Wind Farms May be a Health Risk

New research indicates that the sub-sonic noise and vibration generated by the wind farms may be a health risk and can cause heart disease, panic attacks, migraines and other health problems. Subsequently, the researcher advises that any new wind farm installations be at least 2 kms away from residential areas. The researcher also worries that the powerful wind lobby will make sure that this research stays out of the public limelight, evoking shades of the tobacco lobby activities in the past.

A standard retort, of course, is to counter this with similar arguments about the possible harms caused by living too close to a coal mine or a nuclear power plant. However, I do not think that the researcher is making a point here that wind energy should not be pursued. I think the take away from this ought to be that we need to carefully evaluate the risks of this technology and than plan the installations in such a way that the harmful effects are minimized. Unlike a coal mine where there is very little choice in where to dig (you dig where the coal is), wind farms do offer a little more flexibility on where they are installed. Install them in commercial areas, or on the highway medians, or in the large farmlands or even offshore. Afterall, we will probably need to re-work the electrical grid to incorporate wind and solar in the US.

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