Turbines’ “health effects are likely self-induced and psychological”

Posted on September 1, 2009. Filed under: Wind |


From an article by Charles Brace in the Wisconsin State Journal:

TOWN OF BYRON — Retired mail carrier Gerry Meyer said he only sleeps two hours a night because of the constant swooshing sound and that his wife has started taking sleep medication.

His neighbor Nick Gonnering in South Byron, who lives just as close to the noise, said he finds the sound “relaxing.”

Either way, the sound of wind turbines is making more ears perk up as a bill moves forward in the Legislature that would empower the Public Service Commission to create statewide rules governing wind power and pre-empt local government control over their placement.

The rules would govern the distance between turbines and homes along with their noise and the flicker effects of shadows from their turbine blades. . . .

Connie Reich of the town of Byron in Fond du Lac County said she felt like she had no say in the wind project near her home. But, she said developer Invenergy does give $500 every December to her and other people in the community and that residents with turbines on their land get paid significantly more.

“If I had a choice, I’d rather have a turbine than a subdivision,” Reich said.

Byron resident Gerry Meyer said the noise has led to sleep loss and, as a result, high blood pressure.

“This wind factory has completely taken away our quality of life. We can rarely go outside without being stressed by the various sounds,” Meyer said in an e-mail.

Timothy Allen, professor of botany and environmental studies at UW-Madison and an expert on renewable energy, said any health effects are likely self-induced and psychological.

“I think it’s people who don’t want their skyline messed up,” Allen said.

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2 Responses to “Turbines’ “health effects are likely self-induced and psychological””

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Prof. Allen should limit his professional comments and opinions as a UW Wisconsin representative to sick tulip and cabbage plants. He is major contributor to our renewable energy problem in Wisconsin, not part of a real solution.

If he knew even the basics of industrial wind turbine power production it would help.

Right now electric energy profiteers can sell any “alternative” source of energy they feel like, have no independent scientific testing to support its efficiency, and make almost any assertion that’s in their financial interest. Wind power is an example of this charade. Companies wanting to sell an alternative that garnered tax breaks, incentives, etc., must be required to submit extensive, independent, objective scientific testing to verify that their alternative was at least equal to conventional electric power sources. This is what is called using “Scientific Methodology”. This screening would also apply to any alternative that wanted to “count” in any Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS).

Equal would mean that an alternative electric power source must meet critical grid criteria, before being released to the public.

Any alternative must:
• Provide large amounts of electricity
• Provide reliable and predictable electricity
• Provide dispatchable electricity
• Provide base load, load following, and / or peak load electricity
• Be capable of being a compact facility near high demand areas
• Provide economical normally subsidized electricity
• Provide proof that for every MWH of electricity they generate, that at least 8/10 MWH of fossil fuel generated electricity would be eliminated
• Provide proof that there will be a significant reduction in carbon emissions
Following these guidelines will ensure that taxpayers and rate payers get the maximum return in energy for every dollar spent.

The alternative is to continue down Senseless Street, essentially a completely unregulated Wild West bonanza, where smooth talking lobbyists and wind developers are peddling snake oil. Moreover no claim is too outrageous, and millions of dollars will be sucked out of the pockets of unsuspecting marks, with minuscule merits.

Until 2008 Germany was the leader in installed wind capacity with over 20,000 wind turbines. There has never been one coal plant shut down in Germany or anywhere else in the world regardless of how many turbines are built. Germany has 26 coal plants either under construction or proposed.

The more wind power you add to the grid the more unstable it becomes. Read this article from Reuters about a problem in Texas when the wind suddenly stopped blowing. http://www.reuters.com/article/domesticNews/idUSN2749http://www.reuters.com/article/domesticNews/idUSN2749522920080228

Wind power is unreliable, non-dispatchable, intermittent, expensive, and heavily subsidized.

Wind power is ancient stuff, it just doesn’t work. Wisconsin should be a leader in renewable energy. We can do much better with our renewable energy dollars.

Given that Prof. Allen has done no research on the effects of industrial wind on human beings I find it bizarre that he is being quoted as an expert. The use of phrases such as “I think” are the clearest indication that Allen is giving voice to personal opinion though not supported by any scientific evidence. Let us hope that Renew and the Wisconsin State Journal will do better research when looking for experts to quote in the future.


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