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Anti-Wind Farm Voices Speak Out

Filed under Business, Latest News

July 15, 2013

Since our recent reports, southburnett.com.au has been overwhelmed by comments from the anti-wind farm lobby about the proposed development at Coopers Gap.

Instead of creating a comment string that scrolls off the screen, we have decided to publish them in one group, below.

And, please note, we are closing debate on the subject … for now.

* * *

From Bryan Lyons:

Below is the link to an article where Merilyn Cook identified that AGL’s last wind farm constructed at Macarthur did not provide the boost they expected. They are now hoping for a boost in tourism to benefit them. Unfortunately this has not occurred to any degree at other wind farms. The local boost is good in theory but far from guaranteed.

http://www.standard.net.au/story/1460500/wind-farm-supporters-blast-anti-turbine-blow-ins/

“While we didn’t gain the boost we expected during construction phase it’s up to us now to make the most of it operating.”

The following article identifies the Moyne Shire Council’s attempts to recover $14,000,000 for road damages as a result of construction traffic for AGL’s Macarthur Wind Farm. They are considering legal action against AGL.

http://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/article/2013/03/21/564013_latest-news.html

* * *
From Christine Jelbart

AGL are the developers of the enormous Macarthur Wind Energy Facility. We live about 2 kilometres from the nearest turbine, and have 140 3MW turbines in an arc from the northwest through to the southwest. Our lives will never be the same.

We are lucky that we have plantations of pines in front of our house which means we don’t have to look at these monstrosities, but I can assure you the pines do nothing to block out the noise. I used to love listening to the pines roaring on a stormy night. Now the turbines drown out that noise with a constant dull roar.

There are nights that the noise is clearly audible above the television. There are nights when I wake suddenly for no apparent reason and I am unable to go back to sleep as the noise, not necessarily clearly audible, drums through the pillow. Trying to survive on 3 or 4 hours sleep is horrendous when you are used to a good 8 or 9 hours.

At this stage I am not sure how it is affecting my health. I have times when I am aware of racing pulse, and my blood pressure is increased. I am not as badly affected as my husband or others on the perimeter, including one family at least 5km away.

AGL will lie outright to get what they want. They show total disregard for our plight, and feed us meaningless platitudes when we complain. Our lives are changed, our farms are unsaleable, our families are reluctant to stay here. Potential hosts, be warned, there will be a day of reckoning. Someone will be held accountable for the pain and suffering that has been inflicted on people surrounding the WEF.

* * *

From Sarah Laurie, CEO Waubra Foundation

I would like to draw the editor and reader’s attention to a very important 1985 US Department of Energy research project, followed 2 years later by laboratory studies, which clearly showed a direct and causal link between wind turbine acoustic emissions in the infrasound and low frequency ranges and symptoms in residents 3km away from a single wind turbine.

Identical symptoms are still being experienced by neighbours including wind turbine hosts, nearly 30 years later. (see https://www.wind-watch.org/documents/acoustic-noise-associated-with-the-mod-1-wind-turbine-its-source-impact-and-control/ and https://www.wind-watch.org/documents/proposed-metric-for-assessing-the-potential-of-community-annoyance-from-wind-turbine-low-frequency-noise-emissions/ )

These same frequencies were also implicated in previous research which had similar findings about the effects of sound energy from other sources, performed by NASA, especially by Harvey Hubbard (see https://www.wind-watch.org/documents/noise-induced-house-vibrations-and-human-perception/ )

The wind developers know all about this research, and so too do their handsomely paid acousticians, as it was presented at a Windpower conference in 1987.

Why is it that these particular sound energy frequencies are now not being measured by the noise regulatory authorities, and the wind industry are so quick to deny their known, accepted adverse influence on health?

Many of us directly investigating these problems believe the large upwind bladed wind turbines are far more damaging in their impact than the old downwind bladed turbines such as the single one in the US study. Why does no one want to do the studies to prove us wrong?

AGL directors need to be asked where the field research data is (preferably collected by independent researchers), which shows that these impacts are not being experienced by residents at their existing wind developments. Macarthur would be a very good place to start, with its large 3MW wind turbines.

And why is AGL refusing to hand over the previously promised noise data to the Macarthur residents?

* * *

From Ann

It astounds us that so many people have been totally conned by AGL and have not done their own research into the health impacts of wind turbines. Or should I say, it’s no great surprise as these carpetbaggers did a good “job” on the people in the Macarthur district also, prior to the monster Macarthur wind factory being constructed.

They carried out fraudulent community consultation to enable them to claim 87% community support, but on reading the names of the supposed 1100 people in support, we realised that more than half of those were either family or friends of turbine hosts, and better still, even some employees had signed the proformas saying “Yes, I want the Macarthur wind farm”. Of course many of those who signed these proformas are now themselves impacted by the Macarthur wind factory.

Then there was the “spin” that the wind factory will not emit any more noise than an ordinary working farm. What a load of rubbish. Normal working farms DO NOT EMIT loud noise 24 hours of the day ….. nor do they emit infrasound or low frequency noise which the 140 monster turbines of the Macarthur wind factory do, 24/7 also. It’s the infrasound and low frequency noise which is the killer – it comes through the roof of your home, through the floor, through the windows and through the walls. It is also ever present outside in our paddocks, sometimes worse inside, sometimes worse outside.

Then there’s the ground borne vibration – at the time of my writing this comment I am sitting on the couch in our living room and I can feel the awful “electric-like” sensation of the ground borne vibration coming up through the floor into my legs and also through the seat of the couch into my body. It’s just awful – and we feel the vibration in the bed at night also – all night long – as if your body is “cooking” in a microwave.

But of course AGL deny all of this. We have copies of over 150 written complaints to AGL and they still reply to us saying it’s nothing to do with their turbines, and recommending we visit our doctor.

AGL are still lying to us, the way they’ve lied to the community for years now. However, eventually truth will prevail.

No doubt when AGL so generously paid for so many people to visit Hallett recently, this tour would have been organised in order that the members of CGWPS certainly did not have any opportunity to speak to the people affected by their turbines at Hallett.

Why didn’t they offer to bring these people to the Macarthur wind factory, which is more similar to that proposed at Coopers Gap than Hallett where the turbines are much smaller generating capacity?

Of course the members of Cooranga North Concerned Citizens group declined to take part in this little “spin” tour as AGL refused their request to visit Macarthur on the way, in addition to their request to speak to impacted residents, of which there are many around the Macarthur wind factory.

Has AGL told members of the CGWPS that a family living out to more than 5 kilometres from the nearest turbine is severely impacted at Macarthur – or should I say did they tell you that this family were impacted from the beginning when only 15 turbines were operating in the middle of the wind factory, ie. around 7 kilometres from the nearest turbine ?

Has AGL told members of the CGWPS that a family with two young children was forced to leave their home, their job and the district merely 7 weeks after full commissioning of all the turbines due to the severe impact of the infrasound on their babies ? Their children screamed all night long and their behaviour markedly deteriorated as soon as the turbines began operating. Reluctantly they were forced to make the decision to leave in order that their children’s health not be impacted any further. It is well known that infrasound inhibits the growth of young children’s brains.

Has AGL told members of the CGWPS that several families, not necessarily living right next to the wind factory either (several at least 3km away) are forced to leave their homes and their properties for at least two to three days and nights EACH WEEK to have a decent night’s sleep, and also to remove themselves from the detrimental impact of the infrasound belting their bodies constantly ?

I read in one of the comments above by CGWPS that “no one has seen one documented case by a health professional to prove there is a link between ill health and wind factories. The real proof is in the 17 health studies done worldwide.

I challenge CGWPS to provide me with this information, particularly regarding 3 megawatt turbines. We must remember that the greater the generating capacity of a turbine, the greater the noise emitted.

AGL have written to me recently claiming “there are multiple, thorough, scientific, peer-reviewed studies which show that infrasound from wind factories is not problematic”.

First of all, they are admitting THERE IS INFRASOUND.

Secondly, for about four weeks now I have been requesting AGL provide me with copies of these peer-reviewed studies. To date they have been unable to do so.

We are convinced there most probably is not such a peer-reviewed study on 3 megawatt turbines, as 3 megawatt turbines are relatively new. All other turbines world-wide are much smaller than 3 megawatts.

CGWPS could do well to spend some time doing their own research, and not just be blinded by AGL’s “spin” and the almighty dollar.

There actually is peer-reviewed documentation out there linking ill health and industrial wind turbines.

Try the following research examples -

1. “Characterisation of noise in homes affected by wind turbine noise” Professor Con Doolan
2. “Perception-based protection from low frequency sounds may not be enough” Alec Salt.
3. “Numerical simulation of infrasound perception with reference to prior reported laboratory effects” Malcolm Swinbanks
4. “An investigation on the physiological and psychological effects of infrasound of persons” Qibai and Shi
5. “Wind turbine acoustic investigation: infrasound and low frequency noise – a case study” Ambrose and Rand
6. “The Shirley Wisconsin report” Hessler, Schomer et al
7. “Evaluating the impact of wind turbine noise on health related quality of life” Daniel Sheppard
8. “Effects of industrial wind turbine noise on sleep and health” Michael Nissenbaum

After you’ve looked into these studies I suggest you look at the website http://www.lowertheboom.org 

This website vividly describes the enormous impact of all the various levels of infrasound and what it does to human organs – frightening …… infrasound was used by the Nazis during the war to torture the prisoners. Infrasound from the Macarthur wind factory is torturing the neighbours also.

The symptoms of infrasound from which many people living near the Macarthur wind factory are suffering are as follows -

  • Severe head pressure with pressure in the ears/nose/throat/jaws/teeth.
  • Shooting pains from pressure going up through your head.
  • Pain in the back of neck going up into the head.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Constant headaches

The ground-borne vibration causes nausea along with a tight chest and heart palpitations.

These are the symptoms which people who have lived healthy lives in this district for 30 to 50 years, now find themselves experiencing.

Of course, this is on top of severely disturbed sleep. We find ourselves waking with pressure attacks, feeling as if your head is in a vice.
Some nights we hardly sleep at all – very debilitating when you’ve not had more than 2 or 3 hours sleep for a whole week.

I suggest Ian with his horse enterprise spend a lot of time thoroughly researching the impact of infrasound on horses as these animals may be very badly impacted with their particularly sensitive nervous system – in a similar manner to working dogs which are being very badly affected near the Macarthur wind factory.

Anyone from the CGWPS is welcome to come down to our district – once magnificent – but now destroyed by this industrial development. Come and stay for a week – not just a day and we’ll give you a real insight into what it’s like living next to a wind factory.

Unfortunately for the neighbours to wind factories, not just adjacent neighbours, your property has been used as a buffer zone for an industrial zone and your property is now “unsaleable”. Several properties around the Macarthur wind factory have been on the market for quite some time now, and not even a bite – why – proximity to the largest wind factory in the Southern Hemisphere …… the turbines are so enormous – it looks as if the turbines are literally in your back yard and on a day when the wind is strong, it sounds as if a tornado, or a huge truck is coming, but never arrives – and remember that noise goes day in day out and all night too.

For those considering hosting turbines, have a look into various litigation cases which are taking place against turbine hosts overseas, and just imagine that this action may take place in Australia in time to come. And where will AGL be ? Gone ……..

* * *

From David Mortimer

I am a turbine host and have been for eight years. For those eight years, I and my wife have suffered adverse effects and like you, didn’t (couldn’t) believe that the source of the problems was the low frequency and infra sound that IS produced by turbines.

We have (at great expense) had an acoustic monitoring of the full spectrum noise levels inside our home which shows very high levels of infra sound consistent with the number and siting of adjacent wind turbines.

None of the problems occur while we are away from our home no matter how long we stay away.

Sure, the level of audible sound is not great and sure, you can have a conversation under a turbine but believe me that being bombarded by high energy pulsations night after night is extremely debilitating in the least.

You can have your turbines and welcome to them. You can see the money just as we did but know this, within ten years (or less), the wind industry fraud is going to be dead and the cost of removal of largely non recyclable blades and nacelles is going to be borne by you the land owner because the contracts will require it and in any case the company will be broke. The cost will be far greater than the earnings.

It would be nice if these turbines actually produced any real usable power or reduced CO2 emissions but they don’t. Do some real research (I wish I had) don’t just swallow the corporate spin. There is no such thing as a corporate conscience. The developers only want the $500,000 to $800,000 per turbine per year every year for their life. Don’t think they care about the economy or the ecology or people’s health. Don’t think they even care about you. Once you are signed up, they walk all over you.

We were so pro wind turbines that we convinced all our neighbours to sign up. What were we thinking. You can have your money, all we want is a decent night’s sleep again and the health that goes with that sleep.

* * *

From Ann

My comments were posted during the evening of Saturday 13th July and are still supposedly “awaiting moderation”.

I sincerely hope that this time delay is due to the weekend and not working during such, and that “moderation” will not see information, which is fact, withheld from the people reading this newspaper, whom it appears, are likely to be inflicted with the same “torture” which we have been since October 2012 by the same Australian power company.

* * *

From Dr Alan Watts 

Coopers Gap Wind Power Supporters tout the 17 health studies done worldwide and the fact that not one has found any links between wind power and health affects.

Although authorship has not been acknowledged one supposes this review of 17 reviews is the one written by Professor Simon Chapman. Chapman has a reputation for denigrating anyone who purports to have adverse health effects from wind turbines (apparently they are imagining it through the power of suggestion) and is closely aligned with the wind industry.

This review has been heavily criticised by acousticians and academics alike and as an example I quote a critique by Hanning and Evans in 2012 in the British Medical Journal:

“There is clear evidence of causality and obvious mechanisms for wind turbine noise to disturb sleep rendering these assertions highly unlikely.

“Prof Chapman makes much of his list of 17 reviews. Closer inspection shows that at least five were written before most of the studies cited in our editorial [Hanning and Evans originally wrote an editorial in the BMJ] were published. One is in draft form and thus can not be relied upon, one reviewed the potential contribution of low frequency noise to annoyance and the rest were authored either by those with close associations with the wind industry or government departments committed to implementing wind energy and are thus hardly independent. We contend that the onus of proving safety falls on those introducing new forms of environmental pollution, including noise pollution, not on those exposed to the pollutant. A major principle of public health medicine is prevention. The reviews cited by Prof Chapman stand these principles on their heads.

“We are not alone in calling for a review of current guidance for wind turbine noise and independent research. A review written by one of us (Hanning, 2011) contains a referenced list of 11 physicians and acousticians who have recommended greater setbacks and lesser noise levels than those currently permitted. An Environmental Review Tribunal in Ontario held in 2011 took oral and written evidence from over 20 experts including several contributors to Prof Chapman’s list and concluded: “… 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.” (Case Nos. 10-121 and 10-122. p 207). The Tribunal called also for more research as do we.

“We are firm in our assertion that the evidence for harm at distances and noise levels permitted under current regulations in most jurisdictions is such that regulators should take notice and initiate research. If wind turbines are as benign as Prof Chapman asserts he should have no objection to research being undertaken. After all, there is not a single published study showing a lack of adverse effects on sleep and health.”

It is easy to cast aspersions and convince the gullible, particularly when they are hearing what they want to hear. But the health problems with industrial wind turbines are much more complex and the physiological pathways are currently the subject of interesting research coming out of the USA. There is a lot to learn but the fact that a certain proportion of the population will be affected to a greater or lesser extent is becoming more than inconvenient truth for the wind industry.

The wind industry will always tell you that infrasound and low frequency noise (ILFN) is not a factor in the modern industrial wind turbines. That’s easy to say. But it’s also not true. There are at least three research projects from Europe that find that as wind turbines increase in size (as they are doing) the production of ILFN also increases.

Of interest also is the fact that governments have known for decades about the adverse health effects caused by infrasound and low frequency sound. If you delve deep enough it’s all in the published literature. However governments worldwide have chosen to ignore this and to promote the interests of “clean green” energy at the expense of the health of its citizens. What price duty of care?

* * *

from Jan

I live 3ks from the Macarthur wind factory. I call it a “factory” because it is not an enviromentally friendly “farm”.

The 140, 3MW turbines turn constantly, even on calm, still days. The noise is not normal noise. It is thick, and has a “presence” in the air. You can feel it in the pillow at night, like distant thunder rumbling, but it is there, with you.

The infrasound and low frequency is the cruel tonal giant, tearing open whatever it finds in its path. No shield can block infrasound.

I was planning on retiring on my beautiful farm. I have lived and worked here for well over 35 years, but now I am looking at 25 years of HELL.

I have sleep deprivation, I experience vibration (which is scary) which wakes you up at night with your heart pounding, head pressure, headaches, ringing in the ears, anxiety. I had none of these before the wind factory started up.

I just hope that your community have the good sense to say NO to AGL. They will try every trick in the book to get you on side.

Please don’t let them do to you, what they have done to us.

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