This section added 2019/01/06
As discussed on
another page on this site wind farm opponents are typically dishonest.
The subject of turbines and fires is no exception, with a number of fires being wrongly blamed on wind turbines and the severity of one very minor fire being greatly exaggerated.
Of particular relevance to this section there has been a claim on the Stop These Things site that "In Australia, wind turbines have so far been responsible for at least four serious bushfires:
While at the time of writing this section I have not been able to find anything about the Ten Mile Lagoon fire (if there was one), as I have shown below, the claims about all the other fires are false.
on another page on this site a very dubious report made unsupported claims about a bushfire sparked by a turbine fire at the Lake Bonney Wind Farm.
This seems to have been picked up and repeated by wind farm opponents.
- Ten Mile Lagoon in Western Australia in the mid-1990s;
- Lake Bonney, Millicent (SA) in January 2006;
- Cathedral Rocks Wind Farm, Port Lincoln (SA) in February 2009; and
- Starfish Hill (SA) in November 2010."
There is a short article about the fire, that occurred on 2006/01/22, on the
ABC News site with no mention of any fire beyond the immediate vicinity.
There was also an article written by David Nankervis and published in the South Australian Sunday Mail on 2006/02/12.
Nankervis's article was highly critical of wind power (as is common in the Murdoch-owned media) so there is no reason to believe that he would have minimised any damage caused by the fire.
Nankervis reported that the six fire appliances that attended the blaze couldn't do anything to extinguish the turbine fire because it was so high.
He went on the say:
"Instead, the firefighters watched as fire destroyed the $3 million turbine – which weighs 75 tonnes – and extinguished spot fired ignited by ashes from the turbine blaze"
Bird causes flash-over fire
Wind turbine opponents have blamed this fire on wind turbines, but it was caused by a bird and a power line.
Sydney Morning Herald reported on a fire on 17 January 2017 at
Currandooley, near Tarago in the Canberra area.
It seems that the power line involved carries power between Woodlawn and
Capital wind farms, both owned by Infigen.
The SMH article, by Georgina Connery, stated
"The fire started as a result of a bird flying close to high-voltage
powerlines, igniting and landing in dry grass."
The fire burned "almost 3400ha".
It seems that this was something of a freak event.
Birds being electrocuted by going too close to a couple of high voltage
power lines is apparently quite common, but to then set fire to grass is
Of course it could happen on any high voltage power line.
It seems that 2017/01/17 was a very hot day.
Louise Thrower in the Goulburn Post reported Infigen's response to the event:
"It was an unusual event.
We have had over 20 unplanned outages over four years prior to the recent
event and we suspect bird strikes on powerlines were responsible for all of
(But) it has caused only one fire over four years".
Starfish Hill Wind Farm turbine fire
There was a fire in one of the
Starfish Hill Wind Farm turbines on the afternoon of 2010/10/30.
It was written up in an article in the Victor Harbor Times on 2010/11/04, but this seems no longer to be available.
The fire caused an estimated $3m damage.
This fire was reported on the anti-wind-power site Wind Watch.
Significantly there was no mention of the fire getting beyond the turbine except for a few spot fires nearby.
One of the
pages of Stop These Things carried the following
"Simon Chapman is the professor of public health at the university [of
He has conducted a relentless campaign to vilify people who claim living near
turbines is affecting their health."
The author's name was given as 'stopthesethings' and the page was dated
January 5, 2013.
(I noticed it on 2013/01/06.)
Simon Chapman has not been vilifying people who claim illnesses from wind
turbines; rather he has been pointing out that wind turbines are not the
cause of any illnesses.
This false claim would legally constitute libel.
Stop These Things showed how low they can go very well in a piece titled
More propaganda from Herr
Marsh of the Stasi.
It contained libellous statements, conspiracy theory, sarcasm and
name-calling, but nothing of any value.
|Comment by STT
The STT article from which the comment on the right was taken, titled
'Alan Jones and Sarah Laurie go on the attack', also contained the
Sarah's been copping a wind industry funded attack from "Green" goons
like Senator "Die Nasty" in the last few weeks...
The writer of STT often uses similar insulting language and baseless claims.
Alan Jones is a climate change denying radio
'shock jock' and is one of the heros of STT.
Sarah Laurie has spread the unfounded belief that wind turbines make people sick.
On 2013/03/28 Stop These Things added a piece abusing Tim Flannery.
Typically STT wrote an
ad hominem attack on Tim, accusing him of 'cash for comment' and even
of being 'a fool'.
No matter how much one might dislike Tim Flannery (I am one of his many
admirers), to call him a fool is obviously ridiculous, the books he has
written are anything but the works of a fool.
As usual STT produced no valid
evidence justifying his attack on Tim Flannery's remarks.
Most of what STT wrote on the page was a personal attack on Mr Flannery.
But he had the gall to also say that "Simon Holmes a Court has a reputation
for personally attacking anybody critical of his two-turbine money machine"
(the community owned wind farm at Hepburn, Victoria).
When it comes to personal attacks STT, you are the greatest!
This was the headline of an imaginative posting in Stop These Things.
In their 'About' page Stop These Things say "We are appalled by the
dishonesty of the wind industry, its supporters and those who operate
This sort of statement is often made by wind power opponents, but they rarely
provide any evidence of said lying.
On 2013/03/29 STT published a piece titled "The wind industry's lies
dissected", by (the typically anonymous) 'special correspondent'.
And what were the big wind industry lies that were exposed?
Well, actually there was only one alleged lie involved and that was the
imaginary claim that wind energy can provide base load power.
Mr STT, when has a representative of the wind industry ever claimed that
wind can provide base load power?
Mr STT, who is lying here?
This section added 2015/02/24
Stop These Things
has a page that claims to provide links to peer-reviewed science papers
showing convincing evidence that wind turbines harm people's health.
If the reader looks up the STT page he or she will note that many (or most)
of the so-called peer-reviewed articles were published in a journal called
the Bulletin of Science Technology and Society (BSTS).
How credible is this journal?
In the science publishing world this is measured by Impact Factor.
What is the Impact Factor of BSTS? Zero.
More on the credibility of BSTS can be read
Other of the references on the STT page related to annoyance more than health.
I don't think anyone is claiming that wind turbines don't annoy anybody.
People who start with negative perceptions of wind turbines are usually the
ones who are annoyed by them, those who have positive outlooks on wind power
(me for one) find the sound quite pleasant.
Of course people who start off with very negative views are even alloyed by
the site of wind turbines.
Yet other references on the STT page merely discussed the sound produced by
The anonymous writer of Stop These Things got together with climate science
denying shock jock Alan Jones and
Angus Taylor to hold an anti-wind power rally in Canberra on 2013/06/18.
|The failed anti-wind rally
With much less time to prepare, a group of pro-renewable people organised
a much more successful pro-wind, pro-renewables rally for the same time and
the other side of Lake Burley-Griffin.
The Jones-STT rally 'crowd' is shown in the photo at the right.
As can be seen, a large proportion of those who attended were from the
A part of the crowd at the pro-renewables rally, estimated at from 500 to
1000, is in the photo below.
On the day, there were far more people at the pro-renewable
rally than at the anti-wind rally.
Photos credit Renew Economy, also see
Weekly Times Now.
|The highly successful and well attended pro-renewables rally
On 2017/01/10 STT published a piece headlined "Wind Farm Mass Attack: Wind
Turbines Collapsing and Combusting Around the World".
It went on:
|Power transmission line downed due to the storms of September 2016
|The photo was taken near Blyth, Mid-North South Australia on
"The number of cases involving turbines collapsing, self immolating or
throwing their blades to the four winds (aka "component liberation") has
become so common..."
Of the several hundred thousand wind turbines around the world, how many did
STT find had 'collapsed or cumbusted'? Hundreds? thousands?
No, they discussed four.
In Australia wind turbines have clocked up about 6000 turbine-years of
How many have 'collapsed or cumbusted'?
None have collapsed, two have caught
Another one caught fire during construction.
It seems that not a single wind turbine was damaged in the exceptional storms
of late September and late December 2016 (had there been any, the media would
have made sure that everyone knew about it; a damaged wind turbine is highly
conspicuous – impossible to hide).
Those same storms flattened sections of three out of the four main power
transmission lines that passed through the area where most of South
Australia's wind turbines are.
They blew down more trees than any other storm in living memory: at least in
the tens of thousands, if not in the hundreds of thousands.
All of South Australia's power grid was knocked out for four hours with the
September storm, and over a hundred thousand homes were without power, some
for up to four days, with the December storm, but not one wind turbine of the
more than 400 in the region was damaged!
This section added 2018/10/03
Source-watch is a web based service that independently assesses web sites.
Their page on Stop These Things can be viewed
A part of what Source-watch has to say about STT is:
"Stop These Things (STT) is an anti-wind website promoting anecdotes and pseudoscience intended to cast doubt on the effectiveness of wind energy. The website also promotes claims alleging people living in close proximity to wind turbines suffer assorted detrimental health conditions.
The creator and moderator of the website is unknown and unaccountable yet readily posts any unfounded, ill informed attack, distortion or blatant lie directed at pro-wind individuals or groups.
The STT About Page makes a number of unsubstantiated and demonstrably false claims..."
"STT complains about vilification and victimisation without providing any evidence yet the site moderator and many supporters consistently engage in vilification of opponents as illustrated by these various posts. The site frequently employs descriptors such as "greentard", "fraud", "wind factories" etc."
More on vilification and STT can be read
Web of Trust
(WOT) is a site where users of the
Internet can rate Net sites for trustworthiness.
In addition to providing a rating users can leave comments about any site.
The anonymous writter of STT has left a comment on WOT accusing these pages
(ramblingsdc.net) of being a "hate" site.
Where is there justification on these pages for this accusation?
Can the reader point out where this site promotes hatred?
WOT give Ramblings a green (safe, reliable) rating and gives STT a red
Miranda is a column of the Weekly Times Now.
On 2013/10/16 the column was about Neil Barrett's videos regarding local
people's views of the Waubra Wind Farm.
Neil's videos are on the
Apparently when the writer of Miranda Googled 'Neil Barrett video', or
similar she first found Stop These Things.
"If tone is anything to go by, VicWind wins hands down ahead of STT for
civility and transparency.
It names the people behind the site, includes their pictures and brief
biographies as well as a blog and the videos mentioned above and a phone
number for people to contact.
There is no such transparency on the other site.
It does not name the creators or writers of the website, merely declaring
themselves "a kitchen table of concerned citizens".
Nor does it include biographies or a phone number to contact.
Lo and behold if that site didn't feature farmers and neighbours talking
about how the wind farms had made their lives unbearable in some way or
another and how they'd upset their chooks.
Its tone is angry and bitter and sarcastic."
The writer of Stop These Things has honoured me with a page that he is
calling The J. Edgar Hoover of Crystal Brook.
In this page he calls me a 'closet NIMBY' and a hypocrite because I wrote a
submission objecting to a communications tower being built in Crystal Brook.
As can be seen if one follows the link given in the STT page, what I wrote
Why not respond directly?
If any readers are wondering why I do not respond directly by making a
comment on the STT Net site – I have done so, but my comments
were not posted.
Aesthetic objections are valid objections
On the top of this page I gave a link to
with wind power.
Aesthetics is one of the problems I have listed.
I am a NIMBY!
I'll beat Mr STT to the punch.
The statement on the left about my wife and I not putting a tall TV tower
in our back yard proves that we are NIMBYs – of a sort.
The term NIMBY more usually applies to people who say that something is
generally good, so long as it is somewhere else.
In the case of wind power it is very hard to see where that somewhere else
might be; if the cost is not to increase greatly.
Who is a hypocrite?
Mr STT relies on people like me giving our real names so that he can try
to 'dig up dirt' on them, while he hides his identity.
"I believe the antennas would be better placed outside Crystal Brook,
perhaps on top of Cemetery Hill, because that would provide a better
coverage of the district and tall towers do not improve the appearance of
If this is the worst dirt Mr STT can dig up on me I will not loose any sleep
Mr STT seems to like 'ad hominem' arguments.
They are defined in
The Skeptics Guide's "Logical Fallacies" page as any argument
"that attempts to counter another's claims or conclusions by attacking the
person, rather than addressing the argument itself".
Mr STT plainly feels that he can't counter my arguments on wind power, so
he attacks me.
Anticipating future ad hominem attacks, I will go on to say that my wife and
I have lived in Crystal Brook for 35 years and while most people in the
town have put up tall TV towers, we have not.
We do not like the look of them.
I like the look of wind turbines but I have always held that people have a
perfect right to not like them; it is the lies about wind power and the
failure to consider the need to change to renewable energy that I object to.
Getting back to STT, one wonders why Mr STT hides his own identity?
Does he have skeletons in his own closet?
Or is it that he is afraid that someone will seek justice and take him to
court for his
It takes some level of courage, and some confidence in the veracity of your
claims, to put your name to your writing in the wind power debate.
STT called me Dangerous Dave Clarke.
Perhaps I'll adopt the name, and add to it.
Synonyms of scourge are: bane, blight, downfall, ruin, torment and woe.
People who spread misinformation about wind power can expect me to expose
This section added 2018/10/02
I note that the anonymous writer of Stop These Things either does not know, or chooses to not recognise, the distinction between vilification and criticism.
The distinction between the two is far from subtle.
Criticism is defined as "the expression of disapproval of someone or something on the basis of perceived faults or mistakes" or "the analysis and judgement of the merits and faults of a literary or artistic work".
Vilification is defined as "abusively disparaging speech or writing".
He/she accused me of vilification.
Any disinterested, fair-minded, person would recognise that vilification is what STT does, while I use criticism.