Federal Government abandons wind project on Nova Scotia’s Sable Island

sable-island-horsesThe harsh environment of wind swept Sable Island located off the shores of Nova Scotia famed for its wild horses has claimed the demise of wind turbines. The turbines  are coming down. Sharing a place in the history of the island known as a graveyard for hundreds of shipwrecks  on the Atlantic. The toll now includes five failed wind turbines.

SableIsland postcards2.indd

By Aly Tomson   The Canadian Press    Sunday February 19. 2017

HALIFAX—The harsh conditions and extreme isolation of Sable Island has forced Ottawa to abandon a wind project on the iconic crescent-shaped sandbar — more than 15 years after it launched the initiative.

Parks Canada said wind turbines do not meet the needs of the windswept Nova Scotia island, famous for the wild horses that have roamed there since the 18th century.

“The wind turbines were part of a … project to reduce Sable Island’s dependence on fossil fuels, and were chosen based on the renewable energy technology that existed at that time,” the department said in an email statement about the million-dollar, overbudget initiative.

“Since then, there have been considerable advancements in the field of renewable energy systems.”

Dubbed the Graveyard of the Atlantic, some 350 vessels have wrecked on the island’s shores and hidden reefs since the mid-1700s. It is home to hundreds of namesake horses that have become synonymous with its romantic and untamed image.

Environment Canada launched the pilot project in 2000 — which would have seen the five wind turbines generate energy onto the grid of the island known for its shifting sand dunes and fragile environment.

But when Parks Canada took over management of the 40-kilometre-long island when it became a national park reserve in 2013, the wind turbines were not functioning.

“The project faced several delays due to the environmental sensitivity of the site and wildlife concerns, as well as the isolated and harsh conditions,” the department said, adding that the turbines were fully installed and running in 2006.

“Unfortunately, technical problems continued due to the harsh conditions and the inability to adapt the technology to the operations of the other infrastructure at the site.”

sable-island-horses-2

READ MORE  AT: https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2017/02/19/federal-government-abandons-wind-energy-project-on-nova-scotias-sable-island.html

Boralex faces angry Port Ryerse residents

port-ryerse-protest
Residents protested long and hard to stop the wind turbines in Port Ryerse. The battle now is focused on the newly built and operational project. Disruptive noise and other complaints are being raised about the negative impacts to quality of life in the small tight- knit village. Boralex faces a chorus of similar complaints arising from its larger Niagara Wind project also located on the shores of Lake Erie, Ontario.

An Earful Over Wind Turbine Noise

Monte Sonnenberg.
Simcoe Reformer.
February 16, 2017

The company that brought a four-turbine wind farm to Port Ryerse last year got an earful about noise levels at a community meeting this week.

Boralex officials were on the hot seat Wednesday as 40 people from the Port Ryerse area had at them in a committee room at the Simcoe Recreation Centre.

The occasion was a bi-annual meeting Boralex has agreed to have with its neighbours. Also attending were members of the Port Ryerse Community Liaison Committee.

“It’s very loud and it’s very upsetting,” Port Ryerse resident Shana Greatrex told the gathering. “Our whole village has been affected. This is something we warned about a long time ago and no one did anything about it.”

Village residents were surprised when one of the property owners who agreed to host a turbine said his neighbours aren’t imagining things.

“I’m surprised I can hear them as loud as I do, and I wear an earpiece,” said Wally Faulkner. “They’re louder than I expected.”

Comments at this week’s meeting are consistent with complaints across the province that wind turbines are noisy, disruptive and interfere with the peaceful enjoyment of property.

In telling her story, Gail Lyons started off calm enough. However, the bitterness she feels came through loud and clear in her words.

Lyons told the gathering she lives across the road from “one of these pieces of crap that I hate” and that she is often awakened in the middle of the night because her bed is shaking.

“This is not about business or money,” Lyons said. “This is about people. Put your money where your mouth is. Perhaps you could turn them off at night so we can sleep and sit on our back decks in peace.”

Some Port Ryerse residents dread the arrival of the warm weather and the impact the turbines might have once they open their windows. They are especially upset because a community coalition warned for years that the turbines would have a negative impact on their quality of life.

The firm Aercoustics will conduct a first round of noise tests in the weeks ahead. The meeting heard it could take the better part of a year to arrive at a scientific conclusion about noise levels.

“People’s quality of life is being affected now,” said Port Ryerse resident Scott Pullen. “Why do we have to wait for months? It’s disgusting, and it’s criminal.”

Aercoustics representative Payam Ashtiani said the province doesn’t expect wind turbines to be noise-free. He added the Ministry of the Environment has concerns about ambient noise levels once they reach 40 decibels.

Boralex representative Adam Rosso was on the firing line for much of the two-hour meeting. Acting as a facilitator was Toronto moderator Karla Kolli. Kolli intervened on several occasions to keep the discussion moving in a constructive direction.

“It’s disappointing on my side,” Rosso said after the meeting adjourned. “As a good corporate citizen we’re trying to integrate these turbines into the community. There has been some positive feedback and that gives me comfort. No one would relish a conversation where there is an ideological difference with what we do. But we will continue striving to be good corporate citizens.”

Farmer Chris Van Paassen lives on Radical Road near the turbines. He’s a member of the community liaison committee.

Van Paassen places the blame for the anger in his neighbourhood on the Liberal government at Queen’s Park. The Liberals stripped municipalities of planning authority on green energy projects several years ago.

“One of the first smell tests you do with a development is ask whether it complements the atmosphere of the community,” Van Paassen said. “These turbines do not meet the smell test. You might add that the people in Toronto can’t smell it where they’re from. But that’s where these decisions are being made.”

MSonnenberg@postmedia.com

READ AT: http://www.simcoereformer.ca/2017/02/16/an-earful-over-turbine-noise

Tree Cutting Penalty. A Licence to Kill?

Cedar-Point-Trees-cut-3-1024x768.jpg
Site of unauthorized clear cutting that occurred during construction of Cedar Wind. Lambton County, Ontario

Taking down trees even those under provincial protection is occurring in multiple wind projects and punitive fines are less than a tap on the wrist for offenders.  Cedar Wind construction removed trees and the cost was a mere pittance.

Niagara Wind destroyed well over 7 000 trees including individual trees  estimated to be centuries old including tree species at risk.

1297813168809_ORIGINAL
Old growth tree one of many removed for Niagara Wind. West Lincoln, Ontario

Presentation on trees removed  at Niagara Wind:  https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1widGvicaK-VA1XXB4xC1OBtMlWopYG281sa94LKdktY/edit#slide=id.p3

WPD Wild Turkey Road
Clear cutting for wind development on ecological sensitive and protected Oak Ridges Moraines (head waters location supplying greater Toronto area)

 

Lambton landowner handed $6,000 fine in high- profile woodlot clearing case

By: Barbara Simpson  Sarnia Observer  Published: February 15, 2017

If trees are illegally cut in a woodlot and a fine of a few thousand dollars is handed out, is that enough to deter a landowner from clear-cutting again?

That’s the question several Lambton County politicians are raising after learning the details of the penalty the county leveled at a landowner for removing more trees than permitted during the construction of a Cedar Point wind turbine in 2015.

The high-profile case of clear-cutting – which involved an acre of trees in Lambton Shores – resulted in a fine of $6,000 for the private landowner. That amount was paid in full to the county in early 2016.

While mistakes are bound to happen, Sarnia Mayor Mike Bradley said Wednesday the dollar amount of the penalty was not “punitive.”

“In James Bond, they say it’s a licence to kill. This is a licence to cut.”

READ AT: http://www.theobserver.ca/2017/02/15/lambton-landowner-handed-6000-fine-in-high-profile-woodlot-clearing-case

Hoosac Wind- We are prisoners in our house

hoosac-wind-turbineHoosac Wind has destroyed a wild place and created ongoing community division.  Initially supportive of wind power  Larry Lorusso shares his experience of living adjacent to the project.  His goal is to protect the environment from the dangers of wind power.  Using his talents for storytelling and photography he conveys the  negative impacts of the wind project and illustrates how noise from the wind turbines has impacted his health and that of his family.

To learn more  visit Hoosac Wind Watch  https://www.facebook.com/HoosacWindWatch/ 

By MATT LINDSEY

PARISHVILLE — A Massachusetts photographer warned about 60 St. Lawrence County residents last night about what he sees as the potential dangers and disadvantages of the North Ridge Wind Farm, which has divided the community.

Presenter Larry Lorusso, who lives about one mile from Hoosac Wind Farm, located in Massachusetts, said he was “pleasantly surprised” by the turnout last night, even though a storm dropped about a foot of snow over much of the North Country. The meeting was held at the town hall.

Avangrid, the developer of the proposed North Ridge Wind Farm between State Rts. 11B and 72 in Parishville and Hopkinton, is looking to install around 40 wind towers — as high as 500 feet tall from the bases to the blade tips. Dozens of people have signed leases to allow the windmills on their land.

The controversial wind towers have created rifts between family and friends in Hopkinton, Parishville and the surrounding areas. When he heard about the proposed product he reached out to locals and wanted to educate people, he said.

Lorusso will present a slideshow at the county Legislature’s Services Committee meeting at 5:30 p.m. tonight at the county courthouse. He has been allotted 20 minutes for his presentation.

“I have nothing to gain,” he said, about why he travelled to the North Country to speak about wind towers. “Who better to know what is going on than someone who has them in their backyard?”

Lorusso said he supported the wind towers based on what Iberdrola, an energy company based in Spain, had told him. Avangrid, a subsidiary of Iberdrola, is heading the project in Hopkinton and Parishville.

“They told us it was going to help the environment – it doesn’t,” Lorusso said. “Wind towers are not the answer to green energy.”

Based on his experience living one mile from wind turbines, Lorusso became a community activist and documented through photography and stories and is sharing that with other communities considering installing wind towers.

“These are being sold to us that they are saving the environment,” he said. “I am not anti-wind, I am pro-environment.”

Lorusso documented the land prior to the installation, the installation process and what has come of it since wind towers were installed.

He describes his land as an “enchanted forest” with “little impacts from humans.”

“There were mountain alterations of beautiful land – they wrecked it,” Lorusso said. “There used to be wildlife sign and wildlife – all gone.”

Lorusso said the noises range from ringing in ears, to the sound of a helicopter hovering or a jet engine that never takes off. But, he says the vibrations are the worst part.

“The worse is not what you see or hear, it’s what you feel,” he said. “I can feel my head pulsing — I can put my hand on my windows and feel them vibrating.”

Lorusso said he, his wife and neighbors developed several medical issues since the towers were installed near his home about four years ago. He says the issues include heart problems, high blood pressure, and sinus issues.

“They have not been able to determine the source of my wife’s sinus issues,” he said, noting that it was not a sinus infection.

He says he has sleepless nights at home, but slept well during his stay in St. Lawrence County.

“I wake up in a state of anxiety – on the edge of fear,” he said. “Yesterday and today were the first days in months that I haven’t woken up anxious.”

And then there is the ringing in the ears.

“It’s never quiet, even when it’s quiet,” he said.

Lorusso said the issues have driven some people away from their homes. “People abandoned their homes, they just left.”

Lorusso is determined to stay and fight against the wind tower company.

“We are prisoners in our own house – it’s sad,” he said.

Published in NCNowNews on February 13, 2017:  http://northcountrynow.com/news/massachusetts-photographer-travels-st-lawrence-county-warn-officials-and-locals-concerning

 

Toolkit for Turbines

house-surrounded-by-wind-turbines“Pressures to stop (new) wind energy production in Ontario have increased significantly since the controversial GEA. “

Opposition to wind turbines is facing a growing resistance not just in Ontario but globally. The acceptance and excitement over using an alternative way to generate electricity has  given way to the bitter nightmare  faced by abutting residents who are adversely impacted by these massive and intrusive structures. Courts worldwide are increasingly rendering decisions to compensate families and individuals who have been harmed.

The Toolkit document opines (give it a read and try not to choke on the obvious) as to why a few (smaller) turbines in a less densely populated rural area will meet with less resistance than clusters of hundreds (increasingly larger machines) placed adjacent to towns and settled areas.   It is suggested that entering into a more intimate relationship with wind development will mitigate the harms of not being able to give consent.

This is a false and misleading conclusion as landowners who host wind turbines have given witness that they too were harmed even when money was received.

“The ultimate goal is fairer and much less divisive turbine facility siting outcomes when governments and communities themselves decide that turbine development is the policy path they wish to pursue.”  Toolkit for Turbines: Wind Energy Development in Ontario and Nova Scotia, Canada

Harm from wind power will not be remedied with the stated goal. The document fails to address a fundamental flaw in reasoning- which is to examine if turbines justify the negative documented outcomes. Simply put the wind turbines are not fit for purpose. To continue to pursue an energy policy that accepts inflicting harm on a few without remedy and without proven benefits for the greater good is wilful blindness.

protest_02_72cd1___gallery
Protesters demonstrated in Oakville where Premier Kathleen Wynne was the guest speaker at a Chamber of Commerce luncheon.

Have Your Say! Revision of Wind Energy Development Guidelines 2006

The Commissioner made it clear that the information should have been made available to the public before any decision was made by the Department. The Commissioner also pointed out that this would enable the public to make submissions before any decisions were made.It is a very sorry state of affairs when a Commissioner has to tell the government how democracy works. Hang your head, Minister Naughten, and off to the Naughty Corner you go.

Source: Have Your Say! Revision of Wind Energy Development Guidelines 2006

Something not right fixed with kindness & understanding

dscn2229
Mothers Against Wind Turbines at Queen’s Park, Toronto  2013

“Because even though he can’t say it, he wants to be included.
He wants a voice, that, at the moment, he doesn’t have.
And he needs help to find his voice.” 

MAWT’s original founding members have children with a wide spectrum of diagnosis that make them not typical.   Many fall within the Autism spectrum.  Every now and then an article is shared on the internet that has universal truths.  How our children live with daily challenges and the impacts of wind turbines brought us together as wind turbines invaded our most personal of spaces- our homes.  We continue to advocate for ourselves and communities by making our voices heard. Most importantly we are the voices for our children.  When you read the following article- it is hoped it helps illustrates how silent voices can be made to be heard.  Mothers Against Wind Turbines (MAWT) continues to demand action to preserve and protect health and battle for all children to live in a safe environment.
Autistic Son Tries To Answer Homework Question, But When Dad Takes A Second Look His Heart Breaks.

By: John Starling. September 25, 2016austic-son

For those of you who don’t know, my youngest son, Christopher, is on the autistic spectrum. I went to his back to school night on Thursday and took a picture of one of his projects displayed on the wall, one of many cute little cards that all the kids in his class had filled out. It asked him to list his favorite foods, sport, TV shows etc.
I took the picture hurriedly, and didn’t notice all the answers he had filled out at that time. It was only after I got home that something stood out upon closer review.
Do you guys remember, a couple of weeks ago, the massive amount of press that the Florida State Football player got when he sat down at the lunch table with an autistic boy that was eating alone? That player didn’t know the boy was on the autistic spectrum when he sat down with him…he just saw a boy eating lunch all by himself and decided to join him. A teacher snapped a picture of the moment and it went viral. That’s what made the story great….it wasn’t staged…it was just a real moment of human kindness….

Something that wasn’t right was fixed, and tied up neatly with a pretty little bow of kindness and understanding.

READ AT: http://www.inspiremore.com/dad-shares-autistic-sons-heartbreaking-homework-answer/

Take Care of the Land.

clinton-county-wind

“Take care of the land, because they aren’t going to make anymore.”

Dear Editor:

Wendell Berry, an American environmental activist, cultural critic and farmer says it best: “The economy of money has infiltrated and subverted the economies of nature, energy and the human spirit.” Berry is an educated farmer who is the sum of what he believes. Government, he believes, should take its sense of reality from the ground beneath our feet and from our connections with our fellow human beings.

Last summer, The Clinton County Planning and Zoning Board held a series of hearings as to whether or not industrial (skyscraper sized) wind turbines be allowed to be built in Clinton County. These hearings presented (under-oath) testimony from expert witnesses from all over the country (and Canada) on both sides of the issue.

One of the topics discussed and testified to in a 6-hour session was the question of property values. I am going to refer to research done and testified to in the hearings by Mike McCann of Mike McCann Appraisers, LLC. Mr. McCann has done decades of studies and appraisals of properties located near wind turbine developments. His studies indicate that losses in value can be up to 40% where turbines are up to 3 miles from homes. He referred to a current study by the Economic Financial Studies School of Business at Clarkson University. The Clarkson study clearly shows value impacts out to three miles…..and clearly shows the closer the turbine, the greater the impact.

I found it most interesting that some of the loss of value happens when communities get “wind” of a turbine project coming to their areas and even greater when the project gets built. The value continues to go down when people hear of pending and increased wind turbine projects coming to their areas or neighboring communities. These can be staggering, in my opinion, and cause a no-growth epidemic in counties with potential wind turbine project growth. I can only guess that is why you see abandoned farms and homes in the middle of turbines.

Lastly, but not surprising, I want to list a small portion of the reasons these will affect your property values. They cannot be disputed.

1. Audible sound and low frequency sound.

2. Health concerns and widely reported adverse effects at sites.

3. Sleep deprivation due to noise and flashing red lights.

4. Aesthetic impact due to introduction of large industrial-scale turbines into immediate neighborhoods, which affects perception of compatibility and view from residential property values.

On the last day of the hearings in Clinton County, over 40 residents got up and gave compelling testimony of their own. I will always remember when Clinton County resident Mindy Masters quoted her dad John Thompson with a phrase he always told her as a young child. “Take care of the land, because they aren’t going to make anymore.”

Leslie Dyer,

Port Ryerse Wind CLC #4 Meeting

Do you hear the wind turbine noise?

How are you affected by the noise?

Are you concerned about the noise in the summer months when our windows will be open?

Please come to the Community Meeting next Wednesday, February 15th.

We are looking for solutions to the noise levels.

We need “them” to understand that we are concerned so bodies are needed to support our concerns

If you have been filling out the Boralex Noise Complaint form please bring that along as well.

Hope to see you there!

snowy-owl
This is the project where the nesting Barn Owls (& Eagles) along with the human residents were denied protection.

Wednesday February 15th, 2017 | 6pm
Simcoe Recreation Centre (Norfolk Room) 182 South Drive, Simcoe, ON N3Y 1G5

The purpose of the CLC is to facilitate two-way communication between Boralex and CLC members with respect to issues relating to the construction, installation, use, operation, maintenance and retirement of the facility. All CLC meetings are open to the general public for observation. Questions can be submitted in advance up until February 8th to Karla Kolli, CLC Chair and Facilitator at kkolli@dillon.ca or by phone at 416-229-4647 ext. 2354. For more information about the project please visit the website at: http://www.boralex.com/projects/portryerse

 

Wind Power Peril- Part 2

scream-2

By Helen Schwiesow Parker — February 8, 2017

“Imagine fighting Goliath in compromised health: lives given over to complaint protocols, sound measurements, lawyers, delays, appeals, desperate pleas for relief. For some, it becomes a life of learned helplessness.”

“How have we been brought to such an extraordinary betrayal of basic human rights and social justice – a Kafkaesque world where corporate, local and state government personnel ignore and elude victims’ pleas? It is a tale of money and power shunting aside integrity and compassion, of well-intentioned individuals who don’t do their homework, of a new industrial health crisis shunned by news media who are supposed to educate, inform and protect.”

Nina Pierpont paved the way 

This is the Wind Turbine Syndrome (WTS), a constellation of symptoms first given a name by the brilliant young MD/PhD, Nina Pierpont. She followed up her astute and compassionate observations of turbine neighbors around the world with epidemiological research, using a robust case-crossover statistical design: subjects experienced symptoms that varied with proximity to the turbines. When the same subjects were placed some distance from the turbines, their symptoms abated; returning to the scene brought the symptoms back.

Pierpont found that the 1.5-3.0-MW industrial wind turbines she studied wreak these adverse health effects on about 10% of those living within 2km (1.25 miles) or more. Later studies place the percentage of people affected at 20-40% or more. Even at “just” the 10% level, this would never be tolerated by politicians or regulators with regard to peanuts, air emissions or water pollution.

As with seasickness, not everyone is similarly affected. But for many, the experience becomes literally intolerable.  Most vulnerable are the young, the old, and those who are especially sensitive to stimuli – including the autistic, those with a prior Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and some of us who have retreated to rural areas for just that reason.

I personally remember the mother of a young, blind autistic boy. Worried about how her son might respond to IWTs proposed for installation near their rural Indiana home, she decided to explore her question by driving with him toward one of the already up-and-running Big Wind “farms” some forty miles north. This “wind factory” had been inserted in an area that for generations had been a breathtakingly open sweep of endless farmland south and east of Chicago.

When mother and son were still miles away from the turbines, which of course she could see although her son could not, he began to whimper, holding both hands to his ears. Writhing with increasing discomfort, he eventually became distraught, in a panic, shouting in his own language and careening against the confines of the front seat, pleading with her to turn back, go home, get him out of there!! Which she did that day. But she was powerless to stop the Big Wind installation coming to their backyard – and into her young son’s already severely impacted life.

Michigan State University noise engineers explain that “Inaudible components can induce resonant vibration in liquids, gases and solids, including the ground…, building structures, spaces within those structures, and bodily tissues and cavities – potentially harmful to humans.”

Pierpont hypothesized that, in addition to these bodily sensations, a significant pathway from ILFN to symptoms includes disruption to the balance mechanisms located in the inner ear.

Research results – and Big Wind response

Audiological and acoustical consultants Jerry Punch and Richard James provide an excellent review of the recent research findings linking ILFN from IWTs with effects on health and quality of life.

In particular, Punch and James describe fascinating basic research conducted at the Washington University School of Medicine by Dr. Alec Salt, Otolaryngologist, which supports the biological plausibility of Pierpont’s hypothesis.

By focusing on distinctions of anatomy and function between the inner hair cells (IHCs) and outer hair cells (OHCs) of the inner ear, Salt and colleagues found that Infrasound and low-frequency noise signals reach the brain via OHC displacement, leading to unfamiliar and disturbing sensations outside the auditory realm paralleling Wind Turbine Syndrome victim complaints. As utility-scale wind turbines increase in size and power, the blade-pass frequency goes increasingly deeper into the nauseogenic zone.

Installed turbine size is indeed trending upward, with a lot of money riding on keeping the science under wraps or under the radar of public awareness, and regulations to a minimum.

When Denmark’s environmental protection agency proposed severely tightening turbine noise regulations to protect turbine neighbors from ILFN (May 2011), the Vestas CEO wrote the DEPA Minister: Turbines send out ILFN; the bigger they are the more intensely they do so.  It isn’t technically possible to curtail the ILFN output. Not only would your new standards serve as an unfortunate model which might be copied by other countries.

More simply, “Increased distance requirements cannot be met whilst maintaining a satisfactory business outcome for the investor.” DEPA folded, in fact turning instead to looser standards, “likely to be copied by other countries,” to the detriment of thousands of people.

The European Platform Against Windfarms (EPAW) and the North-American Platform Against Windpower (NA-PAW) – representing a total of nearly 600 associations from 26 countries – then put out a press release citing the exchange and criticizing DEPA’s manipulation of noise measurements to advance wind industry interests, to the detriment of people’s health. 

But the potentially increased endangerment of tens of thousands of turbine victims around the world was somehow deemed unworthy of widespread media attention, and Big Wind’s central players ramped up their game plan undeterred.

Shadow Flicker

While turbine health impacts due to ILFN radiation may be the least intuitively obvious, another frequently disturbing and often-minimized assailant is Turbine “Flicker” – a strobe-like effect caused by turbine blades alternately blocking and allowing sunlight to sweep the land after sunrise and before sunset. It can “pull your attention in the direction it’s moving, making you dizzy, even sick to your stomach.”

Environmental impact statements will tell you that “Shadow Flicker only impacts objects within 1400 meters of the turbine” – but 1400 meters is 0.87 mile, greater than 15 football fields placed end to end!

The common reassurance that “any issue pertaining to flicker is easily remedied” is at-best poorly thought out, at-worst deliberately false and misleading, and in any case dead wrong.

At a public forum in Fairhaven, MA, where an established neighborhood of some 6,000 people would soon host two 1.5 MW turbines, to be erected within ecologically sensitive salt marshes surrounding a quiet estuary, wind developer Sumul Shah brushed aside a question about Flicker saying: “Not to worry.  It occurs mostly before 7am.”

What!? “Shadow Strobing” results from rotating blades passing between the sun and any object which the sun would otherwise illuminate. When the sun is directly behind them, the blades of 40-story-tall wind turbines throw extensive shadows that skim rhythmically and repeatedly across buildings, trees, roadways, lawns, meadows, ponds – and people.

The direct impact extends to nearly a mile from the turbine – long after sunrise, and again long before sunset – during those magical early and late hours that photographers love, when low light washes the landscape. Jerking flashes ricochet yet further when the blade shadow strikes anywhere within view shed – strobing rock faces across the valley, lakes and ponds in between, or trees across the park.

Sleep disturbance and stress-related illness

Alongside the less familiar ILFN and landscape-strobing turbine assaults, sleep deprivation and stress-related symptoms are the most common health complaints of IWT neighbors. This is not due solely to the turbine sound volume (as some might expect), but also to its characteristics: constantly fluctuating with “swishing” or “thumping” sounds, akin to low-flying jets or the rumble of helicopters, “freakish, screeching sound sludge,” rhythmic, repetitive, throbbing and percussive. It is unnatural. People say the noise gets into your head, and you can’t get it out.

Sleep may be disturbed from yet another non-intuitive angle. In their “McPherson Study,” Ambrose and Rand note that the 22.9 Hz tone considered part of the signature IWT acoustic profile “lies in the brain’s ‘high Beta’ wave range (associated with alert state, anxiety, and ‘fight or flight’ stress reactions). The brain’s ‘frequency following response (FFR)’ could be involved in maintaining an alert state during sleeping hours….”

As enormous industrial wind turbines spread around the world, World Health Organization (WHO) 2009 Noise Guidelines emphasized that any investigation into health impacts must include the equally significant indirect effects. 

Advising the Falmouth, MA Board of Health, Dr. William Hallstein wrote: “All varieties of illnesses are destabilized secondary to inadequate sleep: diabetic blood sugars, cardiac rhythms, migraines, tissue healing. Psychiatric problems intensify… all in the ‘normal’ brain. Errors in judgment and accident rates increase.” 

Imagine bombarding a hypersensitive autistic child with strident, unpredictable, unnatural noise. Imagine our veterans struggling with PTSD, the throbbing drone of the turbines re-igniting anxiety and terror – endlessly through the years once they are back home. Imagine what happens when being “safely” back home instead predictably brings physiological destabilization: nausea, ringing in the ears, vertigo, panic attacks, memory and concentration loss, incapacity.

Imagine fighting Goliath in compromised health: lives given over to complaint protocols, sound measurements, lawyers, delays, appeals, desperate pleas for relief. At best, it becomes a challenge to re-frame every encounter, either to educate a potential ally, or to pretend this isn’t the center of your life.

For some, it becomes a life of learned helplessness: having accepted that nothing will bring relief, they give up trying. With nowhere to go, the dog sits back down on the tack. Other families and individuals … devastated, having lost their health, jobs or farms … return their keys to the bank, sell their homes at a fire-sale price, or simply pack up and flee.

How have we been brought to such an extraordinary betrayal of basic human rights and social justice – a Kafkaesque world where corporate, local and state government personnel ignore and elude victims’ pleas? It is a tale of money and power shunting aside integrity and compassion, of well-intentioned individuals who don’t do their homework, of a new industrial health crisis shunned by news media who are supposed to educate, inform and protect.

In November 2014, after a four-year investigation, the Brown County, Wisconsin board of health declared that the preponderance of evidence showed the Shirley Wind Project is a human health hazard. The news went worldwide, but the local Green Bay Press Gazette ignored it for almost two weeks.

Physician and BOH member Jay Tibbetts said, “I don’t think the average person in the United States hears anything about this issue. For some reason the news media doesn’t seem to want to cover it.

___________

Helen Schwiesow Parker, PhD, is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and a Past Clinical Supervisory Faculty member at the University of Virginia Medical School.  Her career includes practical experience in the fields of autism, sensory perception, memory and learning, attention deficit and anxiety disorders, including panic disorder and PTSD. Part I of this three-post series was posted yesterday.

Protecting our children from Industrial Wind Power Emissions is our first priority!

%d bloggers like this: