Friday, 1 March 2013

The disease with perfect English

In an earlier post, I used some information from an anti-wind website to establish the geographical boundaries of anti-wind activism, and correlated that against the language spoken in those countries. As it turns out, health complaints about wind farms seem, by and large, to correlate with English speaking countries. 

This fits neatly with Simon Chapman's 'nocebo' hypothesis - the idea that reports of Wind Turbine Syndrome are a psychogenic phenomenon: not caused by wind turbines but rather directly related to scare-mongering about wind energy. 

I recently re-discovered a great website named 'Ill Wind Reporting' - another wind-based-pun-headlined anti-wind website, originating in Ontario. The site purports to 'uncover and document the many instances of negative effects from wind developments in rural communities.'. The first thing you see when you visit the website is a handy map of their reports of complaints:

It looked familiar to me. A map of areas across that world that are predominantly English speaking, taken from here

As we saw in my previous post, England, Canada, America and Australia are all hotbeds of anti-wind activity. Unsurprisingly, they correlate with the highest incidence of complaints, conveniently gathered for us by Ill Wind Reporting. A quick graph of installed wind farm capacity, across the world:

China, Germany, Spain, India, Italy, France and Portugal are under-represented, in terms of health complaints. China also happens to have a population of ~1,344,130,000. 

The conclusion is simple: health complaints about wind farms are not correlated with the presence of wind turbines. They do seem to be largely linked to the language spoken in that region, and, I suspect, some measure of anti-wind activity.

I sign off with a few of the more curious, animal-themed claims listed as genuine reports of the impacts of wind turbines - each marked with a small green 'verified' tag: 
"My 6 month old dog has been throwing up often. Approximately 7 times (that I know of) in the last few weeks."
"Bitch has been in heat for over a month. This is the second time this has happened this year. Prior to turbines this never happened. She also runs away and didn't pre-turbines." 
"Cat disappeared into basement. Change in normal behaviour. Very strong sustained vibration at time." 
"Turbines are loud. The dog does not want to go out for his evening pee, he cowers outside and wants back inside the house." 
"A farmer on an outlying island told the BBC he had lost more than 400 animals after eight giant wind turbines were installed close to his grazing land." 
"Since the turbines started up, the horse's stall is a total disaster every morning... "
And, there's this:
"The distraught gran-of-three is convinced the “nightmare strobe light” effect is causing her dog Shadow to live in constant fear. Irene claims that since the turbines were erected in 2009, the 10-year-old labrador collie cross has also suffered epileptic fits, varying in frequency from monthly to daily.

The seizures, which can last up to four minutes, cause the rescue dog to drop to the ground, shake uncontrollably, and foam at the mouth. The fits can leave Shadow disorientated for up to four hours."

1 comment:

  1. It does not seem at all surprising that an English-language site reports predominately English-language complaints.