If wind energy were dangerous, we’d all be making pavlovas | RenewEconomy

If wind energy were dangerous, we’d all be making pavlovas

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The Senate wind inquiry has been told of extraordinary damage to brain and physical function of humans, kelpies and ewes. The men taking these claims seriously are being asked by Tony Abbott to help seal the fate of Australia’s renewable energy industry.

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The Senate wind inquiry has been told of extraordinary damage to brain and physical function of humans, kelpies and ewes. The men taking these claims seriously are being asked by Tony Abbott to help seal the fate of Australia’s renewable energy industry.

How dangerous are wind farms? According to Hamish Officer, who lives with his wife and children within 800 meters of five of the 140 turbines on the Macarthur wind farm in Victoria, if they were as bad as some people were making out, we might all be making and eating pavlovas.

“Our chooks lay normal eggs with yolks and whites despite assurances from some that they would start laying eggs without yolks,” Officer wrote in a submission to the latest Senate inquiry into wind farms. This, he said, had put “a serious dent in my plan to open a bakery specializing in Pavlova.”

Facetious? Definitely. Even Officer says so in his submission. But that’s because this is the 10th inquiry into wind farms in five years, and still there is no scientific evidence that wind farms do much more than reduce the profits of coal-fired generators and cut greenhouse gas and other emissions.

No scientific evidence maybe, but plenty of anecdotal clams.

Take this, for instance, from Rikkie Nicholson, an electrician and a self-described “wind factory refugee” from Pacific Hydro’s Cape Bridgewater wind farm.

Nicholson says the effects of wind turbines are “horrific and disturbing.” He told the inquiry that simple tasks such as putting in screws in door handles, tap washers, lubrication of door hinges, filling mouse bait stations and throwing a ball with his son—were “physically impossible to do when this industrial complex is operating.”

Nicholson told the inquiry he had been able to complete a Sudoku puzzle when travelling to Geelong, but struggled to complete them when at home and near the turbines. Even the dog was affected – the family’s kelpie needs to be lifted into their station wagon when the wind turbines were operating. But, when on holidays, the kelpie “could jump into my four-wheel drive after being only a week away from the turbines.”

Glenthompson residents Bill and Sandy Rogerson said the 32-turbine Oaklands Hill Wind Farm had caused an increase in the number of deformed lambs, and sent the lambing rate of their merino stock down to 37 per cent from 85 per cent.

Officer wonders why – if such experiences were rampant and real – were there not thousands of people marching in protest against wind farms in Australia, or for that matter in Europe, the Americas and Asia, where even more capacity has been installed.

But if the tales of tribulation from some wind farm residents have not captured the imagination of their neighbours or the general population, they certainly have captured the imagination of the Senators heading this inquiry, with the blessing and support of the Abbott Coalition government.

As RenewEconomy has pointed out before, in this piece on Tony Abbott’s wind energy witch-hunt, most of the committee members have already made up their mind on the issue.


Two, Senators John Madigan and Bob Day, don’t believe that too much Co2 in the atmosphere is a bad thing. Coalition Senator Chris Back says wind turbines have adverse health impacts from as far as 10kms away, particularly on ewes and cows that become “very agitated and will leave their offspring in fits of panic if they are in the vicinity of operating turbines.”

Another Coalition Senator, Mike Cannavan, says Australia already has too much renewable energy.

Why is this important?

Because right now, the Coalition government is negotiating with these very Senators to strike a deal to slash the renewable energy target, far below even the 33,500GWh compromise target offered by the Clean Energy Council and supported by Labor.

Industry Minister wants a figure of no more than 32,000GWh, and preferably a lot less. He is hopeful he can get the agreement of six cross-bench Senators needed. And one of those, Jacqui Lambie, issued a statement today saying she is on board.

Another of those Senators, who also sits on the inquiry, is David Leyonhjelm, who on Friday repeated his plan to give subsidies instead to hydro schemes that were built by state governments decades ago.

“The only losers would be the major wind-energy generators, which are eagerly waiting to build dozens of new wind farms in an effort to meet the target and get on the subsidy gravy trai” he wrote in the Australian Financial Review on Friday.

“Against that, many people are hoping these are never built, among them those who suffer adverse health effects from the inaudible infrasound they generate, plus those (like me) who hate to see our majestic eagles and hawks splattered all over the countryside.”

It seems Leyonhjelm and Back – not to mention the others – have already reached their own scientific conclusions. This is despite yet another study – this time from Canada’s Council of Canadian Academies – saying that the only impact that could be considered proven from wind farms was annoyances, and an associate lack of sleep.

As Officer notes in his submission: It would be funny if it was not so serious.

“Why are country people having the chance to make a living in an industry that produces clean electricity taken away by their elected officials who have created such an unstable investment environment in the large scale renewable sector that nothing is being built?

“This bastardisation of the RET goes beyond wind energy to all large scale renewable energy projects at a time when we as a nation are crying out for infrastructure projects that will allow us to remain prosperous and competitive into the future.”

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  1. Andrew Thaler 5 years ago

    Ask yourself this simple question… how many of the people on the wind-farm Inquiry panel and how many of the people writing in submissions with ridiculous claims of injury from wind-farm-tubulators believe in God.?

    How sane is a believing in a God? I’d suggest about as ‘sane’ as believing in an impartial, open and honest outcome from this Inquiry.. #:(

    • Ken Dyer 5 years ago

      Hang on Andrew, don’t you know these people are paid up members of the Flat earth Society. http://www.theflatearthsociety.org

      • Andrew Thaler 5 years ago

        Ken, I was trying to refrain from being too controversial in my comment 🙂

        I’m beginng to think the flat-earthers have all the fun these days.

    • Peter Martin 5 years ago

      Andrew if you have not seen the episode of QI with Richard Dawkins, look it up. He asks Tony Burke how old be believes the planet is and Burke refuses to answer. This is a man who holds one of the most senior positions in our society and hes non committal on the basics of high school geology. Im so with you!!

      • Andrew Thaler 5 years ago

        I have yes. Having a ‘bob each way’ on something like that is just ridiculous. I’m living my life of ‘sin’ by non-believing and when I’m about to croak I’ll convert to a catlick, think about a penance for 5 minutes and ask for forgiveness… coz thats how it works apparently.
        Btw.. I’ve only asked for 1 virgin… any more than one sounds like ‘hard work’.

        • Martin 5 years ago

          If generosity is allowed in atheism, extend a bit of it would ya, it’s a pro-evolutionary meme. But go all out criticising their coal investments of course. What a spew but that Abbott left the seminary…

  2. ChrisEcoSouth 5 years ago

    I have started to read the Senate proceedings, and I do have a background in electronics, and a background interest in behaviours of materials under resonance, and I would advise anyone, including Giles, to be very careful before supporting poo-pooing “no science” in possible effects of wind-farms on people and animals.

    1. One claim made was that the Australian EPA studies (including SA) *did not* take into account the effect of the dB ‘weighting’ made using traditional ‘noise’ measuring devices. In short, ‘noise’ is only considered on a scale within the audible range of hearing, and sometimes not necessarily even the whole range.
    In this case, weighted dB measurements (eg dBA) do not measure infrasound (eg below 20Hz), which means that it was not possible for infrasound to be measured anyway. As an electronics person, I find it a bit preposterous this occurred, but this was alleged in the Inquiry (p5).

    2. Frequencies from milli-Hertz to 10’s of Hertz, and up, behave in seeming unexpected ways due to nodes and nulls of resonance. So at the infrasound range, one building can cop a lot of resonance from some industrial activity, whilst a building closer in, does not. Its a bit like watching ripples on a still pond intersect from two pebbles thrown in.

    3. Wind-farms are *known* to have seismic effects!:
    The same resonances will gladly travel via the geologic profile, just like infrasound transmitted via earth tremors.

    4. Which brings us to dogs. They are known to behave strangely in association with earth disturbances. So it is definitely not a silly concept.

    I can state more about this. But don’t get me wrong, and go all “polarised” on me!: I am all for new wind-farms – but these reported effects need to be properly studied, quantified, and remediation made in the design of turbines as necessary.

    • David Osmond 5 years ago

      Hi ChrisEcoSouth,

      The reason infrasound isn’t usually measured at wind farms, is because whenever it has been measured, it has found to be barely detectable compared to background levels (with the exception of some rare down-wind type turbines made in the 1980s).

      For example, the SA EPA study at Waterloo (South Australia):


      “Overall the study indicates that measured infrasound levels at rural locations both near to and at a distance away from wind farms were no higher than infrasound levels measured at urban locations.

      The study also showed that both indoor and outdoor infrasound levels were well below the perception threshold and that the most obvious difference between urban and rural locations was that human activity and traffic appeared to be the primary source of infrasound in urban locations, while localised wind conditions are the primary source of infrasound in rural locations.”

      Or this Sonus report from Cape Bridgewater (Vic) and Clements Gap (SA), it is worth having a look at the summary graph in this report.


      “The measurement results indicate that the levels of infrasound in the vicinity of the two Australian wind farms are:

      – well below the perception threshold established in International research as 85 dB(G); and

      – of the same order as other International infrasound measurement results (a table summarising the results of the other measurements is provided in this study); and

      – of the same order as that measured from a range of sources including the beach, the Adelaide Central Business District and a power station.”

      • ChrisEcoSouth 5 years ago

        In short, they are perhaps measuring the wrong thing and/or in the wrong way.
        “the perception threshold” – well there is a problem right there!
        I’ve always said that I would’ve expected both accelerometers and seismic transducers be used to detect these frequencies, as opposed to air-pressure-gradient devices (read microphone technology), which is what I am assuming is used. Ie, pure ‘auditory’ methodologies do not give the whole picture. As I stated last,
        3. Wind-farms are *known* to have seismic effects!:
        For example:
        seems to be talking about ‘noise’ as in auditory stuff. By comparison, ‘sea-sickness’ is a different kettle of fish so to speak. I’m suggesting that wind turbine nuisance derives from ground vibration either induced or direct, and EPA guidelines do not address this.
        Psycho-acoustics is a complex area – I’ve experienced machinery noise that was relatively quiet, but would put me almost to sleep standing up!
        Brainwave functions act in the ELF range – expect strange psycho-vibrational effects.

        • David Osmond 5 years ago

          I hope we can agree that infrasound is not an issue then.

          Seismic effects I don’t know much about. However seismometers are extremely sensitive, so the fact they can detect a wind farm is hardly surprising. They can also detect people walking nearby, cars driving, small quakes on the other side of the world, and more relevantly, ocean waves, which occur at a frequency much more likely to make you sea-sick than those caused by wind farms…

          I should also point out there is very strong evidence that being told that wind farms will make you sick will make you much more likely to feel sick – the nocebo effect.


          • ChrisEcoSouth 5 years ago

            “Infrasound” is a bit of a misnomer. Cyclic activity in the given spectrum is normally referred to as Extra Low Frequency, or ELF. Such ELF can occur in air, earth or water, or all 3.
            Like all transducers, seismic ones can cater to a range of amplitudes, depending on design. A bit like the difference between a microscope and telescope – same technology, different amplitude.
            Also, amplitude does not have to be great to have a nuisance effect – it depends on the waveform. As I said regarding a certain machinery noise – doesn’t have to be loud but can induce a sleep state.
            I don’t have any problem with nocebo! I’m sure it happens! But I’d also be very surprised if there were not legitimate cases of ELF nuisance, and I’d like to think that such cases could be resolved via engineering remedies.
            So, I’m saying its not necessarily all turbines, but will take coincidental alignment of a number of factors to produce a bad resonance.
            Resonance is huge subject in its own right – yes, waves can have an ELF component, and are another example of the right frequency wave sets can send you to sleep – I’m sure other wave frequencies will wake you.
            Also consider a group of people marching in step can damage bridges and other structures – on the list goes.

      • Jon 5 years ago

        Lets also remember that there are many many workers at these wind farms who maintain the turbines and electrical components, and probably more importantly, earn an income from them, who don’t experience any adverse effects.

        • ChrisEcoSouth 5 years ago

          Of course. I’d say it is possible to get used to it, to whatever degree. A bit like whether you are a good ‘sailor’ or not. In the case of turbines, you get to go, perhaps, some distance away at the end of each working day.

    • Blair Donaldson 5 years ago

      Why are these claim only made where wind farm opponents have been actively spreading misinformation among communities?

      • ChrisEcoSouth 5 years ago

        I guess we’d need to see a tabulation to show the correlation, and I’ve no doubt it has happened. I can also say that it can be in the same way that some folk can get used to living next to a railway line or busy road, and some just can’t, and suffer something physical or mental as a result.

        • Douglas Hynd 5 years ago

          Simon Chapman has published an article on this – the connections are quite strong

        • David Osmond 5 years ago

          “There are some 32,677 people living within 5km of these 49 wind farms around Australia, and just 120 – or one in 272 – of them have ever made formal complaints, appeared in news reports or sent complaining submissions to government. Moreover, 81 (68%) of these are people living near just five wind farms, each of which have been heavily targeted by wind farm opponent groups.”


          • ChrisEcoSouth 5 years ago

            Yep – I agree with you. It is a heavily politicised area. I’m saying don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. There still could be some folk genuinely affected in there. From a scientific standpoint, I’d say fund a number of studies, that can collate the waveforms of turbines, at different locations etc. I think this is what Steve Cooper is trying to do, as mentioned in the Senate hearing.

          • Blair Donaldson 5 years ago

            Why Chris? Shouldn’t there be a credible justification for spending huge amounts of time and effort to find a testable link? So far the people involved in various trials have shown that they cannot clearly distinguish between infrasound emanating from wind turbines or other factors. Not only that but some have blamed wind turbines for assorted health conditions when the turbines were not actually operating. Where genuine studies have been done, it’s quite clear that priming people to believe in negative outcomes will produce that effect.

          • ChrisEcoSouth 5 years ago

            “credible justification” – that could be the last ‘study’ done by Steve Cooper at the behest of Pacific Hydro, with strict limitations set. The start of the Senate hearing doc covers that.
            “cannot clearly distinguish between infrasound emanating from wind turbines or other factors”
            Very true. That is the nature of ELF – we do not normally perceive it other than feeling motion-sick or ‘weird’. Field studies could be made to produce methodologies to quantify such psycho-effects, and correlate to what Steve Cooper calls “turbine signatures”.
            “believe in negative outcomes will produce that effect.” – True, however, it could be argued that some for some proportion it will simply bring forward their ‘negative outcome’, which without the ‘priming’ they probably would have had, but at a later date.

          • wideEyedPupil 5 years ago

            Why have non-English speaking nations like Germany, Denmark etc not ever heard of these ‘health effects of ultrasound’? They have a much larger magnitude of wind power installations and many were made when the turbines were a good deal more audible than today. Do their cows and sheep eat different grass which keeps their birth rates up? Maybe it was the fallout of isotopes from Chernobyl? When Australian Health Effect claims are reported to German farmers they laugh, maybe that good income keeps them amused?

          • ChrisEcoSouth 5 years ago

            Here are a couple of sites: one specifically to do with Europe only, and the other citing studies and concerns from parts of Europe. (I neither condone or discredit what they say) – but it does show there is some kind of concern in Europe.

          • wideEyedPupil 5 years ago

            European Platform Against Windfarms (EPAW),

            c/o Val Martin,
            Co. Cavan,
            Republic of Ireland.
            (English Speaking)

            Half the list of management/spokespeople are UK based.
            Established in 2008 (some thirty years after wind turbines got going)

          • wideEyedPupil 5 years ago

            The Society for Wind Vigilance

            Communications Director
            Beth Harrington
            647 588-8647
            [email protected]

            Looks like English speaking organisation to me 🙂

          • Bob_Wallace 5 years ago

            How many more studies should be funded, Chris?

            How many times does someone need to make the same measurements before we trust the measurements?

            We know that there is always a chance of error. Research generally requires a minimum 95% level of confidence. A finding that there is no more than a 5% chance that the results are in error. A second study with similar outcomes takes the probably of error down to 0.25%. A third to 0.0125%.

            At some point we are simply wasting money.

    • Coley 5 years ago

      While not being an electronics person I do live next to a wind farm.
      Prior to it being built? Anecdotal warnings of imminent disaster ? Scores
      Problems since construction? Nil.

      • ChrisEcoSouth 5 years ago

        Wonderful. Sounds like a good set-up. I’d be interested in the life-time of the main bearings, and what nearby residents may expect once they start to wear? ELF vibrational monitoring may be done on turbines to check bearing wear.

        • Coley 5 years ago

          TBF, the operating company has regular consultations with the local community and councils, but up to now I’m unaware of any complaints .

      • Blair Donaldson 5 years ago

        Same here.

    • Cooma Doug 5 years ago

      The noise from wind turbines is nothing compared to cars and trucks…nothing.

  3. Penny Osterhaus 5 years ago

    and,Andrew,how many have shares in coall and gas.Simple,isnt it.Short-term economics.

  4. Blind Freddy of Cairns 5 years ago

    Why not just get going with 32,000GWh, then in less than 18 months when Labor are elected and with the support of the Greens they can change it to whatever they like!

    • wideEyedPupil 5 years ago

      If it were that simple why not just leave it at 41 TWh and convince cross benchers except for the witch hunters not to vote on it.

      Industry says it want bi-artisanship. That means the nut-jobs in cabinet have a veto, even in opposition if they white-ant the RET bad enough. Time to move to a new mechanism, or additional mechanisms like reverse-auctions for CfDs.

  5. Mags 5 years ago

    How much recorded damage have wind farms done world wide – how many deaths, how many people sick, how much environmental damage??

    How much damage has coal done, how many deaths, how many people sick, how much environmental damage??

    How much damage has nuclear done….. you get my picture…..

    • Concerned 5 years ago

      Coal you ar ecorreect.Nuclear?Less than renewables.

      • P Wilkinson 5 years ago

        so, 7 mile island. chernobyl and fukushima never hurt anything eh?

        • Concerned 5 years ago

          Chernobyl.about 80 deaths,Fukushima ,zero ,both according to UN.Coal tens of thousands a year,renewables ,many many hundreds.

          • Bob_Wallace 5 years ago

            80 and 0.

            If you set your definition of “caused deaths” very conservatively.

            You have to overlook the deaths of all the old people during the evacuation in order to maintain your myth.

          • Concerned 5 years ago

            Oh my goodness.

          • Concerned 5 years ago

            Deaths for all forms of generation.



            UN report on Fukishima, nil deaths,no ongoing problem,never was any problem.

            And the deaths regarding evacuation and suicide are the fault of the authorities who stuffed up,nothing to do with nuclear power.



          • Bob_Wallace 5 years ago

            Look, the only reason that people were evacuated from the Fukushima area is because the reactor melted down. They would have not been evacuated for any other reason.

            If you want to wear blinders and not admit that those deaths are tied to nuclear energy you go right ahead.

          • Concerned 5 years ago

            Oh dear.So the reactors melted down into the containment vessels.There was never any need to evacuate in the way it was done.Poor reaction by authorities.
            Fact is Nuclear is safer than all other forms of generation.Fact ,however does not suit the agenda.

          • Bob_Wallace 5 years ago

            Sometimes a bomb is found.

            People are evacuated for their safety.

            Sometimes those bombs are duds.

            Sometimes they aren’t.

            The intelligent thing is to evacuate.

          • Concerned 5 years ago

            Sad example of incompetence,lack of planning and safety plan.

          • Bob_Wallace 5 years ago

            “The root cause is “the evil at the bottom” that sets in motion the entire cause-and-effect chain causing the problem(s).”


            root -> scoot -> die

          • Blair Donaldson 5 years ago

            So how do you explain the tons of topsoil being collected and stored around Fukushima? Most of the time nuclear may well be safe but when it does go wrong, the damage can be severe and long-lasting. That’s the bit you miss.

          • Jenny Sommer 5 years ago


            How does PV kill people?

          • Concerned 5 years ago

            In my industry,safety,constuction,they fall off the roof,amongst other exotic ways of dying.

          • Bob_Wallace 5 years ago

            And they fall in nuclear plants as well.

            You well know that you avoided answering the question that Jenny asked…..

          • Concerned 5 years ago

            In all construction.

          • Bob_Wallace 5 years ago


            Now here’s my guess. If we had adequate data we would find the fatality rate lowest for utility solar, solar farms. Not a lot of big stuff being swung around on cranes. Most of the labor is done either in an equipment cab or standing on the ground. Most of the work is nuts and bolts stuff with small parts.

            I’d even suspect that roof-top solar is safe if being done by a licensed, insured installer. In the roofing business you do not let your crew on roofs without following OSHA regs. Insurance companies cruise worksites to make sure workers are tied on. Get caught, get someone hurt or killed and you’ve lost your insurance and destroyed your business.

            Next up. That’s harder. Wind might be lower than nuclear. Or not.

            The days of falling from wind towers and getting one’s tether caught in the rotor are over. That’s early days, small turbine stuff. Folks no longer work around spinning stuff while wearing a tether, they’re inside the nacelle with the normal sorts of non-skid decks and safety railings stuff that one finds in any “engine room”.

            But you know the real issue is nuclear fuel. Radiation. Meltdowns. Radiation leaks. Exposure to radioactive waste and used fuel.

            Those dangers are unique to nuclear energy. Wind and solar share none of those sorts of dangers with nuclear. A wind farm or solar array are not going to “melt down” and require evacuations and exclusion zones. We’ll never have to struggle to build an ice dam around a solar panel that went sour years earlier and has been spilling radioactive waste ever since.
            Nuclear is uniquely dangerous. Unlike anything else.

            Please do not attempt to tap dance around that.

          • Jenny Sommer 5 years ago

            At least someone dying on a nuke construction site sets back completion some month.

            Some Jumpers and even divers have died in nukes in France.
            Some have died in accidents, some from radiation, hundreds from Uranium mining. I don’t care, nuclear is going down anyways.

            People die everywhere. PV and wind is pretty safe.

          • Concerned 5 years ago

            I have provided you with two references to the facts.Up to you.
            Nuclear,doubt same going on what is happening Korea,India and China.
            And when Gen IV really comes on line,ultimate safe operation.
            And cheaper.

          • Jenny Sommer 5 years ago

            Fantasy reactors don’t count.
            PV will be cheapest.
            We mighy built a 5GW high altitude windplant for 1.5b € before. I doubt your nuclear phantasy plant will deliver…nuclear track record suggests otherwise. Negative learning curve and such 😉

          • Concerned 5 years ago

            You believe what you want to.I will stick with facts,not opinions and assertions,big difference.

          • Concerned 5 years ago

            Fantasy indeed.Nuclear in series production will be a fraction.
            Most when quoting PV et al ,forget the infrastructure neede,and the cost of the backup.

          • Bob_Wallace 5 years ago

            Nuclear plants have to be backed up as well. And since one cannot predict when they can go down reactors have to be backed up with spinning reserve.
            On a sunny day with no clouds around there’s not need to keep backup spinning. It can be turned off and fuel can be saved.

            BTW, both wind/solar and nuclear require storage. The world built a lot of pump-up hydro to time-shift nuclear output. That PuHS will be used to time-shift wind/solar as we go forward.

          • Concerned 5 years ago

            And really,it is mathematically impossible.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-5bVbfWuq-Q

          • Jenny Sommer 5 years ago

            What’s impossible?

            Don’t be silly. I don’t know which fantasy reactor is your pet but you seem to be willing to bet our future on your fantasies.

            Let’s be realistic.

          • Jenny Sommer 5 years ago

            Read the nuclear industry status report.
            Stagnation is the word you are looking for.

          • Concerned 5 years ago

            China ,23 under construction,about the same approved.Korea completing one per year,and similar India.Stagnation?

          • Bob_Wallace 5 years ago

            Expected and scheduled closures are higher in number than the reactors under construction. If all the reactors under construction are completed there will still be a net loss in reactor count.

            Nuclear has been losing market share for a number of years.

          • mike flanagan 5 years ago

            And not one of them will be touched by insurance companies for public liability .
            Japan have one in destruction mode that some of their management team suggest may take 50 or more years to clean up and are demanding the tax payers support to implement and clear the devastation.
            The impacts of the collapsing of the Fukushima units are impacting the food chains throughout the north western pacific ocean and are now evident on the British Columbia’s and Californian coasts. Read the news aggregator ENENews.com , available on the net.

          • Bob_Wallace 5 years ago

            The Conca/Forbes article is based on bogus fatality wind deaths in which the definition of “root cause” is stretched very wind and very thin.

            A couple of people died in car crashes in the vicinity of wind farms. The assumption was that they were looking at the turbine and not the road. A snowmobiler ran into a wind farm fence. Someone snuck onto a wind farm and committed suicide. A display about wind energy fell on top of some Chinese officials. A three year old girl was killed while playing on her family’s wind tower while the pieces were laying around on the ground.

            What is not in any data that I’ve see is the number of workers who have died in nuclear plant construction. I’ve never seen a database include workers who have been crushed during plant repairs, who have been scalded to death by steam leaks, slipped and fell, etc.

            In short, the data stinks. It is so messed up that no factual statement can be made. We really do not know the relative safety of wind, solar and nuclear.

            Why you think GenIV construction might be safer for workers, and even operators, is beyond me. If one gets built it will still be a great big construction project with all sorts of opportunities for people to get injured and killed. And if one ever makes it into service there will still be plenty opportunity for falls, electrocutions, scalding, etc.

          • Concerned 5 years ago

            GenIV is an engineered safe operating design ,without the problems of reactors designed in the 1960’s.
            If built here ,I could pretty well assure you ,the construction would be safe.It is not hard.
            As national safety manager for an Australian Construction Company for 5 years,I brought WorkCover claims to almost nothing ,and recorded zero fatalities.
            It can be done.

          • Concerned 5 years ago

            And what is the significance of the video?

          • moosey 5 years ago

            You are correct, Nuclear is by far the cleanest and also the safest, it has killed a lot less people than coal ever has.
            And for those that say what about all of that really bad used nuclear fuel lying around after it has been used?
            Well it won’t be hanging around for much longer!
            When they use nuclear fuel, only around 5% of the usable energy is used first time around, the best method of handling used nuclear fuel is to recycle it, to get the other 95% of the energy still in the UNF.
            Read this document, it is where nuclear is heading and is also the reason why
            there are less light water, boiling water reactors being designed or being built in the
            future, fast neutron reactors are coming and they will eat up used nuclear fuel, they will recycle it for their own operation , what gets buried as waste in the future will be a hell of a lot less radioactive and for a much much shorter period of time.

            It doesn’t look good for Uranium miners or Uranium enrichment companies in the future though?
            The breakthrough with this is laser technology and it’s ability to selectively separate out any particular Isotope/actinide, most of the harmful actinides will be burnt in a fast neutron reactor as fuel, along with Plutonium, the only enriched Uranium will be a small amount which has been enriched to start the process, some recovered uranium 235 will be reused as fuel for BWR’s until they reach their lifetime use by date.


          • Bob_Wallace 5 years ago

            moosey, nuclear seemed like a good idea several years back when wind and solar were too expensive. But since then the prices of wind and solar have plunged and are now far cheaper than nuclear.

            It will simply make no sense to spend money on nuclear energy going forward unless someone can find a way to cut its cost by 2x to 3x.

          • moosey 5 years ago

            I believe you are correct in some of your assumptions to some extent? but moreso about Solar, but not fully,
            Solar is great at solving peak loading, wind not so much because of timing,but there will still be a great need for base load power to supply industry reliably, neither of those two can supply power on a continuous and uninterrupted basis 100% of the time. especially before they have any sort of reliable and economic storage available, when affordable and reliable storage comes, it will help immensely, but the power required but industry has to be totally reliable and both wind and solar power have their downsides as far as supplying industry goes, but there is also one very big factor in the decision to go nuclear and that is getting rid of the wastes from previous years in an economically and also environmental way, this latest development of using laser technology to help recycling has come at a very opportune time.

            But there is also one glaringly obvious problem with your assumptions.
            Nuclear is already here in the world, they won’t be pulling these Nuclear power stations down and replace them with solar, well except Germany who now buy their power from France and guess where that power comes from?, I realise we are talking about are talking about Australia here!
            But if the rest of the world needs to rid itself of nuclear waste and we have the ability to take that waste from them and get paid handsomely for doing so, and then recycle it and use some of the recovered material like Plutonium and some of the actinides as fuel in a fast breeder reactor as fee fuel to produce cheap power, OK we would have to bury some of the shorter lived actinides in a deep repository but they are only radioactive for a lot less time than UNF and there would be a hell of a lot less of it as well, add to this equation the fact that we could also sell the recovered Uranium235 from the UNF, back to where it came from as UNF, meaning more money for Australia and also a great deal of work for us in the process, we will certainly need this work to counter the losses in the fossil fuel fired power industry, I have a very sneaky suspicion? this is exactly what the government is up to, they want nuclear here before solar, because it helps to provide money for the budget but more importantly “JOBS”,
            Solar can come afterwards, but I believe Nuclear will to come first, if it were the other way around then I believe Solar would stop any nuclear push in it’s tracks and then we don’t get to have both, we only get Solar which doesn’t solve the whole problem by itself and that would be bad economics for Australia.

          • Bob_Wallace 5 years ago

            Let’s put some prices on the table. I’m going to use US prices because that’s what I know best.

            New nuclear is the US would be well over 12 cents per kWh. The two new reactors being built in Georgia will produce at ~12 cents. If there are no further cost/time overruns.

            Those reactors received extremely favorable financing due to their starts during the recent recession. Future builds won’t get as good funding so expect any other reactors to produce electricity at over 12 cents. Which is similar to Hinkley Point at 16 cents. Those are subsidized prices.

            The cost of unsubsidized onshore wind is now under 4 cents/kWh. The cost of unsubsidized solar is about 6.5 cents/kWh.

            We can store power with pump-up hydro for about 5 cents. There are new battery technologies apparently coming on line which should store for about 2 cents with daily cycling. But let’s stick with PuHS at 5c.

            40% of our electricity used directly from wind turbines. 30% directly from solar. 15% from hydro, geothermal, biofuel at 8c. The other 15% stored wind/solar at 10c (mix of wind/solar + 5c storage).

            That’s 6.4c/kWh electricity. Compare to nuclear at 12 to 15 cents.

            Unless someone can find a way to cut the cost of nuclear energy 2x to 3x there’s no future for nuclear. A few countries will build a few more reactors and learn that they’ve picked an expensive route to new power.

            The US has closed some nuclear plants because they can’t compete. Their operating cost is too high, even though they are paid off plants. About 25% of US plants are in danger of going bankrupt. The others are more efficient and will probably operate until their licenses expire.

            Actually France purchases more electricity from Germany than Germany purchases from France. And Germany sells for a higher price than what they pay. Germany turns a per kWh profit.

            People have talked about how breeder reactors are ‘the answer’. But we’ve known about breeders for a long time and they haven’t been ‘the answer’ yet. Here’s what Wiki has to say…

            “After six decades and the expenditure of the equivalent of tens of billions of dollars, the promise of breeder reactors remains largely unfulfilled and efforts to commercialize them have been steadily cut back in most countries”. In Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States, breeder reactor development programs have been abandoned.”

            I suppose if Australia wants to have a go at it, have at it. It’s your money. I don’t pay taxes there.

            I can actually see your current anti-renewable energy government shoveling money into nuclear.

            I suspect Australia is the one country where we may see large scale abandonment of the grid. Your government seems to be doing whatever they can to make electricity more expensive.

          • lin 5 years ago

            This news article does not agree with the “zero deaths, zero sick” meme that some pro-nuclear groups like to push.

            News 24 (SAPA), Mar 10, 2015: A total of
            1232 deaths in Japan’s Fukushima prefecture over the past year were linked to the nuclear accident four years ago, up 18% from a year earlier, a news report said on Tuesday. A death is considered nuclear-related if is not directly resulting
            from a nuclear accident but is due from an illness caused by
            prolonged exposure. Namie town, close to the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, had the largest number of deaths at 359, followed by 291 in Tomioka town, which is also
            near the complex, the Tokyo Shimbun reported.

          • Concerned 5 years ago

            I will stick to facts,not opinion or assertion.http://www.unscear.org/unscear/en/fukushima.html

          • lin 5 years ago

            you can choose to believe the nuclear industry when they say everything is under control and all is well, but there is a lot of other people who disagree.

            Check out some more “opinion” here



          • Concerned 5 years ago

            You should really work out the difference between assertion, opinion and Facts.I am quoting the UN report.
            You are letting emotion get in the way.

          • lin 5 years ago

            On 28 May 1959, at the 12th World Health Assembly, WHO drew up an agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency so that the IAEA had power of prior approval over any research it might undertake or report.
            If marketing has taught us anything, it is that you can get “science” to give you any answer you like if you control the questions that are asked, and the IAEA’s prime directive is to bring the “safe atom” to the world.

          • Concerned 5 years ago

            Actually,I undertook post grad work in Safety last year,and part of which involved engineering regarding Nuclear Safety.
            Including a visitit and critique of ANSTO facilities.
            Modern Gen 3 and especially Gen 4 will be exceptional safe.
            In my profession facts matter, not causes with strange opinions and assertions suiting their agenda.

          • lin 5 years ago

            The nuclear industry has been promising safe reactors since they were first developed. What we have seen since then is fallible humans finding ways to subvert these “safe” reactors so that currently we have about a 1/75 chance of a reactor melting down, with about 450 more approaching expected design life, many of which have been granted additional decades of operation. The 1/75 number can only get worse.
            I will believe that new reactors are safe when they have been run for their design life, decommissioned and all of the waste products safely stored. Greed has an unfortunate way of circumventing the best intentions and planning.

          • Bob_Wallace 5 years ago

            If we’re going to be honest about nuclear safety then we need to somehow assure that nuclear waste will be stored safely until it is safe enough for babies to swallow.

          • lin 5 years ago

            Yep, about 10,000 generations of humans will live with the consequences around Chernobyl, Fukushima etc and the nuclear industry thinks that pouring concrete (life expectancy perhaps a hundred years) over the mess is a solution. We have no idea what technology or resources our decedents will have available to them, but there is no guarantee it will be sufficient to make nuclear waste safe.
            Humans are second-to-none in their ability to create a huge mess for someone else to clean up.

          • Concerned 5 years ago


          • lin 5 years ago

            Bye, and stay safe.
            In my area of postgraduate study (toxicology) I have found that it pays to treat information provided by industry about the safety of their products with some degree of scepticism.

    • Ken Dyer 5 years ago

      If a nuclear reactor and a windmill fell over in the ocean, the windmill would make a big splash……..

    • ChrisEcoSouth 5 years ago

      I fully agree with you! Get the Wind power in, but head off the “infrasound” problem now, before too many more are installed.

      • Dr George 5 years ago

        There is no “infrasound problem”

        1. The levels of infrasound (or low frequency sound) generated by turbines results in far lower exposure than many other environmental sources.
        2. There is no known or plausible physiological mechanism that would account for harm from sub audible / low volume sound.
        3. There is no evidence from current available epidemiological studies to link wind farms with health impacts.

        Scaring people with false claims about health impacts is however very likely to be harmful as well as dishonest.

        • ChrisEcoSouth 5 years ago

          Hi Dr George, If you want, please follow the rest of the posts I have made here. It outlines my position.

    • Chris Fraser 5 years ago

      They’ve already forgotten Morwell circa 2014.

  6. Chris Fraser 5 years ago

    Well at least the Canadian annoyance is probably real … which would include the feeling of annoyance you get when your neighbour has more wind resource than you, and the wind developer dismisses your land for hosting a couple of turbines. Only that ‘ka-ching’ sound helps you get to sleep.

  7. Bob_Wallace 5 years ago

    ” Coalition Senator Chris Back says wind turbines have adverse health impacts from as far as 10kms away, particularly on ewes and cows that become “very agitated and will leave their offspring in fits of panic if they are in the vicinity of operating turbines.””

    It’s a damn shame one cannot sue politicians for lying….

    • Cooma Doug 5 years ago

      A friend of mine at the Boco wind firm brought a truck load of ewes into the paddock where the turbines are and when they left the vehicle they ran to the turbines and stood beneath them. He said they go there every day.

      • Bob_Wallace 5 years ago

        Probably protects them from the flying dingos. (Australia must have something that sweeps down from the sky and snatches sheep. ;o)

        • Ronald Brakels 5 years ago
          • juxx0r 5 years ago

            I have heard that drop bears are nesting in wind turbines and that’s what’s frightening the sheep:


          • Blair Donaldson 5 years ago

            OMG, please don’t mention the infamous and deadly drop bear, those poor deluded souls who think windfarms make them lose weight, gain weight or charge the mobile phone in the middle of a paddock will never get any sleep. They will be lying awake with shotgun in hand waiting for the whistling sound of a drop bear coming in for the attack…

          • Bob_Wallace 5 years ago

            Slathering Vegemite in one’s armpits is the suggested protection from drop bear attack, is it not?

            That’s what has been keeping me from visiting Australia. Not the drop bears, but just the thought of making physical contact with Vegemite.

            I’ll bet George sells drop bear deterrents in his store….

          • Blair Donaldson 5 years ago

            Vegemite is most probably an acquired taste. George on the other hand is simply distasteful. Maybe he should try some Vegemite on his armpits – it has remarkable properties, it may even make George believable? A big stretch even for Vegemite 🙂

      • Peter Martin 5 years ago

        On every windfarm I have been involved with, the stock usually need to be kept away from the turbines with fencing. They shelter under them from wind and rain and they use them for shade in summer. The only down side is, the workers often have to clean cow and sheep poo off the steps etc. Generally speaking animals either approach or ignore the turbines, I have never witnessed anything extraordinary about their behaviour around them.

      • Blair Donaldson 5 years ago

        Shadow flicker is another oft used excuse to oppose wind turbines. It seems the sheep and cattle around the Toora wind farm aren’t aware of this hazard while they happily graze away or stand on the lee side of the turbines sheltering from cold southerly winds. The BS promoted by opponents of wind turbines is so ridiculous it’s becoming laughable.

        • Bob_Wallace 5 years ago

          I remember an interview with someone who lived really close to a wind turbine. They mentioned that during a couple nights a month the Moon would go behind the blades and create flicker.

          “OMG!! How did you ever live with that?”

          “Closed the curtains.”

    • Colin 5 years ago

      You can sue them if they are not speaking under “Parliamentary Privilege”.

      “Parliamentary Privilege” is why Parliament House got the very apt nickname: “Cowards Castle”.

      Litigation will begin in the next decade I’m certain.

      Keep posting that evidence. We’ll need it soon enough.

  8. 807gt 5 years ago

    There is hardly a place in Germany , where you can’t see at least 1 wind turbine! All farm animals are already dead and buried. People are sick or dead . The economy has come to a halt , all because of those wind turbines .What a load of RUBBISH our politicians are telling us .

  9. Rob G 5 years ago

    I’m pretty disappointed in Lambies response. Tasmania has a big wind energy future with jobs and additional income for farm land leases. Her ignorance is really shining through here and will hurt Tasmania in the short term. As for David Leyonhjelm, it’s what we expect from him.

    We know what the Abbott government thinks of science, so it’s no wonder we see all the soothsayers and mumbo jumbo types turning up to support this wind assault with their evidence’. Science puts this all to rest as it always has done when confronted with hysteria. Carl Sagan has written books on it.

    If the truth be told what farmer wouldn’t welcome the extra income that wind farms bring?

    • Peter Martin 5 years ago

      I worked in the wind industry for many years Rob. Including in Tasmania. The biggest windfarm ever built in this country (Macarthur), which I was involved with, employed about 200 people for about 12 months, then about 10-15 ongoing. Of those 200 people many were locals during construction but most are either non local Aussies or Danes during operation. Musselroe was about the same ratio with 80-100 odd people for about 8 months and about 5 during operation.
      While I agree JL is a couple of sausages short of a good barbeque. The idea that wind energy creates lasting employment is greatly over stated by proponents of wind. I have many more examples if your interested.

      • Andrew Thaler 5 years ago

        Yet, the long-term operational employment jobs, at about $80k p.a. (or more) provides jobs that just didn’t exist in that area before the wind farm- these people whether local, or Danes, or martians spend their money locally to live and eat etc.
        The rent income paid by the wind-farm to the farmers has such an impact on their farm management we have not yet fully costed all the benefits..
        Up in NSW there is now opportunity for more drought-prone farm areas to de-stock much earlier in a drought cycle which preserves the last of the grasses and seed stock which allows a rapid and much increased regrowth when rains return. Removing sheep from drought affected land, which ironically would be further desiccated by being a high-wind area (hence the locate for a wind farm) would allow the remaining ground cover grasses to preserve soil structures and reduce dust and topsoil losses. We have not yet seen this in practice on a large scale, but I reckon we will witness this on the Monaro farms, the Upper Hunter over the coming years. I hope someone is prepared to document and study it..

      • Rob G 5 years ago

        Thanks for your response Peter, nice to have someone ‘on the ground’ responding. Andrew Thaler has covered a couple of points that I would also make. I would add that there are other benefits Tasmania could get, much as it does with its hydro power.

        The wind farms will generate power for local and mainland markets and for this reason we would see staffing infrastructure being built around this. I see surrounding business and farmers benefits as providing employment (not just the wind farms themselves). I’d like to point to an example that has shown how a whole state can benefit with a ramping up of wind investment. And remember this happening while the hole of the US was reeling from the GFC. Here is that example:

        In America the state of Iowa saw a huge surge in employment that has come about from the large Wind Farm purchases that Warren Buffet has made. The analysis of this surge shows a real pumping up of investor interest. There has been a number of supporting industries that have been triggered into existence by such an investment. From even businesses that make small parts that maintain the actual wind towers. Farmers in the US just love the extra income too, it means they can employ more people to run their farms etc. The point I want to make in regards to Lambie’s opposition is that it is not just the wind industry that suffers but the businesses that are built around it. I consider this to be a significant number enough to be beneficial to Tasmania and worth building on.

  10. Shane 5 years ago

    My property will be surrounded by a windfarm if it where to go ahead. (Was approached to have them but declined) so inquisitivly I went to an operating windfarm with another neighbor in the same boat ,after a couple of hours cant say I felt any effects apart from them being incredibly annoying although my neighbor said he felt uneasy.. from what I can devise the cons far out way the pros . Some clean energy but rarely when needed, take into account the production of the turbines , rare earths. The blades that cant be recycled or broken down. The huge loss in property values. Friends that wont even look at each other.. if they could produce 24/7 then yes but 15-20%efficiency. . Not worth it..

    • Cooma Doug 5 years ago

      The efficiency number you quote is excellent. Coal generators have a similar number but you have to shovel coal into them as well and you have to buy it.
      There is another number called capacity factor. Wind farms have three times the capacity factor of hydro in Southern Australia. Property prices on farms go up if you have wind turbines installed on them becasue of the income. Wind turbines have capacity factors 30 times higher then Gas plant in victoria. Thats right, 30 times the capacity factor. That means that one turbing from a majot wind farm in 60 days will produce more anergy then a major gas generator will do in a year. im talking here gas generators over 500 million dollars. People who wont look at each other do so because of the money issues. In any case they were never friends in the first place.
      Another outstanding fact of life that this govenrment and the industry will have to suffer. When battery storage takes hold in the homes across Australia, that will double the value of wind and solar generation and halve the valeu of coal. Gas will be eliminated from picture. Nuclear will become a rediculous joke as will
      large base load concept.

      • Bob_Wallace 5 years ago

        The efficiency (capacity factor/CF) is from ‘old tech’ wind farms.

        Wind technology has made huge strides in learning how to increase CF numbers for wind farms in recent years. New blade designs, new turbine designs, better software, better near term wind predictions are adding up to greatly increase CF numbers.

        Here’s a bit from an email from GE sent to Cleantechnica…

        “While we cannot share specific numbers from our customers’ sites unless they release it already or it’s public information, but we’re definitely seeing some above 50 percent capacity factors at many farms.

        Capacity factors obviously vary across wind farms due to a wide range of site locations and other factors. GE wind turbines in farms across the United States—in states such as Montana, California, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Kansas—have reached capacity factors of over fifty percent over the last two years (2013-14).

        These sites include a variety of GE wind turbine models and installation dates, and each site has registered capacity factors ranging from 50.4 to 52.4 percent, including availability at around 98 percent.”

        These are areas where just a few years ago 35% CF was the norm.

        • Bob_Wallace 5 years ago

          Let add some more. We’re realizing that taller towers means a lot better performance. In the US we are finding good wind resources where we thought they were inadequate. By going from 80 to 100 meters we’ve discovered that winds are a lot steadier and output greatly increased. Now we’re starting to see 120 and 140 meter wind maps.

          • Cooma Doug 5 years ago

            Capcity factor and efficiency are not the same thing. If you re design the blades and the generator and get another 20% more efficiency from the machine, that will not change the capacity factor. That will change the output of the generator and also increase the rating of the machine 20%.
            The capacity factor is the rated energy achieved in time divided by what is possible if in service 24/7 with peak wind.
            To achieve 50% capacity factor a 3 MW generator would have to produce 36MWhrs a day. This is entirely dependant on the delivery of energy to the machine…or the wind.
            The capacity factor of hydro power stations is dependant on the water available.
            Any anti wind person who talks down wind by complaining about the capacity factor is ignorant of what is actually one of the strengths when compare to other systems.

          • Bob_Wallace 5 years ago

            Capacity factor = produced electricity / the amount of electricity that would be produced if the generator ran at full output 24/365.

            If you improve blade design to get 20% more out of the turbine then you move the CF (for example) from 30% to 36%.

            The only way to change the rating of the machine at the top of a tower is to replace it with a differently rated machine.

            “To achieve 50% capacity factor a 3 MW generator would have to produce 36MWhrs a day. This is entirely dependant on the delivery of energy to the machine…or the wind.”

            Obviously not. Let’s prove that by going the other way. Start with a turbine that is returning a 50% CF. A 3 MW turbine that averages 1.5 MWh each hour.

            Now grab a saw and cut off about 1/3rd of each blade. You’ll see a major drop in output in exactly the same wind conditions.

            Wind is the same. Turbine is the same. Blades changed and CF dropped.

          • Cooma Doug 5 years ago

            So you are saying that we inprove the blade design but we dont increase the rating of the generator

          • Bob_Wallace 5 years ago

            Absolutely. The turbine before and after has exactly the same rating. If it was built as a 3 MW turbine it’s still a 3 MW turbine. It was a 3 MW turbine even before any blades were attached.

            Think of it as a car engine. Say rated at 150 HP. Take out the transmission, disconnect the fuel line. It’s still a 150 HP engine.

          • Cooma Doug 5 years ago

            Ok so we have a 3MW wind turbine. You are saying that we can improve the blade design by 20% and still not exceed the 3MW. So does that mean that befor the blade improvement the generator was delivering a maximum of 2.4 MW at peak wind.

          • Bob_Wallace 5 years ago

            No. But the 3 MW turbine was delivering a 3 MW output fewer hours a year and, as well, failing to produce as much per hour at lower wind speeds.
            Better blade design can allow more energy to be transferred from the wind to the turbine. The max is going to be limited in order to protect the turbine, but the max is going to be hit more.

            Max turbine speed has to be limited. We saw a turbine in Scotland (I think it was) fail to limit rotation speed then the turbine overspun, overheated and burst into flames.

          • Bob_Wallace 5 years ago

            Here’s an article that you might wish to read. It covers the sorts of things that are being done to make turbines more efficient.


          • Cooma Doug 5 years ago
          • Andrew Thaler 5 years ago

            think of the T3 upgrade. Same water resource, electrical transmission constraints so SHL installed improved runners to provide longer run-time on same water.. or same electricity output from same water flow/head but use less water.
            This is the argument for the wind.. 3MW tower, limited electrically to 3MW- make more efficient blade then it wold reach 3MW with less wind OR/AND have a lower cut-in speed therefore producing energy from a 2m/sec wind instead of waiting for a 3m/sec wind..

          • Cooma Doug 5 years ago

            Have you seen this site

          • Bob_Wallace 5 years ago

            Looks like AU has some fairly efficient wind farms and some fairly inefficient ones. Might be time to refurbish the least efficient. If you’re space limited. If not, install the most efficient technology available going forward.

            Look at how efficiency has improved for Danish offshore wind farms over the years.

          • Cooma Doug 5 years ago

            So if we have a 3mw machine and we improve the blade pick up 20 %, when we have full wind input we still only get the 3 mw?

          • Bob_Wallace 5 years ago

            3 MW is the maximum that machine is capable of producing.

            You might overdrive it for a while but you’d likely lower its lifespan like running your car above its rated RPM.

            With the wind turbine and longer blades the blades would have to be feathered to keep the turbine from being overdriven.

            What longer blades get is more power at lower wind speeds. And, if you think about it, that means more hours during which the turbine will produce. Which postpones further the need for storage.

      • Shane 5 years ago

        Don’t know where to start with how wrong your input is so I won’t .. will say proof is in the pudding mate and crookwell windfarms output is so pathetic (under15%) no economic mind would say anything more than o well we gave it a go..im an electrician and your figures are dribble. .

    • Blair Donaldson 5 years ago

      The AEMO show you are wrong about clean energy being unavailable when needed. Wind energy is very predictable. As for rare earths, if you are using a modern telephone or flatscreen television, you are using products that contain rare earth elements. Turbines repay the embedded energy in around 12 months. Property devaluation is a myth. You should stop listening to the propaganda and do a bit of independent research. I have been living within the “death zone” (according to the foolish Dr Laurie) for over a decade along with over 7000 other people and nobody in the region as had any health issues related to the turbines.

      • Shane 5 years ago

        Blair I could easily say it is you that has swallowed the wind industry coolade( from the likes of strange simon Chapman) that sort of talk is pointless because it can be thrown both ways. .
        True about the rare earths the amount used by the wind industry is another story. …
        The wind may be somewhat predictable but in this area it may start to blow between 9-10am.and eases down to nothing around 5-6pm..that my friend is outside peak on both ends..
        As for property values there is a small 80 acre property maybe 2ks from here closer to the proposed site sold for $450 000… $200 000 less than than it did 8 years ago.. and thats only the threat of a proposed wind farm . Not that it has a hope in hell of ever going ahead..to add to that the new owners are in the process of trying to sue the real estate agency for not disclosing that information. . So really a myth .? Common sense will tell you that you have lost a large percentage of potential buyers. . That rubbish is straight out of the wind industry funded studies. . Before you say im just against renewable energy I have 10kw of solar next to my house. .can I ask what your contribution has been.?

        • Blair Donaldson 5 years ago

          Shane, I have been following the developments of the wind industry since the 70s, you can believe what you like. Clearly you prefer anecdote rather than evidence. I have no doubt that some properties are not as valuable as they once were but that could be attributed to any number of reasons. People look for patterns and people with a dislike for something will only to happily find something to blame when it suits them. You still can’t explain away the fact that studies around the world have shown windfarms do not detract from property prices.

          My “contribution” is solar panels on my house and a small investment in the community owned wind farm at Hepburn. I would have happily invested in the local windfarms but that option was not available. The owners of the local bookshop in Foster bought their property adjacent to the Toora wind farm after it was commissioned, they don’t have any issues with it. Why don’t you speak to them and get the considered opinions from people who know what it’s like to live around turbines instead of people who “might” be living near a “proposed” wind farm?

          • Shane 5 years ago

            As always anyone that debates against turbines their input is anecdotal or myth where proponents its evidence and fact .. I would say if hitler had put out a report on his treatment of the Jews how much of it would you believe. ? If you follow into who does the research you wont have to read the report to know the results. .
            The family you speak of knew what they were getting into and that is a huge difference to having them forced upon you..
            Finally you speak as if I haven’t spoken to people living near turbines. . Not sure why.. I know a host that found he had to move away from the farm and his worst fear now is running into his old neighbors ..cant remember his name but if you feel thats just anecdotal too I could get it..

          • Bob_Wallace 5 years ago

            Shane, show us a single study published in a reputable journal that finds health problems caused by wind turbines.

            Anecdotal data can be useful for drawing attention to a problem which may or may not be. One might report, for example, that people living close to wind farms suffer a lot of headaches. But that report, all by itself, is meaningless. We don’t know if they suffer more or fewer headaches than those who live far away from wind farms. One does a rigorous study to determine if occurrence rates are, in fact, higher than average.

            Those studies have been done. Nothing has been found.

            What we are seeing is a very small number of individuals who are opposed to wind farms. They make claims. Studies are done. What is learned is that their claims have no basis in fact. But they continue to make their unsupported claims.

            “I know a host that found he had to move away from the farm”

            There are people who believe they have been abducted by space aliens. People believe all sorts of things. That’s why philosophers developed empiricism. The process of making decisions based on commonly observed data.

          • Shane 5 years ago

            Not that I was talking to you bob but I have never argued that they do , apart from the obvious that they are annoying as hell if you have a problem with them ..
            As for your last ridiculous and condescending comment, as I said to blair that sort of dribble can be easily thrown both ways.. so becomes a waste of time.

          • Bob_Wallace 5 years ago

            “There are people who believe they have been abducted by space aliens. People believe all sorts of things. That’s why philosophers developed empiricism. The process of making decisions based on commonly observed data.”

            Explain to me how that “can be easily thrown both ways”.

          • Shane 5 years ago

            By taking someone’s observation and belittling it .. the first chapter in the leftists handbook. . School yard stuff so talk to someone else. ..

          • Blair Donaldson 5 years ago

            “leftists handbook”? Now that is schoolyard stuff.

          • Shane 5 years ago

            Thats the way blair .. attack in any way you can .. no matter how pathetic..

          • Blair Donaldson 5 years ago

            Try not to trip over your double standard Shane.

          • Blair Donaldson 5 years ago

            I have made no assumptions about you. Your terminology and willingness to believe scaremongers and those who are uninformed over those who have done the studies and who have, like myself, lived with (or near) turbines for over a decade makes me question yours sincerity and objectivity. As for your first paragraph, I invoke Goodwins Law.

          • Shane 5 years ago

            You actually did a couple of times Blair but it doesn’t surprise me..

        • Calamity_Jean 5 years ago

          “As for property values there is a small 80 acre property maybe 2ks from here closer to the proposed site sold for $450 000… $200 000 less than than it did 8 years ago.. and thats only the threat of a proposed wind farm . Not that it has a hope in hell of ever going ahead..to add to that the new owners are in the process of trying to sue the real estate agency for not disclosing that information. . So really a myth .? “

          Actually, the studies of property values near wind farms revealed that property values drop during the pre-construction and construction phases, and values spring back after the wind farm is completed. So the current owners of the property you cite should hope that the wind farm gets done quickly.

          • Shane 5 years ago

            As I stated earlier it depends on who has funded and carried out the study. . I would happily take a punt that your study was done by the industry itself. .
            And calamity(I like your name)if that was the case than there wouldn’t be such a large problem. Your argument shoots itself in the foot. The industry would just buy out the neighbors that veto their projects and on sell for no loss after completion. . But they know thats not the case hey..
            The project manager of wind prospects tried that same sell to me but when I asked him for a written guarantee his exact words were “o I cant do that..”
            Like I also said. . Proof is in the pudding. .

  11. Alen T 5 years ago

    As far as Lambie is concerned, is there a reason wind farm developers (e.g. Tasmania’s own Pacific Hydro) are not making contact with her and explaining that Tasmania is set to benefit from retaining the RET as is? I seem to recall the Liberal Tasmanian premier also speaking up for the RET some time ago. A public announcement (if she won’t partake in private discussions) that Lambie’s hostility towards the RET is actually bad for Tasmania could potentially have her changing her tune very quickly (in favour of the 41k GWh large-scale target)

    • Andrew Thaler 5 years ago

      Her chief of staff is a rabid anti-wind idiot. He wouldn’t allow common sense arguments to get anywhere near Lambie, lest she accidentally repeat one in public.

    • Annie 5 years ago

      People make contact with Lambie’s office but unless it’s about one of her pet projects she doesn’t make contact in return. Yes, I am in Tassie and yes, I have tried to contact her about another issue, numerous times.

  12. Cooma Doug 5 years ago

    When the great plague happenned in London, the main cause was the belief by christians that black cats owned by witches caused the plague. The burnt the so called witches and killed all the black cats in the city. The rat population grew ten fold and so the plague began.
    The anti wind farm people are doing the same thing.

  13. Peter Martin 5 years ago

    I tell you what gets up my goat about this… and has done for years. As an OHS professional with many years experience around wind turbines, I am basically being vicariously accused of willful negligence or at the very least unforgivable ignorance in allowing workers in my care to enter these dangerous machines.

    When the reality is, after spending hundreds of hours myself and working with people who have spent thousands of hours in turbines with no demonstrable or detected ill effects of the kinds described, I am as certain as I can be it (wind turbine syndrome) is a massive hoax.

    If there was anything to the claims made in most of these studies, I would have been routinely dealing with complaints of headaches, noise injury, electro/magnetic disturbance and the like. Again in reality, of the hundreds of ways windfarm workers are injured, accoustic or radiated operational aspects of the turbine have never been in question.

    Finally as a qualified occupational hygeinist, I would like to know why no one has ever asked me, or any of my counter parts (and there must be a dozen of us around Australia with similar experience in windfarm OHS) what our thoughts or experiences are. I suspect it is because what we would tell them would completely undermine their bogus and alarmist claims.

    As a side note. I am actually opposed to windfarms, but on the basis that they are a massive waste of money and one of the least efficient ways we could possibly dream up to produce large amounts of power. As a local solution (like Dayelsford) they are a wonderful idea. But as soon as you start to produce large installations and transport the energy over distance, the math falls apart like wet tissue.

    • Bob_Wallace 5 years ago

      A mix of interesting and questionable, Peter.

      The questionable –

      “I am actually opposed to windfarms, but on the basis that they are a massive waste of money and one of the least efficient ways we could possibly dream up to produce large amounts of power”

      Onshore wind is now the cheapest way to bring new power on line in the US. By far, the cheapest.

      Australian roof-top solar is much cheaper than US end-user solar.

      Perhaps those facts tell us what prices for wind and solar are in markets where larger amounts of installation has occurred and the industries have become more mature. Install more wind where you are, enjoy cheaper electricity.

      • Peter Martin 5 years ago

        Bob the basic math just shoots the argument for wind dead to my mind.
        Example. Musselroe Windfarm Tasmania. Aprox. 300 million. Output arpox 160mw. Then assume it gets max operational efficiency which is around 30% over 12 months then lose about another 10% for transmission. So you have about 64mw of actual annual delivery for 300 million. The installation will pay for itself in about 5 years because the operators will sell most of its capacity into the grid during peak demand only. Then none of the savings will be passed on to the tax payers who funded most of the project. In fact their power will bills will increase, as they have. This is not modelling or guesswork, this is recent history (last 12 months).

        So then take a modern gas turbine, that will produce less than half the emissions of the best coal plant. For 300 million you can have about 1200mw, 24/7/365. Australia has about 100 years of natural gas reserves now and more coming on stream every day.

        If we would have switched to gas in Australia 10 years ago instead of this bizarre obsession with 17th century technology, we would have already halved our emissions from base load generation. But we shot for the green moon and now we are paying for it in our power bills and our flagging economy.

        Whatever the main power source is in 20-50 years time. I guarantee you, it will be fossil fuels and nukes that power the industries that do the research that makes the breakthrough. We are just having the one step back part of our two steps forward routine right now. If we had more of the kinds of brave and visionary people who ran the moon landings and less of the bed wetting David Suzuki/Tim Flannery types, we might get somewhere.

        • Bob_Wallace 5 years ago

          Peter, we’ve learned how to build wind farms in the US that return 50+% CF numbers and sell their electricity, without subsidies, for under $0.04/kWh. Our transmission and distribution losses are around 6%, most of which happens at the distribution level. Distribution losses hit every form of centralized generation.

          We are ahead of AU with wind technology. We can show you what is possible.
          AU is ahead of the US when it comes to roof-top solar. You are showing us what is possible there.

          If we want to talk about where to take our energy futures don’t you think it best to look at what is possible rather than what might have been done in a non-optimal fashion ‘back then’?

          Now I’m not sure why you don’t understand how 100% renewable grids are not only possible but also our least expensive energy future. Why we would possibly want to build more very expensive nuclear reactors or lock ourselves into NG for the long run. I suspect it’s just a case of you needing to read more.

  14. George Papadopoulos 5 years ago

    Giles, your article is plain cruelty against these wind farm victims. Do you understand these people are severely distressed? Do you understand that distressed people tend to say things that don’t appear totally coherent? Do you not understand that much of their distress is a consequence of living around wind farms? Why do you think people should cope and remain healthy when living amongst the most instrusive and disturbing industrial noise known to man? How would you cope with living with a pulsed thumping noise in your bedroom night after night?

    • Bob_Wallace 5 years ago

      George, most of these people would not be distressed if anti-wind crackpots didn’t go around spreading crap and scaring gullible people.

      ” How would you cope with living with a pulsed thumping noise in your bedroom night after night?”

      I lived with that for a while. And then my neighbors got tired of each other and started going right to sleep. Or maybe they just moved the bed away from the wall…

      • George Papadopoulos 5 years ago

        Bob I have heard that over trodden assertion over and over again. The circumstantial evidence to date supports that complaints arise first, then so-called “anti-wind” people get invited in. If you are referring ot Chapman’s “evidence” then sorry the discussion is going to end, because there is little substance behind it.

        • Bob_Wallace 5 years ago

          Well, George, if people have informed you over and over about the damage adn discomfort you are causing to others why don’t you quit?

          Do you need some help ceasing to being a public nuisance?

          • George Papadopoulos 5 years ago

            So speaking the truth makes me a public nuisance does it?

          • Bob_Wallace 5 years ago

            Oh, don’t dumb with us, George. You know very well that you love getting the gullible all upset over nothing just to see them suffer.

            Why don’t you leave those poor people alone. Go start a bar fight or something if you are looking for a thrill.

          • George Papadopoulos 5 years ago

            So speaking the truth upsets you does it?

          • Bob_Wallace 5 years ago

            You’re just a naughty little boy, George.

            You should be sent to bed without your pudding for upsetting innocent people with your fibs.

          • George Papadopoulos 5 years ago

            So if a conversation is to be factual, then according to you, we can’t progress can we? So let get back on track: when residents around the Toora wind farm complained on wind turbine related symptoms in 2004, was this because of “anti-wind opponents”?

          • Blair Donaldson 5 years ago

            Of course it was wind farm opponents. One person bought property prior to the construction of the wind farm in the belief that he would have a number of turbines on his property. When the final plans were revealed and he discovered he was not going to be hosting turbines, presto, he became an opponent of the project.

            Another person who opposed it had a property inside the footprint of the project but had no turbines on his land. He opposed it and kept hammering Stanwell in hopes of a high buyout price – which he eventually received. A third opponent used pretty much the same MO and curiously enough, lives in his new house barely 2 km from the wind farm. I will leave it for others to draw their own conclusions from the behaviour of these three people.

            What you can’t explain is the fact that the population around the Toora wind farm has increased by almost 200 since the project was commissioned, and, land values have increased. Both of these facts are easily checked via the bureau of statistics.

            You really should stop believing in fairy stories George and stop promoting your pseudoscience. You are only causing unnecessary grief in the minds of gullible people. Your morality is questionable.

          • George Papadopoulos 5 years ago

            No Blair it was Dr Iser, the local GP, who blew the whistle and suspected this strange cluster of symptoms in a number of patients was related to wind turbines. He accordingly notified authorities.

            Wake up!

          • Blair Donaldson 5 years ago

            Why don’t you quote accurately George? David Iser only asked for more research to be done. Every person he saw was an opponent of the proposed Toora wind farm or the Dollar windfarm project which did not go ahead. You need to explain how some of these people claimed to have symptoms prior to the construction of the first turbine? The majority of the patients were complaining about stress because they believed the BS people like you were spreading around. Why don’t you try to be honest for once?

          • George Papadopoulos 5 years ago

            Blair, you must think the world is full idiots. Since when does anyone harmed by wind turbines automatically become a “wind turbine opponent”. What do you define as a wind turbine opponent? Anyone belonging to the Liberal Party including Simon Holmes-a-Court?

          • Blair Donaldson 5 years ago

            I know the world is not full of idiots but your presence, behaviour and ridiculous claims clearly illustrates some do exist.

          • George Papadopoulos 5 years ago

            Well Blair, if idiots didn’t exist then they would have been part of mythology.

          • Blair Donaldson 5 years ago

            So long as that make sense to you, that’s all that matters I guess.

          • Blair Donaldson 5 years ago

            Here you go George, this should be right up your alley… Fan death!


          • George Papadopoulos 5 years ago
          • Blair Donaldson 5 years ago

            Here is another one you might identify with…


          • Blair Donaldson 5 years ago

            And again you tell a lie George. You forget that David is my GP and that we have had a number of discussions on the subject. David made submissions to and spoke at a couple of VCAT hearings. The rest of his correspondence has been exaggerated and misconstrued by the likes of Sarah Laurie. David has only ever asked for further studies to be done.

          • George Papadopoulos 5 years ago

            You mean Blair that the public testimony of Iser is less important that your private gossip! Strange attitude Blair.

          • Blair Donaldson 5 years ago

            George doesn’t do evidence/science. He promotes nonsense and pseudoscience instead. He even believes turbines can affect people 70+ km away.


            And let’s not forget he has (or had) a nice little earner going flogging paint to the ignorant that was supposed to protect them from EMR and for the right price, he would even investigate your house for cancer. (He may deny this but I took the liberty some time ago of downloading his entire website to counter his excuses and denial) George peddles nonsense, not science. As you can see at the following link, he specialises in magical thinking and clearly has no understanding about the differences between electromagnetic radiation, ionising and nonionising radiation.


    • Blair Donaldson 5 years ago

      George, the alleged distress is the result of a mix of ignorance and misinformation and nonsense peddled by people like yourself who have weirdly based opposition to wind energy. You should be pointing the finger at yourself and your fellow pseudoscientific travellers for any upset felt by a few individuals.

      • George Papadopoulos 5 years ago

        Blair have you read Steven Cooper’s report on Cape Bridgewater?

        • Blair Donaldson 5 years ago

          Yes I have, obviously you haven’t – or if you did, you didn’t understand it. Cooper himself admitted it was not a study that anyone could draw conclusions from.

          • George Papadopoulos 5 years ago

            You seem to draw conclusion well before I even open my mouth! I simply asked you if you had read Cooper’s report!

          • Blair Donaldson 5 years ago

            George, you’re not fooling anybody. We have established on numerous occasions before now that you are purveyor of pseudoscience and have made a nice living out of flogging nonsense. The web link I provided proves the point.

          • George Papadopoulos 5 years ago

            Blair, I don’t know whether anyone takes your “findings” so seriously. Are you the universal judge of the wind turbine religion?

          • Blair Donaldson 5 years ago

            George, you reveal a lot describing wind energy as a religion. So much for your objectivity and grasp of evidence. Given that you make a living selling pseudoscience to the gullible, you’re not really in a position to judge others or the effectiveness of renewable energy.

          • George Papadopoulos 5 years ago

            Blair, your behaviour, vitriol in attacks, lack of objectivity etc etc is no different to what I have seen in religious fanatics. And I see the same behaviour in many others who viciously attack anyone who dares to taint the fame of the wind gods…

          • Blair Donaldson 5 years ago

            Grow up George. You’re a big boy now. You should be able to handle facts without doing a dummy spit. You should be able to provide evidence to support your *cough* argument (which you don’t have) and you should have have an ability to objectively assess evidence (which you are incapable of doing). The fact that you pedal unprovable and clearly nonsensical medical modalities is enough to question your integrity – and your sanity.

          • George Papadopoulos 5 years ago

            Blair and you should be able to hold a straighforward discussion without resorting to personal attacks – the sign of weakness in your arguments.

          • spin 5 years ago

            George, I note you came to the discussion ostensibly to defend people you called “wind farm victims”. Statistically complaints about the effects of wind farms come from a small minority of people living in the vicinity of wind farms. This should immediately cause you to wonder, if wind farms are the cause of the problems of your “wind farm victims”, why the majority are not affected.

            Blair has offered you a counter-proposal as to the cause of these problems, ie that anti-wind-farm lobbyists are responsible for putting your minority of “wind farm victims” into a state of anxiety.

            How do you, George, choose between the two explanations? what criteria and what evidence do you bring to the discussion that force people to choose your explanation? Is it not the case that opposition to wind farms does not originate with the people who live in the context, but is stimulated in them by advocates who come into the context to oppose wind farms? What is your explanation for the fact that most inhabitants don’t become “wind farm victims”?

            (These questions are not in search of links or rehearsals of typical wind farm opponent fare. They are looking for your evidence that allows you to come to the conclusions you have regarding wind farms.)

            It is only through your evidence that you can make meaningful criticism.

          • George Papadopoulos 5 years ago

            You have no way of determining if the majority or minority are affected by a wind farm, except through a study. But we do know that a minority complain around many Australian wind farms. If you can explain to me why a “minority” isn’t sufficient to suspect a problem then I might bother answering your questions.

          • Bob_Wallace 5 years ago

            You know that you’re just tossing out crap, George.

            There have been a few people living around wind farms who complain of various things. These things have been studied in depth – by people who know what they are doing – and what has been found is that there is no physical reason for their ‘various things’.

            What those people apparently suffer from is people like you who spend time getting them all worked up about phoney junk. And it looks like some, like you, might be doing that in order to make money.

          • George Papadopoulos 5 years ago

            Bob, sorry but your the one tossing our loads of crap, and how do you know what I know? Do you gaze in some crystal ball? Or did you consult the local witch to read my mind? I think you should retract your shoddy comment.

          • Bob_Wallace 5 years ago

            I’ve read the science, George. And I know how to spot charlatans.

          • Blair Donaldson 5 years ago

            When you see the sort of rubbish George promotes at this link, it’s pretty easy to see why he promotes mythical health conditions, it’s all to boost his business.

            http://www.geovital.asia – Look for his glowing endorsement…

          • George Papadopoulos 5 years ago

            So your “science” is making conclusion by reading people’s mind through crystal balls or similar? How did you know what I know?

          • ChrisEcoSouth 5 years ago

            Hi Bob, Once we can see past the politicisation on both sides of the fence, there is a way in which a turbine (as opposed to all turbines) can act as a nuisance at a distance.
            It would be through a resonant pattern through the ground and air, like ripples in pond.
            The reason almost all studies are not picking it up, could be that the amplitude is not necessarily great enough to rise above the background ‘noise’ of all the other random ELF. So if an accumulator/datalogger is used, it will only show that the background ELF is not significantly raised. But if the resonance can be tracked through the ‘noise’ then there is a better chance of correlating psycho/physical responses of dwellers who report a problem, I believe this is what Steve Cooper is proposing.
            Also, the sensing needs to be done on both ground and air, not just air; and (certain) resonances do not need to be of any great amplitude to have a psycho-physical effect.
            So their may only be one site or person in a thousand, who cop the coincidence of ground/air/building/particular-turbine sympathy of resonance – but at least now there will be a way of monitoring that turbines ‘signature’.
            Also, psycho-acoustic ELF effects may be cumulative over time, and some personal constitutions may be more susceptible than others.
            If this can be done, it strengthens the turbine industry’s position – there is now a recognised effect that affects a perhaps an absolute minority of situations, but the resonance can be measured, and now remediated, just like any other nuisance industrial issue.

          • Bob_Wallace 5 years ago

            Chris, there are hundreds of thousands of wind turbines in the world and the complains are coming only from a handful of spots where, it seems, someone has been stirring people up.

            Were there long term health problems we should see them appearing. We would see clusters of physical problems around long-established wind farms.

            A cluster is the occurrence of higher rates of specific problems, not ‘this person had a headache, that person had an upset stomach, and the other person had an ingrown toenail”.

            “The reason almost all studies are not picking it up, could be that the amplitude is not necessarily great enough to rise above the background ‘noise’ of all the other random ELF.”

            In other words, wind turbines are not measurably increasing the overall ELF load at distances equal to where people live.

            There are thousands of studies on ELF effects on human health and nothing has been found unless levels are quite high. And, as you say, it’s pretty much impossible to measure any ELF generated. The “signal” is not great enough to rise above the “noise”.


            What we’ve got, seems to me, is a small group of people who are have formed a belief and are immune to facts. Regardless of how many studies fail to support their beliefs they continue to believe, simply waving away inconvenient facts.

            Climate change deniers, anti-vaccine folks, trickle down economics proponents – all examples of people who operate from a belief which is not supported by facts but that does not stop their beliefs. Nor does it keep others from picking their pockets.

          • ChrisEcoSouth 5 years ago

            Bob, I don’t think you’ve fully grasped what I’m saying. I’m talking “nuisance” value, not “health” per se, unless we talk about feeling overall run-down (say) as if one lived next to a noisy 24/7 highway.
            I agree that there will most likely not be a great number of legitimate complaints, and it may well come down to being the same choice as to whether one chooses to live next to the proverbial 24/7 highway or not.
            It would be valuable to the wind industry to know and quantify this.
            “Not increasing the overall ELF” due to wind turbines is true, in that that are the words I am using, but it is to make the point that it is primarily the type of *resonance* that counts, as opposed to outright amplitude.
            There are many approaches to waveform analysis known about for decades that will unmask underlying resonances from background noise. This is daily fare for many industries.
            So I am *not* saying its impossible to measure ELF generated!
            I am familiar with the link you posted – it talks of EMF radiation, not mechanical vibrational frequencies.

            In my book, a discussion becomes politicised, when proponents state along the lines of “everyone knows” or “science says”, and parties with vested interests get involved.

            Whether turbines cause ELF resonance patterns via blade rotation or bearing vibrations has no path of causation from either the fossil fuel industry or the renewable energy industry. Detecting the degree of that, what its effects are, and how to remediate it are all engineering tasks.

          • Bob_Wallace 5 years ago

            First, Chris, you need some sort of evidence that there is a health problem.
            None has been found. Knowledgable people have looked hard. No unique health problems has been found among those living close to wind farms.
            No harm. No foul.

            Past that you’re just entertaining some way of measuring something that is hard to measure because the energy level is so low. Some way to tease a regular wave pattern out of an ongoing level of noise.

            That may be an interesting engineering or academic problem, but it should be treated that way and not as part of the campaign against wind energy.

          • ChrisEcoSouth 5 years ago

            Bob, “health problem” – I’ve already said I’m talking “nuisance” value, not “health” per se. It sounds like you are trying to set a ‘straw-man’ argument.
            “regular wave pattern out of an ongoing level of noise” – this is used in spread spectrum communication all the time.
            “Campaign against wind energy”?? Another straw-man argument?
            I’ll leave it to you.

          • Blair Donaldson 5 years ago

            Chris, are you seriously suggesting that the trumped up claims of alleged detrimental health outcomes are not part of a campaign against wind energy?

            I wonder if you or George could explain how it’s possible for wind turbines to simultaneously cause weight gain and weight loss? Just two of the extremely doubtful claims made by wind farm opponents.

            It’s self evident that some people believe turbines are a nuisance but why should they be afforded special privileges or compensation when thousands of people are affected by opencut coal mines and receive no compensation whatsoever?

          • ChrisEcoSouth 5 years ago

            1. No
            2. n/a
            3. n/a

          • Bob_Wallace 5 years ago

            Chris, if you’re dealing with waveform that is so low energy that it’s hard to detect with instruments why would you ever think it could be a nuisance?
            People can’t even detect whether turbines are turning or not unless they are looking at them.

            Why not go tackle something that is an actual problem?

          • spin 5 years ago

            1. I don’t see where you’ve connected effects of wind turbines to anything, which I think you need to here otherwise you would seem to be off on a tangent; and

            2. Howard Hepburn analysed infrasound in the context of wind farms and concluded that any infrasound was not derived from the turbines but from the wind itself. See:


            What exactly are you trying to achieve in you discourse about apparently irrelevant extremely low frequency vibes?

          • ChrisEcoSouth 5 years ago

            1. I’m referring to resonant effects. An example I have used is of machinery noise – you can have the same amplitude for two types of machinery noise, but one will put you to sleep whilst the other doesn’t. If you measure the amplitude of each across octave bands, they could each be the same. *Some* co-incident turbine sites could cause feelings of nausea, ‘weirdness’ or whatever, due to local resonant effect. In short, we all know how rhythms and beats can affect our mood; – rhythms and beats in the ELF range are no different.

            2. The report described what was measured, which was relative amplitudes of groups of frequencies, but *not* the presence or characteristic of resonant tones. These repetitive, cyclic tones are the ones to test for (IMO) for correlation to any reported effects. I scanned through the report, and it appears to me that there is *plenty* happening in the crucial 3 to 10Hz range, when the turbines are on, which coincides with the different brain-activity frequencies. You only need a few dB above ambient to be distinct. (A good report in that ground transducers were used as well, to provide some correlation to ground transmission.)

          • spin 5 years ago

            So you have a hypothesis concerning resonant tones, their relevance to wind turbines and their effects on residents in the vicinity. What are you going to do about it?

          • ChrisEcoSouth 5 years ago

            Raise awareness to make discussions less polarised.

          • spin 5 years ago

            I would have thought that you needed to test the hypothesis. Otherwise, what use is it?

            The use of the term “polarised” here seems a judgment that also needs evidence.

          • ChrisEcoSouth 5 years ago

            I’m sure a number of competent folk would test this given the funding.
            “Polarised – Divide or cause to divide into two sharply contrasting groups or sets of opinions or beliefs”
            I would’ve thought the majority of discussion on this page fell into the above definition. I even had one respondent state that the discussion *should* fall into 2 opposed camps!
            Ca’rn the saints! Ca’rn the bloods!

          • spin 5 years ago

            A lot of people have no great interest in either of these camps that you delineate. Some people just want to know if wind power is relatively safe or not. Others haven’t thought about it. Still others may be weakly inclined one way or another. You are misrepresenting the reality of the situation by painting it as polarised.

            In your two camps there are a few vocal pundits, who give the impression of being more shills indirectly funded by big oil & coal; there are those who are involved in the wind farm business; some green/ecology-minded people who give their support; then there are those who have been drawn into the issue one way or another.

          • Bob_Wallace 5 years ago

            “Once we can see past the politicisation on both sides of the fence”

            The wind/anti-wind debate is not a political debate.


            1) A renewable energy vs. fossil fuel industry issue and

            2) A fact based analysis vs. a small group of people who deny discovered facts.

          • Blair Donaldson 5 years ago

            George, your primary problem, apart from lack of any credible evidence, is that the alleged health complaints from a tiny number of wind farm opponents are no more frequent or severe than what is found in the general population. You choose to believe wind turbines are the cause of the paranoia displayed by these people but you also choose to ignore alternative explanations or acknowledge the fact your understanding of basic physics is questionable.

            All you need to do is provide the evidence linking wind turbines with ill health that categorically rules out any other causes.

          • spin 5 years ago

            Take Iser’s informal survey. Of 19 people, he found 11 simply had no related health problems at all. That indicates what’s left is a minority. As you introduced Iser here, that should be a simple indication of fact.

            If you can explain to me why a “minority” isn’t sufficient to suspect a problem then I might bother answering your questions.

            I’ve already given an indication regarding a problem here. I did not discount a problem. I did however question your explanation of that problem as unfounded. I said,

            Blair has offered you a counter-proposal as to the cause of these problems, ie that anti-wind-farm lobbyists are responsible for putting your minority of “wind farm victims” into a state of anxiety.

            So will you answer the questions or will you continue to talk without engaging with any clear evidence?

          • George Papadopoulos 5 years ago

            Blair appears to define any individual as an anti-wind farm lobbyist, including those who claim to be affected by wind farms. In fewer words: claim to be affected, then you’re an activist. That approach is utter nonsense.

            And with regards to your “minority” approach, can you explain to me why this automatically introduces suspicion? Even if the majority complained, this doesn’t make the claim scientifically any more legitimate than a minority.

          • spin 5 years ago

            You need to explain the majority if you hope to say anything significant about the minority who you call “wind farm victims”. Oops, but then, you’ve only asserted a connection between wind farms and these “victims”. You need to find some way of say more than that you believe wind farms are to blame for the effects evinced on the minority of people you are so nobly advocating for.

          • George Papadopoulos 5 years ago

            I need not do anything more than speak the truth! if you don’t like what I say then I can’t help you.

          • spin 5 years ago

            Liking what you say may be a criterion that appeals to you, but I try to stick to what can be shown and that’s what I ask of you.

            Get back to us when you have a method you can make clear here to know that you are speaking the truth in this matter.

          • George Papadopoulos 5 years ago

            Then simply don’t engage in debate with someone who is trying to present his point of view. That is what I have seen and experienced in person and know to be the truth: wind farms are causing symptoms in individuals, and there is weak consistent evidence (as summarised in the recent NHMRC literature review) in support of such a hypothesis.

          • spin 5 years ago

            When one presents a point of view in a discussion, one provides the evidence that supports the point of view. Anecdote is not evidence for a direct correlation between the operation of wind farms and their claimed negative effects. A patient may describe symptoms, but usually not the underlying cause. You can’t avoid the need for evidence if you want to communicate with people who don’t start with your presuppositions.

          • George Papadopoulos 5 years ago

            And when one has a story to say – a story that involves human harm and gross injustice, they will say it whether others like it or not, unless there is strong evidence to the contrary.

            Meanwhile, can you quote me one paper that supports the hypothesis that wind turbines are harmless and benign and will not impinge upon human health or safety?

          • spin 5 years ago

            And when one has a story to say – a story that involves human harm and gross injustice, they will say it whether others like it or not, unless there is strong evidence to the contrary.
            You are continuing to say that you have a belief—that you refuse to justify with evidence.

            Your request for a paper showing wind farms are harmless seems to misunderstand how science works, which is, in short, given an observed phenomenon, why is it so.

          • George Papadopoulos 5 years ago

            Even if I provided evidence, everything will be flawed, questionable etc etc. In case you aren’t aware pharmaceuticals are assessed for safety prior to marketing, but wind farms aren’t… don’t know why you think I misunderstand how science works. You attitude is at the very least patronising.

          • spin 5 years ago

            Science is about testing hypotheses based on observed phenomena (ie evidence). Once tested you have an evidence based argument. Untested hypotheses are not worth much. You have overtly been working with an untested hypothesis: wind turbines are directly responsible for the status of “wind farm victims”. Are you going to keep mumbling this theory or are you going to get off your rump and demonstrate it?

            The frustration of dealing with people who are irresponsible in spreading unfounded claims may seem patronizing, but we all judge on the evidence we receive. If your untested theory is wrong, then you have been involved in wasting people’s time and aiding in slowing down the move of our antiquated energy system to renewables. You’ve done nothing to show that your claims are of any merit.

          • George Papadopoulos 5 years ago

            Sorry but the tone of your message is rude. If you are so sick of people making whatever claim, then that is your problem.

          • spin 5 years ago

            You are certainly trying hard to dodge your responsibility, George. First you label me patronizing and now just plain rude. Any excuse for you to avoid doing what you should have done in the first place, ie justified your claim of a causal link between wind farms and your “victims”‘ symptoms.

            You also falsely represent me as being “sick of people making whatever claim”. That’s wrong. I specifically said “unfounded claims” and you have been refractory, refusing point blank to show reason in your assertions and you’ve given everyone the runaround. What do you hope to achieve when you engage with people that way, unwilling to support yourself?

          • Blair Donaldson 5 years ago

            You don’t even know your own business. Any number of assorted health products can be found at pharmacists that have no real benefit and are not backed by credible studies supporting their alleged efficacy. That’s why people criticise homeopathic remedies and other alternative medicine modalities. Why don’t you accept you are out of your depth on this issue and are not looking at it from an objective point of view? Your livelihood is based on non-science, so why should anybody think you are a credible observer?

          • Blair Donaldson 5 years ago

            Grow up George. If you had credible evidence, we would all know about it. Your conspiracy theories are tiring and childish, so is your ignorance. There are plenty of products on sale in pharmacies, homoeopathic preparations for instance, which undergo no genuine studies. Stop lying.

          • Bob_Wallace 5 years ago

            I suspect George is a lost cause. He seems to be like climate change deniers, anti-vaccinators, and other folks who start with a belief and then are unable/unwilling to let anything sway that belief.

            They will dismiss very solid evidence that stands in opposition to their belief and grasp tightly to any tidbit that they can use to support their belief, even when their ‘tidbit’ is meaningless.

            There’s the alternative explanation in George’s case that he may be a charlatan who is knowingly spreading false information in order to make a dishonest buck.

            Whichever the case, it’s time for reasonable, science-based sites to simply quit accepting the sort of foolishness that George posts. Several sites have ceased giving climate-change deniers a platform. Perhaps it’s time to extend that practice to the wind-misinformers.

          • Blair Donaldson 5 years ago

            Well said Bob. You have nailed George perfectly. He is typical of the “reality is what you want to to be” crowd which is probably why he believes in the nonsense the pedals to the unwary. When you look at the dodgy Geovital Academy and its dubious products for sale and the justifications for their existence, it’s hard not to believe he is either a charlatan or a shady character for flogging such unproven garbage. The only other explanation is that he is unbelievably naive or ignorant. Whatever the case, he is way out of his depth. The staggering thing is that he is a qualified pharmacist. Go figure. George personifies cognitive dissonance.


            As for climate change deniers, I think George fits that category too. It’s certainly time for blogs and the general media to stop providing air time to false balance. I would refuse access to any proponent of pseudoscience.

          • Bob_Wallace 5 years ago

            Becoming a pharmacist or even a physician does not mean that you have to understand the scientific method. You can just memorize what is needed for the tests without fully comprehending the “why”.

          • Blair Donaldson 5 years ago

            Certainly. Education does not necessarily vaccinate against stupidity or ideology. I love podcasts, I once heard a highly qualified geologist espousing his belief in creationism. It was truly jawdropping listening to his mental contortions. The podcast was called “Little Atoms Roadshow”

          • Bob_Wallace 5 years ago

            One of my profs was a fundamentalist Christian. He did excellent research in his field. Once I asked him how he reconciled his faith and with his research which necessitated an acceptance of evolution. He replied that science was a coat he put on when he arrived at the lab and took off when he left.

            At least he was honest….

          • Blair Donaldson 5 years ago

            *Chuckles* Well I guess we have to give him points for honesty. But I really don’t understand how people like George can believe the nonsense they do without question. Particularly when the evidence clearly opposes his ideas.

          • Bob_Wallace 5 years ago

            About 10% of Americans report that they do not believe humans are causing climate change.

            I would imagine some actually believe that because they bought into the belief early and have set up shields to keep their belief to be challenged. I have a friend who buys into crackpot conspiracy theories. Show him factual evidence that proves him wrong and he gets mad and storms away. He keeps his beliefs intact that way.

            I suspect the other portion are ‘professional liars’. People who earn their plate of beans by professing a belief. We saw examples of that when we got to look inside the workings of the tobacco industry and discovered that among themselves they admitted the cancer link but in public continued to deny any linkage.

          • Blair Donaldson 5 years ago

            Going by the comments of a couple of landholders, I suspect that they seriously believe wind turbines are capable of causing them harm. There is no doubt a number of others are driven by other motives and finally, there are the professional denialists like Sarah Laurie, Peter Mitchell and others who are motivated by self-interest, greed, conflicting interests, or any number of the above.

          • Bob_Wallace 5 years ago

            I’ve no doubt that there are a few people who truly believe that wind turbines are causing them harm. They’ve got people like George working to convince them that any physical problem they experience must be due to the turbines.

          • Blair Donaldson 5 years ago

            We can only hope the likes of George and his fellow cranks and troublemakers get their comeuppance, or, suddenly discover reality and have the decency to admit they got it seriously, badly wrong. I won’t be holding my breath waiting.

          • Blair Donaldson 5 years ago

            That’s the point George doesn’t get. He thinks anecdotes = credible evidence. It’s ironic that he pretends concern for a few “victims” of wind turbines but has no qualms about flogging unfounded health remedies to the gullible.

          • Blair Donaldson 5 years ago

            George, as usual you look for excuses instead of presenting anything factual to justify your denial of science. You only need to provide one conclusive bit of credible, testable evidence that links wind turbines with ill-health. To date you have produced nothing but pseudoscience and your dismal understanding of physics to the discussion. You make ridiculous claims, when called out, you cry foul. All you need to do is provide credible evidence – which you have consistently failed to do. But please, tell me why anybody should believe you when you pedal disproven medical practices to the unwary?

          • George Papadopoulos 5 years ago

            Blair, predictable – no religious fanatic gives up without totally degrading and slanging baseless accusations at their opponent. I’ve got better things to do in life than entertain your poor mind.

          • Blair Donaldson 5 years ago

            Translation: George has zero evidence but plenty of conspiracy theories to justify his lies and scams.

          • George Papadopoulos 5 years ago

            So Blair have you read Cooper’s report. Does this have any messages for you? Does it in any influence any doubt that wind turbine just might not be what you think they are? Any comments about the peculiar cloud patterns behind the wind turbines in the video I sent you?

            I better now terminate the conversation – I might be accused of seeded doubt into the mind of Blair and giving him symptoms of nocebo…

          • Blair Donaldson 5 years ago

            Still trying to hide your lack of evidence George?

          • Blair Donaldson 5 years ago

            You’re deluded George. You’re a conspiracy theorist and a peddler of medical nonsense. No wonder you haven’t got a clue about the numerous weaknesses of Cooper’s study. It fails every test of what constitutes genuine scientific enquiry. Cooper admits nothing meaningful can be drawn from his study.

          • George Papadopoulos 5 years ago

            So Blair, given your logic, what meaningful information can we derive from Chapman’s papers or any of those who consider wind turbine infrasound to safe?

          • Blair Donaldson 5 years ago

            I think Bob has already well and truly covered the matter. First you need to prove conclusive evidence that wind turbines cause ill health. Simon Chapman and others have shown that there is no direct link. They have also shown that people uninformed all primed to believe turbines are dangerous will often become victim to that belief.

            But it wouldn’t really matter what Chapman or others have shown via numerous studies. You disagree with them and no amount of evidence countering your ludicrous claims will satisfy you.

            The onus is on you to provide the evidence which you have demonstrably failed to do.

          • George Papadopoulos 5 years ago

            Blair, where does Chapman “show” no direct link?

          • Blair Donaldson 5 years ago

            George, you really need to keep up. There is a clear link between crackpots spreading misinformation about wind farms and a few people in the communities where these activists operated claiming detrimental effects. That was the point of Chapman’s study. He was not investigating the various health complaints. You should stop lying.

          • Blair Donaldson 5 years ago

            The following comments from Coopers report should be more than enough to cast further doubt on an already poorly performed study.…

            “Examining the noise data with respect to 1/3 octave band data to obtain generalised acoustic parameters failed to reveal any significant difference between the operation of the wind farm and the natural environment that would support the concept that there is no difference between the natural acoustic environment and that of a wind farm. The analysis of the shutdown testing indicates the permitted noise emission on the permit (as a contribution) cannot be determined.”

            “If one considers logger A to be dominated by turbine CBW 15, that scenario cannot be applied to loggers B & C where the influence of turbines CBW 21, CBW 22 and CBW 27 (see Appendix A) would be expected to impact upon Logger B, with Logger C affected by additional turbines.”

            “In addition to the instrumentation failures encountered during the course of the investigation, that may be attributed to electromagnetic radiation or static electricity effects, a number of challenges have been presented in the investigation as to the accuracy of the data and/or the requirement for qualification of what has actually been measured.”

  15. Rob G 5 years ago

    To state the obvious, coal is dangerous and wind is not (unless it is a category 5 hurricane caused by global warming – and that’s probably been brought about by burning coal).

  16. Dion smith 5 years ago

    If all our power was provided by wind turbines we would not have the energy to create a single wind turbine. All plug in sustainables just provide an option to lower the output of base power. Melbourne would cease to exist without coal.

    • Bob_Wallace 5 years ago

      Oh, please. That’s as dumb as talking about Jesus riding on dinosaurs.
      Why would you embarrass yourself by posting something like that?

    • ChrisEcoSouth 5 years ago

      In the same way that renewable generation has steadily displaced coal and gas, so will the incoming power storage technologies replace what baseload will be required. These will be things like flow-batteries, molten-salt, and ammonia-cycle. So yes they have to catch up.

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