Heartland Institute Experts Comment on Wind Turbines Being a ‘Human Health Hazard’

Published October 29, 2014

Earlier this month, the Health Board of Brown County, Wisconsin was among the first government agencies in the U.S. to declare wind turbines a “human health hazard.” Local residents say the noise frequency from the Duke Energy turbines at the Shirley Wind Farm cause constant ear pain, nausea, headaches, sleep deprivation, and other unhealthy experiences. (Click here for more information on the county’s declaration.)

The following statements from energy and environment experts at The Heartland Institute – a free-market think tank – may be used for attribution. For more comments, refer to the contact information below. To book a Heartland guest on your program, please contact Director of Communications Jim Lakely at [email protected] and 312/377-4000 or (cell) 312/731-9364.

“More than three years ago, I worked as a staffer in the Wisconsin State Senate in the office representing the First Senate District. Before redistricting, the district was home to the Shirley Wind Project. Throughout my time working for the legislature, our office received countless letters from constituents living near the wind farm detailing what they called ‘wind turbine syndrome,’ which they believed to be caused by the creation of low frequency sound as the blades of the windmill pass by the base of the turbine.

“These are good, honest people; I’ve met several of them. They are not ideologues, and they don’t wear tin foil hats. There were at least three instances of people vacating homes they still owned, and complaints involving more than 75 people in the project area have been filed with the Brown County Board of Health.

“Brown County is the first county to declare wind turbines a human health hazard in the state of Wisconsin, and perhaps the country. While local residents feel very strongly that the industrial wind turbines are having adverse impacts on their health, it’s important to note that correlation is not causality, and more study must be done on the effects of low frequency noise in human populations.”

Isaac Orr
Research Fellow, Energy and Environment Policy
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

“Governments should never require citizens to purchase anything, except for direct government services paid for by their taxes. And if the government is going to require such purchases, it has a duty to make certain that the services are necessary and will not harm anyone. In imposing its wind power mandates, Wisconsin has failed on all these counts. It is incumbent upon the state to rescind these mandates and ensure restitution for all parties who have been harmed.”

S.T. Karnick
Director of Research
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

“Without taxpayer funded subsidies, large wind turbine projects are not economically viable. They are simply too expensive for the inconsistent power that they provide. However, the government funds them regardless because of the appearance that their use helps ‘fight climate change.’

“This makes no sense. Even with wind power as part of the electricity grid, conventional generating stations that burn hydrocarbon fuels must be kept on standby, ready to take over from the wind turbines the instant the wind stops blowing. So the overall impact on carbon dioxide emission is often negligible.

“More importantly, the hypothesis that carbon dioxide emissions from human activity is damaging the climate has been thoroughly debunked by reports such as those of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change. So, the main reason the government funds wind power is no longer valid.”

Tom Harris
Executive Director
International Climate Science Coalition
Policy Advisor, Energy and Environment
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

“Generating electricity from wind not only means using a form of technology that dates back several centuries, but includes the health hazards that are being confirmed by all those unfortunate enough to live or work near a wind farm.

“If you combined all of the electricity produced by wind, solar, geothermal, and biofuels, that total amounts to only a small percentage of all energy produced in the United States. By contrast, so-called fossil fuels – coal, oil, and natural gas – produce 86 percent of our energy. Not only are fossil fuels less costly and represent lower costs to consumers, they do not require a reliable backup, unlike wind power, which requires a constant stream of wind to operate properly.

“Americans have been sold a bill of goods about such ‘renewable’ power that only exists because of subsidies, tax breaks, and mandates for its use. When you add in the health problems associated with it, there is no good reason to install a single new turbine anywhere in the U.S.”

Alan Caruba
Founder, The National Anxiety Center
Policy Advisor, The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

The Heartland Institute is a 30-year-old national nonprofit organization headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. Its mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. For more information, visit our Web site or call 312/377-4000.