Tag Archives: Health

Harrison in the Whig

John Harrison has written another nice letter to the Kingston Whig-Standard.  While it is about the general Ontario situation, as compared to the specific Amherst Island situation, I decided to post it here instead of on windfarmrealities.org.

Harrison, letter to the Whig, January 15, 2013,  “The losers in the wind energy fight”

Harrison’s letter was in response to a letter from the Ontario energy minister, Jim Bradley.

Bradley, letter to the Whig, January 11, 2013, “The Minister Responds”

The Minister was responding to an article that appeared the previous day in several papers.

Miner, Sun-News article, January 10, 2013, “Ontario Tories call for halt to wind turbines after gov’t documents released”

APAI responds to Whig article

Last July the Kingston Whig published an article about the announcement of the Federal health study of wind turbines.  As part of that article they printed a response from John Garrison, who was Kingston’s MPP when the Wolfe Island project went into service.  He supported that project to the extent that he cited a conflict of interest when he, as the Minister of the Environment at the time, was called upon to approve it.

The Whig, Enough studies on wind turbines, Kingston’s MPP says, July 14, 2012

Backup Copy

APAI, a group of Amherst Island residents that opposes the pending project there, wrote a response to that article to the Loyalist Township Council.

APAI, Response to Council, July 17, 2012

A few days before this exchange, APAI had put out a press release concerning the federal health study.

APAI, Press Release, July 12, 2012

APAI has also published comments and a letter to the federal health minister.

APAI on the Health Canada Study

Health Canada, an agency at the Canadian federal level, announced a study of the health effects of wind turbines several months ago.  While any study is welcome, the history of government-abetted coverups of the problems has made most opponents wary.  The initial study proposal looked pretty good for a start, including (for example) actually measuring the noise at even the low frequencies and actually going out into the field (unlike almost all previous health “studies”).

But still there were some indications that this study wasn’t being set up to be a truly honest and serious attempt to get at the truth.  Echoing those concerns, APAI has published a letter to the Health Minister and a supporting commentary.  Having read all the studies mentioned in the commentary, I can vouch for the its accuracy.

APAI, Letter to HC Minister Aglukkaq

APAI, Commentary on the HC Study

CTV Reports on WI Health Complaints

I don’t hear much from Wolfe Island about noise or health complaints, so when I came across this report I perked up.  It turns out not to be very much.  One lady is complaining about her arthritis getting worse.  I don’t doubt there’s health issues with turbines, but this particular story doesn’t advance the knowledge base much at all.  I’m posting on it just so it’s in the record.

CTV, Wolfe Island Health Complaints

Amy Caughey’s Letter

On April 28, 2012 the Kingston Whig published a letter from Amy Caughey, who was born on Amherst Island.  She now lives part time on Amherst Island when she isn’t working in Iqaluit.  She also presented a form of this same letter to the Loyalist Council.  Note that a number of people signed the letter, and there were more signatories in the printed edition of it.

In case the Whig pulls the letter here are 4 “scans” of it, in order.

Caughey Letter Part 1Caughey Letter part 2Caughey Letter Part 3

APAI on Ice Throw

John Harrison is a retired physics professor who knows a lot about forces and vectors.  He did some calculations about how far the 113-metre-diameter wind turbines planned for Amherst Island would routinely throw ice.  He followed them up with some examples of real-world measurements that supported his calculations.  The answer?  300 metres.  The ice sheets thrown that far could well be lethal – like 1kg traveling from 100 to 200 km/h!  Unfortunately there are many instances where the setbacks to neighboring properties or right-of-ways are far less than 300m.

Harrison’s paper is necessarily dense with numbers, so it is not an easy read for the general audience.  But his conclusions can be understood by all, and they are a reason for concern.


Harrison, Report on Potential Ice Throw

Visit to the KFL&A Health Unit

Amherst Island is in Lennox and Addington county and from a pubic health perspective is covered by the KFL&A Public Health Unit (K=Kingston, F=Frontenac).  To date they have been supportive of the position articulated by the Ontario public health department and Arlene King, namely that there is no direct causal health effects of wind turbines.  Never mind that there have now been over a hundred such complaints in Ontario and the King report never even tried to find out about indirect health effects, like loss of sleep.

One of the main linchpins of the health unit’s position are the studies of Eja Pedersen.  I’ve posted earlier on how the conditions in her Swedish studies really have very little in common with Ontario’s.  She was also involved in a study in the Netherlands that also is used as evidence that wind turbines do not cause health issues, and what health issues exist are more likely due to factors other than the noise.  John Harrison has taken a closer look at the Netherlands study and finds that the self-serving conclusions the wind industry pulls from this study do not stand up to closer scrutiny.   In short, the levels of sleep disturbance and annoyance are closely aligned with the noise level from the turbines.

Armed with her own research and John’s paper, Carmen Krough addressed the issue with the health board in a fairly unusual meeting yesterday.  Indications from observers were that the presentation went well, but only time will tell if the health unit’s stance will be materially affected.

Masotti vs. Adams

There was a recent flurry of letters back and forth on the issue of health effects of wind turbines in the Kingston Whig, centering on Amherst Island.  It started way back in January, when Carmen Krough gave a presentation on the results of her health studies to the Island residents.  The Whig duly reported on the presentation in an article titled “Wrecking Our Heaven”.

In March one Paul Mosetti, who appears to have some connection to the Ontario public health system (a Google of his name gives surprisingly sparse results) wrote a letter to the Whig editor that expressed his “feeling of being let down” with the “Wrecking” article.  He then goes on to recount his research into the medical literature and how the conclusions from the previous article are not supported by the medical community.

This in turn led to a another letter by one John Adams, who is a lawyer and resident of Amherst Island.  Adams points out the inconsistencies of Mosotti’s previous statements, relates the weaknesses of Masotti’s 4-year-old research and brings us up to date on the latest findings.

I know nothing about Masotti, his history or his agenda.  I do know that he has never studied any victims nor stayed in their homes.  In his article, he attaches great importance to van den Berg’s 2008 study:

However, an additional and interesting finding was that the people who lived in the highest noise category, 45 decibels, were less annoyed than those in the lower noise locations. Additional research revealed that people in this category were receiving financial benefits from the operation of the wind turbines.

He clearly intends to spread the notion that those who complain are those who don’t benefit, and thus the complaints are nothing more than sour grapes.  Apparently Masotti didn’t read the entire study, nor any of Van den Berg’s subsequent papers.  It turns out that (some, many, all?) the participants had a switch that they could use to turn off the turbines when they got too loud.  This fact is of huge importance, negating all the industry’s references to this finding.

Just once I’d like to see the wind energy industry and its supporters do some real science for a change, and go out into the field and find out what is really going on there.  I am not holding my breath.

Below are the references to the three articles – the Whig is terrible at keeping past articles publicly accessible, so I’ve linked to backup copies.  If you want to try to find the originals you can go to their e-edition site and search away.

Stafford, Wrecking our Heaven article

Masotti, reply

Adams, re-reply

Krough, summary of her evidence.  Probably a good representation of what she presented on Amherst Island.

van den Berg (2008) study, cited by Masotti.  The control of the turbines mentioned by me is on page 56.

My critique of Rand, mentioned by Adams

APAI on Health

Eric Gillespie is a lawyer who has been deeply involved in bringing legal action against both wind developers and the government for their disregard for the damage they are doing to the health of the neighbors of their projects.  For example, he was the lead attorney in the Kent Breeze suit, which for the first time forced a government body to acknowledge that “The evidence presented to the Tribunal demonstrates that they can [cause harm to humans], if facilities are placed too close to residents.”  Unfortunately, the legal bar set by the GEA is that the residents must prove that the project will be harmful, a bar that is almost impossible to clear, at least until the project is actually built and placed into operation.  Once the project is in place and if harm does occur then we’re into another and potentially uglier legal morass, one that is being initiated as I write [backup link].

Eric has apparently been retained by APAI and has sent a letter to Algonquin.  The essence of the letter is that Algonquin must, as part of the Renewable Energy Approval process, fully and accurately describe any potential health effects of the project.  In Algonquin’s Description Report they state “There is no scientific evidence, to date, to demonstrate a causal association between wind turbine noise and adverse health effects.”  Eric then presents 7 pages of scientific, court-accepted evidence that wind turbine noise does have adverse health effects.  He states the obvious “This conclusion is untenable.”  His last point is that now that they have been notified of the dangers, “Algonquin’s failure to include such information could be viewed as negligent misrepresentation and be actionable.”


Eric Gillespie Letter to Algonquin

AI – Krogh on Health

Carmen Krogh has been collecting information on the health affects of wind turbines for several years.  Recently she gave a presentation at the Amherst Island gym.  Today The Whig had an article covering the meeting.  The Whig mentioned “more than 50” people attended.  I wasn’t there, but I’ve heard the attendance was closer to 100, maybe 150.

Original Link – The Whig article

Backup Link

Update.  The Kingston TV station CKWS also has a short story which mentioned the meeting.