New Australian Medical Association logo affiliation program

AMA_logo_wind

In a move to bolster consultancies for its members, the Australian Medical Association (AMA) announced an innovative affiliation program Tuesday last (18th March 2014).

“No medical professional wants to appear mercenary, and as a broad-based membership group AMA can not be seen to endorse specific companies,” explained AMA President Dr Steve Hambleton. “Yet our members felt there was overriding need to find ways to better attract corporate benefactors.”

After careful discussion, the Federal Council, Hambleton said, agreed that as they often condemn whole industries that don’t benefit members, AMA ought to feel free to promote friendly industries “in generalised terms”.

In addition to issuing position statements that provide an outlet for selected industry communications, the Federal Council approved the innovative suggestion of Vice President Professor Geoffrey Dobb to begin a series of logo modifications expressing AMA’s collaborations.

“Medical professionals aligning themselves with corporate goals has sometimes caught us up short in the past – cigarettes being a famous example”, Dobb said. “The goal was to make it appear that the industry is endorsing us, rather than the other way around”, he explained.

The first companies to benefit, ie to benefit the AMA, from this program are those developing large-scale wind energy. “It was an obvious fit”, said Dobb, adding, “It’s a shame we can’t support tobacco any more – ie, partner with Big Tobacco to balance our interests and thereby take advantage of an important source of support for the work of AMA members – a softly smoking cigarette would have worked in well, too.”

As for Hambleton, he is very pleased with this solution and hopes it will be lucrative enough to expand to other industries. “Medicine is not practised in an ivory tower. We are also stakeholders in many of these companies – it’s a no-brainer, really.”

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Simon Chapman, Sydney School of Public Health, University of Sydney, Australia

‘Since I began writing and speaking about wind turbines and health in 2010, it has become common for those who do not agree with me to say or insinuate that I am somehow being paid by the wind industry or agencies acting for it. This is completely untrue and I have said this repeatedly to journalists and interviewers whenever the question has been asked. Those who continue to make this claim, particularly from the supposed protection of anonymity, are either ignorant about my lack of competing interests or are knowingly lying.

‘I, nor anyone acting for me, have ever sought or received any research funding, “unrestricted educational grants”, hospitality, or shares or any other consideration from any wind energy company or agent acting for them. [Freudian slip? Presumably he meant ‘Neither I’ or ‘never’. Or did he?]

‘I have a tenured academic personal chair in public health at the University of Sydney where I have worked continuously since 1986. My salary is paid for entirely [by] the University where I have teaching, research and research scholar supervision responsibilities.’

(http://tobacco.health.usyd.edu.au/assets/pdfs/Other-Research/CompetingInterestStatement.docx; created 23 March 2013, accessed 2 February 2014)

Yet …

Chapman spoke at the New Zealand Wind Energy Conference, 3 April, 2012.

(http://tobacco.health.usyd.edu.au/assets/pdfs/Other-Research/NZ-Conf1.pdf)

‘In late 2012 Simon Chapman was remunerated by lawyers acting for Infigen energy for providing an expert report on psychogenic aspects of wind farm noise complaints for possible use in a Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal hearing.’

(http://theconversation.com/study-finds-no-evidence-wind-turbines-make-you-sick-again-23621)

Chapman spoke at a Community Consultative Committee meeting for AGL Energy.

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LeL8F2JTSyw)

Chapman spoke at the launch of Vestas’ Act on Facts campaign.

(http://www.einpresswire.com/article/154797388/vestas-launches-act-on-facts-campaign-in-battle-against-anti-wind-movement-says-don-t-let-myths-dictate-our-future)

Chapman was invited to speak by the European Wind Energy Association at its 2nd wind turbine sound workshop, 9 December, 2014.

(http://www.ewea.org/events/workshops/wind-turbine-sound-2014/programme/#session1)

And …

Fellows of Senate, University of Sydney, with ties to the wind energy industry:

(http://sydney.edu.au/senate/Fellows_biogs.shtml)

  • Belinda Jane Hutchinson, chancellor: chairman of QBE Insurance Group; director of AGL Energy
  • Alan Cameron, deputy chancellor: chairman of Hastings Funds Management and Westpac; consultant to Ashurst Australia
  • Kevin McCann: chairman of Allens Arthur Robinson and Origin Energy; lead independent director, Macquarie Bank and Macquarie Group; director of BlueScope Steel
  • David Mortimer: chairman of Leighton Holdings, director of Intoll Management Limited (previously Macquarie Infrastructure Management)
  • also Catriona Menzies-Pike: arts editor of The Conversation (seemingly unquestioning publisher of articles by Simon Chapman); previously managing editor of New Matilda (seemingly unquestioning publisher of articles by Ketan Joshi of Infigen Energy)

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Six types of wind energy advocate

The true believer.

The true believer.

The climate change coat-tailer.

The climate change coat-tailer.

The fossil and nuclear fuel profiteer.

The fossil and nuclear fuel greenwasher.

The subsidy seeker.

The subsidy seeker.

The Nimby developer.

The Nimby developer.

The profiteer.

The profiteer.

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From the Ministry of Social Marketing

“What the audience research tells us about how to build consumer demand for renewables”

Edward Maibach, M.P.H., Ph.D.
Justin Rolfe-Redding, M.A.

Center for Climate Change Communication
George Mason University

Presented at Phase II Conference, American Council on Renewable Energy, December 8, 2010

“Our data show that questions asked in national surveys about proposals such as wind farms exaggerate the support for wind farms because the answers are typically superficial, top-of-the-head responses. When people think about the advantages and disadvantages of wind farms, as they would if a wind farm were proposed for their community, their support diminishes.” —Eric Smith & Holly Klick (2007): “Explaining NIMBY opposition to wind power”

Bottom line: A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. [a danger to developers’ plans, that is]

What’s a possible solution? Inoculation theory, perhaps: Present your audience with a weakened version of counterarguments. Show them refutations, or help them come up with their own. [ie, straw man fallacy] (William McGuire: “Inducing resistance to persuasion: some contemporary approaches. In L. Berkowitz (Ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology, vol. 1 (pp. 191–220), New York (1964): Academic Press)

Activate the Alarmed and Concerned.
Convince the Cautious and Disengaged.
Reach out to the Doubtful and Dismissive.

6-americas-4C

Recommendations:
1. Aggressively target all audiences. RE is the vanguard of environmental messaging for skeptical publics.
2. Identify unique needs of publics for solution–, information–, and values–oriented messages.

Overall recommendations:
Mindset: Begin and end with your audiences.
Plan: Consider their unique strengths and deficits.
Action: Connect through appropriate messages and messengers.

6-cits-ask
Simple clear messages, repeated often, by a variety of trusted sources.
—Maibach’s formula for communication impact

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Wind industry flack makes case for health effects research

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“The Truth About Wind Power”

The industry trade group American Wind Energy Association has created a simple web site dedicated to “the truth about wind power”. After listing each of those “inconvenient” truths, they try to refute it with the industry version of “reality”, which is to simply deny it. Here are AWEA’s truths about wind power, with brief but helpful explanations and references.

[Note:  The reference links provided are representative samples only. They are not necessarily definitive or exhaustive. Nor is this list of the sorry truths about wind exhaustive.]

POLICY

Energy Incentives
“Renewable energy is subsidized at higher rates than fossil fuels.”
—at least 80 times higher in terms of energy production [link]

Solyndra
“The fate of solar company Solyndra is a black eye for all renewables.”
—a cautionary tale of crony capitalism [link]

Green Jobs
“Energy incentives were misspent during the Great Recession.”
—only 1-2 permanent jobs created per 20 megawatts of installed wind, subsidized at the cost of a least $30 million [link]

AFFORDABILITY & RELIABILITY

How the Lights Stay On
“Wind power and solar power are the fastest growing sources of electricity in America and worldwide. We need reliable power at all times, so what happens when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine?”
—answer: Natural gas plants are actually the fastest growing in terms of actual production, and they are able to respond quickly enough to changes in wind and sun to ensure that power always matches demand. [link]

Reliability
“Because wind is intermittent it threatens the reliability of the electric grid.”
—as long as the grid still uses economical base load sources, the intermittency and high variability of wind strains its ability to match power to demand. [link]

The Cost of Wind
“Wind energy is expensive.”
—$2-3 million per installed megawatt on land, $6-12 million per megawatt of production, plus increased land use, new transmission lines and substations, and upgrades of the grid (including new gas plants) to accommodate [link]

ENVIRONMENT

Emissions
“Wind power doesn’t reduce carbon and may even contribute to climate change.”
—no evidence yet of carbon reduction, but rather increased emissions from running fossil-fuel plants less efficiently (e.g., carbon emissions from open-cycle gas plus wind often more than combined-cycle gas alone) [link]

Old Turbines
“Old turbines are left abandoned.”
—for example, South Point, Hawaii, and Altamont Pass, Palm Springs, and Coachella Valley, California [link][link]

WILDLIFE

Birds
“Wind turbines are killing birds at an alarming rate.”
— [link]

Eagles
“Wind is responsible for thousands of eagle deaths annually.”
—or rather thousands of all raptors and other large birds, not just eagles [link]

Bats
“Wind power and bats cannot coexist.”
—because bats are killed by the pressure vortices downwind of the turbine blades [link]

LAND & RESOURCE

Potential & Land Use
“Wind takes too much land to make much of the nation’s energy.”
—“My rule of thumb is 60 acres per megawatt for wind farms on land.” (Tom Gray, American Wind Energy Association [i.e., 180-300 acres per actual megawatt produced])

Property Values
“Wind farms hurt property values.”
—no surprise there [link]

HEALTH & SAFETY

Fire
“Turbines often catch fire, and when they do they often send flaming shards into fields and forests.”
—hundreds of gallons of lubricating oil atop giant lightning rods with spinning blades, all inaccessible to fire-fighting crews [link]

Sound
“The sound of operating wind turbines causes a variety of health effects, including dizziness, headaches, loss of sleep, and more.”
—that is, the grinding and throbbing penetrating noise, as reported around the world [link]

Shadow Flicker
“The shadows of rotating wind turbines cause negative health effects.”
—visual reinforcement of nauseogenic noise, or as stressor itself [link]

OFFSHORE WIND

Case for Offshore
“Offshore wind is too risky and no project will ever be built in the U.S.”
—about $5 million per installed megawatt, $12-20 million per megawatt of production, plus undersea cables, substations, maintenance in a stressful environment [link]

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NextEra sues activist for use of “offending logo” and video

Sarnia-Lambton Independent

NextEra Energy has made good on its threat to sue a local anti-wind activist.

The company, which has several wind energy projects slated for Lambton and Middlesex Counties, is suing to stop the use of “offending logos.”

The company has filed a lawsuit in Toronto saying Esther Wrightman’s use of NextError and Next Terror on her websites Ontario Wind Resistance and the Middlesex Lambton Wind Concerns. Court documents say the use of the logos “is false” and is “likely to mislead the public as to the character” of NextEra.

The company takes issue with being linked to terror. “NextEra is operating in full compliance with the law…the defendant is aware or is reclessly indifferent to the fact that the term ‘terror’ and ‘terrorist’ is reserved or organizations with extreme and violent criminal aims,” the lawsuit says adding the terms are usually linked to organizations such as Al-Qaida and Hezbollah. “NextEra…

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