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

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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.

****

****

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.”

Lies the Windweasels tell…..And there are many years of deception!

Three Decades of Wind Industry Deception: A Chronology of a Global Conspiracy of Silence and Subterfuge

lies

A little while back, a Scottish pen-smith posed a little rhetorical on the subtle art of skulduggery:

Oh, what a tangled web we weave

When first we practise to deceive!

There have been few industries that have had more practice, and as much success, in that subtle art, as the wind industry.

STT has popped up 880 posts in the, just over, two years since we cranked into gear – on our mission to destroy the wind industry.

A fair slice of them have concerned the topic of the adverse health effects caused by turbine generated incessant low-frequency noise and infrasound; the woefully inadequate, indeed, utterly irrelevant noise standards written by the wind industry; and the institutional corruption that:

a) allowed those standards to become the “benchmarks” in the first place; and

b) witnesses public authorities, with a responsibility to protect public health, not only sitting on their hands, but barracking in favour of the wind industry, at the expense of the very people these planning and public health agencies and authorities are paid handsomely to protect.

In this post, STT sets out a chronology of what the wind industry and its pet acoustic consultants knew (and when they knew it); what the wind industry did in response to that knowledge; and how the wind industry and its parasites are fighting tooth and nail at present to ensure that that knowledge has no impact on its freedom to ride roughshod over the human rights, health and well-being of people living next door to wind farms.

The chronology is set out as a timeline, which can be accessed by clicking on this link here or the image below.

timeline

Each page of the timeline gives a short run down of significant events (a headline and brief summary); contains images of key data or pages extracted from research papers referred to; some of those images are copies of the entire paper being referred to – these documents can be accessed for reading and printing by dragging your mouse over the image and clicking on the “pop out” window at the top right of the image (you will see a scroll-bar on those where a paper is reproduced). Below the images you will find links to papers, webpages, including the sources referenced and STT posts, for example (if the link does not work, simply copy and paste the URL into a fresh tab in your browser).

At the bottom of the timeline, there is a banner collecting all of the relevant events (you will probably need to scroll down to see it) which you can use to see all of the events in order: simply hold down your mouse and drag the banner left or right; to access any of the events summarised in the banner, simply click on it.

Alternatively, you can use the arrows on the far left or right of the screen (they appear about half-way up each page of the timeline) to move forward or backwards in time.

The NASA Research

Starting in the early 1980s, a decade’s worth of research was undertaken by NASA into a series of large wind turbines (then being developed by NASA), which included a stellar cast of physicists, meteorologists, geophysicists, seismologists, engineers (both mechanical and acoustic), and psycho-acousticians. Part of that research involved a multidisciplinary effort to identify the causes of complaints made by neighbours in relation to the operation of those turbines: we refer to it as “the NASA research”, which also included work carried out by Neil Kelley.

Some of the key findings of the NASA research into the neighbours’ complaints were that:

“very low frequency” noise generated by NASA’s turbines (which was defined to include “infrasound”) was the cause of the “annoyance” reported by neighbours (“annoyance” being an acoustics term which does not involve emotional responses – ie “antipathy” to the “look” of wind turbines);

the “annoyance” being reported by neighbours included 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;

the “very low frequency” noise generated by turbines interacted with, and was amplified by, the complainant’s homes, creating “structural resonances”, whereby low-frequency sound-waves “excited” materials within the home, causing vibration of the home;

the “very low frequency noise” generated by turbines was not “attenuated” by the structure of the homes (ie, sound pressure levels were not significantly reduced inside homes), but, rather, interacted with homes in the manner described above – resulting in higher sound pressure levels at very low frequencies (ie the noise levels recorded were higher inside than outside), causing greater “annoyance” to neighbours, as a result;

the vibration of these homes, caused by turbine generated infrasound, resulted in neighbours perceiving that vibration with their whole bodies (ie “whole body perception”);

the very low-frequency noise generated by NASA’s turbines was replicated in a “house” (a three room structure) during a further study; and was shown to cause “annoyance/displeasure” as a “presence” which participants could “feel” to varying degrees, up to “extremely annoying and uncomfortable”; sensations of “vibration/pressure” and “pulsations”, which participants could also “feel” to varying degrees, up to and including “severe vibration” and “very heavy pulses, booms and thumps”;

the common noise descriptor or weighting, dB(A) (used to measure noise sources such as air-conditioners) was found to be totally inadequate, with almost no significant relationship to the sensations and symptoms being reported; and, was, accordingly found to be the worst possible measure for predicting the level of “annoyance” being reported by neighbours;

a variety of noise descriptors, designed to capture low-frequency noise, showed strong correlations between the noise levels generated and the sensations recorded;

the first of the NASA turbine designs being studied as part of research had its blades down wind from the tower. The second turbine design placed the blades up wind (ie, in front of the tower). The infrasound and low-frequency noise levels generated were not significantly altered as a result. (Modern wind turbines use the “up wind” design);

the homes where people were adversely affected were situated out to as far as 3km from a single turbine;

the propagation distance (ie the distance over which noise travels before it “decays”) is far greater for low-frequency noise and infrasound generated by turbines, than the propagation distance of noise which does not contain sound energy at low frequencies.

In 1987, at a wind power conference in San Francisco, the wind industry was presented with the findings of NASA’s research; and told that these findings meant that dB(A) was an inappropriate method of measuring wind turbine noise, and the impact of that noise on neighbours. It was further told that low-frequency noise and infrasound were the dominant features of wind turbine generated noise, which would cause significant “annoyance” to neighbours.

Independent of, but concurrent with, the NASA research substantial efforts were made in investigating the impacts of infrasound on human health, particularly in relation to effects such as nausea, headaches and vertigo.

In 1985, a study was published (Nussbaum) that established infrasound as the cause of symptoms including: accelerated heart rate; increased respiration; fatigue; dizziness (vertigo); nausea (motion sickness); and headaches, among other things. The study found that certain people were more greatly affected by infrasound than others (ie more serious symptoms and/or sensations were experienced; or were experienced to a greater degree). These differences in response were, among other things, attributed to physiological differences, including differences in the size of the internal passages of the subjects’ ears.

The Wind Industry Cover Up

As the wind industry began to take off in the early 1990s it needed to set noise limits and planning criteria that would not present any obstacle to it in rolling out turbines in quiet rural environments.

The wind industry gathered what became known as the “noise working group” in 1995; a group which then, and thereafter, worked on wind industry noise guidelines.

The result was a document called ETSU-R-97.

That document reads as if the NASA research had never happened as it:

  • excludes any reference to low-frequency noise (the source of the problem shown by the NASA research as the cause of the sensations and symptoms suffered);
  • excludes the noise descriptors and weightings that were found by the NASA research to be the best predictors of the annoyance caused to neighbours, and the sensations and symptoms suffered;
  • relies exclusively on the dB(A) weighting (found to be irrelevant as a consequence of the NASA research);
  • assumes that, in all cases, the sound pressure levels inside neighbouring homes are substantially less than what is recorded outside those homes (entirely to the contrary of the findings made in the NASA research);
  • excludes testing inside homes for noise of any frequency (let alone low-frequency noise);
  • instead, limits noise testing to measurements taken external to homes, using the dB(A) weighting only;
  • established methods by which monitoring equipment can be placed in a way that will simply measure environmental noise (eg “wind in the trees”). In the first instance, these “methods” allow for the placement of monitoring equipment in locations where high levels can be recorded prior to the construction of a wind farm (eg, underneath trees or in bushes). Subsequently, noise level criteria can be met by simply shifting the location of the monitoring equipment (eg, placing them in the open away from trees or bushes).

All of the wind industry noise standards or guidelines which have emerged around the world since then can trace their origins to ETSU-R-97 – think of it as the wind industry’s template for deception.

Over the last decade or so, the wind industry has fought tooth and nail to defend these standards or guidelines. It has resisted all attempts or even suggestions that would:

  • result in standards which include the measurement of low-frequency noise and infrasound;
  • set controls for low-frequency noise and infrasound inside homes;
  • require wind farm operators to cooperate with meaningful noise testing by, for example:
    • shutting turbines on and off in order to distinguish between the noise generated by turbines and environmental noise, such as wind in the trees; or
    • providing operational data, such as wind speed and power output data;

Indeed, whenever these topics are raised by authorities or community groups the wind industry becomes defensive; and even aggressive in response.

Along the way, the wind industry continued to press planning authorities for even higher noise limits than were originally set (in the irrelevant dB(A) measure, of course) – that would permit ever larger turbines to be located ever closer to residential homes; planning authorities and Environmental Protection Agencies willingly obliged.

In South Australia – the first state in Australia to introduce wind farm noise guidelines – its EPA was so obliging to the wind industry, that its 2003 guidelines include the entirely fictional assertion that wind turbines do not produce infrasound at all, the guidelines stating:

Infrasound was a characteristic of some wind turbine models that has been attributed to early designs in which turbine blades were downwind of the main tower. The effect was generated as the blades cut through the turbulence generated around the downwind side of the tower.

Modern designs generally have the blades upwind of the tower. Wind conditions around the blades and improved blade design minimise the generation of the effect. The EPA has consulted the working group and completed an extensive literature search but is not aware of infrasound being present at any modern wind farm site.

The same fiction appears in the current version of the SA EPA wind farm noise guidelines published in 2009.

The wind industry’s efforts to use noise standards to cover up the issue of infrasound, and to obtain ever higher dB(A) noise limits, occurred despite knowing, full well, that low-frequency noise and infrasound was causing harm and distress to wind farm neighbours.

For example, from 2004 onwards, employees and management of Danish turbine manufacturer, Vestas warned that the wind turbine noise guidelines were inadequate in relation to the protection of wind farm neighbours; and, by 2011, knew that greater setback distances were required to avoid problems of precisely the kind being caused; especially in relation to the larger 3MW turbines, which were being rolled out by Vestas from 2010 onwards.

All of the above, and more, is laid out in the timeline.

The World Turns Full Circle

Recent work performed by leading acoustic engineers around the world has simply confirmed all of the facts and findings made in the NASA research, which concluded over 27 years ago.

The recent research that confirms the extensive work done by NASA, includes work carried out by:

  • Dr Paul Schomer, George Hessler, Rob Rand and Dr Bruce Walker at Shirley, Wisconsin in 2012 (available here);
  • Professor Colin Hansen and his team from the Adelaide University at Waterloo in South Australia during 2014 (see our post here); and
  • the groundbreaking research conducted by Steven Cooper at Cape Bridgewater in Victoria, also during 2014 (which has been recently published – see our posts here and here).

That work, like the NASA research before it, shows that the noise guidelines written by, and relied upon, by the wind industry are utterly irrelevant when it comes to the question of protecting public health; and the adverse consequences of living with incessant turbine generated low-frequency noise and infrasound.

The aim of the timeline is not just to catalogue the trail of wind industry lies and deception. It is squarely aimed at showing how regulatory authorities have been duped by (or have been complicit with) an industry completely devoid of any desirable moral characteristics; and which is, rather, driven by a callous disregard for human health and well-being.

Wherever you are fighting to bring the wind industry to a halt; to obtain the ability to live in and use your own homes; or to achieve just compensation for the damage and harm caused through government supported wind industry malfeasance, STT simply invites you to use our little timeline to your best advantage.

winston-churchill-quotes

“Agenda 21” The Reason for the “War on Carbon Fuels”!

Strange Allies in the War on Carbon Fuels

big-oilGuest opinion by Viv Forbes

What great cause could unite Prince Charles, President Obama, the Pope, the Arab Oil sheiks, the United Nations, the European Union, the Russians, the Chinese, Pacific Island Nations, most undeveloped countries, the glitterati of Hollywood, left-wing politicians, unrepentant reds, government media, the climate research industry, Big Oil, Big Gas and the Green Blob. It must be something posing a clear and urgent danger to all humanity?

No, the crusade that unites them all is the War on Carbon Fuels, focussed mainly on that most vilified target, coal.

The biggest group, and the generals in this war on carbon, have no real interest in the facts or science of global climate change – they see climate alarmism as a great opportunity to achieve their goal of creating an unelected global government. They have even laid out their plans in a document called Agenda 21.

This group naturally includes the United Nations and all of its subsidiaries, the EU, and left wing politicians and media everywhere. At a news conference in Brussels recently, Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of U.N.’s Framework Convention on Climate Change, admitted that the goal of environmental activists is not to save the world from ecological calamity, but “to change the economic development model” ie destroy what is left of free enterprise and private property. See:
http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/021015-738779-climate-change-scare-tool-to-destroy-capitalism.htm
http://www.breitbart.com/london/2014/10/10/shell-oil-lego-greenpeace-and-the-environmental-movement-s-war-on-capitalism/
The next big group of carbon warriors is the anti-western failed states who see this as their big chance to enrich and entrench their ruling classes with “climate reparations”.
Then there are the enviro-entrepreneurs forever seeking new crusades to energise their supporters and get the donations rolling in – Greenpeace, WWF, Get Up etc…
In the dark corner are the anti-human Malthusians and the Deep Greens who want to get rid of most of us other people – personified by the rich and powerful such as Prince Charles and Maurice Strong. They know that carbon fuels support millions of people by cultivating, harvesting, transporting, processing and storing most of the food that supports the cities of the world. Killing the use of carbon fuels will certainly achieve their goal of reduced world population.

See:
http://explosivereports.com/2013/01/12/prince-charles-openly-endorses-draconian-conclusions-of-new-population-study/

Naturally, government media usually support a bigger role for government, and all media like a scare story. Truth or logic does not matter greatly for most of them – just so long as they can coax a looming disaster story from someone. The daily diet of natural calamities soon heightens climate anxiety, which then motivates politicians to be seen to be “doing something”.
And then there are those who see that fighting carbon fuels also suits their pockets. As someone said “When placing a bet, the best horse to back is the one called ‘Self-interest’ – at least you know he is trying”.

For example, Shell, with its massive gas interests, was caught campaigning against coal fired power, the main competitor of gas in electricity generation. See:
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/innovationchallenge/shell-admits-campaigning-against-coal-fired-power-plants/story-fn9dkrp5-1226770855004

Arab Oil interests were caught funding a film attacking their competitors – shale oil fracking in America. See:
http://dailysignal.com/2012/09/28/matt-damons-anti-fracking-movie-financed-by-oil-rich-arab-nation/

And a Russian oil company was exposed funding US anti-carbon green groups. See:
http://freebeacon.com/issues/foreign-firm-funding-u-s-green-groups-tied-to-state-owned-russian-oil-company/

The Chinese of course are great supporters of green energy as long as it is installed elsewhere – eg they supply the machines and solar panels and then welcome the factories forced from the host country by soaring electricity prices.
Gas, nuclear and hydro power will be the greatest long term beneficiaries of the war on coal. Initially they will be needed to provide base load and back up for intermittent green power like wind and solar. Then as green subsidies are withdrawn to appease angry taxpayers, the green play-toys will fail and grown-up generators will step easily into full time electricity production.

Finally, the government bureaucracy and the research grants industry justify their existence by “solving community crises”. They love “The Climate Crisis” because it can be blamed for any weather event anytime, anywhere. It is unlikely to be solved, no matter how many dollars are thrown at it – a problem that does not exist can never be “solved”. And the sinister “Greenhouse Effect”, like any good ghost, is invisible, mysterious in operation, debatable, and allows anyone to produce their own scare story.

Opposing this coalition of climate alarmists and opportunists is a rag-tag army of stressed tax payers and electricity consumers and a scattering of sceptical scientists and media researchers.
But the imposing alarmist empire has a hollow heart – the globe has refused to warm, the alarmist “science” is crumbling, their climate models are discredited, some researchers have been caught manipulating records and results, and the costs of green electricity are becoming obvious and onerous. The public is growing restive, governments can no longer afford the climate industry cuckoo in the public nest and the ranks of sceptics grow. Groups like UKIP in UK and the Tea Party in US have abandoned the war on carbon.

The climate revolt is spreading.


Disclosure: Viv Forbes is a shareholder and non-executive director of a small Australian coal exploration company. His views are not shared or supported by most Big Coal CEO’s.

Windweasels Scurry to Circle the Wagons, as Steven Cooper’s Study “Makes Waves”!

Pacific Hydro Orders ABC’s “Ministry of Truth” to hound Steven Cooper, Graham Lloyd and Channel 7 Over Wind Farm Study

1984-george-orwell-adaptation-slice

Media Watch ‘just skimmed my report’: researcher
The Australian
Sonia Kohlbacher
16 February 2015

A SCIENTIFIC researcher whose groundbreaking study into the impact of wind turbines on nearby residents has criticised the ABC’s Media Watch program, saying its journalist hounded his company about alleged media misrepresentations without reading or understanding his report.

The study by acoustics expert Steven Cooper measured the sensations felt by a group of residents who had complained of health concerns, and matched their diary records with the wind farm operations. The study found a correlation between severe sensations experienced by the small group of residents studied and the power output of the turbines at Cape Bridgewater in Victoria.

The Cooper report has been hailed internationally as representing a breakthrough in the study of wind turbines and possible impacts.

The Australian’s environment editor Graham Lloyd has extensively reported on the findings of the study after they were released last month and has been the subject of inquiries by Media Watch journalist Flint Duxfield.

Media Watch has asked The Australian to justify the prominent coverage it gave to the study.

Mr Cooper was critical of Duxfield when contacted by The Australian yesterday, and said the journalist had failed to properly read his report before making inquiries into its fair and accurate representation in the media.

Mr Cooper said he was appalled by the ABC’s attempts to contact his office, which he said was “hounded” by hourly calls over a four-day period.

“In the end I spoke to them to answer questions and I wasn’t overly impressed,” he said.

“They were after Channel Seven and Graham Lloyd, and in the end his inquiries were about people not reading and reporting incorrect information.

“It got to a point where he was asking questions and I said, ‘You haven’t read the report’, to which he replied, ‘Oh, I’ve skimmed the report’, and I said, ‘Well that’s a problem, you’re here about talking about people misrepresenting but you haven’t read the report’.

“He just tried to talk about people misrepresenting. I did tell him that what Graham Lloyd had presented was correct.”

Media Watch host Paul Barry, responding on behalf of Duxfield, said he was not party to the conversation, “but I can tell you that he is always unfailingly courteous and never hounds anyone — and yes, Flint has read the report”.

Barry claimed that “some eminent Australian scientists” had concerns about The Australian’s coverage of the Cooper report.

Lloyd said the issue was about making sure minority rights were properly respected. “This is not about ideology,” he said. “The absence of high-quality research, as evidenced by the National Health and Medical Research Council’s latest statement, is astonishing.”
The Australian

In Australia, the ABC’s “Media Watch” represents the front line for the Green-blob’s Orwellian “Ministry of Truth” (see our post here); which, on a weekly basis, attacks any journalist with the temerity to question hard green-left shibboleths; such as imminent global incineration; or its other favourite, the wind industry (see our posts here and here).

STT has already covered the rampant institutional bias of Australia’s so-called “National broadcaster” (see our posts here and here).

The latter story involved cutie-pie political commentator, Annabel Crabb, referring to Pac Hydro’s (now well and truly vindicated) victims at Cape Bridgewater as “dick brains”, during a 45 minute diatribe on the ABC’s radio science show.

The audio and transcript of Annabel’s “dick brain” outburst can be found on the ABC’s website here. However, to avoid the need to listen to (or trawl through reams of transcript of) almost an hour of tedious and nauseating ‘green’ group-think, we’ve extracted the relevant parts of the transcript, which is available here.

Most of that broadcast was devoted to the “wonders” of wind power; and denigrating anybody with the hide to raise the issue of the harm caused to wind farm neighbours, or with the sense to question the merits of backing a technology which was abandoned in the 19th century, for obvious reasons (see our post here).

Crabb went on to say that she was in the market for a home right next to a wind farm. Well Annabel, there are several up for grabs at Cape Bridgewater (which their owners have had to abandon), so why not put in a bid?

Given Crabb’s long-winded, nausea inducing rant (on what is supposed to be a serious scientific radio programme); and the continual stream of wind industry goons, parasites and spruikers trotted out on the ABC’s green-left love-in, The Drum, it seems more than just a little rich for Media Watch to challenge The Australian about “the prominent coverage it gave to” Steven Cooper’s groundbreaking study.

But the ABC’s Ministry of Truth, is not so much concerned about “the prominent coverage” given to Steven Cooper’s study, Graham Lloyd’s ‘crime’ against the Party was to have published anything about the study at all.

So too, Channel Seven, when it went to air with its piece on Cooper’s study on its current affairs show, Today Tonight: – available here.

The Media Watch attack dogs were released in response to a direction from Pac Hydro – which is (as a consequence of Cooper’s work) now squarely in the gun, facing $millions in damages claims from its victims at Cape Bridgewater.

Now, with that in mind, it’s no surprise to see Pac Hydro’s goons attacking Steven Cooper directly through the media, as well as attacking two of the most respected and qualified acoustic experts from the US, Dr PaulSchomer and George Hessler. For a taste of their highly relevant qualifications and experience why not check out their thumping CVs here:Schomer and Hessler; and both of them were involved in another proper piece of investigation into the adverse impacts of turbine generated low-frequency noise and infrasound on neighbours at Shirley, Wisconsin back in 2012 (see this article and our post here).

Dr Schomer and Mr Hessler in their peer review of Cooper’s study, not only endorsed it, but found that the data itself proves a causal relationship between the operation of the wind turbines and the adverse health effects recorded by all of those people who took part in the study (see our post here).

When Graham Lloyd fronted Pac Hydro about the peer review produced by Dr Schomer and Mr Hessler, its spin doctors simply went to ground and refused to comment; a move entirely consistent with stock standard wind industry strategy: lie, cover up the facts and, when all else fails, run and hide (see our post here).

And, further, it’s no surprise at all to see Pac Hydro directing traffic at the ABC and Media Watch, in particular.

While always pitching from the “holier than thou” journalistic moral high ground, Media Watch ain’t afraid to pull its punches, when it’s out to ensure that the wind industry’s narrative is never threatened.

And so it was, getting its “researcher”, Flint Duxfield to repeatedly hound Steven Cooper about media misrepresentation of the study, in circumstances where he clearly hadn’t even bothered to read it. Hmmm. Oh, the irony.

Where Media Watch’s Paul Barry – clearly in damage control – asserts that “Flint [Duxfield] has read the report”, he simply raises two questions: when did he read it? And, if he read it, was he capable of understanding it?

STT’s betting that Duxfield’s efforts went no further than a cursory perusal (the whole thing runs to over 800 pages – the report is available in our post here), but even if we fail to collect on that wager, there is absolutely no chance that he understood it.

No, instead, as with all of the media parrots used by the wind industry, it’s an odds-on bet that Duxfield was simply relying upon the press releases issued by Pac Hydro, in which it’s sought to downplay the significance of the work (which it paid for, and set the limitations on, by the way) and is using in its efforts at serious corporate “damage control”.

STT notes Barry’s claim that “some eminent Australian scientists” had “concerns” with the coverage. No doubt the shills in the employ of the wind industry are deeply troubled by the facts that have emerged at Cape Bridgewater. They’ll have to work overtime from here on to bury them, lie, and otherwise distort and misrepresent them.

And who were these “eminent Australian scientists”?

Why, none other than a former tobacco advertising guru; a “scientist” who has no acoustic training or qualifications; who is not a legally qualified medical practitioner; who was used to front up struggling Danish fan maker, Vesta’s laughable Act on Facts campaign (see our post here); and who has received scathing criticism in Australia’s Federal Parliament on more than one occasion (see our posts here and here). And it must only add to his sense of moral superiority to find himself as the front man for an outfit run by crooks and fraudsters (see our post here).

No, this is all about media manipulation, using the same band of pseudo-scientists, spin doctors and the tactics of ridicule, denigration and personal attack to advance an ideological position in keeping with the Party line.

Not one of the people who they trot out as “eminent scientists” or “experts” have ever bothered to go out in the field; gather any real data; or even speak, in person (ie in the same room at the same time) to the people suffering the known and obvious adverse health effects caused by incessant low-frequency noise and infrasound.

That, of course, would cause them to confront the “problems” face-to-face and eye-to-eye. Much easier to sit in the coward’s castles of sandstone universities and ABC studios, where they will never have to face the wind industry’s victims; or the facts.

And, even where these so-called “researchers” pretend to investigate the issue, they hold no relevant qualifications; such as the wind industry’s latest mouthpiece, Jacqui Hoepner (who’s been flat out running the “nocebo” nonsense on the ABC and elsewhere this week). Jacqui is, surprise, surprise, equipped with nothing more than a degree in journalism and politics (check out her bio here). Hmmmm, how very “Ministry of Truth” …

STT hears, however, that the Ministry of Truth’s attack on Graham Lloyd, The Australian and Channel 7 is about to backfire in spectacular fashion. What’s that saying about keeping your mouth shut when you’re in it up to your neck?

Expect to hear a whole lot more about Steven Cooper’s study, and Pac Hydro’s victims at Cape Bridgewater, over the coming weeks and months.

graham-lloyd

Steven Cooper has Windweasels on the Run! Truth is the Windpusher’s Enemy!

A stampede to the exits

08bryce_1-popupby Harvey Wrightman
In the 6 years and 6 Environmental Review Tribunal appeals we have been appellants to, there has been a bagful of issues connected with wind projects and how they are “imposed” upon ordinary working communities without theexpress consent of the communities –  in newspeak, that would be “social license.”  Yet the one issue that drew us to actively oppose wind projects (health effect), remains at the top of the list and all other issues really come as a result of the harm to health that occurs, picking its victims at random, that one cannot say, “It won’t affect me.”

So the recent study done by acoustician Steven Cooper for Pacific Hydro has set a bomb off  amongst the….umm, the wind wankers – an all inclusive category for the acousticians, $800/hour lawyers, PR people, the smirking engineers and administrators of the MOECC and the ERT, the clueless politicians, the sleepy investment bankers.

But success leads to outrageous behaviour. Pac Hydro was assured by its “experts”  that nothing would be found; so, acting the bit of the good, green corporate citizen it agreed to have Cooper do the study, and agreed to provide the operational co-operation that is essential to producing accurate data. Curiously they refused to have the study submitted to a professional journal for peer review – perhaps an afterthought – what if he does find something??? No matter, peer review can be done by, well, peers in the field. And so two of the most respected names in the American acoustical community, Paul Schomer and George Hessler, have published their review of Cooper’s study. Hessler has done numerous noise assessments for wind companies. Schomer is Standards Director Acoustical Society of America.

None of what is published will come as a surprise to the many individuals I encountered who experienced the same sensations resulting in the same symptomatic responses and the entirely rational response of fleeing the scene. Now your observations have been validated by two of the most prominent acousticians in the US.  With an ethical obligation to protect the public, one awaits the stampede of engineers to the exits. Some have already done so.

The Results of an Acoustic Testing Program, Cape Bridgewater Wind Farm
Prepared for Energy Pacific by Steve Cooper, The Acoustic Group
A Review of this Study and Where It Is Leading

Paul D. Schomer, Ph.D., P.E.; Schomer and Associates, Inc.; Standards Director, Acoustical Society of America
George Hessler, Hessler Associates, Inc.
10 February 2015

Recently Cooper has completed a first of its kind test regarding the acoustical emissions of wind turbines. His is the first study of effects on people that includes a cooperating windfarm operator in conjunction with a researcher that does not work exclusively for windfarms. This study makes three very simple points:

  1. There is at least one non-visual, non-audible pathway for wind turbine emissions to reach, enter, and affect some people
  2. This is a longitudinal study wherein the subjects record in a diary regularly as a function of time the level of the effects they are experiencing at that time
  3. This periodic recording allows for responses as the wind-turbine power changes up and down, changes not known by the subject

The results are presented in a 218 page report augmented by 22 appendices spread over 6 volumes so that every single detail in the study has been documented for all to see and examine. The methods and results are totally transparent. The 22 appendices and the main text exhaustively document everything involved with this study.

Six subjects, 3 couples from different homes are the participants in this study. They do not represent the average resident in the vicinity of a wind farm. Rather, they are self-selected as being particularly sensitive and susceptible to wind farm acoustic emissions, so much so that one couple has abandoned their house. Cooper finds that these six subjects are able to sense attributes of the wind turbine emissions without there being an audible or visual stimulus present. More specifically, he finds that the subject responses correlate with the wind turbine power being generated but not with either the sound or vibration.

Although the very nature of a longitudinal study provides for a finding of cause and effect, some will undoubtedly argue that a correlation does not show cause and effect. In this case they must postulate some other thing like an unknown “force” that simultaneously causes the wind turbine power being generated and symptoms such as nausea, vertigo, and headaches to change up and down together. But that is the kind of “creative” logic it takes to say that this correlation does not represent cause-and-effect. So, rather than making such groundless arguments, perhaps something like an “expert statistical analysis” can be expected “proving” this is not a “valid sample” of the public at large, or proving the study does not do something else it was neverintended to do.

So it is important to sort out what, by design, this study was intended to do and does do, and what, by design, it was not intended to do and does not do. This study is not in any way a sample of the general population nor is it in any way a sample of the general population in the vicinity of windfarms. According to Cooper’s report, this study was intended to address the issue of complaints from residents in the vicinity of Pacific Hydro’s Cape Bridgewater Wind Farm. Pacific Hydro requested the conduct of an acoustic study at 3 residential properties to ascertain any identifiable noise impacts of the wind farm operations or certain wind conditions that could relate to the complaints that had been received. The study was to incorporate three houses that are located between 650 m and 1600 m from the nearest turbine. This research represents a case study at 3 houses, each with one couple, 6 people. This is one sample, and only one sample, of a small group of people who are all self-selected as being very or extremely sensitive to wind turbine acoustic emissions. A similar group could be assembled elsewhere such as in Shirley Wisconsin, USA or Ontario Canada.

This study finds that these 6 people sense the operation of the turbine(s) via other pathways than hearing or seeing, and that the adverse reactions to the operations of the wind turbine(s) correlates directly with the power output of the wind turbine{s} and fairly large changes in power output.

Attempts may be made to obviscate (sic) these simple points with such arguments as it cannot be proved that infra-sound is the cause of the discomfort. But that again is a specious argument. The important point here is that something is coming from the wind turbines to affect these people and that something increases or decreases as the power output of the turbine increases or decreases. Denying infra-sound as the agent accomplishes nothing. It really does not matter what the pathway is, whether it is infra-sound or some new form of rays or electro-magnetic field coming off the turbine blades. If the turbines are the cause, then the windfarm is responsible and needs to fix it. Anyone who truly doubts the results should want to replicate this study using independent[1] acoustical consultants at some other wind farm, such as Shirley Wisconsin, USA, where there are residents who are self-selected as being very or extremely sensitive to wind turbine acoustic emissions.[2]

Some may ask, this is only 6 people, why is it so important? The answer is that up until now windfarm operators have said there are no known cause and effect relations between windfarm emissions and the response of people living in the vicinity of the windfarm other than those related to visual and/or audible stimuli, and these lead to some flicker which is treated, and “some annoyance with noise.” 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. Windfarms will be in the position where they must say: “We may affect some people.” And regulators charged with protecting the health and welfare of the citizenry will not be able to say they know of no adverse effects. Rather, if they choose to support the windfarm, they will do so knowing that they may not be protecting the health and welfare of all the citizenry.

[1] Independent Consultants are those who have worked for both industry and communities, and or have espoused the need for research to sort out the issues of people reacting to non-audible non-visual stimuli.

[2] Cooper’s test shows cause and effect for at least one non-visual, no-audible pathway to affect people. If one only wanted to test for the ability to sense the turning on of wind turbines, and not replicate the cause and effect portion of Cooper’s study, this reduced test could be accomplished in one to two months with a cooperative windfarm where there are residents who are self-selected as being very or extremely sensitive to wind turbine acoustic emissions and who also assert that they have this sensing ability. This study, a subset of the full Cooper tests, would only prove, again, that non-visual, non-auditory pathways exist by which wind turbine emissions may affect the body and “signal” the brain.

Paul D. Schomer, Ph.D., P.E.; and George Hessler