Argyll's online broadsheet.

Infrasound must count as an emission from wind …

Comment posted Caithness wind farm rejection by newsroom.

Infrasound must count as an emission from wind turbines – and its impacts have been shown by some studies to be damaging to health in a variety of ways for those within its range. This needs additional independent and serious research before we commit so widely to wind power; and certainly to where we site wind farms.

This comment is actually an example of the sort of abusive response to rational concerns we were talking about.

We note you make no reference to the undeniable environmental and human damage done by the toxic waste produced from rare earth separation; nor to the disposal issues around turbine magnets and carbon fibre blades and tower sections – but simply cry a blanket ‘rubbish’ without the need to provide any evidence for the stance.

This is not good enough.

Our own researches have so far not found any solution to the safe disposal of the toxic fluid wastes from rare earth separation processes; or to the safe disposal of carbon fibre blades and sections when decommissioning of wind farms becomes necessary.

If you can cite research evidence for such solutions, we would be very glad to have it and, if it stood up to scientific scrutiny, would enthusiastically promote such knowledge.

newsroom also commented

  • You’re quite right, Lowry.
    We conceded the point because the connection between Reporter and government might loosely be regarded as rejection at government level – but not, of course, formally so.
  • Of course you are quite right about KIlchattan and we will amend the article as necessary. A blind spot for which we gladly apologise – although more frequent rejections hardly support the case for wind farms.
    In regard to the use of magnets in other products, the point is the degree of environmental damage, now and later, caused by a massive rise in the scale of demand – which has drive a 2000% price hike in rare earths.
  • The issue of steel v carbon fibre is one of recyclability.
    We assume you are not claiming that carbon fibre turbine blades would, if buried, become peat beds over an age or two as trees have done?
    And the environmental and health damage from the toxic wastes from rare earth production are hugely multiplied by the massive demand for turbine magnets.
    The fact that the cost of rare earths has risen by 2000% in the period of the rise of wind power installations does not reflect the rarity of those earths. It reflects a massive rise in demand in a context where China currently controls the supply and, as is the pattern in developing economies, is prepared for the peasant communities on the outskirts of Baotou to take the hit.
    The volume of neodymium we needed before this period, to make magnets for things like shavers and laptops, was never at a level to drive such a price hike or produce such a volume of toxic waste as is now the case with the lake at Baotou. That demand and consequent price rise speak for the level of damage we are now running – if not yet in out own back yard – without stopping to think.

Recent comments by newsroom

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    Not in my control and hadn’t noticed this myself [so thanks] – and will pass on your concerns.
    This us likely to be one of the consequences of recovery from recent outages which were beyond our control.
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    It is worth noting that in its judgment the Supreme Court said:
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  • Bute refugees suffer from inadequately considered placement
    Eveything you say above applies justly to those who radicalise – but not necessarily to those who are vulnerable to be radicalised.
    When you are young, everything in life is understood in simple binary oppositions. It is only time and broad experience that introduces and embeds the tonalities of understanding.
    Many of the young everywhere, from the need to belong and from the acceleration of peer pressure, are also prone to follow the accepted behavioural norms or fashions of their peers.
    This is why radicalisation is most easily effected in cities and amongst the large cultural enclaves that can form there.
    The young, in their uncluttered understanding, are also idealist – and extremism is a form of idealism perverted.
    What you say about the safety and security that relocated refugees now possess is also correct – but is amended by two considerations.
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    The second is that, as may be the case with some of the Bute families, if they feel and look ‘different’ from everyone around them and if they cannot communicate, some will feel uncomfortable and vulnerable, even intimidated – and it is unrealistic to assume that refugees will be universally made welcome in any locality.
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    It remains a mystery why, when political party leadership elections require set percentages well above 50% to secure a win, politicians would not have reason and wit to see that decisions taking a member of a significant political union out of that union, changing the nature of the larger union [helpless to prevent that] as well as the nature of the departing member, that decisions of such weight and permanence cannot sensibly be taken by 50% + 1 single vote of an electorate.
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    Something like a 60% threshold would guard decisions against the percentage of transient whim – and/or of misunderstanding and/or of misinformedness – in any vote; and these are the things that that can help to create very narrow majorities on very profound issues.
    Opinion polls declare that their results are subject to a 3% margin for error.
    In the EU Referendum, a 2% change of mind would have produced an even tinier – but legally acceptable – majority in the opposite direction.

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