Some surprising news out of Australia. The Sidney Morning Herald reports that a new study commissioned by wind farm owner Pacific Hydro looked into whether there is any link with the health of some Australian residents who live near a wind farm and continuous health complaints. Sound detection equipment was installed in the resident’s homes and at the wind farm while the residents themselves were asked to document any noise, vibrations, etc. Additionally researchers also requested residents to record any sensations such as head aches, ringing in the ears, or ear or chest pressure.
Surprisingly, the report found a correlation between wind farms powering up or down and people having severe sensations. Though the report did come under criticism and is said to not have enough data, there have been other instances such as this that have been reported in the past The Manhattan Institute looked into this matter back in 2012 and there were some surprising results. The research from senior fellow Robert Bryce states:
[I]n their rush to embrace the wind-energy business, Obama and numerous other politicians are walking away from rural residents such as David Enz and his wife, Rose. A year ago, the couple abandoned their home near Denmark, Wis., because of the unbearable low-frequency noise produced by a half-dozen 495-foot-high wind turbines that were built near the home they’ve owned since 1978. The closest was installed about 3,200 feet from their house.
Shortly after the Shirley Windproject’s turbines began operating, the couple began experiencing numerous symptoms, including “headaches, ear pain, nausea, blurred vision, anxiety, memory loss, and an overall unsettledness,” says Mr. Enz, 68. Today, the Enzes are living in their RV or staying with friends. “We didn’t expect any of this stuff,” says Enz, who spent more than 30 years working as a millwright at a paper mill in Green Bay.
Bryce’s essay on wind turbine health problems goes on to point out:
In 2009, the American Wind Energy Association and the Canadian Wind Energy Association commissioned a group of doctors to review the available literature on wind turbines and noise. The two lobby groups published a paper that concluded, “There is no evidence that the audible or sub-audible sounds emitted by wind turbines have any direct adverse physiological effects.” It also said that the vibrations from the turbines are “too weak to be detected by, or to affect, humans.” However, that same study also said that extended exposure to unwanted noise can cause a number of symptoms, including “dizziness, eye strain, fatigue, feeling vibration, headache, insomnia, muscle spasm, nausea, nose bleeds, palpitations, pressure in the ears or head, skin burns, stress, and tension.”
To bolster its claims that turbine noise is not harmful, the wind-energy lobby is touting a study released in mid-January by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection that largely dismissed complaints about wind-turbine noise. But the authors of the Massachusetts report did not interview any of the homeowners who’ve left their houses because of turbine noise. Instead, they did a cursory review of the published literature.
Shortly after the Massachusetts report came out, Jim Cummings of the Acoustic Ecology Institute, a non-profit organization that tracks noise issues, wrote that the authors of the Massachusetts report “dropped a crucial ball” because they did not “provide any sort of acknowledgement or analysis of the ways that annoyance, anxiety, sleep disruption, and stress could be intermediary pathways that help us to understand some of the reports coming from Massachusetts residents who say their health has been affected by nearby turbines.”
Environmentalists are married to the idea that wind energy can help reduce carbon emissions that is alleged to contribute to climate change that they are ignoring the problems that come from their wind farms. Even Electric Hydro did not believe the data collected by their own researcher, Stephen Cooper, was accurate when they commissioned their study on the effects of wind farms as reported by The Sidney Morning Herald.
Fortunately, Australia’s government is expected to do more research on the issue of health problems related to turbines and there are a lot more instances of people who live near them reporting health problems. The people who are harmed and end up abandoning their homes resulting from the effects of the green lobby’s boondoggles are considered collateral damage since, in the green lobby and President Obama’s minds, all must be sacrificed for the common good of preserving nature.