Wind Farms and Public Health

I recall with fondness my time as a congressional staffer, fielding calls from home-state constituents about their concerns and complaints (rarely do people call their congressman with a compliment). One concern I heard from a number of callers over the years was a genuine, intelligently stated concern that high voltage overhead power lines could cause cancer, and what could the good congressman do about this please? I was never able to provide these callers with a good response

Well, Simon Chapman has a response, not to those concerned with power lines but rather to the growing chorus of those concerned with the modern plague of wind turbines. For a plague it seems to be, based on the number of reports from around the globe. I wrote briefly about this issue once, describing how the throbbing of the turbines chopping through the air was driving people batty, but little did I know that turbines were being blamed for far more serious ailments, including cancer, stroke, and even death!

According to Chapman, the cause of these wind farm maladies can be attributed to a single powerful and pervasive vector, anti- wind farm activists:

The European wind industry sees the phenomenon as largely anglophone, and even then, only in particular regions and around certain farms. Many sites have run for years without complaint. Others, legendary for their vocal opponents even before start up, are hot beds of disease claims. So if turbines were inherently noxious, why do they cut such a selective path? Why do citizens of community-owned turbines in Germany and Denmark rarely complain? Why are complaints rare in western Australia, but rife in several eastern Australian communities?

Opponents readily concede that only a minority of those exposed report being ill but explain this via the analogy of motion sickness: it only happens to those who are susceptible. How then to explain that whole regions and indeed nations, have no susceptible people? The key factor seems to be the presence or absence of anti-wind activists, generally from outside the area. (emphasis mine)

It certainly is an entertaining piece, and I have no doubt that it’s true for it’s part. Hey, I just went through a health issue where I didn’t know I was sick until my doctor told me I was sick, and only then was I aware of how really sick I was. But I certainly have no intention of blaming the doctor for bringing the issue to my attention. And while ‘activists’ aren’t by any stretch in the same league as doctors, I’ll withhold final judgment on Chapman’s condemnations until all the studies on wind turbines and health scares are in, right after all the public health studies on cell phones and WiFi hot spots land on my desk. Until then, stay healthy my friends!



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