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Wind turbine syndrome: farm hosts tell very different story

People who host wind turbines on their properties and derive rental income from wind energy companies have important stories to tell about living alongside turbines, but they’ve largely been absent from…

If “wind turbine syndrome” exists, it seems it can be prevented by the wonder drug called money. Image from shutterstock.com

People who host wind turbines on their properties and derive rental income from wind energy companies have important stories to tell about living alongside turbines, but they’ve largely been absent from the debate on wind farms and health. Australian filmmaker and researcher Neil Barrett is finally giving this critical group a voice in his new short film, The way the wind blows, released today.

In Barrett’s short film, 15 hosts and some of their neighbours from the central Victorian district near the town of Waubra tell what it’s like to live surrounded by large turbines.

Turbine hosts at Waubra earn A$8,000 a year for each turbine on their land. In the bush, the expression that wind farms can “drought-proof a farm” is common: a land owner with ten turbines can wake up each morning comfortable in the thought that a tough year with poor rain or bad frosts can be ridden out, thanks to income from wind generation.

All of Barrett’s interviewees say they can hear the turbines but none say they are bothered by them or suffer from any health problems they attribute to the turbines. If there is such a phenomenon as “wind turbine syndrome” it would seem it is a condition that, remarkably, can be prevented by the wonder drug called money.

Significantly, too, none of those interviewed say their contracts prevent them from speaking publicly about their experiences with hosting turbines, repudiating the mantra of wind farm opponents that suffering hosts are gagged from speaking out by evil wind companies.

In 2010, a small group comprising mostly wealthy landowners established the Waubra Foundation, which opposes wind farms being established near their country estates. None of the directors of the foundation nor its chief executive, an unregistered former GP Sarah Laurie, live within 125km of Waubra, yet took on the name of the town to highlight what they believe are serious health problems associated with living near wind turbines.

Barrett’s film reveals the deep resentment that Waubra residents feel about these out-of-towners hijacking their town’s good name. None say that Laurie has ever contacted them, with one commenting, “I wouldn’t give them the time of day if they turned up here.”

Laurie and the Waubra Foundation have done all they can to spread concern about the harms they allege are caused by living near wind farms. One former Waubra resident has been particularly prominent, speaking emotionally at anti-wind farm meetings about how wind farms have ruined his health and caused his family to move to Ballarat, at great personal expense.

In a statement that would be of immense interest to Apple, Samsung and Nokia, he recently told a meeting in Barringhup that electricity generated by wind turbines started charging his cell phone without it being plugged in:

I’ve had my … mobile phone go into charge mode in the middle of the paddock, away from everywhere.

Turbine hosts at Waubra earn A$8,000 a year for each turbine on their land. Image from shutterstock.com

In 2012, he wrote a public submission to a parliamentary inquiry where he revealed he had suffered a serious head injury some eight years before the wind farm opened in 2010:

I have been in brain training care and rehabilitation for about ten years because of an unfortunate, unrelated accident.

Indeed, the most common health complaints voiced by complainants are problems such as disturbed sleep, anxiety, hypertension and normal problems of ageing that are very prevalent in all communities, regardless of whether they have wind farms.

In a 2012 Ontario legal case, complainants were asked to provide their medical records going back a decade before the local wind farm commenced operation. This would have provided relevant information about any pre-existing health problems. When they failed to so, their case failed.

In a peer-reviewed paper of mine to be published shortly, I conducted an historical audit of all known health and noise complaints made about Australia’s 51 wind farms from 1993 to 2012. Using four sources (wind company records, submissions made to three parliamentary enquiries, local media monitoring records and court affidavits) I calculated the number of complainants around Australia.

More than two-thirds of Australian wind farms including more than half of those with large turbines have never received a single complaint. Two whole states – Western Australia and Tasmania – have seen no complaints.

Of the 129 individuals across Australia who have ever complained, 94 (73%) are residents near just six wind farms which have been targeted by anti wind farm groups.

Almost all (98%) of complainants made their first complaint after 2009 when anti wind farm groups began to add health concerns to their wider opposition. In the preceding years, health or noise complaints were rare despite large and small-turbine wind farms having operated for many years.

In late 2012, anti-wind farm campaigners launched an anonymous website, Stop These Things. The apparently well-funded site specialises in emotive videos of wind farm victims, but in nine months has only run profiles of 18 mostly aged complainants. Barrett’s film profiles nearly that number of people telling a very different story.

Image from shutterstock.com

Anti-wind farm activists have promoted a bizarre and ever-growing number of health problems associated with turbine exposure. My favourite is the alarming problem of disoriented echidnas.

Among Laurie’s more interesting claims is that wind turbines cause lips to vibrate at up 10 kilometres, and that within 1km to 2km of wind turbines, air pressure changes occur “sufficient to knock them off their feet or bring some men to their knees when out working in their paddock” and “have been reported by farmers to perceptibly rock stationary cars”.

Laurie has repeatedly claimed that “a large number” or “over twenty families” and most recently “more than forty” families are “wind farm refugees” who have had to abandon their homes. But Laurie has declined requests to make her list public.

Another prominent activist George Papadopolous, claims to be able to sense a wind turbine at 100km away: from Sydney’s CBD to Lithgow, as the crow flies.

Barrett’s film brings a fresh and important perspective to a debate that has so far been dominated by a small number of complainants and those oxygenating their fears.

Fifteen years ago, Australian news media ran countless stories on community fears about mobile phone towers. Those still worrying about health risks from the towers are rare today. Wind turbine syndrome is likely to go the same way.

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169 Comments sorted by

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  1. Comment removed by moderator.

    1. In reply to Mike Stasse

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  2. susan walton

    logged in via email @live.com.au

    They are a very ugly sight on the landscape. And there was a programme on the ABC that proved they upset the Green Parrot migration causing it to almost become extinct now.

    That continual thrumming would give me a continual headache if I was forced to live near them and to look at them dotting the horizon would hurt my eyes.

    I just hope they never pop up near my neck of woods.

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    1. Stiofán Mac Suibhne

      Contrarian / Epistemologist

      In reply to susan walton

      You are wrong. SOME people find them to be an ugly sight. I am one of the other sort that like them. Man's presence in and modification of the environment are a constant. Even primitive hunter gatherer societies changed their surroundings by their activities.

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    2. susan walton

      logged in via email @live.com.au

      In reply to susan walton

      I find them ugly. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and this beholder finds them ugly dotting the landscape.

      Man's 'modification' of the landscape is usually ugly...we've just returned from China and although climbing the great wall and viewing the terracotta warriors was quite amazing...the massive skyscrapers that make up their huge cities are extremely ugly.

      Man's 'modification' of the environment is what is killing it, but until the human race dies out, I guess that is just the way it is.

      There is a downside to pretty much everything the human race does....

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    3. susan walton

      logged in via email @live.com.au

      In reply to susan walton

      I guess, however the smoke stakes are thousands of kilometres apart..the windmills run in a long line against the horizon down south. They're the only one's I've seen en masse and I got quite a shock to see them...they went for miles.

      I've read several articles that claim they will never replace the smoke stacks and I can't imagine the whole countryside being dotted with them.

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    4. Stephen Ralph

      carer at n/a

      In reply to susan walton

      I think if you know Waubra you will find that there are too many turbines to look arty or cute. They are a blight on the landscape - there look to be nearly a hundred.

      However the two at Leonard's Hill near Daylesford look - a symbol of progress.

      So how many is too many for one location.

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    5. Stephen Ralph

      carer at n/a

      In reply to susan walton

      However the two at Leonard's Hill near Daylesford look GREAT - a symbol of progress.

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    6. Phil Dolan

      Viticulturist

      In reply to susan walton

      I used to like the ones outside of San Francisco. Hectares of them. One hundred windmills is better than one smokestack.

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    7. Mike Stasse

      retired energy consultant

      In reply to susan walton

      I happen to think they are very elegant looking..... the high tension power lines in the valley below us are not a patch on turbines when it comes to aesthetics......

      'Modern life' is very noisy, much worse than any wind turbine...... I have friends who live near railway lines, and they say after a while you don't even notice the trains. Given the choice I know which ones I'd prefer to live next door to!

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    8. Mike Stasse

      retired energy consultant

      In reply to susan walton

      Well I'd have to agree with that one....... BUT if you want electricity in a post fossil fuel world (coming to a town near you), you need to make a choice. 'Ugly' turbines (and solar panels - some people think they're ugly too...) or no power.

      the ball's in your court......

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    9. Dianna Arthur

      Environmentalist

      In reply to susan walton

      Susan

      Do you think oil refineries, coal plants, power lines, airports, freeways, chimneys, factories, abattoirs, open cut mining, nuclear power plants and so on are less ugly than wind turbines?

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    10. Suzy Gneist
      Suzy Gneist is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Multi-tasker at Graphic Design & Montville Coffee

      In reply to susan walton

      Many countries in Europe, particularly the Netherlands, have made use of windmills for centuries to provide power to millstones, etc. they often grace postcards and are much frequented by tourists... Is that just because they were build with older technology? As pretty as the Great Wall or clay army may look to you today, it was probably build with slave labour at great human cost - how is it that this can be romanticised now and a sensible, traditional method like wind power is compared to skyscrapers?

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    11. Alice Kelly
      Alice Kelly is a Friend of The Conversation.

      sole parent

      In reply to susan walton

      Yes Susan, I've now read a bit.
      In no way did the ABC state that wind turbines upset their migration causing it to nearly become extinct.
      http://www.abc.net.au/site-archive/rural/content/2011/s3311787.htm
      From what I've read, wind turbines are situated on top of hills , whereas these parrots favoured low lying sparsely treed rangelands. What seems to be of greater importance is that their habitats are threatened by the fact that they're all on private land , and re-generation is not seen as important…

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    12. Leigh Miranda

      Gym Owner

      In reply to susan walton

      They are functional. They are there to generate electricity on a clean, renewable basis. Their "ugliness" or otherwise is immaterial but if the aesthetics are crucial to you compare them to a coal fired plant and let me know what you think.

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    13. Felix MacNeill

      Environmental Manager

      In reply to susan walton

      Reading your post has caused me to become very upset, susan, and I'm sure that it will eventually give me a continual headache. What compensation are you offering?

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    14. Allan Gardiner

      Dr

      In reply to susan walton

      The very electrons that powered your being able to post your comment may well have been generated from a wind turbine Susan. The turbines are there to serve mankind and hopefully slow his/her polluting the earth to the extent that you won't be able to see the big blades turning and trying soaking up all that free energy from the sun, and given all the free but wasted energy that the sun's sent our way over many years we've got a lot to catch up on to even the bal_ance'stral.

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    15. Alice Kelly
      Alice Kelly is a Friend of The Conversation.

      sole parent

      In reply to susan walton

      Your so right Felix, I'm in a perpetual state of aggrievement and anger, why just last night I nearly took out the bread-board when I was chopping up the corn, just fuming at those filthy coal miners wrecking the planet. I have coal syndrome. It's ruined my life. And who's going to pay me compensation. I deserve at least a couple of hundred thousand.

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    16. Allan Gardiner

      Dr

      In reply to susan walton

      Every turbine serves to represent the damage we've already done, just like cancerous spots on a person's skin who's had too much sun. The turbines can handle all the energy given them from the sun but we can't, and we've got a very long way to go yet in erecting more turbines. Instead of our wantonly polluting this planet as we've already done big time over many years we've got to try to turn things around, and if the blades of all those turbines decide to get in the way then so be it.

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    17. Mark Graham

      Ecologist

      In reply to susan walton

      Susan,

      The link you provided contains a stream of unsubstantiated claims (nay, emotive piffle) that the Superb Parrot is threatened by wind farm developments around Boorowa. If you are going to seriously claim this, please provide credible evidence of it.

      Large gold and coal mines in the Central West clear large areas of Endangered Ecological Community and habitat for the Superb Parrot (and various other threatened species) and (some) farmers are still clearing the old growth paddock trees that this species is critically reliant upon.

      It seems that the organisation that prepared this piffle is associated with the Waubra Foundation, at least they list the Waubra Foundation as their first link. No surprises really.

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    18. john tons

      retired redundant

      In reply to susan walton

      Worry about the impact on birds is a legitimate concern. However, chapter 14 of Alan Weisman's book The world without us documents the impact humans have had on birdlife. Radio transmission towers and mobile phone towers are estimated to cause a billion bird death per annum among migratory birds - reason the migratory birds navigate using the earths magnetic field - mobile phone towers disrupts their navigation systems. High tension wires are also responsible for the deaths of birds with large…

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    19. Martin Hamilton

      Environmental Scientist

      In reply to susan walton

      Anyone who claims that wind turbines are a 'ugly' or a 'blight on the landscape has never lived in a coal mining region. Where good farming land (dairy in the case I am thinking of) is ripped up and never replaced. Have a think about where the next generation of dairies are coming from. And when it comes to the Orange Bellied Parrot, no body ever complains about the loss of native animals due to motor vehicles, nobody wants to ban cars!

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    20. Georgina Byrne
      Georgina Byrne is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Farmer at Farming

      In reply to susan walton

      So you love the look of coal fired power stations belching poison into the atmosphere or open cut coal mines tearing up the landscape forever, while spreading their toxic dust over everything?...I bet if the thoroughbred breeders, wine growers and farmers of the hunter valley could swap all of that for turbines they would do so in a flash...one thing about them is that they could be removed if necessary with little sign that they were there...can't do that with coal extraction or coal fired power. How come a tiny country like Denmark can be characterised as one of the happiest countries on earth when it's countryside is covered in turbines?

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    21. George Papadopoulos

      logged in via LinkedIn

      In reply to susan walton

      Alice, have you ever calculated how many wind turbines you need to shut down one coal plant? 6000 by my estimates with heaps of backup facilities and/or battery storage to match.

      About 1000 proposed to full in the Southern Tablelands/Capital Region of NSW. Any guess where the rest are going to go?

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    22. George Papadopoulos

      logged in via LinkedIn

      In reply to susan walton

      John, there were large numbers of microbats on my property prior to the installation of wind turbines in the region. Now I struggle to locate them - no significant difference in the number of cars, transmission wires or mobile towers. Just some papers on bats and wind turbines and quotes below. This technology is a disaster.

      Deaths to bats unprecedented: http://docs.wind-watch.org/cryan-wind-turbines-migratory-bats.pdf
      The abstract follows: “Unprecedented numbers of migratory bats are found…

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    23. George Papadopoulos

      logged in via LinkedIn

      In reply to susan walton

      Martin, do you seriously think wind turbines are making a significant impact on coal mining in Australia - especially when coal is being ripped out of the earth and sent overseas?

      There is only one coal energy plant in Augusta SA that has closed, and even then it was more due to local coal prices and availability.

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    24. Mark Amey

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to susan walton

      In fact, some of the Dutch wind turbines have been constructed to look like old windmills!

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    25. George Papadopoulos

      logged in via LinkedIn

      In reply to susan walton

      Alice, I am sorry but unlike Chapman, I don't engage in research and receive millions of dollars from the NHMRC to conduct research.

      All I can do is present with what is already there. From that point on I need no evidence to convince myself that wind turbines are a health hazard - I live with the problem.

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    26. Simon Chapman

      Professor of Public Health at University of Sydney

      In reply to susan walton

      George, how far away from your property are the "wind turbines in the region" I think I recall it was something like 30km? So you are suggesting that a few turbines 30km away have nearly wiped out the bats? fascinating ....

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    27. Mike Swinbourne

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to susan walton

      ".....Alice, I am sorry but unlike Chapman, I don't engage in research and receive millions of dollars from the NHMRC to conduct research...."

      I think you beautifully summed up your position and your credibility right there George. No - you don't engage in research. But that never stopped you from putting forward your opinion has it?

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    28. George Papadopoulos

      logged in via LinkedIn

      In reply to susan walton

      Oh yes, more questions to me. But you can't answer the questions over your own article???

      And you can't even recall the details in the article that you erroneously claim that I state I can hear ONE wind turbine 100km away?

      And do you have any comments about the research papers that I presented? Don't these concern you? But no! Sound more like you're in the mood for more ha, ha, ha and ho ho ho!

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    29. George Papadopoulos

      logged in via LinkedIn

      In reply to susan walton

      Why wouldn't it? Do you suggest that I sit back like a lame duck, despite experiencing the horrors of wind turbines and wait for Chapman to have his heart converted - a change of mind to actually do a cohort around a wind farm?

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    30. Stephen Ralph

      carer at n/a

      In reply to susan walton

      Whilst your point is spot on, and coal mining regions are a real blight on the landscape, this article is discussing wind turbines and my comments were in relation to them.

      When push comes to shove, if we have to accept turbines as a alternative to coal or nuclear, then bring on the turbines.

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    31. Andrew Franklin

      IT

      In reply to susan walton

      Actually George it would only take around 250 wind turbines to replace the Muja Coal-fired power plant at Collie here in WA.

      Muja Capacity = 974 MW
      1 x Wind turbine = 10 MW
      Assume 40% capacity (average in the USA)

      Where'd you pull 6000 from?

      Why exactly are you so against clean alternatives to dirty coal that you would write horrifically exaggerated lies to try and support your argument?

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    32. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to susan walton

      George, have you ever stopped to think that this isn't about replacing one technology with just one other technology, that maybe, just maybe, a suite of alternatives may be possible?

      As well as wind power, there'd be solar PV, wave and tidal power ... and people will be installing domestic batteries as an when possible.

      I find most Denialists are incapable of considering more than one factor at a time; no surprises there, really.

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    33. Ian Garradd

      logged in via email @gmail.com

      In reply to susan walton

      I wonder did the Dutch object to windmills when they were introduced a few centuries ago, and did they have weird medical afflictions too?

      Personally I find the modern turbines quite attractive and elegant, responding to the wind akin to yachts gaining energy from the wind.

      I also love the bush and farm scenery, and each time I see wind turbines, I marvel at the combined beauty and function. Very elegant solutions.

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    34. chrispydog

      logged in via Twitter

      In reply to susan walton

      Unfortunately that is not correct. The newest big windfarm in Australia uses 3MW turbines, and the world's biggest monster is 7.5MW. Typically we use 2-3 MW.

      And an average capacity factor is approx a third,, so 974MW, using 3MW turbines would require 973/3 x 3= 973

      See: http://reneweconomy.com.au/2013/australias-biggest-wind-farm-the-vital-statistics-35976

      So on current costs, that's over $2 billion.

      Huge area of land, if such a site exists close to a grid, and incredibly expensive for unreliable supply.

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    35. Alice Kelly
      Alice Kelly is a Friend of The Conversation.

      sole parent

      In reply to susan walton

      I have no interest in your 'problem'. There are greater ones in my opinion. Wind turbines are one part of the energy mix we will need to solve the substantive problems created by coal, gas, and oil on this planet. They are the substances contributing to the massive changes in our biosphere we are seeing at present, and even greater threats in the future. That you are waging a war against them, in my opinion, is time you could better spend on encouragement of renewable technology, and ceasing grean-house gas industries. You choose not to, and cite spurious research to back your claims. That is your right, but do not expect others to agree.

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    36. Alice Kelly
      Alice Kelly is a Friend of The Conversation.

      sole parent

      In reply to susan walton

      But George, this is not what you do, you also promote an educational site devoted to health concerns, and selling products to alleviate them. Some could say you make money from peoples fears. The old fashioned term is 'snake oil salesman'. 'Cope with radiation EMF PPE' etc.
      Attacking wind turbines, and the noise they emit is one thing, but 'educating' people about a syndrome which has not passed normal scientific scrutiny, and selling products to 'protect' the public from these problems is quite another thing.

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    37. George Papadopoulos

      logged in via LinkedIn

      In reply to susan walton

      2 gigawatt coal stations, 2 MG wind turbines working at 30% capacity.

      And I didn't even factor in seasonal variation. If I did then in late Summer and Autumn good luck with wind energy...

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    38. George Papadopoulos

      logged in via LinkedIn

      In reply to susan walton

      Alice sorry but you sound like your simply paraphrasing others.

      I don't promote an educational website. I work as an assessor of the academy fullstop.

      If you're are concerns about people making money from people's fears, then go for antibiotics, doctors and pharmacists. There is a lot of money swishing around that shouldn't be.

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    39. Mike Swinbourne

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to susan walton

      George, in what way is Chapman's views on tobacco relevant to a discussion on wind turbines? How about you stick to the issue at hand, rather than trying to deflect it?

      And in what way is any advice to the Senate relevant? There is a plethora of research available, and if you were truly concerned with the issue you would do a detailed literature review - collating ALL the evidence and examining all the studies to determine if they agree with existing knowledge, or if they have flaws, and what…

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    40. George Papadopoulos

      logged in via LinkedIn

      In reply to susan walton

      Mike, I think my comment was self explanatory - the issue of health can only be explained by properly design studies.

      The only studies that go that way are those of Nissenbaum and Shepherd. Chapman wishes to go down a different line: assume it all to be nocebo and hahaha all the way.

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    41. George Papadopoulos

      logged in via LinkedIn

      In reply to susan walton

      Simon, I think you are accountable to answer the questions I raised earlier, before I bother answering any more of your questions.

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    42. John Bromhead

      logged in via email @netspeed.com.au

      In reply to susan walton

      10MW wind turbines might be on the horizon, but only for offshore wind farms. A 1000MW wind farm might replace the Muja coal-fired power station for 10% - 20% of the time but would not replace any of Muja for a similar period.

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  3. John Newlands

    tree changer

    Instead of sneering I suggest city dwellers erect the towers in their own neighbourhood. Having achieved a smugness victory perhaps they could ridicule PTSD next. I suggest this a smokescreen for the real bugbear of wind turbines ..they are not a cost effective way of saving emissions yet they blight rural vistas.

    A megawatt-hour of wInd power may save around 0.4 tonnes of CO2 compared to gas fired generation, However the additional operating cost compared to gas-only may be $100. Therefore per tonne of CO2 .the extra cost is $250. Until changed the official price of CO2 is just 10% or so of that at $24.15. That gas fired plant has to remain on standby since the wind can drop to a standstill notably during heat waves when electrical demand is highest. Sneer at that.

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    1. rory robertson

      logged in via email @gmail.com

      In reply to John Newlands

      Readers, you probably noticed in my second sentence that "tuning" should read "turning". Oops, there I go correcting obvious errors again.

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    2. George Papadopoulos

      logged in via LinkedIn

      In reply to John Newlands

      Oh yes, Chapman's wisdom at its best!

      Simon, do trains operate after midnight around Stanmore?

      Do aeroplanes consistently break the 11pm curfew?

      Do semi-trailers roar down your road?

      Do you live next to an industrial site?

      But you do expect people to put up with the whooshing turbines 24 hours a day!

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    3. Peter Hindrup

      consultant

      In reply to John Newlands

      For eleven years spanning the nineties I lived out of Bellingen, NSW East coast, half way between Sydney and Brisbane. This area had largely been taken by 'alternative lifestylers' beginning in the seventies.
      The council, being reliant on their votes, was beholden to them.
      'They complained of the noise of farm machinery, of machinery working 24 hours a day during harvest, of logging and metal trucks,
      of milking sheds working in the early morning --- one family, there from the time when Bellingen…

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    4. John Newlands

      tree changer

      In reply to John Newlands

      The reason is subsidies and quotas which dare-I-say urban politicians think are a good idea. That's the carrot the stick is penalty payments called shortfall charges. The LGC subsidy is currently worth 3.4c per kwh. This is on top of the ongoing carbon tax which handicaps coal and gas fired generation, According to Climate Spectator wind power generated 3.5% of Australia's electricity in 2012. Is it worth all this drama and expense for such a small contribution?

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    5. Alice Kelly
      Alice Kelly is a Friend of The Conversation.

      sole parent

      In reply to John Newlands

      'Chapmans wisdom at it's best', 'a besieged clan of wind turbine worshipers.' 'It is an anathema for you to talk to the infidels', 'the sociologist "public health expert" at it again', 'lots of mocking and ridicule', ' Could Chapman answer about his "research" ' 'misrepresentation of the facts and careful avoidance of the real issues'...
      OK so between the sarcasm and ridicule, you could simply show us some research, backed by science, instead of a sleuth of vitriol.

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    6. George Takacs

      Physicist

      In reply to John Newlands

      John,

      How did you arrive at the numbers you quote for the relative price of gas fired electricity and wind powered electricity? My own calculations of the levelised cost of electricity give a different result.

      Using the recently approved Bodangora wind farm near Dubbo as an example, the up front cost is $200 million for a 120 MW wind farm. Assuming a capacity factor of 30%, discount rate of 8%, annual operations and maintenance costs of 1.4% of the upfront capital cost, lifetime of 30 years, and zero salvage value, gives a LCOE of $65/MWh.

      For a an open cycle gas turbine, with upfront capital cost of $0.9 per Watt, 35% efficiency, capacity factor of 80%, gas price of $5 per GJ, 4% O and M per annum, and a discount rate of 8% I get a LCOE of $68 /MWh.

      So, not only is wind power not more expensive than gas power by $100/MWh as you claim, it is in fact cheaper.

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    7. Mike Barnard

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to John Newlands

      Wind farms reduce greenhouse gases; real world results in Texas, the UK and Australia prove this is true. Industry standard, full lifecycle analyses for all forms of energy find that wind turbines pay back their carbon debt faster than any other form of generation. Every MWh produced by wind energy eliminates 99.8%+ of the CO2 that would have been generated by shale gas or coal, as they are first to be eliminated from the grid as generation sources. As the full lifecycle analyses show shale gas has 50 times the CO2e and coal has 100 times the CO2e per MWh, that’s a lot of global warming gases that are eliminated with every MWh of wind energy. http://barnardonwind.com/2013/03/05/wind-energy-reduces-green-house-gas-emissions/

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    8. John Newlands

      tree changer

      In reply to John Newlands

      I'm contrasting two scenarios
      1) all gas generation
      2) additional windpower with gas as backup
      Rather than doing our own LCOE calculations I'd defer to AETA
      http://www.bree.gov.au/documents/publications/aeta/Australian_Energy_Technology_Assessment.pdf
      We see predicted power prices for NSW in 2020 are $98 per Mwh (Table 4.16) for combined cycle gas on demand and for onshore wind $90 when available (Table 4.29). In fact a lot of costly open cycle gas is used to back up windpower. For that single…

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    9. Peter Sommerville

      Scientist & Technologist

      In reply to John Newlands

      Simon,

      I have no argument with your analysis of the supposed health effects of wind turbines.

      However, your comment to John Newlands vis:

      "I pause to reflect why it is that small-time, no-nothing economies like China, India, USA, Canada, Germany, France etc just are not hearing you".
      merits comment.

      The mere fact that various countries are investing in Wind Turbines does not gainsay the observations that John made.
      Investment in Turbines is not driven by real rate of return. It is driven…

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    10. George Takacs

      Physicist

      In reply to John Newlands

      So where is the costly gas backup that has been built to cope with the 27% of South Australia's electricity now coming from wind?

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    11. George Papadopoulos

      logged in via LinkedIn

      In reply to John Newlands

      George, I think the best question to ask is: why build gas backup when the coal stations keep roaring and burning coal 24 hours a day regardless of wind output

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  4. Shaun King

    Designer

    I live in country Victoria, and am a proponent of alternative renewable energies.

    Our roof, like many others, is covered in solar panels. Should these be banned because they look unsightly?

    When driving through southern Victoria, to see a community with windmills, makes me feel envious that these communities are obviously forward thinking and progressive enough to have organised and allowed such a revolutionary, simple way of producing electricity.

    To me, they are an inspiration. Much better than digging huge holes in the ground (Latrobe Valley) and belching toxic fumes into the air and releasing toxic waste into our waterways. I'd love to see them standing proud along our deserted coastline.

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    1. Alice Kelly
      Alice Kelly is a Friend of The Conversation.

      sole parent

      In reply to Shaun King

      I haven't stopped there Sean, my roof has a few satellite dishes, solar panels and glass tube hot water unit with tank. It's practical modern machinery, and I care nothing for the sleek line of the roof. I'm sure there's more I can put up there in the future.

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  5. John Newton

    Author Journalist

    Sadly rational articles like this will not stop the complaints. Having read Merchants of doubt, and noting that the IPA which is launching Carter's latest climate change denial farrago is funded by among others Caltex and Exxon Mobil, I'd be seeking the source of funding for the anti-wind farm groups

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    1. Dianna Arthur

      Environmentalist

      In reply to John Newton

      John

      Sadly articles like this won't be published in the bulk of the mainstream press.

      Yes, you are correct in following the money - as always it winds back to the self interest of the big end of town.

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  6. David Pearn

    Follower

    Has anyone got info on the anti wind farm 'Waubra Group' which I understand has some politically high profile members?.
    Has the current conservative Victorian govt been influenced by them?.

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    1. Mike Barnard

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to David Pearn

      Sarah Laurie and the Waubra Foundation aren’t credible sources of information but an Orwellian Newspeak front for NIMBYism and fossil fuel. They are consistently unethical in their operations, constantly misrepresent themselves, others and published reports and are at the forefront of causing the problems they claim to be worried about. Here are the seven key things you need to know if they show up near you: http://barnardonwind.com/2013/04/15/seven-things-you-must-know-about-the-waubra-foundation-and-sarah-laurie/

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  7. Comment removed by moderator.

  8. Ailie Bruins

    Retired nobody

    It is obvious that the well-heeled mining industry is opposed to clean energy power. Ms Rinehart was in the Netherlands recently blaming the Dutch unemployment on windmills. No doubt some highly paid propagandist professionals have been paid handsomely to invent these 'wind syndromes'.Somehow car-fumes and traffic noise are exempt from any syndrome. It is really simple, the public 'debate' in Australia is driven by the mining industry's propagandists.

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    1. Georgina Byrne
      Georgina Byrne is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Farmer at Farming

      In reply to Ailie Bruins

      Looks like it...as was the election of this federal government, h'll bent with the collusion of like minded State governments on removing any realistic measure to reduce our country's pathetic record on carbon pollution mitigation. The Superb parrots along with the majority of bird species which happily visit our farm will certainly be doomed when the temperature climbs to the dizzy heights it is going to do in coming summers even hotter than the last. A large number of endangered black cockatoos fell dead from the sky on one such day a couple of years ago...so the apply little country estate tree chargers will have to put up with few or none pretty birdies to brighten their peaceful country mornings...but hey it's only about money isn't it! Let the peasants eat cake! Like many others posting I love the elegance of these non polluting machines whose noise is no worse than the semis which roar up our road day and night.

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  9. George Papadopoulos

    logged in via LinkedIn

    Oh yes, the sociologist "public health expert" at it again... Can't do any meaningful research on public like a Cohort study on health around wind farms - just lots of mocking and ridicule

    Could Chapman answer about his "research" and interpretation of it:

    1) In the reference provided, where do I claim to hear ONE wind turbine 100km away?

    2) Chapman says: "Turbine hosts at Waubra earn A$8,000 a year for each turbine on their land" BUT "they can hear the turbines but none say they are…

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    1. George Papadopoulos

      logged in via LinkedIn

      In reply to George Papadopoulos

      Alice, I suggest that you spend a bit of time doing your own research. There are plenty of research papers on wind turbines and human health, and also low frequency noise, electro-magnetic radiation and human health. But I draw a few specific ones to your attention:

      Nissenbaum et al 2013: http://www.noiseandhealth.org/article.asp?issn=1463-1741;year=2012;volume=14;issue=60;spage=237;epage=243;aulast=Nissenbaum

      Shepherd et al 2012: http://docs.wind-watch.org/NAH_2011.pdf

      Arra & Lynn 2013 https://www.wind-
      watch.org/documents/association-between-wind-turbine-noise-and-human-distress-literature-review/

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    2. Simon Chapman

      Professor of Public Health at University of Sydney

      In reply to George Papadopoulos

      George & his pals like to cite single studies. But here are 19 REVIEWS of all the studies http://tobacco.health.usyd.edu.au/assets/pdfs/publications/WindHealthReviews.pdf and here is a critique of the Shepherd study http://tobacco.health.usyd.edu.au/assets/pdfs/publications/ShepherdReview.pdf

      Plus another bucketing of one the anti's love to quote http://tobacco.health.usyd.edu.au/assets/pdfs/McPhersonIFLNReview.pdf

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    3. George Papadopoulos

      logged in via LinkedIn

      In reply to George Papadopoulos

      Interesting to quote Fiona Crichton's opinions - especially given her known pro-wind bias! And the reviews predated Shepherd's and Nissenbaum's studies...

      Meanwhile my dear professor, any comment about your own study, particularly why you specifically instructed wind developers not to hand over details of complaints that might reveal the identity of the complainers?

      And any responses to my questions above?

      You seem to avoid accountability over your own research...

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    4. Alice Kelly
      Alice Kelly is a Friend of The Conversation.

      sole parent

      In reply to George Papadopoulos

      An interesting read. I note that 'peer review' in both cases involves individuals only. Which major medical organisations were the research in both cases submitted to for validation? Until I see major scientific organisations review these two studies and validate the research, I'll stick with scepticism thanks. http://orendaenergy.com/wind-farms-dont-make-people-sick-so-why-the-complaints/

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    5. Simon Chapman

      Professor of Public Health at University of Sydney

      In reply to George Papadopoulos

      Thanks so much for stating publicly that you believe those who aren't affected by wind turbines might be in "denial" like smokers with their health. I believe the first time I have encountered this new turn in the arguments of wind farm opponents. If it's OK with you George, I'd like to attribute it to you in future writing. Feel free to elaborate ....

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    6. Mike Barnard

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to George Papadopoulos

      The Nissenbaum / Aramini / Hanning study published in Noise and Health is unreliable. The data actually shows that everyone in the study group sleeps poorly, not just the ones close to wind farms. Their data is too scattered to support a correlation between wind turbine placement and sleep. Five of the six authors and thanked reviewers are Advisory Board members of the anti-wind lobbyist group, the Society for Wind Vigilance, but their long histories of anti-wind activism are unstated. One of the…

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    7. George Papadopoulos

      logged in via LinkedIn

      In reply to George Papadopoulos

      Yep, do then we agree that wind turbine hosts may be in denial over any possible health problems associated with wind turbines?

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  10. Martin Male

    Somatic Psychotherapist

    This sounds like a doco to watch. Personally I am an avid support for these on many levels. Firstly the environment al factor, secondly the benefits to farmers. It will allow them to have a secure and consistent income, this can allow them to care for their land better without having to push it so hard.
    When I was in Sweden, a country that is both environment and has concerns for its citizens at the forefront I was impressed at how many they have .
    By the way I don't find them very attractive;)

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  11. Paul Prociv

    ex medical academic; botanical engineer at University of Queensland

    Just like patriotism, health is often the last resort of the scoundrel – or the neurotic. To me, all the symptoms of this mysterious syndrome fit the textbook description of mass hysteria. It seems like the entire rationale rests on “infrasound”, sound of such low frequency it cannot be perceived (in which case, it isn’t sound, anyway). Anybody at all familiar with the physics and physiology of sound perception would understand that every thump, click or other intermittent disturbance of atmospheric pressure would then fall into this category (bearing in mind, of course, that you’d not be hearing it). Just imagine what city dwellers must be exposed to, especially those within a few kilometres of traffic, shipping ports, railways, aircraft or factories. How come we haven’t heard of this syndrome before? I think the answer lies definitely in the cure.

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    1. Sue Ieraci

      Public hospital clinician

      In reply to Paul Prociv

      Indeed.

      The recent review of infrasound shows that the majority of what we experience at this level comes from our heartbeat and breathing.

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    2. George Papadopoulos

      logged in via LinkedIn

      In reply to Paul Prociv

      Sue, by the same analogy our guts are full of E.coli. Why then do we get food poisoning by the same bacteria?

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  12. Markie Linhart

    Rouleur

    Great piece Simon Chapman.
    I'm on the record (somewhere I'm sure) as saying for some time, that the only cure for this junk-science driven 'wind farm sickness' syndrome is money.

    The original inhabitants of Waubra who went sobbing to tribunals about their 'conditions' have been replaced by others at these same properties who as far as I know to date, have suffered none of the issues that previous occupiers ever did.

    I'm quite fearful that our new federal government will turn back the clock on renewables, including wind generated power. Contrary to Mr Abbott's blatherings re the carbon'tax' our power bills have fallen slightly. Why? Because we put our money down and invested in a PV solar system ( a fact conveniently ignored by the anti-brigades) and we buy our power from the an energy retailer who wholesale from a local wind farm…

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  13. Doug Fraser

    policy analyst at UNSW

    "Fifteen years ago, Australian news media ran countless stories on community fears about mobile phone towers. Those still worrying about health risks from the towers are rare today."

    Not here in Tassie, I'm afraid. Right where I live in Taroona, a suburb with one of the highest average educational levels in Australia, I still need to walk down into the street to get a signal on my mobile, because the local Community Association worked up enough of a panic to stop my carrier from building a shared repeater in a quiet patch of local bush. You can't be too careful, you know. All that electricity floating about in the air. It'll fry your brain…

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    1. In reply to Doug Fraser

      Comment removed by moderator.

    2. In reply to Doug Fraser

      Comment removed by moderator.

    3. In reply to Doug Fraser

      Comment removed by moderator.

  14. Fron Jackson-Webb

    Section Editor at The Conversation

    Hi All, just a reminder to please keep your comments on topic. I'll be deleting any that aren't responding to the content of the article.

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    1. Mike Hansen

      Mr.

      In reply to Fron Jackson-Webb

      Fair enough.

      But you need to be consistent.

      You deleted my comment which linked to George Papadoupolous's web site where he advocates what most people would consider a "crank" response to EMF but you left George's and Doug Fraser's comments on EMF standing!

      Surely both are on topic as they relate to unfounded fear of technology.

      Here are the links again.
      http://www.geovital.com.au/geovital_george_papadopoulos_nsw.html
      http://www.geovital.com.au/devices.html

      Could you explain why they are off topic?

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    2. Mike Barnard

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Fron Jackson-Webb

      Paranoid much George? I was referring to Rory Robertson's comments on soft drinks and obesity which he's complaining about having removed.

      Check your local community college. I'm sure that there are remedial reading and comprehension courses offered.

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    3. Mike Hansen

      Mr.

      In reply to Fron Jackson-Webb

      George.

      How can linking to *your* website on EMR be defamatory?

      Do you stand by the claims made on the site e.g. attempting to flog a $399 "pulsed magnetic field device" that is "perfect for coping with radiation. "

      If you are embarrassed by these claims, why don't you remove your name from the web site.

      I am assuming that it is you who reported my previous comment to the moderators. But why? It is definitely on topic as it adds to the evidence that your claims re ultrasound are not science based.

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    4. George Papadopoulos

      logged in via LinkedIn

      In reply to Fron Jackson-Webb

      Mike, are you telling that I should pull my name off the register of pharmacists because pharmaceutical companies, the Pharmacy Guild etc pull out claims/statements that are perfectly legal but can prove embarrassing to the profession?

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    5. George Papadopoulos

      logged in via LinkedIn

      In reply to Fron Jackson-Webb

      here is what you call "promotion" of the website. I think the website is promoting myself...

      "George is a pharmacist with many years experience. He is now expanding his skills to include natural and holistic health approaches and has a longstanding interest in how electromagnetic radiation affects human health.

      George travels between Sydney, Canberra and Yass NSW on a regular basis and is available to communities and people around and between these areas.

      George became a member of Geovital Academy in 2013."

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  15. Brendan Eales

    Accountant

    In June I spent a few days with a couple in Aurich Germany. Usschi is a naturopath and Tom is a 'western medicine 'GP. Aurich is HQ of ENERCON probably the largest producer of wind turbines in europe and the countryside around Aurich is covered in wind turbines. It is almost a museum with turbines of every vintage and size from the early 80's prototypes now used by local farmers for their own property power to a couple of recently built monsters. There are hundreds dotted around the countryside which is basically flat land next to the North Sea..

    I remarked about the number and density of the towers [and the strange beauty of the landscape] and neither of them mentioned any local opposition to them or any particular medical problems that only appear locally and that might be attributed to the towers.

    Mind you when I asked if they had a spare charger they didn't say "Don't worry" so maybe the ENERCON ones are safe.

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    1. George Papadopoulos

      logged in via LinkedIn

      In reply to Brendan Eales

      Brendan, that is one opinion against the opinion of a whole list of German professors back in 1998:

      Germany: The Darmstadt Manifesto: http://wilfriedheck.tripod.com/manif4e.htm

      "More and more people describe their lives as unbearable when they are directly exposed to the acoustic and optical effects of wind farms. There are reports of people being signed off sick and unfit for work, there is a growing number of complaints about symptoms such as pulse irregularities and states of anxiety, which are known from the effects of infrasound (sound of frequences below the normal audible limit). The animal world is also suffering at the hands of this technology. On the North Sea and Baltic coasts birds are being driven away from their breeding, roosting and feeding grounds. These displacement effects are being increasingly observed inland, too."

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    2. Rory Cunningham

      Test Analyst

      In reply to Brendan Eales

      Infrasound is a myth perpetrated by astroturfers (such as yourself) that it affects the human body. It does not. The sound that the germans were complaining about wasn't infrasound, but regular sound such as a car going past. The wind turbines that they were complaning about were within hundreds of metres of the person
      http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/wind-energy-encounters-problems-and-resistance-in-germany-a-910816-2.html

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    3. Dianna Arthur

      Environmentalist

      In reply to Brendan Eales

      Simon

      Video should be compulsory viewing - but that would be presenting evidence and those annoying fact thingy's.

      We are now in Abbott's Action World where facts are few and women, fewer.

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    1. George Papadopoulos

      logged in via LinkedIn

      In reply to Will Hunt

      Yep, I think that is called placebo - a much better recognised phenomenon than Chapman's nocebo.

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    2. Simon Chapman

      Professor of Public Health at University of Sydney

      In reply to Will Hunt

      George, the nocebo phenomenon is not "mine" -- there is a very large research literature on it, including experimental demonstrations of it on sham wind turbine noise and sham wifi.

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    3. George Papadopoulos

      logged in via LinkedIn

      In reply to Will Hunt

      with relation to wind turbines, I bet it isn't!

      The sham wind turbine noise study had nothing to do with the real life situation. I'm not scared of wind turbines, but they do make my life hell!

      And with WIFI, I suggest you explain why there is so much of struggle against it. It benefits the user, so why does the user end up feeling that it is killing them? Maybe pay them some money to use it?

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    4. George Papadopoulos

      logged in via LinkedIn

      In reply to Will Hunt

      What? you're not even aware of the struggle against WIFI in schools? May be you are living on a different planet.

      By the way did you get my e-mail that said:

      "With reference to the article: https://theconversation.com/wind-turbine-syndrome-farm-hosts-tell-very-different-story-18241

      We have discussed this before and I have clarified your misconception that in the reference you I do not claim anywhere to hear ONE wind turbine 100km away. I accordingly request that error be corrected, otherwise I will consider as done in malicious intent."

      I hope the moderator takes note and asks you to correct your erroneous article.

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    5. Simon Chapman

      Professor of Public Health at University of Sydney

      In reply to Will Hunt

      If I were to correct it George, I'd like to correct it accurately. You seem to think it's "malicious" that I said you were aware of one turbine at up to 100km. So if I am to correct it, I need you to tell me how many turbines you CAN sense at up to 100km, and to explain how you know how many you can sense, seeing that you seem to be suggesting it's more than one. I am enthralled in anticipation of your answer.

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  16. Neville Mattick
    Neville Mattick is a Friend of The Conversation.

    Grazier: ALP Member at A 4th Generation Grazing Station

    Great to have the opportunity to hear 'the other side of the debate' in the short film and this discussion paper, thank you Professor Chapman.

    The rush of farms being axed in NSW is a potent reminder of what the new direction coming from the COALition will do to our Climate and Biodiversity - Humanity ultimately will pay the price for negligence of our own habitat; just that in the short term we will all enjoy the burn before the crash leaving a vast legacy for the next generation.

    I am reminded of the great Neil Young's lyric "got fuel to burn, got roads to drive - keep on rockin' in the free world" - QED.

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  17. John Armstrong

    Retired Environmental Consultant

    As a person who worked with sound most of my life, I can believe that some people might be sensitive to very low frequencies, especially when they are amplified by more than one turbine. (I admit a bias in that I have a wind generator myself). I don't have that problem myself.

    The answer seems simple to me. Produce the turbines in pairs, turning in opposite directions. The phase difference will cancel out the noise.

    If you want to see a demonstration of this, reverse the polarity of one speaker on your stereo then play some rock 'n' roll and try to hear the bass player. The two speakers work against each other, particularly cancelling the low frequencies.

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  18. Emilie Choukry

    artist

    I have been following this discussion for 5 years to make up my mind on what I think is true.
    My conclusion has been that wind turbines can make people unwell and also disturbs the animal life.

    Ask acoustic engineers and neuroscientists about cranial cavities where sound resonates.
    In singing and in chanting and in all sound, vibration occurs, what about the bridge that they have a model of at The Power House Museum that collapsed from vibration.

    This physical reality is something I have been unable to dismiss.
    I have heard on RN a number of interesting programs on sound in the brain cavities and resonance.
    As we are all made differently what may be true for one person may not be the same for another.
    That is why I could only come to the conclusion that for many it is real

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    1. Emilie Choukry

      artist

      In reply to Emilie Choukry

      As someone totally watching as an outsider...clearly there is an issue for some and no amount of internet links will change that.
      Now if one was to use your argument then you would have to ask what have these rabble- rousers to gain?
      Quiet,solitude, peace, a contented life, no big business dictating there lives for reward or favour ?
      I don't know the answer but fortunately in Australia people have the right to have their concerns respected.

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    2. Mike Barnard

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Emilie Choukry

      The 'internet link' you refer to provides reference to virtually all of the peer-reviewed research on the subject of why those few people have a problem.

      When wind turbines are sited 350 meters plus from a home, 99%+ of the time there isn't a problem of any sort with noise annoyance.

      Some people get annoyed and attribute it to noise because:
      1. they can see the wind turbine
      2. they aren't receiving fiscal compensation from the wind turbine
      3. they've been exposed to anti-wind campaigning messages raising fears and stress about wind energy
      4. they have negatively oriented personality traits

      Note that these are actual root causes that can be talked about, and research is being done on them.

      No one is denying that some people are impacted, but it's important to understand why and how so that appropriate mitigations -- if any -- can be applied.

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    3. Sue Ieraci

      Public hospital clinician

      In reply to Emilie Choukry

      ''people have the right to have their concerns respected''

      No - people have the right to have legitimate concerns investigated.

      Then, if the answer is not what they sought, they should accord the investigators the same respect and accept the evidence.

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    4. George Papadopoulos

      logged in via LinkedIn

      In reply to Emilie Choukry

      Sue, that could be the case if the investigator was truly independent. But unfortunately this is not always the case.

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    1. Emilie Choukry

      artist

      In reply to clive winmill

      From my reading of the comments , I don't believe there would be one person who wouldn't support alternative energy....unless they were an oil company.
      Fortunately there are fantastic quiet solar advancements, wave technology and in Germany the turbines are off shore...... last time I checked Australia had a pretty big coastline that could be utilized.
      And just because you weren't disturbed by doesn't mean others weren't.

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    2. George Papadopoulos

      logged in via LinkedIn

      In reply to clive winmill

      Clive, I also work and meet many people, but not that many know my problem with noise nuisance from wind turbines. Does this mean there isn't a problem?

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    3. Ian Garradd

      logged in via email @gmail.com

      In reply to clive winmill

      The noise from the very loud lawn mowers, whipper snippers and air blowers near my house is a far bigger problem than any noise from wind turbines.
      Lawn mowers cause acute and severe stress, and seriously disrupt afternoon napping. The noise is also hundreds of times more powerful than 'infrasound'
      The noise stress is becoming so serious that I may need to seek medical help soon.

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  19. Jennifer Norton

    statistician, researcher, entrepreneur

    Much as I support solar and wind power, and believe we should stop using coal, oil and gas ASAP, this won't be enough. We still need to reduce our energy use dramatically.

    Dawn Stover's article makes good sense:
    http://damnthematrix.wordpress.com/2013/08/26/2358/
    No energy generation method is truly "renewable". Without the huge bang for buck we get from oil, manufacturing the solar panels, turbines and other equipment will become more expensive.

    No simple solutions.

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  20. Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

    Boss

    Simon,
    As you would know, your article is a diversion to a small objection to wind farms.
    The main objection occurs when the wind does not blow. Then, other forms of generation, such as expensive gas turbines, have to be switched into the grid.
    The capacity of the turbines is nearly the same as the actual performance output of the windmills, so one might as well use just gas turbines (or some coal) and reduce duplication.
    You simply have to look at other countries to see how windmill power used on large grids is a dud. There is no counter-argument to this reality.

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    1. Mike Barnard

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Wind farms don’t require any more backup than coal or nuclear plants do until they are supplying a very large percentage energy, and when wind energy drops, it’s predictable and minor, unlike major transmission or generation failures. http://barnardonwind.com/2013/02/24/how-much-backup-does-a-wind-farm-require-how-does-that-compare-to-conventional-generation/

      Generating assets that can back up renewables already exist and don't have to be built.

      Wind farms displace fossil fuel generation almost…

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    2. Simon Chapman

      Professor of Public Health at University of Sydney

      In reply to Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Geoffrey, for the life of me, I just can't understand why dud economies like China, India, USA, Canada, Germany, France, UK etc keep on installing more of these hopelessly inefficient contraptions. http://www.gwec.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Annual_report_2012_LowRes.pdf What's preventing them from having the insights that you have? Your argument is like saying that a hybrid car is hopeless because it only saves fuel when "idling" or going down hills. Or that solar is a joke because the sun doesn't shine at night.

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    3. Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Boss

      In reply to Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Simon,
      Show me wrong about backup and then we'll have a basis for discussion beyond bluster.

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  21. Terry O'Reilly

    Teacher

    Perhaps those experiencing 'health problems' should read John Cage's 'Silence'. A composer famous for his 4'33 composition (performed in the absence of deliberate sound), Cage has a refreshing perspective on how we respond to the sounds of the world, both natural and man made. After reading 'Silence', it is difficult to imagine any noise/sound being harmful to one's health.

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  22. George Papadopoulos

    logged in via LinkedIn

    I note that the moderator is doing a good job at suppressing comments, but I suggest that moderator also ask Chapman to justify the following comment, as he appears to be avoiding my question:

    "Another prominent activist George Papadopolous [sic], claims to be able to sense a wind turbine at 100km away"

    I think it is clear from my article that I am talking about a load of low frequency noise, perceptible from the closest wind turbines. I am not talking about hearing the closest turbines.

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