Vermont Political Observer remains blinkered

John Walters, a so-called “liberal”, has recently taken issue with people getting sick – to the degree that they are forced to abandon their homes – from wind turbine noise. How dare they! And how dare the phenomenon continue to be documented and studied! By acoustic engineers and physicians instead of social scientists and wind energy PR departments, no less! Your purslane’s helpful comments on Walters’s blog to provide the information that Walters is (or pretends to be? prefers to be?) unaware of, particularly in reply to his unfounded dismissals, were rejected. Here they are.

State hires fox to guard henhouse


Mark Trigo
August 29, 2016 at 8:51 pm

The reality is that there are only a couple of people that have raised a substantive complaint to the towers that have already been built. If the anti-wind crowd was correct, we should have seen hundreds of people sick by now. But that hasn’t happened.

There are plenty of studies to suggest that this is a largely psychological phenomenon. Our experience in Vermont seems to back this up. A couple of people believe that they are sick, and 99% are just fine.

John S. Walters (Post author)
August 29, 2016 at 11:59 pm

THere was a study done in Australia that showed a strong correlation between cases of “wind turbine syndrome” and similar maladies on one hand, and anti-wind protests on the other. If a wind farm did not spark protest before its construction, nobody reported any ill effects. If there were protests, then there were complaints.

That strongly suggests a psychological dimension.

September 2, 2016 at 2:29 pm

[comment rejected (update: comment published Sept. 6 after Walters was ready with his inane dismissal)]

The “nocebo” theory to discredit victims was first promulgated by Simon Chapman of the University of Sydney (Australia) School of Public Health. It is easily dismissed itself. For example:

Shrine of the Holy Vortex Martyrs


September 2, 2016 at 1:32 pm

From 2013: List of non-industry non-government published reviews regarding wind turbines and health –

From last Friday: Noise & Health 2016;18(83):194-205 – ‘Before–after field study of effects of wind turbine noise on polysomnographic sleep parameters’:

‘Fragmented and insufficient sleep can adversely affect general health impacting daytime alertness and performance, quality of life, and health, and potentially lead to serious long-term health effects. …

‘[R]eported quality of sleep significantly declined after exposure (P = 0.008). Participants also reported higher levels of stress before bedtime (P = 0.039) and in the morning (P = 0.064), and also reported feeling more sleepy (P = 0.013) in the morning and throughout the day (P = 0.014) after exposure. …

‘Noise difference [between preoperation and operation of turbines] correlated with the difference in the number of awakenings (r = 0.605, P = 0.001), SSC [sleep stage changes to a lighter stage] difference (r = 0.600, P = 0.001), arousal difference (r = 0.551, P = 0.004), and percentage of S2 [stage 2 sleep] difference (r = −0.499, P = 0.009).’

John S. Walters (Post author)
September 2, 2016 at 1:36 pm

Lovely. Numbers and fractions and multiple decimal places and everything. Just one question: If all this is true, how come the overwhelming majority of those who live near turbines report no ill effects?

September 2, 2016 at 1:59 pm

[comment rejected (update: comments published Sept. 6 after Walters was ready with his non sequitur dismissals)]

Yes, lower quality of sleep and disruption have been documented for more than a decade. In fact, before commercial turbines reached such large size around 2000, the ill effects on neighbors of a large research turbine were studied and reported by NASA in 1982. See:

What is the basis of the claim that “the overwhelming majority of those who live near turbines report no ill effects”?

September 2, 2016 at 5:59 pm

[comment rejected]

Speaking of “holy places”, here’s Garret Keizer in the June 2007 Harper’s Magazine:

‘Apparently, this place that has never had much use to the larger world beyond that of hosting a new prison or a solid-waste dump turns out to be an ideal location for an industrial “wind farm,” ideal mostly because the people are too few and too poor to offer much in the way of resistance. So far only one of the towns affected has “volunteered” — in much the same way and for most of the same reasons as our children volunteer for service in Iraq — to be the site of what might be described as a vast environmentalist grotto of 400-foot-high spinning “crosses” before which the state’s green progressives will be able to genuflect and receive absolution before zooming back to their prodigiously wired lives.’

September 2, 2016 at 7:57 pm

[comment rejected]

The Maori in New Zealand and Aboriginal peoples of Australia also know about holy places, and they too must continually fight to protect them from the heedless zealotry of industrial wind development.

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This just in from Northern Ireland, for but one more example of the problem:
Court Order Stops Noisy Wind Turbine


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