Sunday, November 4, 2012

Green Dreams

American and British researchers compared two groups of residents in the US state of Maine. One group lived within a mile of a wind farm and the second group did not...

“Participants living near industrial wind turbines had worse sleep, as evidenced by significantly greater mean PSQI and ESS scores,” the researchers, Michael Nissenbaum, Jeffery Aramini and Chris Hanning, found. “There were clear and significant dose-response relationships, with the effect diminishing with increasing log-distance from turbines.”
A dose effect is an indicator that the effect is due to the wind power itself and not some ill-defined reverse "placebo effect," where people imagine they are getting ill from the suspected source.

The researchers also tracked respondents’ “mental component scores” and found a “significant” link – probably caused by poor-quality sleep – between wind turbines and poorer mental health.

More than a quarter of participants in the group living near the turbines said they had been medically diagnosed with depression or anxiety since the wind farm started. None of the participants in the group further away reported such problems. Each person was also asked if they had been prescribed sleeping pills. More than a quarter of those living near the wind farm said they had. Less than a tenth of those living further away had been prescribed sleeping pills.
Now, it's not that I'm against wind power per se, but given that it kills large charismatic birds, bats, costs far more than any form of conventional energy, and now, causes sleep deprivation, anxiety and depression among nearby humans, maybe we should rethink any plans to make wind power a form that we rely on, 

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