The wind energy industry has a long list of “studies” (i.e. Chapman’s 17) that they claim “proves” that wind turbines present no health issues for nearby residents. One of my strongest criticisms of all of these studies is that nowhere in them has anyone ever gone to a victim’s home and actually measured what was going on in there. There’s good reasons why they don’t. continue reading…
Wisconsin MD Herbert Coussons submitted these comments to the Wisconsin Public service Commission. His comments are a very readable 8 pages containing the results of his research, which includes real patient experiences that recent government and industry papers don’t seem able to find.
Several recent health “studies” (the Expert Panel Review and the Ontario Medical Officer’s Report) have concluded that the evidence of health problems is not solid enough to even warrant further studies. There’s now hundreds of victims out there and to claim their reports don’t even constitute evidence worthy of investigation makes one wonder whose interests the authors of these studies are serving.
In Wisconsin an epidemiologist who has studied the evidence testified before the PSC and comes to a very different conclusion. He had 4 main points.
- First, there is ample evidence that some people suffer a collection of health problems, including insomnia, anxiety, loss of concentration, general psychological distress, as a result of being exposed to turbines near their home.
- My second observation . . . is that these health effects that people are suffering are very real.
- Third, the reports that I have read that claim there is no evidence that there is a problem seem to be based on a very simplistic understanding of epidemiology and self-serving definitions of what does and what does not count as evidence.
- [Finally]…it’s quite possible to do the studies it would take to resolve the outstanding questions, and they could actually be done very quickly by studying people who are already exposed.
And in summary: The only reason we don’t have better information than we do is that no one with adequate resources has tried to get it.
It sounds like he’s been reading Wind Farm Realities. I can only wish.
Phillips mentioned he will be submitting a more complete report to the PSC and when that becomes available I’ll post it here as well. Hat tip to Better Plan, Wisconsin.
Phillips, Testimony Transcript
Update – Phillips Analysis of the evidence on health issues (NOT) prepared for Brown County, Wisconsin.
The Wirtz’s home and alpaca farm in Wisconsin was surrounded by wind turbines and eventually drove them out of their home. They were trying to stick it out but when their daughter started becoming ill they felt they had no choice but to leave, plus newborn alpacas no longer survived delivery. They declared bankruptcy and recently the home was sold at a sheriff’s auction – to the bank. The original appraisal was $320,000 and it sold for roughly $107,000. The article doesn’t say if just the bank bid or if there were outside bidders as well. It is probably a good assumption they were merely covering their mortgage as it is hard to imagine any other reason a NY bank would be out in Wisconsin buying real estate.
If the bank was merely covering their mortgage, an interesting new wrinkle now appears. If (as is likely) there were no other bidders the property is certainly worth no more than the $107,000 and perhaps a lot less. The bank is now stuck with a property that will be difficult to sell and which they will take a beating on. One wonders how soon they will write another mortgage on any property close to a wind project. We can all imagine what would happen to house prices if banks were not willing to lend money on them.
The proponents have their studies saying there are no “statistically significant” decreases in property values due to proximity to wind projects. As I’ve mentioned here before – words are cheap. But neither the government nor the proponents can force the market (at least for very long) to behave in ways contrary to its nature. The sale of the Wirtz home for roughly 1/3 of its previous value is a non-refutable indication of that market at work.
The wind developers, aided by the government, have been having a field day – able to put their projects wherever they wanted to without regard for the neighbors. At some point, though, the damage is great enough that the courts get involved. In this case, the Wirtz’s had to abandon their home, farm and business, and ended up in bankruptcy. Without much to lose, they filed suit for unspecified damages. What is more interesting is the response of the wind industry to the suit.