LETTER: Spin on wind report disturbing
To the Editor:
I find it odd that Clean Wisconsin could misinterpret the parameters of the "A Cooperative Measurement Survey and Analysis of Low Frequency and Infrasound at the Shirley Wind Farm."
In a press release, the pro-wind organization appears to contradict the conclusions of its own hired experts. Tyson Cook, Clean Wisconsin staff scientist stated, "After testing three homes near Shirley Wind Farm, scientists were unable to measure any low-frequency sound...above the threshold of human hearing..."
The testing was not about audible noise, nor was it intended to find a direct, medical link. The testing did document both low frequency noise and infrasound in the Shirley homes. (Read full report at:
The purpose of the Shirley survey was to investigate if industrial scale wind turbines emit low frequency noise (LFN) and infrasound, and if so, at what levels. As I understand it, LFN is often below the threshold of hearing and infrasound is entirely. Exposure is known to cause negative health effects including sleep deprivation, nausea, headache, dizziness, ear pain, and anxiety.
Cook also stated, "There are no peer-reviewed studies showing negative health impacts from wind turbine sounds below the threshold of hearing." A collection of some studies can be found at: https://www.wind-watch.org/documents/wind-turbine-noise-and-health-speci....
I agree with Cook that, "It's important that we fully understand the impacts of our energy sources..." especially the health consequences of industrial scale wind turbine LFN and infrasound. Cook states the study finds no physical link between wind farm sound and negative health impacts. Yet the acoustical firms involved in the sound testing were unanimous, "The four investigating firms are of the opinion that enough evidence and hypotheses have been given herein to classify LFN and infrasound as a serious issue, possibly affecting the future of the industry" and "We recommend additional study on an urgent priority basis..." Scientific study is clearly needed to establish humane and appropriate turbine location setbacks from homes to protect the health and safety of exposed populations.
Apparently, Clean Wisconsin has no empathy for the Shirley families who have unwillingly left their homes to recover their health and no conscience about the likely consequences Highland Wind could have on the residents in and around the Town of Forest.
According to the report the experts also concluded, "In this specific case, it seems justified to the two firms to be conservative (one more than the other) to avoid a duplicate project to Shirley at Highland(s) because there is no technical reason to believe the community response would be different."
Clean Wisconsin's press release seems to me a classic piece of spin. The wind industry has long claimed industrial turbines either do not produce LFN and infrasound or not at significant levels. In almost every community worldwide where large-scale wind turbines have been inappropriately sited, population health problems have followed.
Could it be that the transparent attempts to discredit world-class sound experts will result in the wind industry blowing down its own house of cards?
Town of Forest