10/7/08 What made these people have to leave their rural homes? CNBC and MSN News report on the downside of industrial wind power.
This story is being told wherever people live in the shadow industrial wind turbines. In this Oct 6, 2008 CNBC news segment, two families from Shelborne, Ontario speak about having to leave homes made uninhabitable by wind turbines sited too close.
For those whose internet connection isn't fast enough to view this video, a transcript is provided below. MSN's print report on the same story follows the transcript.
Reporter: At first Ernie Marshall was all for the new wind farm going up near his home.
Ernie Marshall: It sounded like a great idea.
Reporter: But soon after the turbines started rolling, he says he started suffering a litany of health complaints.
Ernie Marshall: I've had problems with my heart, I've had problems with my ears. It traumatizes your whole body.
Reporter: Same for Helen and Bill Fraser.
Helen Fraser: We were like, 'Yeah, more green energy"
Reporter: But they also say they developed odd symtoms.
Helen Fraser: Headaches. Major Headaches. Not sleeping. Aching. Like terrible body aches.
Reporter: In the rush to build wind farms, there are now voices of those who live in the shadows of these gigantic turbines, who say the constant noise, the flickering light, the low frequency vibrations are making them sick.
But that often, no one believes them.
Ernie Marshall: Then everybody kept calling me a liar. Sit there for a week. And listen to it. And see what it does to your body.
Reporter: Some researchers think there may be a probelm. There's a book coming out later this year, calling it "Wind Turbine Syndrome." Whatever it's labeled, this Canadian doctor says the symptoms being reported from around the world deserve more research.
Dr. Robert McMurtry, University of Western Ontario: Depending on your distance you will have 30 , 40, 50% of people who are troubled. Not a hundred percent. And that's why it's so important to do the studies to see just how many are troubled.
Reporter: Some scientists say that until more research is done on possible health effects, the companies should stop building these turbines any less than 2 kilometers (about 1.25 miles) from where people work or live.
But those who represent the industry say thousands of people live near wind turbines without problem:
Unidentified Wind Developer: And that research has come to a pretty solid conclusion that the wind turbines do not have an adverse impact on human health.
Reporter: So for now, some of those affected are simply moving away.
Ernie Marshall: I had to get out. Or I wouldn't be standing here right now talking to you.
Reporter: And in many cases they say their symptoms then vanished.
Helen Fraser: I don't have headaches anymore.
Reporter: It may be an unforseen side-effect of our bid to capture the power of the wind.
Wind turbines cause health problems, residents say