The New Bedford Standard-Times splashed a study on its front page this weekend claiming to find evidence of health effects from wind turbines … from as far as 4,500 feet away! Wind turbines are barely audible at 900 feet and at 1,500 feet they fall below the background noise of a populated area. But somehow people three times that distance are blaming a variety of hard-to-disprove problems – trouble sleeping, general anxiety – on wind turbines.
The study itself compares wind turbine noise to “road, rail & aircraft noise,” all of which we all agree can be annoying, but no one is blaming trains for making them sick or talking about tearing up all roads near houses. It leads off with the mind-blowing statement, “Environmental noise is emerging as one of the major public health concerns of the twenty-first century.” When you equate something with everyday road noise, AND equate it to AIDS … well, you have to wonder if the authors might not be completely objective.
A Massachusetts effort to look at all available studies found no evidence for so-called “Wind Turbine Syndrome,” while other studies have noted that giving cash to its alleged victims seems to be a miracle cure. As Stephen Colbert points out, one study that did claim to find evidence for this “syndrome” not only blamed wind turbines for weight loss and weight gain but … herpes:
To anyone who thinks wind turbines add to noise pollution, I invite them to visit a fossil-fuel power plant. A walk down Waverly St. in Cambridge, past MIT’s deafening generating plant, would do.
If you don’t see it, click here:
at the Mass Maritime academy in Buzzard’s Bay during the PMC last year. It makes a big whoosh whoosh sound when you stand directly beneath it. When we were about 100 feet away in a two person tent sleeping outside the dorms you couldn’t hear it at all.