by Rich Kozlovich
Posted: June 23, 2013
Jessica Marszelek, federal politics reporter for Australia’s News Limited Network, recently posted an article titled, “Australia: Wind power ‘terrorising’ rural communities.” Some 150 people turned up for a three-hour rally at Canberra’s Parliament House, she reported, to express their concern about the health effects of wind turbines.
The residents from small towns around the country complain that the giant turbines cause “a constant rumbling and pulsing in their heads and a feeling of oppressive anxiety,” she noted. “Everyday farmers” are upset over growing numbers of turbines in their communities.
“Retired Naval electronics engineering officer and beef farmer” David Mortimer receives Aus$12,000 a year to allow these avian Cuisinarts on his land, and 17 more are planned. However, Mr. Mortimer says he now “suffers night-time panic attacks, acute anxiety, heart palpitations, tinnitus, earaches, headaches and angina-like pains, and his wife has dizzy spells.”
Doctors can’t find anything wrong, but the problems continue, and he claims that he gets “this sensation of absolute acute anxiety, and it feels like someone is pushing an x-ray blanket over me and weighting me down into the chair and I can’t get out. We’ve got this constant turmoil, constant pulsing in our head, constant rumbling,” he continues, and is afraid the added windmills will kill him and his wife.
Clean Energy Council Policy Director Russell Marsh dismissed the claims, saying no international research has confirmed the health impacts attributed to wind power. One rally attendee said there is “not enough research into the effects of wind energy.”
I don’t know whether more research needs to be done – though the dearth of such studies seems unjustifiable – or if these monsters of the skyline really are causing any or all of the health problems these people are suffering. However, there is a monumental lack of consistency in all of this.
These are essentially the same kinds of complaints, comments and anecdotal evidence that the green movement repeatedly raises over just about every chemical on the market, and every drilling, pipeline and other hydrocarbon development proposal they dislike. These are the same speculative, anecdotal arguments that prompted governments all over the world to pass anti-chemical regulations such as the European Union’s costly, burdensome and complex regulatory system known as REACH.
In the USA, REACH has inspired the Safe Chemicals Act of 2011 ( SCA), which is intended to replace the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), supposedly to “modernize” the country’s chemical laws. In promoting the bill, the late Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) said it would impose “a mandate on companies to confirm safety before chemicals reach the market.”
In short, he wanted to impose the Precautionary Principle (PP), which asserts two precepts.