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Posts Tagged ‘Dr Michael Nissenbaum’

Legal Challenge Now Underway Against the Global Wind Industry

                                                 Or Pay by Cheque

To date, we have raised only 45% of the money needed.   We call upon all concerned citizens around the globe to dig deep into their pockets and contribute to this precedent setting case which will have global repercussions. 

A staggering amount of evidence and the largest single gathering of internationally renowned experts has been assembled.  The international wind industry will face one of its biggest challenges beginning on February 1, 2011.  Canada will be at the centre of a legal battle of global proportions. 

In response to a recent approval of an industrial wind development, an appeal has been submitted to a Tribunal (ERT). The appeal is based chiefly on the issue of serious harm to human health from noise and low frequency sound. The appeal raises other issues such as the government’s apparently admitted inability to predict, measure, or assess noise levels.

A compelling and unprecedented witness list has been assembled on all sides. This appears to be the largest single gathering of internationally renowned experts that has taken place on these issues.  In all more than 20 experts and specialists in medicine, human health, acoustics and government will be appearing.

The project is owned by Suncor Energy Inc. an “integrated energy company” strategically focused on developing Canada’s oil sands.  Suncor’s reported assets at December 31, 2009 were $69,746,000,000.

Suncor’s obvious financial means together with an apparent limitless cash supply for the government of Ontario indicate the resources our opponents have at their disposal.

Therefore, we call upon all concerned citizens around the globe to dig deep into their pockets and contribute to this precedent setting case which will have global repercussions.

What is at stake is nothing less than the future of wind development around the world.

The litany of half-truths and misinformation from wind lobbyists denying the adverse health effects of wind turbines must come to an end. Financial support is what is needed now to fight this case.

We have assembled a staggering amount of evidence and an extraordinary array of international witnesses. The appellants will be calling experts from New Zealand, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada.  They include:

  • Dr. Robert Y. McMurtry, M.D., F.R.C.S.(C), F.A.C.S., Surgeon and Health Policy
  • Dr. Michael A. Nissenbaum, M.D., Physician
  • Dr. Jeffery J. Aramini, Ph.D., M.Sc., Epidemiologist
  • Dr. Carl V. Phillips, Ph.D., M.P.P., Epidemiology and Public Policy
  • Dr. Christopher D. Hanning, BSc, MB, BS, MRCS, LRCP, FRCA, MD, Sleep Specialist
  • Dr. Arline L. Bronzaft, Ph.D., M.A., B.A., Noise Specialist
  • Richard R. James, INCE, Noise Control Engineer
  • Dr. Jeff Wilson, Ph.D., Epidemiologist
  • Dr. Robert Thorne, Ph.D., Noise Specialist and Environmental Policy
  • Dr. Daniel Shepherd, Ph.D.  Psychoacoustic Specialist

Gather up your wind action groups and get involved in raising funds for this internationally ground-breaking legal challenge! We all win if we win this precedent setting case.

Please make your cheque out to :    “Douglas Desmond, In Trust”   Indicate the funds are for the “Kent-Breeze Appeal”.

Address:

Douglas Desmond, Barrister & Solicitor
PO Box 129,
27 Main St. E
Ridgetown, Ontario, N0P 2C0
Phone: 1-888-674-1955 or  Fax: 1-519-674-1957
Office: 1-519-674-1955

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Here is a report on the Kent Breeze renewable energy application appeal, occuring in Ontario next week.

‘David and Goliath’ Legal Challenge Underway Against the Global Wind Industry

We call upon all concerned citizens around the globe to dig deep into their pockets and contribute to this precedent setting case which will have global repercussions.

The international wind industry will face one of its biggest challenges beginning on February 1, 2011.  Canada will be at the centre of a legal battle of global proportions.  In response to a recent approval of an industrial wind development, an appeal has been submitted to a Tribunal (ERT). The appeal is based chiefly on the issue of serious harm to human health from noise and low frequency sound. The appeal raises other issues such as the government’s apparently admitted inability to predict, measure, or assess noise levels.

A compelling and unprecedented witness list has been assembled on all sides. This appears to be the largest single gathering of internationally renowned experts that has taken place on these issues.  In all more than 20 experts and specialists in medicine, human health, acoustics and government will be appearing.

The project is owned by Suncor Energy Inc. an “integrated energy company” strategically focused on developing Canada’s oil sands.  Suncor’s reported assets at December 31, 2009 were $69,746,000,000.

Suncor’s obvious financial means together with an apparent limitless cash supply for the government of Ontario indicate the resources our opponents have at their disposal.

Therefore, we call upon all concerned citizens around the globe to dig deep into their pockets and contribute to this precedent setting case which will have global repercussions.

What is at stake is nothing less than the future of wind development around the world.

The litany of half-truths and misinformation from wind lobbyists denying the adverse health effects of wind turbines must come to an end. Financial support is what is needed now to fight this case.

We have assembled a staggering amount of evidence and an extraordinary array of international witnesses. The appellants will be calling experts from New Zealand, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada.  They include:

  • Dr. Michael Nissenbaum, M.D., USA
  • Dr. Robert Thorne, PhD, Health Sciences and Acoustics, Australia
  • Richard James, INCE ,Acoustician, USA
  • Dr. Christopher Hanning, M.D., FRCA, MRCS, LRCP,  Sleep Specialist, United Kingdom
  • Dr. Robert McMurtry, M.D., F.R.C.S.(C), F.A.C.S., Canada
  • Dr. Arline Bronzaft, PhD, Noise and Health Specialist, USA
  • Dr. Jeffery Aramini, PhD, Epidemiologist, Canada
  • Dr. Carl V. Phillips, PhD, M.P.P., Epidemiology and Public Policy, USA
  • Dr. Daniel Shepherd, PhD, Noise and Health Specialist, New Zealand

The government and proponent are also bringing many experts. 

Gather up your wind action groups and get involved in raising funds for this internationally ground-breaking legal challenge! We all win if we win this precedent setting case.

To donate to the legal costs for this case:

Douglas Desmond, In Trust

Indicate that the funds are for the “Kent-Breeze Appeal”.

Address:

Douglas Desmond, Barrister & Solicitor
PO Box 129,
27 Main St. E
Ridgetown, Ontario, N0P 2C0
Phone: 1-888-674-1955

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Yesterday saw the preliminary hearing for the appeal of the renewable energy certificate for Suncor’s Kent Breeze project. The appeal was brought by the Chatham-Kent wind action group, and by a private citizen.

Witnesses for the wind development opponents include Drs Robert McMurty, Christopher Hanning, and Michael Nissenbaum, as well as epidemiologist Dr Carl V Phillips. Witnesses for the wind development proponent include Geoffrey Leventhall and acting Chatham Medical Officer of Health Dr David Colby. (We are puzzled by the appearance of Dr Colby as he has already been told by the College of Physicians and Surgeons that he, as a specialist in infectious disease, is not to present himself as an expert on wind turbine noise and health effects.)

Once again, the proponents are sticking to the tenet that wind turbine noise does not harm hearing. And that’s not what the medical experts are saying: they are saying that the noise and vibration (nfrasound) from industrial scale wind turbines is a very different sound that is causing a unique set of health problems.

We wish the wind development opponents the best. For more details, and to donate to this landmark case, go to http://www.windconcernsontario.org

For more of the science on the effects of wind turbine noise and infrasound, go to http://www.windvigilance.com

To contact us in North Gower-Richmond, email northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

and remember our special Truth about wind event, January 23rd, North Gower, at 2 p.m.

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One of the things the wind power proponents enjoy doing, especially for the urban dwellers who believe that wind power generation is clean and green and inexpensive, is to claim that no one in other countires is having a problem with exposure to industrial-scale wind turbines and the noise and infrasound they produce.

Wrong.

Last month, Denmark announced it is not putting up any more onshore turbines because of the health problems and noise complaints; we know that people in every other country in the world with wind turbines are having problems, too. Now, here is a news release from Australian physician Dr Sarah Laurie, whom we had the pleasure meeting at the recent First International Symposium on the Global Wind Industry and Health Effects.

November 16, 2010

Media Release   

Doctor Advises Clean Energy Council to Admit Adverse Health Effects of Wind Turbines

Former Rural GP, Dr Sarah Laurie condemned a report released by the Clean Energy Council last week as lacking integrity for not admitting  that some rural Australians are indeed becoming very ill, when they live or work adjacent to wind turbines.

“The major issue for families living in the vicinity of wind turbines is noise for extended periods of time leading to chronic sleep deprivation, which itself is associated with all sorts of health problems including heart disease, high blood pressure, suppressed immunity, difficulties concentrating and depression” said Dr Laurie.

The Clean Energy Council commissioned SONUS report acknowledged that complaints generally relate to concerns regarding noise and health related impacts.

Dr Laurie is now the Medical Director of the Waubra Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation committed to the independent study of health effects of wind turbines on rural communities.

The foundation is concerned at the absence of any published independent peer reviewed studies showing wind turbines are actually safe in close proximity to people over the longer term.

There is however, mounting evidence across the world that these turbines do cause major health problems, identical to those described by Dr Nina Pierpont and Dr Michael Nissenbaum at an international conference in Canada in October attended by Dr Laurie.

“I have now interviewed over 40  people in rural Australia who have been affected by wind turbines, with the same symptoms”.

“The reality for some neighbours of wind turbines in Australia is that they become extremely unwell.  Some have been forced to leave their family homes, farms and livelihoods as they can no longer work their land.  Others are unable to leave, as their main asset is their house and land, which becomes unsaleable” said Dr Laurie.

The SONUS report states that only a few field studies on noise annoyance among people living close to turbines have been conducted and further investigations have been recommended.

The Waubra Foundation believes there is an urgent need for independent academic acoustic and medical research into this important area before more turbines are constructed close to people’s homes and workplaces.

“We call on the government and the wind industry to commit to funding these independent studies without delay,” concluded Dr Laurie.

Contact Dr Sarah Laurie  08 8636 2051 or 0439 865 914

To contact the North Gower Wind Action Group, email northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

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A report on the International Symposium on the Global Wind Industry and Health Effects, which was attended by several people from the North Gower area, as well as several hundred participants from the UK, US, and Australia.

The first international symposium on The Global Wind Industry and Adverse Health Effects put on by The Society For Wind Vigilance was solid and powerful.
 
Dr. Robert McMurtry, M.D., F.R.C.S.(C), F.A.C.S., was moderator for the event and did a wonderful job of keeping everything moving along.  There was time for questions and comments set aside after speakers.
 
On Friday evening, we heard Orville Walsh speak to different setback distances.  
 
John Harrison, Ph.D., reviewed deficiencies in regulations and limitations in noise modeling.
 
On Saturday morning, Nina Pierpont, M.D., Ph.D., keynote speaker, spoke to navigating the surreal landscape of massive and systematic denial, cover-up and apathy to the suffering of many near wind turbines and to her work on Wind Turbine Syndrome.  The Society for Wind Vigilance recognized Dr. Pierpont as the pioneer in raising the issue of adverse health effects from industrial wind turbines.  She received a standing ovation!
 
Alec Salt, Ph.D. Cochlear Physiology, M.Sc.,B.Sc, Biology, demonstrated that the ear is far more complex than a microphone and that it actively amplifies high frequency sounds as it cancels out infrasonic sounds.
 
Arline Bronzaft, B.A., M.A., Ph.D., shared her knowledge on the effects of intrusive noise on child development and learning. 
 
Dr. Christopher Hanning, B.Sc., MB, BS, MRCS, LRCP, FRCA, MD, told us that the most common complaint of those exposed to industrial wind turbine noise is sleep disturbance.  Many of the other symptoms, fatigue, headache, nausea, memory problems and tiredness are probably secondary to sleep disturbance.  He says there is now a large body of evidence proving beyond any reasonable doubt that sleep is disturbed and health impaired by wind turbines at distances up to 2km, at noise levels claimed to be safe by the industry.
 
During a working luncheon,[PowerHungry author and journalist] Robert Bryce explained that the growth of the wind industry came about because of the industry’s ability to portray itself as “green”.  He told us that the growth will be difficult to sustain because the industry has overstated its ability to deliver meaningful savings on carbon dioxide emissions, it faces a growing backlash from affected landowners and from ratepayers who are learning about the high cost of “green” energy.
 
After lunch, Michael A. Nissenbaum, MD, discussed his findings on the world’s first controlled study of adverse health effects related to industrial wind turbines.  He reports that adverse effects are real and significant.  Since the pilot study was completed, a larger, more detailed and standardized controlled study has been undertaken at Mars Hill and Vinalhaven, Maine, utilizing validated questionnaires.
 
Carl V. Phillips, Ph.D., sent his presentation for us to hear in his absence.  He is awaiting the arrival of a new son/daughter at any minute and was unable to travel to the symposium in person.  He says the claim that there is no evidence of negative health effects from wind turbines near residences is clearly false since there are ample credible reports of people experiencing problems.  He is working on developing a research tool for collecting case-crossover data for use by any community.
 
Carmen Krogh, B.SC. Pharmacy, spoke to the consequences of the violation of social justice for families worldwide who are affected by turbines.  She states that those experiencing symptoms also feel victimized by the very systems that would normally protect them.  In some cases, Ontario families have abandoned their homes to protect their health. 
 
Eric K. Gillespie, LLB, spoke to legal challenges and opportunities that are being pursued, strategies that include private litigation brought by individuals, public interest litigation raising broader issues, by-laws, resolutions and other steps taken by local government and administrative hearings outside of the court system.
 
On Sunday morning, the room was full again to listen to Ross McKitrick, Ph.D., ask if coal kills, where are the bodies?  He explained the nature of the coal plants currently operating in Ontario and air pollution trends.  He was able to show that the claims that current air pollution levels result in thousands of cases of illness and death are not supported in up-to-date, peer-reviewed literature.
 
Dale Goldhawk, broadcaster, told us that everyone thought dump site 41 was a done deal, that nothing could be done to stop it.  He says there are no done deals with projects that are counter to the best interests of people – and that includes wind turbines!  He wants us to remember the words of Gandhi:  First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.  Mr. Goldhawk will be speaking to industrial wind turbines all this week on his show, Nov. 1st to Nov. 8th and he would love to hear from you!  Shows start at 11:00a.m. each day on 740am radio or http://zoomerradio.ca 
Call in at 1-866-740-4740 or 1-416-360-0740 or email to fightback@goldhawk.com
 
Dr. Robert McMurtry eloquently summarized the weekend for us and thanked our speakers, all traveled to the symposium at their own expense, for sharing their knowledge with us.  It was uplifting to see the caring and concern in the room. There was an award and a standing ovation for all of the speakers! 
 
There were hundreds of messages of support from around the world for the first international symposium on the global wind industry and adverse health effects!  There will be a comprehensive list posted on www.windvigilance.com when the team catches their breath again.  Messages came from New Zealand, Canada, Australia, Germany, EPAW, Japan, Spain, Sweden, Untited Kingdom, United States, Belgium, Crete, Denmark, Estonia, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands and Poland. 
 
From all around the globe, people spoke of correcting an unethical wrong and of their gratitude to the Society for arranging this powerful weekend of speakers.

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Here are some thoughts on the health effects from Dr Michael Nissenbaum who has been conducting a study of the residents living near Mars Hill. As those who attended our April 13 information meeting will know, early results of his study show that the majority of people living in proximity to the industrial wind turbines there are experiencing effects on their health.

As you read this, bear in mind the topography of the North Gower-Richmond area, which is an internationally known site because it is a drumlin field.

Wind Turbines, Health, Ridgelines, and Valleys

Author:  Nissenbaum, Michael

It is a medical fact that sleep disturbance and perceived stress result in ill effects, including and especially cardiovascular disease, but also chronic feelings of depression, anger, helplessness, and, in the aggregate, the banishment of happiness and reduced quality of life.

Cardiovascular disease, as we all now, leads to reduced life expectancy. Try and get reasonably priced life insurance if you are hypertensive or have suffered a heart attack.

If industrial wind turbines installed in close proximity to human habitation result in sleep disturbance and stress, then it follows as surely as day follows night that wind turbines will, over the long term, result in these serious health effects and reduced quality of life.

The question is, then, do they?

In my investigation of Mars Hill, Maine, 22 out of about 30 adults (‘exposed’) who live within 3500 feet of a ridgeline arrangement of 28 1.5 MW wind turbines were evaluated to date, and compared with 27 people of otherwise similar age and occupation living about 3 miles away (Not Exposed).

Here is what was found:

82% (18/22) of exposed subjects reported new or worsened chronic sleep deprivation, versus 4% (1 person) in the non-exposed group. 41% of exposed people reported new chronic headaches vs 4% in the control group. 59% (13/22) of the exposed reported ‘stress’ versus none in the control group, and 77% (17/22) persistent anger versus none in the people living 3 miles away. More than a third of the study subjects had new or worsened depression, with none in the control group. 95% (21/22) of the exposed subjects perceived reduced quality of life, versus 0% in the control group. Underlining these findings, there were 26 new prescription medications offered to the exposed subjects, of which 15 were accepted, compared to 4 new or increased prescriptions in the control group. The prescriptions ranged from anti-hypertensives and antidepressants to anti migraine medications among the exposed. The new medications for the non exposed group were anti-hypertensives and anti-arthritics.

The Mars Hill study will soon be completed and is being prepared for publication. Preliminary findings have been presented to the Chief Medical Officer for Ontario, and have been presented to Health Canada, by invitation. Earlier partial results were presented to the Maine Medical Association, which passed a Resolution calling for caution, further study, and appropriate modification of siting regulations, at its annual meeting in 2009.

There is absolutely no doubt that people living within 3500 feet of a ridgeline arrangement of turbines 1.5 MW or larger turbines in a rural environment will suffer negative effects.

The study was undertaken as a pilot project to evaluate for a cluster of symptoms after numerous media reports, in order to present data to the Maine Medical Association, after the Maine CDC failed to more fully investigate.

While the study is not perfect, it does suggest a real problem that warrants not only further more detailed investigation, but the tenderest caution, in the meantime, when decisions on how to site industrial wind turbines are made.

What is it about northeast USA ridgelines that contribute to these ill effects, and how can they be avoided?

Consider, the Northeast is prone to icing conditions. Icing will increase the sound coming off of turbines by up to 6 dBA. As the icing occurs symmetrically on all blades, imbalance detectors do not kick on, and the blades keep turning, contrary to wind industry claims.

Sound is amplified coming off of ridgelines into valleys. This is because the background noise in rural valleys is low to begin with, increasing the sensitivity to changes, particularly the beating, pulsatile nature of wind turbine noise, and sound sources at elevation do not undergo the same attenuation that occurs from groundcover when noise sources are at ground level. The noise travels farther and hits homes and people at greater amplitude that it would from a lower elevation. Even though this is not rocket science, it was conclusively proven in a NASA funded study in 1990.

Snow pack and ice contribute to increased noise transmission. Vermont valleys have both, I believe.

Preconstruction sound modeling fails to take the tendency of the homes that people live in to respond and vibrate perceptibly to sound at frequencies that the occupants of the dwellings cannot necessarily hear. They hear, and feel, the walls and windows rattle, and the floors vibrate, in a pulsing manner at a frequency or the turbine rpm.

When preconstruction modeling fails to take the pulsatile nature, propensity for icing, and ridgeline elevation into account, as well as a linear as opposed to point source of noise, problems can be expected. What distance is safe? It depends on the terrain, the climate, the size of the project and the turbines themselves. Accurate preconstruction modeling with safe targets in mind is critical. The WHO says that 30dbA is ideal, and noise levels of above 40dbA have definite health consequences. At Mars Hill, where affected homes are present at 3500 feet, sound levels have been measured at over 52.5dbA. The fiasco there has been acknowledged by the local wind energy company, and by a former Maine governor.

Vermont would do well to learn from the affected people in Mars Hill.

I have seen the preliminary plans for the planned Deerfield Wind Facility, and have particular concerns regarding the dwellings to the north and northeast of the northernmost extension of the turbine layout. These homes are well within a mile, generally downwind, and downhill from what I am told may well be 2 MW turbines (or larger?), in a snowy and icy part of the Northeast.

The parallels to Mars Hill are striking.

We know that preconstruction sound modeling failed at Mars Hill. No matter what the preconstruction modeling at Deerfield shows, the real world experiment at Mars Hill suggests that there will be problems for homes at the setbacks that seem to be planned for Deerfield on the attached image.

The people who live within 3500 feet at Mars Hill are truly suffering. Learn from Mars Hill. It is not a matter of not having wind turbines. It is a matter of putting them where they will not affect people’s health.

Newer technology to accurately measure sound at a quantum level improvement in temporal, frequency and amplitude resolution over commonly used acoustician’s equipment now exists, though it is costly and not readily available. But it will be widespread, soon, well within the tenure of the individuals responsible for making siting decisions today.

Avail yourselves of these findings and familiarize yourselves with the new technologies. You will not only be future proofing your current decisions, you will also be helping people who would otherwise end up too close to industrial wind turbines escape the fate of the exposed residents of Mars Hill, and many other sites in North America (Mars Hill, Maine, merely represents the first small ‘controlled’ study).

I have seen the results of this cutting edge equipment, and how it has revealed drastic short duration excesses over allowed sound levels, levels that set homes vibrating and rendering them unlivable, but also levels of lower frequency transient noise at the audible level, that demonstrates not only failure of preconstruction sound modeling as currently practiced, but also the inadequacy of the measuring tools in the toolkit of the everyday practicing acoustician-consultant who generates reports for industry and local government.

—Montpelier, VT, May 7, 2010

Michael A. Nissenbaum, MD
University of Toronto (MD), McGill University (Specialty Diagnostic Imaging), University of California (Fellowship)
Harvard University Medical School (junior faculty, Associate Director of MRI, BIH)
Currently, Radiologist, NMMC, Ft. Kent, Maine

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