A tragedy occurred last month at Vildbjerg, Denmark: 1,600 animals were born prematurely at a mink farm owned by Kaj Olesen Bank. Many had deformities, and most were dead on arrival. The lack of eyeballs was the most common malformation. Veterinarians ruled out food and viruses as possible causes. The only thing different at the farm since last year has been the installation of four large wind turbines only 328 meters away, writes Mark Duchamp.
The wind farm consists of four 3 MW turbines, VESTAS model V112, reaching out to 140 meters in height at the tip of the blades. When they became operative last fall, a first mishap was reported by the mink farmer, who was heard about it at a parliamentary committee on the environment in January this year (1). The World Council for Nature (WCFN) reported the incident: “In Denmark, which is the EU’s leader in mink farming, millions of Danish kroners were lost in damaged pelts when wind turbines started to operate near a mink farm. The animals became aggressive, attacking one another, and resulting in many deaths” (2).
Two articles appeared in the Danish press about the first mishap, together with a video (1). But regarding the second tragedy, that of the 1,600 miscarriages, the public wasn’t informed. Wherever something big happens that could hurt the wind industry, editors become suddenly very shy. Political correctness and financial interests muzzle inconvenient news. But by chance, the fur farm owner contacted someone who contacted the World Council for Nature.
Both mishaps are alarming, as they constitute what we believe is definite proof that wind turbines are harmful to the health of animals living in their vicinity. And they are not the only ones. In the letter mentioned above, WCFN quoted more incidents, all leading to the conclusion that low frequency vibrations emitted by wind turbines can cause serious ill-effects on health, including altered behaviour, deformities, miscarriages and premature births (2).
It goes without saying that humans are exposed to the same risks. In view of this new evidence, lying to the public pretending that wind turbines are harmless to people becomes a criminal act. Politicians, and wind industry shills who deny the risks to health are now liable to be successfully sued by wind farm victims. And so are governments, as they still refuse to measure infrasound emitted by modern wind turbines.
It is indeed criminal to deny health risks where there is so much evidence, starting with official studies published in the 1980’s, which have been shelved to protect the wind industry (3). Dr Sarah Laurie, CEO of the Waubra Foundation, wrote: “Dr Kelley and his co researchers at the Solar Energy Research Institute in the US, closely connected with the US Department of Energy and NASA, identified in 1985 that the source of the annoyance for the residents living near a single downwind bladed turbine was ‘impulsive infrasound and low frequency noise, which resonated within the building structures’” (4).
The wind industry, their friends in government, and self-serving professionals benefitting indirectly from the huge subventions, all have been denying any health problem linked to wind farms. But there is now sufficient evidence to warrant a moratorium on wind farms, comprehensive epidemiology studies and quantification of vibrations emitted by wind turbines, as measured inside the homes of resident neighbours, at night, on windy days, encompassing all frequencies down to 0.1 Hz.
Short of taking these health-saving measures, governments will be liable to be sued for damages, and criminal charges could be laid against decision-makers.
The political class have to take this public health issue seriously, and forget about the usual lip service, which reminds me of the way they handle the carnage of eagles at wind farms. Unlike animals, people can vote, so political parties would do well to treat them better. Indeed, WCFN and Save the Eagles International have denounced that governments are letting over 100 million birds and bats be sacrificed annually worldwide on the altar of this expensive, intermittent energy of doubtful practical value – but to no avail (5). So we can only pray that human health will receive more consideration from our leaders.
Mark Duchamp is Chairman of the World Council for Nature and President of Save the Eagles International
(1) – www.maskinbladet.dk/artikel/tidligere-miljominister-vil-aendre-vindmollebekendtgorelse
– Other article on the first mishap, with its translation, + video in Danish. And the veterinarian’s report, with its translation, on the second mishap, that of the miscarriages (May 2014). See: DOCUMENTS
(2) – wcfn.org/2014/03/31/windfarms-vertebrates-and-reproduction
(3) – Kelley, N et al, 1985 “Acoustic Noise associated with Mod 1 Turbine; its source, impact and control”
Kelley, N 1987 “A Proposed Metric for Assessing the Potential of Community Annoyance from Wind Turbine Low-Frequency Noise Emissions”
Hubbard, H 1982 “Noise Induced House Vibrations and Human Perception” (1982) 19:2 Noise Control Engineering Journal 49
(4) – waubrafoundation.org.au/resources/laurie-s-wind-turbine-noise-adverse-health-effects-and…
(5) – wcfn.org/2014/05/21/bullet-news-3