Saturday, 13 June 2015

Tilting at Windmills*

Wind generators at Windy Hill, near Ravenshoe, FNQ.

Our esteemed PM made a few interesting observations about wind farms when talking to Alan Jones (AKA The Parrot) yesterday.

To quote him - "Up close, they're ugly, they're noisy and they may have all sorts of other impacts."

This was despite the fact that he admitted in the same interview that the closest he had actually come to a turbine was to cycle past one on Rottnest Island.

Given that he wasn't all that "up close", the reference to "ugly" may not necessarily be based on a considered aesthetic understanding. Whizzing along on a bike with your bum in the air and your head down is not the best viewing situation.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, after all.

But "noisy", and "other sorts of impacts"....hmm.....

I spent a fair bit of time a few years ago at Windy Hill Wind Farm near Ravenshoe, and I don't remember any noise at all. There are twenty towers in that farm, and the wind was blowing on the day, and the turbines were turning. 

We had driven out from Herberton (where we were staying at the time) specifically to have a gander at the towers, something that lots of tourists do. You know how it is, you always go looking for ugliness when you're touring.......... 

Maybe I'm deaf, or my memory is playing tricks. Far be it from me to suggest that our PM is making stuff up. But then we come to the bit about "may have all sorts of other impacts". 

Let's look at the facts from the National Health and Medical Research Council -

(2015 ISBN - online - 978-0-9923968-0-0 Internet site: 
 The National Health and Medical Research Council - p169)

The evidence considered does not support the conclusion that wind turbines have direct adverse effects on human health, as the criteria for causation have not been fulfilled. Indirect effects of wind farms on human health through sleep disturbance, reduced sleep quality, quality of life and perhaps annoyance are possible. Bias and confounding could, however, be possible explanations for the reported associations upon which this conclusion is based.

Now this is just one of scores of studies that have come to the same conclusion.

But windmill-tilting Tony uses the word "may" to great effect. 

I mean, pigs may fly, but there is no evidence to believe that they have that capacity. 

It's long time since I've read Cervantes, but from memory the windmill-tilting Don Quixote was more than a little bonkers. And with him was Sancho Panza, his dense but trusty squire. Reminds me a bit of five-house Joe. He doesn't like windmills either. They make a lovely pair.

And this person is our PM? 

Now that's a worry................ 

*H/T Claire 

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