Waubra Foundation Chair writes to the AMA about their Position Statement

In a letter to the Chair of the AMA on behalf of the Waubra Foundation Board, the Chairman, Peter Mitchell, AM takes issue with the Position Statement on Wind Farms and Health. The letter concludes:

“Regardless of the distance between our interpretations of what is happening in rural Australia to real people, the Foundation would be pleased to meet with responsible officers of the AMA to start an information exchange with the sole objective of solving this health problem for the benefit of all Australians, particularly country Australians.”


Dear Dr Hambleton,

Australian Medical Association Position Statement: Wind Farms and Health – 2014

The Board of the Waubra Foundation is aware that our CEO, Sarah Laurie, has written to the AMA on the subject of your Wind Farms and Health – 2014 Position Statement.

The Foundation has two doctors of medicine on its board, Ms Laurie and a former Federal Health Minister, Dr Michael Wooldridge. The other directors include a former judge of the Supreme Court of Victoria, economists, agricultural scientists and an engineer.

In addition to the detailed comments largely along medical lines made by Sarah Laurie, I have considered it necessary that, as Chairman, I raise some other relevant matters.

For nearly four years the Foundation has been accumulating information on:

1) noise (more correctly energy pulses) produced by turbines, both airborne and ground-borne;

2) movement of those energy pulses from the turbine to the point of contact with human bodies;

3) the mode of entry of those pulses into the human body and the physiological and psychological impact on those victims.

It is ultimately important that we understand both the engineering and the science of each of these components and then of the whole process.

I note that medical science is only involved in item 3) and even there the entry and impact involves a number of highly specialised sub-disciplines. It was more than a surprise to see that your position statement is so certain on elements of items 1) and 2).

Unlike the NHMRC literature studies, the Foundation has not recruited a university library service to do a literature study, nor, if we did, would we place very tight academic style limits on which literature qualifies for consideration.

Our approach is driven by the fact that so many people across Australia are already enduring a debilitating, cruel and proliferating problem which needs political attention and solutions, right now. That is the task we have identified and set about achieving.

Our approach has therefore been to accumulate information locally and through a world-wide professional network from victims, medical professionals, independent acoustic measurements around wind facilities, and relevant pieces of the all too few studies and measurements that have been completed in the past.

We are collecting as much evidence as possible from all sources, and will continue to do so until a detailed and full understanding of the three step process can be pieced together. In simple terms we are engaged in a patient, multidisciplinary, forensic examination of what is, and is becoming, available. Much of the product of this work is on our extensive website which would appear not to have been visited by your author(s).

Following Sarah Laurie’s communication, I wish to restrict my comments to the non-medical statements in the AMA document. These statements fall into two categories: one being praise of wind energy and wind turbines and the second observations regarding noise from turbines.

Your position statement opens with:

wind turbine technology is considered a comparatively inexpensive and effective means of energy production

and closes with:

Electricity generation does not involve production of greenhouse gases, other pollutants or waste, all of which can have significant direct and indirect health effects.”

The highlighted portions of these assertions establish that within the AMA there exists a profound ignorance of the economics of wind as an energy source, its ineffectiveness as a technically satisfactory component of the power grid and the expensive and greenhouse gas producing methods (balancing with open cycle gas turbines) necessary to convert wind power into grid-useful energy. We would be pleased to introduce the AMA to one or more independent engineers who have mastered the intricacies of these matters and have the mathematical evidence sufficient to convince all but renewable zealots of the real facts.

Those two assertions have not been rephrased much or travelled far from the product defence handbooks of the wind industry and its various acolytes. The assertions are, sadly, naïve, incorrect, uninformed and completely out of the AMA’s area of expertise. As opening and closing statements they tragically indicate a clear bias towards planetary care at the expense of human care.

The second matter goes to the construction of the premise of your position being, apart from the opening sentence, the first two introductory paragraphs. Again those paragraphs merely repeat the wind industry’s product defence propaganda on noise. Some of these unsourced statements are incorrect and others irrelevant except for disclosing how very little actual work has gone into the preparation of the AMA’s position.

We know you have received a number of objections from victims, acousticians, medical practitioners, a psychologist and relevant professional specialists including an otoneurologist (so important in understanding human pathways for energy pulses) as a number of the objectors have sent copies of their complaints to us. These copies are being progressively uploaded to our website www.waubrafoundation.org.au

I can only conclude that a Position Statement was requested, (possibly through public health channels?) and requested at this time, to support concurrent attacks on the Waubra Foundation; and that the AMA was “fed” a draft which it has hurriedly published without a measurable effort at fact checking.

The so-called ‘nocebo effect’, invented so the industry could continue sowing enough doubt to maintain their huge subsidies for another year or two, is cruel in that it maintains suffering, and destroys any expectations of help amongst the victims.

The AMA has a choice: recall the statement and get on top of the technology and science and reissue your position, or hold fast and be forever mocked and abused as a prisoner of this cruel and dangerous industry and sections of what appears to be a seriously compromised public health alliance.

Regardless of the distance between our interpretations of what is happening in rural Australia to real people, the Foundation would be pleased to meet with responsible officers of the AMA to start an information exchange with the sole objective of solving this health problem for the benefit of all Australians, particularly country Australians.

Yours sincerely,

Peter R. Mitchell, AM, BChE

Download Mr Mitchell’s letter →