Abandoning homes due to wind farms: the deep fragrance of factoid

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It is claimed that “more than 40” families have abandon their homes to become “wind farm refugees”. But who are they?

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Imagine your home was subject to some environmental assault so egregious and relentless that you had no option but to abandon your home: walk away from it without sale, because no one would be mad enough to buy it when they saw what you were enduring.

And then try to imagine that, under these circumstances, you would have never publicly identified yourself. Never protested about what you were  experiencing. Never made yourself known to those causing the problem. Never called in the media to report the unfair conditions under which you lived. Never mentioned it in a submission to parliament.

While the first is possible to imagine, the second would be hard to fathom. People at the end of their tether tend to be angry. They have awful stories to tell. They welcome arc lights thrown on their situation to so the injustice might be stopped. Such a situation would be prime cut news.

Yet this is the situation we are being asked to accept when it comes to claims that Australian wind farms have allegedly driven “more than 40” families to abandon their homes: to become “wind farm refugees”, as the anti wind farm lobby likes to call them.

This “more than 40” families claim has been made by the face of Australia’s most prominent anti wind farm lobby group, Ms Sarah Laurie. I immediately smelt the deep fragrance of  factoid: a baseless claim, which if repeated often enough, comes to be accepted as true. Three Senators (Back, Madigan and  Xenophon) strapped on their megaphones and while not repeating the “40” number,  used the “abandoned home” or “refugees”  expressions.

In a paper  just published, I describe how I set out to corroborate Laurie’s claim. I used six sources (parliamentary submissions, media reports, an anti wind farm website, wind industry sources, attempted correspondence with known anti wind farm activists, and email to the three politicians above) to find evidence of these 40 home “abandonments”.

Photo: Harry Greenwood
Photo: Harry Greenwood

I found 10 cases of families who had permanently left their homes, attributing this to wind turbines near their home. Another two claimed to leave occasionally for respite.

However, none of the houses appeared to have been permanently “abandoned” without sale, as the expression implies. People move houses for many reasons. And here importantly, most of  the twelve cases need contextualizing against considerations that several of those involved were either dedicated activists against wind farms from times sometimes pre-dating the construction of the farms; some were engaged in protracted negotiations for their homes to be purchased by wind companies; some had pre-existing health problems now attributed to turbine exposure, grievances with the wind company over employment or had left the area for unrelated reasons of employment elsewhere.

Laurie advised me by email that she had supplied details about her claim in a confidential submission to a Senate Committee. Her claim about “40 families” is thus not open to any scrutiny.

As we see regularly, refugees fleeing intolerable or deadly circumstances are usually desperate to highlight their plights to anyone who might help. People whose homes are threatened by proposed freeways, tunnels, flight path changes, or dodgy chemical factories do not hesitate to protest and publicly identify themselves.  Several of the 12 had indeed gone very public with their cases, but 12 is a lot less than “more than 40”. So why are more than 28 mystery families being so shy, if they really walked away from their homes?

My paper concluded that the claim was a factoid promoted by wind farm opponents for dramatic, rhetorical impact.  The claim sits alongside other contestable claims made by wind farm opponents, including a list of symptoms of Biblical pestilence proportions (currently numbering 236) said to be caused  by wind farm exposure, the promotion of non-diseases,  claims that wind farms can rock stationary cars 1km away, make people’s lips vibrate 10km away and that they can be heard at up to 100km. A recent review by a team including Sir Simon Wessely, president of the Royal  College of Psychiatry, of the evidence for the nocebo effect explaining adverse reactions to wind concluded:

“First, the “nocebo effect” is a well-recognized phenomenon in which the expectation of symptoms can become self-fulfilling. Second, misattribution of pre-existing or new symptoms to a novel technology can also occur. Third, worry about a modern technology increases the chances of someone attributing symptoms to it. Fourth, social factors, including media reporting and interaction with lobby groups can increase symptom reporting.

For wind turbines, there is already some evidence that a nocebo effect can explain the attributed symptoms while misattribution seems likely. Although worry has not been directly studied, research has shown that people who are annoyed by the sound that turbines produce are more likely to report symptoms and that annoyance is associated with attitudes toward the visual impact of wind farms and whether a person benefits economically from a wind farm.”

Simon Chapman is Professor in Public Health at the University of Sydney. He has published 469 articles in peer reviewed journals and 17 books and major reports.

 

 

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53 Comments
  1. Zvyozdochka 5 years ago

    Does Nick Xenophon ever speak to Simon Chapman?

  2. Bungarra 5 years ago

    I wonder when there will be a similar out cry about aircraft noise in Perth especially with the early morning mining company commuters. Some of the low frequency sounds will shake the house at 7 to 10 km on a still cold morning with a low level inversion.

  3. Tim Buckley 5 years ago

    Simon
    Great work, well done.
    I wonder if any of these 40 plus mythical families would care to live next to a nuclear, coal or gas-fired power station? Or maybe they could move to Newcastle and have 150 million tonnes of coal carted past their house every year! Then they wouldn’t need to imagine their health problems.
    We all use electricity, so it is about using a power system that has the least negative consequences. I personally live under a power station – it is called rooftop solar. I cant wait to get a battery system so I can double the size of my power station. I love looking at it and knowing I am reducing my family’s footprint on the world. To the extent my solar is not working, I would be happy for the residual electricity to come as much as possible from the least harmful and most renewable fuel sources like the wind and water.

    • Kevon Martis 5 years ago

      Why not consider the eyewitness testimony of a wind plant victim in the States?

  4. John P 5 years ago

    It would be interesting to interview a few of the thousands of Morwell residents who were impacted so badly by the subsurface fire in the old open cut coal mine earlier this year. Many of them did have to leave their homes for extended periods. I wonder if the government will be doing follow-up health checks on these people to ensure that they have not had their health compromised by this disaster.
    I am further concerned that this fire may not actually have been extinguished. Underground fires are notorious for going on for years due to the fact that their chemistry provides all the conditions needed for this sort of outcome. My concern is that the “above ground” manifestation has been contained but the risk remains.
    The Liberal Party’s fetish for coal based energy does them no credit.

    • Douglas Hynd 5 years ago

      Having inspected the Albany wind farm close up I know that I’d prefer it as a neighbour than Morwell

  5. George Papadopoulos 5 years ago

    Simon if you weren’t so biased on the issue I am sure people would have felt a little more comfortable sharing their experience with yourself (the “public health expert”) rather than a retired GP. It is a little too late now to re-engineer your image with the public.

    • Douglas Hynd 5 years ago

      Attacking the man rather than the ball.

      • George Papadopoulos 5 years ago

        Douglas, Chapman’s approach on this issue has been attacking characters, their credibility etc – no shortage of examples. Maybe his behaviour has brushed onto me a little…

  6. George Papadopoulos 5 years ago

    And by the way my dear professor, do you have any sociological explanations about why all the victims of Rolf Harris took decades to go public? Say a lot about the processes of public ostracism and disbelief when one attacks an otherwise popular figure or industry.

  7. Blair Donaldson 5 years ago

    Great article Simon. It’s becoming more and more evident that Sarah Laurie isn’t interested in dealing with facts when she has the option of employing emotive claptrap instead. But of course, her failure to provide credible evidence to support her claims brings her honesty into question.

  8. Wind Energy's Absurd 5 years ago

    Simon Chapman, cutting his jigsaw to fit yet again!

  9. Catprog 5 years ago

    Wasn’t their a study done that showed the infrasound was greater in offices then at the windfarms?

  10. George Papadopoulos 5 years ago

    One more factor that the dear professor should have considered was the “gag clause” for those bought out/compensated by developers. A couple of interesting links follow – and it isn’t just about a litte inconvenience/loss of amenity, but something more than that…

    http://waubrafoundation.org.au/resources/channel-9-current-affair/

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/video/2010/02/19/2825235.htm?site=ballarat

    http://waubrafoundation.org.au/resources/waubra-resident-tells-court-wind-farm-hell-courier/

    • Blair Donaldson 5 years ago

      Voting up your own posts is a sign of desperation George

      • George Papadopoulos 5 years ago

        Unlike others I don’t use fake accounts…

        • Blair Donaldson 5 years ago

          Finally, we agree on something. A miracle has occurred 🙂

          • George Papadopoulos 5 years ago

            Blair, interesting – I thought your rather unfamiliar silence on my other comments was tacit agreement also…

          • Blair Donaldson 5 years ago

            Tacit agreement? And you were doing so well…
            I think my comment above clearly suggests that we have only ever agreed this once. My silence on your other comments was simply in recognition of the fact that it’s pointless flogging a dead horse. You, Sarah and the rest of the anti-wind crew have consistently demonstrated an unwillingness to recognise the 21st-century is upon us.

          • George Papadopoulos 5 years ago

            Lovely words Blair – any evidence that “we” are unwilling to recognise the 21st-century is upon us?

          • Blair Donaldson 5 years ago

            Wait, I know this one. 1. Your distortion of science and physics in particular to claim that you and others can be influenced by windfarms up to 70 km away. 2. Your belief in nonsense therapies and magic paint to “protect” against EMF. 3. Your undying support of Sarah Laurie which is the greatest indictment against you. There are a few other minor points but these examples illustrate my point.

          • George Papadopoulos 5 years ago

            So Blair who refuses to live in the 21st Century? If you hadn’t notice my comments were all relevant to the article. Whereas yours a concoction of irrelevance, personal attacks, etc… Is rational discussion a foreign concept for you?

          • Blair Donaldson 5 years ago

            Nice distortions George. You should write fiction… Oh wait

          • George Papadopoulos 5 years ago

            Blair, why don’t you take up fiction writing?

          • Blair Donaldson 5 years ago

            Simple George, you’ve cornered the market.

          • George Papadopoulos 5 years ago

            Thank you for the compliments Blair. Now do you have anything relevant to discuss?

          • Blair Donaldson 5 years ago

            It’s all been covered George. The evidence is against you.

          • George Papadopoulos 5 years ago

            Oh really Blair! I perceive this as blackmail – are you going to sue me for defamation are you?

  11. ac baird 5 years ago

    Don’t discuss specious claims with loonies of the “wind turbine syndrome”. It only encourages them. They will come up with the most egregious examples of “drawing a long bow syndrome”. If you examine any broadcasting of the factoids Simon mentoins it will inevitably lead you in ONE direction: the coal industry.

  12. DogzOwn 5 years ago

    If a wind turbine blade is almost exactly equivalent to a glider wing, doesn’t it make you wonder that people living close to glider airfields aren’t afflicted with symptoms of almost immeasurable infrasound? Does Not So Fair Sarah & Co think such folks are being bribed to stay zero sound quiet?

    • Blair Donaldson 5 years ago

      Poor old Sarah appears to have only a tenuous grasp on reality going by her assorted claims and submissions in recent years. She even manages to contradict herself when it suits. She may have been a reasonable doctor but she’s no expert on sound or its alleged effects on people.

      • Kevon Martis 5 years ago

        http://www.nrel.gov/docs/legosti/old/1166.pdf

        US DOE covered it pretty well I would say.

        • Blair Donaldson 5 years ago

          Turbine design has moved on quite a bit since that 30-year-old report was produced. They produce more power and are much quieter than smaller earlier models.

  13. ChrisEcoSouth 5 years ago

    First, I’d like to say “Hear, hear” to the open discussion on this. And, yes where are the good folk unduly affected by something coming from nearby wind-farms? However, I would like to state something just not covered or mentioned – where are analysis results of whatever testing has been done? Consider:
    Wrong assumption 1: “All wind turbines are guilty of causing nasty effects on those living nearby”
    Wrong assumption 2: “Nasty effects are caused only by infra-sound”
    (I know EPA SA has undertaken studies – but apparently using the above assumptions – I have spoken with them.)
    Firstly, it would be easy for either the wind-farm operatives or the plaintiff public-interest group(s) to undertake certain types of testing at the residence of someone claiming to be affected – but I have not heard of this happening.
    Secondly, in my reading, sound is very unlikely to be causative, compared to vibration through the ground (The human body may respond strangely and inconsistently at vibration frequencies from around 0.1Hz to 20Hz). It would be a virtual ‘fluke’ set of circumstances for this to occur at a given building, but it is relatively easily tested with accelerometers on building footings. There is a range of papers and technology applicable to resonance through the ground (far more unpredictable than any sound in air transmission), and in this instance it may be that turbine bearings could be the prime suspect, *if* an instance of remote building vibration was actually measured – and I do stress *if*. But it has never been tried, it seems.
    So it could be applied case-by-case and on merit only; – otherwise I think its a lot of politicisation about something that remains undefined.

  14. JA R 5 years ago

    Yes, Simon Chapman I have imagined …’environmental assault so egregious and relentless that’ I …’had no option but to abandon…’ my home and yes I did speak out and I still speak out, not only for myself but for others, who have not only imagined
    it but are living it.

    I’m not and have not been subjected to a ‘gag clause’ and I’m fortunate to live in a
    district where Acciona’s intended environmental assault was stopped. However, I
    can’t abandon those who are suffering or those concerned their lives and
    livelihoods are in danger.

    I consider myself fortunate to be able to continue to help those who through ‘gag’ clauses in contracts cannot speak out. You see Professor Chapman this type of clause does exist and people are ‘threatened’ and ‘intimidated’ by it and those who created it.

    All you have to do is go to Hansard and read Senator Backs address to the Senate in October 2012, where he quoted from several such contracts.

    Other evidence is available from http://www.stopthesethings.com 7.4.2013, where Richard Paltridge explains the intimidation/threatening behaviour that went on even before a witness got to the witness box at the Environment Resources and Development Court case he brought to prevent the Acciona’s Allendale East project, and from The Courier, 18.1.2011.

    Yes people at the end of their tether cry out, and many have been doing so for years, those that can do it in public do so, and those who cannot for whatever reason, speak in confidence with those like Dr Sarah Laurie, Senators Madigan, Xenophon and Back. They provide evidence in confidence to Senate enquiries where they
    receive considered hearings and are not subjected to a Sociologist’s theorising. It’s the people they go to who speak on their behalf, so yes Simon Chapman people are speaking out even though you don’t accept or acknowledge it.

    Further the sheer number of groups around the world fighting these things is testament to the number of voices http://www.stopthesethings.com 14.6.2014. They may not feature in the various media outlets as lobbying groups such as Clean Energy Council, or the Greens, but they are now gaining strength enough to be a thorn in the side of a desperate industry.

    A short explanation of this thing called a ‘Nocebo” effect. The original use of the term was in relation to a ‘sugar pill’ given to people who were told it was possible they could become unwell after taking it, as opposed the a ‘Placebo’ which is a ‘sugar pill’
    given to people who are told they will feel better. In other words a ‘sugar
    pill’ that can make someone feel better or worse depending on the reason for
    giving it.

    If this is the case could it be those who support the IWT industry have taken a placebo ‘pill’, and been told the industry is a life saver and all opposition must be stopped.

    While those who you accuse with having downed a nocebo ‘pill’ haven’t swallow it ‘hook line and sinker’ instead seek research to prove their claims of adverse health effects, and have a strong determination to overcome obstacles. But those who swallowed the Placebo steadfastly reject the need for research. Is the Placebo more powerful and therefore subject to abuse?

    It’s interesting your ‘evidence’ included Parliamentary submissions (not the confidential ones of course), media reports (of course only balanced and unbiased ones), even daring to access ‘anti wind farm websites’ under threat of being
    ‘contaminated’, and of course the ‘completely’ independent industry sources. Then there’s the attempted correspondence with known anti wind farm activists, and emails to three politicians. Did you ever wonder why people don’t respond to your requests, could it be they don’t trust your motives.

    Unfortunately none of the ‘evidence’ you apparently received provides you with any accurate independent medically proven evidence that those suffering are doing so because of some trumped up theory of yours.

    Did you even consider evidence from people’s treating medical practitioners indicating IWT’s are a problem; these include Dr David Iser from Toora, and Dr Scott Taylor from Ballarat? Did you take into account that it’s already recognised sleep deprivation is a health hazard and long term sleep deprivation even more so? You don’t appear to have done so.

    Yes people move homes for many reasons, and you have been informed of the reasons of those suffering, but you’ve decided to only accept unsubstantiated gossip, tittle-tat and hearsay as evidence they are lying. Exactly when did academia accept gossip as evidence to prove a theory?

    The financial value of a house is decided by what you can get for it, and cannot be properly assessed by any other means. The problem for these people is these are not just houses but homes and leaving them is difficult.

    Accusing those who fought to stop the invasion of IWT’s into their area for whatever reason are now in your assessment fraudulently stating they are suffering adverse
    health effects. What those people feared and sometimes experienced when visiting Wind Energy developments – is happening. Fear is a natural driving force of human existence, fighting for your home and livelihood is normal, your attitude is nothing more than churlish.

    Many people have pre-existing health issues, again you relied on gossip and hearsay to make claims against those who report changes in their health after turbines invaded their lives?

    Professor, I am sure the Senate Committee would have conducted their own scrutiny of Dr Laurie’s submission as they would have done yours, so there’s no need for you to worry about it, you can stop trying to pressure her into revealing confidences?

    Maybe those who chose to speak about their concerns with Dr Laurie did so because they knew she wouldn’t brush them aside and declare them mindless idiots who are only capable of operating like ‘lemmings’ following their leader over the abyss.

    The use of the term ‘Refugee’ is a descriptive word to explain how these people feel, how they feel in danger of losing everything they have worked hard for as well as their health. Those who leave their homes seek refuge from the onslaught; as do those who leave for short periods and return to try and keep their lives and livelihoods, to keep their businesses which cannot be transferred elsewhere. A refugee is someone seeking refuge; it is not exclusive to those from foreign parts seeking asylum.

    Again in this article you use your list of symptoms to try and explain there is no problem, simply because different people explain what they experience differently.

    You have tried to legitimise this list in previous papers, but have failed because of
    the process used to collate it. Unless you can prove the list was created from legitimate sources acceptable under academic evidence requirement, and that the terminology people use is not accurate then it is a baseless list.

    On the 7 July 2014 I attended a meeting at Cape Bridgewater, to hear preliminary findings of acoustical testing being undertaken. Steven Cooper a widely respected acoustician has been conducting the testing with the full unrestricted co-operation of
    Pacific-Hydro which included access to their computerised turbine output data. He acknowledged their co-operation as well as that of local residents.

    To evaluate data collected he correlated Hydro-Pacific’s power output data, residents
    diary’s which contained notes cataloguing the times of occurrence of noise, vibration and sensations, using a scale from 1 – 5, being 1 OK and 5 having to leave the homes, with recordings from inside and outside of homes.

    The decision to divide what the residents were reporting into noise, vibration and sensation was taken after discussions which highlighted the need to be more specific than simply using ‘noise’, as it was not just ‘noise’ that was disturbing them. This insight itself was a major finding and has apparently caused an excited flurry of interest among other members of the profession.

    Perhaps it’s these differences that confuse you Professor Chapman, as people are describing what they are experiencing rather than simply saying they are annoyed by a ‘noise’. Perhaps you might now be able to view your ‘list’ in a more humane
    manner.

    Findings included possible adverse effects from instability when blades are trying to
    realign. A complete shutdown of the site allowed significant data to be collected at the homes to be compared with that collected during normal operations at the site.

    One interesting and possibly significant event was the recording of a ground
    resonance measurement in ground external to a home. There was a 90 second
    pulsing vibration going through with a moderate wind blowing. Steven Cooper doesn’t yet have an explanation for this recording but a signal was also present inside the home and at time …’could feel like a wave going through the ground’. He found it quite surprising and …’exciting, confusing’. …’ There is something, I haven’t seen this reported and this is only 1000mts from house and turbine’. His intention is to do
    more testing and investigations at other turbines.

    He said all residents have sensitive hearing, but one more so than the others and was 100% spot on in their recording of noise, vibrations, sensations and whether the turbines were operational or not.

    So while I’m not attempting to pre-empt his findings and I’m certainly not qualified to
    interpret his technical reports, I am able to understand his work is of
    significance to everyone, including the IWT industry and its supporters, the
    medical fraternity and politicians.

    I am also able to say to you Professor Chapman, spit the ‘pill’ and wake up to what
    people have been saying for a long-time, if you don’t believe them at least give them the benefit of doubt until the long sought research has been done.

    • George Papadopoulos 5 years ago

      The dear professor has been unusually quiet on this comment thread – at least it would be nice if we could have his response to JA R’s comment.

  15. ChrisEcoSouth 5 years ago

    Wow – thanks JA R. Looks like ground vibrations are being listed, as per my hypothesising in my previous post. Gears – bearings again? Turbine commissioning does include measurements of vibration limits on the tower from bearings, but mainly for the health of the new turbine. I have located documentation showing this and other aspects. I’m happy to discuss this offline with any interested parties.

    • JA R 5 years ago

      Steven Cooper made it clear he still had a lot of work with to do with all the data he has collected, so we have to wait for his final report before we have the full story. His work at Cape Bridgewater is truly ground breaking, to have received full cooperation from the Wind Energy company is a first. This is work that those concerned about this industry has been asking for, for a long time. It’s also what the Senate Enquiry recommended. It’s a start, but more research into the industry is needed.

      • ChrisEcoSouth 5 years ago

        I may have other information that may be of interest/use to Steven Cooper. Pls contact to discuss as is fitting.

  16. Biff 5 years ago

    Good work Simon. This from James Delingpole in The Australian back in 2012 re the effect of wind farms in Australia:

    “They found sleep almost impossible; they couldn’t concentrate; they had night sweats, headaches, palpitations, heart trouble. Their chickens were laying eggs without yolks; their ewes were giving birth to deformed lambs; their once-active dogs spent their days staring blankly at the wall.”

    If there’s one thing the tabloid media loves, it’s deformed farm animals. If this were really true, the media would be all over it and there would be documentary evidence of these deformed lambs. Heck, the farmer would be so incensed he’d probably drag the malformed animals into state parliament. But no. And nothing in other countries either, where the same brands of wind turbine are installed. It was at this point that I realised the disgusting depths of untruth that people can stoop to.

    • ChrisEcoSouth 5 years ago

      I totally agree with you as per things like ‘deformed farm animals’ being unsubstantiated. However, lets get what documentary evidence there is for whichever individual turbines are responsible for ground transmission of 0.1Hz to 10Hz (say) – incidentally, this correlates to motion-sickness frequencies (but the story is more complex than just that). If accelerometer logging is inconclusive, then keep ‘ticking boxes’ via testing until no alternatives are left. In the process we may discover more than what we thought we knew before.

  17. Kevon Martis 5 years ago

    This is not unique or novel and it is worldwide: wind turbines are destroying the amenity of people’s property and siting guidelines are being used to compel non-participating neighbors to donate their properties to utility scale wind operators to be used as nuisance and safety easements. That is simply unjust.

  18. KarenPease 5 years ago

    Mr. Simon Chapman is, essentially, a non-entity. His area of ‘expertise’ is far removed from this topic. He postures much…but can’t claim science, economics or ethics to back his claims. My suggestion? Let’s invite Mr. Chapman to live in a wind turbine sacrifice zone for 6 months. Or maybe a year. (He won’t accept the invitation…mark my words. His refusal will be predicated on a multitude of ridiculous excuses, of course!) But IF he agreed..and if, afterward, he still posits the same stance, we’ll begin a new conversation. In the meantime, his words a little more than hot air. Or wind, if you will.

    • Blair Donaldson 5 years ago

      Wind turbine sacrifice zone? Please, don’t hold back on the exaggeration. Your lack of perspective is telling. Simon Chapman is well qualified to talk about public health. What are yours? It’s amazing we have people dying in Africa from Ebola while you are whingeing about a mythical, medically unrecognised (unaccepted) health condition that is uniquely promoted by people who live near windfarms but do not generally benefit directly in any financial sense. Are you sure you’re not driven more by envy rather than evidence?

      • KarenPease 5 years ago

        Blair; thank you for responding.

        I ask…how many victims of wind turbine noise emissions have you corresponded with? In person? Via email? On the telephone?

        I also ask that you (please) don’t attempt to divert this topic. We
        aren’t talking about Ebola. We aren’t discussing AIDS or influenza or tuberculosis or whooping cough or autism or small pox. Each issue is very important…but this is not the topic we are engaged in. That much should be clear.

        Please answer me this: Do you or any of your family members have any ‘stake’ in this game? As in….can you say, unequivocally, that you
        or your family members (or your business) have/has nothing to gain from any wind project…anywhere? If so, then I welcome you to this debate. And if not…your association and its agenda will
        soon become clear.

        You state that I am “whingeing about a mythical, medically unrecognised (unaccepted) health condition that is uniquely promoted by people who live near windfarms.”

        If you truly wish to know the facts, then it will only take you a few short minutes (and a bit of unbiased research) to realize that
        the health impacts from wind turbine facilities are NOT ‘mythical’. You will come to understand that the impacts of infrasound are NOT ‘unrecognized’ or ‘unaccepted’…but, instead, are classified
        as known torture techniques by countries that subscribe to less stringent values than we Americans see as acceptable.

        I ask you: WHO is better able to tell of the negative impacts of ANY industrial project, than those who actually live within the ‘impact zone”?

        I am not sure what you mean by your reference of ‘envy rather than evidence’. ??? I feel an incredible amount of empathy for those who are tormented by the impacts of infrasound. I also know that audible
        noise emissions (i.e. high and low frequency noise) have created its own set of health impacts. (email me if you need specific examples! There are hundreds…maybe thousands!)

        Do you seriously want to believe that the testimonies of people who do NOT live near these industrial facilities should take precedence over those who DO?

        I dare say that if you continue to advocate for this
        high-impact/low-value energy source, you will receive invitations from people (world-wide) who are more than happy to have you come and share their experiences. (Just email me at [email protected] and I will be happy to set you up. 🙂 )

        • Blair Donaldson 5 years ago

          Karen, in total I’ve spoken to 5 or 6 “victims” of the mythical wind turbine syndrome. In all cases they demonstrated a consistent number of characteristics, a tendency to believe the worst, a determination to remain uninformed and deny scientific evidence, and sadly, willing to believe any amount of conspiracy theory/BS/self-serving propaganda without question. I used to feel sad for them but no longer.

          Of course we aren’t talking about various (recognised) diseases because that involves discussing medical conditions with a genetic or physical origin, based on factual evidence and scientific assessment, whereas wind turbine syndrome is a fiction invented by Nina Pierpoint.

          I live near a wind farm but have no financial interest in it. I do have a small investment in a community owned wind farm about 250 km from where I live, I wish we could have one locally but the resident head in the sand brigade and our myopic state government make that wish impossible for the moment.

          The health implications from turbines are mythical if you stand by established physics and medicine. They can only be real if you distort established science. That’s a fact that you end other wind farm opponents need to accept sooner or later.

          That said I have no doubt that you and others seriously believe windfarms make people ill. Trouble is for you and others, thinking something makes you ill and that something actually being the cause are two different things. You illustrate the point by linking wind turbines to torture techniques. That doesn’t say much for your objectivity, or lack thereof.

          Those who are best able to assess the impacts of any industrial project are people qualified to measure the various effects that industry might have. Not people with no understanding of basic physics, people who are driven by ideology or pseudoscience and especially not those motivated by envy – a definite subset of those who oppose wind farms.

          I would certainly have some empathy for those people affected by infrasound if infrasound actually caused the effects you claim but to date, all available, credible research suggests you are wrong. It’s also telling that you and others fail to consider other possibilities such as psychosomatic causes.

          I have yet to encounter any proponent of WTS who demonstrates a smidgen of critical thinking. They readily point the finger of blame at wind turbines, presume wind farm proponents and supporters are selfish, unkind etc etc and consistently fail to look at their own justifications or the fact that they may be wrong in attributing wind turbines as the cause of their problems. They do not recognise the fact that correlation does not equal causation.

          The science consistently shows that detrimental health effects from coal-fired electricity is clear and evident and that wind farms are safe yet you and others completely ignore the real damage done by coal-fired electricity generation and focus solely on comparatively miniscule number of cases where people allege windfarms make them stick. It’s that very selectivity you engage in that makes me question the validity of your claims.

          • NatMac 5 years ago

            ” I do have a small investment in a community owned wind farm about 250 km from where I live”
            Enough said.

          • Blair Donaldson 5 years ago

            The Toora wind farm is approximately 8 km as the crow flies from where I live so I am inside the “death zone” promoted by the ludicrous Sarah Laurie. I’m just one of around 17,000 people living in the footprint of two nearby windfarms. No illnesses reported. The evidence is pretty clear that opponents are driven by any mix of paranoia, ignorance, denial, envy or greed.

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