tip off

Crikey says: Coalition policy blowin’ in the wind

Who really runs our detention centres? Our handy backgrounder. Bernard Keane on Joe Hockey’s spending challenge. When cabinet confidentiality doesn’t mean a thing. Essential: we want the RET to stay. Source or reporter: journo versus the ABC. And the new censorship scandal in Queensland.

It’s time for politicians, particularly in the Coalition at both the state and federal level, to stop pandering to the nonsense and conspiracy theories of the anti-wind farm lobby. The health effects alleged to be caused by wind farms belong in the same category as chemtrails, the fluoridation conspiracy and anti-vaccination claims: they’re the preserve of tinfoil-wearers, cranks and vested interests.

The National Health and Medical Research Council yesterday release a draft report showing — yet again — the lack of any credible evidence for health problems linked to wind turbines.

Part of the challenge for the NHMRC, presumably, was sorting through the hundreds of medical conditions alleged by opponents to be caused by wind farms, including poor balance, cancer, heart disease, bad dreams, deafness, babies waking at night and both weight gain and weight loss.

One of the chief bullshit-callers on wind turbine syndrome is Professor Simon Chapman, who has put together a list of 19 separate reports demonstrating no health impacts from turbines. The latest NHMRC report will make for an even 20.

The federal Coalition, with its climate denialism and lack of interest in science, already has a bad enough reputation when it comes to ignoring empirical data. If it wants to gut renewables, it can achieve that through its Renewable Energy Target review. Surely it doesn’t need a conspiracy theory?

5
  • 1
    Bill Hilliger
    Posted Tuesday, 25 February 2014 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    …The federal Coalition, with its climate denialism and lack of interest in science …fits perfectly with the U.S. Republican Tea Party, or tea-tards as they’re affectionately as by onlookers who shake their heads in dismay.

  • 2
    AR
    Posted Tuesday, 25 February 2014 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    The NHMRC, ha! what would they with the obsession with facts & scientific scrutiny?

  • 3
    Electric Lardyland
    Posted Tuesday, 25 February 2014 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    The most interesting of the wind farm health reports that I’m aware of, looks at the long term Medicare records of some Australian towns with wind farms and some of those without. It looked at both general Medicare claims and claims within the specific areas that opponents allege are affected by wind farms. This study found that the Medicare records of the two types of towns only varied in a statistically insignificant manner. That is, some towns with wind farms were slightly healthier, and vice versa, but this variance was almost certainly due to the random nature of probability and statistic gathering; definitely not significant enough to claim that wind farms had an adverse effect on health, or a positive effect. In fact, from this study, it would be easier (but probably wrong) to claim that wind farms have a positive effect on health, because there may have been slight reverse placebo effect on the figures, from the activities of anti wind farm propagandists, running around rural Australia, claiming that wind farms are bad for you.
    Of course, the hard work of trained scientists and academics will probably be dismissed by the Abbott government, as they seem increasingly disinterested in absorbing any information that contradicts their ideology. In fact, as each week goes by, they become just a little bit more like the truly disastrous George W. Bush administration.

  • 4
    klewso
    Posted Tuesday, 25 February 2014 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    But, if the Left was right about this they could be right about other things?

  • 5
    AR
    Posted Tuesday, 25 February 2014 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    Oh Noeses, say it ain’t true! The entire Edifice Complex is built upon the Nu-Rite not being the Old Wrongs.

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