Herald Sun, by Terry McCrann, 10th October 2018
SO, in addition to chopping up the odd bird and especially eagles and other predators, according to the World Health Organisation those wind turbines can also be too noisy and damage human hearing and health.
Who could possibly have thought?
And so, in addition to pocketing billions of dollars from taxpayers in direct and indirect subsidies and from consumers via higher power bills, too much renewable generation — that’s both the bird-frying solar variety and the bird-chopping wind — will, according to energy groups AGL and Origin, threaten to make for “volatile energy supply”.
Again, who could possibly have thought?
Certainly not the very same AGL, which has been recently trumpeting it was “getting out of coal” — and thus, would go for more and more of exactly that renewable generation. So, how does that ‘contradiction’ work — please, anybody at AGL who still has a functioning brain?
And a contradiction which, incidentally, should prompt any consumer who had a functioning brain to respond: well, if AGL is getting out of sensible power generation, like closing the Liddell coal-fired station, I’m therefore going “to get out of AGL”.
The rational thing to do is to switch to an alternative provider that doesn’t want to commit as a core corporate objective to making your electricity more unreliable and more expensive.
And also, as AGL has further explicitly revealed, it wants to “manage your supply” when ‘the wind don’t blow and the sun don’t shine’ — manage it, by turning off your air-conditioning on hot days and your heating on cold ones.
Who could have thought wind turbines can also be too noisy and damage human hearing and health?
Now, the WHO — a ‘bleeding heart’ arm of the United Nations — can’t be dismissed as some bat-crazy ‘climate denialist’ organ that’s ‘anti-wind’.
For the first time — according to Graham Lloyd at our sister paper The Australian — WHO has made recommendations on wind turbines, explicitly on the basis that the noise they generate can harm human health.
WHO, according to Lloyd, conditionally recommended “reducing noise levels produced by wind turbines below 45dB, as wind turbine noise above this level is associated with adverse health effects”.
This is actually higher than the maximum level — 40dB — set by, for example, Victoria’s EPA. So can we conclude our hearing’s safe or, at least, safer?
Well, actually no. The Victorian limit is actually 40dB or 5dB above the “background level, whichever is higher”.
So, if you’ve already got background noise, wind farms, at least in Victoria, get an “environmental pass” to make it permanently higher — and to do so, erratically, 24/7, 365 days a year, day or night, when of course the wind chooses to blow.
And indeed, I need to emphasise, that the EPA’s ‘health limit’ can be above and even significantly above WHO’s 45dB health limit. If background noise is already high, turbines are allowed to take it 5dB higher, permanently and erratically.
Further, it should also be emphasised, this is WHO’s first pass at setting a health limit. What if it decides it needs to be even lower?
The Bald Hill wind farm near Don Fairbrother’s property in South Gippsland. Picture: David Geraghty
Then there’s the little matter of auditing the noise. The Bald Hill wind farm in Victoria’s Gippsland got a full pass from the EPA. But an independent analysis showed there was a serious noise problem.
Wind turbine noise was louder than TVs inside homes and residents were suffering sleep deprivation and other symptoms.
There is another issue which has bubbled away — indeed literally — below the surface, which has never been satisfactorily analysed or rebutted: low-frequency noise, which can actually end up worse inside a house than outside.
Proponents of wind (and solar) do the child thing of putting their fingers in their ears and reciting ‘Na, Na, Na’ to block out any arguments — presumably, they would do it literally, if they ever wandered away from their inner-suburbans haunts to where people actually have to live with the turbines and their irritating erratic noise.
They do the same with any comments like those from AGL and Origin that more and more so-called renewable energy will not only dangerously destabilise the grid but, worse, have a cascading volatility effect as they drive reliable power generation out of business.
And we propose to multiply tenfold the number of these turbines spread across the landscape. If we are that stupid, we deserve what we will get: noise without power.