Friday, June 12, 2015

Woo considered

I see that The Australian got a credible sounding academic to say maybe there is something to infrasound from wind farms affecting some (perhaps a small percent) of people, in the same way that some people are more sensitive to seasickness.

A few issues to come to mind:

*  have reliable studies ever been done to assess whether people who claim severe reactions to such infrasound can even "sense" it (for example, by getting them to sleep in a lab and see if they are disturbed when the sound is off or on.)   If they have false cues as to when it is on, does that affect their perception of effects?  You would probably need them to stay in the lab more than one night, I guess.  This single study, by people living at home, is not considered reliable.

*  given that a lot of science on this notes that the wind or waves (or industry) creates a lot of background infrasound, and that windfarms make more infrasound in stronger wind, you would have to do a lot of careful measurements, I presume, to distinguish the amount of infrasound being created by the wind turbine as against the infrasound  just coming from the stronger wind around the house.   Has that ever been done?

* doesn't everyone get used to the infrasound of the beach?  If you camp near a surf beach, the sound from the ocean can make for a disturbed first night's sleep, but virtually everyone gets used to it, no?

Certainly, with the descriptions of symptoms that some people give in that study at my last link, I think it is entirely understandable why most scientists are more inclined to consider the problem a psychological one than anything else.  

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