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Self-deception

People deceive themselves in many ways, one of the most important self-deceptions in the early twenty-first century is the belief that climate change is either not happening, is not due to the actions of mankind, or is not something that requires urgent action.

Much of this page relates to self-deceptions in regard to the wind power that has been a major interest of mine for many years.

This page was written 2019/05/18 – ©
Contact: David K. Clarke – ©
 
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Self-deceptions in climate change

Climate change, together with the closely related environmental harms of ocean acidification and sea-level rise are causing huge damage to the planet. And the pollution from the burning of coal kills millions of people each year. Yet many people have deceived themselves into the belief that we can keep on the way we are going, that it is either not happening or has nothing to do with emissions and other of mankind's activities.

Deluded Australian prime ministers

Both Abbott and Morrison

At the time of writing Australia's current Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, and ex-Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, were both Christian believers. Whether their God is real, or is a product of self-deception is a valid question, but one I'll not go into here.

But supposing that the Christian God is real, what would he think of Abbott and Morrison for contributing to the serious damage to his creation by promoting atmospheric contamination? After all, it is thoroughly proven that emissions from the burning of coal does damage the atmosphere, the oceans and human and animal health.

Have both Abbott and Morrison deceived themselves into believing that their God wouldn't at all mind if they took part in the destruction of God's creation.

PM Morrison

Following his surprise election Morrison said that "miracles do happen". Perhaps he believes that it is God's plan to end 'Creation' and he (Morrison) sees himself as God's chosen instrument to help bring about Armageddon. What hope is there if our leaders think like that?





Self-deception and wind power

Hornsdale Wind Farm, Mid-North South Australia
Wind farm
An example of the renewable energy that we must have if we are to slow and limit climate change and related problems.


The claims discussed on this section are so contrary to my personal experience with the sound levels from wind farms that I find it very difficult to understand how the people involved can be so badly mistaken. I accept that many or most of these people believe what they have said to be true, but I cannot understand their claims except to put it down to a gross form of self-deception. That humans can deceive themselves to this extent has been an eye-opener to me.

At the time of writing there were more than 70 wind farms scattered around Australia; there are some in every state. The best thing that anyone who wants to know how much sound wind turbines make is to visit a wind farm.

Member of Parliament, Connie Bonaros

 

Many other examples of self-deception in regard to wind power

Elsewhere on this site I have listed about 20 other individuals and 15 organisations that have publicly made statements indicating either self-deception or simple dishonesty about wind power.
Ms Bonaros is a Member of the South Australian Legislative Council. In 2018 Ms Bonaros made a speech in parliament requesting a moratorium on wind farm construction in the state based on her interpretation of a World Health Organisation (WHO) report on wind turbines and health.

It seems that Ms Bonaros saw words and phrases such as "hypertension", "ischaemic heart disease", "permanent hearing impairment" and "tinnitus" in the report and jumped to the conclusion that the WHO report found that wind turbines caused these problems. In fact what the WHO report said was that there was no evidence for such a conclusion.

Ms Bonaros saw what she wanted to see, not what was actually in the report. She deceived herself.

Pharmacist from Yass

Way back around 2011 George Papadopolous of Yass claimed that 40 wind turbines "35 km away at times has turned the quiet rural area of the northern hills of Yass into a rumbling mess." I have corresponded with George several times. He seems quite convinced that he is right, I accept that he probably believes what he says to be true, even though it does not stand up to any sort of reasonable examination.

 

My follow-up of the statement by Mayor Peter Mattey

Following a number of attempts to contact him, by telephone, email, and post, Mayor Mattey 'phoned me on 2013/10/29. After discussing the matter with him I accept that he was speaking in good faith in as much as he believed what he said to be true. He gave me clear directions to the location of the road, but was less clear on the exact place he had the flat tyre. He said in his submission, "I was on a bit of high ground out in front of the turbines, not as high as they were, but on high ground." He did not know the name of the road, but from his description it was Parker Road.

My wife and I visited the place on 2013/11/03. We parked our car at South Latitude 33.4197°, East Longitude 138.7406°, which seemed likely to be about where Mayor Mattey had his flat tyre, and walked one and a half kilometres along the road toward the row of wind turbines on the Brown Hill Range, finishing at Latitude 33.4205°, Longitude 138.7249° at a point on the ridge on the line of the turbines. There was a moderate breeze and the wind turbines were operating.

Where we parked the car we could hear the turbines; I would describe the sound level as a bit more than barely audible. As we approached the line of turbines the sound level increased until on the ridge I recorded around 60dB, a level at which the turbines were plainly audible, but far from unpleasantly loud. As would reasonably be expected, the sound had steadily increased as we approached the line of turbines.

We did not experience anything remotely like what Mayor Mattey had described. What he heard is a complete mystery to me. It could not have been the wind in nearby trees or shrubs, the area is completely devoid of vegetation other than grasses etcetera.

Mayor Peter Mattey, Goyder Council

Peter Mattey, Mayor of Goyder council gave a verbal submission to the Legislative Council Select Committee on Wind Farm Developments in South Australia at Clare Country Club on 2013/07/17. He said:
"... but I had the misfortune to get a flat tyre one day about two and a half kilometres from out in front of one of these whole rows of turbines. When I got out to change the tyre I could hardly hear myself think. It was just horrendous."

While I've visited almost all the wind farms in South Australia and Victoria and a number in Western Australia I have never come across loud sound at any distance at all; not even right underneath wind turbines.

My follow-up of this claim is described in the text box on the right.

Mary Morris

Mary Morris is a long-time opponent of wind power who lives 17km from the nearest wind turbine. About 2016 she said on an ABC talk-back radio program hosted by Matthew Abraham and David Bevan that when her children get headaches and earaches she blames them on the turbines.

Bob from Bradey Creek

Bob from Bradey Creek was another caller on the ABC radio program; he said he lives 10km from the nearest turbines, on the far side of a substantial range of hills, the Tothill Range, but said "I can hear them now".

Acoustician Steven Cooper

About 2015 Steven Cooper produced a report on 'noise problems' associated with the Cape Bridgewater Wind Farm in which he mentioned 'sensations' recorded by people living nearby said to be related to the turbines. The problem was that about half of the 'sensations' were reported when the wind turbines were not working.

Sarah Laurie

I think it was in 2010 that Ms Sarah Laurie, then Doctor Sarah Laurie, started her self-selected roll as spokesperson for the delusion that wind turbines cause ill-health. She claimed that wind turbines could cause health problems at distances as great as 15 km. At last count something more than 222 diseases and symptoms had been blamed on wind turbines.

For those who may be interested in the evidence and facts on wind turbines and health I can recommend the book Wind Turbine Syndrome: A Communicated Disease by Emeritus Professor Simon Chapman and Doctor Fiona Crichton which is available for $40 in paperback or free on the Internet.

Farmer from Hallett

About 2010 a farmer who lived about three kilometres from the Hallett Hill Wind Farm complained about loud noise at times. Sarah Laurie arranged with him to inform me when the sound was particularly loud so that I could go and hear it. The phone call never came.

A girl who lived within three kilometres of the same wind farm, Anita Butcher, made a Youth of the Year Quest speech on 2013/02/25 that was very different to this farmer's claim.

Book on turbine noise

I came across this book in May of 2019. In the introduction to the book Wind Farm Noise: Measurement, Assessment and Control by C. Hansen, C. Doolan and K. Hansen, is the statement that "the character and level of wind farm noise is a problem for a significant number of people, even those who reside at distances of 3 km or more from the nearest turbine." A part of the book can be read free on the Internet, the printed version sells for about $260.

As I have mentioned elsewhere, wind turbines are very rarely audible from distances greater than 2.5 km. (I have no doubt that acoustic equipment can detect sound (and other vibrations) from wind turbines at distances greater than 3 km, just as seismometers can detect small earthquakes on the far side of the Earth.)

It's worth repeating here, the best thing that anyone who wants to know how much sound wind turbines make is to visit a wind farm.

On the other hand, when people can hear nearby turbines, there often seems to be little annoyance.

I suspect that the Toora Tourist Park would be the closest camping/caravan park to a wind farm in Australia; it is only 850 metres from the nearest turbine.

Wiki Camps is an iPhone app that allows people to post comments on the camping grounds at which they stay. In all of the 106 comments posted about the Toora Tourist Park on Wiki Camps, from November 2012 to March 2019, there was not one complaint about turbine noise. There was one complaint about noisy cows, two about road noise, one about noisy drunks, one about fishermen chatting into the early morning, and one mention of a turbine being 'audible but not a problem'. There were many other complaints about matters not relating to noise or the wind turbines.

My wife and I stayed at the Toora Tourist Park twice, once in a cabin and once in a tent-trailer; a total of five nights. We could at times hear the turbines, but didn't find the sound at all disturbing.



Objectors are in a small minority.

In a piece published in The Conversation; 2018/05/02; 1,700 people living near 250 wind farms across 34 US states were asked how they felt about being close to turbines. The majority of people within 5 miles (8 km) and even within half a mile (800 m) of a wind turbine were positive about it; only 8% within five miles and 25% within half a mile were negative.

Few had ever heard the turbines

It is common for objectors to a proposed wind farm to complain about the noise they will have to put up with. The above research found that of the people who live within 5 miles only 16% had ever heard the turbines make any noise.


My own experience with wind turbines

I have visited all the wind farms in my home state of South Australia and many of those in Victoria and New South Wales. I have never experienced unpleasant noise levels from wind turbines. I have made a point of camping out beneath wind turbines on many occasions, and had a good night's sleep every time.





Related pages

On this site...

Delusions

Religion, one of the great self-deceptions

Is religion delusion?

My religion My religion is Reason, my gods are Science and Moral Philosophy. My holy book is Evidence.

Science, Religion, Delusion

Divining for water, another common self-deception.

Memes and Viruses; Memes are ideas, practices, techniques, superstitions, delusions, etcetera that pass from human to human (or animal to animal).

A rational 'religion'



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