Letter to the Editor: Who controls the narrative?
As I was reading the Aug. 7 windfarm article, and the minimization of adverse effects of health and safety, economics, and property values expounded on by Mr. Neeld there was a very clear narrative that emerged that is being given to our community. This narrative sounds reassuring, but is it true? Just a few thoughts to consider. In regards to Health, in recent developments The Madison County Board of Health (Iowa) in August 2019 “Resolved that the Madison County Board of Health determines that there is the potential for negative health effects associated with commercial wind turbines and that current setbacks are inadequate to protect the public health.” The board recommends that any future wind turbine projects be 1.5 miles from any residence. This setback distance is in line with the numerous peer reviewed literature by respected professionals and scientists that have written and studied this topic extensively. (General consensus is that a minimum of a 1.2-mile setback is needed). We know the whole population is not impacted, but expert opinion believes 15-25 percent of individuals living near wind farms are affected. Google: Gatehouse Media Investigation: Living in the Shadow of a Windfarm to read personal testimonies of individuals impacted. If you challenge the narrative, that they are safe for all, you will be told about a University of Iowa paper that concludes there is no authoritative evidence that sound from wind turbines represents a risk to human health. This paper has several holes and a huge red flag when they state there are only two papers to base their conclusion on (Canada and MIT papers). Issues with both papers have been identified by experts in the field. Furthermore, one of the authors of the Iowa paper is a published advocate for the wind industry. Beyond health, when you process the narrative you hear, don’t forget the net economic impact study prepared by Lynette Strathman, that determined a $1 million/year Net LOSS to Nemaha County with the Soldier Creek Wind Project alone. Finally, who are we kidding that wind turbine location doesn’t impact property values? I have two pages of references and studies that determine that property values do decline, but please, just ask a realtor. As the commissioners are looking at legislation to establish guidelines going forward, I support an extended moratorium, because we must take the time to get this narrative right.