Tom Harris talks about my fight for justice for my son, Joey, and the travesty of the Green Energy Act. Starts @ 47.00 minutes…
Tom Harris talks about my fight for justice for my son, Joey, and the travesty of the Green Energy Act. Starts @ 47.00 minutes…
All the fancy people are about to hop on jets and fly to the Paris Climate Conference so they can express how much they don’t like things like, uh, jet fuel.
And one of the things we’re going to hear is how we need to be more like Europeans when it comes to green energy.
Here’s one headline:
“Spain Got 47 Percent Of Its Electricity From Renewables In March”
“People visit the Santa Coloma cemetery, outside Barcelona, Spain, The city council has installed 462 solar panels on top of the grave niches.”
But they’re all getting rich off it! Abengoa, one of Spain’s wealthiest companies, has solar plants all around the world.
Yeah, why can’t we be more like them?
Except today, this is the number one news item in Spain: Abengoa is bankrupt.
Nine billion Euros in debt — that’s about $14 billion. 27,000 employees.
The largest bankruptcy in Spanish history.
And because Spain has amongst the highest power prices in Europe — about triple what we pay here in Canada — driven out a lot of manufacturing.
Do you know what the unemployment rate is in Spain now? 22%. And that’s the lowest it’s been in years.
So, yeah, Spain. That’s you’re role model.
Especially for Ontario’s Kathleen Wynne — and now Alberta’s Rachel Notley…
It’s too late for me to check this news from geoengineering in detail, but it looks like #NOAAgate is just the tip of the iceberg with growing discontent in various agency staff, which has got to end up in a leak somewhere by a real scientist fed up with the Climate Extremists who seem to run these agencies under Obama:
The power structure is beginning to panic as the public wakes up to the criminal climate engineering insanity. The growing police state is completely out of control and becoming unimaginably blatant with their actions. In recent weeks Washington has placed “gag orders” on the following agency employees, “The National Weather Service”, the “National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration”, and the “US Department of Commerce”. This is a massive red flag that should trigger alarm bells everywhere.
Bill Hopkins, the executive vice president for the National Weather Service employees organization (NWSEO) said this:
“As a taxpayer, I find it highly disturbing that a government agency continues to push gag orders to hide how they operate. This is the work of the American government, owned by the American public, and should be open to the American public.”
Jeff Ruch, the executive director “PEER” (Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility) said this about the “gag orders”.
“The National Weather Service is about the last place where national security-style secrecy rules need to be enforced,” Ruch noted that the broad scope of the gag orders put much of what goes on inside the agency under wraps. “Everyone is free to talk about the weather except for the people working inside the National Weather Service. Go figure.”
Some time ago I personally spoke to an NOAA scientist that said “we all know it is going on (climate engineering) but we are afraid to speak out, we have no first amendment protection”. The new “gag order” is a further muzzling of the NWS and NOAA. It is likely there are many in the National Weather Service and NOAA that have had enough of lying about what is really going on in our skies.
To call what South Australia’s Labor government has ‘gifted’ their constituents an energy ‘policy’, is to flatter it as involving some kind of genuine ‘design’. It’s an economic debacle, pure and simple.
The current mess started under former Premier, Mike Rann – a former spin-doctor, whose relatives lined up at the wind power subsidy trough from the get-go.
Under its current vapid leader, Jay Weatherill, SA’s Labor government has been talking up a wind powered future for months now; swanning off to Labor’s fantasy world, where the wind blows and the sun shines 24 x 365; and the power is, of course, totally “free” – with his claims that SA can ‘enjoy’ more than 50% of its power from the sun and the wind, with just a little (more) government “help”.
Back in ‘harsh reality land’, however, Jay’s presiding over the worst unemployment in the Nation, at 8% – and soon to rocket – worse still than perpetual basket case, Tasmania. Here’s In Daily on the latest dole queue figures.
SA jobless down but still worst in nation
15 October 2015
South Australia unemployment figures experienced a slight drop of 0.2 per cent in September, but the state still has the highest jobless rate in Australia.
Date released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics on Thursday morning show the SA jobless rate fell from 7.9 to 7.7 per cent, seasonally adjusted, the second biggest fall after Tasmania (down 0.4 per cent).
However, more South Australians are also leaving the job search.
SA had the largest decrease in the seasonally adjusted participation rate (down 0.8 percentage points), followed by Western Australia (down 0.6 percentage points) and Tasmania (down 0.5 percentage points).
Seasonally adjusted figures for September show SA had 864,200 people in jobs, with 66,400 people looking for work.
Victoria was the only state with an increase in the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate, up 0.1 per cent.
The trend rate for South Australia increased to 8 per cent.
National unemployment figures remained at 6.2 per cent (seasonally adjusted).
Employment, Higher Education and Skills Minister Gail Gago said the State Government had directed its focus on struggling South Australians.
“We recognise the difficult road ahead for many workers as we transition from the old economy to the new economy.
“Last week, we saw Alinta announce it will close its coal-fired power station by March next year.
“We are also seeing a downturn in resources jobs across the nation as a result of a global collapse in commodity prices.”
Gago said diversifying the economy while investing in new and growing industries were part of the government’s long-term structural reform.
With economics ‘maestros’ like Gail Gago focusing on ‘struggling South Australians’, they’re in for a bumpy ride on her “difficult road”; to be sure. That the road was laid by megalomaniacs like Mike Rann and ‘serviced’ by the completely ‘Clueless’ Jay Weatherill, seems to be lost on Gail Gago, much to the miserable disadvantage of those they pretend to govern.
You see, most with the slightest grip on the basics of economics pick up on the fact that producers of widgets (and the like) are driven by profits (a motive lost on Labor/Green apparatchiks), which, in turn depend upon input costs. For widget makers, butchers, bakers and the like, drive up input costs and, all things equal, their profits will fall; and their ability to invest in their business and employ people will drop off, too.
Where the item is high on the list of inputs, a jump in its cost may see that business, or even whole industries, collapse; as they end up insolvent.
As just the most glaring example, where the input is electricity, industries that use stacks of it – like manufacturers, miners and mineral processors – have been literally crushed, as power prices have skyrocketed; thanks to wind power subsidies and the additional and unnecessary costs of peaking power to back it up when it disappears every day:
South Australia’s economic debacle is, in no small part, due to its diabolical wind power policy; that’s led to South Australians paying the highest power costs in the Nation – if not (on a purchasing power parity basis) the highest in the world.
The fact that SA is an economic train wreck (see our posts here and here) is clearly lost on the likes of Gail Gago, when she talks about a “transition from the old economy to the new economy” – a place where, apparently, the rules of economics are permanently suspended, with skyrocketing power prices having no effect on investment, growth in incomes or employment. Maybe Weatherill & Co’s heralded “new economy” runs on moonbeams and fairy dust?
It’s going to need to – SA ‘relies’ on 17 wind farms and their ‘notional’ installed capacity of 1,477MW. However, its faith in the Wind Gods, pixies and the like seems to disappoint more than deliver:
We covered the dismal data from SA depicted above and more besides here:
That woeful missive drew focus on the pathetic performance of the 17 wind farms that have led to SA being known as ‘Australia’s wind farm capital’: it has the greatest number of turbines per capita of all States – and the highest proportion of its generating capacity in wind power by a country mile. But that tag is far more a curse than a blessing, as the following pieces attest.
SA renewables use may lead to blackouts
Australian Financial Review
29 October 2015
South Australia’s rising share of renewable power could cause blackouts if the Australian Energy Market Operator doesn’t intervene, the agency’s chief executive, Matt Zema, said.
SA’s rooftop solar panels could meet electricity demands during the middle of some days by 2024-25 if uptake continued at the current rate, he said, but this would lead to more volatility and less reliability, and a greater reliance on the interconnector, with the large eastern state generators to keep power flowing on some days.
The warning is relevant for the federal Labor opposition, which has called for 50 per cent of Australia’s electricity to come from renewable sources by 2030. An interconnector is a high-capacity transmission line connecting two electricity markets.
Mr Zema said prices are becoming more volatile in SA because of the withdrawal of coal power plants and the strong uptake in solar energy.
Prices have hit the National Electricity Market limit of $13,800 a megawatt hour several times in the state in recent months. That makes industrial users uneasy and has led to speculation the government may have to pay thermal-coal generators to provide standby capacity. “The signal in that market is you actually need more thermals in reserve,” Mr Zema told a Committee for Economic Development of Australia lunch in Melbourne.
He said rather than Germany, which has a large share of renewable generation and is fretting over security of supply, SA is “more like Portugal – it’s at the end of the grid”. “So if they are going to go completely renewable, they are going to rely more and more on the interconnectors for system security.”
Mr Zema said the Energy Market Operator was intervening to balance the market to avoid blackouts in SA while the interconnector is upgraded, causing outages and complaints.
Peter Dobney, the head of energy and resources at packaging company Orora, told the lunch SA “has become a basket case for large industry energy users” and the outages were costing industry millions of dollars.
But Mr Zema said the upgrade had to be completed before the summer of 2016-17 because Alinta will close its Northern and Playford B thermal power stations in 2016, dropping 15 per cent of current capacity in SA.
He said the Energy Market Operator was purchasing frequency controlled ancillary services or FCAS “to stop SA actually going black if the interconnector drops out”. “How much do you want to pay for system security in SA? Because that’s what we are buying,” Mr Zema asked. “If we don’t buy FCAS and the system trips, we lose the whole state.”
Mr Zema said Germany, Spain and Italy were dealing with a similar problem by relying on interconnectors with France, which has a large surplus of nuclear power.
Australian Financial Review
Hmmm… Not a single mention of SA’s wind farm fleet from the Fin Review. How curious? Could it just be the result of a little ‘group-think’ over at Fairfax?
True it is that the struggling Fairfax rags run with a maniacal cult-like veneration of wind power (see our post here).
But to head up an article as ‘SA renewables use may lead to blackouts’; and to avoid mention of wind power altogether (especially where wind power capacity in SA ‘outshines’ solar capacity by a whopping margin), smells like Ben Potter was deliberately directed to avert his eyes from the enormous, economy-destroying ‘elephant in the room’.
No, revealing that pesky-pachyderm was left to The Australian which, funnily enough, while covering exactly the same AEMO report, managed to draw reference to SA’s woefully wanting wind farms (or ‘wind’/’wind generation’) no less than 6 times (8, including the headline and the caption to its photo of a turbine: “The AEMO report will reignite debate about wind farms”); and referred to solar panels, just once.
SA ‘risks power shortfalls’ because of wind farm dependence
26 October 2015
South Australia could experience electricity supply shortfalls as it becomes more reliant on wind farms and imports from Victoria, a new report finds.
The report by the Australian Energy Market Operator finds the closure of Alinta’s Northern Power Station by the end of March next year could have an impact in “extreme” conditions over the next three years.
The document, to be released today, is likely to reignite debate over wind farms just as the renewables industry hopes for more support after the change of prime minister.
Malcolm Turnbull’s backing for a carbon trading scheme contributed to him being toppled as opposition leader in 2009, while Environment Minister Greg Hunt has recently suggested that criticism of wind farms was confined to “views expressed by particular individuals”.
Under Tony Abbott the Coalition scaled back the renewable energy target, directed the $10 billion Clean Energy Finance Corporation not to invest in wind farms, and axed the carbon tax.
According to the new AEMO report, the planned closure of the Northern Power station will impact the balance of demand and supply in South Australia over the next three years, increasing the state’s reliance on wind and on imports from Victoria.
“When high demand coincides with low wind generation, plant outages, or low levels of imports, South Australia may experience supply shortfalls,” the report says.
In July, Alinta said it would close its Flinders operation in South Australia’s Port Augusta, which comprises the Northern and Playford B power stations and the nearby Leigh Creek mine, by March 2018, if not as early as March 2016.
Alinta boss Jeff Dimmery attributed the decision to policies aimed at supporting renewables and falling power demand that had led to a glut of power in South Australia. Earlier this month, the company confirmed the closure would be next year.
AEMO has produced its new report on the impacts of the Northern closure because it is considered significant enough for AEMO to update its yearly guidance on the adequacy of power generation in the National Electricity Market for the next decade.
Overall, the report finds the earlier withdrawal of Northern would not impact the point at which South Australia could breach the “reliability standard”, which says that just 0.02 per cent of power can go unserved in an area in a year.
AEMO has previously forecast that South Australia could breach the standard in 2019-20 and 2024-25, with the potential uptake of solar rooftop panels alleviating the situation in the years between.
Could it be that Fairfax hacks have been engaged in a little ‘cherry-picking’, in order to keep spinning its ‘wonders-of-wind’ editorial line? Same AEMO report being covered, but an entirely different story. George Orwell generated a whole lingua franca – including terms such as “newspeak”; “doublespeak”; and “doublethink”- to capture what Fairfax considers should pass for ‘journalism’, these days (see our post here).
When the AEMO report talks about times when: “high demand coincides with low wind generation, plant outages, or low levels of imports, South Australia may experience supply shortfalls” it’s referring to data like this from June this year (the graph above is from May), showing the chaos that is wind power generation in South Australia:
In the AFR piece it talks about occasions when: “Prices have hit the National Electricity Market limit of $13,800 a megawatt hour several times in the state in recent months”.
But, for some strange reason, the AFR fails (or refuses) to join the dots: those occasions – when the spot price paid to generators goes from around $70 per MWh to the market cap of $13,800 per MWh perfectly coincide with sudden (and often, complete) wind power output collapses, as detailed here:
The cost of SA’s insane wind power policy is borne, of course, by its beleaguered (remaining) businesses; and struggling households (think old-age pensioners and the thousands of unemployed).
This is a State where some 50,000 homes have been disconnected from the grid – families simply no longer able to pay their power bills; who’ve been reduced to lighting their homes with candles, and, unable to power a fridge, using Eskies (coolers) to keep their perishables – cooking on wood stoves and trying to keep warm using barbeques.
With the fall-out from its wind power fiasco unfolding fast, hundreds of businesses will hit the wall; and thousands more households will soon get to join the tens-of-thousands, already sitting freezing (or boiling) in the dark.
SA power prices to surge by $150 a year, report warns
22 October 2015
POWER prices will surge up to $150 a year for hundreds of thousands of householders under controversial changes to electricity charges, an investigative report warns.
The SA Council of Social Services report also says small businesses face a 50 per cent rise in power costs and that this could force some to close.
The findings are based on a SACOSS investigation into the impact of rule changes by the Australian Electricity Market Commission.
The change is designed to shift the demand for power away from peak periods to take pressure off the network.
In response to the new rules, SA Power Networks has proposed introducing a monthly network charge calculated on a customer’s highest half-hour of energy use between 4pm and 9pm on any given day.
This will provide a “pricing signal” to customers to ration the use of appliances, SAPN spokesman Paul Roberts said.
“That means not turning on all major appliances at once during peak periods such as tea time on a hot day, instead delaying using the dishwasher or washing machine until later,” he said.
But SACOSS executive director Ross Womersley said the changes, beginning as early as 2017, would see half of all householders worse off.
“It would be madness for this to proceed and any changes should be deferred for at least a few years,” he said.
“And this new system should be introduced only on a voluntary basis, which would allow people to opt in only if they believe they will be better off.
“This is because people on low income and many other householders would be worse off.”
According to the SACOSS report, which will be submitted to SAPN as part of the network company’s consultation process:
APPROXIMATELY 50 per cent of householders would be worse off
THE biggest bill increases could reach $150 a year
THE biggest savings could be just $10 a year
HALF of small businesses would be worse off
ALMOST one-in-five small business would face a 50 per cent increase in energy costs
The report also said there was “limited (public) support” for the changes to the billing system.
SACOSS research revealed consumers were concerned about big variation in bills amounts, making it more difficult to budget for electricity costs.
The report said this would have a serious impact on low-income households over summer.
Mr Roberts said SAPN invited “consultation” on its proposed billing changes earlier this month because “we know people care about electricity prices”.
“We’re not only consulting on the detail of the changes, but also an appropriate transition that protects the interests of customers and gives them time to adjust to the changes.
Over bitter opposition from Labor and the Greens, and following almost 6 months of solid graft, 8 hearings in 4 States and the ACT, dozens of witnesses and almost 500 submissions, the Senate Inquiry into the great wind power fraud delivered its ‘doorstop’ final report, which runs to some 350 pages – available here: Senate Report
The first 200 pages are filled with facts, clarity, common sense and compassion; the balance, labelled “Labor’s dissenting report”, was written by the wind industry’s parasites and spruikers – including the Clean Energy Council (these days a front for Infigen aka Babcock & Brown); theAustralian Wind Alliance; and Leigh Ewbank from the Enemies of the Earth.
One of the hard-working Senators on the Inquiry was Chris Back – a Liberal from WA – the ‘Liberals’ are meant to be Australia’s free-market Conservatives. True to his colours, Chris is still in there fighting for a ‘fair go’ for rural communities and Australian power consumers, everywhere.
But it’s not just the lunatic left that Chris is up against. He faces dogged efforts to kill off the Senate’s recommendations by Patrick Gibbons – the wind industry’s ‘Mr Fix It’; who ‘controls’ traffic in order to protect his wind industry mates, from within the (notionally) ‘Liberal’ Environment Minister, young Gregory Hunt’s office.
Notwithstanding rats in his own ranks, Chris Back is determined to see the benefits of 6 months of hard work get delivered. Here’s a taste of what Chris is all about.
Senate Select Committee on Wind Turbines
In November 2014, I sponsored the motion in the Senate to establish the Senate Select Committee on Wind Turbines. The Committee concluded its Inquiry and reported to the Senate on 3 August 2015, making a number of important recommendations. The government has committed to responding actively and in good faith to the findings.
The Committee has recommended that:
The government sets up an Independent Expert Scientific Committee on Industrial Sound (IESC). This is in response to the large number of reports of ill-health from witnesses living near turbines.
A pilot acoustic study of the low frequency sound and infrasound produced by large industrial turbines has indicated that there is a link between sound and sensations damaging to human health. This recommendation has been accepted by the Minister for the Environment, Greg Hunt. I have made recommendations to the Minister regarding membership of the Committee.
The IESC develop a single national acoustic standard for the operation of wind turbines and reports to the relevant Health, Environment and Planning Ministers.
The IESC forms National Wind Farm Guidelines.
The government establish a National Wind Farm Ombudsman in response to community complaints. Minister Hunt has recently begun the process of establishing a Wind Farm Commissioner. I have recommended Terms of Reference to the Minister.
Eligibility to receive Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) will be made subject to compliance with the national acoustic standard and the wind farm guidelines.
The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) conduct a performance audit of the Clean Energy Regulator’s (CER) compliance with its role under the legislation.
The Government directs the Productivity Commission to conduct research into the impact of electricity generated by wind turbines on retail electricity prices.
All State Governments consider shifting responsibility for monitoring wind farms away from local councils to the State Environmental Protection Authority and failing that, a national regulatory body be established.
That all new wind farms will be eligible to receive RECs for a period of no more than five years (under current legislation they would be receiving subsidy until 2030).
These recommendations are required because:
In the absence of a known safe distance between wind turbines and occupied residences, the government must adopt a precautionary approach to protect people. The best precautionary approach is a moratorium on new wind farms.
In an industry that has operated with little regulation to date, strict regulation of noise compliance is necessary to protect people living in proximity to wind turbines.
Wind turbines are not reducing emissions in the electricity sector by the same amount that the industry is claiming and being subsidised.
The federally issued subsidy to wind farms (RECs) are paid for in the retail price of electricity which is paid by families, schools and hospitals. The retail price is set by power purchase agreements (PPAs) and amounts to billions every year. The subsidy issued to wind farms amounts to half a million dollars per turbine per year.
The new Renewable Energy Target (RET) of 33,000 GWh will require upwards of 2,500 new wind turbines to be built in rural areas across Australia.
Rural communities are caught unaware when they are canvassed to sign ‘Landholder Agreements’ and ‘Neighbour Benefit Schemes’ which sign away their personal and property rights.
Labor is vehemently in denial of the current issues, taking a completely unaffordable 50% RET to the next election. Furthermore, in their dissenting report, Labor refused to accept the evidence pointing to adverse health effects of industrial wind turbines.
The Greens refused to participate in the Inquiry at all.
I appreciate the support and interest by many State Councillors, especially Robyn Nolan, on this long term challenge.
Dr Chris Back
Liberal Senator for Western Australia
Click on to read…
September 5, 2015 2:37 pm
Executives of a Pennsylvania green energy company singled out for praise by Bill Clinton were arrested on fraud charges on Thursday in connection with an alleged Ponzi scheme.
The individuals are facing charges of wire fraud, securities fraud, and conspiracy over their roles in running a green energy company that authorities say was an elaborate $54 million Ponzi scheme, the Associated Press reported.
Prosecutors said the trio lied to investors that their “biochar” technology and “carbon-negative” housing in Tennessee made millions, but they had almost no earnings and used the money to repay earlier investors and for themselves.
The scam allegedly ran from 2005 until 2009, even after the Securities and Exchange Commission filed a civil lawsuit against Wragg and Knorr’s Mantria Corp. They were ordered in 2012 to pay $37 million each. […]
Two months before the SEC civil lawsuit, the company was publicly recognized for its stated commitment to “help mitigate global warming” by former President Bill Clinton’s Clinton Global Initiative. The company was cited for its plans to develop the biochar technology that it said would sequester carbon dioxide and reduce emissions in developing countries. Wragg appeared on stage with Clinton at the event in September 2009.
Praise for Mantria remains on the website of the Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation:
Mantria Corporation commits to help mitigate global warming through the use of its Carbon Fields site, where Mantria will perform trials on their product BioChar, a carbon-negative charcoal, to prove how this product can sequester carbon dioxide, improve soil quality when buried, and reduce emissions in developing countries.
Australia is blessed with a former tobacco advertising guru who is paid a packet by wind power outfits – like near-bankrupt Infigen – to pedal a story that the adverse health impacts caused by incessant turbine generated low-frequency noise and infrasound (such as sleep deprivation) are the product of “scare-mongering” – which, on his story, affects only English-speaking “climate deniers”; and that never, ever affects those farmers paid to host turbines.
This grab bag of nonsense is pitched up under the tagline “nocebo”. Now, that doesn’t sound altogether scientific, but nor does the term “anti-wind farm wing-nut”, used by the guru as part of his efforts to diagnose (without clinical consultation, mind you) those said to be suffering from “nocebo”. We think he uses a magic stethoscope mounted in an orbiting satellite to reach his long-distance, infallible medical diagnoses.
Mean, nasty and narcissistic, the guru – and his nonsense ‘nocebo’ story – were repeatedly excoriated by highly qualified experts who appeared before the Senate Inquiry into the great wind power fraud:
And, after the guru’s hand trembling appearance before the Committee, the Senate’s final report demolished what little remaining credibility he had with its findings (starting at page 18 of the Report) that:
Professor Chapman and his critics
2.1 Professor Simon Chapman AO, Professor of Public Health at the University of Sydney, has been an outspoken critic of those who suffer ill-effects from wind turbines. In both his written and oral submissions, Professor Chapman cited many of his own publications in support for his view that:
…the phenomenon of people claiming to be adversely affected by exposure to wind turbines is best understood as a communicated disease that exhibits many signs of the classic psychosocial and nocebo phenomenon where negative expectations can translate into symptoms of tension and anxiety.
2.2 Several highly qualified and very experienced professionals have challenged this argument. Dr Malcolm Swinbanks, an acoustical engineer based in the United Kingdom, reasoned:
The argument that adverse health reactions are the result of nocebo effects, ie a directly anticipated adverse reaction, completely fails to consider the many cases where communities have initially welcomed the introduction of wind turbines, believing them to represent a clean, benign form of low-cost energy generation. It is only after the wind-turbines are commissioned, that residents start to experience directly the adverse nature of the health problems that they can induce.
2.3 The committee highlights the fact that Professor Chapman is not a qualified, registered nor experienced medical practitioner, psychiatrist, psychologist, acoustician, audiologist, physicist or engineer. Accordingly:
2.4 Professor Chapman has made several claims which are contrary to the evidence gathered by this committee. First, he argues that the majority of Australia’s wind turbines have never received a single complaint. There are various problems with this statement:
(i) wind turbines located significant distances from residents will not generate complaints;
(ii) many residents suffering adverse health effects were not aware of any nexus between their health and the impact of wind turbines in order to make a complaint;
(iii) just because residents do not lodge a formal complaint does not mean they are not suffering adverse health effects;
(iv) data obtained by Professor Chapman from wind farm operators of the numbers of complaints lodged cannot be relied upon; and
(v) the use of non-disclosure clauses and ‘good neighbour agreements’ legally restricts people from making adverse public statements or complaints.
2.5 Second, Professor Chapman has argued that complaints of adverse health effects from wind turbines tend to be limited to Anglophone nations. However, the committee has received written and oral evidence from several sources directly contradicting this view. The German Medical Assembly recently submitted a motion to the executive board of the German Medical Association calling for the German government to provide the necessary funding to research adverse health effects. This would not have happened in the absence of community concern. Moreover, Dr Bruce Rapley has argued that in terms of the limited number—and concentrated nature—of wind farm complaints:
It is the reporting which is largely at fault. The fact is that people are affected by this, and the numbers are in the thousands. I only have to look at the emails that cross my desk from all over the world. I get bombarded from the UK, Ireland, France, Canada, the United States, Australia, Germany. There are tonnes of these things out there but, because the system does not understand the problem, nor does it have a strategy, many of those complaints go unlisted.
2.6 Third, Professor Chapman has queried that if turbines are said to have acute, immediate effects on some people, why were there no such reports until recent years given that wind turbines have operated in different parts of the world for over 25 years. Several submissions to the committee have stated that adverse health effects from wind turbines do not necessarily have an acute immediate effect and can take time to manifest.
2.7 Fourth, Professor Chapman contests that people report symptoms from even micro-turbines. The committee heard evidence that once people are sensitised to low frequency infrasound, they can be affected by a range of noise sources, including large fans used in underground coal mines, coal fired power stations, gas fired power stations and even small wind turbines. As acoustician Dr Bob Thorne told the committee:
Low-frequency noise from large fans is a well-known and well-published issue, and wind turbines are simply large fans on top of a big pole; no more, no less. They have the same sort of physical characteristics; it is just that they have some fairly unique characteristics as well. But annoyance from low-frequency sound especially is very well known.
2.8 Fifth, Professor Chapman contends that there are apparently only two known examples anywhere in the world of wind turbine hosts complaining about the turbines on their land. However, there have been several Australian wind turbine hosts who have made submissions to this inquiry complaining of adverse health effects. Paragraphs 2.11–2.12 (above) noted the example of Mr Clive Gare and his wife from Jamestown. Submitters have also directed attention to the international experience. In Texas in 2014, twenty-three hosts sued two wind farm companies despite the fact that they stood to gain more than $50 million between them in revenue. The committee also makes the point that contractual non-disclosure clauses and ‘good neighbour’ agreements have significantly limited hosts from speaking out. This was a prominent theme of many submissions.
2.9 Sixth, Professor Chapman claims that there has been no case series or even single case studies of so-called wind turbine syndrome published in any reputable medical journal. But Professor Chapman does not define ‘reputable medical journal’ nor does he explain why the category of journals is limited to medical (as distinct, for example, from scientific or acoustic). The committee cannot therefore challenge this assertion. However, the committee does note that a decision to publish—or not to publish—an article in a journal is ultimately a business decision of the publisher: it does not necessarily reflect the quality of the article being submitted, nor an acknowledgment of the existence or otherwise of prevailing circumstances. The committee also notes that there exist considerable published and publicly available reports into adverse health effects from wind turbines.
2.10 The committee also notes that a peer reviewed case series crossover study involving 38 people was published in the form of a book by American paediatrician Dr Nina Pierpont, PhD, MD. Dr Pierpont’s Report for Clinicians and the raw case data was submitted by her to a previous Australian Senate inquiry (2011) to which Dr Pierpont also provided oral testimony. Further, at a workshop conducted by the NHMRC in June 2011, acoustical consultant Dr Geoffrey Leventhall stated that the symptoms of ‘wind turbine syndrome’ (as identified by Dr Pierpont), and what he and other acousticians refer to as ‘noise annoyance’, were the same. Dr Leventhall has also acknowledged Dr Pierpont’s peer reviewed work in identifying susceptibility or risk factors for developing wind turbine syndrome/’noise annoyance’. Whilst Dr Leventhall is critical of some aspects of Dr Pierpont’s research, he does state:
Pierpont has made one genuine contribution to the science of environmental noise, by showing that a proportion of those affected have underlying medical conditions, which act to increase their susceptibility.
2.11 Seventh, Professor Chapman claims that no medical practitioner has come forward with a submission to any committee in Australia about having diagnosed disease caused by a wind farm. Again, Professor Chapman fails to define ‘disease’. Nonetheless, both this committee, and inquiries undertaken by two Senate Standing Committees, have received oral and written evidence from medical practitioners contrary to Professor Chapman’s claim.
2.12 Eighth, Professor Chapman claims that there is not a single example of an accredited acoustics, medical or environmental association which has given any credence to direct harmful effects of wind turbines. The committee notes that the semantic distinction between ‘direct’ and ‘indirect’ effects is not helpful. Dr Leventhall and the NHMRC describe stress, anxiety and sleep deprivation as ‘indirect’ effects, but these ailments nonetheless affect residents’ health.
2.13 Finally, Professor Chapman queries why there has never been a complainant that has succeeded in a common-law suit for negligence against a wind farm operator. This statement is simply incorrect. The committee is aware of court judgements against wind farm operators, operators making out of court settlements or withdrawing from proceedings, injunctions or shutdown orders being granted against operators, and properties adjacent to wind turbines being purchased by operators to avoid future conflict. The committee also reiterates its earlier point that contractual non-disclosure clauses have discouraged legal action by victims.
Select Committee on Wind Turbines
Not only did the Australian Senate find that the guru and the truth are involved in a somewhat ‘troubled’ relationship, STT Champion Dr Sarah Laurie called him out for falsely and maliciously claiming that she had been ‘struck-off’ by the Medical Board of Australia; in a clear breach ofthe Ninth Commandment.
Sarah has been the voice for rural communities set upon by the wind industry. For over 5 years, she has been advocating for an Australian ‘fair go’ for people trying to get a decent night’s sleep in their own homes; and, to that end, has relentlessly sought to get relevant, meaningful and enforceable noise standards drawn up to cover all industrial noise sources, including wind turbines:
Fortitude, resilience, stoicism, fearlessness, and an overall desire to let right be done: terms that only begin to capture the essence of a remarkable women.
Set upon by the attack dogs that help run media and political interference for the wind industry, Sarah has been subjected to more than her fair share of utterly unwarranted, vilification and abuse. And the lion’s share of that has been generated, or orchestrated, by the guru.
The guru, along with fellow wind power propagandists, Vesta’s, Ken McAlpine, Infigen’s Ketan Joshi and the Sydney Morning Herald’s Peter Hannam sent Tweets to their band of intellectually challenged followers, asserting that Dr Laurie had been “deregistered”; implying that she had engaged in professional misconduct, causing the Medical Board to chop her registration.
For no apparent reason – save malice – Joshi and Hannam sent the malicious Tweet (first sent by McAlpine) around once more during the guru’s appearance before the Senate Inquiry. In a “we’re not going to take it any more” move, in response, Sarah Laurie sent in her legal attack dogs, who forced the guru to eat a very generous serving of humble pie. Here’s The Australian’s Graham Lloyd detailing how far the guru has fallen.
Wind farm advocate Simon Chapman sorry for false allegations
19 August 2015
Public health professor and wind farm advocate Simon Chapman has published a long apology to industrial noise campaigner Sarah Laurie for falsely claiming she had been deregistered as a doctor.
The apology exposes a long-running campaign to discredit Dr Laurie, who has spoken out for residents affected by noise from wind turbines and other industrial sources through the Waubra Foundation.
Dr Laurie welcomed the apology but said Professor Chapman’s personal attacks on her professional integrity were “just one example of a broader strategy employed by the wind industry to denigrate, marginalise and, therefore, exclude from public and political discourse anyone sincerely investigating a worldwide public health issue’’.
Lawyers for Dr Laurie have threatened action against wind industry employees Ken McAlpine, formerly from Vestas, Ketan Joshi from Infigen and Fairfax Media over a tweet first posted by Mr McAlpine in March last year.
Professor Chapman, who is not a medical practitioner, repeated the tweet, which said “NOT DROWNING, RANTING: Deregistered “Dr” Sarah Laurie doesn’t like the medicine dished up by @ama_media Waubrafoundation.org.au/resources/open”.
In his apology, Professor Chapman said the tweet implied that Ms Laurie had given cause to the Medical Board of Australia to deregister her on account of unprofessional conduct, that she was not entitled to use the title “Dr”, and that she did so in contravention of the laws that govern the conduct of medical practitioners.
“These allegations were implied without foundation and are entirely false,” Professor Chapman said.
“Ms Laurie is not deregistered and has never been sanctioned by the Medical Board of Australia.’’
Dr Laurie told a Senate committee into wind turbines and health this year that she graduated from Flinders University with a bachelor of medicine and a bachelor of surgery in 1995 and attained a fellowship of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners in 1998.
Dr Laurie had been a councillor on the South Australian Medical Association branch but that was prematurely cut short when she was diagnosed with an illness.
Dr Laurie said she was still legally entitled to use the honorific Dr but voluntarily offered not to use it for her work with the Waubra Foundation to prevent members of the public from thinking she was currently registered.
Dr Laurie told a Senate committee she had been “very reluctant to accept that there could be anything wrong (with wind turbines)”.
“I used to take my children to go and watch wind turbines being built locally near our home,” she said. “I had no idea about any adverse health impacts from wind turbines.
“But, when you listen to the stories of people affected by noise when they are trying to sleep in their beds at night, it does not matter what the source of the noise is if they cannot sleep and they are having these other very distressing symptoms and deteriorating health.”
Professor Chapman has been widely criticised for his outspoken advocacy for the wind industry and research, which found complaints about wind turbines were due to a “nocebo” effect.
Senator John Madigan told parliament in June last year that Professor Chapman “obtained his PhD from the Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, a self-proclaimed expert in marketing and public manipulation via media sources”.
“He is a person who is not lawfully permitted to conduct any form of medical research or study in relation to human health,” Senator Madigan said.
He said Professor Chapman’s undergraduate qualifications were in sociology and his PhD looked into the relationship between cigarette smoke and advertising.
Professor Chapman told the recent Senate inquiry he had “a PhD in medicine and I am a fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia”.
He was awarded an Order of Australia for distinguished service to medical research, particularly in the area of public health policy.
Asked about the offending tweet by the Senate committee, he said: “I would regret having retweeted that one, because obviously ‘deregistered’ is incorrect.”
He did not respond to The Australian yesterday.
Ouch!! How much the very first dose of public humility must have hurt?
And never ones to miss an opportunity to belt a blow-hard when he’s down, here’s the Correction and Apology in full:
CORRECTION & APOLOGY FROM PROFESSOR SIMON CHAPMAN TO SARAH LAURIE
I am a Professor of Public Health at the University of Sydney.
On 20 March 2014, I retweeted the following tweet concerning Sarah Laurie:
NOT DROWNING, RANTING: Deregistered “Dr” Sarah Laurie doesn’t like the medicine dished up by @ama_media Waubrafoundation.org.au/resources/open”
My tweet implied that Ms Laurie had given cause to the Medical Board of Australia to deregister her as a medical practitioner, on account of unprofessional conduct: that she is not entitled to use the title “Dr”; and that she does so in contravention of the laws that govern the conduct of medical practitioners.
These allegations were implied without foundation and are entirely false.
Ms Laurie is not deregistered and has never been sanctioned by the Medical Board of Australia. Sarah Laurie allowed her registration as a medical practitioner to lapse for personal reasons; and accordingly, does not currently practice.
I sincerely apologise to Sarah Laurie for the harm, embarrassment and distress caused by my allegations, which I unreservedly retract.
Professor Simon Chapman
University of Sydney
And rightly so! Australians that dig in and fight for a ‘fair go’ for all, shouldn’t have to take that kind of malicious and unwarranted abuse from anyone, let alone former tobacco advertising gurus, parading as medical experts.
The wind industry in Australia – as elsewhere – is in its death throes.
STT has likened it to the great corporate Ponzi schemes, pointing out, just once or twice, that the wind industry is little more than the most recent and elaborate effort to fleece gullible investors, in a list that dates back to “corporate investment classics”, like the South-Sea Bubble and Dutch tulip mania.
In the wind industry, the scam is all about pitching bogus projected returns (based on overblown wind “forecasts”) (see our posts here andhere and here and here); claiming that wind turbines will run for 25 years, without the need for so much as an oil change (see our posts hereand here and here); and telling investors that massive government mandated subsidy schemes will outlast religion (see our posts here andhere and here).
In Australia, one of the wind industry’s BIG players – Pacific Hydro – managed to rack up an annual loss of $700 million, last year; in circumstances where the subsidy scheme – on which its profits depend – hadn’t changed at all (see our post here).
Savers asked to wait three months for interest due on windfarm bonds that promised 7.5% annual return
29 July 2015
Wind Prospect Group plans to delay interest payments to its mini-bond holders for three months, blaming a ‘sustained attack by the Conservative Government’ on onshore wind projects following the election.
Savers who lent money to the renewable energy company in 2011 via its four-year mini-bonds were promised 7.5 per cent annual interest, to be paid out in January and July every year, in return for a minimum investment of £500.
But bondholders wanting their capital returned this month are also set to wait an extra three months for the cash, as the company restructures its business in response to the Tories’ planned overhaul of green subsidies.
Unlike retail bonds, which are tradeable on the London Stock Exchange’s Orb markets, mini-bonds must be held to maturity meaning there is no exit route for investors who want to get out.
Savers are routinely warned to tread with care when buying any company bonds, because if you lend money to firms this way the money you make back depends on their financial strength – and ultimately on them staying in business.
Unlike with a savings account, you are not protected by the UK’s Financial Services Compensation Scheme, which guards against losses of up to £85,000 at present and up to £75,000 from next January.
The varying interest rates on retail bonds and mini-bonds reflect the amount of risk attached to them – generally speaking, the higher the rate on offer, the higher the risk.
There are fears that people who do not invest into a number of bonds may be putting too many eggs in one basket, as their investment is dependent solely on one company’s solvency.
But mini-bonds and retail bonds have proved hugely popular in recent years as the annual returns on offer attract savers struggling to generate a decent income from their nest eggs in an era of low interest rates.
These bonds are routinely oversubscribed, with offer periods often ending early because the fundraising target has been easily met or beaten.
Wind Prospect said that like most renewable energy companies in the UK, it had ‘reviewed its options’ following the election and the Tory ‘attack’ on onshore wind.
It further explained its actions in a statement that said: ‘In order to minimise the impact of government announcements for its ReBond holders, the business is proposing to separate its services business and development assets.
‘The existing UK and overseas development assets will then be ring fenced so that the proceeds from these are directly and contractually available to pay interest and repay capital going forward.
‘To achieve this, Wind Prospect has asked its bondholders to agree to a three-month moratorium on payments of interest and capital while the details are confirmed and a productive consultation can take place.’
Wind Prospect reportedly also delayed its January 2014 interest payment for a few days, but the company was unavailable to confirm this.
The spokeswoman who released its statement said: ‘We do not have any further comment to make at this time.’
People who invested in Wind Prospect’s four-year bonds in 2011 had to give notice last January if they wanted their capital returned to them this month, instead of just being given it back automatically.
Wind Prospect boss Euan Cameron said: ‘We are confident that the plan we deliver will be in the best interests of our bondholders and that these assets, many of which are projects outside the UK, have sufficient value to enable us to meet our commitments to bondholders in full.
‘This measure will significantly increase bond security as well as improve the strength of our service business and the services we provide to our clients. It will also ensure that our services business is robust and clearly defined as we embark on diversifying into new technologies and markets.
‘It is business as usual for the Wind Prospect team and we look forward to fruitful discussions with our bondholders over the next three months to reach the most positive outcome for all parties.’
Following almost 6 months of solid graft, 8 hearings in 4 States and the ACT, dozens of witnesses and almost 500 submissions, the Senate Inquiry into the great wind power fraud delivered its ‘doorstop’ final report, which runs to some 350 pages – available here: Senate Report
The first 200 pages are filled with facts, clarity, common sense and compassion; the balance, labelled “Labor’s dissenting report”, was written by the wind industry’s parasites and spruikers – including the Clean Energy Council (these days a front for Infigen aka Babcock & Brown); theAustralian Wind Alliance; and Leigh Ewbank from the Enemies of the Earth.
Predictably, Labor’s dissenting report is filled with fantasy, fallacy and fiction – pumping up the ‘wonders’ of wind; completely ignoring the cost of the single greatest subsidy rort in the history of the Commonwealth; and treating the wind industry’s hundreds of unnecessary victims – of incessant turbine generated low-frequency noise and infrasound – with the kind of malice, usually reserved for sworn and bitter foreign enemies.
To get to the truth, the Inquiry had to wade through a fairly pungent cesspit of ‘material’ dropped on it by the wind industry, its parasites and spruikers. No doubt to their great relief (or, in the case of wind industry stooge, Anne Urquhart, infuriation) the Senators heard from a raft of genuine and highly qualified people, who are clearly dedicated to protecting their fellow human beings – rather than ridiculing, denigrating or deriding them as “anti-wind farm wing-nuts” or “Dick Brains”.
One voice of common sense and compassion – to the contrary of the nasty nonsense pitched up by the shills that run interference for their wind industry clients – came from Lilli-Anne Green – an active environmentalist and CEO of a healthcare consultancy that covers the USA. Lilli-Anne was – with her late husband – the creator of ‘Pandora’s Pinwheels: the Reality of Living with Wind Turbines‘ – the first and best account of the hell-on-earth these things create for those who have to suffer incessant low-frequency noise and infrasound on a daily basis. If you haven’t seen it, here it is:
Backing up the insights in that hard-hitting documentary, here’s what Lilli-Anne told the Australian Senate.
Senate Select Committee on Wind Turbines – 29 June 2015
GREEN, Ms Lilli-Anne, Private capacity
Committee met at 08:35
Evidence was taken via teleconference—
CHAIR ( Senator Madigan ): Welcome. I declare open this final public hearing of the Senate Select Committee on Wind Turbines. We acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which we meet and pay our respect to elders past and present. This is a public hearing and a Hansard transcript of the proceedings is being made. The audio of this public hearing is also being broadcast via the internet. Before the committee starts taking evidence, I remind all present here today that in giving evidence to the committee witnesses are protected by parliamentary privilege. It is unlawful for anyone to threaten or disadvantage a witness on account of evidence given to the committee and such action may be treated by the Senate as a contempt. It is also a contempt to give false or misleading evidence to the committee.
The committee prefers all evidence to be given in public, but under the Senate’s resolutions witnesses have the right to request to be heard in private session. It is important that witnesses give the committee notice if they intend to ask to give evidence in camera. If you are a witness here today and you intend to request to give evidence in camera, please bring this to the attention of the secretariat staff as soon as possible.
Do you have any comments to make on the capacity in which you appear?
Ms Green: I am CEO of a healthcare consulting firm with a national reach in the United States. My company works in all sectors of the healthcare industry. One of the core competencies of the firm is to develop educational programs to help doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers to better communicate with their patients around the various disease states. Currently, as a volunteer in my town, I am secretary of our energy committee and a delegate to the Cape Cod National Seashore Advisory Commission as an alternate. Cape Cod National Seashore is part of the United States National Park Service. In the late 1970s, I built a passive solar superinsulated home. I directed an environmental education school for several years. I work seasonally as a naturalist interpretive ranger for the National Park Service. I have been interested and active in the environmental movement since the early seventies. Today, I speak as a private citizen.
CHAIR: Thank you. Could you please confirm that information on parliamentary privilege and the protection of witnesses and evidence has been provided to you?
Ms Green: It has.
CHAIR: Thank you. The committee has your submission and we now invite you to make a brief opening statement and at the conclusion of your remarks, I will invite members of the committee to put questions to you.
Ms Green: Thank you. Until the beginning of 2010, I believed wind turbines were good and green. My town was interested in constructing wind turbines and a friend visited my office in early March 2010 to provide my husband and business partner and me with new information. Following the visit, I spent the next 10 hours researching wind turbines. That very day, after concluding my research, I was saddened but I became convinced there was credible evidence that wind turbines cause adverse health impacts for some people who live nearby. In the past, over five years, I have learned it is a global phenomenon that wind turbines make some people who live nearby sick and it is a dose response so these people become more ill over time.
My husband, who is now deceased, and I travelled to Australia and New Zealand in 2010-11 and subsequently created a film called Pandora’s Pinwheels: The Reality of Living with Wind Turbines. We then travelled around the world in 2012 and conducted interviews in 15 different countries. Most of the people we interviewed expressed that they were in favour of wind energy prior to wind turbine construction nearby. There are some common symptoms people the world over report who live and work too close to wind turbines. A good summary is found in the book Wind Turbine Syndrome: A Report on a Natural Experiment by Nina Pierpont, MD, PhD.
It does not matter whether people live in English-speaking countries or in countries where people do not speak English. People reported to us they are made sick when they live too close to wind turbines, no matter what country they live in. We interviewed people in both English-speaking countries and non-English-speaking countries alike who reported to us they were not ill prior to wind turbine construction nearby and after the wind turbines were operational nearby they were made sick.
We interviewed people in five countries — France, Germany, Holland, Denmark and Sweden — who either needed an interpreter to speak with us or who spoke broken English. Some locations were quite rural with little or no internet connection. Still, the people we interviewed through interpreters expressed the same symptoms, others the world over described to us. These people with no or limited internet connection even used similar phrases, analogies and gestures, as others did globally to describe their symptoms. What we actually found is most people are reluctant to speak about their health problems.
In the United States, there are privacy laws regarding medical information. Culturally, people do not openly discuss their health problems with strangers. We found this to be the case in the countries we visited around the world. It was a brave person who opened up to us about their health problems. Usually, the people we interviewed expressed they wanted to help others. If anything, people tended to minimise their symptoms of try to attribute the symptoms to other circumstances. Even when they acknowledged a common symptom such as sleep deprivation, many people who experienced additional common symptoms were reluctant to attribute these other symptoms to the wind turbines nearby. Furthermore, people the world over reported that they and their healthcare providers puzzled over health problems that appeared after wind turbines were constructed near their homes.
Many endured a huge battery of medical tasks to try to determine what the cause of their health problems were. The medical tasks, at a huge cost to the healthcare system, only ruled out various diseases. Typically, the cause of their sickness was not diagnosed by their healthcare professional. Frequently, we heard that the patients would be in a social situation with others in their neighbourhood and eventually people they knew well confided they had similar health problems that recently appeared, or after research online about a different topic these people reported stumbling upon the cause of their health problems, which were the wind turbines constructed nearby.
We even interviewed people who lived for 11 years near wind turbines in a non-English speaking country — and that was in 2012. Several people came to an interview to talk about their property devaluation. It was only during the interviews when they heard others speak about health problems that the people realised they had been suffering because they lived too close to wind turbines. One man in his 80s sobbed during his interview. He had been visiting his doctor for 11 years trying to figure out what was wrong with his health.
The woman who invited us to interview her and her neighbours learned about health problems from wind turbines when she saw the film I produced Pandora’s Pinwheels, with interviews conducted in Australia and New Zealand, that was translated into her language. These people needed an interpreter; they did not speak English. She told me that her husband had passed away in the not too distant past due to heart problems. Before he died, he had complained quite frequently of common health symptoms people living near wind turbines experience. Although they visited their doctor frequently, no-one could figure out why he was so sick. She thanked us because, in seeing our film, it helped her to understand what her husband had been going through and why. It gave her closure that she did not have prior to viewing our film.
Another person at the interview told us she had to hold on to the walls of her house some days in order to walk from room to room and felt nauseous frequently. She knew she was unwell in her home and abandoned it. She did not know why until she saw our film. She came back to the area for the interview because she wanted to tell the world that wind turbines made her so ill that she sold her home at a huge loss.
One of the people I have known for the past five years lives in Falmouth, Massachusetts, which is very close to where I live — it is an hour and a half away. In 2010, he had recently retired to his dream home of many years. He was in great physical health, very fit and has over a 20-year record of normal to low to blood pressure. Since the wind turbines have been constructed in Falmouth, Massachusetts, he has reported that his blood pressure skyrockets to heart attack and stroke levels when the wind is coming in the wrong direction for him.
In Falmouth there are three wind turbines that are 1.65 megawatts near this person’s home. This person’s doctor, whom he has seen over the past 20 years, is in the Boston area and his doctor has been quite blunt. The doctor has told the patient that his life is in danger and he must move. Unfortunately, the Falmouth resident is crushed and cannot bear to leave his dream home at this point in time. He goes to other locations when the wind is predicted to be coming from the wrong direction. Others we interviewed in many different countries told us similar stories. Many reported they have abandoned their homes, sold their homes at a huge loss, purchased other homes to live in when the wind is coming from the wrong direction or in order to sleep in, and others spend time away from their homes at a huge and unexpected expense. People considered their homes as sanctuaries prior to the construction of wind turbines nearby. Now their opinion is not the same.
We have interviewed people on three continents who live more than five miles from the nearest wind turbine and are sick since wind turbine construction. I contend that we need honest research to determine how far wind turbines need to be sited from people in order to do no harm. People report to us that over time their symptoms become more severe. Many report not experiencing ill effects for some time following wind turbine construction, meanwhile their spouse became ill the day the wind turbines nearby became operational. They speak of thinking they were one of the lucky ones at first, but after a number of months or years they become as ill as their spouse. Not one person who stayed near wind turbines reported to us that they got used to it or got better; they all became more ill over time.
Since we are dealing with a dose response, we do not know over the projected lifetime of a wind turbine — say, 20 to 25 years — how far from people it is necessary to site wind turbines. To me, it is just wrong to knowingly harm the health and safety of people. There are responsible solutions to environmental issues that do not impact the health and safety of people nearby. Our humanity is in question when we continue to knowingly harm others. I thank you for your time today. I sincerely hope that you do take active steps to help the people in your country who are suffering due to living and working too close to wind turbines, and I am glad to answer questions you may have.
CHAIR: Thank you.
Senator LEYONHJELM: Good morning, Ms Green — I suppose it is not morning there. Thank you for your submission —
Ms Green: No, it is Sunday evening here.
Senator LEYONHJELM: Sunday evening? I am sorry to being interrupting your evening.
Ms Green: I am glad to speak with you.
Senator LEYONHJELM: You have interviewed people in 15 countries, I think you said, under all different circumstances and so on. I appreciate we are not pretending this is a gold-plated, statistical survey, but I am interested in your impressions because I think you have more experience of this than any other witness we have heard from. What do you think, based on your experience, are the common factors in the people you have interviewed in different communities living near wind turbines? What are the common factors to all of them?
Ms Green: I think we seriously do not have enough research to understand this problem fully. We saw the same symptoms. Slide 17 that I submitted has a listing of the common symptoms that Dr Pierpont lists in her book. I really believe that we just do not have enough information yet. But throughout the interviews, country by country, people described the same symptoms. Many times they used the same phrases to describe them and the same gestures — and they were not speaking English. There is a common thread here.
Senator LEYONHJELM: Do you get the impression that not everybody exposed to wind turbines is affected the same? Have you seen evidence of substantial individual variation?
Ms Green: I have, indeed. Just as some people are more prone to asthma and some people are more prone to lung cancer, let’s say, or any disease, we did see a variation. It appeared that if there were people who were, say, prone to migraine headaches, they were severely affected. But, again, there were people who did not seem to have the symptoms who were living either in the same house or nearby. I do not know whether it is a question of time, if over 20 years people become more sensitised and they will become sick. Very frequently we did hear the same theme running through the stories of the people we interviewed, where, say, the husband thought he was one of the lucky ones and six months later he could not sleep, he was experiencing ear pressure, ear pain and severe headaches or other symptoms.
Senator LEYONHJELM: We are aware of community groups in English-speaking countries who have expressed opposition to wind turbines, but we are not aware of that sort of phenomenon in non-English speaking countries. Have you encountered that?
Ms Green: Yes, indeed. We travelled around the world. It was a 10-year goal. We had it very well planned out and we thought it was for pleasure. But people kept emailing us and asking us to come and interview them. So we met people in a lot of non-English speaking countries, and they were such nice people, I have to say. They had just about any profession you would like to mention. They just wanted to tell their story. Many times these people wanted to talk to us for other reasons such as their house had been devalued because the wind turbines were nearby. As they were listening to other people in the room talking about their health problems, these people realised that they had been struggling with the same illness since the wind turbines were constructed nearby. They had never made that correlation before; in fact, they were quite frustrated. They told us that they would go back and back continually to their healthcare provider and talk about these symptoms, and they could not find a resolution or a reason. As I said, there is one man I recall quite vividly just sobbing — and that was in 2012; he was in his 80s. He had realised that since the wind turbines had been constructed nearby he was experiencing these symptoms that were the common symptoms.
Senator LEYONHJELM: Some witnesses have suggested to us that there is a relationship between not only the distance their residence is from the turbine but also the power of the turbine, the size of the turbine. Have you been able to come to any conclusions on that or is that outside your interest area?
Ms Green: No, it is not outside my interest area. In fact, it is quite alarming to me, because I have interviewed people who live near wind turbines that you in Australia would probably consider to be quite small and solitary — wind turbines that are 100 kilowatts, even — and they are experiencing health problems, even people living near a 10-kilowatt wind turbine. Frankly, it is the nearest wind turbine to where I live, and a number of neighbours are having problems, and not just with the audible noise but with the infrasound and low-frequency noise, based upon the symptoms they are reporting to me. It really is quite alarming. In my state, Massachusetts, there is a woman who has told me she lives more than five miles from the nearest wind turbine and she is quite ill. The onset of her symptoms was when the wind turbine was constructed. When she went on trips she was fine; when she came back she was ill, and it has only become worse over time. That wind turbine is not as powerful as wind turbines in Australia, and it is a solitary wind turbine.
Again, we travelled quite a distance in France — mid-south-eastern France — over a number of days at the invitation of the people in the area and visited several different communities where there were wind turbines. One of the situations is that the wind turbine is 10 kilometres from one of the neighbours who is very ill and 12 kilometres from the other neighbour. The person who lives 12 kilometres away reported to us that she had been very supportive of the wind turbines. She is very well known as an environmentalist in the area, has quite a reputation as an environmentalist and is highly regarded. But she is quite ill, and it was very difficult for her to speak with us.
The other person related a story of trying to detect what the problem was because he could not sleep and was becoming so frustrated that he would go in his car to try to find the source of what was keeping him awake. He talked about going night after night until he went into the wilderness. He could not imagine what was there, and then he found the wind turbines. They were creating a humming noise in his head at that point. He could actually hear this frequency. In our discussions with researchers, medical professionals and scientists, one of the scientists told us that what people hear is mostly a bell curve — that is the way it was described to us. Most people hear audible noise within a certain range, but there are people who are more sensitive to noise, and they hear sounds that most people would consider inaudible.
Senator URQUHART: I have a lot of questions. I am not going to get through them all, so I am wondering whether you are able to take some on notice at the end.
Ms Green: I will try. I am very busy, but I will try.
Senator URQUHART: In your submission you say you run a healthcare consultancy. Do you have any qualifications in health care or medicine?
Ms Green: I have a background in education.
Senator URQUHART: What is the name of your company?
Ms Green: I do not want that on the record.
Senator URQUHART: Can I ask why?
Ms Green: I am speaking today as a private citizen. I would be glad to give you that information if it is held as in-confidence.
Senator URQUHART: Okay. How many employees do you have?
Ms Green: My husband has passed away. He was my business partner, and I have scaled back the business. I am the only employee at this point in time. However, I will tell you that I have created in our company, with teams of people, educational programs that have been implemented throughout the United States. One of the oncology programs that was created by my team, which was quite a large team, interviewed over 100 oncology patients throughout the United States and numerous doctors and nurses and was mandatory for all of the nurses in the Kaiser health system in California.
Senator URQUHART: In your submission you say that 300,000 physicians have undertaken training through your company.
Ms Green: That is correct.
Senator URQUHART: What are the products or services? Is it communication? What is it that you actually sell?
Ms Green: There is a number of different core competencies in our company. One is developing educational programs around different disease states, such as oncology, diabetes, heart disease and various other disease states. Another path we have taken is to develop a service quality initiative. My husband was an extraordinary speaker and was often the keynote speaker for national conferences in all sectors of the healthcare industry.
Senator URQUHART: In your opening statement you talked about how you had interviewed many people from various countries. I could not find any of the transcripts, either in your submission or online. I am sorry if I have missed them.
Ms Green: You have not missed them. In the company we are still in the process of editing the films. It is a huge undertaking of many months, at huge expense. There is a lot of information that is still being edited.
Senator URQUHART: Are you able to provide copies of the transcripts and the full names of the people you interviewed?
Ms Green: No. It is on film; it is videotaped interviews, and the film is being edited.
Senator URQUHART: You talked about how you undertook the research after you had new information from people within your area who were concerned about wind farms. Was that the purpose of the interviews?
Ms Green: No. In my town, one month after we learned that our energy committee wanted to put a 1.65 wind turbine in our town — and we had conducted the research and people in our town were quite concerned — our board of selectmen, which is like your town councils, decided to not move forward with the project. I am on my energy committee, as secretary, and we are devising a plan to become 100 per cent electrical energy efficient without wind energy but using other alternative methods. Are you asking me what propels me to do the interviews?
Senator URQUHART: Yes. I guess my real reasoning was whether the purpose of the interviews was to inform the body of research on international attitudes to wind farms. Is that why —
Ms Green: No. It is not an attitude; it is to understand the realities of living near wind turbines — living, working, attending school, being incarcerated near wind turbines.
What happened was that my stepson was living in Australia and we went to Australia at the end of 2010. I knew there was a location called Waubra and I had seen the Dean report that had been recently published. I put out one little email asking ‘Do you happen to be in the Melbourne area and is it possible to meet some of the people that are living near the wind turbines at Waubra? Is it possible to see the Waubra area?’
It was amazing that I was connected with the people in that area of Australia. My husband and I drove to the area and we interviewed over 17 people in one day. They welcomed us into their homes. We did not know what to expect. We turned the camera on and we asked them questions, and they told us their story. We had no idea what we were going to find. We went to New Zealand and people emailed us after they had heard we had been to Waubra. They asked us if we would come and visit them and interview them. We did that in two different locations in New Zealand. When we came home we put together this film called Pandora’s Pinwheels —
Senator URQUHART: You interviewed people —
Ms Green: We just thought we would go back to Waubra and talk to the people at Waubra because we had been emailing them over the year. People around the world kept on emailing us and asking us to come and interview them.
Senator URQUHART: So you conducted interviews in 15 countries, as I understand it from your submission. Is that how you got the contact information on the people you interviewed?
Ms Green: I do not understand your question. Everywhere we were travelling people kept on emailing us and contacting us and asking if we would come and interview them and talk with them. They wanted to go on camera and tell their story. We had no agenda; we had no plan. We work in the healthcare industry; we talk about various illnesses and disease states, and we educate doctors and nurses about disease states. I am sorry; I want to retract that: we find a cross-section where patients are having issues with the communication around their disease state, and the doctors and nurses are having issues around communicating with their patients. We find those intersections and help doctors and nurses better communicate with the patients. So we are trying to improve patient care. That is what we do as one of the core competencies of our business.
When we found the health problems with the wind turbines and when we saw in every country we visited that people were saying the same thing, we wanted to get that word out to people like you who are hearing from your constituents that they are having health problems. That is all I want to do — to provide you with the truth.
Senator DAY: Ms Green, as you might imagine, we have received submissions from hundreds of people who have reported adverse health impacts and yet we are being accused of trying to destroy the wind industry. We are being accused of rigging this inquiry and of being engaged in a political stitch up. What has been your experience with such hostility towards genuine inquiry?
Ms Green: I really do not have a response for you, Senator. I have heard a lot of stories from people and I have experiences myself, but I really do not have a response on that topic.
Senator DAY: Okay. I will follow up then: you say that a number of governments around the world are realising there is a need for more or better regulation surrounding the wind energy industry. Which governments are doing better in this area, in your opinion?
Ms Green: I know that in my state, I have a new governor and my governor has a background in health care, and I am expecting that my governor understands that people do have health problems when they live and work too close to wind turbines in my state.
Senator BACK: Ms Green, I have just one quick question; I know that we are over time. In Australia, we are proceeding to have independent medical research undertaken for the first time. One of the proposals put to us is that they try and simulate this effect of either noise or infrasound, and do so in a one-off exposure in a clinically sterile circumstance for exposure times of somewhere between 10 to 30 minutes and an hour. From what you have learned and heard — and from interviewing people — do you think there would be anything to be learned in exposing somebody for a very limited period of time, and once only, in a sort of laboratory-type circumstance? Do you believe that is likely to lead to any reasonable outcome or result that we might be able to use?
Ms Green: Senator, I am not a researcher or a doctor. But given what I have heard from people and what people have reported to me, I find it highly unlikely that that would have any results that would have any validity.
Senator BACK: Thank you.
CHAIR: Thank you for evidence today to the committee, Ms Green. You will receive questions on notice and if you are able to come back to us with answers to those, that would be appreciated.
Ms Green: Absolutely. I would like to thank the committee; the chair, Senator Madigan, and the members of the committee, and also to thank you, Graham.
CHAIR: Thank you, Ms Green.
Hansard 29, June 2015
Ordinarily, STT has let the Senate’s witnesses do the talking, but the Inquisition launched by Labor’s Anne Urquhart is, self-evidently, worthy of a little passing comment.
That her questions were virulently loaded in favour of the wind power fraud, is largely a product of the fact that the vast bulk of them were drawn up by wind industry parasites and spruikers; like Andrew Brayfrom the Australian Wind Alliance and/or Leigh Ewbank from the Enemies of the Earth – who, during the Inquiry’s hearings, fed Urquhart with a constant stream of pointed fact-dodging, ‘Dorothy Dixers’ – directed to her iPad – in an infantile effort to protect their pay-masters’ interests.
Having adopted her usual tactic throughout the hearings – of trying to shoot the messenger because they did not hold highly relevant qualifications, such as journalism or sociology degrees – Urquhart – in a fit of disgust – drills Lilli-Anne about the obviously “insidious” purpose of the interviews that she’s carried out around the world.
And, from her – rabid-dog-with-a-bone – line of questioning, it’s apparent that Urquhart was utterly horrified that Lilli-Anne had the unmitigated temerity to interview ANYONE, ANYWHERE at ALL. This outrage would have never been sanctioned if Urquhart – and the other apparatchiks from the Ministry of Truth – had known about it.
You see, the wind industry, its parasites and spruikers – like Urquhart – cannot abide even the merest possibility that facts and evidence might see the light of day.
Suppression, obfuscation, denial – and, when all that fails – downright lying, characterises the wind industry; and all those that supp from the same subsidy trough.
Thankfully, however, those good Senators – not in the pay or thrall of the wind industry – were able to defeat efforts – by the likes of Urquhart – to suppress the truth; and, to thereby, maintain the stinking status quo.
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