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In Wednesday night’s episode, “The Colbert Report” took on “wind turbine syndrome,” the vast array of health claims sometimes associated with living near wind turbines: “You can catch it from any green technology I don’t approve of.”

Anecdotal health claims are cited frequently by opponents of wind farms, though there is at present no scientific evidence that wind turbines actually cause the symptoms reported (other than sleep disruption and its associated effects). A recent study found a correlation with symptoms associated with depression were more common among people living near wind turbines, and Canada is embarking on a wider study of the issue.

In his segment, Colbert references a July article by Simon Chapman, an Australian professor of public health who has found that a full 155 different health disorders have been claimed as the result of “wind turbine syndrome, including “several types of cancer, and both losing weight and gaining weight. You name it.”

Colbert: “The point is, Obama is going to kill us all. So, we should all just keep burning fossil fuels – that way, the problem won’t be all in your head. It’ll be spread evenly throughout your lungs.”


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Ken Paulman

Ken is the director of the Energy News Network at Fresh Energy and is a founding editor of both Midwest Energy News and Southeast Energy News. Prior to joining Fresh Energy, he was the managing editor for online news at Minnesota Public Radio. He started his journalism career in 2002 as a copy editor for the Duluth News Tribune before spending five years at the Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Washington, where he worked as a copy editor, online producer, features editor and night city editor. A Nebraska native, Ken has a bachelor's degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a master's degree from the University of Oregon. He is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and Investigative Reporters and Editors.

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