Science deniers in the wind industry

“The Big Wind industry has done everything in its power to keep this story buried, and to ridicule and vilify the victims who suffer in so many ways.” – Paul Driessen

“By now most Americans have heard about wind energy’s costly, subsidized, unreliable electricity,” says Paul Driessen. “The need to back up every megawatt with redundant fossil-fuel power and build ultra-long transmission lines from distant wind farms to urban centers; and the impacts that towering lines and turbines have on wildlife and habitats. What they haven’t heard much about is the damage that turbines can inflict on human health and well-being.

“Not everyone is affected the same way or to the same degree. But for susceptible people living near gigantic turbines – even a mile or more away – the constant inaudible “infrasound” bombardment and “flicker” effects early and late in the day can be horribly debilitating.

“Sensory perception expert Helen Parker has done something I don’t believe anyone else has done,” says Driessen. “Pulled together the science and personal interest stories associated with this growing problem.”

 

__________________________________________

Science deniers in the wind industry  

The human health consequences of manipulated measurements

By Helen Schwiesow Parker, PhD, LCP          

Like the tobacco industry before it, the wind industry has spent decades vehemently denying known harmful consequences associated with its product, while promoting its fraudulent feel-good image. Dismissing or denying the serious health impacts of industrial-scale wind turbines is wishful thinking, akin to insisting that tobacco is harmless because we enjoy it.

The problem with wind energy is not just its costly, subsidized, unreliable electricity; the need to back up every megawatt with redundant fossil-fuel power; or its impacts on wildlife and their habitats.

Infrasound (inaudible) and low-frequency (audible) noise (slowly vibrating sound waves collectively referred to as ILFN) produced by Industrial-scale Wind Turbines (IWTs) directly and predictably cause adverse human health effects.  The sonic radiation tends to be amplified within structures, and sensitivity to the impact of the resonance increases with continuing exposure.

These facts have been known to the wind industry and the US government since the 1980s when it became a ‘hot topic,’ with numerous studies presented and published by accousticians working under grants from the Departments of Energy, Defense and NASA.

The wind industry response? 

Deny the science.  Insist that “what you can’t hear can’t hurt you.” Claim that “neighbors will get used to it.” Measure only outside dwellings, and allow only noise measurements in the field that reflect the relative loudness perceived by the human ear, while drastically reducing sound-level readings in the lower frequencies that are known to cause problems.

From a distance, many view the massive turbines as majestic – as a clean, seemingly quiet and free source of endless energy. To untold thousands of families clustered within 2 kilometers (1.25 miles) or more of the pulsing machines, however, the IWTs bring strangely debilitating illness – increasingly incapacitating for some, yet scoffed at by wind proponents.

Common sense tells us that fifty-story-tall metal structures with blades as long as football fields moving at 180 mph at their tips would negatively impact quiet neighborhoods. But the extent and severity of the IWT’s effect on body, mind and spirit comes as a surprise to most people.

Land of the FREE Home of the BULLSHIT!

When I’m at home I’m usually sick with headaches, nausea, vertigo, tinnitus, anxiety, hopelessness, depression. My ears pop a lot and I hardly ever sleep…. Suicide looks to be my only relief.  Land of the FREE Home of the BULLSHIT! … Million to one odds anybody contacts me back.” 

The primary pathway of turbine assault on human health is no mystery. The Israeli army has used low-frequency sound pulses as high-tech crowd control for years. People are made nauseous and confused, with blurred vision, vertigo, headaches, tachycardia, heightened blood pressure, pain and ringing in the ears, difficulties with memory and concentration, anxiety, depression, irritability, and panic attacks.

This also describes the Wind Turbine Syndrome (WTS), a constellation of symptoms first given a name by the brilliant young MD/PhD, Nina Pierpont. She followed her astute and compassionate observations of turbine neighbors around the world with epidemiological research, using a robust case-crossover statistical design: subjects experienced symptoms that varied with proximity to the turbines. When the same subjects were placed at a greater distance from the turbines, their symptoms abated; returning them to the scene brought the symptoms back.

Michigan State University noise engineers explain that “Inaudible components [ILFN] can induce resonant vibration in liquids, gases and solids … bodily tissues and cavities – potentially harmful to humans.” A subject in the groundbreaking Cooper study describes how the resonance shows up in a glass of water on her kitchen table, and in the toilet bowl, and how she feels it in her body.

Pierpont hypothesized that a significant pathway from ILFN to symptoms might include disruption to balance mechanisms located in the inner ear.

Dr. Alec Salt and colleagues, otolaryngologists at Washington University, later found that inaudible ILFN reaches the brain via inner ear Outer Hair Cell (OHC) displacement, leading indeed to unfamiliar and disturbing sensations paralleling WTS.

A lot of money riding on this

As turbine size trends upward, the sickening ILFN emissions worsen. There’s a lot of money riding on keeping the science under the radar of public awareness, and regulations to a minimum.

When Denmark’s EPA proposed tightening turbine noise regulations to protect turbine neighbors from increasing ILFN (May 2011), the Vestas CEO wrote the DEPA Minister, asserting: “It simply isn’t technically possible to curtail the ILFN output,” and “Increased distance requirements [setbacks from residences] cannot be met whilst maintaining a satisfactory business outcome for the investor.”’ DEPA folded, turning instead to looser standards that were “likely to be copied by other countries.”

Although alerted to the increased endangerment of turbine neighbors around the world, the press remained silent, and Big Wind’s central players ramped up their game plan undeterred.

In addition to the impact of ILFN radiation, turbine neighbors suffer from Turbine “Flicker” – a strobe-like effect caused by turbine blades alternately blocking and allowing sunlight to skim rhythmically and repeatedly across the land, or ricochet in bursts across interior walls and stairwells.

Nausea, dizziness, lightheadedness, irritability, even panic

The direct impact extends to nearly a mile from the turbine – long after sunrise, and again long before sunset. It is mesmerizing, disorienting, and often brings on nausea, dizziness, lightheadedness, irritability, even panic, indoors or outside.

Repetitive sleep disturbance and stress-related symptoms are the most common health complaints of IWT neighbors.  The audible sound constantly fluctuates, described as akin to low-flying jets or the rumble of helicopters, “freakish, screeching sound sludge.”  It is unnatural.  People say the noise gets into your head, and you can’t get it out.

Advising the Falmouth, MA Board of Health, Dr. William Hallstein wrote: “All varieties of illnesses are destabilized, secondary to inadequate sleep: diabetic blood sugars, cardiac rhythms, migraines, tissue healing. Psychiatric problems intensify … all in the ‘normal’ brain. Errors in judgment and accident rates increase.”

As with seasickness, not everyone is similarly affected. But for many, the experience becomes literally intolerable. Devastated families and individuals around the world, having lost their health, jobs or farms, return their keys to the bank, sell their homes at fire-sale prices, or simply pack up and flee. Some never recover their health.

(For more details on this human health travesty, see my three-part series on MasterResource.org)

A tale of money and power

The continuing expansion of Big Wind is a tale of money and power shunting aside integrity and compassion, abetted by a disinterested news media, leading to an un-informed public, further betrayed by “human rights advocates” loathe to break ranks from popular positions.

The myth that “saving the world” requires tolerating the costs of Big Wind could not be further from the truth.  Responsible stewardship demands critical thinking, common sense and grade school science, not just following Big Wind’s Pied Piper and supposedly good intentions.

In fact, allowing wind into the energy mix squanders our non-renewable environment and taxpayer billions that are greatly needed elsewhere, wasting them on the most idiotic of engineering conceits.

Wind actually increases emissions and fossil fuel use

Reliance on wind actually increases emissions and fossil fuel use overall, due to inefficiencies introduced into the system. Big Wind eliminates none of the need for conventional capacity, but rather consumes vast quantities of additional fuel and raw materials, while spewing emissions during the manufacture, transportation, construction and maintenance of the enormous redundant turbines and their uniquely demanding infrastructure.

The Wind Game is nothing but an obscenely costly, mostly useless energy redundancy scheme. It funnels unimaginable profits from our taxpayer and rate-payer pockets to its inner circle, while knowingly ignoring its victims’ desperate pleas for relief – and indeed ridiculing them and trying to bury all the growing evidence of harm to their health and wellbeing.

We’ve witnessed three decades of this callous, mercenary assault, this arrogant denial of what is known to be true, this untold suffering of thousands of innocent victims around the world. It’s time to bring in the human rights and social justice referees – and call “game over.”

___________

Helen Schwiesow Parker, PhD, is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and a Past Clinical Supervisory Faculty member at the University of Virginia Medical School. Her career includes practical experience in the fields of autism, sensory perception, memory and learning, attention deficit and anxiety disorders, including panic disorder and PTSD.

Thanks to Paul Driessen for this article


18 thoughts on “Science deniers in the wind industry”

  1. I like the comparison with big tobacco, I’ll throw that at my windmill loving friends I think. Maybe then I can get their attention.

  2. That is exactly what ‘Paris’ want: a lot of tax-money to produce sustainable energy. Never ask questions what that is, never ask in what way it will have effect onto health. You will have to suffer like if its gods will for a greater goal: saving the planet and creating jobs. Unfirunately, the universe is a bit too big, otherwise we, humans , should have to save the universe. Among the so called progressive politics, refusing asking questions is a mainstream as science is ‘the world order’ we have to obey for they are prucing facts and only facts. Don’t ask what that is. Don’t ask what is meant by truth.

  3. Which is why most of the investment going forward in the UK, is towards offshore windfarms well out of ILFN radiation range.
    There is another renewable technology which is tidal, either by barrage and turbine production and water storage and compressed Hydrogen during periods when the tides and wind produce energy during low electricity demand periods.
    Energy Storage is the key and virtually no investment has been made in this technology as its the most expensive portion of the solution, to make wind work similar amounts of storage investment needs to be made which makes the profit and loss account on wind negative.
    In the coming MIA because of the Solar Shut down we will need every Watts we can produce just to keep the light on.

  4. same issues arise in Aus also. same bullshit denials by the birdshredder proponents who have a vested interest in dissing public health issues.

  5. Working in transport and dealing with complaints regarding road humps I learnt of the importance of ground structure in transmitting noise and vibration. On clay the effects of the windmill must be felt quite some distance away.

  6. Like I have said time and time again!! It isn’t about saving the environment from the evil oil industry (notice I didn’t sat fossil fuel) it is about world socialism! ONLY the few in power know what is best for the masses. They will never give up until they achieve the “Utopia”. Capitalism must die! How many protesters are aware of this quote from Nikita Khrushchev: “You Americans are so gullible. No, you won’t accept Communism outright; but we’ll keep feeding you small doses of Socialism until you will finally wake up and find that you already have Communism. We won’t have to fight you; we’ll so weaken your economy, until you fall like overripe fruit into our hands.” Anything in our society today look like this???

  7. This is probably true. But you can also say many of the same things about electro-magnetic effects from powder lines powered by whatever fuel you choose. Sorry, guys, there is no nirvana.

    • you can easily distance yourself from the high volt powerlines or you can IF the landuse/developers follow the guidelines
      i know many do not.
      Bees will either leave the hive OR become very aggro if closer then 150metres from large powerlines /transformers on long rural lines
      I have lines across my property and a transformer on the neighbours block
      a row of dense trees helps deflect from the house area and the home is as far from the lines as it could be sited.
      very wierd. in Vic aus they brag and charge heaps for so called UNderground power
      the ONLY bloody underground is from the OVERHEAD supply running TO the home
      ie you also then have to allocate clear soil area where the idiots run the lines!
      double the inconvenience for naff all real fire or safety use!
      hell i almost hurt my jaw from the drop i gave it upon seeing OLD WOODEN poles all wonky and leaning all over the place along highways in this state when i moved here.
      wind/fire/termites and vehicular smashing..the risk of lines down is HUGE

      • I’m kind of surprised to hear that about the bees. I’ve read some articles about how in the US easement areas for high power lines have become a sort of natural wildlife corridor, and much wildlife seems to thrive there. Perhaps just because they are less likely to get run over?

        As kids, my 4 brothers and I spent most of free time playing under the high tension lines, which were near our house… and we tend to think of it as a kind of wild and romantic place. The plants that grew there were mostly shrubby and wild looking with swamp running through it and it was a great place to pretend we were in the wilderness or “dinosaur land”. I remember getting in trouble for picking a bunch of lady slippers there for my mom… she scolded me because they were an “endangered” species but they grew abundantly in the woods at the edge of the easement. And wild blueberries grew directly under the power lines.. and we used to pick them in the summer and sled down “Blueberry Hill” under the power lines in the winter. Only problem was ticks were abundant as well; we’d get covered with them, yuck!

  8. I’ve got a small wind generator about the size of an car alternator with two foot blades. Is that the same danger??????

    • I doubt it.
      its not going to be moving huge swathes of air creating vortices.
      a huge amount of Aussie farms used Dunlite wind generators in the early years and they worked well to run 32v houselights etc to isolated farms, the thing is they are SMALL.

    • My best guess, and it’s just that, I’m no expert, is that you may get some infra sound, but not nearly of the magnitude as a full sized wind turbine. If neither you, no anyone who lives in your house or the vicinity experiences any ill effects or symptoms, I wouldn’t be concerned. But as I said, just my opinion.

  9. I really appreciate this article, well written and it brings up some issues I never heard about but would certainly want to avoid.

    I am very noise sensitive and have had a hard time living in multifamily housing of any type because electronic noises from neighbors (TV going, etc.) and things in my home (“energy efficient” refrigerator noises, etc.) at times nearly drove me batty!

    I have lived alone for the past 10 years in an old house on a 500 acre farm… and find the quiet most soothing. I sometimes still have to keep the AC or heat off at night or I can’t sleep. Natural noises like kids yelling when playing (or even negative noises like babies crying) and various “critter” noises like birds singing, owls hooting, coyotes howling (which is actually an ugly sound, makes me think of poodles yipping…but is actually a noise they make when they have made a kill)… none of that bothers me the way electronic noises bother me.

Comments are closed.