Health Canada—in spite of itself!—finds a significantly harmful relationship between human health and wind turbine noise
See UPDATE further below.
From Health Canada’s November 6, 2014 news release of its $2.1 million Wind Turbine Noise and Health Study:
…the study did demonstrate a relationship between increasing levels of wind turbine noise and annoyance towards several features (including noise, vibration, shadow flicker, and the aircraft warning lights on top of the turbines) associated with wind turbines.
“Annoyance,” as a criterion within the context of a health study, is a recognized, significant health hazard:
A WHO epidemiology study assessed noise annoyance and documented significantly elevated relative risks exist both in the cardiovascular system, the respiratory system, and the musculoskeletal system as well as by depression. The study concluded that for chronically strong annoyance a causal chain exists between the three steps [of] health – strong annoyance – increased morbidity. Other symptoms associated with annoyance from various noise sources include: stress, sleep disturbance, headaches, difficulty concentrating, irritability, fatigue, dizziness or vertigo, tinnitus, anxiety, heart ailments, and palpitation. Chronic severe annoyance induced by noise must be classified as a serious human health risk.
The Health Canada report is only a summary:
A more detailed presentation of the results will be submitted for publication in scientific journals. Results should only be considered final following peer-review and publication in the scientific literature.
The finding of “a relationship between increasing levels of wind turbine noise and annoyance” should have been big, game-changing news and raised serious alarm bells in Ontario, where the Wynne Liberal government is intent on continuing to destroy farmland, rural communities, families, livelihoods, quality of life, wildlife, the environment, beautiful landscapes, and property values with thousands more of the useless industrial monsters, against the will of most of the people and the communities affected, and to the despair of urbanites knowledgeable about the subject. But no—the finding of annoyance, an important health indicator which has an established “causal chain” of “health – strong annoyance – morbidity,” did not make the headlines and was barely mentioned in most media reports, or was dismissed in the “colloquial” sense of the word “annoyance.” Instead, most of the mainstream media dutifully reported a contradictory finding of wind turbine noise (WTN) and human health, which in Health Canada’s summary was detailed first and was helpfully highlighted in a box so as not to be missed:
The following were not found to be associated with WTN exposure:
- self-reported sleep (e.g., general disturbance, use of sleep medication, diagnosed sleep disorders);
- self-reported illnesses (e.g., dizziness, tinnitus, prevalence of frequent migraines and headaches) and chronic health conditions (e.g., heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes); and
- self-reported perceived stress and quality of life.
But further along in the summary, Health Canada does admit that:
- WTN annoyance was found to be statistically related to several self-reported health effects including, but not limited to, blood pressure, migraines, tinnitus, dizziness, scores on the PSQI, and perceived stress.
- WTN annoyance was found to be statistically related to measured hair cortisol, systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
Health Canada then qualifies these statistically significant findings of both self-reported health effects and objective, measured health indices with statements about how the same things were observed for road traffic annoyance, that the conditions may have pre-dated industrial wind turbine installations, and that community annoyance activities could play a role over and above WTN. Of course!
Health Canada’s study has been heavily criticized on a variety of aspects having to do with its design, methodology, and its unseemly hasty conclusions that favour the wind energy sector’s efforts to convince us that industrial wind turbines are safe and do not adversely affect human health. Find out how and why Health Canada’s Wind Turbine Noise and Health Study is deeply flawed:
- Denise Wolfe: Review of the Health Canada Wind Turbine Noise and Health Study
- Epidemiologist Joan Morris offers her thoughts on the Health Canada’s wind turbine and noise health study.
- Prof disputes wind turbine report
- Jane Wilson, President of Wind Concerns Ontario, describes her disappointment with the Health Canada report on the health effects of wind turbines.
- Dr. Robert McMurtry, the founding director of Wind Concerns Ontario, comments on the Health Canada Study of industrial wind turbines.
- Turbine health impact
- Get a sense of the extreme intrusion, disruption, and health havoc inflicted on rural people from the gut-wrenching video below of life amidst an industrial wind turbine plant in Ontario.
- Read Lawrence Solomon’s article, Ill winds blow from wind turbines, in the Financial Post.
- Read Wind Concerns Ontario’s expert analysis of the Health Canada study: Health Canada Study A Missed Opportunity To Find The Truth
Dirty secrets of the Ontario Liberals’ wind power scam: What you need to know from DownWind, the Sun News documentary
THE ONTARIO LIBERALS’ GREEN ENERGY ACT HAS DONE SERIOUS AND IRREVERSIBLE HARM TO PEOPLE, WILDLIFE, THE ENVIRONMENT
- Rural people in Ontario living in the midst of 50-storey-high industrial wind turbines have been badly hurt, even seriously and irreversibly harmed, with respect to mental and physical health and safety, property values (loss of 10-48% or even 100%), livelihood, way of life, community harmony. Some families have had to leave their homes on the advice of doctors.
- Farmers have noticed that wind turbines drive out earthworms due to electrical surge charges and vibrations. This reduces the quality of the soil. “Food production will go down.”
- The wind turbines’ 800-ton concrete bases, of which some of the material is toxic, go 50 feet down, far enough to hit aquifers.
- Livestock productivity, such as that of dairy cattle, is adversely affected.
- Birds are slaughtered by wind turbines.
THE LIBERALS HAVE PRESIDED OVER ABROGATION OF DEMOCRATIC RIGHTS AND BULLYING BY WIND COMPANIES
- “The provincial government wants these things and they’re going to come no matter what we do.”
- “(As high as) 140-50 storey buildings – you don’t even have that in Toronto. We’re talking 1,800 turbines up and down the shoreline (of Lake Huron), on some of the most productive farmland in all of Ontario. My God, what are you people thinking? Don’t tell us from your condo that the green thing is so great that we’re going to force it on you.”
- The Liberals’ Green Energy Act supersedes/overrides 21 pieces of legislation including the Clean Water Act, acts that protect the Niagara Escarpment and Oak Ridges Moraine, the Heritage Act.
- All Ontario government ministries have turned a deaf ear to complaints and concerns communicated to “every arm of the Ontario government when they asked for help. The wind companies do whatever they want.”
- The Liberals’ Green Energy Act strips municipalities of their planning powers. More than 80 communities have declared themselves to be unwilling hosts.
THE SYSTEM IS RIGGED AGAINST WIND TURBINE VICTIMS
- Wind turbines “are imposed on people and they are getting no choice. That begs the question of whether it’s Charter-compliant, whether it complies with constitutional principles to put these people through these things without being assured of a certain level of safety. No one should be subjected to a reasonable risk of harm.”
- There have been more than 20 Environmental Review Tribunal hearings of appeals and all of them were dismissed. One was allowed but appealed in Ontario Divisional Court where the wind developer prevailed. “The process they’ve created is so imbalanced and so weighted in favour of the wind turbine companies it’s as if they wrote the legislation. It’s embarrassing.”
LIBERALS GOT IN BED WITH GREEN NGOS, WIND INDUSTRY, BAY STREET LAWYERS TO WRITE THE GREEN ENERGY ACT
- “They all sat down and worked up the language they wanted in the legislation and built a campaign around it. You got the complete package: the PR side, the legislation drafting, the program to re-educate the public service, the whole momentum going, the Toronto Star editorial page cranking out a regular drumbeat – coal bad, wind good.”
WIND POWER IS FAR FROM CLEAN
- “When they talk about displacing coal-fire power plants in Ontario with wind, that’s not actually what happens. As they add wind capacity to the system, they are displacing nuclear and hydro and those are non-emitting sources. And you have to remember that whenever you see a wind turbine, there is a gas-fire power plant running in the background to balance out the load fluctuations. So it’s always a wind and gas combination. They’re replacing emissions-free hydro and nuclear with a combination of wind and gas and we’ll actually end up with higher emissions of pollution …”
- “So you’re paying for a wind turbine to turn, and you’re paying for a gas plant to idle. You’re paying double most of the time. It’s asinine.”
THE LIBERALS HAVE USED JUNK SCIENCE TO MISLEAD THE PUBLIC
- Air pollution levels in Ontario have declined steadily since 1974, but the Liberals claimed in 2009 when the Green Energy Act came into force that there was a rising air pollution crisis. “But they knew perfectly well that air pollution had been trending downward right across the board.”
- Most particulate matter emissions come not from coal power generation, as the Liberals claimed, but from construction, industry, agriculture, and most of all from dust from unpaved roads.
- “There’s no question that there’s been an effort to demonize coal.”
BILLIONS OF YOUR DOLLARS WASTED ON LIBERAL BOONDOGGLES
- Ontario electricity costs are the highest in North America as a result of the Liberals’ Green Energy Act.
- “Wind turbines don’t run on wind, they run on subsidies.”
- They replace power that costs 3-5 cents per kilowatt hour (kwh) with wind power that costs 13.5 cents per kwh to generate.
- “Nobody was building wind turbines in Ontario until the government started throwing money at it. It’s not cost effective. Wind turbines can’t compete on a wholesale market without a lot of government support.”
- Wind companies get 20-year contracts to sell wind power at far above market rates.
- “The system has to buy power whenever wind companies produce it” whereas standard power producers (nuclear, hydro) have to compete on the wholesale market.
- Ontario lost $1 billion selling excess power in 2013 to neighbouring jurisdictions – “How stupid is that?”
- The cost of the Green Energy Act to date is $4-5 billion, or 70 times the cost of retrofits recommended in 2005, to get equivalent environmental benefits. (Some estimates say the Green Energy Act costs so far are closer to $8 billion.)
- Before the Green Energy Act, Ontario had a few large power plants with the grid optimized to source the power. Now we have “tiny, little unreliable” wind facilities that required a new grid, putting an “extra cost to get something we already had – it increased the costs of having what you had before.”
- “There were far smarter ways of creating energy. If we had done nothing except put the most advanced scrubbers on our coal plants we would actually have had as clean air as we do today.”
THE LIBERALS FAILED TO PERFORM DUE DILIGENCE, OR UPHOLD THEIR FIDUCIARY DUTY
- The Liberal government has to date done no cost benefit analysis, and no health study.
- The much-anticipated Health Canada two-year, $2 million research study of the adverse health effects of wind turbines is due in December of this year. However, it will apparently not establish causation or have conclusive results.
- The 550-metre set-back for siting industrial wind turbines from homes, established by the Ontario government, is arbitrary and was not based on any research.
- In her current election campaign ads, Liberal leader Kathleen Wynne says she believes “government should be a force for good in people’s lives.” In her campaign she claims “I believe there is only one good reason to enter politics, and that is to help people,” yet the documentary showed her not to have had the basic decency to stop to listen when she was approached by industrial wind turbine victim Norma Schmidt.
FLAGRANT CONFLICT OF INTEREST – LIBERAL FRIENDS CASHING IN
- Mike Crawley, erstwhile president of the Ontario Liberal party, a former senior aide to former premier Dalton McGuinty, was at the same time CEO of a major wind developer that was proposing four or five projects in Ontario. In 2004 he was awarded a contract worth $475 million, in addition to others.
FEAR AND COWARDICE – INDUSTRY INSIDERS ARE AFRAID TO SPEAK OUT
- People in the system have not dared to speak out.
- “There were people in the power generation sector who understood that the government numbers were not correct and did not add up, but they were effectively muzzled. The people that work in the power sector know that this is a crazy system. These wind farms are displacing hydro-electricity, which is just a waste on every level. The hydro-electricity plants don’t generate any air pollution emissions. They give us reliable, predictable base load power and now we let (them) sit idle.”
- “So people who work in the sector, they can see what is going on and they know that this is a waste but for understandable reasons they are not about to make a big noise about it because they could lose their jobs if they do.”
- “Our electricity system, to the people that run it, has become a joke, and they dare not raise a finger to oppose it.”
- “The electricity industry professionals will see the wasted generation … and their response is ‘so long as we have a blank cheque to keep the lights on, it’s all good.’ “
There is much, much more to learn and be alarmed and outraged about in this documentary film, which runs 1 hour, 36 minutes and may be purchased for $9.99 and downloaded.
UPDATE: The full documentary Down Wind is now available on YouTube. Click here.
THE LIBERALS “HAVE GOT TOO MUCH INVESTED TO ADMIT THE ERROR”
In the upcoming Ontario election on June 12, any vote for the Liberals would appear to be one in favour of propping up a government that has proven itself to be working to enrich its cronies with the province’s treasure, not one that is interested in the welfare of the people it is mandated to serve, or in nurturing the economic health of the province.
Progressive Conservative leader Tim Hudak has promised to repeal the Green Energy Act if elected.