The Wind Scam is Obvious to Intelligent People…

Wind turbines a government-backed Ponzi scheme

Sunday, March 5, 2017

To the editor:

All you people out there complaining about your hydro prices need to realize some important facts about the Kathleen Wynne government.

  1. The global adjustment charge on your hydro bill is to pay for the giant industrial wind turbines Wynne  has placed all  over rural Ontario.
  2. Wind turbines a useless technology that destroys our rural environment, ruins people’s health and poisons our drinking water aquifers.
  3. The only reason these turbines were erected was so Liberal insiders and their friends could get filthy rich.
  4. Wynne will not cancel the turbine projects or reduce the subsidies because the turbine lobbyists know where the political bodies are buried.
  5. Wynne has taken away the democratic rights of the people for her own financial and political gain.
  6. Wynne has sacrificed the health of rural citizens just so her friends can get rich.
  7. In a few year’s time, when it inevitably collapses, this wind turbine scam will be revealed for what it is: An enormous government-backed Ponzi scheme, founded on greed, corruption and stupidity.

Leonard Vandenbosch

West Grey, Ont

 What’s on your mind?

Corrupt Liberal Gov’t Denies Tampering With Witness List….

Liberal government denies tampering with witness list for wind turbine hearing…

THE CANADIAN PRESS

FIRST POSTED: MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 2016 

Glen Murray
Minister of the Environment and Climate Change Glen Murray. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mark Blinch)

Ontario’s Liberal government denies Opposition charges that it interfered with the witness list for a hearing into a plan to install at least six, 152-metre-high wind turbines near the Collingwood airport.

Progressive Conservative house leader Jim Wilson says the province decided at the last minute to call a witness from NAVCanada instead of an expert from Transport Canada at an Environmental Review Tribunal hearing.

NAVCanada is a private corporation that owns and operates the country’s civil air navigation service, while Transport Canada is the federal government department responsible for transportation policies and programs.

Wilson says the witnesses were changed because Transport Canada has concerns about putting industrial wind turbines between the Collingwood Regional Airport and the Stayner aerodrome.

He says the Ontario government refuses to acknowledge that putting giant turbines so close to the small airports pose a hazard to aircraft operations.

But Environment Minister Glen Murray says it would be against the law for him to play any role in determining witnesses or influencing the environmental tribunal.

“I will keep it as a non-political process and let the experts choose the witnesses,” Murray told the legislature.

“I wish the member opposite would not be politicizing it in the way he’s trying to, because neither he nor I should be involved in this process.”

Wilson said a witness from Transport Canada “would have made much more sense” since it is the agency tasked with ensuring aviation safety.

“Minister, you can spin this all you want, but my people believe, and we have reason to believe — good reason to believe — that somebody in your ministry tampered with the witnesses,” he said.

Wilson said the Liberal government has agreed it could no longer support two of the eight proposed turbine locations near the airport because they pose a serious safety risk, and asked why officials “refuse to act on the serious risk posed by the other six turbines” when experts say they are also dangerous.

But again, Murray said he would stay out of the process.

“I had nothing to do with the decision to change the configuration of turbines,” he said. “Experts did that. I had no role, nor did any politician on this side or any other influencer, in who witnesses are.” 

Covering up bird mortality at wind farms. Mark Duchamp

PRESS RELEASE
12 September 2016

Hiding evidence of the massacre

 


News of bird and bat deaths at wind farms have reduced to a trickle. Does that mean that a solution has been found? Yes, it has, but it’s not what you think. Wind turbines are every year more numerous and the massacre they cause is ever increasing. What has changed is that the cover up is now effective at 100%, or just about.

The following news sheds light on the latest technique for making mortality data unavailable to the public (and the media):

Wind farm sues to block bird death data


Yes, you read correctly: “releasing (the wind farm’s) bird and bat kill reports would provide “trade secrets” to its competitors”. Surrealist, isn’t it? But that’s only one of the many lies we must deal with when investigating that hugely subsidized industry. Below, we present the “trade secrets” they are trying to hide:

trade secrets
courtesy of Ontario Wind Resistance


Indeed, in present day United States, mortality data legally belong to wind farm owners, and the public has no right to see the numbers without their permission. This is the “solution” that has been found for covering up the butchery of eagles, cranes, pelicans, condors, swans, swallows, bats, owls, falcons, hawks, geese, gamebirds, songbirds etc.

Throughout the world, ever since shocking mortality statistics at wind farms made the news 15-20 years ago, efforts have been made by the wind industry and complicit governments to hide the numbers. In the UK for instance, wind farms have long stopped being monitored for mortality; in Spain, the monitoring has been done, but the reports were filed away without publishing; elsewhere, whenever a wind farm had to be checked for mortality, its owner would select ornithology consultants based on their reputation for “cooperation” – i.e. whose reports always showed “manageable” numbers. This is still the preferred method for covering up in some countries, e.g. Canada or Australia.

To make it even safer for European wind developers, and regardless of the proclaimed right of the public to be informed on environmental matters (Aarhus Convention), reports concerning wind farms’ impact on birds and bats were soon stamped “property of the developer”, meaning that he may edit them before publication. “The wind companies rewrite all ecological work themselves“, said to me a UK ornithologist who had worked for wind developers. But a non-disclosure clause in the contract kept him from revealing publicly what he knew and what he saw. This is now standard practice in wind farm monitoring contracts.

Thanks to these various methods to hide the evidence, high mortality numbers soon disappeared from the headlines, and the public lost interest, trusting large ecology NGOs and bird societies to watch over protected wildlife. However, conflicts of interests oblige (i.e. $$$), these organizations keep denying that significant harm is being done to biodiversity. For instance, none of them has published the report by the Spanish ornithological societyrevealing millions of deaths a year in Spain. Yet it is based on 136 monitoring reports obtained from the Spanish government under Freedom of Information legislation.

Granted, the particularly deadly Altamont Pass wind turbines kept coming back in the news now and then, but the media has become so gullible (or complicit) that even their repowering for another 25 years didn’t make waves.

The issuing by the US administration of “incidental take permits”, allowing wind farm operators to kill a number of eagles accidentally, did cause anger among bona fide conservationists, especially as wind farm operators can easily hide the real number of eagles they kill. But this scandal didn’t make the evening news on television. Most NGOs don’t really mind: there is no money in protesting, but plenty of it to be reaped from Big Wind, awash as it is in subsidies.

In Scotland, an issue that could become a hot potatoe is the census of golden eagles. Originally due in 2013, this politically-sensitive 10-year survey was postponed to 2015, and to date we are still waiting for its publication. Cynics are suggesting that it takes time to edit the text and doctor the figures, which would otherwise reveal a sharp drop in the Scottish golden eagle population, coinciding with the period when the moorlands were invaded by wind farms.

Coincidence or not, a report just surfaced in Edinburgh, reassuring the Scots on the fate of their beloved eagles. Wind turbines may be installed near eagle nests, it claims, provided ornithologists are paid, during the life of the wind farm, to feed the eagles and monitor their behavior. It’s pure rubbish, but it keeps ornithologists and bird societies happy. Officially, they are the ones who “know” about birds, and their opinion is taken into consideration by the authorities; so it’s important for the wind lobby to keep them cheery. In reality, we know that wind turbines attract (and kill) eagles, as they do other raptors, swallows and bats: read Biodiversity Alert. In short, the new report is just another one of many biased, misleading studies financed by wind interests. If you read the press article till the end, it actually claims thatBeinn an Tuirc wind farm helps Scottish eagles survive. Yes indeed, the bigger the lie, the more people will believe it.

The population survival issue was tackled differently in the western United States: the golden eagle census was carried out from a plane. Obviously, scientific rigor was lacking: seen from an aircraft, it is easy to mistake a juvenile bald eagle for an adult golden eagle. The wind coalition used this worthless census to report a “stable golden eagle population” in the western States. Different methods, same misleading result.

One of the countries where the cover up wasn’t achieved at 100% is Australia. Mortality at the infamous Woolnorth wind farm apparently ceased being reported to the public, but a few months ago, that of the Macarthur wind farm hit the news, causing concern worldwide.

More recently, another Australian wind farm discreetly announced (you have to search their newsletter thoroughly – page 2, paragraph 3) that it was killing many eagles: Bald Hills wind farm – 7 eagles killed in 4 months. Seven in four months is the official figure, so the reality could be even worse. It’s also a good indication that, as revealed by Save the Eagles International, raptors are attracted to wind turbines (and then killed). But don’t be surprised that, in spite of the evidence provided in STEI’s article, bird societies completely ignore this lethal attraction exerted by wind turbines: it would hurt the wind industry if they recognized it. Here you can, again, appreciate the hypocrisy surrounding the whole issue.

Finally, the cover up is naturally helped by scavengers, which become rapidly aware that wind turbines provide easy food in the form of dead or injured birds and bats. So they make the rounds daily, mostly at night or at dawn when their chances are best. Searchers employed by consultants rarely start their work as early as foxes and crows, so they miss most carcasses. In addition, they visit the site once every week at best, leaving plenty of time for scavengers to clean up the grounds.

That is how the company operating Bald Hills WF, above, can claim they only found 19 bird carcasses (assuming the figure wasn’t simply doctored). You’ll note that there were 7 eagles among them: typically, small carcasses disappear whole, while larger ones often leave some remains behind. Some wind farm operators instruct their employees to bury the evidence , but some carcasses can escape their vigilance, given the very large surface to be searched, and the vegetation.

At Altamont Pass, California, Dr Smallwood estimated in 2004 that 116 golden eagles were being killed yearly by the 5,000 (small) wind turbines (1). These mostly young, wandering eagles, were from California, the western United States, and even Canada. The massacre will continue as new, bigger turbines replace the old ones. The “green” NGOs don’t really care – do we hear them protest? The killing is now legal (incidental take permits), and that keeps the operators out of trouble if some eagle carcass happened to be discovered by a member of the public. The wind industry wins. The extermination of eagles, hawks, falcons, cranes, swallows, owls, bats and other highly valued species may continue unabated.

Mark Duchamp
President

(1) – Altamont Pass wind farm, 116 golden eagles killed yearly: see Page 73, Table 3-11: Species/Taxonomic group: Golden eagle
Mortality per year:
– adjusted for search detection: 75.6
– adjusted for search detection and scavenging: 116.5
DEVELOPING METHODS TO REDUCE BIRD MORTALITY IN THE ALTAMONT
PASS WIND RESOURCE AREA – Shawn Smallwood & Carl Thelander (2004) – for the California Energy Commission. http://www.energy.ca.gov/reports/500-04-052/500-04-052_00_EXEC_SUM.PDF

Time for Windweasels to Pay for their Crimes!

The Great British Wind Farm Scandal: These Are The Heads That Should Roll

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Regular readers may be aware that I am not a fan of wind farms.

This is because, among other things, they kill birds and bats, hurt the environment, cause sleeplessness and sickness in humans, drive up fuel prices, enrich troughing rent-seeking crony capitalist scumbags, blight views, cause people to die in fuel poverty, harm property values, destabilise the grid, and inflate the cost of living – all while signally failing at the one thing they’re supposed to be good at, viz supplying us with the clean, abundant, eco-friendly energy which is going to save us all from “global warming.”

For anyone prepared to do their research – as opposed to take back handers from the renewable industry, mouth green platitudes or get frightened off by the wind industry’s super-aggressive lawyers – all this has been obvious for years.

Now, even the wind industry’s leading spokesmen have come half way to admitting how utterly crap and pointless wind energy is.

In England, we learned this week from the head of the wind energy lobby groupRenewable UK, the wind levels are so puny and unreliable that turbines cannot generate economically viable quantities of energy.

How about that all you idyllic villages from Cornwall through Northamptonshire to the Fens and thence up north to the humpy Howgills and beyond who’ve had your views blighted, your peace disturbed, your property values trashed, your avian wildlife sliced and diced, your livestock frightened and your community cohesion disrupted by wind projects you never wanted, which you fought hard to prevent, but which were dumped on your doorstep anyway?

How does it feel to know that – having wasted all that time, money and heartache trying unsuccessfully to fight those greedy developers and selfish landowners through the biased planning process only to be overruled by some sinister Inspector Blight figure from the Planning Inspectorate – you’ve belatedly been vindicated by the wind industry itself?

Yes, Big Wind has finally admitted: all those bat-chomping, bird-slicing eco-crucifixes dotted hither and thither over the choicest parts of the matchlessly beautiful English landscape were entirely unnecessary. They’re sitting on those hilltops, turning or not turning as the case may be, making so little difference to Britain’s “energy security” or power supplies or carbon emissions reductions or economy that really they might just as well not be there.

And the most stupid thing of all is we’re paying for it.

This is a disgrace. A national scandal. I’m racking my brain for some equivalents.

In terms of corruption combined with wanton vandalism, it’s akin to all those cities, especially in the North, whose town councillors – in league with developers – allowed perfectly decent Victorian housing stock to be destroyed and replaced by ugly, soul-destroying tower blocks.

In terms of abuse of state power, it is even worse. Property rights are one of the bedrocks of liberal democracy. Arbitrary confiscation – whether literally taking someone’s home and land or reducing its value through state-mandated blight – is something you associate with banana republics and communist tyrannies. Part of the social contract that electorates in Western liberal democracies enjoy is that, in return for their tax money the state will attempt to act in the interests of the people it serves.

Furthermore it is understood by all that the state will only act against its citizens’ individual interests in matters of overriding national importance, such as national security or the need to build infrastructure such as motorways.

Usually – and correctly – people are paid compensation by the government for any losses imposed on them in the “national interest”. But before any of this takes place, one more thing is naturally understood by all: that the government has submitted whatever mega-project it is about to undertake – be it depopulating a whole village in World War II for use as an urban warfare training centre or flattening a swathe of countryside to build the M1 – to a proper cost benefit analysis. That is, one fully – and again quite reasonably – expects that when the state undertakes to do bad and expensive things to its people, it will have first taken steps to ensure that these bad and expensive things will ultimately result in more good than harm.

In the case of the Great Wind Con this manifestly hasn’t happened. Billions of pounds have been squandered, lives blighted and swathes of countryside ruined for a generation because of the lies, greed or incompetence of a fairly small group of people, some of whom frankly ought to be facing criminal charges for corruption, all of whose names ought to live in infamy for the damage they have wantonly inflicted on Britain’s landscape, people and economy.

Unfortunately it is often the way of British politics to let people go scot free for the disastrous cock ups they make while in government. I really don’t think we should. These tossers should be harried to the end of their days and then have their crimes engraved on their headstones as a salutary warning: ruin your country and we’ll ruin you.

Here are some of the rogues whose involvement in this grotesque and unforgiveable scam should never be forgotten.

Ed Miliband – Britain’s first Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change; failed Labour leader; unemployable gimp

Once said that opposing wind farms ought to be as “socially unacceptable as not wearing a seat belt”. As architect of the Climate Change Act – committing Britain to spending over £18 billion a year every year till 2050 pointlessly decarbonising her economy – he probably cost the British taxpayer more money, more pointlessly than any other politician in history.

The European Union

Not that we’re exactly short of reasons to loathe the EU but here’s another: it was responsible for the renewable energy targets – 20 per cent of energy to come from renewables by 2020 – that gave UK politicians like Ed Miliband the excuse they needed to railroad though the policy.

Bryony (now Baroness) Worthington – former Friends of the Earth activist; now in the House of Lords

Bryony effectively wrote the Climate Change Act for Miliband. It really is astonishing the leeway a minority interest campaigner from a hard left  lobby group was given to create legislation that held the whole of Britain hostage to the anti-capitalist fantasies of a small group of green zealots.

David Cameron – Prime Minister; leader of the “greenest government ever”

He could have put a stop to this. As a Conservative, he really should have done. Conservatives are not supposed to be the enemy of property rights nor of the countryside. But instead – perhaps under the influence of his hippy wife SamCam – he sold the pass and embraced green nonsense wholesale. During his Coalition government he handed over the Department of Energy and Climate Change to the fanatically green Lib Dems – the equivalent, as PJ O’Rourke might put it, of giving car keys and whisky to small boys.

Chris Huhne; Ed Davey; Nick Clegg; Lib Dems generally

Huhne’s a perjuring spiv and jailbird; Davey’s thick as pigshit; Clegg is a revoltingly entitled, Westminster educated slimeball of a Euro creep. But let’s not dwell on the nice distinctions: the point is they’re all Lib Dems and therefore so ideologically wedded to the green project that they were quite incapable of subjecting its details to proper scrutiny. Like Dr Johnson said, “there is no settling the point of precedency between a louse and a flea.”

Sir Reginald Sheffield Bt

Of all the toffs with their snouts in the green trough why pick on Sir Reg? Well because he’s the Prime Minister’s father-in-law and because ultimately some of the £1000 a day he makes just to have eight wind turbines sitting doing bugger all on his Lincolnshire estates will end up in Dave and Sam Cam’s pockets – and I really don’t think it’s right that they should benefit financially, at taxpayers’ expense, from policies they helped engineer.

Toffs and landowners generally

Yes there are exceptions – the Duke of Northumberland, for one; my landlord in Northants being another. But generally the upper classes have behaved quite despicably in this matter. When the chips are down, it seems, they don’t give two hoots for the beauteous scenery they inherited by accident of birth. All that counts for them is the free money they get for having bat-chomping, bird-slicing eco-crucifixes on their estates. The Scottish toffs are by far the worst. But in England, special dishonourable mentions could go to Earl Spencer and the Duke of Gloucester, a member of the Royal Family no less: both have tried to host turbines on their lands, regardless of the protests of the poor sods who have to live with them.

That revolting man from Fisher German Estate Agents

I forget the awful creep’s name but he worked for Fisher German and his speciality was to travel the length and breadth of my county advising landowners of the cash bonanza that awaited them if only they didn’t mind totally ruining their neighbours views and peace. Naturally, he was a very passionate advocate for wind energy – and was totally deaf to its shortcomings. As Upton Sinclair said: “It is hard to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” Obviously there are estate agents and land agents like that frightful man from Fisher German all over the country. May they all end up unemployed!

The RSPB

Not only has Europe’s largest wildlife charity promoted wind farms but actually benefited from them financially – despite copious evidence of the damage bat-chomping, bird-slicing eco-crucifixes to the very wildlife the RSPB is supposed to save. That’s why they call it the Royal Society for the Prevention of Birds.

Greenpeace; Friends of the Earth; the WWF etc

These helped promote the climate change hysteria which lent policymakers the apparent moral justification for forcing renewable energy on their electorates. They have never apologised for the damage their junk-science propagandising has caused and they never will.

Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors

By no means is the RICS the only professional institution to have jumped on the green bandwagon regardless of all evidence. But let it stand for all those public and professional bodies which has been corrupted morally and intellectually in the green scam. My beef with the RICS is its complicity in playing down evidence that wind farms have a significant impact on property values. This was shameful.

Acousticians

Again there have been honourable exceptions. But certain sections of the acoustics industry – they know who they are but if I name them I dare say they’ll try to sue me – have quite deliberately gamed the system, covered up evidence, even lied at the behest of the renewable energy behemoth. Had these people done their job half the wind farms blighting our landscape would never have been permitted on health and safety grounds because they’re just too damned close to human habitations – and the damaging effects of infrasound and the noises caused by wind sheer have been known to the acoustics industry for years.

Ecologists

One of the more despicable aspects of this scam – and it just goes to show how corrupting money can be – is the way people who presumably got their various ecology and environmental sciences degrees because they loved nature ended up using their qualifications to help destroy it. You often encountered them at planning hearings, abusing their professional status by testifying that “Oh no, don’t worry. In our expert opinion this sensitively sited wind farm won’t remotely damage any wildlife” – thus undermining one of the main planks in the defence used by hapless local communities trying desperately to avoid having one of these monstrosities plonked in their neighbourhood.

Conservatives

Again not all of them. But it’s quite amazing how many of them acquiesced in this scam – only five of them, for example, voted against the Climate Change Act. Most loathsome of the bunch, though, are the ones who actively pushed for more stringent green or renewable energy policies and who have often ended up benefiting from their various green business interests. Former MP Tim Yeo; the slithy Lord Deben; Charles Hendry. Wherever it is these scumbags live I do hope that no one ever invites them to dinner and that everyone cuts them when they bump into them in the village Post Office or wherever. I certainly would. How they can live with themselves or indeed sleep at night is a mystery to me.

Tony Blair

Well obviously. Almost everything that is wrong with the world can be traced, ultimately, to Tony Blair.

Dale “Dog On A Rope” Vince

Let this deeply unpleasant man stand for all the rent-seeking troughers who have benefited from this Ponzi scheme of an industry which I’m quite sure Enron would dearly have loved to have invented. Dale Vince has made a multi-million pound fortune not by creating value but simply by being canny enough to milk the system. In an open market not one single wind turbine would have been erected in England (or anywhere else probably). They’re there purely because of the government’s regulatory fiat, which heavily incentivises people to build wind turbines not because they’re economically viable but because they’re politically useful. This is crony capitalism pure and simple. It’s ugly, it represents an abuse of government power and I have no sympathy whatsoever for people who make their money in this way. They don’t deserve a penny of it. I wish I could show my contempt by shorting shares in Vince’s company. But you can’t because he’s not publicly quoted. I wonder why.

The BBC

Never once – so far as I can recall – has the BBC ever called into question the viability of or the need for these industrial blights on our landscape. It’s supposed to be impartial and to represent the interests of the whole country. Yet it has allowed itself to be captured by a narrow establishment with a vested interest in promulgating the renewable lie. This represents a betrayal of trust, an abuse of the licence fee and a failure of journalism.

The media generally

Here is what ought to be – indeed is – one of the most scandalous wastes of public money in living memory. Why weren’t our journalists on top of this?

This list is by no means exhaustive. What it does, I hope, is show how easy it is for vocal minority groups – in this case green activists – to hold public policy hostage and also how depressingly easy it is to buy the support of theoretically reputable institutions and individuals with a flash of filthy lucre. Wind energy is so wrong in so many ways that it should have never been allowed past the planning stage. Unfortunately money talks.

I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say that this is the most disgraceful public scandals of our age. And I think it makes a nonsense of our belief that we are a country of great probity with an effective, honest political system. If we were as high minded and decent as we kid ourselves, then some of the parties I have named above would be facing hefty fines or a stint in prison – and certainly the confiscation of their assets to compensate all the people who have lost out as a result of their dishonesty or, at best, grotesquely misguided high-mindedness. Green loons will always be with us. But the very least we ought to be able to expect our scientists, politicians, economists, businessmen and journalists to do is to hold their wild claims to account rather than indulging their fantasy and impoverishing ordinary people as a result.

And the scandal isn’t over yet, either.

As Paul Homewood reports, the Government is preparing to break its promise to put an end to the subsidies we are forced to pay this pointless and undeserving industry. Under pressure, clearly, from the powerful vested interests involved in the renewable energy scam, the Government plans to redefine the meaning of the word “subsidy” so that the troughers in the wind industry can carry on troughing. How sad to learn that Andrea Leadsom, the Conservative minister who acquitted herself so brilliantly in the Brexit debate on ITV the other night, should be playing a leading role in promulgating this duplicity.

If Cameron’s administration had a shred of moral integrity it would be distancing itself from this scandal as quickly as possible by apologising for its mistakes and making amends.

I hope this piece will be shared around the world by all those groups – I know there are lots of you – from Canada to Australia, from Scotland to Kenya, striving desperately to protect their own special stretch of countryside from this vile, mendacious, conscience-free industry. One day, sooner rather than later, you will be vindicated by history. Wind energy – people will come to recognize – was one of the greatest follies of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. If only the bottom-feeders who have promoted it or profited by it got the punishment they all deserve!

Wind Weasels Having a Hard Time Trying to Deny Negative Health Effects From Wind Turbines!

Simon Chapman, Will Grant & Jacqui Hoepner: the Wind Industry’s Health “Expert” Great Pretenders

atomic-bomb-e1355417893840

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It’s been nearly 2 months since Steven Cooper’s ground breaking Cape Bridgewater acoustic study exploded like a small, but rather effective nuclear device – putting him on the international stage – and Scotching, once and for all, the nonsense that wind farm victims’ complaints about sleep deprivation, and other adverse health effects, caused by incessant turbine generated low-frequency and infrasound are simply fictions of their “climate change denying imaginations” (ie the so called, “nocebo” effect) (see our post here).

At the direction of Pacific Hydro and the Clean Energy Council (with Miles George as its head, now the political front for Infigen) the attack dogs over at the ABC’s “Ministry of Truth”, Media Watch (see our post here) launched a vicious, unwarranted attack: not only on Cooper, but on Pac Hydro’s long-suffering victims at Cape Bridgewater – asserting that Cooper’s study was “atrocious” and that the subjects of the study had conspired and colluded to fabricate the data that – according to America’s top acoustic experts, Dr Paul Schomer and George Hessler – proves the relationship between adverse health effects and turbine generated noise and vibration (see our post here).

Media Watch’s hatchet job depended on the “expertise” of several well-known wind industry shills, including a former tobacco advertising guru, and self-proclaimed wind farm health expert, who calls wind farm victims “wind farm wing-nuts” (see our posts here and here) – and a couple of journalist/academics from the Australian National University – Will Grant and Jacqui Hoepner. We’ll return to the “qualifications” of the ABC’s so-called “experts” in a moment, but first a little dissection from The Australian.

Sound advice on acoustics for Media Watch
The Australian
Simon King
2 March 2015

IN its stinging criticism of the research of acoustic expert Steven Cooper on the effect of the Pacific Hydro wind turbines on local residents and the reporting of it by The Australian and Today Tonight, the ABC’s Media Watch program failed to mention that its key expert was a paid advocate for the industry.

Such was the misrepresentation of the February 16 report that Mr Cooper is now considering legal action against the program and is pursuing action against the show’s expert, Sydney University’s professor of public health, Simon Chapman.

In making its case, as well as choosing not to use the opinion of qualified acoustic experts who supported the Cooper research, Media Watch championed the opinion of Professor Chapman, but in doing so failed to mention his conflict of interests.

A paper published in December 2014 by Professor Chapman, Ketan Joshi and Luke Fry titled “Fomenting sickness: nocebo priming of residents about expected wind turbine health harms” included the following conflict of interest statement: “Simon Chapman provided and was remunerated for expert advice on psychogenic aspects of wind farm health complaints by lawyers acting for Infigen Energy in the Cherry Tree VCAT case described in this paper. Ketan Joshi is employed by Infigen Energy. Luke Fry has no conflicts of interest to declare.”

The Cherry Tree VCAT case concluded in 2013.

Referring to the statement, Professor Chapman said on Twitter: “Expert witnesses have a duty to courts, not to those ‘hiring’ them.”

Professor Chapman also has no formal qualification as an acoustician or medical practitioner — his PhD is on the topic of “Cigarette Advertising As Myth: A Re-Evaluation Of The Relationship Of Advertising To Smoking”.

But Media Watch turned to his opinion to say: “Scientifically, it’s an absolutely atrocious piece of research and is entirely unpublishable other than on the front page of The Australian”.

Professor Chapman is so far ensconced in the pro-wind turbine camp that he has very publicly referred to those affected by wind turbines and those involved in the growing amount of evidence from the US and Canada that the vibrations caused by the giant blades can cause a range of conditions ranging from nausea, headaches to sleep deprivation, as “anti wind farm wing nuts”.

In a statement to the federal Senate on June 17 last year, Democratic Labor Party senator John Madigan said: “It is fair and reasonable to encourage people to look behind the blatant campaigning done by people like Professor Chapman of the University of Sydney.

“Professor Chapman has been an outspoken critic of those who have dared to question the wind farm orthodoxy.”

When asked about Professor’s Chapman’s background, Media Watch host Paul Barry said: “We didn’t say that Professor Simon Chapman has given evidence on behalf of wind farm operators, for the same reason that we didn’t say Steven Cooper has given evidence on several occasions for wind farm opponents.

“It’s perfectly clear which side of the debate they line up on and why.”

Barry also pointed to the fact The Australian story published on January 23 said the Cooper study had been independently peer reviewed by Bob Thorne without making it clear Dr Thorne had done paid work for wind farm opponents.

Media Watch has not been the only one that failed to mention Professor Chapman’s past paid work for Infigen Energy. In a February 25, 2014 article published by The Conversation titled “Study finds no evidence wind turbines make you sick — again”, the disclosure statement reads: “Simon Chapman AO receives no financial or other material support from any company or person in the wind energy industry or agents acting on their behalf.”

This is not the first time Professor Chapman contacted Media Watch to push a view.

In 2006 he approached the program indignant over an article in the British Journal of Criminology — which was reported in the Sydney Morning Herald — which showed that the gun laws introduced in 1996 by the Howard government in the wake of the Port Arthur massacre failed to reduce gun homicide or suicides in Australia.

In the 1990s, Professor Chapman was a member of the Coalition for Gun Control.
The Australian

The two sets of reasons in the Cherry Tree decision (referred to above) are available here and here.

Cherry tree witness list

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But – despite the tobacco advertising guru’s claims about being hired as “an expert witness” in the case – you won’t find any mention of him as a “witness”: Infigen never called him as a witness – “expert”, or otherwise. The guru would have never qualified as an “expert” on any issue in the case, even if it had called him: the effect of tobacco advertising on rates of smoking was, funnily enough, not a matter in dispute. Nor, in either of the sets of reasons given by VCAT, will you find any mention of the guru, in any capacity; or any mention of his “expert advice” – VCAT simply had no regard to his, so-called, “expert advice”.

In fact, the guru has never given evidence in any wind farm case – slipping into the witness box to go a few rounds with a skilled cross-examiner just isn’t the guru’s “style” – so much safer for the ego to pontificate from the coward’s castle of a sandstone Uni; or to spin the wind industry’s line, with the eager help of the ABC’s useful idiots, on The Drum, ABC Radio and the ABC’s other propaganda platforms (see our post here).

Then there’s the line from near-bankrupt wind power outfit, Infigen’s head propaganda parrot, Ketan Joshi that the guru: “was remunerated for expert advice on psychogenic aspects of wind farm health complaints by lawyers acting for Infigen Energy”.

That would be the first time in litigation history when “lawyers”, acting for corporate litigants, personally “remunerated” an “expert” witness – or anyone for “expert” advice – in relation to their client’s case.

Joshi – not the sharpest tool in the shed – might not understand the manner in which law firms operate, but we doubt it. There is no way on earth that a hard-hitting firm, like Herbert Smith Freehills, paid so much as a shekel towards the guru’s fees – Joshi’s boss, Infigen stumped up every last cent paid to obtain the guru’s waffle about the obvious health effects of incessant turbine-generated low-frequency noise and infrasound being all in the victims’ heads; and a “communicated disease”, exclusive to the English speaking world.

The guru’s “expert” study – that Infigen paid handsomely for, and that VCAT had no regard to in the Cherry Tree case – was a mighty “fine” piece of work; that made spurious claims – based entirely on what wind power outfits told him – that there were NO recorded complaints from neighbours at numerous wind farm operations around Australia – including Cullerin in NSW, where neighbours had previously lodged 322 complaints, including 93 with the wind farm operator itself (see our post here).

The guru’s late “admission” to have been paid as a wind industry advocate stands in contrast to every other “disclosure” statement he’s made on the topic, including this one (if it looks fuzzy, click on it, it’ll pop up in a new window, use your magnifier and it’ll look crystal clear – as to the “clarity” of the “disclosure”, well, that’s another matter):

Chapman fee disclosure fail The conversation

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The guru raves on about the PhD in Medicine he picked up for his thesis: “Cigarette Advertising As Myth: A Re-Evaluation Of The Relationship Of Advertising To Smoking” – and, on the basis of that “qualification”, purports to give remote, long-distance medical diagnoses – which he says applies to all health effects recorded and reported by wind farm neighbours all around the world. It’s like he’s using some kind of magic stethoscope, mounted in an orbiting satellite.

But the guru is not alone in pushing the envelope, when it comes to claims about being qualified as a “health professional”.

Two of the “experts” relied upon by Media Watch to justify its efforts to slam Steven Cooper’s brilliant study, are journalism and politics student, Jacqui Hoepner; and her PhD supervisor, Will Grant.

Relying on these highly qualified “experts”, Media Watch had this to say:

Paul Barry: Writing in The Conversation, the Australian National University’s Jacqui Hoepner and Will Grant also condemned The Australian’s front page story and the study it was based on, branding it:

“… an exemplary case of what we consider to be bad science and bad science reporting.”

— The Conversation, 22nd January, 2015

The Australian’s response (as covered in this post) was that:

And these two have no relevant qualifications. Grant has a PhD in politics, and Hoepner is a journalist. Neither has either medical or acoustical training or experience.

The Australian

In the middle of the furore that erupted among the wind industry, its parasites and spruikers, as The Australian attacked Media Watch’s woefully inaccurate and patently biased reporting, Jacqui decided to throw some “light” on her “qualifications” as an “expert” on the adverse health effects caused by turbine generated noise and vibration, in this curious little letter to the Oz.

Wind-farm qualifications

Last Monday, The Australian questioned my qualifications (“Legal threat on Media Watch report”, 23/2). I am not a journalist, pro-turbine or an advocate for the wind industry.

I have never received financial support from the wind industry. Where appropriate, I’ve challenged counterproductive actions by individuals or groups in this debate, including wind companies.

My only agenda is to investigate what factors contribute to the symptoms experienced by people living near wind farms in a way that are appropriate to my qualifications.

Jacqui Hoepner, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT.

Hmmm, where to start? …

It’s great to see that Jacqui is ready to challenge “counterproductive actions”. However, that leaves the question begging: “counterproductive” to what?

Perhaps a clue was given by the fact that she’s prepared to admit that she has an “agenda”. Although, if she’s not “pro-turbine or an advocate for the wind industry”, as she asserts, just what is she in favour of?

STT thinks a little clue as to what that “agenda” might be, is given by her fellow traveller, and PhD supervisor, Will Grant.

Will Grant

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Will turned up to the great wind power fraud rally, held in Canberra back in June 2013, wearing a giant foam hat – apparently in some kind of nod to Australian political maverick, and 10-gallon hat fan, Bob Katter.

Will was clearly hoping that the rally would turn into a media circus, like the “anti-carbon-tax protests” – where protesters waved banners and placards screaming “Ditch the Witch”, in a pointed message to then PM, Julia Gillard.

Will – you’ll find his manifesto here – was somewhat disappointed to find that the 380 or so who turned up in Canberra from South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales and as far away as Western Australia and Far North Queensland (see our posts here and here) were, as he put it, “disciplined and on message” – and, much to his chagrin, there wasn’t a “Ditch the Witch” placard in sight (see Will’s lament on The Conversation blog here).

The giveaway as to Will’s true motives pops up in this line from his article that:

“But these academic motivations mask the fact that I also like to quietly troll my political opponents, and this looked like an occasion for a little mischievous fun.”

That glimpse into Will’s true motives doesn’t turn up in his disclosure statement on “The Conversation”, funnily enough.

But the fact that he’s prepared to view wind farm victims as “political” opposition; and to “troll” them “for a little mischievous fun”, gives a pretty fair insight into his agenda, as well as the “unspoken agenda” of his PhD student, Jacqui Hoepner.

But, what of their qualifications?

Will Grant’s “PhD in politics” – awarded for a thesis titled “A Certain India An enquiry into a claim to national territory” – is hardly the strongest starting point for someone looking to investigate the health symptoms associated with, and caused by, incessant low-frequency noise and infrasound.

STT loves the tagline of the ANU unit Jacqui and Will hail from: the “Australian National Centre for the Public Awareness of Science”; how very “Ministry of Truth” – and a fair clue as what this pair are really up to. From her online “bio”, Jacqui points to her undergraduate degree in politics and journalism:

jacqui hoepner at ANU

Again, not the most solid foundation, you’d think, for someone setting out to investigate – as she tells us in her letter – “the symptomsexperienced by people living near wind farms”.

“The symptoms experienced” are either physiological, psychological, or a mixture of both (see our posts here and here).

Now, that narrows down the kind of “qualifications” necessary to investigate those symptoms: either the investigator holds a “medical” qualification and/or a qualification in “psychology”.

Although, to be fair to Jacqui, Will and the guru – qualifications in acoustics, vibration, or mechanical engineering would also hold relevance to the type of “investigation” that Jacqui’s engaged in. But that’s not what Jacqui’s been up to.

Oh no, Jacqui has been doing her darndest to infiltrate communities affected by wind turbine generated noise and vibration – in an effort to expand upon the nonsense “nocebo” story; and advance the “agenda” shared with her supervisor, Will Grant – and all the other wind industry spruikers and shills – that aims to maintain the great wind power fraud, at the expense and misery of hundreds of hard-working country people.

So, as a word of warning, if Jacqui Hoepner contacts you to find out what you think about the turbines thumping and grinding away next to your house, keeping you awake all night and otherwise making your life a misery on earth – STT suggests you delete her emails, hang-up the phone and generally refuse to “play ball” – remember her boss is hoping to “troll” you, and people like you, all “for a little mischievous fun”.

But there’s another element to this little game; and that’s where people like Jacqui hold themselves out to be qualified to investigate health symptoms suffered by people; whether those symptoms are physiological or psychological, or a mixture of both.

Most civilised countries have rules about people claiming to be qualified to deal with or investigate other people’s health problems. Some of those rules take the “game” of people claiming to be “health professionals” fairly seriously.

In Australia, that “game” is governed pretty strictly by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Authority (AHPRA) – under what’s called the “Health Practitioner National Regulation Law” (see the link here) – which is set out as uniform legislation that operates in all States and Territories, including NSW (for the NSW’s Act click here), which deals with people claiming to hold qualifications as “health professionals” in section 116:

Claims by persons as to registration as health practitioner

(1) A person who is not a registered health practitioner must not knowingly or recklessly –

(a) take or use the title of “registered health practitioner”, whether with or without any other words; or

(b) take or use a title, name, initial, symbol, word or description that, having regard to the circumstances in which it is taken or used, indicates or could be reasonably understood to indicate

(i) the person is a health practitioner; or

(ii) the person is authorised or qualified to practise in a health profession; or

(c) claim to be registered under this Law or hold himself or herself out as being registered under this Law; or

(d) claim to be qualified to practise as a health practitioner.

Maximum penalty –

(a) in the case of an individual – $30,000; or

(b) in the case of a body corporate-$60,000.

(2) A person must not knowingly or recklessly –

(a) take or use the title of “registered health practitioner”, whether with or without any other words, in relation to another person who is not a registered health practitioner; or

(b) take or use a title, name, initial, symbol, word or description that, having regard to the circumstances in which it is taken or used, indicates or could be reasonably understood to indicate –

(i) another person is a health practitioner if the other person is not a health practitioner; or

(ii) another person is authorised or qualified to practise in a health profession if the other person is not a registered health practitioner in that health profession; or

(c) claim another person is registered under this Law, or hold the other person out as being registered under this Law, if the other person is not registered under this Law; or

(d) claim another person is qualified to practise as a health practitioner if the other person is not a registered health practitioner.

Maximum penalty –

(a) in the case of an individual – $30,000; or

(b) in the case of a body corporate – $60,000.

For the purposes of section 116, “health profession” is defined by section 5 to mean: “the following professions, and includes a recognised specialty in any of the following professions – … “(e) medical” and … “(n) psychology”. And “health practitioner” is defined to mean “an individual who practises a health profession”.

So, with Jacqui Hoepner’s wind farm health investigation limited to one about “symptoms”, which can only involve the physiological and/or psychological aspects of human health, if she contacts you to quiz you about your symptoms, you might like to contact AHPRA about what she tells you about her qualifications.

AHPRA is in the business of protecting the integrity of Australia’s health system, by preventing unqualified people holding themselves out as being qualified to investigate, diagnose or otherwise make public statements about the causes and effects of reported and recorded health symptoms: that’s the kind of stuff properly reserved for legally qualified medical practitioners.

So, if you get anybody suggesting to you that they’re qualified to investigate your symptoms, why not give AHPRA a call – or drop them a line? You’ll get the number, the email and postal address right here:AHPRA Contact.

Oh, nearly forgot, there’s a pretty solid case that what the ABC’s Media Watch has done – in holding out Grant, Hoepner and the guru as “experts” qualified to pass judgment on the adverse health effects caused by wind farm noise and vibration – falls smack-bang within section 116(2), by Media Watch using atitle, name, initial, symbol, word or description that, having regard to the circumstances in which it is taken or used, indicates or could be reasonably understood to indicate that:

  • another person is a health practitioner;
  • another person is authorised or qualified to practise in a health profession;
  • or to claim another person is qualified to practise as a health practitioner.

– when none of them hold any qualifications to practise in a “health profession”; or as a “health practitioner”, at all.

As well as being informed about Jacqui’s lack of health qualifications, AHPRA might also like to hear from the guru’s so-called, “wind farm wing-nuts” about Media Watch’s little “holding out” effort too? Why not drop AHPRA a line on both counts?

the platters

New Movie, Kingsman: The Secret Service – about the Elitist, Narcissistic Nature of Climate Alarmists!

Kingsman: the most subversive anti-AGW movie

Anthony Cox

Some movies are unintentionally anti-AGW because they are so pretentious like Atavaror just plain stupid like Noah.

Some are subtle and sly in their critique of AGW like Interstellar, a great movie orCaptain America: The Winter Soldier another great piece of cinema.

But there is nothing subtle or sly about Kingsman: The Secret Service; this movie presents in Technicolour the awful nature of alarmists; they are elitist, narcissistic and misanthropic. And riddled in hypocrisy.

The villain is Valentine, played by Samuel Jackson. Valentine is another tech billionaire who despises his fellow man for causing AGW. His solution is to kill off 99.9% of the human population.

His sales pitch to the rich and famous is classic alarmist agigprop. Valentine tells them that humans are a virus raising the temperature of the living Earth. If the virus isn’t destroyed the planet’s fever will worsen and either the planet will fight back and kill the disease of the disease will kill the planet.

The idea that humans are a disease or parasite has underpinned the AGW narrative and is espoused by all the leading AGW scientists and particularly AGW’s many rich supporters like Bill Gates.

In Kingsman Valentine is seen convincing Obama of his vision which is ironic since Obama’s chief scientist, John Holdren, is an avid supporter of forced reduction of humanity. In real life Obama would have taking no convincing.

Valentine, as the archetypal rich supporter of AGW,  has a tenuous hold on real life. He thinks he is living in a movie and can’t stand the sight of blood even though he is prepared to kill billions.

Valentine is the perfect portrayal of the elitist loon who supports AGW. He has made his vast wealth from his society and now as a matter of vanity will destroy that society. The thought that his lifestyle will cease when the society is destroyed doesn’t enter his thinking. This is cognitive dissonance on a grand scale.

Valentine implants chips in the chosen ones so they can resist the doomsday device he has perfected.

In a delicious twist all the elistists, including Obama (and Prince Charles) literally lose their heads when the device backfires.

The movie wittily portrays the religious nature of AGW belief when Valentine tests his device on a bible bashing Southern Baptist church. The message is plain: when religion claims to be fact trouble is inevitable. This is what has happened with AGW: it is religion masquerading as fact. Armed with the pseudoscience of AGW rich crackpots like Valentine can live out their dreams. At the end Valentine can’t tell reality from his ego generated bubble of fantasy.

The movie offers no formal solution to the blight of public corruption by the AGW scam and relies on a steadfast and very aggressive secret organisation to violently eradicate the AGW zealots and hypocrites.

We should be so lucky in the real world.

DEBUNKING THE SCAM….

CO2 is a “trace gas” in air, insignificant by definition. It absorbs 1/7th as much IR, heat energy, from sunlight as water vapor which has 188 times as many molecules capturing 1200 times as much heat making 99.8% of all “global warming.” CO2 does only 0.2% of it. For this we should destroy our economy?

There is no possible “greenhouse effect” in an atmosphere. A greenhouse has a solid, clear cover that traps heat. The atmosphere does not trap heat as gas molecules cannot form surfaces as required for greenhouses. Molecules have to be in contact, as in liquids and solids like water and glass, to form surfaces.

The Medieval Warming from 800 AD to 1300 AD Micheal Mann erased to make his “hockey stick” was several degrees warmer than anything “global warmers” fear. It was the longest time, 500 years, of peace with great abundance for all.

Vostock Ice Core data analysis show CO2 increases follow temperature increases by 800 years 19 times in 450,000 years. That means temperature change is cause and CO2 change effect; not the other way around. This alone refutes the anthropogenic global warming concept.

Methane is called “a greenhouse gas 20 to 500 times more potent than CO2,” depending on who is raving, but it is not per the on-line absorption chart at the American Meteorological Society. It has an absorption profile very similar to nitrogen which is classified “transparent” to IR, heat waves and is only present to 18 ppm. “Green vegans” blame cow flatulence for global warming in their war against eating meat.

Carbon combustion generates 80% of our energy. Control and taxing of carbon would give the elected ruling class more power and money than anything since the Magna Carta of 1215 AD.

Most scientists and science educators work for tax supported institutions. They are eager to help government raise more money for them and they love being seen as “saving the planet.”

Google “Two Minute Conservative,” and you will be applauded when you speak truth at your next dinner party, barbecue or church picnic.

Wind Weasels Do NOT Care Who They Hurt!

Wind Power Outfits – Thugs and Bullies the World Over

tn_conwal-graveyard-6nov10-114

Potential threat to burial site on route to wind farm
Press release, Inishowen, Donegal, Ireland
4 March 2015

PRESS RELEASE

The developer of the wind farm at Crockbrack Hill has sent the Council a map that shows the route the turbines and related material will take from Noone’s Bridge past Ballinacrae Chapel into the Long Glen.

One local resident has said:

“I have recently had sight of the transport route of the wind turbines destined for Crockbrack Hill, near Kinnagoe Bay.

The most disturbing aspect of the plan is to cut through the field beside Ballinacrae Chapel to widen and build up the road to take the weight, width and length of lorries carrying turbines, cranes and concrete.

This passes close to the site of the old Ballinacrae chapel and graveyard which is still in use. Across the road is the new chapel and new graveyard.

What concerns me is that in my generation many of us know of relatives who died before baptism and in later life in tragic circumstances who were not buried on consecrated ground. It was traditional custom and practise for burials in children’s graves or along the hedges and walls on the outside of graveyards, in the adjacent field.

I go cold at the thought of a contractor possibly digging up human bones of all ages and discarding them in a pile of rubble to be dumped in a pit on Crockbrack hill”.

Another local resident said:

“Two years ago we went to local councillors and they knew nothing about the wind farm or the route. Since then they have promised that the tree in Moville would be saved from having to be chopped down to get the wind turbines through the village. And now this. This is far more upsetting.”

END OF PRESS RELEASE

After the above was printed in one paper, phone calls came asking for interviews on the local radio. It was of interest to the press. It was clearly of public interest. The local residents were excited and reassured by the level of media interest.

What the local residents didn’t expect was how the developer would respond.

He rang the paper and threatened them with his solicitors.

A letter from his solicitors duly arrived at the paper threatening legal action against the paper.

Then he sent the same solicitor’s letter to all the other print media and radio media in the area.

We are told by a reliable source that his solicitor letters stated the article defamed the developer.

You may have noticed that the developer’s name is not mentioned in the article. Nor was it in the solicitor’s letter demanding a correction.

The developers are two brothers out of Letterkenny called Eamonn and Niall Doherty. They have several wind companies (11 at the last count). The company that is developing the Kinnagoe Bay Crockbrack Hill wind farm is Regan Wind (Company Number: 495480). Their solicitors are Lanigan and Clarke. The consultants preparing the application, amendments and appeals are Harley Newman, Planning and Development Consultants. This is a partnership between Jim Harley and Conall Newman.

The residents are left bemused by the developer’s tactics.

  • Were they not planning to do an archaeological survey on that part of the field close to the graveyard, before any work began?
  • If they found remains, would it hold up the development?
  • Has the Council given them permission to go ahead?

The permission for the Wind Farm was granted in December 2012 by An Bord Pleanála, after an appeal by the developer to Donegal Council’s rejection of it. An Bord Pleanála rejected their own Inspector’s recommendation to turn down the appeal on the grounds that the site is inappropriate for a wind farm. Since then the developer has put in seven amendments and another appeal. He has yet to start building.

Absent from the An Bord Pleanála Conditions attached to the permission was the need for the developer to state the route to be used for the transportation of the turbines and relevant materials. Is this unusual?

Equally significant, the absence of a Condition addressing the route means that An Bord Pleanála obviously then did not require an Archaeological Survey on that land.

The residents are left with questions.

  • What is more important, the developers’ profit or possibly disturbing the sanctity of the dead?
  • Why so heavy handed with the press and media over a stretch of land? What are they frightened of?
  • If they intended to do an archaeological survey, which they have to do on the site itself, why wouldn’t they say so?
  • Are they hiding something?
  • Will they use these kinds of tactics again?

National Wind Watch

Kinnego Bay in north Inishowen

Lies are the “Fuel”, that the Wind Industry Thrives On!

Ian Macfarlane, Greg Hunt & Australia’s Wind Power Debacle: is it Dumb and Dumber 2, or Liar Liar?

dumb 3

 

Australia’s Energy Minister, Ian “Macca” Macfarlane and his youthful ward, Environment Minister, Greg Hunt are the flies in the Coalition’s political ointment, when it comes to engineering anything like a sensible policy on energy. Both Macfarlane’s and Hunt’s offices are filled with wind industry plants and stooges, like Hunt’s senior adviser, Patrick Gibbons. Patrick is best mates with Vesta’s former head – and now full-time wind industry lobbyist – Ken McAlpine.

Both Macca and Hunt are still working flat-out at the minute trying to salvage the wreckage of the (completely unsustainable) Large-ScaleRenewable Energy Target (LRET).

For months now, Macca has been trying to cut a deal with Labor in an effort to help his mates over at the near-bankrupt wind power outfit, Infigen (aka Babcock and Brown) stay afloat.

Meanwhile, Macca’s side-kick, Greg Hunt has been trying to woo the cross-bench Senators, as part of the same last-ditch, salvage and rescue mission: back in December, Greg jetted down to Hobart to try and convince newly independent Tasmanian Senator, Jacqui Lambie about the “wonders” of wind power (see our post here).

And his office has pulled out all stops to prevent anyone with the first clue about the scale of the great wind power fraud from having any directcontact with Hunt, to avoid the Minister being confronted and embarrassed by the facts of an unmitigated policy fiasco (see our post here).

For more than just a little while, STT has been pointing out that the Large-Scale Renewable Energy Target (LRET) is simply unsustainable – be that as a matter of simple economics; or as a cold, hard political fact.

STT provided a very detailed analysis as to just why the LRET is all set to implode, in this post:

LRET “Stealth Tax” to Cost Australian Power Punters $30 BILLION

And backed it up in this post:

Rearranging Deckchairs on the Titanic: or Ian Macfarlane’s Futile Efforts to Save the LRET & his mates at Infigen

As part of STT’s analysis we drew the parallels between the collapse of the government backed, wool Reserve Price Scheme (RPS) back in 1991, and the inevitable collapse of the LRET.

Both effectively involved government (read “taxpayer”) underwritten floor prices, aimed at protecting the prices received by producers. The RPS collapsed because wool buyers simply refused to buy wool at the mandated floor price. The LRET will collapse because electricity retailers are refusing to enter Power Purchase Agreements with wind power outfits: PPAs are only entered in order to buy Renewable Energy Certificates, which are used by retailers to satisfy the LRET target.

Australia’s commercial power retailers have downed pens – having refused to enter any PPAs for over two years – they have no intention of doing so now; and will simply pay the shortfall charge, and collect it as a Federal tax from struggling power consumers (a theme to which we will return below). In the absence of long-term PPAs, wind power outfits will never obtain finance to build any new wind farms, which means that there will be no new wind power capacity built from here on (see our post here).

So, all the talk from Hunt and Macfarlane about “adjusting” targets under the LRET is little more than meaningless political twaddle. Despite all their smooth talk and conciliatory tones over reaching a “reasonable” deal with Labor on a “new” target, neither Hunt, nor Macfarlane can force Origin’s Grant King – or any other retailer – to enter PPAs; purchase RECs; or otherwise play ball, to save either the LRET, their mates at Infigen, or their political skins.

First, we’ll tune into some political gobbledygook dished up by Macfarlane on Sky News a couple of weeks back.

Sky News
Ian Macfarlane Interview with Sky News
26 February 2015

JOURNALIST: How are your negotiations going with the Opposition and others when it comes to the Renewable Energy Target? Any progress?

IAN MACFARLANE: Well we have put a position to the industry. We are waiting for the industry to consider it. The reality is that we have a gross oversupply of electricity generation in Australia and the biggest obstacle to the renewable energy industry building new capacity at the moment is that they can’t get anyone to buy the electricity because there is so much electricity generation around.

Now I’ve offered them a process of certainty, I’ve offered them a number and I’ve offered them a guarantee that this will be the last review before 2020 so that we change the legislation that requires a review every two years. I’ve offered them a scheme where we will deal with the overhang of credits in the market, so the industry can get on and build, particularly those wind farms that have already been given an approval and have gone to final investment decision, so we can continue to see the amount of renewable energy generated in Australia grow.

That is still happening. I mean, we’re still seeing an exponential growth in rooftop solar in Australia and we are on track to very significantly exceed the rooftop solar target which was 4,000 gigawatt hours and we’re already at about 7,000 gigawatt hours. So it is happening. The industry will have to understand that we are not going to build way more generation capacity then we need. There has to be some rationality in this. The other problem they’ve got is that if the scheme stays as it is, and that’s the alternative – that we just walk away and leave it – the renewable energy industry will be the one that pays the cost of that.

JOURNALIST: Is that offer that you have extended to the industry, above 30,000 gigawatt hours?

IAN MACFARLANE: I’m not going to get involved in that discussion, but look, yes it is. The industry knows what it is, I’m sure the Labor Party knows what it is because they seem to work in lockstep with the Clean Energy Council. The offer that’s been made is based not only on sound policy, but on the reality of where renewable energy is in Australia and that is that we are seeing a significant growth in rooftop and small scale solar which has to be taken into consideration. We don’t want to do it in a way which impinges on the large scale renewable energy scheme.

So they’ve got an offer, they can think about it for as long as they like, because until they come to an agreement, the scheme will continue untouched. So the scheme that has been agreed to by Penny Wong and I back in 2009 will continue as it is. We’re not going to touch it.

JOURNALIST: It’s been a somewhat messy process hasn’t it, and it has delivered a whole lot of uncertainty for the industry?

IAN MACFARLANE: No well I don’t think it has. I mean the situation is we’ve got a scheme that everyone agrees is going to go into default, is not going to be sustainable, is going to basically do something that in the end is not good for the renewable energy industry. I’ve offered them a compromise, an alternative, a logical solution to the issue, or they can keep the scheme they’ve got. That’s their choice.

If they don’t want compromise, if they don’t want to come to a point where we can actually have a sustainable renewable energy scheme, one which I’ve been involved in since day one since 2001 when I was the Resources Minister, if they don’t want to do that, then I’ll give them what they’ve got. I’ll give them what they asked for. That is the current scheme.

But I know that is going to end in tears and I know the people that will lose out of that will actually be the renewable energy industry.

JOURNALIST: Industry and Science Minister Ian Macfarlane, thanks for your time.
Sky News

Macfarlane would have been better off saving his breath. The “conversation” above was little more than a besieged Minister, thinking out loud in a stream of consciousness session, in the presence of a bemused observer.

For Mcfarlane – and his wind industry backers – the “elephant in the room” is the fact that retailers have NO reason to enter PPAs – and every reason not to. In the result, Australian power consumers will inevitably end up paying $30 billion in a stealth tax under the LRET. Which brings us to Mcfarlane’s little throwaways that:

[T]the renewable energy industry will be the one that pays the cost of that”.  “But I know that is going to end in tears and I know the people that will lose out of that will actually be the renewable energy industry”.

Er, not quite, Ian. The biggest losers will be REAL Australian businesses, and hard-pressed households, who will end up paying for the costliest and most pointless policy debacle in the Commonwealth’s history.

At this point, we’ll pick up a little more twaddle from the “dynamic duo”, as young Greg Hunt ties himself in knots on ABC radio.

Renewable Energy Target
ABC Radio (The World Today)
Interview with David Mark
5 March 2015

DAVID MARK: Greg Hunt, the issue of the Renewable Energy Target, where it should be set, has been running for some time. You’ve been holding talks with the various industry representatives as well as the Labor Party. What is the progress of those talks?

GREG HUNT: Good. We are making real and significant and important progress. My view is that we are within reach of an agreement which will effectively double the renewable energy that has been installed over the last fifteen years within the next five years. Real progress on a constructive basis, but in a way which will manage people’s power prices and take any risk of additional pressure off them.

DAVID MARK: You talk about doubling the amount of renewable energy; the sticking point has been over this target. Should it be 41,000 gigawatt hours, which was the target set back when the RET first was set up, or the 26,000 that you were originally proposing. What’s the number?

GREG HUNT: Sure, you can understand that I won’t put any particular figure on the table but I think what matters to the Australian public is that we are making real progress, we are within sight of an agreement, we’re working constructively with the sector and I really appreciate their work.

We are also working constructively with the ALP and the manufacturing sector and so the critical part here is the potential for doubling what’s been installed over the last 15 years within half a decade and that’s a very good outcome for the environment, it’s a good outcome for the sector, but it means it will be done in a way that it can actually build rather than the risk of not achieving and then falling into a de-facto, massive penalty carbon tax of $93 per tonne which nobody wants to see.

DAVID MARK: Will the doubling of that renewable power, that renewable electricity be as a result of the RET? Or are you talking about other programmes?

GREG HUNT: No this is exclusively through the Renewable Energy Target. So the way the Renewable Energy Target works – for the listeners – is a benchmark is set. It has to be achieved by law and therefore the renewable energy has to be built and supplied to that level. If we reach an agreement which is an effective doubling then that is very, very significant.

It means that the renewable energy will have to be constructed, but it will be done in a way which ensures that it’s real renewable energy that is actually generated rather than a figure created but which is never actually built, which is then paid for by a penalty in the form of a $93 per tonne carbon tax and that’s been our concern.

I think we are very close, very close to a constructive outcome both for emissions, for solar, for renewable energy and for putting a cap in terms of removing any risk of a jump in power prices which was the legacy of the flaw in the pre-existing system.

DAVID MARK: As you know there are a large number of projects – wind projects and other projects – that are on the shelf now because of the uncertainty over the RET. If you get the deal that you’re talking about now, that you say you’re close to negotiating, are those projects going to be taken off the shelf? Will they be built?

GREG HUNT: Well I think this will allow additional renewable energy. Whether it’s solar or geothermal, whether it is small hydro or other forms of renewable energy, to proceed. We are of course…

DAVID MARK: But what about those projects that have been shelved will they come into play again?

GREG HUNT: Well of course, by definition, the projects that are most ready to go are those that are most likely to advance immediately. We are still increasing our renewable energy. I saw a list of many, many projects that have been commenced over the course of the last year.

I think that that’s been a tremendous step forward, but the risk that we all faced was failing to achieve the target because realistically the build just wasn’t possible and as a consequence, facing a massive $93 a tonne carbon tax penalty equivalent, whereas we can avoid that dead-weight cost, we can protect people’s power prices, but we can get the prospect of solar and wind and hydro and geothermal – these are real and significant steps forward.

DAVID MARK: You’re not talking about numbers but can you give us an indication? Obviously that number is going to somewhere between 26,000 gigawatt hours and 41. Is that correct?

GREG HUNT: That’s correct. And I’m not being…

DAVID MARK: In the upper 30s, in the lower 40s?

GREG HUNT: No, look, I have always said that we need to achieve a modest, sensible, balanced outcome. We’re being very reasonable. To be frank, I’ve found a very different position from the ALP in the last week and I respect and appreciate that, it’s been encouraging and constructive. And similarly we’ve found an extremely constructive approach from the Clean Energy Council and many members.

People have decided they want a deal and so I understandably won’t speculate on a number, but the order of magnitude for the Australian public is an approximate or near doubling of renewable energy in the ground and being generated.

DAVID MARK: Greg Hunt, how much has this period of uncertainty cost the renewables industry?

GREG HUNT: Well, I think that if we head towards a realistic target, that is the best long term sustainable outcome and it actually will advantage the sector in the medium term.

DAVID MARK: When do you expect to sign off on a deal?

GREG HUNT: I won’t put a timeframe on it but I would like to do it early and soon. We, of course, inherited the statutory review. It was a review enshrined in law by the ALP when they set up the Renewable Energy Target.

People can agree or disagree – it was inherited, we’ve done it, but I think we can get an outcome here which good for clean energy production, good for consumers – that has been an extremely important issue to make sure that the risk of a massive spike and penalty and burden for consumers is avoided.

DAVID MARK: You say want to do a deal soon – what are the sticking points?

GREG HUNT: Look I think that obviously the number and the means of calculation, but we’re close on that. Then something that’s been very important to the renewable sector has been soaking up some of the 24 million surplus credits which were created largely as a result of the phantom credit scheme where people were paid for renewable energy which was never actually produced.

Extraordinary, amazing, incredible. A bizarre Labor initiative, but we’ve had to deal with the consequences of that and there is a way through that I think we have largely agreed upon with the Clean Energy Council and those are the two most important things.

DAVID MARK: Greg Hunt, thanks very much for your time.

GREG HUNT: It’s a pleasure.
ABC, The World Today

Let’s start by throwing a spotlight on some of Hunt’s little musings – we’ve highlighted the important bits above, but we’ll set them out again:

We are also working constructively with the ALP and the manufacturing sector and so the critical part here is the potential for doubling what’s been installed over the last 15 years within half a decade and that’s a very good outcome for the environment, it’s a good outcome for the sector, but it means it will be done in a way that it can actually build rather than the risk of not achieving and then falling into a de-facto, massive penalty carbon tax of $93 per tonne which nobody wants to see.

It means that the renewable energy will have to be constructed, but it will be done in a way which ensures that it’s real renewable energy that is actually generated rather than a figure created but which is never actually built, which is then paid for by a penalty in the form of a $93 per tonne carbon tax and that’s been our concern.

I think that that’s been a tremendous step forward, but the risk that we all faced was failing to achieve the target because realistically the build just wasn’t possible and as a consequence, facing a massive $93 a tonne carbon tax penalty equivalent, whereas we can avoid that dead-weight cost, we can protect people’s power prices, but we can get the prospect of solar and wind and hydro and geothermal – these are real and significant steps forward.

What Greg is referring to – but can’t quite bring himself to mention – is the $65 per MWh shortfall charge (read “fine”) mandated under the LRET; which is destined to add $30 billion to Australian power bills over the life of the scheme (see below and our post here).

What Greg must surely know – but can’t bear revealing – is that there is no way any new wind power capacity is going to be added to satisfy the current (or any “amended”) target under the LRET.

With retailers refusing to enter PPAs; and, instead, deciding to pay the shortfall charge, the full cost of that penalty will simply be recovered as aFederal tax on all Australian electricity consumers. In an effort to bring the LRET rort to an end, retailers aim to make that politically unpalatable fact plain on their power bills, by adding the words “Federal Tax on Electricity Consumers”.

But, it’s Greg’s confusing claim that building new wind power capacity will, by avoiding the shortfall penalty, somehow “protect people’s power prices”  – that has STT’s attention.  According to young Greg’s take on things, rolling out thousands of giant fans will, magically, result in lower retail power prices.

Time to look at some numbers; and put Greg’s wild claims to the sword.

The LRET target is set by s40 of the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000 (here).

At the present time, the total annual contribution to the LRET from eligible renewable energy generation sources is 16,000 GWh; and, because retailers will not enter PPAs, is stuck there now and forever.

In the table below, the “Shortfall in MWh (millions)” is based on a total contribution to the LRET from eligible renewable sources of 16,000,000 MWh (1GWh = 1,000MWh). The LRET target is, likewise, set out in MWh (millions). As set out below, this means that the shortfall charge will kick in this calendar year; insiders say later this month.

Between now and 2031 the total target could be satisfied by the issue and surrender of 587 million RECs. However, with only 16 million RECs available annually there will be a total shortfall of 331 million. That means that only 256 million RECs will be available to satisfy the remaining 587 million MWh target, over the life of the LRET.

The REC price is, due to the impact of the shortfall charge, expected to hit $94, and, due to the taxation treatment of RECs versus the shortfall charge, the full cost of the shortfall charge to retailers is also $94.

At the end of the day, retailers will have to recover the TOTAL cost of BOTH RECs AND the shortfall charge from Australian power consumers, via retail power bills. And that’s the figure we’ve totted up in the right hand column – which combines the annual cost to retailers of 16 million RECs at $94 (ie $1,504,000,000) and the shortfall penalty, as it applies each year from now until 2031, at the same ultimate cost to power consumers of $94.

Year Target in MWh (millions) Shortfall in MWh (millions) Shortfall Charge Recovered by Retailers @ $94 Total Recovered by Retailers as RECs & Shortfall Charge @ $94
2015 18 2 $188,000,000 $1,692,000,000
2016 22.6 6.6 $620,400,000 $2,124,400,000
2017 27.2 11.2 $1,052,800,000 $2,556,800,000
2018 31.8 15.8 $1,485,200,000 $2,989,200,000
2019 36.4 20.4 $1,917,600,000 $3,421,600,000
2020 41 25 $2,350,000,000 $3,854,000,000
2021 41 25 $2,350,000,000 $3,854,000,000
2022 41 25 $2,350,000,000 $3,854,000,000
2023 41 25 $2,350,000,000 $3,854,000,000
2024 41 25 $2,350,000,000 $3,854,000,000
2025 41 25 $2,350,000,000 $3,854,000,000
2026 41 25 $2,350,000,000 $3,854,000,000
2027 41 25 $2,350,000,000 $3,854,000,000
2028 41 25 $2,350,000,000 $3,854,000,000
2029 41 25 $2,350,000,000 $3,854,000,000
2030 41 25 $2,350,000,000 $3,854,000,000
Total 587 331 $31,114,000,000 $55,178,000,000

 

So, once regard is had to the legislation on which the LRET is based, and the fact that retailers will be recovering BOTH the cost of the shortfall charge AND the cost of purchasing whatever RECs might be available, it’s hard to see how building new wind power capacity will “protect people’s power prices” – as young Gregory claims.

Whether it’s RECs being generated by current (or additional) wind power generation, or the shortfall charge being applied, retailers will be recovering the combined costs of BOTH – and power consumers will not “avoid” any of it.

As our simple little exercise in arithmetic makes plain, over $55 billion will be added to all Australian power consumers’ bills; irrespective of whether young Greg is able to satisfy the desires of his mates at Infigen & Co to carpet the country in giant fans.

Not that it matters much to Australian power consumers footing the bill, but the ONLY difference is where that $55 billion gets funnelled. In the case of the REC Tax, that gets directed as a subsidy to wind power outfits (like Infigen and Pac Hydro); in the case of the shortfall charge, that gets directed to the Federal government, and goes straight into general revenue – as we call it, a “stealth tax” – as young Greg calls it, a: “massive penalty carbon tax.”

Which leaves us wondering whether Greg Hunt simply doesn’t know his onions – and is simply a bumbling incompetent, unfit to be left anywhere near Australia’s energy policy?

Or, if Greg has got a grip on the facts relevant to the operation and cost of the LRET, whether he’s just playing “dumb”; telling “porkies”; and taking the Australian public for fools?

But, behind Greg’s fluffing, there is a little paradox, wrapped up in an energy irony; in this unfolding policy fiasco.

It seems difficult to suggest that Australian power consumers will be better off being hit with a $30 billion stealth tax (in the form of the shortfall charge under the LRET), but that, indeed, is the practical result. Yes, that’s right; Australian power consumers will be financially better off if left to simply pay $30 billion in a pointless electricity tax.

If Greg Hunt was able to realise the dreams of his benefactors at Infigen & Co, not only would Australians be hit with the combined $55 billion cost of REC Tax/Subsidy and the shortfall charge (as set out above), any substantial increase in wind power generation capacity brings with it a number of totally unnecessary, additional and phenomenal costs – all of which will be borne by Australian power consumers.

Let’s start with just a few of them.

“Investment” in wind power generation capacity

The wind industry has been bleating about uncertainty over the LRET that will “prevent” some $17 billion worth of “investment” in new wind power generation capacity. That amount is, apparently, said to be what’s needed to install the turbines needed to satisfy the ultimate 41,000 GWh target from 2020 and beyond.

The wind industry throws around the term “investment”, as if wind power outfits are lining up to make an outright, “no-strings-attached” gift of $17 billion to Australian power consumers. What the wind industry and its parasites don’t say is that – like any capital investment – the investors stumping up the cash will be looking for a juicy return in exchange.

Any investor naturally looks for a return on a capital investment. Ideally, that return exceeds bank interest and – if there is any risk involved – accounts for that risk by way of higher returns. Investors in wind farm projects – due to the massive REC Subsidy – aim for a gross return on the capital invested in the order of 20% per annum.

That means that the investors stumping up $17 billion to install new turbines will be looking to recover $3.4 billion from power consumers each and every year to achieve that level of return: returns on wind power investments can only be recouped via income received from power sales – there is NO other source of revenue.

So, rather than being the objects of $17 billion in wind industry largesse, power consumers are being lined up for an enormous, additional and – because there is already ample generating capacity to meet (declining) demand well into the future – completely unnecessary $3.4 billion hit in the hip pocket each and every year.

Further unnecessary capital costs and “investment” in a duplicated electricity grid

For a little history of the LRET and a great summary of its likely total costs – see this detailed article by Ray Evans and Tom Quirk.

Back in 2009 Tom and Ray predicted with chilling accuracy (in this paper) the escalation of power prices due to increasing wind power generation.

Ray and Tom concluded that the total capital cost of installing an extra 26,000 MW of wind power capacity to reach the 2020 target is in the order of $52 billion.

On their figures, adding to that cost will be the need to have backup generation capacity of at least 23,400 MW – from base-load sources such as coal or gas – to ensure continuity of supply. In addition, this will also bring with it the need to pay the cost of having conventional generators on standby to meet demand during routine and unpredictable collapses in wind power output, through what are called “capacity payments” (see our post here).

And to absorb the intermittent and unpredictable wind power generated by wind turbines dispersed over Tasmania, South Australia, New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland – all feeding into the Eastern grid – there will need to be at least $30 billion invested in a duplicated transmission network.

The wind industry and its parasites try to deflect the true cost of the LRET and wind power by attributing escalating power prices to the cost of “poles and wires” – when they talk about “gold plated networks” (for a detailed rebuttal to that furphy, see our post here). To carry 26,000 MW of new wind power generating capacity, scattered all over South-Eastern Australia, will require the network to be “platinum plated”.

The $30 billion talked about by Ray and Tom in their papers is the cost of duplicating the network just to take wind power – on the few occasions it actually delivers (see our posts here and here and here and here).

What Tom Evans and Ray Quirk mean by duplicating the transmission network to accommodate wind power includes $107 million for an interconnector for no other purpose than to send South Australian generated wind power to Victoria at night-time – as reported by The Age.

A network exclusively devoted to sending wind power output from remote, rural locations to urban population centres (where the demand is) will only ever carry meaningful output 30-35% of the time, at best. The balance of the time, networks devoted to carrying wind power will carry nothing – for lengthy periods there will be no return on the capital cost – the lines will simply lay idle until the wind picks up.

The 26,000 MW of new wind power capacity that Ray and Tom suggest would be built to meet the 41,000 GWh target would see turbines spread far and wide over rural NSW, SA, Victoria, Queensland and Tasmania (which would be all connected to the Eastern grid). For that to happen, a network will need to be built that runs in the reverse direction to the existing grid.

Most major capitals have substantial generating capacity within relatively close proximity and existing networks radiate out from there – sending power out to rural and regional towns and farms. With wind farms being spread over huge geographical areas their output has to be chanelled back to where the markets are. The coasts and coastal cities are where the populations are – rural and regional Australia is relatively sparsely populated and the further you go inland the sparser it gets.

To specifically cater for a huge increase in wind power capacity will necessarily require an enormous investment in dedicated high capacity transmission lines (and all the other associated infrastructure) running from remote, regional and rural Australia back to the population centres – rather than the other way round.

We haven’t even got to the costs of installing and operating highly inefficient peaking power plants needed to backup wind power capacity when it disappears each day and for days on end, but we’ve made our point (for the impact of peaking power on power prices, see our postshere and here).

As our little table shows, the operation of the LRET means that retailers will be recovering $55 billion; as either REC Tax/Subsidy; or as the shortfall charge – and, either way, it’s Australian power consumers that will be paying for the lot.

In the event that there is any further increase in wind power generation capacity that equation does not alter, except that a greater proportion will be recovered as REC Tax/Subsidy, rather than as the shortfall charge.

However, if there is any increase in wind power generation capacity it will simply result in increased capital costs needed to install turbines; build a duplicated transmission grid; build additional peaking power generation capacity; and/or to pay “capacity payments” to conventional generators, etc, etc.

And, on top of that, comes the return on all of that capital “investment”: at least $52 billion to install 26,000 MW of further wind power capacity; and a further $30 billion in setting up a network to get it to market. Power consumers will end up paying for all of that “investment” through their power bills – think of a 20% gross annual return being recovered from power consumers on an $82 billion investment.

The potential cost to power consumers can only be described as colossal.

Which is why STT says that power consumers will, in fact, the better off by simply paying $30 billion to satisfy the shortfall charge under the LRET from here on.

Retailers, like Origin’s Grant King are perfectly aware that fully satisfying the LRET target by way of new wind power generation capacity will drive retail power prices through the roof over the next four years.

As we have pointed out, electricity retailers have a choice: enter PPAs to purchase RECs, or pay the shortfall charge; and they’ve decided to be hit with the latter, and to recover it via retail power bills. So, for retailers, whatever the LRET target might end up at is a matter of utter commercial indifference.

In the LRET wash up, retailers are aware that retail power prices will actually be substantially lower if there is no new wind power generation capacity built, because it avoids the need for added network costs etc – massive costs which retailers will be bound to recover from power consumers.

For retailers, power consumers aren’t just voters who might take out their anger at a ballot box every few years; these are a power retailers’ only customers: and these customers are already struggling to pay their power bills – tens of thousands of Australian households can’t afford their power bills now (see our posts here and here).

So, despite young Gregory’s weaselly efforts to deflect attention from the ultimate costs of the LRET to Australian power consumers, his little subterfuge is unlikely to slip under the guard of Australia’s power retailers: these boys are no fools.

And, soon enough, Australia’s power consumers will work out that they are being lined up to pay the obscene costs of an unmitigated power policy debacle.

The only question remaining is whether their Energy and Environment Ministers are just plain dumb, or whether they’re bare-faced liars?

liarliar

Wind Pushers and their Cronies Will Do Anything to Cover Up the Truth!

NHMRC Fails Science 101 in Continued Wind Farm Health Cover Up

warwick-anderson

 

Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council has long since disqualified itself as a body fit, willing, or even able to investigate and report on the known and obvious consequences to human health and well-being caused by incessant turbine generated low-frequency noise and infrasound.

From the get go, it’s been infiltrated by wind industry consultants, such as Norm Broner and wind industry advocates like Liz Hanna, who continue to direct traffic at, what is supposed to be, an independent medical research body, designed to protect public health at enormous taxpayer expense (see our post here).

A few weeks back, the NHMRC pumped out another politically inspired piece of propaganda, asserting that there was “no consistent evidence” of wind farms causing adverse health effects.

The inclusion of the weasel word “consistent” in the NHMRC’s puffy press piece is telling; and it’s a theme we’ll return to a moment, when we revisit the concept of basic science, in the general, and hypothesis testing, in the particular.

But first to a recent performance by the NHMRC’s chair, Warwick Anderson before the Senate Estimates Committee.

Community Affairs Legislation Committee – 25/02/2015 – Estimates – HEALTH PORTFOLIO – National Health and Medical Research Council

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Senator MADIGAN: Thank you, gentlemen. I note that the NHMRC was aware of Steven Cooper’s research at Cape Bridgewater commissioned by Pacific Hydro. Given the endorsement of Mr Cooper’s acoustic investigation by senior acousticians internationally, such as Dr Paul Schomer and Dr George Hessler, both of whom worked for the wind industry, I would like to know what your acoustic expert Dr Norm Broner thought of Mr Cooper’s report.

Prof. Anderson: Thank you to the chair and Senator McLucas for those very kind words. It is actually a great privilege to be able to serve the people of Australia in this job and, I hope, use the taxpayers’ money as effectively as possible, so thank you.

Senator Madigan, thank you for your question. Specifically on Dr Broner’s membership of the reference group, the reference group has finished its work now, so I am not sure whether I can specifically answer your question. I could ask Dr Broner, I suppose. We are of course aware of that particular study. We are not aware that it has been published in peer review papers at this moment.

I suppose the general point is that, when we do rigorous scientific analysis of the literature, we try and take all the literature into account. Of course, any individual piece of research will have its own place and its own finding, but I am sure you will understand that one piece does not wipe out previous pieces of research. Of course, we are pleased to see that more research is being done in this topic as time goes by, but, with us and our expert reference committee and so on, we always have to have a line at some stage and make the conclusions at that time.

Senator MADIGAN: I am aware that the NHMRC insist on strict confidentiality clauses in their contracts with some parties involved in this process, such as Emeritus Professor Colin Hansen, who refused to sign such an agreement. How does this requirement help ensure transparency and accountability to the Australian people and robust and open scientific debate in such a difficult area?

Prof. Anderson: We have many committees on many topics from ethics through to science, health advice and public health advice. We always ask people to sign confidentiality so that other members of the committee can engage in robust conversation with confidence that their views will not be represented or perhaps misrepresented externally. So there would be nothing unique about that particular matter, and certainly we are aware of Professor Hansen’s work.

Senator MADIGAN: I have been advised that the NHMRC is refusing to make the independent expert peer reviewers’ reports public, despite indicating to some of the peer reviewers that it would do so. Could the NHMRC make all expert peer review reports public immediately? If you will not do so, could you please explain to the committee why you are refusing to do so and how that is open and transparent?

Prof. Anderson: To make a person’s opinion available, we have to ask them whether they consent to that. We are in the process of doing that. I believe – although I am subject to correction – that the reports are already in the public domain, and there have been some questions around the individual ownership of those. That is a matter of privacy for those people, but we are, right at the moment – in fact, I gather, quite close to – getting permission, with those who do consent, to make it available. I think things are moving along there.

Senator MADIGAN: Why were the public comments made by key spokespeople for the NHMRC – you and Professor Armstrong – prioritising research for residents in homes within 1.5 kilometres of wind turbines, when Mr Cooper’s acoustic survey included one home which is unliveable at 1.6 kilometres because of the infrasound from Pacific Hydro’s wind turbines, and also when Professor Colin Hansen has measured excessive levels of low-frequency noise out to 8.7 kilometres, in the case of Waterloo, which would cause sleep disturbance at that distance?

Prof. Anderson: Quite a lot of research was accessed that has been done on noise and distance as part of the report. You have mentioned a couple of studies, but there are quite a lot of others documented in our report as so-called parallel evidence. The overwhelming bulk of the evidence shows that, up to 500 metres, there are indeed effects on health of noise at the level that wind turbines do. From 500 to 1,500, the evidence is that there probably are, although they are probably modest. And the bulk of evidence shows that, after 1,500 metres, although some people may indeed individually attribute their sleep to the wind turbine noise, the likelihood is low. I want to assure you that the research we are going to call for is not going to restrict people from any of those conclusions. We will be looking for the very best research we can.

Senator MADIGAN: Miss Mary Morris’s research at Waterloo demonstrated that rural residents were reporting impacts on their sleep out to 10 kilometres at Waterloo, which is consistent with Professor Hansen’s acoustic data. Miss Morris’s research was one of the very few studies included by the NHMRC in its very selective literature review. Why is this acoustic and population survey information out to 10 kilometres being ignored by the NHMRC, which has a responsibility to adopt a precautionary approach in order to protect the health of the public?

Prof. Anderson: With respect, Senator, we did not ignore it. If you look at our documentation, it has been taken into account. What it did not do was fulfil the criteria we set up at the beginning. This is the way you properly do systematic reviews. You set the criteria at the beginning, and then you look at the evidence. What the group found was really only seven studies, 13 publications, that fell within the criteria of adequate scientific validity and relevance to health, because not all the studies were relevant to health. But, having said that, nothing else was ignored. The committee went over thousands of submissions from all sorts of bodies. There were two calls in the public for submissions, and the committee looked at all of that. So I would not accept your suggestion that those studies were ignored.

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Senator DI NATALE: Let me also go to the statements made earlier by colleagues. I want to thank you for your many years of great service. It is with a bit of a heavy heart that I have to finish on this note, and I think we both know where this is going to go.

Prof. Anderson: You flagged it in the press.

Senator DI NATALE: I wanted you to be prepared! I am going to ask about the statement made by the NHMRC which says:

After careful consideration and deliberation of the body of evidence, NHMRC concludes that there is currently no consistent evidence that wind farms cause adverse health effects …

However, the statement then also says:

Given the poor quality of current direct evidence and the concern expressed by some members of the community, high quality research into possible health effects of wind farms, particularly within 1500 metres, is warranted.

Let me go firstly to some concerns expressed by some of the people who were involved in helping to formulate those findings. Did the NHMRC receive correspondence from any of the New South Wales Director of Health Protection, Jeremy McAnulty; Wayne Smith, the director of the Environmental Health Branch at New South Wales Health; or Rosemary Lester, the Chief Health Officer of Victoria? If so, can you tell me what the content of those emails was?

Prof. Anderson: I am not aware of the first names, so I would have to take that on notice. Wayne Smith of course was a member of the reference group, not a member of council. The reference group delivered a signed off version to the NHMRC – our information paper – which was released at the time. I am assuming that Professor Smith had agreed to that document. I am aware that, since then, he has had some disagreement with the wording, but it is not the reference group that agrees to the wording; it is the CEO of the NHMRC on the advice of the council. I have been around academics a long time. Hardly any of them ever agree about anything. I respect different views that people might have had, but we did get formal advice, agreed in the information paper, from a committee that included Professor Smith. That is that issue.

As you would be aware, the chief medical officers of all the states and territories and of the Commonwealth are members of council. In the usual way, when members of council are sent something to discuss, they often discuss it inside their department. I do not know if those conversations went in, but of course the Department of Health have a different view to us, because they might be involved in state regulations. We are not involved in that at all. We just try to make comments on the basis of the evidence and the conversation that occurs at council. There certainly were some comments back from a couple of the chief medical officers when we were finalising this, including from Dr Lester. But, at the end of the day, Dr Lester and the other CHOs and CMOs signed off and agreed with the statement.

Senator DI NATALE: What was the basis of their concerns?

Prof. Anderson: You had better ask them. My understanding of it was that, for some reason, they disagreed with us mentioning that there was community concern. I do not understand that. You are about to have a third Senate committee on windfarms. I would have thought that the Senate would not go to three committees unless it – the Senate—recognised this community concern around it. I have been terribly aware, because we have been involved in all three of these Senate committees, of the many comments that have been made about this area. So I do not resile at all from the position that, when you are a body that advises in public health, you base it on two things – the science primarily and then the second thing is the community concern. On the science, the expert committee said, ‘The science is not good; there is not much of it and it is all poor quality’. If you get that from a scientific body, what are you going to do, dismiss it? Then, as I said, the second thing is the community concern, particularly as exemplified by the Senate itself.

Senator DI NATALE: There are so many things that I would like to go to there, but we will go to a couple of them. The basis of their concern, as far as I understand it, was that any recommendation from you to suggest that there may be a link has the potential to cause harm.

Prof. Anderson: Yes, and –

Senator DI NATALE: Do you accept that?

Prof. Anderson: I think there is harm both ways.

Senator DI NATALE: No, specifically about a recommendation to suggest there may be a link when there is no evidence to suggest there is one – that such a recommendation has the potential to cause harm.

Prof. Anderson: I am sorry; I do not agree with your comment that there is no evidence there is a link. That is what I am saying. The evidence is not strong enough to say that, especially on the annoyance side, the social-cultural side and the implications of that. So I do not accept the premise on which you are asking me the question, with respect.

Senator DI NATALE: Okay, so annoyance. On the basis of annoyance, are we going to recommend having studies done into people who live next to busy motorways because they are annoying, or tall buildings?

Prof. Anderson: Many such studies have been done.

Senator DI NATALE: Are you suggesting that we do that on the basis of annoyance?

Prof. Anderson: We are going to call for research. If the research community, which I guess is where you are coming from, feel that this is not worth studying then we will not get applications that are worth doing.

Senator DI NATALE: You are offering money to do research, in a pretty fiscally constrained environment.

Prof. Anderson: We are also going to peer-review it at our usual high quality, and we are not going to spend that money, let me tell you, unless there is high-quality research. But can I come back. Put yourself – sorry, I should not say that. If you were in my place –

Senator DI NATALE: I know exactly what I would do if I were in your place, and it would not have been to make those recommendations. It would have been consistent with the advice from Rosemary Lester and the other chief health officers.

Prof. Anderson: It was not the other chief health officers, with respect again.

Senator DI NATALE: With one of the chief health officers

Prof. Anderson: There are two that expressed some concern and then eventually agreed with the statement.

Senator DI NATALE: I have the email, and the email was very clear about their concerns.

Prof. Anderson: If you like, we can share with you the final comments by both those chief medical officers.

Senator DI NATALE: How much are we talking about in terms of the amount that is going to come from the NHMRC budget? Is it half a million?

Prof. Anderson: We will, hopefully, release it soon; we are just going through the last bureaucratic processes. May I interpolate that you are talking about the statement. The council signed off 100 per cent on the targeted call for research, and that happened before.

Senator DI NATALE: Surprise, surprise!

Prof. Anderson: The council members are not going to get any benefit out of that. So the call will be up to $2.5 million over five years.

Senator DI NATALE: Is that additional money? Is that new money?

Prof. Anderson: No, that is part of our –

Senator DI NATALE: From the existing money?

Prof. Anderson: That is part of the Medical Research Endowment Account.

Senator DI NATALE: So that is money that would have gone to cancer research or diabetes research or ischemic heart disease research or research for eye disease or research for –

Prof. Anderson: Or a fellowship or a partnership project. But that will be $5 million over five years when our total expenditure –

Senator DI NATALE: Sorry, $2½ million?

Prof. Anderson: Sorry, $2.5 million – $500,000 a year – while, according to our forward estimates, we will spend about $4¼ billion on cancer and diabetes in those –

Senator DI NATALE: Yes, but it is still $2½ million not going into any of those areas and being diverted into an area that is highly questionable.

Prof. Anderson: Yes. It is out of a small group that we keep for targeted calls for research which are driven by the council and the principal committees of the NHMRC.

Senator DI NATALE: I suppose getting to this –

CHAIR: This will have to be the last question.

Senator DI NATALE: I actually have a few questions here, and I made it really clear. You said we would have half an hour for this. We convened at quarter past –

CHAIR: Sorry, Senator Di Natale. I did not say. I said we would have about 20 minutes and we would have about 25 minutes left. Senator McLucas says she will come if there is time. So, if she is going to yield her time, we have till 25 to, if we are still cooperating. If you want to keep going, we will not get to –

Senator DI NATALE: Till when, sorry?

CHAIR: Till 25 to. We were initially going to go till half past, but we are going to –

Senator DI NATALE: I have been waiting all day for these.

CHAIR: Senator Di Natale, you have had no shortage of opportunities to ask questions. I said I would split the time roughly evenly. You have had more time than Senator Madigan had, so I am not sure what part of that is not fair.

Mr Bowles: I have my sports people, who have been waiting all night.

Senator DI NATALE: There is $2½ million going towards questionable research.

CHAIR: There is a lot of money in sport as well.

Senator DI NATALE: What is the macro policy environment that dictated this decision? What is the macro policy environment? Samantha Robertson, who is the executive director of evidence, advice and governance, said that, when making this decision, they took into consideration ‘the macro policy environment’.

Prof. Anderson: I do not think I should be held responsible for what some of my staff said. It is what I said previously: we have spent a lot of time at the NHMRC working with Senate select committees over that period of time. I may be wrong, but I thought it was disrespectful to the Senate to think that that amount of focus on this issue – and I know there are different views around the Senate – but the fact that there have been three or will be three Senate select committees meant that as a responsible –

Senator DI NATALE: But aren’t you a scientific body? Don’t you make your decision on the basis of science, and not on the basis of some whim of parliamentarians, who might have an axe to grind. I thought that was the whole point of the NHMRC: you are at arm’s length from government.

CHAIR: So a decision of the Senate is now a whim when the Greens don’t agree with it?

Senator DI NATALE: This is the whole point of the NHMRC.

Prof. Anderson: It was available –

Senator DI NATALE: That is right. It is a Senate committee. You are a scientific body –

CHAIR: It was a majority of the Senate; it was not a whim of some. It was not a couple of Greens getting together –

Mr Bowles: We have heard different views tonight. I think that is a little unfair on Professor Anderson.

Senator DI NATALE: You either think science is a thing that exists or it does not. You are a scientific organisation and you are saying you are making a decision on the basis of what the Senate has decided. That is a disconnect.

Prof. Anderson: With respect, I do not think I said that. What I said was that as a scientific body an expert group gave us a report that said, ‘We are going to make conclusions on this but there is not much research and it is poor.’ The scientific committee also said, ‘Here is what needs to be done in research.’ It is in the reports in the public domain and I could read it out. Think about the situation where an expert group you have set up gives you a report and says, ‘There is not the evidence here and it needs a lot more work, and here is the research that needs to be done.’ That is the main thing –

Senator DI NATALE: Based on the macro policy environment.

Prof. Anderson: Please, I have not said that. I made the decision –

Senator DI NATALE: Your staff members said it. The executive director for evidence, advice and government has said that we are making this decision on the basis of the macro policy environment. The report says that ‘we are going to make the decision on the basis of community concern’. You are a scientific body. I do not understand how –

Prof. Anderson: You seem to be implying that we have made all the decisions on community concerns. I am saying that we made almost the majority of the decisions on the scientific feedback we got – that evidence is not very good. I think there is another issue here that I will put to the committee. With a lot of new technology – and I assume this is the sort of new technology that is supported by some people here – health issues often arise, and health issues can sometimes be used to try to stop a new technology. So, surely if you are a supporter of the new technology you want the best evidence there is so that if such ideas come up they can be brushed aside. We commission the best research in Australia. That is an issue. It is not the issue that we decided, but it is an issue others have put to us.

Senator DI NATALE: It is an argument to persist indefinitely with this sort of research, because you can continue to maintain this argument that we do not have strong evidence in this area, so we are going to continue researching the area.

Hansard 25/02/2015

Before we get to Warwick Anderson’s efforts to deflect, downplay and otherwise diminish the seriousness of the harm caused to wind farm victims in Australia and, indeed, around the world, we can’t help but notice the shrill and rampant hypocrisy dished up by so-called “Green”, Richard “Die Nasty”.

richard-di-natale

 

When he sneers about neighbours’ health complaints being the result of “annoyance”, he’s engaged in a deliberately misleading use of that term.

In acoustics, and in the context of industrial noise sources, the term “annoyance” does not involve emotional responses – ie “antipathy” to the “look” of wind turbines – a fallacious argument on which the nonsense “nocebo” theory is based. And it’s most certainly got nothing to do with whether people like the look of “tall buildings”, as he squeals.

In the NASA research done during the 1980s into health effects caused by wind turbine noise, the “annoyance” being reported by neighbours was defined to include numerous physiological responses, which were described as “sensations”. These “sensations”, which they felt rather than heard, were sensations of “pressure”, “a sense of uneasiness”, “booming or thumping pulsations”. These sensations were at their worst in the bedrooms where they were trying to sleep (see our post here).

Sleep deprivation – defined by the WHO as in itself an adverse health effect – is the most common of the adverse health effects caused by turbine generated low-frequency noise and infrasound (see our post here): it too is included in the term “annoyance”.

But, quite apart from misusing, abusing and otherwise giving our mother tongue a desperate flogging, there is Die Nasty’s hysterical hypocrisy, as he attempts to assert that the Greens are (suddenly) paragons of fiscal rectitude.

As part of their political pact with Labor, the Greens demanded that the previous government set up the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, to dole out $10 billion to “renewable” scams; including hundreds of $millions in high-risk loans to wind power outfits. Loans – using money borrowed at taxpayers’ expense, and taxpayers’ risk – to outfits like Pacific Hydro, that runs non-compliant wind farms, and which is losing money hand over fist – a situation that arose because commercial lenders rightly consider wind power outfits to be toxic lending bets (seeour post here).

The unrecoverable costs (ie losses) that the CEFC has and will incur, at taxpayers’ expense, will run into hundreds of $millions, which makes the piddling $2½ million earmarked by the NHMRC for wind turbine health research look like chump change.

Throwing other people’s money around has never really troubled the Greens – indeed, when it comes to chipping into the Commonwealth’s pot, a few of them have trouble stumping up with their share of the tax burden at all, and are happy to leave the revenue side of the government’s coffers to everybody else.

South Australian Green, Tammy Franks couldn’t be bothered with paying her tax for over a decade, and eventually got whacked with $14,000 in fines and court costs for failing to play the game the Greens expect of everyone else (see this article).

No, Die Nasty’s sneering little rant is just an extension of his wind industry paymasters’ instructions (see our post here): to prevent any further study being carried out by the NHMRC, or anybody else for that matter, into the harm known to be caused by giant fans to human health and well-being.

The shills that front the Greens, and the wind industry that pays them, work in lockstep when it comes to preventing multidisciplinary, independent health studies.

When faced with the prospect of further studies along the lines of Steven Cooper’s ground breaking Cape Bridgewater study being carried out in Australia, wind industry spruikers, the Clean Energy Council ranted that it “would not support further research” into Cooper’s findings; findings which linked the “sensations” felt by residents to low-frequency noise below the threshold of hearing (ie infrasound); and at levels well below those considered to be a problem for humans (see our posts here andhere).

Die Nasty’s disingenuous wailing is simply “set-piece” stuff drawn from the same hypocrite’s handbook.

You see, his “argument” – and that of his wind industry paymasters – is fairly easily tested: if wind turbine noise and vibration doesn’t cause health effects (like sleep deprivation, say) then the industry should welcome a full-blown study, along the lines of what Steven Cooper did at Cape Bridgewater (with medicos involved to look at the physiological effects in detail; and matched controls to support the findings).

That way it could clear its name as the cause of untold human misery; and, having been found innocent of that charge, could then simply focus on defrauding power consumers and taxpayers of $billions in subsidies; leaving tens of thousands of households no longer able to afford power at all, as the inevitable result (see our posts here and here).

But, actions belie words, most every time.

Big tobacco did it, the asbestos industry did it and the wind industry has taken to it like a duck to water: lie, cover up the facts and when the facts get out – run and hide (see our post here).

Now, to the NHMRC, and its pitched battle with the fundamentals of science.

STT has already covered the manner in which the NHMRC rejected high quality, peer-reviewed and published work done by Prof Colin Hansen and his team from the University of Adelaide at Waterloo because it was “too late”. While Prof Anderson says the NHMRC “is aware” of that work, and the work done by Steven Cooper, it has steadfastly chosen to ignore it. Precisely as it continues to ignore a decade’s worth of top level research performed by NASA in the 1980s, the substance of which has been confirmed by the work done by Prof Hansen and Steven Cooper, as well as America’s top acoustic experts at Shirley, Wisconsin (see our post here).

But it’s this little statement, in response to Senator Madigan’s reference to Steven Cooper’s study, that’s attracted STT’s attention:

Prof Anderson: I simply suppose the general point is that, when we do rigorous scientific analysis of the literature, we try and take all the literature into account. Of course, any individual piece of research will have its own place and its own finding, but I am sure you will understand that one piece does not wipe out previous pieces of research. Of course, we are pleased to see that more research is being done in this topic as time goes by, but, with us and our expert reference committee and so on, we always have to have a line at some stage and make the conclusions at that time.

Any true scientist worth his salt will recognise the highlighted statement for what it is: utter scientific bunkum.

In science, ONE piece of research, ONE piece of evidence, indeed, ONE sliver of data, will most certainly, absolutely and forever wipe out EVERY piece of research that ever existed up to that point in time.

That’s precisely how (real) science has worked since we began the organised and disciplined investigation into human and natural affairs, that we call “science”, around 300 years ago.

Which brings us to “falsifiability” and hypothesis testing; the central tool in dealing with scientific theory.

In our earlier post on the results from Cape Bridgewater we set out the basics as follows.

In science, some hypothesis directed at a particular relationship is put forward; evidence is gathered in relation to that hypothesis; and then that evidence is thrown firmly against the hypothesis, in an effort to disprove it. What Karl Popper called “falsifiability”, which he defined as the essential feature of science; summed up by Wikipedia as:

Falsifiability or refutability of a statement, hypothesis, or theory is an inherent possibility to prove it to be false. A statement is called falsifiable if it is possible to conceive an observation or an argument which proves the statement in question to be false. In this sense, falsify is synonymous with nullify, meaning not “to commit fraud” but “show to be false”. Some philosophers argue that science must be falsifiable.

For example, by the problem of induction, no number of confirming observations can verify a universal generalization, such as “all swans are white”, yet it is logically possible to falsify it by observing a single black swan. Thus, the term falsifiability is sometimes synonymous to testability.

The black swan example is routinely used to help explain “hypothesis testing”; as to which, the stats boys tell us that:

A statistical hypothesis is an assumption about a population parameter. This assumption may or may not be true. Hypothesis testing refers to the formal procedures used by statisticians to accept or reject statistical hypotheses.

Statistical Hypotheses

The best way to determine whether a statistical hypothesis is true would be to examine the entire population. Since that is often impractical, researchers typically examine a random sample from the population. If sample data are not consistent with the statistical hypothesis, the hypothesis is rejected.

There are two types of statistical hypotheses.

  • Null hypothesis. The null hypothesis, denoted by H0, is usually the hypothesis that sample observations result purely from chance.
  • Alternative hypothesis. The alternative hypothesis, denoted by H1 or Ha, is the hypothesis that sample observations are influenced by some non-random cause.

Can We Accept the Null Hypothesis?

Some researchers say that a hypothesis test can have one of two outcomes: you accept the null hypothesis or you reject the null hypothesis. Many statisticians, however, take issue with the notion of “accepting the null hypothesis.” Instead, they say: you reject the null hypothesis or you fail to reject the null hypothesis.

Why the distinction between “acceptance” and “failure to reject?” Acceptance implies that the null hypothesis is true. Failure to reject implies that the data are not sufficiently persuasive for us to prefer the alternative hypothesis over the null hypothesis.

The process of hypothesis testing, starts with stating the hypotheses:

This involves stating the null and alternative hypotheses. The hypotheses are stated in such a way that they are mutually exclusive. That is, if one is true, the other must be false. (for more detail and examples, see the link here)

The white swan example is picked up in this analysis of the same point:

Although the null hypothesis cannot be proven true, it can be proven false. This is because science and hypothesis testing are based on the logic of falsification. If someone claims that all swans are white, confirmatory evidence (in the form of lots of white swans) cannot prove the assertion to be true. However, contradictory evidence (in the form of a single black swan) makes it clear that the claim is invalid.

The observation of one black swan is sufficient to falsify the claim that all swans are white. That single black swan proves that the claim is wrong. (for more detail and examples, see the link here)

Albert-Einstein-genius

 

From its press releases, public statements and the guff pitched up before the Senate, the NHMRC’s null hypothesis reduces to this:

All humans are safe from wind turbine generated noise and vibration.

The alternative hypothesis, is the mutually exclusive statement that:

Not all humans are safe from wind turbine generated noise and vibration.

That set of statements is, in scientific terms, precisely the same as the white swan/black swan example, used to describe and illustrate hypothesis testing above.

And it’s precisely what occurred at Cape Bridgewater, with Steven Cooper’s study, and the very point that America’s top acoustic experts, Dr Paul Schomer and George Hessler were making with their observation, in relation to the data gathered by Cooper, that:

This study proves that there are other pathways that affect some people, at least 6. The windfarm operator simply cannot say there are no known effects and no known people affected. One person affected is a lot more than none; the existence of just one cause-and-effect pathway is a lot more than none. It only takes one example to prove that a broad assertion is not true, and that is the case here.

In science, all it takes is a single observation and the null hypothesis (here, the NHMRC’s continued public assertion that “all humans are safe from wind turbine generated noise and vibration”) must simply be rejected: it is no longer valid.

Moreover, the alternative hypothesis – being the mutually exclusive statement that: “not all humans are safe from wind turbine generated noise and vibration” cannot be rejected: the null hypothesis, having been rightly rejected, leaves the alternative hypothesis standing.

swan

 

With half-a-dozen “black swans” popping up in Cooper’s Cape Bridgewater study, the NHMRC, and its mates in the wind industry, as Schomer and Hessler put it: “cannot say there are no known effects and no known people affected”.

So, with a few basic scientific principles in mind, quite to the contrary of Prof Anderson’s line “that one piece [of research] does not wipe out previous pieces of research“, that’s precisely what scientific endeavour does; indeed, anything less is not science at all. It’s simply advocacy for a cause.

And that is exactly what the NHMRC’s well-rehearsed mantra on the adverse health effects caused by wind farms is all about, a position that jumps out of this rather curious statement:

Prof Anderson: … With a lot of new technology – and I assume this is the sort of new technology that is supported by some people here – health issues often arise, and health issues can sometimes be used to try to stop a new technology. So, surely if you are a supporter of the new technology you want the best evidence there is so that if such ideas come up they can be brushed aside.

Hmmm.

STT’s not sure that a “scientific” research organisation – paid for by taxpayers, and charged with looking after the health and well-being of Australian citizens – is meant to be looking at the evidence of “health issues” caused by wind turbines, simply because that evidence might be used to “stop a new technology”.

But we’re pretty confident that the NHMRC isn’t paid for by us to generate the “best evidence” it can muster, in order that adverse health effects related to that “new technology” can simply be “brushed aside”.

The NHMRC has shown itself, time and time again, to be nothing more than a group of wind industry apologists and advocates – that defers to the “expertise” of a tobacco advertising guru, who calls wind farm victims “wind farm wing nuts” (see our post here). It’s been infiltrated, co-opted and corrupted by an industry which exhibits a callous disregard for human health and well-being (see our post here); and which does everything in its power to prevent any proper investigation into the harm known to be caused by its uncontrolled operations (see our post here).

Those unfortunates forced to live with turbine generated low-frequency noise and infrasound can only look on in disgust and dismay.

Those of our political betters in Canberra who fail to take on the cronyism and institutional corruption within the NHMRC, should hang their heads in shame.

Ashamed head-in-hands

 

Government and Wind Industry, Sets Wind Victims Up for Failure.

Ontario families fighting massive legal bill from wind-farm companies

A demand that four Ontario families pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal costs to billion-dollar companies is a thinly disguised warning to anyone pondering a challenge to industrial wind farms in Ontario, the families say.

In asking the courts to set the legal bill aside, the citizens say the award would cripple them financially and undermine access to justice, even in important public-interest cases.

Court documents show the companies – K2 Wind, Armow, and St. Columban – are seeking $340,000 in costs from the Drennans, Ryans, Dixons and Kroeplins, who lost their bid to scuttle three wind-farm projects.

The families, who worry wind turbines near their homes could harm their health, had challenged the constitutionality of Ontario’s approvals process before Divisional Court. They are now hoping the province’s top court will hear the case, potentially adding more litigation costs.

Shawn Drennan said his $240,000 bill was excessive given that he was only looking to protect his rights.

“We will have to go to the bank and beg and ask if we can borrow more money to pay their costs and it will be a significant burden on my wife and I,” Shawn Drennan told The Canadian Press. “My wife already works two jobs.”

Lawyer Julian Falconer, who represents the families, called the wind companies “blood-sucking, intimidating bullies.”

“It’s not just a bar to justice, it’s actually a terror tactic,” Falconer said in an interview.

“This is not about money. The idea is to send a message: ‘We will wipe you out if you challenge us.’”

The companies say the high-stakes court challenge forced them to deploy considerable legal resources to defend projects they say are safe.

“While the appellants were entitled to bring their litigation, their decision to do so had significant consequences,” St. Columban argues in its court filing.

“There must be an appreciation of the real disruption, and real cost, suffered by the adverse party.”

Generally speaking and as a matter of fairness, the losing side in civil proceedings has to pay the legal bills incurred by the winning side.

K2, which is putting up 140 turbines, some of which are about 750 metres from the Drennans’ home near Goderich, Ont., says the families knew the risks of losing.

In addition, the failed bid to halt construction pending outcome of their court battle was unnecessary and should “never have been brought,” K2 says in its submissions.

The families argue they raised an important and novel constitutional issue that is squarely in the public interest given the reasonable prospect of serious harm to the health of citizens. They also say they did not stand to benefit financially.

The companies reject that argument. They maintain the families were indeed fighting a personal battle, do have the means to pay, and say the case was in fact contrary to the public interest because the challenge delayed government-approved green-energy projects.

For the families, it’s become a case of “lose your home to save your home,” they say.

“By simply exercising their right to access to the courts, the appellant families now face the disheartening prospect of financial ruin,” their submission states.

“When, as in this particular case, the consequence of that access becomes crippling financial loss, ‘access to justice’ becomes a meaningless platitude.”