Resource Documents: Human rights (77 items)
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Author: Pichan, Stave
Do you hear the sound keeps my kids awake
In fields where peace used to reign?
Notice the horizon, the obstructed view
All I see are those blades
The turning and whirling, the deafening sound
Killin’ the birds, spoiling the ground around me
The shadow it flickers on the walls and the pictures
An Iowa farmer has been taken by charmers
Maybe it’s time to put up a sign
I’m an just Iowa farmer who was taken by charmers
—Steve Pichan 2019
Singer/songwriter Steve Pichan and his wife often travel through mid-Michigan where massive windfarms have sprouted over the past few years. It wasn’t long ago when the farms were in limited concentrated areas, but with each trip to the North Country, Steve noticed more and more turbines, first dotting the skyline and then suddenly polluting the once pristine horizons.
That observation got Pichan to wondering whether or not there were farmers who weren’t thrilled with the towering giants right behind barns and ominously rising above homes and fields. A little internet research was all it took for him to learn what farmers and others already knew; wind turbines aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. Common problems with them involves the thousands of bats and eagles killed by the rotating blades and an effect known as “shadow flicker”, caused when rotating wind turbine blades cast shadows through constrained openings such as windows and neighboring properties. Occasionally turbines catch on fire and, due to the average height, most fire departments aren’t able to properly extinguish. Property values also take hits when windfarms are nearby. Such examples are just a few of the many complaints Pichan discovered.
So, off to the northern Michigan with guitar in the trunk, Pichan set off to put his thoughts and discoveries into song, one empathizing with the plight of a fictitious farmer in Iowa who lives under the shade of multiple turbines. The farmer knows he got a bum rap when he sold out land to energy corporations that could care less about his scarred land and access roads that once provided fertile soil for profitable crops.
“Iowa Farmer” was written, according to Pichan, to shine a light on the windfarm debacle through art and expose this concerning issue often ignored by media and those profiting from the destruction of once peaceful farms.
Author: Andre, Mark; Andre, Donna; et al.
State of New York Supreme Court, County of Wyoming—
33. Upon information and belief, Defendant Invenergy created and owns a wind energy operation, including wind turbines on property located within 800-1500 feet from the properties owned by Plaintiffs.
34. Upon the construction of and operation of the· wind turbines, Defendant has destroyed Plaintiffs’ rural viewshed from their property.
35. Upon the construction of and operation of the wind turbines, Defendant has caused constant noise, vibrations and flicker to enter Plaintiffs’ property, significantly impacting the health and wellbeing of the Plaintiffs and causing them to become sick, sore, lame and disabled.
36. Upon the construction of and operation of the wind turbines, Defendant has caused constant noise and vibrations significantly diminishing the value of Plaintiffs’ property and home.
37. Upon information and belief, Defendant’s wind turbines have violated, on a regular basis, town noise ordinances that restrict the noise levels to 50 decibels.
38. Moreover, Defendant’s operation of such wind turbines caused noise pollution, vibrations, and flicker to occur, creating a nuisance and interfering with Plaintiffs’ exclusive possessory interest in their property, and causing Plaintiffs’ quality of life to be significantly diminished.
39. In spite of being informed of the nuisance condition created by the Defendant, the Defendant has refused to either abate the nuisance or otherwise engage in any mitigating measures, intentionally continuing the nuisance that they have created, causing a significant diminishment of the Plaintiffs’ use and enjoyment of their property, quality of life, health, value of Plaintiffs’ property and economic wellbeing.
Download original document: “Andre et al. v. Invenergy”
Author: Laurie, Sarah
Thank you for the opportunity to contribute to your rally.
I first wish to pay tribute to the long suffering residents of Falmouth USA, who lived or are still living near the wind turbines owned by the town. These people have made an incredible contribution to our knowledge of wind turbine acoustics, wind turbine adverse health impacts, and have shown true human courage and compassion for others in a similar situation – both in their own country and further afield. We owe them, their acoustics and health professionals, and their supporters, a great debt of gratitude.
Their lived experiences, which are now very much in the public domain, in part because of their determination to fight for their legal and human rights, are a window on the incredible suffering which excessive intrusive wind turbine noise can cause. These people are just like you and me but have had to suffer intolerably and disgracefully because of gross government regulatory failure and corporate bastardry, deceit and greed.
They are simply trying to live their lives, free from the devastating adverse health effects resulting from what can only be described as an invasion of their home, resulting in acoustic trespass and noise nuisance, from pulsing infrasound and low frequency noise. These frequencies have been known to be harmful for over thirty years since the seminal research work by Dr Neil Kelley and his team from NASA and other research organisations.
Wind turbines are of course not the only source of this damaging sound energy, but once someone is sensitised, their body and brain don’t care what the source of the pulsing sound is – it is going to react anyway, at ever decreasing doses, until or unless they can remove themselves from that exposure. The only two options are turn off the noise OR move away.
It is not humanly possible to go for long without good quality sleep and remain unharmed and as you all probably know, sleep deprivation from repeated sleep disturbance is the commonest problem reported by most residents living near industrial wind power facilities. This inevitably results in exhaustion, and consequently serious and predictable adverse physical and mental health effects.
The Centers for Disease Control in America has recently stated the obvious – that insufficient sleep is a public health problem. Their website states the following:
“Sleep is increasingly recognized as important to public health, with sleep insufficiency linked to motor vehicle crashes, industrial disasters, and medical and other occupational errors.1 Unintentionally falling asleep, nodding off while driving, and having difficulty performing daily tasks because of sleepiness all may contribute to these hazardous outcomes. Persons experiencing sleep insufficiency are also more likely to suffer from chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, depression, and obesity, as well as from cancer, increased mortality, and reduced quality of life and productivity.”
So why are the most commonly reported symptoms of wind turbine neighbours, ignored by the American Health Authorities? Where are the public health physicians?
Why has there not yet been even one detailed case study of one person, anywhere in the world, examining the full spectrum of acoustic exposures overnight, together with concurrent sleep study EEG and continuous heart rate monitoring?
The Waubra Foundation has been calling for this precise research for the last five years.
As you all no doubt know, US Acousticians Rob Rand and Steve Ambrose conducted the wonderful initial acoustic investigation in Falmouth, USA funded by the generosity of Bruce McPherson, which provided vitally important clues about the causes of the symptoms. This study is still of global importance, and is something which Falmouth residents should be very proud of.
But where are the medical and public health investigators? They seem to be in hiding; either ignoring important research evidence in the case of Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council “expert panel” with members who had documented conflicts of interest, or in the case of Health Canada, deliberately choosing study designs which do not directly investigate the problems in the best possible way. For example any doctor knows that you do not make clinical judgements about someone’s blood pressure with a single once off measurement, yet that is what this Health Canada team did – with no concurrent measurement of the acoustic exposure at the time. You must repeat the measurement. This is junk science, and Health Canada know it, and are trying to hide it by dribbling the study results out slowly and in small “bites”, restricting access to the raw data and other results, making it very difficult for others to critically evaluate their results.
I applaud Falmouth Psychiatrist Dr William Hallstein for his professional integrity, courage, and honesty – advocating so strongly for his patients, to whom he owes a professional and ethical duty of care, which he clearly takes seriously. Others need to follow his example.
I also applaud Dr Nina Pierpont for her research, and her courage and integrity, and her work with Falmouth residents, helping them expose their stories to the public.
But where are their colleagues? Why the silence?
The silence of too many professionals, or indeed even active collusion with noise polluters to hide or ignore the evidence of serious harm, has allowed this serious abuse of the legal and human rights of residents in Falmouth, and indeed all over the world, to occur, and to continue.
But why are the public servants responsible for environmental health, planning and noise pollution regulation, seemingly so complicit with the harmful abuse of the rights of citizens?
Is it ignorance or incompetence?
Is it pure corruption?
Is it regulatory capture?
Is it ideological zealotry – an attitude that leads to the concept that people who are noise impacted from wind turbine noise are somehow acceptable “collateral damage”.
Is it fear of being ridiculed or ostracized by colleagues?
I am very glad that you are showing such open and public support for the impacted Falmouth residents today, and I join with you in demanding immediate change before any more damage is done to vulnerable citizens.
There must be full spectrum acoustic measurements inside and outside people’s homes, with the complete cooperation of the wind turbine operators so that on off testing can be performed to determine the true contribution of the wind turbines to the soundscape, and so the symptom triggers can be properly identified.
If the turbines are disturbing sleep, they must be turned off at night.
If health is being adversely impacted, there needs to be a resolution – two alternatives being property buy outs with compensation for nuisance, or wind turbines being deconstructed and removed. There are precedents for both.
Its time people’s health, and their human rights are properly protected – in particular the right to attain the best possible physical and mental health.
That fundamental human right to the best possible health specified in most United Nations Human Rights instruments, is not possible if people cannot sleep.
Author: Barrett, Eva
On 1 July 2010, Ireland gave an ambitious pledge to convert a significant share of electricity generation from conventional to onshore wind generation. This pledge was designed to support a legal obligation to reach a 16 per cent share in renewable energy consumption by 2020. More recently, buoyed by the apparent success of the initial policy, the Irish Government indicated its intention to explore the potential for a wind generated electricity export market. However, problems are evident that threaten these ambitions as Ireland’s wind policy and most of its commercial wind developments (namely those constructed before 2011) are open to legal challenge for having breached EU law. Although the case law that supports this proposition will be considered solely in relation to the threat it poses to Ireland’s wind policy and developments, the jurisprudence has broad-ranging implications for renewable energy across the EU, and for environmental lawyers and policy-makers in all 28 of the EU’s Member States.
Journal of Energy & Natural Resources Law, 2015
Vol 33, No 1, 59–81, doi: 10.1080/02646811.2015.1008847
Download original document: “‘In sowing the wind, how Ireland could reap the whirlwind’ – a case against Irish wind development(s)”