Sarah Laurie is a non-practising doctor, medical director and Chief Executive Officer of the Waubra Foundation, a front (astroturf) organisation set up by Peter Mitchell to discredit and oppose wind energy and wind farm projects.
To quote from Dave Clark's authoritative website on wind farms in Australia:
- “she is well-meaning and honest but mistaken; and has allowed her concerns to push her into making more and more extreme claims."
Essentially, Sarah Laurie claims that wind turbines cause severe health problems, principally an unrecognised health condition dubbed “Wind Turbine Syndrome,” (WTS). In recent years she has focused more on infrasound as the leading cause of WTS.
A review of 17 studies has found no correlation between wind turbines and ill-health.
Sarah Laurie specialises in collecting anecdotes which confirm her biases against wind energy. She ignores any countering evidence, does not attempt any blinded studies, is unqualified in any areas relating to sound or physics and cites only those sources and non-peer-reviewed studies from other wind energy opponents which support her preconceptions.
While she claims not to oppose wind energy, none of her writings or public statements make any allowance for the possibility that her ideas are mistaken or based on faulty claims or information. She does not acknowledge her opinions are extremely biased and unscientific.
She recommends there should be a minimum 10 km buffer between wind turbines and houses even though she lacks any supporting data for this position. She demonstrates her ignorance of physics by ignoring the inverse square law, claiming sound emanating from turbines can be stronger/louder kilometres from the source.
Sarah Laurie denies her public statements are causing unnecessary concern among some people in some communities, running counter to the Hippocratic oath: “First, do no harm."
Sarah Laurie ignores the nocebo effect in which people feel ill because they believe something is causing them to be ill, the opposite of the placebo effect. She ignores the possibility of psychosomatic causes completely unrelated to wind turbines. She also ignores the well demonstrated evidence of adverse health effects from burning fossil fuels and does not recommend against their use.
External Links - Media
- Ketan Joshi, "A fiery wind power conspiracy," "www.climatespectator.com.au", 12 February, 2013
- Mike Barnard, "Humans evolved with infra-sound: is there any truth to health concerns about it?," "barnardonwind.wordpress.com", 20 February, 2013
- Mike Barnard, "Sarah Laurie’s windfarm fearmongering enough to make you sick," "www.independentaustralia.net", 9 April, 2013
- Mike Barnard, "Seven things you must know about the Waubra Foundation and Sarah Laurie," "barnardonwind.wordpress.com", 15 April, 2013