If I learned one thing from reading Australian professor Simon Chapman’s study on the origins of wind turbine sickness, it’s that turbines are terribly indecisive monsters. He points to a colleague’s study that describes 216 different diseases and symptoms linked to windpower turbines. Why can’t these things just pick a malady and stick to it?
We’ve seen reports of sleep deprivation, nausea, headaches … as one blogger put it, “All manner of vapors, demonic possession, bad juju, soured milk and frightened horses.”
Chapman’s conclusion is that sickness related to wind turbines is caused not by turbines themselves but by the power of suggestion. Suggestions from anti-wind activist groups, that is (tweet this). But how did Chapman arrive at this theory?
He looked at complaint records associated with 49 wind farms, totaling 1,616 turbines, operating between 1993 and 2012 in Australia. He took a liberal view of complaints, including those in the news media. He then looked at where anti-wind activist groups operated. As it turns out, complaints were far more prevalent in areas with an anti-wind presence.
Many outlets, from The Guardian to Discover, wrote about Chapman’s research, but they failed to include any graphics from the study – unbelievable because they were so impressive. They say pictures are worth a thousand words, so in an amazing demonstration of efficiency, here are some pics:
This colorful chart , created in Google Trends, shows the rise of the term “wind turbine syndrome.” The phrase’s popularity has surely increased with the release of Chapman’s report.
This graph shows the number of wind farm complaints relative to the number of wind farms on a state-by-state basis. The chart demonstrates a lack of consistency between the percentage of farms receiving complaints and the different states. I’m no scientist, but that seems weird to me.
Finally, a piece of a chart that lacks color but is full of substance (the rest of the chart can be accessed in the report). It shows the relationship between anti-wind advocacy groups and wind farm complaints. I did a little highlighting to direct your attention.
Now that I’ve offered 3,000-words worth of pictures, here’s one more article that lends credence to the power of suggestion, at Phys.org.
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