Battle for King Island: Wind energy politics at 20 paces

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Hydro Tasmania’s best efforts to ‘engage meaningfully’ with King Island residents on the prospect of hosting a 200 turbine wind farm have been blindsided by the machinations of the anti-wind lobby. The resulting battle of wills could kill Australia’s biggest wind farm and set back future renewable energy developments.

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Windswept King Island, lying in Bass Strait between Tasmania and the mainland, is being touted as a potential blueprint for what the country’s electricity grid might look like in the future.

But right now it is also emerging as a battleground for the minds of locals over proposals for what could be the largest wind farm in Australia. And it could have implications for the future of renewable energy developments in the country.

King Island and its 1,200 inhabitants are already set to become a test-bed for a $46 million project from Hydro Tasmania and other partners that will combine wind energy, solar power and battery systems to reduce the island’s expensive reliance on imported diesel fuel.

As we reported last year, the combination of renewable and dispatchable power sources, and other technologies such as smart grid solutions, demand management, and electric vehicle charging, will provide an insight into how such systems can be integrated on a larger scale.

As exciting as this project might be, a more pressing drama for the Australian renewable energy industry is being played out over a separate proposal known as the TasWind project, to build a massive wind farm of up to 200 turbines – with a capacity of 600MW or more and worth up to $2 billion – and install a high-voltage undersea cable to export that electricity to the mainland.

king island

The impact on the island – which has been feeling the effects of a recently closed abattoir  and a declining dairy industry, and which relies almost entirely on fishing and tourism – would be considerable; not just the presence of 200 turbines (the island already has a handful of smaller ones), but the economic injection of jobs and an industry that could generate up to $300 million in revenue each year.

Should the islanders agree to the offer or not?

That’s a question for them, but just how this proposal is managed is also emerging as a wind energy test case of strategy in communications and community consultation, and more prosaically as a battle of will and influence between the anti- and pro-wind campaigners. The implications for the wind industry generally could be significant.

Hydro Tasmania has been applauded for taking a text-book approach on consultation with the community; helping to establish a local forum called the TasWind Consultative Community (TWCC), a group of 17 locals who are organising a series of meetings to share and discuss information with the residents, and invite outside experts to talk on the issues. State owned Hydro Tasmania says it will only go ahead with the project if a majority of islanders vote in favour in a few months time.

But it seems that TWCC and even Hydro Tasmania have been blindsided by the machinations, and the pretensions, of the anti-wind lobby. A meeting on Friday this week – one of many scheduled – was to have featured three speakers described as “independent” experts on wind farms and health issues, but in fact comprised three dedicated anti-wind campaigners – Sarah Laurie, David Mortimer and Donald Thomas – who have often worked in concert.

This fact appeared to have been missed by the TWCC, but on discovering this information, it appears that the TWCC “postponed” the invitation for Laurie and invited instead Gwenda Allgood, the pro-wind mayor of Ararat Rural Council in Victoria, where the Challicum wind farm is located.

But now it seems that the TWCC efforts to “clear the air” are being undermined by a small group of anti-wind farmers who have invited Laurie to speak at a separate meeting this evening. Members of the TWCC have asked Laurie to not appear at that meeting, suggesting it would compromise her status as an “independent.”

Laurie likes to be described as a medical expert investigating health problems at wind farms. The wind industry say she is no more than a dedicated anti-wind lobbyist who heads the anti-wind Waubra Foundation, and has never been called as an expert witness in any official inquiry into wind noise.

But they are aware of the ability of the likes of Laurie and others to influence local opinions. Even the ability to enrage a small group of residents is proving to have an impact on some developments. And the power of suggestion, as academics Simon Chapman and Fiona Chrichton have discovered in their separate research, has been an extremely potent weapon in the wind energy debate. Their conclusions were that wind turbine syndrome was most likely caused by scare campaigns.

Pro-wind activisits – concerned that most in the King Island community are not aware that Mortimer and Thomas are rusted-on anti wind farm campaigners closely aligned with Laurie – have launched their own campaign to influence residents, ensuring that many have seen Chapman’s and Chrichton’s research, and arranging for the insertion into the local paper of an analysis by Mike Barnard which tackles some of the claims of the foundation, particularly its assertion that Laurie is called on as an expert witness, which the TWCC initially took at face value.

Barnard has also written on the Chapman/Crichton research.

It’s fair to say that the wind industry has been taken aback by the ability of anti-wind campaigners – and their supporter, many described as rich, NIMBY landowners – to breathe so much fire into their campaign, and of their ability to leverage the angst of a tiny minority and create enough rage to convince a large majority to walk away from a controversy, even a manufactured one. They have managed to have the issues around wind farm health issues referred endlessly to Senate committees and health enquiries, and have signed on support from a solid group of Coalition parliamentarians. They have been influential is securing policies such as the 2km setback in Victoria, which is holding back new wind projects in that state, even if similar policies are now being rejected overseas.

A spokeswoman for Hydro Tasmania confirmed that the TWCC had invited Laurie, Mortimer and Thomas to make a presentation to the community, and that the TWCC had decided to postpone Laurie’s visit. But they appear to have been taken aback by her decision to travel anyway, and speak at another meeting.

“Hydro Tasmania supports the TWCC providing independent and balanced views to help the community develop an informed opinion on the TasWind proposal,” the spokeswoman said. “Hydro Tasmania continues to provide information to the community information on a range of issues.”

“It is hard to fault the company’s genuine attempt to engage meaningfully with the community,” said one observer. “But if Laurie was genuinely an advocate for good outcomes for communities, she would realise that her endorsement of the anti-wind rally is undermining a genuine community consultation process – and robbing the community of a chance to make its own important decision on its future. Moreover, the wind industry will learn that early consultation is perhaps not much better than poor consultation.”

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45 Comments
  1. Mike Barnard 6 years ago

    Sarah Laurie and the Waubra Foundation misrepresent themselves as independent, expert and as not being anti-wind. They are Orwellian in their inversion of the truth.

    I’m pleased to be making a small difference in the ongoing battle to ensure that reality is perceived as it is, not as the fossil fuel lobby, global warming denialists and anti-wind energy campaigners would like it to be.

  2. Blair Donaldson 6 years ago

    Sarah Laurie is a fraud, she sells herself as an expert but has publicly admitted in hearings that she is not. The wind energy industry really need to confront Laurie, the Waubra Foundation and other so-called “independent” but really, anti-wind campaigners head on or risk wasting a decade or more of hard work.

  3. Angela 6 years ago

    This article has a lot of facts wrong. And the “anti-wind” farmers are not anti-wind or necessarily even farmers. They are Anti-King-Island-Being-Destroyed-To-Line-The-Pockets-Of-Fatcats-Leaving-The-King-Island-Community-In-Ruins normal people, some richer, some poorer. Money, land, fossil fuels or global warming have nothing to do with it. Most King Islanders have solar panels on their roof or a small turbine on their land for their own use – big believers in renewable energy. The energy from the gargantuan wind farm would not be for King Island, and neither would the profits and it would decimate the existing tourism industry and the community. The calculations of benefits to King Islanders are also wrong. You need to fact check. And let’s be honest, wind farms are not great for global warming – they have a huge carbon footprint. there are better renewable sources.

    • Andrew 6 years ago

      @Angela
      Great to hear a local weighing in.
      I hear your concerns and would say they are mostly legitimate. Just wondering about a couple of points. Hydro Tasmania is a state owned company so wouldn’t the fat cats be the people of Tasmania? Or are there foreign investors bank rolling this project?
      Also, according to the CFC, most wind turbines will pay back their carbon footprint within 4 months. Do you have some information that would dispute this?

      A final point, your concerns are legitimate and there is little support in the wider community for projects going in where there is little local support but to be using the Merchants Of Doubt, like Laurie, to help the your campaign, detracts from the legitimacy of your concerns.

    • Richard Mackie 6 years ago

      Angela you may have your concerns but the ability of wind to reduce CO2 emissions should not be one of them. A way to think about it is that whenever the wind is blowing coal or gas is not being burned. Results in Aus are explained well here: https://reneweconomy.com.au/2012/energy-emissions-fall-as-carbon-price-bites-coal-82927 Note that data comes from the system operator, as independent as you can get.

      • myview1872 6 years ago

        “whenever the wind is blowing coal or gas is not being burned” in incorrect. Wind turbines use the wind to create electricity but require backup for when the wind stops, mostly in the form of natural gas or coal. In order to be available when needed, these sources must run on standby, generating emissions while producing no energy.

        Do you have evidence to the contrary that was not written by a pro-wind source?

        • Ronald Brakels 6 years ago

          That’s not what is actually done, myview1872. Reality disagrees with you on this. All grids require spinning reserve (or non spinning reserve) regardless of if wind power capacity is present or not. Whether or not adding wind power increases the need for spinning reserve depends on the overall characteristics of the system.

          • myview1872 6 years ago

            A characteristic of wind energy is that it is intermittent. The wind can be blowing steadily for several hours then drop to nothing. More reliable forms of generation such as nuclear or natural gas do not have these fluctuations.

          • Ronald Brakels 6 years ago

            Okay, are you saying that a grid that was entirely nuclear and gas powered wouldn’t need spinning reserve?

          • myview1872 6 years ago

            I’m not saying reserve is not necessary. I’m saying that wind generation requires an inordinate amount because it’s energy source, the wind, is highly variable.

          • Giles 6 years ago

            South Australia has installed 1,200MW of wind capacity in recent years. Perhaps you would like to hazard a guess as to how much reserve generation the Australian Energy Market Operator says has been added to cope with this. Clue. It’s a big round number and it is less than one.

  4. Warwick 6 years ago

    Surely one of the main issues to resolve is the cost of interconnection to Victoria. To put this into perspective, Hydro Tasmania pays a fee of ~$110m pa to use Basslink, the DC link between Tasmania and Victoria. Even if it is a smaller fraction of this number, it is a significant cost impost to the project that will offset some of the benefits of scale and wind resource. Is there any significant information on the cost of the link?

  5. seano 6 years ago

    King islanders are not anti wind turbines or anti renewable energy. In 1998 king island had 3 250kw units and then in 2003 another 2 bigger units, 850kw turbines. There are now several solar panel arrays as well as a diesel generator and a plan to install a battery system for energy storage (biggest in australia).
    What is proposed for king island with regard to the taswind project is a huge industrial wind turbine development in a relatively pristine and beautiful agricultural environment.
    The downside of this project is destruction of the visual landscape, transfer of ownership of 20% of kingisland to at least 25years of taswind occupation, (usually with a further 25year option; 50 years of turbines!). The liklihood is for further turbine development over parts of the island.Death of tourism as we know it, disruption and disturbance of king island for years and years.

    King island is not an industrial park, its a rural gem in bass strait which people come to for work relaxation and enjoyment. Its just not appropriate here.

    Previous taswind/hydro tas developments are 75%owned by chinese partners. the value of the rec’s for these partners is quite a cynical one, given their carbon output from coal fired generation is from aussie coal. The profits from this project are going largely offshore, and funded by the australian taxpayer also. this is a greed based project.
    None of the energy generation is to be utilised by king island; we don’t need it! we have been going down this path for nearly 20 years; we’re not nymby’s. If anything, the victorians are. However i do not envy the prospect of a wind farm near my home or anyone else; its just not appropriate.
    Health concerns? well just research Wind Turbine Syndrome and judge accordingly. This is the topic that seems to raise the ire of the sceptics of anyone suggesting not to have a turbine near their or members of their community’s residences. The solutions are simple ; adequate setbacks(how far away) from homes i.e. people. At present something betwen 2km and 10 seems to be one being suggested as suitable by independent analysts.
    This should be one of the greatest concerns yet sems to be the most disputed as a real concern!
    Go figure. 200 TURBINES. Too many for a populated small agricultural community to accommadate . so much more to say, but this is just a small bit.

    • Mike Barnard 6 years ago

      Wind farms don’t harm human health, anti-wind campaigners like Ms. Laurie do. 17 major reviews world wide of all of the available research by credible, independent groups have cleared wind farms of health impacts. Meanwhile, studies in the UK, Australia and New Zealand point the finger at anti-wind lobbyists spreading health fears and jacking up stress. http://barnardonwind.wordpress.com/2013/02/17/wind-farms-dont-make-people-sick-so-why-the-complaints/

      No independent analysts are suggesting 2 kilometers or 10 kilometers, only anti-wind lobbyists such as the Waubra Foundation or the Society for Wind Vigilance. Independent analysts suggest setbacks in keeping with known levels of sound that could cause significant concern, typically 40 dB or lower at night in bedrooms with the windows closed. This works out to be 400 – 550 meters in most places. At that, the World Health Organization makes it clear that levels of annoyance with significant impacts are typically only felt with exposure to 50 dB or higher in bedrooms at night. 40 dB is a solid precautionary level well below that of expected concern.

      • myview1872 6 years ago

        Please name just one of your ’17 reviews’ that actually involved field work including measurement taking or medical examinations of affected residents.

        Links to your blog, which consists of opinion and pro-wind propaganda, only proves your bias. Has that Chapman ‘study’ been peer-reviewed yet?

        • Mike Barnard 6 years ago

          Irrelevant squawking as always from this particular Internet crazy. He stalks me on Disqus to deliver these bon mots if you can believe it.

          • myview1872 6 years ago

            My comment is perfectly relevant. Answer the question. Name just one of those 17 reviews that actually involved field work or actual measurements. Has the Chapman ‘study’ been peer-reviewed?

            I work at countering your misinformation.

          • Spencerforhire 6 years ago

            Name one that does not?

            As usual full of hot air . . please go and stand in front of a turbine.

            If you can find one.

          • myview1872 6 years ago

            Hasn’t anyone told you that commenting on a post that’s nearly 2 weeks old is just sad?

          • Spencerforhire 6 years ago

            Not as sad as your comments .

            Takes me a while sometimes to catch up.

            I can’t spend the whole day posting C.R.A.P. like you do

          • DanWrightman 6 years ago

            It’s always irrelevant to Mike when the facts inconveniently don’t match up with his beliefs.

      • DanWrightman 6 years ago

        Mike Barnard loves to breathlessly drone on about Simon Chapman’s list of 17 reviews . Too bad the claims that both Chapman and Barnard make about the 17 reviews have been thoroughly debunked by Wayne Gulden on his blog Wind Farm Realities. Of the 17 “reviews” only 4 are actual studies, the rest are trumped up literature reviews. Only 4 out of the 17 papers are actually peer reviewed. 3 aren’t even about wind turbines and human health and one of them is just a web page from CANWEA, which hardly qualifies as a health study by any standards. Furthermore the 4 peer reviewed papers were mail in surveys and no face to face interviews with residents were conducted. Nor did they take physical measurements like blood pressure readings or noise measurements inside or outside of homes to validate sound modeling. Google Wayne Gulden’s article titled “17 Health Studies (1 of 3)” and be sure to read Mike Barnard’s comments at the bottom where he complains about being personally maligned yet in another comment he calls Jim Cummings a flake.

        • Spencerforhire 6 years ago

          Not Simon’s list and the reviews were of actual studies!

          Wayne Gulden is only half a NIMBY as his summer home may some day have a turbines on it!

          Like Dan, Wayne uses “summer” as verb!

          Our sincere apologies to our planetary cousins down under for Dan’s “Drivel”

          • Dan Wrightman 6 years ago

            The 17 reviews are from Simon Chapman’s list.

          • Spencerforhire 6 years ago

            And Ontario Health and everyone else .

            It’s a real list that everyone with a brain understands and references .

            Sad and pathetic!

          • Dan Wrightman 6 years ago

            Like I said only 4 are peer reviewed but it’s obvious Spencer doesn’t care about peer review.

          • Spencerforhire 6 years ago

            OMG have you lost your mind?

            Each review (Now 18) consists of hundreds of peer reviewed studies.

  6. KarenPease 6 years ago

    If the wind developer truly wanted the community to learn as much as possible about industrial wind facilities so that residents could make informed decisions, they would welcome both sides of the story.

    I know Sarah and she is not some fanatic, as the industry likes to portray her. We should all be so lucky to have such an intellient and caring woman in our corner.

    As well, I personally know many people who once were in favor of the perceived benefits of grid-scale wind… until they realized what the true impacts of low and ultra-low (ILFN) frequency noise. I personally know people who have abandoned dream homes… walked right out and left them… because they could no longer live with the impacts of ILFN. Thousands of people are impacted and that number is growing daily… as are the attempts to shut those people up.

    Please don’t pre-judge. There is a focused campaign to discredit anyone with the courage to expose the health impacts of these gigantic machines. Please get the facts. Don’t be afraid to listen with an open mind. Think about who has the most to gain when you’re balancing your pros and cons. Dr. Laurie makes no money from this. Instead, it costs her dearly– in many ways. She’s had her life threatened–why? Because an industry needs to shut her up before more people hear what is happening to their neighbors?

    Think about it and think about why such articles speak scornfully. Without even interviewing Sarah or listening for himself, Giles speaks in scathing tones of Dr. Laurie. That is very telling. He wants to discredit her before she speaks.

    Shameful journalism. Please keep an open mind, look at both sides of the issue and then judge for yourself. Listen to the experts from both side and see for yourself who is more credible and who has the most to gain by being successful.
    People like Dr. Laurie will be seen as heroes, one day. Selfless and courageous, even when confronting one of the most powerful industries in the world. Stay safe, Sarah.

    • Mike Barnard 6 years ago

      Apologies Karen, but while I believe the Ms. Laurie is sincere and undoubtedly nice to kittens, she is deluded and dangerous. She is creating the health impacts she purports to be concerned about, without malice but actively and after clear studies show the impact of her actions.

      She isn’t on the side of people living near wind farms or proposed wind farms. She is actively causing them harm.

      • KarenPease 6 years ago

        No need for apologies…tongue in cheek, or otherwise. I’m an adult and can carry on an adult conversation.
        My question is… how do you know this, Mike? Have you spoken to Sarah? Interviewed people impacted by turbine facilies? Spent a month or two living in the shadow and sound-shed of a grid-scale facility? From whence comes your expertise? Your snide comment of ‘undoubtedly nice to kittens’ is demeaning. This is a serious topic and there’s no room for this type of unproductive and belittling rhetoric.
        Yes, Sarah is dangerous… but not to the people who have been subjected to ILFN. She is a danger to a corporate industry which has made billions in tax-payer dollars and hopes to continue to do so… no matter what negative impacts their developments cause.
        We have an opportunity to ‘right.’ what is wrong…and in a way that is humane and protects our neighbors. Sarcasm and libelous words aren’t productive. I hope you’ll be part of the solution.

        • Mike Barnard 6 years ago

          You mistake a genuine statement that Ms. Laurie is sincere and a caring human being as snideness and sarcasm. You mistake referenced facts as libellous.

          You mistake infrasound and low frequency noise for something dangerous. You do realize that your heart beating exposes you to more infrasound than wind turbines do, don’t you? As do waves on a beach?

          Ms. Laurie has a willing convert to her damaging thread of nonsense. By your actions, you are spreading the disease you purport to be worried about. Chapman’s and Crichton’s research makes it clear that you are part of the problem, not part of the solution. I’d advise a couple of months hiatus while you think about that; you do want to be able to sleep well in a few years.

          • myview1872 6 years ago

            ” Chapman’s and Crichton’s research makes it clear that you are part of the problem”. Your attempts to make this ‘research’ appear legitimate is truly heroic.

            Has that Chapman garbage been peer-reviewed yet?

          • Mike Barnard 6 years ago

            For those unfamiliar with MV, he stalks me via Disqus to make these kind of unreferenced, a-factual and pejorative comments. As with Ms Laurie, I’m sure he’s a reasonable and polite human being when he isn’t trying to stuff his delusions about wind energy down peoples’ throats. As his signal-to-noise ratio approaches zero, I recommend ignoring him.

          • myview1872 6 years ago

            You didn’t answer the question: Has that Chapman garbage been peer-reviewed yet?

          • Mike Barnard 6 years ago

            For the sake of those following along, as MV won’t bother, here’s the play-by-play:

            1. Prof Chapman and his team of highly accredited, ethical and accomplished researchers refined the psychogenic hypothesis of wind turbine health complaints into four statements, defined a test, gathered the data from all of Australia for 20 years and found all four statements were very strongly supported. The data shows that anti-wind campaigners cause health complaints.

            2. Prof Chapman requested that a group informally review his findings. Full disclosure: I had the privilege of being one of the minor reviewers along with deep academics and researchers.

            3. Prof Chapman and team refined their report based on the informal review and published the result on the University of Sydney’s eScholarship site. For MV’s sake, although everyone else in the world already knows this, publication on eScholarship sites is a standard part of the academic publication process these days. This isn’t vanity publication such as Ms. Pierpont and other anti-wind types indulge in, but an intermediate step in the academic process.

            4. Prof Chapman and team incorporated the early comments of value into the formal submission to an international and highly respected research journal.

            5. At present, an international peer review team associated with a prestigious journal is assessing Prof Chapman’s excellent material. I expect based on the high degree of scrutiny prior to submission that they will have no problems publishing it.

            So. Not garbage, but an iteratively improved academic paper of significance. In the process of peer review and publication in a highly credible journal.

            In the meantime, Ms. Crichton’s publication is peer reviewed and published in a rock solid journal. As are the UK studies that show psychological traits are much stronger predictors of noise annoyance than actual noise.

            And MV continues to stalk me uttering nonsense syllables.

          • myview1872 6 years ago

            That ‘study’ is nothing but vitriol. From the first page “Pre-Print: This paper has been submitted for publication to a peer reviewed journal. Revised March 27 2013.”

            It’s not officially published or peer-reviewed yet. There is no science used in creating this ‘study’.

          • Mike Barnard 5 years ago

            And of course, it passed peer review with flying colours and was published in PLOS in October 2013.

            What’s your inane argument now, MV?

            http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0076584

          • myview1872 5 years ago

            It took you 9 months to answer the question. Why?

            The paper from Chapman is STILL a piece of garbage. I read it and there is zero science involved in reaching his conclusions.

          • Mike Barnard 5 years ago

            Ah thanks!

            Your inane answer is to expose your ignorance of what constitutes research and quality of evidence again.

            Much appreciated.

            As for why I mentioned this, I happened to stumble across this today and thought I’d point out you were wearing even fewer clothes than when you originally were commenting. Must be drafty with the polar vortex. Luckily you have wind energy helping keep the lights and heat on in Ontario.

          • myview1872 5 years ago

            All I see is a cheap attempt to direct traffic to your self-important blog by resurrecting a thread that was dead months ago. Sad.

            I will indulge your ego no further.

          • Mike Barnard 5 years ago

            Ah, what an ignorant twat you are!

            Let’s start with the blatantly obvious: you are the only person who will be notified when I respond here because that’s the way Disqus works. Duh.

            Let’s move on to your bizarre belief that I get some benefit from a volunteer blog with no ads. Um… no.

            MV, you are a pathetic, delusional, hating little man. At least, I assume you are a man based on your behaviour, but then there are Shellie Correia and Callous Wind to consider. Equally vitriolic, equally inane, equally content free. I shouldn’t have been so quick to assume your gender, on second thought. From now on, I will refer to you solely with gender neutral pronouns.

            Once again, with feeling. You continue to have no useful, intelligent or informed response to credible research. You are just a denial monkey. Just a vapid anti. Just a reflexive hater incapable of independent thought, or positive attitude.

            I wish for you what I wish for all uselessly negative wind power haters. I’ll just quote from my year end wrap up:

            And to anti-wind campaigners: may you stop being solely negative and find something positive to fight for in 2014, so that at the end of the year you can look back and smile. You have nothing to lose but your frowns and your contribution to global warming.

    • Spencerforhire 6 years ago

      So you are saying the NIMBYs do NOT want both sides of the story?

      Typically they do not

      • KarenPease 6 years ago

        Hi Spencer. I guess I don’t know what a ‘typical’ “NIMBY” is. In my experience, anyone who educates themselves about something going on in their neighborhood (especially if they ultimately oppose it) is labeled as a NIMBY. But honestly? I don’t see that tag as something negative. How busy and stressed is the average person? Many of us would love to weigh in on issues that impact people far and wide. But we’re limited in our resources. We simply can’t throw ourselves into every battle , whether we want to, or not.
        Because it is inherent in every living creature to defend our homes and our families, many of us don’t take the time to get involved until we’re apprised of something that WILL impact what’s most important to us. That may be seen as selfish to those who aren’t fighting to protect something or someone they love…but honestly, I think true activism has its roots in so-called NIMBYism.
        I can only speak for myself. When I first learned about a wind development slated for the community abutting mine, I was in favor of it. I didn’t know much about the costs vs. benefits of grid-scale wind… I only knew what I’d been led to believe.
        But then I decided to study the topic with eyes wide open. I learned alot, from both sides of the debate.
        I think everyone needs to take a good hard look at industrial wind. They should consult with pro and anti wind camps. They should look at the science, the economics, the ethics and citizens’ personal experiences and then make up their minds.
        It’s not a bad thing to be a NIMBY. In my opinion, that simply means that people realized something big was going to affect them and they took the time to see what was what. We should all practice being NIMBYs. No one is better able to make common-sense decisions than those who are ‘on the ground’ — living, working and playing in the regions which will be impacted.

  7. Lyndall Edwards 6 years ago

    This person sounds like the equivalent of the Anti-Vaccination Network types. They call their ability to scrape the web, expertise, real science be damned. I admire the consultation work that has been achieved by Hydro and I hope the islanders progress to feasibility.

  8. Mike Barnard 5 years ago

    As an update on Ms. Laurie, at a recent Ontario Environmental Review Tribunal related to a wind farm appeal, Ms. Laurie was denied standing as an expert witness in any way, again. Further, she was forced to admit that she is no longer allowed to refer to herself as doctor, having voluntarily given up that privilege to dig her way out of one of the many complaints about her behaviour.

    Diane Saxe, a Canadian environmental lawyers, sums it up:

    “Ms. Laurie was not permitted to give expert evidence. She has not practiced medicine since 2002, is not registered as a medical doctor, and therefore is not permitted to diagnose medical issues or conditions. However, her proposed evidence consisted primarily of medical diagnoses, precisely what she is forbidden to do. Therefore, her diagnostic opinions were not sufficiently reliable to be accepted as expert evidence.

    Her other proposed expert evidence related to a survey she conducted of those complaining that they have been adversely affected by turbines. Ms. Laurie has no training or experience in conducting medical or scientific research, nor has she any training or experience in research methodology. Ms. Laurie was permitted to describe her research, but not to give any expert opinions about it.”

    http://envirolaw.com/tribunal-cracks-non-expert-anti-wind-experts/

    She wasn’t the only non-expert expert who was slapped down for vastly over-reaching. Brian Howe, acoustician, was told to stick to his area of expertise, and Dr. Robert McMurtry’s testimony was declared of no value.

    For the complete story, please see this: http://barnardonwind.com/2014/01/08/ontario-tribunal-dismisses-health-scares-and-health-scarers/

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