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As you may know, the Senate in Australia (which is an elected body) has been conducting a review of wind turbines and problems associated with wind power generation in that country for several months.
Although the final report is not due out until August, the Committee felt it necessary to release an interim report and the “headline recommendations.”
They are very interesting…and refreshing in that here is a body that has listened to both sides, and has concluded there is cause for concern.
Of particular interest are these three paragraphs from the report.
Why are there so many people who live in close proximity to wind turbines complaining of similar physiological and psychological symptoms? As with previous Senate inquiries, this committee has gathered evidence from many submitters attributing symptoms of dizziness, nausea, migraines, high blood pressure, tinnitus, chronic sleep deprivation and depression to the operation of nearby wind turbines. The committee invites the public to read and consider the evidence of people who have experienced these symptoms and who attribute their anxiety and ill health to the operation of turbines.2
1.13 These health affects should not be trivialised or ignored. The committee was particularly distressed by renewable energy advocates, wind farm developers and operators, public officials and academics who publicly derided and sometimes lampooned local residents who were genuinely attempting to make known the adverse health effects they were suffering.
1.14 The committee is aware of people complaining of these impacts who have since left their family home. Some now live a nomadic and uncertain existence. In one case, the now deserted home had been in the family for five generations—since the 1840s. These are not decisions taken lightly. Having left the turbine vicinity, several witnesses noted that the symptoms had faded if not disappeared.3
The Committee quite rightly observed that the decision to leave the family home, and often hundreds of thousands of dollars of investment, to say nothing of farm operations and property, because they HAD TO.
The recommendations listed by the Senate Committee include the need for independent clinical research, and continuous independent monitoring of wind power project noise and infrasound (oh, and we need standards and regulations for infrasound–Ontario doesn’t have these and is dragging its feet on this issue)—the Committee also vindicated the effort and methodology of acoustician Stephen Cooper whose Cape Bridgeport study and finding of unique “sensation” resulting from the turbine emissions.
Several months ago, Ottawa Wind Concerns was subjected to a barrage of insulting Tweets one evening from Australia from a pro-wind power physician, and acolytes of sociologist Simon Chapman. Mr Chapman is mentioned specifically in the Senate Committee report, presumably as one of the disappointing “academics.” (Mr Chapman also functions as a paid consultant for the wind power industry.)
The commentators that evening included one Chris Young of Ottawa who works in the renewable energy field (former Board member of the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association, and former employee of NorSun Energy). Mr Young, at the end of a trail of increasingly insulting posts claiming that people who reported health effects from turbine audible noise and infrasound were essentially nuts, said that Ottawa Wind Concerns, people like us, and specifically me, were “irrelevant.”
Now that we have a government body stating that there is cause for concern, that the wind power industry’s behaviour has been lamentable, and that the way forward is research that is actually intended to find out what’s going on, we ask, who is “irrelevant” now?
Jane Wilson, RN
Chair, Ottawa Wind Concerns
P.S. The Ontario Sustainable Energy Association is supported significantly by taxpayers. See funding information here.
P.P.S. Mr Young now enjoys the position of being the only person blocked from our Twitter feed.