Most of this page deals with an inacurate article that Graham Lloyd wrote
about a wind farm.
Opposition to wind power is often linked to denial of climate science; after
all, limiting climate change is probably the strongest reason to switch
from fossil fuels to renewables.
The Australian's so called Environment Editor, Graham Lloyd, writes articles
that cast as much doubt on the reality of anthropogenic climate change
(ACC, climate change caused by Man) as he can manage.
He totally ignores the fact that there is a massive
consensus among climate
scientists on the subject; hardly any scientific papers are written that
cast any doubt on ACC.
The ABC's Media Watch did a
segment on this on 2013/06/24.
The on-line page has many links showing how ill-informed Lloyd's stance is.
How can the Environment Editor of a major national daily newspaper be so
His writing must have the approval of his employers.
What does it say about the aims of the Murdoch News empire?
What sort of culture must exist among the reporters and editors on The
Graham Lloyd, Environment Editor, wrote a
Waterloo Wind Farm
The story was titled 'Where eagles dare not fly: Waterloo looms as wind
farms power town revolt'.
My comments on errors (and worse) are in these boxes
First error: of course the wind farm is not in Waterloo; at the closest
point it is 3.5km from Waterloo; wind turbines are
such a distance.
The article starts with a photo showing man squatting near a dead eagle
with a wind turbine in the background.
The caption reads:
"Black Springs farmer Kym Dixon next to a dead wedge-tailed eagle, which was
found 180m from wind turbines in the South Australian town of Waterloo."
Author Graham Lloyd gets right into sensation, irrelevance and inaccuracy
in the first paragraph.
There is no evidence that the 'eggs without yolks' have anything to do
with wind turbines, and there are equally big wind turbines at several
other wind farms in Australia.
Professor Mike Brooks, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), University of
Adelaide distanced the university from Mr Zhenhua (Frank) Wang's work,
saying that Mr Wang
did the work in his own time and not for the University.
So Mr Lloyd was wrong to say that "Adelaide University has been
drawn into a controversy ...".
Wind turbines do kill a few
, but far more birds are killed
by other man-made structures, two ferral cats will kill more birds
than a whole wind farm and if we do nothing about climate change it will
be far worse for all species.
Did Ian Falkenberg really say that three wedge-tailed eagle nesting areas
that were active, are no longer active?
If so, what evidence does he have?
I discussed Mr Falkenberg's involvement in this article with him (telephone,
He was not willing to make any statements 'on the record'.
I saw a pair of eagles at Waterloo
Wind Farm on one of the only two evenings that I have been there in the
last several months (February, before this incident).
Michael Head, TRUenergy, Waterloo Wind Farm, informed me "that he saw the
regular pair of eagles at Waterloo yesterday" (2012/04/23).
The story continues:
A DEAD wedge-tailed eagle, chicken eggs without yolks and a dysfunctional
village with residents bursting to flee.
This is the clean-energy revolution Waterloo-style, where the nation's
biggest wind turbines have whipped up a storm of dissent.
Adelaide University has been drawn into a controversy that threatens to spin
out of control after one of its masters students asked residents of Waterloo,
120km north of Adelaide, what they really thought about living near windmills
and was knocked over in an avalanche of complaint.
Yesterday, a South Australian Department of Environment and Heritage officer
collected the remains of a juvenile wedge-tailed eagle from the base of one
of the Waterloo wind farm turbine towers.
He said it would be X-rayed and examined to establish the cause of death.
It may help to explain why, according to one local ranger, three wedge-tailed
eagle nesting areas identified before the turbines began to operate 18 months
ago are no longer active.
Department of Environment and Natural Resources district manager Ian
Falkenberg said initial observations of the eagle remains showed a punctured
skull and major fractures of the right wing, including a significant break
about three inches from the shoulder.
GPS readings showed the remains were located 180m from the base of the tower.
Mr Falkenberg said eagles in the mid-north of South Australia were in lower
numbers than in other parts of the state and considered "vulnerable" at a
regional assessment level.
He said prior to the wind turbines at Waterloo, there were three eagle
territories but was not aware of any of those territories now being active.
According to wind farm operator TRUenergy, there are still active
wedge-tailed eagle populations in the hills.
TRUenergy spokeswoman Sarah Stent said: "Eagle monitoring on site of resident
population today shows no decrease in bird numbers."
TRUenergy acquired the Waterloo wind farm last year and has announced a $40
It is also planning a wind farm development at Stony Gap.
The company insists it has broad community support and certainly the strong
backing of the SA government.
Comments on adjacent text
There is no scientifically acceptable evidence that wind turbines
cause any sickness
beyond that caused
by the fear and anxiety that rumour-mongers and irresponsible reporting
such as this effort by The Australian create.
In fact wind turbines save lives
serious illnesses by reducing the atmospheric pollution from coal-fired
I have slept
right under turbines at Waterloo
and at other wind farms and suffered no ill effects.
I have visited many wind farms and have never
turbines from a distance greater than 2.5km
(correction, on 2013/07/07 I
to just hear
some turbines 3.0km away), and then only in ideal conditions.
Some Eggs without yolks, a claimed 'spike in sheep deformities' and 'reports
of erratic behaviour by farm dogs'.
Eggs without yolks are not uncommon in the first few eggs from young chooks,
the other claims would require more than one or two 'reports' before
accepting that they were caused by wind turbines or even real.
How could wind turbines
cause these problems?
It is nothing but more sensationalism and irresponsible rumour-mongering
from Graham Lloyd.
TRUenergy commissioned a
Mid North Community Survey
Research and released the results
in March 2012.
It involved 358 people living near the existing
, and proposed
The survey indicated that 66% of respondents were concerned about climate
change, 77% supported wind farms, 69% supported nearby wind farms, and
a majority sor wind farms as positives for: appearance, tourism,
local business, short term jobs, local economy and landholder income.
Mr Lloyd either was not aware of this survey or chose to ignore it because
it didn't suit the line he wanted to take.
similarly show favourable views on wind farms among the general public.
Adelaide University Vice-Chancellor is Professor James McWha, not Michael
The only Michael Head I know works for TRUenergy at Waterloo Wind Farm.
Graham Lloyd's statements about what the 'Vice-Chancellor said' is
meaningless because we don't know who, if anyone, really said it.
It is curious that Mr Wang, who was "concerned that a summary of his results
was leaked before it could be peer-reviewed" (see above) and "was not
willing to release his research publicly until after academic peer reviews"
gave another summary of his results to Graham Lloyd before peer-review.
It is curious that Mr Wang's research was leaked at all.
I first found it on 'WindWatch', an anti-wind farm Net site.
It was discussed at the 2012/02/02 meeting of the Mid North Wind Farm Liaison
Group (of which I am a member); again, it was in the hands of an anti-wind
I sent an email to Mr Wang on 2012/03/01 asking for more information; I
didn't receive a reply.
Is Mr Wang only willing to correspond with anti-wind power people?
Mr Lloyd's ethical standards have to be questioned when he published
Mr Wang's material knowing that "Mr Wang said he was not willing to release
his research publicly until after academic peer reviews".
Waterloo has become a hotbed of concern among locals, many of whom claim to
be suffering ill-effects from the wind turbine development.
They want independent noise measuring and for Senate inquiry recommendations
for research into the impact of low frequency noise to be adopted.
Some want to be relocated and many want the wind turbines to be turned off
Village resident Neil Daws is concerned his chickens have been laying eggs
with no yolks.
Ironically called wind eggs, the yolkless eggs can be explained without
But together with a spike in sheep deformities, also not necessarily
connected to wind, reports of erratic behaviour by farm dogs and an exodus
of residents complaining of ill health, Waterloo is a case study of the
emotional conflict being wrought by the rollout of industrial wind power.
When Adelaide University masters student Frank
Wang surveyed residents within
a 5km radius of the Waterloo wind turbines he found 70 per cent of
respondents claimed they had been negatively affected by the wind development
and the noise, with more than 50 per cent having been very or moderately
Mr Wang is concerned that a summary of his results was leaked before it could
Adelaide University vice-chancellor Michael Head has written to TRUenergy in
response to company concerns about publication of the summary.
"I have looked into this matter and found that the study in question was
undertaken by a student as part of a minor thesis for his masters by
coursework," Professor Head said.
"This was entirely the student's own project and not undertaken for or on
behalf of the university."
A university spokesperson said the survey was overseen by a senior lecturer
and approved by the University's Human Research Ethics Committee.
"There is clearly a need for further research that considers all aspects of
wind farms and their impact on the community," the spokesperson said.
Mr Wang told The Weekend Australian the university had been supportive of his
"Yes, definitely," he said. "My supervisor helped me to choose this topic."
Mr Wang said he was not willing to release his research publicly until after
academic peer reviews.
Ms Stent said TRUenergy was not able to judge if Mr Wang's results were a
fair representation of community sentiment in Waterloo.
"It is not our view that the majority of the population is opposed to the
wind farm nor dissatisfied with our approach to community engagement,"
This is a piece of reporting of the lowest possible quality and Graham
Lloyd (Environmental Editor!), should be thoroughly ashamed of himself.
It certainly doesn't do anything for the (already low) reputation of
I have submitted a formal complaint to the Press Council in regard to this
The Australian article starts with a photo of "Black Springs farmer Kym
Dixon next to a dead wedge-tailed eagle".
My inquiries have indicated that the eagle was not on Mr Dixon's land; Mr
Dixon was on a neighbour's land without asking permission of the owner.
How did Mr Dixon know there was a dead eagle on his neighbour's land?
A casual reader would have got the impression that the writing of the
article was triggered
by the finding of the dead eagle, but I have been informed that Mr Lloyd was
in the area working on an article about the wind farm the day before.
We are to believe that finding the dead eagle while Mr Lloyd was in the
area was purely a coincidence.
The article states that the eagle was found about 180m from the turbine.
It is possible that, if the eagle was hit by an ascending turbine blade,
it could have been thrown this far; however, research by Dr Cindy Hull in
Tasmania has indicated that wedge-tailed eagles are most often
hit by descending turbine blades and that they rarely, if ever, fall as
far as 180m from a turbine tower (it is possible that the eagle could have
been dragged by a large scavenger).
And was it a coincidence that the eagle was discovered when the person
who has responsibility for environmental matters at the wind farm,
Michael Head, was at
TRUenergy's Community Liaison Group's meeting?
The date and time of the meeting would have been well known to any
anti-wind power people who might be interested in skulduggery.
|Badly injured wedge-tailed eagle
|I found this eagle west of Clare
This might all be perfectly innocent and explicable, but seems curious.
Concerning a dead eagle I happened across
I placed several photos of the badly injured eagle at the right on
While its wing and leg injuries cannot be seen in this image, they were so
bad that I had to kill the bird.
A person calling himself/herself 'no turbines' commented on all three of
He implied that the eagle had been injured by a wind turbine.
I found the eagle about 40km from the nearest wind turbine so this is
One of 'no turbines' comments mentioned Waterloo.
This indicates that there is at least one person in the Waterloo area who
wants to blame dead eagles on wind turbines.
I have received abusive emails from a Waterloo resident who has called me
an "evil nazi" and accused me of lying.
There is a lot of ill feeling in at least this one person.
Is it possible that the eagle found at the Waterloo Wind Farm was placed
there by someone who wanted to produce bad publicity for wind power?
On 2012/05/03 James Delingpole wrote in The Australian:
"It took great courage for Lloyd to
write up his expose of the tremendous damage being caused by a wind farm
to a small community in Waterloo, north of Adelaide."
Apart from Graham Lloyd's terrible article,
, where is
the evidence that
Waterloo Wind Farm is causing "tremendous damage" to Waterloo?
I am a member of TRUenergy's Community Liaison Group regarding Waterloo
and the nearby proposed Stony Gap wind farms; the impression I
have from what I hear through the group is that there are only about six
people in the Waterloo area who are strongly opposed to the wind farm.
I could do a statement by statement analysis of Delingpole's article, but
it is often a mistake to take such gross ignorance and bias too
Instead, I will provide a copy of a letter by David Osmond submitted to
The Australian in reply to Delingpole's article:
"James Delingpole's article against wind farms (Wind farm scam a huge cover
up) contained so many errors one barely knows where to begin.
He asserts wind turbines generate very little power, they need full back-up
from "black" generators and they get more than 3 times the money from
subsidies as they do from electricity sales.
The evidence from South Australia contradicts all these assertions.
In the 5 years to June 2011, South Australia has gone from getting 6% to
20% of its electricity needs from wind power. It now gets 26%.
During that time, no significant increase in the proportion of back-up power
has been required.
Indeed electricity from peaking gas turbines have actually reduced, as have
imports from Victoria. It has reduced its C02 emission intensity by over 20%.
Wholesale electricity prices have reduced, and even when you include the
subsidies from REC sales, prices have remained constant in inflation adjusted
Likewise, his long list of ills allegedly due to the high infra-sound levels
of turbines loses credibility once you know that infra sound levels near a
wind turbine are no greater than those near a beach, in a city or near a gas
Delingpole was going on the do a radio session with radio shock-jock
That would be a conversation not to be missed by the anti-environment
establishment, but an exercise in ignorance for anyone else!
Graham Lloyd continued with his very low standard of reporting on the front
page of The Australian 2012/05/29.
He wrote that "a growing body of evidence that wind farm noise could have
health effects has prompted Queensland Health to call for caution when
approving wind farm developments."
Climate Spectator called the Queensland
Department of Health to verify this report and was told:
"The Australian report is not correct."
Apparently Lloyd's claim was based on a letter from Queensland Health, of
which he had received a copy.
Tristan Edis of Climate Spectator elaborated in a personal communication
"I have a copy of this letter.
The letter Graham Lloyd used was written by a junior staff member in the
Cairns branch office going off the reservation.
I was told in no uncertain terms by Qld Health head office staff that the
letter was not representative of Qld Health's position on the matter."
did a Net page about the front page of The Australian following the Federal
Budget of May 2012.
This single page is a good example of the anti-Labor, pro-Liberal bias
in The Australian.
It seems that the Australian has joined forces with the
Liberals in supporting big business, the mining
industry and the fossil fuel industry against renewable energy.