Medical doctor sees Wind Turbine Syndrome in his patients (Vermont)

stethoscope

“Wind Turbine Noise & Adverse Health Effects”

Testimony before the Vermont Public Service Board (PSB) 7/29/14

….— by Sandy Reider, MD

My name is Sandy Reider, I am a primary care physician in Lyndonville, and I have been practicing clinical medicine in Vermont since I received my license in 1971.  [Dr. Reider is a graduate of the Harvard University School of Medicine — Editor.]

In the interest of full disclosure, I am not being paid for involvement in this issue, nor did I seek this out; rather, it found me by way of a patient I had known well for several years, and who, in late 2011, suddenly developed severe insomnia, anxiety, headaches, ringing ears, difficulty concentrating, and frequent nausea, seemingly out of the blue. This puzzled us both for a few months before we finally came to understand that he suffered from what was, then, a relatively new clinical entity known as “wind turbine syndrome”, related in his particular case to the comparatively small NPS 100 KW turbine that began generating power atop Burke Mountain in the fall of 2011.

In the course of the 2012 legislative session, I described this patient in detail in testimony for the Senate Natural Resources and Health Care Committees, as well as the Governor’s Siting Commission. Since his symptoms were so typical and similar to those described by thousands of other individuals living too close to large wind turbines all over the globe, I have attached my testimony for the Senate Health Care Committee and encourage you to review it for its very characteristic description of what it is that this board, I trust, hopes to mitigate by recommending more protective sound standards for these industrial wind installations.

I should add that I have seen 4 additional patients living close to the large Sheffield and Lowell projects, as well as an individual living near another single NPS 100KW turbine in Vergennes. All presented with similar, though not identical, symptoms to those described in my testimony.

That there have already been so many complaints here in Vermont related to wind turbines suggests that the current noise standards may be inadequate. Either the utilities have been regularly out of compliance with the current existing standards (Shirley Nelson’s detailed daily records suggest this has indeed occurred with some regularity) and/or that the scientific data and studies upon which the current noise standards are based is incomplete, or possibly just plain wrong.

Over the past 2 years I have reviewed much of the relevant scientific literature, and out of my 42 years of experience and perspective as a clinician, respectfully offer the following observations and comments.

Firstly, I do not doubt at all that these large turbines can and do cause serious health problems in a significant number of persons living nearby, even though the vibrational-acoustic mechanisms behind this harm are not yet completely understood (1,5). Repetitive sleep disruption is the most often cited adverse effect, and disturbed sleep and its resulting stress over time is known to cause or exacerbate cardiovascular illnesses (2, ), chronic anxiety and depression, as well as worsening of other pre-existing medical problems. This is especially concerning for the most vulnerable among us — children, the elderly, those who are naturally sensitive to sound,  or prone to motion sickness or migraine headaches, and, as mentioned, those who are  unwell to start with.

The position adopted by developers of large industrial wind projects, and thus far supported by regulatory and health agencies, has been that there is no evidence of a direct effect on health from wind turbines; rather, that the claimed adverse health effects are indirect, due mainly to the individual’s negative attitude about the wind turbines (so-called “nocebo” effect), and therefore it is their fault, it’s all in their heads, and so on. Not only is this incorrect, it is disingenuous. There is simply no clinical justification for ignoring harm being done to individuals and communities, whether direct or indirect, on these grounds — simply put, harm is harm, whatever the mechanism.

However, good evidence for direct adverse effects has existed since the mid-80’s when Neil Kelley headed a group of researchers, under the auspices of the US Department of Energy and NASA, and found conclusive evidence that adverse effects, very similar to those that describe “wind turbine syndrome”, were due primarily to very low frequency sound and inaudible infrasound (6). This role of infrasound was subsequently confirmed by Kelley’s team under controlled laboratory conditions, and resulted in a complete redesign of turbines from the downwind trestle-mounted turbines to today’s upwind turbine on a single massive tower.  Furthermore, he recommended protective maximum levels of this low frequency sound.

The joint radiation levels (expressed in terms of acoustic intensity and measured external to a structure) in the 8, 16, 31.5 and 63 Hz standard (ISO) octaves should not exceed band intensity threshold limits of 60, 50, 40 and 40 dB (re 1 pWm –2) more than 20% of the time. These figures compare favorably with a summary of low-frequency annoyance situations by Hubbard.

(It is worth noting that very often infrasound levels are higher inside a building than outside, the structure acting as a resonating chamber and amplifying the lower “vibration” frequencies. Thus measurements for low frequency sound should be made inside the structure as well as outside. Also, low frequency sound levels are not only building design and geometry specific, but also site specific, especially in a place like Vermont where the topography and climactic conditions are so variable. There may be unacceptable indoor infrasound levels in one home, while another home over the hill may have undetectable or very low levels.)

The wind industry’s assertion that the Kelley study is irrelevant and that infrasound levels are negligible with the current, newer turbine design and may be ignored is unfounded, and more recent evidence confirms this.  (See the 2012 Falmouth study by Ambrose and Rand; Bob Thorne’s excellent quality of life study in 2011 [12]; Steven Cooper’s preliminary results in Australia, final results due in September 2014 [11]; and others.)

The aforementioned studies were performed by independent professional acousticians not connected to the wind industry.  Incidentally, the severely affected patient described in my 2012 testimony never did perceive any audible noise from the turbine (and this is quite typical, the sound is more felt than heard), nor did he harbor any feelings pro or con about the installation when his problems began, though after he understood the source of his ill-health, I have no doubt that the “nocebo” effect may have added to his stress, adding insult to injury.  He has since abandoned that home, and is once again sleeping soundly and feeling well.

The current sound standards, based as they are on dBA weighted acoustic measurements, gives particular weight to audible frequencies in the soundscape, but very little or no weight to low sound frequencies and infrasound, particularly below 10 Hz, which comprises a significant proportion of the sound generated by large turbines. People do not hear dBA, they hear qualitatively different sounds, birds, insects, running water, wind in the trees, etc.  Basing noise criteria solely on this single number ignores the unique nature of the sound produced by large wind turbines, with its constantly  changing loudness, frequency, harmonics, pitch, and impulsive quality.

It is precisely these qualities that make the sound feel so intrusive and annoying, especially in quiet rural environments where these projects are usually located (12).  Parenthetically, the word “annoying” is somewhat misleading, as it implies a minor, temporary, or occasional nuisance that perhaps might be mostly ignored, rather than what it is: a  repetitive stressor that can degrade one’s short and long term health and well being, and from which there is no escape over the lifetime of the project short of having to abandon one’s home.

It is worth repeating here that the current Public Service Board threshold  of 45 dBA of audible sound, averaged over an hour, has never been proven safe or protective, and that most studies agree that  audible sound should not exceed 35 dBA, or 5dBA above normal background sound levels. (This is especially important in rural areas where background noise is minimal.)  The level should be a maximum, not an hourly average. Above 35 dBA there are likely to be significantly more complaints, particularly difficulty sleeping.

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Before concluding, I would like to emphasize that the bulk of scientific evidence for adverse health effects due to industrial wind installations comes in the form of thousands of case reports like the patient I described. One or two sporadic anecdotal cases can legitimately be viewed with a wait-and-see skepticism, but not thousands where the symptoms are so similar, along with the ease of observing exposure and measuring outcomes, wherever these projects have been built. I agree with Epidemiologist Carl Phillips, who opined that “these case reports taken together offer the most compelling scientific evidence of serious harm.  Just because the prevailing models have failed to explain observed adverse health effects does not mean they do not exist”, and, as he succinctly, though in my opinion a bit too harshly, concluded: “The attempts to deny the evidence cannot be seen as honest scientific disagreement and represent either gross incompetence or intentional bias” (13).

I am aware that the members of the PSB bear a heavy responsibility for Vermont’s overall energy future and have many other issues on their plate besides this one. Rather than presenting you with a long list of literature references, most of which would likely go unread (but they are included just in case ), I recommend a careful review of just one study in particular:  Bob Thorne, a professional acoustician in Australia, presented an excellent and well thought-out clinical study to the Australian Senate in 2011 (12). It really does cover the waterfront, including WHO quality of life measures, audible and infrasound measurements, and health measures, in a balanced and scientific way. For your convenience there is a hard copy of this study included with my presentation today.

His comprehensive (including the full sound spectrum, not only dBA weighted sound) and protective recommendations for sound criteria are reasonable, and if adopted, would be likely more acceptable to neighboring households and communities. However, given that wind developers are these days building bigger turbines atop taller towers in order to maximize power generation and profits, adoption of these safer limits would necessitate siting the installations farther from dwellings.  A 1-2 km setback is not nearly sufficient; significant low frequency sound pressure measurements have been recorded in homes 3-6 miles from large projects in Australia.

The outcomes of the study are concerned with the potential for adverse health effects due to wind farm modified audible and low frequency sound and infrasound. The study confirms that the logging of sound levels without a detailed knowledge of what the sound levels relate to renders the data uncertain in nature and content. Observation is needed to confirm the character of the sound being recorded. Sound recordings are needed to confirm the character of the sound being recorded.

The measures of wind turbine noise exposure that the study has identified as being acoustical markers for excessive noise and known risk of serious harm to health (significant adverse health effects):

(1) Criterion: An LAeq or ‘F’ sound level of 32 dB(A) or above over any 10 minute interval, outside;
(2) Criterion: An LAeq or ‘F’ sound level of 22 dB(A) or above over any 10 minute interval inside a dwelling with windows open or closed.
(3) Criterion: Measured sound levels shall not exhibit unreasonable or excessive modulation (‘fluctuation’).
(4) Criterion: An audible sound level is modulating when measured by the A-weighted LAeq or ‘F’ time-weighting at 8 to 10 discrete samples/second and (a) the amplitude of peak to trough variation or (b) if the third octave or narrow band characteristics exhibit a peak to trough variation that exceeds the following criteria on a regularly varying basis: 2dB exceedance is negligible, 4dB exceedance is unreasonable and 6dB exceedance is excessive.
(5) Criterion: A low frequency sound and infrasound is modulating when measured by the Z- weighted LZeq or ‘F’ time-weighting at 8 to 10 discrete samples/second and (a) the amplitude of peak to trough variation or (b) if the third octave or narrow band characteristics exhibit a peak to trough variation that exceeds the following criteria on a regularly varying basis: 2dB exceedance is negligible, 4dB exceedance is unreasonable and 6dB exceedance is excessive.
(6) Definitions: ‘LAeq’ means the A-weighted equivalent-continuous sound pressure level [18]; ‘F’ time-weighting has the meaning under IEC 61672-1 and [18]; “regularly varying” is where the sound exceeds the criterion for 10% or more of the measurement time interval [18] of 10 minutes; and Z-weighting has the meaning under AS IEC 61672.1 with a lower limit of 0.5Hz.
(7) Approval authorities and regulators should set wind farm noise compliance levels at least 5 dB(A) below the sound levels in criterion (1) and criterion (2) above. The compliance levels then become the criteria for unreasonable noise.

Measures (1-6) above are appropriate for a ‘noise’ assessment by visual display and level comparison. Investigation of health effects and the complex nature of wind turbine noise require the more detailed perceptual measures of sound character such as audibility, loudness, fluctuation strength, and dissonance.

To exclude careful independent well-designed case studies like Thorne’s ( and others ) in a review of the scientific literature that purports to be thorough is, I repeat, a serious omission and is not “scientific”. Careful consideration of these independent well done studies, if nothing else, should encourage regulatory agencies to adopt a much more precautionary approach to the siting of today’s very big industrial wind projects in order to adequately protect public health.

For better or worse, in today’s “information age” we are perhaps too fascinated by computers and mountains of data, but truth is truth, wherever you find it, even in small places.

Contact:

….Sandy Reider, MD
….PO Box 10
….East Burke, VT 05832
….(802) 626-6007
….sandyreider@yahoo.com

*Many thanks to Dr. Sarah Laurie, CEO of the Waubra Foundation, for her tireless work, and generosity in sharing so much information.

1.  Pierpont, N 2009  from the executive summary of her peer-reviewed study, http://waubrafoundation.org.au/resources/wind-turbine-syndrome-executive-summary/

2.  Capuccio et al 2011 “Sleep Duration predicts cardiovascular outcomes: a systemic review and meta-analysis of prospective studies” European Heart Journal, (2011) 32, 1484–1492 http://waubrafoundation.org.au/resources/sleep-duration-predicts-cardiovascular-outcomes/

3.  Nissenbaum, M Hanning, C and Aramini J 2012  “Effects of industrial wind turbines on sleep and health”  Noise and Health, October 2012

4.  Shepherd, D et al 2011 “Evaluating the impact of wind turbine noise on health related quality of life” Noise and Health, October 2011  http://waubrafoundation.org.au/resources/evaluating-impact-wind-turbine-noise-health-related-quality-life/

5.  Arra, M & Lynn H  2013  Powerpoint presentation to the Grey Bruce Health Unit, Ontario, “Association between Wind Turbine Noise and Human Distress” http://waubrafoundation.org.au/resources/association-between-wind-turbine-noise-and-human-distress/

6.  “Acoustic noise associated with Mod 1 Turbine, its impact and control” http://waubrafoundation.org.au/resources/kelley-et-al-1985-acoustic-noise-associated-with-mod-1-wind-turbine/

7.  James, R 2012  “Wind Turbine Infra and Low Frequency Sound: Warning Signs That Went Unheard” Bulletin of Science, Technology and Society 32(2) 108 – 127, accessed via Professor Colin Hansen’s submission to the Australian Federal Senate Inquiry Excessive Noise from Windfarms Bill (Renewable Energy Act) November 2012  http://waubrafoundation.org.au/resources/testimony-hansenc-excessive-noise-bill-inquiry-submission/.  James references another useful bibliography of references of the early NASA research, compiled by Hubbard & Shepherd 1988 “Wind Turbine Acoustic Research:  Bibliography with selected Annotation” http://waubrafoundation.org.au/resources/hubbard-h-shepherd-k-nasa-wind-turbine-acoustics-research/

8.  Hubbard, H 1982  “Noise induced house vibrations and Human Perception” http://waubrafoundation.org.au/resources/hubbard-h-1982-noise-induced house vibrations-human-perception/

9.  Ambrose, Stephen and Rand, Robert  2011 “Bruce McPherson Infrasound and Low Frequency Noise Study” http://waubrafoundation.org.au/resources/bruce-mcpherson-infrasound-low-frequency-noise-study/

10.  http://waubrafoundation.org.au/resources/schomer-et-al-wind-turbine-noise-conference-denver-august-2013/

11.  http://waubrafoundation.org.au/2014/pacific-hydro-commended-initiating-wind-turbine-noise-acoustic-survey/

12.  http://waubrafoundation.org.au/resources/wind-farm-generated-noise-and-adverse-health-effects/

13.  “Properly interpreting the Epidemiological evidence about the health effects of Industrial Wind turbines on nearby residents” Bulletin of Science, Technology and Society vol 31 No 4 (August 2011) pp 303–315 http://waubrafoundation.org.au/resources/properly-interpreting-epidemiologic-evidence-about-health-effects/

See:  Bob Thorne, “The Problems with ‘Noise Numbers’ for Wind Farm Noise Assessment,” Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society 2011 31: 262.  DOI: 10.1177/0270467611412557, http://bst.sagepub.com/content/31/4/262

Family pulverized by a wind developer (Michigan)

Editor’s note:  Watch this 20-minute video of testimony by a man named Cary Shineldecker.  The Shineldecker home, in Michigan, is surrounded by industrial wind turbines (IWT’s).  In the video, Mr. Shineldecker (an engineer) painstakingly and courteously explains to the wind developer, an outfit named Consumers Energy, how it systematically violated and ultimately pulverized his family’s home and life.

What I just wrote may seem “over the top”:  systematic violation and pulverized.  It’s not.  Watch the video.  You will be left  speechless and seething.   Twenty minutes of nightmare, as this man methodically piles up documented fact after fact.

 

“Under turbines” (Poem)

Editor’s note:  I have edited the following poem, which originally was three poems.  Read and grieve over this, a tale repeated the world over.

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“Under the Turbines”

M. Krochmalnik  Grabois

Infants and toddlers can’t speak
and even pre-teens
may not have vocabulary to describe
what they suffer

Teenagers can tell you more—
they are developing a vocabulary of suffering
beginning to see how life is unfair
fraught with strife

Even if they feel invincible
they watch parents and know
invincibility is a lie

They watch landscape transform around them
watch five-hundred-foot turbines go up

Where the sound of gears way up there
is unlike the sound
of childhood swings
that creak in the wind at night
— a comforting sound

The sound they hear now is the
whoosh of the wealthy
robbing them
even before they have acquired
anything

……………….

Interrupted sleep in children is common
a child may feel bullied
even though no classmate bullies him

He has just begun to understand that
monsters beneath the bed
don’t exist

Now he awakens sensing an intruder
roaming the house
— the monster with weapons
more powerful
 than guns
— knowing father is helpless

against the larger forces of this world

Of course it’s true
father tried to stop the turbines
pointing out the Comprehensive Plan
forbade them

Now, he’s powerless

………………….

I watch my sleeping daughter
grit her teeth

When she was three she suffered
earaches and took antibiotics
— so many, the doctor
forbade us giving her milk
since milk is laced with them
(and we can’t afford organic)

Now they are back
and her doctor says there’s no cure
except fleeing the “wind farm”

It’s the pressure, he says
and because of her history she’s
susceptible

Each of us fingers our vulnerabilities
anxiety, nervousness—
I’ve learned the difference between the two
though when I panic awake with racing heart
I’m not sure which is which

And nausea
I’ve always eaten well and never been
nauseous
 in my life.  Now
I am
always

I puzzle over wind turbines creating nausea
— am told it’s an inner ear disturbance
something my daughter and I
share

My neighbor the professor stands
in front of his chalkboard
gripping the edges of the podium
staring at notes

He’s got vertigo and can’t
pace his classroom and
speak extemporaneously, he tells me,
like he used to

I never much liked him
(kind of self-important)
he moved here from the city
for peace and quiet

Laughable, ain’t it, professor?
Now I feel more charitable
we two stood up in public hearings
as our arguments and pleas were
ignored by corrupt politicians
— him with PhD, me with
high school diploma

(Somehow, it makes me think
I was smart not to go to college, though
my mother told me
I was smart enough,
— for this?)

The Windmill Game of Price Gouging (Australia)

burning turbine

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“Hostages to a Renewable Ruse”

— Nick Cater, The Australian (7/29/14)

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The power couple.

If there is a sound more pitiable than the whine of a pious environmental activist, it is the wail of a financier about to do his dough.

The mournful chorus now wafting from Greg Hunt’s waiting room is the sound of the two in unison, pleading with the Environment Minister to save the life of their misshapen bastard child, the renewable energy target.

You have to hand it to Hunt, who either has nerves of steel or is stone deaf, for he has retained both his cool and his fortitude.

The RET review by Dick Warburton on the government’s behalf has brought the rent-seekers out in force, for billions of dollars of corporate welfare is resting on its outcome.

As it stands, the RET will produce a bounteous return for a small group of investors shrewd enough to get into the windmill game while the rest of us are slapped with four-figure power bills.

Wind farms may be ugly but they are certainly not cheap, nor is the electricity that trickles from them. No one in their right minds would buy one if they had to sell power for $30 to $40 a megawatt hour, the going rate for conventional producers.

But since the retailers are forced to buy a proportion of renewable power, the windmill mafia can charge two to three times that price, a practice that in any other market would be known as price gouging.

As if a $60 premium were not reward enough, the transaction is further sweetened with a renewable energy certificate that they can sell to energy producers who insist on generating power in a more disreputable manner.

The going rate of $40 a megawatt hour means the total income per megawatt for wind farms is three to five times that of conventional power, and unless the government changes the scheme that return is only going to get better.

In an act of rent-seeking genius, the renewable lobby managed to persuade the Rudd government to set the 2020 target as a quantity — 41 terawatt hours — rather than 20 per cent of over-all power as originally proposed.

Since the target was set, the energy generation forecast for 2020 has fallen substantially, meaning the locked-in renewable target is now more like 28 per cent.

That will send conventional producers scrambling for certificates, pushing up their price beyond $100. It’s a mouth-watering prospect for the merchant bankers and venture capitalists who were smart enough to jump on board, and brilliant news for Mercedes dealerships on the lower north shore, but of little or any benefit to the planet.

The cost of this speculative financial picnic will be about $17 billion by 2030 or thereabouts, according to Deloitte, which produced a report on the messy business last week.

Since the extra cost will be added to electricity bills, the RET is a carbon tax by another name, a regressive impost that will fall most heavily on those with limited incomes, such as pensioners.

The lowest income house- holds already spend 7 per cent of their disposable incomes on energy, according to the Australian Council of Social Service. Energy takes just 2.6 per cent of the budget of those on high incomes.

Thus under the cover of responding to climate change — “the greatest moral, economic and social challenge of our time” — billions of dollars are taken from the poor and given to the rich investors in the unsightly industrial turbines that are blighting the lives of rural communities and stripping value from the properties of people who just wish to be left to live in peace.

If the anti-Abbott budget bashers who are squealing about a minor adjustment to pension indexation were serious, they would demand the end of the RET’s iniquitous transfer of wealth.

Yet ironically they find themselves on the side of crafty merchant bankers in the romantic expectation that this complex financial ruse is doing something to assist the planet.

To speak up in opposition to this social injustice is to find oneself condemned as a climate change denier, right-wing ideologue, apologist for the coal industry or, worse still, to be ignored altogether, as the ABC’s Four Corners managed to do in its renew- able energy special last month.

The corporation flew reporter Stephen Long to California to tell us how wonderful the renewable energy bonanza is going to be and how foolish Tony Abbott’s government is to even question the proposition that too many windmills are barely enough.

“This government has an ideological agenda,” insisted John Grimes, chief executive of the Australian Solar Council.

“They want to carve out the impact of renewable energy on the network and they want to stop renewals in their tracks.”

Jeremy Rifkin, author of a book called The Third Industrial Revolution, told Long: “Australia’s the Saudi Arabia of renewable energy. There’s so much sun; there’s so much wind off the coast, and so it makes absolutely no sense when you have an abundance of renewable energy, why would you rely on a depleting supply of fossil fuels with all of the attendant consequences to society and the planet?”

Fatuous arguments of this kind are rarely challenged on the ABC, nor are the purveyors of renewable energy subjected to the degree of scepticism that others with corporate vested interests can expect. Instead they find themselves in the company of a cheer squad.

“The new developments with renewable energy and storage seem to have passed the Prime Minister by,” Long editorialised halfway through his dispiriting report.

Finally, however, as Long was about to run out of time and throw back to Kerry O’Brien, he let slip the awkward truth he had managed so far to avoid.

“Yes, it costs money to create the infrastructure for renewable energy,” he says. “A lot of money.”

Indeed it does, and if the arbitrary, inefficient and regressive mechanism of the RET is all that is left to overcome that hurdle, we may as well give up.

It is through this complicated method that the consumers are forced to pay a subsidy to wind farms without the need for a carbon tax.

 

 

Australia shit-cans the carbon tax! Hooray! Another hoax gone!

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carbon_cycle11

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“Celebrate! Australia’s carbon [dioxide] tax is gone!”

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Australian Climate Madness (7/17/14)  Click here & here to read about Australian Climate Madness, a worthy blog.  Click here for commentary in The Spectator.

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The carbon tax, that utterly pointless environmental gesture that would have done nothing for the climate, has been repealed today in the Senate. Good riddance.

The toxic tax, together with the originally planned emissions trading scheme, has claimed, over the years, about half a dozen senior politicians, including Kevin Rudd, Julia Gillard and Malcolm Turnbull, all of whom have shackled themselves to the altar of climate change alarmism, and paid the price.

The Australian reports:

THE carbon tax has been repealed, fulfilling Tony Abbott’s “pledge in blood” to abolish the landmark Gillard government scheme.

The Senate passed the government’s amended carbon tax repeal bills by a margin of 39 votes to 32 at 11.14am, with only the Labor Party and the Greens opposing their passage into law.

It was the Senate’s third attempt to pass the repeal legislation.

The vote was held as Bill Shorten gave a clear pledge to take a new carbon pricing mechanism to the next federal election, due in 2016, in the form of an emissions trading scheme.

They never learn, do they? Idiots. You can add Shorten to the above list of climate victims.

Greening-the-Land-550x300

 

The Unexpected Universe (NY Times)

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Einstein 550

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Editor’s note
:  On the face of it, this story has nothing to do with wind energy.  But that’s just on the face of it.  In truth the story has everything to do with everything, including who we are and who the universe is.  I use a personal “who” instead of “what.”  For it seems to me that, regardless of whether one thinks of the universe as a god (capitalized or not) or simply a great, patient, inexhaustible intelligence — that “who” fits better than “what.”

I offer this NY Times video as a way of putting our lives, and even this campaign, into perspective.  It’s the biggest perspective of all.  All of us, me included, risk imagining that our thoughts, along with those of humanity at large, are front and center, paramount above everything else.  A story like this corrects such hubris.

Behold the scaffolding of the cosmos.  The shadow universe — a spidery web of matter we can’t see — existing alongside the one we do perceive.  “Dark matter” isn’t just out there in the abyss we call outer space; it’s intimate, it’s personal — a shadow self of you and me.

The poet John Donne, wrote Loren Eiseley, “recognized that behind visible nature lurks an invisible and procreant void from whose incomprehensible magnitude we can only recoil” (Eiseley, “The Unexpected Universe,” p. 31).

Recoil?  Maybe.  Personally, I find it thrilling.

Click here for the related article.

 

“I do not like green blades with spans/ I do not like them, mad I am”

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geah7

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I do not like green blades with spans
I do not like them, mad I am

I do not like them on the roads
I do not like them in the rows

I do not like them standing tall
I do not like them, not at all

I do not like them killing birds
I do not like them killing bats

I do not like them causing harm
I do not like them on a farm

I do not like them — Do No Harm
I do not like them false green farms

I do not like the spinning blades, noise, flicker, insane rage
I do not like them on this page

I do not like these giant fans 
I do not like them on the lands

I do not like those men in ties
I do not like those telling lies

I do not like them on the ground 
I do not like them dead birds found

I do not like those concrete holes
Where toxic water then must flow

I do not like them in the sun
I do not like them in the rain

I do not like them in the snow
I do not like them, they must go!

I do not like them any day 
They harm us all in every way

I do not like them in the north
I do not like them in the south

I do not like them east or west
I do not like them, Can you guess?

I do not like green blades with spans
with giant sweeps upon our lands

In Germany Australia Netherlands Canada USA or UK
Take your fans and blow away!

I do not like green blades with spans
I do not like them, Mad I Am

— Ella Rupprecht

 

“Being crazy isn’t enough”: Wind energy’s fantasy in green (Editorial)

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Dr. Seuss

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— Curt Devlin, Guest Editor, Massachusetts (7/12/14)

“Never let the facts get in the way of a good story,” cautioned Mark Twain.  Miles Grant heeded Twain’s famous advice in his recent opinion about global climate change and wind opposition. Grant burns with evangelical fervor when he argues that wind power is necessary for averting climate change.

The problem with the argument is it assumes facts that don’t exist. Wind turbines do not reduce CO2 emission, they increase it. In 2013, the U.S. spent some $80B subsidizing wind power, but CO2 only increased. In proportion to their economies, other industrialized nations around the world have invested far more heavily in wind energy than the U.S., but carbon emissions still go up.

Coal supplies roughly 60% of the energy to the world’s power grids, and all industrial turbines must be connected to a grid. Grid operators maintain an instantaneous balance between energy supply and demand. When turbines are spinning, coal generators are ramped down to balance the grid, a process known as “curtailment.”  When turbines stop spinning, coal plants are ramped up, called “cycling — a procedure that can take hours, since coal plants ramp up slowly.

The problem with cycling is that even the most efficient coal plants produce much greater CO2 emissions when they are not running at peak efficiency. This means that wind farms connected to coal grids virtually ensure increased CO2 emissions — not to mention increased particulate air pollution, a dirty little secret the “wind” lobby doesn’t want you to know.

Grant mentioned the people who have to breathe the pollutants being belched out of the Brayton Point coal plant, but forgets to mention that connecting wind turbines to the same grid will make matters worse. The misguided demonstrators who marched into Fairhaven last year to support the turbines, clearly didn’t understand this danger. The people being harmed by pollution from this coal plant should be doing everything to prevent further turbines from being connected to the same grid.

BraytonPoint

Brayton Point Power Station, a coal-fired power plant located in Somerset, MA.

People like Grant, who look at wind power through green-tinted glasses, are quick to argue that at least coal is not being burned when turbines generate power. Unfortunately, this too falls apart under careful scrutiny. The U.S. has become an exporter of its coal surplus. The principal consumer of our surplus is China. When the Chinese burn our coal, however, their plants don’t have to comply with EPA standards. As a result of these dirty coal plants, some industrialized cities in China now have pollution so bad that the air is unbreathable for days on end.

At least we can all agree on one thing; the climate is global, so we’re all inhaling some of this pollution.

CHINA AIR POLLUTION

The results of burning coal in China

Here are some other facts the green evangelists don’t want you to know. Every living plant growing in huge swaths of land is literally razed to the ground every time a wind turbine goes up. It isn’t just the ten acres needed for the site that get turned into a moonscape. Broad fire lanes and paved roads are often cut across ridges and mountain tops to accommodate the huge vehicles needed to build, service, and maintain these leviathans. The forest habitat is virtually hacked to ribbons, so it can no longer support the complex, balanced ecology of flora and fauna. (Take a look at the wind farms in New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine with Google Earth to see the true extent of environmental destruction cause by industrial turbines.)

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Aerial shot of the Groton Wind Project in New Hampshire. (Click for a full tour of the ecological devastation.)

Another impact that Mr. Green Eggs & Ham won’t mention is the economic one. In the U.K., wind power has driven the cost of retail electricity so high that a new class of poverty has emerged. More and more people are slipping below the poverty line, because they can no longer afford the high cost of electricity produced by turbines. In the global economy, the worst impact is placed on those who are already languishing in poverty.

In proportion to its economy, Germany has invested more in wind than any other industrialized nation. Once the powerhouse of the E.U., its economy has been decimated by its gamble on the roulette wheel of wind. According to government-paid researchers, the wind energy misadventure known as the Energiewende (energy transformation) has damaged the German economy so badly that Germans are bringing ten new coal generators online, with more on the way.

princetonwind

The $6-million-dollar turbines in Princeton, MA.

Princeton, MA, one of the earliest adopters of wind power in Massachusetts, has now reported a loss of $6 million, and has the highest electric rates in the Commonwealth.

Though the cost of wind energy is hidden by federal subsidies paid for with your tax dollars, a kilowatt of energy from a land-based turbine costs three times more to produce than conventional generators; and from offshore turbines, three times more than that, again. If Cape Wind is ever built in Nantucket Sound, carbon emissions will continue to rise and Massachusetts will have the highest electric rates in the U.S.

By far the greatest cost of all is the human one. There is no benefit to wind power sufficient to justify the damage to human health and well-being they cause. Wind turbine sites are ecological dead zones. The best science we have offers clear evidence that virtually everyone exposed to the pulsed volleys of infrasound produced by industrial wind turbines will begin to suffer from cognitive impairment or cardiovascular disease. Turbines are a silent killer.

“Lasciate onge speranza, voi ch’ingrate.” “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.”  Dante’s inscription over the gates of Hell (“The Inferno”).

Contrary to green dogma, wind power doesn’t make sense, whether you believe global climate change is real or not. In the end, the fantasy-in-green doesn’t amount to even a good story. It’s but a fractured fairy tale, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

Wind turbine infrasound screws up ovulation (Denmark)

swiss cheese ovaries2 .

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“All my female employees are complaining of irregular menstruations, and several have permanent headaches” (Boye Jensen, Nursery Owner, Denmark)

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— Mark Duchamp, Chairman, World Council for Nature (7/10/14)

The Danish press reports the case of a garden centre (nursery) going out of business because of nearby wind turbines. Headaches are frequent among employees, and female workers complain of unusual bleeding and problems with their menstrual cycles. They are worried that more serious illnesses may follow.  Five have recently resigned. The owner is now closing his business for fear of being held liable should a child be born with deformities, as happened to numerous mink puppies at a fur farm near wind turbines in Jutland.1

boye-jensen-at-his-plant-nursery

Boye Jensen, the owner of Lammefjordens Perennials, is 67. He started his nursery 43 years ago and it became a prosperous business with 15 employees and annual sales of 12 million krones (equiv. $ 2.1 million). He was planning to continue working for another 6-7 years, then sell the nursery. But his business is now worth nothing, creating an enormous financial loss.

He is discussing with his lawyer whether to sue Vattenfal, the company that owns the wind turbines, or the Municipality of Holbaek, which approved their installation 400-700 metres from his nursery. He expects to go to court and seek damages of several million krones.

“Himself a neighbour to 127-metre high wind turbines since their installation three years ago, Boye Jensen has long been convinced that low frequency noise emitted by the turbines makes people ill, as they do animals.”2 Then, recently, he heard the tragic news from Kaj Bank Olesen’s mink farms.1  This, along with the resignation of several of his employees for health reasons, made him realise his business had become untenable because of the wind turbines. “The nursery owner made this hard decision after a mink breeder in Jutland was able to establish a causal link between the loss of a third of his mink puppies, deformed or stillborn, and several giant wind turbines erected nearby.”2

The story made the news in Denmark,2,3 and Member of Parliament Karina Adsbøl expressed her concerns to the Minister of Health at a parliamentary hearing.  The Minister, typically, replied by addressing other, less important issues mentioned by the MP, and ignoring the important ones, i.e. wind turbines causing birth defects in animals forced to live near them, and disrupting women’s menstrual cycles.4

The World Council for Nature (WCFN) is calling attention to the fact that, as occurred for tobacco, asbestos, thalidomide, etc., governments are siding with private financial interests in ignoring or denying the existence of obvious health problems linked to wind turbines. As is the case for the millions of birds and bats killed yearly by the turbines’ blades, mendacious studies are published by unscrupulous consultants, and by professionals and universities happy to oblige their benefactors. Hypocrisy is rampant, species are fast disappearing from our skies, and thousands of windfarm neighbours are being submitted to torture. The word “torture” is not an exaggeration: sleep deprivation is indeed a recognised form of torture.

In Denmark, as elsewhere in the world, many rural families are suffering, particularly since the manufacture of the mega turbines (1 MW and over), which emit more infrasound as they grow bigger. This may explain why the complaints are growing louder. How much longer can this suffering be ignored, or even denied by health authorities?

Some countries, including Canada and Australia, have commissioned studies into the matter of noise emitted by windfarms. But the studies’ scope and methodology doom them to failure, perhaps intentionally. What is really needed is:

  • an epidemiological study, and
  • the measurement of low frequency sound (including infrasound down to 0.1 Hz) inside the homes of windfarm victims, at night, windows closed, when the wind is blowing from the direction that causes the problem.

Most of all, as a precaution, no mega turbines should be erected less than 10 km from habitations until these studies are completed, published and analysed. There is indeed compelling evidence that infrasound travels much farther than other noise, and tortures sensitive people in their homes at distances of 10 km and more. Shorter distances could be temporarily set for smaller turbines, in proportion to their generating capacity.

WCFN calls upon the Danish government to intervene in favour of victims. A wealth of evidence is available, including peer-reviewed studies, that warrants applying the precautionary principle without delay.5  Children are particularly at risk — evidently even the unborn.

WCFN’s primary goal is the conservation of biodiversity. A sane and responsible human population is the single most important means of achieving this goal. A letter of protest is being sent to the Danish government.

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References:

1.  Kaj Bank Olesen’s mink farm, stillbirths and deformities: http://wcfn.org/2014/06/07/windfarms-1600-miscarriages/

2.  Translation of the article from the Nordvestnyt (North West News) on the closing of the garden center:  http://wcfn.org/documents/wind-turbines-affect-menstruation-danish-press/

3.  Garden centre story mentioned in one of Denmark’s leading newswpaper, Jyllands-Posten (the Jutland Post):  http://jyllands-posten.dk/opinion/breve/ECE6846968/mink-som-forsoegsdyr/

4.  Video.  Member of Parliament, Karina Adsbøl, addresses her concerns to the Minister of Health, describing the deformities at the mink farm and the menstrual problems at the nursery:  http://wcfn.org/documents/windfarms-affect-menstruation-danish-parliament/

5.  Waubra Foundation:  http://waubrafoundation.org.au/

»»»»»»

Editor’s note:  The following is the Danish source for the above article.  It was published in the print edition of the Danish newspaper, Nordvestnyt (North West News), 7/3/14.  It was translated into English by Greta Gallandy-Jakobsen.

Click here for the original, and here for another Danish version of the same story, and here for our source of the English translation by Ms. Gallandy-Jakobsen.

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“Giant wind turbines close down plant nursery”

For almost three years, now, 10 giant wind turbines at Lammefjord near Gislinge have blown plenty of power to the energy company Vattenfall and to consumers. But now they have also blown away a 43 year old plant nursery and its 15 employees, which had annual sales of 12 million krones [2.1 million dollars].

The owner of Lammefjordens Perennials, Boye Jensen, has chosen to close his nursery almost entirely, located as it is within 400-700 meters of three wind turbines. There will just be a few employees left, and they will work only occasionally. The owner made this hard decision after a mink breeder in Jutland was able to establish a causal link between the loss of a third of his mink puppies, deformed or stillborn, and several giant wind turbines erected nearby.

Himself a neighbour to 127-metre high wind turbines since their installation three years ago, Boye Jensen has long been convinced that low frequency noise emitted by the turbines makes people ill, as they do animals. “When the mink case became known to the public, five of my staff resigned. You have to know that all my female employees have been complaining of irregular menstruations, and several workers have permanent headaches.  They are also afraid of getting chronic illnesses, and I don’t want to be responsible for one of them giving birth to a deformed child. So, I am shutting down my life-long enterprise.”

Boye Jensen’s big problem is that the authorities are still not sure that giant wind turbines make people sick, and it is uncertain whether he can get compensation. But the 67-year-old nursery owner is going for a compensation in the millions. “I am closing my business because of the turbines. Otherwise I would have continued for 6-7 years, and then I would have put the nursery on the market. But now the property is unsalable.  First, together with my lawyer, we need to find out whom we will take to court: Vattenfall, which own the turbines, or the municipality of Holbæk, which approved their installation.”

In Holbæk, Mayor Soren Kjærsgaard is sad that Lammefjordens Perennials are now withering away into nothing. But he is not worried about a lawsuit for damages. “We have tried to help Lammefjordens Perennials by getting a medical officer from the national health administration, as well as the Ministry of Public Health, to look into the matter. But the municipality has no legal ground for stepping in. The windfarm legislation sets very clearly what may and may not be done, and Vattenfall has been complying with noise limits.

End of translation:  Original article in Danish (print edition), in PDF format: Kæmpevindmøller lukker planteskole på Lammefjorden The first part of the article is available online, in Danish:“The owner of the nursery at Gislinge fear for its employees’ health because of low frequency noise from wind turbines.”  The story is also mentioned in the Jyllands-Posten, one of Denmark’s three leading newspapers.

“There is a pressure pulsation emitted into the community once every second” (Wind Turbine Noise Expert)

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Editor’s note:  Rick James is, without doubt, one of North America’s premier experts on wind turbine noise.  Unlike the great majority of noise engineers who have sold their souls and ethics to the wind energy industry, Mr. James can’t be “bought.”  Together with Rob Rand and Steve Ambrose, Rick has exposed the deceit and mendacity of wind company acoustic consultants — as in their fraudulent use of A-weighted noise measurements, for instance.

We all owe these three gentlemen a huge debt of gratitude.

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Richard James, Noise Engineer (7/8/14).  Click for PDF, with all graphs included.

As the blade passes the tower, the low frequency noise and infrasound is generated at a frequency related to the hub’s rotation and number of blades. These pressure pulsations appear as tones during analysis, but are not heard as tones by most people. Instead, they may feel the pressure changes as pulsations, internal organ vibrations, or as a pain (like ear aches or migraines).

This frequency is called the Blade Pass Frequency, often abbreviated as BPF.

For modern utility-scale wind turbines, this frequency is at 1Hz or lower.  A three-bladed wind turbine with a hub rotation of 20 revolutions per minute (rpm) has a BPF of 1Hz. This means there is a pressure pulsation emitted into the community once every second.  At 15 rpm the BPF is 0.75 Hz; and at 10 rpm, 0.5 Hz.

When wind turbine blades rotate past the tower, a short pressure pulse occurs, producing a burst of infrasound.  When analyzed, the result is a well-defined array of tonal harmonics below 10 Hz.

For impulsive sound of this type, the harmonics are all “phase-correlated.” This means the peaks of each occur at the same time. Thus, the peaks add together in a linear fashion, with their individual maximum sound pressures all coinciding.

Thus, for an impulse having 4 equal amplitude harmonics (BPF, 2nd, 3rd and 4th) each of the same amplitude, the peak level is +12 dB.  Ten equal harmonics would produce a peak level of +20 dB.

Rick James

 

“Imagine being bombarded day & night by volleys of acoustic artillery, much of it low frequency and infrasonic” (Dr. Pierpont)

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Editor’s note
:  The following is a letter Dr. Pierpont wrote to a group in Turkey that’s trying to keep wind turbines out of its community.  (Click here for a PDF.)  We are told the wind developer has been ordered by a court to stop building the turbines.  Being Turkey, the developer has brazenly ignored the court order — and is proceeding full steam ahead.  (So much for the “rule of law.”)

artillery_barrage_by_tuomaskoivurinne-d5mz1nz

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To
:  Ms. Kabadayi-Whiting, Cesme, Turkey
From:  Nina Pierpont, MD, PhD
Regarding:  The proper siting of wind turbines
Date:  June 30, 2014

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I write to you at the request of Madeleine Kura, who tells me the lovely, seaside town of Cesme is about to get half a dozen 3 MW industrial wind turbines built on the edge of town, a mere 500 m from people’s homes. (I’m told that at least one of the turbines will be 300 m from a school.)  Furthermore, all this construction will be in hilly terrain.

cesmemerkez

Let me explain, clinically, why this is a bad idea. In 2009 I published what was then the definitive study of health effects caused by wind turbine infrasound on people living within 2 km of industrial turbines. The book, “Wind Turbine Syndrome: A Report on a Natural Experiment” (K-Selected Books), included 60 pages of raw data in the form of case histories (using case cross-over studies), demonstrating that living in proximity to wind turbines dys-regulates the inner ear vestibular organs controlling balance, position, and spatial awareness. Effectively, sufferers experience symptoms of sea-sickness, along with several related pathologies.

disgrace_by_gfriedberg-d5yo4mp

It turns out all this has been well known since the 1980s, when the US Department of Energy commissioned a report on wind turbine health effects — the report subsequently published by physicist Dr. N D Kelley and his colleagues at the Solar Research Institute in Golden, Colorado, bearing the title, “A Methodology for Assessment of Wind Turbine Noise Generation,” Transactions of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, v. 104 (May 1982), pp. 112-120.

In this paper we have presented evidence to support the hypothesis that one of the major causal agents responsible for the annoyance of nearby residents by wind turbine noise is the excitation of highly resonant structural and air volume modes by the coherent, low-frequency sound radiated by large wind turbines.

Further, there is evidence that the strong resonances found in the acoustic pressure field within rooms [in people’s homes] . . . indicates a coupling of sub-audible energy [infrasound] to human body resonances at 5, 12, and 17-25 Hz, resulting in a sensation of whole-body vibration (p. 120).

I discovered the same thing in my research. What Kelly et al. refer to as a “sensation of whole-body vibration,” I refer to as Visceral Vibratory Vestibular Disturbance (VVVD): “The internal quivering, vibration, or pulsation and the associated complex of agitation, anxiety, alarm, irritability, tachycardia, nausea, and sleep disturbance together make up what I refer to as Visceral Vibratory Vestibular Disturbance (VVVD)” (Wind Turbine Syndrome, p. 59).

Nina Pierpont, MD, PhD

Five years later, Dr. Kelley gave a follow-up paper at the Windpower ’87 Conference & Exposition in San Francisco, titled “A Proposed Metric for Assessing the Potential of Community Annoyance from Wind Turbine Low-Frequency Noise Emissions.”  Just so you understand the terminology, “emissions” means “noise & vibration.”  And the term “low frequency” includes infrasound.  And the antiseptic phrase “community annoyance” is code for Wind Turbine Syndrome — except the name had not been coined in1987.  (I  created it decades later.)  Kelley’s research once again had been funded by the US Department of Energy, Contract No. DE-AC02-83CH10093.

We electronically simulated three interior environments resulting from low-frequency acoustical loads radiated from both individual turbines and groups of upwind and downwind turbines. . . .

Experience with wind turbines has shown that it is possible . . . for low-frequency acoustic noise radiated from the turbine rotor to interact with residential structures of nearby communities and annoy the occupants. . . .

The modern wind turbine radiates its peak sound power (energy) in the very low frequency range, typically between 1 and 10 Hz [i.e., infrasound]. . . .

Our experience with the low-frequency noise emissions from a single, 2 MW MOD-1 wind turbine demonstrated that . . . it was possible to cause annoyance within homes in the surrounding community with relatively low levels of LF-range [low frequency range] acoustic noise.  An extensive investigation of the MOD-1 situation revealed that this annoyance was the result of a coupling of the turbine’s impulsive low-frequency acoustic energy into the structures of some of the surrounding homes. This often created an annoyance environment that was frequently confined to within the home itself (p. 1, emphasis in original).

I am attaching a copy of Kelley’s 1987 paper.

Besides my research, which pretty much duplicates Kelley’s, there is the work of Dr. Alec Salt, Professor of Otolaryngology in the School of Medicine at Washington University (St. Louis, Missouri), where he is director of the Cochlear Fluids Research Laboratory. Professor Salt is a highly respected neuro-physiologist specializing in inner ear disorders and in particular the mysteries of the cochlea.

Salt200

Prof. Salt’s research dovetails with mine and with Dr. Kelley’s. For many years, acousticians and noise engineers have vigorously maintained that “if you can’t hear it, it can’t hurt you.”  That is to say in the case of wind turbines, “If you can’t hear the low-frequency noise in the infrasound range, it can’t hurt you.” (lnfrasound, by definition, is noise below the hearing threshold, typically pegged at 20 Hz and lower. People feel infrasound in various parts of the body, though typically they cannot hear it.) In any case, Professor Salt and his colleagues have demonstrated conclusively, definitively, that infrasound does in fact disturb the very fine hair cells of the cochlea.

With this discovery, one of the main arguments advanced by the wind energy industry — namely, that wind turbine infrasound was too low to be harmful to people, since they could not hear it — was demolished. Prof. Salt has proven that, “If you can’t hear it, it can still harm you.”

This past winter, Professor Salt and his colleague, Professor Lichtenhan, published “How Does Wind Turbine Noise Affect People?Acoustics Today, v. 10 (Winter 2014), pp. 20-28. The following is a lengthy excerpt:

The essence of the current debate is that on one hand you have the well-funded wind industry (1) advocating that infrasound be ignored because the measured levels are below the threshold of human hearing, allowing noise levels to be adequately documented through A-weighted sound measurements; (2) dismissing the possibility that any variants of wind turbine syndrome exist (Pierpont 2009) even when physicians (e.g., Steven D. Rauch, M.D. at Harvard Medical School) cannot otherwise explain some patients’ symptoms; and (3) arguing that it is unnecessary to separate wind turbines and homes based on prevailing sound levels.

On the other hand, you have many people who claim to be so distressed by the effects of wind turbine noise that they cannot tolerate living in their homes. Some move away, either at financial loss or bought-out by the turbine operators. Others live with the discomfort, often requiring medical therapies to deal with their symptoms. Some, even members of the same family, may be unaffected. Below is a description of the disturbance experienced by a woman in Europe we received a few weeks ago as part of an unsolicited e-mail.

From the moment that the turbines began working, I experienced vertigo-like symptoms on an ongoing basis. In many respects, what I am experiencing now is actually worse than the ‘dizziness’ I have previously experienced, as the associated nausea is much more intense. For me the pulsating, humming, noise that the turbines emit is the predominant sound that I hear and that really seems to affect me.

While the Chief Scientist [the person who came to take sound measurements in her house] undertaking the measurement informed me that he was aware of the low frequency hum the turbines produced (he lives close to a wind farm himself, and had recorded the humming noise levels indoors in his own home) he advised that I could tune this noise out and that any adverse symptoms I was experiencing were simply psychosomatic. . . .

Given the knowledge that the ear responds to low frequency sounds and infrasound, we knew that comparisons with benign sources were invalid and the logic to A-weight sound measurements was deeply flawed scientifically. . . .

From this understanding we conclude that very low frequency sounds and infrasound, at levels well below those that are heard, readily stimulate the cochlea. Low frequency sounds and infrasound from wind turbines can therefore stimulate the ear at levels well below those that are heard. . . .

No one has ever evaluated whether tympanostomy tubes alleviate the symptoms of those living near wind turbines. From the patient’s perspective, this may be preferable to moving out of their homes or using medical treatments for vertigo, nausea, and/or sleep disturbance. The results of such treatment, whether positive, negative, would likely have considerable scientific influence on the wind turbine noise debate….

Another concern that must be dealt with is the development of wind turbine noise measurements that have clinical relevance. The use of A-weighting must be reassessed as it is based on insensitive, Inner Hair Cell (IHC)-mediated hearing and grossly misrepresents inner ear stimulation generated by the noise. In the scientific domain, A-weighting sound measurements would be unacceptable when many elements of the ear exhibit a higher sensitivity than hearing. The wind industry should be held to the same high standards. Full-spectrum monitoring, which has been adopted in some reports, is essential. . . .

Given the present evidence, it seems risky at best to continue the current gamble that infrasound stimulation of the ear stays confined to the ear and has no other effects on the body. For this to be true, all the mechanisms we have outlined (low frequency-induced amplitude modulation, low frequency sound-induced endolymph volume changes, infrasound stimulation of type II afferent nerves, infrasound exacerbation of noise-induced damage and direct infrasound stimulation of vestibular organs) would have to be insignificant. We know this is highly unlikely and we anticipate novel findings in the coming years that will influence the debate.

I suspect you are beginning to get a clear picture of the problem — and why I’m writing to you.

The typical symptoms of what is now known worldwide as Wind Turbine Syndrome are: sleep disturbance, headache, tinnitus (ringing or buzzing in the ears), ear pressure, dizziness (a general term that includes vertigo, light-headedness, sensation of almost fainting, etc.). nausea, visual blurring, tachycardia (rapid heart rate), irritability, problems with concentration and memory, and panic episodes associated with sensations of internal pulsation or quivering which arise when awake or asleep.

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Does everybody living near wind turbines experience Wind Turbine Syndrome? By no means! What I discovered is that people with (a) motion sensitivity, (b) migraine disorder, (c) the elderly (50 years and older), (d) inner ear damage, and (e) autistic children and adults — all these are at statistically significant high risk.

The solution is simple: industrial wind turbines must be set back, well away from people’s homes, schools, places of work, and anywhere else people regularly congregate. In my 2009 report, I recommended a minimum setback of 2 km in level terrain. Studies done around the world since then have persuaded me that 2 km is not sufficient, especially in hilly or mountainous terrain — as with Cesme. In Cesme’s case, setbacks should be more on the order of 5 km or greater.

Hence my alarm when notified by Ms. Kura that Cesme is considering 500 m (or less) setbacks. This is wholly inadequate. I guarantee that, unless the setbacks are increased  substantially, there will be numerous victims of Wind Turbine Syndrome.

Stephana Johnston2

There’s more.  Dr. Salt referred to Dr. Steven Rauch, above.  Dr. Rauch, a physician, is the Medical Director of Harvard Medical School’s renowned Clinical Balance and Vestibular Center, part of the Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary.  Dr. Rauch was recently interviewed by The New Republic:

Dr. Steven Rauch, an otologist at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and a professor at Harvard Medical School, believes WTS [Wind Turbine Syndrome] is real. Patients who have come to him to discuss WTS suffer from a “very consistent” collection of symptoms, he says. Rauch compares WTS to migraines, adding that people who suffer from migraines are among the most susceptible to turbines. There’s no existing test for either condition but “Nobody questions whether or not migraine is real.”

“The patients deserve the benefit of the doubt,” Rauch says. “It’s clear from the documents that come out of the industry that they’re trying very hard to suppress the notion of WTS and they’ve done it in a way that [involves] a lot of blaming the victim” (“Big Wind Is Better Than Big Oil, But Just as Bad at P.R.,” by Alex Halperin in The New Republic, June 16, 2014).

Dr. Rauch made a similar statement to ABC News last fall.

Rauch

I met with Dr. Rauch in Cambridge, Mass., several years ago.  He has read my “Wind Turbine Syndrome” book.  You’re welcome to contact him for his clinical opinion.  Notice, he actually treats WTS victims, and furthermore his specialty is neuro-otology — precisely the clinical specialty appropriate to WTS, since WTS is mainly a vestibular disorder.  (You might consider Dr. Rauch the “pope” of vestibular disease.)

turbine

Shifting gears, a group of mechanical engineers at the University of Minnesota recently mapped the airflow turbulence patterns of a 2.5 MW wind turbine.  Their technique was ingenious:  “A large searchlight with custom reflecting optics generated a two-dimensional light sheet next to the 130-m-tall wind turbine for illuminating the snow particles in a 36-m-wide by 36-m-high area.”  They literally mapped the vortices  being hurled off the turbine blades, using a  blizzard (!) as a kind of background screen.

Visit this website to see and savor the dramatic results.

Click open the video and notice the pulsed pressure waves from the blades — punching holes, as it were, in the swirling snow.  (You can also watch the video on YouTube.  That is, until the wind energy lobby manages to get it taken down.)

Think of volleys of acoustic artillery, much of it in the low frequency and infrasound range. Imagine the residents of Cesme being bombarded by this day and night.

turbine in ear

You are looking at the huge, pulsed, sound pressure waves responsible for Wind Turbine Syndrome.  (The Minnesota group published their article:  Jiarong Hong et al., “Natural Snowfall Reveals Large-Scale Flow Structures in the Wake of a 2.5-MW Wind Turbine,” Nature Communications, vol. 5, no. 4216 (June 2014).

Moller

Ms. Kura tells me the turbines destined for Cesme are 3 MW.  Several years ago, the noted Danish noise engineer, Professor Henrik Moller at Aalborg University, published a paper titled “Low-Frequency Noise from Large Wind Turbines,” Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, vol. 129, no. 6 (June 2011), pp. 3727-3744.  Moller and his colleague, Christian Sejer Pedersen, demonstrated that “the larger the turbine, the greater the ILFN (infrasound and low frequency noise) produced.”  The following is the abstract of their paper.  (Professor Moller was summarily fired this spring.  Click here for the story, which has the wind industry’s fingerprints all over it.)

As wind turbines get larger, worries have emerged that the turbine noise would move down in frequency and that the low-frequency noise would cause annoyance for the neighbors. The noise emission from 48 wind turbines with nominal electric power up to 3.6 MW is analyzed and discussed.

The relative amount of low-frequency noise is higher for large turbines (2.3–3.6 MW) than for small turbines (2 MW), and the difference is statistically significant. The difference can also be expressed as a downward shift of the spectrum of approximately one-third of an octave.

A further shift of similar size is suggested for future turbines in the 10 MW range.

Due to the air absorption, the higher low-frequency content becomes even more pronounced when sound pressure levels in relevant neighbor distances are considered.

Even when A-weighted levels are considered, a substantial part of the noise is at low frequencies and, for several of the investigated large turbines, the one-third octave band with the highest level is at or below 250 Hz.

It is thus beyond any doubt that the low-frequency part of the spectrum plays an important role in the noise at the neighbors.

Given all of the above, you can see why I am concerned for the residents of Cesme.

A final word. The clinical literature, including publications by the World Health Organization on health effects from infrasound exposure, typically use the word that Dr. Kelley used in his reports to the US Department of Energy — “annoyance.” It’s really not an appropriate word. It vastly understates the sickness caused by infrasound exposure. (A mosquito bite is an annoyance. Wind turbine infrasound, on the other hand, triggers a debilitating cascade of illnesses whose features I enumerated, above.)

annoyance v. WTS

In medicine, we clinicians are morally bound to exercise what’s called the “precautionary principle.” That is, if we don’t know for certain that a procedure is harmless, we are obliged to exercise extreme caution in performing the procedure, in this instance building industrial wind turbines — which are well-known to produce impulsive (i.e., amplitude-modulated) infrasound — near people’s homes. This is, after all, common sense.

For decades, the wind industry flatly denied their turbines produced infrasound. It took monumental efforts by people like me to debunk this fallacy. Wind industry advocates likewise argued that only downwind turbines created noise, that is, low-frequency noise. Dr. Kelley and his research team effectively debunked that falsehood, in the articles referred to above. Finally, the wind industry clung to the fiction that, “If you can’t hear it, it can’t hurt you.” Professor Salt deflated that one.

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It’s time to recognize that the global wind industry has hidden behind a series of (what turned out to be) falsehoods. Their untruths have been exposed and corrected in the published clinical and scientific literature, as shown above.

There is no excuse for building wind turbines in proximity to people’s homes.

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Got Wind Turbine Syndrome? This Harvard Medical School Professor believes you!

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Editor’s note:  You’ve heard of the Harvard Medical School, correct? And I’ll bet you’re aware it’s one of the finest medical schools in the world, right?   Harvard Medical School has a number of world-class institutes and centers.  One being the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary (MEEI).

Put it this way. Let’s say you are a Saudi Arabian prince, or a head of state (president, prime minister) of a foreign country. Or Bill Gates or Warren Buffet. You’re someone in this stratum of society, in other words, and your doctor says you have an inner ear disorder, something affecting your utricle or saccule or semicircular canals, or your cochlea.  Because you don’t want to mess around with medical mediocrity, you have your physician make an appointment for you at Massachusetts Eye & Ear.

You fly to Boston and meet with a specialist at MEEI.  The specialist is likely to be a physician doing a fellowship in neuro-otology.  (He’s called a “Fellow in Neuro-otology.”)  Or perhaps it’s one of the senior, attending physicians — that is, one of the full-time faculty.

The doc does a bunch of tests, but he’s still mystified about what’s going on. He needs to consult with some colleagues.  If he’s really stumped (or “she,” if the doc’s a woman), he asks the director of the Clinical Balance & Vestibular Center for a consult. (Think of going to the Vatican and being seen by one of the archbishops or cardinals about a spiritual problem. If the cardinal can’t help you — and if you’re really lucky — the cardinal may ask the pope for a consultation.)

When the Medical Director of Mass. Eye & Ear’s Clinical Balance & Vestibular Center comes on board, you can safely assume you are seeing the ultimate authority on balance and vestibular disorders — in the world. The pope.  Or at least, you’re seeing one of the half-dozen best qualified and knowledgeable and trained and recognized specialists in the world.

Follow me so far?

When Dr. Stephen Rauch says the following, it’s worth paying attention to.   (Incidentally, Dr. Rauch has read Dr. Pierpont’s  book, “Wind Turbine Syndrome.” Dr. Rauch met with Dr. Pierpont in Cambridge, Mass., several years ago.)

Dr. Steven Rauch, an otologist at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and a professor at Harvard Medical School, believes WTS is real. Patients who have come to him to discuss WTS suffer from a “very consistent” collection of symptoms, he says. Rauch compares WTS to migraines, adding that people who suffer from migraines are among the most susceptible to turbines. There’s no existing test for either condition but “Nobody questions whether or not migraine is real.”

“The patients deserve the benefit of the doubt,” Rauch says. “It’s clear from the documents that come out of the industry that they’re trying very hard to suppress the notion of WTS and they’ve done it in a way that [involves] a lot of blaming the victim.”

When the Medical Director of Harvard’s Clinical Balance & Vestibular Center says the above, and says this, the question becomes: “Why are we still discussing the veracity of Wind Turbine Syndrome in these pages, and in the media, and with wind developers, and with wind turbine manufacturers, and with politicians — with anyone, for that matter?”

Why are we even considering ludicrous theories like the “nocebo effect” advanced by Australian sociologist Simon Chapman, whose scholarly speciality is “tobacco industry advertising”?  (I’m serious.)  Why are we listening to British physicist Geoff Leventhall (whose physics Dr. Pierpont has had to correct on at least one occasion), who for years has been a paid consultant to wind energy companies and has absolutely no clinical credentials, who for years maintained that wind turbines produce negligible infrasound, and for years argued that “if you can’t hear something audibly, it can’t affect you negatively” — why are we still paying attention to this irrelevant man?

Who gives a goddam whether Geoff Leventhall or Simon Chapman think Wind Turbine Syndrome is real or not?  (Am I missing something in this discussion?)

In addition to Dr. Rauch, there is Dr. Alec Salt, worldclass neuro-physiologist at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri, where he is head of the Cochlear Fluids Research Laboratory.  Dr. Salt specializes in inner ear disorders. He’s been doing this for decades, publishing in major clinical journals.  Dr. Salt is the one who demolished Leventhall’s silly thesis that “if you can’t hear it, it can’t hurt you.” (Leventhall was not the originator of that stupid idea; he’s just parroted it for decades and, like a wind-up toy, refuses to stop.)

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Between Harvard’s Dr. Rauch and  Washington University’s Dr. Salt, and Dr. Pierpont’s meticulous, peer-reviewed research (M.D. from the Johns Hopkins Univ. School of Medicine, Ph.D. from Princeton in Population Biology), there really need be no further discussion about the legitimacy of WTS.  Yes, the neuropathology of WTS needs further elucidation, but there is absolutely no question whether the illness is real. Anyone who denies it is simply playing games — and the moon (don’t you know?) is made of Swiss cheese and the Easter Bunny, folks, is honest-to-god real.

Read on. The author of the following article, Alex Halperin, requested an interview with Dr. Pierpont before writing the article. She declined. (At this point, she prefers that specialists like Dr. Rauch speak to the issue.)

Rauch

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“Big Wind Is Better Than Big Oil, But Just as Bad at P.R.” 

— Alex Halperin, The New Republic (6/15/14)

Nancy Shea didn’t learn about the wind farm until after she moved to northwest Massachusetts to enjoy a quiet country life. The news didn’t bother her. Shea, who describes herself as “green” and “crunchy,” favors clean and renewable energy. But just days after the 19-turbine project went online Shea sensed something wrong. She “felt kind of queasy,” one day in the kitchen. Later she woke up feeling like she had bed spins.

Shea’s husband did some research and learned about wind turbine syndrome (WTS), a condition said to be caused by “infrasound,” an inaudible low-frequency sound produced by the turbines. Sufferers complain about symptoms like insomnia, vertigo, headaches and disorientation. “It’s a hard to describe sensation, you just want to crawl out of your skin,” Shea says.

A few nights later, the couple could hear the turbines spinningthe closest is 2,200 feet away. It sounded, Shea says, like a jet repeatedly flying over their cabin. Neither of them could sleep and they drove through a snowstorm to another property they have several miles away. Shea felt better immediately. Similar symptoms have been reported worldwide by people who live near wind turbines. But America’s wind industry says their condition is psychological.

There’s a great deal to like about wind power. It’s a domestic, renewable power source that doesn’t produce greenhouse gasses. It doesn’t require digging anything out of the ground and, unlike nuclear energy, doesn’t create any risk of catastrophic accidents. According to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), more than 70 percent of the public view wind energy favorably. Following President Obama’s recent push to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, there’s every reason to believe that these giant pinwheels will become more familiar sights on the American landscape. (The towers alone are hundreds of feet high.)

Clean energy, however, is not the same thing as flawless energy. Producing power on a large scale involves processes and infrastructure which disrupt ecosystems and have other unintended consequences. Dams, for example, remain the most important source of renewable power in this country and environmentalists hate them.

Wind farms have raised objections for ruining views and being noisy. But the fight over WTS presents a more difficult challenge for the industry. And while wind power advocates like to think of it as a forward looking and pragmatic fix for America’s energy needs, when it comes to managing this mysterious phenomenon, they’re foolishly borrowing from the bad old energy playbook.

Earlier this year, two physiologists at Washington University in St. Louis published a paper in the journal Acoustics Today detailing several mechanisms by which infrasound from wind turbines could have detrimental effects. One, for example, is “excitation” of nerve fibers in the inner ear that are related to tinnitus and “aural fullness.” The article concludes that more study of infrasound is needed and pointedly states:

If, in time, the symptoms of those living near the turbines 
are demonstrated to have a physiological basis, it will become apparent that the years of assertions from the wind industry’s acousticians that “what you can’t hear can’t affect you”… was a great injustice.

Last year the same journal published an article by an England-based acoustician named Geoff Leventhall who argues that wind turbines don’t produce infrasound at sufficient levels to cause health problems. When I called Leventhall, whose clients have included wind power developers, he said he doesn’t believe WTS exists. Leventhall doesn’t dispute that infrasound can distress people. His disagreement with the Washington University scientists, grossly simplified, is in how the infrasound produced by wind turbines should be measured.

In written responses to questions, AWEA says that waves on the seashore, a child’s swing, a car and even a human heartbeat expose people to higher levels of infrasound than wind turbines do. AWEA relied heavily on Leventhall’s work and calls him “the most cited and referenced acoustician regarding wind energy in the world.” The organization cited two studies, one from Australia, one from New Zealand, which suggest that WTS results from a “nocebo” effect, essentially that if people are told wind turbines make them sick, they will feel sick around wind turbines. Leventhall endorses this view.

In an email, one AWEA manager wrote that “Independent, credible studies from around the world have consistently found that sound from wind farms has no direct impact on human physical health.” AWEA also cites a 2012 report prepared for two Massachusetts state agencies by an independent panel which found no evidence of the existence of WTS. (Activists who oppose situating turbines near homes have numerous objections to the report.)

Anyone who has ever played the NIMBY game knows the power of a scientific imprimatur. But the two sides are wielding their science to achieve asymmetrical goals. In the Washington University paper, Alec Salt and Jeffrey Lichtenhan write:

Whether it is a chemical industry blamed for contaminating groundwater with cancer-causing dioxin, the tobacco industry accused of contributing to lung cancer, or athletes of the National Football League (NFL) putatively being susceptible to brain damage, it can be extremely difficult to establish the truth when some have an agenda to protect the status quo.

In these cases, industry’s primary goal isn’t to be right on the merits, though that would be nice, but to continue operating. As long as it’s planting turbines, the wind industry is winning. But as long as it’s simply dismissing WTS, the industry is putting itself at risk of losing its sympathetic, clean image.

Dr. Steven Rauch, an otologist at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and a professor at Harvard Medical School, believes WTS is real. Patients who have come to him to discuss WTS suffer from a “very consistent” collection of symptoms, he says. Rauch compares WTS to migraines, adding that people who suffer from migraines are among the most susceptible to turbines. There’s no existing test for either condition but “Nobody questions whether or not migraine is real.”

“The patients deserve the benefit of the doubt,” Rauch says. “It’s clear from the documents that come out of the industry that they’re trying very hard to suppress the notion of WTS and they’ve done it in a way that [involves] a lot of blaming the victim.”

In fact, the inconstant nature of symptoms can compound WTS. Even when someone doesn’t feel the effects, they’re always conscious of wind speed and direction as they try to sense when their symptoms might return. (Turbines produce infrasound independently of audible noise.)

Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick aims to increase the state’s wind energy capacity to 2000 megawatts by 2020, a total equal to roughly 15 percent of the state’s current electricity production. In a densely populated state that means more people are inevitably going to feel affected by WTS, even if it doesn’t exist.

As wind power has become more prominent, so have complaints. Scores of residents of Herkimer County, N.Y. are suing the Spanish wind power company Iberdrola over a wind farm. A judge has ordered that two wind turbines in Falmouth, Mass. can only be operated 12 hours a day and not on Sundays.

The wind industry might take a lesson from Nancy Shea: People are generally reasonable, maybe more reasonable than they should be. Shea refuses to spend any more nights in the house she and her husband bought. She calls it a “dead asset.” Nonetheless, she still considers herself pro-wind.

In the annals of corporate public relations debacles, WTS is a relatively minor one, at least for now. It would be self-defeating if the industry squanders this promising moment by failing to candidly address WTS concerns. Not doing so invites further attacks from Fox News and National Review and other conservative groups looking for an excuse to bash clean energy.

The best advice might come from the Salt and Lichtenhan article. Big Wind, it argues, should “acknowledge the problem and work to eliminate it.”

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“Why didn’t they tell us about health problems before we signed leases?” (Michigan)

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tell me

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“Why on earth would they want to?” — Editor

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—  Dianne M. Ziegler, Cadillacnews.com, Michigan (6/19/14)

I signed a wind turbine lease in 2008. If I had known then what I know now, I wouldn’t have signed.

Since the turbines went up I have had frequent headaches lasting three days. I never had these before. My mother has ringing in her ears and headaches. I have spoken to others in the community who have been affected by the turbines. One has dizzy spells. Another does not feel healthy until she leaves McBain. They are now planning on moving, but have been told by realtors that they will have trouble selling their home because of the turbines.

Because it takes so long for the entire wind farm to become operational, the signs of how the turbines worsen health and quality of life take a long time to be noticed. One person I talked with thought her dizziness was “just getting older,” but this person is young.

Why hasn’t anyone spoken out before? People are afraid of being shunned. They don’t want anyone to know they are having problems.

Is money more important than health? Is this what we gave away for $10,000 a turbine and monthly payments, with leases that will never end? We gave up our beautiful community, we are giving up our health, our electric bills have risen, and there doesn’t seem to be anyway out except leaving.

The wind companies have talked to people in McBain and I believe they know there are problems with noise and with health. Why don’t they take action? Why didn’t they tell us about the health problems before we signed leases?

I now believe that the only safe place for turbines is at least a mile and a half from anyone’s home.

 

Senator accuses Public Health professor of ridiculing Wind Turbine Syndrome victims (Australia)

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Editor’s note:  Simon Chapman.  Simon is a Professor of Public Health at the University of Sydney, Australia’s flagship university. Simon is quoted in media all over the world, dismissing Wind Turbine Syndrome as baloney.  (He goes a step further.  He ridicules WTS victims.)

It’s important to understand that Simon has zero clinical credentials.  (It’s difficult to define what his PhD is in.  As best I can tell, it seems to be in sociology with some health-related whistles and bells. Simon came to fame by investigating the tobacco industry for deceptive advertising.)

Hence, when Simon trashes WTS, he does so not as a scientist or clinician.

Let me put it this way.  I, too, was a university professor.  My PhD degree is in history with a minor in anthropology.  My BA degree is in biology and I was briefly enrolled in a PhD program in molecular biology and, after that, in immunology.

Nevertheless, I don’t call myself a biologist.  Simon Chapman’s pronouncements on Wind Turbine Syndrome are no more credible than mine.

Surprised?  My credentials lie in the humanities, period.  Simon’s are in the social sciences, period, even if his academic appointment is in a school of public health.  Neither of us is in a position to speak with anywhere near the authority of a clinician like Dr. Nina Pierpont, or a scientist like Dr. Alec Salt, each of whom has the requisite scholarly credentials and at least one of whom has done clinical interviews of victims (Dr. Pierpont). Neither Simon nor I has done anything remotely resembling Dr. Salt’s laboratory research on inner ear neuropathology triggered by infrasound.  (Dr. Salt is considered a world leader in neurophysiology.)  Nor has either one of us done anything remotely like Dr. Pierpont’s research into the health effects reported globally by people living in proximity to wind turbines.

Forgive me for laboring the issue, yet it’s time that Simon’s credentials be clarified.

The obvious conclusion is that when Simon Chapman dismisses WTS as moonshine, it should be instantly apparent that the man doesn’t know what the fuck he’s talking about. The question becomes, “Does Simon realize he’s making a fool of himself?”

On the other hand, maybe I’m wrong.  Maybe he’s not making a fool of himself.  Maybe Simon Chapman is really saying, “I’m neither a scientist nor a clinician. I’m a social scientist with some health-related whistles and bells.  That said, in my opinion as a scholar I think the evidence for WTS is weak.”

There would be nothing foolish in his saying this.  In this case, Simon Chapman is not a fool; the people who take him seriously and credit his opinion are fools.  It’s sort of like people believing Barack “Barry” Obama if Barry toured the country announcing WTS is horseshit.  Barry’s a lawyer. He’s a prominent man — he was even a professor of constitutional law at the University of Chicago — but his statements on WTS would fall within what’s called “personal opinion.”

Same goes for Simon Chapman.

In any case, Simon has gotten under the skin of Senator John Madigan in the Australian Federal Senate. Evidently Madigan appeared on a radio “talk” show recently and expressed doubt about Simon’s academic credentials to speak authoritatively on WTS. He questioned, as well, Simon’s  financial relationship with wind energy companies.

Simon responded with a threat of lawsuit for libel.  Sen. Madigan’s response is printed, below.

Personally, I think the senator should be dancing in the streets.  I think he should welcome the opportunity to deconstruct Simon before a court of law.  (Incidentally, I know nothing about Simon Chapman’s connections with wind energy companies.) What I know is what I said above: the man speaks with no more authority on the subject than you or I.

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Senator John Madigan

I rise to speak tonight on the privilege of this parliament to operate without fear or favour. Members and senators have the right to undertake their duties freely to represent their constituents—it is the reason we are here. Any attempt to gag a senator or member of parliament, any attempt to exert influence by means of threat or intimidation is a breach of parliamentary privilege. This could incur the most serious penalties. Tonight I will speak of such an attempt by a high-profile Australian academic. This academic has a track record of making fun of people in regional and rural communities who are sick. He trades in scuttlebutt. He makes consistent attacks on anyone who makes a complaint against his network of corporate buddies. This academic has become the poster boy for an industry which has a reputation for dishonesty and for bullying.

Click here to read more.

Wind Turbine Syndrome visits Slovenia, as campaigners fight on

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Editor’s note
: We were contacted this spring by a group in Slovenia that is desperately trying to prevent the installation of scores of industrial wind turbines. They asked for our help. There is already one very large turbine up and running in the community, with dozens more on the way — unless these people manage to stop them.

Dr. Pierpont wrote them a letter, at their request, explaining the clinical evidence and science of Wind Turbine Syndrome. We published that letter, here.

The group in Slovenia responded with the following (extravagant) note of appreciation, along with a narrative of their travail, so far, with wind energy. (It’s interesting to see how the script followed by Big Wind never varies. Regardless of the country, it’s always the same bullying and deceit.)

Something else that likewise never varies are the symptoms of Wind Turbine Syndrome, as revealed in the heartbreaking piece by one of the Slovene campaigners, Barbara Marinsek, who unfortunately lives near the single turbine that’s been erected.

Keep in mind as you read this that English is not the primary language for these people.

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“Greetings from Slovenia to America, with deepest gratitude and respect to Calvin Luther Martin and his wife, Dr. Nina Pierpont, for their unselfish, generous and efficient support in our fight against wind factories.”

Civilna iniciativa za zaščito Senožeških Brd (Trans. as the “Civil Initiative for the Protection of Senožeška Brda”  (Senozeska Brda)

There is only one wind-turbine in our region – fortunately in our whole country SLOVENIA, but those living nearby report many health issues: WIND-TURBINE-SYNDROME. Moreover our government with the money and support from Brussels has recently been planning to build two wind-factories with 40 or even more 130 metre-high wind turbines. We are fighting against wind farms in our region and are grateful that Nina and Calvin are helping us in this difficult fight.

Dearest Nina and Calvin,

We are writing on behalf of our Initiative for the Protection of Senozeska Brda, SLOVENIA. We do not think there are words in any world language that could express our deepest gratitude and respect towards you both. In the time of despair and need when everything seemed to be lost, you offered us your generous support by even not knowing us AND IMMEDIATELY.

Thank you, Calvin, for your intervention to EPAW — without you we would not have succeeded.

Nina, thank you for having given us your scientific opinion on health issues and making an exhaustive report on the issues we are facing right now. They are of much help to us.  Much more than you think.  We hope that one day we can return your favour. We knocked on your door, and you opened it generously and widely.  We hope you will continue to be a voice against wind farms for good in our region and elsewhere around the world, where honest citizens fight their fights against wind farms.

God bless you for the wonderful work you have been doing for so long. Thank you so much from the bottom of our hearts.

With deepest respect and gratitude,

Diego Loredan (Chairman)
Barbara Marinsek (Member and Victim)
Katarina Dea Zetko (Supporter)

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Firstly, LET US SHOW YOU OUR ANTI-WIND GROUP IN ACTION

NO WIND TURBINES: Our fight is tough, but we are determined to keep fighting to the end because we are right

#2

And now a few words about how our fairytale turns into the nightmare of wind-turbines (another symptom).

It happens all of a sudden. At least this is what we want or wanted to believe.There is a lady from the capital city of Slovenia, Ljubljana, who decides to buy a home in a genuine, unspoilt countryside. So she buys a house in our beatiful region to enjoy the peace of nature and breathe fresh air, to hear birds singing, to make long walks into wilderness of our forest, to enjoy herself far from the madding crowd.

Soon the fairytale is over and a nightmare begins, although nobody was aware at that time that wind- turbines are so annoying and cause so many ill-health effects. The investor keeps repeating that wind farms are environmental-friendly, and what is more, the Slovenian representative of Greenpeace agrees with the investor.   “And there are so many happy people in Germany where so far there has not been a single complaint from the German folks in 20 years or even more,” the Slovenian Greenpeace says. Germany, a promised land for us Europeans.

 So, why not? There is a plan to set up one wind-turbine only 800 metres away from this lady and some other residents. She, as a successful woman, says to herself, “Why not?  It’S green energy and I must support this.”  They even seem to be so romantic and beautiful, we all think. This is the way of thinking of other neighbors, too, until this turbine Went up  — and  the nightmare begins. Headaches, sleep disturbance, vertigo, dizziness, depression, tiredness. These people have now become the loudest voice against wind-turbines, and yet almost nobody believes them.

And now, after the  “romantic” turbine has been set up, the message on the house of our member, Ms. Barbara Marinsek, living next to the turbine pleads: PLEASE, NO WIND TURBINES (see wind-turbine in the background):

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Take a look at our Karst countryside of the village DOLENJA VAS without turbines, when life was so wonderful, magical:

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. . . and with the planned wind turbines, if we do not win our fight (more than 40 gigantic wind turbines are planned in this region).

#5

But gradually more and more people become aware that this is probably not the best solution, and form a group against wind farms  Unfortunately, there are at least three influential, greedy people in our region, supposedly having been offered a bribe. However, after the government realizes that there are so many people against wind farms, it cancels its plan immediately. We are relieved and our hearts are filled with happiness and we soon forget about everything.

But not for long. Out of the blue, these avaricious people make an action and try to convince people in the community how much money they will get and what a bright future our tourism will have with these “magical” wind turbines. They go from house to house, from person to person, bringing gifts and speaking sweet, promising words, their words of wisdom; they are so generous with their  “genuine” wish to help us and to make our countryside even more appealing. Foreign tourists from all over the world will be coming to enjoy the wonderful veduta (view) of our wind-parks.

Some people immediately fall victim to their promises. However, they do not know that their promises are made in hell.

Faustus sold his soul to the devil, Mephistopheles, in exchange for earthly power and money.

Together they establish a Civile Initiative for wind farms, and collect signatures from some naive people, write a petition for wind turbines and take it directly to the Ministry for Infrastructure and the Environment. The government now establishes a new plan as a high priority, even more ambitious than ever for wind turbines in our region. The government is now determined to set up 40 wind turbines or even more in our region, only from 400 to 800 metres away from us.

The rainbow in Dolenja vas a wonderful veduta (view) from the home of our member and  turbine victim, Ms. Barbara Marinsek

#6

There is a non-binding consultative referendum in our region, where the majority of our people say NO to wind turbines. Happiness and a rainbow come again into our lives of frightened hearts. The mayor of our Municipality says that he will respect the democratically-expressed will of his community. However, not for long, as it turns out.

The nearby village Laze (where our Chairman Diego Loredan lives) in wintertime, with no wind turbines -HOW LONG?:

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And a wonderful VEDUTA (view) from his house. HOW LONG??? HOW LONG???:

#8

The panoramic view of the village of Laže without wind- turbines, so far.  HOPEFULLY FOR GOOD, NO, NO, UNDOUBTEDLY FOR GOOD:

#9

You can see some white clouds in the skies of Laze. But these clouds get darker and darker, blacker and blacker. The thunderstorm approaches. The lightning gets louder and louder, but not the lightning from heaven.  No, it is much worse. It is the lightning coming from wind farms; it is the lightning of our hopelessness.  This time the government and the investor insist on their plan of two wind farms in our region, and they won’t give up. The mayor of our municipality is told that he and his community will do not count in any way. The government ministry is above all. The ministry is — God.

NOT A CHANCE!!!

And finally, this is the way our region will look like if we do not win:

#10

So, here we go again on our own, down the road we have never known. But, we are fighters and we shall never surrender. We do the best we can.

And Lord has sent us the generous support of Nina and Calvin. They have shown us that the saying, “a friend in need is a friend indeed,” is really true. They have given us both moral and actual support, and so we will keep fighting to the end.

#12

Barbara Marinsek

Let us finish the story about our nightmare, with the testimony of one of the victims of Wind Turbine Syndrome, who lives only 800 metres away from the gigantic wind turbine:  Ms. Barbara Marinsek.

I am so grateful for having the honour to expess my experience as a person and victim living next door, unfortunately, not to Alice but to our first “magical” wind turbine in our wonderful Slovenia. I’m delighted that you are ready to hear my voice on the effects of this turbine, which has become a permanent companion in the life of my family and has changed our lives forever. To be as clear as possible, we have to turn back the clock 10 years.

The then local “magnates” who were, at the same time, members of our agrarian community, which also owns a part of one commons (field), where this turbine has been set up, came up with the idea about the wind turbine.  Do not ask me how and why, because I don´t know. The turbine was presented to us in the best possible way with its possible good effects.  There were, of course, no negative effects whatsoever.

Above all, they focused on the money the people will get, especially those who own some land in our agrarian community.  (By the way, these earnings were fom 18 to 50 Euros.)  They used their best efforts to the extent that we were invited to Austria to see Mr. Klaus, who is the developer of the first wind turbine.

What we saw was a much smaller wind turbine and, really, at that time, we were not against it for the wind turbine in Austria was neither noisy nor disturbing — maybe only during our visit. I suppose that it must have been arranged in that way deliberately for us during our visit.  [Almost surely it was not generating power at the time, but “freewheeling.”   Freewheeling means it was spinning by drawing power from the grid, and the blades were turned so they were not catching the wind, with minimal turbulence with the tower — Editor.]  Nevertheless, in the end we got a much bigger one than that shown to us in Austria.

Well, as soon as the setting up of this turbine has begun, there were some problems with the bureaucracy, for the planned turbine was supposed to be much smaller, supported by 4 iron columns in a form of long-distance transmission, but they started to build a gigantic concrete pillar. With sadness in my heart, I was forced to watch from my balcony and from my yard (at that time I was the only one who was against it because I would have preferred watching animals and cows eating grass to the iron that spins and spins, rotates and rotates) how they were destoying our countryside and nature and, what is more, how there were too many, too big and too wide trucks driving across our land.

And then the time came when it started operating. Our first reaction was, of course, to the noise it was producing, which made us feel as if we were at the airport listening to the planes taking off: wuf, wuf, wuf.  I must emphasize that wind conditions are not always as favourable as they claim. Our strong northeast wind (called BURJA –  Huge Squall Level Wind) can blow at the speed of 120 kilometres per hour with huge squalls. And the winters here are tough and cold.

When the operating conditions are favourable, we can say goodbye to our peace, sleep and normal way of life, for the turbine noise can last as long as 3 days or more — night and day, 24 hours a day – NON-STOP.

Can you imagine how we feel? After sleepless nights, doing our hard work feeling so tired, without ability to concentrate and think. And this applies to our children as well: they can’t concentrate at school, for they are tired, exhausted and have no will to learn.

If we manage to fall asleep, we are likely to be awakened by the terrible noise in the midlle of the night, and we can say goodbye to our sleep, because this constant, permanent noise makes you feel completely nervous — a feeling of going nuts.

Our youngest daughter, 18, has always been healthy, completely without any medical issues. However, her medical problems started 8 months ago. She complains constantly of terrible headaches.  She went to see a doctor, and an eye doctor as well, who found nothing. There are other appointments with different specialists (CT- scans of her head, etc.) to find out what’s wrong.

I ask myself WHY? WHY at this age?  And at the very time when the turbine began operating?  My husband, as well, has been complaining of terrible headaches since then. And I have been feeling nervous, irritated, depressed, tired, exhausted, without any energy for living.

The neighbours of this so-called magical turbine have made several complaints to the people who are in charge of this matter. They have actually responded, but unfortunately they HAVEN’T DONE ANYTHING, although now at least they seem to believe that there is a real, not imaginary noise in our neighbourhood. Mr. Klaus from Austria has seen us several times, however he keeps stating that he can’t be of any help. And we suggested that the wind turbine be shut down at night, his response was that it’s impossible.

After all, the worst part of this nightmare is the fact that we, as nonprofessionals in this field (laymen), were forced to organize ourselves in a group and to learn all about the wind turbines. Nobody knew anything about the low frequency noise and infrasound, which is not heard, yet THEY DO have SIGNIFICANT NEGATIVE IMPACTS ON PEOPLE’S HEALTH.

We are lucky to have started as a small group which fights against the wind factories, and with our endless pleas and information via all possible media we have gained the support of numerous people — people who are ready to listen to us and, thank God, have said NO to WIND TURBINES in a referendum.

We are fully aware that it is all about MONEY and NOTHING ELSE in our project, therefore WE SHALL NEVER SURRENDER AND WILL KEEP FIGHTING FOR OUR RIGHTS, HEATH, WELL-BEING AND PEACE OF MIND TILL THE END.

We appreciate any kind of support and express deep respect for your having listened to us. Thanks to all of you.

With best wishes from Slovenia,

Barbara Marinsek and family

 

“Help Us Stop This Madness!” Danes Plead for Help from Wind Turbine Syndrome

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“Wind Turbines Causing Mothers to Eat Their Own Babies, Says Mink Farmer”

The owner of a Danish mink farm at the centre of a controversy over nearby wind turbines has reported more casualties among his animals.

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— Nick Hallett, Breitbart.com (6/13/14)

Breitbart London reported on Tuesday that the turbines have been linked to a series of miscarriages and deformities among the mink, as well as increasingly aggressive behaviour, but the farmer now says that things have got worse, with healthy pups having to be put down.

The farmer reports having to separate the mothers from their young after they became aggressive and started attacking them. This happened at the same time that the wind changed to the south, bringing the noise from the turbines directly over the farm.

He says: “The wind turned south yesterday, and the noise from the turbines came just over the farm, the females began to bite their puppies, just as I had expected.”

Below is a video of the injuries suffered by one of the mink pups:

The farmer reports that 21 mink puppies have now had to be put down because of their wounds. Another 40 are under observation, but many are so young that they cannot survive without their mothers.

Tthe farm has already suffered thanks to the wind turbines installed 350 yards away. The turbines have been linked to a massive 1,600 miscarriages on the farm, with many mink born with serious deformities.

The farmer has also lost millions of Danish kroner due to damaged pelts after the animals became aggressive and started attacking one another.

This latest incident adds to the mounting evidence that the noise and vibrations from wind turbines can adversely affect humans and wildlife.

Kay Armstrong, who lives near a wind farm in Ontario, Canada, has reported that her home is now “virtually uninhabitable” due to the infrasound from the turbines disturbing her sleep and making her feel dizzy. She also says that local deer are agitated and awake all night, that birds are flying around all day rather than going to roost, and that seals in the area are suffering miscarriages.

In another instance in Canada, an emu farm had to close after its animals started becoming aggressive and losing weight when wind turbines were installed nearby. Something similar happened in Taiwan in 2009, when about 400 goats died from exhaustion due to being unable to sleep thanks to noise from a nearby wind farm.

An academic study from Portugal also blamed wind turbines for deformities in foals born nearby, while an Australian vet said working dogs living near a wind farm were exhibiting unusual behaviour, often refusing to work or even get out of their kennels.

Despite the numerous incidents, no authority has yet taken the issue of “wind turbine syndrome” seriously.

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Editor’s note: we got the following email from a lady in Denmark, elaborating on this horror. (Bear in mind, as you read, that English is not her first language.)

Dear friends,

I am so sad and upset about this.  Watch this very awful video and tell the whole world what is happening here in Vestas’ own country. Kaj wrote to me this afternoon. I had just contacted him to ask him about his neighbor, who has lost all his wild animals in his forest. They just disappeared. He promised me to ask him in a couple of days, when he will meet him.

But after this short answer, he told me what is going on on his farm and sent me this awful video. I am so sad, in spite of the fact that he has these animals to turn them to mink coats. I suppose they are not really conscious at that moment.

His mail in English: “We are going to take the females/mothers away from the puppies.  The wind turned into south yesterday, and [when] the noise from the turbines came over the farm, the females began to bite their puppies, just as I had expected. This is how it looks now [i.e., see the video].”

I called him at once and he told me: Yesterday at 3 o’ clock in the afternoon the wind changed into south. They had to put 21 puppies down today because of their wounds. There are 40 which are under observation. Lots of the puppies are so young that they can’t survive without their mothers, but with their mothers they will soon be dead from the bites.

Help him and us and the rest of the world to stop this madness!

Best wishes to you!

Greta

Nina Pierpont to Slovenia: “Beware of Wind Turbine Syndrome!”

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To:  Diego Loredan, Chairman, Civil Initiative for the Protection of Senožeška Brda
From:  Nina Pierpont, MD, PhD
Regarding:  Wind Turbine Syndrome
Date:  June 8, 2014

Click here for PDF

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I write to you at the request of Katarina Dea Zetko, who tells me the community of Senožeče is about to be surrounded by scores of industrial wind turbines. Evidently, 40 to 80 of them, as close as 800 m to people’s homes.

In 2009 I published what was then the definitive study of health effects caused by wind turbine  infrasound on people living within 2 km of industrial turbines. The book, titled “Wind Turbine Syndrome: A Report on a Natural Experiment” (K-Selected Books), included 60 pages of raw data in the form of case histories (using case cross-over studies), demonstrating that living in proximity to wind turbines dys-regulates the inner ear vestibular organs controlling balance, position and spatial awareness. Effectively, sufferers experience the symptoms of seasickness, along with several related pathologies.

It turns out all this has been well known since the 1980s, when the US Department of Energy commissioned a report on wind turbine health effects — the report subsequently published by  physicist Dr. N D Kelley and his colleagues at the Solar Research Institute in Golden, Colorado, under the title, “A Methodology for Assessment of Wind Turbine Noise Generation,”  Transactions of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, v. 104  (May 1982), pp. 112-120.

In this paper we have presented evidence to support the hypothesis that one of the major causal agents responsible for the annoyance of nearby residents by wind turbine noise is the excitation of highly resonant structural and air volume modes by the coherent, low-frequency sound radiated by large wind turbines. Further, there is evidence that the strong resonances found in the acoustic pressure field within rooms [in people’s homes] . . . indicates a coupling of sub-audible energy to human body resonances at 5, 12, and 17-25 Hz, resulting in a sensation of whole-body vibration” (p. 120).

I discovered the same thing in my research. What Kelly et al. refer to as a “sensation of whole-body vibration,” I refer to as Visceral Vibratory Vestibular Disturbance (VVVD):  “The internal quivering, vibration, or pulsation and the associated complex of agitation, anxiety, alarm, irritability, tachycardia, nausea, and sleep disturbance together make up what I refer to as Visceral Vibratory Vestibular Disturbance (VVVD)” (“Wind Turbine Syndrome,” p. 59).

Five years later, Dr. Kelley read a follow-up paper at the Windpower ’87 Conference & Exposition in San Francisco, titled “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 the name had not been coined in1987.  (I coined it decades later.)   Kelley’s research had been once again funded by the US Department of Energy, Contract No. DE-AC02-83CH10093.

We electronically simulated three interior environments resulting from low-frequency acoustical loads  radiated from both individual turbines and groups of upwind and downwind turbines.…

Experience with wind turbines has shown that it is possible . . . for low-frequency acoustic noise radiated from the turbine rotor to interact with residential structures of nearby communities and annoy the occupants.…

The modern wind turbine radiates its peak sound power (energy) in the very low frequency range, typically between 1 and 10 Hz [i.e., infrasound]….

Our experience with the low-frequency noise emissions from a single, 2 MW MOD-1  wind turbine demonstrated that . . . it was possible to cause annoyance within homes in the surrounding community with relatively low levels of LF-range [low frequency range]  acoustic noise. An extensive investigation of the MOD-1 situation revealed that this annoyance was the result of a coupling of the turbine’s impulsive low-frequency acoustic energy into the structures of some of the surrounding homes. This often created an annoyance environment that was frequently confined to within the home itself  (p. 1, emphasis in original).

I am attaching a copy of Kelley’s 1987 paper.

Besides my research, which pretty much duplicates Kelley’s, there is the work of Dr. Alec Salt, Professor of Otolaryngology in the School of Medicine at Washington University (St. Louis, Missouri), where he is director of the Cochlear Fluids Research Laboratory.  Professor Salt is a highly respected neuro-physiologist, specializing in inner ear disorders and in particular the mysteries of the cochlea.

Prof. Salt’s research dovetails with mine and with Dr. Kelley’s.  For many years, acousticians and noise engineers have vigorously maintained that “if you can’t hear it, it can’t hurt you.” In other words, in the case of wind turbines, “If you can’t hear the low-frequency noise in the infrasound range, it can’t hurt you.” (Infrasound, by definition, is noise below the hearing threshold, typically pegged at 20 Hz and lower. People feel infrasound in various parts of the body, though typically they cannot hear it.) In any case, Professor Salt and his colleagues have demonstrated conclusively, definitively, that infrasound does in fact disturb the very fine hair cells of the cochlea.

With this discovery, one of the main arguments advanced by the wind energy industry  — namely, that wind turbine infrasound was too low to be harmful to people, since they could not hear it – was completely shattered. Prof. Salt has proven that, “If you can’t hear it, it can still  harm you.”

This past winter, Professor Salt and his colleague, Professor Lichtenhan, published “How Does Wind Turbine Noise Affect People?Acoustics Today, v. 10 (Winter 2014), pp. 20-28.  The following is a lengthy excerpt:

The essence of the current debate is that on one hand you have the well-funded wind industry (1) advocating that infrasound be ignored because the measured levels are below the threshold of human hearing, allowing noise levels to be adequately documented through A-weighted sound measurements; (2) dismissing the possibility that any variants of wind turbine syndrome exist (Pierpont 2009) even when physicians (e.g., Steven D. Rauch, M.D. at Harvard Medical School) cannot otherwise explain some patients’ symptoms; and (3) arguing that it is unnecessary to separate wind turbines and homes based on prevailing sound levels.

On the other hand, you have many people who claim to be so distressed by the effects of wind turbine noise that they cannot tolerate living in their homes. Some move away, either at financial loss or bought-out by the turbine operators. Others live with the discomfort, often requiring medical therapies to deal with their symptoms. Some, even members of the same family, may be unaffected. Below is a description of the disturbance experienced by a woman in Europe we received a few weeks ago as part of an unsolicited e-mail.

From the moment that the turbines began working I experienced vertigo-like symptoms on an ongoing basis. In many respects, what I am experiencing now is actually worse than the ‘dizziness’ I have previously experienced, as the associated nausea is much more intense. For me the pulsating, humming, noise that the turbines emit is the predominant sound that I hear and that really seems to affect me.

While the Chief Scientist [the person who came to take sound measurements in her house] undertaking the measurement informed me that he was aware of the low frequency hum the turbines produced (he lives close to a wind farm himself and had recorded the humming noise levels indoors in his own home) he advised that I could tune this noise out and that any adverse symptoms I was experiencing were simply psychosomatic. . . .

Given the knowledge that the ear responds to low frequency sounds and infrasound, we knew that comparisons with benign sources were invalid and the logic to A-weight sound measurements was deeply flawed scientifically. . . .

From this understanding we conclude that very low frequency sounds and infrasound, at levels well below those that are heard, readily stimulate the cochlea. Low frequency sounds and infrasound from wind turbines can therefore stimulate the ear at levels well below those that are heard. . . .

No one has ever evaluated whether tympanostomy tubes alleviate the symptoms of those living near wind turbines. From the patient’s perspective, this may be preferable to moving out of their homes or using medical treatments for vertigo, nausea, and/or sleep disturbance. The results of such treatment, whether positive, negative, would likely have considerable scientific influence on the wind turbine noise debate. . . .

Another concern that must be dealt with is the development of wind turbine noise measurements that have clinical relevance. The use of A-weighting must be reassessed as it is based on insensitive, Inner Hair Cell (IHC)-mediated hearing and grossly misrepresents inner ear stimulation generated by the noise. In the scientific domain, A-weighting sound measurements would be unacceptable when many elements of the ear exhibit a higher sensitivity than hearing. The wind industry should be held to the same high standards. Full-spectrum monitoring, which has been adopted in some reports, is essential. . . .

Given the present evidence, it seems risky at best to continue the current gamble that infrasound stimulation of the ear stays confined to the ear and has no other effects on the body. For this to be true, all the mechanisms we have outlined (low- frequency-induced amplitude modulation, low frequency sound-induced endolymph volume changes, infrasound stimulation of type II afferent nerves, infrasound exacerbation of noise-induced damage and direct infrasound stimulation of vestibular organs) would have to be insignificant. We know this is highly unlikely and we anticipate novel findings in the coming years that will influence the debate.

I think you are beginning to get a clear picture of the problem — and why I am writing to you.

The typical symptoms of what is now known worldwide as Wind Turbine Syndrome are the following: sleep disturbance, headache, tinnitus (ringing or buzzing in the ears), ear pressure, dizziness (a general term that includes vertigo, light-headedness, sensation of almost fainting, etc.), nausea, visual blurring, tachycardia (rapid heart rate), irritability, problems with concentration and memory,  and panic episodes associated with sensations of internal pulsation or quivering which arise when awake or asleep.

Does everybody living near wind turbines experience Wind Turbine Syndrome? By no means! What I found is that people with (a) motion sensitivity, (b) migraine disorder, (c) the elderly (50 years and older), (d) inner ear damage, and (e) autistic children and adults —  all these are at statistically significant high risk.

The solution is simple: industrial wind turbines must be set back, well away from people’s homes, schools, places of work, and anywhere else people regularly congregate. In my 2009 report, I came up with a setback of 2 km, minimum, in level terrain. Studies done around the world since then have convinced me that 2 km is not sufficient, especially in hilly or mountainous terrain. In this case, setbacks should be more on the order of 5 km or greater.

Hence, my alarm when notified by Katarina Dea Zetko that your community is considering 800 m setbacks. This is wholly inadequate. I can guarantee that, unless the setbacks are increased dramatically, there will be numerous victims of Wind Turbine Syndrome.

A final word.  The clinical literature, including publications by the World Health Organization on health effects from infrasound exposure, typically use the word that Dr. Kelley used in his reports to the US Department of Energy — “annoyance.” It’s really not an appropriate word. It vastly understates the sickness caused by infrasound exposure. (A mosquito bite is an annoyance. Wind turbine infrasound, on the other hand, triggers a debilitating constellation of illnesses whose features I have enumerated, above.)

In medicine, clinicians are morally bound to exercise what’s called the “precautionary principle.” Basically, if we don’t know for certain that a procedure is harmless, we are obliged to exercise extreme caution in performing the procedure, in this instance, building industrial wind turbines — which are well-known to produce impulsive (i.e., amplitude-modulated) infrasound — in the vicinity of people’s homes.  This is, after all, common sense.

For decades, the wind industry denied that their turbines produced any infrasound. It took herculean efforts by people like me to debunk this fallacy. Wind industry proponents likewise argued that only downwind turbines created noise, that is, low-frequency noise. Dr. Kelley and his research team effectively debunked that fallacy, in the articles referred to above. Finally, the wind industry clung to the fiction that, “If you can’t hear it, it can’t hurt you.” Professor Salt deflated that one.

It’s time to recognize that the global wind industry has hidden behind a series of (what turned out to be) untruths. Their untruths have been exposed and corrected in the published clinical and scientific literature, as shown above.

There is now no excuse for building wind turbines in proximity to people’s homes.

 

“We are all as vulnerable as these mink” (Denmark)

mink and baby.

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Editor’s note:  We reported on this story the other day.  It’s going viral — as it should!  Writes Mark Duchamp on behalf of the World Council for Nature, which broke the story on worldwide media:

This scandal is likely to mark a turning point in the struggle against wind turbines. Because it is no longer a question of “noise,”  “nuisance,” or “quality of life.”  There is now evidence of birth defects, miscarriages, and stillbirths.  Indeed, what happens to minks can happen to humans – the human fetus.  And the more powerful the turbines, the more infrasound they emit. The problem will only snowball. This news could ultimately bring down the whole wind energy scam. The immediate problem, however, is that the media are censoring anything that would hurt the wind industry. We need to smash the media blockade. We must write to newspapers, call radio stations, challenge our MP’s, senators, mayors and  government councillors. Let us turn the issue of ill health effects into a workhorse, and the Danish mink tragedy into a spearhead. The mink are but the latest in a long list of domestic animals being slaughtered or deformed by wind turbines.  Note that animals can’t be accused of having “psychological hangups” regarding wind farms.  The argument that “it’s all a nocebo effect” is rendered absurd by this episode. The media can no longer ignore the issue — provided we put it under their noses a thousand times. We have new documents on the Danish mink tragedy: the report of the veterinarian involved, a video, and a second newspaper article from Denmark. The mink story furnishes us with powerful arguments against misplaced wind turbines. The main one being that wind turbine low frequency noise, including infrasound down to 0.1 Hz, is harmful. We must now insist that turbine noise and vibration be measured inside the homes of windfarm neighbors.   We are all as vulnerable as these mink.

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“Wind Turbines Caused 1600 Miscarriages On Fur Farm”

A new wind farm has been linked to the premature births of over 1,600 mink at a fur farm in Denmark last month. Veterinarians have ruled out viruses and food as possible causes, leaving the 460ft (140 metre)-high wind turbines as the only variable that has changed since last year.

According to the World Council for Nature (WCFN), most of the mink were dead at birth and many had severe deformities, including lack of eyeballs.

The new wind farm is located 358 yards (328 metres) from the fur farm, and consists of four 3MW turbines, reaching out to 460ft at the tip of the blades.

The farm had already reported another incident related to the turbines when they became operational last autumn. The farmer reported millions of Danish kroners in damage to pelts after the animals became aggressive and started attacking one another. According to the WCFN, he even took his case to the Danish parliament.

This is the latest in a series of incidents where wind turbines have reportedly harmed and altered the behaviour of animals and humans. Last year, a Canadian emu farm, popular with tourists, was forced to close after its animals started becoming aggressive and losing weight when wind turbines were installed nearby.

In March, Breitbart London reported that the deputy chief medical officer at the Irish Department of Health warned that people who live near wind turbines were at risk of “wind turbine syndrome”. Symptoms include fatigue, dizziness, headache, difficulty concentrating and insomnia.

“There are specific risk factors for this syndrome and people with these risk factors experience symptoms. These people must be treated appropriately and sensitively as these symptoms can be very debilitating,” the deputy CMO said.

“Bent science”: How the wind energy industry distorts and discredits legitimate health research

whore scientist2

Editor’s note:  The following is a review of a book about the way industry uses corrupt scientists to produce reports, or add their prestigious names to reports, denying health hazards from products produced by those very industries. For this, of course, these whores are paid substantial consulting fees — basically, to create or endorse junk science for their corporate clients.  These same whores (one is reluctant to call them scientists) are further employed to discredit and suppress legitimate health research.

Sound familiar?   Readers of this website can readily identify a handful of these bums who do the bidding, and produce reports, for Big Wind.   Physicists, noise engineers, acousticians, public health specialists, physicians — individuals who call themselves scientists but are no more than corporate shills.

The book under review does not address wind energy by name,  just by implication:  “There are enormously powerful interests dedicated to bending science and creating doubt about the integrity of challenging research.”  Do a Google search four “Wind Turbine Syndrome” and you will see what I mean.

The following is an especially apt passage.

The book details the systematic methodology that has emerged over the past few decades to undermine scientists and society’s faith in their work. Examples are given of scientists and physicians well paid to attach their names — and their impressive publication records and prestigious institutional affiliations — to industry-produced articles, editorials, and commentaries.

The authors . . . examine examples of “expert panels” of industry-hired scientists paid to issue reports critiquing individuals who found dangers in the use of beryllium, the promotion of the antiobesity medication Fen-phen, and the production and sale of plastics, drug-eluding stents, asbestos products, and other materials. Casting doubt on findings that a product is potentially dangerous facilitates manipulation of OSHA, the EPA, the FDA, and other regulatory agencies, thereby prolonging the product’s use and sale.

Many practices are reportedly used to undermine unwanted scientific information: “hiding science,” the practice of keeping unwanted results from public or regulatory view; attacking reliable research and proclaiming it “junk”; harassing scientists whose results undermine claims of safety or efficacy; and “packaging” of science via experts paid to promote a product.

 

book cover

— David Rosner,  review of “Bending Science: How Special Interests Corrupt Public Health Research,” by Thomas O. McGarity and Wendy E. Wagner (Harvard University Press 2008).  Review published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, vol. 119, no. 1 (January 2009) p. 4.  Click here for PDF.
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Bending science is a fascinating and troubling investigation of the ways science is manipulated in the process of regulatory policy- and legal decision making. Thomas McGarity and Wendy Wagner, both University of Texas law professors, present an encyclopedia of endeavors, undertaken largely by industry, to distort scientific enterprise in order to promote self-interests. Like a number of recent books on this subject (1–5), this one presents a serious look at the mechanics of scientific manipulation and should be read by scientists, social scientists, legal scholars, and policy makers.

It begins with an overview of the enormous sums of money at play that make science a high-stakes enterprise and place the very institution of science under attack: the profits of drug companies and how they affect the marketing of new drugs; the cost to manufacturers of industrial pollutant cleanup; and damages sought following occupational or consumer exposure to hazardous agents. As science is wrenched from the academy and plunged into the contentious worlds of politics, legal wrangling, and industrial decision making, the result is what the authors term “bent science”: knowledge with skewed objectivity and dubious accuracy, shaped by special interests. They doubt whether it is possible to protect the integrity of medical, environmental, and bench science from political and economic interests and call for more “adversarial procedures”: greater government, consumer, and legal oversight to protect scientists and to watch for undue influence over sponsored science.

The book details the systematic methodology that has emerged over the past few decades to undermine scientists and society’s faith in their work. Examples are given of scientists and physicians well paid to attach their names — and their impressive publication records and prestigious institutional affiliations — to industry-produced articles, editorials, and commentaries. The authors identify instances where companies and entire industries have set up sham “research institutes” and purportedly scientific organizations to promote favorable opinions of their products. They examine examples of “expert panels” of industry-hired scientists paid to issue reports critiquing individuals who found dangers in the use of beryllium, the promotion of the antiobesity medication Fen-phen, and the production and sale of plastics, drug-eluding stents, asbestos products, and other materials. Casting doubt on findings that a product is potentially dangerous facilitates manipulation of OSHA, the EPA, the FDA, and other regulatory agencies, thereby prolonging the product’s use and sale. Many practices are reportedly used to undermine unwanted scientific information: “hiding science,” the practice of keeping unwanted results from public or regulatory view; attacking reliable research and proclaiming it “junk”; harassing scientists whose results undermine claims of safety or efficacy; and “packaging” of science via experts paid to promote a product.

McGarity and Wagner make a good case that the distortion of science is systemic and not limited to a few industries behaving badly. Not unexpectedly, they detail the egregious activities of Big Tobacco, an industry that has become a poster child for amoral corporate behavior, and argue that these transgressions are merely representative of a much broader assault on science that has taken place since the end of World War II and has accelerated since the 1970s.

One particularly disturbing aspect of attempts to bend science is the growing use of intimidation in the event that scientific research collides with industry self-interest.

The case of Herbert Needleman, a pioneer in the discovery of the harmful effects of low-level lead exposure on young children, is particularly poignant. During the 1980s and early ’90s, he was accused by researchers supported by the lead industry and forced to defend his research before governmental and university panels. The decade of intensive investigation, public humiliation, and legal wrangling ended with his vindication and establishment of environmental health protections, but not without detriment to his research career and likely those of others.

In the interest of transparency, I must acknowledge that Bending science hit close to home. In 2006, after the publication of Deceit and denial: the deadly politics of industrial pollution (5), my coauthor Gerald Markowitz and I found ourselves in the midst of a legal attack by the chemical industry to undermine conclusions reached in our book. Although, as in Needleman’s case, the experience ultimately did nothing to our standing in the academic community, it was searing and disruptive for many months. My experience certainly affected my reading of the book and predisposed me to accept its general message: that there are enormously powerful interests dedicated to bending science and creating doubt about the integrity of challenging research.

References 

1. Krimsky, S. 2003. Science in the private interest: has the lure of profits corrupted biomedical research? Rowman and Littlefield Publishers Inc. Lanham, Maryland, USA. 264 pp.

2. Michaels, D. 2008. Doubt is their product: how industry’s assault on science threatens your health. Oxford University Press. New York, New York, USA. 384 pp.

3. Proctor, R. 1995. Cancer wars: how politics shapes what we know and don’t know about cancer. Basic Books. New York, New York, USA. 368 pp.

4. Davis, D. 2007. The secret history of the war on cancer. Basic Books. New York, New York, USA. 528 pp. 5. Markowitz, G., and Rosner, D. 2002. Deceit and denial: the deadly politics of industrial pollution. University of California Press. Berkeley, California, USA. 464 pp.

 

Prominent Danish Professor sacked — for criticizing wind industry? Censorship?

Moller

Editor’s note:  Okay, here’s the story, in a sentence or two.  Prof. Moller is a senior professor, specializing in acoustics, at Denmark’s Aalborg University.  A public university, by the way.  Moller has been publishing and speaking against the lies of the wind industrylies about wind turbine noise (i.e., infrasound).  The big industry in Denmark is Vestas, makers of wind turbines sold around the world.

Against this backdrop, what do you make of the fact that Prof. Moller was just summarily fired (shit-canned) by his dean?  (Consider this ingredient as you ponder.)

Here’s the story (click here) from a Danish news source, translated below.

footnote 225

footnote 226

footnote 227

 

4 wind turbines = 1600 miscarriages at mink farm (Denmark)

dead mink

Editor’s note:  We are told, in the comment below by Mark Duchamp, that this story has been suppressed in the Danish media — by the government.  To protect Vestas’s interests, which (we’re told) are considered congruent with interests of state.

government_censorship_by_luvataciousskull-d29q6kd

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“1,600 Miscarriages at Fur Farm Near Wind Turbines”

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World Council for Nature (6/7/14)

Denmark: 1,600 animals were born prematurely at a mink farm last month. Many had deformities, and most were dead on arrival. The lack of eyeballs was the most common malformation. Veterinarians ruled out food and viruses as possible causes. The only thing different at the farm since last year has been the installation of four large wind turbines only 328 meters away.

still-born minks
Some of the 1,600 minks born prematurely

The wind farm consists of four 3 MW turbines, VESTAS model V112, reaching out to 140 meters in height at the tip of the blades. When they became operative last fall, a first mishap was reported by the mink farmer, who testified about it at a parliamentary committee on wind farms in January this year.1 The World Council for Nature (WCFN) reported the incident earlier: “In Denmark, which is the EU’s leader in mink farming, millions of Danish kroners were lost in damaged pelts when wind turbines started to operate near a mink farm. The animals became aggressive, attacking one another, and resulting in many deaths.”2

dead minks at Danish wind farm
Dead minks at Danish wind farm

mink injured  in a fight
Injured mink in a cage

Both incidents are alarming, as they constitute definitive proof that wind turbines are harmful to the health of animals living in their vicinity. And they are not the only ones. In the letter mentioned above, WCFN quoted more of them, all leading to the conclusion that low frequency vibrations emitted by wind turbines can cause serious ill-effects on health, including altered behaviour, deformities, miscarriages and premature births.2

deformed mink fetus
Deformed mink foetus

Humans, of course, are exposed to the same risks. In view of this new evidence, lying to the public, pretending that wind turbines are harmless to people becomes a criminal act. Politicians, and wind industry promoters who, like often-quoted Mike Barnard or Simon Chapman, deny the risks to health, are now liable to be successfully sued by wind farm victims. And so are governments, as they still refuse to measure infrasound emitted by modern wind turbines.

mink and baby

It is indeed criminal to deny health risks where there is so much evidence, starting with official studies published in the 1980’s, which have been shelved to protect the wind industry.3  Dr Sarah Laurie, CEO of the Waubra Foundation, wrote: “Dr Kelley and his co-researchers at the Solar Energy Research Institute in the US, closely connected with the US Department of Energy and NASA, identified in 1985 that the source of the annoyance for the residents living near a single downwind bladed turbine was ‘impulsive infrasound and low frequency noise, which resonated within the building structures.’”4

The wind industry, their friends in government, and self-serving professionals benefitting indirectly from the huge subventions, all have been denying any health problem linked to wind farms. But there is now sufficient evidence to warrant:

  • A moratorium on wind farms,
  • Comprehensive epidemiology studies,
  • Quantification of vibrations emitted by wind turbines, as measured inside the homes of resident neighbours, at night, on windy days, encompassing all frequencies down to 0.1 Hz.

Short of taking these health-saving measures, governments will be liable to be sued for damages, and criminal charges could be laid against decision-makers.

The World Council for Nature hopes that the political class will take this public health issue seriously, more so than that of wildlife conservation, for instance. We have denounced before that governments are letting over 100 million birds and bats be sacrificed annually on the altar of this expensive, intermittent energy of doubtful practical value.5  We can only pray that human health will receive more consideration from our leaders.

Media contact

Mark Duchamp
Chairman, WCFN
Tel: +34 693 643 736+34 693 643 736
www.wcfn.org
wcfn@live.com

References

(1) www.maskinbladet.dk/artikel/tidligere-miljominister-vil-aendre-vindmollebekendtgorelse

(2) wcfn.org/2014/03/31/windfarms-vertebrates-and-reproduction

(3) Kelley, N et al, 1985 “Acoustic Noise associated with Mod 1 Turbine; its source, impact and control”
waubrafoundation.org.au/resources/kelley-et-al-1985-acoustic-noise-associated-with-mod-1-wind…

Kelley, N 1987 “A Proposed Metric for Assessing the Potential of Community Annoyance from Wind Turbine Low-Frequency Noise Emissions”
waubrafoundation.org.au/resources/1987-problem-with-low-frequency-noise-from-wind-turbines…

Hubbard, H 1982 “Noise Induced House Vibrations and Human Perception” (1982) 19:2 Noise Control Engineering Journal 49
waubrafoundation.org.au/resources/hubbard-h-1982-noise-induced-house-vibrations-human-perception

(4) waubrafoundation.org.au/resources/laurie-s-wind-turbine-noise-adverse-health-effects-and…

(5) wcfn.org/2014/05/21/bullet-news-3

The perfect escape strategy for Wind Turbine Syndrome

van1

Behold Dr. Nina’s Eurovan camper.  V6 Audi engine, chassis by VW, camping package by Winnebago.  Check these out on the web; they’re a collector’s item.  (VW stopped making them in 2002.  We bought ours new in 2000.)

It’s VW’s final version of this:

vintage_vw_camper_by_tundra_timmy-d5f95c7

When you own one of these things — poof! — you become an instant hippy.  We had a 1978 version, wherein we traveled all over North America — back when we were young and didn’t mind having an air cooled engine (not so great in Arizona in July) and zero heat (not so great in New Hampshire in January).  Then we got old and decided to go for luxury, and bought the 2000 Eurovan.

We are done with our exploring, vagabonding, camping days.  We’ve decided to sell this baby — though with a broken heart.  We love this thing!

We’d like to sell it to someone who needs it to escape their infrasound-tormented home.  (You can actually live in it.  We have for a month or so. Entirely self-contained.)

Sleeps 4 (2 double beds), apt.-size fridge (runs on plug-in or rear coach battery or propane), 2-burner propane stove, pop-top, propane furnace (when camping), running water, front seats turn around, 2 tables, lots of interior lights, lots of cupboard storage space, awning, double kayak rack.  Plus Dr. Nina’s own-invention:  a rear shower stall (no patent pending).

Looks identical to these photos.  (Photos are off the web.)

It’s in embarrassingly pristine condition.  (Embarrassing?  It reveals my OCD instincts.  Some men play golf.  My hobbies are doing the laundry, vacuuming, and cleaning things.)  Never driven in winter.  Absolutely no rust.  Meticulously maintained by a patient of Dr. P’s who, um, builds cars from scratch.  (Guy’s brilliant.)  Not a scratch.  Not a dent.  Never in an accident.

We’ve driven this thing to Newfoundland (twice — yeah, take the ferry), the Pacific NW, the SW.  Fabulous traveling vehicle.  A dream to drive.  Cruise control.  Approx. 20 mph highway.  65,000 original miles.  Powerful V6 engine with overdrive.  Quiet engine.  Air conditioning.  Blah blah blah.

These sell for $45K to $50K on the web.

Contact Dr. Martin if you’re interested:  rushton@twcny.rr.com or 518-651-2019.

van4

van2

van3

van5

 

Wind energy: A health & community & financial disaster (Ontario, Canada)

chain

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“Liberal wind scam:  Sun News Network documentary ‘Down Wind’ exposes the Wynne-McGuinty green energy disaster”

— Lorrie Goldstein, Toronto Sun (5/31/14)

Anyone who has studied the Ontario Liberal government’s failed experiment with wind power knows what a financial and social catastrophe it has been.

How billions of taxpayers’ and hydro customers’ dollars are being wasted, and will continue to be wasted for decades to come, because of former Liberal premier Dalton McGuinty’s naive blunder into wind energy, now fully supported by Premier Kathleen Wynne.

How it has contributed to skyrocketing hydro bills and to the loss of 300,000 manufacturing jobs in Ontario.

A 2011 report by then auditor general Jim McCarter documented how the government rushed into wind energy without any business plan, ignoring even the advice of its own experts that could have substantially reduced costs.

As a result, Ontarians are now locked into 20 years of paying absurdly inflated prices for inefficient and unreliable wind power, which, ironically, still has to be backed up by fossil fuel energy, meaning natural gas.

That means the Liberals’ gas plants scandal, costing taxpayers and hydro ratepayers up to $1.1 billion — according to reports by McCarter and current Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk — is also part of the Liberals’ legacy of wind power waste.

Indeed, while the Liberals were telling us they were replacing coal power with wind and solar energy, they were actually doing it with nuclear power and natural gas.

Wind can’t replace coal because it can’t provide base load power to the electricity grid on demand.

That’s why the Liberals were frantically building new natural gas plants, even as they were imposing, and continue to impose, unwanted wind turbines on rural communities across Ontario.

McGuinty cancelled the locally unpopular Mississauga and Oakville gas plants to save five Liberal seats in the 2011 election, which we now know could cost up to $220 million per bought riding in public money.

A new documentary, Down Wind: How Ontario’s Green Dream Turned into a Nightmare, by Sun News Network’s Rebecca Thompson — airing Wednesday, June 4 at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. — powerfully and succinctly explains the enormity of the Liberals’ wind power catastrophe.

The Surge Media production explains we are wasting and will continue to waste, billions of public dollars for a non-existent environmental benefit — the Liberal myth that wind and solar power replaced polluting coal-fired electricity in Ontario.

Nonsense. As one of Thompson’s interviewees accurately puts it in Down Wind, turbines “don’t run on wind, they run on subsidies.”

Thompson compellingly tells the story of how an unholy alliance of Liberal government insiders, wind industry developers, so-called environmentalists and Bay Street investors worked hand-in-glove to impose wind turbines on unsuspecting farming and rural communities across Ontario.

How those who tried to fight back were and are being crushed by the Liberals’ dictatorial Green Energy Act, which took away the planning rights of local municipalities.

How we don’t need the tiny amount of expensive and unreliable power wind supplies, both because Ontario has a huge energy surplus and because wind developers have to be paid for their energy first, while we dump or export inexpensive and green hydro power at a loss.

How the reported health concerns hundreds of affected residents have experienced because of the sound, vibration, low-frequency noise and shadow flicker from wind turbines — up to 50-storeys high, many located just 550 metres from homes — have been suppressed by the government.

Those symptoms include sleeplessness, nausea, migraines, heart palpitations, all dismissed by the Ontario government, even as Ottawa conducts a major study into what has become known as “wind turbine syndrome.”

The most powerful footage in Down Wind comes from ordinary Ontarians — some forced to leave their homes — telling their stories, often reduced to tears, bitterness and anger.

How on one day they were living peaceful lives in rural Ontario and how, almost overnight, were plunged into a nightmare, as wind companies turned neighbour against neighbour by leasing the land of some property owners to erect turbines, while running roughshod over the concerns of everyone else.

To me, Ontario’s wind power disaster has always been a story of urban greed, ignorance, arrogance and phony environmentalism overpowering rural interests.

Of smug, trendy, hypocritical Toronto downtowners — Wynne’s core constituency — whose experience with wind turbines is limited to one at the CNE — ignorantly accusing rural communities of NIMBYISM (as did McGuinty).

Down Wind exposes all this along with the scariest reality of all.

That the Liberals have gone too far to ever admit they were wrong, and that if we re-elect them, they’ll double down on their wind energy disaster.

“Down Wind”: Canadian news network hammers wind energy (video)

video

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Editor’s note:  Finally!  A major news network, Sun News, has produced a hard-hitting, honest, no-holds-barred exposé of the biggest “energy” scam in human history.

Click anywhere, above, to watch the official trailer.

 

“Vertigo so bad, I couldn’t drive or walk through my house without holding onto walls” (Falmouth, MA)

spinning_top_by_canonto

— Sharon in Falmouth, Mass. (5/18/14)

I have just gone through three weeks of vertigo that was so bad, I could not drive, walk through my house without holding onto walls, and dizziness even lying down. Another portion of my life, gone. I just turned 61 and never had a diagnosis of vertigo until the Falmouth wind turbines went up 3 to 4 years ago. The first time lasted 1.5 years.

My mother of 83 said they should build them next to the politicians who were all for them in the first place. God, I love my mom. Such practicial wisdom and common sense — something missing in our government as well as in most people I read about these days.

I believe one day, scientists and doctors will come together to study the impact of sound, its various levels, duration and distance, etc., on humans and wildlife. We already are aware of sleep deprivation and its negative impact on the human body and mind.

Unfortunately, the ignorance of these fields takes so long, they leave a wake of misery and death in their wake. I speak of events like multiple sclerosis, Lyme Disease, PTSD, and the list goes on.

Nevertheless, I believe in the old adage, “the squeaky wheel gets oiled.” I will not be silenced and will continue to write and vote against these wind turbines being located too near us.

 

Acoustician describes how wind turbine infrasound triggers motion sickness (Canada)

motion sickness2

Click here for the radio interview.

Note that Dr. Pierpont has been saying this for years in her book, “Wind Turbine Syndrome,” as well as other articles posted on this site.  Not being a clinician or neuro-biologist, the acoustician being interviewed (Kevin Dooley) doesn’t understand how turbine infrasound dys-regulates inner ear structures to create the equivalent of motion sickness; yet he’s right that IWT infrasound is the culprit and that Wind Turbine Syndrome symptoms resemble motion sickness.

Another Wind Turbine Syndrome refugee (Falmouth, Mass.)

Editor’s note:  Sue & Ed Hobart have given up pursuing justice and truth and common sense in their efforts to shut down the privately-owned wind turbine next door to their (now, former) home in Falmouth, Massachusetts.  (The Hobarts moved away.)  The  Town of Falmouth recently  decreed that the turbine, which has been making the Hobarts and their neighbors  ill for years, has in fact not been making them ill; that is to say, the town decided that the Hobarts and their neighbors have been fabricating their illness.

Sue Hobart has responded to this cruel decision by writing a letter to the editor of the local newspaper.

turbine eviction

From:  Sue Hobart
To:  Editor, Cape News
Regarding:  A different kind of truth
Date:  5/12/14

We are giving up fighting the so-called Webb NOTUS wind turbine battle.  It drove us from our home, harmed our health, caused me to move my business and ruined our financial future and the value of our home.  Worse yet, the trust we used to have in human nature and basic compassion is gone.

But KNOW that we are not giving up because we are wrong, lying, crazy or trying to somehow extort money, as some around town would like you to believe.

We just realize the lengths these wind developers will go to destroy us.  Never have we been in the line of fire of such evil as we have with these legal maneuverings of these last months.  It is now clear that they will say and do absolutely anything to keep their big GREEN ($$$$) machine turning, torturing and bringing in the bucks.

So, they can have their blood money and gloat in their shallow victory.  But they will NEVER be the innocent ones, here.

Life is finite but valuable.  Both Ed & I are more than half over in that area.  We give them no more space in our life.  We live the truths, which are absolute and clear in the eyes of God and those who care enough to understand that this world is not as it should be and that lies will never become truth through repetition or warped statistical analysis.

This turbine thing has been a real life changer. Man’s ego, greed and arrogance are terrifying.  And we have no answers that can override compassion, humility and the perfection of nature left to its own healing.  But we will exercise our option to heal and keep telling the truth.

Maybe, with a little time and space in between, we can smile and feel a little peace before our time here is through.

 

The banality of evil is alive and well on Cape Cod

evil

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Curt Devlin, Guest Editor

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My local newspaper recently published one of the ugliest, most mean-spirited op-eds I’ve ever read.  According to its author, Melody Affonce, anyone whose health is harmed by wind turbines must furnish unassailable proof before we take action to prevent further harm.  She compares these victims to those seeking workers compensation, welfare, or disability benefits.  (The fact that, so far, no one in Little Bay, Mass., is asking for compensation didn’t cross Affonce’s luminous mind.)

At the moment, the only thing the turbine neighbors are actually asking for is relief.  They just want to be free from the misery of headaches, dizziness, nausea and sleeplessness that they or their families experience whenever the turbines are spinning.  Affonce would deny them the same protections enjoyed by every other law-abiding citizen, and ignore their legal right to the peaceful enjoyment of their homes.  By her tortured logic, if people are beating you, you should have to prove that it hurts before you are justified in asking them to stop.

How far does Affonce’s evident endorsement of undeserved brutality and neglect go?  Perhaps we should deny medical treatment to seniors until they prove with certainty that they actually need it.  It is well known that care for the elderly absorbs a disproportionate amount our society’s healthcare resources through Medicare.  In the Affonce-care approach, we could dramatically decrease the cost of healthcare—not to mention the elderly population.  As long as we vote on this, it’s fair and just, right?

After the Vietnam War, we ignored the obvious suffering of vets with PTSD for over thirty years.  They couldn’t prove they were actually wounded—or that it was caused by combat.  The neurological damage of PTSD isn’t as obvious as the wounds caused by bullets and shrapnel—even though it is sometimes more debilitating.  According to Affonce’s line of reasoning, we should continue to deny all vets any mental health care or intervention until they prove they have sustained neurological injuries in battle.

No doubt, Affonce can tell us how to furnish proof of pain or suffering.  (How does one prove a headache, dizziness, or nausea?  The obvious fact that one cannot demonstrate somatic experiences, whether pleasant or painful, also escapes her gleaming intellect.)

To satisfy Affonce’s quest for absolute certainty, I modestly propose that we begin vivisecting one turbine neighbor each month until her hunger for “knowledge” is completely satisfied.  Sound reasonable?

When a doctor takes an x-ray, she does so to find the cause of pain.  She begins by assuming that your complaint is valid because she has an ethical obligation, known as duty of care, to take her patients complaint seriously.  We have a similar ethical duty to care for one another — called humanity.  You may know it as the Golden Rule.  Apparently, Affonce doesn’t feel bound by it.  Some people don’t mind cruelty as long as they aren’t disturbed by screaming.

For two years now, we have concentrated people in an infrasound ghetto against their will, subjected them to incessant low frequency pressure waves, and forced them to live in amplification chambers (which they once called home).  We are depriving them of their health, their livelihoods, and their basic human rights.  We are subjecting them to unwarranted experimentation.

Under these circumstances, Affonce’s demands aren’t just morally depraved—they are dangerous. At the Wind Forum in 2012, I described the siting of these turbines as an ominous social experiment and warned where it leads.  It may surprise you to learn that two of the diabolical experiments conducted at Dachau were designed to test the limits of human endurance to extreme pressure conditions and chronic sleep deprivation.  At Nuremburg, those who conducted them argued that the experiments were for “the greater good.”

At the forum, I asked:  Aren’t we better than this?  My question was rhetorical because I believed the answer was yes.  But when opinions like Affonce’s go unchallenged, I’m not so sure anymore.

When the silent majority watches impassively while wind zealots blame their victims, ignore human anguish, and applaud the trampling of basic human rights for the sake of some bankrupt ideological delusion disguised as the greater good, we inch ever closer to exactly the kind of unwarranted experimentation the Nuremburg Code was intended to prohibit.

Many have stood by, while officials make public apologies to their victims on public access television, like some circus sideshow, and hypocritically proclaim that “everyone deserves a good night’s sleep.”  Yet, none of these officials demands action to ensure that everyone gets one.  They personify what Hannah Arendt so aptly referred to as the banality of evil.

When the obvious truth is fully acknowledged, people like Affonce will be the first to claim, “We didn’t know!”

Germany concedes wind energy was a flop. (Ontario, are you listening?)

flop

Editor’s note:  Looks like Angela Merkel’s coalition government (Germany) is pulling the plug on green energy. This means wind and solar energy are about to get their subsidies shit-canned.  Reporting (in English) from Germany, Pierre Gosselin writes in “No Tricks Zone” (4/27/14):

Angela Merkel’s Vice Chancellor Stuns, Declares Germany’s ‘Energiewende’ To Be on ‘The Verge Of Failure’!

The green energy orgy in Germany is over.  The music has stopped and the wine that once flowed freely has long run out.  The green energy whores and pimps can go home.

In a stunning admission by Germany’s Economics Minister and Vice Chancellor to Angela Merkel, Sigmar Gabriel announced in a recent speech that the country’s once highly ballyhooed transformation to renewable energy, the so-called Energiewende, a model that has been adopted by a number of countries worldwide, is “on the verge of failure.”

Read the remainder, here.

“The  green energy whores and pimps can go home.”  Hmm.  Strong language.  Appropriate, however.  Unfortunately,  the green energy whores and pimps in Ontario and Australia and here in America are still plying their trade.

Recently, a popular German comedy show did a parody of Germany’s green energy fiasco. It’s worth watching. (It has English subtitles.  The term,“GroKo,” used throughout the show, is an abbreviation for Germany’s coalition government, the Große Koalition.)

video

“Leave”: A poet forced from her home by wind turbines (Ontario)

leaving

Editor’s note:  Esther Wrightman — the young mother who became the face and voice of massive, organized resistance to wind energy companies in western Ontario.  Famous for satirizing NextEra as “NextTerror,” and triggering a lawsuit from the offended corporation.  Esther and her family are leaving Ontario, “shaking the dust off their feet” as they depart.

Esther and her father, Harvey Wrightman, endured the indignity of an “appeal” before the Ministry of the Environment’s so-called Environmental Review Tribunal, which, it turns out, is basically a front for wind energy companies and the Green Energy Act.  (This is the hearing where Dr. Pierpont was deemed unqualified to testify regarding Wind Turbine Syndrome.  In fact, virtually all of the Wrightmans’ expert witnesses, including their WTS victims, were shit-canned — denied a hearing.)

Esther ERT2

The Wrightmans have concluded that Ontario has become a chapter in Lewis Carroll’s surreal, “Alice in Wonderland.”  They are leaving “Ontario in Wonderland” for New Brunswick, Canada — a province that takes a dim view of bullshit wind energy.

Esther is a poet.  I predict she will be hailed someday as one of Canada’s premier poets.  Visit her website.  Esther wrote the following lament as she has watched wind energy employees bulldoze and torch the landscape — trees, pond, fields, wildlife habitat — surrounding her home.

A new “Silent Spring” is underway outside her window.  One that will turn into an “ILFN-Rich Spring” once those turbines begin operating — and the wildlife altogether vanish, along with the Wrightman family.
..

“Leave”

I should have known
..that night watching
our gracious hollow tree in the field
….burst into flames.

And firemen running about —
..frenzied ants — revealing
her charred remains.

Something should have clicked
..when the pine,
(patiently leaning,
….a hundred years)
twisted to the ground.

And even last week,
..in case I didn’t get the message,
that Manitoba maple
..with all the keys to the world,
where the early days hammock .. hung
forever,
snapped in half.

Leave,
as the yellow house
dismantles — brick by
brick,

fence lines rip up
as an old roll of fabric,

ponds, bursting with every frog we know
become backfilled graves,

and cabooses and box cars
morph into black tankers and
white towers — eagles to
vultures and
wild grass to
tiled Land

Now, put out the flames
with waves of tears, and
leave.

— Esther Wrightman (April 2014)

 

Germans, furious over wind turbines, burn one in effigy

Editor’s note:  People around the world are fed up with having wind turbines shoved up their asses by the renewable energy zombies.  They’re fighting back.  In Ontario, Canada, a bulldozer was torched, tires were slashed, and local media are predicting this is just the beginning.  (Click here for the blog source.)  Ontarians have discovered that the “social contract” of public meetings, government hearings, government tribunals, and elections are a sham.  Meanwhile, people like the Wrightmans are moving — to the other side of the continent.  (Note to those of you not familiar with Ontarians.  These are among the most long-suffering people on earth.  If this were Quebec, where I was raised, the Quebecois would have torn down these turbines years ago.  But the Quebecois are used to protest; Ontarians are not.)

Watch the news for Australia; we predict there will be dramatic expressions of anger there, shortly.

It stands to reason:  When people have exhausted the conventional avenues of redress and supplication and complaint, and been stonewalled and cynically ridiculed by government agencies, fatuous academics, and the wind companies — they are going to resort to other means of protest.  No, they are not going to vanish into thin air; they simply choose a different venue.

In Germany, the venue is turning dramatic.  Click below to watch the video.  (Scroll down once you open the link.  Look at the photos as you scroll.  Till you get to the bottom of the page, where you will find the video.)

burning turbine

 

WTS.com stands with rancher Cliven Bundy (Nevada, USA)

bundy1.

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Calvin Luther Martin, PhD, Editor

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The other day, something significant happened in American history.  This man stood up to the American government  — and the government backed down.  (The “American government” consisting of a small army of heavily armed cops.)

Before reading further, you must watch this video of the event.  It’s just a few minutes.  It’s breathtaking.  Resistance to tyranny is what Americans are made of.  In this instance, resisting tyranny at home, on American soil.  These 1000 cowboys and patriots understand that America is “We, the People.”

Cowboy from a working ranch in the Dakotas

This is a story about a number of things:  (a) The renewable energy scam.  (b) A foreign energy company taking adverse possession of rangeland used by this rancher’s ancestors going back 150 years, give or take.  (c) An unseemly collusion between a powerful U.S. Senator, the Director of the Bureau of Land Management, and a Chinese energy company.

The bullying and sleaze of wind energy companies inevitably come to mind.

In this case, it’s not wind energy, but another non-starter:  solar energy.  Involving U.S. Senator Harry Reid (Nevada) negotiating with a Chinese energy mogul to build a huge solar energy plant on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) administered rangeland — right smack where this rancher and his forebears have traditionally grazed their livestock.  The Chinese company being legally represented, incidentally, by Senator Reid’s son, a prominent Nevada attorney.

Basically, the Reid gang wants ranchers off this land, so it can be sold at pennies on the dollar to this Chinese energy czar.  To do that, they had to pressure the ranchers to remove their grazing cattle.  Easily enough done:  The Director of the BLM, Neil Kornze, is a former staffer for Senator Reid.

BLM
Neil Kornze, BLM Director

Part of the deal for the Chinese company getting approval from, I believe, the county, is that the solar energy produced must have a guaranteed buyer.  This means the big power company in Nevada would have to commit itself to high-priced, intermittent solar power.  (Meaning, that when the solar wasn’t available to the grid — which demands instant, “dispatchable” power — the state’s sucker power company would have to rapidly buy backup energy from, say, natural gas or coal or nuclear sources — at most unfavorable prices.  This is what happens with wind energy, by the way.  And you and I bear the astronomical costs.)

In any case, the Nevada power company, so far, has declined the shitty deal.

The Reid gang isn’t happy about it declining to lock itself into buying expensive solar power and, when unavailable, being forced to buy at exorbitant rates on the spot market.  But, then, the Reid gang doesn’t necessarily care about Nevada energy ratepayers.  (It also doesn’t care about the fact that solar arrays “cook” the landscape.  So much for preserving the “threatened” turtle — supposedly threatened by cattle grazing, despite the fact that turtles and cows have co-existed on this land for centuries.)

Cliven Bundy (pronounced “Kl-eye-vin”) is not the first rancher to be evicted from this land by the BLM.  The others caved in.  Cliven didn’t.  Despite repeated threats and legal notices and legal judgments, Mr. Bundy calmly responded, “Nope!  I’m not moving my herd, and I will not pay your exorbitant so-called rents.  I will pay them to the State of Nevada, but I have no contract and never had a contract with the federal govt., and I and my ancestors have been ranching this landscape since the 1870s.”

So, the BLM, under Senator Reid’s former staffer — the same BLM that’s famous for its bullying and tyranny throughout the American West — assembled a posse of Rangers and other law enforcement agents and descended on the Bundy ranch and started rounding up Bundy’s herd and impounding it.  Armed to the teeth and using, among other weapons, a helicopter and police dogs.   I believe there were somewhere in the vicinity of 200 of these cops — brandishing weapons fit for a military assault.

john wayne2

Remember those old John Wayne movies?  The “Duke”?  What would the Duke have done?  You know what he would have done.  Stayed calm and put out the word, “My fellow Americans, I appeal to you to come stand by me!”

Cliven Bundy did what the Duke would do.

Within days, over 1000 people showed up — from all over the West — to stand shoulder to shoulder with him and his family.  To stand toe to toe with the govt. thugs.  And, since the govt. thugs brought guns, so did these patriots who joined Cliven Bundy.  They exercised their Second Amendment right to bear arms.  Lots of them.

If you want the full flavor of what this was like, watch Robert Redford’s, “The Milagro Beanfield War.”  Nearly identical plot.  (My favorite movie of all-time, by the way; its message is hugely important — CLM.)

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Suddenly, a sleazy, back-room caper between the Reid gang, BLM, and a Chinese plutocrat spun out of control into another Milagro Beanfield War.  The Bundy Cattle Ranch War.  A standoff.  Bundy supporters were tasered, thrown to the ground and threatened with fang-baring police dogs and drawn weapons, even as the Bundy supporters did not draw their weapons and assault the cops.

The Bundy patriots refused to budge, however.

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(With thanks to cartoonist Glenn McCoy and the NY Times.)

Meanwhile, back in Washington, the BLM chief was sweating bullets.  “What the fuck!”  It wasn’t supposed to turn out like this.  The county sheriff wisely brokered a truce — and got the BLM to back down just as tempers were about to explode.  The agreement was:  The BLM agreed to release the 300-400 cattle it had impounded and the Rangers would leave.  The Bundy supporters would likewise leave.

In short, everyone agreed to go home.

Except me.  I’m staying on that hallowed ground, savoring it.  I see a man saying “No!” to a renewable energy money-making hoax and its bullying attorneys and government enablers.  I see “people of the land” refusing to be fucked by people who intend to make windfall profits from electric ratepayers and taxpayers.

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How nice it would be to see this same spirit — the Spirit of Cliven Bundy — in confrontations with the wind developer thugs.  Yeah, the guys in suits followed by the goons in hardhats.  (Talk to 5’, 100 lb. Esther Wrightman if you want an earful about the goons in hardhats who nearly ran her and her colleagues over!)

Wind energy.  Solar energy.  Same scam.  Same useless energy.  Same strategy to dispossess people from their land.

What would the Duke do?

Doctor rebukes National Health & Med. Research Council for blowing off Wind Turbine Syndrome (Australia)

Alan Watts, M.D.

Editor’s note:  The following is an excerpt from Dr. Watts’s letter to the National Health & Medical Research Council on its amateurishly bullshit “systematic literature review” of Wind Turbine Syndrome.  (Not even sophisticated, clever, or dazzling bullshit.  Clumsy!  Rank amateurism!)

Note that Dr. Watts has personally treated victims of WTS.  (Click here for his entire letter.  Click here and here for more postings about this much celebrated physician.)

National Health & Medical Research Council’s DRAFT INFORMATION PAPER: EVIDENCE ON WIND FARMS AND HUMAN HEALTH, 2014

This report is grossly deficient and is thus surprising given the universal condemnation of the first NHMRC review in 2010. It would appear your organisation has learnt nothing in the intervening period. This includes the rapidly evolving research which is demonstrating adverse health effects (AHE), in addition to the environmental, political, intermittent efficiency and economic aspects of industrial wind turbines (IWT).

This review clearly ignores both the developing weight of evidence and the intellectual expertise of the national and international research community. Expertise and experience that includes a knowledge of IWTs, infrasound and human health impacts that, I would suggest, greatly exceeds that of the review panel.

Further it again represents another shameful opportunity for the international research community to criticise Australia’s lack of rigour, truth, diligence and decency in this debate. When will the NHMRC exhibit any real concern for its international and national reputation?

 

7,000 march against wind turbines (Dublin, Ireland)

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Click here for more photos.  (The 7,000 figure is from a personal communication from one of the protest organizers.)

 

How to write a (hopefully) bullet-proof local wind energy law (USA)

Editor’s note:  Is your community being stalked by wind developers?  If so, you need to read this primer on how to come up with a local ordinance that either bans these monsters or makes it impossible for them to gain a foothold.  (Incidentally, wind developers typically come in secretly, surreptitiously, and begin working behind the scenes, signing up owners of large properties and cultivating town officials.  By the time you become aware of what’s happening, the fix is in.)

(We thank John Droz and the Alliance for Wise Energy Decisions for allowing us to reprint this.)

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One of the most frequent requests we get at Alliance for Wise Energy Decisions (AWED), is for help in writing a local industrial wind energy ordinance. (We’d appreciate your feedback if you have anything to contribute to this issue.)

An underlying assumption of our recommendations, is that the majority of the local legislators are genuinely focused on what is in the best interest of: neighbors to such a project, community businesses, and the local environment.

In the unfortunate case where representatives have been co-opted, the basic choices are: 1) if they are open-minded, educate them back to reality,
2) replace them with citizen-oriented people, or 3) sue them to act responsibly (a federal section 1983 lawsuit is the most powerful option available).

Even when the community has conscientious representatives, an industrial Wind Energy Facility (WEF) is a unique, highly technical matter that local legislators rarely have expertise with. That’s the reason the WiseEnergy.org website was created: to educate citizens and their representatives on industrial wind energy.

After you have educated, citizen-oriented legislators, what are your ordinance options? There are two primary ways you can go with industrial wind energy: 1) regulate it, or 2) prohibit it. There are some interesting options here, so let’s look at these closer…

Click here to continue reading.

 

Wind developer, InfraVest, accused of sleaze and bullying (Taiwan)

Editor’s note:  Last year, we posted an article on the German wind energy company, InfraVest, intimidating local residents — with hired thugs.  (See J. Michael Cole in the Taipei Times, “Wind power firm hires thugs to protect site,” June 10, 2013.)

Here’s an update, from a source who asks not to be named.  Click here to read more about this unsavory outfit.  (The source of the latter article is here.  We used Google Translate to render the Chinese text into English — with uneven results.)

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What InfraVest has stated are lies, in keeping with their shoddy CSR business practices and use of violence against local residents.

(1) When InfraVest submitted a single Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) application for Yuanli, Tongsiao and Jhunan townships, InfraVest created the illusion of a much larger area for the wind farms, and hence was able to exceed the 10 percent land usage limit. By doing so, it also avoided having to address the three townships’ specific and unique environmental requirements. After receiving conditional EIA approval, InfraVest submitted a Difference of Environmental Impact (DEI) evaluation and requested that five wind turbine sites be shifted to Yuanli, bringing the total there to 14, which is well above the 10 percent limit.

(2) Local residents were not adequately informed or provided a proper public consultation session prior to construction, and InfraVest manipulated data and paperwork to obtain approval from the EPA without proper public consultation.

(3) In total, there are to be 14 wind turbines (≥120 m) installed along 3 km of coastline, with the closest a mere 134m from human settlement. A number of these have already been built in an area reserved for bird conservation.

You can contact autoamateur@gmail.com for more details. You can also check out independent media Coolloud’s detailed reporting for photos and a views of where the wind turbines are placed and their setbacks.  (Click here for an imperfect Google translation of Coolloud’s report — Editor.)

Schools “climate-brainwash” children, reveals report (United Kingdom)

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Editor’s note
:  If you’re not familiar with the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), you’re missing out.  Click here for their statement, “Who we are.”  Click here for their Board of Trustees.  And here for the Academic Advisory Council.

Basically the GWPF is a group of former high level U.K. government officials, Members of Parliament, and a host of scholars from heavy-weight universities, worldwide, who are alarmed at the hysteria and brainwashing being orchestrated by energy corporations (read:  Wall St. banks) who have much to gain.  (Note:  The GWPF does not accept money from any energy company or donor representing the interests of an energy company.  In other words, it is not a front for Big Oil or Big Wind or Big Nuclear, or Big Anything for that matter.)

The GWPF does not deny climate change; indeed, its members cover the entire spectrum, from those who are convinced it’s chiefly human-caused to those who think the whole thing is moonshine.  Listen carefully to what I’m saying:  The GWPF is insisting on real science, not agenda-driven science.  It is insisting on rational decisions, not “climate dogma,” as we chart our future.  Their goal is to tone down the rhetoric, strip ideology out of climate science, and remove the corporate financial agenda and government power-grabbing from the whole climate conversation.

As a retired professional historian, I agree.  History is loaded with paroxysms of mass hysteria about one “belief system” or “cause” or “noble ideal” after another — with results that were always disastrous.  That’s not all:  Someone always got very wealthy and powerful from championing that noble ideal or doctrine or to-kill-for worthy cause.  Someone always morphed into a tyrant and became completely corrupt, and did incalculable damage, from being the “savior-in-chief” of humanity — whatever the issue du jour.

I warn you:  Don’t let this happen!  I see the GWPF as a sane voice in the gathering madness of “Oh my god, the earth is about to incinerate as a result of human misbehavior, and governments and corporations and schools need to do something about it, NOW!”  This is a recipe for dictatorship.  Tyranny.  Big Brother.  Totalitarianism.  The likes of which humanity has never seen.

Anyhow, the GWPF has just issued a stunning document on how children in British public schools are being brainwashed (greenwashed) about global warming.  Again, I caution you:  The GWPF is not taking a position “yea” or “nay” on global warming; it’s stripping the discussion of junk, agenda-driven science, corporate interference, and political opportunism and imperialist ambition.

“Imperialism”?  Yes, as with natural gas fracking becoming a weapon, a tool of public policy over who supplies Eastern Europe, especially the Ukraine, with fuel.  When matters of empire, politics, ideology, or corporate profit enter the debate — be it wind energy, fracking, solar power, oil, nuclear — science and reason immediately become corrupt and, frankly, dangerous.  Readers of this blog have witnessed this aplenty in the wind energy uproar — rife with ideologically-driven science and medicine.

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“Climate Control:  Brainwashing in Schools”

— by Andrew Montford & John Shade
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_ (Click here for PDF of the report, here for its appendices, and here for a link.)

Children are being treated as political targets by activists who wish to change society in fundamental ways. This is unacceptable whether or not they are successful — from the Introduction, p. 10.

A general State education is a mere contrivance for moulding people to be exactly like one another; and as the mould in which it casts them is that which pleases the dominant power in the government, whether this be a monarch, an aristocracy, or a majority of the existing generation; in proportion as it is efficient and successful, it establishes a despotism over the mind, leading by a natural tendency to one over the body — John Stuart Mill, “On Liberty.”

The problem isn’t that Johnny can’t read.  The problem isn’t even that Johnny can’t think.  The problem is that Johnny doesn’t know what thinking is; he confuses it with feeling — Thomas Sowell, “Inside American Education.”

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Foreword
 by Professor Terence Kealy, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Buckingham

Politicians and political activists have always wanted to control the schools, for obvious reasons. St Francis Xavier of the Jesuits may or may not have said ‘give me the child until he is seven and I’ll give you the man’ but too many politicians have wanted the child until he or she is seventeen, just to make sure.

In this impressive paper Andrew Montford and John Shade have shown how effectively eco-activism appears to have captured our schools’ curriculums. It is of course true that the greenhouse effect is based on good physics, but even better physics recognises that the globe is a complex system and that many different effects – not just the greenhouse effect – will influence the climate. And since we cannot yet model the world’s climate with confidence, we must be suspicious of the certainty with which eco-activists seek to influence the schools’ curriculums.

Eco-activism is, as Montford and Shade have shown, only the most recent example of attempted curriculum-capture by political activists, so we need to construct institutions to protect the schools from such capture. Montford and Shade have invoked the horrible examples of education under the communist regimes of Eastern Europe or China, and in so doing they point the way to the only solid future – democracy.

Educational researchers such as EG West (Education and the State, 1965) and James Tooley (The Beautiful Tree, 2009) have shown how the nationalisation of the schools in England and Wales during the 19th century was a mistake, which neither increased the expenditure per pupil nor fostered social justice – it only handed the schools over to John Stuart Mill’s ‘dominant power in government.’

But the nationalisation of the schools is now effectively irreversible, so how can we protect the curriculum within it? One harbinger is provided by the UK Statistics Authority, which is funded by government but which reports not to a minister but directly to Parliament. Thus its independence is optimised. Perhaps we now need a Curriculum Authority, reporting to Parliament via a select committee, because by its nature a legislature can foster a wider range of views than can the executive branch of government.

In the meantime, let us echo the call from Montford and Shade for an independent review of our current climate curriculum, because if – as the title of their paper suggests – schools are indoctrinating rather than educating, we have a problem.

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Executive summary

We have found examples of serious errors, misleading claims, and bias through inadequate treatment of climate issues in school teaching materials. These include many widely-used textbooks, teaching-support resources, and pupil projects.

We find instances of eco-activism being given a free rein within schools and at the events schools encourage their pupils to attend. In every case of concern, the slant is on scares, on raising fears, followed by the promotion of detailed guidance on how pupils should live, as well as on what they should think. In some instances, we find encouragement to create ‘little political activists’ in schools by creating a burden of responsibility for action on their part to ‘save the planet’, not least by putting pressure on their parents.

The National Curriculum has recently been reviewed by the government, but the proposed changes seem unlikely to prevent such practices.

Surveys show that many children are upset and frightened by what they are told is happening to the climate.

Teachers and administrators have a fairly free hand to choose textbooks, other materials, visiting speakers and school trips for pupils provided they fit in with curricular goals. This raises the risk that some may select alarming and politi- cally loaded sources in order to win children over to the ‘environmental cause’. This ‘cause’ is often presented through the notion of ‘sustainability’, a poorly- defined catchword covering political and personal actions for which funda- mental criticism is rarely entertained.5 Many campaigning NGOs and other organisations with vested interests such as energy companies proffer teach- ing materials and other resources for use in schools. Some of it is presumably being used.

There are clear grounds for very serious concern. We therefore call upon the Secretary of State for Education and his counterparts in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to undertake urgent inquiries into climate change education in our schools. Only a systematic evaluation of what is going on can determine the extent of the indoctrination as well as the emotional and educational harm to pupils that is undoubtedly resulting.

 

 

Six bullets: Wind energy “goons” shoot locals who oppose them (Mexico)

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Editor’s note:  Mexico.  State of Oaxaca.  The Zapotec have occupied this landscape since time out of memory — even before Cortes splashed ashore carrying the Spanish flag, a bible, and smallpox.

The conquistadors are back, this time with wind turbines — and firearms.  The new invader being the wind energy giant, Fenosa.

Before going further, familiarize yourself with Fenosa’s policy on “health & safety.”

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Committed to “ensuring the health and safety of . . . society as a whole,” Fenosa’s Corporate Responsibility Policy has “improved acceptance of operations by the local community.”

Really?

Not in Oaxaca.  Locals say that Fenosa, in collusion with corrupt (bought-off?) government officials, co-opted communally-owned land, precious to the indigenes for its farming, fishing, and other sacred qualities.  Now usurped for wind turbines.  Lots of colossal turbines, being erected mere hundreds of meters from people’s homes.

When residents formed a protest group — as tens of thousands of people around the world have done — and began blockading roads and holding demonstrations, Fenosa responded — by shooting them.

So says the beleaguered protest group, the Popular Assembly of the Juchiteco People (APPJ).  (Forget about the sham public meetings, forget about phony environmental impact reports and bogus health studies.  Just shoot ‘em!  Shoot ‘em to save the earth from global warming, by God!)

Héctor Regalado Jiménez, opponent to the wind-energy projects and sympathizer of the Popular Assembly of the Juchiteco People (APPJ), died on 1 August [2013] in the city of Juchitán de Zaragoza as a consequence of the injuries he sustained due to the six gunshot wounds he received on 21 July [2013].

According to a denunciation from the APPJ, Héctor Regalado and other members of the organization were fired upon by hitmen working for the multinational energy firm Fenosa Natural Gas, being accompanied also by units of the Auxiliary, Banking, Industrial, and Commercial Police (PABIC), a police institution that has been contracted by the firm to safeguard the construction work of the wind-energy park Bii Hioxho. (Click here for source.)

Wind energy.  “Clean, green, renewable!”  Oppose it and you’re dead!  Oaxaca’s new slogan.  (Pump him with 6 bullets, to be certain you kill the bastard, not just wound him.)

Did Fenosa hire the killers?  Who’s to know?  The point is, the local Popular Assembly of the Juchiteco People (APPJ) maintains it did.  If it didn’t — if, instead, these are  freelancing thugs acting on their own, without Fenosa’s blessing — what is Fenosa doing to condemn and stop the intimidation and killing?

Weeks before the attack, persons identified as hired gunmen threatened Héctor Regalado with death and warned him that they would fire on the APPJ [wind energy protest group] camp on the Playa Vicente access road, which is the location of the site where the multinational [Fenosa] is building the Bii Hioxho wind-energy park. Furthermore, days after being threatened with death, Héctor Regalado warned that representatives of the multinational had attempted to co-opt him by offering him work, in exchange for his abandoning the APPJ campaign.

On 24 February 2013, indigenous residents and Binniza fisherfolk founded the APPJ in the fishing village near Juchitán de Zaragoza. This organization asserts as its principal objective the struggle against the construction of megaprojects [industrial wind plants] on their lands and territories. As a first action, APPJ members blockaded an access road in Playa Vicente so as to impede the movement of workers and vehicles owned by Fenosa.

The residents denounce that the rented lands are of communal use, and that the contract signed between them was illegal.  Since its founding, the APPJ has denounced the constant death-threats and attacks suffered by its members at the hands of the state police and private hitmen hired by the firm.The APPJ “holds the state government of Oaxaca and the State Attorney General’s Office responsible for the wave of death-threats and aggressions that we as members and sympathizers of the [APPJ] constantly suffer.” (Click here for source.)

Read more, taken from here.

Some 1,200 agents from the police forces of the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca tried unsuccessfully on March 26 [2014] to remove local residents who were blocking a road leading to the Bii Yoxho wind farm, which is under construction in Juchitán de Zaragoza municipality near the Pacific coast.  The operation was also intended to recover construction equipment protesters had seized on Feb. 25 in an ongoing effort to stop the completion of the wind project, which is owned by the Mexican subsidiary of the Spanish company Gas Natural Fenosa.

Local prosecutor Manuel de Jesús López told the French wire service AFP that 22 people were injured in the March 26 operation, including 11 police agents, and one police agent was taken prisoner.  Protesters reported eight local people with serious injuries, including Carlos Sánchez, the coordinator of Radio Totopo, a community radio station.

Several companies have been building wind farms in southeastern Oaxaca on the Isthmus of Tehuantepec.  Residents in the Juchitán area, mostly from the Zapotec and Ikoots (Huave) indigenous groups, say the Bii Yoxho project is being built in an area they use for fishing and farming that also includes ceremonial sites, along with mangrove forests that are critical to the local environment.  The barricade blocking access to the Bii Yoxho project on the Juchitán-Playa Vicente road is one of four main points of resistance to the wind turbines.

Activists have also occupied the town hall in San Dionisio del Mar since January 2012; have refused to recognize the mayor in San Mateo del Mar, Francisco Valle, because he favors the projects; and have set up a barricade in Juchitán’s Alvaro Obregón neighborhood to block access to another wind park, owned by the Mareña Renovables company.

The resistance has been subjected to police harassment, such as the 24-hour detention by federal police of Lucila Bettina Cruz Velázquez, a leader in the Assembly of the Indigenous Peoples of the Tehuantepec Isthmus in Defense of Land and Territory, in February 2012.  Protesters also report the presence of armed paramilitary groups, some with connections to unions and other groups affiliated with the centrist Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) or close to the center-left Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD).

On March 21 a group of men linked to Juchitán’s PRI mayor, Francisco Valle Piamonte, briefly detained reporter Rosa Rojas and photographer Francisco Olvera, both from the left-leaning national daily La Jornada, along with three reporters from alternative media and a San Mateo resident.  On the morning of March 29 a paramilitary group dismantled Radio Totopa, seizing a laptop and the transmitter and cutting the power cables, according to the Popular Assembly of the Juchiteco People (APPJ).  APPJ spokespeople called this “another attack by the state government and the transnational companies which are trying to use violence to silence the voices of those who oppose the construction of wind parks.”

After negotiations with representatives of the Oaxaca state government on March 28, the APPJ returned 12 vehicles, including a backhoe, to Gas Natural Fenosa; in exchange the state agreed not to press charges against the protesters.  However, the APPJ rejected the state’s proposal for them to lift the road blockades on April 1 and attend an April 2 meeting in the city of Oaxaca.  The protesters said they would maintain their barricades, and they called on Oaxaca governor Gabino Cué Monteagudo to come meet with them in Juchitán.

(You can read more here and here and here and here.)

And you folks in Wisconsin, Ontario, and Australia thought you had it tough with the wind thugs!

“Turbine headache” (Scotland)

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“A year of living with the Ark Hill wind turbines (8 x 80m Enercon E48 turbines), 5 Mar 2013 – 4 April 2014”

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— Andrew Vivers (4/4/14)
Arniefoul, Glamis, Scotland

I live at Arniefoul which is 5km East of the Ark Hill wind turbines and 1.6km West of the proposed Govals wind turbines (6 x 87m turbines). The prevailing wind is from the West.

Ark Hill was commissioned on 5 March 2013 and at that time I started to have continuous headaches with some light-headedness and tinnitus. Further to this, I also started to suffer frequent sleep disturbance. When I awoke I could often hear the whooshing of the turbine blades. Assuming it was the audible sound that was disturbing me, I moved my bed further away from the window and slept with the window closed. This made no difference to my sleep deprivation – usually being woken at around 3am until 5am. With the window closed I rarely hear the turbine noise, but I can sometimes feel their rhythm and therefore deduce that it is an inaudible noise (Low Frequency Noise and Infrasound) that is causing the lack of sleep.

In June 2013 I had two dizzy spells when out walking on the hills surrounding Arniefoul. It was at this time I noticed a correlation between the turbines, the wind direction and the above symptoms. My tinnitus became constant and on some nights extremely loud.

My symptoms appear to be worse when there is a Southerly wind. The Ark Hill turbines rotate clockwise and therefore it is probably an emission during the down stroke that creates the harmful effects. This suggests it may have little to do with the supporting structure and therefore an ‘upwind’ or ‘downwind’ design of turbine will make little difference.

Surprisingly, the prevailing Westerly wind seems to cause slightly less symptoms than a Southerly wind. Turbine noise, however, is most audible when there is little prevailing wind at ground level and at treetop level, but sufficient wind at turbine blade area to turn the blades at a critical speed. In similar conditions to these, when there is an Easterly wind we can easily hear traffic on the A90, 5km to our East, even though there is the huge bund of the Sidlaw Hills between us.

A North or East wind causes slightly less symptoms again, although should the Govals wind turbines be erected, I expect to suffer greatly from those turbines during these wind directions.

January and February 2014 were particularly bad months with predominately Southerly and Westerly winds causing much sleep deprivation, loud tinnitus, lack of concentration and irritability.

On 9 February 2014, I started recording my blood pressure morning and evening. It fluctuates considerably with a recorded high of 185/105. On 28 March for instance, after several days of Easterly wind, it was at a more ‘acceptable’ 140/83. There appear to be correlations between wind, atmospheric and weather conditions.

Whilst my body may be building some form of resistance to the turbine noises (audible and inaudible) I also believe it is getting more sensitive in certain ways. I sometimes get my “turbine headache” out to at least 10km from the turbines. Also, I have recently noticed I need to clear my ears more frequently, similar to going up in an airplane or scuba diving.

From 6 – 12 March we stayed near Tarfside, Glen Esk (currently no turbines near there). All my symptoms reduced noticeably, with my blood pressure reaching a low of 136/81.

An obvious option is to sell my property and move (where to?). My work is in the local area and therefore this is not really a business option. Nor is it an emotional option since my family has enjoyed being at Arniefoul for nearly a century.

I have heard of landowners with turbines who now regret having turbines on their land, yet are unable to speak out due to ‘non disclosure clauses’ in their contracts with developers. Also, I suspect that there are many people living near wind turbines who suffer similar conditions to mine but who remain silent for fear of property devaluation, tenancy or employment concerns, and the like.

I am sure that should the Govals and Frawney (5 x 80m, same make as Ark Hill and West Knock Farm, Buchan) wind turbines be erected, with Forfar and Letham being on the down-wind side, there will be people with similar sensitivity as myself who will suffer. Children are thought to be more sensitive to turbine noises than adults.

PeoplesometimessaythatIlookwellconsideringthesymptomsIdescribe. Iamreluctanttotake drugs/medication, with their own potential side effects, when I do not believe they are treating the root cause. I have always made considerable efforts to maintain a high level of fitness.

I understand that:

Low frequency noise and Infrasound (such as emitted by wind turbines) are sound waves that are felt by the body rather than heard, probably by the utricle. Depending upon the amplitude or intensity, it produces feelings of extreme discomfort, a feeling that the body is vibrating. Depending upon the frequency and intensity, infrasound can keep you awake, or induce sleep. Therefore, it can cause sleep deprivation.

Infrasound induces stress and causes the body to secrete the hormone Cortisol. This effect is a medically recognized danger of long-term infrasound exposure.

Cortisol, plays a vital role in preparing our body for stressful “fight or flight” episodes. It increases blood pressure and blood sugar levels, and has an immunosuppressive action that provides needed alertness and energy during stressful experiences. However, during long term stress, or if Cortisol production is prolonged, its effects on the human body can become severe. A weakened or suppressed immune system will allow existing health problems to accelerate, and make it easier for new ones to be created.

Exposure to infrasound during early sleep hours can be particularly harmful. This is when the body normally produces the lowest levels of Cortisol. This might explain my 3am awakening and subsequent wakefulness. Artificially stimulating Cortisol production during sleep means that the Cortisol is not used and remains in the body, potentially damaging essential body functions.

A sound wave in air is a sequence of pressure changes. A sound wave in a liquid or solid is more like a vibration. This helps explain how Low Frequency Noise and Infrasound travel great distances and easily pass through solid walls, and can set up vibrations or resonances in rooms and body cavities.

There is well-documented and peer-reviewed evidence of the detrimental health effects that turbine emissions have on humans. It is unethical to expose people to something already suspected of being harmful.

Where is the ‘Duty of Care’?

“Today, it’s difficult to stop crying,” she told Chief Medical Officer Dr. Rosemary Lester (Australia)

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Editor’s note
:  No, this isn’t Rosemary Lester.  Rosemary Lester is Chief Medical Officer of the State of Victoria, Australia.  Dr. Lester is the recipient of the letter reprinted, below — from a woman, a middle-aged woman, who, as she wrote the letter, couldn’t stop weeping.  Her name is Melissa Ware.

Melissa (lovely name) is writing to Rosemary (another lovely name), asking for humaneness, common sense and, not least, proper medical attention.

The tragedy is, Rosemary will almost certainly reject Melissa on every request.

How so?  Dr. Lester steadfastly refuses to investigate the screamingly obvious health problems at wind farms within her jurisdiction.  Instead, her department published a report denying physiological impacts from wind turbine infrasound and low frequency noise (ILFN).  A report effectively trashing the work of Professor Alec Salt (Dept. of Otolaryngology, Washington University School of Medicine, Missouri, USA), Professor Colin Hansen, Dr. Nina Pierpont, and a host of other researchers & clinicians who have demonstrated — drum roll, please! — direct physiological impacts from wind turbine ILFN.  (Does this tin-horn bureaucrat know something these clinical researchers — with credentials that eclipse hers — don’t know?)

Leading to the obvious question:  What happened to Dr. Lester’s duty of care as senior medical officer?  Where is the state’s duty of care?  Lester can’t claim she knows nothing about the suffering; Annie Gardner bombards her with emails, even as sick and suicidal residents have met with Lester and her department — for naught.

“Rosemary, what the fuck is going on, honey?” (It’s time to use her first name, reminding her that the “doctor” stuff is professional horseshit.  Above all, she’s a human being, dammit, and from our perspective she’s doing a really bad job at that task.  Not, “First, do no harm,” but “First, be a human being for God’s sake!”)

Rosemary’s own medical staff admitted they knew there was a problem with Wind Turbine Syndrome.  We refer to Dr. Simon Slota-Kan and Dr. Stephanie Williams.  Both physicians admitted to the community and to directors of the Waubra Foundation (meetings in April 2011 at Evansford and on 14th October 2011 in the health department offices in Melbourne), that they knew there were real health problems from turbines!  Indeed, at the April meeting, Drs. Slota-Kan and Williams said research money was available.

“Um, Rosemary, what happened to the money, honey?”

None of these pleas, none of this evidence, has moved this woman or her department to conduct a health impact assessment, again, despite repeated requests and, indeed, despite it being her legal responsibility.  And despite it being obvious, for Chrissakes, Rosemary!  (Why is this woman still in this job?  Is anyone in the govt. paying attention?  Wheres the media?  Hello!  Anyone home in the Land of Oz?)  

(Reporting on the Adolf Eichmann trial in Jerusalem, Hannah Arendt was struck by what she called “the banality of evil.”  The government bureaucrat just — doing his job.)   

Melissa-Ware3

Anyhow, read on.  Melissa Ware is one of many sufferers under the official, certified, legal, state-mandated, medically approved & authorized & licensed care and protection of Rosemary Lester.  (Why does she still hold a medical license?)

What the fuck!?
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This abuse and torture have got to stop, now!  Too many of us, including children, handicapped and elders are physically, emotionally and mentally exhausted, too many of us are fed up, and too many of us are forced to live with preventable pain caused by operating or proposed industrial wind facilities.

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To:  Dr. Rosemary Lester, Chief Health Officer, Victoria, Australia
From:  Melissa Ware, Cape Bridgewater, Victoria, Australia
Regarding:  Abuse & torture of residents by wind turbine infrasound & low frequency noise
Date:  April 2, 2014

You and your Department are well aware of impacts of industrial wind turbines on human health from reports from Victorian residents.  This document explains precisely what is occurring for residents living in quiet rural areas and what physiological harm is occurring (click here).

We experience many health problems living next door to the Cape Bridgewater Wind Farm in South West Victoria. I have read the statement by Mr. Mark Duchamp from the World Council of Nature (click here).

Today it’s difficult to stop crying.   Not only is human health being ignored, animals are severely impacted by wind turbines as well.  Tears are flowing because not only are animals not protected from harm, neither are we residents. We can no longer bear the impact of our experiences near wind facilities not being heard, not being acted on and not being prevented.

GP’s and Specialists advise the cure is to “move away,” give limited instructions and advice, proffer prescriptions and pills, request blood tests etc. to discover the cause of ill-health and as required by law to provide correct diagnosis and treatment; expensive measures on a national scale and our health and well-being deteriorates.  Relocation is unaffordable, our home deemed unsalable according to the valuer engaged by the bank holding our mortgage.  We have followed instructions of the Health Department, Department of Planning, and Glenelg Shire Council and co-operated as requested, with Pacific Hydro whom own the wind facility.

We are traumatised by the inhumanity being shown towards our communities.

We hit our heads against a medical system brick wall over and over again, in attempt to be simply being heard.  To repeatedly point out independent noise testing in our homes detects noise problems, that these noises are the direct cause of headaches, illness and many health problems. To repeatedly be put down, dismissed and told “there are no problems near wind farms” and “there’s nothing we can do” or “there is no evidence” or “move away.”

For those responsible for our pain, to legally speak, “Ignorance is no excuse,” and you will be held to account.

The 2011 “Senate Inquiry into the Impact of Wind Farms” called for more research into wind farm noise, as does Prime Minister Abbot’s government, as does Minister Guy, as does the National Health & Medical Research Council (NHMRC), as do many senators and professionals and persons of integrity wanting to see justice for people and communities who are negatively impacted and suffering.

Solid stone homes, concrete slabs, corrugated roofs and sheds, even the ground vibrates to the sound energy emissions from the turbines.  Bodies and internal organs and tiny bones, vibrate to imissions and are blasted by pressure waves. Years of exposure to bodily harm; infrasound and low frequency noise bombard every living cell. Prolonged exposure to noise and resulting sleep deprivation causes harm.

Noise pollution from wind turbines was shown by Dr Neil Kelley, thirty years ago, to DIRECTLY cause a range of symptoms, currently named Wind Turbine Syndrome, to neighbours of bigger and larger wind facilities with ongoing unresolved noise issues (click here).

Negative impacts have been well researched and documented.  Dr. Kelley defined and established health protective exposure limits for wind turbine infrasound and low frequency noise, which state and federal governments, including the NHMRC, have been repeatedly made aware of, yet choose to ignore.

The Association of Veterans Affairs Audiologists in America in 2010 documented the effects of infrasound and recommended levels of exposure determined by various highly regarded bodies such as NASA etc. (click here).

No-one monitors or limits our exposure levels

Not to noise, not to infrasound, not to blade flicker, not to vibration within our homes, not to electromagnetic radiation — no one is monitoring this industry.  People living next door are required to report faults, or fires, or blade damage or noises.  There’s seemingly no safeguarding whistles and bells, as reported at this wind facility.

Environmental noise exposure risks public health, and is recognised by international bodies such as the World Health Organisation and the US Center for Disease Control.  What are your directives for managing wind farm harm?  What are you doing to protect people from wind industry interference in health management? Interference revealed by Senator Madigan in parliament recently regarding wind farm communications with medical clinics in the Western District, including two clinics in Portland (click here).

How much longer are we to bear ongoing wind farm abuses?   Six, ten, twenty, thirty years reporting problems and nothing has been done to cease the pain and harm.  We’ve been palmed off from one government department to another and eventually ignored or derided.  All the while, infrasound and low frequency noise, audible noise and vibration from the turbines tortures us.

Noises annoy us, sleep eludes us

Denial of the problems and this form of torture is unacceptable.  No doubt litigation will occur here in Australia as it has  overseas, with turbines being ordered to be pulled down in Portugal, because of proven vibroacoustic disease in animals and humans.  In December 2013, Justice Muse ordered the wind farm in Falmouth, Massachusetts (USA) to be turned off at night to prevent “irreparable harm to physical and psychological health.”

How often is it to be repeated that people, physicians, the public, administrators must be better educated regarding the issues we’re daily confronted with?  The Health Department, the EPA, the NHMRC and government are where such awareness and education begin, where solutions are enacted.  Departments, professionals and government representatives, including local government, need to consider their advice (or lack of), their own behaviour, adhere to their standards of conduct and act with integrity and honesty, and have no conflicts of interest and actively advocate on our behalf.

Even the wind industry  admits to problems of noise, engineering design and maintenance.  (See, for example, lubrication problems and poor or incorrect installation or siting.)  Section 5.1.1 of the draft New Zealand standard on wind farm noise, 2009, states:  “Limits for wind farm noise are required to provide protection against sleep disturbance and maintain reasonable residential amenity.”

THIS ABUSE AND TORTURE HAVE GOT TO STOP, NOW!  Too many of us, including children, handicapped and elders are physically, emotionally and mentally exhausted, too many of us are fed up, and too many of us are forced to live with preventable pain caused by operating or proposed industrial wind facilities.

Raising awareness starts by reading professional and personal statements.  You may begin here with responses made to the Australian Medical Association’s recent statement wrongly proclaiming no health effects from wind farms.

Your written response to this letter and URGENT action from you and your department, consistent with your legal, professional and ethical duties, are urgently required.

Medical school research team confirms wind turbine infrasound can produce Wind Turbine Syndrome (USA)

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Editor’s note:  Professor Alec Salt and his colleague, Professor Jeffrey Lichtenhan, both in the Dept. of Otolaryngology in the School of Medicine at Washington University (St. Louis, Missouri), have published a superb article, excerpted, below.

Alec N. Salt and Jeffrey T. Lichtenhan, “How does wind turbine noise affect people?” Acoustics Today, vol. 10 (Winter 2014), pp. 20-28.

They blow Geoff Leventhall out of the water, with his now famous yet dogged misunderstanding of inner ear physiology, and they deliver the death blow to any future A-weighted noise measurements.  Their laboratory research demonstrates, unequivocally, that infrasound of the sort produced by industrial wind turbines does indeed affect the cochlea and vestibular organs.  (Nina Pierpont pointed out the likelihood of vestibular effect in her book, “Wind Turbine Syndrome,” in 2009, which Leventhall and other wind energy consultants have seen fit to trash — and continue to trash, digging their scholarly graves ever deeper.)

Leventhall-Chapman2

If you suffer from Wind Turbine Syndrome (WTS) and are getting nowhere with your physician, show him (her) this article.  If you’re a WTS sufferer and want some action from your municipal or state or provincial government, or board of health, show them this article — and make an appointment with a lawyer.

Dr. Salt has been publishing in this vein for at least 5 years.  Slowly but surely his laboratory is showing the physiological mechanism for the symptoms that Pierpont christened “Wind Turbine Syndrome.”  Those of  you suffering from WTS don’t need Dr. Salt to tell you that, yes, you’re sick.  He can, however, explain why you’re sick.

While Salt and his colleagues continue to figure out the exact pathophysiological mechanisms, justice and humaneness and common sense plus of course the “precautionary principle” would say that all wind turbine installation projects should be put on “hold” while the clinical and scientific jury is out.

Click here for the full article.
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Excerpt:

The essence of the current debate is that on one hand you have the well-funded wind industry (1) advocating that infrasound be ignored because the measured levels are below the threshold of human hearing, allowing noise levels to be adequately documented through A-weighted sound measurements; (2) dismissing the possibility that any variants of wind turbine syndrome exist (Pierpont 2009) even when physicians (e.g., Steven D. Rauch, M.D. at Harvard Medical School) cannot otherwise explain some patients’ symptoms; and (3) arguing that it is unnecessary to separate wind turbines and homes based on prevailing sound levels.

On the other hand, you have many people who claim to be so distressed by the effects of wind turbine noise that they cannot tolerate living in their homes. Some move away, either at financial loss or bought-out by the turbine operators. Others live with the discomfort, often requiring medical therapies to deal with their symptoms. Some, even members of the same family, may be unaffected. Below is a description of the disturbance experienced by a woman in Europe we received a few weeks ago as part of an unsolicited e-mail.

‘From the moment that the turbines began working I experienced vertigo-like symptoms on an ongoing basis. In many respects, what I am experiencing now is actually worse than the ‘dizziness’ I have previously experienced, as the associated nausea is much more intense. For me the pulsating, humming, noise that the turbines emit is the predominant sound that I hear and that really seems to affect me.

While the Chief Scientist [the person who came to take sound measurements in her house] undertaking the measurement informed me that he was aware of the low frequency hum the turbines produced (he lives close to a wind farm himself and had recorded the humming noise levels indoors in his own home) he advised that I could tune this noise out and that any adverse symptoms I was experiencing were simply psychosomatic.’ . . .

Given the knowledge that the ear responds to low frequency sounds and infrasound, we knew that comparisons with benign sources were invalid and the logic to A-weight sound measurements was deeply flawed scientifically. . . .

From this understanding we conclude that very low frequency sounds and infrasound, at levels well below those that are heard, readily stimulate the cochlea. Low frequency sounds and infrasound from wind turbines can therefore stimulate the ear at levels well below those that are heard. . . .

No one has ever evaluated whether tympanostomy tubes alleviate the symptoms of those living near wind turbines. From the patient’s perspective, this may be preferable to moving out of their homes or using medical treatments for vertigo, nausea, and/or sleep disturbance. The results of such treatment, whether positive, negative, would likely have considerable scientific influence on the wind turbine noise debate. . . .

Another concern that must be dealt with is the development of wind turbine noise measurements that have clinical relevance. The use of A-weighting must be reassessed as it is based on insensitive, Inner Hair Cell (IHC)-mediated hearing and grossly misrepresents inner ear stimulation generated by the noise. In the scientific domain, A-weighting sound measurements would be unacceptable when many elements of the ear exhibit a higher sensitivity than hearing. The wind industry should be held to the same high standards. Full-spectrum monitoring, which has been adopted in some reports, is essential. . . .

Given the present evidence, it seems risky at best to continue the current gamble that infrasound stimulation of the ear stays confined to the ear and has no other effects on the body. For this to be true, all the mechanisms we have outlined (low- frequency-induced amplitude modulation, low frequency sound-induced endolymph volume changes, infrasound stimulation of type II afferent nerves, infrasound exacerbation of noise-induced damage and direct infrasound stimulation of vestibular organs) would have to be insignificant. We know this is highly unlikely and we anticipate novel findings in the coming years that will influence the debate.

 

Welcome to the Macarthur windfarm: “Dry retching over the kitchen sink” (Australia)

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To:  The Australian Medical Association (AMA)
From:  Chris Jelbart (Victoria, Australia)
Regarding:  Your irresponsible statement re. Wind Turbine Syndrome
Date:  3/17/14.
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My family . . .  [has] been severely impacted by the insidious nature of noise from the Macarthur wind farm.  We have been subjected to audible noise which at times can be clearly heard above the television.  We also know, through paying an acoustician, that our house is subject to infrasound.  This causes my husband severely disturbed sleep.  It also impacts on two sons when they are at home.  I suffer bouts of nausea, which seemed to ease up over the summer — different wind direction generally — but in the last couple of days, as the wind blows from the west I have had a couple of “attacks.”  It concerns me that when I reported severe nausea (dry retching over the kitchen sink — and I’m 59) to my General Practitioner, he said it wouldn’t be caused by noise from the wind farm.  However, if that is his belief, then isn’t he negligent to not investigate further?

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I am appalled at the Position Statement that the Australian Medical Association (AMA) has put out regarding wind farms and health. This statement smacks of collusion with the wind industry, and is nearly a direct quote of all the propaganda they put forward to the gullible public. I would have hoped that a professional body such as the AMA would think independently about this growing and serious health issue, and looked a little deeper into the mounting evidence that will condemn wind farms to being recognised as the danger to health that they are.

My family is fortunate to live on the volcanic plains in Western Victoria, but have been severely impacted by the insidious nature of noise from the Macarthur wind farm. We have been subjected to audible noise which at times can be clearly heard above the television. We also know, through paying an acoustician, that our house is subject to infrasound. This causes my husband severely disturbed sleep. It also impacts on two sons when they are at home. I suffer bouts of nausea, which seemed to ease up over the summer — different wind direction generally — but in the last couple of days, as the wind blows from the west I have had a couple of “attacks.”

It concerns me that when I reported severe nausea (dry retching over the kitchen sink — and I’m 59) to my General Practitioner, he said it wouldn’t be caused by noise from the wind farm. However, if that is his belief, then isn’t he negligent to not investigate further?

I believe the AMA has taken a very dangerous position here to the detriment of the health of rural Australians. Until there is multi-disciplinary research this position cannot be justified.

 

Attorney warns Aust. Medical Assoc. that its reckless statement on WTS is “actionable”

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To
:  The President of the Australian Medical Association (AMA)
From:  Terrence Conn, Attorney at Law (New South Wales, Australia)
Regarding:  The AMA’s “actionable” and reckless formal statement on wind turbines & health
Date:  3/28/14
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Excerpt:

It is time to put the “anxiety from scare mongering” and Professor Simon Chapman’s “nocebo” argument to rest and move on. The idea is illogical, cruel and ridiculous in the context of rural communities and there is not one skerrick of evidence to support it. . . .

To put it briefly, I am flabbergasted by the recklessly negligent AMA position statement. The position statement is reckless in the extreme. It parrots wind farm protagonist propaganda and shows no hint of independent research into health issues or energy issues. The statement is negligent because, firstly, your organization has an acknowledged “duty of care” towards the citizens of Australia and secondly, “you know or ought to know” what the actual evidence is. . . .

Apart from the health issues (about which you would be well advised to limit any AMA statement – again, the case of negligence and recklessness would not be difficult to establish) the position statement makes gratuitous remarks about other aspects of industrial wind turbines. It repeats wind industry propaganda about the benefits of wind farms and the absence of ill effects. In this respect, your statement is patently political and ideological. . . .

In summary, your statement is ignorant, unprofessional, ideologically driven and ill-informed. It is a disgrace to the medical profession. It is dripping with the words of propaganda used by the proponents and supporters of wind farms. I note that its authorship is not acknowledged and it bears an uncanny resemblance to statements issued by the “clean energy council” (formerly the Australian Wind Energy Association) which consistently misrepresents the impact of wind farms. It is an embarrassment to your members and, quite probably, actionable. It should be removed from the internet and, if you must take a public position in the matter, re-done.

I am a solicitor [lawyer] and farmer living in the Central Tablelands of N.S.W. I, and my wife, were approached by a wind farm developer in 2008 and thereafter to consider “hosting” industrial wind turbines on our farm. As a result, I (unlike the AMA) carefully researched and studied the “impacts” of wind farms on rural communities world wide in order to form an independent judgment in relation to these matters. Having done so, I was appalled to read the “Wind Farms and Public Health Position Statement” dated the 18th March 2014 and published on the internet. This is a letter of protest.

To put it briefly, I am flabbergasted by the recklessly negligent AMA position statement. The position statement is reckless in the extreme. It parrots wind farm protagonist propaganda and shows no hint of independent research into health issues or energy issues. The statement is negligent because, firstly, your organization has an acknowledged “duty of care” towards the citizens of Australia and secondly, “you know or ought to know” what the actual evidence is. Even if the author (s) had read the recently released 264 page draft report by the NH&MRC and its referenced material, no “reasonable man” – let alone a qualified professional – could possibly come up with an “objective” statement that resembles anything like the “AMA position” on wind farm health impacts.

In addition to reading the NH&MRC report and references, the author of a proper (rather than a reckless and negligent) AMA position statement would need to consider and weigh the “peer reviewed” literature which the NH&MRC ignored.

Further, it has to be odds of at least 1,000 to 1 that neither you nor any of the authors of your report has ever spoken to a victim suffering ill-health from industrial wind turbines. The negligence case against the AMA in relation to its position statement would not be a difficult one!

Perhaps, if you have spoken to any victims you concluded they were suffering as a result of “heightened anxiety” or “negative perceptions.” As a long standing resident of a rural community and a 4th generation Australian farmer the notion that rural people can be led “lemming like” down a path of “anxiety” with their bulging eyes glazed over in a mask of unintelligent incomprehension into any abyss of physical ill health is absurd. Philosopher M Thomas Inge makes the observation that “farming is the sole occupation which offers total independence and self sufficiency.” The “independence” extends to their decision making.

There are any number of studies and written observations that exist in Australia relating to rural people’s consistent exercise of independence of thought. Do some real research. Look them up but I will refer to one study by Heidi Lindner, School of Health and Environment, La Trobe University. The study outlines an extraordinary propensity by farmers for stoicism, independence and self reliance and concludes that a strong tendency exists in the culture to “victim blame” – to assume that an individual has control over their own behaviours and that their poor health is their own fault. It is precisely this tendency to “victim blame” that makes your statement so utterly careless, negligent and destructive. It deliberately fosters and encourages such an attitude.

It is time to put the “anxiety from scare mongering” and Professor Simon Chapman’s “nocebo” argument to rest and move on. The idea is illogical, cruel and ridiculous in the context of rural communities and there is not one skerrick of evidence to support it.

Apart from the health issues (about which you would be well advised to limit any AMA statement – again, the case of negligence and recklessness would not be difficult to establish) the position statement makes gratuitous remarks about other aspects of industrial wind turbines. It repeats wind industry propaganda about the benefits of wind farms and the absence of ill effects. In this respect, your statement is patently “political” and “ideological.” More importantly, it demonstrates extraordinary ignorance of energy matters and is proof that you have not even been aware of persistent and continuous media and professional debates about the place of wind farms as a generator of electricity in a modern society with an electrical grid system. Hundreds of papers have been written and submitted to governments by professional economists, various engineering groups, individual engineers and acousticians (not involved with the wind industry). I have numerous references to these papers and submissions but I have no intention of attaching them to this letter or sending them to you because you need to first introduce the AMA to health issues rather than the issues that are much debated in energy circles.

That said, bit by bit, governments around the world are realising that they have been “conned” by wind industry propaganda in respect to efficacy, abatement of CO2 emissions, abatement of pollution and the cost of wind energy. In relation to efficacy alone, imagine trying to run just one hospital from power generated by every wind farm in Australia – you can’t. As you would know if you had done any research, even AGL admits this! The obstinate obsession by protagonists to limit discussion of wind farms to only the generation of electricity is another absurdity thrust upon us by the wind industry and its proponents, and apparently now by the AMA. Somebody should have informed the authors of the statement that the “generation” of electricity is just one part of a complicated system that provides 24 hour a day, 7 day a week power to consumers when it is needed. Why would you build a car and place it in an environment with no roads, bridges, traffic control or any of the other components needed for a complicated transport system. The evidence is now in and mounting – the engineers have been consistently correct, the ideologists incorrect. Case studies from around the world are demonstrating that running a national grid that is mandatorily connected to voluminous wind farms is a complete, dangerous and massively expensive flop in every respect.

To say that I am extremely disappointed by the quality and content of the position statement would be to put it more mildly than I am prepared to. At an intellectual level, much has been written recently by social commentators (you could start with the work of Nick Cater) about the emergence of a smug, superior class in Australian society, a class which has delusions of its own adequacy and which takes neither the time nor the trouble to remove itself from its own comfort zones and thought bubbles to connect with real people and “the real world.” It appears to me that the AMA echelons, which have now categorized rural people as worthless, stupid imbeciles incapable of knowing whether they are sick or not, have been permeated by such attitudes and they have no place in a professional organization.

In summary, your statement is ignorant, unprofessional, ideologically driven and ill-informed. It is a disgrace to the medical profession. It is dripping with the words of propaganda used by the proponents and supporters of wind farms. I note that its authorship is not acknowledged and it bears an uncanny resemblance to statements issued by the “clean energy council” (formerly the Australian Wind Energy Association) which consistently misrepresents the impact of wind farms. It is an embarrassment to your members and, quite probably, actionable. It should be removed from the internet and, if you must take a public position in the matter, re-done.

 

Medical establishment corrupted by wind industry, reveals prominent radio host (Australia)

wind turbine stethoscope
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Click here to listen to radio interview with Australian Federal Senator John Madigan.

Man fights wind turbines with hunger strike (France)

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Click here to read the story in French.  English translation is below.

Three questions to …

Paul Boultareau. A wind farm is to be built near his home at Grande-Lande, he believes he does not have all the information regarding this construction.  Since Monday, he has stopped eating.

Paul Boultareau, why this hunger strike?

» First, because it is a peaceful action, one to get the attention of government so as to set off a real debate on the merits, if any, of industrial wind turbines. E.g. what is their place in relation to other new energy sources? And what of their impact on the bocage countryside of our district, on health and on wildlife?

What are the answers you are looking for?

» I would like to understand the financial picture. First, what will be the cost of installing these wind turbines, then their operating costs, and the potential impact on the creation of new jobs in France. I would also like to know how long they will work, what they are to become at the end of the contracts obligating EDF to buy their electricity, and what is their expected output? I would also like to highlight how these contracts will affect the bills of electricity consumers in general and, finally, how these machines will benefit the citizen-consumer.

How will you proceed with your campaign?

» I had my last meal Sunday night, and since then I have consumed nothing but pure water. Thursday, I will set up my camper van in the village of Vritz, in front of the town hall. I will answer questions from the people who come to see me, and I hope this will lead to a real public debate, one which will present objectively all aspects of the proposal.

 

History repeats itself (Australia)

history repeats itself

 

Wind Turbine Syndrome victim blasts executives of the Australian Medical Assoc.

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From:  Ann Gardner (Victoria, Australia)
To:  The Australian Medical Association (AMA)
Date:  3/25/14
Regarding:  The Australian Medical Association’s outrageous dismissal of Wind Turbine Syndrome
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At the time of writing this letter I am suffering terribly from the infrasound emitted by the 140 turbines located FAR TOO CLOSE to our property.

I have a bad headache.  I have a very strong pain shooting up through the back of my neck and into my head.  I have extremely sore and blocked ears and very painful pressure in my nose.  I have pressure in my jaw and my teeth.  My heart is POUNDING …… I can feel the vibration going through my body, through the chair, like an electric charge.  I have just taken yet another two tablets to try and alleviate the pain.

I am also exhausted, as last night, along with every other night, I spent more time awake than asleep.  The infrasound in our bedroom was appalling …. I could feel the vibration through the mattress and the pillow, like an electric charge through my body.  My head felt as if a brick was on it, and the pressure and pain in my nose was extreme.  I have always been a very sound sleeper, that is until October 2012.  I am now lucky if l am able to get two or three hours sleep each night in my own home.

My name is Ann Gardner and I have lived and worked happily and healthily for 34 years, on my husband’s and my farming property in south-west Victoria until October 2012, when the first only 15 turbines ofthe Macarthur wind farm began operation, and threw our lives and those ofmany others, into turmoil.

A t the time of writing this letter I am suffering terribly from the infrasound emitted by the 140 turbines located FAR TOO CLOSE to our property.

I have a bad headache. I have a very strong pain shooting up through the back of my neck and into my head. I have extremely sore and blocked ears and very painful pressure in my nose. I have pressure in my jaw and my teeth. My heart is POUNDING …… I can feel the vibration going through my body, through the chair, like an electric charge. I have just taken yet another two tablets to try and alleviate the pain.

I am also exhausted, as last night, along with every other night, I spent more time awake than asleep. The infrasound in our bedroom was appalling …. I could feel the vibration through the mattress and the pillow, like an electric charge through my body. My head felt as if a brick was on it, and the pressure and pain in my nose was extreme. I have always been a very sound sleeper, that is until October 2012. I am now lucky if l am able to get two or three hours sleep each night in my own home.

My family’s common law right to a good night’s sleep in our own home HAS BEEN TAKEN AWAY FROM US BY AGL and THE MACARTHUR WIND FARM.

My nights are spent as above. I take at least two tablets in the middle of the night to try and get back to sleep, but most times they just don’t work. Getting up in the morning I feel wretched and reach for at least two more tablets to try and make me feel able to start my working day, with any energy at all.

My husband is severely impacted by the infrasound also, to the extent that since October 2012, we have been forced to leave our property for at least two nights of each week, which literally means three days away. We do this to try and get at least two decent nights sleep each week, and also to remove our bodies from the cumulative impact of infrasound. In your position, surely you would know what infrasound does to the human body. If not, read the link www.lowertheboom.org.au.

When we move [travel] away, which is at great cost to us and our business, our symptoms go away and we feel like normal people again. Our animals suffer, our business suffers, but we can no longer live in our own home for a whole week. What an absolute disgrace this is ….. in a country such as Australia. When we return home again, after several days respite, the symptoms return immediately.

The above description is just how it is EVERY DAY and EVERY NIGHT we spent in our home and on our property, thanks to AGL’s monster Macarthur wind farm where the turbines have been constructed far too close together, and far too close to people’s homes. Already two families have been forced to leave their homes, their jobs and their properties due to the impact of the wind farm turbine noise and infrasound/low frequency noise. Other families, like ours, are forced to leave their homes regularly for respite and to get a good night’s sleep.

THIS IS NOT RIGHT……

So to read the Australian Medical Association’s position statement released recently, we were just appalled.

It is such a disgrace to see that the AMA has allowed the wind industry to infiltrate this association, whose mission statement goes along the following lines:

The AMA promotes and advances ethical behaviour by medical professionals and protects the integrity and independence of doctor/patient relationship.

The position statement released literally promotes the lies and fraud which is endemic within the wind industry, and you two men, who have no doubt been elected with a responsibility and duty of care to protect the health of ALL Australians, have allowed the reputation of the AMA to fall into disrepute, by allowing the AMA to be aligned with and influenced by, the greedy wind industry.

The claims of the  “nocebo”  effect and “scare-mongering” are just OUTRAGEOUS.

These are outright LIES and the AMA knows it.

My family did NOT EVER imagine we would be impacted in any way by this enormous wind farm developed next to our farming property. We feared the noise and vibration could possibly resonate within the walls of our shedded sheep enterprise, but not for one minute did we anticipate any problem regarding our own health.

Do you know why?  We were told by AGL that there would be no more noise than any ordinary working farm!!!!

LIES, LIES, LIES and more LIES, is what the innocent, hard working families were spun by this large Australian company, whose conduct in this district has been shocking.

We, along with so many other families CANNOT SEE the turbines, but we can certainly FEEL them.

What amazes me is that for the past year, various organisations have been trotting out reports claiming there are NO health impacts from wind turbines.

But each of these reports (except for the NHMRC’s) DO NOT HA VE AUTHORS. Why is this?

Could it be that a certain academic from a well-known university, or the Clean Energy Council, or wind developers have had a very large part in writing these shonky reports ?

First of all, we saw the release of the Victorian Health Department’s two fraudulent reports titled “Wind Farms, Sound and Health.”  But alas, NO AUTHORS …….

Recently the National Health & Medical Research Council (NHMRC) released its latest report. It did have the names of the authors, however a serious conflict ofinterest has been discovered between several people involved, and the wind industry …….

Now we have the AMA position statement released. Again, NO AUTHOR.

No doubt, release of names of all those who participated in this appalling statement would identify the very close involvement of the wind industry within this organisation also.

I have several questions which I would appreciate your immediate answers to please.

* How many impacted victims did you interview at various wind farms around Australia?

* Why did you NOT visit the Macarthur wind farm?

* Why did you NOT interview impacted families surrounding the Macarthur wind farm?

* Why did you NOT carry out multi-disciplinary research at the Macarthur wind farm?

* Why did you NOT carry out HEALTH IMPACT ASSESSMENTS at the Macarthur wind farm?

* Why did you NOT carry out ANY investigation in the field at the Macarthur wind farm, when you are WELL AWARE of the preliminary health survey carried out in 2013 in this district, whereby around 23 families (around 66 people) reported various degrees o f health problems associated with the turbines?

Just in case you’ve conveniently forgotten about this preliminary health survey (bearing in mind it was not truly representative ofall the district, as many families have signed confidentiality agreements to host turbines for another wind farm proposal) the link is as follows.  http://waubrafoundation.org.au/2013/macarthur-preliminary-survey-shows-effects-out-8-9km/

I suggest you read it and thoroughly digest, particularly the chilling comments made by the people responding to the survey.

In line with your totally unacceptable behaviour trotting out this recent fraudulent report full of the wind industry’s lies, I suppose you condone the behaviour of AGL Energy whereby in November 2012, they had the audacity to send a letter to the 12 medical centres in this large southwest Victorian district ?

This letter literally advised all the doctors that should any of their patients present with symptoms which they attributed to the turbines at the Macarthur wind farm, there is no evidence of health impacts from wind turbines, and the doctors should advise the patients simply to go home and read the AGL website.

This action by AGL seriously breached the contract between doctor and patient, and caused doctors in this district to neglect their patients and simply not investigate any further their problems, not assisting their sick patients in any way.

Thus I would like your answer to my question:  Does the AMA condone AGL’s actions in trying to influence the medical practitioners in this district, thus ignoring their duty of care and responsibility to the health of their patients?

The totally irresponsible manner in which the AMA has acted, literaly allowing themselves to be an advocate of the wind industry, and the behaviour of AGL in this manner, remind me of what it would be like to live in a THIRD WORLD COUNTRY, where those in authority treat the people with such contempt and shocking disregard.

I ask you how can the AMA and its members ABUSE their duty of care to PROMOTE ETHICAL BEHAVIOUR when both the president and vice president have allowed themselves to compromise the position of this association whose motto is literally DO NO HARM?

The harm your Association has caused to the hundreds of rural Australians whose health and lives have been destroyed by wind turbines, by the greed of developers, by promoting what I am of the opinion to be the corrupt actions of wind developers, is immeasurable. You, along with the wind industry, insist on denigrating innocent families who dare to speak out, in their desperate attempts to prevent further damage to their health and wellbeing.

All I can say to you is SHAME ON YOU!

Could you please inform me the name/s of those who authored this position statement ?

I ask that you immediately REVOKE this disgraceful example of disonesty and spin, and start acting in the manner which is expected of you, as leaders of such a supposed exemplary body.

Put simply, this position statement is ABSOLUTE RUBBISH and you two men should RESIGN immediately. You do NOT DESERVE the positions which you hold, having severely abused the privilege bestowed upon you to hold such offices.

I would also appreciate your HONEST answers to my NINE questions, by return mail please.

 

Medical doctor trashes Australian Med. Assoc. for trashing Wind Turbine Syndrome

nazi doc

To: Dr Steve Hambleton, President, Australian Medical Association
From:  Gary D. Hopkins, MD
Date:  March 20, 2014

I write with regards your recent press release on wind turbines.  I write as a practicing physician with 36 years experience in fields as diverse as rehabilitation, emergency medicine and forensic medicine. Previously a senior lecturer at both the University of South Australia and the Adelaide University lecturing both at an undergraduate and post graduate levels. In particular I lectured to the post graduate diploma of Occupational and Environmental Health, and to candidates for the College of Occupational Medicine.

Over the years the Australian Medical Association (AMA) has been considered conservative, cautious and at times even out of step with modern advances in medical practice. I should point out however that the above is not meant as a criticism but rather as a compliment. Indeed it is the very conservative and cautious nature of the AMA which gives it it’s strength, authority and power both within the profession and to outsiders.

The above being said, I can only say that within the 36 years of listening to advice from the AMA, your recent public statement on the effects of wind turbines on health has for the first time caused me to be embarrassed to be a physician. Throughout my  36 years of practice and drummed into the hundreds of juniors who have passed through my care, has always been the pivotal Hippocratic pronouncement “first, do no harm.”  Your recent press release at the very least has broken this very basis of good medical practice, not to mention decreased the credibility of the AMA itself.

I am rendered speechless by your irresponsible, ill researched, ill advised and reckless statement that those who might suffer physical effects from the presence of turbines are suffering a psychological condition (anxiety). Indeed your very statement itself causes anxiety in those likely to be affected.  (“Who will believe me when I tell them I feel sick?”)

Was this the attitude of your forbears to those of the London plague just before they died, until a connection was made to the transmission of the disease by rats?

Even the National Health & Medical Research Council (NHMRC) has suggested caution, till further evidence is gained.

“First do no harm.”  What harm have you now done by your statement?

Once I manage to recover from my disbelief and disenchantment with the AMA at such an outrageous statement, I will communicate further.  Hopefully, by then you will have realized your blunder and retracted your harmful statement.

 

“Mighty Mouse” Knocks Out Wind Turbine! (Minnesota)

mighty-mouse2

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“Mouse fire in Enxco’s Chanarambie wind turbine” (Minnesota)

— Eagle Siting, baldeaglesitings.blogspot.com (3/24/14)

Enxco filed an “extraordinary event” report with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission today.  Mice got into the electrical equipment, caused an electrical arc and lit the turbine on fire.  Mice happen; they get into places we would rather they did not.  It is interesting to know a mouse can take out a giant industrial turbine.  However, consistent with almost all turbine disaster reports, the wind project managers found out about the problem when a local resident called them.

“At approximately 9:00 AM on December 2, 2013 a local farmer notified the Operations Manager that smoke was observed coming from the access door and the nacelle on turbine #35.”

Citizens with wind company experience know that developers constantly poo-poo any concerns about safety issues.  The consistent, and obviously misleading, marketing message is that “any time there is ANY operational problem, the SCADA system will automatically shut down the turbine operation and notify the managers.”

Yet, reports of turbine fire, noisy mechanical malfunction, “uncontrolled operation,” and “component liberation,” repeatedly state that the wind company found out about the wreck because a citizen called them. In other cases, the turbine maintenance staff “found the turbine lying on the ground” when they came to work in the morning.

No automatic shut down. No notice from the supposed turbine monitoring system to the company.

Why is that?

mighty_mouse_meets_mickey_mouse_by_ozzyguy-d5mfi3v

 

Wind turbine host has textbook Wind Turbine Syndrome — the disease Big Wind denies exists (Australia)

 screwed

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— David Mortimer, South Australia (3/16/14)
david.mortimer7@gmail.com

Excerpt:

I signed up with a wind farm developer in 1997 to host wind turbines on my farm. I thought it was good for the planet and as I was getting on a bit in years, it would be a nice supplement to my retirement income. I was so convinced that it was a good idea that I also convinced my neighbours and my brother (who was vehemently against anyone tampering with his land) to sign up to an option to lease to host wind turbines.

The option to lease was a binding document that prevented us in any way from backing out of the deal. I had no concerns with the document because I was informed confidently by the developer that I would not hear the turbines above the ambient noise level.

That subsequently proved to be very much a lie. Many of the landowners who host the turbines do not live anywhere near the turbines and I am aware of at least one non-host landowner who is receiving “good neighbour” money in exchange for their silence. How many others receive what amounts to little more than a bribe?

What about those wind turbine hosts with children? There are more and more reports of children being harmed by these machines, and these agreements prohibit their parents from complaining about what amounts to abuse of these children. What about their rights to a good nights sleep – so essential for their growth and development?

The turbines were installed and commissioned in 2004. Because of the loud audible noise made by the turbines on our farm (each about 750 metres from our house), my wife and I decided to build on a 10 acre block of land 2.5 km from the nearest turbines and still only 5 km from our farm, so that we could still comfortably run the farm. At the 10 acre block, we could neither see the turbines nor hear them unless the wind was blowing directly from them, and then the audible level was generally low enough not to be too annoying.

For the next 14 months, my wife and I spent our waking hours building our new home (just the two of us, every brick and stone and the entire fit out) in addition to running our beef cattle farm. Needless to say, we were very tired at the end of each day. At the end of the 14 months, we moved into our new home although it still needed painting and tiling etc.

Almost immediately after we moved in (September 2006), I started to develop problems such as nocturnal panic attacks, loud tinnitus, deep fits of depression, and apparent heart arrhythmia to name the most prominent. I consulted my doctor about my heart appearing to miss beats particularly if I was inside the house. My doctor could not find any problem with my heart.

The panic attacks, I put down to living in a new strange house and the depression to working too hard. I wondered if my problems were pesticide or herbicide related but ceasing their use for a year did not alter the symptoms. I wondered if I was being oxygen deprived by the lounge room slow combustion heater but the symptoms were still there in the summer months. I could not sit in my recliner without feeling as though I had an x-ray blanket pressing me into the chair and I couldn’t get up from it. When I went to bed, it felt as though I had just run up a flight of stairs. I gave up and considered that I had built a “sick” house. 

In 2011, a Senate committee recommended that urgent testing be conducted on industrial wind turbines with respect to their health effects on nearby residents. To date, no such testing by government funded organisations has been carried out.

At around the same time, the NHMRC recommended that a precautionary approach to the positioning and approval of industrial wind turbines be taken. No such precautionary approach has been taken by governments at any level. Not only has there been no precautionary approach, but rather, caution has been thrown to the wind and wind farms are not only being allowed without proper cost-benefit studies but are being actively encouraged.

That industrial wind turbines are even remotely effective in supplying meaningful power or have any significant effect on reducing emissions of carbon dioxide is questionable at best. How do I arrive at that opinion? Simply put, my home is not connected in any way to the national electricity grid. I derive all of my electric power from a small solar array and a 500watt wind generator. Were I to rely solely on the wind generator, I would receive no more than 20% of the generator’s capacity output for the whole year, nowhere nearly enough to supply our meagre needs. This is approximately the same percentage of power one can get from an industrial wind turbine because that is the degree to which the wind blows. The wind is both intermittent and highly variable. The bulk of my electricity comes from a small 1kilowatt photo voltaic panel array. Excess power produced is stored in lead-acid batteries which gets me well and truly through the night when there is no sun. If the wind blows strongly during the night, almost all of that power is wasted as the batteries are full. This is just like industrial wind turbines where they produce much of their power at night when it is not needed, but unlike my system, it can not be stored.

Much is being said as to the cost effectiveness of wind farms but that is not the subject of this letter as the price of electricity does not impinge upon my life other than to make commodities I purchase more expensive. I don’t receive electricity bills.

My issue is the health of peoples world wide who are being affected to varying degrees by the various frequencies of sound and vibration energy produced by industrial wind turbines, in particular, my health and the health of my wife.

As you are probably aware, there has been relatively little acceptable scientific research conducted in relation to the effect of wind turbine noise on human health and what there has been appears to be frequently overlooked or deliberately ignored. In particular the groundbreaking Kelley NASA research in the 1980’s in the US which resulted in a dramatic design change to reduce the infrasound and low frequency noise generated by a single wind turbine, which was found to DIRECTLY cause the symptoms including sleep disturbance has yet again been ignored most recently by the NHMRC.

Does the NHMRC not consider that NASA and the US government research led by Dr Neil Kelley which resulted in wind turbine design changes from downwind to upwind bladed turbines to be credible research? Or perhaps it is because the wind industry and governments since that research have refused to measure the full sound spectrum, thereby refusing to measure the very frequencies established in 1985 to DIRECTLY CAUSE the health problems so many of us are now (predictably) experiencing.

Why has this NASA research been “buried” by the wind industry and governments including noise pollution regulatory authorities for so long? It was presented at the American Wind Energy Association conference in 1987, so they cannot say they did not know about it.

I signed up with a wind farm developer in 1997 to host wind turbines on my farm. I thought it was good for the planet and as I was getting on a bit in years, it would be a nice supplement to my retirement income. I was so convinced that it was a good idea that I also convinced my neighbours and my brother (who was vehemently against anyone tampering with his land) to sign up to an option to lease to host wind turbines. The option to lease was a binding document that prevented us in any way from backing out of the deal. I had no concerns with the document because I was informed confidently by the developer that I would not hear the turbines above the ambient noise level. That subsequently proved to be very much a lie. Many of the land owners who host the turbines do not live anywhere near the turbines and I am aware of at least one non host land owner who is receiving “good neighbour” money in exchange for their silence. How many others receive what amounts to little more than a bribe? What about those wind turbine hosts with children? There are more and more reports of children being harmed by these machines, and these agreements prohibit their parents from complaining about what amounts to abuse of these children. What about their rights to a good nights sleep – so essential for their growth and development?

The turbines were installed and commissioned in 2004. Because of the loud audible noise made by the turbines on our farm (each about 750 metres from our house), my wife and I decided to build on a 10acre block of land 2.5 km from the nearest turbines and still only 5 km from our farm so that we could still comfortably run the farm. At the 10 acre block, we could neither see the turbines nor hear them unless the wind was blowing directly from them and then the audible level was generally low enough not to be too annoying. For the next 14 months, my wife and I spent our waking hours building our new home (just the two of us, every brick and stone and the entire fit out) in addition to running our beef cattle farm. Needless to say, we were very tired at the end of each day. At the end of the 14 months, we moved into our new home although it still needed painting and tiling etc.

Almost immediately after we moved in (September 2006), I started to develop problems such as nocturnal panic attacks, loud tinnitus, deep fits of depression, and apparent heart arrhythmia to name the most prominent. I consulted my doctor about my heart appearing to miss beats particularly if I was inside the house. My doctor could not find any problem with my heart. The panic attacks, I put down to living in a new strange house and the depression to working too hard. I wondered if my problems were pesticide or herbicide related but ceasing their use for a year did not alter the symptoms. I wondered if I was being oxygen deprived by the lounge room slow combustion heater but the symptoms were still there in the summer months. I could not sit in my recliner without feeling as though I had an x-ray blanket pressing me into the chair and I couldn’t get up from it. When I went to bed, it felt as though I had just run up a flight of stairs. I gave up and considered that I had built a “sick” house.

In 2010, we were informed (by the same wind farm developer) that they were going to install a new wind farm with turbines 50 metres taller than the existing ones, twice the power and much bigger blades in two rows at between 2 km to 3 km directly in front of our home up wind of the prevailing winds. We were not happy with having to have a “picket fence” of around 23 turbines virtually on our front lawn. We informed the developer at a public information (not consultation) day, that although we supported wind farms generally, we were decidedly unhappy with their choice of locations. At no time did the developer ever consult with us despite claiming at the development assessment panel hearing that his company was consulting with households living out to 5 km from the turbines. We informed our council of our concerns and resolved to get on with our life as there was, it seemed, nothing we could do about it although our very striking panoramic view was to be destroyed along with potential value of the block.

Early in 2012, I was asked to attend a wind energy forum in Mount Gambier. I felt I had no need to attend because having turbines on our farm, I thought I already knew about wind turbines but out of curiosity of Dutch relatives who were staying with us at the time we went anyway. At the forum, a gentleman stood up and described a list of symptoms he had been experiencing since the turbines at Cape Bridgewater were set to work. As he listed his symptoms, I mentally ticked off mine and was astounded that they were virtually identical. I found it hard to believe that the turbines could cause such debilitating physiological conditions. The turbines just sit there rotating casually and some could say, gracefully so how could they affect me. The wind farm developer now likes to tell the world that we only started to complain about the current wind farm after we were informed of the proposed (now approved) new wind farm. That is partly true, but why did we wait for nearly two years before making our complaints? Simply because we had no idea that the noise produced by the turbines could have any effect on us. New wind farm or no new wind farm, I would have complained just as long and loud when I discovered the health issues related to the turbines already adjacent our home.

In order to confirm that it was the turbine noise that was affecting us, the first thing we did was to leave the district for a series of holidays from as little as a weekend up to about 8 weeks. Whilst away from the turbines, neither my wife nor I had any of the symptoms, but they returned within hours of being home.

I examined my pulse whilst “listening” to the pulsing inside my head. They were not the same but appeared to drift in and out of sync. The sensation was one of having two hearts that sometimes worked together and sometimes opposed. I have an exercise bicycle on which I elevated my pulse rate somewhat, and noted that my pulse rate was constant but significantly higher than the quasi regular pulsing I could sense in my head. It was around four years before my wife began to experience acute vertigo and now she experiences the same noise related symptoms as I do.

By coincidence, today is world sleep day and our second night of respite from the low frequency turbine noise. We are around 70km from the nearest turbine. Last night, our sleep was wonderful. It was as though our heads had been emptied. Tonight is already the same. I don’t want to go home to the same incessant pounding we get every day. Yes, even on calm days or days when the turbines are barely turning, the deep resonant pulsing, drumming noise they make is intolerable. When the wind blows from the turbines directly at our house or even days when the wind is diametrically opposite, it is impossible to think clearly and we dread going to bed. Every morning I wake up exhausted. The low frequency pulsing seems not able to be blocked by wearing ear plugs or muffs but gets into the skull and feels like someone is striking the base of my brain with a soft hammer.

Do you believe me? I doubt it, but what I tell you is indeed the case. The turbines may look benign but when you think about it, the blades are shifting a swept area of air about the size of a soccer pitch or bigger every second – which just happens to be around the rate of our heart beat. Have you ever wondered just how much energy a pressure pulse of low frequency sound at around our heart beat rate it takes to confuse our actual heart beat? I doubt it, just as I doubt you have ever conducted any scientific research on the matter.

The term “annoyance” with respect to wind turbine noise is being abused by academics and politicians who should know better, and by wind energy developers alike. In my view, there are two meanings of the term. The version used by wind developers relates to emotions i.e. one can be annoyed for example, by the visual impact of turbines and suffer from stress caused by distress associated with their appearance. The other version is that used by acoustic engineers to describe a physical or physiological response to various noise levels and frequencies. Unfortunately academics who should know better and wind turbine proponents pounce on the term “annoyance” and use it to trivialise the very real physical (and measurable) sensations felt by those affected by the noise, such as my wife and I.

Both my wife and I have visited the farm houses of others who are suffering from the effects of the wind turbine created low frequency noise and we can clearly hear and feel that noise inside their houses. They, as we, are not making this up. We have visited the home of a gentleman who lives in Ravenshoe QLD at Windy Hill. The audible and low frequency noises were intolerable to us. If ever in my opinion there was a case for justifiable homicide, that poor chap has one.

We have stayed overnight at a friend’s home in Penshurst Victoria since the MacArthur wind farm was set to work. We expected that we would have our usual peaceful night’s sleep. The walls of the house are stone and are 60cm (2 feet) thick. We were horrified to find that we were subjected to the same wind turbine noise that we are exposed to at home. The turbines are approximately 8 to 12 kilometres distant but are twice the size and power of those adjacent our home. The lady of the house now often wakes in the night believing that she has left a fan running.

We have stayed at another friend’s farm north of Adelaide SA and couldn’t see any turbines on the horizon. We once again expected to have a good night’s sleep, but as we laid our head on the pillow, we both, without any prior discussion told the other that we could feel the same turbine related noise as we feel at home. Neither of us had a good sleep and were informed next morning that we were 17km down wind from the Waterloo wind farm.

We were invited by Tas Wind to visit King Island to address the local community regarding our wind turbine experiences as a precursor to installing a very large wind farm on the island. We had no previous knowledge of wind turbines already operational on the island, in fact, we knew nothing of King Island at all. We were taken to our accommodation around midnight after the presentation and question sessions. The night was very dark. After such a long day, we expected and looked forward to having a peaceful sleep. The ocean was relatively quiet and certainly not disturbing. We both had a very poor night’s sleep and both experienced the usual wind turbine noise sensations. Next morning on our drive into Currie (the main town) we saw a number of medium to large wind turbines operating at the local power station and at a distance of around 5 km from our accommodation. The second night there was just as bad.

We have had acoustic logging of the inside of our home over a one month period. The data shows a very high level of infra sound at around 4Hz as well as low frequency sounds at around 50Hz. The infra sound detected is consistent with what one would expect from the number and location of the wind turbines adjacent our home. The 50Hz noise can not be emanating from appliances in our home because our power supply shuts itself down when there is no demand as it does frequently during the night. The 50Hz was omnipresent. It is all becoming rather telling, don’t you think? I spent 23 years in the Royal Australian Navy, a good deal of it as an electrical engineering officer. Honesty and integrity were and still are part of my way of life, yet wind energy proponents , various media outlets and people in high office, publicly question the veracity of my statements in places that I do not frequent and therefore have no chance to refute this questioning. At no time do these denigrators ever contact me or visit to find out the truth for them selves. Instead, they hide behind media pseudonyms and I am labelled “high profile, anti wind farm activist”. I am a recently retired farmer and former naval engineer trying to enjoy the rest of what life I have left. I certainly don’t want to spend it protecting my health which is being destroyed by totally ruthless wind power developers who have utterly no interest in the environment or the rural communities and whose sole aim is to make as much money from the gullible politicians and general public as they can and seal their deals with lengthy, binding contracts enshrined in law.

There is much misinformation put about that persons such as my wife and I have somehow been put up to claiming that we are affected by wind turbine noise by an organisation called The Waubra Foundation. Nothing could be further from the truth. We have diaries and dated emails which clearly show that we had sought medical advice with respect to our then mysterious conditions years before learning of the Waubra Foundation. I am sure our medical records will reflect that.

We also had not heard of Doctor Sarah Laurie nor the Waubra Foundation prior to becoming aware that our problems were most likely being caused by the wind turbine noise. Some time after the Mount Gambier forum, in conversation with a friend, I was informed casually that he had heard of a Doctor Laurie in regard to wind turbines. I conducted an internet search and found a link and sent and email to the Doctor Laurie listed. I still have that email and all subsequent emails. I have also since met Dr Laurie and found that she is a warm, caring mother and wife who has over the years, done much good work for the benefit of humanity. You would do well to also meet her. Yet for all the good work she has tirelessly done, to try and alleviate and prevent suffering she is like us, labelled “anti wind activist” by those who should know better and a very powerful and as I said, ruthless, wind industry trying desperately to hang on to its very lucrative income and deny the health problems which it has known about for years.

At least one academic, a professor of sociology, has made a careful study of the way in which the tobacco companies manipulated media with respect to the health effects of smoking tobacco. This gentleman has for some reason armed himself with the lessons learned from the tobacco companies and a personal opinion (nothing more) that if we are told that a certain thing will make us ill, then it probably will. Known as the nocebo effect.

This gentleman has from his high position of public office, splashed his opinion around the world, and backed it up with percentages of the population who for example have poor sleep habits but ignores the facts that their sleep problems and specific symptoms do not occur when they are not exposed to operating wind turbines. At no time has he contacted those of us who are effected by the turbine noise to establish our actual normal state of health. At no time has he conducted any scientific research on the subject at all, because he does not have the professional training in either acoustics or medicine which would allow him to speak with any authority on this subject. He has stated that the levels of infra sound near houses in the vicinity of wind turbines is similar to that found in urban streets. He cleverly omitted the fact that the tonal qualities of the wind turbine noise and characteristics such as the pulse duration, pulse width, pulse rise time and infra sound amplitude modulation are vastly different to infra sounds found in the urban environment, or the beach, or other locations.

Another clever tactic used by this media guru is to produce as many plausible papers and “opinions” as possible and have them published in reputable magazines and print media, each one stating that there is no credible evidence that wind turbine noise is a problem whilst carefully ignoring any evidence to the contrary. Before long, these papers start to cross reference one another and eventually themselves leading the ignorant to believe that all that is produced in these papers is scientific fact. It is no more than media brainwashing, and academics and medical professionals who should know better are being sucked into endorsing this chicanery. Saturation advertising. Just as the Tobacco companies did. He has learnt well from studying their techniques.

Why is it that this taxpayer funded person has carte blanch access to print and radio/TV media without question but those such as we, can almost never get a hearing and then not without serious redacting or misrepresentation? It is almost as though the wind industry and their supporters in public health and medical organisations are fully aware of the noise problems but do not wish to address it because rural residents are to be sacrificed “for the greater good”. They appear determined to remain ignorant and prevent any meaningful investigation and independent research.

Remember, this is also the research that the Australian Federal Senate said was “a priority” nearly three years ago.

As time goes on, the number of people becoming severely affected is going to grow, and those people affected will continue to deteriorate. In short, the effects are cumulative. The consequences of severe chronic sleep deprivation and chronic stress are well known to clinical medicine. Mental and physical health are irreparably damaged. Sleep deprivation is used as a method of torture. Personally, I am getting very tired of being the guinea pig and being considered as collateral damage or mere political road kill.

One day, perhaps soon, some one will have had enough and will crack under the pressure, and I am surprised it hasn’t happened already given what I know people are enduring and openly describing as torture for them and their families.

I don’t want to imagine the consequences.

Six-year-old girl creates hugely popular petition against wind turbines (Alabama)

Lillian.
Lillian Coker

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“Gadsden kindergartner asks for signatures on petition to state senators to stop wind turbines”

— Anna Claire Vollers, Al.com (3/18/14)

When Cara Pearson Coker picked up her daughter Lillian from school on March 12, Lillian presented her with a piece of notebook paper with the word “Partition” scrawled at the top.

Cara asked her about it, and Lillian, a kindergartener, accurately explained what a petition was and that she is petitioning to stop the building of windmills on Cherokee Rock Village, a public park in Cherokee County. She calls the place her “beautiful mountain.”

So on Lillian’s behalf, Cara started an online petition on Change.org asking state representatives to “Say NO to wind turbines in Northeast Alabama!”

On the petition page, Cara explains why the cause is so important to her daughter:

My name is Cara Pearson Coker and I am creating this petition for my six year old daughter, Lillian and I will explain why. On March 12, 2014, I picked Lilli up from school and as we were walking out of the door she handed me a piece of notebook paper with “Partition” written in kindergartener handwriting across the top. She asked, “Will you please sign my petition, Mama?”

My previous profession of 14 years was education so I asked, “What’s a petition?” Lillian quickly replied, “A petition is something you get people to sign if you want someone to do something or stop doing something. Ok…like say somebody is going to tear down my favorite playground. I would start a petition for them not to tear it down and if I got enough signs they would stop.”

I was quite impressed with her thorough definition and clever example and proceeded with, “Well, what are you petitioning?” Without skipping a beat, Lillian said, “I want to stop those people from building windmills on top of our beautiful mountain! You know the one where we hike and climb? If they put windmills up there then we won’t be able to go there anymore and windmills won’t work here anyway…we don’t have enough wind, Mama! When they build them they’re going to be big and dangerous and they’ll have to tear up the rocks and land. It’s just not a good idea! We HAVE to stop them!”

Powerful words coming from a six year old! Through social networking, word of Lillian’s petition has traveled fast and she has been asked to hand deliver her petition in Montgomery Wednesday, March 19, 2014. When I asked her if she wanted to go to Montgomery and do this her response was, “I have to do it, Mama! Somebody has to stop them from building the windmills on my beautiful mountain!”

I have many thoughts, opinions, and facts about wind turbines, but I’m not going to include them here. This petition was Lillian’s idea and this is her project and she truly believes she CAN save her “beautiful mountain.” I believe she can as well, but not without your help! She is a very bright child and understands that if she doesn’t have enough “signs” it will not be effective, so please sign her petition.

Lillian and I moved to Alabama from Georgia after her daddy, my husband of ten years, passed a way. I grew up in Gadsden, AL and spent a lot of time at Cherokee Rock Village growing up. Once we were settled I began taking Lillian to Cherokee Rock Village. We have done a lot of soul searching and soul cleansing there. She believes she is closer to her daddy in heaven when she is there.

Please show this little girl that she CAN make a difference by signing her petition. All you have to do is sign it and pass it on. She will do the rest! Thank you for your support.

As of 10 a.m. March 18, the petition had garnered 1,125 signatures. Lillian has been asked to hand-deliver her petition in Montgomery on Wednesday. It’s the day of a public hearing on a bill sponsored by Sen. Phil Williams (R-Rainbow City), that would regulate wind energy companies that want to operate wind turbines in the state.

Williams’ bill, The Alabama Wind Energy Conservation Systems Act (SB 12), was inspired by a proposed wind farm project by a Texas-based firm, Pioneer Green Energy, that would stretch from Etowah County to Cherokee County. The windmills or wind turbines would be about 267 to 330 feet tall, have three blades and be spread about ¼ to 1/5th of a mile apart. Some would probably have blinking lights at their tips. The turbines would be part of an agreement between Pioneer and the Tennessee Valley Authority.

Lillian has told news outlets, and YellowhammerNews.com, that hiking at Cherokee Rock Village reminds her of her father, and that people and animals wouldn’t want to go there if wind turbines were built on the mountain.

Kevon Martis slays Big Wind Goliath before the Michigan Senate

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Editor’s note:  This is a must-see!  If you want a cogent, evidence-based, and frankly brilliant analysis of the colossal failure known as “wind energy,” watch this video.

Kevon Martis is Director of the Interstate Informed Citizen’s Coalition.  His testimony urges the repeal of renewable energy mandates in Michigan.  The Coalition gets no funding from any source; all its officers donate their time and money.  This is a grass-roots outfit, from top to bottom.  This is the “best” of American democracy — up against Big Corporate money and lobbying.

Click here to send him a congratulatory email.

 

Wind energy company secretly lobbied rural physicians to reject Wind Turbine Syndrome (Australia)

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Editor’s note:   Senator John Madigan has delivered a blistering speech on the floor of the Australian Federal Senate.  (Click here for PDF of speech.)  He has in his possession the smoking gun of a wind energy company actually contacting physicians in rural Australia, informing them that Wind Turbine Syndrome is a lie and that patients from the Macarthur windfarm who present with WTS symptoms should be turned away and sent to the wind developer (!) for what amounts to propaganda therapy.

Years ago I wrote a broadside titled “How to Fight Big Wind!”  I insisted therein that these people are criminals and stupendous liars.  Senator Madigan speaks eloquently to the point.

All praise to Senator Madigan and his staff for hammering these degenerates and their academic shills.  (Here’s his email address.)

To the rest of you:  Get mad!  Stay mad!  Make history!

“He asked if his brain had a heartbeat! He was talking about a pulsing in his head!” (Australia)

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— Patina Schneider, Australia

As the main contact of the Australian Industrial Wind Turbine Awareness Network I hear from many people who are impacted from noise pollution created by industrial wind turbines. Nothing is worse than the plea from a parent who can’t protect a child from the invasion of noise pollution created by wind turbines that were forced on their once peaceful rural community

One mother has given me permission to share extracts from her emails.  Like so many other people I hear from, she tells how her family’s life changed for the worse when the wind farm began operation.  The following are excerpts from her distraught emails regarding her child.

Try living with the noise all the time.  It becomes unbearable!”

“How would you cope watching your child scream out in the middle of the night, pleading for the turbines to be turned off so they can sleep and to stop their bed from vibrating?”

“He even asked me if his brain had a heartbeat!  What he was talking about is a pulsing in his head.”

“He gets angry and frustrated from the lack of sleep.”

“I even laid on his bed one night, and I couldn’t believe the vibration.”

“He has the right to have a good night’s sleep and not have to go to school too tired to learn and concentrate.  He should have the same rights as every other child to get an education.”

“Kids are supposed to be important, but apparently kids near turbines aren’t considered.  Where are his rights and why is he not considered?”

“His whole life is being affected.  If he can’t concentrate to learn, what happens to his future?”

“I emailed the [wind energy] company, asking if they could put my son up in a house in town through the week so he could get a good night’s sleep before going to school.  Our call for assistance went unanswered.”

“Do you know how frustrating it is not to be able to protect your child, and have that all taken away from you?”

“IT’S ABOUT TIME SOMETHING WAS DONE. OUR SON IS IMPORTANT AND SO ARE ALL THE FAMILIES OUT THERE!”

This family has filed several hundred complaints since the wind farm began operation. They are trapped in their home because of financial constraints and their property devaluation. Their once happy life has been ruined, along with their business which they previously ran from their property.

Numerous correspondence to the developer and government authorities pleading for help and for them to be relocated to another property has got them nowhere, nor have their hundreds of complaints.

They are trapped, treated with complete disrespect or ignored.

They are sleep deprived, angry and frustrated and just want back what they had — a normal, peaceful life with a happy son who can get a good night’s sleep in his own bed and who can go to school and achieve his best.  Not a son waking, screaming in the middle of the night for the turbines to be turned off.

Is this too much to ask?

 

Isn’t this child abuse? “I can’t sleep in my room because of wind turbine ingen nous [engine noise]” (Sophia, age 6)

Editor’s note:  The following was written by Ted Hartke on 3/7/14.  The Hartkes were forced to flee Invenergy’s California Ridge windfarm (Illinois) because of Wind Turbine Syndrome.  Fleeing meant abandoning their home.  (Click here for story and photos.)

When do we start calling this “child abuse”?

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Dear Friends,

I took Sophia to the eye doctor and pediatrician on Wednesday. She is having stress issues. After we were done, we went to my office so that I could do some work before going home.

While at my office, Sophia kept herself busy and found paper/pens/highlighter and did artwork. Art is a way of dealing with feelings, and it provides an outlet for emotions.

Please share these attachments with the decision makers in your communities. I have not heard her talk much about “ingen nous” (engine noise).

sophia1 sophia2

This made me sad, angry, and upset. It also made me proud of the fact that I was doing my best to protect my family and serve my community. Let’s keep working hard so that we don’t have to see this type of art project being done by other little girls.

InvEnergy did not include any of my noise complaints as part of their annual report to the Vermilion County Board. I know that they have received “perhaps hundreds” of our emails requesting that turbines be turned off so that we could sleep in our house. I also included them on this email, and expect them to include this with their annual report along with how many times they used a tube of grease on the moving parts of their wind turbines.

matt-wingler

 When I visited their office today, I pointed out to Matt Wingler (above), the manager of the Vermilion County project, that his annual report was inaccurate and incomplete. I made him extremely uncomfortable, and Wingler’s response was a threat to call the law if I didn’t leave InvEnergy’s property immediately. I am breaking my promise I made to him which was allowing him to remain an anonymous employee of InvEnergy. He may have done what his employer tells him to do, but he has shown that he cannot handle a situation when there is grief and suffering with any sort of human decency.

Wind turbines do not make good neighbors. Wind energy companies, including InvEnergy, and some of their employees, are pulling off an injustice which is hurting people.

Please tell everyone you know what is happening to wind energy victims.

 

Ireland’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer continues to endorse Wind Turbine Syndrome, despite Big Wind bullying

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Editor’s note:  Dr. Colette Bonner, Deputy Chief Medical Officer in Ireland’s Dept. of Health & Children, has come under attack by Ireland’s wind energy lobby for endorsing Wind Turbine Syndrome (WTS) as a genuine, bona fide health issue.

In pushing back against Big Wind’s (predictable) attack, Dr. Bonner notes that (a) there are indeed proven “risk factors” for WTS (as Dr. Pierpont established and identified in her book, “Wind Turbine Syndrome:  A Report on a Natural Experiment,” 2009), (b) the inner ear is almost certainly affected by turbine infrasound, (c) there is a consistent cluster of symptoms worldwide (identified by Pierpont in 2009), and (d), as Pierpont took pains to point out in 2009, not everyone living near wind turbines is affected (since they don’t happen to have the risk factors — just like susceptibility to cancer and any other disease).

In any event, Dr. Bonner is one helluva courageous physician and public health administrator.  Hooray for her!  (Ten to one she’s a pediatrician!)

Click here for a musical tribute to Dr. Bonner’s spirited, “I won’t back down!”  (Turn up your speakers and let ‘er rip!)

Bonner

“Senior doctor defends wind turbine syndrome conclusions”

— Claire O’Sullivan, Irish Examiner (3/6/14)

One of the most senior doctors in the Department of Health, Colette Bonner, has responded to assertions from the wind lobby that her review on the health effects of turbines was “extremely limited and incomplete.”

Expanding further on wind turbine syndrome, she said older people, people who suffer from migraine, and others with a sensitivity to low-frequency vibration, are some of those who can be at risk of wind turbine syndrome.

In the controversial document, which she sent to the Department of the Environment last year as part of their review of wind turbine guidelines, she controversially stated that while turbines do not represent a threat to public health, “there is a consistent cluster of symptoms related to living in close proximity to wind turbines which occurs in a number of people in the vicinity of industrial wind turbines.”

“These people must be treated appropriately and sensitively as these symptoms can be very debilitating.”

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Experts worldwide differ on whether wind turbine syndrome really exists.

Irish Wind Energy Association chief operating officer Caitriona Diviney immediately accused the deputy chief medical officer of having focused on out-of-date information.

“A number of comprehensive studies carried out internationally in recent years have clearly concluded that wind turbines are not harmful to humans and we would encourage all parties with interest in the issue, including the Department of Health and the Department of the Environment, to study this data,” she said.

“We would also point to extensive work carried out by Professor Simon Chapman, professor of public health in the University of Sydney, in cataloguing the increasing number of independent reviews published on the issue since 2003 which all reached the same conclusions, that wind energy is not harmful to human health,” said Ms Diviney.

But yesterday, Dr Bonner’s spokesman said “symptoms (including sleep problems, headaches, dizziness and exhaustion) relating to living in close proximity to wind turbines have been described in the literature.”

“Not everyone living near wind turbines have these symptoms. Susceptibility to symptoms differs with individuals. According to the current literature, sensitivity to low-frequency vibration is a risk factor. Sensitivity to low-frequency vibration in the body or ears is highly variable in people and, hence, poorly understood and the subject of much debate. Another risk factor described in the literature is a pre-existing migraine disorder. Other candidate risk factors for susceptibility to wind turbine related symptoms are age related changes in the inner ear.”

Citing a 1960s report, he also stated “noise-induced respiratory pathology is not a new subject.”

Stop playing games with wind turbine noise measurements (Editorial)

game over

Curt Devlin, Guest Editor 3/5/14

The Danish physician, Dr. Mauri Johansson, has pointed out in these pages that averages don’t exist in the real world.  At best, they occur rarely.  (Click here, scroll down to the Comments.)  Events don’t impinge on us as “averages.”  (Could this be what Mark Twain had in mind when he exclaimed, “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics”?)

Dr. Johansson’s observation calls attention to the difficulty of measuring ILFN and its impact on the human body.  Averages are actually quantitative abstractions used by the mind for corralling large amounts of data into convenient abbreviations. In the world of computer software, it’s sometimes said that averages are “lossy” because once you discard the raw data and save only the averages, the loss of data is irretrievable.  You can never recover the highs, lows, and trend details.

When the Massachusetts Dept. of Environmental Protection (MA-DEP) sound technician, Laurel Carlson, addressed the Fairhaven (Mass.) Board of Health to explain the procedure she intended to follow for measuring audible wind turbine noise, I raised my hand:  “If I stand nearby during testing and loudly bang a  large bass drum once a minute or so, would that alter the test results?”  “No,” she said, “it would be averaged out.” To which I responded, “But it will in fact keep everyone in the neighborhood awake, correct?”  (She didn’t get it.)

Our capacity to capture, preserve, and analyse large amounts of data in the raw is changing dramatically.  Our ability to do this today exceeds our previous capabilities by many orders of magnitude using Big Data computing models.  This means there is now far less need to sample slowly or throw raw data away.

Averages are one of many challenges for analysing and understanding low frequency noise and how it affects us.  I think, for example, of the paper presented by Dr. Mariana Alves-Pereira about measuring dose responses to infrasound and low frequency noise (ILFN).  Unlike radiation poisoning, we have no “dosimeter” for measuring aggregate ILFN exposure.  Yet, much like radiation, we know that the effects of infrasound and low frequency noise accumulate over time.   Even if we carefully record the amount of sound being produced at a given location for a given period of time, and even if we sample at a rate of 10,000/sec and collect all the raw data, we are still in the dark about individual dose responses.

At the moment, we have no way to “follow” an individual person as he (she) wanders through his daily routine while quantifying how much ILFN exposure has accrued over weeks, months, or years. The newest gadgets, such as the ASGARD Mikrobar-20 microbarometric infrasound meter, while important for accurately measuring infrasound, are still far too sensitive to changing ambient conditions to attach to a person while mobile, even if we were to miniaturize the apparatus.

Another hurdle for measuring the impact of ILFN involves the inherent complexities of accurately measuring sound impact by frequency and amplitude.  Just as averages do not occur in the real world, pure tones (with no harmonics or inter-mixture of other sound frequencies) are extremely rare.  Industrial Wind Turbine (IWT) noise is no exception.  In practical terms this means that if someone develops a migraine during exposure, it’s very difficult to tell which frequency or combination of frequencies may have caused it.

Moreover, if you examine the way that most sound studies that have been conducted — even the credible ones — acoustic researchers most often measure and record sound in the time domain rather than the frequency domain.  This approach can result in greatly underestimating the true amplitude of sound.  I was amazed when I first read Dr. Malcolm Swinbanks’s paper on this topic.  If I may summarize briefly, Swinbanks shows that when you measure ILFN in the frequency domain (instead of time domain), the amplitude of a specific frequency combines coherently with its harmonics at higher frequencies.  This increases the intensity (amplitude) of sound impact on the body by about 30% — much greater intensity than previously believed.

In short, it is not only the whole-body impact that we must take into account; it is the whole-sound impact, as well.  Notice, for example, the 0 – 2 Hz frequency which is believed to be especially dangerous.  It would tend to have several harmonics in the 0 – 200 Hz range, suggesting that these very lowest frequencies may strike the body with much greater biomechanical force than previously thought.  Swinbanks shows that in some cases, infrasound can actually be amplified to the point where it actually becomes audible to the human ear — though painfully so — suggesting different causal forces on the body, and perhaps very different symptoms and health effects.

We shouldn’t ignore these challenges.  At the same time, we must not let perfection be the enemy of progress.  (“Things should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler,” cautioned Einstein.)

Many of the pioneers in X-rays quickly discovered the dangers of radiation.  Even though there were no known devices or techniques for accurately measuring dose response to X-rays, Roentgen, Tesla, Edison, and Curé warned about risks of exposure. Tesla is credited with (sensibly) recognizing that limiting exposure time and increasing distance from the source were protective.

We are in the same predicament today regarding the hazards of ILFN exposure.  We know that limiting exposure time and increasing distance from the source (in this instance, IWT’s) helps shield us from the most harmful cumulative effects.  Let us act on this — on what we know — and exercise the precautionary principle while awaiting more sophisticated means of quantifying the potential harm.

 

Ireland’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer credits Wind Turbine Syndrome

Wind turbines do not represent a threat to public health. However there is a consistent cluster of symptoms related to wind turbine syndrome which occurs in a number of people in the vicinity of industrial wind turbines. There are specific risk factors for this syndrome and people with these risk factors experience symptoms.”

These people must be treated appropriately and sensitively as these symptoms can be very debilitating.”

— Colette Bonner, M.B., Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, Ireland

woman doctor

Click here for letter discussing Dr. Bonner’s observations — observations that have triggered (predictable) rage from Big Wind.  One senses from the correspondence that Dr. Bonner got herself reprimanded over this.  (Another case of “politics” over “clinical medicine”?)

 

Judge orders wind developer to stop creating Wind Turbine Syndrome (Michigan)

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“Court Orders Utility To Address Wind Turbine Noise Problems.  Residents near Consumers Energy wind farm complain of health issues”

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— Jack Spencer, CAPCON:  Michigan Capitol Confidential (2/7/14)

A judge has ordered Consumers Energy to come up with a plan to rid its Lake Winds Energy Plant of excessive noise levels.

Last month, Consumers Energy asked the 51st Circuit Court to overrule Mason County’s finding that the Lake Winds industrial plant is not in compliance with the county’s noise ordinance. As part of that legal action the utility also wanted the court to issue a stay that would block efforts by Mason County to enforce the county’s interpretation of the ordinance until after the case had been argued in court.

On Monday, 51st Circuit Court Judge Richard Cooper denied the CMS request for a stay and ordered the utility to submit a plan to the county by today to mitigate the noise problem. In response, CMS officials said they would comply and a mitigation plan would be submitted.

“We were asked to submit a mitigation plan by Feb. 7 and we will do so,” CMS spokesman Dennis Marvin said. “It will be up to the county to make a determination on our plan. At the present time, we do not know how that process will work.”

Marvin said the judge’s decision not to grant the CMS request for a stay will not prevent the utility’s case from moving forward.

“We believe the arguments we’ve outlined are well founded,” Marvin said. “We look forward to the court’s review.”

However, there isn’t any wiggle room for mitigating the noise issue, said Kevon Martis, director of the Interstate Informed Citizens Coalition (IICC), a non-profit organization that is concerned about the construction of wind turbines in the region.

“There are only two ways to reduce the noise level,” Martis said. “One would be to increase the distance between the turbines and the homes, and it is too late for that. The other is to reduce the decibel level, which would significantly increase the operating costs of the plant.”

Lake Winds is a 56-turbine facility located south of Ludington in Mason County. It was the utility company’s first wind plant project in Michigan. Residents who live near the $250 million plant began complaining of health problems shortly after the turbines began operating. They filed a lawsuit on April 1 arguing that noise, vibrations and flickering lights emanating from the wind plant were adversely affecting their health. Among the symptoms noted in the lawsuit were dizziness, sleeplessness and headaches.

Less than six months later, in September, the Mason County Planning Commission determined that the wind plant is not in compliance with safety guidelines. CMS appealed that decision to the Mason County Zoning Board of Appeals. In December 2013, the County Zoning Board of Appeals upheld the planning commission’s decision. In response, CMS took the county to court. If the 51st Circuit Court ultimately upholds the Mason County finding, CMS would be expected to take the issue to the Michigan Court of Appeals.

Lake Winds is part of the utility’s effort to meet Michigan’s renewable energy mandate, which requires that 10 percent of the state’s energy be produced by in-state renewable sources by 2015. Though the mandate was ostensibly aimed at reducing carbon emissions, the 2008 law did not require that emissions be monitored to measure the mandate’s actual impact.

What ails this child? (Outraged answer: Wind Turbine Syndrome!)

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Editor’s note:  This article was sent to us by a man in the Midwest, who knows this girl’s family.  The girl’s father, Ted Hartke, “is an engineer and surveyor,” wrote my friend.  “He was initially in favor of the California Ridge windfarm.  You already know what happened next.”

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We’d like to dedicate this story and the plight of  6-year-old Sophia (yes, that’s her name) to Australia’s Professor Simon Chapman and the U.K.’s Dr. Geoff Leventhall.

Sophia, my sweetheart, both these brilliant professors ridicule what you’re suffering from.  It’s called ‘Wind Turbine Syndrome.’  Both men say it’s nonsense.  Mr. Chapman says people like you become ill because you envy your neighbors who have wind turbine leases.  (Really, Sophia!  Are you really truly envious of them?  You can tell me, confidentially.)  Whereas Mr. Leventhall seems to think  you don’t understand that wind turbines don’t produce infrasound of any significance.  And, even if they did, he’d assure you it couldn’t bother you in the least, my love!”

(It’s clear what Sophia’s problem is.  She doesn’t have a PhD degree.  Nor does she “consult” for wind energy companies.  Nor does she get herself quoted by world media, ridiculing people with symptoms like hers.  If she did have a PhD and did consult for wind companies, she’d know in a flash that she’s making all this up, and being hysterical, and probably needs to be told by her mom to stop this naughty behavior RIGHT NOW!  Then of course get sent to her room.)

Leventhall Chapman

Hartke family

This is a snapshot of the Hartkes, Christmas 2012, at the start of their wind turbine noise hell. (Merry Christmas from the wind developers and their enablers!)

Click here to read more about their horror story, and view more photos.  The following was written, I believe, by Mr. Hartke.

InvEnergy Wind Turbine Victim – California Ridge Wind Farm (Vermillion County, Ill.) 3/3/14

This six-year-old girl is wearing her Hello Kitty headphones to bed in July 2013 because the wind turbines operating on the adjacent farm property are making too much noise.

This photo was taken at 10:43 PM after her being in bed since 8:00 PM.

The closest wind turbines are 1665’ and 2225’ away, they are 495’ tall GE 1.6 MW nameplate capacity, and they are owned & operated by InvEnergy in Vermilion County, Illinois.

This scenario was repeated for so many nights during each week that, within six months after this photo was taken, the parents and both children abandoned their home and moved into a doublewide trailer eight miles away — to get away from the nighttime noise.

Now, she regularly asks her parents, “When can we move back into our old house?” and “I want to have a normal life and get to have my old bedroom back again because I don’t like living here because there’s not enough room for my stuff and there’s no place to keep my things.”  Her parents have gently reminded both kids that they love them very much and that their health is away more important than having material things such as a nice big house with all the toys and things.

Good parents know when they have to set priorities, and this family is making the right decision to inform the public so that other families do not have to suffer the grief and life-changing setbacks caused by improper wind turbine siting.

Are there children who live in your county?  Are there any families who live near wind projects proposed for their rural community?  Have you seen the letter from the Armstrong Grade School Superintendent?

If not, please take a few minutes to learn more by visiting www.fairwindenergy.org and www.edgarcountywatchdogs.com and  search “Vermilion” to see what can happen to your friends or family when wind turbine siting is overlooked and decisions are made by ill-informed government bureaucrats.

 

When the science of wind energy turns into the art of prostitution (Editorial)

Wind_Turbine whore

Editor’s note:  Ever wondered about the sleaze being published in Big Wind’s so-called peer reviewed reports?  Ever wondered why none of these reports finds a single problem with wind turbines?  I mean:  never!  Zero!

Gutted property values?  Of course not!  Wind Turbine Syndrome, anyone?  Of course not!  Massacred birds & bats?  Of course not!  Loud?  Of course not!   Worthless, redundant energy parasitizing reliable base-load sources?  Of course not!  Astronomically expensive?  Of course not!  Strangled tourism?  Of course not!  Age-old bonds of community torn apart?  Of course not!  Stray voltage in the barn?  Of course not!  Livestock killed off, stillborn, or born deformed?  Of course not!

Who are the unnamed, mysterious “peer reviewers” in this massively orchestrated enterprise in denial — this tarted-up hoax masquerading as real science?

Click here.  You will find out you’re not alone.

 

Australia’s NHMRC conducts another pretentious exercise in bullshit. No one is surprised.

NHMRC

Editor’s note: Australia’s feckless National Health & Medical Research Council (NHMRC), with CEO Warwick Anderson at the controls, is engaged in an all-out war on (a) common sense, (b) innumerable first-hand reports from around the world, and (c) an abundance of reliable clinical evidence & research confirming that wind turbines do, indeed, “directly” cause illness — the illness known to everyone as Wind Turbine Syndrome (WTS).

Open the video, below, and watch Anderson and his lieutenants get hammered by federal Senator John Madigan over the NHMRC’s latest phony WTS report. (Note how Anderson et al. take pains not to use the term, Wind Turbine Syndrome.)  Sit back, relax, and listen to 17 minutes of jaw-droppingly evasive answers to the obviously frustrated senator.  (Senator Madigan has frequently appeared in these pages.)

Click here for the text of Senator Madigan grilling the NHMRC.

The other individual questioning Prof. Anderson, Senator Richard Di Natale, is a wind energy zealot preaching the Gospel of Big Wind up and down Australia while smiting infidels like Dr. Sarah Laurie hip and thigh.  Surprisingly, Di Natale is a physician.  Unsurprisingly, like most physicians he substitutes his medical credential for common sense and doing his homework on the subject at hand.  In any event, in his exchange with the NHMRC brass, Di Natele is struggling to maneuver Prof. Anderson into conceding that WTS is such rubbish that further research is a waste of good tax dollars.

Such is the state of government — and medicine? — in that truly astonishing land called Australia.  Watching Warwick and his henchmen, followed by Di Natale, is like watching burlesque minus the entertainment. (Truth be told, it’s really really depressing.)

Why do Australians tolerate these fools? (Is it their business suits?  The white hair?  The glasses?  The titles?)  Are Aussies not aware that their NHMRC and shills like Di Natale are a mockery of medical and scholarly research — and about 50 years behind the curve? (Is there something goofy about the “air” in Australia? The water?  Too many kangaroos?  I swear these NHMRC guys & Di Natale are the caliber of a small-town health board somewhere in Bible Belt Tennessee.)

 

Wind turbines f**k up domesticated geese. No one is surprised (Poland)

sick geese

Editor’s note:  A Polish study published in an academic journal demonstrates that barnyard geese are fucked up by wind turbine infrasound.  (No, I don’t apologize for my language.  It’s time to get even more blunt with the morons who support this bullshit known as wind turbines.)  We offer this article for those of you suffering from Wind Turbine Syndrome; it’s not intended for the morons who pretend there are no health effects.  These people are ideological dead-enders — hopeless.

Those of you suffering from WTS:  Your symptoms are real.  Keep up the fight.  Keep up the pressure.  Wind energy is finally crumbling under the weight of its own illogic and the now deafening roar of WTS sufferers — globally.

 

Abstract (click here for the entire article)

Wind farms produce electricity without causing air pollution and environmental degradation. Unfortunately, wind turbines are a source of infrasound, which may cause a number of physiological effects, such as an increase in cortisol and catecholamine secretion. The impact of infrasound noise, emitted by wind turbines, on the health of geese and other farm animals has not previously been evaluated. Therefore, the aim of this study was to determine the effect of noise, generated by wind turbines, on the stress parameters (cortisol) and the weight gain of geese kept in surrounding areas. The study consisted of 40 individuals of 5- week- old domestic geese Anser anser f domestica, divided into 2 equal groups. The first experimental gaggle (I) remained within 50 m from turbine and the second one (II) within 500 m. During the 12 weeks of the study, noise measurements were also taken. Weight gain and the concentration of cortisol in blood were assessed and significant differences in both cases were found. Geese from gaggle I gained less weight and had a higher concentration of cortisol in blood, compared to individuals from gaggle II. Lower activity and some disturbing changes in behavior of animals from group I were noted. Results of the study suggest a negative effect of the immediate vicinity of a wind turbine on the stress parameters of geese and their productivity.

 sick people

Looks like Germany is pulling the plug on (absurd) wind energy

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“German Government Advisers Call For Abolition Of Renewables Subsidies”

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— Press release, Global Warming Policy Foundation (2/26/14)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel won’t like to hear this advice from her advisers: While her government is working hard to reform renewable energy laws, a commission of experts appointed by the Bundestag is recommending to completely abolish the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG). In its annual report, the the Expert Commission on Research and Innovation concludes that the Green Energy Law is neither a cost-effective tool for climate protection nor does it have any measurable impact on innovation. “For both reasons, therefore, there is no justification for the continuation of the EEG ,” concludes the report which will be presented to the Chancellor on Wednesday — Andreas Mihm, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (2/25/14).

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Click here to read more.

 

Is Vestas’ moral compass broken? (Um, did it ever exist?)

turbine compass

The recent discovery of a 2004 PowerPoint presentation by Vestas employee Erik Sloth to the former Australian Wind Energy Association (now the Clean Energy Council) demonstrating Vestas knew a decade ago that safer buffers are required to protect neighbours from noise, their pre-construction noise models are not accurate and that “we know that noise from wind turbines sometimes annoys people even if the noise is below noise limits” is a disturbing contradiction to their rhetoric and the ideals of their campaign.  It is also confirmation the global wind industry have in fact been peddling misinformation rather than facts.

— Max Rheese

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“What Vestas knew, and when”

— Max Rheese, Executive Director, Australian Environment Foundation.  Article published in OnLine Opinion:  Australia’s e-Journal of Social & Political Debate (2/17/14)

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This is a story about the wind industry and turbine manufacturer, Vestas and the global campaign to counter dissent about the adverse impacts caused by their product to an often ignored minority of people living in rural communities worldwide.

It is also about the useful idiots co-opted to help sell its message.  A term used for those who are seen to unwittingly support an objectionable cause which they naïvely believe to be a force for good.

For a decade individuals and community groups have been calling for studies into the adverse health impacts of wind turbine noise both in Australia and overseas.

This relatively recent phenomenon coincides remarkably with the growth in size of wind turbines from 50m in height to over 150m, taller than the Sydney Harbour Bridge.  Noise from these massively larger turbines has increased correspondingly with low-frequency noise broadcast over a much larger area according to Danish experts Professors Moeller and Pedersen who said “It must be anticipated that problems with low-frequency noise will increase with even larger turbines.”

The common refrain from wind energy companies and their supporters is that there is no evidence of adverse health impacts to nearby residents.  To be factually correct they should have been saying there was no published evidence, which is why those affected want an independent properly constituted health study acceptable to all parties.  Despite these claims by the wind industry as of late 2012 there were over a dozen peer-reviewed published papers linking wind turbine noise with health impacts.

Supporters point to 20 reviews, mainly of existing literature, held in various countries that have found no conclusive evidence linking turbine operations with poor health.

Literature reviews of previous studies serve a purpose as do the plethora of separate studies by acousticians, sleep experts and physicians, many of which draw the conclusion there is a strong prima facie case that low-frequency noise generated by wind turbines causes chronic sleep deprivation in some people which then degenerates to adverse health impacts.

Global wind turbine supplier, the Danish company Vestas, launched their Act on Facts campaign in Melbourne during 2013 to counter the “success” of community groups, the Waubra Foundation and the Australian Environment Foundation in convincing parliamentarians of the need for a study.

The Act on Facts campaign, as the name implies, is to quash ‘myths’ and counter ‘misinformation’ by those who have concerns about the uncritical acceptance of wind energy.

Therefore the recent discovery of a 2004 PowerPoint presentation by Vestas employee Erik Sloth to the former Australian Wind Energy Association (now the Clean Energy Council) demonstrating Vestas knew a decade ago that safer buffers are required to protect neighbours from noise, their pre-construction noise models are not accurate and that “we know that noise from wind turbines sometimes annoys people even if the noise is below noise limits” is a disturbing contradiction to their rhetoric and the ideals of their campaign.  It is also confirmation the global wind industry have in fact been peddling misinformation rather than facts.

Issues referred to in the Vestas presentation were commented on in the previously mentioned peer-reviewed paper by Professors Moeller and Pedersen published six years after the Vestas presentation, where they stated “that minimum distances to dwellings are often calculated from noise data that lack an appropriate safety margin.  Using data without a safety margin, such as mean values for a given turbine model, measurements from a single turbine, or ‘best guess’ for future turbines gives in principle a probability of 50 per cent that the actual erected turbines will emit more noise than assumed and that noise limits will be exceeded.”

This statement no doubt accounts for some of the known instances of wind farms exceeding noise guidelines as detailed in a Supreme Court case in South Australia.  The level of angst in rural communities from disruption to their lives through intrusive noise and wind industry resistance to long-held community concerns has driven more than one expensive court proceedings.

The numerous instances of wind farm operators refusing to release noise data, not keeping accurate records of complaints and buying out some neighbours to silence them with gag clauses is well known and also indicative of an industry desperate to suppress damning information.

The Act on Facts campaign is acknowledgement by the wind industry that they have not been able to successfully control the dissemination of information that is detrimental to their very existence.  Community support is vital for the wind industry as they cannot profitably survive in any country in which they operate without continued generous public subsidies.

This is what makes the Vestas Act on Facts campaign nothing more than corporate spin as outlined in The Guardian: ‘Ken McAlpine, public affairs director for Vestas in Australia, said the highly-unconventional corporate campaign was being launched here because anti-wind groups in Australia had been more successful than in any other country. He accused some of spreading misinformation and using “astroturfing” (fake grassroots) campaigns to persuade politicians to pass legislation making wind farm operations more difficult.’

Or maybe the more than 2000 community groups in 33 countries have been successful because they are the only ones telling the truth.

Does Vestas inside knowledge, since 2004, that their turbines will have an effect on some people and their subsequent denials of such constitute misinformation or something much worse?  Certainly the culture at Vestas is called into question by Professor of Political Science, Peter Nedergaard from Copenhagen University who said “There’s no doubt that Vestas here smears its opponents.”

If one accepts at face value the claims of the wind industry, vociferously articulated over the last decade that there are no health impacts from wind turbine noise, it begs the question of why they are so secretive with regards to noise data.  More importantly if they are so confident of their product, why not take the fight to their critics by vigorously encouraging government to undertake health studies to prove there are no adverse effects as they claim?

Surely it would be in the interests of the wind industry to fund independent studies to vindicate their claims and silence critics, especially since they say their turbines pose no threat to human health.

The hypocrisy of claiming moral purity while not taking available action that would exonerate them, while concealing information that damns their operations, exposes the duplicitous nature of the wind industry and some supporters.

These supporters, many of whom are on the fringes of the medical fraternity, have either knowingly or unknowingly endorsed the denials of the wind industry.

Despite the wind industry being well aware for years that their product has the potential to cause serious harm to human health they invited Professor Simon Chapman, the Climate and Health Alliance, and others to help Vestas launch their ‘fact-based’ campaign last year.

Professor of Public Health, sociologist Simon Chapman who lacks any medical or acoustic qualifications, has been vocal in the media denigrating those who call for medical research into the effects of wind turbines and spoke at the launch of the Act on Facts campaign.

How can Professor Chapman reconcile his ridicule of the reasons numerous people have been forced to abandon their homes because of continuing adverse health effects with the knowledge that the company initiating the campaign knew a decade ago there were problems?

Or how does Professor Chapman reconcile his statements at the senate inquiry into the impacts of wind farms where he was asked if he would be opposed to research into health impacts he said it “would be a wonderful idea” with his strident advocacy depicting those seeking such research as “scaremongering” activists.

Chapman in an SBS radio interview in January this year questions the need for any further research, despite thinking it is a wonderful idea, saying there have been a total of 20 reviews since 2003. Indeed there has; reviews of existing literature but no independent research.

In the same interview he says “the U.S. research was done on wind turbines that were much smaller than what’s used today” which renders that research completely irrelevant as per the conclusions of the Moeller Pedersen research.  Chapman by his own statements displays no obvious comprehension of the acoustical properties of wind turbine operation, but pretends to understand the issue.

What is worse though, for someone who parades his ‘health’ credentials while behaving like a dilettante on actual noise issues, Chapman and other ‘health professionals’ display an amazing lack of compassion in their dismissive attitude to people who claim to be suffering debilitating effects from pervasive wind turbine noise.  Considering there has been no government health study demonstrating adverse health impacts – or studies showing there are not – one could be forgiven for thinking health professionals, of all people, would take a precautionary approach as recommended by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).

Indeed much the same could be said for the convenor of the Climate and Health Alliance (CAHA), Fiona Armstrong who also spoke at the campaign launch.  What due diligence did the CAHA undertake before deciding there was no substance to the concerns of thousands of people around the world who are directly impacted by wind turbines?    As someone representing health professionals did Fiona Armstrong call for independent health studies to settle the noise issue once and for all?  Having endorsed the Vestas campaign to stick to the facts, what is the response of the CAHA to the internal Vestas document acknowledging noise from their turbines impacts some people in rural communities?

President of the CAHA is Dr Liz Hanna.  It is assumed that Dr Hanna authorised the participation of CAHA at the Vestas launch of its corporate spin campaign.  This immediately puts both Dr Hanna and the CAHA in a position of assisting a turbine manufacturer to deny the adverse health impacts from its product – impacts which it is well aware of and were acknowledged in the 2004 presentation.

There is no evidence any of these health professionals have taken the trouble to interview Annie GardnerDonald Thomas, Trish Godfrey, Noel Dean, Brian Kermonde, Melissa WareCarl or Samantha Stepnell or dozens of others in Victoria alone to determine the integrity of their claims relating to the effects they have been subjected to from wind turbines.

Perhaps the health professionals knew they would be confronted with inconvenient truths if they did, which would undermine their confected outrage at the temerity of those who do not genuflect before the turbines of righteousness.

Another speaker at the campaign launch was Simon Holmes à Court, chairman of Hepburn Wind.  Holmes à Court is famous for being the driving force behind the two turbine community owned wind farm near Daylesford Victoria, the first of its kind in Australia.  Holmes à Court has assiduously cultivated the media in numerous feature articles to present as the community minded crusader for wind energy.  He is perhaps infamous for Hepburn Wind repeatedly reneging on a commitment to release noise data from the Daylesford wind farm after a number of nearby residents, including a local doctor started suffering health impacts.

Uncritical public acceptance of wind industry spin began to change after the 2011 senate inquiry into the impacts of wind farms, chaired by Greens senator Rachel Siewert made the unequivocal recommendation that “the Commonwealth Government initiate as a matter of priority thorough, adequately resourced epidemiological and laboratory studies of possible effects of wind farms on human health.”

After a decade of grass-roots rural community angst from being ridden over roughshod by multi-national energy companies aided by state and federal governments eager to be seen to be ‘doing something’ about climate change, while ignoring the basic human right to enjoy rest and repose in their own home, the issue of health impacts will now get the hearing it deserves.

The Abbott government has announced a health study into the effects of wind farms with the Victorian government pledging $100,000 support.

Environment groups that have supported the wind industry and taken their thirty pieces of silver, ‘health professionals’ who have no expertise in acoustics and no interest in faraway rural communities, but do have an overblown interest in climate health effects, have jumped on the wind energy bandwagon eager to claim the high moral ground despite the human collateral damage.  They instead should have taken the time to look at the noise data and the evidence.  It also would not have hurt to at least speak with the affected families as well.

By allowing themselves to be co-opted as useful idiots to support a so-called ‘noble cause’, where the ends justify the means as well as failing to exhibit a modicum of caution or undertake due diligence, they now find themselves endorsing an industry denying in public what it knows in private to be true.  Good luck with that! 


© The National Forum and contributors 1999-2014. All rights reserved.

Is Big Wind the New Big Tobacco?

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Curt Devlin, Guest Editor

Faced with growing evidence that industrial wind turbines (IWT’s) cause serious adverse health impacts, comparisons between the wind industry and the tobacco industry are getting more obvious all the time.  The Big Wind tactics of stalling, dismissing legitimate concerns, and outright denial of the link between turbines and health problems seem straight out of the Big Tobacco playbook.

Perhaps this pattern is standard behavior for dirty industries, especially when there is no easy way to acknowledge the harm they cause without damaging profits as well.  Despite these similarities, there are also fundamental differences between these two industries, the problems they create, and how they create them.  Anyone looking to hold Big Wind accountable for the havoc it creates should pay careful attention to these differences as well.  Forewarned is forearmed.

Before it was known that cigarette manufacturers were chemically enhancing the addictive properties of its product, they often argued that smokers had the choice to stop.  They insisted that they could not be held responsible for personal choices made by smokers.  Whether true or not, the idea that smokers could opt out at any time was a powerful persuasion on public opinion.  By contrast, once an industrial-scale wind turbine begins to spin in your neighborhood, there is no chance for anyone to opt out.  The wind industry is always quick to point out that a vote was taken to accept a particular wind project — but the fact that no one was told just how dangerous industrial turbines are, is never mentioned.  In any case, the perverse idea that a majority of voters have the right to impose harm on a minority belongs more to fascism than democracy.

Making the scientific link between cigarette smoking and its more egregious health impacts, such as lung cancer and vascular disease, was a long, slow process due to the nature of these diseases and how they must be studied.  The link between wind turbines and their most immediate health impacts, however, can be established much more directly and swiftly, by using a different methodology.  How the link to adverse health impacts is made is a difference worth exploring.

Making the Link 

When public attention first turned to smoking as a health hazard, the tobacco industry tried to defend itself by pointing to the fact there were no large cross-sectional studies that “proved” a direct causal connection between smoking and illness.  Making a causal link between a health hazard and its impact can be difficult, costly, and time-consuming.  As a result of these obstacles, Big Tobacco was able to hold its critics at bay for decades.  The strategy of insisting on almost absolute certainty, something that cross-sectional studies are not designed to furnish in any case, also provided Big Tobacco with the time it needed to mount a massive PR campaign and aggressively lobby policymakers for legal protections.  Meanwhile, despite public posturing to the contrary, Big Tobacco knew full well just how dangerous and addictive its product truly was.

The fact that tobacco taxes have been a mainstay of state and federal revenues for more than a century made it easy to convince lawmakers to protect the industry.  Similarly, Big Wind’s call for indisputable certainty about turbine health impacts has bought years for its epic lobbying campaign to extend the wind production tax credits (PTC), its only source of financial sustenance in the U.S.  By contrast, however, the PTC amounts to nothing more than a government subsidy to big business.  Similar subsidies exist in many other countries as well.  Economically, wind turbines have been a corporate drain on taxpayers and ratepayers alike.  Unlike tobacco, wind energy is simply not a self-sustaining industry.  Now that the PTC has finally been abandoned in the U.S., the wind industry is already looking toward developing countries as a market for it dangerous product—just as the tobacco industry did when its domestic market began to contract.

Cross-sectional studies are an excellent delaying tactic, but they are not equally well-suited for studying all forms of health impacts.  They are designed to compare two groups of people based on a single variable that makes them different, such as smokers versus non-smokers.  Though such studies don’t actually lend themselves to determining causal links in a rigorous scientific sense, they can provide powerful and convincing statistical links known as correlations.  We now know, for example, that smoking correlates very highly with lung cancer and vascular disease—even though we still do not fully understand many of the details about “how” it causes morbidity.

At first glance, smoking seems to be a good candidate for cross-sectional study, because separating smokers from non-smoker seems straight forward enough.  In time, however, researchers realized that this is not as easy as it sounds due to the complicating factor of secondhand smoke.  Many “non-smokers” were actually inhaling large quantities of secondhand smoke at home, in the office, and in public places like bars and restaurants.  Until laws were passed to prohibit smoking in public, many so-called non-smokers were passively inhaling a substantial cigarette smoke every day.  Once researchers began to control for secondhand smoke (by eliminating subjects who were heavily exposed to it), the link between smoking and morbidity came into sharp relief.

Health issues like those caused by turbines, however, are even more difficult to study using a cross-sectional methodology because it is almost impossible to separate those who are exposed and those who are not. Cross-sectional studies connecting wind turbines to adverse health effects such as sleeplessness have been done in a few cases, but these tend to produce weaker links (Nissenbaum 2012). The problem is somewhat similar to that of secondhand smoke.  Much of the harm caused by turbines comes from the low and very low frequency noise they emit.  This combination is sometimes referred to as infrasound and low frequency noise, or ILFN. Extensive research shows that ILFN can cause a wide range of health impacts because it adversely effects the whole body—not simply the ear.

Much like secondhand smoke, therefore, the problem is that ILFN is everywhere.  Virtually everyone is constantly being exposed to it because at least some form of low frequency noise is produced by so many natural and man-made sources other than turbines.  Fairly intense low frequency noise can be found inside cars, buses, trains, planes, and trucks. It is also produced by industrial air compressors, some electrical motors and many other forms of industrial equipment, such as large HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) fans and industrial air scrubbers.  In fact, residential homes were one of the few remaining places of refuge from this onslaught of low frequency noise—until the wind industry began moving into residential neighborhoods.  For these homes, there is no respite.  Worse yet, many residential structures actually amplify ILFN, making it more intense indoors.  It is nearly impossible for researchers to find a group of people who are completely free of ILFN exposure.  Without this control group as researchers call it, how can a cross-sectional comparison be made between groups who are exposed and those who are not?

Case Series Crossover Studies to the Rescue

Fortunately, there are other perfectly valid and well-accepted methodologies for making reasonably precise comparisons in situations like this.  One such methodology is called a case series crossover study, or sometimes simply a crossover study.  This methodology has been widely used for many years in public health, population biology, occupational, and environmental studies like this.  When conducted with care and rigor, crossover studies can identify connections between adverse health impacts and sources which are otherwise hard to identify.

A crossover study is a very elegant and powerful technique for making comparisons over time.  Instead of comparing two separate groups of subjects like a cross-sectional study, a crossover study compares each subject in the experiment to himself or herself at different times or phases.  In the case of turbine noise, for example, subjects can be compared to themselves before, during, and after exposure to wind turbines.

This is precisely why Dr. Nina Pierpont (who is both an MD and a PhD in population biology) chose the case crossover technique for the landmark study reported in her book, Wind Turbine Syndrome:  A Report on a Natural Experiment (2009). In the non-clinical chapter of her report, she wrote:

First, to call this a wind-turbine associated problem at all, I compared how people were during exposure to how they were when not exposed, and I specified that “not exposed” meant both before and after living near turbines.  All my subjects saw their problems start soon after turbines went online near their homes, and all saw their problems go away when they were away from the turbines [author’s emphasis] (Pierpont 2009).

Given this evidence, what conclusion would you draw?  Those who have experienced new symptoms firsthand when turbines start spinning near their homes, also soon discovered that these same symptoms disappeared when they got away from the turbines.  They quickly came to the same conclusion as Pierpont did, entirely on their own.  For them it wasn’t necessary read Wind Turbine Syndrome to identify the source of their health problems; it was obvious from the outset.  Many of those directly affected are so certain, in fact, that they have voted with their feet, by abandoning their homes to find a place of refuge far from any turbine.  Science and commonsense have come to the same conclusion about the dangers of living near turbines.

This is a very different experience from that of smokers.  In the past, smokers themselves often did not believe their daily habit was ruining their health.  In fact, the media was constantly reassuring them that smoking was both healthy and glamorous.  Unlike wind turbine syndrome, the progression of cancer and heart disease caused by smoking is so slow and imperceptible that victims often don’t notice until it is too late.  How often have you heard a smoker say “I’ve been smoking for years and it hasn’t bothered me at all?”

Identifying the Moment of Incidence

Not every disease or condition can be studied using the crossover approach.  For instance, diseases such as lung cancer and heart disease cannot be studied this way, for two important reasons. First, these diseases develop so gradually and imperceptibly that science cannot reliably determine when they first began. A rigorous crossover study must be able to identify what medical researchers call the moment of incidence, the moment when a symptom or condition begins. Unless this moment can be determined with some accuracy, a crossover study cannot link an adverse health effect to a specific source at a particular time.

Secondly, some conditions, such as lung cancer and heart disease, are often irreversible.  Lung cancer, for instance, does not disappear simply because you stop smoking.  It would be absurd to claim that smoking does not cause cancer simply because it doesn’t go away when a smoker quits.  A crossover study would not be effective for studying the health impacts from smoking.  By contrast, many of the earliest health effects associated with wind turbines quickly subside or disappear completely when turbine exposure stops.  This makes the crossover methodology an excellent choice for studying the relationship between wind turbine noise exposure and its symptoms.

It is important to realize that science does not need to study the symptoms of wind turbine syndrome for decades to accurately determine the source of the problem.  When precisely controlled comparisons are made using the case crossover approach, the link between industrial wind turbine noise and its most immediate detrimental health effects is clear and compelling.

When two 1.5 Mw turbines were sited in a dense residential neighborhood in Fairhaven, MA (Methia 2013) two years ago, some of the residents began experiencing sleep disruptions, intense headaches, and dizziness almost immediately.  Proponents of the wind project tried to deflect blame for these problems by suggesting that they were caused by the large HVAC fans on the back side of the nearby Stop & Shop.  The trouble with such explanations is that the HVAC fans had been operating there for several years, generating few complaints.  By emphasizing the proximity in time between the source and symptoms at the moment of incidence, case crossover data can establish compelling evidence against the real culprit, and clearly distinguish the true source of the problem—the introduction of nearby industrial turbines into a previously quiet neighborhood.

Despite this intuitively obvious fact, many neighbors in towns like Fairhaven, Falmouth, and Scituate in Massachusetts, who have not felt any immediate impact, believe they are completely safe.  Wind advocates often cite this as evidence that the turbines are not the problem.  The best available scientific evidence suggests, however, that those who think they are unaffected are making a very bad—possibly deadly—mistake.

Eventually Everyone Is Affected

Ominously, studies which have focused on the health impacts from long-term exposure to low frequency noise, much like studies on long-term smoking have demonstrated that it leads to diseases which are debilitating, eventually irreversible, and sometimes fatal.

In fact, long-term exposure to intense low frequency noise has been linked to chronic diseases similar to those caused by smoking, such as cancer and heart disease.  Like Big Tobacco, it is easy for Big Wind to be dismissive about these findings because the early stages of these diseases are often asymptomatic.  You can almost hear a slightly distorted echo of the smoker’s bravado: “I’ve been living near big turbines for years and I feel just fine!  It doesn’t bother me.”

The wind industry has seized upon the common misconception that sound energy only impacts the human ear.  If infrasound cannot be heard, then it cannot harm you, right?  This dangerous misconception has been flatly contradicted by the work of Dr. Alec Salt, an otolaryngologist in the School of Medicine at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.  Salt has demonstrated that sound frequencies below the threshold of hearing have direct impacts on the inner ear (vestibular organs) and cause signals to be sent to areas of the brain other than the hearing center (Salt, Responses of the Ear to Infrasound and Wind Turbines, 2010).  He has also shown that these signals rise to a level 4X the loudest audible noise, making the human extremely sensitive to infrasound (Salt, Turbines can be Hazardous, 2013).

Beginning in 1980, two Portuguese researchers, Nuno Castelo-Branco, MD, and Mariana Alves-Pereira, PhD, who have been studying the long-term health impact of ILFN on both humans and animals for over three decades now, began demonstrating that intense low frequency sound and vibration have highly destructive impacts on the entire body, known collectively as vibroacoustic disease or VAD.  In a co-authored paper based on their study, they reported that:

The autopsy findings of thickened cardiac structures led to the echocardiographic study of the population of aircraft technicians.  All had thickened pericardia, and many also exhibited thickened cardiac valves (Marciniak et al. 1999).  Pericardial thickening among LFN-exposed individuals has been anatomically confirmed through light and electron microscopy studies of VAD patient pericardial fragments (collected with patients’ informed consent, during cardiac bypass surgery received for other reasons) (Castelo-Branco et al. 1999a, 2001, 2003a,b; Castelo-Branco 2004).

pericardial thickening

All 140 of their subjects showed signs of dangerous and sometimes lethal thickening of the tissue in and around their hearts after long exposure to low frequency sound and vibration at work—the same kind of sound and vibration produced day and night by wind turbines.  Unfortunately, this thickening can become life-threatening with little or no warning for the victim.  This same study also reports that 100% of the subjects suffered from some form of cognitive impairment, noting that “delays in multi-modal evoked potentials (including endogenous), observed in all 140 patients, are a sign of progressive neurological deterioration and early aging process” (Castelo-Branco 2004).  In other words, after sufficient exposure to ILFN, virtually everyone is affected.

In case a finding of premature aging in every subject is not disturbing enough, they also found that more than half their subjects developed bronchitis whether they smoked cigarettes or not.  Half or more also developed headaches, nose bleeds, and balance problems such as vertigo and dizziness—many of the same hallmark symptoms reported by Pierpont in Wind Turbine Syndrome.  It is worth noting that the occupational pattern of exposure in the Portuguese study is an excellent way to gather crossover data.  The report notes, for example, that many of these symptoms subsided or disappeared when technicians went home for the day.  Ironically, those who are most affected by early symptoms may be the lucky ones if it forces them to get away from the source before the worst effects take hold.

Castelo-Branco and Alves-Pereira also found 22 cases of late-onset epilepsy among the technicians (Castelo-Branco 2004).  The development of even one or two cases among adults would be disturbing enough, since this form of epilepsy rarely occurs after about ten years of age.  Twenty-two cases represents a startling 20-fold increase over the occurrence in the general Portuguese population.

In addition, this team also was able to directly observe the destruction of healthy cells in tissue samples under an electron microscope.  Apparently, the biomechanical force of low frequency vibration can cause healthy cells to burst like water balloons after being squeezed one too many times.  The abnormal destruction of otherwise healthy cells throughout the body can be a precursor to various autoimmune diseases, as well.

In short, research out of Portugal confirms that exposure to ILFN has impacts throughout the human body.  The greater the exposure, the more severe the morbidity.

If you are wondering whether industrial-sized turbines can produce the same health impacts as found among the aircraft technicians, Alves-Pereira and Castelo-Branco subsequently extended their study of ILFN to families and horses living near such turbines (Alves-Pereira 2006).  They used similar techniques, such as echocardiographs and brainstem auditory evoked potentials.  Predictably, they found health effects very similar to those found in their seminal study of aircraft technicians. One can only imagine how quickly illness will occur when someone spends all day in an ILFN-rich work environment, only to come home at night to a barrage of low frequency noise and vibration coming from a nearby complex of industrial wind turbines.

When long-term morbidity from Big Wind and Big Tobacco is considered carefully, the two industries appear to have more in common than either would like to admit. When you consider the wind industry’s increasingly desperate denial of a large and growing body of evidence from experts in clinical and acoustic research, showing that wind turbines make people very sick — it’s hard to ignore the mirror image of Big Tobacco’s response to evidence that smoking is disastrous to health.

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References

Alves-Pereira, C.-B. (2006, Aug 4). Vibroacoustic disease: Biological effects of infrasound. Lisbon, Alverca, Portugal: ScienceDirect. Retrieved from http://nmcares.pbworks.com/f/AlvesPereira2007%20Vibroacousticdisease:biologicaleffectsofinfrasound.pdf

Castelo-Branco, A.-P. (2004). Vibroacoustic disease. Noise Health [serial online], 6:3-20. Alverca, Caparica, Portugal: Noise Health. Retrieved from http://www.noiseandhealth.org/text.asp?2004/6/23/3/31667

Methia, J. (2013, April). Too Close: Stories from Those Who Live in the Shadows. Fairhaven, MA, U.S.: John Methia. Retrieved from http://vimeopro.com/user8792371/too-closestories-from-those-living-in-the-shadows

Nissenbaum, A. H. (2012). Effects of industrial wind turbine on sleep and health. Noise Health [serial online]. Retrieved Dec 30, 2013, from http://www.noiseandhealth.org/text.asp?2012/14/60/237/102961

Pierpont, N. (2009). Wind Turbine Syndrome:  A Report on a Natural Experiment.  Santa Fe, NM: K-Selected Books.

Salt, A. (2010, Aug. 30). Responses of the Ear to Infrasound and Wind Turbines. Cochlear Fluids Research Laboratory, Washington University in St. Louis. St. Louis, MO, U.S.: Washington University in St. Louis. Retrieved from http://oto2.wustl.edu/cochlea/windmill.html

Salt, A. (2013, 6 19). Turbines can be Hazardous to Human Health. Cochlear Fluids Research Laboratory, Washington University in St. Louis. St. Louis, MO, U.S. Retrieved from http://oto2.wustl.edu/cochlea/wind.html

“Wind Energy: Chalk it up as a loss” (Huffington Post)

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Editor’s note:  Click here for the video accompanying this editorial.  We’d like to dedicate this piece to Geoff Leventhall and Simon Chapman, two ardent enablers of  wind energy.  The former is a physicist.  The latter, risibly, a sociologist.  Neither seems capable of grasping that wind energy is, through and through — horseshit.  (Yes, this includes the physics of wind energy.)  That it’s absolute horseshit — or worse.  Both men dismiss and, in Chapman’s case at least, openly ridicule Wind Turbine Syndrome.  History will judge them harshly.  That historical reckoning begins with Acheson’s editorial, below.

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— Ben Acheson, Huffington Post (UK), 2/16/14

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. In addition to his expertise on Energy and Environment issues, he has an in-depth knowledge of regional security in Central Asia, animal welfare within the European Union and EU-aspects of the Scottish independence debate. In his spare time, Ben writes for www.thinkscotland.org and plays semi-professional American Football; in 2012 he was unanimously voted as the National Player of the Year in Belgium.

Follow Ben Acheson on Twitter: www.twitter.com/@ben_acheson

When wind turbines create Vibro-Acoustic Disease

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Click here for the article in “Stop These Things!

“Wind turbines definitely lower local property values. The only question is, how much?”

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Carl V Phillips PhD, Guest Editor

Large wind generators (IWTs, for “industrial wind turbines”) cause health problems for nearby residents, kill birds, and destabilize the power grid. Something those impacts have in common is that it would be possible for them to not be the case, and so attempts to deny them represent merely a refusal to acknowledge the overwhelming empirical evidence. That “merely” contrasts with another impact, IWTs lowering local residential property values. Denial of that not only requires ignoring the specific empirical evidence, but requires a suspension of well-established principles of economics.

The value of a piece of real estate is what someone is willing to pay for it. More specifically, in a theoretical perfect market, it is what the person (or family or other entity) who values it second-most would pay for it. This is because whoever values it first-most would have to pay $1 more than that value in order to win the bidding for it. Anything that would cause that person in the second-most position to value the property less, therefore, lowers its value.

Many people are aware of the potential health effects of nearby IWTs, and thus will value a property enormously less if it is near IWTs. For many others, the audible noise or visual impact would lower the value somewhat. If the person who values a property second-most falls into either of these groups, the value of the property will be lower. There is no reason to believe that anyone prefers to have a nearby IWT, so there is no chance that person would like the property more and thus increase the value. (Note that this analysis does not consider the net change in the value of a property with income from IWTs that are actually on the property. For such properties there will still be a decrease in value from the proximity but might be a net increase because the income more than makes up for this.)

Moreover, even someone who does not personally worry about the health risk or find the aesthetic impacts objectionable will know that others do. Thus, he will know that the potential resale value of the property is lower, and since that contributes to the value, this will tend to push down the value for even those who do not mind living near the IWTs.

Thus, there is simply no question that IWTs lower the value of nearby property, and the only legitimate question is “how much?”, not “does it occur?” Anyone who insists that there is no reduction in value is trafficking in nonsense that is actually one step worse than the nonsense that there are no health impacts, in that it denies both the evidence and the irrefutable logic.

Of course, in reality markets do not function exactly like the theoretical simplification, but the same principle applies in the real world with only a bit of additional complication. The sale of a property does not attract the attention of everyone who might want to bid, and so the second-highest valuation is not based on every possible buyer, but only on those who are in the market at the particular time. But this changes nothing. More significantly, the market is not a perfect auction, so the highest offer (which determines the market value of the property) does not consist literally of someone outbidding the second-highest by $1, but rather some guesswork about what bid is enough to convince the seller that no better offer is available. But this offer will be no higher than the potential buyer’s value for the property, which will be lowered by the factors noted above, and the guesses about alternative offers will be pushed downward by those factors also. Thus the exact real world results may not be as predictable as the theoretical case, but the fact that there is a reduction in value is unchanged.

Finally, the person/family who values a property the most is almost always, by far, the one who is living there. This is why very few sales result from an interested buyer making an offer for a property that is not actively for sale. So when residents suffer problems from nearby IWTs that make them want to move, the market value is dramatically reduced because the bidding for the property no longer includes the person who previously placed the highest value on it. Even worse than this impact on the market value, the benefits from that piece of land to overall human happiness — because it no longer provides net benefits to those who valued it the most — is reduced even more.

Empirical studies are required to determine how much property values are decreased near IWTs, and that magnitude might affect policy decisions and certainly affects cost-benefit analyses. The methods for doing such studies are highly imperfect; hence, there is room to criticize the estimated magnitude.

One thing we know for sure is that any study or assertion that insists there is no impact — is wrong.

Turbo-Jesus: The Messiah?

Editor’s note:  Behold “Turbo-Jesus.”  TJ.  The Redeemer.  Our 21st-century Messiah.

TJ promises to save us from the apocalypse of Global Warming.  TJ is the god of the Wind Energy religion.  You can see his symbols, his cruciform icons, erected willy nilly across rural landscapes around the globe.  (Check your electric bill.  Every month, you’re being tithed to pay the priests of this cult for installing TJ crosses across land & sea.  Soon they will be coming to your neighborhood!)

“Praise the Lord,”  shout TJ’s followers in loud hosannas to their (financial) savior!

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Noise engineer Stephen Ambrose had an epiphanal encounter with TJ several years back, when, like the biblical Saul on the road to Damascus, Ambrose was brought to his knees by TJ’s (infrasonic) powers.

Did this turn Ambrose into a believer?  Well, yes, sort of.  He immediately became a born-again believer in Wind Turbine Syndrome — as he describes in his testimony before the Massachusetts Dept. of Public Utilities last month.  (Click here for a PDF of his testimony.)

Jesus of Nazareth is said to have warned his followers that in the so-called End Times (a spooky apocalyptic scenario), an Anti-Christ would appear, promising redemption to humanity.  Could TJ and his horde of followers who make a financial windfall off taxpayer & ratepayer subsidies — is it possible TJ is that very Anti-Christ?  The god whose “brand” is the 2.5 MW Triune Phallus?
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Testimony of Stephen Ambrose before the Mass. Dept. of Public Utilities (1/29/14)

I witnessed this [wind turbine] harm 1750-ft from the nearest Falmouth wind turbine during moderate to strong winds. I never expected to be made sick, to feel miserable, to have an unrelenting headache, and nausea. I lost enthusiasm doing the work that I love. I recognized the loss of cognitive ability and was able to adjust with extra care and effort. There were frequent awakenings from unknown causes that interfered with restful sleep. Leaving the area provided some relief, yet was quickly lost after returning. Amazingly, it took two weeks at home for my wife to notice that I was returning to normal. I never want to have this experience repeated.

— Stephen Ambrose, Board Certified Noise Engineer, INCE

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My name is Stephen Ambrose and I am an acoustic professional with over 35 years’ experience in community noise assessments. My success is achieved by education, learned experiences, careful listening, and then confirming with good measurement practices. I follow industry-accepted guidelines and procedures developed to protect neighbors from adverse noise impacts. These wind turbine noise complaints should never have occurred. They could have all been predicted before ever being presented for public review.

I graduated from UMasss Amherst in 1976 with a BS degree in Civil Engineering. I have 18 years’ experience with Stone & Webster Engineering Corporation in Boston, where I specialized in industrial noise and vibration control. For the past 15 years, I have been an independent consultant focusing on acoustics, environmental sound and noise control. I am Board Certified by the Institute of Noise Control Engineering and Full Member of the Acoustical Society of America.

My career is committed to following the highest canons of professional ethics:  1) hold paramount public safety, health, welfare and wellbeing, 2) represent clients truthfully, and 3) avoid or make known all conflicts of interest.

As a professional acoustic investigator, I will confirm by my own experiences that neighbors are being harmed when wind turbines are built too close to homes. This HARM is real. Wind turbine HARMS in many ways by causing physical or mental damage or injury, diminishes the enjoyment of life. People are impaired, hurt, broken, devalued, weakened, etc. Harm destroys the fabric for living.

I witnessed this harm 1750-ft from the nearest Falmouth wind turbine during moderate to strong winds. I never expected to be made sick, to feel miserable, to have an unrelenting headache, and nausea. I lost enthusiasm doing the work that I love. I recognized the loss of cognitive ability and was able to adjust with extra care and effort. There were frequent awakenings from unknown causes that interfered with restful sleep. Leaving the area provided some relief, yet was quickly lost after returning. Amazingly, it took two weeks at home for my wife to notice that I was returning to normal. I never want to have this experience repeated.

I have visited Fairhaven, Kingston and Scituate and other wind turbine sites. Neighbors living near these facilities are being harmed, yet they are being ignored by those entrusted with the responsibility for protecting public health. Why is this? Why is Massachusetts only funding studies to disprove and invalidate neighbors’ complaints? This is WRONG! The State must acknowledge neighbors’ hardships and provide comfort and assurance that this will be remedied. An expression of sympathy is the right first step. Instead, the State continues to voice disdain and contempt for neighbors’ complaints. This must STOP!

Observing noise produced by a large wind turbine during the daytime is very misleading. Go out at night during moderate wind speeds (12 to 18 mph) and higher at distances greater than 900-ft. Stand quietly and identify all the sound sources that you hear. Then imagine trying to sleep. Remember neighbors’ complaints relate more to the activity interference than the actual sound level; watching TV, conversations, and especially sleep.

I recommend that my peers and public health officials and talk with the adversely impacted neighbors during a windy night. Better yet, go prepared to live as a neighbor and do not be surprised when they invite you to sleep in their bed. This happened to me and was a life-changing event in my career. I no longer have sympathy for wind turbine neighbors. I now have real empathy. One prone to motion sickness may have a similar experience to mine.

When neighbors describe the horrors living near a wind turbine, believe them. They all are looking for deliverance from their State imposed misery. Count your individual blessings, for not being in their place where you need to plead for liberation from living in a public health sacrifice zone.

Please respond proactively for the plight of wind turbine neighbors.  I envision that these hearing will have a positive outcome enabling changes that benefit Massachusetts commitment to protect all citizens equally.

These DPU hearings are highly beneficial. DPU involvement in this issue is welcomed. All State regulatory agencies are empowered to protect the public. Board members have heard firsthand witnesses describe their ruined lives and the harmful effects caused by wind turbines. The DPU has the regulatory authority, and this should be used to be pro-active in their efforts to protect public health, safety, welfare and well-being.

Why didn’t this man believe wind turbines make people sick? (Illinois)

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Editor’s note:  In December 2013, the Hartke family abandoned this home — as in, “abandoned.”  Not sold.  Abandoned.  (Yeah, it was their sole residence.)  They now live well away from wind turbines (“No louder than a humming refrigerator” — remember?) in a double-wide trailer.

You who scoff at the idea that wind turbines can and do make people sick (sick enough to abandon a home) — read on.  Take comfort knowing that Mr. Hartke was like you: he believed the idea was preposterous.

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There’s a professor at an Australian university who preaches — to anyone within earshot — that WTS is horseshit.  The man fancies himself clever and a great wit.  He, and an equally imbecilic physicist in the UK, are currently the academic bell-ringers for the messianic drive to install wind turbines in everyone’s backyard — wind turbines as the Savior of the world.

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(Not surprisingly, neither man can claim a single clinical credential and both are manifestly senile or venal or both, and both would be laughed out of any self-respecting American university.  Yet this doesn’t slow them down.)

Tragically, the Hartke family fell victim to these two hacks.  Life is rich.

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Testimony by Ted Hartke before the Boone County Zoning Board (Illinois), 5/28/13

My name is Ted Hartke. I am a professional engineer and professional land surveyor, and I own Hartke Engineering and Surveying, Inc. My dad, Phil, and my brother, Dave, are both farmers. As a land surveyor, I know how emotional and protective people are about their land and the rights they have to get the most out of their property. This wind farm issue is very difficult to deal with, and I have an important story to tell you.

I live in the center of the Invenergy California Ridge wind farm located in Vermilion County, Illinois, consisting of 138 turbines rated at 1.6 megawatts each and being 495 feet tall.

Before our project started, and throughout its construction, I had no issues with my county’s decision to create our existing wind industry ordinance including all of the details within it regarding setbacks or other matters. I did not know or worry about noise pollution. There had been some negativity about noise, so during the summer of 2011, I parked under a wind turbine near Bloomington Illinois on our way to Phillip’s church camp. I turned off the car, and myself, my wife, and my kids all got out to walk around and look at things. I could hear light wispy air “whooshing” sounds. I could hear a tractor in a field a mile away and also birds chirping about as loud as the blades’ air disturbance. I thought I had very little to worry about the noise from turbines about to be constructed near my home in Vermilion County.

We managed to get through the dust, traffic, construction noise while our road was reconstructed in front of our property. It was exciting to see the huge turbine components hauled past our house. For me, things were friendly between me, the construction crews, and the wind farm representatives. Everything was “just fine.” We thought we had lived through the worst part of the project.

In January, our noise problem began. We had a couple bad nights of engine whining noise. We thought we might get used to it … sort of like people become accustomed to living near busy highways or train tracks. However, our noise was lasting all night long, kids were waking up numerous times every night. It was totally unexpected … a complete shock. We were unaware of how the noise was going to change our lives.

I have personal first-hand knowledge of and expert witness testimony as follows:

1) Wind turbines will wake you up at various times. It is impossible to get healthy sleep.

2) The engine “whining” or “humming” noise is very disturbing and stressful. This low frequency noise penetrates your house, and there is no place where you can go inside your house to escape it. (OUTSIDE your house, the noise doesn’t seem so bad. INSIDE your house, the noise is unbelievable.)

3) There were mornings when I put clothes on my kids and shoved them out the front door when they were sleep deprived and not ready for a full day of school. Wind turbines are hard on your children.

4) Our son already had a pre-existing sleep problem and we have been seeing a specialist for ~2 years now. Up until the turbines went live, Phillip’s symptoms had been improving dramatically, and in early January at his last check up with the specialist we had discussed weaning him off his sleep meds. Since the turbines turned on in January, Phillip’s symptoms have been gradually returning/becoming worse. Since the developer will not turn the turbines off at night anymore, we had a very bad noise event at our home on May 11. This was the first time Phillip complained of dizziness from the noise. Later in the evening he started vomiting. It was a really miserable night for the entire family.

The Dr. made some suggestions to help cut down on the noise (special ear plugs) and to cut down on the vibrations caused by low-frequency sound (shock absorbers under the legs of his bed). He also increased the dosage of a medication our son was already taking due to his sleep disorder in the hopes that this would allow Phillip to have greater periods of uninterrupted sleep.

5) I have argued with my wife at 2:30, 3:30, 4:30, and 5:30 in the morning. Wind turbines are hard on your marriage.

6) Being exhausted severely impacts your work performance and stresses relationships with employees and co-workers. Wind turbines are hard on your careers.

7) I have embarrassed myself and have cried in front of my peers while describing the insurmountable problem my family is experiencing with this noise. Wind turbines are hard on your public image.

8) Standing up and requesting assistance to solve this problem required me to put pressure on my county board representatives. My ties with community leaders have been severed….hurting my small business. Just like any other person, I had to put my family first, and I put my business at great risk while going up against neighbors, public officials, fellow citizens, and construction companies who hire my firm to do engineering and survey work. I decided to come up to your community tonight because I feel a heavy burden and responsibility to other men, women, and children who will suffer from future wind turbine placement.

9) Between January and May, I was able to convince Invenergy to shut down turbines approximately 50 times during nighttime noise events. During that time, I contacted contractors and researched ways to soundproof my home. I was rejected by several contractors who did not believe they could fix my problem. Soundproofing against low frequency noise is extremely difficult. My home had too many large windows, a fireplace flue, 5 dormers, vaulted ceilings in the living room and upstairs bedrooms. On Saturday, May 11th, my request to turn off one of these turbines was declined. We were awake all night with high levels of wind turbine noise. We cannot live this way. This wind turbine noise is torture … torture is what you do to terrorists, not my children!

10) I have researched and studied soundproofing improvements to my home. To get some relief from soundproofing, it will require new windows, doors, exterior sheeting, wall insulation, and roofing insulation. To get the insulation completed will require removal of existing windows, siding, sheeting, and a build-up of roofing materials. The approximate cost to soundproof my home in this manner is $150,000.

11) My wife and I were very stressed and needed help … we decided that this horrible noise should be documented and reported because of the upcoming discussions for the county board and also to build records to justify our soundproofing repairs with Invenergy. A Vermilion County Sheriff’s Deputy was at my house, in my bedroom, to listen to the noise at 2 AM. Our Mother’s Day holiday was ruined.

12) I emailed the entire county board an open invitation to come to my home, spend time inside my bedroom where I sleep. They have declined to address my problem. Unfortunately, this noise problem will grow and affect more Vermilion County citizens as more turbines are constructed. For as long as you allow wind turbines to be constructed within 2,500 feet of homes, you will have noise complaints from neighbors. You will become a target of controversy, complaints, political challenges, hatred, and lawsuits.

13) It is not too late for your community to create an ordinance that protects you from the trouble I am living through.

In conclusion:

I am requesting that, before you vote on this, think about the resident like me who will invite you to stand in their bedroom to listen to the noise. While you are there, he or she will introduce you to their precious children. You will have the opportunity to sit down and discuss with the kids about how it makes them feel. While there are few things worse than a sick or injured child, I believe that hurting them by allowing wind turbines to be constructed too close to their homes is unforgivable.

If you still want to proceed with allowing wind farm development under this weak ordinance, then maybe you should think about how stressed you will be when your names are listed on the lawsuit for voting in support of the inadequate setbacks and no way to enforce noise violations. Now is your opportunity to stop and think about it. If a wind farm chooses not to enter your county based on noise restrictions, then you know that they do not have the capability to fulfill their “good neighbor” promise. Put your noise restriction in writing and include a corrective action to address it such as night-time turbine shutdown upon a legit noise complaint.

Don’t be afraid to change your mind. When I have said “no” to my kids, my employees, my clients, and my family, they went through a short period of unhappiness, but I always wanted to do what was fair to everyone involved and still be able to provide for them. You will earn my respect and the respect of wind company representatives … they may not like it, but they will respect it. It is OK to change your mind in the course of exploring all of the avenues and throughout the presentation of facts. Opening the door to the first wind farm development is like selling the business or the home farm … you only get one chance at doing it right. Try to learn from other’s mistakes and make adjustments accordingly. Learning from your own mistakes is a harder way to go about it.

When you became a board member, I hope it was to serve your community. If you are seated at this table, and your interests are about self-preservation for you and your friends, then you are in the wrong room.

Although my five minute time allowance is up, I would be pleased to give you more detailed feedback and information so that you may make the best possible decisions.

Thank you for allowing me to speak to you tonight. I hope that sharing my experience helps your community.

Download original document: “Ted Hartke Submittal, May 28, 2013: Wind Farm Experience

Update: We moved out of our house permanently a few days before Christmas. We will not be returning to our house. There are still a few families who continue to suffer night and day within our neighborhood. Dave and Jean Miles, Gina Isabelli, and Kim Hufford are struggling with noise which has caused them and their kids to have major sleep issues. Including us, none of these people knew this would be a problem until the turbines started producing power —Ted Hartke.

“The vertigo was horrific”: Windfarm builder abandons home (Australia)

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Family hammered by WTS. University studies WTS (Ontario)

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Editor’s note:  If you live anywhere but North America, you may find you can’t play this video.  That’s because SunNews, a Canadian company, has restricted access to North America.  (Why they do this, I have not a clue!)  We find that, oftentimes, we can’t play videos from Australia or the UK.

Happily, our German colleagues have fixed the problem:  Click here if you can’t otherwise open the video.

“Life in a windfarm is a torture that doesn’t end” (Australia)

Editor’s note:  The following was written by Ms. Melissa Ware, a resident of Victoria, Australia, to Australia’s popular radio talk-show host, Alan Jones.  Melissa and her family have been devastated by Wind Turbine Syndrome, as she describes to Mr. Jones.  You can listen to an interview of Melissa and her partner, here.

Alan Jones is a vigorous critic of the wind energy scam and its health impacts.  He is, as well, a champion of the “little guy” against big business and big, brutal, dumb government.

Click here for a PDF of her letter.  Melissa wrote another, somewhat different letter to the Prime Minister, the Honorable Tony Abbott.  Titled “Wind Farm Impacts,” it, too, is worth reading (PDF).

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 Dear Mr. Jones,

I have been meaning to contact you for some time since seeing you host the Canberra Rally last year and listening to your superb radio interviews about ‘wind farms’. I wish to express my gratitude for your wonderful ability to speak so loudly and forcibly on behalf of ordinary Australians being segregated and becoming wind farm refugees, through no fault of our own.  Your catch phrase, “why not put them in Macquarie St.?” is bittersweet, as I wouldn’t wish more IWT suffering on anyone.

Lack of knowledge and simple trust, faith that everything would be fine were my failing. Alas, life living inside a wind facility complex is one of torture that does not end.  Noise day and night, night and day for years.  With rare respite, we live about 800 metres from an industrial facility with 22 nearby turbines — a noise-induced, and mental, emotional, physical and spiritual nightmare.

Unfortunately my sensitivity to my environment, its sounds and energy so precious a skill that aids my bi-lateral hearing impairment, now appears a hindrance with the constant industrial noise and vibration endured inside and outside my home and property here at Cape Bridgewater. Ears and body buffeted, exhausted from the bombardment. At times in desperation I want to flee and never be near or lay eyes on a turbine again.

My partner, my eleven year old son, and I each suffer as a direct result of the Cape Bridgewater wind facility.  There is no protection, no likelihood of protection for any of us from this noise abuse and industrial intrusion we have been enduring for the past five years.  And it is unbearable.

Between you and me, I would give anything for the ‘nocebo theory’ to be true, and symptoms resulting directly by being physically violated by this unnatural noise vibration and energy pulsations to not exist — and to be all in my head. Positive thinking is powerful and gets me through each day but cannot, does not, stop infrasound and my solid-stone house vibrating, or our declining health.

Melissa Ware

Melissa Ware

I live isolated on a rural farm, and fifteen or so years ago could find no relevant information on wind farms using Google.  No one from the Department of Health, Department of Planning or EPA local or otherwise has shown any concern or interest in us. There is no management plan to deal with this disaster other than to subject us to minimilisation, dismissal, or be given a colossal run-around.

How can it be that workers, businesses etc abide by health and safety laws, established through good practice, undertake management and action plans, follow the law to protect workers and clients, yet our own government fails to follow the rules and is failing in duty of care?

Writing letters, sending e-mails hasn’t worked.  What will?

Quality of home life is unbearable.  Yesterday I sent the letter and message below to Mr. Abbott etc. with hope that another small voice of distress may be heard and changes can be made to protect us and so many others about to be subjected to living inside a wind facility.

Sincerely,

Melissa2

Melissa Ware
1/31/14

“Your silence gives consent”: A call to civil disobedience (Ontario)

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—Muriel Blair (Ontario, Canada)

I believe, probably without justification, that I live in a democratic society.  One with freedom of speech, the right to peaceful assembly and the expectation that those who are elected to office are working with the good of all in mind.

In fact this is far from the truth, and I am beginning to understand that my freedoms and the freedoms of my fellow Ontarians are contingent on following the word of our (dare I say it?) criminal politicians.

Should you follow with sheep-like devotion the decrees handed down to you, you can wear the badge of freedom.  Should you believe the lies, whether they wear the green label or promises of a great economic future in the hands of Chinese-owned companies, then you will be afforded the freedoms that democracy boasts of.

But, should you question the actions and lies fed to the intubated masses, then you are targeted. Your rights and freedoms are no longer. Goose-step in time with the Gestapo’s, or be labelled and condemned to be one of the black sheep, destined to be known as a trouble-maker.

Keep in mind that I am referring to hard-working citizens.  Mothers, fathers, grandparents, community leaders, teachers and community volunteers. I am talking about people whose only flaw is that they care about how their communities look and feel. They care about what legacy their children and grandchildren will inherit. And they give a damn about their rights and freedoms.

Their homes are not just boxes to live in, but are the world where children are raised and loved, life is lived and memories are made. To these residents who choose to speak out, their homes and their lives are synonymous with their communities.

Make no mistake, greed and corruption are taking all this away — destroying the fabric of rural Ontario and rendering our province into a totalitarian state. Are my emails being monitored? Perhaps they are. Has fear gripped my heart? You betcha.  The likelihood that I am under police surveillance is very real.

Even so, I cannot stand by and let injustice prevail. I need to speak out, and I need to move forward in my desire to protect my province from the economic catastrophe that will destroy all our communities.

I look to people like Malala Yousufzai, Eve Ensler, Martin Luther King, the Dalai Lama, Esther Wrightman, Marcelle Brooks — and everyone else who puts themselves out there to speak the truth. It’s often not comfortable.  It’s their honesty and genuine belief that they can make a difference that inspires me.

The comfort zone is a nice place, but nothing grows there.  Nothing at all. In fact, things rot in the comfort zone. Ontario is in that comfort zone right now.

I hope that everyone reading this finds their own Malala or Esther to inspire them to keep up the fight.

This fight will not be won without casualties.  Chatham Kent, Haldimand and now North Middlesex, to name a few. I say, let’s band together — we all know what’s happening and we all know that it’s wrong. (Even the Ontario Provincial Police who may be monitoring my emails, and Esther Wrightman’s, know it’s wrong.)  As my colleague Marcelle Brooks always says, “Your silence gives consent.”

Nothing could be truer than that statement.

Our blog, the Middlesex-Lambton Wind Action Group, may be loud, we may be obnoxious at times, but we’re honest and we’ve got nothing to hide. We are fortunate that we have fighters on board who are willing to stand up to what is wrong, and they inspire the rest of us to move forward.

London School of Economics: “Wind turbines hammer property value!”

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“Proof wind turbines take thousands off your home: Value of houses within 1.2 miles of large wind farms slashed by 11%, study finds” 

• Study by the London School of Economics found value of homes close to wind farms slashed by 11%
• Home that costs £250,000 would lose £27,000 in value
• Homes as far at two-and-a-half miles away could be reduced by 3% 

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—Sanchez Manning, MailOnline (1-25-14)

The presence of wind turbines  near homes has wiped tens of thousands of pounds off their value, according to the first major study into the impact the eyesore structures have on house prices.

The study by the London School  of Economics (LSE) – which looked at more than a million sales of properties close to wind farm sites over a 12-year period – found that values of homes within 1.2  miles of large wind farms were being slashed by about 11 per cent.

This means that if such a wind farm were near an average house  in Britain, which now costs almost £250,000, it would lose more than £27,000 in value.

In sought-after rural idylls where property prices are higher, the financial damage is even more substantial. In villages around one of Southern England’s largest onshore developments – Little Cheyne Court Wind Farm in Romney Marsh,  Kent, where homes can cost close to £1 million – house values could drop by more than £100,000.

The study further discovered that even a small wind farm that blighted views would hit house values.

Homes within half a mile of such visible turbines could be reduced in value by about seven per cent.

Even those in a two-and-a-half-mile radius experienced price reductions of around three per cent.

The report’s author, Professor Steve Gibbons, said his research was the first strong evidence that wind farms are harmful to house prices.

Prof. Gibbons, director of the LSE’s Spatial Economics Research Centre, said: ‘Property prices are going up in places where they’re not visible and down in the places where they are.’

The study, which is still in draft form but is due to be published  next month, focused on 150 wind-farm sites across England and Wales. It compared house-price changes in areas that had wind farms, were about to see one built  or had seen one rejected by the  local authority.

Last night Chris-Heaton Harris, MP for Daventry, said: ‘There’s plenty of anecdotal evidence – especially in my constituency – of house-price reductions near wind turbines. The question is, will anybody be liable for these losses in future?’

And Bob Ward, policy and communications director at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the LSE, said: ‘These results are not really surprising as it is already known that people place a value on countryside views.’

A Department for Energy and Climate Change spokesman said: ‘Developments will only get permission where impacts are acceptable.’

A spokesman for Renewables UK, which represents the wind industry, said: ‘We will be analysing the conclusions closely when the final report is issued.’

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)

Baily

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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.”

PTSD eye2

 

“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)

Rauch

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)

brain

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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.)

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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.

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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)

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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.)

cracked eggs

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.”

garzon ear2

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)

her_hands_by_byblackarrow-d34gw0c

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.

hawk fairhaven2


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.)

popgun

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