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Thu Jan 19, 2012, 07:57 PM

Report: Wind turbines don’t cause health problems

http://bostonglobe.com/metro/2012/01/17/report-wind-turbines-don-cause-health-problems/bkC5kpl9JKPr4Fp67UUAOM/story.html

There is little to no evidence that wind turbines pose a risk to the health of residents living near them, a panel of independent scientists and doctors found in a report commissioned by the state Department of Environmental Protection.

The panel concluded that there is no rigorous research showing that churning turbines or the resulting flickering light and vibrations produce dizziness, nausea, depression, or anxiety - a set of symptoms that critics call “wind turbine syndrome.’’

But the 164-page report released yesterday found “limited evidence’’ that the noise from wind turbines can result in sleep disruption and annoyance.

“It is extremely important that we have the best science available to us as we make decisions on wind energy,’’ Kenneth Kimmell, state environmental protection commissioner, said in an interview.

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Arrow 12 replies Author Time Post
Reply Report: Wind turbines don’t cause health problems (Original post)
jpak Jan 2012 OP
caraher Jan 2012 #1
OKIsItJustMe Jan 2012 #6
caraher Jan 2012 #7
OKIsItJustMe Jan 2012 #8
PamW Jan 2012 #2
caraher Jan 2012 #3
FBaggins Jan 2012 #4
caraher Jan 2012 #5
jpak Jan 2012 #9
PamW Jan 2012 #10
jpak Jan 2012 #12
Dead_Parrot Jan 2012 #11

Response to jpak (Original post)

Thu Jan 19, 2012, 09:37 PM

1. My cousin just helped fight off a wind project in Michigan

My sister noted that Duke Energy has scuttled the project in an email, but I didn't share in the cheers for what I think is mainly NIMBYism. Foes did refer to these hypothesized health worries, but I think the main issue for most people was "spoiling the character" of the countryside.

I think this Massachusetts study is one of those meta-analyses that will be spun both ways. On one hand, there's the Globe headline saying they don't cause problems; but on the other hand, one can also take the report mainly as an indictment of studies done to date.

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Response to caraher (Reply #1)

Fri Jan 20, 2012, 02:41 PM

6. Yup, those windmills sure are ugly, aren’t they?



I guess, if you’re looking for mountains, a wind turbine might be jarring. It disrupts the scene.


Then again, so do cell towers.


Personally, I prefer wind turbines.

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Response to OKIsItJustMe (Reply #6)

Fri Jan 20, 2012, 05:16 PM

7. I like them myself

And here are plenty of other artificial things we take for granted that change the landscape. But I also understand why some people wouldn't.

Here are some pictures of the area...







The local economy is driven by a mix of agriculture and tourism. It has a lot of vacation homes, and views do matter a lot to the people who bring money to the region. Check out the lakes and woods on this map of the project area. I think you'd get much the same opposition to offshore wind in that area (even though that would take away the issues of sound and flicker for people living nearby.

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Response to caraher (Reply #7)

Fri Jan 20, 2012, 05:53 PM

8. Honestly, wind turbines wouldn’t disturb me looking at that view

I think it’s more of a resistance to change than to anything else.

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Response to jpak (Original post)

Fri Jan 20, 2012, 10:51 AM

2. Wind turbine failure..

It's true that we haven't had a negative human health impact due to wind turbines.

The same can be said for nuclear power. However, everyone is concerned about a potential for health impact.

I saw a news report on the incident shown in this video:



The reporters interviewed a woman who had pieces of wind turbine sailing over her house. Now, if those pieces of wind turbine had a little less energy, they might have impacted on her house.

So there's still a potential for health effects due to wind energy.

That's not a legitimate reason to oppose wind energy; just like it's not a legitimate reason to oppose nuclear power.

PamW

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Response to PamW (Reply #2)

Fri Jan 20, 2012, 12:29 PM

3. You can't be serious

It's true that we haven't had a negative human health impact due to wind turbines.

The same can be said for nuclear power.


I'd be hard-pressed to come up with a significant form of power that has NOT had some negative human health impacts. Workers have died falling from wind turbines, to pick one example.

And there is this little boo-boo called Chernobyl that you may have heard of. By even the most favorable estimates, the accident unquestionably killed dozens of workers in its early days and caused cancer deaths numbering in the thousands by even the most favorable credible estimates. That's a documented negative human health impact of an entirely different order from speculative effects of sound or flicker, or even the occasional self-destructing turbine.

OK, so fossil fuel burning is worse... that doesn't mean there are no risks for nuclear or wind.

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Response to caraher (Reply #3)

Fri Jan 20, 2012, 01:17 PM

4. You also need to look at the net benefits.

Take wind turbines. Sure... a handful of people might have been injured/killed installing and maintaining them... and I suppose that (if it hasn't happened already) someday some people will be killed from a fire caused by a failed turbine... or one falling on their heads (etc)

But turbines generate electricity. We take it for granted now, but there's a significant positive impact there. Many MANY lives are improved (and even saved) due to reliable power generation. Just look at how many people die due to major power failures. The net human health impact of wind turbines is a signficant positive. IOW, the risks are worth taking (for an appropriate portion of the generating portfolio). The same can be said for nuclear power. The net benefit of that generation (many MANY times larger than all the wind generation in the world) is much larger than the negative impact of even Chernobyl.

The same could have even been said for coal prior to the point that far cleaner options were available.

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Response to FBaggins (Reply #4)

Fri Jan 20, 2012, 02:35 PM

5. Absolutely

But there's a world of difference between a correct or arguably correct assertion about the net benefit and a claim that there are no negative effects. That's all I meant to point out.

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Response to jpak (Reply #9)

Fri Jan 20, 2012, 08:44 PM

10. Those explosions aren't really that impressive.

The explosions at Fukushima are really not that impressive as chemical explosions go.

For example, the Henderson, Nevada rocket fuel factory explosion is much, more impressive:





PamW

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Response to PamW (Reply #10)

Sat Jan 21, 2012, 02:32 AM

12. Yeah, that Fukushima thingy was unimpressive

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Response to PamW (Reply #2)

Fri Jan 20, 2012, 08:45 PM

11. ...



Seriously, every form of energy has impacts.

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