Thursday, 2 October 2014

Daft rumours spread about wind turbines and noise without any scientific basis

Anti-wind campaigners have broken completely new ground today by using a piece of research that had absolutely nothing to do with wind power to claim that wind turbines damaged people's hearing. Even though the story was nonsense, this hardly matters for the media involved. Just like the nonsensical europhobic story about capacity power auctions (see previous blog) this is an example of how there is an expanding market to cater for growing, feverish, hysteria among the backwoodsmen right wing in British politics. I reproduce part of a media release from RenewableUK, the trade association, below, which, as far as I can see, gives a reasonable summary of this affair:

RenewableUK slams false media reports claiming wind farms affect hearing

RenewableUK says media speculation that wind farms can affect people’s hearing is incorrect and irresponsible.  

Several national newspapers wrongly claimed today that research published in the journal Royal Society Open Science showed a possible link between wind turbines and deafness.

The expert who wrote the paper, Dr Markus Drexl from the University of Munich, told RenewableUK that the media had misrepresented his work, saying “It is certainly misleading and an over-interpretation of our results to state that living close to wind farms may cause hearing impairment or deafness. Our research did not include any work at wind farms”.

RenewableUK’s Director of Policy, Dr Gordon Edge, said: “Unfortunately, some reporters got it wrong - this is a classic case of Bad Science. When you actually read the scientific paper, it doesn’t make any mention of wind farms whatsoever. That’s because the level of low frequency noise that the scientists used in their tests was significantly higher than anything that anyone living near a wind farm could possibly experience.

“The Australian government published some excellent research on this last year which stated that the modest level of low frequency sound from wind turbines is actually insignificant. It’s well understood by acoustics experts that low frequency sound doesn’t pose any health risk to communities around wind farms and frankly it’s irresponsible scaremongering to suggest otherwise.”

For further information, please contact:

·              Robert Norris, Head of Communications, 020 7901 3013 or 07969 229913,
·              Adam Wentworth, Communications Officer, 020 7901 3038 or 07791 702702
1.    RenewableUK is the trade and professional body for the UK wind and marine renewables industries. Formed in 1978, and with more than 575 corporate members, RenewableUK is the leading renewable energy trade association in the UK.

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