July 12, 2010

Take THAT: CanWEA and Dr David Colby!

More opinions—

Anyone who has been involved in health research knows what a travesty the Candian Wind Energy Association/American Wind Energy Association report on potential health effects from industrial wind turbines was, particularly the suggestion that people reporting effects are really just “annoyed” and upset (i.e., it’s all in their heads) and then, amazingly, something NEVER seen in medical research, the conclusion that not only are there no effects from exposure to industrial wind turbines, there is no reason to do any further research.

Appalling. Insulting. Unprofessional. And, you could say more, like politically motivated, deliberately obtuse, and more.

Well, now someone has said more and coming from him, the criticisms carry a lot of weight. You can download Dr Carl V. Phillips’ full report from Wind Concerns Ontario, but his comments about the report written by a panel of “experts” headed by Ontario’s Dr David Colby are amazingly to the point, and very critical not only of the quality of “research” behind that report but also the motivations for it.

Here are some of the highlights:

-there is ample evidence to conclude that industrial wind turbines cause serious health problems; compelling evidence has been overlooked

-questions could be answered if resources were devoted to finding the answer

-reports that claim no evidence of health effects are based on a “very simplistic understanding of epidemiology” … “they do not represent proper scientific reasoning

-various attempts to dismiss the evidence appears to be based on a misunderstanding of epidemiology and semantic games

-“the dismissal of the evidence is sometimes so bald that it seems like parody. … Colby et al. go so far as to write ‘ There is no evidence that sound at the levels from wind turbines as heard in residences will cause direct physiological effects. A small number of sensitive people, however, may be stressed by the sound and suffer sleep disturbances.’ Even if the latter characterization did not comically understate the evidence, these authors, within the space of a two-sentence paragraph, claim there are no physiological effects but note that there are observed cases of turbines causing a physical problem.”

-“Some of the attempts to dismiss the importance of the observed health problems are semantic games and belittlement, cheap tactics that are typically used to obscure the lack of legitimate scientific arguments.”

-“Language games like these tend to suggest an attempt to avoid direct discussion of the evidence that there really is a problem.”

-“It is notable that the Colby et al. panel did not include any population health researchers, even though the question they claim the report addresses is one of population health. Their expertise seems to be limited to the relevant physical sciences and clinical medicine.” [ Editor: note that while Dr Colby’s specialty is in infectious disease, he does claim to have some experience with sound and safety issues.] ” … they seem quite anxious to claim that we have seen the cases but they do not really exist, very unphysician-like behaviour.”

-the “errors paint a picture of authors who are dramatically overstepping their expertise and hoping that no reader will ever have the expertise to notice, and a forum like the present report in which to expose it.”

Wow. Had enough?

Puts into perspective comments from CanWEA execs, corporate wind developers and politicians. Recall that Prowind Canada’s Bart Geleynse Jr said in a CBC radio interview that people reporting health problems from turbines had “psychosomatic” problems.

Bullying. Obfuscating. Deliberate manipulation of the truth.

It is time to demand that Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health revisit this issue (her 14-page report published in May being based in part on the Colby et al. very flawed and distorted “research”) and start fresh with proper medical research.

Contact your city councillor, your MPP, the Premier.

The North Gower Wind Action Group may be contacted at


  1. Since my home is unsalable, I have offered it for the use of an Ontario Research Centre for the Study of Health Effects of Industrial Wind Turbines to Dr. Siva Sivoththaman, U of Waterloo.who was recently appointed Chair in Renewable Energy Technologies and Health.

    We, in the clear Creek/Cultus/Frogmore Industrial wind Turbine Zone who live surrounded within a 3 km radius by 18 Vestas 1.65 MW IWT’s are a dense enclave of ~ 140 houses, 300 residents of which 70 signed a petition last year saying that they WERE affected by those 18 IWT’s. Because we have 10 +/- abandoned houses, 10 +/- vacant houses for sale,
    9 +/- occupied homes for sale and 8 seasonal homes, there is much scope for study and research.

    Furthermore, we a ringed by U of WO, Wilfred Laurier U, U of Waterloo, U of Guelph and McMaster U. Some of the Norfolk Victims of Industrial Wind Turbines [NVoIWT’s] have been working steadily, encouraging the responsible Ministries: Environment, Energy & Infrastructure, Health & Long Term Care, Health Promotion & Protection, the Chief Medical Officer of Health to work together with Dr. Sivoththaman to develope a rigorous epidemiological research study of the NVoIWT’s and other comparable groups.

    If you have connections with U of Waterloo, please write to Dr. Sivoththaman encouraging him to use his office as Chair in Renewable Energy Technologies and HEALTH to work on the above study within the 4 years of his $1.5 million mandate.

    Comment by johana — July 12, 2010 @ 10:19 pm | Reply

  2. Contact information for Dr Sivoththaman is as follows:
    Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
    University of Waterloo
    200 University Avenue West
    Waterloo, Ontario, Canada N2L 3G1
    Phone: +1 519 888 4567 extension 32097
    Fax: +1 519 746 3077

    Comment by northgowerwindturbines — July 13, 2010 @ 10:08 am | Reply

  3. […] Turbines on animals and humans, our Dear Leaders have finally seen their University of Waterloo, Dr. Sivoththaman, produce a “survey” that not only appears to be nothing more than an answer seeking a […]

    Pingback by Is the University of Waterloo’s “health study” a political and wind Industry SHAM? | The Big Green Lie — March 7, 2013 @ 2:53 pm | Reply

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