An Ill Wind

When I first wrote about wind turbine syndrome last year, I was pretty dubious of it. Since then, I’ve periodically returned to the subject to explore the wider implications of its premise.

To refresh: Some people who live near wind farms say the noise from the whirring blades is making them sick. There is no good evidence for this, but several recent studies suggest that the adverse symptoms (such as headaches and vertigo) are a psychosomatic response to the fear-mongering of anti-wind activists and newspapers.

This week in Slate I discuss the new research on wind turbine syndrome and how the condition apparently spreads. What is interesting to me, which I talk about in the piece, are the commonalities between wind turbine syndrome and the great electromagnetic field scare.  Have a read.

Another new piece in Slate that I highly recommend reading is by science writer George Johnson (and a  fellow Discover blogger), who takes a cold-eyed look at supposed cancer clusters.

5 Responses to “An Ill Wind”

  1. JonFrum says:

    So NIMBYs have learned to complain of environmental diseases when they don’t want something built near them. I wonder who they got that idea from….. – I’m looking at you, card carrying environmentalists.

  2. harrywr2 says:

    I’m out in Washington State…we have ‘mega windfarms’ out in the rural portions of the state. Falmouth Massachusetts is too densely populated for large wind turbines.

    Most places have something called ‘zoning’ that prohibits changing the character of an area. A wind turbine is a large industrial machine. They don’t belong in residential neighborhoods.

  3. Pdiff says:

    Your stereotyping is ill placed. There are many in rural Washington who object to those windfarms because they feel it changes the character of the area. Likewise, I’m sure you could find people in Falmouth who would welcome turbines. I also note that zoning in itself is a poor guide as it can enforce unreasonable cookie cutter uniformity and limit personal choice. And, exactly what does belong in residential neighborhoods? Lawnmowers? Harleys? RVs?

  4. JonFrum says:

    The turbines in the Cape Wind project would be so far off shore that they wound appear the size of your thumbnail at arm’s length.

    Cape Wind isn’t a bad project because it harms ‘the neighborhood – Cape Wind is a bad project because wind turbines are a poor producer of electricity. Never mind the fact that their location is at the heart of a major bird migratory route, and the thousands of birds they’d kill would never be seen.

  5. kdk33 says:

    You misunderstand the syndrome: It is a gastrointestinal disturbance brought on by the pondering of blighting otherwise pleasant landscapes with antiquated, ineffective, expensive, taxpayer funded machinery for no sane reason whatsoever.

    In other words: the wind energy scam is starting to make people sick.

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