Yes 2 Renewables’ South Australian correspondent David Clarke:
Wind farms and solar power are replacing fossil fuel burning power stations. And electric vehicles powered by renewable energy could replace fossil fuel powered vehicles.
Wind turbines have been blamed for making people sick but both the NHMRC (National Health and Medical Research Council) and the AMA (Australian Medical Association) have recently made public statements that there is no evidence to support this claim. And, let’s face it, what could possibly be coming from wind turbines to cause illness? They are, after all, basically quite simple, although sophisticated, machines.
What about the other side of the coin? If we don’t replace fossil fuels with renewables how many deaths and illnesses can we expect from ‘business as usual’ with fossil fuels? A new report from the World Health Organisation (WHO) states that “Air pollution has become the world’s single biggest environmental health risk, linked to around 7 million – or nearly one in eight deaths – in 2012”. The WHO ascribed nearly half of these deaths to ambient air pollution (the other half were down to indoor pollution, from smoking, stoves, etc). Most of the world’s ambient air pollution comes from coal burning and vehicles powered by fossil fuels.
If we build more wind farms and solar power installations we can not only help reduce this health burden, but, at the same time, reduce greenhouse gas emissions causing climate change and ocean acidification.
Politicians such as Senators John Madigan, Nick Xenophon and Chris Back talk about the (entirely unproven) claims that wind turbines cause illness. The fact that we never hear anything from them about how wind power is reducing the deaths due to reducing fossil fuel air pollution is strong evidence that they are, for some reason perhaps known only to themselves, biased against wind power.