In a recent letter, Dr. David Colby claimed that the Acoustic Ecology Institute, which had some mild critiques of the CanWEA wind turbine health report, was a “wind objector.” Nothing could be farther from the truth. From the beginning of AEI’s investigation of noise complaints, our stance has been that dealing with noise impacts is crucial to the industry’s continuation of its recent successful expansion as a key piece of a diverse energy future.
Our comments on the health effects report focused on its apparent emphasis on debunking the concept of a specific “wind turbine syndrome” caused by physiological effects of the noise levels received. We affirmed the effectiveness of their argument and data, but noted with some dismay that there was no in-depth assessment of indirect health effects triggered by annoyance and sleep disruption caused by easily audible wind turbine noise.
Wind energy is an excellent option, and makes a lot of sense in the wide-open spaces of the western part of the continent. We are still learning what distances are necessary to avoid negative quality of life impacts on a significant proportion of neighbors. All AEI is asking for in this debate is an honest assessment of these subtler effects, rather than an over-emphasis on the most dramatic claims made by either industry or anti-wind groups.
AEI Executive Director