I’ve incited the Defenders of the Truth(tm) part 2

Any time you attack a conspiracy, the Defenders of the TruthTM always seem to crawl from the woodwork to smack you down with further gibberish and then scream of censorship.

So let’s look at MAnderson and AAW’s comments on my post “Wind Concerns Ontario, and the sun doesn’t?

MAnderson:

Funny you should mention Wikipedia. Is this your master source of information you turn to in order to give validity to a subject?

My goodness. Give your head a shake. This is Wikipedia we’re talking about!

There has been a long standing battle with Wiki to get a balanced view on the subject. They immediately delete anything that offends their paridigm. [sic] One moderator even said “But this might hurt the wind industry” as his basis for removing the information. They are blinded by ideology (much like yourself) and refuse to allow anything to do with WTS on their site.

When the words “paradigm,” “blinded by ideology” and un-sourced quotes (remember, Wikipedia talk pages maintain most debates on the issues) are trotted out, you likely have one of two options:

A. Wikipedia is clearly biased against the TruthTM and won’t accept their articles without scholarly sources.
B. They have no scientific backing and are therefore not notable enough to even be worth mentioning.

Perhaps they might be able to get an article over at Conservapedia (which just so unfortunately is having server issues right now).

Why did I go first to Wikipedia? Maybe because while their information isn’t always the most thorough, it is generally unbiased, and a relatively high quality of encyclopedia (as good as real encyclopedias). Suffice it to say, if you’re not in Wikipedia, you’re not that important.

You didn’t mention the survey led by Dr. McMurtry, former Dean of Medicine at the University of Western Ontario. You didn’t mention the work done by Dr’s in the UK, Australia and the US. You didn’t mention that reports of these same symptoms are being reported by hundreds of people in Australia, Japan and the US. No, you chose to do what most who are confronted with this information do, attack Dr. Pierpont personally.

Of course I didn’t mention those studies! I don’t have the references to all your random articles. They aren’t listed by Ms. Pierpont on her website, and they aren’t linked to anywhere on your own WCO website. Who’s suppressing information now?

As far as I can tell from a quick Google Scholar search, shows only Ms. Pierpont showing up for “wind turbine syndrome,” a clear call that her views aren’t even narrowly accepted. You can find a pdf of a draft of her book this way though.

Unfortunately, I can’t find Dr. McMurtry’s paper (note: the survey link that’s buried on WCO’s website takes you to this 404 page), perhaps you could enlighten me with a real reference, as well as some others so I may be as privileged to the TruthTM as you are.

After my spam filter ate most of MAnderson’s posts (which I recovered after awakening this morning), he flipped out and posted this friendly response:

Censoring my information, are you? I’m no longer allowed to post here? Obviously your need to be “right” outweighs your compassion to people.

Yep, I’m officially as evil as Wikipedia. Don’t disagree with my obscure science/atheism/political blog or I’ll delete your comment! I get all of a few dozen readers and I’ll be damned before they see a competing view.

Or maybe you just overposted or something, I don’t know what happened, my SpamKarma plugin ate them, and I made it spit them out. I’ve left worse comments online then yours MAnderson.

Then my favourite comment from AAW:

Bat Lungs are Exploding because of Wind Turbines…..do you think bats do this intentionally to create alarm to the NIMBY’ist position? Get real.

No link, no mention of a study, just a bunch of capitalized words that resemble a sentence. I have to assume it’s in reference to this University of Calgary study, which proposes the following explanation (which have no relation to claims of “infrasound” or noise levels) and solutions:

The movement of wind-turbine blades creates a vortex of lower air pressure around the blade tips similar to the vortex at the tip of aeroplane wings. Others have suggested that this could be lethal to bats, but until now no-one had carried out necropsies to verify the theory.

One solution could be to increase the minimum wind speed needed to set the blades in motion. Most bats are more active in low wind.

So remember my conclusion?

Some sceptics admit it’s likely if the low frequency noise disrupts your sleep there’s some cause for concern, but agree that it shouldn’t be that hard to just limit turbines to a radius of a few kilometres from residences.

Move wind turbines and people apart and no problem. WCO seems to find the only justifiable response to be to ban all wind turbines (of course they offer no mission statement on their website, and just vague attacks on “industrial wind power”). Now that’s reasonable.

So what does a real scientific paper have to say about wind turbine’s and health?

Abstract from: E. Pedersen et. al., “Response to noise from modern wind farms in The Netherlands,” J. Accoust. Soc. Am. 126 (2) pp. 634-643, August 2009.

The increasing number and size of wind farms call for more data on human response to wind turbine noise, so that a generalized dose-response relationship can be modeled and possible adverse health effects avoided. This paper reports the results of a 2007 field study in The Netherlands with 725 respondents. A dose-response relationship between calculated A-weighted sound pressure levels and reported perception and annoyance was found. Wind turbine noise was more annoying than transportation noise or industrial noise at comparable levels, possibly due to specific sound properties such as a “swishing” quality, temporal variability, and lack of nighttime abatement. High turbine visibility enhances negative response, and having wind turbines visible from the dwelling significantly increased the risk of annoyance. Annoyance was strongly correlated with a negative attitude toward the visual impact of wind turbines on the landscape. The study further demonstrates that people who benefit economically from wind turbines have a significantly decreased risk of annoyance, despite exposure to similar sound levels. Response to wind turbine noise was similar to that found in Sweden so the dose-response relationship should be generalizable.

Even from just the abstract, we see a lot of the annoyance is a psychological result of NIMBYism. If you don’t like wind turbines, they’re likely to bother you more and you’re likely to get more sick when you’re stressed.

I wonder if the first people to live near airports or roads got as annoyed and as sick. What if in 30 years when there’s wind turbines everywhere no one cares anymore?

Finally, this is for MAnderson:

4 thoughts on “I’ve incited the Defenders of the Truth(tm) part 2”

  1. Y’know, I’ll just flip through my copy of the ICD-10 and see if I can find “annoyance” somewhere….

  2. Late to the party (or blog in this case) and you may have found this out in the interim, but MAnderson is not a he but rather a she, full name Maureen Anderson, resident of Essex county in Ontario and a ringleader in the WCO group. It is so interesting that she accuses you of censoring her comments, when that is exactly what they do at the WCO website. Go ahead and try to post a comment to one of their blog articles that in any way challenges their mission.

    There are two things that will quickly destroy the momentum of this group and others like it. 1) a epidemiology study that easily shows that the incidence rate of the (exhaustive) list of supposed ailments caused by wind turbines is not significantly different than the background level in the general population; and 2) the very synergistic development of electrical energy storage that has incredible levels of private and public investment to support the next stage of automotive evolution – electric cars. This same technology will make moot the point about intermittent energy production since it will enable things like V2G and power averaging, which are already in the process of being implemented by the electricity distribution industry. So no worries, the anti-science, anti-development groups will fail, as they always do in the long run.

    1. Thanks for the info.

      I highly doubt (1) will convince groups like WCO to abandon their cause as often their positions are not arrived at rationally, so they cannot be rationally argued out of. Similar to creationists, vaccine fear mongers or global warming denialists, they believe in a conspiratorial world where they know the truth and everyone else is wrong.

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