Posts Tagged ‘wind turbines Germany’

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.”



Marlborough 1 project status: awaiting ECT.

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

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From the current issue of Lifestyle Hearing, an article by Andrea Graham, audiologist, MSc (sorry it’s not available online but you might see a hard copy at your doctor’s office).
The Great Windmill Debate
Imagine a windmill was placed in your area. You might not think it would affect you–but people in Canada, Denmark, Northern Ireland, Portugal, New Zealand, the UK and the United States are saying otherwise. They are reporting migraines, vertigo, tinnitus, sleep deprivation, memory problems, nervousness, fear, chest tightness or increased heart rate.
Articles about Visceral Vibratory Vestibular Disturbance (VVVD) Vibroacoustic Disease and Wind Turbine Syndrome are appearing in books, newspapers and on websites with increasing frequency. While the effects of intense noise in the range that we can hear are becoming more widely recognized and publicized, physicians and researchers are now concerned that infrasound–sounds that are in the frequency range too low for the human ear to hear–are the cause of these symptoms. They theorize that low-frequency sounds and vibrations emitted by wind turbines may interfere with the ear’s vestibular system, which controls our sense of balance, or may affect heart and lung tissues.
A controversial issue
Wind energy is such a promising source of renewable energy and the reduction of carbon emissions such a worthwhile goal. Should we not be doing everything in our power to encourage alternative energy sources? How can something that we cannot hear be causing a problem? Some experts have noted that sleep deprivation can cause most of the commonly reported symptoms. Are the people complaining about the windmills just not getting enough sleep? Supporters of wind energy also argue that there is not enough valid research to conclusively support medical concerns.
On the other hand, it took years to establish that cigarette smoke was harmful to human health, and residents living near wind farms are not the only people experiencing ill health caused by sound energy. Noise and vibration-related illness complaints can also result from exposure to traffic noise, machinery, generators and air conditioners. There is sufficient research in the aerospace, shipping and trucking industries to validate that other sources of low-frequency sound and vibration can be damaging.
International governments are trying to address concerns by initiating studies and establishing guidelines for appropriate noise limits and locations for large wind turbines. This is not an easy task; factors such as the size of the turbines, distance from residences, local topography, ground cover, atmospheric conditions and existing ambient sound levels must all be taken into consideration.
As Audiologists, we know sound affects different people in different ways and that we are only at the early stages of understanding the complexity of the human response to sound. We need to be conscious of the environmental impact of noise, as well as of carbon emissions. Independent investigation and responsible consultation should prevent us all from tilting at windmills.

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One of the things the wind developers, Ontario MPPs on the government side, and our Premier keep saying is that wind turbines have been in use in Europe for years and there seems to be no problems.


May 15th that idea should change with a worldwide march to protest industrial wind turbines that kicks off in Berlin.

Here is a comment from a family living in the Schleswig-Holstein area of Germany: they want to leave things are so bad, but wind turbines appear to be a threat everywhere today.

Hello to Nova Scotia.
I’m from Germany and my wife and me are going to leave this country, because of that wind madness. We have over 25,000 wind turbines in Germany with an installed capacity of more than 27 GW. That is cir. 30% more than the capacity of our nuclear power plants (please, don’t start a debate about nuclear power – earth is flat, pigs can fly and nuclear power is save). The nuclear power plants produce 25% of our needed energy, the wind turbines only 6.6%. And the price for this 6.6%? In 2009 German energy customers had to pay cir. 4 billion Euro (over 5 billion $) for wind energy, money that is missing in other parts of life. Over 2 million birds are killed every year by wind turbines. People fall ill by wind turbines ([my wife] and I have insomnia, tinnitus and she was in hospital, because of heart rhythm disorder; we are living 320 to 600m besides 6 windturbines for the last 15 years).
But back to our emigration plans.
Our first thought was Nova Scotia, because weather and landscape is very similar to ours. Than we read about the story of the d’Entremont family from Lower West Pubnico. About wind farms in Pictou County and the plans to destroy Digby Neck.
Could you imagine, what will happen to the migration routes of the birds? We see it every spring and autumn. The migration routes from north east to south west continue over our area. But the routes are cut off by wind turbines and the birds, which had a long way over sea, have to make long detours. And don’t forget: birds are killed by the blades of the turbines. The same will happen in Nova Scotia.
Another problem is the infrasonic and its disturbance for the whales. Nova Scotia has established a green tourism especially with whalewatching. The sound pollution underwater will scare away the whales and thus the income of many people.
Again back to our emigration plans: it seems, Nova Scotia is not the place, we want to spend our old age.

More news daily at http://windconcernsontario.wordpress.com

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

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