Tuesday, 9 October 2012

A field guide to the war on wind power

4 Oct 2012

The debate on whether wind farms are a good source of alternative energy is being fuelled by a combination of NIMBY-ism, ideology and vested interests. And the way in which it has progressed is a little disturbing.

Dr Simon Chapman, professor in public health at Sydney University, has won plaudits around the world for his leadership in the fight against the tobacco industry. Michael Wooldridge knows that, which is what makes his barb so calculatedly nasty.

"It's a great pity an eminent person like Simon Chapman is now using against others some of the tactics that were used against him by the tobacco industry", says the former Health Minister and deputy leader of the federal Liberal Party.

Chapman, Wooldridge tells The Global Mail, is "one of those renewable energy fundamentalists", who "engage in conspiracy theories and attacks on individuals".

Really? And what exactly has caused Wooldridge to direct such an outrageous spray at one of the heroes of public health? Well, Chapman has been defending established science on the subject of wind farms. He has scoffed at claims advanced by Wooldridge and other opponents of wind power that it is a significant threat to human health.

Apparently oblivious to the fact that his ad hominem attack amounts to exactly what he accuses Chapman of, Wooldridge goes on to voice his own conspiracy theory--that many of the supposedly independent experts on wind power are in fact representatives of vested interests. (Although he stops short of suggesting this of Chapman.)

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