Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Marlborough’

Corporate wind developer Prowind claims it didn’t get an invitation to the recent public session sponsored by three local wind action community groups, which attracted more than 125 residents concerned about proposed industrial wind turbine projects. The company’s manager of operations Cathy Weston told a reporter for The Advance that “I didn’t get an invitation.”

Well, here’s the thing: No one got an “invitation.”

But plenty of people knew about the meeting: more than a thousand flyers were delivered by Canada Post to homes in Richmond, North Gower, Kars, and South Branch, and advertisements were paid for and appeared in the EMC from Carleton Place through to Winchester, in the Manotick Messenger, and in The Ottawa Citizen. As well, news stories were carried on the CBC and CFRA prior to the event.

Hardly a secret event!

northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

A Canadian epidemiologist testified at a Public Service Commission hearing in Wisconsin, on the health effects noted from exposure to the noise and vibration (infrasound) from industrial wind turbines. Note how simple it would be to do actual research on actual people, in his opinion. But instead, the Ontario government proffers a highly selective review paper as “research”, as did the wind energy lobby in Canada.

If the corporate wind developers were truly concerned about the health of Canadians (“Coal is killing people!” [it isn’t.] ) they would pay for a real study.

The link is provided if you wish to view a video of  Dr Phillips’ testimony, and a transcript of his remarks follows.

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

PSC: Please raise your right hand. Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?

Carl V. Phillips: Yes, I do.

PSC: OK, spell your name.

PHILLIPS: Carl V. Phillips, C-A-R-L, initial V as in Vincent- Phillips- P-H-I-double L-I-P-S

PSC: All right, go ahead.

I’m an epidemiologist and policy researcher.  I’m specifically expert in how to optimally derive knowledge for decision making from epidemiologic data.

I have a PhD in public policy from Harvard University, and I did a post doctoral fellowship in public health policy and the philosophy of science.

I’ve spent most of my career as a professor of public health and medicine, most recently at the University of Alberta and I currently direct an independent research institute.

I reviewed the literature on health effects of wind turbines on local residents, including the reports that have been prepared by industry consultants and the references therein, and I have reached the following conclusions which I present in detail in a written report that I believe will be submitted [to the commission].

First, there is ample evidence that some people suffer a collection of health problems, including insomnia, anxiety, loss of concentration, general psychological distress, as a result of being exposed to turbines near their home.

The type of studies that have been done are not adequate to estimate what portion of the population is susceptible to the effect, the magnitude of the effects, or exactly how much exposure is needed before the risks become substantial, but all of these could be determined with fairly simple additional research.

What is clear is there is a problem of some magnitude.  The evidence may or may not be enough to meet the burden of a tort claim about a specific disease, but in my opinion it’s clearly enough to suggest that our public policy should not just be to blindly move forward without more knowledge.

The best evidence we have—which has been somewhat downplayed in previous discussion—is what’s known as “case cross-over data,” which is one of the most useful forms of epidemiologic study when both the exposure and the disease are transitory.  That is, it’s possible to remove the exposure and see if the disease goes away, then reinstate it and see if the disease recurs, which is exactly the pattern that has been observed for some of the sufferers who physically moved away and sometimes back again.

With that study design in mind, we actually have very substantial amounts of data in a structured form, contrary to some of the claims that have been made.  And more data of this nature could easily be gathered if an effort was made.

Moreover, people’s avoidance behavior—their moving from their homes, and so forth—is a clear (what’s called) “revealed preference measure” of their suffering.  Such evidence transforms something that might be dismissed as a subjective experience or perhaps even fakery, to an objective observation that someone’s health problems are worth more than the many thousands of dollars they’ve lost trying to escape the exposure.

My second observation . . . is that these health effects that people are suffering are very real.  The psychologically mediated diseases that we’ve observed, and in fact overall mental well being, are included in all modern accepted definitions of either individual health or public health.  It’s true that they are more difficult to study than certain other diseases, but they probably account for more of the total morbidity burden in the United States than do purely physical diseases.  Therefore [they] should not be in any way dismissed.

Third, the reports that I have read that claim there is no evidence that there is a problem seem to be based on a very simplistic understanding of epidemiology and self-serving definitions of what does and what does not count as evidence.  I don’t think I can cover too much of this in the available time right now, but I explain it in detail in my report—why these claims, which probably seem convincing to most readers prima facie [at first glance], don’t represent proper scientific reading.  Moreover, the conclusions of the reports don’t even match their own analyses.  The reports themselves actually concede that there are problems, and then somehow manage to reach the conclusion that there is no evidence that there are problems.

And my final point, as I’ve already alluded to, is it’s quite possible to do the studies it would take to resolve the outstanding questions, and they could actually be done very quickly by studying people who are already exposed.

This isn’t the type of circumstance where we cannot really know more until we move forward and wait for years of additional exposure.  The only reason we don’t have better information than we do is that no one with adequate resources has tried to get it.

That’s the conclusion of my points.

Read Full Post »

The North Gower Wind Action Group recently sent out a news release to announce that we had hired an environmental law firm to advise on how to protect local residents regarding the Marlborough wind turbine development. Chair Gary Chandler was quoted as saying, “It’s a shame that Ontario citizens now have to hire lawyers to find out what’s going on in the wind energy development process, and to protect people’s health and property values.”

Why was this necessary? Because the process in Ontario leaves out municipalities, and citizens…we have virtually no say in the process and the approval process is completely focused on getting these developments up and running. The wind developers do their own environmental assessments and, although citizens have the opportunity to review and comment, and request that the Ontario Ministry of the Environment do its own assessment, not one project in Ontario has ever seen that happen.

It is true that Prowind is following the process, but if it was so great, why are more than 50 municipalities/towns protesting?

And we’ve seen the results across Ontario: noise injected into the environment, worst at night; vibration and “infrasound”; bird kills; and more.

Prowind responded with a letter to the editor of the newspaper in Arnprior, Ontario.  You can read it here:

http://www.emcarnprior.ca/20100326/editorials/Wind+farm+developer+responds+to+concerns

Read Full Post »

Prowind has a development proposed for the Brinston area (Shanly, Spencerville). Yes, neighbours, you are welcome to come to the North Gower Wind Action Group public information night, April 13, 6:30 p.m. at Alfred Taylor Centre. The issues of noise, health effects and property values will be discussed, and questions answered.

Contact us at northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca for more information.

For a map:

http://maps.google.ca/maps/ms?hl=en&ie=UTF8&msa=0&msid=107049149515968914390.000475fefa2a440bdbf6e&ll=45.168968,-75.694084&spn=0.108438,0.219383&z=12

Read Full Post »

At last, one website with a full collection of articles, reports, Powerpoint presentations and more on health effects, noise, and property values connected to wind energy development.

It’s at http://www.windpowerfacts.info

The resources have been compiled by a New York State resident who has no axe to grind (i.e., no wind turbine developments are planned near him [yet]) but who has been watching this “alternative energy” movement in the U.S. and Canada, with dismay.

Well worth a visit, especially for those just learning about the issues.

Read Full Post »