Thursday, June 11, 2015

Wind farms and politicians

I see that Alan Jones also hates wind turbines, and gets the always-wanting-to-please-whoever-he-is-talking-to PM to say he think's they're awful too.   And David Leyonhjelm got a run in The Australian (what a surprise it would be that paper) to crap on about how there really, really might be sickness caused by turbines.

A few comments I have about this, given that in the past I have expressed some cynicism about the value of them myself:

*  Joe Hockey's enormous offence taking at the Lake George turbines near Canberra was just ludicrous, given how far off they are in the distance and the unremarkable landscape that they are in.  If he is genuinely that sensitive to their appearance, it's more of an issue for psychological counselling than anything else.

*  That said, in some locations, particularly where they are closely grouped, I wouldn't ridicule the regret that some people feel about the change in the natural view.   But even in the "worst" cases, it's not going to be something that deserves the mental disturbance that some claim at their mere appearance.

*  I also wouldn't be surprised if some turbines, in some locations, cause audible noise issues which some people find annoying.   But then, people in cities have new roads and freeways (or ventilation outlets from new tunnels) built near them sometimes to, and regret the increase in background noise.   It's not a national disaster that people sometimes regret development near them.

* As far as the invisible infrasound "woo" of David Leyonhjelm:   he is the last person to have credibility on the issue, given his taking advice from an anti wind power advocate who is part of a astroturf spinoff group from the IPA and as such is full of members and advisers who have a complete non belief in climate change and have been fighting clean energy for ideological (and in all likelihood, funding) reasons  for a decade or more.

What's more, it is utterly disingenuous of anti turbine politicians to not note the active anti windfarm advocacy that is, from a scientific point of view, the likely cause of most psychological suffering of people who claim their local windfarm is ruining their lives.

*  Also, savor the irony, and/or hypocrisy, of Leyonhjelm, saying that the wind farm companies are like "big tobacco" in denying there is any evidence of detriment from their product.  Leyonhjelm happily takes donations from tobacco companies, who are still contenders for the most scurrilous corporate citizens on the globe.   (See the John Oliver report on their tactics.)

In any case, I think the public is paying little attention to Leyonhjelm's attention seeking enquiry, and I think most people rightly consider him to be an eccentric twit that he truly is.

Update:  I forgot to mention the way Leyonhjelm invokes a precautionary principle when it comes to wind farms and health effects (which, apparently, about 120 individuals in Australia have complained about out of about 20,000 living within a few km of windfarms), here in The Oz:
By the time further studies are published in recognised journals following peer review, many more people will have suffered. The fact we are not yet at that stage is no excuse for inaction and will not absolve the wind industry from liability for its negligent refusal to mitigate the harm it causes.
Yet he presumably finds the same precautionary principle not appropriate to consider for global climate change that could detrimentally affect, what, just a few billion people?  

What libertarian foolery....

1 comment:

Not Trampis said...

There are wind turbines near Blayney where my in laws reside. They enhance the landscape and a a tourist boost.