Shelter Ontario’s Citizens from Industrial-Wind’s Tempest: II
By Sherri Lange — December 8, 2016
Following is the second part of a letter adapted from one sent to the Office of Ombudsman of Ontario, on November 28, 2016, by Sherri Lange, CEO North American Platform Against Wind Power (NA-PAW). This second part concerns the difficulties people have encountered in getting medical professionals to stand up to the political-industrial wind complex. The third part of Lange’s letter will be posted tomorrow.
The Huron County (Ontario) Board of Health has now agreed to a plan to “investigate” or “study” the health impacts of residents, in conjunction with the University of Waterloo and Wind Concerns Ontario. But questions remain about the involvement of several professors from this cooperating university who have not found meaningful results in their research. Their published conclusions have merely led to yet another call for “more study” and a passing condolence to the “annoyance” that persons feel toward the wind projects.
These studies do nothing to alleviate the suffering caused by industrial-wind in Ontario and there are even serious ethical considerations involved in conducting these human-subject investigations. This is not to suggest that there are no caring, highly professional, and ethical professors at the University of Waterloo who understand the issues and wish to find resolutions that might benefit Ontarians via turbine studies, perhaps conducted without human participants. There are indeed some in the university system who are questioning the ethical nature of asking impacted residents to become guinea pigs once again for yet another span of time while the misery continues. But they seem to be the exception. In general, it feels as though there is an emerging “cottage industry” to study matters already known—a cottage industry that is completely unnecessary. How long, by way of comparison, should we ask people to continue suffering the effects of asbestos on their lungs so that we can further study the effects? How long before we say: Enough studying! It is time to put a halt to this evil! Mr. Cooper suggests, and we agree, that the history of impacts from wind turbines may well turn out to be much larger than those from asbestos.
And if there are ethical questions about continuing to study the human damage done by industrial wind, what can one say about introducing the harm of industrial wind in order to study it “before and after”? Brett Horner wrote to Dr. Philip L. Bigelow of the School of Public Health and Health Systems at University of Waterloo about just that concern regarding another proposed study:
You reportedly stated that your research is “… a unique opportunity to look at the community before and after.” The “unique opportunity” you plan to use for your “before” and “after” experiment is a man-made living laboratory where the existing living environment will be intentionally altered with the introduction of wind turbine exposures such as noise pollution and shadow flicker.
Before anyone conducts research on the health effects of a potentially harmful exposure, the human participant must be fully advised of all risks to human health.
Please confirm if you intend to provide participants in your research with full disclosure of all health risks from human exposure to wind turbines.
It is the view of NA-PAW that the negative impacts of wind power are clear and irrefutable, and do not need further study. Moreover, since the industry does not provide meaningful electricity or any other benefit to society, there should be an immediate moratorium on future and pending projects, and offending turbines should be decommissioned.
None So Deaf as Those Who Will Not Hear
NA-PAW has personally had the opportunity to participate in a meeting with a Medical Officer of Health (MOH), Dr. N. J. Mercer, of Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph, who granted an interview with a resident at Amaranth. This person has suffered for nearly 11 years at a confirmed toxic homestead. But his March 9, 2016, interview was one of the most upsetting and irregular meetings we have ever encountered, and it was our impression that the MOH was intimidating and obstructionist. Her two colleagues seemed to be no more helpful. It appeared clear that there would be no meaningful dialogue and that the resident who had filed complaints and asked legitimate questions—and had gone to the expense and trouble of providing reports that validated his family’s suffering from Infra and Low Frequency Noise and vibration on his property—would be stonewalled. It has proven to be so. (Dr. Mercer clearly was knowledgeable that two other families were no longer able to live on neighboring farms.)
Since the advent of wind turbines, there has been a long history of residents being disappointed in Medical Officers of Health. Partially quoted here, with permission, is a 2010 letter from Andrea Waddell, admonishing the former Ontario MOH, Dr. Arlene King, for a lack of care or lack of knowledge.
May 25 2010
Dr. Arlene King,
It is about time you quit the spin you tell the media. It amazes me what you seemingly don’t know or understand about infrasound. You refuse to listen to people who suffer sleeplessness and then say wind turbines don’t cause sleeplessness. That is nonsense. We’re not talking about one or two nights of sleeplessness. This sleeplessness is endless torture. Lack of sleep is robbing us of our health. Yet you disagree that wind turbines are the cause of it.
Ms. King, here are the facts:
The consequences of sleep deprivation are intense, because your circadian rhythm has evolved over hundreds of generations to align your physiology with your environment, and your body clock assumes that, like your ancestors, you sleep at night and stay awake during daylight hours.
If you confuse the situation by depriving yourself of enough hours of sleep, you send conflicting signals to your body. A single night of sleeping only four to six hours can impact your ability to think clearly the next day. Constant sleep deprivation can cause changes in your brain activity like those experienced by people with psychiatric disorders
Ms. Waddell never received a reply.
The chances of piercing the wall of medical indifference seem to be minimal—nil, really. MPP Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health, and Glen Murray, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC), and a retinue of Green Energy compliant officers, continue to ignore, deny, and obfuscate the reports ill health from the people of Ontario.
Add to this denial, the additional insult that people are being asked to “prove” their own ill health: Imagine going to your personal physician with a migraine headache and being asked to prove its existence! Testimony to one’s physician is the sacrosanct basis of medicine. The human body is its own exquisite indicator of illness or good health. These reports must be taken seriously and in the manner of receiving information from the most highly sensitive recorder of danger and imbalance: the human body and brain. When the cause is industrial wind, however, this is not the response, and so insult is added to the injury.
The medical complaints that have flooded all levels of government, including your ombudsman’s office, are not trivial or vexatious. All are made in good faith. There is now a multitude of complaints, hundreds and even thousands, coming from clusters of families. The truth is that we can get no idea from the MOECC what the real numbers are. NA-PAW has received well over 100 calls from individuals and families who have suffered or seen deep personal health loss, suicides, profound depression, communities fractured and normalcy destroyed by the greed of a few lease-signers. Imagine the true numbers of impacted.
Sadly, the NA-PAW files contain numerous reports of ill health, desperate pleas for assistance, letters, reports. We can name the families and individuals who are now living out of the province, devastated, having lost their health, jobs, or farms. How many have not self-reported and simply left? How many are now living in secondary homes, or cottages, having returned the keys to their to the bank, sold at a cut rate, or simply fled?
Yet only a small handful of industrial-wind projects have been thwarted. On the contrary, wind power has been fast-tracked, without any reference to human health protection, the environment, or economy.
In a letter dated November 11, 2016, four industrial wind victims carefully recounted a process that is a catalogue of failure in protecting human health in Ontario.
Your letter of July 25, 2016 indicates that MOECC will undertake “continued noise monitoring,” consider a “noise reduction plan,” conduct proactive inspections of a wind facility, use enforcement tools to ensure compliance, and conduct more noise measurements if needed.
It appears this process is functionally similar to previous approaches. Outcomes appear to be related to the noise and compliance levels which have been determined through predictive computer modeling. By its nature, predictive modeling is based on expectations which appear to be less helpful than actual noise measurements. A suggestion is to improve the process by requiring actual measurements and include the full spectrum of emissions of the industrial wind energy facility (dBA, low frequency/infrasound, tonal, cyclical, radio/electromagnetic energy) and be conducted indoors under various weather and seasonal conditions and operational stages (off/on/idling/low power/ramping up or down). Resident complaints and observations of adverse effects/sensations should be integrated during actual measurements.
MOECC guidelines continue to consider dBA as the noise indicator; however, personal correspondence received in 2009 from the Ministry of Environment advised that in regards to “perceptible infrasound (vibration) or low frequency noise, as stated in the Proposed REA, the Ministry of the Environment intends to develop technical guidance on the monitoring of infrasound and low frequency noise.”
The authors continue to explore the seriousness of Infra and Low Frequency Noise impacts and lack of testing and compliance in this regard, and refer to the case of Mrs. Shellie Correia and her son, Joey.
During our September 24, 2014 meeting held with MOECC representatives Ms Shellie Correia advised about the risks associated with exposing her son to industrial wind turbine noise. She provided a letter from her son’s specialist that supported these concerns. However, the MOECC approved the project.
Sadly, this is the situation across the province: approvals without the precautionary principle, without reference to historic levels of negative health impacts. This is obviously reflected worldwide as well, in what most are now calling a pandemic.
Tomorrow: The Tempest: Part III