Nurses for Safe Renewable Power

Looking for a healthy environment for everyone

Pro-wind forces employ a double standard: Robert McMurtry

Canada’s Dr. Robert McMurtry appeared on Wind Wise Radio last evening (podcast available at to talk about industrial-scale wind power generation.

Dr. McMurtry, a former Associated Deputy Minister of Health, member of the Order of Canada, and current Professor Emeritus in Surgery and former Dean of Medicine at the University of Western Ontario, covered a number of topics, including research into the health effects caused by industrial wind turbine noise and vibration.

He castigated the Ontario government for rushing wind power projects when in fact, he said, there have not been “well designed” studies done to ascertain the safety of the huge power generating machines, which do produce noise and vibration.

The “studies” or papers being used–including the CanWEA and AWEA-sponsored paper by Colby et al, the report from the Chief Medical Officer of Health for Ontario, and more recently, the report from Massachusetts, are all, he said, “incomplete literature reviews” which do nothing to advance our knowledge in this area.

Moreover, Dr. McMurtry said, the wind industry and the government claim that people opposed to industrial-scale wind power generation are not using “peer reviewed” studies. They are holding us to a very high standard, he said, but when it comes to their arguments, the standard doesn’t apply.

We agree.

And once again, are incredulous that the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario would fall into lockstep with the pro-wind forces and base its policy and position on industrial-scale wind power generation on a few incomplete literature reviews.

A proper, well-designed study, done by an independent research team whose methodology is well thought out, objective and without political agenda, is what’s needed.

And until then, how ethical is it, how morally acceptable is it, to continue building these things in rural communities when the possibility that the environmental noise is causing harm exists?

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