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Posts Tagged ‘wind turbines and health effects’

Paul Mahon, editor of Ontario Farmer, has covered the issues in the current edition of the paper.

“There are many flaws in logical thinking in the ongoing discussions about wind energy,” he writes. [Editor: he means wind power; wind energy is the actual wind, which can be used to create power. But we digress.] “Without logical thinking we cannot come out with the best outcome.

“There is too much dependence on the all or nothing argument that wind is either all good or all bad, presumably because it is a singular issue. It is not a singular issue, it is at least three separate issues.

“The first issue is, is it a health risk? Are people in proximity to turbines suffering direct health problems? If it is found that turbines do cause health problems, then adequate safeguards need to be built in so that turbines do not have the chance to affect health. If existing turbines are affecting health, remedial measures need to be taken.”

First of all, it’s already been proven that the environmental noise and vibration (infrasound) produced by industrial-scale wind turbines do cause harm to human health (Decision of the Environmental Review Tribunal, July 2011). The health effects from environmental noise have been documented for other types of noise (traffic, airports, etc.) and the effects of infrasound too have been studied. For some reason, when it comes to wind turbines–and we’re talking big ones, not the little toys that exist in some places, and certainly not the iconic but useless turbine at Toronto’s Exhibition Place–these threats to health go away, courtesy the lobbying efforts of the global wind industry.

Editor Mahon uses the word “direct” and we’re not sure whether he understands what he has done. A “direct” health effect from a wind turbine would be if one of them fell on you, or if ice thrown from one of the rotor blades hits you (and that can happen). Rather it is an indirect pathway that has the effect. In other words, the noise causes you to lose sleep and in turn sleep deprivation causes health effects such as headache, raised blood pressure, and more. Similarly, the infrasound or vibration causes changes in the air pressure which in turn cause problems in the inner ear and affect people’s balance.

Thamesville resident Lisa Michaud, a Cornwall native who recently travelled back from Thamesville to speak to an audience in Brinston (Prowind’s South branch 30 MW project), told us that her otherwise healthy 20-year-old son can no longer work as a roofer as the vibration has severly affected his balance. Lisa posted in Facebook today about her drive home from a public meeting: “The drive home from Essex was excruciating! Sudden severe head and ear pain and pressure from the moment I hit highway 8… Had to stop at the Comber Timmy’s for a moment as I felt like vomiting & passing out… So weird it subsided somewhere between Chatham & Ridgetown but kicked me the moment I entered my house!”

Next issue, Paul Mahon says is property values. Unfortunately, he has fallen for the wind developer lobby group propaganda which is that it’s not that there is a serious problem with the turbines, it’s whether people like seeing them or not. Which is part of the problem, with the flashing red lights and all, but certainly not the whole problem. “It affects the ambience,” he writes. Well, yes. Having your formerly quiet rural community suddenly changed to an industrial wind power generation facility certainly affects the ambience just a tad. There are by now dozens of studies that show property values in the proximity of industrial wind turbine projects decline, by as much as 50% … with some properties losing all value.

Mr. Mahon makes the point that just because something worked well elsewhere doesn’t mean it will work here, and he refers to Germany. Now, it must be said that in Germany they have not dumped turbines right on top of people as Ontario has, and to say that there is no opposition to wind turbines in Germany would be completely inaccurate. In fact, the worldwide march against turbines in 2010 began in Berlin.

He concludes with this excellent advice: “Some of these logical questions might have been better researched BEFORE the turbines were built. Because, the truth is, we are years into it already and we still do not know.”

Indeed.

……….

Marlborough 1 project status: awaiting ECT.

FIT program review announcement possibly next week from the Ontario government.

Join our email list at northgowerwindactiongroup@yahoo.ca and follow us on Twitter at northgowerwind.

News through the day at Wind Concerns Ontario http://www.windconcernsontario.ca

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