Wind Concerns Ontario, and the sun doesn’t?

There’s a new Coalition in Ontario, no not a political, NDP-Con / Con-Lib / Con-Bloc / Lib-NDP-Bloc type, instead it’s:

…a province wide coalition of thirty-three grassroots organizations in twenty-one counties and the City of Toronto that seeks to raise awareness about the impacts of industrial wind power facilities on health, the environment, the economy and the quality of life.

And it goes by the name of Wind Concerns Ontario.

Chaired by former-Liberal Blogger John Laforet, this group is getting press for opposing the Government of Ontario’s attempt to put those dastardly green wind turbines across the province.

Laforet and his coalition have clearly read “Wind Turbine Syndrome” by Dr. Nina Pierpont. Note, this is a book, not a scientific paper. I’d come across this website months ago, but dismissed it too out of hand to even blog.

So what is WTS?

Don’t look to Wikipedia, because it doesn’t even get notability for its own page. Hell, even the “Environmental effects of wind power” page doesn’t mention it. It even says on the talk page:

Health effects

Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Health effects of wind power was today closed as “delete”, but much of the material immediately re-appeared in this article at Environmental effects of wind power#Health effects (see [1]) so the questionable content hasn’t been deleted at all. As I say, the article is to be deleted, not merged, so I am removing the merged content. Johnfos (talk) 21:21, 15 August 2009 (UTC)

I agree, the closing rationale of the deletion discussion was that “While some articles do not need peer reviewed sources, those, that deal with scientific issues, such as health, do. If this is to be a serious article, it needs relevant basis. If those are found, the article should be written again. Until then, no article is better.” Hence, the contents of that article should not have been copied by their creator to appear in this article – rst20xx (talk) 23:30, 20 August 2009 (UTC)

WTS is claimed to be a set of symptoms experienced by a select few who live near wind turbines. The research is thin and not widely accepted.

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.

Nevertheless, the media loves to overstate the results of Dr. Peirpont’s “research” which greatly fails the test of scientific legitimacy.

26 thoughts on “Wind Concerns Ontario, and the sun doesn’t?”

  1. Reminds me of fibromyalgia. And Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. And, really, a whole host of symptom clusters that are subjective, non-specific and basically unmeasurable. This isn’t to say that WTS doesn’t mean anything — it means some group of symptoms. But it is to say that it’s not a disease in any reasonable sense.

    Frankly, I wonder if it could be resolved by telling people that the turbines near their homes are special noise-reduced turbines, carefully engineered not to cause WTS.

  2. 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. 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.

    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.

    And what is it about the sun you’re worried about? 🙂

  3. WTS is claimed to be a set of symptoms experienced by a select few who live near wind turbines. The research is thin and not widely accepted.

    It also seems to be limited to North America. Europeans, who’ve lived with wind turbines for quite some time, don’t seem to be experiencing these symptoms.

    1. Look a little deeper. Most of Europe, and Denmark, have enacted moratoria on industrial wind development. Many people are sick all over the world with signs and symptoms SPECIFIC to sympathetic nervous system overload, the underlying cause of ALL disease.

      And animals are getting sick, too. So sad.

      If WTS does not get people in the short-term, the horrific deaths and injuries of our magnificent birds turn stomachs and cause nightmares in many of us who are healthy. Imagine the effects on children who understand that all creatures are related, and who feel love for all creatures. If you are too cynical yourself to feel, in your own body ,the effects of such slaughter, know that some of us do feel sick beyond words to see and know that our birds and bats are dying in vast numbers, mangled and killed by NON-GREEN monstrosities born from GREED. UNETHICAL=NOT GREEN.

      I know right from wrong. And the slaughter of flying creatures, the most evolved sentients on our planet, is WRONG, WRONG, WRONG.

  4. Robert McClellan

    You are wrong in that there are no complaints in Europe. There are plenty. MSM doesn’t cover it. Check out

    The Europeans at least had some sense and did not build massive wind facilities so close to homes and with turbines in such great numbers. Ontario, in its rush to look green, pretty well gave the wind companies free reign to do whatever they want.

    Look at the European experience and the huge improvements they have made to their regulations. We should be learning from their experience.

  5. Robert,

    Did you not read my post? There are hundreds of serious complaints now coming out of Japan, New Zealand and particularly Australia. Again, these countries mashed these turbines in high density in residential areas….just like Ontario did.

  6. There are hundreds of serious complaints now coming out of Japan, New Zealand and particularly Australia.

    The key phrase is “now coming”. That they didn’t exist before only leads me to believe the insanity is spreading. Find me complaints that were made prior to three years ago and I’ll accept that this isn’t just a campaign led by North American, anti-wind power Nimbyists.

  7. Again, the European didn’t site their project so irresponsibly as is being done today.

    Three years…where does that magic number come from? There certainly were many complaints before 2006. Do you want me to post them all?

    I can tell you, here in Ontario, since 2006, Canadian Hydro Developers have bought out six families and bulldozed one $300,000 home in the Melancthon project. Gee, why would they bulldoze it unless it was unlivable. All of these people (or their children) had health complaints that began when the turbines were constructed. They were made to sign a non-disclosure agreement (gag order) by CHD to be able to escape with a buyout. CHD has spent over 1.75 million dollars shutting these people up. Hmmm.

    Perhaps for you to better understand you need to do a little research into the tuning and sensitivity of the human vestibular system to low-frequency vibration. Plenty of info here:

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

    1. Holy shit, calm down. I went to bed and didn’t check my spam filters till this morning. You probably just posted too much too fast and my filters got mad. I’m not part of the “conspiracy” to keep your views down.

    2. Funny someone from WCO is whining about censoring comments. Anytime I try to post a comment contradicting their misinformation, it’s never posted.

  9. Bat Lungs are Exploding because of Wind Turbines… you think bats do this intentionally to create alarm to the NIMBY’ist position? Get real. Wind proponents have no scientific studies to disprove WTS so isn’t it about time they took these people seriously and started to measure for infrasound (read: dbC measurements) as this is the only way to measure this type of sound. WTS is created by infrasound. Awareness obviously is essential for people like yourself.

  10. Three years…where does that magic number come from?

    It’s an arbitrary number I picked. From what I’ve seen, the anti-wind campaign only picked up speed about 3 years ago. So the way I see it, complaints in Europe about WTS after that time are questionable since they could simply be the result of the spreading insanity. So show me a complaint in Europe prior to that and I’ll accept that WTS isn’t simply hogwash.

    Again, the European didn’t site their project so irresponsibly as is being done today.

    I could almost accept that your concerns are simply about proximity to human habitation. Almost. The other nonsense posted on the Wind Concerns blog (ie. the absurd notion that wind power producers are paid ten times what other producers are paid) however, betray that. You’re advocating against wind power, not advocating for responsible wind power.

  11. Heaven forbid any advocating against an energy source that is the equivalent of hamsters on treadmills.

    As for spreading insanity, how about showing once and for all, the cost benefit analysis of wind over other forms of energy. How about we tie the never ending public money support for all things green to the amount of GHG’s emissions they can eliminate from our environment.
    How about considering Spain in their mad rush towards all things green who has shown that for every “green job” they invested public money, 2.2 jobs in other sectors were lost.

    Just because you believe there are no health problems in Europe, there is also the wider aspect of how things like wind energy will never
    1) add significant, dispatchable, reliable energy to our grid
    2) decrease significantly the amount of GHG emissions
    3) increase the number of jobs without atrophying jobs in other sectors
    4) stop putting people in harms way because of industry led guidelines for setbacks and sitings.

    I would suggest a reality check Robert and take the time to read the other side of the story.

  12. As Ian notes, “it shouldn’t be that hard to just limit turbines to a radius of a few kilometres from residences”. In fact, that’s exactly what Dr. Pierpont concludes.

    Ontario specifies a noise limit of 40 dB(A) 30 metres outside of a home. That alone requires much greater setbacks than are currently used for industrial wind turbines. The World Health Organisation says that the dB(C) level (which includes lower-frequency sound) should not be 20 dB more than the dB(A) level. The low-frequency noise from large wind turbines has not been studied.

  13. Exploding bat lungs! When you found the dead bat, how did you determine that its lungs had exploded? (I wonder if any bats have ever crashed into a nuclear cooling tower or a coal-plant’s smokestack–I bet bat lungs don’t stand up too well to SO2 emissions either… Are you sure it wasn’t some supersonic resonance frequency generated by the tips of the blade (but unmeasurable by human instruments) that exploded the bat’s ear-drums — oh yeah, that’s it, not the lungs, the hearing!
    As for noise (other than the aforementioned supersonic bat-destroying frequencies), do any of the opponents of windmills live beside a road? Because in my subjective experience, the sound of a car driving by typically drowns out the sound of a windmill. And as for economics, there are apparently many investors willing to invest considerable amounts of money to put up windmills at their own expense (even before the government got into subsidizing it a bit) because in fact the payback period is under a year in many cases and windmills are profitable. The grid can handle “unstable” supply up to a level of about 25 – 30 % before you need to start taking countermeasures to stabilize it. Denmark generates > 30 % of its electricity from wind. The province of Bavaria in Germany is close to 50%. The US grid is already near 10% wind power. Compare that to nuclear (100% government subsidy and we still haven’t paid the generating stations off in Ontario — no private investment *ever* and no interest whatsoever from the private sector today in building new plants — they are too expensive and risky with no calculable payback period based on historical data). And as for stability, when you shut down a nuclear plant for maintenance (every 18 months or so), you take a gigawatt or thereabouts off line — you need that same capacity elsewhere to make up for it. If we can handle gigawatt+ fluctuations in supply now, I can assure you that the technology exists to handle multiple small-scale fluctuations that would be caused by the wind blowing in one location and not another at any given moment. As I said, the grid can handle close to 30% “erratic” supply with no technological upgrades at all. If we want to go beyond that, we will need the “smart grid” technology being proposed and perhaps other measures to “store and release” erratic supply to make it more stable. It’s all doable and not that expensive. Of course jobs in the new technology will take jobs out of the old technology. No surprise there. I’d rather build windmills than shovel coal. But that’s just a personal preference.

  14. Wind Concerns Ontario started showed up in my feeds a couple of months ago. Each of the articles I read gave me a pretty bad feeling. Lots of rhetoric and misinformation mixed in with genuine concerns and problems. A couple of times I’ve gone looking for third party information on this organization, but I haven’t found anything useful. It appears to be the baby of one John Laforet , but the name doesn’t mean anything to me and I don’t find a lot of information on the intertubes.

    Anyone got some relevant background? Where’s their money coming from?

    1. Laforet is a former Ontario Liberal staffer. Not sure WCO has lots of money, just good PR. Most of it sets of my BS detector too – I think they’re mostly just on the NIMBYist view of wind power.

  15. Actually, I suspect that no healthy bat has ever crashed into a cooling tower, as their sonar ought to reliably detect such. Not that this has a single thing to do with this debate.

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