New Study Confirms (again): “Wind Turbine Syndrome” is Bullshit.

November 8, 2014


Toronto Globe and Mail:

A Health Canada study has found no evidence to support a link between exposure to wind-turbine noise and health effects reported by people living near the towering structures.

The Wind Turbine Noise and Health Study, conducted over a four-month period in 2013, involved more than 1,200 residents in Southwestern Ontario and PEI whose homes were located at various distances from almost 400 of the electricity-generating structures in 18 wind-turbine developments.

The study found no link between wind-turbine noise and respondents’ reports of sleep disturbances, dizziness, tinnitus, migraines or chronic headaches, increased blood pressure or ongoing health conditions such as heart disease, chronic pain or diabetes.

“None of these were associated with wind turbine noise exposure, nor was perceived stress,” a Health Canada spokesman said during a technical briefing with reporters.

“Some people did report these conditions. Some people had higher levels of perceived stress, higher blood pressure and so on,” said the spokesman. “But they were not linked to noise.”

Health Canada says the study is the most comprehensive of any around the world that have looked at the potential effects of wind turbines on human health.

To conduct the study, researchers from Health Canada and Statistics Canada went door-to-door to households – 1,011 in Ontario, 227 in PEI – to administer a detailed questionnaire to one adult resident in each home.

A subgroup of residents also had measurements taken of health-related indicators, including hair analysis to determine long-term levels of the stress hormone cortisol, blood pressure, resting heart rate and sleep patterns.

But we knew this already, right?

Midwest Energy News:

Science has frequently rejected arguments that wind turbines pose a threat to human health. And now the verdict is in both in the courts of legal and public opinion on the matter, according to a recent study and poll.

bipartisan poll on energy issues released earlier this week found that in six Midwestern states — Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin — only 14 percent of respondents believe wind turbines harm human health.

The survey of 2,477 voters was conducted by Public Opinion Strategies and FM3 on behalf of RE-AMP, which publishes Midwest Energy News.

Among the states surveyed, the lowest percentage of people who believe wind turbines cause health problems (7 percent) was in Iowa, a state that leads the nation in proportion of energy from wind.

Meanwhile, the highest percentage believing such claims (21 percent) was in Wisconsin, a state which has far fewer wind farms and where some political leaders have in recent years been hostile to renewable and distributed energy.

Also, a study released last month by the Energy and Policy Institute analyzed 49 legal proceedings in the U.S., Canada, New Zealand, the British Isles and Australia. It found that in all but one case, courts or legal officials rejected the argument that wind energy poses a health hazard.



57 Responses to “New Study Confirms (again): “Wind Turbine Syndrome” is Bullshit.”

  1. MorinMoss Says:

    Regrettably, this won’t make it go away. As we’ve seen, using science to counter belief is an uphill battle.

    • Using public opinion and court decisions as “proof” of anything is bad strategy.  How many courts over the years decided that tobacco didn’t cause plaintiffs’ illnesses?  How many people believe today that humans have nothing to do with climate change?

      To really get the skinny on this would require a 2-pronged approach.  The first is before-and-after studies of people in the area.  The second is detailed measurements of the sonic and infrasonic field of wind farms, including any secondary effects generated by pressure waves on structures.  Once these can be reproduced in the laboratory, double-blind testing is possible.

      • MorinMoss Says:

        My personal research has demonstrated that “infrasound” is a leading cause of pre-existing mental illness 🙂

        • Alec Sevins Says:

          Sure, just like nobody’s bothered by subwoofer infrasound. Even subtle bass from neighbors and passing cars is well known to cause sleep loss and chronic irritation. Why would bass coming from giant rural skyscrapers be magically benign?

          Wind turbines needn’t be causing ALL those illnesses, but you can’t deny that they’re a major intrusion on quiet rural landscapes. Notice how you rarely see wind turbines close to major cities. I’m sure complaints would ramp up by the thousands and be more easily studied if that occurred. Rural residents are being treated like dumb hicks who “don’t know” what they’re actually experiencing. Put a bunch of spinning skyscrapers near a latte district and see how they’re perceived over time. Lack of constant wind in major cities makes a lucky excuse, but Chicago seems like a good test zone. Let’s put 120 wind turbines 1,500 feet offshore from Lake Michigan beaches and see how they fly.

          It’s astounding that anyone calling themselves an “environmentalist” would sacrifice so much scenery to industrial projects. Were wind turbine designers ever concerned with natural aesthetics? I imagine them spending most of their time in urban coffee houses or planning a night at some noisy concert. They should voluntarily detach themselves from true environmentalism. They’re no more a friend of nature than wildcat oil & gas drillers, coming into towns and disrupting lives while pointing to random Internet stories as “proof” that all is fine.

          • MorinMoss Says:

            I’ve expressed support for considering turbines in the Great Lakes for years, far longer than I’ve been visiting Climate Crocks.
            There are people who’ll be disturbed by just about anything.

            Turbines are not buildings, they are machines – I’ve not seen many “naturally aesthestic cars, trucks, earthmovers, or even airplanes – now those make what I would call noise.

            Greenman has already posted a video of noisy industrial crickets, er, I mean wind turbines at close range and the noise from them is really barely noticeable.
            Also, when the wind is blowing hard, it’s far more noisy and steady than the whoosh of the turbine blades.
            “I imagine them spending most of their time in urban coffee houses or planning…” – imagine away but that’s your delusion. The fantasy hipsters that you “imagine” are destroying your precious vista don’t build much of anything and the serious engineers who build & design these things are usually working, thinking, planning, testing, refining, not sipping lattes with their feet up at Starbucks.

            And “natural aesthetics” – I’ve had many a beautiful view ruined by someone building a ton of houses where there once was forest & meadow – and then along come the crisscrossing power lines on poles, not kilometers distant like the wind farms would be, but right in my face, in my way, on my street.

            Some years back, some windbagger posted a picture of a couple towers at a wind farm quite far off and wrote an incensed caption of how they ruined his view.
            What he failed to see, comically missing the electrical forest for the revolving trees was that the turbines were nicely framed by the ragged and haphazard wiring and rotting poles of power lines crossing the road outside the place from which he took the photo, complete with a rusting transformer canted at a precarious angle.

            What, do tell, are the “natural aesthetics” of that?

            I’m not sure where your “quiet, rural landscapes” are but the ones I’ve visited over the past few decades have a plethora of loud tractors, noisy farm equipment, rumbling diesel trucks constantly passing by, the machine-gun fusillade of road gravel bombarding the underside of cars, echoes of trains speeding by that can be heard from several kilometers away – and, waging a constant assault on another frail sense – the omnipresent, overwhelming odor of cow shit.
            And crickets. Everywhere, those damn crickets and their incessant chirping.

          • Alec Sevins Says:

            MorinMoss wrote: “Turbines are not buildings, they are machines – I’ve not seen many “naturally aesthestic cars, trucks, earthmovers, or even airplanes – now those make what I would call noise.”

            You must work for a wind company with that sort of obtuse propaganda. These things tend to be over 400 feet tall nowadays, so whether you define them as a “building” or not is semantic game-playing. And those other noise-makers are already with us! Wind turbines just ADD to the din. Why is that so hard to explain?

            My main wind turbines complaint is the visual blight, not the noise, but the noise is a big deal to many people, no matter how many government+industry-funded studies claim otherwise. When a national policy promotes skyscrapers as “green” it needs elaborate rationalizations, and usually finds them.

          • You sir, are repeating the same myths about wind energy. Wind is used as an alternative energy source when fossil fuels go away. So its not based on A+B – that is only because you think they should add up for growth and not replace the other. You must not forget that the reason we need wind and solar energy is that we cannot continue burning fossil fuels at the current rates, and neither is it sustainable as an energy source because it is finite.

            You can come up with all sorts of excuses for not liking wind, but the fact is that it has a high ERoEI compared to many other alternatives when fossil fuel is not an option anymore.

            If you care so much about birds, why don’t you care equally much for the many people who die in horrible car accidents every year? Perhaps its wiser to shift away from people driving cars and over to automated or public transit?

            As I normally repeat in these discussions, its not one or the other, we both increase our renewable energy source as we reduce our fossil fuel energy usage.

            It’s the classic “I feel offended because they want to change things in my life” even though those things are really a non-sustainable way of life in the long run for all life on this planet. In the face of evidence we must all admit that some changes are necessary in order to make this world a better place instead of constantly thinking that the only option is more of status quo.

          • greenman3610 Says:

            so I take it you do not vaccinate your children, or wash your hands after using the toilet, since that is just the “government+industry studies” trying to control you,right?
            Wind power is overwhelmingly popular among residents in communities that have it, and will continue to win out as the society at large notices that communities with wind have no
            negative impacts, more income, more tax base, better roads, better schools better services, and lower taxes. Reality is winning.

          • dumboldguy Says:

            No horse is ever too dead to beat apparently.

            Visited family outside Atlantic City NJ last week. For the first time in recent memory, all five of the the big wind turbines on AC’s bay side were all operating at the same time—it’s usually only 2 or 3 at most. I drove past them and observed them from both directions, got as close as I could to them and parked, and got out and looked and listened.

            Yes they ARE big, but I heard no “noise” from them, just the wind blowing over the marsh and the cars on the nearby road. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but the five of them spinning in unison was attractive in its way. I can live with them (although I wouldn’t want to be in ones’ shadow).

            As far as noise goes, I am more disturbed by the road noise that I can hear emanating from the 8 and 10 lane I-66 that is nearly a mile from my house (18-wheeler tire whine mainly) and the planes that pass right over my house in the landing pattern for Dulles Airport. (The first time the Concorde flew right over my house in 1976, I thought we were being hit with an earthquake). Both are 24/7 and only ebb a bit in the middle of the night—-I would take a wind farm over them in a heartbeat.

          • MorinMoss Says:

            Bigger turbines are quieter and turn more slowly.
            And the bigger they are, the more widely spaced, up to 15 rotor diameters apart, further reducing the cumulative noise-per-megawatt.

    • Mic Fidelity Says:

      Define your brand of science. Pretending to be Green while ignoring thousands of complaints is the real problem. You people are as guilty of cherry-picking data as the climate deniers. What compels you to have so much tunnel-vision over these clearly intrusive machines? There has to be a better way to generate electricity. Solar comes to mind. Why is ginormous wind power so sacred in the whole range of options?

      I think a lot of the wind turbine “syndrome” is due to infrasound, and I offer my own experience of witnessing a high-end car stereo playing 100 feet away and driving off. The bass was so low, probably under 20 Hz, that I could barely register it as sound, but was instantly hit by a sense of dread and nausea that affected my sense of balance. Even as the car drove 100 yards away I still felt the palpable sensation. The car finally rounded a city block and all was OK again. I had never experienced that before. It wasn’t one of those standard boom cars with muddy bass, it was very clean and subtle but powerful.

      It stands to reason that things as large as wind turbines can send ultra low frequencies much further, almost like having a giant bass guitar plucking at blade-pass intervals. Proponents snubbing the entire concept are extremely disrespectful to all the people who are clearly affected by the turbines. A few of them may blame existing conditions but the new noise has to aggravate things in general. Why wouldn’t you even consider that, as a man of “science?”

      Just search for ‘lawsuit wind turbine noise’ and you’ll find many cases that can’t all be imagined. Whether they’re technically a “syndrome” could be a matter of semantics but the effects are clearly there. When you write them off as liars and troublemakers against your precious wind industry, you perpetuate the image of urban elitists who don’t care about rural suffering.

      • greenman3610 Says:

        So you are organizing protests against cars with booming bass?
        Or are you a rural elitist who doesn’t care about urban suffering?

  2. […] Toronto Globe and Mail: A Health Canada study has found no evidence to support a link between exposure to wind-turbine noise and health effects reported by people living near the towering structure…  […]

  3. We can read all the studies in the world, but best way to know for sure is to visit a wind farm on a windy day.

    I honestly don’t have any opinion on this, because I have never been next to a wind farm that was functioning. When I lived in the USA, I did drive through the wind farm near Palm Springs maybe a dozen times, and I heard no noise because the turbines were never turning (that in itself says a lot).

    As for visual impact, I find large wind farms to be very ugly. I would suggest to everyone here to go to google, type in “wind farm near Palm Springs” and click “images.” I’m pretty sure that I wouldn’t want to have a view like this from my front yard.

    To be fair, no large-sized power plants are beautiful. I used to live in Las Vegas, and the hydro power plant at Hoover Dam is perhaps the most aesthetic I’ve seen…except that all those high-voltage towers with wires running off in every direction is not beautiful. I wouldn’t want to live under a high voltage line, or near one. That is maybe the biggest health risk (not to mention visual impact) of wind farms – not the towers/turbines themselves, but the very large grid that is needed to tie it all together Wind power fans themselves admit that in order to overcome intermittency, you’ve got to have a bunch of wind farms scattered over a large area, tied together by a grid, so that when the wind is not blowing in California for example, the state can be supplied with electricity from wind in Nevada or Arizona or wherever. This would mean building a supergrid, and I suspect that a lot of people living near it would not be happy.

    I know it’s been a huge issue in Germany. Heated opposition (ironically from self-professed “Greens”) to building a supergrid has hampered efforts to tie wind power from the north with solar power in the south, even though the same Greens insist that these two technologies complement one another. As a result of this opposition, the fallback system when the wind/sun isn’t available has had to be coal and natural gas, or else biomass (ie imported wood from North Carolina and Finland) – not exactly “green” in my opinion.

    • MorinMoss Says:

      I’m pretty sure Peter has already posted a video of driving by a large wind farm on a moderately windy day.

      If wind farms were even remotely as detrimental as the windbaggers claim, Denmark , the UK, Italy, Spain & Portugal would look like the set of World War Z.

  4. lesliegraham1 Says:

    Arguing over whether a wind farm is ugly or beautifull is as pointless as arguing whether red is a prettier colour than blue.
    The data shows that most people don’t think they are ugly and an overwhelming majority of people (around 80%) support the installation of more wind farms.
    It’s not as if we have a choice anyway.
    By the way – Scotland produced 116% of it’s total electrical power reqirement from wind alone during the month of October.
    Renewable energy will be a MAJOR export earner for Scotland from 2020.

    • Alec Sevins Says:

      Fine in theory, but there’s a price to be paid for that energy and you choose to ignore it with polls that omit a lot of context. Wind turbines are now visible from about 60% of Scottish landscapes (see recent study by the John Muir Trust). I doubt Muir himself would have called wind turbines on El Capitan “beautiful.”

      The landscape is under siege from too many factors already, and wind turbines are the worst culprit over the past few decades. They stand out against the landscape like nothing else people build. Do you consider wholesale landscape industrialization a “green” achievement? The mental blindness and phony environmentalism associated with wind turbines is staggering. The world’s remaining rural scenery is literally being thrown under the blades. Why is it so easy for green-tech people to write it off as collateral damage, or spew platitudes about “careful siting” that are obviously unworkable?

      I don’t like conservatives like Donald Trump (Scotland golf course wind turbine conflict) but we end up needing people like him to fight these landscape-eating monsters. The world’s remaining open space is being stabbed and spun into oblivion.

      UK writer Paul Kingsnorth describes pseudo-green ideology in “Confessions of a Recovering Environmentalist” (2012) in which he writes: “The mountains and moors, the wild uplands, are to be staked out like vampires in the sun, their chests pierced with rows of five-hundred-foot wind turbines and associated access roads, masts, pylons, and wires…” (Check out rest. It may shock you into seeing what’s really happening to nature under a green banner.)

      • lesliegraham1 Says:

        Yeah – I’m not keen on onshore windfarms myself. But the good people of the UK have to decide what they want. Windfarms and solar or power cuts.
        We know we can’t continue using coal for power generation and nuclear is a total non-starter for obvious reasons so it’s not like we have a choice.
        Personaly I think I can put up with wind turbines until someone can come up with a better way to produce zero carbon electricity.
        At least with turbines they can always be taken down again and the material used for somethinng else if some hithertoo unimagined technology is forthcoming in the future – cold fusion for example.

        • MorinMoss Says:

          From what I know about the UK ( granted all of it 2ndhand ), a massive overhaul of the building stock is needed – far too many are simply substandard and leaky.

          And that would create lots of local jobs, too.

  5. I don’t think stinking and noisy cars are good either. Neither do I particularly like asphalt. I’d rather see those go than silly bickering over the aesthetics or noise of wind farms.

    • MorinMoss Says:

      As Joni Mitchell sang in “Big Yellow Taxi”, we paved paradise to put up parking lots.

    • lesliegraham1 Says:

      You might like this:

      • Hehe, yes exactly. Here is another one:

        • Alec Sevins Says:

          A couple is shown looking at an already-industrialized urban horizon with an exaggerated industrial smoky haze, whereas one could easily show a wild landscape blighted by 400-foot towers that flash red lights all night after sunset.

          Why is the former seen as blight and the latter “clean and green” energy? Why are wind turbines excused as pro-environment by the mere fact that they don’t burn oil after they’re set up? You know it takes huge amounts of fossil fuels to manufacture and install them.

          Man is trashing nature on many fronts and renewable energy uses land very inefficiently, except for solar panels on existing structures that don’t actively increase the human footprint. The concept of “The Environment” used to include the landscape but that aspect has been sacrificed to the god of rural skyscrapers.

          Tell me which of these structures blights the landscape more:

      • Alec Sevins Says:

        That cartoon, showing freeway congestion vs. a seemingly benign row of three wind turbines, is typical propaganda that anyone should see through. It vastly downplays the size and number of wind turbines and emphasizes existing environmental problems that wind turbines merely ADD to. If those cars were mostly electric, what would be the visual angle?

        The idea that traffic jams somehow negate the blight of 400-foot spinning towers is ludicrous. Traffic jams are much lower in profile and typically an urban or suburban phenomenon, whereas wind turbines being industrial blight to rural and wild lands that never expected such development. Context is everything and wind pushers deliberately ignore it.

      • Alec Sevins Says:

        Below is a much more honest image of cars vs. turbines. Both are sources of blight, but one is visible from much greater distances and is spreading far from urban zones.

      • Alec Sevins Says:

        Another example of what wind turbines REALLY look like when contrasted with cars:

        • Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. What I see is a serious attempt at curbing CO2 emissions. In the long run, the wind turbines will be the smart option compared to continued growth of CO2 emissions.

          Sure it would be better if we can convince people to use less energy, although we actually have to do that as well if we are serious about displacing fossil fuel energy for renewables (although that will happen anyway, we need it to happen faster).

        • MorinMoss Says:

          Given the terrain, clustering & turbine size relative to the traffic, I suspect that all your pics are of one or more of California’s Terrible Trio, maybe San Gorgonio?

          If I’m right, this is an old farm and not at all representative of what modern farms, even ones built 10 – 15 yrs ago, are like.
          My guess is that it’s San Gorgonio, yes?

          Like Altamont & Techahapi, this early farm needed thousands of turbines to reach a nameplate of >500 MW, which meant they were smaller, faster-spinning and more closely spaced.
          Not at all a stellar example of planning or implementation and a definite culprit in the deaths of endangered birds.
          But we’ve come a long way, baby.

          I just tried using Google Maps / Earth to look at Texas’ Horse Hollow wind farm, now 10 years old, whose nameplate is about the same as the largest of California’s notorious ones and from the ground view of Route 277 which passes through the 47000 acres that are occupied ( or as you may term it, desecrated ) by the towers, I couldn’t make out a single one of them from the road.

          I did see a handful of power lines on wooden poles nicely framing the despoilt view of brush & sand.
          This farm has ~430 towers where California’s old farms have 3-5 thousand each.

          • Alec Sevins Says:

            Putting skyscrapers in excess of 400-feet on every possible windy acre is “good for the environment” per the turbine-denial playbook, therefore they can never be an eyesore? If you are really that deluded, I can’t help you.

            Apparently I don’t understand what “the environment” means anymore in the eyes of the wind turbine crowd. It seems that electrical engineers have declared aesthetic values to be little more than foolish nostalgia.

            Getting back to the main topic of this page, which was noise, I wonder why they bother to hold these conferences if turbines are so acoustically benign?


            “International Conferences on Wind Turbine Noise, held biennially”

            I’d like to see faux Greenman take his cameras to one of those conferences, or simply visit the homes of thousands of affected people, especially at night when the noise ramps up against the lower ambient masking. It is a baldfaced lie to claim that turbines aren’t a serious noise nuisance to a good percentage of people and animals nearby. Cherry picking the ones who aren’t affected (by luck of topography) is like Anthony Watts claiming a cool day in his town debunks AGW.

            Use of the term “syndrome” to blame wind turbines for a wild range of ailments may be overstated by some hypochondriacs, but declaring that there’s no real noise issue is utterly dishonest. Leave a power drill or vacuum cleaner running all night (muted in a garage) and you’ll get a similar effect. Pool filter motors or the neighbors’ A/C unit are another source of many complaints. They can be aggravating even at 40 dB or less. It’s the TYPE of noise, not just the volume. Noises that never originated in nature are not handled well by the nervous system unless someone is in work-mode all the time. Wind turbines introduce a brand new noise source to rural areas, often laden with infrasound and broadcast over a much wider area than a random neighbor could.

            Even wind chimes cause lost sleep yet barely register on a decibel meter. Look up the numerous complaints. If the wind turbine industry applied its propaganda to them, they’d say “Don’t you people like to sleep to music? You’ll get used to it!”

    • Alec Sevins Says:

      Yeah, as if we can simply make cars and asphalt vanish. You are committing the logical fallacy of A vs. B when it’s really A + B. Wind turbines add cumulative environmental impact, including more birds kills than ever before.

      When people blindly defend wind turbines they act like all other forms of environmental blight will be swapped or negated by them, but again, the real impact is cumulative. More total acreage is being industrialized.

      • greenman3610 Says:

        the fact that there is virtually no overlap between those who complain about the “blight” of wind turbines, and those who are concerned about the very real effects of massive fracking for fossil fuels, more than proves exactly where people like this poster are coming from, and who is pulling their strings.

        • dumboldguy Says:

          God, I hate that photograph. It evokes the same feelings as looking at pics of lynched slaves hanginf from trees or piles of bodies of Nazi concentration camp victims.

          As for our boy having his strings pulled, you’re right—-he is a “parrot puppet” actually, because he spouts the same mindless crap that we hear from all the deniers and shills for fossil fuel. Like “Turbines KILL BIRDS!”

          Wind turbines are WAY down the list of causes of bird death. Collisions with buildings and windows are on top with perhaps a billion a year, CATS (meow) are close behind at maybe 500 million a year. Towers, high tension lines, cars, pesticides, poison, oil spills, and other causes all eclipse the few tens of thousands to 100’s of thousands of birds that the wind turbines kill.

          • I think it reminds me of Mordor in Lord of the Rings. 🙂

          • Alec Sevins Says:

            ….And a photograph of gigantic towers decimating rural and wild lands evokes what in you? Surely you understand that wind turbines couldn’t be built, transported and installed without fossil fuels? There is no magic kingdom run entirely on electricity. Heavy transport is almost entirely dependent on oil, and putting massive structures all over the countryside requires a lot of it.

            Do you think these landscapes have been improved by putting huge towers all over them? Where are your true aesthetic values once the issue of electricity vs. carbon is taken out of the picture? Stick with the sheer visual magnitude of these things.

          • MorinMoss Says:

            Just because transport & construction is oil-dependent now doesn’t mean it has to be so forever. We were moving & building big things long before the Petroleum Age began.

        • Alec Sevins Says:

          You refuse to admit that Man is blighting the land on many fronts, and wind turbines are unique in their massive scale, not requiring aerial photographs to emphasize it. If you want to play dueling photos, be honest and look at these. I could post hundreds of such photos and you need to admit that man-made blight is cumulative, not nullifying. In other words, wind turbines aren’t replacing oil and gas wells, they are just wrecking countryside that wouldn’t have been drilled for lack of proper geology. I can’t fathom how any environmentalist would just sit back and watch so much acreage be defiled for the sake of anti-carbon zealotry. (No, I’m not a global warming denier.)

          These particular photos show arid landscapes wrecked by turbines (similar to your drilling pad sample) but many of the wrecked landscapes are green and include mountain ridges with many acres of trees cut down for turbine pads and access roads.

          • MorinMoss Says:

            Turbines are still getting larger which means that they need to be more widely spaced and that leaves more room under & between them to do as you wish.

            Grow crops, plant trees, raise livestock, if you wish. It can and already is being done.

            I live very close to a highway and not very far from a train station, near the edge of where a manufacturing district meets a neighborhood that’s been gentrified.

            It’s road noise, congested onramps, rail rumbling, heavy trucks & construction sounds every day for going on a decade.
            I’ve learned to suck it up & put on the headphones.

          • dumboldguy Says:

            What’s your point? EVERYTHING man has ever built or done on this planet is a “blight” from the perspective of the biosphere. Your picking and choosing among visual blights is just more hubris and anthropocentrism.

            The “prettiest” things you can pick—-graceful suspension bridges, gothic cathedrals, attractive skyscrapers, Ferraris, fine paintings—-are TOTALLY UNIMPORTANT to anything but humans, and their production has done only damage to the biosphere.

            At least the wind farms are an attempt to mitigate the damage done by our enslavement to fossil fuels, and they do less long term damge than drilling, digging, and fracking for fossil fuels. You’re missing the forest for the trees

          • MorinMoss Says:

            Here’s a Google Maps view from 10 yr old Horse Hollow. Not quite the devastation you portray.

            Feel free to pan around, despite this being one of the largest in NorthAm, the turbines are fairly sparse in all directions.


          • I am not sure where you are getting at?

            Do you think this is any better:

            If anything, wind power will offset fossil fuels which we know have a very detrimental effect to keeping up civilization. The other option is one noone really votes for – serious downscaling of industrial civilization as well as drastically reduce population and live low energy use lifestyles.

            Wind and solar will dampen any fall we need to take anyway in order to keep the planet habitable for our children and all living things in the near future.

  6. Alec Sevins Says:

    Gas drilling also causes chronic noise. Pool filters are another insidious noise source. Any noisy machinery that wasn’t there before is going to intrude on lives, and the quieter the original setting, the bigger the impact tends to be. Words like “bull–it” are a childish way to ignore it. All you’re doing is giving ammo to climate deniers by appearing willfully ignorant on the “green” side of the debate.

    Regardless of whether “mysterious” health problems (that seem to go beyond mere noise) are caused by wind turbines, there’s no denying that they DO make unnatural noise and people are bothered by noise of many kinds, especially in rural areas that have less ambient sound to mask it. It’s not up to a detached observer to tell a family that they are imagining an effect. I doubt any of those observers actually lived in the homes for a week or a month. Essentially they are calling thousands of people liars.

    The common claim that wind turbines are “no louder than refrigerators” is loaded with false context. Many people sleep in bedrooms where they can’t hear their own refrigerators. Try moving one into your bedroom and see if it doesn’t bother you. But the character of wind turbine noise is different anyhow. It goes well beyond mere decibels.

    And the visual blight of wind turbines is evil to many of us. Very large skyscrapers are being forced into areas that never expected structures taller than a silo or skinny antenna (much less visible from a distance and less numerous). To claim that it’s “good for the environment” to radically alter Earth’s shrinking open space is about as dishonest as it gets. The sum of wind turbine impacts are profoundly negative from an aesthetic point of view.

    Solar panels on existing man-made structures contribute far less to our ecological footprint, which is out of control as it is from population growth. If you’re going to aggressively defend renewable energy, save your zeal for its most benign forms.

    • greenman3610 Says:


      People in rural areas like wind turbines because they produce income that allows people to stay on their land, and pass their way of life down to their children. Wind turbines give rural areas an option for development besides
      what we’ve been offering in my neck of the woods, more prisons.

      From what I’ve seen, the real problem in acceptance is from rich city folk who buy their country house, and don’t give a damn about how the actual residents of an area live and hope to continue to live
      You’re like the suburbanite that buys their 10 acre ranchette out in the country, then sues because they can smell fertilizer – ok, bullshit, coming from agrarian neighbors.
      Fortunately, the courts aren’t buying the “turbine syndrome” nonsense, and as more rural folks notice that communities with wind turbines have better schools, better roads, better services, more income, and lower taxes, the course is becoming increasingly obvious.

      • MorinMoss Says:

        I’m actually starting to believe in the insidious power of Wind Turbine Syndrome and the effect they can have on people miles, sometimes thousands of miles away.
        And I offer Alec Sevins as proof of the perfidy of those industrial machines; even mere pictures of them have caused him irreparable harm.

        • dumboldguy Says:

          I rode on a bus with Alec Sevins recently here in the DC area (which has virtually NO wind turbines, so that any effects have to be long range.).

          I do believe it is true that “…..even mere pictures of them have caused him irreparable harm”. He had an “empty zone” around him on a rather crowded bus, perhaps because he was saying “swish-swish-swish” as his eyeballs rolled in his head. (Or maybe it was the dead bird stuck to his forehead?)

          • Alec Sevins Says:

            Thanks for the completely useless comment! A typical distraction from the real issue. Wingnuts pillory Al Gore in a similar way, lacking a moral case.

            You people are as bad as global warming deniers and show no sympathy for scenic, peaceful landscapes. Something must be missing from your genetic memory when the natural environment used to matter vs. some man-made bleached forest, generating intermittent electricity for iPads and coffee pots.

          • dumboldguy Says:

            A “completely useless comment”? Actually, it was fun to poke fun at you and your extreme fixation on wind turbines, and anything that causes a smile can’t be bad.

            YOU and your fixation are the “distraction from the real issue”, which is the need to drastically cut fossil fuel use by any means possible in order to avoid CAGW.

            US people are “as bad as global warming deniers”? Really? THAT is a completely STUPID and hyperbolic comment. Lighten up and stop embarrassing yourself.

            And US people “show no sympathy for scenic, peaceful landscapes”? Really? I thing US people actually want to see the world restored to the reasonably “peaceful” and healthy state it was in before fossil fuel use ran rampant. As for “scenic”, anywhere man goes the “scenery” suffers, and you are myopic to focus so strongly on wind turbines. How about the ugliness of strip mining, oil refineries, strip malls, highways, and suburban sprawl?—-all of which are symptoms of our addiction to fossil fuel.

            “Something must be missing from your genetic memory when the natural environment used to matter vs. some man-made bleached forest, generating intermittent electricity for iPads and coffee pots.”?

            A useless ad hominem, again loaded with hyperbole. Did saying it make you feel better, Alec? I’ll stack my “genetic memory” and that of most Crockers against yours any day of the week, Alec. The “man-made bleached forests” we worry about are the ones caused by drought, invasions of bark beetles moving north out of their normal ranges, and the corals in the oceans—-all because of global warming caused by burning fossil fuels.

            Some day decades from now when we can get CO2 back within safe limits, we can perhaps stop replacing wind turbines as they wear out and restore the “scenery”. Until then, enjoy your “fixation” (or your paycheck if you are really just a troll for the fossil fuel interests or the PV folks).

      • Mick Fidel Says:

        You’ve got that completely backwards. Wind turbines are a power grab FOR the rich FROM rural communities which they hoodwink into destroying the quality of life in. The rural people who claim to like wind turbines are generally the one paid to be silent, while their neighbors suffer without compensation (as if money alone is everything).

        Anyone who can simply call all the outraged rural people liars is evil to the core. You are lying like a sonuvabeech and we see this all the time. No better than oil, gas and coal spokesmen. Do you honestly think wind power is somehow exempt from the human profit motive, being so awash in subsidies? People who stand to profit have lied for centuries. There’s no mystery here.

        If these were small turbines, under 50 feet or so, you wouldn’t be seeing so many complaints. It’s the big IWTs that cause big problems, not the concept of wind power itself. But even smaller turbines would be noisy and annoying in too great numbers or in dense neighborhoods. They would be sort of a “leaf blower light.”

        • dumboldguy Says:

          So, Mick, are you THE Mike Fidel or not? If you are, let’s talk about San Juan Coal, and how they (and you, since you work for them, or did) “are a power grab FOR the rich FROM rural communities which they hoodwink into destroying the quality of life in”. Ignoring the bad grammar there, that’s what YOU have done with your coal mines in the Four Corners region on Native American lands. Also, one of your mines is only ~20 miles from Mesa Verde, and that doesn’t help the air quality there.

          Hypocrisy much?

  7. dumboldguy Says:

    Putting aside the reality of wind turbine syndrome, Alec has made many excellent points in his two recent comments, in which he speaks of “…our ecological footprint, which is out of control from population growth…” and the writings of Kingsnorth.

    It brings us full circle to confronting man’s hubris and athropocentrism yet again. We simply refuse to adopt any sort of ecocentric perspective. Why should we? After all, we have been pretty successful at applying technology to “adapt” and “mitigate”, haven’t we? The brightsided will continue to think we will muddle through yet again.

    No one has ever answered the question of “What have future generations done for us?” We are simply unable to get very far outside out own little 7-decade “windows” on reality, and as far as most things ecological go, NIMBY rules.

  8. Wind Power Says:

    […] New Study Confirms (again): “Wind Turbine Syndrome” is Bullshit. ( […]

  9. Mick Fidel Says:

    Below is a good video on just one case of wind turbines causing major problems. I’m citing it because the presenter is well-spoken and goes over many details.

    See on YouTube: Cary Shineldecker: Life in the Consumer’s Energy Wind Plant

    Everyone who claims wind giants are harmless should watch that presentation as a microcosm of global issues with wind turbines. You are calling a lot of people liars and it makes you evil.

    This industry is as indifferent to public complaints as frackers. Same mentality of we’re making money so you’d better shut up and will ignore you if you don’t.

    • dumboldguy Says:

      “This industry is as indifferent to public complaints as frackers. Same mentality of we’re making money so you’d better shut up and will ignore you if you don’t”, says Mike/Mick the hypocrite.

      Sounds like the coal and oil people too. And the miners, and the loggers, and the factory fishing folk. In fact like any of the “extractive” (and exploitative) industries that value their own profits above the greater good.

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