Australian Medical Association: you’ve got mail

Since the Australian Medical Association came out with its “surprising” (Dr Robert  McMurtry’s reaction) statement on wind turbine noise and health, people from around the world have been writing to provide the AMA with more information, and demand a retraction, reports Wind Victims Ontario.

A full report of the global reaction may be found here including copies of letters that have been sent.

The Waubra Foundation in Australia has a full list of letters sent, in alphabetical order; if you wish to contact the AMA, be sure to visit the Waubra Foundation link first, and copy them on your correspondence.

Here are some sample letter:

 

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22nd March, 2014
The Australian Medical Association Position Statement: “Wind Farms and Health” 2014 has provoked instant national and international condemnation from those who have first hand knowledge of the damaging impact of wind turbine noise, including impacted residents, researchers, and professionals providing either clinical care or acoustic services.

Some people are writing privately to the AMA, urging them to remove or update the ignorant AMA position statement, whilst others would like their views made public. As the Waubra Foundation becomes aware of letters written to the AMA and receives permission to reproduce them, they are being posted below.

The Waubra Foundation’s Open Letter to the AMA is here.
Gardner, Mrs. Ann Nine Questions for the AMA   
     My name is Ann Gardner and I have lived and worked happily and healthily for 34 years, on my husband’s and my farming property in south-west Victoria until October 2012, when the first only 15 turbines of the Macarthur wind farm began operation, and threw our lives and those of many others, into turmoil.
     At the time of writing this letter I am suffering terribly from the infrasound emitted by the 140 turbines located FAR TOO CLOSE to our property.
     I have a bad headache. I have a very strong pain shooting up through the back of my neck and into my head. I have extremely sore and blocked ears and very painful pressure in my nose. I have pressure in my jaws and my teeth. My heart is POUNDING .….. I can feel the vibration going through my body, through the chair, like an electric charge. I have just taken yet another two tablets to try and alleviate the pain.
     I am also exhausted, as last night, along with every other night, I spent more time awake than asleep. The infrasound in our bedroom, was appalling .….. I could feel the vibration through the mattress and the pillow, like an electric charge through my body. My head felt as if a brick was on it, and the pressure and pain in my nose was extreme. I have always been a very sound sleeper, that is until October 2012. I am now lucky if I am able to get two or three hours sleep each night, in my own home.

Gallandy-Jakobsen, GretaAMA Concerned About Machines Instead of Human Beings
Do you remember your oath as a member of the medical profession?
At the time of being admitted as a member of the medical profession:

  • I solemnly pledge to consecrate my life to the service of humanity;
  • I will give to my teachers the respect and gratitude that is their due;
  • I will practice my profession with conscience and dignity;
  • The health of my patient will be my first consideration;
  • I will respect the secrets that are confided in me, even after the patient has died;
  • I will maintain by all the means in my power, the honour and the noble traditions of the medical profession;
  • My colleagues will be my sisters and brothers;
  • I will not permit considerations of age, disease or disability, creed, ethnic origin, gender, nationality, political affiliation, race, sexual orientation, social standing or any other factor to intervene between my duty and my patient;
  • I will maintain the utmost respect for human life;
  • I will not use my medical knowledge to violate human rights and civil liberties, even under threat;
  • I make these promises solemnly, freely and upon my honour.

Enbom, Dr Hakam, MD, PhD. Otoneurologist, Angelholm, Sweden
“Thus the conclusion is that low frequency sound and infrasound from wind power has the qualities to trigger increased sensitivity and eventually migraine headache or other migraine-symptoms – such as vertigo or tinnitus (without headache).”

Hopkins, Dr Gary D. Emergency Physician, South Australia
“I am rendered speechless by your irresponsible, ill researched, ill advised and reckless statement that those who might suffer physical effects from the presence of turbines are suffering a psychological condition (anxiety). Indeed your very statement itself causes anxiety in those likely to be effected ( “who will believe me when I tell them I feel sick ” ? ).”

McMurtry, Professor R. Researcher, Expert Witness, Former Dean Medical School, Ontario, Canada
“I am writing to comment on the AMA Position Statement. The position statement is surprising. It is not well informed, references are absent and the authors of the document are undisclosed. Many of the phrases and claims in the document faithfully reflect wind industry claims, claims which cannot be substantiated.
Review of the existing evidence in which direct assessment of exposed individuals has been carried out uniformly reveals adverse health effects2. The common denominator of complaints consists of sleep disturbance, inner ear disturbance and stress response. These are serious adverse health effects. These adverse health events have been reported globally in the media and grey literature.”

Palmer, William. Professional Engineer, Ontario, Canada
“I wish to express to you my grave concern that the Position Statement as it is issued is not consistent with the Code of Ethics of the Australian Medical Association
There is obviously a need for discretion, but this information is from the public record:

  1. A gentleman in his 50’s who stood at a public meeting to declare he was suffering no adverse health effects from wind turbines near his home suffered a cardiac arrest and died within one week of his declaration.
  2. A young lady in her 30’s suffered an unexpected sudden cardiac arrest and died.
  3. Another gentleman in his 60’s had a cardiac arrest while out fishing and could not be revived.
  4. Another gentleman in his 60’s suffered a cardiac arrest while driving and passed away.

None of these individuals’ deaths were expected”

Papadopoulos, George. Pharmacist, Yass, NSW
“Both AMA position statements reflect an abstract position that does not examine reality.
It seems that the AMA perceives information and open discussion as a threat to the mental wellbeing of the modern Australian.
The harm wind turbines can cause has been described by NASA scientists in the 1980’s. The response by Sarah Laurie to the AMA is very comprehensive and makes the case clear”


Reider, Dr Sandy MD, Primary Care Physician, Vermont USA, has treated impacted residents
“As a rural primary care physician (graduate of Harvard Medical School in 1971) in northern Vermont, USA, I have observed first hand the adverse health effects experienced by individuals living too close to the two large wind projects that have been brought online in the area over the past few years.”

Tibbetts, Dr. Jay J. MD, Primary Care Physician, Wisconsin, USA, has treated impacted residents
“Over the past four years the Board has studied the deleterious effects of IWT’s on human health.
We have the Shirley Wind Farm in our county. It consists of eight 500’ 2.5 megawatt IWT’s. The effects on our citizens living in the immediate vicinity i.e. 2–3 mi. of the nearest turbine has been devastating. Ear pressure , pain, tinnitus, vertigo, headache, nausea, chest pain pressure, abdominal pain, poor concentration, sleep deprivation, irritability and depression are some of the symptoms our citizens are experiencing. These symptoms are not unique to our facility but are reported world wide and a direct effect of ILFN. Three families from Shirley Wind have abandoned their homes and several others would move save for financial reasons.”

Lake K-2?

Here’s an item from the news website Ontario Wind Resistance:

Samsung makes a lake in K2 wind project

Posted on 03/22/2014 by

Well, the destruction beside us has taken a turn. K2 has begun creating LAKE K2 at a rapid pace. It’s quite a show, high hoes and bulldozers trying to keep ahead of the water that’s flowing.

We called the MOE about this yesterday and they were out today. Not sure why K2 did not notify the MOE themselves when the water problems began to multiply.

They are trucking the water from the site beside us to a treatment plant in Waterloo Ontario, having it tested before it is discharged. According to the MOE at great cost to K2.

So anyone willing to take a dip in the local electrified LAKE K2 then come on over. Heads up it might be a little chilly right now!!!

Blog editor note: K2 is a wind power generation plant in Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh, being developed by a partnership between Samsung, Pattern and Capital Power

Dr McMurtry statement on Australian Medical Association statement

Dr McMurtry with career achievement award

As you may know, the Australian Medical Association last week released a statement on wind turbines and health effects, which concluded that there was no evidence to support a link.

Dr Robert McMurtry, a member of the Order of Canada, former Dean of Medicine at Western University, and former Associate Deputy Minister for Health Canada, has responded.

Re AMA Position Statement Wind Farms and Health

1. I am a Canadian citizen, formerly a dean of medicine, assistant deputy minister of health federally and a practising orthopaedist. I am a founding member of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research funded Evidence Network.

2. I have engaged with over 100 exposed individuals residing near industrial wind developments in the province of Ontario. These cases are documented.1

3. I have appeared as an expert witness on behalf of plaintiffs in actions versus the erection of wind farms too proximate to human habitation.

4. I am writing to comment on the AMA Position Statement. The position statement is surprising. It is not well informed, references are absent and the authors of the document are undisclosed. Many of the phrases and claims in the document faithfully reflect wind industry claims, claims which cannot be substantiated.

5. Review of the existing evidence in which direct assessment of exposed individuals has been carried out uniformly reveals adverse health effects2. The common denominator of complaints consists of sleep disturbance, inner ear disturbance and stress response. These are serious adverse health effects. These adverse health events have been reported globally in the media and grey literature.

5. I concur with that part of the AMA document that asserts that siting of wind farms “should be guided by the evidence”. Unfortunately the remainder of the AMA document fails to meet that standard.

6. I challenge the AMA to support third party research that leads to simultaneous physiological monitoring of exposed individuals during sleep and concurrent recording of sound pressure levels (SPL) including all frequencies (infrasound and low frequency sound) as well as weighted and unweighted decibel or sound intensity levels in the bedroom and outside the home. [Note averaging of SPL should not be done exclusively since key characteristics of the noise such as cresting and amplitude modulation will be excluded.]

7. In the absence of the information outlined in #6 above there has not been nor can there be evidence–based guidelines for the siting of wind turbines. This fact ought to concern the AMA and all responsible physicians.

8. More details are available upon request.

R Y McMurtry CM, MD, FRCSC, FACS

Community investment group for Woodstock area wind project not local, citizens’ group charges

Norwich Township wind project co-op not local: critics

By Tara Bowie, Woodstock Sentinel-Review

A member of an area group opposed to a wind turbine project in Norwich Township is questioning the marketing ethics of a recently formed cooperative that could own up to 49% of the 10-turbine project.
The Oxford Community Energy Co-op was formed in the latter part of 2013 with the majority of its initial directors living outside of Oxford County.
“Just because something is legal doesn’t mean it’s ethical,” Joan Morris, a member of the East Oxford Community Alliance, said. “I think people should know that it’s not really a co-op made up and being driven by people living in Oxford County or near the project area.”
Helmut Schneider, president and director on the co-op board, said although he was the only local voice on the co-op when it started, others have become directors or are in the process of becoming directors or members. Recently, directors from Woodstock and Innerkip have stepped forward, he said.
Since the incorporation, the board of directors has had the goal to attract additional local directors to the board.
“We have had discussion with four individuals from the community of Oxford County and have added one director from Woodstock, one director candidate who is currently volunteering as communications support from Innerkip, and we have a final interview next week with one director candidate who lives very close to the project area,” he said in an e-mail to the Sentinel-Review.
The current board is made up of several employees from ProWind, the developer of the project. One of the employees holds the treasurer position and another is acting as a director. …

Read the full story here.
Blog editor’s note: according to OPA rules, if a wind power project can demonstrate 50% or greater ownership in the venture, they can be paid an “adder” to the contract rate.

Europe tearing up renewable energy contracts (you can too, Bob)

Europe’s renewable energy investors are facing a harsh reality – that the promises from politicians can be taken away at any moment. Canada’s renewable energy investors may soon face that same reality.
Idyllic isn’t it? Also not the truth.

 

Governments rip up renewable contracts

| | Last Updated: Mar 19 7:13 AM ET
More from Special to Financial Post

Companies ‘do not have a right [to expect the compensation] not to be changed’
Governments across Europe, regretting the over-generous deals doled out to the renewable energy sector, have begun reneging on them. To slow ruinous power bills hikes, governments are unilaterally rewriting contracts and clawing back unseemly profits.
In Italy, one of Europe’s largest economies and one that lavished billions in subsidies on the renewable sector, the government in 2013 applied its so-called “Robin Hood tax” to renewable energy producers. Under the new rule, renewable energy producers with more than €3 million in revenue and income greater than €300,000 must now pay a tax of 10.5%.
That follows a 2012 move to charge all solar producers a five cent tax per kilowatt hour on all self-consumed energy. The government also told solar producers that it would stop taking their power – and would offer no compensation – when their output overwhelms the system.
The result of these and other changes, says the solar industry, has been a surge in bankruptcies and a massive decrease in solar investment.
In Belgium – where both regional and federal bodies hand out renewable subsidies – a number of retroactive changes have capped the largesse renewable producers once received. In one region the price for “green certificates” – which producers received for renewable energy – was slashed by 79%. The government original committed to buy green certificates at a benchmarked price for 20 years, then cut it to 10 years.
Belgium’s regulators tried to impose a fee on all energy added to the grid from small- to medium-sized solar producers. While the country’s court of appeals struck down that fee, a defiant regional government plans to reintroduce it next year, forcing all solar producers to pay an annual fee that varies with the power they pump into the grid. Various municipalities, meanwhile, are introducing taxes on new and existing wind turbines.
As in Italy, Belgium’s renewable sector in the county has gone dark –“imploded” in the view of a solar industry publication. Many companies shrank or went bankrupt.
In France the government last year cut by 20% the “guaranteed” rate offered to all solar producers, and retroactively applied it to projects connected to the grid in the previous three months. The government is also considering ending an 11% tax break on solar energy producers.
Perhaps the most dramatic moves occurred in Spain, for years the poster child for those touting a transition to green energy. Since 2000, Spain has given renewable producers $41-billion more for their power than it has fetched on the open market. To recover those subsidies, the Spanish government recently killed its Feed In Tariff (FIT) program for renewables,….

Read the full story here.

Highlights of the Fraser Institute report:Ontario “much worse”


Comparing the Debt Burdens of California and Ontario

Highlights of the Fraser Institute report

The new benchmark in bad planning
On March 8, 2014, the Vancouver-based Fraser Institute published a research study comparing the debt burdens of the state of California and the province of Ontario. Within the United States, many people consider California to represent a prime example of irresponsible government spending coupled with poor cash management. However, the Fraser Institute report uses a number of measures to compare Ontario’s situation to that of California. In almost all cases, Ontario is much worse.
Here are the highlights of the report:
·         California’s current debt in the form of government-issued bonds is US $144.8 billion, while Ontario carries CDN $267.5 billion, almost double the amount of California.
·         This figure actually understates the disparity between the two regions, as California has a much larger economy. The gross debt in the form of bonds is 7.6% of California’s economy, while it is a “whopping” 40.9% of Ontario’s economy, more than five times as large as California.
·         Per capita, each Ontarian’s share of provincial government debt is CDN $20,166 (i.e. $80,664 for a family of four), compared to US$ 3,844 in state government debt for each resident of California.
·         Servicing this debt through interest payments is more costly in Ontario. 9.2% of budget revenues in Ontario are devoted to interest payments, compared to 2.8% in California.
·         Ontario’s expenditures as a share of the economy grew from 15.5% in 2001-2002 to 19% in 2011-2012.
·         Over this period, total government spending in Ontario has been steadily increasing from one year to the next. Thus, unlike California, Ontario has not managed to stabilize the growth of the debt in terms of GDP.
·         Ontario’s net debt for 2012-2013 is the second highest as a percentage of GDP of any Canadian province, trailing only Quebec. However, Quebec’s annual budget deficit was only half as large – 0.7 % compared to Ontario’s 1.4 %.
·         Ontario’s budget analysts project that from 2012-2013 to 2015-2016 net interest payments will represent the fastest growing expense for the provincial government, growing at 5.5 % annually – more than twice the projected rate of health care expenditures.
Robert Lyman
Ottawa, March 18, 2014
Blog Editor note: Ontario Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli admitted Ontario is spending $1B a year on power generation from wind energy; he also admits we don’t need it.

PCs say documents show Wynne gov’t hiding true financial situation

“Government not to be trusted,” says Finance Critic Fedeli

New internal documents show not only does the Wynne government have no plan to balance the budget by 2017-18 as they claim, but is in fact facing a $4.5 billion shortfall, said Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli, the Ontario PC Finance Critic.
The Ministry of Finance documents from 2013 are at the heart of the latest Fedeli Focus on Finance, a watchdog newsletter that looks at Ontario’s Finances.
A key secret Ministry of Finance document states “For 2014-15 and 2015-16, not on track to meet 2012 Budget deficit targets.”
“The Premier and Finance Minister need to explain why they’re insisting on one thing to the Legislature, the financial community, and to the public, when their own internal documents say quite another,” Fedeli said, who added this helps to explain why the mid-year fiscal outlook wasn’t included in the Fall Economic Statement, and why the Minister is withholding the province’s Third Quarter finance report.
“This is the gas plant cancellation scandal all over again when they tried to tell us it would cost only $40 million, when we said all along it was closer to $1 billion, a figure finally confirmed by the Auditor General.”
One of the most disturbing findings in the documents is that when presented with a multi-billion dollar shortfall at their Cabinet retreat last March, they actually enlarged the shortfall by $900 million at that meeting, Fedeli noted – coincidentally, the same value of the concessions the government made to the NDP to ensure passage of the 2013 budget.
“This raises very important questions, such as did the government and NDP already have a budget deal in place in March last year, if not earlier? Fedeli asked.
“Do they have a similar deal already done this year?”
Another key discovery is a document stating the government is looking at “no funding for incremental compensation increases for new collective agreements.”
“This was blacked out in many documents but left exposed in one. Why don’t they want their public sector union partners or the public to know that this is what they’re intending to do?” asked Fedeli.
These internal government documents confirm that the Premier and Finance Minister have no plan to stop their Greek-style accumulation of debt, despite the risk it poses to core frontline services like health care and education, Fedeli added.
“This is irrefutable proof that this government can’t be trusted, and why it’s time to change the team that leads this province.”

Read the news release here.

Fraser Institute: Ontario debt load worse than California

Comparing the debt burdens of Ontario and California: Fraser Institute report released today

To many in the United States and Canada, California represents the epitome of irresponsible government spending coupled with poor cash management. However, the province of Ontario is carrying a much worse debt burden than the state of California. This paper uses a host of measures to compare Ontario’s indebtedness to California’s.
For instance, in a comparison of the outstanding gross amount of debt in the form of government-issued bonds, California (in the most recent year for which the data are available) carried US$144.8 billion, while Ontario carried CAD$267.5 billion, almost double California’s amount. This figure understates the disparity between the two regions, because California has a much larger economy and government revenues than Ontario. The gross debt in the form of bonds is 7.6% of California’s economy, while it is a whopping 40.9% of Ontario’s economy.
Per person, Ontarians currently owe $20,166 (Cdn) compared to $3,844 for Californians—more than 5 times the per capita level of debt. Consequently, Ontarians shoulder much higher debt servicing costs: 9.2% of budget revenues in Ontario are devoted to interest payments compared to 2.8% in California.

Read the Fraser report here.