Feb 9, 2012

Wind farms, the Waubra Foundation and a post-office box

Senator John Madigan is due to call for a total moratorium on all wind farm development while the rest of the world reached a record level of output, with wind now contributing 3% of the world’s electricity generation.

On January 24 I was interviewed in prime time by ABC 702’s breakfast radio host Adam Spencer about wind farms and health. During the interview, I noted that two prominent anti-wind farm groups, the Waubra Foundation and the Australian Landscape Guardians, shared a post-office box with a mining investment company. The president of the Australian Landscape Guardians Inc, Randall Bell, subsequently emailed the producer of  Spencer’s program as follows (the anti-wind farm movement is thankfully both infiltrated by leaking rats and populated by naïve individuals who drop such gems into one’s inbox):
Hi Amy, Professor Chapman makes disparaging remarks in this interview about the Landscape Guardians' claiming its address is that of a mining company and whatever that association means but the implication is clear to all unless you have been living under a rock all your life it’s not favourable. Well I have to fail the Professor. You see the address of the Australian Landscape Guardians Association Inc. (it later changed its name to Australian Landscape Guardians Inc. dropping 'Association' in the year of its incorporation, 2007) when it was registered was "Mawalloc" 3594 Geelong Road Stockyard Hill Vic. 3373. I have visited Mawalloc about three times. It is near Beaufort in Western Victoria and is a FARM. The address then changed to L4, 117 Myers Street Geelong and Box 292 Geelong 3220, the address of my legal practice since the middle 1970s. The co-tenants on L4, are currently an accountant and financial planner. THERE IS NO MINING COMPANY. Your colleague Andrew Fowler brought up this same assertion when he interviewed me for 4 Corners. Co-incidence I suppose? What worries me is that Professor Chapman made a fairly big thing in the interview about the 'address and the mining company' but he obviously didn’t bother to check his facts. He could have been accomplished by a search of the Victorian Business Affairs Office. I did this myself today and you can see for yourself. If the Professor got something as basic as this WRONG what does it say about whatever else he has to say. Some might conclude that the Professor has made a fool of himself over this. My advice for the Professor is should remember my father’s first rule of carpentry, 'measure twice saw once' as it’s often hard to stick the wood back together. Sorry for such a long email but I have been busy reading 9 peer reviewed reports published these last few months on infrasound and the health impacts of industrial wind turbines. Be sure to tell your listeners of the Professor’s blue and copy this email to him for me. You never know he might even send me an apology. You have my permission to circulate this email. Regards, Randall J Bell LLB President Australian Landscape Guardians Inc. President Victorian Landscape Guardians Inc.
A submission sent in February last year to the Senate inquiry into wind farms, authored by Peter Mitchell, offers the address: PO Box 1136, South Melbourne, Victoria 3205. Mitchell’s email is [email protected] Lowell Resources Funds Management Limited is a mining investment company that seeks to attract investments in Australian mining ventures. Its portfolio represents "a range of commodities including gold, iron ore, coal, oil, gas, uranium, rare earths and strategic minerals, copper and other base metals". Lowell Resources also has the same South Melbourne post-office box as that used by Mitchell in his submission to the Senate "on behalf of" the Landscape Guardians". The Waubra Foundation website shows it also shares the same post-office box. Despite its sanctimonious name, the Australian Landscape Guardians apparently has no interest in guarding the Australian landscape from the activities of open-cut coal miners. Search and you will not find any instance of them lobbying against this sort of massive scarification of the Australian landscape. Their activities are focused entirely on efforts to denigrate wind energy. Bell shared an Australian Environment Foundation meeting stage with Ian Plimer in 2010, as the program shows ...

There have now been 17 reviews of the "evidence" that wind farms cause health problems. Read that list and its extracts and marvel at the consistency of the conclusions that this is essentially a psychogenic phenomenon being whipped up in communities of people who are often envious of the good fortune of their neighbours who have "dought-proofed" the farm with annual turbine rental windfalls and who mysteriously never get the symptoms themselves. This long list of problems said to be caused by exposure to turbines stretches for pages. Meanwhile, the brightest bulb in the house, DLP Senator John Madigan, is due to call for a total moratorium on all wind farm development while the rest of the world reached a record level of output, with wind now contributing 3% of the world’s electricity generation. Backwater nations such as China, India, Germany, US, Canada, Spain, France and Italy have appeared to ignore the authority of the Landscape Guardians by all continuing to increase output. *Simon Chapman (@simonchapman6) is professor of public health at the University of Sydney

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6 thoughts on “Wind farms, the Waubra Foundation and a post-office box

  1. Joe Magill

    Mr Bell states “I have been busy reading 9 peer reviewed reports published these last few months on infrasound and the health impacts of industrial wind turbines.” Perhaps he can list where these peer reviewed reports were published?

  2. [email protected]

    I recall Adam Spencer giving a lecture at the Hornsby RSL which included an educational on “greenwashing”. Perhaps Adam Spencer should heed his own words.

  3. scarrot

    It’s worth noting that the directors of the Waubra foundation are not independent.

    Peter Mitchell objects to Stockyard Hill Wind Farm, in his backyard.
    Sarah Laurie objects to Crystal Brook Wind Farm, in her backyard.
    Tony Hodgson objects to Collector Wind Farm, in his backyard.
    Michael Wooldridge objects to Bald Hills Wind Farm, in his backyard.
    Kathy Russell objects to Mount Pollack Wind Farm, in her backyard.

    No-one from Waubra sits on the board.

    If this was a serious organisation really dedicated to medical research, they’d hire a serious medical professional to run the show, not an ex-doctor who has mislead the public on multiple occasions about her medical qualifications. And they’d at least pretend to be independent of Mitchell’s resources company by choosing a different PO Box and different staff.

  4. AR

    It’s amazing how all the illness & ailments claimed to be due to windfarms are 100% cured by cash.

  5. John Newton

    I’m surprised there isn’t an anti-windmill group with the name Don Quixote fou8ndation – now there was a windmill hater.,

    But what is truly scandalous is that the NSW government is bowing to the pressure of the Quixotes and ignoring the scientifically verified dangers of CSG. For the latest on that front look for the Bamberger and Oswald report on impacts of gas drilling on human and animal health, an American study released in January. That is real and scary.

  6. Darren

    Yes, why are we worried about wind farms when we have CSG, just about ut the scariest energy extraction imaginable

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