UWO study: life not good for turbine neighbours

Western University researchers calling on governments and wind farm developers to avoid feeding war of words 86

By John Miner, The London Free Press

Wednesday, May 21, 2014 8:02:11 EDT PM

In a study published in the journal Environment and Planning, the Western geography department researchers found people who have raised health concerns and other objections to wind turbines are denigrated, dismissed and ostracized by supporters of the developments in their communities.

They also endure shots by senior politicians, such as former premier Dalton McGuinty, who dismissed health concerns as “unreal.”

The treatment only makes the situation worse for individuals with concerns, said associate geography professor Jamie Baxter, one of the study’s authors.

“If you get right down to the micro level of the community, life is not good for these people,” Baxter said Wednesday.

It was in face-to-face interviews researchers heard supporters of the turbines making light of the problems of those opposed, with comments such as “A lot of people live to be annoyed” and “Well, you know, I guess if you stood here long enough you’d get dizzy looking at them . . . watching those blades go around.”

Health concerns reported by opponents included pain, dizziness, sleep deprivation and loss of balance.

The study found the majority of people in both communities supported the existing wind farm projects within the communities — 80% in Port Burwell and a statistically significant lower 63% in nearby Clear Creek.

But the researchers said the support was more “pragmatic” than “enthusiastic.” Most in favour said it was simply a “better alternative” than other energy choices. Those opposed were quite emotional, expressing anger, disappointment and frustration. …

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Turbines are affecting people: Lynn

 Grey-Bruce medical officer of health Dr. Hazel Lynn:
“All of the studies rejected the null hypothesis that there was no association. Every one of them found that there was an association.”
 

Of hundreds of credible studies around the world on wind energy, none conclude there is no association between the towering turbines and adverse health effects.
That’s what Grey-Bruce medical officer of health Dr. Hazel Lynn and her researcher, Dr. Ian Arra, will present to the public health board Friday.
The report follows plaintive calls last fall from local residents who live near wind turbines for the health unit to investigate potential ill health effects.
Lynn has been asked repeatedly over the years by municipalities and residents to conduct a study on how turbines might be affecting people’s health, which they say include migraines, insomnia, heart palpitations and other symptoms. She has rejected the requests because of the time and cost involved and because the health unit is not a research institute.”
But last September, after an emotional delegation appeared before the health board, Lynn agreed to do a comprehensive search of the most current and credible studies available.
“(The conclusions are) not new, but it’s further confirmation that these are not NIMBYs, these are people affected by these things,” Lynn said Tuesday in an interview. “All of the studies rejected the null hypothesis that there was no association. Every one of them found that there was an association.”

Please continue reading at the Owen Sound Sun Times:
There is a poll at the end of the article: “Do you believe wind turbines can make people sick?

Related: .pdf of report presentation slides