Graham Lloyd’s article on the health problems associated with living near wind turbines neatly defined the contradiction explicit in developers continuing to deny the problems, whilst buying, with gag agreements, some of the properties that have become uninhabitable.
In 1991 NASA found that wind turbines emit infrasound. Separately, it’s known that infrasound is a cause of health problems. Various doctors mentioned in Lloyd’s article have investigated illnesses experienced by people living near turbines.
The developers, led in Australia by majors such as AGL and Origin Energy, have seemingly failed either to read the literature or connect the dots. However, more significant than capitalists behaving as capitalists, is the fact that the National Health and Medical Research Council, a body funded by government and with responsibilities presumably aligned with its name, is also involved in denial. After what is now appearing to be an all-too-rapid a review of the literature, the NHMRC has not only been unable to connect the dots, it has made no attempt to contact the Waubra Foundation whose medical director has interviewed over 60 sufferers around Australia.
Unfortunately, NHMRC’s minimalist study has reinforced wind developers’ confidence that the truth about wind may be hidden for a few years yet, industry profits maintained and the collateral damage to rural nobodies ignored.
Peter Mitchell, Portarlington, Vic
I have met a considerable number of people living with this problem of proximity to wind turbines and am very aware of the health impacts.
A great deal of effort has been devoted to exploring these concerns over the past few years, both here and globally. However, the wind industry dismisses the matter and governments have generally responded that “there is no peer-reviewed science” and are not prepared to carry out any independent examinations themselves. So I’m writing to congratulate you on your initiative in publicising this important issue of public health and hope that you will continue to pursue it.
Reg Brownell, Camberwell, Vic
Graham Lloyd’s summary of the situation facing people who live close to wind farms is spot on. He could have also mentioned the creeping industrialisation of our tableland landscapes and the consequent destruction of asset values for those people unfortunate enough to have established their homes in rural settings.
Wind farms can and should be built in locations well away from housing. Can you imagine the uproar if a wind farm were proposed to run 1km offshore from South Head to Little Bay in Sydney? It would be close to the end-users thus greatly reducing transmission costs. It would be a pity, however, about the impact on waterfront views and consequent devaluing of expensive waterfront real estate. Who would be stupid enough to take those stakeholders on when there are rural sites where only 30 or 40 householders will have their lifestyles and assets destroyed?
Bob Galland, Goulburn, NSW
AT last the denial is over, thanks to Graham Lloyd’s story on industrial wind. The health of many people in the bush is compromised by wind turbines, not to mention slashed property values – often the only asset these people have.
And all for what? A trivial amount of erratic power which has to be backed up 100 per cent by fossil fuels.
Frank Campbell, Elmhurst, Vic
Congratulations to The Weekend Australian for its efforts to expose the very dark side of windpower experienced by those who do not receive the massive government subsidies and payouts from this scam.
Annie Gardner, Penshurst, Vic
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