Wednesday 27 May 2015

A follow up - Are German doctors trying to ban wind turbines?

As a follow up to this post, I've received a response from the German Medical Association - a group that The Australian claims were moving to ban wind turbines in Germany. As I described, they weren't, but I thought I'd check.

You can read my original email here, and I've pasted the full response below, with the permission of the author:

"Thank you for your interest in the debates of the German Medical Assembly. We have taken notice of the interest in the motion regarding wind energy. However, there seems to be a degree of confusion that may be caused by a lack of understanding of the role of the Assembly and also a lack of accuracy in processing the received information.  
First and foremost: the German Medical Assembly has not moved to ban wind turbines in Germany, but asked for further research in possible side effects of wind turbines. Only in one sentence does the motion call for a moratorium to stop erecting wind turbines in the vicinity of residential areas until said research has been undertaken. 
Allow me to answer your questions:  
- the motion was forwarded to the board for further action, i.e. no support for the actual motion was required. The move to forward the motion to the board of the German Medical Association, however, had the support of Assembly. It is difficult to imagine how the author of the article would know whether the motion was passed unanimously as there are no written minutes of the German Medical Assembly, hence there are no details around the debate available.    
- Currently there is no timeframe but the board will decide how to proceed with the motion in June.  
- The motion was not raised by Bernd Lucke the politician but by Bernd Lücke (please see the different spelling in German u/ü)"

My original suspicion, that the leader of the German 'alternative' party may have raised the submission, was wrong - as the GMA points out, the spelling is different. But, as I suspected, there hasn't been any collective move to halt the construction of wind energy in Germany by 'doctors' - a motion raised by an individual was referred to the board for further deliberation.

Craig Morris, from the magazine Renewables International, is skeptical too - he writes that:

"I will follow-up with another post when I have heard back from the organization, hopefully soon. It is worth noting that the resolutions also include an investigation into nuclear weapons submitted by eight doctors along with a resolution to investigate divestment from fossil fuels, submitted by three doctors. Only a single doctor is behind the call to look into the health effects of wind farms"

I assume that, if the board turns down the motion, we won't be hearing about it from The Australian.

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