It is Labour Day today – and so I thought I would labour a bit, even though it is in fact a holiday! (Note of interest: I was talking to someone earlier; she lives in Toronto. She was woken up today by the celebratory “noise” of Toronto’s Labour Day Parade!)
I decided I would start off this season’s postings with one about a high profile “noise” issue: windturbines. Are wind turbines noisy? Yes. Are they unhealthy for humans? That seems to be unclear. It depends on who you listen to, what you read.
At this site for Windvictims, the title alone tells you that you will be reading about stories and research that shows that wind turbines are unhealthy for people. You will see videos of people talking about the negative impact of wind turbines on their health. And you will find them convincing, if for no other reason than that they have no reason to lie.
This site also has loads of information about the negative impacts and the behaviour of the wind turbine industry.
And this is another anti-wind turbine site.
The Ontario government, which supports wind turbines as an alternate, renewable source of energy, doesn’t think that the health problems people are reporting are as bad as they say. The government has a number of policies regarding wind turbines, policies which they think deal with the concerns of citizens. (You can see those policies here.)
This is a link to an acoustical engineering company which assesses wind turbines. You can read about how they do what they do.
A study was done in 2014, which found that there was no evidence of connections between turbine noise and health problems. What it did find was a strong co-relation between turbines and peoples’ annoyance levels!
And yet – this person from the Wolfe Island area has a site where he argues that the science that ‘proves’ the need and usefulness of wind power is flawed. So he asks that since wind power is NOT the ‘saviour’ that governments say it is, why are we pursuing the establishment of wind turbines at all?
Even the OFA has weighed in on the issue.
And here you can watch “Down Wind”, a documentary made in Ontario in 2014. It is unabashedly against turbines, as you will see.
And of course the issue is not limited to Ontario. Here you can watch a news piece on turbine noise in Australia.
The other week I drove down to near Orono, where there are 8 turbines set up across a range of hills near Highway 115 (you can see them from the highway.) They are all on farm land, stuck in the middle of corn fields. I stopped the car, got out and listened. And I could JUST hear them. And yes, it was a bit windy that day, but not a big wind, I admit. I used the dB reader on my phone and got about 50 dBs, which is not very loud.
I have never lived near a wind turbine, let alone several, so I have no idea what that would be like. I do know that I hate noise, and am very susceptible to it, and can quite very annoyed by it.
And yet, assuming that wind power IS a good idea (which a number of people seem to think is not the case), I have to say I am in favour of alternative sources of power. We have to be!
I have come to no conclusions about this topic. It is a political, emotional, and economic issue which we need to sort out as soon as we can. If we are NOT going to pursue this energy source, then we need to re-focus on other options. What we do know is that we cannot carry on the way we have been.
Let me know what you think, especially if you have any experience of close proximity to wind turbines.