Freedom from Unwarranted Experimentation

Devlin, C. (2017) Freedom from Unwarranted Experimentation. Open Journal of Social Sciences5, 23-48. doi: 10.4236/jss.2017.55003

“In support of these contentions, three primary examples have been chosen to illustrate recent and widespread violations of these fundamental rights. Examples have been chosen from social media, the tobacco industry, and wind energy production precisely because they fall well outside this boundary of formal human research as conventionally defined, and they demonstrate the need for wider protections in all walks of life, as a fundamental dictate of social justice.”

ABSTRACT

This is a declaration of the fundamental human right of all people, simply by virtue of being human, to be free from subjection to all forms of experimentation unless they voluntarily consent to participate after being fully informed of all risks by qualified experts in all relevant fields. Further, it asserts that everyone retains the right to opt out of any experiment, each of their own accord, and at any time, even after consent has been freely given and the experiment is underway. This paper argues for the urgent need to broadly expand the definition of human research in order to extend protections against illicit experimentation far beyond the boundaries of formal medical and scientific research; to recognize the full scope of ethical principles embodied in the Nuremberg Code of 1947; and, ultimately, to enact these protections into law. In support of these contentions, three primary examples have been chosen to illustrate recent and widespread violations of these fundamental rights. Examples have been chosen from social media, the tobacco industry, and wind energy production precisely because they fall well outside this boundary of formal human research as conventionally defined, and they demonstrate the need for wider protections in all walks of life, as a fundamental dictate of social justice.

 

1. Introduction

All human beings have a fundamental and inalienable right to be free from subjection to any form of experimentation against their will, or without their knowledge. This right is closely related to, but distinctly different from the widely recognized right to health. Any experimental research or activity which puts a person’s health or wellbeing at the risk of harm without his or her fully informed consent and voluntary participation must be considered a violation of this right. When any sustained experiment of any kind poses even the faintest possibility of harm to any person, he or she must be provided with all the relevant information necessary to make a fully informed decision to voluntarily participate or refuse. Even when a subject has been properly informed and agrees to participate, he or she retains the right to revoke consent and stop participating at any time during the course of the experiment. Experiments which are not designed to provide every legitimate means of egress for subjects without further unavoidable harm are also a violation of this right.

The Nuremberg Code forged in 1947 is among the first and perhaps most well-known efforts to articulate this ethical principle explicitly (“Tribunals”, 1949) [1] . A circular published by the Weimar Government prior to the start of WWII, known as the “German Guidelines on Human Experimentation 1931” preceded the Nuremberg doctrine and espouses some of the same principles, but it notably lacks any recognition of the subject’s right to opt out (“Guidelines,” 1931) [2] . Unlike these guidelines, the Nuremberg Code was written specifically as a tool for prosecuting crimes against humanity perpetrated by Nazi doctors and researchers during WWII. They had subjected concentration camp prisoners to horrific experiments that no one would ever consent to voluntarily.

To briefly summarize some of its most important provisions, the Nuremberg Code asserts that an ethical experiment on humans must:

・ Obtain voluntary, informed consent of all subjects

・ Allow subjects to leave if they choose

・ Make every effort to minimize potential harm

・ Be conducted by experts in the field

・ Be stopped if injury, disability, or death becomes likely

Contrary to what one might hope, these provisions have been largely ignored outside the realms of science and medicine, and seldom enacted into law. Outside medical research, these principles have become “More honor’d in the breach than the observance” as Shakespeare so aptly put it (Branagh, 1996, Hamlet Act 1, scene 4, 7-16) [3] .

What follows is a discussion of the Nuremberg Code in some its historical context to show why the protections for human subjects embodied in it must be treated as a fundamental human right and why it should be more broadly applied. This discussion draws upon some recent examples of illicit experimentation on human subjects outside of medical research; such as tobacco products and psychological experiments conducted on Facebook. It then focuses most specifically on the development of wind energy as a case study of widespread but hitherto unrecognized human experimentation. Finally, it attempts to call attention to some shortcomings of the Nuremberg Code and offers some suggested improvements in the hope of renewing interest in it and applying it across its proper breadth as a fundamental human right and principle of social justice.

Download the complete paper…

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An Open Letter from Dr. Nina Pierpont

[Editor’s Note: Dr. Pierpont is the author of a landmark study on the health effects from exposure to the low frequency noise emitted by industrial wind turbines, entitled “Wind Turbine Syndrome: A Report on a Natural Experiment” published in 2009.]

NINA PIERPONT M.D. Ph.D.

ISO acknowledges motion sickness from low-frequency oscillatory
motion below 1 Hz

Noise engineer Richard James just sent to me the attached section of a
standards statement by the International Standards Organization (ISO)
regarding exposure to low-frequency oscillatory motion, of which I consider the
air pressure pulsations produced by wind turbines to be a subset. I have
generally called these low-frequency air pressure pulsations infrasound, since
sound waves in air are rhythmic or oscillatory variations in air pressure. At
higher frequencies these oscillatory variations in air pressure are perceived as
sound. Infrasound means “below the range of human hearing.”

(If you’re not familiar with the ISO, it is the global authority setting all manner of
industrial standards, including noise standards. Click here for a more thorough
explanation of what the ISO does.)

Since it is well established that IWT’s (Industrial Wind Turbines) produce pulsed infrasound below 1 Hz, this suggests that people around the world who
experience motion sickness from wind turbines are not “making it up.” They
are not fabricating these symptoms. Their symptoms are not Simon Chapman’s
silly “nocebo effect.” The symptoms are — real! Really and truly caused by
IWT infrasound.

With this being common knowledge, why, then, have these symptoms been
denied in those experiencing them in proximity to wind turbines and directly
correlated with wind turbine function?

Since it is well established that IWT’s (Industrial Wind Turbines) produce pulsed infrasound below 1 Hz, this suggests that people around the world who experience motion sickness from wind turbines are not “making it up.” They are not fabricating these symptoms. Their symptoms are not Simon Chapman’s silly “nocebo effect.” The symptoms are — real! Really and truly caused by IWT infrasound.

 

Mr. James cites the following passages from the current ISO manual, ISO
9996:1996 “Mechanical vibration and shock — Disturbance to human activity
and performance — Classification.” Notice the passages highlighted in red
and those underlined by my husband, Calvin Martin. The underlined passages
are a gentle way of saying that the instruments used by wind companies to
detect 1 Hz and below are inadequate, and moreover the “remediation” or
“mitigation” efforts used by wind companies to eliminate these physiological
impacts are absurd.

Source: ISO 9996:1996 Mechanical vibration and shock — Disturbance to human
activity and performance — Classification

3 Definitions
For the purposes of this International Standard, the definitions given in ISO 2041 and ISO 5805 and the following definitions apply.

3.6
low-frequency motion
Continuous or transient oscillatory motion of components of the vibration spectrum
affecting human beings at frequencies below 1 Hz.

Note 1 to entry: The conventional frequency of 1 Hz separating low-frequency oscillatory motion from what is popularly known as “vibration” (although no such distinction exists in physics) is not entirely arbitrary and has some practical significance when dealing with human exposure to vibration. For instance, mechanical resonance phenomena in humans occur mainly at frequencies above 1 Hz, while motion sickness is provoked only by oscillatory motions at frequencies below about 1 Hz. As another practical matter, specialized inertial instrumentation and analytical techniques may be called for when recording and evaluating motion of very low frequency and large displacement amplitude. Moreover vibration isolation and conventional vibration control engineering techniques may not be readily applicable at very low frequencies.

3.11
sensory
Pertaining to the organs and physiological mechanisms by which the human brain
acquires information (“input”) about the world, enabling human beings to know, relate to, and influence the external world by volitional action. Sensory organs and neural mechanisms also subserve an internal function, which may be conscious or unconscious, namely, permitting the living body to monitor and respond to its own physiological state and to changes in that state arising from internal or external causes.

Note 1 to entry: Low-frequency motion and vibration are perceived by means of a variety of sensory organs and receptors. These include the eye, the vestibular (balance) organs of the inner ear, and a range of microscopic organs (mechano-receptors) distributed in the tissues throughout the living body that variously signal changing pressure, tension, position, vibratory motion, etc. The organs of special sense, particularly of hearing and sight, also provide motion and vibration cues to the brain in many circumstances.

I have attached a PDF of the ISO document, courtesy of Richard James. Scroll through the PDF to find the passages quoted above, highlighted in yellow.

Pierpont_Sig

Dr. Nina Pierpoint, MD, PhD


Source: ISO 9996:1996 Mechanical vibration and shock — Disturbance to
human activity and performance — Classification (Click here)

Foreword
ISO (the International Organization for Standardization) is a worldwide federation of national standards bodies (ISO member bodies). The work of preparing International Standards is normally carried out through ISO technical committees. Each member body interested in a subject for which a technical committee has been established has
the right to be represented on that committee. International organizations, governmental and non-governmental, in liaison with ISO, also take part in the work. ISO collaborates closely with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) on all matters of electrotechnical standardization.

Draft Intemational Standards adopted by the technical committees are circulated to the member bodies for voting. Publication as an Intemational Standard requires approval by at least 75 % of the member bodies casting a vote.

International Standard ISO 9996 was prepared by Technical Committee ISO/TC 108, Mechanical vibration and shock, Subcommittee SC 4, Human exposure to mechanical vibration and shock.

Annex A of this International Standard is for information only.

Introduction
An important criterion for writing standard guidelines for the measurement and evaluation of human exposure to lowfrequency oscillatory motion, mechanical vibration or shock is to prevent mechanical disruption and physiological impairment of human volitional activity and skilled task performance by the impressed force or motion.

Vibrational forces and oscillatory motion can reduce the ease and efficiency of human sensorimotor and cognitive activity and task performance in two main ways. First, there can be direct (and usually instantaneous) mechanical disruption or interference at the interface or point of contact between human beings and their task or activity, that is,
at the stage of sensory input or motor output involved in performance of the task. Second, there can be gradually progressive or time-varying impairment of performance, affecting both efficiency and safety. Such time-dependent effects may as a general rule be presumed to be associated with a degree of alteration of the physiological state
induced by the motion or vibration stress. Unlike direct, mechanically induced disruption of activity, physiologically mediated effects may exhibit any or all of the following features:

a) latency (i.e. the effect may take some time to become manifest following the onset of the stimulus);
b) a threshold (minimum average mechanical stimulus level required to provoke the effect);
c) adaptation or habituation (lessening of an adverse effect with the passage of time in the maintained
provocative environment); and
d) persistence for a while after the provocative stimulus has abated or ceased.

Relative motion or vibration of the perceived surroundings as well as of the person can also affect the physiological and cognitive state adversely (as indeed can illusory low—frequency motion), and hence jeopardize performance andsafety.
In many circumstances, more than one of these mechanisms of interference with human action may operate at the same time. When the criterion of evaluation of human exposure to low-frequency motion, mechanical vibration, or shock is the preservation of unimpaired activity, task performance, or safety, the relative weighting applied to
standard guidelines for the evaluation of human exposure to vibration or shock expressed as functions of frequency, acceleration and exposure time must necessarily vary with circumstances and with the type of activity or task being performed in the mechanical environment.

1 Scope
This International Standard lays down a simple classification of motion— and vibration-sensitive human activity and task performance. The classification includes, and is intentionally limited to, volitional human activity and task performance known or presumed to be disturbed, degraded or disrupted by continuous, intermittent, transient, or repetitive oscillatory motion or vibration (including shock motion) of human beings, components of their task, or their surroundings. This classification applies only to volitional human activities and tasks, interference with which by motion or vibration is presumed to be mediated by direct mechanical intrusion, physiological (non-injurious) changes in the person affected, or reversible sensory impairment, distortion, or conflict caused by the motion or vibration.

It does not extend to activity or performance reduction associated with disability due to motion— or vibration-related injury. This lntemational Standard is intended specifically to be an aid in the formulation of standard guidelines for the evaluation of human whole—body exposure to mechanical vibration and shock in the frequency range 0,1 Hz to
80 Hz, when optimization of human activity and task performance in the mechanical environment is the main criterion of evaluation.

NOTE 1 This International Standard also provides definitions of specialized terms, not defined in other standard vibration and shock vocabularies, that find a particular use in human biodynamics relating to task performance. It therefore supplements the biodynamical vocabulary in ISO 5805.

2 Normative references
The following standards contain provisions which, through reference in this text, constitute provisions of this International Standard. At the time of publication, the editions indicated were valid. All standards are subject to revision, and parties to agreements based on this International Standard are encouraged to investigate the possibility of applying the most recent editions of the standards indicated below. Members of IEC and ISO maintain registers of currently valid lntemational Standards.

ISO 2041:1990, Vibration and shock — Vocabulary,

ISO 5805:—1), Mechanical vibration and shock — Human exposure — Vocabulary.

3 Definitions
For the purposes of this International Standard, the definitions given in ISO 2041 and ISO 5805 and the following
definitions apply.

3.1
human volitional activity
Any consciously directed human action that is performed electively, i.e. for a purpose or in a manner that is not immediately essential to the performance of a specific task in hand, or that is not required of the person by virtue of
his essential presence in a situation or function in a system as a human operator.

Note 1 to entry: Examples of human activity in this sense are: walking, eating, reading, writing or trying to sleep in a train, ship or other vehicle, and trying to sleep, rest, enjoy general amenities or carry out some fine task of choice in a building that may be shaken by internally or externally generated vibration or impact. The distinction from task
performance may be rather fine in many operational contexts. For example, a seaman who, because of violent ship motion, has difficulty traversing a deck or climbing a ship’s ladder to get to or from his quarters in heavy weather experiences interference with activity. Interference with task performance would begin when he is at his workstation,
engaged in his assigned duty. However, a shipmate whose assigned task it was to traverse the same rolling deck while hauling on a rope or transporting ship’s equipment or materials would be experiencing interference with task performance. (In either case, an occupational hazard may arise when the effects of the ship’s motion on the
seaman’s locomotion and ability to concentrate on what he is doing become severe enough to undermine safety.)

3.2
task performance
Any learned or skilled activity that is carried out of necessity or by direction as part of an assigned duty. In such a situation, the receiver of motion or vibration exposure is acting in his capacity as a human operator, monitor, inspector, crew member, supervisor or controller in a mechanical environment, where adverse effects of motion or
vibration may prejudice efficiency, productivity, safety, or some other attribute of the work, process or mission.

Note 1 to entry: Examples of task performance in this sense include driving a vehicle, piloting an aircraft or navigating, standing watch or carrying out any assigned duty aboard ship, operating or monitoring an industrial plant, process or machine, or carrying out some specialized task (for example instrument assembly, quality inspection,
microsurgery, fine craftsmanship such as making or repairing jewellery) in a building or other structure subject to disturbance by vibration or impact.

3.3
afferent
Pertaining to nervous pathways or neural signals conveying information about the body or the external world from the peripheral receptors to the central nervous system and the brain.

3.4
arousal
State or degree of activation and alertness of the central nervous system.

Note 1 to entry: Specific parts of the brain and central nervous system maintain and regulate this state, in response  to both external and internal factors. According to prevailing theory, there is an optimal level of arousal for task performance. The optimum is not necessarily the maximum: both under- and over-arousal may diminish skilled performance [see 4.3.2.2 c)].

3.5
(human) operator
Person engaged in task performance, considered as a monitoring, controlling or directing element in a system or process capable of a dynamic response to system inputs and disturbances.

Note 1 to entry: For many purposes in human factors engineering, sufficient data exist to enable the human operator to be considered (and modeled mathematically) as a quantifiable element or processor in a “man-machine” system (for example pilot and aircraft).

3.6
low-frequency motion
Continuous or transient oscillatory motion of components of the vibration spectrum affecting human beings at frequencies below 1 Hz.

Note 1 to entry: The conventional frequency of 1 Hz separating low-frequency oscillatory motion from what is popularly known as “vibration” (although no such distinction exists in physics) is not entirely arbitrary and has some practical significance when dealing with human exposure to vibration. For instance, mechanical resonance phenomena in humans occur mainly at frequencies above 1 Hz, while motion sickness is provoked only be oscillatory motions at frequencies below about 1 Hz. As another practical matter, specialized inertial instrumentation and analytical techniques may be called for when recording and evaluating motion of very low frequency and large [by] displacement amplitude. Moreover vibration isolation and conventional vibration control engineering techniques may not be readily applicable at very low frequencies.

3.7
motor (performance or activity)
Descriptive of the function or output of the musculoskeletal system of the body, by which man regulates his own posture and exerts physical action upon the external world, for example when using a tool, operating a computerkeyboard, controlling a vehicle, or communicating with others by speech or gesture.

3.8
neuromuscular
Pertaining to the muscles (specifically, in the context of human performance, the skeletal or “voluntary” muscles that subserve conscious, volitional action) and to the motor nerves and higher centres of the nervous system that control them.

3.9
oculomotor
Pertaining to the voluntary and reflex movements of the eyeballs with respect to the skull, and to the generation and neuromuscular regulation of eye movements.

3.10
reference posture
In biodynamics, a notional orientation and posture of the human body considered as a receiver of mechanical vibration and shock.

3.11
sensory
Pertaining to the organs and physiological mechanisms by which the human brain acquires information (“input”) about the world, enabling human beings to know, relate to, and influence the external world by volitional action.

Sensory organs and neural mechanisms also subserve an internal function, which may be conscious or unconscious, namely, permitting the living body to monitor and respond to its own physiological state and to changes in that state arising from internal or external causes.

Note 1 to entry: Low-frequency motion and vibration are perceived by means of a variety of sensory organs and receptors. These include the eye, the vestibular (balance) organs of the inner ear, and a range of microscopic organs (mechanoreceptors) distributed in the tissues throughout the living body that variously signal changing pressure, tension, position, vibratory motion, etc. The organs of sense, particularly of hearing and sight, also provide motion and vibration cues to the brain in many circumstances.

3.12
sensorimotor
In the context of biodynamics, pertaining to the sensory input of information to, and the motor action (output) of, the human operator functioning in a dynamic environment.

3.13
sopite syndrome
A state of sleepiness, lassitude, or drowsy inattention induced by motion or vibration.

3.14
vestibular
Pertaining to the organs of balance (part of the labyrinth, whence the term, labyrinthine) in the inner ear, and to their functional connections with the brain and central nervous system.

3.15
volitional
By the exercise or direction of the will. Used of human motor activity (including task performance), carried out as the result of exercise of the conscious will, i.e., not automatically or as an unconscious reflex action.

Only informative sections of standards are publicly available. To view the full content, you will need to purchase the standard by clicking on the “Buy” button.

Annex A
(informative)

Bibliography

[1] ISO 2631-1 :—2), Mechanical vibration and shock — Evaluation of human exposure to whole—body vibration —Part 1: General requirements.
[2] ISO 6897:1984, Guidelines for the evaluation of the response of occupants of fixed structures, especially buildings and off-shore structures, to low-frequency horizontal motion (0,063 to 1 Hz).
[3] ISO 7962:1987, Mechanical vibration and shock — Mechanical transmissibility of the human body in the z direction.
[4] ISO 8727:—3l, Mechanical vibration and shock — Human exposure — Biodynamic coordinate systems.
[5] Griffin, M. J. Handbook of Human Vibration. Academic Press, London and New York, 1990.


1) To be published. (Revision of ISO 5805:1981)
2) To be published. (Revision of ISO 2631-1:1985)
3) To be published.

© 1996 ISO —All rights reserved

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Wind Turbine Torture

By Curt Devlin

It is easy to forget just how essential sleep is to health and happiness; until of course, you yourself have been deprived of it for a night or two. Firsthand experience of sleep deprivation, even for a few days, is a powerful reminder of how mentally and physically debilitating it is. Even the ongoing disruption or restriction of sleep for a relatively short period of time can have devastating health consequences. Medical research has clearly shown that sleep is essential to human health and wellbeing. Prolonged sleep deprivation has been linked to memory loss, hallucination, weakened resistance to pain, obesity, hypertension, diabetes, impaired immune response, extreme anxiety, stress, clinical depression, and suicide.  In the most extreme cases, animal experimentation suggests that lack of sleep can kill you.

Sleep deprivation has long been recognized as torture by the Geneva Conventions of 1949, the United Nations Convention against Torture (CAT), and the United States War Crimes Act. Depriving someone of proper sleep is torture, regardless of whether it is perpetrated by the CIA against suspected terrorists, OR by reckless planning authorities who permit the wind industry to site industrial-scale wind turbines in residential neighborhoods, or by noise pollution regulatory authorities and health authorities who ignore consistent reports of sleep deprivation from neighboring residents. When authorities deem developments “compliant” with regulations, or wind developers effect specious mitigations; they are inflicting torture. They are violating fundamental human rights.

Recently, the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee released what has come to be known as the Torture Report. It reveals that sleep deprivation was one of the frequently used CIA “enhanced interrogation” tactics. The use of prolonged sleep deprivation led Committee Chairman, Diane Feinstein to conclude “…that, under any common meaning of the term, CIA detainees were tortured.” She goes on to say “…that the conditions of confinement and the use of authorized and unauthorized interrogation and conditioning techniques were cruel, inhuman, and degrading.” The same can be said of the practice of siting industrial turbines too close to homes. Failure to take action to stop excessive noise pollution, or to enforce existing legal limits on “noise nuisance” whenever noise-induced sleep disturbance or deprivation is reported by wind turbine neighbors, hosts, or their families is full complicity with torture.

It is grimly ironic that the US Senate Committee condemns sleep deprivation as cruel and inhuman when used by the CIA interrogators on terror suspects, but blithely ignores it when imposed by wind developers and local authorities on ordinary, law-abiding citizens who pose no threat to anyone. The only threat they pose is to the income generated by taxpayer subsidies to unscrupulous wind developers.

Is it really fair to compare the torture of detainees to that of turbine neighbors? Consider that the detainees were forced to endure sleeplessness for a few days at a time on many occasions, but never more than a week. Wind turbine victims must endure this same deprivation for arbitrary periods of time whenever the wind is blowing, sometimes intermittently for decades. Often, their only hope of escape or reprieve from this torment is to flee their homes which no one will buy—despite the fact that they are not suspected of any crimes whatsoever. At least detainees were not forced to lie awake and watch their families suffer the same deprivation.

When the turbines were shut down during a winter storm with near hurricane-force winds, one young mother of infant twins living in Fairhaven, Massachusetts USA wrote “Isn’t it crazy that in a weird twist it takes a blizzard to give us peace. According to the power dash the beasts stopped at around 9PM.” Later on, she wrote, “I sleep ok in the basement but the babies still wake up randomly almost every night.” Most who are tortured by turbines will tell you that “the beast” can usually find them even when they are hiding in the cellar. Not only are people kept awake by the turbines, but they must endure headaches, nausea, dizziness, breathing difficulties, and in some cases uncontrollable anxiety and severe acute depression.

In one incident described in the Torture Report, an Afghani named Arsala Khan “…suffered disturbing hallucinations after 56 hours of standing sleep deprivation….” Afterwards, the CIA determined that he actually was not involved in any plans or activities to harm the U.S! The innocent victims tortured by the wind industry are in a position to know just how it feels to be tortured indiscriminately.

Publicly, the Bush administration and the CIA chose to describe their treatment of detainees as “enhanced interrogation.” The wind industry chooses to call its noise impact mere “annoyance” and refers to residents’ “concerns”.  These euphemisms are carefully selected to conceal the ugly reality that sleep deprivation is torture, plain and simple. Such terms attempt to hide what is known to be—by any standard of human decency—utterly wrong and depraved. The Senate Intelligence Committee and others have begun to shine a spotlight on the CIA torture program; but the wind industry program of cruelty continues to operate with impunity, largely beyond the glare of public scrutiny.

When the US Senate Committee report placed the issue of torture front and center in the media, it prompted outrage among some journalists, who have used terms like ‘depravity,’ ‘harrowing,’ and ‘gruesome’ to describe the techniques used by the CIA. Yet the media has no outrage when prolonged sleep deprivation and cruelties are routinely visited on local neighborhoods throughout America and across the world. When the subject turns to wind turbines, all talk of human rights violations immediately goes silent.

Remarkably, and despite the condemnation of the Intelligence Committee and the outraged media reaction to it, public opinion polls consistently show that a majority of Americans still consider the CIA’s use of torture justified. Even those who disagree with this view, may be able to understand it. The rationale for torture is that it was necessary to prevent another 911; but what, then, is the rationale for torturing ordinary men, women, and children in their own homes on a nightly basis? What accounts for the almost universal apathy of government officials, mainstream media, and the general public, toward the victims of wind energy? It seems America is one nation, with liberty, and justice for all—except for those unlucky few, who can be tortured without any good cause at all. Our silence gives consent to continue.

Perhaps this silence about turbine victims can be partially explained by a monumental form of social denial. Psychologists have noted that when confronted with tacit complicity with torture, most people tend to diminish in their own minds the actual harm being inflicted. Terms like ‘enhanced interrogation’ and ‘annoyance’ encourage such forms of self-deception. However, this pervasive complicity with torture cannot be fully explained by denial alone. There is a far more ominous and compelling explanation supplied long ago by the experiments of Stanley Milgram.

A short video of the Milgram experiment

In 1962, Milgram, a Harvard-trained psychologist, devised a set of experiments designed to explain why people are willing to accept and even participate in torture. Initially, Milgram thought it was a lack of moral fiber. Prior to conducting his experiments, Milgram believed that most Americans were morally superior to those who were responsible for the torture and atrocities of the Holocaust. He predicted that most of his (American) subjects would reject the use of torture out of hand. Milgram also polled many of his fellow psychologists, who made similar predictions. Contrary to all expectations, however, Milgram’s experiment actually proved that about two thirds of Americans were willing to administer torture by electroshock to innocent victims, even to the point of possible lethality, simply because they were told by someone in a position of perceived authority that it was necessary to do so. Contrary to the much beloved American mythology of rugged individualism and personal independence, Milgram has shown that most Americans are just as blindly obedient to authority as everyone else.

Since that time, Milgram’s experiment has been repeated dozens of times by him and other scientists, with subjects from different counties and cultures, but the results are always the same. About 65% of all subjects are willing to administer torture—even to the point of lethality—as long as someone in authority tells them it is necessary. Even when controls are added to identify potentially confounding factors, this result is highly repeatable. This shows that obedience to authority, even to the point of partaking in torture of innocent victims, is so deeply ingrained in human nature that it transcends language, culture, and moral outlook—it is a truly global phenomenon. The evidence for this is sadly pervasive.

People are willing to ignore, condone, and even participate in torturing detainees simply because they are told that it was necessary to protect America from new terrorist attacks. Similarly, people are willing to tolerate, approve, and contribute to the torture of their neighbors with the ill effects of wind turbines simply because they have been told by public officials, the media, or green zealots that it is necessary to “save the planet” from global climate change. There is ample evidence to show that torture is not an effective means of interrogation and that industrial wind turbines cannot stem climate change. No matter. Like subjects in Milgram’s experiment, the public is being told by authority that “the experiment requires that you continue.”

In a position paper entitled Leave No Marks: Enhanced Interrogation Techniques and the Risk of Criminality, Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) and Human Rights First (HRF) have collaborated to publish a detailed condemnation of the CIA torture program, as well as the participation of physicians in these practices. Section 6 specifically details the physical harm and health consequences of forced sleep deprivation and interruption. It also delineates the criminal consequences for anyone who knowingly engages in it.  Here it is pointed out that “the U.S. State Department has condemned Indonesia, Iran, Jordan, Libya, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey for using sleep deprivation as a form of torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment.”

In case anyone is inclined to minimize sleep deprivation as mere annoyance, as the wind industry and its advocates would have you believe; Leave No Marks goes on to note that:

Even sleep restriction of four hours per night for less than a week can result in physical harm, including hypertension, cardiovascular disease, altered glucose tolerance and insulin resistance. Sleep deprivation can impair immune function and result in increased risk of infectious diseases. Further, chronic pain syndromes are associated with alterations in sleep continuity and sleep patterns.

Many of those who are routinely awakened by nearby industrial turbines would consider themselves lucky to get even four consecutive hours of uninterrupted sleep on a regular basis. This paper notes that U.S. federal courts have found that sleep deprivation is also a violation of the Eight Amendment prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment.

Perhaps it is time for groups like Physicians for Human Rights and Human Rights First and indeed the medical profession generally, to turn their intention toward the ongoing torture and cruelty perpetrated by the wind industry. Surely, such acts are criminal whether they are committed by governments or private industry.

Dr. William Hallstein, treating psychiatrist from Falmouth USA, made it abundantly clear that the impacts of the turbines are indeed tantamount to torture in his letter to the Falmouth Town Board of Health.  It is telling that Justice Muse from the Falmouth Superior Court issued an injunction in December 2013 to prevent “irreparable harm to physical and psychological health” by turning the turbines off at night.  The turbines at Falmouth (USA) remain turned off, over a year later.

Perhaps it’s time to face our own complicity and involvement in these fundamental violations of both civil and human rights, as well.

The wind industry cannot hide behind a claim of ignorance about the devastating impact of wind turbine noise on human health. N.D. Kelley and other NASA scientists from the Solar Energy Research Institute (SERI) have published papers that ascribe the direct causation of human disturbance to wind turbine noise. This group published numerous papers on this subject between 1982 and 1985 based on sound research and clear evidence. Then, in 1987, this research was presented directly to the wind industry at the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) Conference in San Francisco. In short, the wind industry has continued to site its industrial scale power and noise generators near residential neighborhoods for more than thirty years, knowing full well that it was inflicting cruelty and suffering on those living near them. The silence of public officials, the media, and the public indicates wind turbine torture may be allowed to continue for decades to come.

There can be no doubt that wind turbines cause chronic sleep deprivation, and no doubt that sleep deprivation is torture. The scientific evidence that turbines do cause sleeplessness is already prolific and continues to grow. Moreover, the most comprehensive literature reviews on this question reveal that there is virtually no independent evidence to controvert this conclusion. Perhaps the most damning evidence of all comes from the public record of heath complaints from people around the world. According to the noted epidemiologist Carl V. Phillips, “There is overwhelming evidence that large electricity-generating wind turbines (hereafter: turbines) cause serious health problems in a nontrivial fraction of residents living near them.” Among these public health reports from turbine neighbors, sleep deprivation and disruption are by far the most common.

Taken together, the science and the public record of adverse health reports offer clear and compelling evidence that wind turbines are instruments of torture.  Therefore, anyone who advocates for, or participates in, the siting of wind turbines near people is inflicting torture on them. Anyone who contributes to, or endorses, unsafe government noise pollution regulations, or who allows them to continue unabated when turbines are clearly causing sleep deprivation and other forms of human misery, or who ignores community complaints, or obstructs the accurate measurement of infrasound and low frequency noise inside homes is complicit with torture. And, anyone who knowingly conducts spurious turbine noise mitigations, or who permits or helps to perpetuate levels of infrasound and low frequency noise emissions above the thresholds established by Dr. Neil Kelley, and confirmed most recently by Steven Cooper’s research at Cape Bridgewater in Australia, must be held accountable for inflicting, or helping to perpetuate torture by prolonged sleep deprivation. Those who do so are guilty of criminal violation of both civil and human rights on an industrial scale.

This is why the global wind industry has strategically and systematically sought to silence wind turbine hosts and neighbors with property buy-outs and non-disclosure agreements. Undoubtedly, this is also why they and those who support them have publicly targeted acoustic engineers, health practitioners, and public health experts who have attempted to expose this truth in accordance with their canons of professional ethics. This industry subjects legitimate science to ridicule, its authors to character assassination, and its sleepless victims to blame and aspersions of mental defect. All of this is done to cloak conscious criminal cruelty in the name of unbridled greed.

In its determination to hide the ugly reality of industrial wind turbines, this industry uses money and the false promise of cheap energy to exert undue influence over public officials. It substitutes pseudo-science for legitimate science, spends untold millions on PR campaigns to drown out honest journalism, and sponsors fear-mongering in place of reasoned public discourse on renewable energy.

There may be no better evidence for this campaign of pubic deception than the so-called “Wind Turbine Health Impact Study: Report of Independent Expert Panel” produced in January, 2012 by an unholy alliance between the wind industry and Massachusetts governor’s office. This document epitomizes the fraudulence, distortion, and misinformation that flourish when wind industry influence over government goes unchecked by public scrutiny and legal safeguards. The title notwithstanding, none of the authors of this so-called health study had any recognized expertise related to the health effects of wind turbines. None had ever given a physical examination to a turbine sufferer, and no turbine-related health complaints were investigated during the course of this study—despite the vocal and repeated pleas by effected residents to be examined as part of it. Although insufficient peer-review was one of the most salient criticism leveled against the legitimate studies reviewed; the Massachusetts study itself was not submitted to peer-review before its publication. For these and other reasons, it was deemed junk science by Dr. Raymond Hartmann, who is widely recognized for his expertise in analyzing scientific evidence, and exposing the junk science used by the Tobacco industry to defend its products.

The “Expert Panel” study was published by the Massachusetts Departments of Environmental Protection and Public Health. When such junk science such as this is published by the very agencies responsible for protecting the environment and public health, it gives them the ring of authority. It is as though the state has mandated to an unsuspecting public that the torture must continue. In Milgram’s experiment, when a subject refused to continue administering shocks, the authority figure would reassure them by saying something to the effect that no permanent tissue damage will be caused. In that context, the statement was quite true because no real shock was actually being given. But in the case of wind turbines, government sanctioned torture is very real and does real damage to health and safety—and that damage may indeed be permanent. As the epigraph from Leave No Marks reminds us, “The absence of physical evidence should not be construed to suggest that torture did not occur, since such acts of violence against persons frequently leave no marks or permanent scars.”

For those who are willing to face their own conscience, there may be a glimmer of hope in Stanley Milgram’s otherwise bleak findings. In some of his later experiments, Milgram tried to determine how conformity would affect the obedience of the experimental subjects. He found that when at least two others in the room refused to comply with authority, only about 10% of the experimental subjects were willing to continue torturing. For those who have the courage to defy authority, it seems that disobedience can be contagious, and raising your voice loudly, publicly, and repeatedly against indiscriminant torture and injustice can truly make a difference.

About the author: Curt Devlin currently lives in Fairhaven, Massachusetts U.S.A. He was formerly a Teaching Fellow in the Philosophy Department at Tulane University. His opposition to the irresponsible use of wind energy began in 2007, when a wind project was proposed for the undisturbed and ecologically sensitive salt marshes surrounding a quite estuary in the Little Bay area of Fairhaven—an area which is bordered by densely populated neighborhoods. Although this project was defeated, construction began clandestinely for a new project on Veteran’s Day in November of 2011. Since then, Devlin has been an outspoken critic of the wind industry and its proponents. He has written numerous articles and editorials on this and related topics. He has been a guest speaker at the Fairhaven Wind Forum in 2012, where he criticized the irresponsible siting of turbines in residential neighborhoods across Massachusetts and around the world. In 2013, he spoke on the fundamental human right to be free of unwarranted experimentation at the Falmouth Human Rights Conference in Falmouth, Massachusetts. Professionally, Devlin works as a software architect focused on the development of health science solutions for the detection and treatment of cancer and the improvement of human health.

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Dr. Robert McMurtry on the Serious Health Effects of Living Near Industrial Wind Turbines

Dr. McMurtry offers a firsthand account of patients he has examined and treated for ill-health effects caused by living to close to wind turbines. If you have been told by local officials or wind developers that symptoms you or your family are suffering with are all in your head and have nothing to do with living near turbines, you’ll want to hear what he has to say. Dr. McMurtry explodes the myth of the so-called nocebo effect.

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Dr. Robert McMurtry is the former Dean of Medicine at Western University and a member of the Order of Canada

 

 

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Senator John Madigan’s speech to the Australian Senate about the Senate wind turbine inquiry report

[Editor’s note: Senator John Madigan represents Victoria, much of which is rural farm land and bush country to the North and West of Melbourne that has been ruthlessly exploited by the wind industry for decades. Many unsuspecting farmers there have signed land leases to host wind turbines only to discover that their farms have become uninhabitable due to the sound emissions produced by large arrays of extremely large turbines. Most farmers have been reluctant speak out about these health consequences for fear of lawsuits by wind developers based on gag clauses in their lease. Senator Madigan has been the vocal advocate for this beleaguered group. In this speech on August 20, he summarizes the report from an extensive government investigation on this issue and lays bare wind industry’s lies.]

1400505_613368992066244_1506549838_o Mr President, I rise to speak as the former chairman of the Senate Select Committee on wind turbines.

It is nearly 30 years since Australia’s first wind farm was built – that was in Esperance in Western Australia.

Currently there are 82 wind farms accredited under the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000.

They consist of 2,077 wind turbines with total installed capacity of 4,180 MW.

Among renewables, wind is a major player in Australia.

It has benefited significantly from the financial incentives of the RET.

The committee report represents a substantial body of evidence.

Undoubtedly it is the most complete inquiry into wind farms in Australian history, receiving nearly 500 submissions, 39 pieces of additional information, 82 responses to questions taken on notice, 46 tabled documents and significant additional correspondence from all over the world.

Additionally, the committee held hearings in Canberra on three occasions as well as sitting in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Cairns and Portland.

We heard testimony from hundreds of witnesses.

As a Ballarat-based Senator for Victoria I have long been aware that many people residing near western Victorian wind farms have reported noise nuisance, ill-effects and sleep deprivation due to their proximity to wind farms.

In fact, in June 2010, up to twenty residents from the Waubra and Cape Bridgewater areas alone sent the former Health Minister and current Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews statutory declarations reporting that their health and well being were being seriously compromised by the operation of wind turbines. Read more…

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From Windwahn in Germany

Some messages need no translation…

Windwahn

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The Predation of Big Wind Continues in Turkey

The blitzkrieg of Big Wind continues to destroy everything in its path in Turkey. Communities, economies, and environments are decimated by the onslaught of companies like Nordex, who are operating outside the law and in flagrant disregard for both public and private property in places like Bodrum and Cesme, Turkey. The blitz to erect massive industrial wind turbine arrays in the midst of these beautiful seaside towns that depend heavily on tourism, threatens the undisturbed natural beauty of the local environment which attracts tourists from around the world.

If you have firsthand experience with the assault of Big Wind, this (English subtitled) video will sound all too familiar:

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