FAIRHAVEN – Acoustician and infrasound expert Stephen Ambrose will give a half-hour presentation on wind turbines to selectmen at their meeting Monday.
Ambrose, who lives in Maine, said Thursday his presentation will include evidence collected in his studies of turbines in Maine and Massachusetts.
Ambrose’s work has often been cited by members of Windwise in their quest to have the two Fairhaven turbines turned off.
One of his often-quoted studies deals with his examination of inaudible sound waves known as infrasound coming from Falmouth’s wind turbines. According to the study, Ambrose and his research partner became sick while they were taking measurements for the study at a Falmouth home, something they attributed to infrasound from the turbines.
“People have a hard time discussing infrasound because it’s not something you hear,” Ambrose said Thursday. “So I have a slide showing when I felt miserable in Falmouth and what the turbines were doing at that time.”
Ambrose’s presentation will also cover studies of audible noise coming from turbines, he said. It will include a critique of both the methodology used by the Department of Environmental Protection in its sound sampling of turbines, as well as the modeling techniques used by turbine developers when they are thinking about putting a turbine in a particular area.
Ambrose said scientists have a tendency to “obscure the humanity” from their findings.
“You have to look at what you find and what happens to the people who sleep in the homes next to the turbines,” he said. “They are in trouble; they are at their wit’s end.”
Ambrose, who is a board-certified acoustician, said some people assume he is “anti-wind” because of his association with Windwise, but he said he is not exclusively for or against turbines.
“I can tell you how to properly site a turbine and I can tell you what happens when you don’t,” he said.
Windwise member Louise Barteau said Ambrose has a skill for bringing humanity to science.
“It’s all supposed to be detached, but here’s someone who understands the technical things (and) also the human experience,” she said. “He has done a good job of explaining things to me, so I wanted the board to have a chance to hear from him.”
Selectmen Chairman Charlie Murphy said he invited Ambrose to speak to the board at Barteau’s request before he became chairman in April.
“Gathering information from all sources is very relevant to the situation we are in,” Murphy said. “Everyone is able to give as much information they like.”
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