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A Tale of Two Turbines…..

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us….Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

Reading the opening paragraph to Dicken’s classic novel, one could certainly apply it to any time in history, but history is not what I’m going to compare here.   As we all know, if you are a proponent of Industrial Wind Turbines, you will always find a ‘study’ somewhere to back you up.  Likewise, if you oppose Industrial Wind Turbines, you will always be able to find documentation to support your cause, but let’s take a closer look at how these research results are obtained. In the past 24 hours, I’ve read two studies.  Both of them deal with the safety of wind turbines and their affect on people. Take a look at the first study results….

Ontarians say wind turbines is one of the safest forms of electricity generation

March 07, 2012

A high 78 per cent of Ontarians say wind power is one of the safest forms of electricity generation according to a recent Oracle Research poll commissioned by the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA). The poll was conducted between February 22-29 and has a margin for error of +/- 3.1 per cent, 19 times out of 20. “This poll indicates that the majority of Ontarians clearly believe wind energy is a safe form of electricity generation despite a minority voice that suggests otherwise. We will continue to ensure wind energy is developed in a safe and responsible manner for the benefit of all Ontarians,” said Robert Hornung, president of CanWEA.Ontario is the current provincial leader with close to 2,000 MW of installed wind energy capacity – enough to power over 600,000 homes in Ontario. In fact, 2011 was a record year for wind energy development in Ontario with the installation of 522 MW across the province.“It is time to embrace renewable energy in all of its forms, including solar and wind powered energy. Ontarians with asthma and other chronic lung disease are already benefiting from the closure of coal plants and looking forward to the decommissioning of the last one as soon as possible,” said Dr. Robert Oliphant, President and CEO, Asthma Society of Canada, in a statement. “If for no other reason, we should support renewable energy generation because it does not harm the air we breathe. In all forms, renewable energy is a safe and healthy alternative to fossil fuels.”

Right off the bat, two things jump out as glaringly obvious.  It was commissioned by the Canadian Wind Energy Association.  Certainly an unbiased group if there ever was one.  Now, I’m not saying they’ve fudged the numbers, but …

  • Who did they survey?  Was it anyone who actually lives near a wind installation?
  • How familiar are these respondents with wind installations?  Have they ever seen one up close?  Have they ever done any research into the topic?  It’s well known that if you are uneducated about a particular subject, you won’t really have a strong opinion one way or the other, so you go by what you’ve been fed by the government and by the media.  We all know that major media outlets are loathe to give much coverage to anything that is in any way, “anti-green”.
  • The comments by Dr. Robert Oliphant, while they seem credible, take on a new tone, when you know more about him.  He is a Liberal and a former MP for Don Valley West who was defeated in the last election.  Of course, he’s going to side with any of Dalton McGuinty’s pet projects.

Now let’s look at another research study.

Wind Turbine Syndrome Affects More People than Previously Thought

March 6, 2012 — by Mark Duchamp

A survey was conducted on wind farm noise as part of a Master’s dissertation by Zhenhua Wang, a graduate student in Geography, Environment and Population at the University of Adelaide, Australia.  The results show that 70% of respondents living up to 5km away report being negatively affected by wind turbine noise, with more than 50% of them “very or moderately negatively affected”.  This is considerably higher than what was found in previous studies conducted in Europe.  The survey was made in the vicinity of the Waterloo wind farm, South Australia, which is composed of 37 Vestas V90 3 MW turbines stretching over 18 km (1).   These mega turbines are reported to be emitting more low frequency noise (LFN) than smaller models, and this causes more people to be affected, and over greater distances, by the usual symptoms of the Wind Turbine Syndrome (WTS): insomnia, headaches, nausea, stress, poor ability to concentrate, irritability, etc, leading to poorer health and a reduced immunity to illness.

A summary of the Australian survey has been published (3), but the full Masters dissertation has not been made available to the public. In the interest of public health, the European Platform against Windfarms (EPAW) and the North-American Platform against Windpower (NA-PAW), have asked the University of Adelaide to release this important document.

How many people will be forced to abandon their homes before governments pay attention, wonder the thousands of windfarm victims represented by EPAW and NAPAW.   “It’ll take time to gather enough money for a big lawsuit”, says Sherri Lange, of NAPAW, “but time is on our side: victim numbers are increasing steadily.”

 So, the major question to ask, is which of these two studies is the most credible?  Which results are more germane to the issue of wind turbines? Would it be the one commissioned by a group who has an “investment” in wind turbines and a former McGuinty cohort, where chances are pretty high that they didn’t ask anyone near a turbine installation what their views are?
 Or would it be the one that actually spoke to people who have to live next to these things 24/7?  
 I’m guessing that it would be the second.  Anytime you see study results like these, take a close look at who did them, who would benefit from the results and who participated.  I think you’ll eventually see a pretty clear picture of who is pushing the wind energy agenda.
(editted – Mar. 8, 2012)

Donna Quixote

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3 Comments on “A Tale of Two Turbines…..”

  1. Tony March 8, 2012 at 11:24 am #

    Dr Robt Oliphant was the Liberal MP (not MPP) from 2008 to 2011 for Don Valley West . He has however worked for the Provincial and Federal Liberals in various position in the past.
    His doctorate is in Theology therefore he is not a medical doctor ( he forgets to mention that fact).
    Do a search on him -it is quite interesting.

  2. Donna Quixote March 8, 2012 at 11:46 am #

    Thanks Tony. I’ve corrected the information. I guess the place where I got that info had it wrong also. Good to have people watching out for errors like that, because I want to be as accurate as possible.


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