Video: Colbert on ‘wind turbine syndrome’

In Wednesday night’s episode, “The Colbert Report” took on “wind turbine syndrome,” the vast array of health claims sometimes associated with living near wind turbines: “You can catch it from any green technology I don’t approve of.”

Anecdotal health claims are cited frequently by opponents of wind farms, though there is at present no scientific evidence that wind turbines actually cause the symptoms reported (other than sleep disruption and its associated effects). A recent study found a correlation with symptoms associated with depression were more common among people living near wind turbines, and Canada is embarking on a wider study of the issue.

In his segment, Colbert references a July article by Simon Chapman, an Australian professor of public health who has found that a full 155 different health disorders have been claimed as the result of “wind turbine syndrome, including “several types of cancer, and both losing weight and gaining weight. You name it.”

Colbert: “The point is, Obama is going to kill us all. So, we should all just keep burning fossil fuels – that way, the problem won’t be all in your head. It’ll be spread evenly throughout your lungs.”



60 thoughts on “Video: Colbert on ‘wind turbine syndrome’

  1. I am trying to identify my frustration this a.m. I believe it can be expressed in a single question:
    What is considered to be a significant enough number of “victims” to warrant an investigation of the negative impact a technology, in this case industrial wind turbines, has on humans as it relates to health, safety, economics?
    Thank you for this “forum”. There is so much good information available to, if nothing more, give cause for pause. And, not unlike the number of “victims”, how much information and by which group of experts will be enough for pause and investigation of the industrial wind turbine agenda?
    Please link to and read the following.

    Have a good day.

  2. There was (and is) lots of money to be made on the tobacco industry, and in the beginning the gvmt urged us all to smoke. Now look at the cigarette packaging! Our gvmt also use to invite us to watch atomic test explosions, whoooeeee! With all the smoke surrounding these industrial turbines, we know there’s a fire. How big? Only more scientific studies will divulge that, but the wind industry is afraid of the results, hence all the protesting. Can’t blame them. They stand to lose billions of our tax dollars when their scam is uncovered.

  3. In reference to the “impressive” list by Simon Chapman on claims against wind turbines: Before anyone believes anything this man says they ought to examine his ways of science. I give two of many possible examples below:

    Chapman says that “wind turbine opponents” claim that wind turbines cause: “yes, many deaths” (number 49 on his list). Yet the source that Chapman quotes not mention this in regards to wind turbines, but KNOWN hazards of vibrations and low frequency noise documented by Portuguese researchers over the last 30 years. See: The author of this article, Max Whisson, also happens to be an innovator in renewables including other wind turbine models…

    Also check out Chapman’s choice to list “palpitations”, “health palpritations” [sic], and tachycardia three times, and then “sleep disturbance” “night terrors” “sleep, babies wake at night” “waking up suddenly” as distinct claims. Can anyone see much difference in these two groups of claims?

  4. Ken Paulman on Nov. 13, I asked: “What is considered to be a significant enough number of “victims” to warrant an investigation of the negative impact a technology, in this case industrial wind turbines, has on humans as it relates to health, safety, economics?”
    Please answer that question.
    We go around in circles, because no one has chosen to stop and listen.
    Please read the article referred to in the George Papaonpoulos comment.
    A year has come and gone since the article suggested by George Papandopoulos was written. I had not read it before. It is a must read for those in favor of and those against industrial wind turbines.; it gives each and all much to ponder summarized in straight forward and logical terms: It gives the best reasons for calling a moratorium on the Industrial Wind Turbine Agenda and to end the PTC (Wind Energy Production Tax Credit) and for performing the proper research regarding health and safety issues related to industrial wind turbines and waiting for the results. In the meantime a National Energy Plan, including all energy technologies can be formulated. The states/locations that are appropriate for each of the renewable energy reseources will, with proper research, emerge. Some states may be more appropriate receptors for hydro and solar phovaoltaic, and others, wind, oil, gas and, yes, coal and nuclear. Others may not qualify for any, but would be excellent locations for research and development. And none of this at the expense of human quality of life, health or safety.

  5. It’s a moot question, Marie-Jane. It’s been investigated numerous times and continues to be investigated. I understand that the findings are not to your liking, but that doesn’t mean the question isn’t being taken seriously.

  6. Ken Paulan,
    It is not a moot question. It deserves an answer. Pretend it is a question about a drug, controversial surgery, additives, automobiles and not industrial wind turbines. The question I asked: “What is considered to be a significant enough number of “victims” to warrant an investigation of the negative impact a technology [in this case industrial wind turbines] has on humans as it relates to health, safety, economics to make it worthy of further study or removal from the marketplace.
    There are two sets of “findings” and we, obviously, stand on opposite sides and I err on the side of caution and perfecting BEFORE implementaton. That is not so with or expected from the Industrial Wind Turbine Agenda people; they get free money (your and my tax money) and plant them and leave town; we all want to save the planet; but, it can never be at the expense of human kind; don’t you get the feeling that the city and town fathers can’t answer serious questions about industrial wind turbines and health and safety issues or the true economics of the installations and just write a free pass to the developers and really are not representing the best interests of the “town folk”. And, the question is not being taken seriously. Ask Mr. Colbert. I believe that is where this all started.

    Have a good night.

  7. How many cases? I don’t know the answer to that. That’s a question for an epidemiologist. My point is that it’s misleading for you to imply that the issue isn’t being investigated.

  8. Ken Paulman.
    As a person (personally) what do you feel would warrant stopping a project, not necessarily industrial wind turbines, if it were your spouse, your child, your parents, your best friend, your neighbors, your neighborhood, your city who was suffering; what then, is the number?
    If the issue is questionable to the point of being “investigated”, then why does the Industrial Wind Turbine Agenda steam roll forward. Moratorium is necessary to get this right for once and for all BEFORE the agenda is allowed to continue. There will be room for wind and for all other energy technologies present and future. Is there a problem with getting it done correctly?
    The following just arrived in my “mail”.
    Your View: Real science behind concerns over wind turbines FeatureHeadline |

  9. If someone I knew personally thought they were being made sick by a wind turbine, I’d encourage them to go to a doctor and get a proper diagnosis. Not to be crass, but because whatever symptoms they’re experiencing may have another cause or explanation. I’d hate to see someone suffering needlessly because their self-diagnosis turned out to be incorrect.

    You’re engaging in sophistry with this “burden of proof” argument. It’s impossible to prove to 100% certainty that something isn’t potentially harmful.

    By your standard, all transmission lines should be shut down because people believe they’re a health hazard and science hasn’t been able to completely rule it out.

    Again, I appreciate your passion for the issue, but we’re still reduced to repeating the same points over and over again. I suggest we wrap this up and move on.

  10. The only issue I had/have with transmission lines was quite similar; proximity to homes. May not be able to prove something 100% safe, but how about 100% certain that they are 100% safe at a determined distance from dwlling places? That is not unreasonable; but, it also is not being done. It’s a wrap.