More on the King Report

I’ve written one short posting on the King Report already and certainly the Society for Wind Vigilance has written about it also.  Those postings are still appropriate.  I’ve recently taken the time to go through the King Report in more detail, and it is even worse than I originally thought.  Since King never went into the field, a problem in itself, of necessity her references constitute all she knows of wind turbines and health.  Here I take a closer look at her study, her references and how she used them.

As the SWV mentioned, her report is pretty trivial to begin with.  King is the chief medical officer in the Ontario government, and the health issues of wind turbines have been a contentious and unresolved issue for quite some time.  She was given the charge to provide an authoritative answer.  Her “answer” is all of 14 pages long, which contains about 6 pages worth of actual content after all the white space is taken out, plus 3 pages containing 40 references.

The report is quite similar to the AWEA/CanWEA Expert Panel report, and may fairly be described as a little brother to it. There’s the same dismissal of any problems arising from annoyance, stress and sleep disturbance and the same focus on criticizing Pierpont’s hypotheses.  They both use the same references as CanWEA uses for “evidence” to debunk their “myths“.  They both do not include important but inconvenient references, like Nissenbaum and Harry.

This determination to minimize/eliminate the health effects of wind turbines leads King to make some remarkable statements.  My personal favorite is from the summary at the start of the report: “The review concludes that while people living near wind turbines report symptoms such as dizziness, headaches, and sleep disturbance, the scientific evidence available to date does not demonstrate a direct causal link between wind turbine noise and adverse health effects”.  Since when are dizziness, headaches and sleep disturbance not health effects?  And there’s no “other direct health effects” even though “some people may find it annoying”.    When health professionals use the word “annoying” they are not talking about a minor temporary bother.

Apparently she also has trouble understanding her own government’s rules.  Her reading of Ontario’s wind turbine noise “Interpretation” is just flat wrong- she keeps mentioning 40 dBA when the real number can be as high as 51.  Her understanding of what Ontario means by the phrase “community consultation” has no relationship to the one-way conversation that actually occurs.  She uses The Table (p 55) from Ontario’s setback regulations when almost no projects do.  The safety setbacks from public roads etc. are a fraction of what she thinks they are.  She consistently puts the industry’s spin on all of these, perhaps wishfully thinking they will provide safety for the neighbors, in contrast to all the evidence.

She has divided the references into 5 categories: journals, grey literature, WHO, community concerns and conference papers.  Of the 40 she uses 16 in the body of her report a total of 23 times, none of them from the community concerns section.

The most important section is journals, in which there are 11 references.  What is curious that of the 13 different authors mentioned in this section, not one was an M.D.  There is no mention of any clinical experience in any of them.  I’ve studied all of the 11 references in detail (my critique runs 13 pages – a lot longer than the King Report itself) and none of them discusses health effects, or their absence, in any substantial form.

My Critique of the King Report

In something beyond irony, out of the total of 40 references there were only 2 M.D.’s that reported on first-hand contact with patients – Pierpont and Alves-Pereira – and King spends several paragraphs discounting their work, while uncritically accepting the studies of non-M.D.’s that at best mailed out general questionnaires.

What else is there to say?  No patient visits, no doctor surveys, omitting unfavorable references, not understanding your own regulations, overstating the results of the few references you did use.  How much worse can it get?  The King report is unworthy.  As the SWV said, it “appears to be a government-convened attempt to justify unsound practices of wind turbine development while denying the adverse health effects reported by Ontario families”.

The SWV Media Release.

The SWV Full Report.

Update.  In addition the the SWV’s critique (linked above) John Harrison has also written his own response.

3 thoughts on “More on the King Report”

  1. For the Chief Medical Officer of Ontario to write something as weak as this report to justify taking no action on a major Health problem which is occurring Province wide due to the actions of a Government sanctioned Industry such as Wind is bordering on the “criminal”. Nothing less than a Public Inquiry into this taxpayer funded Agency is required immediately!

  2. Many thanks for your review of King’s report. It’s important to note that her basis of no harmful effects relies also on the idea that turbine noise will not harm one’s hearing and that she is working on the wind industry’s premise that what you can’t hear, will not harm you. Please note also that the allowable dBA level is based on a sliding scale, which goes up to 51 dBA depending on the wind speed. 40 dBA max. level is correct in that this is the max. allowable outside level to allow for restorative sleep inside. What always got to me is how the industry has pushed the idea that when there is more background noise, (i.e. wind itself is causing more noise with increased wind speed) than the turbines should be allowed to make more noise. Note that noise at these higher wind speeds, have never been real-time measured, so the industry is allowed to use a calculated level. ie. the industry is allowed to use computer models to reflect real world situation. This was very evident during the consultation meetings with Aercoustics, a CanWEA member who have been hired by MOE to establish how to measure audible noise from wind turibnes, since as we all know MOE does not have a scientific methodology to determine if noise is out of compliance. There is a lot of cognitive dissonance going on in Toronto.

  3. Had Dr. King NOT actually broken the law in authoring this report, I may have summarily
    dismissed it as simply more Liberal corruption in support of their blatant greed and obvious,
    outright thievery!

    However SHE DID break the law: (Copied from Ontario’s Health Protection Act)

    “11. (1) Where a complaint is made to a board of health or a medical officer of health that a health hazard related to occupational or environmental health exists in the health unit served by the board of health or the medical officer of health, the medical officer of health shall notify the ministry of the Government of Ontario that has primary responsibility in the matter and, in consultation with the ministry, the medical officer of health shall investigate the complaint to determine whether the health hazard exists or does not exist. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.7, s. 11 (1). (emphasis added!)
    Dr. King DID NOT DO THIS!

    As a result, I have filed a complaint with The Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons.

    “Oh the wicked web we weave when we conspire to deceive!”


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