Quality of evidence is critical in developing a case, and the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), try as they might, just couldn’t find enough to prove that wind farms had a health impact on humans.
The eminent panel received 506 public submissions and identified 2850 published works about wind farm health impacts.
(A good summary can be found in The Age)
This review is the 20th to find no credible evidence to link wind farms to ill health. Surely we have to be close to the point where we stop throwing precious health research funding at something that has been so well combed over already.
The evidence suggesting that wind farms caused “annoyance” was described by the Chair of the council's expert reference group on wind farms and health, Professor Bruce Armstrong as "consistent but poor quality".
He told The Age “annoyance” was defined by the respondents of the studies, and could include frustration about the visual impact of a farm, for example.
That annoyance may in turn impact on a person through lost sleep.
A study of people who made complaints rather than a cross-section of wind farm neighbours, or the presentation of biased information would contribute to discounting evidence, University of Sydney Professor of Public Health Simon Chapman told The Conversation.
Complainants targeted by wind activists could also have worried themselves sick, causing a nocebo effect, he added.
NHMRC chief executive Professor Warwick Anderson (pictured above) told ABC Radio’s PM program the reviewers are giving the public until April to respond, and the report would then be concluded “a month or so after that.”
Our media release on the review is here.