As the VCAT hearings on the Cherry Tree Range wind farm proposal is scheduled to resume at the end of the month (September 27), another Infigen wind farm has received the tick of approval from a planning commission.
The NSW Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) has ruled in favour of the Bodangora wind farm and dismissed health concerns brought to the attention of commissioners by anti-wind farm campaigners–including the likes of Sarah Laurie, who Crikeydescribes as a “well-known anti-wind farm campaigner.”
The PAC’s approval of the Bodangora wind farm shows that planning authorities base their decisions on credible research, not pseudoscience claiming that wind farms harm human health.
Given that there are 19 reviews by credible health bodies that show wind farms are clean and safe, the PAC’s decision to approve the wind farm is no surprise.
On August 17, Leigh Ewbank of Yes 2 Renewableswas a proud guest presenter at the BEAM-Mitchell Environment Group‘s annual general meeting. The event featured presentations on local food and biodiversity links within the shire, and was attended by three local councillors keen to find out more about the group.
ONE OF the first questions science writers get asked is: what is your favourite field to write about? I usually say behavioural zoology, but I am at heart a physicist. I retain some elements of the view that produced such arrogant statement’s as Rutherford‘s claim that:
“physics is the only true science, all else is stamp collecting”.
I do not believe this, but I do indeed believe that chemistry is, at base, a specific application of physics. Biology, in my view, is a specific application of chemistry (plus a little direct physics). One of the things that leads to it is the conclusion that the most well established laws of physics take precedence over anything some might claim about biology, particularly medicine.
This is why I regard homeopathy as evil nonsense, while I am fairly open minded about lots of other “alternative” medical theories. For homeopathy to work as anything more than placebo, most of what we think we know about chemistry and a lot of physics must be deemed wrong. There’s no other option.
For anything that obeys this law, and that is an extensive list, doubling your distance from a source reduces your exposure by a quarter. In some cases it’s more complex than that. Some things can bechanneled or obstructed – the shape of the sea floor can mean an island further away from the source of a tsunami is harder hit than one closer in – but a simple inverse square relationship is almost always the starting point.
I’d say this wasn’t rocket science, except you’ve got Buckley’s chance of understanding the behaviour of rockets without grasping the inverse square law.
The anti-wind farm campaign showed an ugly side to its character at the weekend when Randall Bell, President of the Victorian Landscape Guardians, threatened to “break” Premier Dennis Napthine’s arms if he overturns the state’s retrograde wind farm laws.
In a Herald Sun report on the prospect of Premier Napthine “easing” anti-wind farm laws imposed by his predecessor Ted Baillieu, Randell Bell issued the following warning: “If Dr Napthine reneges on that policy, I’ll break his arms.”
The violent rhetoric of Mr Bell is troubling. Threatening the Premier is just the latest nastiness to come from some in the anti-wind farm campaign.
In late 2009, a mob of hostile anti-wind farm activists took over a community information meeting on wind farms in Colac manhandled then Energy Minister Peter Batchelor. The activists jammed Minister Batchellor’s leg in a car door. Federal member for Corangamite, Darren Cheeseman, has also received threats from wind power opponents.
Back in July I wrote an article for the The Conversation arguing that wind turbine syndrome was a classic “communicated” disease: it spreads by being talked about, and is therefore a strong candidate for being defined as a psychogenic condition.
Wind farm opponents repeatedly argue that turbines cause both rapid and long-gestation health problems. At the time the article was published I’d counted 155 health problems that had been attributed to wind farms including cancer, hemorrhoids, weight loss, weight gain and death. The list now stands at 198.
On Sunday, I received an emailed letter of response from Sarah Laurie, Australia’s most prominent proponent of the view that wind turbines cause health problems in people exposed to them. She circulated the letter widely and it ended up on the anti-wind farm action website, WindWatch.
The town of Waubra has had its name hijacked by anti-wind astroturfers. Locals say they’re happy with wind-farming – and it’s not making them sick. So who are the scare campaigners? Sandi Keane reports
It’s spring in the quiet sheep-farming hamlet of Waubra, an hour’s drive northwest of Ballarat in Victoria. With the shearing done and the crops in, local farmers have turned to a bit of springtime mending. Not fences, but the town’s image. After three years saddled with the negative legacy of the “foundation” that stole their name, local farmer, Karen Molloy, says the community is fighting back with a bumper festival. Continue reading “New Matilda: Waubra Fights The Anti-Wind Bullies”
THERE are very few health symptoms these days which anti-wind power activists and suggestible and anxious residents have not at some point blamed on those spinning steel turbine blades.
According to a list compiled by Simon Chapman, the University of Sydney’s Professor of Public Health and much-awarded enemy of the tobacco industry, wind farms have been blamed for more than 180 different symptoms including weak bladders, cancers, weight gain, weight loss, herpes, kidney damage and, in one case, a woman having not one, but five menstrual periods in a single month.
Apparently, wind farms also cause chickens to be hatched with crossed beaks (and eggs being laid without yolks), cats to produce small litters, horses to get club feet and crickets to disappear.