Fact check: HuffPo article sensationalizes sound issue, blogger says

This one is going to take some time to read through and understand, but the effort is well worth it: Forbes blogger William Pentland, a seasonal resident of Vinalhaven, Maine, has written a thoughtful article sharply criticizing Tom Zeller's Huffington Post piece about the sound from Vinalhaven's three wind turbines and its impact on the island community.

Zeller, says Pentland, is “shamelessly sensationalizing” the issue, and the Huffington Post is guilty of “drive-by journalism.”

Adds Pentland, “By shamelessly sensationalizing the circumstances surrounding the wind project on Vinalhaven, Zeller has grossly distorted the public’s understanding of this project and how the vast majority of island residents feel about it.

“They are proud. Very, very proud.  And they should be.  While the rest of the world has been talking about the potential benefit of clean energy, a small lobstering island has achieved it … Many of the island residents are increasingly feeling robbed of the credit they rightfully deserve for being a model of sustainability.”

Zeller's article focused on the filing of a complaint with the Maine Public Utilities Commission, asking it not to approve a rate increase requested by the island's small utility. Pentland notes that one aim of the complaint may have been to prevent the utility from hiring attorneys to defend itself against lawsuits brought by residents unhappy with the turbine sound. Zeller's article, Pentland adds, “seems to be written solely from the petition without information from any other source.”

Recommended reading.

More reading:


Environmental Defence (Canada): 'No basis' for health impact claims, June 6, 2011

Sierra Club Canada: Time to confront anti-wind disinformation campaign, June 3, 2011

WHO guidelines on sound are … guidelines, March 28, 2011
Scientists, doctor weigh on wind and health, November 30, 2010
Wind Turbines and Health, fact sheet
Maine physician: distortion in anti-wind health claims, November 3, 2010
Australian health agency: Turbine sound has no health effect, July 6, 2010
UK report debunks wind turbine syndrome, June 9, 2010
Wind gets clean bill of health from Ontario, May 20, 2010
Expert panel concludes wind turbine sounds not harmful to human health, December 15, 2009

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