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Australia Earth Power Science

Windfarm Sickness Spreads By Word of Mouth 482

Posted by Soulskill
from the people-who-are-allergic-to-ideas dept.
eldavojohn writes "Just like the many stories surrounding alleged 'Wi-Fi sickness,' research is now showing that windfarm sickness spreads by word of mouth instead of applying universally to windfarms. Areas that had never had any noise or health complaints were suddenly experiencing them after 2009 when anti-wind groups targeted populations surrounding windfarms. From the article, 'Eighteen reviews of the research literature on wind turbines and health published since 2003 had all reached the broad conclusion that there was very little evidence they were directly harmful to health.' While there's unfortunately no way to prove that someone is lying about how they feel, it's likely a mixture of confirmation bias, psychosomatic response, hypochondria, greed and hatred of seeing windmills on the horizon that drives this phenomenon."
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Windfarm Sickness Spreads By Word of Mouth

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  • In other news (Score:5, Insightful)

    by eagee (1308589) on Friday March 15, 2013 @12:23PM (#43183347)
    People are still just as stupid as they've always been...
    • Re:In other news (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Kenja (541830) on Friday March 15, 2013 @12:45PM (#43183647)
      I dont know... there seems to be evidence that they're stupider.
      • Re:In other news (Score:5, Interesting)

        by i kan reed (749298) on Friday March 15, 2013 @12:50PM (#43183701) Homepage Journal

        That's not really substantiated. People used to think you could get sick from drinking from the same water fountain as a person with different skin color. Segregation wasn't just something they did without imagined moronic reason. If anything, this kinda stuff is tame compared to the levels of human stupidity we've achieved in the past.

        By any real metric, people are getting smarter.

        • Re:In other news (Score:5, Insightful)

          by The Mighty Buzzard (878441) on Friday March 15, 2013 @01:10PM (#43183929)
          Smarter? No, just more educated. They still buy the lines of bullshit politicians sell and reality TV keeps growing in popularity. Their stupidity just migrated.
          • Re:In other news (Score:5, Informative)

            by ShanghaiBill (739463) * on Friday March 15, 2013 @01:33PM (#43184205)

            Smarter? No, just more educated.

            Not true. By every measure we have, including tests specifically designed to measure basic intelligence and not education, people are getting smarter. This is called the Flynn Effect [wikipedia.org]. The improvement has been significant and consistent across a broad range of metrics. Scores on IQ tests, SAT tests, standardized academic tests, military qualification tests, have all shown marked increases over the last century, and are continuing to improve. Standardized aptitude tests were given to American soldiers during WWI, and the average score would be considered borderline retarded by today's standard. The reasons for the increase in intelligence is debatable, but is probably a combination of better nutrition, better prenatal medical care, less lead exposure, and more stimulating environments.

            • by oursland (1898514)
              The areas in which the windmills are being installed are rural, I suspect the Flynn Effect is reduced in these areas (as is supported by the hypothesis behind the Flynn Effect).
              • by phlinn (819946)
                The Flynn effect is an observed reality. There is no hypothesis behind it, it simply is. There are numerous hypothesized explanations for it, not all of which would be significantly different in rural areas.
            • by dcollins (135727)

              "...and are continuing to improve."

              Did you notice the section in the article that you linked there, titled "Possible End of Progression"? There's evidence that the increase ended in the mid-1990's (likely from an effective plateau in the factors you mention), and then started to go in the other direction in the last decade.

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flynn_effect#Possible_end_of_progression

            • Speaking of people imagining things..here's IQ as a meaningful measure of intelligence again!

      • Re:In other news (Score:5, Interesting)

        by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Friday March 15, 2013 @01:14PM (#43183969) Journal

        I dont know... there seems to be evidence that they're stupider.

        I'd be surprised if they were either notably smarter or notably dumber individually(Probably a few points of extra credit for nutrient abundance, a few demerits for all the mercury we've liberated since the industrial revolution); but as a system the effect might be a lot more dramatic.

        If you live in some teeny tribal kin-group, the 'believe whatever crazy shit the people around you believe, especially if they told you about it when you were a dumb kid and they were a responsible adult' heuristic is probably a pretty good one, unless you've been provided with demigod-level intelligence and unlimited time to experiment.

        In a modern, mass-media saturated environment, where you are being fed a steady stream of what feels just like social input; but is produced by people who have nothing in common with you or your situation, nor occupy the same boat as you, it's hard not to be pessimistic about the possibilities.

        If you talk only to your neighbors, feeling more or less safe based on how often crime is mentioned probably works out OK. If you sit down and tune in to the 24/7 National Sensationalist Violence Channel, you are still applying the same heuristic; but to every photogenic crime in a population north of 200million. That's going to work real well...

      • by Dishevel (1105119)

        I know I am going to get a bunch of people who tell me, "Idiocracy is not real dude.".
        But ...
        If you continue to make life simple for the stupid they will in fact breed more. Being stupid is no longer a death sentence nor does it seem to hinder reproduction in the current society.
        So we are in fact getting stupider.

        • by Baloroth (2370816)

          I know I am going to get a bunch of people who tell me, "Idiocracy is not real dude.". But ... If you continue to make life simple for the stupid they will in fact breed more. Being stupid is no longer a death sentence nor does it seem to hinder reproduction in the current society. So we are in fact getting stupider.

          It's not real. First of all, you're assuming that intelligence correlates necessarily with genetics, i.e. that a stupid person cannot have smart children. Thats false. Obviously, genetics plays some role, but upbringing and other factors play a strong role as well, and even with the genetic influence a stupid person can carry "smart" genes. Secondly, the "stupid" people have always bred more than the smarter ones. Quite often, the "smart" people are too busy studying things to have sex (for example, Tesla c

    • by Nyder (754090) on Friday March 15, 2013 @12:56PM (#43183775) Journal

      People are still just as stupid as they've always been...

      Switch off the mind and let the heart decide who you were meant to be (Windpower)

    • Re:In other news (Score:5, Informative)

      by ackthpt (218170) on Friday March 15, 2013 @01:04PM (#43183861) Homepage Journal

      People are still just as gullible as they've always been...

      FTFY

      Back in the late 1970's (showing my fossilage here) Sixty Minutes (I sat about 20 feet from Ed Bradley) and other news orgs came to Midland, Michigan, after a Jack Anderson Confidential claimed Midland was awash with Carcinogenic Dioxins, spewed into the air and dumped into the Tittabawasee River by Dow Chemical.

      People suddenly queued up to claim they were suffering many ills as brought on by these dioxins. The nation's media swarmed to the small midwestern city prepared for the worst (and to tell it all in gory detail.) Midland was alleged to have people with open sores and massive turmors lurching down the streets like some Dawn of the Dead scene. The reality was the concentrations of these compounds were in like 5 ppb (parts per billion), when checked on by DNR and others. Put into perspective it was like a football field, a mile high and one marble sitting in the end zone. Pretty mild and not the Love Canal the media were looking for. Within days it was all gone, nothing mentioned on Sixty Minutes or any other national news.

      Power of suggestion can be a powerful thing.

      • by DeDmeTe (678464)
        It's still on an ongoing issue in those parts. Driving through Saginaw/Midland area a few years ago lots of residents had signs in their front yards demanding Dow cleanup their Dioxin mess, especially houses near the Tittabawasee river. Weather or not it's really an issue? I have no idea. But people are still seem to be concerned about it.
      • Re:In other news (Score:5, Informative)

        by compro01 (777531) on Friday March 15, 2013 @01:44PM (#43184329)

        The reality was the concentrations of these compounds were in like 5 ppb (parts per billion), when checked on by DNR and others. Put into perspective it was like a football field, a mile high and one marble sitting in the end zone. Pretty mild

        5PPB is "mild"?!

        You're talking about compounds with an LD50 in the micrograms/kilogram.

        Safe exposure is 4 picograms/kilogram/day

        5 ppb in your drinking water would get you about 18 micrograms/day, or 60,000-ish times that.

        • Re:In other news (Score:5, Insightful)

          by ackthpt (218170) on Friday March 15, 2013 @02:12PM (#43184677) Homepage Journal

          The reality was the concentrations of these compounds were in like 5 ppb (parts per billion), when checked on by DNR and others. Put into perspective it was like a football field, a mile high and one marble sitting in the end zone. Pretty mild

          5PPB is "mild"?!

          You're talking about compounds with an LD50 in the micrograms/kilogram.

          Safe exposure is 4 picograms/kilogram/day

          5 ppb in your drinking water would get you about 18 micrograms/day, or 60,000-ish times that.

          Do keep in mind there are hundreds of compounds catagorized as "Dioxins" Very few of these are actually known toxins or carcenogens.

          I asked my father about what was going on in the news and he directed me to the obituary page in the local paper. "What do you see there?" "A lot of people dead in their 70s, 80s and 90s with the rare centenarian." "Not a lot of people dying in their teens, 20s, 30s, which you would see if there were rampant cancer brought on by these compounds." It was a vivid lesson in viewing readily available empirical data.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ne0n (884282)
      That's an unfair dismissal of a serious issue. The problem with wind farms isn't just the silly people surrounding it but the ecological risks and damage done. In NA our bat populations are critically endangered and being destroyed by the pressure differential caused by various wind farms, if you bother to count the bodies. It sounds OK until you realize that bats are incredibly useful, they pollinate more than bees do, they control more insect pest populations than anything else. A single bat can eat many
      • by admiralh (21771)

        Some possible solutions: Stop the wind turbines from spinning (or just slow them down) when the bats are most likely to be flying by it (usually at sunset/sunrise). Or not building turbines in locations that are heavily traveled by bats. There are other solutions being researched, such as emitting sounds that mimic the bats' own echo-location signals.

        The problem is both bats running into the fins and that the bats' lungs cannot handle the pressure gradient produced by the moving blades. see http://spectrum. [ieee.org]

      • The problem with wind farms isn't just the silly people surrounding it but the ecological risks and damage done. In NA our bat populations are critically endangered and being destroyed by the pressure differential caused by various wind farms, if you bother to count the bodies. It sounds OK until you realize that bats are incredibly useful, they pollinate more than bees do, they control more insect pest populations than anything else. A single bat can eat many thousands of mosquitoes in a night.

        In countries with more wind farms the damage is magnified. See Costa Rica. If only more people even gave a shit.

        Do you have actual data to back up how many bats are being killing by wind gennies? I recalled people opposed to wind gennies saying they killed a lot of birds. However studies have shown cats kill more birds than wind generators [motherjones.com]. The article Do wind turbines kill birds? [howstuffworks.com] has a chart of statistics showing how many birds are killed by different things, from cars, wild and feral cats (but not pet cats?), to windows. Some may have a problem with the chart though, out of seven killers of birds 5 of the statistic

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 15, 2013 @01:43PM (#43184319)

      You're just a shill for big wind. This is a legitimate controversy and anyone who disagrees with me is being paid to do so. Science has been wrong before. These people are putting profit ahead of my health! I'm not opposing science, I'm just opposing corporate greed. Mankind is toying with forces it doesn't fully understand! Have there ever been any long term studies proving that windfarms don't cause sickness?

      Please pay attention to me.

    • by Luckyo (1726890)

      Not stupid, influenced by their subconscious. Did you know that people get better just by visiting a hospital and seeing a doctor (but never getting an appointment with one)?

      Power of self-suggestion is a widely known phenomenon, and it's a two-way street.

    • by zAPPzAPP (1207370)

      A friend of my parents was an early adopter in this wind energy thing.
      Meaning he put up a 30m tall generator in his own front yard in the early nineties...

      I don't know what 'wind sickness' is supposed to be, but that thing was god damn annoying.

      It would go ....SHINGnnnnnn.........SHINGnnnnn...........SHINGnnnnnnn......... all day and night, never stopping. If you didnt hear it, you could feel it through the floor/bed.

      Maybe it would've been a good idea not to put the thing 15m in front of his house. And mayb

  • by h4rr4r (612664) on Friday March 15, 2013 @12:25PM (#43183365)

    I suggest someone spread around the idea that coal power plants endager the health those nearby. A bonus is that this might actually be true.

    • by uncle slacky (1125953) on Friday March 15, 2013 @12:29PM (#43183411)

      IIRC coal plants release more radiation into the environment than nuclear plants do, so you're quite probably correct.

      • by Joce640k (829181) on Friday March 15, 2013 @12:35PM (#43183509) Homepage

        Not to mention all the mercury that's currently poisoning the sea, etc.

        I love it when the greenies insist on Sea Salt because it's more 'organic' than the other stuff (which they seem to believe is made in one of the dreaded 'refineries' or something...)

        Me? I want my salt to be as refined and inorganic as possible. Na and Cl in equal proportions, nothing more.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 15, 2013 @12:39PM (#43183561)

        They release more radiation than nuclear plants that haven't had an accident. Unfortunately, nuclear accidents have released [slashdot.org] orders of magnitude more radiation than the entire history of operating coal plants.

        Note: I'm actually very pro-nuclear, but I think this is a fact that needs to be discussed. The coal plant radiation myth is unfounded and makes pro-nuclear people look stupid when they use it. The danger from coal plants is the stuff that doesn't have a half-life, like mercury, arsenic, and soot. The uranium they release is mostly harmless.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by gurps_npc (621217)
          Only if you include non-US nuclear power plants. Because Japan and Russia are the two big sinners, mainly because they have made bad choices when it comes to nuclear safety.

          Honestly, the new molten salt reactors are safer than any anything we have thought of. When everyone panics and runs away, leaving the machines alone, they automatically and safely shut down. No fear of radiation leaks, just safely.

            • But how many of those 23 are likely to get hit by a giant tsunami?

      • by ShanghaiBill (739463) * on Friday March 15, 2013 @12:59PM (#43183797)

        IIRC coal plants release more radiation into the environment than nuclear plants do

        This is something that is often said, but it is questionable if it is really true. When I have tried to find the sources, they all point to a single study [sciencemag.org] done in 1978 by a scientist at Oak Ridge National Labratory [wikipedia.org]. There are several problems with this claim:

        1. It only looked at radiation released during "normal" operation. It didn't consider accidents at nuclear plants, which in reality account for nearly all the radiation they have released.
        2. Coal plants today release far less fly ash than they did in 1978.
        3. This study was done by ORNL, which has a vested interest in pushing nukes.

        Disclaimer: I am pro-nuke, pro-windmill, and anti-coal, but I am also pro-truth, and this "factoid" about radioactive coal needs to die. There are plenty of real reasons to oppose burning coal.

      • by Entropius (188861)

        They do, but only because nuclear plants release essentially zero. While this is a good argument in favor of nuclear power, it's not exactly a resounding blow to coal, either.

        That said: people don't seem to care about the (very strong) arguments against coal power regarding climate change and the environmental damage on both the mining and burning ends. Once upon a time I was idealistic and believed in rhetorical rigor, and would have criticized saying "Coal is a radiation hazard! RUN AWAY!" to the voters.

      • by ssam (2723487) on Friday March 15, 2013 @01:46PM (#43184355)

        Coal can be clean and safe too http://www.coalcares.org/cleanenergy.html [coalcares.org]

    • by mjr167 (2477430)
      I'm pretty sure everyone already knows that and they just don't care...
    • by ackthpt (218170) on Friday March 15, 2013 @01:09PM (#43183921) Homepage Journal

      I suggest someone spread around the idea that coal power plants endager the health those nearby. A bonus is that this might actually be true.

      Before scrubbers and such, one of the deadly elements thrown into the air from burning coal was Mercury.

      But that's nothing. Really.

      You've no doubt seen how hazardous Asbestos is to the lungs. People were tearing apart buildings, because floor tiling, ventillation and insulation was loaded with it. BUT ... Never mind that, all cars were whizzing around for decades with Asbestos brake linings, filling cities with the fine dust of from these as motorists slowed down or stopped here and there by the tens of millions.

  • by ZorinLynx (31751) on Friday March 15, 2013 @12:26PM (#43183375) Homepage

    I wish that, when people are frickin' stupid like this, folks would just roll their eyes at them rather than take them seriously.

    People seem to come up with the dumbest reasons they think they're ill. I know it can be frustrating to feel badly and not know why, but come on. Use some science.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by fustakrakich (1673220)

      We have to make this stuff up, so we can use our sick pay, which doesn't accumulate. It's use it or lose it.

    • I wish that, when people are frickin' stupid like this, folks would just roll their eyes at them rather than take them seriously.

      People seem to come up with the dumbest reasons they think they're ill. I know it can be frustrating to feel badly and not know why, but come on. Use some science.

      Well for as stupid as it sounds, it gets modded up on Slashdot [slashdot.org] (disclaimer: I am the submitter).

      • by ScentCone (795499)
        And your complaint is that a post from someone who works in the wind farm business remarked that the low-frequency throbbing from giant turbines is problematic for people getting their guts and sinus cavities pulsated all day, every day might just be a health issue? You're grousing that that got modded up as interesting?
    • Just blame it on a virus. With biology, that's probably right half the time.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Having a beautiful, natural view obscured by ugly windmills couldn't possibly cause stress and induce real physical sickness in folks, now could it?!
    If you travel much, you'll notice that folks tend to be happier in areas with beautiful scenery, much less so elsewhere.

    Another thing, most people tend to be very mild mannered. Quite a large number of people will accept a burnt pizza with a smile, only a small minoroty will complain. Perhaps these people were bothered all along and just didn't say anything to

    • by DragonWriter (970822) on Friday March 15, 2013 @12:36PM (#43183539)

      Having a beautiful, natural view obscured by ugly windmills couldn't possibly cause stress and induce real physical sickness in folks, now could it?!

      Maybe it could. If it did you'd expect studying the incidence of the supposed symptoms that it causes would show that they had a correlation with the presence of windfarms independent of propaganda campaigns targeting the local area and attempting to convince people that windfarms are bad for health.

      Science was created so that we didn't have to answer question be anecdote and supposition.

      • Or you could argue that the populace was experiencing negative symptoms from the windmills being nearby, but up until they were made aware that they could cause negative health effects, they attributed the decline to other things. The effect of the information, then, served to give them a list of symptoms that they could validate against, and come to their own conclusions.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Ol Olsoc (1175323)

          Or you could argue that the populace was experiencing negative symptoms from the windmills being nearby, but up until they were made aware that they could cause negative health effects, they attributed the decline to other things. The effect of the information, then, served to give them a list of symptoms that they could validate against, and come to their own conclusions.

          Holy hell, you just told us that if someone makes something up, it's as good as real.

          Lightknight, I just got a rash, and the person sitting beside me said htey think it's your posting. I think they might be right, so We are joining a class action suit against you because we didn't know it before, but a lot of people have been getting heartburn, hangnails, athlete's foot and jock itch. We now know who to blame it on. You need to stop posting messages so that our healt will return to normal.

          • by ScentCone (795499) on Friday March 15, 2013 @03:27PM (#43185423)

            Holy hell, you just told us that if someone makes something up, it's as good as real.

            No, he just told us that it's possible for someone who's experiencing something to only later come to realize what's causing it. Like thinking you have a cat allergy, when it turns out you have a ragweed allergy. Or thinking you've got gut or sinus issues when it turns out living under the shadow of giant spinning 747 wings might actually be troublesome, and explain what some people experience. It's certainly easy enough to do a blind test. Just like proving that complaints about "WiFi" allergies are nonsense by doing a blind test where the supposed victim can't guess if the local transceiver is on or off, prevent the person living next to a giant wind farm from being able to see if the blades are being allowed to spin, and see if there's a difference one way or the other. Of course, since you can hear them wooshing around 24x7, that might be a harder test to do, blindly.

    • by mrsquid0 (1335303)

      If this were correct then we would see these sorts of symptoms in nations where windmills are in much more common use than they are in the US. But we do not.

  • Your mind (Score:4, Informative)

    by Synerg1y (2169962) on Friday March 15, 2013 @12:31PM (#43183457)

    Can actually make you sick. Fear, paranoia, stress can all affect the mind to think there's something wrong with the body, until it manifests. That's why attitude is such an important part of recovering from sickness... if you think you're not going to get better, you may not, but it's guaranteed that it will take longer for you to get better as a consequence.

    Then again I'd sooner listen a politician than an anti-windmill activist, you've gotta be f'in stupid to think windfarms are bad for your health.

  • The giants (Score:5, Funny)

    by Captain Spam (66120) on Friday March 15, 2013 @12:35PM (#43183519) Homepage

    "Windfarm Sickness"? Lame.

    "Don Quixote Syndrome"? Much better.

  • by tp1024 (2409684) on Friday March 15, 2013 @12:36PM (#43183525)

    That's what you call double standards.

    The psychosomatic consequences of windpower are nothing that should stop anybody from building windfarms. But when people in Japan, who have barely been exposed to any significant radiation at all, start complaining about imaginary symptoms of their exposure to radiation (as well as very real symptoms of unchecked overdosing on iodine) this is just yet another reason to do away with nuclear power.

    • by Technician (215283) on Friday March 15, 2013 @01:03PM (#43183849)

      I can't find a reference to it at the moment, but a community was opposed to cell towers due to radiation. This caused much problems for anyone trying to build infrastructure in the area. One provider put up some towers and the residents complained that the towers radiation made them ill and the improvement on reception was only marginal.

      In a review with the community leaders, they invited them to tour the facilities while they measured the field strength. The tour revealied that there was no equipment installed. The towers were installed early to measure the baseline illness so when the equipment was installed, that illness that was attribuitable to the radiation can be measured.

      I wonder how much the baseline changed when the equipment arrived.

  • This is just another example of the placebo (or I guess the "nocebo") effect. If you tell people something will make them fell bad, particularly if they are inclined to dislike the thing in question (for whatever reason), they will almost magically start to feel bad. You can do this for fun and excitement at parties: Tell people you have an upset stomach from the salad (or soup or chicken or whatever). You'll pretty quickly find one other person who tells you they don't feel well either. And now there are t
    • Great!
      And now someone decided to spread it on slashdot... Thanks.
      Now I have an upset stomach from that salad at that party the other night. :(

  • by hawguy (1600213) on Friday March 15, 2013 @12:54PM (#43183751)

    The cell phone guys already know this - people report symptoms even when the tower isn't powered on. [dailytech.com]

  • Lack of... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Codifex Maximus (639) on Friday March 15, 2013 @01:01PM (#43183819) Homepage

    It's probably Carbon Monoxide and Soot withdrawal that is causing these wind farm health episodes.

  • by zaibazu (976612) on Friday March 15, 2013 @01:03PM (#43183851)
    So in an Village the T-Mobile sets up a tower. Suddenly people started complaining and pointed at the tower for the reason. The Telekom guys were baffled, imagining what would happen if they actually powered it up.
  • by nblender (741424) on Friday March 15, 2013 @01:23PM (#43184083)

    Not quite 'sickness', but my aunt lives on the side of a large hill overlooking a pretty valley... Her balcony used to be a nice place to sit and relax. Now her down-hill neighbor (approximately 2km away) has a wind turbine in his yard and the low frequency periodic noise from it has transformed her balcony into an annoying place to be and she can no longer sleep with the windows open. She's not claiming sickness, she's merely claiming annoyance..

    • by eldavojohn (898314) * <.moc.liamg. .ta. .nhojovadle.> on Friday March 15, 2013 @02:05PM (#43184599) Journal

      Not quite 'sickness', but my aunt lives on the side of a large hill overlooking a pretty valley... Her balcony used to be a nice place to sit and relax. Now her down-hill neighbor (approximately 2km away) has a wind turbine in his yard and the low frequency periodic noise from it has transformed her balcony into an annoying place to be and she can no longer sleep with the windows open. She's not claiming sickness, she's merely claiming annoyance..

      Okay so let's say that from right up in front of the thing you experience 105 dB [gereports.com] of sound. Now let's use some basic math to compute [sengpielaudio.com] what 105 dB at 0.5 meters away sounds like when you're 2,000 meters away. 32.958 dB should be the intense ear splitting result at the balcony. Does your neighbor have some super noisy form of wind turbine or does your aunt go insane inside a kitchen when the refrigerator is running? Does she have to turn her air conditioning and refrigerator off in order to sleep? Because according to every resource out there [windmeasur...tional.com], physics put that noise at sub 40 dB. Even if we bump it up to rock concert levels (120 dB) it should be 48 dB at 2 km and that's about as loud as an AC unit.

      Now, how loud is acceptable at the edge of someone's property before you think the authorities should be involved? And think carefully about people who like to use air condition/compressors, mow their lawns, have yard parties with music, drive motorcycles and do any good patriotic non-save-the-rainforest stuff before you answer.

      • by TheSync (5291)

        from right up in front of the thing you experience 105 dB of sound.

        dB what? Your link is to dB(A), referencing the IEC 61672:2003 A-Weighting [wikipedia.org].

        We already know that the K-weighting of ITU-BS.1770 [bnoack.com] is a much better indicator of perceived loudness than A-weighting, and K-weighting weighs lower frequencies much higher than A-weighting.

        Moreover, it is possible that the optimal frequency weighting for "annoyance" is something completely different. To date, no one has really compiled the data for that.

        I have a sus

  • by Artful Codger (245847) on Friday March 15, 2013 @01:26PM (#43184125)

    In Ontario, the right-wing establishment have successfully united the usual anti-government, anti-progress suspects with some pissed-off farmers, rural retirees, and rich NIMBYs to create a particularly nasty strain of anti-windmill sentiment. They've become the Typhoid Mary of wind farm sickness.

    It's true that the Ont. government was a bit overzealous in a few of its land acquisition, and there were a small number of households which were closer than what is considered a comfortable distance from some installations, but as far as i know, every such household has either been paid off or relocated.

    The claimed negative health effects are spurious. I wonder what any of the hundreds of thousands of households located close to rail lines, expressways or airports must think when they hear people whinging about effects from wind generators...

    Yes windmills kill some birds and bats. In North America the reported bird-kill from windfarms is a fraction of the kill from oil and gas operations.... and several orders of magnitude lower than the number of birds killed annually by.... house-cats. Like birds? Don't let your stupid cat out.

    Finally, the technology is still pretty young. There's every reason to expect that wind generators will become more reliable, efficient, quieter, and that their energy can be stored and used more effectively. How many centuries has coal-burning taken to get efficient and clean up a bit?

    • The claimed negative health effects are spurious. I wonder what any of the hundreds of thousands of households located close to rail lines, expressways or airports must think when they hear people whinging about effects from wind generators...

      The differences between the noises you cite and wind farms are as follows;
      Consistency; The noise from a wind far is there usually 24/7 at a fairly constant rate. All the examples you cite are intermittent. There are periods if quiet between when trains and aircraft go by. When building roadways millions are spent on berms and sound fences to mitigate the noise. Even then there are periods of time, usually at night when people are trying to sleep, that roadways are much quieter.
      Frequencies; This is a major

  • by Lumpy (12016) on Friday March 15, 2013 @01:52PM (#43184425) Homepage

    Everyone knows that the bad thing that windfarms cause is the slowing of the earths rotation.

    yes I actually heard that from the mouth of one of the local nutjobs that are against the installation of a windfarm offshore.

  • by oddaddresstrap (702574) on Friday March 15, 2013 @01:56PM (#43184495)

    What makes them sick is knowing that their neighbor is getting $5K per year per machine and they aren't.

  • by jafiwam (310805) on Friday March 15, 2013 @03:22PM (#43185369) Homepage Journal

    They should install some garish but non functional thing on them, a big box on the side that has blinking lights, a fan, some cables and some steam-punkish looking stuff on it.

    Then tell everybody they are "Windmill Disruption Dampeners" and that the company went almost bankrupt buying them for the residents.

    Placebos work, even if the person KNOWS it's a placebo. ;)

"A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices." -- William James

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