This page briefly discusses the impact of poor journalistic practice on the delusion of 'wind turbine syndrome' that largely ran it's course between 2010 and 2014 in some English speaking parts of the world and how it was largely spread, if not created by unthinking and sometimes sensation-seeking journalists.
Part of the problem was a naïve and unthinking desire among journalists to 'give balance' to a news item by seeking an opposing view, even when that opposing view was foolish and completely lacking in credibility and any basis in sound evidence.
Another part of the problem was that at least some journalists aimed to give a story maximum impact by making it controversial; a claim that 'this may impact your health' can be relied on to get people's attention.
When is 'balance' just plain foolishness?
The period when the nonsense of 'wind turbine syndrome' ran its course, roughly 2010 to 2014, seemed to coincide with a period when journalists, particularly radio journalists, tried to find a dissenting voice to give 'balance' to any story about a subject that was in any way controversial.
The problem was that they seemed not to bother whether the person providing the 'balance' was talking sense or nonsense.
In relation to wind power the dissenting voice was often that of Sarah Laurie, a one-time medical doctor who was the Australian spokesperson for the delusion that wind farms made people sick.
Of course there was never any convincing evidence that wind turbines adversely impacted anyone's health.
The result was that many people were caused to believe that:
Consequently causing unjustified opposition to wind power, a slowing in the take-up of wind power, and a slowing of action on reducing greenhouse emissions.
- If a wind farm was going to be built near them they risked illness;
- If they lived near a wind farm and had any unpleasant symptoms the wind turbines were to blame.
Perhaps the greatest single victim of the journalists was a well-meaning but mistaken woman,
Sarah Laurie, who was encouraged to go on spreading the unfounded belief in 'wind turbine syndrome'.