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

Dr. Kouwen’s Grey Highlands Study and Sustainable Shetland Update: Wind Wise Radio

Wind Wise Radio has posted preparatory material for tonight’s Wind Wise Radio program featuring “Dr. Nicholas Kouwen, P.Eng, Distinguished Professor Emeritus University of Waterloo.”

Dr. Kouwen’s Grey Highlands Study and Sustainable Shetland Update Wind Wise Radio:

WWR advises discussion will reference this graph

Dr. Kouwen’s groundbreaking work over the past year has revealed that the Ontario Ministry of Environment’s noise limits are being exceeded a majority of the time near industrial wind turbines (IWT’s) at locations in Grey Highlands, ON, Canada. Furthermore it appears the MOE model is flawed and “substantially underestimates” wind turbine noise. We spoke with Dr. Kouwen about his methodology and ongoing work.
Dr. Kouwen’s full report can be found here.
The flawed Ministry of Environment Guidelines here.

View at Wind Wise Radio:

(note… they record the programs and you can listen at any time afterwards, even if you haven’t reviewed the material)

CanWEA Spins Truths

When presented with a statement that says: “We are pleased to see that more than 80 % of respondents were not at all disturbed by wind turbines, but we would like to see a higher figure.” most people would quickly agree that the remaining 20% of respondents must have been disturbed!

Put that statement in the hands of the wind spinners however, and the claim is made that;

“A June 2012 survey from the Danish Ministry of Energy, Climate and Buildings, however, showed that 83 per cent of Danes support continued development of wind power both on- and offshore.”

This is how CanWEA viewed the commentary on that June 2012 Danish survey and reported on it in a press release on February 8, 2013 where they try to discredit the CBC documentary “Wind Rush” that had been presented the previous day on the “Doc Zone”.  The documentary was critical of industrial wind turbines principally because they cause health problems because of “noise” issues. The documentary didn’t examine the costs to ratepayers, nor the requirement to back up wind generation with fossil fuel generators, nor the effects on the natural environment through the killing of birds and bats, nor did it look at the negative effect on property values that industrial wind turbines have!

The documentary dealt only with the health issues and it was damning, particularly in Ontario where it suggests the government rushed ahead without proper due diligence in respect to siting wind turbines because of inadequate setbacks.  The documentary also featured commentary from highly regarded Dr. Nissenbaum, a member of the advisory group, with the Society of Wind Vigilance.  CanWEA’s press release comments that much of what Dr Nissenbaum has researched “has been reviewed by experts at the first Environmental Review Tribunal.” The apparent illusion they are trying to create with that statement is unknown but I believe the inference is that Dr. Nissenbaum’s research was overwhelmed by the experts of the pro-wind segment.  What CanWEA don’t say in their press release is that those “experts” were hand picked by the Renewal Energy Approval (REA) holder’s high priced Bay Street legal counsel to ensure they would sway the Environmental Review Tribunal.  Despite that the Tribunal found; 

“This case has successfully shown that the debate should not be simplified to one about whether wind turbines can cause harm to humans. The evidence presented to the Tribunal demonstrates that they can, if facilities are placed too close to residents. The debate has now evolved to one of degree.”

CanWEA’s efforts are aimed at stifling debate and to continue the proliferation of industrial wind turbines throughout rural Ontario. They claim in the same press release; “As the voice of Canada’s wind energy industry, CanWEA supports the responsible and sustainable development of wind energy.”

Based on the way CanWEA spin their critique of “Wind Rush” it is the opinion of this writer that “responsible” doesn’t include how they spin information. CanWEA took that negative Danish report indicating that 9% (115 humans) of the 1275 people surveyed who stated they were “disturbed by wind turbine noise “to a major extent,” or are “moderately” disturbed and claim the Danes think wind turbines are great.

Is this the renaissance of the “Marlboro Man” holding a wind turbine instead of a cigarette or can we simply put it down as wind spin?

Parker Gallant,
February 11, 2013

Health Canada Releases Revised Research Design for the Wind Turbine Noise and Health Study

Following is Health Canada’s press release announcing revisions to it’s Wind Turbine Noise and Health Study; the release includes the link to the Updated Research Design and Sound Exposure Assessment

Health Canada Releases Revised Research Design for the Wind Turbine Noise and Health Study:

OTTAWA -Today, the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, announced Health Canada published a revised research design for the wind turbine noise and health study, which is being carried out in collaboration with Statistics Canada.
The proposed research design was posted on the Health Canada website in July 2012 for public comment and over 950 comments were received during the 60 day public consultation period. After an evaluation of feedback received during the consultation, the Expert Committee introduced changes to the research design including an assessment of infrasound and changes to the questionnaire administered by Statistics Canada. The Expert Committee includes specialists in areas pertaining to noise measurement, health assessment, clinical medicine and epidemiology. 

“Our Government is committed to protecting the health and safety of Canadian families, and this study is in response to questions from residents living near wind farms about possible health effects of low frequency noise generated by wind turbines,” said Minister Aglukkaq. “The Expert Committee has carefully reviewed and evaluated the feedback received during the public consultation and has taken it into consideration when developing the revised research design.”
Study results are anticipated in late 2014. An initial target sample size of 2,000 dwellings will be selected from 8-12 wind turbine installation facilities in Canada. In addition to taking physical measurements from participants, such as blood pressure, investigators will conduct face-to-face interviews and take noise measurements inside and outside of some homes to validate sound modelling.
The revised research design is available on the Health Canada website. A summary of the public comments received during the consultation period and the responses from the Expert Committee are also available on the website.

Wisconsin Towns Association adopts wind turbine moratorium resolution

A group on local government leaders submitted the following resolution, calling for a moratorium on industrial wind construction, to the Public Service Commission in Wisconsin as part of testimony regarding an application to construct a 41-turbine installation elsewhere in the state (source)

www.windaction.org | Wisconsin Towns Association adopts wind turbine moratorium resolution:

Summary:
NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Wisconsin Public Service Commission and the State of Wisconsin enact a moratorium to stop the permitting and installation of industrial wind turbines until further studies are done, solutions are found, and the State’s wind siting rule (PSC 128) is modified to implement standards that address ultra low frequency sound and infrasound from wind turbines that will protect the health and safety of residents.
Whereas, developers are in the process of attaining permits to build industrial wind farms statewide, and
Whereas, citizens living next to industrial wind turbines, including families living near Shirley Wind Farm in Denmark, Wisconsin, have made claims of suffering health issues potentially caused by low frequency noise and infrasound generated by wind turbines, and

Whereas, a report (Report #122412-1) released December 28, 2012, to the Wisconsin Public Service Commission by four acoustical consulting firms states that low frequency noise and infrasound created by wind turbines in the Shirley Wind Farm exists in some homes surrounding the wind farm, and
Whereas, the report (Report #122412-1) released on December 28m 2012 recommended additional study on an urgent priority basis, specifically:

a. A comprehensive literature search far beyond the search performed under time constraints of the initial report,
b. A retest at Shirley to determine the decay rate of ultra low frequency wind turbine sound with distance with a more portable system for measuring simultaneously at the three homes and at other locations,
c. A “Threshold of Perception” test with participating and non-participating Shirley residents…

The full resolution can be read at www.windaction.org:

WIND RUSH A Look at the Wind Turbine Controversy

This is a press release for an upcoming program looking at industrial wind issues
An article by Paul Morden, in the Sarnia observer, quotes the program’s writer/director as stating “…obviously there is a problem,” and notes, “While wind energy is the subject of the film, it’s really about science.

WIND RUSH A Look at the Wind Turbine Controversy on CBC TV’s Doc Zone, Thursday, February 7, 9PM 
Driving by a wind farm, looking at the rural houses, it’s easy to be skeptical about the talk of wind turbines making people sick. We’re told that wind turbines are good and green. So how could those people living by them have an issue?

But there is a problem—and it’s there because some governments and wind companies didn’t do their homework before installing megawatt after megawatt of huge industrial machines. And as a result there are people living among the turbines who are suffering.

In the new documentary film WIND RUSH, produced for CBC Doc Zone by Toronto’s 90th Parallel Productions, the battleground for the pro and anti wind forces is southern Ontario. The government there pledged to wean the province off coal fired generation plants and replace them with green wind energy. WIND RUSH will be broadcast on Thursday, February 7 at 9PM (9:30PM NT).

But as soon as the turbines went up in places like Wolf Island, Amaranth and Bruce County, people realized they could hear them. Sometimes it was like a whisper, but other times it sounded more like a jet taking off.

And then it got worse.

New turbines started coming in at two and three times the size of the old ones. And they were even louder. It led to chronic sleeplessness for many people living close by—and that can lead to diabetes, depression and heart disease. Others were affected in their inner ears by low-level sounds that set off their equilibrium. Doctors started seeing patient after patient complaining of the same sets of symptoms. And then people started to realize that no one had done any significant human health studies before giving the green light to the turbine farms.

WIND RUSH takes viewers to southwestern Alberta, where wind has been an energy staple for more than twenty years. There is plenty of room for humans and windmills to coexist—a stark contrast to Ontario, where the same prairie technology was installed in a dramatically different landscape. The film then moves to Denmark, a country long considered the poster-child for the wind energy movement. But as WIND RUSH reveals, the relationship between the Danes and turbines has soured.

WIND RUSH talks to people on either side of the turbine divide, and then turns to scientists to try and determine what has gone wrong. In the next several years the turbines will double in size again—bigger, louder and more powerful. But without sufficient research have the people who live among the wind farms been forgotten?

WIND RUSH is produced by 90th Parallel Productions of Toronto. Gordon Henderson is Executive Producer. WIND RUSH is produced, written and directed by Andrew Gregg.

For further information, etc. please contct:

David McCaughna,
Publicist, WIND RUSH
David.mccaughna@cbc.ca 416-250-3030

Writer and director Andrew Gregg’s blog

Wind Wise Radio has posted a trailer for the program on their YouTube Channel

Effects of industrial wind turbine noise on sleep and health Nissenbaum MA, Aramini JJ, Hanning CD – Noise Health

A new study study on sleep disruption due to Industrial wind turbines, by Michael A Nissenbaum (Northern Maine Medical Center), Jeffery J Aramini (Intelligent Health Solutions – Guelph), and Christopher D Hanning (University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust)

Abstract
Industrial wind turbines (IWTs) are a new source of noise in previously quiet rural environments. Environmental noise is a public health concern, of which sleep disruption is a major factor. To compare sleep and general health outcomes between participants living close to IWTs and those living further away from them, participants living between 375 and 1400 m (n = 38) and 3.3 and 6.6 km (n = 41) from IWTs were enrolled in a stratified cross-sectional study involving two rural sites. Validated questionnaires were used to collect information on sleep quality (Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index – PSQI), daytime sleepiness (Epworth Sleepiness Score – ESS), and general health (SF36v2), together with psychiatric disorders, attitude, and demographics. Descriptive and multivariate analyses were performed to investigate the effect of the main exposure variable of interest (distance to the nearest IWT) on various health outcome measures. Participants living within 1.4 km of an IWT had worse sleep, were sleepier during the day, and had worse SF36 Mental Component Scores compared to those living further than 1.4 km away. Significant dose-response relationships between PSQI, ESS, SF36 Mental Component Score, and log-distance to the nearest IWT were identified after controlling for gender, age, and household clustering. The adverse event reports of sleep disturbance and ill health by those living close to IWTs are supported.

Continue Reading at Noise and Health

Public Discourse—Practiced by Environmental NGOs or Scare Mongering and Legal Threats

A guest article that appeared in the Hamilton Spectator August 7, 2012 written by the interim Executive Director of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE) contains some interesting claims and does so while trying to stifle debate and an upcoming Health Canada Study relating to the impacts of industrial wind turbines on human health. The article written by Farrah Kahn is headlined “Medical experts favour wind energy over dangerous, toxic fossil fuels” which is amusing as Farrah Kahn is not (to the best of the writer’s knowledge) a medical expert however CAPE is prone to making extensive medical claims including some that appear in the aforementioned article. On most occasions Kahn’s articles name studies or reports prepared by others to add weight to her claims as in this article where it states; “ “According to the Ontario Clean Air Alliance [OCAA] in 2009 Ontario’s coal plants were connected to 246 deaths, 342 hospital admissions, 406 costly energy room visits and almost 123,000 illnesses such as asthma attacks.”

The exact numbers laid out in the article are presumably to give the reader the feeling that this information; being so precise, must be right! If one laboriously goes through all of the reports that the OCAA have on their website it is impossible to find any reference to the precise numbers Kahn purports they have connected. One report titled “The Ontario Power Authority’s Coal Phase-Out Strategy: A Critical Review” does have some statistics but they were taken from an April 2005 report prepared by DSS Management Consultants for the Ministry of Energy when Dwight Duncan was the Minister. That report looked at the following four scenarios:

“Four scenarios were identified by the Ministry of Energy, namely:

  • Scenario 1 – Base Case (the status quo, continue operating the coal-fired generation facilities within the current regulatory regime1),
  • Scenario 2 – All Gas (produce all of the replacement electricity through gas generation facilities constructed for this purpose alone),
  • Scenario 3 – Nuclear/Gas (produce all of the replacement electricity through a combination of refurbished nuclear and new gas generation facilities constructed for this purpose alone), and
  • Scenario 4 – Stringent Controls (continue operating the coal-fired generation facilities but install new emission control technology so that the best available control technology is in place).”

The absolute best case in respect to health costs that the report highlighted was Scenario 3 (Nuclear/Gas) and as the reader of that dated report will quickly discern, makes no mention of wind or solar generation. Scenario 1 (the status quo) was the worst case and claimed (by modelling) 668 deaths, 928 hospital admissions, 1100 emergency room visits and 333,660 minor illnesses.

If one assumes that DSS used 2004 Consumption figues as supplied by the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) as their base for modelling purposes, then coal generation supplied 26.8 TWh (terrawatts) or 17% of Ontario’s consumption in 2004. For 2011 coal generation supplied only 4.1 TWh or 2.7% of Ontario’s electricity consumption. The drop in electricity supplied by coal plants over that period of time was 85% yet Kahn appears to have dropped her numbers (compared to those in the DSS report) down by only 63%, assuming she used those projections (mathematically) as the basis for the claim.

The DSS report carried this cavet: “In actual fact, it is impossible to identify which specific deaths that occur over a given period of time are actually attributable to air pollution. Air pollution is a contributory factor in a multitude of deaths and is almost never the overriding or irrefutable single cause of death.”

This 2005 DSS report has been used extensively by environmental NGOs and Ontario’s Liberal politicians as the principal reason to place 400/500 foot industrial wind turbines throughout Ontario damaging peoples health, killing birds and bats and driving up the cost of electricity. For some reason the main stream media (MSM) has allowed them to use this worst case scenario without questioning either the logic or pointing out the apparent disclaimer in the DSS report.

That Kahn would use the OCAA as her source of affirmation is also worth examining. The former (currently on sabatical) Executive Director of OCAA (Jack Gibbons) sits on the Board of Ontario Clean Air Alliance Research Inc. a registered charity (gross revenue in 2011 was $17,505) with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and presumably is the OCAA’s research arm. Gibbons sits on this Board along with Gideon Forman and Angela Bischoff of CAPE and a Richard Smith (the writer assumes that this is the Rick Smith, Executive Director of Environmental Defence).

CAPE`s Board of Directors includes David Miller, former Mayor of Toronto and Bruce Lourie whom I have written about and expressed my personal opinion on, in several prior articles.

When it comes to using Ontarian’s tax dollars CAPE and OCAA have different targets which, in my opinion, appear to be almost orchestrated. CAPE seems to favour the Trillium Foundation from whom they have obtained almost $600,000 in grants over the past few years whereas OCAA target the Toronto Atmospheric Fund or TAF, a City of Toronto owned not-for profit (perhaps its the Miller connection but as noted he is actually on the CAPE Board), from whom they have received grants of approximately $525,000.

CAPE is not registered with the Ontario Lobbyist Registrar however OCAA is, and they disclose that some of their past funding was provided by TAF. It is also interesting to note that OCAA disclose in their filing that private funding (over $750 per annum) comes from; Union Gas, European Power Systems (gas equipment), Northland Power (wind developer), Sky Generation (wind developer), Enbridge Gas and the Canadian Health & Environmental Research Foundation (CHEER). The latter is the registered charity of CAPE and according to its filing with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) lists its activities as “General environmental protection, recycling services”; whatever that means.

One wonders if the CRA bothers to actually review the activities of these registered charities who, in this case, are using tax exempt revenues to finance a non-profit organization actively lobbying the government. It is easy to understand the reasoning behind the big industrial wind and gas companies supporting the OCAA as they are utilizing the benefits of an ENGO to lobby on their behalf, however, in my opinion, this severely taints the OCAA’s recommendations to eliminate coal and nuclear generation while favouring wind, solar and gas generation. The question one must ask is why would anyone consider their reports as a source of unbiased information!

The foregoing demonstrates to a limited extent, the scare mongering that ENGOs practice in their religious zeal to follow the preaching of the green zealots. A recent letter the writer received further demonstrates that those who wish to rid the world of energy produced by coal or nuclear generation and replace it with industrial wind turbines and solar panels want to do this by stifling the voices of those who might question their objectives or publish facts that highlight the negative effects of both wind and solar.

As noted above I have voiced my opinion on the ability of one individual to greatly influence government policy through advocacy that utilizes taxpayer and ratepayer monies for the activities they believe in. That particular individual has deigned to threaten me with a libel lawsuit. My articles on this particular individual have been supported by facts that are available in the public domain and I have utilized those facts to reflect my opinion in clear expressions that are based on those facts and the logic that they present.

The threatening letter from a prominent Toronto based law firm indicated that they, as counsel, see the postings as my “obsession” whereas I view them as my “opinion”. Those opinions clearly are part of my rights under Part 1 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom which states that “Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms” and under 2. (b), of those freedoms says; “freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;” are protected. This particular letter however mentions the “Libel and Slander Act of Ontario” which in my humble ex-banker opinion, also allows for opinions supported by facts.

If certainly appears that ENGOs don’t believe that Ontarians are entitled to express their free opinion and will use the legal system to stifle free speech. They also seem to have an undying faith in “junk science” as noted in a fairly recent article which includes commentary on a book co-authored by Rick Smith, Executive Director of Environmental Defence and their past President and a current Director; Bruce Lourie.

The common thesis of environmentalists seems to be; dazzle the MSM with junk science and co-incidentialy threaten objectors with legal action. That the McGuinty Liberal government has been “dazzled” is not a question that occurs to this writer, however, they haven’t (to the best of my knowledge) stifled free speech and “my opinion” on matters that affect my health and well being will continue to be expressed as “my opinion”!

I certainly hope readers will agree to my right to express my opinion.

Parker Gallant,
August 12, 2012

CBC’s The Bridge talks to a Professor Studying IWT’s impact on human beings

 An interesting interview on CBC’s The Bridge discusses studying the impacts of infrasound, and low frequency noise, on people.  Interview lasts 8 minutes

A University of Windsor professor studying the impact of IWT sounds on People – The Bridge – CBC Player:

we continue our series on home grown research. I’ll talk to a university of Windsor professor to find out what he’s studying.

This summer on the Bridge, we’re talking about some of the interesting research being done at the University of Windsor. This afternoon, Colin Novak joins me. Colin teaches Automotive and Material Engineering at the University of Windsor. And He’s in the process of figuring out how Wind Turbines actually affect human beings.

Response To RNAO Position Statement

Parker Gallant has authored a response to a ‘blinkered’ position statement from RNAO

The Registered Nurses Association of Ontario (RNAO) on March 3, 2012 released a paper titled “RNAO Position Statement on Healthy Energy Solution” which effectively was a rehash of ideas and other papers issued by the likes of Environmental Defence, Pembina and Greenpeace Canada. In summary the RNAO suggests, nay recommends; that Ontario immediately close all coal-fired plants (well, not quite: they suggest we put them on standby while we erect more wind turbines), abandon any thoughts of building or refurbishing new nuclear plants, and use gas generation plants as peaking power until we have enough renewables (wind, solar and biomass) to supply our needs.

The RNAO also suggests wind could supply 20% of our needs while recommending closing down nuclear which supplied 57% of Ontario’s consumption in 2011. Where the difference of 37% will come from is anyone’s guess but perhaps they see the difference coming from conservation which they also push. A “tongue in cheek” report prepared by Aegent Energy estimated that Ontario would require approximately 12,000 industrial wind turbines (IWTs) to replace our existing nuclear plants and those 12,000 IWTs would use up 14,000 square kilometres of Ontario’s land mass. Presumably much of that land mass would be valuable farm land which would effectively reduce our ability to produce cheap abundant food for consumption.

Their report points to the heavy costs of coal-fired generation citing the same worn-out DSS report prepared in 2005 that is used by the Liberal Energy Ministers and the same groups that the RNAO cite as their primary sources of “studies.” That DSS report was prepared for the Liberal Government and provided four scenarios with the one always used as the “worst case” which was when coal-fired generation was contributing 25% of our consumption without the benefit of “scrubbers” to remove most particulates related to asthma related medical conditions. The study by DSS was never peer reviewed and the modelling estimates of environmental related deaths was severely criticized by Professor Ross McKitrick of the University of Guelph. His review concluded: “Overall the DSS05 Report does not provide credible support for the decision to close the Ontario coal-fired power plants. As has been found previously the pollution increments attributable to OPG facilities are extremely small across Southern Ontario except in the immediate vicinity of the power plants themselves.”

The closing of the nuclear generation plants in the province as the RNAO recommends would entail replacing that power with unreliable, intermittent power from wind and solar that would require fossil fuel generation (gas) to back it up. The net effect would be to push up the cost of electricity even further. This would exacerbate the current effect on many Ontario residents putting more and more people into energy poverty. Does the RNAO want Ontarians to choose between feeding themselves or trying to keep warm. The burden placed on people living on fixed incomes would require massive social benefits to sustain them in a province that is burdened with increasing deficits and debt and can ill afford even our current levels. The effect of higher electricity prices; drives out industrial plants from the Province, increases unemployment, and makes Ontario an unattractive destination for any investment that may create new jobs.

Does the RNAO not recognize that Ontario will be unable to support the investment in hospitals they work in, the cost of medical care and their salaries if the government follows through on their recommendations? Does the RNAO, as the Auditor General noted in his report, not consider the cost/benefits associated with charging ahead with unreliable and intermittent energy generation by the many sustainable energy groups who use our tax dollars to further their causes when the rest of the world is questioning the science behind climate change.

This is a blinkered report without substance and ignores both the costs of the proposition they are expounding and the increasing evidence pointing to the health effects of industrial wind turbines on the rural population of this province. The lack of understanding and compassion contained in this report on the part of the RNAO is not in keeping with the nursing profession.

Parker Gallant April 23, 2012