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Crikey editorial calls for Coalition to stop “pandering” to anti-wind lobby

Crikey-306x190Crikey news have strongly endorsed the findings of the NHMRC’s recent review on wind energy and health. The online news paper calls on Coalition to stop ‘pandering’ to radical anti-wind farm fringe groups.

Here’s the editorial:

It’s time for politicians, particularly in the Coalition at both the state and federal level, to stop pandering to the nonsense and conspiracy theories of the anti-wind farm lobby. The health effects alleged to be caused by wind farms belong in the same category as chemtrails, the fluoridation conspiracy and anti-vaccination claims: they’re the preserve of tinfoil-wearers, cranks and vested interests.

The National Health and Medical Research Council yesterday release a draft report showing — yet again — the lack of any credible evidence for health problems linked to wind turbines.

Part of the challenge for the NHMRC, presumably, was sorting through the hundreds of medical conditions alleged by opponents to be caused by wind farms, including poor balance, cancer, heart disease, bad dreams, deafness, babies waking at night and both weight gain and weight loss.

One of the chief bullshit-callers on wind turbine syndrome is Professor Simon Chapman, who has put together a list of 19 separate reports demonstrating no health impacts from turbines. The latest NHMRC report will make for an even 20.

The federal Coalition, with its climate denialism and lack of interest in science, already has a bad enough reputation when it comes to ignoring empirical data. If it wants to gut renewables, it can achieve that through its Renewable Energy Target review. Surely it doesn’t need a conspiracy theory?

Crikey‘s editorial isn’t the first time they’ve covered wind energy. The news service featured some of the biggest scoops surrounding the wind energy politics.

In April 2013, Crikey reported that the Australian Public Health Association had forwarded a complaint to the National Medical Health and Research Council detailing possible ethics breaches by Sarah Laurie, chief executive of the anti-wind Waubra Foundation.

In May 2013, it revealed wealthy Kind Island residents had hired PR firm Wells Haslem to help turn the community against wind farm proposed for the island.

In June 2013, Andrew Crook reported the wife of Maurice Newman, Tony Abbott’s business advisor, was a key organiser of an anti-wind farm rally held at Parliament House in Canberra.

In the weeks after the election of the Abbott government, a Crikey survey showed “near-blank” support for wind farms (out of step with the views of Coalition voters – 71% support more wind farms). “It seems like Entsch is to wind as Julie Bishop is to women among senior Coalition ranks,” noted reporter Andrew Crook.

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