Wind Concerns Ontario is a province-wide advocacy organization whose mission is to provide information on the potential impact of industrial-scale wind power generation on the economy, human health, and the natural environment.
A Plympton-Wyoming group opposing Suncor Energy’s plans to build a wind farm in their community says the company’s study of the potential impact on migrating tundra swans is inadequate. But, the company says it met provincial requirements in its application for environmental approval for the 46-turbine Cedar Point Wind Energy Project. That application is currently being reviewed by Ontario’s Ministry of Environment. “As part of the application for ministry approval, Suncor completed a natural heritage assessment to assess any potential impacts to significant habitat necessary to sustain wildlife, including birds,” said ministry spokesperson Kate Jordan. That assessment will be considered as part of the review, she said. “No decisions on the proposal has been made,”Jordan added. The group, We’re Against Industrial Turbines, Plympton-Wyoming (WAIT-PM,) has been going through Suncor’s application documents and issued a press release pointing to a one-day site observation report that included a swan count carried out in 2012. “I don’t think they gave an adequate look at it,” said WAIT-PW spokesperson Ingrid Willemsen. “I think they need to look at an appropriate time for migration, and see that they wouldn’t interfere with the flight patterns.” The Lambton Heritage Museum said Tuesday that thousands of swans could be seen in farm fields on the nearby former Thedford bog, a traditional stopover on the swans’ spring migration to nesting grounds in the Arctic.
This week, the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is releasing its latest report, the “Working Group II Contribution to the Fifth Assessment Report.” Like its past reports, this one predicts apocalyptic consequences if mankind fails to give the UN the power to tax and regulate fossil fuels and subsidize and mandate the use of alternative fuels. But happily, an international group of scientists I have been privileged to work with has conducted an independent review of IPCC’s past and new reports, along with the climate science they deliberately exclude or misrepresent.
Our group, called the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), was founded in 2003 by a distinguished atmospheric physicist, S. Fred Singer, and has produced five hefty reports to date, the latest being released today(March 31).
So how do the IPCC and NIPCC reports differ? The final draft of the IPCC’s Summary for Policymakers identifies eight “reasons for concern” which media reports say will remain the focus of the final report. The NIPCC reports address each point too, also summarizing their authors’ positions in Summaries for Policymakers. This provides a convenient way to compare and contrast the reports’ findings.
Here’s what the reports say:
IPCC: “Risk of death, injury, and disrupted livelihoods in low-lying coastal zones and small island developing states, due to sea-level rise, coastal flooding, and storm surges.”
NIPCC: “Flood frequency and severity in many areas of the world were higher historically during the Little Ice Age and other cool eras than during the twentieth century. Climate change ranks well below other contributors, such as dikes and levee construction, to increased flooding.”
IPCC: “Risk of food insecurity linked to warming, drought, and precipitation variability, particularly for poorer populations.”
NIPCC: “There is little or no risk of increasing food insecurity due to global warming or rising atmospheric CO2levels. Farmers and others who depend on rural livelihoods for income are benefitting from rising agricultural productivity throughout the world, including in parts of Asia and Africa where the need for increased food supplies is most critical. Rising temperatures and atmospheric CO2levels play a key role in the realization of such benefits.
IPCC: “Risk of severe harm for large urban populations due to inland flooding.”
NIPCC: “No changes in precipitation patterns, snow, monsoons, or river flows that might be considered harmful to human well-being or plants or wildlife have been observed that could be attributed to rising CO2 levels. What changes have been observed tend to be beneficial.”
IPCC: “Risk of loss of rural livelihoods and income due to insufficient access to drinking and irrigation water and reduced agricultural productivity, particularly for farmers and pastoralists with minimal capital in semi-arid regions.”
NIPCC: “Higher atmospheric CO2concentrations benefit plant growth-promoting microorganisms that help land plants overcome drought conditions, a potentially negative aspect of future climate change. Continued atmospheric CO2 enrichment should prove to be a huge benefit to plants by directly enhancing their growth rates and water use efficiencies.”
IPCC: “Systemic risks due to extreme [weather] events leading to breakdown of infrastructure networks and critical services.”
NIPCC: “There is no support for the model-based projection that precipitation in a warming world becomes more variable and intense. …
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.
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.
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, Greta. AMA 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:
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.
A young lady in her 30’s suffered an unexpected sudden cardiac arrest and died.
Another gentleman in his 60’s had a cardiac arrest while out fishing and could not be revived.
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.”
A judge has placed a temporary halt on a wind farm that naturalists say could harm the threatened animal in Prince Edward County.
By:John SpearsBusiness reporter, Published on Wed Mar 26 2014
Blanding’s turtle has won a temporary reprieve, as a court blocked construction of a wind farm that could damage its habitat at Ostrander Point in Prince Edward County.
That means construction of the wind farm can’t start before next fall at the earliest.
Mr. Justice R.A. Blair of Ontario Court of Appeal issued an order Tuesday placing a stay on construction until the Prince Edward County Field Naturalists can seek leave to appeal an earlier court ruling.
Gilead Power wants to erect a nine-turbine wind farm at Ostrander Point. It was at first blocked by an Environmental Review Tribunal, which said the development might harm the habitat of Blanding’s turtle.
The naturalists had also argued that the development threatens migratory birds, bats, and the unusual local ecosystem.
A divisional court ruling earlier this year threw out the tribunal’s decision, and said the wind farm could proceed.
Gilead said following the divisional court ruling that it would start construction this spring.
The naturalists then sought leave to appeal the divisional court ruling — and asked Blair to block activity on the site until that application is decided.
Eric Gillespie, lawyer for the naturalists, said in an interview Tuesday that it will take several months for the two sides to file their arguments on the leave application, and for the court to consider them….
Please plan to attend this event beginning at 11am. Bring signs and print outs. We plan to let the public know that the turbines will inhibit the migration of the swans to this area. PLEASE PASS THIS ON… AND PLEASE COME – THE SWANS NEED YOUR SUPPORT. ———————————————————— At the Bornish ERT appeal, NexTERROR’s ‘kept’ bird ‘expert’ from New England said that the turbines weren’t a danger to the swans because they avoid them. While it may be true that swans are seldom killed by turbines, this neatly avoids the fact that they avoid them so completely that they probably won’t come to the bog once the turbines are in place. Of course, the swans are only part of the wildfowl that stop at the bog and we don’t know if the other species will stay away or be cut down by the NexTERROR bird blenders. One concern, then, is whether there is any alternative site where they can land, feed, and rest on their journey north. ————————————– We will have a petition and information handouts. BRING SIGNS, BINOCULARS, CAMERAS AND FRIENDS
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.
(March 21, 2014) Germany has been experimenting with its renewable energy law for 14 years and is now highlighting its failures. Ontario, which copied that law, will likely do the same.
Ontario passed the Green Energy Act in 2009 in a bid to create a thriving renewable energy sector that would provide low-cost energy, thousands of jobs, new investment and a competitive business environment. Yet residents of Ontario need to look no further than Germany – the economic powerhouse of Europe – which passed a similar law in 2000 to understand why the Green Energy Act will fail to deliver on its promises. According to analysis by a government-appointed commission on research and innovation, the law, known as the Renewable Energy Sources Act, has stymied innovation, produced power at times and levels that are unnecessary, failed to demonstrably create new jobs and burdened low-income households. In its annual report to German lawmakers, the Commission of Experts for Research on Innovation concluded that the law had “serious shortcomings”, had “failed as an industrial policy instrument” and was a “costly” means to reduce emissions. Like Ontario, the German law offers renewable energy producers – ranging from wind mills, biogas and solar producers – a guaranteed rate for their power through a Feed-In Tariff (FIT). This ensures that these producers receive a premium for their generation – which, like in Ontario, is significantly higher than the market price for that power. But, according to the report, the FIT ensures that technologies receiving a high premium – such as solar – attract too much investment and, as a result, “too much solar power is being produced.” Rather than allowing the cheapest forms of renewable energy to take hold and provide renewable power, the FIT ensures that investment will flow to those technologies receiving the largest government handout – not those that make the most economic sense. And because the law requires grid operators to connect renewable energy producers – no matter the cost – to the grid, those producers are able to “disregard” the cost of such connections. In doing so, renewable energy producers pay little attention to the demand for their output, the report says – meaning they dump electricity on the grid when few consumers have any use for it, yet are still being paid higher-than-market prices for that output. Because renewable energy producers don’t bear the cost of connecting to the grid, and also have little regard for whether there power is needed, as they receive a fixed, subsidized rate regardless of demand, “renewable energy not only increases system integration costs, but also jeopardises the security of supply.” The FIT scheme has “failed as an industrial policy” since it doesn’t help bring new, innovative renewable technologies to the market. The report says that the FIT scheme largely acts as a “means of promoting the import of photovoltaic modules from foreign manufacturers – instead of providing German companies with a sustainable competitive edge.” The report found that research and development has decreased “considerably” in relative terms since the energy law was first put place and now acts more as a “production subsidy for electricity rather than an R&D funding measure.” “Especially companies with fairly mature technologies do not feel the need to invest in research,” the report says. “The excessive growth of the market has indirectly led to market entry barriers for less mature technologies, while at the same time facilitating lock-in effects in favour of established renewable energy technologies.” Promises that the renewable energy subsidies will create new jobs are also “unclear.” The renewable energy subsidies are financed through taxes and fees tacked onto electricity bills, which in turn, lowers consumption and investment in other areas – resulting in an overall drag on the labour market. As the German report concludes: “energy policy cannot serve as a substitute for labour market strategies to reduce unemployment.” And finally, the renewable energy policy in Germany is regressive, hitting low-income households harder than high-income households, the report says… Read the full blog post here.