March 9th, 2011
There are many scientists with strong opinions on wind turbine noise who fail to declare whether they are supported by groups either for or against the wind industry. In many cases this represents a conflict of interest and which, if openly declared, would raise significant doubts about their scientific objectivity.
I have no personal or financial conflicts of interest related to wind turbines.
My work is not financially supported by any pro- or anti-wind energy groups.
To my knowledge, there are no existing wind turbines or planned wind turbines within at least 10 miles of my home or the home of anyone that I know personally.
I do not currently have any grant funding related to wind turbines or the noise they produce.
I have never been compensated by any pro- or anti-wind group for my opinion and have never acted as an “expert witness” for any group.
The opinions expressed both in my publications and on these web pages represent my considered scientific opinion based on 35 years of research into how the ear works. I do not believe my opinion is biased one way or another, even though my understanding of the ear leads me to conclusions that some may regard as “anti-wind”.
I do not regard myself as in any way “anti-wind”. Any more than someone entering a room in which a drunken husband is beating up his wife and after restraining the husband, get described as “anti-male”. Yes, I disagree with the wind industry's position on sound from wind turbines, but my view is based on scientific facts so I have no choice in this situation. The wind industry needs to come to terms with these facts.
I was invited to attend the “First International Symposium: The Global Wind Industry And Adverse Health Effects”, Picton, Ontario, October 29-31, 2010. I was pleased to accept because I thought I had something of scientific importance to contribute. As invited speaker my hotel room was provided (as is customary) but all other costs (flights, rental car, meals,etc) were my own personal expense, and were not reimbursed from my grant or university, even though they could have been.
I am also a non-compensated “Scientific Advisor” to the Society for Wind Vigilance because I believe my knowledge is of value to them. This does not make me “anti-wind”. I would be equally happy to advise those in the wind industry if they cared to listen.
Some people have asked me “Why did I get into this?” The answer is quite simple. It is because I knew for a fact that infrasound DOES affect the ear at levels well below 100 dB SPL. So the infrasound from wind turbines is quite likely to be affecting people. The idea that infrasound doesn't or can't affect the ear is just flat-out wrong. This is not the first time in my career that I have absolute confidence in data that was against the widely-believed consensus. In such cases, I think it is the DUTY of a scientist to correct the falsehood. In science, if I didn't believe that “truth wins” then I would have quit long ago. So I got into this because I knew there were many false statements being made that needed to be corrected.