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Noise study has no credence

The Whig-Standard’s front- page story “Expert hushes noise critics” (May 5) cites a consultant’s report authored by Ryerson University professor Ramani Ramakrishnan on noise caused by wind turbines. The story states that the Ministry of the Environment hired Ramakrishnan to look at wind turbine noise guidelines and policies in other areas.

The story did not suggest that Ramakrishnan was an independent expert or authority on noise, having been hired by the ministry, so we did not have to guess where his funding came from. Nor should we be surprised at his conclusions, given that he was hardly likely to be critical of his employer or its policies.

Had the research been peer reviewed, published in a scientific journal of repute and conducted completely independently by Ryerson University, with funding for the project not emanating from any level of government, credence could legitimately be given to its findings. As it is, Ramakrishnan’s report, bought and paid for by the Ministry of the Environment as a financially and politically interested stakeholder, is of as much use as those scientific reports produced over the decades by other interested parties that extolled the health benefits of tobacco, sugar, trans- fats and Vioxx.

The lengths and depths to which governments at all levels will go in order to foist their projects onto an unwilling electorate no longer surprises me, but I am bitterly disappointed. We deserve better.

Michael Joll Stella

The Whig Standard

14 May 2008