Is the media intentionally misleading us about wind energy?

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John Droz

John Droz

As we reported last week, a wind energy educational forum was conducted in Pasquotank County recently with physicist John Droz as instructor. At the conclusion of the event, Droz was available for discussion with a reporter from another news organization.

Regrettably, that reporter did not avail himself of the opportunity to clarify the information received, or ask any questions. Droz contends the reporter’s subsequent news article was inaccurate on several levels.

The following is a point-by-point clarification from Droz, who hopes to set the record straight. We are printing this so that our readers will be fully informed about the relevant issues, which are both controversial and highly technical.


In a related matter, Pasquotank Commissioner Frankie Meads provided a report to his colleagues on the board about the Educational Forum – a meeting that everyone skipped, except him!

Among the various issues that Mr. Meads discussed, was the impact upon National Defense and the attendant health risks, which we reported last week. In addition, Meads cited the proposed height of the turbines, which is the highest limit allowed in the U.S.

Mr. Droz’s comments follow:

1 – I’m not a “part time” resident of Morehead City, as that has been our permanent, legal home address, for several years now. (In any case, what relevance does this have to wind energy or the movie Windfall or the veracity of what I was saying?)

2 – I’m not a “Realtor” (which is a legal name for broker members of the National Association of Realtors). Furthermore, I have no real estate broker’s license in NC. (Again, what relevance does this have to wind energy?)

3 – This gathering was not a “Republican Party meeting.” Rather, this was a free educational event, open to the public. As you noted, the developer was in attendance, and he is not a member of the local Republican Party.

4 – Politically speaking, I am an independent (not a registered Conservative as was implied). In any case this technical matter is about the Science, and has nothing to do with politics anyways. Once again, I’m not sure why you seem intent on politicizing a scientific matter.

5 – I never “pushed the General Assembly to adopt legislation effectively banning the use of computer modeling in the prediction of climate change.” Not sure what inaccurate Internet source you came across, but that is totally and unequivocally false.

6 – I am unaware of any “American Association for the Advancement of Science” information I referenced regarding turbine creating agricultural losses. Instead (as is clearly identified on the bat-related agricultural study was authored by four of the world’s leading bat experts, all PhDs.

7 – Not sure what “2014 Scientific American” article you are referring to, or your scientific qualifications to research and evaluate Chiropterology. Yes, bat deaths can by reduced by shutting off turbines — but then what’s the point?

8 – Despite the article’s implication, no turbine-bat solution has been proven to be effective, or cost effective. Further, even if it had been, neither the Pasquotank nor Perquimans wind ordinance requires bat remediation — and (not surprisingly) Iberdrola has not agreed to do any. That was the point.

9 – Yes, years ago I was an unpaid fellow for ATI. What relevance does this have to wind energy or that meeting? If your objective was to list my past associations, I was also a very active Sierra Club member — for longer than my informal ATI association. Why wasn’t that mentioned?

10-It’s interesting that Iberdrola’s response focused on some things I never said. For example, I never mentioned the words “intermittency” or “shadow flicker.” Evidently you were not aware that you were sent a canned marketing pitch. Do you understand what churnalism is?

11-One of my main points was that there is no scientific proof that industrial wind energy is a net societal benefit. I hope you noted that Iberdrola’s sales spiel provided no such proof. They were hoping that their vigorous hand waving would distract you. Did you notice?

12-Iberdrola’s comment regarding noise was humorous, but this is a very serious health matter. The primary acoustical problem is not the sounds that are heard (e.g. at the meeting), but rather infrasound (which is felt, not heard). Studies by independent acoustical experts (e.g. here) have concluded that the best way to minimize these harmful infrasounds is to use a proxy regulation of 35 DBa. Of course, Iberdrola knows all this — but this is about deceiving the public, and they are counting on the fact that the media does not understand this technical matter.

Editor’s note: Mr. Droz considers the story he is clarifying to be more of an advocacy piece, rather than an objective journalistic story, which is supposed to encourage an honest debate on a complex matter of great local importance.