—to those who have become ill or were forced to flee their homes to escape the toxic effects of industrial wind turbines sited in close proximity to them.

Just as we blame the poor for their poverty, we seem compelled to blame the victims of Big Wind for their own illness.  Apostles of the wind industry, like Dr. Dora Mills, Dr. Robert McCunney and Australia’s Professor Simon Chapman, are only too happy to furnish the tacit explanations needed to justify blaming these victims for their own plight.  These typically include psychosomatic causes, hypochondria, delusions, and other forms of mental illness.  Interestingly, these “diagnoses” are always arrived at without benefit of examining a single patient, conducting an independent study, or even speaking with those suffering adverse health effects.

It is guilt is by reason of insanity.  In this inverted logic, the victims are to blame, not the turbines.

In some cases, we are told the illness associated with these toxic monsters is actually caused merely by the negative perceptions created when someone is ill-disposed to renewable energy—as though anyone could be against such an idea in principle.  This is the always-handy nocebo effect.

The justification for blame is particularly absurd and reprehensible because it flies in the face of a simple fact.  Most of the people who become ill were actually in favor of wind energy; that is, until they gained firsthand experience of turbines spinning near their homes.

Why are so many ready to blame the victims of wind?  Why so willing to receive these explanations without skepticism, without demanding the same scientific rigor demanded of wind critics?  Dr. Ryan’s work is especially useful on this question.  The answer is simple; it is a convenient form of social denial.  People prefer blaming victims over taking responsibility for confronting the real issue.  It is much easier, for example, to blame someone in poverty for laziness, than to accept responsibility to find the true causes of economic inequities, much less take action to correct them.

This pitfall is easier to fall into than one might think.  It is easy to believe that if we feed the hungry, we risk rewarding them for being hungry.  It’s much harder to make sure they find ways to help them feed themselves.  Accepting personal or social responsibility requires change, action, or personal sacrifice to effect positive change or prevent harm.  It forces people to confront the contradictions and absurdities in their dogmas and replace them with facts, to reject social delusions and face inconvenient truths.

In short, it is much, much easier to blame the victims—than ourselves.

The overwhelming body of medical and scientific evidence demonstrates that infrasound, low frequency noise, and vibration of the kind produced by industrial wind turbines cause serious adverse health effects.  The evidence has mounted steadily for more than 30 years.  It shows compellingly that the symptoms and illnesses called Wind Turbine Syndrome and Vibro-Acoustic Disease are caused by exposure to this toxic form of sound energy.  Despite the vocal denials of the wind industry, there are no independent studies of merit to contradict this finding.  There are only the groundless, though profuse, assertions and rhetoric of the windy industry assuring us that their denial of the real dangers is well founded.

There is also incontrovertible evidence that industrial wind turbines produce excessive quantities of this dangerous form of sound and vibration.  Recently, the wind industry itself is being forced to gradually admit this fact.  But even if the underlying causal connection were a complete mystery, the simple empirical evidence that many, many people become ill when they are near turbines is undeniable to anyone with eyes, ears, or one iota of common sense.  Of equal importance, the same people who become ill near turbines, feel better when they get away from them.  This simple form of evidence, referred to as case-crossover data by epidemiologists, matches common sense.  It furnishes irrefutable proof that, in fact, the turbines are to blame, not the victims.

Wind turbines cannot eliminate our dependency on fossil fuels.  They will not reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases, nor save us from climate change.  Wind turbines are not safe, they are not clean, and they have proven to be economically unsustainable—time and time again. Wind power will not prevent irreparable harms to people as well as the environment caused by our own insatiable appetite for energy.  Wind cannot alleviate our obligation to one another to use energy wisely and conservatively.

There is virtually no benefit to justify the harm caused to victims.  Even if such benefits existed, they could hardly outweigh the harm being done to people.  If we continue blaming the victims and denying this truth, we will soon become victims of our own devices.  This ironic little reversal of fate is what Hegel referred to as dialectic, and it is inevitable.  We will become the victims of our own blindness and we will be blamed for it—though perhaps only by history.

This last thought is cold comfort to those who must face the steady erosion of their health, their families’ and financial reserves, and the destruction of their very livelihoods that is created by living too close to turbines.  The victims of Big Wind are like so many canaries in the mine shaft, who flee or fall in the face of this industrial toxin.  Those who blame them are like unwitting miners who stand staring dumbfounded at the obvious, wondering what these canaries have done to bring this catastrophe upon themselves—and then continue along their merry way down the mine shaft, oblivious to the clear and present danger as though they are immune to it.  Until it is too late.

Devlin2

“Life under the blades is no life at all” (Mass.)

Editor’s note:  Today, in Falmouth, MA, there is a protest demonstration against wind turbines—against the industrial turbines which have been destroying people’s lives in Falmouth for the past 3 or 4 years.  Watch Nina Pierpont’s video interviews of these Falmouth victims.

turbine brains 2

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“Speak out, Stand up, Be Heard!”

Families in Falmouth can’t endure any more torture.  They need your help now.

The Falmouth Committee on Human Rights invites you to attend a public demonstration in support of windturbine victims everywhere.

On Wednesday, January 23, 2013 there will be public protest throughout the town of Falmouth. The demonstrations start at 2:00 pm in advance of the 6:30 pm Selectmen’s meeting.

Meet in front of the town hall at the Village Green parking area, Falmouth, MA.  Contact Dave Moriarty, 774-521-8474 for more details.

The Board of Selectmen will be taking public comments on the newly released $388,000 report.

Unless the conversion to a solar installation is adopted from among the recommendations of the Wind Turbine Options Group, Falmouth will be complicit with the State ofMassachusetts in continuing its unethical experiment on adversely affected wind turbine victims.

Turbine victims fear the report will be used to quiet citizen revolt against the failed energy policy of siting wind turbines near homes. If the town votes to continue operations, the result will be to extract residents from their homes.

Taxpayers and electricity customers of Massachusetts, who don’t want to see their hard-earned dollars used against their friends and neighbors, can make their comments known.

Media contact:  David Moriarty, 774-521-8474

 

Province’s Chief Medical Officer lying about Wind Turbine Syndrome? (Ontario)

Editor’s note:  The following is an Open Letter from a member of the Ontario Provincial Parliament to the Chief Medical Officer of Ontario, Canada.  Read between the lines of the letter, and you smell something rotten in the Chief Medical Officer’s office.

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January 21, 2013

Arlene King, MD
Chief Medical Officer of Health
Province of Ontario
Canada

Dear Dr. King:

I am writing to you today to express my growing apprehension over the revelations arising from recent Freedom of Information requests that were released. In November 2012, emails from the Ministry of the Environment, released through the FOI process, reveal that provincial field officers had confirmed adverse health effects from wind turbine noise as far back as 2009, and were working on an abatement plan to assist affected residents. The released documents indicate that, in response to a redacted email from government staff, the MOE officers agreed to stand down.

I also have concerns with another FOI document I received, in which Q&A’s were prepared in response to your report, The Potential Health Effects of Wind Turbines. In one section of these Q&A’s, the track changes indicated that you should “add the word direct as studies would show a link through annoyance.” As the Chief Medical Officer of Health, I am sure you are aware that the World Health Organization has determined that annoyance is a health effect of wind turbines.

In another section of the Q&A’s document, this statement was made in relation to health and wind turbines: “there are no known indirect links.” Except, in the track changes comment box it said, “Not really true. The link between perceived noise and symptoms is probably linked to annoyance. The link with annoyance should be recognized.

The last section I would like to draw your attention to is one more Q&A. One answer stated: “Although some people living near wind turbines report symptoms such as dizziness, headaches and sleep disturbance, available scientific evidence does not demonstrate a causal link to wind turbines noise.” The track changes of this comment tells a different story, where you were told, “this answer isn’t credible. Either fess up to the annoyance link or delete.

Dr. King, Dr. Gloria Rachamin acknowledged under oath in the Kent Breeze wind farm case that your study did not look at the indirect health effects of wind turbines. These indirect health effects are the ones that cause the sleeplessness, depression, dizziness, headaches among other health problems.

I am asking you today to acknowledge publicly that your report did not study the indirect health effects of wind turbines. I also have many questions surrounding not only your report, but health complaints that were received by either the Ministry of the Environment, Energy or Health and Long-Term Care. For one, did the Ministry of Environment advise your office that complaints about wind turbines and health were being received? Were you contacted to investigate any of these complaints? Why were any of the reports from MOE field officers in 2009 not included in your 2010 report?

Respectfully, I ask that you review your 2010 report for clarifications between the direct/indirect link between wind turbines and health effects. I can respectfully acknowledge that the likelihood of a wind turbine blade falling off and hurting someone (a direct link) is highly improbable, but the valid health effects (indirect links) need to be studied so we can help families who have been displaced from their homes and are dealing with serious health consequences. I am sure that we can agree that the health and well-being of Ontario families is first and foremost for both of us.

I appreciate your time to review my correspondence, and I and many Ontario families await your response.

Sincerely,

Lisa Thompson, MPP-
Huron-Bruce*

*MPP = Member of Provincial Parliament

 

Uproar over wind turbines (Taiwan)

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“TWP requested to suspend Miaoli wind turbine project”

—Helen Ku, Taipei Times (1/19/13)

The Bureau of Energy (BOE) earlier this week requested the UK’s Tongyuan Wind Power (TWP, 通威風力發電) to suspend installing six wind turbines in Miaoli County after protests by local residents who said the company’s construction activities had severely affected their quality of life.

The bureau yesterday said that more than 300 wind turbines have been installed on the west coast since 2000, but the latest incident is not the first time local residents have protested against power companies.

However, the bureau said it would make an overall review of similar projects to avoid causing public anxiety and help wind turbine installations proceed more smoothly in the future.

TWP has built 144 wind turbines in Taiwan over the past 10 years and this is the first time it has encountered protests from residents and been forced to pause construction.

On Wednesday, more than 200 Miaoli residents led by County Representative Liu Bao-ling (劉寶鈴) protested outside the Ministry of Economic Affairs to demand that the bureau end TWP’s wind turbine installations amid concerns the project would damage the county’s landscape, make low-frequency noise and affect drivers’ safety.

“TWP needs to continue further negotiations with residents on its wind turbine installation project. Before the two parties reach a deal, any kind of construction activity is banned, even though the company has obtained construction consent from the bureau,” bureau technician Chen Jing-shen (陳景生) said by telephone.

TWP said that before the construction project started in October last year, the company had reached an agreement with residents of Fangli (房裡), Haian (海岸), Shihpin (西平) and Yuangang (苑港) villages in meetings that were required by the Environmental Protection Administration during an environmental assessment.

“We invited local residents to come to meetings many times by posting announcements on the Yuanli (苑裡鎮) town hall’s bulletin board. However, only 10 to 20 people attended each meeting and the majority showed support for our construction project,” TWP deputy chief executive officer Wang Shuei-yi (王雪怡) said by telephone.

Wang said TWP in June obtained construction licenses for two and four wind turbines in the first and the second phases respectively, but was forced to stop working on the project last month, after local residents protested at the construction sites, saying that the construction had greatly reduced their quality of life.

“We provided evidence that proved our construction process was in accordance with the rules, and invited residents to visit our construction sites, but they were unwilling to accept our accounts for unknown reasons,” she said.

In response to the protesters’ claim that the six wind turbines were installed less than 200m from residents’ houses and that more than 4,000 people, or 56 percent of the township’s population, had said they did not support TWP’s construction project “because it is too close to their houses,” Wang said TWP clearly specified that each turbine was at least 350m from any building, and cast doubt on the petitioners’ reasoning and the figure of 4,000 people.

The company said it will continue talks with residents to avoid wasting equipment and money.

 

Confessions of a windfarm bird-kill “control specialist” (Michigan)

Editor’s note:  In the 10 years (Has it been that long?) I’ve been documenting Big Wind’s crimes against the earth and all that dwell therein, I must say I have never read a document as poignant and enraging as this one, below.  This poem by Mitchell Grabois.

Mr. Grabois was a resident of a new “windfarm” in Ludington (Mason County), Michigan, till he moved away, after fifty-six turbines moved into the neighborhood.  Each 1.8 MW.  Fifty-six turbines which began generating ILFN, slaughtering birds, and driving the neighbors mad—on Thanksgiving Day, 2012.

I learned about Mr. Grabois from a correspondent who wrote the following.

On Saturday I spent the day with Cary and Karen Shineldecker, “residents” of the “wind park.”  They shared an amazing poem with me, written by one of their neighbors, who, luckily, managed to sell his home and get out.  The poem was posted two days ago on an arts and poetry blog.

Cary and Karen are trying to sell their home.  They both have significant symptoms.   Cary was on Wind Wise Radio last night.  They both have headaches.  Can’t sleep.  Exhaustion.

They also wake up with panic attacks and have to take sleeping pills and beer before bedtime, just to get some sleep.  Their pillows are just 1139 feet from the nearest turbine, which is situated on a knoll above them, so audible and low frequency noise funnels down to their bedroom.

I thought you might like this poem, written by a former “wind park” resident and who did get out of his acoustically toxic home.  That “park” has a lot of people suffering from symptoms right now.  It’s only been plugged in since Thanksgiving.  Setbacks are ridiculous.  Oh, and there are a hell of a lotta “leasers” who signed easements for a whopping $100!  And these people are all gagged and their setbacks are  approximately 900 feet!

Only in Michigan would somebody sign an easement for 100 dollars!  These are not folks “hosting” turbines; these are folks on tiny properties who got conned.

Birds

I’m an Animal Control Specialist
a special kind
I don’t capture feral cats
or snarling dogs
don’t deal with skunks
or live critters of any kind

I pick up dead birds at the base of wind turbines
and put them in plastic sacks

I sometimes see the
moment of impact
when flight and life simultaneously cease
Once I caught an eagle as it plummeted to earth
I didn’t know what to do with it
On impulse I hugged and kissed it goodbye
then felt stupid
was glad no one was there to see

I never knew birds were so intent on their destinations
so obsessive-compulsive and unaware
I’ve seen them swerve mid-air to avoid my car’s bumper
but up in the sky five-hundred feet
they don’t expect cars

They get into a rhythm of flight
in which their blood assumes
that the elevations are free of
obstacles’ strife
but blades express their evil intent
by spinning

I live within the perimeters of this “wind farm”
in my old family farmhouse
Many of these farmhouses have tumbled down
More will tumble as people escape
the noise and flicker
and the weird unexpected symptoms they bring
the pressure in the ears
dizziness and nausea
the inability to concentrate
I can go on
but part of my contract is that I can’t talk about it
can’t even mention it

So just forget it
You didn’t hear it from me

No one will buy these fucking houses
They are as damned as if they’d been erected
in a Stephen King novel

My grandfather used to sit on the front porch
and listen to birdsong
and he’d say to me: Did you hear that?
Do you know who that is?
as if the bird were a human being I’d met
an uncle or aunt
whose voice I should recognize

Jays, chickadees, robins, red-winged blackbirds
I don’t hear them anymore
can’t hear them through the constant loud drone
of turbine acoustic pollution
the whirring blades
the grinding gears

But I make my living picking up the dead birds
I pluck the feathers
before I dispose of them
and store them in old shoe boxes
in my grandfather’s office
where he wrote poems and published them in farm journals
under the pen name Al Falfa

I know I’m crazy, but I think maybe my dead grandpa
runs his hands through those loose feathers at night
the loose feathers of dead birds
whose ancestors he lived with

You might think my job is not full-time
but it is
because my boss at Consumer’s Energy
wants the birds gone
pronto!
as soon as they hit the ground
if possible
He doesn’t want them laying around
for the anti-windmill photographers
to document
so all day I’m driving my rattle-trap Mazda pick-up
from one end of the township to the other

I grew up here
lived here all my life
but I never knew the place
“like the back of my hand”
until I followed Death around

Mitchell Grabois
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The Wounded Angel, Hugo Simberg

The Wounded Angel, Hugo Simberg

 

“Kiss a mountain on the mouth”: A response to Big Wind blowing up mountains (Maine)

Editor’s note:  The following is a reply to a group of spirited “Down Easters” in the State of Maine, who are planning some “direct action” against the Big Wind juggernaut which has Maine by the throat.  They are provisionally calling it, Operation Dirty Laundry.  Beyond that, I reveal no more.

Bravo! Now you guys are “cookin’”! Operation Dirty Laundry! Yes!

Here’s a good rule of thumb to follow with wind energy: “What would Dr. Martin Luther King do?” Alternatively, what would Nelson Mandela have done? Or even Gandhi? Or Margaret Mead?

Maine. Maine is holy stone. Kiss a mountain on the mouth. Maine is holy water. Kiss a river and kiss a lake—on the mouth. Maine is holy forest. Kiss a spruce and white pine and hemlock and aspen—on the mouth. Maine is holy loons. Kiss a loon. On the mouth. Maine is holy seacoast. Kiss a Maine seacoast on the mouth.

Maine is not your goddam governor, Dept of Environmental Protection Commissioner, state legislators, congressmen, or US senators. These people are not the custodians of loons seacoast mountains rivers lakes forest marshland moose chickadees ravens or, for that matter, beavers. Nobody is their custodian! They belong to . . . themselves. Mankind in Maine (and everywhere else on earth) is merely a guest, a beneficiary, an applauding spectator.

This fly fisherman is not a “tourist,” here.
He is a guest of this river, of these fish,
of these forests and this very air.

Once you understand the above principles, you are on the road to real life and real success. We the People are guests, here. And the governor DEP commissioner legislature congressmen and, for that matter, US senators, are all the hired help for We the People. (Public servants! Remember that phrase?)

Why else are you folks . . . alive? Why else am I . . . alive? To drag my aging carcass through another 25 years? (I turn 65 in a few weeks.) Hell no! To applaud and be a good guest of This Good Earth—which begins with Maine. Which begins with NY State. Which begins with New Hampshire Vermont Kansas New Mexico California Alaska Ontario Nova Scotia—and so forth.

Let us not be victims of an illusion, after all; let us not think these “state” names mean a goddam thing in the Real World, in the Real Earth, in Real Humanity and Humanness. They are fictions. My life is not a fiction, however. Nor is yours. Those Maine mountains hemlocks white pines aspens moose beaver otter lakes rivers ponds seacoasts loons osprey hummingbirds blueberries—none of these are fictions. They’re as real as “real” gets.

What’s phony is: corporations bureaucrats guys with hard hats bulldozers earth movers tree pulverizers dynamite to blow up ridgelines lawyers guys with badges public meetings town boards public service commissions—and all that. Bogus, all. Inventions, all. Diversions from truth and all that really matters.

Fuck global warming!  I’m more concerned at the moment with how Big Natural Gas is fucking over the earth with “hydrofracking” and how Big Wind is fucking over the earth and sea and all that dwell therein with wind turbines—all in the name of “preventing” global warming!  If this farce were not so tragic, it would be hilarious!

“The wind industry is a pack of liars,” declares former wind energy lawyer (Australia)

Editor’s note:  This is the story of a man of conscience.  The story of a scrappy Australian lawyer who did a complete, 180-degree about face on wind turbines.  I have excerpted the story from an exciting new Australian site, Stop These Things.

Most websites devoted to the wind farm scam are limp-wristed, panty-waisted weenies.  (The fancy word is “pusillanimous.”)  They are polite and courteous to these wind energy thugs and their criminal industry.  Stop These Things shines a bright light on the skulduggery of these bums and calls them for what they are:  carpetbaggers, hucksters, and carnies, harvesting tax dollars while laying waste people’s lives and the countryside as they ride pell mell the Green Energy gravy train.  (Read “The ruinous privileges of renewable energy” for a crash course on “greenwashing” and “greenmail” [a “green” version of “blackmail”] in Australia.)

Lawyer Peter Barber is a seasoned campaigner when its comes to town planning.

Over the last 30 years he has appeared before the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal, the state’s civil justice mediator, hundreds of times.

Frequently he has represented the big end of town: large infrastructure companies, miners, local government.

Like many in the legal profession, Barber has reveled in the battles.

“I did a lot of mining and extractive work … I’ve made hundreds of appearances before VCAT. I’ve challenged QCs … run up against them all.” . . .

His big mistake . . .

I went past some time later when they were under construction and I was absolutely horrified to see the towers going up. They didn’t have their nacelles (hubs) or blades on at that stage but I thought ‘what have I done to these people.’”

Barber leans across the table. “The principal objector … I still remember his name … was passionate. He started to get to me a bit during the hearing because he was genuinely concerned. I heard later he has not been a well man … he sold his place near the wind turbines. He is very saddened and has never been the same again.

“And that adds to my grief, if you like, my sorrow at my involvement. And I repeat, ‘what did I do to these people?’ I wasn’t the only one but I was a contributing factor.”

When did Barber first start to have doubts?

“Before the hearing had even finished,” he says. “I didn’t articulate any of these views at the time because I’m a lawyer. My duty was to my client at the time and to properly and honestly inform VCAT … but there was a moment in the hearing, when I had an internal voice.

“During the hearing I got off my backside and drove right around to the other side of the bay. I looked back along Wilsons Promontory and I thought ‘oh no’. My instructions were to pursue this through, which we did. I followed through on that but I had personal misgivings which were reinforced later on.”

Barber names one of the objectors to the Toora wind farm.

“He was passionate and articulate. He and others took us to local waterfalls and I thought this is not farmland. It’s not national park but there were lovely rolling hills. Now the views up through the hinterlands…”

He stops talking, looks out through the windows. The room fills with silence.

“It’s a damned shame,” he says at last.

Has he returned to the area since the wind farm began operation?

“I didn’t want to show my head down there,” he says. “I was feeling a bit ashamed of myself. What I did notice when I went down there was the community division over the project. It was bitter.

“They had just lost the Bonlac butter factory. Those jobs never got replaced. They thought they would get jobs out of wind farm tourism and this would help the loss … these working families. They thought farmers were going to get money and it would be a fantastic idea.”

Barber talks about the wind farm developer conducting secret talks with farmers to sign them up before going public on the project.

“The wind farm promoter got to the farmers first before they announced the project publicly. That’s their tactic.”

Then, in the strange way of things, something similar happened near Barber’s own backdoor. A Sydney-based company, Epuron Pty Ltd, proposed up to a seven-turbine wind farm five km from Eden on land owned by SEFE.

Barber says he had already become a member of the local chamber of commerce.

“I said at a meeting fairly early on ‘this is a windy piece of coast, please be aware of wind farms. They divide the community and they are not good. And they said ‘this area has been investigated. It is not suitable for wind farms. Next item’.”

That was five years ago.

Now if the chamber of commerce doesn’t fight to block the proposed wind farm, Barber says he will resign from the body and continue to fight the proposal with other concerned residents.

One last question: how would he describe the wind industry?

Barber’s response is immediate: “The wind industry is a pack of liars and con merchants who couldn’t lie straight in bed. I have absolutely no confidence in anything they say whatsoever.”

“A true noise hell”: Wind turbines in Denmark

Editor’s note:  The following is a translation of a recent article on wind energy in a prominent Danish news magazine.  There are several parts to the article, including an interesting exposé of Vestas (one of the world’s leading manufacturers of wind turbines) complaining to the Danish government that recently proposed noise standards will severely damage Vestas’s business ventures, both in Denmark and abroad.

The translation was done by a Danish friend of this website.  Click here for the original article.
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“A true noise hell:  Erik Nielsen had looked forward to a peaceful retired life, but the idyll and nocturnal sleep are destroyed by giant wind turbines”

“As a consequence of the noise & sleepless nights, Erik & Rigmor Nielsen are looking for a small cottage, where they can get peace.”

While thousands of people have to live in a noise hell from the giant wind turbines, which both [neighbor] associations and acoustic experts are raging over, the politicians have done nothing to investigate the matter properly.

The fact is, according to the Chairman of the Danish Society for Labor- and Environmental Medicine [DASAM], Vivi Schlünssen, it has not been properly investigated whether the many Danes who are daily exposed to tremendous noise from wind turbines are harmed by it.

“We are very concerned that the new regulations [of Jan. 1, 2012] on noise from wind turbines, have been conceived completely without investigating if people are harmed by living in constant noise.”

Doctors not asked

“The noise limits have been determined by engineers. There has not been a single medical doctor involved,” she says.

Vivi Schlünssen emphasizes that wind noise is very different from, for example, noise from a highway.

“Although the noise from the turbine is often lower [in amplitude], it is continuous, especially [a problem] at night, when the annoyance is increased.”

– The new rules [statutory order 1284 of Jan, 1, 2012, including low frequency noise] were conceived far too quickly.

“Our primary criticism is that it is not right that people should have to live with great noise nuisance, especially at night when it can interfere with their sleep,” says Vivi Schlünssen, who emphasizes that the problem of noise from wind turbines should be fully investigated.

 

“I will cut them down, and I’m prepared to go to prison” (United Kingdom)

Landowner vows to go to prison over wind turbines*

—Anwen Evans, Shropshire Star (1/16/13)

A protester said he was prepared to go to prison to stop massive pylons being built across Shropshire and Mid Wales.

Landowner Mark Johannsen, from Four Crosses, said he would fight to stop the 46-metre pylons from being built on his land and would cut them down if necessary.

He was one of more than 1,500 people who attended a meeting outside Welshpool Livestock Market last night.

Mr Johannsen said he would do everything in his power to stop the National Grid proposals from going ahead.

“I know landowners will have no choice as the National Grid will have a right to compulsory purchase the land, but I will cut them down and am even prepared to go to prison . . . to stop them being built on my land,” he said.

Myfanwy Alexander, from Llanfair Caereinion, said the Welsh Assembly had a “long and brutal” battle ahead of them.  She said: “These are crazy plans for vandalism which we will never forgive them for if they go ahead.”

Campaigner Steve Elliott, of Aston Rogers, near Marton, said people from Shropshire would be joining the people of Montgomeryshire when they travelled to Cardiff to protest.

In a letter of support, which was sent to the meeting Lord Alex Carlile, former Montgomeryshire MP, said: “These plans are an expensive folly and an insult to Welsh landscape.”

Welsh wildlife presenter Iolo Williams also pledged his support against [wind] turbines by letter saying they would damage the whole area.

Alison Davies, of campaign group Conservation of Upland Montgomeryshire, called on people to come together and fight the plans.

She said: “We will be campaigning in Welshpool and Newtown on Saturday and need about 100 people to come forward and volunteer their help for an hour.”

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*This title is different from that of the original article, which was “Prison vow over pylons plan.”

 

Family suffering from textbook Wind Turbine Syndrome (Ontario)

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We dedicate this video to Australia’s Prof. Simon Chapman.  Chapman is in the habit of now and then favoring the general public with specimens of his learning.

These days you’ll find Mr. Chapman girding his loins and going up and down the land thundering against the heresy of Wind Turbine Syndrome and its spirited champion, Dr. Sarah Laurie.  If Green Energy in Australia smacks of  a religion, Chapman is its Grand Inquisitor.

Family sues Board of Health over Wind Turbine Syndrome (Mass.)

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“Wind turbine causing headaches, nausea, Scituate family says”

—Janet Wu, WCVB Boston (1/12/13)

Mark and Lauren McKeever Friday asked a Plymouth Superior Court for a temporary restraining order against Scituate to halt operations of a giant wind turbine 640 feet from their house.

With three blades each 150 feet long, the turbine runs intermittently throughout the day and night.

“We can’t sleep, my children wake up in the middle of the night because of the noise and humming, and then they go to school where they can’t concentrate because they are sleep deprived,” said Mark McKeever.

He said his family is suffering from sleep disturbances, headaches, nausea, dizziness, extreme fatigue, anxiety, tinnitus and difficulty concentrating since the turbine was erected over their house last March.

On sunny afternoons, light flickers throughout their house and makes it impossible to stay in the house or even to do any yard work.

Mark McKeever said his family had two good weeks of sleep in recent months — when they went to New Hampshire for vacation.

“What they are doing is wrong,” said Mark McKeever, who has pleaded with the town’s board of health to at least shut the turbine down at night.

But town officials have been told by operators of the turbine that one-third of the wind generated is produced at night.

Town officials have said there is no proof that the turbine is causing the McKeevers’ health problems.

Mark McKeever said he has invited every official to come to his house and see for themselves, but none have shown up to date.

He is suing the members of the Board of Health for their refusal to act on his request for relief.

 

Acoustician explains wind turbine infrasound & low frequency noise (Rick James)

 

Editor’s note:  We recommend listening to this (lengthy) radio interview with acoustician, Rick James, as he explains the significance of the Shirley (Wisconsin) ILFN Report.  (Interview length, 68 minutes.)

Click here for Mr. James’s website, E-coustics.

 

Wind energy’s “natural experiment” on humans violates Nuremberg Code (Curt Devlin)

Click here for the clinical ramifications of the Nuremberg Code.  Click here to discover the origin of the code.

Now watch this comedian ridicule the victims of wind energy’s “natural experiment.”

Big Wind’s “Production Tax Credit” (US Congress)

Editor’s note:  At the eleventh hour, just before plunging headlong over the much ballyhooed “fiscal cliff,” the US Congress renewed Big Wind’s Production Tax Credit, allowing wind developers to harvest taxpayer dollars for another 20 years.  

Twenty years?  Yes, you read it right.  Any windfarms which are begun in 2013 will be eligible for a tax credit for 20 years thereafter.  “Starting” a windfarm can be as trivial as taking a shovel and moving a pile of dirt—once local approvals have been secured.  

All the more reason for communities to stall these projects.

Congress has once again demonstrated its incompetence, in this case, its incompetence to grasp the fleecing of the American taxpayer by Big Wind.  (In fairness to the scrambled brains in Congress and the White House, the American Wind Energy Assoc. mounted a full court press, which was obviously effective.  Once more, lobbying by Big Money wins the day.)

Is this Congress really able to govern us?  Let me rephrase that:  Is the Congress competent to govern?  Notice how it handles our finances.  The following was sent by one of our readers.

Lesson #1

U.S. Tax revenue  $2,170,000,000,000

Fed budget  $3,820,000,000,000

New debt  $1,650,000,000,000

National debt  $14,271,000,000,000

Recent budget cuts  $38,500,000,000

Let’s now remove 8 zeros and pretend it’s a household budget:

Annual family income  $21,700

Money the family spent  $38,200

New debt on the credit card  $16,500

Outstanding balance on the credit card  $142,710

Total budget cuts so far  $38.50

Got it?

Lesson #2

Here’s another way to look at the debt ceiling.  Let’s say you come home from work and find there has been a sewer backup in your neighborhood, and your home has sewage all the way up to your ceilings.

What do you think you should do?  Raise the ceilings or remove the shit?

 

“Save our sacred space”: Monastery anguishes over impending windfarm (Australia)

Editor’s note:  The following was written on December 18, 2012 by Father Sergei Shatrov, Abbot of the Holy Transfiguration Monastery near Canberra, Australia.  First, read this, from the monastery’s website.

The Holy Transfiguration Monastery is a male monastic community of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad. Founded in 1982, the monastic community presided over by Abbott Hieromonk Sergius, abides in the pristine and rugged valley of the MacLaughlin River situated between Cooma and Bombala, New South Wales, Australia.

The natural surroundings surrounding the monastery influence and impact on the Orthodox traditional monastic spiritual way of life. Monasteries have traditionally sought a degree of isolation from the secular world, whether it was the desert ascetics of fourth century Egypt or the great Northern Thebaid monastic settlements in northern Russia as a means to spiritual enlightenment and salvation. However, in keeping within the traditions of hospitality, monasteries have always welcomed travellers and pilgrims that come to its doors. In providing this website as a tool for pilgrims and for those interested in Orthodox monasticism, we maintain a certain detachment from the world in order to preserve our spiritual heritage and disciplines.

In the past there were sermons on offer to visitors to the website. We hope that in the near future that we can provide further material.

Holy Transfiguration Monastery is to have a wind turbine farm erected adjacent to its property in 2013. In principal, we remain opposed to this intrusive development and you can click here to follow developments and offer your support for this important cause. Your support is crucial in helping preserve our monastic heritage of the Orthodox Church.

For all request and enquiries please Contact Us here.

I would like to take this opportunity to clarify the Holy Transfiguration Monastery’s position on wind turbines.

The Russian Orthodox monastic communities on the MacLaughlin and Snowy Rivers are environmentally self-sufficient and conscientious. Long before the Renewable Energy Certificate Scheme was set in place, we invested heavily into solar energy and environmentally sustainable projects as an expression of our deep relationship with the pristine and often fragile landscape. What the landscape gives in our spiritual and religious vocation is fundamental to the traditions of the monastic way of life. This is why we chose the Monaro as our home thirty two years ago; it is, simply put, a very beautiful part of Australia. To suggest that we are victims of scare-mongering and ignorant to the blight of Industrial Wind Turbines (IWTs) debate, is something I strongly reject and refute.

Having been to Hatay, Turkey, in early 2012 and spent time with the locals there who have over thirty 120 metre tall IWTs planted right in the middle of their villages by the German government, they described in careful detail the serious health concerns that are debilitating and greatly affecting their quality of life after the installation. To describe simple, poor people with little if any contact with the Internet as simply victims of the “nocebo affect” would be insulting.

Having also visited eight separate IWT farms and communities in NSW, South Australia and Victoria last week in person, the problem of the lack of independently verified data (the Federal Hansard noted that wind mast data hasn’t been released in the recent Senate Estimates Committee which I attended), lack of any proper community consultation, silencing dissent or protest toward IWT developments, the divisive and vexed issue of turbine host payments, and complaints unheeded with disdain and in some cases contempt—are some of the common themes I am constantly hearing.

We chose the Monaro as our spiritual home and we don’t want the landscape industrialised. Member of Parliament, Dr Mike Kelly, expressed recently that he personally didn’t want Eden’s Two Fold Bay IWT (now failed) development to go through because of “landscape aesthetics and damage to potential tourism.”  Cynic that I am of the political opportunism, I am afraid the Monaro wasn’t aesthetically pleasing enough for blocking development. In this age of Greed Energy, whatever happened to common sense?

Click here to read the travail of this monastery, powerfully written up in Australia’s “Stop These Things.”

“If I were head of the US Fish & Wildlife Service” (Jim Wiegand)

Jim Wiegand, Wildlife Biologist (California)

I was presented with this question recently. “How would I respond if I was running the USFWS (US Fish & Wildlife Service) and was not allowing this agency to cover for the wind industry?”

First of all we would have an accurate count of all the whooping cranes in Texas along with the sub adults and juveniles so real condition of this population could be disclosed to the public. After all over 200 are missing from this population and there are now thousands of deadly wind turbines that litter their habitat.

I would have USFWS personnel responsible for checking the GPS transponders on whooping cranes, checking on their well being every 6 hour period during daylight hours. Presently the whooping cranes are not checked on unless there is a lack of movement for 24 hours. This huge gap gives a wind farm more than enough time to move any dead whooping cranes.

I would have every gag order ever written into a wind industry dismissed under eminent domain laws for the sake of protecting our natural resources. It would seem to be an easy matter because is all too obvious that the extinction of wildlife and destruction our natural resources are far more valuable to our society and future than the small amount energy produced from wind turbines.

With the gag orders out of the way a complete investigation would be conducted into the history of operating wind farms. I would concentrate on the wind farms located in the habitat of endangered species.

I would have a federal law passed so it would be a felony to conceal the death of any protected species killed at a wind farm. Owners that profited from the concealment of bodies would lose their land much in the same way a drug dealer does. I would also have rewards, big rewards because we would be fishing for big fish.

I would initiate a series of truly constructive wildlife studies to determine the cumulative damage that has been done by these wind turbines. These studies have been avoided for over 28 years. Not one of the sell-out experts that worked on bogus wind industry studies would be a part of any of these new studies. I would set up a DNA data bank that would prove to the world that eagles and other species killed at wind farms were being killed from populations thousands of miles away. The USFWS is already in custody of many such carcasses. Analyzing these carcasses alone and comparing them to remote populations would probably be enough to establish vast mortality footprint of wind turbines.

I would have cadaver dogs searching wind farm properties for buried carcasses that were hidden from the world. Some locations in particular I would bet would have body dump sites that look like the Auschwitz.

I would try not to bother Congress with any of this because their time is much better spent investigating really important matters like Lance Armstrong, Barry Bonds, and Rodger Clemens.

Yes, it would feel pretty good to see a Dirty Harry sent in to clean house and kick some wind industry asses. God knows they sure need it. But justice usually only happens on the big screen. That is why so many films are successful.

Abandoned homes near wind turbines discovered to be saturated with infrasound (Wisconsin)

—Calvin Luther Martin, PhD

That quotation is taken from the “Shirley, Wisconsin, ILFN Wind Turbine Report,” which came out a few weeks ago, just before Christmas,   (It has a longer, more formal name, but this is the name it’s going by as it ricochets around the Internet.)

The report was commissioned and paid for by the Wisconsin Public Service Commission (PSC).  The PSC requested the report because, in the course of taking testimony for the so-called Highland Wind Farm in the towns of Forest and Cylon (St. Croix County, Wisconsin), WTS victims from the existing Duke Energy “Shirley (Wis.) Wind Farm” presented testimony declaring they had to abandon their homes due to ILFN from nearby wind turbines.  (In case you don’t know, “ILFN” is shorthand for “infrasound and low frequency noise.”)

“Yikes!” responded the PSC. “We’d better check out these jaw-dropping Shirley claims before allowing Highland Wind Farm, LLC, to build another one of these wind farms!”  (The words are mine, not the PSC’s.)

Are you with me, so far?  (I know, it’s a little confusing.)

So, the PSC commissioned two agencies to arrange for proper, (hopefully) unbiased turbine noise measurements at selected homes within the Shirley Wind Farm.  They chose Clean Wisconsin, a statewide outfit well-known for being vigorously pro-wind turbine (virtually in people’s backyards), and Forest Voice, Inc., which opposes the proposed Highland Wind Farm (because its turbines will be virtually in people’s backyards).  Hence, between them, Clean Wisconsin and Forest Voice selected the acousticians.  The following is taken from the report.

Four acoustical consulting firms would cooperate and jointly conduct and/or observe the survey. Channel Islands Acoustics (ChIA) has derived modest income while Hessler Associates has derived significant income from wind turbine development projects. Rand Acoustics is almost exclusively retained by opponents of wind projects. Schomer & Associates have worked about equally for both proponents and opponents of wind turbine projects. However, all of the firms are pro-wind if proper siting limits for noise are considered in the project design.

And this is what the four concluded:

The four investigating firms are of the opinion that enough evidence and hypotheses have been given herein to classify LFN [low frequency noise] and infrasound as a serious issue, possibly affecting the future of the industry. It should be addressed beyond the present practice of showing that wind turbine levels are magnitudes below the threshold of hearing at low frequencies.

However, you need to read the entire report; it’s highly instructive and, for people around the world suffering Wind Turbine Syndrome (WTS) from absurdly and criminally-situated wind turbines—it’s a positively religious experience.  Hallelujah!

Robert Rand’s submission is especially enlightening regarding turbine noise/vibration as it relates to Pierpont and others’ understanding of Wind Turbine Syndrome.

(Note that Rand gets WTS each time he measures turbine ILFN.  God bless him for subjecting himself to this, once again, in the line of professional duty!  Bear in mind that, as Pierpont points out in her book, “Wind Turbine Syndrome,” WTS effects are cumulative. In short, Mr. Rand is damaging himself in the interest of science and humaneness—he doesn’t need the money.  The man’s a hero!)

The plot thickens.  It turns out Clean Wisconsin “redacted” (fancy word for “purged,” “removed”) some vital text from the report before submitting it to the PSC.  This is explained in Attorney Anne Bensky’s subsequent submission to the PSC.  (Open the report and scroll to the end.  Bensky’s submission to the PSC immediately follows the report.)  I have appended the section which Clean Wisconsin thoughtfully struck out—without telling the PSC.  (You can’t make up this stuff!)