Ware, Melissa. Writes to AMA regarding Statement on Wind Farms & Health
OPEN LETTER TO THE AMA– Mar ‘14
The Australian Medical Association current statement on wind farms and health neither recognises nor supports people suffering exposure to industrial wind turbines. The AMA’s 27,000 Doctor Membership and general public have been delivered a harmful lack of knowledge, dosed with biased misinformation about wind farms and health.
Refusal to acknowledge health and noise problems experienced near wind farms and promoting this commercial industry, neglects not only ethical duty; but directly contributes to creating barriers preventing best medical care for those of us suffering ‘wind turbine syndrome’. Keeping Doctors misinformed and uneducated about realities of negative exposures to wind farms, neglects responsibility to them and duty of care to rural families. Treatment should include prevention of ill-health rather than dismissal of those adversely impacted.
Believing wind turbines are an inexpensive and effective means of energy production, is an outdated, inaccurate viewpoint. Living next door to a wind farm, every day at least one, sometimes all turbines fail to generate electricity because wind has dropped or turbines have malfunctioned. Actually draining our electricity resources. Many people attest turbines are inefficient, noisy, polluting, are expensive to construct, maintain, operate and have serious impact on health. Find documents on informative websites such as
Experiencing effects of naturally sourced infrasound at the beach is incomparable to living and sleeping within the boundaries of a wind farm emitting infrasound. With increasing size of wind farms there is a cumulative impact not taken into account. Comprised of hundreds of turbines, co-joining neighbouring wind farms, acoustical disturbance increases and worsen over these further distances.
Turbines may be built ‘upwind of local populations’ but what do you think happens with every change of wind direction, or coastal wind speed increases; Clunky machinery noises from blades and rotors! Don’t tell me turbines are better designed to protect people; they’re only better designed to harvest more power that is becoming more and more expensive for everyone. If designs and engineering were so brilliant there would be no noise and vibration problems inside people’s homes and no ill-health. Infrasound, broadband noise and vibrations are unacceptably damaging my family and others good health.
Proper independent measurements of noise and vibration have been conducted and prove unacceptable acoustic events in our homes. This industry operates outside permit conditions, lacks authentic regulation, without independent review; leaving people like me exposed to ongoing noise abuse and the torment of years of sleepless, noise disturbed nights, with deteriorating family health, including a child’s. Your statement compounds that abuse.
The United Nations Committee against Torture (CAT) has noted that ‘sleep deprivation used for prolonged periods constitutes a breach of the CAT, and is primarily used to break down the will of the detainee. Sleep deprivation can cause impaired memory and cognitive functioning, decreased short term memory, speech impairment, hallucinations, psychosis, lowered immunity, headaches, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, stress, anxiety and depression’. 6 years of sleep deprivation, directly attributed to industrial wind farm exposure and most of the above symptoms apply to me.
Complete professionalism is expected from an esteemed Medical body such as the AMA and to accuse ‘scaremongering’ etc to members of society in dire need of health studies displays an unexpected lack of health-care and ignorance. Wind farm noise and vibration experienced in homes, on farms and in towns is scientifically detected, it’s measurable and preventable. To raise awareness of health issues and ‘wind turbine syndrome’ or symptoms is not ‘scaremongering’; a diagnosis that’s ineffective and insulting.
Doctors of the AMA, at what ‘level’ of noise, do I experience adverse health effects living next to a wind facility? Without thoroughly testing on site and experiencing immediate impacts of a North Westerly blasting the wind farm creating industrial noise and vibrations, literally shuddering my solid stone home to its stone foundations; Direct and long-term impacts on my family remain undetermined and conclusions and diagnosis based on misinformation is neglectful and a risk.
Heightened anxiety originates not from what people say about negative impacts; anxiety originates from constant bombardment of noise and vibrations occurring above acceptable levels within our homes. Recommendations to see a GP with concerns will in no way stop industrial noise in my bed nor on my body. This AMA statement damages fragile Doctor/patient relationships and a preventative approach is required to remove actual causes of ill health.
Following medical advice seems a useless undertaking. As Doctors adhering to your statement lack vital knowledge regarding wind farm health issues, may be not be focused on giving appropriate medical attention and the advanced, unbiased investigations required to discover exactly why our health deteriorates. I have been told by GP’s and a Specialist to move away, they’re unwilling to put that advice in writing or offer public support.
How do I trust a system failing to acknowledge and support or halt my experiences of ongoing torture? Nocebo affect is utter nonsense; I’ve tried everything to make this intrusion go away. Taking anxiety pills, headache pills or earache drops momentarily dulls pain. It does not lessen the presence of industrial vibrations causing the pain and will not resolve problems of this unwanted industrial intrusion to family life, our health, well-being and quality of life.
Industrial wind development and regulations made by State Governments should concern the AMA as people are not being protected; only the industry is. Your code of ethics declares Doctors have a responsibility to improve and maintain health of patients whom entrust themselves to medical care. To set the standards of ethical behaviour expected of Doctors, your responsibility is to be responsible, have integrity and support research and investigations into health problems and not blatantly dismiss them.
AMA public duties and responsibilities must rise above politics of energy production and its commercial interest and support education and legislation to protect the public from wind farm emissions and not perpetuate wind industry propaganda. Failure to improve and maintain the health of patients by a lack of caution, investigation into the industry, safeguard sufferers and such open support of a harmful industry causes ongoing distress. Condoning and endorsing continued abuse of my family in issuing this statement shows lack of professional direction by the AMA, hopefully not supported by its members.
Which Doctors supporting your position statement have a collaborative, trustworthy approach to my health-care and how does your statement commit to a Doctors lifelong dedication to self-education? Independent health and noise studies discovering exactly what is occurring are required. Attempted suppression by accusing supporters and those speaking out against years of noise abuse, of being ‘scaremongers’, nimbys or jealous etc. is uncompassionate and disrespectful. I object to this segregation and distressful uncaring attitudes shown by your Association.
GP’s etc. advice to ‘move away’ is impractical for the growing Australian population living near turbines. Our home is mortgaged; our property has devalued by an estimated $100,000 and unofficially deemed ‘unsaleable’ due to the wind farms proximity; our rates annually increase, although our quality of life has decreased. We cannot afford added costs of escaping injury by relocating or renting somewhere else. Extreme exhaustion and disruptiveness to routine, means we are unable to flee in the night or day-time when noise and vibration become horrific.
Meet your responsibilities by adjusting the AMA’s policy regarding the health of a “small” and rapidly growing population living with wind farms. Preferably, offer supportive involvement to sufferers, wind farm workers and the many professionals by assisting those affected by industrial wind energy facilities.
For further information on our situation see:
Cape Bridgewater, Vic.