TurbineGate – More #JAFA Fraud Posing As “Science”

27 Jul

On Monday evening, ABC’s Four Corners ran a story about wind farms and alleged adverse health effects.

I didn’t see it.

But I did see this story from Yahoo!7 referencing the Four Corners program.

And reading the last part immediately elevated my blood pressure (emphasis added):

Electrical engineer Graeme Hood from the University of Ballarat used audio equipment to check sound levels near the turbines.

He said although the turbines don’t sound very loud, they’re actually producing sound at a frequency too low to hear.

“The brain thinks it’s quiet, but the ears may be telling you something else or the body may be telling you something else, it’s much louder,” he said.

Anti-wind farm campaigner Dr Sarah Laurie said people within a 10km radius of turbines could be at risk of health problems such as elevated blood pressure and headaches.

But University of Adelaide professor Gary Wittert, who has conducted one of the first independent studies into wind farm health issues, denies there’s any link.

He used data from the the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme to compare medical prescriptions of people living in areas with and without turbines.

His study involved 12,000 people living within a 10km radius around wind farms in South Australia and Victoria.

“There is no hint of any effect on a population basis for an increased use of sleeping pills or blood pressure or cardiovascular medications whatsoever,” he said.

Oh!

Right.

So that’s how a scientific “study” into possible adverse health effects is conducted is it?

Just scan the Pharmaceutical Benefit Scheme database, for purchases of certain kinds of prescription medication. 

And if people in areas near wind farms have not been running off to the doctor-thence-chemist to drug themselves up with prescription medicine at a demonstrably higher average rate than in other (unnamed) populated areas, then you come out singing for your politically-correct Clean Energy Future funding supper by claiming your “independent study” finds that there are no adverse health effects from wind farms.

A couple of really basic questions, Professor.

1. Were the comparative sample regions (wind farm vs no wind farm) identical geographically, and more importantly, topographically?

After all, we are talking about possible health effects that, if present, it is only logical to first hypothesise will be health effects most likely caused by physical forces (ie, “sound” or compression waves).  And thus, the “lay of the land” (ie, the topography), % ground cover, vegetation type and coverage, variant resonant effects of differing soil types, air temperature and density, even the prevailing wind direction and strength relative to both the compression wave source and the population centre/s, are all critically relevant factors, and thus must all be as nearly identical as possible between the sample sets, in order for a so-called “study” based solely on prescription medication purchases to have even a shred of relevance or credibility.

2. Were the sample subjects (the people) 100% commensurable in terms of their socio-demographs? In all respects?!

Like … were you comparing, say, areas of predominantly hard-working tough-‘n-hardy rural folk living near said wind farms (and miles by car-only from the nearest doctor), with areas of predominantly obese TV-addicted couch potato welfare bogans living in non wind farm areas with half a dozen GP’s within a 10 minute taxpayer-subsidised bus ride?

In other words, were you comparing subjects who, in a socio-demographic context, are equally predisposed socially, psychologically, and financially, to run off to the doctor for prescription meds every time they feel a bit of a headache?  In a world where the standard societal “prescription” response to a headache – paracetamol and/or codeine – are readily available over-the-counter?

Here’s an idea, Professor Wittert.

Show us your raw data.

All of it.

Sheesh.

Galileo, Copernicus, Nicolas of Cusa, Newton, Einstein, and Feynman must be turning in their graves.

Oh … and just one other, tiny little thing.

Could Professor Wittert’s pathetic, insult-to-intelligence foray into the world of bullshit “science” studies that just happen to come out in support of a Big Dollar, financially-important sub-area of the Great Global Warming Hoax, have anything at all to do with the fact that his last funding grant runs out this year?

From the University Of Adelaide’s website (emphasis added):

Professor Gary Wittert, MBBch, MD, FRACP

Current Funded Research

2003-2006    Florey Foundation: A study of health and ageing in north-west Adelaide men           $450,000
2003 – 2007  University of Adelaide: Healthy Aging Research Cluster  $300,000
2004-2006    ARC linkage Grant: Obesity, Health, Social Disadvantage and Environment in Australia:   Relationships and Policy Implications    $1.4 Million
2005-2006    Brailsford Roberston Grant (CSIRO & Uni.Adelaide Trust for the Centre for International Nutrition Collaborative Research): Dietary interventions for overweight/ obese women prior to pregnancy–safety & efficacy of low calorie & low carbohydrate diets.         $200,000
2006-2008    Premiers Science Research Council: Florey Adelaide Male Ageing Study                  $300,000
2007     Medical Benefits Foundation: Effects of obesity and rapid weight-loss induced using a modified very low calorie diet on cardiovascular risk factors, vascular and ventricular structure and function in obesity.  $146,955
2007-2008      NH&MRC equipment grant: Automated image analysis systems for the    high- throughput  immunohistochemical analysis of clinical and experimental samples.  $150,000
2007-2009    ARC Discovery: Declining mental efficiency, cognitive performance and individual differences in aged function  $450,000. 
2007-2011    NH&MRC Centre for Clinical Research in Nutritional Physiology  $2.0 Million

Oh crap!

My big funding grant for the centre for research into “nutritional physiology” runs out this year.

Better find a new intellectual wank area of “study”, wherein to hoist aloft my medically-credentialled #JAFA flag, and land myself some more funding for the next X years.

Hey … what about that Clean Energy Future racket?

Hasn’t the government proposed a $10 billion “picking winners” Clean Energy Finance fund to be administered by the Greens?

There’s got to be a way that a medical researcher can get some of that moolah.

Hmmmmm … thinking, thinking.

Ah ha!! Of course!

I’ll just do a totally BS, from-the-comfort-of-my-office, behind-a-computer, without-ever-actually-studying-or-physically-examining-any-of-the-comparative-sample-area-subjects-or-their-respective-environments “study” into the claims of adverse health affects from wind farms.

I’ll say – as a medical “expert” – that there is no evidence of any.

Hope that no one points out that my entire study conclusion rests on the logical fallacy of argumentum ad ignorantium.

And the movers and shakers in the Clean Energy Future regime will all love me, and throw some of that lovely green money my way.

Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

This “science” funding game is too easy.

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4 Responses to “TurbineGate – More #JAFA Fraud Posing As “Science””

  1. Tomorrows Serf July 27, 2011 at 8:16 am #

    No wonder this guy is smiling!!

    HOW MUCH?????

  2. JMD July 27, 2011 at 9:33 am #

    I might ask him for a loan.

  3. Gail Wilson July 29, 2011 at 7:15 pm #

    Yep, Barnaby was right about the danger of America faulting. And Barnaby is right about this.

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  1. Windfarm science scandal « politichix - August 7, 2011

    […] a bit uneasy about the program – Barnaby is Right had some thoughts on the matter too. On Monday evening, ABC’s Four Corners ran a story about wind farms and alleged adverse health […]

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