Wallies against wind turbines

Late last year, Senator John Madigan dispatched staffers to South Gippsland to stir up the community about the Bald Hills wind farm. Yes 2 Renewables responded to the visit, pointing out that claims of ‘excessive wind farm noise’ are speculative given … Continue reading Wallies against wind turbines

Reviving Wind Turbine Syndrome is just what you’d expect from a PM without a Science Minister

Published by www.theconversation.comView original post.

art-tony-abbott-620x349By Michael Vagg, Clinical Senior Lecturer at Deakin University School of Medicine & Pain Specialist at Barwon Health.

So it appears we are to be treated to another pointless examination of a manufactured controversy in the name of health science. One can only guess at the motivations for the Federal Government announcing a NHMRC-led review of the science around the purported health effects of wind farms, but you can be sure it’s not being driven by scientific curiosity.

In fact this review is probably the most futile bit of spending yet announced in the term of the Abbott administration and is exactly the sort of tomfoolery you might expect of a cabinet which has no room for science. Why? Because there is no controversy about the so-called Wind Turbine Syndrome. It doesn’t exist as a thing. It has not, as the philosophers might say, been reified.

Wind turbines have no health effects on the surrounding populations. That’s not just my personal opinion. It’s the overwhelming scientific consensus. The book is closed, the story is written, the circus has folded its tents and moved on. Continue reading “Reviving Wind Turbine Syndrome is just what you’d expect from a PM without a Science Minister”

EVENT: ‘The Way the Wind Blows’ film screening and director Q&A

Yes 2 Renewables will kick off 2014 with a bang. We invite you to join us for a screening of the wind energy documentary, The Way the Wind Blows, on  Tuesday February 4. The event will also feature Q&A with the … Continue reading EVENT: ‘The Way the Wind Blows’ film screening and director Q&A

Wind farm noise complainants and anti-wind groups: how many, how large?

By  on 13 January 2014
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On January 10 Prime Minister Tony Abbott signaled that it might be timely for the National Health and Medical Research Council to review the evidence on wind farms and health saying “it is some years since the NHMRC last looked at this issue: why not do it again?” He appears to be poorly informed. The NHMRC reviewed the evidence in 2010, and has been re-reviewing it again since 2012, with the release of a public discussion document imminent.

There have been no less than 19 reviews of the evidence on wind farms and health published since 2002. All have concluded that while sometimes a minority of people exposed report adverse health effects from living near turbines, there is no good evidence that these effects are directly attributable to the turbines. Continue reading “Wind farm noise complainants and anti-wind groups: how many, how large?”

Tale of two wind farms confirms toxic influence of anti-wind lobby

Screen Shot 2013-12-19 at 4.12.34 PMThe contrast between the Cherry Tree Range and Coonooer Bridge wind farms detailed in The Age’s  ‘Against the Wind’  feature article is telling.

It shows us that when the anti-wind campaign comes to town, there’s fear and division. And when they don’t, there’s civil deliberation of wind farm proposals and acceptance of planning decisions.

Anti-wind farm groups aren’t just dividing communities, they’re costing them money.

The Waubra Foundation and Landscape Guardians dominated the VCAT hearings on the Cherry Tree Range wind farm. While Mitchell Shire representatives stated at the outset that they did not reject the wind farm on health grounds, it was health arguments that dragged out the proceedings.

A Freedom of Information request made by Friends of the Earth discovered the VCAT hearing cost the Mitchell Shire at least $165,000. Ratepayers are the collateral damage in an ideological fight against clean and safe wind energy.

The Coalition government said their wind farm planning laws would empower local communities. All they’ve done is empower anti-wind farm campaigners.

All available public polling shows Victorians support more wind farms. The Labor opposition has vowed to “rip up” Ted Baillieu’s flawed wind farm planning laws. Will Premier Napthine commit to restore fairness to the planning scheme? Continue reading “Tale of two wind farms confirms toxic influence of anti-wind lobby”

Request Denied – Locals react to anti-wind group’s decision to keep name

Screen Shot 2013-12-18 at 2.09.52 PMThe anti-wind farm group, the ‘Waubra’ Foundation, has ignored a community request to stop using the town’s name. For the time being, the quaint town in western Victoria will continue to be tarnishing by the anti-wind farm scare campaign.

The Foundation informed the community of their decision to keep ‘Waubra’ in its title in a statement released late on Monday (16 December, 2013) afternoon.

According the the statement which makes the group sound somewhat like a religious cult, “The name Waubra Foundation is established and is revered by victims of wind projects worldwide.”  What was their rationale for ignoring the community? They say a name change would “halt their momentum”–probably a good thing given the lack of evidence supporting their claims of a wind turbine noise disease and the impact of fear mongering.

How has the Waubra community responded to the news?  Continue reading “Request Denied – Locals react to anti-wind group’s decision to keep name”

Time for politicians to back Waubra townfolk after anti-wind group ignores community petition to reclaim name

An epic view of the Waubra wind farm.

The anti-wind farm group, the Waubra Foundation, have rejected a community request to stop using the town’s name.

The petition signed by 316 residents and people with strong links to the town was delivered to the Foundation in November. The petition shows the community has made strong attempt to reclaim their name.

“Now Waubra Foundation has decided to ignore the petition, it’s time for politicians to throw their weight behind the local push to reclaim Waubra from anti-wind farm campaigners,” said Leigh Ewbank, Friends of the Earth’s renewable energy spokesperson.

“Waubra Foundation office holders live between 122-793km from Waubra. Such vast distances make a mockery of their use of the town’s name. If the Foundation won’t respect the wishes of locals, then that leaves politicians to intervene.”

“Does Premier Denis Napthine think it’s acceptable for an anti-wind farm campaign group to co-opt a town’s name for their own ideological purposes?” Continue reading “Time for politicians to back Waubra townfolk after anti-wind group ignores community petition to reclaim name”

Reflections on the Cherry Tree Range wind farm debate

Cherry Tree Range, near Trawool.

The Cherry Tree Rage wind farm approved by VCAT last week sparked a debate about wind energy technology that lasted a year. It’s OK for people to have disagreements about the aesthetics of wind farms in the bush.

For me, wind farms represent the future of our energy system, innovation, an economic lifeline for communities, and action on climate change. Unfortunately, opponents of wind farms grasp at arguments that aren’t supported by evidence in an attempt to bolster their position such as the claim that wind farms cause ill health effects. Continue reading “Reflections on the Cherry Tree Range wind farm debate”

Pollie Watch: SA politician urges another wind inquiry. But is it necessary?

By David Clarke, wind energy watcher from South Australia. 

Robert Brokenshire, MLC

Following the recent approval of the Keyneton Wind Farm in South Australia a few wind farm opponents predictably expressed their disappointment and continuing opposition.  Mr Brokenshire, a member of South Australia’s Legislative Council, expressed concern regarding the adequacy of the approvals process and suggested that the next parliament should look into it. But is another inquiry necessary?

How many parliamentary investigations into wind farms must there be before it is recognised that wind turbines are harmless, valuable as a source of employment and development, and sorely needed if we are to control our greenhouse emissions?  Continue reading “Pollie Watch: SA politician urges another wind inquiry. But is it necessary?”

Look out for that turbine! Climate sceptics are the real Chicken Littles

Published in The Conversation by Stephan Lewandowsky, a cognitive scientist and Chair of Cognitive Psychology at the University of Bristol. These views are his own. View original article.

The sky is falling! Oh wait, no: it’s just the clouds moving… Sarah Smith


Several Australian corporate figures have recently disparaged climate scientists.

First, former banker David Murray questioned the integrity of climate scientists on national TV. Casting such aspersions on scientists follows the precedent set by the tobacco industry, which referred to medical researchers as an “oligopolistic cartel” that “manufactures alleged evidence.”

Attacks on scientists proceed according to the same playbook and regardless of discipline. If there is any novelty in Murray’s slur, it is that until recently he led the Future Fund, a body that is legally tasked with delivering risk-adjusted returns on the Australian Government’s budget surpluses. The adjustment of a risk by denying or ignoring it is arguably not without precedent; see the 2007 financial crisis, for example.

More recently, mining figure Hugh Morgan confronted the issue of risk head-on and declared the world’s climate body, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, to be “Chicken Littles” whose dire predictions would soon be cast aside, in the same way that the apocalyptic warnings of the Club of Rome from 40 years ago turned out to be false. (Except that when a CSIRO scientist reviewed those 40-year old projections, he found them to be remarkably accurate.)

Much is known in cognitive science about how people judge risks. It is now commonly accepted that those judgements are inherently subjective and subject to cultural biases, such as one’s attitudes towards the free market.

Thus, whereas the medical community lives up to its reputation as Chicken Littles by claiming that tobacco has adverse health effects, other institutions that arise from a different cultural background, such as Morgan’s Institute of Public Affairs (IPA), take a more heroic approach by chastising such “corrupt science” as overly alarmist. The trade-off between free-market fundamentalism and lung cancer is a matter of cultural preferences. Continue reading “Look out for that turbine! Climate sceptics are the real Chicken Littles”