Wind Turbines and Precautionary Double Standards


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.

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