Figure 1. Wind farms as far as the eye can see in the Shirley Basin. Do they enhance your view of the background mountains?

Shadows and Flicker

Kevin Kilty

Some time back I provided a brief essay on acoustic issues with regard to wind turbines, and why I think methods of calculating acoustic levels and then making adequate allowance is deficient. In this related essay I tackle the strange issue of shadow flicker.

Shadowing is not a new issue in planning and zoning. Most jurisdictions at least acknowledge the need for windows on existing structures to not have light and air cut off by planned development on adjacent lots. Unfortunately the language used is filled with subjectivity such as “unreasonable”.  And practically all jurisdictions state that not all shadowing is detrimental, but may at times provide comfort from heat of the sun.  Moreover, in many cities provisions are made to make sure that such light sensitive features as gardens and solar water heating or solar PV systems are not negatively impacted. Some jurisdictions have found a way to ensure no interference with installed solar energy systems is by way of solar easements or permitting ( See for example the City of El Paso ordinances chapter 20.12.030 – Supplemental height regulations.)

However, wind turbines present unusual considerations. First, their shadows present no relief from heat and glare. Second, the shadows of the blades are moving in repeating patterns. I do not find complaints that the repeating shadow patterns are a health hazard particularly convincing, especially the claims that they can induce seizures [1], but they certainly fall under the category of a nuisance that a planning commission or regulatory agency may be required to consider or should be required to consider means of reducing to an acceptable level.

What piqued my interest in shadow flicker was actually observing the shadow of a wind turbine near sunset along the old Lincoln highway near Medicine Bow, Wyoming in mid-June. It was an odd observation — a shadow of very strange appearance circulating on a field south of the highway. I intended to return at some point in the summer prepared to capture some video, but we have had so much smoke from fires in the air that there is no sun visible near the horizon, nor sometimes any distinct shadows cast at midday. This goal will have to await clearer skies in autumn, perhaps.

The modeling or estimation of shadow flicker

With my new interest I decided to read that part of the ISC application dealing with shadow flicker. Several statements caught my attention. Both concerned rules about the circumstances under which shadow flick will occur. For example, background from Section 3 of the ISC application reads:

“However, when the sun angle is very low (less than 3 degrees), sunlight passes through more atmosphere and becomes too diffused to form a coherent shadow. Shadow flicker does not occur when the sun is obscured by clouds or fog, at night, or when the source turbine(s) are not operating. In addition, shadow flicker occurs only when at least 20 percent of the sun’s disc is covered by the turbine blades.”

There are two “rules” being announced here that are not obvious. Let’s take this statement apart starting with the second rule about shadow flicker occurring only when 20% or more of the sun is covered by an object. This statement is difficult to label as obviously true or false because of the confounding of a shadow, the source of shadow flicker, with the psychological perception of flicker. It is not true that a shadow occurs only when the blocking object is nearer than some fixed distance relative to size of the obstruction. A geometrical shadow is a very simplified model of what happens when an object blocks a beam of illumination.

What actually occurs when an opaque object obstructs light is that the edges of the object serve as secondary, or even tertiary, point sources of scattering. Interference of this scattered energy in the illuminated field beyond the obstruction produces what we observe — shadows are a diffraction pattern.[2] In the near field diffraction produces a shadow with sharp edges the  geometry of the obstruction, but very quickly with increasing distance the edges of shadows blur into a more complex pattern of illumination. Figure 2 shows this. The chain link casts a distinct, sharp edged shadow on the sidewalk on the right side of the photo. Here the wires subtend a large angle from the surface of the walk. On the left side the wires subtend a small angle that is less than 20% the angle subtended by the sun. Even though the shadows are not sharp edged, they are certainly not gone. In fact, the shadows of the top chord or beam of the fence have diffused edges even though in this instance at twice the subtended angle of the sun, a person might think this pipe should cast a geometrical shadow. Shadows grow in width to become broader than the object causing them. The actual cross section of an obstruction is some two times larger than its geometrical cross section — a result known as the extinction paradox.[3]  Shadows are even stranger than this, as a shadows cast by a solid object becomes in the far field the same as a shadow cast by its complement object, an aperture in a baffle — Babinet’s principle. There even develops a bright region at the center of the shadow.

Figure 2. Form of shadows in the near field (right side) versus far field (left side).

Let’s now analyze that first rule in the background information dealing with sun elevation. In places where the atmosphere is nearly saturated with water vapor, and filled with clouds, haze or smoke, then sun reddens near the horizon and the illumination is so diffuse that no sharp shadows result. However, this is not a universal occurrence, and one ought to be obliged to actually address what goes on locally. At all Wyoming localities the air is dry and very clear at most times. Figure 3 shows a shadowed scene with low angle sun. The date and time stamp (July 7, 8:25 pm MDT) I calculate as pertaining to a sun angle only 1.4 degrees above the horizon, and this is verified by the distance down the wall a shadow from another portion of the building casts on the brick. It is obvious, however, that distinct shadows are cast. I believe sharp shadows will be cast by the sun setting right to the horizon on this day, which is not out of the ordinary in Wyoming.

Figure 3. Shadows still have sharp contrast even with the sun only 1.4 degrees above the horizon when the air is clear.

Having stated two rules of shadowing with dubious validity we should ask “do the consultants actually employ these rules in making an EIS or agency application?” The answer is yes. From the application once again:

“Sun angles less than 3 degrees above the horizon were excluded for the reasons identified earlier in Section 3. Since shadow flicker is only an issue when at least 20 percent of the sun’s disc is covered by the blades, WindPro uses blade dimension data to calculate the maximum distance from the turbine where shadow flicker must be calculated.”

Thus, we have solid reason to believe that both the duration of shadow flicker and the area affected are likely underestimated. This employment of rules or standards of dubious pertinence also formed the basis of my criticisms of acoustic studies.

Is flicker a real or imagined nuisance?

Does the shadow of wind turbine blades produce a real nuisance sensation or not? At some distance it surely does not, but one has to keep in mind several facts. First, our sensory system is tuned to rates of changes in sensation as much if not more than magnitude. Second, people vary enormously in sensitivity to practically every chemical or sensory stimulation one can name. Third, there is often an interaction among several sensory inputs which will magnify responses to one or the other or both. A clear example of this is Weber’s phenomenon where a cold to the touch object feels heavier than an identical object that is warm to the touch — an interaction between the pressure and heat flow sensors of the skin. In the case of shadow flicker there appears to be an interaction between wind turbine noise and annoyance from shadow flicker. What an engineer concerned with shadow flicker would do is to consult a table of ergonomic data indicating the variation of illumination which 99%, or some other proportion, of the population will not notice in various circumstances.[4] I know of no such data available for things like flicker or wind turbine noise, however.

A good video illustrating what shadow flicker looks like is available, currently, on YouTube here.  One might contemplate that some of the visual effect is contributed by response of the video camera itself to the changing illumination level, but nonetheless it shows clearly the complex nature of the shadow itself, and how one’s impression of the flicker changes depending on whether one’s current focus is toward or away from the obstacle turbine; i.e. whether one is viewing in forward scattered or back scattered light. Another interesting video showing a simulation of the problem, with a presenter who progresses a bit too slowly, is here.

How do the wind turbine developers respond to this complaint?

In researching this topic I discovered some interesting things. First, a number of video productions exist where employees of wind turbine developers or consultants talk about shadow flicker, and mention solutions to this problem. One of the most common suggestions is to plant trees. I don’t know how to classify such a silly suggestion. Waiting for trees to grow and obscure a nearby nuisance is a solution worthy of parody. Even when I lived in the Pacific Northwest I never observed hybrid trees farmed for pulp to grow fast enough to do this. A pertinent question is “why should one property owner have to screen their view in order to ameliorate a nuisance originating on a neighboring property?”

Discounting unworkable suggestions like planting trees between the turbine and the complainant, or adding window coverings, one useful solution mentioned in these videos is that wind developers have the technical ability to calculate when shadow flicker will potentially produce a nuisance on any neighboring property, and they can shut the turbine off during the time this occurs. [One example involving experts, another ]. This would obviously work to eliminate the problem. So would proper placement of the wind turbines in the first place.

However, what wind developers do in fact rather than what they might do hypothetically is best illustrated by replies to public comments in the final EIS of the Campo Wind Project in San Diego County, California.

“The Project design has been revised slightly to address potential nuisance-level shadow flicker effects. The Draft EIS explained that ‘all turbine software would include programming to reduce or shut off turbines during times of shadow flicker potential to avoid any concerns regarding adverse effects on nearby receptors due to flicker from turbine blades.’ Upon further consideration, it was determined that this design feature would significantly impact the economic benefits of the Project to the Tribe, thereby undermining the key purpose of the Project. It is also not a cost-effective measure to address effects that would only amount to a temporary visual disruption for certain receptors, if at all.”

Instead the developer suggests working with affected owners for vegetative or window screenings. This is also suggested for properties affected by the Fountain Wind project in Northern California in its final EIS. I already mocked the idea of planting trees, and the video of what flicker looks like should put to rest the idea of “window coverings” doing the job.

There is a sort of bait and switch strategy being employed here. Suggest something that will obviously work, but then be willing in reality to apply something cheaper but less effective instead. Indeed, promoters of the local wind farm proposal that has occupied my time lately sent out a fact sheet last year explaining, among other things, that 90% of a wind turbine is recyclable. This was in response to opponents’ concern that much of the decommissioned plant would eventually end up in some local landfill. They didn’t say they would recycle 90%; they just said that 90% could be. No doubt many people receiving this flyer in their mail inferred “can” to mean “would”. Yet, at just about the time they were suggesting the extent to which wind turbines might be recycled, the developers were also asking for a variance that would allow them to recover less during decommissioning than specified in statute.[5]

Conclusion

The environmental impact statements I have read this summer are pro forma. They look like cut outs of earlier successful EISs that are sometimes not even edited to be consistent with the specific site. Some are abbreviated versions of earlier reports which don’t contain the same suite of basic data that earlier versions contained. No problem. I know of no EIS that isn’t found to be acceptable by permitting agencies. Renewable energy is so important that careful work just gets in the way of progress. There are elected officials who have actually said as much.  A friend of mine who spent decades in mining operations and in the exploration for mineral deposits told me “The kinds of flaws you noted would have been a slam-dunk to crush a proposal for a new mine.” Yet, renewable energy is viewed differently.

There is no point insisting, as proponents do, that renewable energy assets don’t present nuisances and occasional dangers. At a minimum they present conflicts over views, property values, nuisances from sound and flicker, blinking red lights at night, and so on. Do they present a fire hazard? Well done EISs and applications can alert people to potential problems. Then, proper siting can mitigate many nuisances in the short term. In the long term however renewable energy is so land greedy that serious conflicts are inevitable.

Notes:

[1]-Seizures are induced by light fluctuations more rapid than three per second. What wind turbines generate is far slower.

[2]-In fact, all light propagation is a diffraction phenomenon.

[3]-Charles Adams and Ifan Hughes, Optics f2f: From Fourier to Fresnel, Oxford University Press, 2019.

[4]-For example, in deciding where to place controls on the dashboard of a vehicle being designed engineers would consult ergonomic tables regarding the comfortable reach of various percentiles of the population. The various student contests run by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) specify vehicle dimensions to accommodate the 95 percentile in most cases.

[5]-Asking for a variance allowing them to decommission all structures within three feet of ground surface rather than four feet. This is a big variance considering the massive foundation involved.

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Rud Istvan
August 14, 2021 2:16 pm

This can be a real,problem. True story. When my son was getting his MBA, the University set up a smallish wind turbine (blade diameter maybe 20’) on the roof of the adjascent multistory parking garage just to the west of his dorm. The result was that a whole swath of the dorm rooms facing the garage could not be used for studying in the afternoon because of the flicker.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  Rud Istvan
August 14, 2021 2:29 pm

A few years ago I installed one of the new “ecologically friendly” lights in a circuit with a dimmer type switch. Immediately the light began to flicker. Within days I was getting splitting headaches. I soon replaced it with a ‘pirated’ 100 watt incandescent and no more headaches.

Rational_Db8
Reply to  Rory Forbes
August 14, 2021 4:47 pm

First, I just wanted to note that unfortunately the link to figure 2 seems to be broken – I hope someone will note that and fix it so we can see that image!

That said, flickering lights can unquestionably trigger – or very significantly worsen – headaches for some people, especially those who are prone to migraines already. Even the flickering shadows cast by candles can do that, let along something so much more even and large like from wind turbine blades. It can cause someone to go from no headache to a mild one or even severe one, or turn a mild slightly irritating headache into a quite painful nightmare, including inducing nausea.

So you’re sure not alone in that!! Photosensitivity that way is pretty well medically established.

Also, it seems pretty unquestionable that the “right” kind of flickering light can in fact trigger seizures: flickering light seizures – Search Results – PubMed (nih.gov)

Whether that’s true of flickering shadows from a wind turbine I’ve no idea, but it sure wouldn’t surprise me one bit, in fact, it’d surprise me if that wasn’t the case.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  Rational_Db8
August 14, 2021 5:12 pm

Yes I hope the problem gets fixed with fig. 2 …

Unfortunately I happened to be undergoing chemo when the light was replaced. The reaction was almost immediate, but I blamed it on my usually mild chemo induced headache. Within days it turned into a near migraine c/w nausea. I didn’t make the connection right away, assuming it was a typical result of chemo and radiation therapy combined. It took a while to catch on to the link. I admit to being rather slow witted at the time. Who knew?

Overall, I learned a great deal from the article.

Kevin kilty
Reply to  Rory Forbes
August 14, 2021 5:41 pm

I have alerted CM to the issue. I can’t do much from here.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  Kevin kilty
August 14, 2021 5:50 pm

Glitches can happen. Great article otherwise.

Bryan A
Reply to  Rory Forbes
August 14, 2021 10:39 pm

Shadow flicker is annoying at best

And another

Rory Forbes
Reply to  Bryan A
August 14, 2021 11:00 pm

Gosh … which to choose, first hand experience confirmed by a well written article or a YT clip? Pretty unconvincing “argument” … two YouTube clips; are you kidding me?

Bryan A
Reply to  Rory Forbes
August 14, 2021 11:55 pm

I suppose you wouldn’t be opposed to having a Clean Renewable Generator casting shadows in your living room during football any season after all wouldn’t the Shade help cool your house? /sarc

Rory Forbes
Reply to  Bryan A
August 15, 2021 12:03 am

Now I’m really confused. Say what?

Kevin kilty
Reply to  Rational_Db8
August 14, 2021 5:40 pm

Good. It isn’t just me.

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  Rational_Db8
August 15, 2021 12:05 am

I’m very cautious when leaving a dark building, an unlit barn or garage for example, into bright sunshine. I’ve had many migraines triggered that way.
Photochromic sunglasses and a few seconds on the threshold is usually enough prevention

StephenP
Reply to  Rational_Db8
August 15, 2021 6:24 am

Apparently 3% of people with epilepsy can have fits triggered by flickering light,, such as driving along a road with trees on the side of a road and a low sun.
Also warnings are often given about flash photography on news programmes.

AndyHce
Reply to  Rory Forbes
August 15, 2021 12:27 am

Some florescent and compact florescent bulbs do that but not many of them. I’ve also had flickering light output from a couple of LED bulbs but those soon died so I suspect it was a symptom of some internal component on its last legs. Lastly, but first in time, some incandescent bulbs also develop that problem. You just got a bad bulb, one not representative of the breed.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  AndyHce
August 15, 2021 1:06 am

Thanks for the info, although I suspect it has something to do with the dimmer rheostat not supplying the proper current. The other one of the pair I bought works fine and has done for the past 5 years.

These days, who knows. Anything is possible.

Mark D
Reply to  Rud Istvan
August 15, 2021 8:22 am

The constant triggering of peripheral vision has got to cause anxiety and depression over time. How long a time I’m not qualified to speculate. I know I’m very susceptible to such triggering. Wife is a high energy wiggler and sitting on the couch with her watching video I must shield my peripheral vision from her near constant wiggling feet and legs. Drives me nuts.
Fight or Flight Theory of Panic Disorder

https://www.verywellmind.com/the-fight-or-flight-theory-of-panic-disorder-2583916

Fight, Flight, Freeze: What This Response Means

“The fight-flight-freeze response is your body’s natural reaction to danger. It’s a type of stress response that helps you react to perceived threats, like an oncoming car or growling dog.
The response instantly causes hormonal and physiological changes. These changes allow you to act quickly so you can protect yourself. It’s a survival instinct that our ancient ancestors developed many years ago.
Specifically, fight-or-flight is an active defense response where you fight or flee. Your heart rate gets faster, which increases oxygen flow to your major muscles. Your pain perception drops, and your hearing sharpens. These changes help you act appropriately and rapidly.”

https://www.healthline.com/health/mental-health/fight-flight-freeze

Last edited 1 month ago by Mark D
Dean
August 14, 2021 2:18 pm

I know of no EIS that isn’t found to be acceptable by permitting agencies

in Minnesota the author is the reviewing agency. Paid for by the applicant.

Jeff Labute
August 14, 2021 3:00 pm

I’ve seen this in P.E.I. where a few large turbines are near residential areas. As I drove along the highway near sunset I could see the turbines and blade shadows whizzing along the road. It was creepy. I can only imagine it would be distracting in the windows of residents and devalues property. If it were me, I would have to install 100% light blocking shades.

Richard Page
Reply to  Jeff Labute
August 14, 2021 3:45 pm

I imagine if the sun was in the right position, the shadows movement might prove to be a distraction to drivers? If it was clear enough it might generate a strong ‘avoidance’ response that could cause an accident on the road.

Last edited 1 month ago by Richard Page
Mr.
Reply to  Richard Page
August 14, 2021 4:10 pm

Yes I find that when I’m driving along a tree-lined road on a bright sunny day, the irregular fast-changing view from bright to dim for differing durations makes defensive-driving scanning practice very difficult.

I sometimes slow down a bit to feel in control but cars behind me take risky overtaking moves.
Clearly they must have far, far superior light-to-shadow sight adjustment reflexes than I do.
Or they’re Darwin Award contestants.

Leo Smith
Reply to  Mr.
August 15, 2021 1:08 am

Thet is a story, possibly apocyrphal, that the French Routes Nationales, lined with exactly spaced poplar trees have a higer accident rate than those that are not…

Jeff Labute
Reply to  Richard Page
August 15, 2021 5:07 pm

It was my first time in P.E.I, driving my Dad’s vehicle for the first time, never seen a wind turbine before (yeah, really) and from the distance I thought, “wow, look at that, I finally got to see one” … and … “hate to be living beside those”. I then drove in to the shadows with an initial reaction of my hair standing up on end. Without seeing the turbine, one could think it is a blade shadow, or a shadow of the shaft falling in front of you… which isn’t impossible.

Kevin kilty
Reply to  Jeff Labute
August 14, 2021 4:44 pm

Creepy is a good description of the shadows.

Pamela Matlack-Klein
Reply to  Kevin kilty
August 15, 2021 2:45 am

Indeed! And it is difficult to see anything hidden in the shadow, like a pedestrian, cyclist, stray cow….

Malrob
August 14, 2021 3:12 pm

I recall many years ago reports of a man in France who a number of times blacked out and fell off his bike while cycling in the early morning along a straight road lined with tall trees, poplars or suchlike. It was investigated and believed to be some kind of shadow flicker effect on certain brainwaves.

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  Malrob
August 14, 2021 3:58 pm

Epileptic seizures can be induced by flashing lights.

Thomas Gasloli
August 14, 2021 3:23 pm

Isn’t it interesting that an industry that requires massive subsidies to produce an overpriced product that no one actually needs routine gets a waiver from regulations. You have to ask, how much of the subsidy ends up in the pockets of the agency directors and other officials approving the projects?🤔

Ron Long
August 14, 2021 3:58 pm

Good review of one issue with wind turbines, Kevin. As another life-long part of the mining business, from exploration to Technical Advisory Committee for operating mines, I can attest to the idea that no proposed or actual mining operation would be allowed any kind of a waiver to proceed. The bigger issue that is avoided is the chopping up of our flying friends. The carnage does appear to depend on the location of the turbines, but ridgeline turbines in a grassy environment will be the end of a wide variety of birds and bugs. The final insult is when vultures are attracted by the smell of death and get chopped up also. Disgusting. How long will we wait for Greta to explain why this is acceptable?

Kevin kilty
Reply to  Ron Long
August 14, 2021 4:57 pm

I have read a number of EIS documents this summer. I have also read permit applications, and they are so nearly identical that I managed to confuse one for the other — cut and paste. At any rate, I was struck at times by how much ad hoc explanation and dismissal of objections enters the permitting process. The efforts are so pro forma that they really miss the spirit of an EIS.

Variances? The whole issue is inverted. Birds…who cares. Etc.

I am also amazed how committee members, not our ISC but others, actually state openly that objections need to be viewed in context of the enormity of the problem of climate change. I was asked by a number of people to please not to offer my views about climate change or the suitability of wind turbines in fighting it because doing that will simply close the minds of these committees. But at some point people have to recognize that non-solutions to potential non-problems is the very essence of superstition which we allegedly left behind a couple hundred years ago.

.

Kevin kilty
Reply to  Ron Long
August 14, 2021 5:16 pm

You and I have been in the earth resources business, and so we have a few truly bizarre observations about the inconsistency of environmental worries. I was working on a gold mine for Consolidated Gold Fields at Glamis, California in 1984. I can’t recall if it was Federal FWS or State of Cal, but they expressed concen over our use of gravimeters/magnetometers and bothering the desert tortoise. Yet, some miles away toward Yuma the Navy was bombing and straffing the desert tortoise.

max
August 14, 2021 4:14 pm

I have heard the weird noise from a turbine, worked next to one for 10 hours one day, and it’s weird, no doubt. There’s a lot of money handed out when you build a wind farm, not at all contingent on anything about its performance, or liabilities. They minimize the liabilities, and claim they’re “well within code” or whatever, but they also took part in writing the code. It all likely comes down to “you can’t fight city hall”.

Rory Forbes
August 14, 2021 4:49 pm

Still posting incoherent gibberish, I see.

Steve Case
August 14, 2021 5:09 pm

If Wind “Turbines” really were saving the planet, nobody would care about the view. But they aren’t saving the planet, and most people know it. Pointing out that today’s wind mills are a 7th century solution to the 21st century non-problem, is a story that will not see the light of day in the vast majority or media outlets. And that’s the problem.

Wikipedia History of Wind Power

H. D. Hoese
August 14, 2021 5:14 pm

“I know of no EIS that isn’t found to be acceptable by permitting agencies.” I remember when these started (wetland projects), regulation was specific to the site and problem. Has anyone researched this? Projects have similar properties, but geography varies, so boilerplate should be limited. I recall a few years ago going by a strangely glassed building in Dallas causing a problem, wasn’t moving, but the sun did. Somebody said that they were in trouble, forgot the details.

Kevin kilty
August 14, 2021 5:20 pm

Betz limit at least ought to be the death of proposals to see how to improve the efficiency of wind turbines. All designs are roughly 85% of the way to Betz limit already. Not much to be gained there.

Bryan A
Reply to  Kevin kilty
August 14, 2021 10:51 pm

I would LOVE to see an operating Wind Turbine producing at anywhere near that Betz Limit of 59%. I haven’t seen many operating at more than 33% efficiency in actual measured output minus needed input
Wind is a Losing Betz

Last edited 1 month ago by Bryan A
Kevin kilty
August 14, 2021 5:22 pm

Question for anyone happening by this post. Can people see Figure 2? I cannot for some reason. Thanks.

Alexy Scherbakoff
Reply to  Kevin kilty
August 14, 2021 5:53 pm

Must’ve been fixed. Didn’t see it before but see it now.

meab
Reply to  Kevin kilty
August 14, 2021 8:06 pm

I see it fine. Firefox and Windows 7.

David Hoopman
August 14, 2021 6:13 pm

With all possible respect to those commenting and pointing out the problems with flicker and whatever other adverse effects are associated with wind turbines, this is an argument over how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

The only thing that really matters is these subsidy-grubbing devices are WORSE THAN WORTHLESS because they are utterly unreliable and create more environmental damage than they alleviate.

‘Nuff said.Case closed.

It would be nice to think I might live long enough to see the last wind turbine scrapped by a world that’s learned its lesson, but when you come right down to it, I don’t give a damn.

Kevin kilty
Reply to  David Hoopman
August 14, 2021 7:03 pm

From the number of turbines that will be needed to power our nation this will go from being, in your estimation arguing about how many angels dance on the head of a pin, to how many turbines can we site in residential neighborhoods.

Sommer
Reply to  Kevin kilty
August 15, 2021 2:13 pm

Can you imagine how urban dwellers would react if massive turbines were sited close to their homes and they had to deal with shadow flicker? Why is it acceptable to do this to rural peoples’ homes?
In Ontario, residents within the largest wind project, have to stop what ever they’re doing and try to reach an operator in Texas on the telephone to ask them to stop the turbines, when shadow flicker from neighbouring farms is affecting them on their land.
Farmers working in their fields have to endure the impacts of large swathes of shadow passing steadily over and around them as they try to drive their equipment.
After five years, this ridiculous situation persists.

Allen Stoner
August 14, 2021 7:00 pm

Flickering lights do cause migraines for me. One of several triggers.

Michael S. Kelly
August 14, 2021 8:02 pm

Several years ago, I drove to a three day management offsite in a resort on an island in the Chesapeake Bay (I want to say Kent Island, but I really can’t remember exactly where it was). In any event, the drive involved a very lengthy crossing of a Bay bridge. It was fairly early morning, and the sun angle was such that the bridge girders caused a strobe effect that quickly became dangerous. Some 45 years earlier, I had been exposed to a strobe light with a frequency that caused me nausea, dizziness, disorientation, and ultimate collapse. I could feel the same thing happening on that drive, and no matter how I changed my speed, I couldn’t get the frequency out of that critical range. I honestly thought I was going to crash and die, but somehow I made it across.

The “flicker effect” is very real, and can be very, very dangerous.

Fred Chittenden
August 14, 2021 8:24 pm

This ‘renewable’ debate could also be considered a “look at the shiny object” renewable failure distraction from the ever increasing size of the Caribbean Dead Zone. The Dead Zone’s growth is related to excessive fertilizer needed to grow cornahol. The fertilizer washes down the Midwest rivers and is flushed out to sea leaving large areas of the Caribbean without enough oxygen to support much sea life.

Crony corn greed green subsidies involved — not much to see here. This is almost like how mercury caused Mad Hatter’s disease in hat makers — only, being Crony Cornahol and the Dead Zone, it’s mostly the EPA saying “not much to see here, move along”…

Same EPA approach existing for ignoring dead birds and dead bats with wind mills…

Last edited 1 month ago by Fred Chittenden
Peta of Newark
August 14, 2021 9:19 pm

Does it even matter if you are in the shadow of the things?
It’s because if ‘something/anything‘ is moving in our field of view and we are instinctively drawn to look at it. We cannot help that reflex.

There is an Old Joke about the human eye/brain combination and ‘moving’ things:

Crap Joke:
We always have to check out moving things because:
1) It may be something we could eat
2) It may be something that wants to eat us
3) It may be something we could mate with
Because, in The Grand Scheme of Things, nothing else really matters

Thus when something is moving in our field of view, we cannot take our eyes/mind/concentration off it and if it’s something that’s generally all-round boring & nothing, it spoils our day.
We become annoyed at it for being a worthless distraction and this is the thing that clever folks with sun-angles, cameras and light-meters can never measure

Likewise the ‘noise’ they make. We don’t just hear with our ears, we ‘feel’ sound with our entire body – it is just a big wobbly blob of jelly after all and it will be sensitive to very low frequencies – in the range of maybe 10Hz down to 0.1Hz
It is why the classic 4 piece rock music band comprised:

  • Vocals
  • Lead guitar
  • Drums
  • Bass guitar

Why the bass guitar – nobody can actually hear it?
Yet is is what made the band Steely Dan so popular with music fans and unpopular with recording engineers.
Steely Dan insisted on wheeling a set of sub-woofer speakers into their recording studios. Especially in the days of recording onto vinyl, bass and sub-bass are the recording engineer’s worst dream come true

Clever science folks toting sound-level meters, computers and spectrum analysers will be just the same.
They’ll assert ‘Oh, nobody can hear those frequencies, what’s the point of measuring them? In any case, my equipment cannot go that low.”

The kids, our kids, know about sub-bass AND flashing/flickering lights – hence why electronic dance parties/rave is so popular. And soooo disliked by Puritanical Types

Sub-bass is in fact = A Drug = something that provides Dopamine.
But, unlike most other drugs, Government sanctioned or otherwise, sub-bass does not trash either your mind or body.
It is a ‘heathy’ drug that’s been known about for at least 50,000 years, well before cooked starch, booze and cannabis and is why ‘people of colour‘ have a ‘rhythm gene’ in their genetic make-up

Yet modern science and society tell us that all these things are ‘wrong, bad, illegal’

One could venture a long way out into another conspiracy theory:
“That wind turbines with their sound and light pollution are devices of torture”
Put there to punish people for their Evil Fossil Fuelled Ways?
<sucks teeth/draws Deep Breath>

Just the sort of things that out-of-control children might do inside tribal warfare.
Lord of the Flies anyone…………

Last edited 1 month ago by Peta of Newark
AndyHce
Reply to  Peta of Newark
August 15, 2021 12:47 am

The effect of sustained or frequent infrasound are observable in tissue changes for both humans and lab animals. Those tissue changes are not benign. You can refuse to believe the evidence but I very much doubt you can provide counter evidence.

Sommer
Reply to  AndyHce
August 15, 2021 6:15 pm

https://livestream.com/itmsstudio/events/8781285/videos/196181579

Listen to this presentation given by Dr. Mariana Alves-Pereira from Portugal,in September of 2019, at the University of Waterloo, on harm to health from infrasound from sources including industrial scale wind turbines.

griff
August 14, 2021 11:20 pm

Why not ask those many German communities which own their own turbines and placed them on their farms and in their villages?

Leo Smith
Reply to  griff
August 15, 2021 1:12 am

Been done. The houses are essentially unsaleable. What people who dont live next to wind farms say about living next to windfarms is one thing., What they do with their money is another.

Sheri
Reply to  griff
August 15, 2021 7:22 am

Who paid for the turbines? Who maintains the turbines? Are the turbines their only power or are they tied to the grid? I’m going to bet these people got the turbines for virtually free, get retail price if they sell any electricity back to the grid and are attached to the grid, meaning they KNOW the turbines are nothing but a lie and a way to rip off taxpayers. I don’t ask people with kind of morals why they do something. It’s self-evident.

Dave Andrews
Reply to  griff
August 15, 2021 7:42 am

Griff,

Wind in Germany is doing so well that in a press release dated 1st October 2019, Wind Europe had this to say

“And it’ll mean Germany loses even more jobs in wind – on top of the 35,000 already lost since 2016”

Press release ‘New distance rule could rule out new onshore wind farms in half of Germany’

griff
August 14, 2021 11:20 pm

Well it is complete nonsense…

Bryan A
Reply to  griff
August 15, 2021 8:30 am

You got that right…Wind Power is complete nonsense

Sheri
August 15, 2021 7:17 am

A great picture which I recognized immediately of why I HATE Wyoming and their extreme environmental destruction all for the sake of two billionaires, greedy ranchers and virtue signaling. We used to go to our cabin in the Basin. Now it’s for sale. Who wants to look at that destruction and hatred of nature and love of money? These rich planet haters will be the cause of the Sixth Extinction, if humans can possibly cause it. GREED. Pure, unadulterated greed.

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