Category Archives: The problem with Wind Turbines

Critique of “Health Nuisances of Land-based Wind Turbines”

Critique of “Health Nuisances of Land-based Wind Turbines”, Statement by the French National Academy of Medicine issued May 9, 2017

By Nina Pierpont, MD, PhD.

The French National Academy of Medicine has used this document in an attempt to redefine “Wind Turbine Syndrome”:

In summary, the health nuisances seem to be primarily visual (disfigurement of the landscape and its psychosomatic consequences) and to a lesser degree noise (of an intermittent and random character as generated by wind turbines of older generations). Medically, wind turbine syndrome is a complex and subjective entity with several factors contributing to its clinical expression, some related to the wind turbine itself, others to the complainants and to the social, financial, political, and communication environment (p. 14).

To reach this conclusion, the authors first review turbine noise levels and hearing thresholds, concluding that noise levels are low. They then review the following potential mechanisms:

  • Outer hair cells (Salt): “The work is not clinical or experimental but theoretical, based on the analysis of electrophysiologic, biomechanical, and acoustic models and data, and its conclusions are conservative.” Mechanism not supported (p. 9).
  • Otolith organs (Schomer, Todd, Rand): Conflicts with other studies suggesting that the sensitivity of otolith hair cells to infrasound is too low for this mechanism to be relevant to the production of motion sickness symptoms (pp. 9-10).
  • Stimulation of visceral organs (Pierpont): Intensities of infrasound not high enough (p. 10).
  • Direct action of noise on sleep: This mechanism is supported with a 1.5 km radius, but not further mentioned in the conclusions (see below) (p. 10).
  • Psychological factors: These are supported, including the impact of new technologies, the nocebo effect, individual factors of hearing sensitivity and emotional/psychological fragility, and social and economic factors such as lack of profit sharing and excessive communication of unsupported fears on social media (pp. 10-12).

The authors continue:

  • These nuisance factors being identified, the analysis of the medical and scientific literature (more than sixty articles have been published to date on the health effects of wind turbines) does not make it possible to demonstrate that, when wind turbines are properly located, they have a significant impact on health. In other words, no disease or infirmity can be imputed to their functioning.
  • The problem, however, is that the definition of health has evolved. According to WHO, this today is defined as “a state of complete physical well-being, mental and social,” not only the absence of illness or infirmity.
  • In this sense, we must admit that wind turbine syndrome, though the symptoms are subjective, reflects an existential suffering, a psychological distress, in short a violation of the quality of life, which, however, concerns only a part of the neighboring population (p. 14).

The authors proceed to discuss how to ameliorate the effects of wind power development, assuming (as they do) that wind energy is a political given. They propose extending the setback distance from 500 to 1000 m, while recognizing that this is neither politically feasible nor likely to be effective with larger turbines (p. 17).

They discuss caps on dBA noise levels relative to pre-construction and suggest that post-construction enforcement should be improved (p. 15). They suggest design features that affect airflow over and around the blades or stop the turbines when noise thresholds are exceeded (p. 16).

They recommend better public discussion and profit-sharing:

  • In the dual aim of improving the acceptance of wind energy and mitigating its impact health, directly or indirectly, on a part of the population of residents, the workgroup recommends:
  • To facilitate dialogue between local residents and farmers [who host turbines] as well as the referral of complaints to the authorities, to ensure that public inquiry is conducted with legal rigor and effectively implemented, and to ensure that residents have more interest in the economic repercussions or spin-off of the projects (p. 18).

My critique of the Academy’s report:

Out-of-date on noise descriptions. Does not use the “wind turbine signature” of pulsatile infrasound/low frequency noise with duration of 4 to 100 msec, which is perceptible at sound pressure levels as low as 60 dB (Punch & James 2016, Cooper 2014).

Never mentions migraine as a clinical entity affecting 18% of women and 6% of men; individual differences are instead treated as a reason to discredit physiologic causation and discredit as psychological frailty the population affected. They cite 4 to 20% affected, saying this is so close to the 10% considered affected by traffic noise in Europe that it is acceptable. This is tantamount to defining a sacrifice population and includes blaming of victims.

All the recommended interventions are either in place, have been tried and are useless, or have been called for for years but require changes in human nature, reducing the recommendations herein to “tuttut, let’s all behave better.”

This document attempts to redefine “wind turbine syndrome” to represent factors which are actually not wind turbine syndrome. Wind turbine syndrome is the reaction of migrainous or motion-sensitive people to wind turbine acoustic emissions, the latter now well defined as sharply pulsatile lowfrequency noise. Wind turbine syndrome is different from hysteria or nocebo, as it occurs in people by surprise, who had no thoughts about the turbines before the turbines were installed and turned on and the symptoms began.

I challenge every member of the French working group and their consultants, listed in the report, who self-identifies as having migraine, motion sensitivity, or balance problems, or their family members, including children with developmental disorders such as autism in which auditory and position/balance processing are distorted, to spend a week in a wind park. This would be simple to accomplish and could lead to a tidy “exposure” experiment without ethical obstacles, as the authors believe that they could not be affected as they do not have the psychological limitations and shortcomings they blithely attribute to affected people and use as an excuse to dismiss them.

Nina Pierpont, MD, PhD
19 Clay St
Malone, NY 12953
518-483-6481 ph
518-207-4488 fax
pierpont@twcny.rr.com

References:

Jerry L. Punch and Richard R. James, “Wind Turbine Noise and Human Health: A Four-Decade History of Evidence That Wind Turbines Pose Risks,” The Journal at Hearing Health & Technology Matters (October 2016), 72 pp.

Steven Cooper, “The Results of an Acoustic Testing Program: Cape Bridgewater Wind Farm,” The Acoustic Group Report for Energy Pacific, 44.5100.R7:Msc (November 26, 2014), 224 pp.

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Dr_Nina_Pierpont
Nina Pierpont, MD, PhD

Source: Friends Against Wind

Motion to Halt Industrial Wind Turbines- Queen’s Park

sam oosterhoff- queens park
Motion tabled at Queen’s Park to halt industrial wind turbines by MPP Oosterhoff

(Queen’s Park)  April 6, 2017

Niagara West-Glanbrook MPP Sam Oosterhoff :
“The Liberal government forced turbines on municipalities across rural Ontario against the wishes and concerns of residents and communities such as West Lincoln,” said Oosterhoff. “This stubborn initiative of the Liberals shows no respect for municipalities or for the ordinary concerns of Ontarians.”
“Industrial wind turbines are one of the causes of our sky-rocketing energy costs because of the unaffordable contracts made by the Liberals,” noted Oosterhoff. “Heat or eat is not a decision people should have to make.”
“The Liberals have a long history of ignoring municipalities and local residents. The NDP pretend to support local decision-making, but instead they supported the legislation that left municipalities without a voice on the placement of industrial turbines,” said Oosterhoff. “Tomorrow, they will have a chance to make amends and show respect for our communities by voting for my Motion.”
Motion:
“That in the opinion of this House, the Government should place a moratorium on the installation of industrial wind turbines in unwilling host communities in the Province of Ontario.”
Debate on the Motion:   
Media Articles:
Recorded vote:
vote of IWT motion

Don’t throw turbine neighbours under the bus

thrown_under_the_busHuron Daily Tribune

Wednesday April 5, 2017

To the editor:

You’ve heard that wind turbines are no louder than refrigerators at 40 decibels? That measurement is taken a foot or two away from the bottom of the refrigerator.

If 40 decibels is acceptable to you, then maybe refrigerators should be installed on your night stand next to your bed. Please make sure the refrigerator is set to turn on and off, on and off every two seconds to simulate the wind turbine blade’s movement. Do you really think that two-second intermittent noise all night long will lull you to sleep?

The scientific studies referred to by wind energy companies are often wind energy-funded studies. And when recent studies from many independent researchers are published that comment on audible noise, pulsation/vibration, and shadow flicker affecting nearby residents, the wind faction is quick to dismiss, trivialize, debunk, and simply ignore that information.

Michigan State University has been promoting sample zoning for wind energy systems that was highly permissive toward wind development and darn near hostile to neighbors of wind turbines. The animosity created in communities with unsafe wind development favoring wind developers may take years to disappear.

It’s a brand new ball game because, on March 6, MSU released its new wind energy sample zoning regulations. MSU researchers don’t condone prohibiting turbines. They condone safe setbacks.

The study informs the uninformed about wind development and reasonable land use regulations. These new recommendations are extremely important and confirm all of the things so many people in Michigan have worked so hard for.

Here are some highlights of the MSU recommendations:

Sound Level — On-site use wind energy systems shall not exceed 40 dB(A) at the property line closest to the wind energy system. This sound pressure level may be briefly exceeded during short term events such as utility outages and/or severe wind storms.

One MSU recommendation is a turbine setback of 2,500 feet from the property line of any parcel which is not receiving compensation for the Utility Grid Wind Energy System.

And, to show how wind energy is losing its grip in Michigan, here is a recent straw poll: In Ingersoll Township, Michigan (just south of Midland), board officials took a poll of 88 people at their March 22 board meeting. Results?

• 75 against wind development in township

• 3 for wind development in township

• 10 undecided

The money a community can make and the money a large landholder can make certainly is important. But, it’s the only bullet the pro wind faction has. However, to allow so many large landholders a financial gain is to throw the neighbors of wind turbines under the bus.

Norm Stephens

Caro

WindTurbinesComparision_BySchindler

New wind energy resource for planning commissions; Michigan State University

Wind Turbines Hamper TV signals

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Summerhaven Wind Turbine (Next Era)   Haldimand County, Ontario

TV reception in many areas suffers with the installation of industrial wind turbines.  The Summerhaven wind (Next Era) project located in Haldimand County as one example responded to multiple complaints about poor TV signals by commissioning a cheeky report in 2014 ( posted online shortly after that project became operational).  The conclusions of the hired opinion was that complaining people were ever so pleased and delighted to receive proper direction on how to improve TV reception by not using misaligned and broken antennas.   One project operator’s response to reported problems but has it succeeded in redirecting criticism that turbines are to blame or fixed the problem?  In 2017 deteriorated TV signals persists as an unresolved issue as demonstrated in the following letter recently published in the local paper.

“I see problems for broadcasters and the wind turbine operators. They are required to work in accordance with the requirements of the federal government. I feel that a petition signed by a number of citizens with their addresses and locations would have a possibility of resolving the situation.”

Wind Turbines Hamper TV Signals

Sachem   March 30, 2017

While removing a recent snowfall from our porch deck, the telephone rang and a volunteer from TV Ontario was asking for their annual donation. I have the highest regard for their TV programs, presence and availability — especially with the conversion from analogue to digital a few years back.

We had over-the-air TV for many years at our location and it has been quite successful with the conversion to digital, with improved picture and sound.

However, with the commissioning of wind turbines, we frequently notice a decline of the TV signal’s strength — resulting in unacceptable audio quality, which in turn, makes the entire TV signal unwatchable. If a satisfactory TV signal strength can be maintained, the process will correct itself and the TV becomes highly desirable.

Canadian TV for the east end of the Niagara peninsula is basically fed from transmitters on the CN Tower in Toronto in a straight line to the various over-the-air antennae, and passes by many wind turbines — and their associated impulse noises — resulting in the aforementioned problems. The principal TV transmitters are CBC, CTV, TVO and Global, as well as several smaller stations.

The wind turbine operation and TV system may be a question of co-ordination between the turbine power generator and associated electrical demand, as well as the population’s desire for TV — both for necessity and enjoyment.

Satellites in the upper stratosphere can be used whereby signals from the transmitter — CN Tower — can be reflected off to be received at a customer’s home, thereby obviating the wind turbine problem. However, this results in a cost for installation and ongoing rental of equipment.

To my TV Ontario fund requester, I felt I had to explain that they were a worthy charity that does a superb job, but I would not want to spend the funds and be unable to enjoy the fruits of their effort. Due to the havoc caused by wind turbines, I therefore declined their request until signal improvements can be made.

I see problems for broadcasters and the wind turbine operators. They are required to work in accordance with the requirements of the federal government. I feel that a petition signed by a number of citizens with their addresses and locations would have a possibility of resolving the situation.

We have put together this petition and have over 70 signatures at present. We feel we need more and request readers of the The Sachem to endorse this petition.

Hopefully this can provide Haldimand with better television reception.

V. Huxtable

Dunnville

905-774-6822

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Summerhaven Wind Turbine (Next Era) being erected in 2013 Haldimand County, Ontario

Wind Turbines: Huge Profits at expense of residents and Nature

Too Much and Absurd.

Wind turbine battles are being fought globally.  In North America Germany’s use of renewable energy projects are often looked to as an ideal to strive for in power generation systems.  Wind turbines are facing increasingly stiff opposition from residents who had once strongly been in favour of wind power.  The following documentary explores how opinions change once the wind turbines go up and begin operations.  Ideals for a better future face a harsh and ugly reality.  The film was shown on the German television channel ARD – Das Erste  on August 1, 2016.   Original is in German but video has English subtitles.

Cape Breton wind turbine snaps in half

cape-breton-turbine-collapse-2016Nova Scotia Power and wind turbine maker Vestas trying to determine cause

By Anjuli Patil, CBC News

Nova Scotia Power is investigating why one of its wind turbines snapped in half Tuesday night in Grand Étang, Cape Breton.

There was a severe wind warning Tuesday night, but it’s unclear if that had anything to do with the break. The power utility said it is still trying to determine the root cause.

CBC meteorologist Kalin Mitchell said peak wind gusts of 164 km/h were reported at the Grand Étang weather station between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. this morning.

Nova Scotia Power said no one was at the site at the time and no one was injured.

The 50-metre tall wind turbine was made by Denmark-based Vestas.

It was built in 2002 and was one of the first in Nova Scotia with a single 660-kilowatt Vestas turbine.

Nova Scotia Power said the model is the only one of its kind in the province.

READ AT: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/grand-etang-wind-turbine-snaps-1.3921256

Ontarians Are Not Confused

mackay-cartoon-dec-15-16
Mackay  Editorial Cartoons

http://mackaycartoons.net/2016/12/14/thursday-december-15-2016/

December 14, 2016
Hamilton Spectator

OEB actions paternalistic

Last month, the Ontario Energy Board decided to protect rate payers from knowing how much the Liberal government’s cap-and-trade policy would add to their monthly gas bills.

Now the OEB has decided to relieve us of the burden of knowing how much the government’s electricity policies are affecting our monthly hydro bill.

The OEB, it seems, is worried that too much information may confuse the average Ontario taxpayer. At least that’s how they responded to Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk’s request that hydro bills be changed to increase “the awareness and transparency” of the impact of the so-called “global adjustment charge.”

The global adjustment is an extra charge that is levied to cover the gap between the guaranteed prices the Liberal government promised electricity generators in 20-year contracts and the actual market rates.

Lysyk has estimated that global adjustment accounted for 70 per cent of consumer electricity rates in 2013. If so, that’s something that should be plainly disclosed on every hydro bill.

For the OEB to contend that further transparency would only confuse ratepayers is highly paternalistic, if not down right arrogant.

Give us the information. If we get confused, we can call and ask for clarification.

Liberal Energy Minister Glenn Thibeault has again refused to intervene on behalf of the auditor general or the taxpayer on the basis that the OEB is an independent quasi-judicial regulatory body.

That’s very convenient. Thibeault may not have the power to order the OEB to change their ways … but perhaps he can at least ask. He has the power to do that.

As it is, it’s getting harder for the public to take the claim of OEB independence seriously.

Who could possibly benefit from burying the cost of the Liberal’s questionable energy policies … other than the Liberal government?

Graham Rockingham

Hamilton Spectator: http://www.thespec.com/opinion-story/7020499-oeb-actions-paternalistic/

Tiny the Turbine Hits the Presses

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“A Highland anti-windfarm campaigner who has had enough of “industry spin” hopes her new book about turbines will be allowed into schools to bring some balance to the debate.”

 

Lyndsey Ward was recently interviewed about her book that presents the other side of wind development impacts in order to counter industry’s pro- wind literature being allowed in schools.

Lyndsey writes:

“Tiny the Turbine is a story that really is for children. Following Subsidy Sam’s release it was clear that there was a need for something that would help children understand the negative impacts of large scale wind developments. Happily Josh agreed and we have worked together to produce this second story specifically for children. Subsidy Sam is a dark tale but Tiny the Turbine is a moral and uplifting story and shows that it is possible to succeed in fighting against the bad things in life no matter how daunting it may seem.”

For printed copies, any commercial resale or reuse please email Lyndsey Ward

Windfarm campaigner hopes new book will take-out the industry spin

Published December 12, 2016; The Press and Journal by

lynsdey-ward
Lyndsey Ward with a copy of her book Tiny the Turbine, cartoons are illustrated by Josh

READ ARTICLE:
https://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/fp/news/highlands/1111038/campaigner-bids-for-book-balance/

Wind Infrastructure and Fatal Collisions

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Who is liable?

It can no longer be said that wind infrastructure placements are an accident waiting to happen.  Guardrails, junction boxes and monster transmission poles are all part and parcel of any wind powered installation. Under the Green Energy Act normal planning controls have been removed from the jurisdiction of local municipalities. This has seen transmission poles placed precariously close to road edges in the right of ways along our public roads.  These “engineered” marvels are more then visual blight or examples of questionable planning as they are claiming human lives in multiple fatal collisions.  Recently a transmission pole owned by Kerwood Wind ILP project which is a subsidiary of NextEra was involved in a collision that claimed the life of the car driver and resulted in serious injuries to the passenger .

READ HERE: http://www.strathroytoday.ca/default.asp?pid=9149287&wireid=02598_Kerwood_Road_Fatality_072156#.V_4p2GvbakF.twitter

(Photos Courtesy of Ontario Wind Resistance: Infrastructure located in Kent- Lambton- Middlesex for the wind projects)

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MPP Monte McNaughton of Kent- Lambton- Middlesex wrote to Minister of Energy Glen Thibeault asking Who is liable?

Letter to Minister of Energy from MPP McNaughton; Nov.10.16

 

Is it ethical to study harm from wind turbine exposure?

house-surrounded-by-wind-turbinesIn scientific study human research subjects must be informed of possible harms from exposure to give informed consent. Industrial wind turbines have and continue to generated uncounted reports of harmful health impacts suffered by adjacent residents. Huron County Public Health in Ontario is undertaking an investigation in response to the reports they have received. READ MORE: http://www.huronhealthunit.ca/reports-and-statistics/investigations/wind-turbine-investigation/

Richard Mann is an Associate  Professor of  School of Computer Science at the Faculty of Mathematics at the University of Waterloo located in southern Ontario.   His passion is sound.  He is a published and peer reviewed researcher working in partnership pursuing methods to improve measurements of infrasound and recently with his co-author presented at Wind Turbine Noise 2015, INCE/EUROPE, in Glasgow, Scotland in April 2015.

He stated his current position about health investigations into the exposure of noise emitted by Industrial Wind Turbines as follows (Bolded and underlined for emphasis):

“There have also been many surveys and studies regarding human health effects related to Industrial Wind Turbine exposure.  Sadly many of them have actually increased suffering by concluding that the subjects were imagining their symptoms, and by varying degrees, labeling them with the “It’s all in your head” designation.”

It is also of note that while many people did agree to participate in these surveys and studies inthe hope that their concerns would be heard, they were certainly captive participants by being forced to live in proximity to the turbines.”

Letter to Epidemiologist, Dr. Erica Clark of Huron County: