Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

The Waubra anti-wind power campaign still lives!

Can wind turbines make you sick? Debate divides tiny Victorian town of Waubra, ABC Radio, PM  By Danny Tran, 24 Mar 17, In the sleepy Victorian town of Waubra, a bitter feud over wind power is driving a wedge between neighbours and friends.

Key points:

  • There are 79 wind farms in Australia and more than 2,000 turbines producing 5 per cent of the nation’s electricity
  • Waubra’s own wind farm is one of the largest in Australia, with 128 turbines on the properties of 37 farmers
  • Wind turbine syndrome describes symptoms a small number of people claim arise from living near wind farms

About two hours north-west of Melbourne, Waubra produces enough electricity from its wind turbines to power two of Victoria’s largest regional cities.

But after almost a decade of operating, wind power remains a painful issue in the town, which is only home to about 500 people.

Waubra is so synonymous with wind power that opponents have christened the so-called illness that some claim comes with living near turbines “Waubra disease”.

The town might be at loggerheads over whether wind can make you sick, but what does the science say?

What is wind turbine syndrome?

Waubra disease, better known as wind turbine syndrome, describes a range of symptoms a small number of people claim arise from living near wind farms, ranging from headaches to nausea.

It was first coined in 2009 by New York paediatrician Dr Nina Pierpont, who claimed wind turbines disrupted the inner-ear through inaudible, low-frequency vibrations.

The claims were rubbished by science and health bodies across the world, but anti-wind power groups seized on Dr Pierpont’s claims, which quickly spread to Australia.

Experts dismiss wind turbine syndrome as the result of a “nocebo” effect, where negative expectations of symptoms can amplify an actual negative effect — the opposite of a placebo.

But that hasn’t stopped Waubra locals from taking a side………

the Australian Medical Association’s Victorian president, Dr Lorraine Barker, said that anxiety over being near wind turbines can cause symptoms of its own.

“There is no indication that infrasound, for instance, could induce the symptoms … [but] anxiety certainly can,” Dr Barker said.

“Noises that are continuous in the background can be irritating, so that level of irritation may affect someone if they are standing very close to a wind turbine.

“However, infrasound, or the sound that is beyond the detection of the human ear, is not believed to cause harm to humans.” http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-03-24/victorian-town-divided-over-wind-turbines/8373760

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March 25, 2017 - Posted by | Victoria, wind

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