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.
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