Pollie Watch: Liberal MP sides with anti-wind fringe

For anyone who has been following the anti-wind farm lobby and their attempts to discredit the wind power sector over the years, this most recent offering might seem like their most desperate yet.

Two weeks ago federal Senator for the Democratic Labor Party, John Madigan, alleged that AGL Energy had sought to “discredit and discount any patient visiting any doctor with any claims of ill health brought about by living near [its] Macarthur wind farm”.

Madigan based these claims on a letter that AGL distributed to 12 medical clinics in the area of the Macarthur wind farm in 2012, which he says “categorically denied any health impacts from living near wind turbines”.

The mail-out is a problem for the Senator because he does not hold the science surrounding wind turbines and their discredited health risks to be either accurate or complete. That is why, by his logic, AGL can be viewed as guilty of a deception on the scale of that perpetrated by the Tobacco and Asbestos Industries – a claim which has now been publicly reinforced by Federal Liberal MP (for Hughes), and noted anti-wind ideologue, Craig Kelly.

Screen Shot 2014-03-28 at 12.00.41 PM

These claims – once dissected – however, easily show themselves up for what they really are: the best of an uninspired attempt to produce a viable retort to the growing consensus on the safety of wind farms affirmed here in February and March this year.

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Craig Kelly and John Madigan’s argument (summarised in the image below) that the renewable energy sector has sought to directly manipulate the Australian medical establishment – an intrusion which apparently extends all the way to Australia’s peak medical bodies – relies on the deliberately faulty premise that the science surrounding wind turbines and their health risks are as uncertain as those of tobacco smoking in the early twentieth century.

Hard evidence: the cartoonishly depicted 'mad doctor' posted on Craig Kelly's Facebook page.
Hard evidence: the cartoonishly depicted ‘mad doctor’ posted on Craig Kelly’s Facebook page.

We know this not to be the case, however, given the recent endorsement of the weakness of any link between proximity to wind turbines and ill-health put forward by the government-funded National Health and Medical Research Council’s (NHMRC), and Australia’s peak body for doctors, the Australian Medical Association (AMA), who claimed in March that

 The available Australian and international evidence does not support the view that the infrasound or low frequency sound generated by wind farms, as they are currently regulated in Australia, causes adverse health effects on populations residing in their vicinity.

(More can be read on the case here)

It is not surprising, then, that two long-serving proponents of the crumbling anti-wind farm case might seek to reinforce their position by attempting to deflect from such evidence in any way possible. This can be easily observed in the anti-wind farm lobby’s recent shift in strategy:

  • The old: when existing evidence and research is not in their favour it must therefore be deemed insufficient or incomplete.
  • The new: when mounting evidence continues to undermine their position, the very bodies to whom they have appealed in order to satisfy their cries for increased evidence must now be portrayed as either corrupt or compromised.

In order to accomplish this, Craig Kelly and Senator Madigan have chosen to attack renewable energy support in the industry by claiming that AGL’s letter to the 12 clinics in 2012 was deliberately misleading. And that this is supposedly due to their utilisation of the Climate and Health Alliance’s (CAHA) 2012 position statement on ‘Health and Wind Turbines’ – an institution whose members ‘ignore their professional ethics and the known science’, according to Madigan.

For those unfamiliar with group the, the CAHA is an organisation headed by former Governor of Victoria, Professor David De Kretser, comprising 27 professional health care and medical organisations, as well as

 …health care service providers, institutions, academics, researchers, and health consumers…[aiming] to contribute to the development and implementation of evidence based public policy…and promote recognition that policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect the environment have the potential to bring important public health benefits.

Senator Madigan sought to discredit this organisation on the basis that their mission statement declares a concern for climate change and its ill-health effects, which somehow compromises the methodological accuracy of this cross-section of professionals of multi-disciplinary background.

But as can be seen by the fully referenced statement (readable here), the CAHA position relied on some of the key and prevailing research of the time, including the United Kingdom’s 2010 Health Protection Agency report that was confirming present findings even back then. And nor was this AGL’s sole reference. It also relied on the NHMRC’s then most current 2012 report  – a fact that Senator Madigan ignored in his recent address to the Senate (view AGL’s letter here).

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Craig Kelly standing aside Alan Jones at the “National Wind Power Fraud Rally” last year.

Given the paucity of support for the fringe position advocated by the likes of Craig Kelly and John Madigan, the continued backing of such measures appears curious.

This, it should be noted, however, is not Liberal MP Craig Kelly’s first foray into anti-wind politics. In June 2013, Kelly found an audience for his claims at the “National Wind Power Fraud Rally” amidst the likes of radio shock jock Alan Jones, Ron Boswell and, of course, Senator Madigan. More telling still is the link between the event’s organisers and those close to Liberal high-ups, such as Jeanette Newman – wife of trusted Abbott government advisor and climate sceptic, Maurice Newman – in the email leaked to Crikey last year.

As well, and not unsurprisingly, the anti-wind farm group the Waubra Foundation has given air to these poorly evidenced claims on their website – yet another of the groups represented at the aforementioned rally.

Sadly, the noisy complaints of the anti-wind farm lobby continue to find a sympathetic ear in the halls of the new Liberal government, wherein the likes of self-professed climate sceptic, Dick Warburton, can head a review of the endangered Renewable Energy Target. At the same time, we find that the Liberal Napthine government in Victoria, in a move strangely at odds with the Victorian Department of Health’s own research, has provided $100,000 for another independent study into the health effects of wind farm proximity.

With views such as these in the Abbott and state Liberal governments, is it any wonder that concern continues to grow over the potential for institutional bias against the implementation of renewable technologies. These moves begin to make more sense, however, when one considers the dwindling of profits of those with large stakes in the fossil fuel power generation sector now at risk of stranded assets thanks to the efficacy of the Renewable Energy Target.

The mounting scientific evidence against the claims of the anti-wind farm lobby, in conjunction with the losses of large fossil fuel stakeholders, then, appears to be driving these groups to the anti-scientific fringe – a clear sign of their growing desperation and frustration. The obvious hyperbole enlisted in the ridiculous comparison of the wind energy sector to the tobacco and asbestos industries is a clear sign of this, and therefore begs the question – to what bizarre lows will the anti-wind activists turn once they discover that such arguments can no longer be seriously defended in the community?

 

40 thoughts on “Pollie Watch: Liberal MP sides with anti-wind fringe

  1. I told Craig Kelly he was drawing a false analogy between tobacco advertising (with pictures of doctors on it) and reviews of scientific research conducted by medical research bodies. I asked him if these same bodies approved of a treatment for a cancer he was hypothetically suffering from, would he accuse them of conspiracy then? He said I was being emotional. Pot, meet kettle.

  2. Andy, health and medical authorities are not saying “there is no danger” – typically they indicate that there is “insufficient evidence to prove that there is a direct causal linkage” and frequently (including the NHMRC) finish by stating “thorough research is required”. Clearly the science is not out – but rather it is “missing”… and the wind industry are in no rush to have that rectified.

    Even ignoring that, please answer this: IS IT OK FOR NON-MEDICAL, PROFIT-DRIVEN CORPORATIONS TO WRITE AND LOBBY DOCTORS DIRECTLY TO “EDUCATE” THEM FOR THE EXPRESS PURPOSE OF MODIFYING THE WAY THOSE DOCTORS DIAGNOSE THEIR PATIENTS (AND LIMIT THE FOCUS OF NEGATIVE HEALTH IMPACTS BEING ATTRIBUTED TO THEIR PRODUCT)?

    1. Mr. George, despite running a Facebook page group devoted to discussions about a potential wind farm on King Island Tasmania, seems to be unable to grasp the all-caps-equals-flying-spittle-shoutiness rule of internet discussions. That Mr. George is making this argument here in this manner gives you a sense of what that Facebook page is like under his moderation.

      That aside, public health organizations around the world have assessed the evidence in the run up to regulations related to setbacks for wind turbines and established basic setbacks for noise which also address all other health concerns. http://barnardonwind.com/2013/03/07/how-close-is-too-close-meteors-vs-wind-farms/

      Other public health organizations and experts have reviewed the evidence that is brought forward to assert health impacts and 20 to date worldwide have agreed that the setbacks in place are completely adequate to protect human health. http://barnardonwind.com/2013/02/17/wind-farms-dont-make-people-sick-so-why-the-complaints/

      This has been tested in court by people like Mr. George 47 times in court rooms in the Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the UK and the USA and exactly one judge found that a pair of wind turbines sited on a sewage plant caused harm to one couple who lived near the sewage plant, including ‘dental injury’. That’s called an overwhelming legal opinion based on the rules of evidence with all of the experts on both sides brought to the table that wind farms don’t harm health. http://barnardonwind.com/2014/02/23/wind-energy-health-concerns-fail-the-test-of-law-repeatedly/

      Meanwhile, fourteen of the world’s most ardent proclaimers of the perils of wind farms have come to those courts as experts and have been told by judges in no uncertain terms that they actually aren’t experts, or had their ‘evidence’ dismissed entirely because it is so obviously baseless. http://barnardonwind.com/2014/02/05/anti-wind-experts-dismissed/

      Finally, why is it acceptable for people with no medical credentials of any value or authority such as Sarah Laurie in Australia or Carmen Krogh in Canada to write to general practitioners, publish articles in magazines devoted to GPs and speak to GPs about the virtually non-existent threats of wind energy, but it is not acceptable for companies in the business of wind energy to provide much more reasoned and evidence-based information to the same audience?

      Mr. George has no coherence to his applications of standards. He’s on the wrong side of this argument coming and going.

    2. Hi Kim,

      When I refer to the scientific case against the purported ill-health effects of proximity to wind farms in the article you may have noticed that I never refer to the science as complete or final.

      Instead, I refer to “the growing consensus on the safety of wind farms”, “the recent endorsement of the weakness of any link between proximity to wind turbines and ill-health put forward by…[the NHRMC and AMA]“, and the “mounting scientific evidence against [these] claims”.

      My main point in this article is to highlight the absurdity of any comparison between the robustness of this body of knowledge with that of what was known on the risks of cigarette smoking in the 1920s-30s. They are simply not comparable.

      We have ample evidence that people in laboratories exposed to significantly higher levels of infrasound and low frequency noise than wind farms are capable of barely produce any ill-effect. We also know that such noise is often roughly equivalent to that experienced in modern (sub)urban environments.

      The last comment can also be made about the level of electromagnitc radiation exposure in homes proximate to wind turbines (if you give any credence to that argument), whereby levels are essentially the same as those reached in other natural and man-made environments.

      In regards to AGL, what they did was to point to the reports of two respectable and fully-referenced medical associations, one of which was government-funded, for the purpose of aiding local clinics in understanding why patients might be presenting with any symptoms (most likely stirred up by the anxieties manufactured by anti-wind groups, as new research is showing). The letter (which you can read), is also quite open about any uncertainty or limits at the time and does not seek to mislead. But yes, it is quite clear in the article that I have no problem with them sharing this knowledge for the benefit of local doctors, who are trained to be sufficiently critical in assessing the validity of any such claims (even of those as reputable as these).

    3. Kim, the point you seem to be missing is that no objective research has found any link between ill-health and wind farms. If you were honest you would also acknowledge that the wind industry is quite happy for further studies to be conducted.

      Trouble is if the wind industry commissions any research, you and your fellow Luddites typically claim the studies are flawed because they were funded by industry. Meanwhile, no anti-wind “evidence” stacks up against any objective assessment because it invariably involves people who have an antipathy against anything to do with wind energy, so they are hardly credible or objective.

      The only thing we know for certain is that whenever wind energy opponents go around spreading misinformation among communities, invariably some in that community will conclude wind farms are bad for their health – even when they have not experienced living with wind turbines.

      The other certainties are that wind energy opponents will cause divisions in otherwise harmonious communities and do everything in their power to prevent reasonable and fair discussion. You proved both those points at King Island and with your Facebook page.

      Anyone who has to resort to linking the wind industry with the tobacco industry only highlights their ignorance of the facts, and the intentional efforts by the tobacco industry to slander opponents and fund doctors for hire to pervert court cases. It was only when a tobacco industry insider blew the whistle and backed up his claims with industry documents that the full extent of the tobacco industry’s deceptions were revealed.

      You are wrong Kim because wind energy relies on well-established and easily tested science. There are no poisonous compounds to confuse the issue. You should read “Merchants of Doubt” to see how far off the mark you really are.

      1. Mike and Blair, as pleasant as ever…

        Andy, if you can agree that new “literary reviews” are not really contributing to new evidence (but just underlining what others have already said) then can we really say that there is “mounting scientific evidence”? Aren’t the number of challenges, court cases, and findings of “more research needed” growing?

        Having national health authority senior staff come out and say there are problems (such as in Ireland) certainly doesn’t give the impression that the book is being closed – and that the mounting evidence is probably pointing towards a linkage between wind farms and heath issues.

        Personally, I think it is wrong of AGL to write on the topic whilst it is still in a “more study required” status. Although the same could be said regarding anti-Wind organisations doing the same thing, they might argue that without doctor awareness then how will there ever be any reasonable data collected about the impacts (ie the “evidence” that the wind industry claim they would like to see)?

    4. Kim, if you were to read the Irish document instead of just the cherry-picked statement, you would see that it doesn’t say what you think it does. You might try actually digging into things instead of being satisfied with this amazing credulity you have.

      “Based on current evidence, it can be concluded that wind farms do not pose a threat to human health if planning guidelines are followed.” – Dr. Collette Bonner, November 2013

      She points out that annoyance is related to negative attitudes to wind turbines, visibility of wind turbines, economic benefit from wind turbines and other factors completely unrelated to physical implications but strongly connected to psychological factors. Her call for consideration of respect of those people which has been cherry picked and repeated by anti-wind advocates such as yourself is in that context.

      As I know the likelihood of you actually having read the full document is extraordinarily low, I provide a link to it for your convenience:

      https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B6Au73EozSjESmhDd2hHdWZ1SHc/edit

      1. Mike (reposting as it was not in reply to your message above), you must create a wake of anti-wind people as you bully your way around the topic – looking down your nose, demonising and swiping snide “I”m smarter than you” remarks at anyone that DARES to not cower under your preaching-from-the-pulpit. (oh, no, some horrible caps once again).

        Despite you, I resist the temptation to be “anti-wind”, but I am against the TasWind project as it will swamp King Island (phase 1 will cover 20% of the island, surrounding my family and friends houses – and since the project costs 40% more than being built elsewhere it is clearly a stepping stone for ‘more to come’).

        Thanks for your link, but Dr. Bonner (Irish Department of Health’s deputy chief medical officer)has moved on to take an even more resistant position to the Wind industry’s attempts to wipe away her comments:

        “symptoms (including sleep problems, headaches, dizziness and exhaustion) relating to living in close proximity to wind turbines have been described in the literature”.

        “Not everyone living near wind turbines have these symptoms. Susceptibility to symptoms differs with individuals. According to the current literature, sensitivity to low-frequency vibration is a risk factor. Sensitivity to low-frequency vibration in the body or ears is highly variable in people and, hence, poorly understood and the subject of much debate. Another risk factor described in the literature is a pre-existing migraine disorder. Other candidate risk factors for susceptibility to wind turbine related symptoms are age related changes in the inner ear.”

        “noise-induced respiratory pathology is not a new subject”.

        Expanding further on wind turbine syndrome, she said older people, people who suffer from migraine, and others with a sensitivity to low-frequency vibration, are some of those who can be at risk of wind turbine syndrome.

        http://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/senior-doctor-defends-wind-turbine-syndrome-conclusions-261026.html

        Ten years ago this sort of stance was probably not being taken by health officials – and that is just another small example of why it appears that the momentum of evidence and opinion is moving to affirm that there are indeed health issues that need to be considered when siting Wind farms.

      2. Ah, so in response to my quoting her official report, you quote… a newspaper article which cherry picks her statements out of context instead. Nicely done, Kim, nicely done.

        You do realize that the official report is the one that actually has weight, and that no one disputes noise pathology? And that cherry picked quotes from an article aren’t exactly authoritative? And once again, her report says that there aren’t any problems with the setbacks in place, just as quoted?

        If asked, I’m sure she’d say that again. This isn’t rocket science after all. If she takes more time to look through the evidence, she’ll undoubtedly come to realize what most people have: it’s antis raising health fears that cause the problems, not the wind farms.

        As for you feeling as if I’m looking down my nose at you, I suspect it’s rather your knowledge that you just don’t have the facts, haven’t done the research and suspect that you are spreading complete BS that makes you so sensitive. There is a remedy for that you know. You could try reading the material I provide links to so that you could actually be informed. You’d be a lot more confident and a lot less insecure.

        But you’ve had lots of time to do that and haven’t bothered. I’ve found that the people who dislike me are the ones like you that refuse to put the effort in to even try to understand, but cling to their biases like a three-year old clinging to its filthy security blanket.

      3. Mike, I read the link the first time. You just can’t help but cast aspersions and try to belittle can you? Why is that? http://www.bullyingstatistics.org/content/why-do-people-bully.html

        Dr. Bonner’s comments since the official report make it pretty clear which way the “momentum” is going. There are health issues, otherwise there would be no attenuation distances… which leaves us wondering (i) if the research into setting attenuation distances is as current as it should be to take into account the growth in height/blade size/turbine power and the size of Wind farms; (ii) When were attenutation distances last expanded to take this into account.

      4. Wow, you really are sensitive about your intellectual shortcomings. You should consider talking to someone about that.

        Dr. Bonner’s comments are fairly straightforward and not in line with some weird idea of ‘momentum’ you have where it means the opposite of any of Newton’s Laws. Her report is in line with the other 20 reports by medical officers of health that there isn’t a real problem with regulated setbacks, but that some people are complaining nonetheless, so let’s figure out why. Chapman, Chrichton, Lawrence, Pedersen and van Den Berg provide very coherent answers about the why, answers you hate to hear.

        Once again, given a little time she’ll figure out that it’s people like you that are the problem. She’s a smart woman, dedicated to evidence.

        You should try that. Being smart and dedicated to evidence I mean. It’s much more fun than the alternative.

      5. “Wow, you really are sensitive about your intellectual shortcomings. You should consider talking to someone about that.”
        “You should try that. Being smart and dedicated to evidence I mean.”

        Mike, you haven’t written a single post without trying to denigrate. You even managed on the last one to start and end in that lovely manner of yours. Of course the natural reflex would be to suggest you take your own advice about seeking help for your disorders – but it is so much better that you continue as you are.

        Personally, I’m satisfied with my “intellectual capabilities”. None of my comments were about my capabilities or even yours, and certainly were not about comparing. They were about your bullying and your obvious need to convince yourself that you are intellectually superior.

        Please don’t change though Mike, you really are doing a wonderful job for those that you clearly dislike the most – those evil powers that are out to build supporters for the anti-wind industry. 🙂

      6. Remarkable set of filters you have there. Almost no leakage of reality into your world view at all.

  3. Stick to your guns, Kim, they are wrong and they know it, they just refuse to accept reality.

    They can quote all the scientific based, peer reviewed reports they want, it does not equate to what is happening in the real world.

    It is interesting that Barnard’s links are all to his Blog, hardly a credible reference and once again, do not reflect what is happening in the real world.

    The only desperation I see, is here in the articles on this site and the same mindless comments from the pro wind lobby.

    Move on boys, you have been left behind!

    TCW.

    1. TCW, perhaps you could enlighten us about what is happening in the “real world”? What is your personal experience with wind farms? What is this “reality” about which you speak? What is “happening”? We’d be interested to hear your insights

    2. “They can quote all the scientific based, peer reviewed reports they want, it does not equate to what is happening in the real world.”

      So scientifically based peer reviewed reports are only valid when they agree with your skewed, non-evidence-based beliefs? Love your objectivity.

      If you bothered to read Mike’s posts, you would see the majority of them reference other, scientific work. But your constant denial of reality is evident to all rational people who read these posts. Follow your own advice and move on. Your reliance on fantasies won’t change the facts that in every instance, you are wrong.

  4. Nick, there are none so blind as those who will not see, however in your case, you know as well as I do, so no more questions.

    Blair, you can rant and rave all you like, the scientifically based peer reviewed reports, which are mostly conducted by the wind industry or their associates, do not reflect what is happening in reality. The AMA was criticised by doctors, psychologists and other medical practitioners from around the world, after releasing it’s statement which could have been straight from the wind industry hand book.

    I have read some of Mike Barnard’s posts, he is just another blogger who is passionate about the wind industry, probably paid by the wind industry, to counter people like us. For all of his so called expertise and constant updates on his Face Book page, he only has around ten serious followers, world wide,

    Where are all these rational people who read these posts, nearly every post has 0 comments?

    I have moved on, Blair, the only fantasy being promoted here, is that wind power will take over from coal, it ain’t going to happen Blair, the wind industry in it’s present form, in this country is on the ropes. If you want wind generated power, you are going to have to come up with a much more efficient system, than what we have at the moment.

    People have switched off Blair, they have had enough of unsustainable, delusional green energy ideas that do not work, you are defending the indefensible,

    TCW.

    1. Mike, you must create a wake of anti-wind people as you bully your way around the topic – looking down your nose, demonising and swiping snide “I”m smarter than you” remarks at anyone that DARES to not cower under your preaching-from-the-pulpit. (oh, no, some horrible caps once again).

      Despite you, I resist the temptation to be “anti-wind”, but I am against the TasWind project as it will swamp King Island (phase 1 will cover 20% of the island, surrounding my family and friends houses – and since the project costs 40% more than being built elsewhere it is clearly a stepping stone for ‘more to come’).

      Thanks for your link, but Dr. Bonner (Irish Department of Health’s deputy chief medical officer)has moved on to take an even more resistant position to the Wind industry’s attempts to wipe away her comments:

      “symptoms (including sleep problems, headaches, dizziness and exhaustion) relating to living in close proximity to wind turbines have been described in the literature”.

      “Not everyone living near wind turbines have these symptoms. Susceptibility to symptoms differs with individuals. According to the current literature, sensitivity to low-frequency vibration is a risk factor. Sensitivity to low-frequency vibration in the body or ears is highly variable in people and, hence, poorly understood and the subject of much debate. Another risk factor described in the literature is a pre-existing migraine disorder. Other candidate risk factors for susceptibility to wind turbine related symptoms are age related changes in the inner ear.”

      “noise-induced respiratory pathology is not a new subject”.

      Expanding further on wind turbine syndrome, she said older people, people who suffer from migraine, and others with a sensitivity to low-frequency vibration, are some of those who can be at risk of wind turbine syndrome.

      http://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/senior-doctor-defends-wind-turbine-syndrome-conclusions-261026.html

      Ten years ago this sort of stance was probably not being taken by health officials – and that is just another small example of why it appears that the momentum of evidence and opinion is moving to affirm that there are indeed health issues that need to be considered when siting Wind farms.

      1. Kim, when you live in another country but pretend to be concerned about the residents of a small island in another hemisphere, it makes you look a little pretentious.

    2. TCW, you haven’t been to a wind farm to experience the reality, have you? Otherwise you wouldn’t be avoiding my question. You’re basing your comments on what you’ve read aren’t you?
      You are fearmongering without having even been to a wind farm, despite many projects close to you. That seems lazy.
      A simple thing you can do to experience infrasound at high intensity is to drive you car at 60 km/h with the rear windows down. Do that and then visit a wind farm for comparison.
      Do us all a favour and educate yourself. Until then you are “preaching from the pulpit”.
      And while you’re at it have a think about using an alias. It really undermines your credibility.

    3. TCW, thanks for once again proving my point. When the science disagrees with you, you call foul.

      Your problem is that you have no credible alternative, you rely on anecdotes from misinformed individuals. Definitely not objective or scientific. You can’t have it both ways.

      So far all we see from denialists like yourself is that when the evidence disagrees with you, you move the goalposts or invent some new excuse to oppose wind energy.

      Of course you could put your hand in your own pocket and get some genuine, recognised research group to do objective research (even better, you could share the cost with industry) but you don’t and you won’t because you know the results are extremely likely to disagree with your biases. You just don’t want to know the facts and demonstrate this time and again.

      The AMA was not criticised by any genuine doctors and certainly not those who understand the science of sound and wind energy. It was only on the receiving end of a demented rant from Sarah Laurie, a woman who has clearly lost the plot and any sense of balance or objectivity. Why don’t you name all the other supposed medical practitioners and psychologists? Then we can check their qualifications.

      You’re not moving on TCW, you’re in a rut. That’s why you keep repeating the same tired and refuted nonsense. You’re not attempting to learn anything new. Nor are you trying to be informed or acknowledged facts which highlight your mistakes and faulty arguments.

      The wind industry along with solar is already partly responsible for coal-fired power stations closing down. You need to keep up-to-date:
      http://reneweconomy.com.au/2012/is-this-the-beginning-of-the-end-of-coal-fired-generation-49290
      http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2013/4/30/science-environment/does-coal-have-future-australia

      That’s just a couple of examples from Australia. There are plenty of others from around the world. Meanwhile you ignore the fact that the wind is a free energy source while coal and gas resources have all sorts of attendant costs, directly and indirectly. It would seem that economics is not your strong point either.

      1. I am not calling anything, Blair, I am telling you how it is. I am sure the hundreds of individuals from around the world, suffering from noise and sleep deprivation caused by wind turbines, would not take too kindly to you calling them ‘misinformed individuals’.

        You can quote all the scientific evidence you like, it is not reflected in reality, so obviously it is flawed and you are wrong.

        There have been quite a few letters sent to the AMA by professional people, criticising it’s statement.

        Like Nick, you talk about Sarah Laurie, I never mentioned Sarah Laurie, but since you brought the subject up, outside of this exclusive little group here, Sarah Laurie is a very admired and respected woman. The whole lot of you have tried to continuously assassinate her, but she has risen above all of that and is fighting the wind industry to stop it from subjecting more people to it’s abuse.

        You should know better than to quote anything from Giles Parkinson, Blair, he talks as much rubbish as you do. What is more, that article is two years old, things have changed dramatically since then. Most of the countries that embraced wind energy are going back to coal fired power, because wind energy just doesn’t work. You are the one in the rut, Blair.

        http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-03-07/bhp-boss-says-coal-is-king/5305178

        If wind is a free energy, Blair, why does the Government have to subsidise it? If our power prices, in a state that has the most wind energy in the country, are any indication, it is far from free. Maybe you need to brush up on your economics as well, Blair.

        TCW.

    4. TCW, you are not telling me how it is, you are telling me what it’s like in your magical, mystical world of make-believe where peer reviewed evidence is irrelevant but anecdotes are deemed to be solid gold even if the person making the allegation has no credibility, has only a tangible grasp of reality or is telling outright lies, like Sarah Laurie. You can’t have it both ways when you ridicule people you disagree with but complain vehemently when you’re shown to be seriously mistaken. The only people who have switched off are those like yourself, Gerard and Kim who choose to remain uninformed of the facts of wind farms, climate science and genuine enquiry.

      1. You obviously live in a different world to the rest of us Blair, perhaps it is the same one Nick lives in.

        I am not mistaken and you have failed to convince me that I am. Your peer reviewed science is terribly flawed in this instance, as time will prove, in this case, it already has.

        However, I always enjoy these spirited conversations with you Blair, no doubt there will be more.

        TCW.

      2. So as usual you have no evidence to support your claim that wind farms are subsidised? Instead, you attempt to misdirect and confuse. It’s telling the way you always change the subject or introduce some new bit of misdirection to avoid answering very straightforward questions.

        The only difference to the world I live in compared to the one you live in is that I live near wind farm and you don’t. I have the facts and you don’t.

  5. Nick, my credibility is not in question. The wind industry has no credibility, I have experienced that first hand. I personally know people who have been displaced by wind turbines and our group also knows and has met many other people who have been displaced by wind turbine noise.

    Through our FB page we are also in contact with many other people from around the world who are experiencing sleep deprivation, because of wind turbine noise, or have had to leave their homes because of wind turbine noise.

    Your analogy of driving a car with the windows down, compared to wind turbine noise, makes no sense at all. For me to stand along side a wind turbine, listening to it, also proves nothing. It is what these people are experiencing in their own homes in their particular geographical locations, that need to be experienced, but even then, it affects everyone differently.

    You already know this Nick, so stop playing dumb. We would would like to know who is paying you and how much you are being paid, to constantly harass people who oppose wind farms, particularly when these people are told, there will be a wind farm built in their back yard and they can ‘like it, or lump it!’. You spend too much time on this to be doing it voluntarily.

    TCW.

    1. TCW, I believe you have banned me from your FB page. What are you afraid of? A contrary point of view? If you are not prepared to argue rationally you don’t have any credibility. And your anonymity just adds to your lack of impact.
      Why will you not visit a wind farm and experience the conditions for yourself? You can then make an informed judgement. Or is it easier to don the cloak of anonymity and hurl abuse? I think you recently claimed I was a “f**kwit” on your FB page did you not?
      You need to mount some sort of rational argument otherwise decision makers will simply ignore you as an angry aberration.
      Perhaps Gerard’s suggestion is a good one!
      And BTW, who do you suppose is paying Sarah Laurie? I can assure you no one is paying me. And it takes rather limited time to respond to your unsophisticated utterances.

      1. Nick, I am not afraid of anything you might say, I know you have a contrary view, I do not have a problem with that, but people like you, Barnard, Dave Clarke and Blair, can not accept that we do not accept your point of view. What right do all of you have, to dictate to us what we should be doing in our own area, none whatsoever, so get used to it.

        My FB page was not set up to argue with someone like you Nick, your arguments were far from rational, all you wanted to do was take over the site. I gave you a fair go, but you abused the privilege and then others said to me, it was time for you to go, simple as that.

        I had not noticed that I abused you in the above posts Nick, if I have, my apologies.

        Yes, I did call you a “f**kwit”, for the reasons I mentioned above, in most people’s opinions, that is not normal behaviour.

        I do not need to mount rational arguments of any description, I am telling you how it is, there is no argument, if you and the others are not aware of what is going on around you, then that is not my problem. I am sure any decision maker worth his salt would be well aware of what is happening in the real world and if he is not, the potential wind energy investors certainly are, they are running from wind energy investment as hard as they can.

        I am not sure what the comment on Sarah Laurie is all about, I never mentioned Sarah Laurie.

        TCW.

    2. TCW, provide any evidence you can of these subsidies? I’m really looking forward to this. Hint: the RET is not a subsidy.

      The explanation for increased power prices has been provided by a number of writers who actually work in the power industry and those dealing with economic matters, even the federal government provides an explanation.
      http://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/pubs/BriefingBook44p/EnergyPrices
      https://theconversation.com/the-real-cause-of-electricity-price-rises-in-nsw-8955
      http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/federal-politics/editorial/power-to-the-people–at-the-lowest-price-20120808-23ugb.html

      Some other links have even been posted on these pages but you evidently did not read them. Why do you expect others to provide the information that answers your questions when you then ignore the information?

      Of the overall increase in prices, around 3% to 5% has been attributed to wind energy. If you stopped and thought about it for a minute you would see that there are no additional costs once the wind farm is up and producing – other than the regular maintenance attached to any machinery. Unlike coal-fired power stations and nuclear power stations which have to pay for costly fuel sources and waste disposal along with attendant state and federal taxes etc.

      Your choice to ignore the real subsidies provided to coal-fired generators makes your criticisms look very contrived.

      I can understand you not agreeing with wind energy, I cannot understand why you choose to remain uninformed about the general electricity market and the various costs attributed to each form of generation. It almost seems as though you don’t want to know the inconvenience stuff that undermines your criticisms.

  6. TCW I think it is best to ignore the site. Blair, Nick and Barnard reply only in reaction to your statements. Have a look at most of their other blog subjects they have 0 response or 1 or 2 from their loyal sycophants.

  7. “Kim, when you live in another country but pretend to be concerned about the residents of a small island in another hemisphere, it makes you look a little pretentious.”

    Blair, I’m sorry for you that you aren’t able to understand that someone can care for family and friends and community who are distant. Calling that “pretentious” just shows everyone that your real drivers are not about caring for people or our planet at all.

    I doubt you could find one King Islander who would call my concern for the King Island community anything but genuine – even from those that are positive towards TasWind. I doubt that you could even get the TasWind project manager to say that … but go ahead .. show us evidence rather than your constant muck throwing.

    Your attempt to slap down re Dr. Bonner backfired nicely… If “mounting evidence” was showing Wind farms to have no health impacts then why are attenuation distances growing, why are more and more health authorities saying “more studies required”?

    You are just a bully that has found a place where you get cheered on for bullying… and like all bullies, your fall will be hard and painful. Unfortunately it will not help those that have suffered mock and ridicule from you and from others with your encouragement.

    1. “You are just a bully that has found a place where you get cheered on for bullying… ”
      Oh Kim, you’re getting a bit precious now. We did have some civil discussions on the KI page and in some interesting and considered PM’s but you banned a number of us for posting evidence disproving a lot of the claims made by wind farm opponents on the island. Far from trying to find a middle ground or inform people, you have only pandered to ignorance and selfishness while ensuring people who visited your page received only skewed information. An odd thing to do for somebody who pretends to be concerned about his “occasional” home. Unlike you, I actually live near a wind farm and have had to put up with the community division you promote at every opportunity. There were a number ready to jump onto the noisy bandwagon you continue to push, only a few who were, like myself, trying to find a middle ground. Fortunately the wider community have proven to be more understanding and resilient than you seem to think King Islanders might be. Windfarms are a nonissue now because everybody can see how benign and effective they really are. You can believe what you like about me but your prattling above is laughable in its projections. It says more about you than me.

      And for the record (again), I have never argued against additional research. Trouble is, as I already stated the TCW, every time the results come out, they conflict with your prejudices and you (and TCW) simply resort to changing the goalposts yet again.

      1. Blair, your snideness knows no limits does it?

        You got kicked off for our debate page due to your efforts to turn it into a pure wind discussion. The debate page is about “Is this a good thing for King Island?” You don’t care about King Island, and your attitude to the islanders not supportive of TasWind can be seen in your pleasant sample above. King Islanders are well aware of the various sources of information, and do not need you for that. Anti-Wind campaigners were kicked off at the same time. At least they seem to take it graciously, unlike yourself.

        If the Wind industry wanted to have this put to bed then they would simply sponsor for studies to be performed by universities and which included experts proposed by BOTH sides. From what I’ve seen the examples of putting measuring devices in inappropriate places, or ensuring that the only acoustics experts are those that work for the Wind industry doesn’t give any confidence that a real effort is being made. All it looks like is stalling tactics.

      2. Well that’s amazing, getting booted from a page because I had the temerity to discuss the subject. You don’t know what I do or don’t care about, you’re projecting again. I know enough from my few contacts on King Island to know that you are not being honest with everybody there, nor do you have any credible alternatives to the wind farm.

        Why should the wind industry sponsor additional studies when existing examples demonstrate that people like yourself dismiss them out of hand? The fact is that you want studies that only support your biases against wind.

        You prove the point above with your pathetic excuse of allegedly misplaced measuring devices. Stop playing around Kim, you’re not interested in the long term future of the island, scientific evidence or honesty. It was yourself and the anti-wind group on the island playing the stalling game, doing everything you could to delay a simple vote that was only to decide on whether or not a feasibility study should go ahead.

        You didn’t want people to exercise a basic democratic right. Yeah, you’re really interested in the well-being of the island community.

  8. TCW, you appear to be confusing the situation. We have no capacity to dictate your situation. The Ceres proposal is consistent with planning law. You are berating the wrong people.
    As I have said to you before you are perfectly entitled to object to the proposal. If you are not happy with it I will be the last person to attempt to sway your views.

    Unfortunately “telling it how it is” isn’t generally recognised as a legitimate argument in rational discussion; even in high school debating. But, carry on by all means.

    You talk of the “real world” and yet you refuse to experience the real world of wind farms yourself. Your concept of reality is based on what you have read. Why will you not visit a wind farm and establish the context of what other people are talking about? That would allow you to make a rational and objective judgement based on evidence. I’m puzzled by your hesitation to do what appears to be simple. Particularly as you anticipate it will have such a fundamental impact on your life.

    You run a public Facebook page that advocates against wind energy. If you don’t want scrutiny privatise your page and don’t engage on forums such as this.

    1. Nick, how do you know what I have and have not experienced and where have I berated anyone in my above posts, that seems to coming from the other side of the fence,

      If ‘telling it how it is’ is not recognised in your world, then you live in a very strange world. How can you be treated with any credibility, when you choose to ignore what is actually happening. Of course we know from past experience, things are not exactly how they seem to be, when you are involved.

      I have told you before, I personally know people who are suffering from wind turbine noise and have bought another house 30 kilometres away, so they can get away. How many times do I have to tell you?

      We do not mind scrutiny on our FB page, it is an open page, but when people like you are in total denial of what is happening in the real world and and constantly pepper our page with their irrational arguments, we have a right to remove them.

      I only made a comment here, you did the engaging, so I am replying.

      TCW.

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