US Wind Industry Rallies to Prevent Research into Adverse Health Effects Caused by Low-Frequency Turbine Noise

scott walker

Wisconsin’s Governor, Scott Walker: has ears for the people.

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Scott Walker’s Budget Includes $250,000 To Study ‘Wind Energy System-Related Health Issues’
Huffington Post
Kate Sheppard
2 February 2015

The two-year, $68 billion budget proposal Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker unveiled Tuesday includes a request for $250,000 to study the health impacts of wind turbines.

Page 449 of the budget proposal includes a recommendation from the governor “directing the commission to conduct a study on wind energy system-related health issues.” The request states that a report should be submitted to the governor and legislature within a year after the budget goes into effect.

“The request for a Wind Energy Health Issues Study was included with the intent to provide the Public Service Commission with comprehensive information to consider as they receive requests for future wind energy projects,” said Laurel Patrick, Walker’s press secretary, in a statement to The Huffington Post.

Wind power in the state has been the subject of some public debate, drawing campaigns paid for by conservative groups with ties to fossil fuel interests on one side and by renewable energy advocates on the other.

Last October, health officials in Brown County declared that eight turbines located at the Shirley Wind Farm posed a health hazard to residents. The chairwoman of the local board of health cited “ear pain, ear pressure, headaches, nausea” and “sleep deprivation” as symptoms among nearby residents. Local reports suggest Brown is the first county in the country to reach such a conclusion.

The conservative Heartland Institute, which advocates for “free-market solutions,” has touted the Brown County decision, and used it as an opportunity to criticize the state for “imposing its wind power mandates.” Heartland has received funding in the past from fossil fuel interests. Walker has appeared as a guest speaker at the group’s events.

Previous studies have found no link between wind farms and increased health problems. The Wisconsin Wind Siting Council, an advisory group to the state’s public service commission, issued a report to the state legislature last fall that concluded that “some individuals residing in close proximity to wind turbines perceive audible noise and find it annoying,” but “it appears that this group is in the minority and that most individuals do not experience annoyance, stress, or perceived adverse health effects due to the operation of wind turbines.”

Canada’s health department also undertook a large-scale study of the subject in 2012, and concluded last year that wind turbine noise could not be linked to sleep disorders, illnesses, dizziness, ringing in the ears, migraines or headaches, perceived stress, or quality of life concerns. The only thing Canadian health officials did find to be related to wind turbine noise: annoyance with features of turbines, such as noise, shadows cast by the blades, blinking lights, vibrations and visual impacts. They found that louder turbines had a greater impact in that regard. A panel of health experts in Massachusetts also released a study on wind turbine health impacts in 2012 that reached similar conclusions.

Those studies have not diminished the complaints of some residents who live near turbines, however, and that has prompted additional research in this field.

Some renewable energy advocates in the state said they welcome the additional research funded by the Walker budget, as long as it’s based on sound science.

“All peer-reviewed studies to date indicate using the wind is a safe way to generate electricity, far safer for human health than other forms of electricity production, such as coal,” Tyler Huebner, executive director of RENEW Wisconsin, told HuffPost. “If approved and funded, this study should be specifically designed so that the results would be acceptable to the appropriate peer-reviewed science or medical journal. That way, this study would meaningfully expand the body of knowledge on wind and health.”

Others were more skeptical of the governor’s motives. Chris Kunkle, the regional policy manager for the pro-wind group Wind on the Wires, said the study proposed in the budget is “just another example of Gov. Walker’s targeting of an industry that is incredibly successful in largely every other state in the Midwest.”
Huffington Post

A lot of the usual drivel there about there being no adverse health effects from wind turbine noise and vibration – no doubt fed to the Huffington Post by wind industry shills, like the AWEA and Wind on the Wires.

The author of the piece probably just hasn’t had time to read the 21 peer reviewed scientific papers to the contrary (collected in our post here); or the Danish study that concluded that sleep deprivation – defined by the WHO as in and of itself an adverse health effect – is the most common health effect caused by wind turbine noise and vibration (see our post here).

And there’s no chance that the author has seen the groundbreaking work done by Steven Cooper at Cape Bridgewater – only published last month – that shows the relationship between the adverse sensations, including sleep deprivation, (suffered uniformly by wind farm neighbours around the world) and the low-frequency noise and infrasound generated by industrial wind turbines (see our posts here and here and here).

While the wind industry works overtime to muddy the waters wherever it goes and whatever is the topic, one thing is clear: when it comes to avoiding the prospect of multidisciplinary, independent health studies, the wind industry in the US, Australia, indeed, all around the world, sing from the same hymn sheet.

When faced with the prospect of further studies along the lines of Cooper’s study being carried out in Australia, wind industry spruikers, the Clean Energy Council ranted that it “would not support further research” into Cooper’s findings; findings which linked the “sensations” felt by residents to low-frequency noise below the threshold of hearing (ie infrasound); and at levels well below those considered to be a problem for humans.

And, from the piece above, the wind industry in the US takes pretty much the same hypocritical approach.

You see, the argument pitched up by the wind industry is fairly easily tested: if wind turbine noise and vibration doesn’t cause health effects (like sleep deprivation, say) then the industry should welcome a full-blown study, along the lines of what Steven Cooper did at Cape Bridgewater (with medicos involved to look at the physiological effects in detail; and matched controls to support the findings).

That way it could clear its name as the cause of untold human misery; and, having been found innocent of that charge, could then simply focus on defrauding power consumers and taxpayers of $billions in subsidies.

But, actions belie words, most every time.

Big tobacco did it, the asbestos industry did it and the wind industry has taken to it like a duck to water: lie, cover up the facts and when the facts get out – run and hide (see our post here).

RUN-HIDE-logo_crop

Not just animal instinct, for the wind industry it’s a deliberate strategy.

About stopthesethings

We are a group of citizens concerned about the rapid spread of industrial wind power generation installations across Australia.

Comments

  1. If the Clean Energy Council was really “clean”, they would step up and say “bring on” further studies”, after the findings of Steven Cooper. But no. The CEC is so grubby when it comes to facts, like jelly, they will never stand up.

    The true facts are coming out stronger and stronger as the days go by. Giant fans will soon be history, and windweasel grubs will be fighting for their freedom for having told nothing but lies about the health problems they have caused so many good people.

    Thank you STT, for using the true facts to keep the pressure on these windweasel grubs. THANK YOU.

  2. “No one understood better than Stalin that the true object of propaganda is neither to convince nor even to persuade, but to produce a uniform pattern of public utterance in which the first trace of unorthodox thought immediately reveals itself as a jarring dissonance.” ~ Alan Bullock, in Hitler and Stalin: Parallel Lives

    Company representatives commit to this Stalinist style practice in our rural communities with their hidden objectives. They use propaganda, tactics, proposed acts of mitigation, broad spread uniformity of the renewable ‘green dream’ thinking and useless dire consequences if you object to the proposal of wind farms or the master plan.

    Accusations of nocebo nonsense and statements of no links between wind farms and ill-health, inappropriate labelling such as witch or obsessed and other such unfounded utterances affect the Australian democratic process because many of our politicians and authorities proffer public utterances showing little to no thought to those of us living and suffering near wind farms.

    Thanks to STT and the work of so many worthy ‘unorthodox’ thinkers and those people all around the world suffering the jarring dissonances of unregulated industrial or turbine emissions and saying no, this is not right.

    Cheers to all educating, raising awareness of and fighting against the pattern of uniform thinking horrifyingly dismissing the evidence of negative health impacts of modern day industrial noise emissions. Mr Churchill said ‘keep going’. Better days are coming because the Acoustic Study at Cape Bridgewater proves the propaganda has most definitely had its day.

  3. The problem with most of the “studies” conducted by governmental agencies is that they only review pre-selected literature, and avoid meeting with actual patients in the consultation room. They don’t compare the medical notes of local doctors before and after the presence of wind turbines in the neighborhood. While a nice first step, $250 K is a paltry sum considering how much money has been thrown at wind developers.

    • Martin Hayles, Curramulka says:

      Exactly. With consideration of the Billions thrown at these corrupt f$&%ers, surely $500 million would be appropriate to investigate what ‘we’ are already aware of.

      Let’s face it folks, the industry knows and the corrupt governance and planning departments know the end is nigh.

      From now on, the game is all about drawing the process out as long as possible and maximising the potential for approval and start-up, and grandfathering.

      This is corruption at it’s best, and we all know who the players are.

      I wonder if these boys are so overly confident that they believe that the law will save them from retribution. What do you think ‘Little Ted’?

  4. Jackie Rovenksy says:

    The story is the same worldwide, and the professionalism and expertise of Steven Cooper is helping to work wonders, after ‘isolating’ measuring and detailing what is undoubtable the cause of so much pain.
    As more members of this uncontrolled industry and its insipid hangers on come to realise the efforts of STT, Waubra Foundation and so many others around the world, who’ve worked hard and long have reached the point of change.
    Change which will bring more and more research directed at assessing the adverse health effects this industry denies, the more the industry realises it‘s taking one step forward and 2 backward, soon to become none forward and 10 backward into the hole they dug for themselves.
    And thousands will be there, metaphorically, with shovels to fill the hole in.

    • Martin Hayles, Curramulka says:

      I like the idea of literally as well as metaphorically.

      This is the point; these people really do believe they are above “payback”.

      I have seen it in my own community. I now see a look of trepidation, whereas before it was arrogance, because ‘Little Ted’ told them there was nothing to worry about.

      At some time in the future these people will wish they had listened to those, like us, who have warned them.

  5. Congratulations on your astute use of the internet. Whoever’s behind STT deserves a vote of thanks from people all round the world. Globally, as we say today.

    Thanks to STT, individual people and individual families have been put in touch with other individuals – for free. They’ve been provided with accurate information, reliable data, political analysis – all for free. They’ve been given courage to continue a fight they thought was their own, and a very lonely one at that.

    In their fight against the Goliath of well-funded wind weasels, they’ve been backed by a confident David. A David who’s expert with the sling shot, as the weasels have learnt to their cost. A David who’s not scared by the weasels’ money, nor their political influence, nor their lawyers with the legal threats. Not scared by anybody, it appears.

    This David clearly has a sense of humour, although how the hell he manages it I have to wonder. He’s no doubt been bruised and bloodied, but he’s never publicly complained. [In fact, it’s easy to forget that David may have suffered privately in personal ways he would never discuss publicly.] A David who’s driven to sort out a stinking mess caused by greed, political ambition and the recognisable features of Mammon. [Check Wikipedia that if that’s too esoteric.]

    I suspect, like so many resistance fighters against the Great Scam of climate change, David’s probably getting old. Most of us are. So we’re tired, and our bodies are wearing out, but the spirit still keeps the fire burning in the belly.

    So thanks David, whoever you are, and thanks to all your anonymous fellow resistance fighters.

    We owe you.

    • Touched, Old Ranga. Thanks.

      STT still has some fire in the belly, yet.

      The wind industry will inevitably collapse, but expedition is part of our project: avoiding insane and pointless costs to power consumers; preventing completely unnecessary harm to hardworking rural people, and avoiding the disintegration of those communities through the rancour and division caused when giant fans get speared into them, over bitter opposition, is a matter of urgency. STT is not about to let up on that score.

      When you talk about giving people courage, STT thinks we’re a bit like the Wizard of Oz – he never gave the Lion his courage or a heart to the Tin Man; they were already packing those attributes, they just didn’t know it.

      If STT inspires, then that’s just a happy accident: our followers and supporters have plenty of heart; and are brimming with courage.

      These are people who care about people, from instinct; and who truly are the Kings (and Queens) of the Forest.

      Keep fighting, we will prevail.

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