David Norman, Rogue Primate of Bloomfield countylive.ca 22 February 2012
The “science” associated with the Industrial Wind Turbine (IWT) debate has been bandied about like the numbered ping pong balls in a bingo or lottery machine… it’s like a “box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get”, except for chocolate (sugar coating) that is. My concern is that this “science” irrespective of whether it is claimed to support or negate IWTs has been applied to emerging dogmas associated with ideologies, when it is in fact extremely limited and inconclusive in respect to Scientific Method.
I have been accused of being anti-IWT … guilty as charged. The fact is that all of us have notions (ideas) that conform in some manner to more generalized ideologies. Culturally speaking, it cannot otherwise be so. Despite my continued efforts to openly criticize and mock my local County Sustainability Group (CSG) IWT proponents and in a broader context all IWT proponents, I actually feel a deference towards them since I realize that it is extremely difficult to attempt to lead (promote) an idea without a clearly defined scientifically supportable sustainable ideology. They are constantly attempting to combat their opposition with contrived pseudo science attached to an ideological dogma and are quickly running low on ammunition while facing a growing anti-IWT sentiment.
IWT proponents have sought to cloak themselves in the garb of a stylish green ideology purportedly supported by science and have identified themselves as ideologues in this respect on the political spectrum. Their passion has become a zeal and as such they have sacrificed perspective and erected barriers so that they cannot perceive and thus need consider the rational of others. They ignore the obvious, to their peril, that is that ideologies, by their nature, divide folks into two groups… those that agree and, the infidels or heathens. In and of themselves, IWT proponents like those in the CSG present little danger and are usually content to preach to the converted with occasional admonishments to the unenlightened. However, their ideological mantra is an endorsement of the wholesale economic and social destruction of our communities as demonstrated by our Ontario Liberal Government’s aristocratic persuasion and as such they must accept the consequences of their complicity. As a caveat I state here that I would not exclude any of our potentially governing parties in Ontario from this general indictment.
This brings me to discuss the role of science in this regard. I condemn no one, for as I have discovered in my own endeavours in science, as humans we are not static in our cognition or condition. We change like the seasons and the biodiversity that surrounds us. We are subject to the changing rhythms of the “creation” (evolution) that defines our world. The pro IWT ideology that has been presented to the public is premised on fallacious extrapolations of Darwin’s evolutionary discourse of “natural selection” emerging as might (GEA) equals right, that the strongest (politically) means the victors (survival). It astounds me that in the face of the facts that we humans are causing one of our earths largest global extinctions of life, are depleting our earth of the resources essential to our worshiped technologies, and that most of us are so overwhelmed by the powerlessness created by conflicting predictions and resolutions that we are too befuddled to come to any true understanding of our predicament. The true meaning of Darwin’s treatise on “Natural Selection” is that evolutionary characteristics that enhance survival are those that help you integrate yourself within a community (an ecosystem), contributing to the strength (balance) of the “magic” that is its biodiversity. We continue to fall prey to the warped economic mythology of growth and expansion of human enterprise (our own comforts or our desire for comfort) as a prerequisite for resolution. I need not even touch on the Ontario Liberal Governments economic science imperatives in this regard for the fallacy of their clean green renewable energy impetus was clearly elucidated in the Governor Generals Report concerning energy policy.
I have extensively studied the science of personality theories at three of our fine Canadian post secondary educational institutions. I reiterate, that what is perhaps the most generalized conclusion (insight) I came to as a result this education and my own endeavours in science, is that, as humans we are not static in our cognition or condition due to the always inherent confounding variables which influence and to a great degree determine our perceptions and behavioural responses to our individual culturally determined realities. Thus, to base a decision, in this case the Ontario Liberal Governments decision to hoist IWTs on an unwitting public, based on the conjectured interpretation of a very limited number of scientific studies of human behaviour which could be referenced in this respect, is at the very least a crime of omission and an insult to the integrity of the Scientific Method.
For example, the implications of the sound generated by IWTs on human health (negation of health effects) are in fact only theoretically supported by one single “scientific” epidemiological study and as such should be considered as a logical non-sequitur according to the Scientific Method. All other scientifically expounded references are in fact surveys, which by their very nature are inherently compromised by confounding variables. What most folk do not realize and that every scientist should respect, is that the only aspect that is scientific in these surveys is the statistical method by which the content is analysed. The content and the conclusions derived from it, remains as only an hypothesis for further theoretical consideration. To theoretically imply cause and effect, that is not premised on comprehensive research, is disingenuous. The reference to this single supporting epidemiological study and the context in which the health impacts of IWTs was presented and subsequently plagiarized in a wholesale manner by many Governments, including the Liberal Government of Ontario, to give credence to their IWT policy and their legal defence of it, can be referenced at; http://www.mass.gov/dep/energy/wind/turbine_impact_study.pdf. In the context of this presentation I note that it frequently acknowledges that the scientific evidence was “scant” or “limited” and occasionally “nonexistent” and yet, they saw fit to characterize the one epidemiological study which they conjectured supported “no human health impacts” as “primary” while characterizing two other epidemiological studies which suggested possible human health impacts, as “lesser”.
This is demonstrative of why IWT proponents glean elements of scientific studies which support their ideological suppositions while ignoring the cautionary conclusions of scientists for replication and further study. Any reputable scientist who respects and adheres to the credo of Scientific Method, must provide full disclosure of any characteristic of the study which could be considered a bias (confounding), and will and should provide cautionary interpretive imperatives in the conclusions offered from their studies. This however, as I have discovered is not in the nature of most human cognition, even at times that of scientists.
In conclusion I offer some cautionary advice; do not be persuaded by “science” that has been presented in the context of an ideological or otherwise vested self interest. Science by its very credo should not be used in this manner. Do not let it exclude you from your own self determination. Base your decisions on what can be observed and understood from pragmatic reference. I have read each and every scientific study that I have seen referenced in this respect. Some could be considered pro, and some con. Some demonstrate good scientific method and some bad. It does not matter, since all call for much more research to determine whether they are meaningful or misleading. Until such time a complete moratorium (legislation) on IWT development should be enacted… let’s call it the Mean Green Energy Act.
URL to article: https://www.wind-watch.org/news/2012/02/22/the-mean-green-energy-act/