Another anti-wind power article in The Australian has led scientists to denounce the paper’s continuing use of junk science to discredit renewables, says Cam Walker.
GRAHAM LLOYD, The Australian’s environment editor, has fallen foul of the Australian Acoustical Society, who have written a letter to Lloyd complaining about his latest anti-wind farm article.
This latest of a series of negative articles concerned a recent study by the South Australian Environment Protection Authority. The study found that wind farms do not cause infrasound and sound pollution. Lloyd’s article, however, attacked the study, on a supposedly scientific basis.
In response, the Australian Acoustical Society (AAS) has published an interesting letter on its website. It seems that the experts believe that Lloyd’s article was wrong. It turns out that the EPA study was, in fact, based on good science and Lloyd’s ‘experts’, it seems, the real purveyors of junk science.
Of course, in the interests of balanced reporting, the Weekend Australian published the AAS letter to the editor, right?
The letter of complaint to the editor of the Weekend Australian was written on 13 Feb, a full three days before publication, yet was there no room in the paper to provide a dissenting voice to Mr Lloyd’s conclusions? The views expressed are a significant addition to a factual debate on this issue.
‘Infrasound sickness’ is a scare-mongering concept put out by the Landscape Guardians/Waubra Foundation.
If we search for ‘infrasound’ and ‘wind’ we find that The Australian has published one positive article, on 10 June 2011 (a fine interview with Suzlon founder Tulsi Tanti, by Geoff Hiscock) but more than 13 negative articles:
- 9 February 2013
- 21 Apr 2012
- 9 Feb 2012
- 25 Jan 2012
- 24 June 2011
- 7 June 2012
- 29 May 2012
- 3 Sept 2011
- 15 June 2011
- 26 March 2011
- 10 March 2011
- 5 March 2011
- 22 Aug 2009
(This list does not count negative letters, a negatively ‘framed’ photo gallery, or multiple articles in a single issue of the paper, so the real tally is probably more like 23 negative to 1 positive.)
Graham Lloyd has his work cut out for him as environment editor. On the one hand, the Murdoch press has a clear anti-climate science and anti-renewables agenda. On the other, all the science, economics and social research show that renewables are winners and climate change is real.
I would hope Mr Lloyd can help get the Australian Acoustical Society’s letter printed in the next Weekend Australian, to prove that the paper upholds journalistic standards and is not biased against wind energy and climate action.
UPDATE: 22 February 2012; 11.45am: In an earlier version of this article we said the AAS had threatened to complain to Media Watch if their letter isn't published by Lloyd. There appears to be some dispute about this within the Society and so that section has been removed.
(This is an abridged version of the article by Cam Walker in Yes2Renewables on 20 February 2013.)