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6/1/11 Pro-wind doctor gets a warning AND What part of NOISE don't you understand, AND Ag group joins call for moratorium AND Wildlife vs. wind turbines chapter 567


READ ENTIRE STORY AT THE SOURCE www.goderichsignalstar.com

June 1, 2011

"Dr. Colby was issued a warning by the Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons not to make public statements or allow anyone to believe that he had expertise on the subject of wind turbine related health problems, since his expertise lies not in this area but in the field of microbiology and infectious diseases."

The letter extolling Dr. Colby’s virtues was written by several who stand to greatly benefit financially from the installation of industrial wind turbines.

They infer Dr. Colby is a credible expert on the subject. The College of Physicians and Surgeons disagree.

Dr. Colby was issued a warning by the Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons not to make public statements or allow anyone to believe that he had expertise on the subject of wind turbine related health problems, since his expertise lies not in this area but in the field of microbiology and infectious diseases.

The writers also state he was Chair of an international committee reviewing the health effects of wind turbines. They neglected to mention that this so-called “committee” was assembled, bought and paid for by the wind industry lobbyists including CanWEA and AWEA.

This “review” was designed to promote the wind industry and has been blasted for its bias and lack of scientific method by UK’s National Health Service, the Acoustic Ecology Institute, the Society for Wind Vigilance, among others.

Dr. Colby, with his evangelical zeal with wind power, refuses to even meet or speak to the people who are actually having problems in Ontario, including those in Chatham Kent.

In my opinion, Dr. Colby is abusing his interim position as CMO by using it to further his ideological agenda at the expense of those being forced to live (or forced to leave) in industrial wind complexes.


Maureen Anderson

From Australia


READ ENTIRE STORY AT THE SOURCE:  AdelaideNow, www.news.com.au

June 1, 2011

By Clare Peddie

“Wind turbine noise is very directional. Someone living at the base might not have a problem but two kilometres away, it might be keeping them awake at night,” Dr Doolan said.

Silencing wind turbines is the aim of a new project at the University of Adelaide.

Engineers are studying the causes of turbine noise to make them quieter and solve the problem of `wind turbine syndrome’.

They want to understand how air turbulence and the blade edge, or boundary layer, interact to make the noise louder than it could be.

A computer model will predict the noise output from wind farms so the team can accurately and quickly assess the effectiveness of noise-reducing designs and control methods.

Research leader Dr Con Doolan, of the University’s School of Mechanical Engineering, said the noise generated from wind turbines was “trailing edge or airfoil noise” – the same sort of noise generated at the edge of aircraft wings.

“If we can understand this fundamental science, we can then look at ways of controlling the noise, through changing the shape of the rotor blades or using active control devices at the blade edges to disrupt the pattern of turbulence,” he said.

Dr Doolan said further complicating factors came from the way the noise increases and decreases as the blades rotate.

The computer model will look at the noise from the whole wind turbine and how multiple numbers of wind turbines together, as in a wind farm, generate noise.

“Wind turbine noise is very directional. Someone living at the base might not have a problem but two kilometres away, it might be keeping them awake at night,” Dr Doolan said.

“Likewise this broadband `hissing’ noise modulates up and down as the blades rotate and we think that’s what makes it so annoying.

“Wind turbine noise is controversial but there’s no doubt that there is noise and that it seems to be more annoying than other types of noise at the same level. Finding ways of controlling and reducing this noise will help us make the most of this very effective means of generating large amounts of electricity with next to zero carbon emissions.”

From Ontario


 READ ENTIRE STORY AT THE SOURCE: Better Farming, www.betterfarming.com

May 31, 2011


With research into emerging technologies underway, the Ontario Federation of Agriculture joins the call for a moratorium on wind development

A probe into the health effects of new energy technology, sanctioned by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment at the University of Waterloo, has been underway for six months.

The Canadian Wind Energy Association (CWEA), representing 480 companies that are riding on the coat-tails of the boom in Ontario renewable-energy projects, reported this month that with 2,125 megawatts of signed contracts already in place under Ontario’s Feed-in Tariff (FIT) program, applicants have lined up to seek approval from the Ontario Power Authority to add another 6,672 MW of renewable energy projects to the grid.

Scott Smith, vice-president of policy at CWEA, said one recommendation “is for up to 10,700 MW of renewable power in Ontario by 2018.”

In the meantime, at least 76 Ontario municipalities plus other entities such as health boards and conservation authorities continue to demand a moratorium on such projects until an independent and unbiased third party has completed a study on health effects of wind turbines. And, as of last month the Ontario Federation of Agriculture has joined the push.

“I’m 100 per cent for a moratorium,” said Ontario Federation of Agriculture director Wayne Black, a Huron County grain grower, who says aging residents of heritage family homesteads may be especially vulnerable to noise and vibrations of nearby wind turbines. Some turbines set up before the Green Energy Act established minimum setbacks are almost 200 metres within the current 550-metre setback minimum, he said.

“The energy companies’ answer to that has been to resort to buying the homesteads with no value placed on the heritage factor. That could be devastating,” Black said.

Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Arlene King, concluded there is no link between wind turbine noise and health effects.

But in a report last fall, Dr. Hazel Lynn medical officer of health and head of the Grey Bruce Health Unit, stated: “It is clear that many people, in many different parts of Grey Bruce and Southwestern Ontario have been dramatically impacted by the noise and proximity of wind farms.

“We cannot pretend this affected minority doesn’t exist,” Lynn stated.

Lynn welcomes an environment ministry announcement that it was allocating $1.5 million for a study by a task force headed by Dr. Siva Sivoththaman, a University of Waterloo professor of electrical and computer engineering, into health effects of all types of renewable power.

However, Jonathan Rose, press secretary to Environment Minister John Wilkinson, dashed hopes that the five-year study will be accompanied by a moratorium.

“We are not considering a moratorium at this time,” he told Better Farming.

Rose also cited a Superior Court of Ontario ruling that “upheld our requirements as being based on peer-reviewed science. . . . That is exactly why we are funding the independent academic research chair at the University of Waterloo to study emerging energy technologies around renewable energy. We will review his (Sivoththaman’s) research to make sure our requirements continue to be protective,” Rose said.

Drew Ferguson, spokesman for the Grey Bruce Health Unit, said that Dr. Lynn and the Grey Bruce public health board were concerned that the King report sported several omissions.

“They identified eight areas that needed further study, but no action was taken,” Ferguson said.

Lynn’s report recently helped trigger a renewed call by the Ontario Federation of Agriculture for a moratorium on wind-turbine developments. At its meeting in April, the Federation’s board supported motions from the Huron and Haldimand County Federations of Agriculture to lobby the province for the moratorium.




June 1, 2011

By Bob King

“These are migratory flight paths — not just [for] our birds,” said Rosa Durando, a longtime activist with the local Audubon chapter in Palm Beach County. “Birds from the Northern Hemisphere, they go to Mexico, they fly through Florida. The whole thing is sickening to me.”

Florida is the latest battleground for greens anguished about the ecological costs of green power.

This time, a proposal for a sprawling wind farm just north of the Everglades is facing blowback from environmental groups that worry it could become an avian Cuisinart for the wading birds, raptors and waterfowl that teem in the sprawling marshes nearby.

At least one statewide conservation organization has come out against the project by the St. Louis-based Wind Capital Group, which would feature as many as 100 turbines as tall as the Statue of Liberty stretched across a 20,000-acre swath of sugar cane and vegetable farms in western Palm Beach County.

The National Audubon Society’s Florida affiliate is also taking a hard look at the wind proposal, although it has yet to take a position.

“We think alternative energy is absolutely necessary,” said Jane Graham, Audubon’s Everglades policy associate. “You see what’s happening with coal plants and climate change. … But as far as the location of this wind farm, that has raised serious concerns.”

That location would place the turbines near the northernmost remnants of the Everglades, as well as the South’s largest lake and a series of man-made cleanup marshes that have become magnets for egrets, herons and ducks. The region is also the epicenter of a $15 billion Everglades restoration effort that federal agencies hope will revive the throngs of wading birds that once crowded the skies over South Florida.

“There are literally tens if not hundreds of thousands of ducks in a 100-mile radius or less of this location,” said Newton Cook, executive director of United Waterfowlers-Florida, a roughly 1,000-member group whose board voted in April to oppose the project. “These whirling blades could, in our opinion, be devastating.”

The WCG said it is committed to addressing the environmental concerns, and it has drawn praise from activists for reaching out to the green groups well before applying for permits. It has also started a yearlong study of bird and bat populations and behavior on both the project location and in the surrounding area, WCG Senior Vice President Sarah Webster told POLITICO.

“We respect this environmentally unique area,” Webster said, adding that the company expects to have “supportive relationships” with most of the environmental groups.

“When proposing any large-scale project, you’re never going to bring everyone along with you, but we’re working hard to engage with the many environmental groups in the area to understand and address their concerns with strong research and science,” she said.

The WCG has yet to apply for state and federal permits but hopes the roughly $250 million project will be up and running by the end of 2012.

Webster said the initiative has implications for national energy policy: The 150-megawatt project would be perhaps the first commercial-scale wind farm in the Southeast, where a dearth of renewable energy sources has complicated proposals for addressing the region’s climate impacts. It could also provide needed jobs in western Palm Beach County’s impoverished farming region.

In a presentation earlier this year to local planners, the WCG said modern turbine designs will significantly reduce the risk to birds. The rotors spin more slowly than in older windmills, and the turbines’ smooth, monopole bases don’t offer the potential nesting spaces that older lattice designs did.

Worries about bird deaths have plagued a number of wind projects, especially after tens of thousands of golden eagles, red-tailed hawks and other species fell prey to the blades of a sprawling, decades-old wind farm in the mountains near San Francisco.

Last summer, the Bureau of Land Management reacted to those types of concerns by suspending the issuing of wind permits on public lands until companies submit eagle protection plans. More recently, The Denver Post reported that the Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing an eagle conservation plan that has some in the wind industry concerned that the safeguards could add years to the time it takes to carry out a project.

John Anderson, director of siting policy for the American Wind Energy Association, said modern, properly sited projects haven’t posed major threats to birds. He added that wind turbines kill far fewer birds each year than do feral cats, power lines or telecommunications towers.

In particular, he said, post-construction studies of bird mortality show that only a low percentage of wading birds and waterfowl collide with the blades.

“The reality is that everything we do as humans has an impact on the natural environment,” Anderson said. Still, he said the hazards posed by wind energy “are far exceeded by impacts created by other forms of energy generation.”

Indeed, the proposed wind farm may be by far the cleanest energy initiative to have targeted South Florida’s marsh- and farm-laden interior in recent years — especially compared with a coal plant that NextEra Energy’s Florida Power & Light subsidiary tried to build in neighboring Glades County during the past decade. FPL is also putting the finishing touches on a natural gas plant in central Palm Beach County that inspired a 2008 blockade by more than 100 environmental protesters, who objected to emitting greenhouse gases so close to the Everglades.

Besides putting out emissions, traditional power plants also require a lot of water for cooling, an increasing concern for drought-prone Florida. But wind turbines don’t need water.

Still, some conservationists said they don’t think the WCG’s studies go far enough. They fear that the location alone is a recipe for feathery havoc.

“These are migratory flight paths — not just [for] our birds,” said Rosa Durando, a longtime activist with the local Audubon chapter in Palm Beach County. “Birds from the Northern Hemisphere, they go to Mexico, they fly through Florida. The whole thing is sickening to me.”

Others are taking a wait-and-see attitude about the turbines.

“I’m kind of too unknowledgeable yet to say whether I support them or don’t,” said Joanne Davis, a planner for the environmental group 1000 Friends of Florida, who serves with Durando on a local land-development board that is considering rules for the wind project.

Besides awaiting results from the company’s studies, Davis said she’s interested in what conclusions agencies such as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will draw when they study the proposal.

“I’m all for renewable energy,” Davis said. “If it’s feasible, if it’s not going to slaughter the wildlife, if it will work — then great.”

Wind isn’t the only form of renewable energy to face environmental challenges. Green groups have joined American Indian tribes in suing over plans to build sprawling solar-thermal power plants in the California desert, charging that they will disrupt habitat for desert wildlife, as well as burial sites.

Nathanael Greene, renewable energy policy director at the Natural Resources Defense Council, told The Associated Press earlier this year that resolving these types of eco-disputes poses “a broad challenge to us as a country.”

“How do we rapidly deploy the renewable energy technologies and transmission infrastructures to stave off catastrophic climate change and local and regional air pollution that comes with burning fossil fuels?” Greene asked. “Even the best-sited projects have impacts on the landscape.”

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