Yesterday we reported that the Australian Taxation Office is investigating whether the anti-wind campaigning organisation the Waubra Foundation is a legitimate health research and promotion entity and entitled to its tax-deductible charity status.
Now, I don’t doubt that the Waubra Foundation’s CEO, Sarah Laurie, has her heart in the right place. But one really has to wonder whether those concerned that wind turbines cause illness have created a bit of self-perpetuating cult of delusion. The bizarre nature of their claims and ability to convert refutation into affirmation seems to know no bounds.
Take this excerpt from an e-mail doing the rounds amongst the Waubra Foundation’s wind turbine syndrome believers:
Due to the abuse we are experiencing from the Industrial Wind Turbines our emus have suffered greatly. First with the installation of the test towers and the high pitch sounds emitting from them, we lost 26 of our 38 emus with no eggs laid. During the time the turbines were erected and the test towers were still in place; we lost five more emus. Leaving us eight emus. The Agriculture in Truro reported to us that these birds had died of fear.
This is from an emu farm in Nova Scotia, Canada no less, where the average temperature over winter is below freezing. What’s interesting is that in this case the animals started dropping like flies before the wind turbines were even installed, and was apparently due to high pitched sounds emanating from wind monitoring towers. These are little more than a tall metal pole with cable guy ropes holding it in place and a few small wind speed monitors installed.
What’s intriguing is that the Canadian emu farmers believe it was high pitched sounds that caused the problem, but the Waubra Foundation claims the problem lies with low frequency sound.
A few weeks ago Climate Spectator reported (Anti-wind lobby twice rebuked) on how both the South Australian EPA and the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal had simultaneously delivered findings reinforcing prior studies concluding there is little to no evidence of a link between wind turbines and health problems. According to the tribunal’s own words:
“There is certainly no compelling evidence, and indeed no expert evidence at all that was capable of being tested, that would justify the Tribunal adopting a view that is opposed to the clearly stated opinions of the public health authorities [that there no scientific evidence to link wind turbines with adverse health effects].”
Yet here is the Waubra Foundation’s take on this judgement in an interview on ABC’s radio program AM:
SARAH LAURIE: There is certainly a recognition by the tribunal members that some people are reporting some fairly serious health problems including sleep disturbance. It's well known amongst the peer reviewed published literature that sleep disturbance alone, if it's repetitive and cumulative, is going to have some pretty severe, long term health consequences.
DAVID MARK: That may be so but the tribunal found that there was no causal link between the noise from the wind turbines and adverse health impacts and you didn't provide any evidence to suggest that there was any link.
SARAH LAURIE: That's not correct. We actually did provide evidence, however …
DAVID MARK: But they found that it wasn't credible.
SARAH LAURIE: Um, look, the tribunal members have made their decision. There certainly is a link.
This is a truly bizarre. But what is more concerning is that Laurie sent a lengthy diatribe of complaint to the ABC about David Mark for daring to suggest what is plain to anyone who can read the judgement.
Included within the over 1000 word e-mail of complaint were several accusations including:
“The ABC is very much part of perpetrating the ongoing abuse of rural citizens in this country, by the sort of blatantly biased reporting such as your program. If the ABC in particular had honest objective journalists who were capable of critical analysis and independent thought and an intellectual curiosity rather than a bunch of ideological groupthinkers, who ignore credible known science, this story would have been exposed a long time ago.”
Yet Laurie is asking journalists to believe an incredible conspiracy to cover-up and ignore evidence is at work involving a wide array of people and organisations.
According to Laurie, health authorities are misleading us, spreading misinformation.
In relation to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal,
“Expert evidence and documented harm was presented to the Tribunal members in the Cherry Tree case. It was effectively ignored.”
And in terms of the South Australian EPA’s findings on the Waterloo Wind Farm,
“With respect to the EPA, why would the SA EPA choose to put their monitor underneath a very big gum tree, to falsely inflate the background noise levels? The ONLY reason is to deliberately deceive people as to the true background noise level, so they can say that the development is compliant, when in fact it is not.”
Apparently journalists merely have to “follow the money” to uncover this vast conspiracy. Yet what’s the link between money and health departments in Victoria and NSW, whose Liberal premiers have expressed views highly critical of wind farms?