It is with some alarm and incredulity that I have read the AMA’s position statement regarding health issues and wind power developments.
Briefly, my interest evolves from having submitted a complaint relating to wind power development, (ACCC/C/2012/68) on behalf of my Community Council to the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe. Findings of the Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee were upheld in their ratified decision in respect of a breach of Article 7 of the Convention by the UK government, which includes Scotland.
Moving on to the health issues under scrutiny, there is growing awareness amongst the scientific community that dismissal of peer reviewed reports on adverse health effects, and the growing body of evidence from those physically and mentally affected by sound effects emanating from wind turbines, is no longer legitimate. That claims of ‘scaremongering’ and denials of evidence which are routinely seen from the trade industry and other vested interests involved, continue to be accepted is a global disgrace affecting all countries playing host to this technology.
History teaches us much about the imposition of political will and/or questionable scientific ‘consensus’ which can be summed up as:
No governments or decision makers have the right to inflict upon the populations they are elected to serve, policies which have the potential and capacity to cause harm. There is a duty of care which is both irrefutable and morally sacrosanct.
Due to the speed of implementation of policies relating to renewable energy, there are obvious steps which have been missed and are basic to the safe operational processes and requirements involved.
Independent monitoring by the medical profession of those now unavoidably forced to live in proximity to turbines is one crucial need in order to measure any effects rendering conditions attributable to this technology or, having the capacity to exacerbate existing conditions.
In this important respect I should like to know whether the AMA plan to support the research which the Federal government is planning to commission, which will objectively and independently measure the sound energy frequencies inside people’s homes, together with objective measures of sleep, heart rate, blood pressure and cortisol?
Someone once observed that the kind of progress of benefit to all – depends completely on our ability to stop dead when we find we are mistaken. Your organisation, with respect, is exhibiting a graphic example of such an inability. Consequences, rightly, will be laid at the feet of those responsible. Where are the politicians and developers choosing to move themselves and their families into the currently unsalable homes in risk zones, whilst submitting to tests monitoring their reactions to effects? The number is likely to be zero.
Attached [link] is the Den Brook AM Noise condition report with important information and research results. Due to a need for brevity in order to allow proper consideration, the number of summaries and examples attached are purposely very restricted. They will however, add to the growing number of cases being reported here and elsewhere, further examples of which you are highly likely to receive. There is a serious and general lack of awareness that health problems could be, and in many cases are, proving to be attributable to living in proximity to wind turbines. This has to change.
[Excerpt from description by Mrs. Kay Siddell of adverse turbine effects relating to the Hadyard Hill wind farm South Ayrshire, Scotland: link]
[Pinwherry and Pinmore Community Council letter: “Noise nuisance from Hadyard Hill windfarm”: link]
[Tharpaland International Retreat Centre: “Three Windfarm Studies and an Assessment of Infrasound”: link
[Den Brook planning appeal decision, 11 December 2009 – approved with conditions defining limits for amplitude modulation of noise: link (upheld on judicial appeal, 26 May 2011; link)]
In addition and as reported recently in the media, Scotland’s environmental watchdog has probed more than 100 incidents involving turbines in just six years, including diesel spills, dirty rivers, blocked drains and excessive noise. Alarmingly, they also include the contamination of drinking water and the indiscriminate dumping of waste, with warning notices issued to a handful of energy giants.
Importantly, evidence emerged of contamination in the water supply to homes in the shadow of Europe’s largest wind farm. People living near Whitelee, which has 215 turbines, complained of severe vomiting and diarrhoea with water samples showing high readings of E. coli and other coliform bacteria. Tests carried out between May 2010 and April last year by local resident Dr Rachel Connor, a retired clinical radiologist, showed only three out of 36 samples met acceptable standards. She said “I would expect this likely contamination of drinking water must be happening all over Scotland. “If there is not an actual cover-up, then there is probably complacency to the point of negligence by developers and statutory authorities.”
Clearly this will be and already is, a global problem. We have the ‘tip of the iceberg’ showing in respect of wind turbines and health issues, so the denial that health is being put at risk, on a number of fronts, is inexcusable.
Mrs. V.C.K. Metcalfe.
26 March 2014
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