Dale, Dennis. Use Your Considerable Influence to Support Independent High Quality Research
Dear Dr Hambleton,
I cannot believe that such an August body as yours could come up with such a poor quality document as your recent ‘Wind Farms and Health 2014’.
1. Your statement; “All modern wind turbines in Australia are designed to be upwind of local populations” does not make sense. In case you hadn’t noticed wind turbines have a nacelle that swivels depending on the wind direction, so that they are always facing into the wind, so that they may be upwind, or downwind of a population, depending on wind direction.
2. Your statement; “Infrasound levels in the vicinity of wind farms have been measured and compared to a number of urban and rural residences………etc.”
I refer you to the document Peer review comments South Australian EPA and Resonate Acoustics “Infrasound levels near windfarms and in other environments” Issued by the South Australian Environment Protection Agency, dated January 2013.”
In this peer review by Steven E. Cooper of ‘The Acoustics Group’ Consulting Acoustical & Vibrational Engineering’ he disagrees with your statement, and says;
“Various wind developers and industry lobby groups both in Australia and around the world have been claiming that the recent report issued by the South Australian EPA and Resonate Acoustics is a scientifically valid document that has confirmed infrasound associated with wind turbines is a non event and persons raising such issues are simply scaremongering. A cursory examination of the document as set out below suggests a substantial degree of incompetence or alternatively, that it is a document intended to mislead the community.”
In relation to the first dot point position statement. Can you please point me to the research that backs up these claims?
The Federal Senate Enquiry of 2011 chaired by Greens Senator Rachel Siewert recommendation that more research be done into the noise impacts of wind farms (because it hasn’t been done). This has still not been carried out.
Even the recent NHMRC literature review said “there is consistent but poor quality evidence that proximity to wind farms is associated with annoyance and less consistently, with sleep disturbance and poorer quality of life”-and that high quality research was required.
Professor Anderson head of the NHMRC, said, in questioning at the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee 26/02 2014, that he was concerned about the poor quality of research.
Regarding the second dot point of your position statement, I refer you to Emeritus Professor Colin Hansen, School of Mechanical Engineering, University of Adelaide. In his document “Comments on the SA EPA Waterloo Wind Farm Environmental Noise Study 2013, Says
“Finally I do not believe that the EPA study has shown that the noise impact on residents from the Waterloo wind farm is insignificant. More detailed analysis of the data and analysis of the appropriateness of existing EPA guidelines would in my opinion indicate significant impact of the wind farm noise on local residents.”
In the third dot point of your position statement, about misinformation regarding wind farm developments. Again I refer you to Emeritus Professor Colin Hansen, in his letter to Mr. Michael Moore CEO of the Public Health Association of Australia, regarding wind farm noise, March 2014.
He says in his final paragraph of this letter, “The above comments leave me wondering whether you organisation is really interested in protecting public health or whether it is a platform for wind farm developers to attempt to influence the general public.”
I would also like to refer you to the Senate Proof Adjournment Speech by Senator John Madigan Monday 17 March 2014. Wind Farms: health Effects. “Tonight I rise to speak on the relationship between a community and their doctors and how that relationship has been bastardised” He then goes on to talk about how AGL has written to 12 clinics across Western Victoria; “In short the letter aims to discredit and discount any patient visiting any doctor with any claims of ill health brought about by living near the Macarthur wind farm. It is an outrageous and pre emptive example of corporate propaganda and was directed straight into the consulting rooms of regional and rural doctors…etc.”
I would totally agree with the fourth dot point of your statement. If only the Developers, Government Agencies and Councils etc. would abide by this, things would be much better for everyone.
In your final dot point of the position statement about generation by wind turbines, you are wrong. It does involve the production of greenhouse gas and other pollutants and waste.
A. In the manufacture of the turbines and ancillaries. The turbines are made of steel and the blades of carbon fibre. The blades cannot be recycled at this stage and are just dumped. There are all the cables required, computer equipment, transformers, posts and wires to get to the main grid etc. etc.
B. There is all the fuel used in the transportation. The gearboxes etc. are all imported. There are all the tons of concrete required at the base of each turbine, the water the cement etc. etc. Then there is the fuel required to clear miles of roads, clear sites flatten hills, fill gullies dig trenches etc. etc. and the manufacture of all the trucks and earthmoving machinery etc. to do all this. These things don’t just majically appear out of the air!!!!!
C. Each Turbine Nacelle is filled with 300 plus, litres of oil to lubricate the gear boxes, and this would surely have to be changed over the life of the turbines.
D. Wind turbines only generate electricity at a maximum of 30% of their rated output. They cannot supply base load power, so when the wind stops blowing or is intermittent, gas or coal fired back up is required, so that often there has to be two sources of power one carbon base and the other renewable, as a back up source. Because these carbon base generators have to be run intermittently, they actually produce more greenhouse gas than if they were left running at a steady speed.
I would also like to make the comment that the first two dot points of your position statement also appear to breach the AMA code of ethics 1.1 Patient Care.
Without any proof of research done into the health of persons living in the vicinity of wind farms (again if you have this I would like to see it). You basically go on to imply that it is all in their heads due to their ‘heightened anxiety or negative perceptions regarding wind farms in their area’, and that it is basically all their fault!!!!
Again, I ask, where is the medical research done to back up these claims????
I would like to finish by saying that Instead of just going about blaming the victims, I would suggest you use your considerable influence to support independent high quality research into the health effects of wind turbines on people, instead of sprouting unsubstantiated rubbish.
Yacka, South Australia