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Crikey Says

Feb 25, 2014

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.

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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?

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