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Take-aways from Falmouth Conference on Human Rights

November 12, 2012
by Dale LaBonte. Please add your comments below this post or email them to

New Experts

People who report their responses, the health impacts they experience from industrial wind turbines, are the “new experts” (from Carmen Krogh’s description of work in Ontario, Canada). Krogh pointed out how many authoritative institutions–courts, national boards, and even the wind industry–acknowledge that turbines can disrupt sleep and contribute to stress.

When individual patients give their physicians information about health effects of wind turbines, the wind-afflicted are educating the medical doctors. This is happening in Australia (according to Dr. Sarah Laurie of the Waubra Foundation) and in Ontario.

“Receptors” are people

The recipients of turbine noise are not sound meters, but people. When modeling is reported or regulations are written, the term “receptor” means “person.” Noise is unwanted sound and it produces annoyance–referred to in Europe as disturbance. Annoyance is acknowledged to be an adverse health effect (Rob Rand and Carmen Krogh).

People can hear low frequency noise from turbines.  Buildings resonate with low frequency vibration, amplifying the effect, often forcing people out or causing them to adopt other protective strategies (Rand).

A 38% property value reduction has been documented where turbines are sited (Krogh, McCann).

IWTs violate Human Rights

Health is a human right, recognized by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the World Health Organization constitution (and periodically reaffirmed by government departments in various countries). Health means “feeling vibrant, not just getting along,” as Robert Rand put it.

Freedom from unwarranted experimentation is also a right. Informed consent has not been asked or granted by lease-holders, abutters, or other residents, but in spite of this, the wind experimenters are putting people at risk. This mirrors the Tuskegee syphilis study where community members were not adequately informed of the risks (including death) that they faced. (Devlin).

Time to pause

There are so many unknowns about the effects of IWTs that, as Carmen Krogh suggested, it’s time for a pause in turbine siting. We know that distance is the only mitigator for noise and health impacts, but we don’t know what exactly is a safe distance. Depending on topography, it could be several miles. It’s time for governments and scientists to do that research before more harm is done.


People who presented at the conference were: Carmen Krogh, Dr. Sarah Laurie, Rob Rand, Michael McCann, Curt Devlin, Barry Funfar, and Neil Andersen.

Organizers were Dave Moriarty, Marsh Rosenthal, with the help of many supporters.

One Comment leave one →
  1. December 1, 2012 2:51 am

    To simply call being tormented by the effects of an ill sited wind turbine an “annoyance” or “bothersome” is an understatement of huge proportions. Those of us who are adversely affected and have actually attempted to endure the slings and arrows of the too close turbines and those fanatics who could care less if it was their own mother being “bothered”, know all too well just how terrible this situation can become. It worsens with time and at some point it may be impossible to fully recover even if the turbine(s) are removed. For myself
    it is the fluctuating noises, sound pressures, low frequency and infra-noise, whatever the “package” emitted by the turbines contains, that causes me the stress and anxiety which then leads to physical symptoms of panic and anxiety attacks, extremely high blood pressure, palpitations, irritability, anger, nausea, stomach and digestive problems, depression, and even suicidal thoughts. Please realize that it can be that bad. The do-gooders who envision themselves saving the planet by constructing wind turbines in every available space have a lot to learn. To date they have a very slow and flat learning curve.

    I cannot blame those who have abandoned their homes to get away from these torturous
    turbines. These people have suffered a great financial loss, but as I said, the detrimental
    effects really can be that horrific. Trying to hang in there and wait for my town to do the right thing, like turn off the machines and take them down, can certainly be described as torture. Falmouth’s current turbine operation schedule is to run them only from 7AM until 7PM. We try to adjust our living schedule to being away from our own home during those operating hours, but then the town officials do not see the harm in starting them up at 5AM or leaving them running until near 10PM which results in even more panic attacks and skyrocketing blood pressure episodes. Yet many people do not believe this is an attack
    on our human rights. A person’s home should be his “comfort zone” where he can relax and recharge for the next day. That right has been taken away from those of us “annoyed”
    by these turbines.
    Barry Funfar
    Nov 30, 2012

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