Science deniers in the wind industry

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 acousticians 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.

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 ‚Äì 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.

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” ‚Äì 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.

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)

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.

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 ‚Äì 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 ‚Äì and call “game over.”

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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.

Comments (17)

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    Sonnyhill

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    Great article. Our local newspaper has covered this issue for several years now. Municipal council was rendered powerless to stop the proliferation of wind farms along the shore line of Lake Erie. Toronto eco-bullies won. Wind turbines are their big gaudy trophies .

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    Jim Wiegand

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    This is an excellent article written by an ethical scientist. As a wildlife expert and researcher I am aware of the fake research produced by this industry. The industry has used nonscientific research since 1985 to hide their slaughter to thousands of eagles and millions of birds annually. The Interior Department allows all this and this represents the wall of corruption the good people in the country are up against.
    For their fake research, this industry has given themselves small mortality search areas and infrequent searches because it is good for business. This industry allows employees to handle, hide or move carcasses during studies because it is good for business. This industry hides and does not report carcasses because it is good for business. This industry also rigs studies to produce bogus data because it is good for business.

    Eagle carcasses have been hidden for decades and the industry has reported very few of them over the years. Yet in December 2016 with fraudulent research and recommendations from our corrupt Interior Department, new eagle killing or harvesting rules were established for industry. Now unless President Trump changes this corrupt new rule over 7500 bald eagles can now be killed each year. The number one industry killing eagles ………………..the wind industry.

    Back in 1985, the first and only truly scientific wind industry mortality study conducted daily searches and employees were not allowed to touch or move carcasses. This study used carcass search areas around 100 ft. tall turbines (including blade tip height) that were 50 meters out from towers. New turbines are more than 4 times taller and their spinning blades are 7-8 times longer, but industry search areas have been proportionally reduced by approximately 90%. The wind industry’s research is all nonscientific garbage designed to hide carcasses.

    Another problem the public should understand is that there can never be any truth or transparency when FWS agents, those conducting surveys, conservation groups, and all wind industry personnel, are bound by non-disclosure agreements. Wind industry information given to the public is filtered. This situation allows rigging and as a result the public is being fed lies by omission. It is a disgrace and it is a form of fraud. It is also why nothing quoted by these entities in the media should be considered true.

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    Jim Wiegand

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    For a glimpse of the magnitude of this industry’s ongoing fake research, read this blog where I analyze a fake wind industry mortality study conducted around a University’s wind turbine……………”Has annual wind turbine mortality to birds and bats reached 45 million? Yes, according to one study”.

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      Sonnyhill

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      Jim, you may know of my neighbor and his activism against these giant birdwhackers.Brother of Robert Bateman, Ross. He did his best but was ignored by the Ontario Liberals. The Liberals in Queens Park, Toronto are a totally incompetent GOON SQUAD. They’re surprised that we hate them. Out of touch, like the cityots who vote for them.

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        Jim Wiegand

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        I do not know of Ross but I do know of Robert and the great wildlife art he has created. The word “liberal” is completely wrong and misused for these people. This is a profit seeking mafia hiding behind a green flag. These are sociopaths that lie about everything and admit to nothing. If I could every be part of a Grand Jury or open Congressional hearing, where I get to ask questions, I could nail all these fake experts for their fraudulent research.

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    Amber

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    I would suggest all the birds massacred be placed on the lawn of the Premier and her dumb ass Cabinet who have screwed Ontario energy consumers for zero environmental
    benefit . Visual pollution , dead birds by the thousands , and a doubling of energy costs .
    Why would any industry stay in a place where politicians are happy to run them off
    over a massive fraud . Thankfully it has been warming since the end of the current ice age , climate changes (who knew ) and higher levels of CO2 , although at a historic low level , are natures plant food . What’s wrong with that ?
    The current liberal idiot running Ontario is approaching single digit popularity after trashing Ontario citizens and businesses with na√Øve policies to apparently control the earth’s thermostat .It’s the biggest threat to humanity she claims . Ontario’s biggest threat is re-electing the Liberals in 2018 and voters know it . Ontario used to be the engine that drove Canada. Now its left wing social engineers who could care less about anything other than paying off their pals, growing government and pushing their politically correct fake causes .

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    Sonnyhill

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    I worked at the Nanticoke Generating Station in the ’70’s. Migrating birds were flying into the 650 foot tall stacks and dying en mass. The problem was quickly fixed by installing motorized shutters over the spotlights. Public image was paramount, but the right thing was done.
    I read some articles on wind turbines today. I realized that the war against carbon dioxide has stolen the show from traditional environmentalism.Turbines and solar farms have environmental impacts of their own that get glossed over by the green movement.

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      JayPee

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      And yet these ” GREEN ENERGY ” jerks ( like O’Bama and Gore ) claim to be ” environmentalists ” and ” ecologists ” and constantly on the lookout for the common good of nature and humanity.

      The truth is that

      They are nothing but leftist scum out for their own
      money and power accumulation and the establishment of their eternal right

      TO DICTATE !

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    Jim Wiegand

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    Over the years this industry has been stealing/receiving billions in credits because of inaccurate data. Along with tax credits there are ridiculous imaginary credits, called carbon credits given to this destructive industry. These are being are bought and sold and are actually worth nothing because wind turbines can do nothing about carbon or climate. The reason is that in the big picture turbines have virtually no impact on the amount of energy being consumed from other sources.

    All reported wind energy numbers are false because of load losses, load fluctuations and transmission losses. But because this information is conveniently left out, none of this industry’s reported numbers are accurate and taxpayers are really getting soaked. All energy produced at a wind farm is greatly depleted by the time it travels hundreds of miles. End users may be signing contracts for green energy a certain amount of MWh, but the energy they are receiving has actually been greatly depleted with fossil fuel energy, coal energy, nuclear power inputs.
    Metering wind farm production and accounting for the energy lost in transmission to end users is really quite easy. But this would kill this tax credit scam based upon imaginary numbers “they” get to put in contracts. In America, the net energy data will never be produced their because they don’t have to, just like with all their turbine related eagle carcasses, they don’t have to report them. Laws that were changed in 1997 that allow information like this to be hidden.
    I have proof of one of these wind farms claiming tax credits from an impossible production number showing a 70% capacity factor.
    If the day ever comes where the wind energy tax credits stop and the people realize how embellished the wind energy production numbers have been for decades, it would be a great idea to go after assets because of excessive tax credits given. But for this to happen we would need honest leadership.

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    Sonnyhill

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    The Ontario Liberals have done it now. They accidentally on purpose created a crisis called ENERGY POVERTY. Shut down the cheap coal-fired generators, pension off the operating staff, sign ridiculously expensive wind / solar contracts then wait for the inevitable. The poor can’t pay their electricity bill. RELIEF IS ON THE WAY! The Ontario taxpayers will now subsidize the price of electricity. TA DA! Wealth redistribution!

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    G

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    We have one of these multiple-square-mile windmill farms here in Wisconsin. The people who really love them are the starry eyed eco-socialists of the Madison area who don’t have to live among them.

    Aesthetically they have destroyed the beautiful rolling countryside. Neighbors complain of a omnipresent hum 24/7/365. The never ending, sweeping/circular motion is always in one’s vision, creating a feeling of kinetosis (motion sickness).

    …And that’s without considering the toll on local wildlife or the constant expensive repairs necessary to keep this all turning.

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      Sonnyhill

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      People who believe they can save the planet by defacing it are like the people who believe war brings peace. The planet doesn’t need saving and war will never eliminate aggression.

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    Jim Wiegand

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    Here is why this industrial and political fraud is not resolved. With the important factual information presented here maybe 100,000 will ever read it, while 100,000,000 will be reading all the corporate lies planted in media stories.

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      Dave

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      Exactly. Most people get their news from their television sets. That’s why this fraud will never be exposed for what it is.

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        Sonnyhill

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        It’s worse than that. How many people get their news on Facebook?

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      G

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      More than that, it’s just so easy and rewarding to proclaim yourself a true believer in man-made climate change. Instantly you are rewarded with a welcome-to-the club acknowledgement by the leftist establishment and an invitation to be as self aggrandizing as you wish. After all, you’re compassionate, intelligent, and, “Saving the planet!”, and anyone who disagrees with you is clearly stupid, ignorant, and bent on destroying mother earth.

      This kind of mindless narcissism is custom made for people who get their news from Hollywood popular culture tabloids.

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    Jim Wiegand

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    I am not alone with my expert and very negative opinion about wind energy. From Europe, here is a quote from a recent wind energy impact study called “Lack of sound science in assessing wind farm impacts on seabirds.” Rhys E. Green1,2*, Rowena H. W. Langston2, Aly McCluskie3, Rosie Sutherland2 and
    Jeremy D. Wilson3
    1Conservation Science Group, Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge, David Attenborough Building,Pembroke Street, Cambridge CB2 3QZ, UK; 2RSPB Centre for Conservation Science, RSPB, The Lodge, Sandy Bedfordshire SG19 2DL, UK; and 3RSPB Centre for Conservation Science, RSPB Scotland, 2 Lochside View,
    Edinburgh Park, Edinburgh EH12 9DH, UK
    “Quite separate from these problems of measurement, estimation and modelling, there is a fundamental logical flaw in the link between scientific assessment and decision- making about the acceptability of wind farm impacts. Modelling approaches have been contrived that seek to define an acceptable threshold for a projected negative impact of a wind farm on seabird populations, below which this negative impact is regarded as causing no adverse effect on site integrity. However, the emperor has no clothes: the thresholds used to define the acceptability of projected offshore wind farm impacts are arbitrary, poorly reasoned, not designed for the purpose and have no valid biological basis. Hence, it is necessary to revise decision-making procedures, regardless of what effect-to-impacts translation procedure is used. At present, inadequate data are being combined with arbitrary and scientifically unsupportable thresholds to argue that wind farms will cause no damage to the integrity of sites designated to restore and maintain Europe’s biodiversity”

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