Wind turbines and the N-word

Too close for comfort, say academics about Ontario wind turbines [Photo of the problematic Unifor wind turbine: Greg Schmalz]

“Government and industry not trusted to resolve noise complaints effectively or fairly” researchers said in 2016

January 20, 2020
An interesting story popped up in the news feed this morning, out of Missouri.
A wind power project has been proposed for Buchanan County and a new protective zoning ordinance drafted. The ordinance specifies a two-mile setback between turbines and the city limits, but there is no restriction on the distance between the huge wind power generators and rural homes.
Once again, rural communities are pitted against city dwellers; the latter seems all too eager to have their wind power but not have to hear it, too.
Any minute now, the N-word will come up.
City dwellers will be encouraged by the wind power proponents to accuse their country cousins of being “NIMBY” (Not in My Back Yard) while at the same time, these large power generators will never be in their back yards. Or even close to them.
The use of the epithet NIMBY has been used effectively by the wind power lobby as a marketing strategy designed to put rural residents offside, and help depict them as uninformed people worried only about property values and views.
The Buchanan County ordinance is interesting because a) it acknowledges that there are problems with wind turbine noise, and b) significant setbacks are needed to try to counter that problem.
Let’s be clear: NIMBY is an insult. It’s also completely inappropriate say two authors and academics, in a paper published in the journal Renewable Energy Law and Policy, not long after the Green Energy Act was passed.*
When it comes to community concerns about wind power projects being forced on residents, there are very real problems, authors Stephen Hill and James Knott said. Noise issues were “conflated with other social issues such as property value,” there was “inadequate communication and public engagement” and a “loss of local government authority over planning matters,” all of which led to a “growing mistrust in government and industry’s ability to effectively and fairly manage the risks of wind turbine noise.”
The McGuinty and Wynne governments became regarded “not as a neutral arbiter of wind regulation but rather an active proponent,” the authors said. “A crucial error, in our view, was not to have created an independent expert panel to assess the central points of controversy,” i.e, the noise and health impacts.
Hill and Knott are not alone: several other academic authors said that use of the term NIMBY is “an oversimplification of opposition that more accurately is based on a complex mix of factors.”
“Many communities have genuine concerns about impacts on environmental integrity, viewscapes, food production, and social fabric” wrote a team of authors, also published in the Renewable Energy Law and Policy journal.**
Today, with thousands of reports of excessive wind turbine noise and complaints of associated health effects logged by the Ontario government (even with a deeply flawed and inadequate reporting system), we have more than enough evidence that something is terribly, terribly wrong.
Ontario’s current government has pledged to do something to help; insisting on complete compliance with current noise regulations (which do not meet World Health Organization standards) and enforcing Renewable Energy Approvals is a start.
In the meantime, in view of all the very serious problems with industrial-scale wind power, no one should be calling anyone a NIMBY.
*Stephen Hill and James Knott. 2010. Renewable Energy Law and Policy. Too Close for Comfort: Social Controversies Surrounding Wind Farm Noise Setback Policies in Ontario.
** D. McRobert, J. Tennent-Riddell and C. Walker. 2016. Renewable Energy Law and Policy. Ontario’s Green Economy and Green Energy Act: Why a Well-Intentioned Law is Mired in Controversy and Opposed by Rural Communities.
Other reading: Carmen Krogh, Jane Wilson, Mary Harrington. 2019. Wind Turbine Incident/Complaint Reports in Ontario, Canada: a review, Why are they important.

What's your reaction?


  • Sommer
    Posted January 20, 2020 10:19 pm 0Likes

    In the statement below from the report sited in this article, everyone should be able to see for themselves why people lost faith in the MoECC. When reports of harm to the SPILL hotline were finally investigated with long term, onsite testing, it was only audible noise that was measured and in the case of the largest most densely sited project in Ontario, it took four and a half years for the MoE finally under the Conservative government to force the K2 Wind company to derate more than half of their turbines. Despite derating, the tonal noise continues, along with the swooshing and whomping. The LFN,LFN modulations, acoustic pulsations/infrasound radiation continue to cause cumulative and irreversible harm. The public trust has been absolutely violated.
    “Government records document 4,574 Incident Reports/Complaints received by Ontario’s hotline (2006–2016). There was no ministry response to over 50% of more than 3,000 submitted formal complaints (2006–2014). Another 30 % were noted as “deferred” response. Only 1% of the reports received a priority response. Provincial Officers noted in summary reports that people were reporting health effects such as: headache, sleep deprivation, annoyance, and ringing or pressure sensation in the head and ears. Health effects were reported many times including those occurring among children.”

  • Sommer
    Posted January 22, 2020 4:03 pm 0Likes
  • Richard Mann
    Posted January 24, 2020 1:21 am 0Likes

    It is well past time to turn off Turbines due to known and documented health harm. Please ask anyone who denies health harm of Industrial Wind Turbines to watch this presentation. University of Waterloo, Waterloo Ontario Canada.
    Title: “Infrasound and Low Frequency Noise: Physics & Cells, History & Health”
    Speaker: Dr Mariana Alves-Pereira
    Location: University of Waterloo
    Date: September 12, 2019
    Video archive of presentation:
    Dr. Alves-Pereira’s research profile is at www
    Note; there is approx 2 mins of dead air at the beginning. The talk is ~50 minutes, followed by a long Q&A

  • Sommer
    Posted January 26, 2020 8:10 pm 0Likes

    Barbara, it would be helpful if you would list the names of the people within the U.N. who wrote these articles.

    • Barbara
      Posted January 29, 2020 10:17 am 0Likes

      There are so many names it’s not possible to do that?

      • Sommer
        Posted January 31, 2020 1:26 pm 0Likes

        Can you think of a better way to put an end to the promotion of propaganda through the U.N.?
        Those who work for the U.N. and continue to refuse to acknowledge information that is vitally important and which could have serious ramifications because of mitigation efforts which they are mandating must be identified.
        These names have been placed in the public domain. It’s just a matter of listing them.

  • Sommer
    Posted January 30, 2020 3:52 pm 0Likes
    • Sommer
      Posted January 30, 2020 8:16 pm 0Likes

      Notice the stark contrast between the passionate statement made by cardiologist, Dr Ben Johnson, and the soul dead order follower from the wind industry.
      Surely seeing this will be a moment of epiphany for anyone out there who still does not believe that people are being harmed.
      Share the link far and wide, please!

  • Sommer
    Posted January 30, 2020 4:00 pm 0Likes

    September 26, 2019 • New York
    More than 100 residents sue Arkwright project developers  
    The residents…..are asking for unspecified damages related to loss of property values, compensatory damages for destruction of homes and lifestyle, loss of use and enjoyment of their properties, damages for relocation costs and time spent relocating, mental anguish, destruction of scenic countryside, physical pain and suffering, difficulty sleeping, nuisance, trespass, interference with electronics in their homes such as satellites, telephones and televisions, loss of business profits, special damages for stress, anxiety, worry and inconvenience, and the effects lights and noise from the turbines have on their properties.

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