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Friday 15 March 2013

Wind Farm Sickness – Delingpole Debunked

Last September, the Mail On Sunday gave a platform to James “saviour of Western civilisation” Delingpole to frighten readers with the headline “Are wind farms saving or killing us? A provocative investigation claims thousands of people are falling sick because they live near them”. Thus another benefit from Nigel Lawson buying the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre that lunch.

The “provocative investigation” relied substantially on Del Boy obtaining exactly the kind of answers he was looking for from his pal Chris Heaton Harris, the now disgraced Tory MP with whom he cooked up his phony candidacy for the Corby by-election, along with a variety of ostensibly credible sources, which turn out not to be quite as solidly reliable as he would like readers to think.

Del’s attempt to demonise wind turbines has been thrown off course by a study from Australia which suggests that “Wind Turbine Syndrome” is a relatively recent happening, and notes that wind turbines have been around for the past 20 years, although the idea that they cause illness only took hold relatively recently. So where is the body of evidence that they caused sickness before then?

And the group arguing against the conclusion that “Wind Turbine Syndrome” is mainly a sociological phenomenon cited in the Guardian report – the Waubra Foundationis an Astroturf front group backed partly by mining interests. So it is for many of Delingpole’s sources: the first doctor he cites is Sarah Laurie. She shills for the Waubra Foundation.

Del’s second doctor citation is Nina Pierpont, whose study has been comprehensively debunked (she is a paediatrician who is married to an anti-wind energy activist). But he has a peer reviewed study from Carl Phillips in his favour. He does? Carl Phillips has said quite unequivocally of his “research” that “I knew what answer I was going to present from the start”.

And that study has not been through any credible peer review process. After all, Phillips claims that peer review is used to “censor politically incorrect evidence”. And he has conceded that “researchers measuring noise from turbines haven’t found any physiological evidence that it harms people”. This has not stopped The Register (Andrew Orlowski again) from endorsing Phillips.

Delingpole also ropes in Alec Salt to support the idea that infrasound from wind turbines is harmful. He does not tell that Salt’s work has been thoroughly debunked. There are an awful lot of holes in Del Boy’s argument. So many, in fact, that one has to wonder how his article survived the spike – unless it was just another slice of agenda driven copy written to order.

So that’s another dodgy interpretation of interpretations. No change there, then.

1 comment:

Chris Neville-Smith said...

Don't worry, this is fully consistent with Daily Mail logic on wind farms.

In aftermath of earthquake and tsunami, nuclear power station goes into meltdown possibly leading to hundreds or thousands of deaths from cancer in the coming decades:

"Oh well, never mind. Accidents happen."

During gale, safety mechanism on individual turbine fails and it catches fire: