Mike Barnard’s disreputable wind industry propagandist role revealed

SlimeNAPAW, J A Rovensky
Vicious, grossly inaccurate and sometimes defamatory attacks on professionals and researchers are relentless from the wind industry and its vocal cheer squad. Their targets include individuals such as Dr Nina Pierpont, Professor Bob McMurtry, Dr Michael Nissenbaum, Dr Sarah Laurie, Mr Steven Cooper, Professor Colin Hansen, Mr Les Huson, Mr Rick James and numerous others, who work to uncover the truth of reported acoustic emission related adverse health impacts linked to Industrial Wind Turbines.

One of the most prolific and virulent is someone called Mike Barnard, an IBM employee. It seems he began his attacks when living in Canada, and is now physically located in Singapore. Whilst Barnard claims to be operating independently of his employer, IBM, the amount of time he spends blogging on wind power and smart grid related issues, and the business connections IBM have with the renewables industry with respect to smart grid technology and renewable energy, make his assertion that IBM are not involved and supporting his activities questionable.

When one of Barnard’s cyber bullying victims informed him what he’d written was libellous, Barnard’s comment in response was to the effect that he was laughing at them because he was untouchable by living in Singapore and utilising free blogging software in a “Cloud”? IBM has a strict policy on cyberbullying, and has been specifically made aware of Barnard’s activities. What action has IBM taken to discipline their vocal employee, who is bringing their organisation into considerable international disrepute with his behaviour?

So who is Mike Barnard, and what are his professional qualifications? Read article

25 thoughts on “Mike Barnard’s disreputable wind industry propagandist role revealed

  1. Hi: I saw this link on Twitter so I thought I’d add comment. I made a documentary film for CBC in 2012 called Wind Rush, about the real health hazards of living among wind turbines. Barnard went after the doc on his blog, which is fair. You can’t be in this business if you’re not ready for people to disagree with you and the ensuing debates can be valuable. I engaged with Barnard on-line for a bit, refuting some of his criticisms with links to real data. I made sure I could back up what I was saying.

    Still, ultimately, he filed an official complaint about my research and what he perceived as my bias (I fully disclosed on-line that my wife’s family lives in Bruce County, Ontario — home to some large wind farms and the location of some of my scenes in the film). Barnard has a real skill in outlining his arguments not only in favour of wind, but against anyone who suggests that the wind industry might have some problems. His complaint to CBC was no exception– it was very dramatic, even intimidating.

    But what bothered me is that he told the ombudsman that CBC should seriously consider whether I should ever be hired again to make a film for them.

    It’s all fine and good for someone to be a rabble-rouser. In many other instances I can think of people I’d admire for taking stances the way Barnard has been doing. But he took it a step further and went after my livelihood — and believe me, CBC takes these complaints seriously.

    So the broadcaster asked me to go back over my research and defend myself against Barnard’s many claims that I did poor research and ignored the facts. And this led me to the surprising part: behind Barnard’s bluster, his own “research” is rudimentary and flawed. In fact much of it seems to come directly from CANWEA, the Canadian Wind Energy association (which I think in many ways is a very responsible organization but is lacking when it comes to health issues). It was as if Barnard spent most of his time writing an eloquent attack, but not enough really looking into the studies to back it up. It was the same old, out of date material that gets thrown around instead of the new, more reliable and up to date information.

    CBC informed Barnard that they were not going to pursue his complaint any further and that they were standing behind the film. In fact his complaint didn’t get past the first phase of review. When they looked at my research vs. his claims, it was over.

    I wrote a little higher up that debates over your own work can be useful and this was. Part of me really enjoyed knowing that when I put my work under renewed scrutiny (it had already been throughly fact-checked), it still held up. You always worry that maybe you missed something or misinterpreted some information — especially when it comes to scientific source material. So for the occasion of that strenuous review, I’m grateful to Barnard.

    But the personal comments still irked me, so I did a little digging myself. And as is outlined in the article you attached to this post, Barnard has indeed been involved in technologies sold directly to the wind industry. So I contacted IBM because I wanted to be clear: were the personal criticisms of my ability as a journalist and a film maker coming from one man or from one of the largest corporations in the world?

    IBM took my query seriously and I understand that Barnard was called into a meeting in Singapore to answer questions about his extra-curricuar on-line activities. I then got an apology from IBM — they admitted he was operating in a “grey area” and told me that his opinions were his own but they were going to watch what Barnard was saying on-line more closely — and he is not allowed to use the IBM name in his blog posts anymore.

    After that Barnard contacted me one more time on Twitter, telling me that my doc was “absolved, not excused,” and he hoped I had learned a lesson from this. I had. I blocked him.

    Andrew Gregg, Toronto

    • Pardon me, Mr. Gregg,
      allegedly you wrote:

      “And this led me to the surprising part: behind Barnard’s bluster, his own “research” is rudimentary and flawed. In fact much of it seems to come directly from CANWEA, the Canadian Wind Energy association (which I think in many ways is a very responsible organization but is lacking when it comes to health issues).” )emphasis added(

      Are you serious? Do you really think that?

      [pause]

      This excerpt from the original article is helpful:

      ‘[excerpt] Mr Barnard, and those whose commercial interests he is working so hard to protect, is involved in a grubby, dishonest, misinformation and vilification campaign, as part of a global defence strategy for the global wind industry. This industry has been well aware of the problems directly caused by wind turbine noise since 1987, when Dr Neil Kelley’s research [12] establishing direct causation of annoyance symptoms from infrasound and low frequency noise was presented at the American Wind Energy Association conference.

      Mr Barnard and his associates’ behaviour is further eroding the personal and professional reputations of all those involved, and eroding the reputations of the companies and organisations they work for, including in this instance IBM.

      However, perhaps more importantly Mr Barnard’s behaviour is further eroding the public’s confidence in the global wind industry and its social licence to operate.’

      • Doesn’t anyone connect the U.S. Climate Action Partnership to any of these companies that turn-up on these renewable energy Issues?

      • The U.S. Climate Action Partnership, CGI, Edision Electric Institute and the BlueGreen Alliance are at least most of the nucleus of the groups pushing the renewable energy agenda,

        Others involved in pushing this agenda connect up to this nucleus in one way or another. These inter-connections cross the border of Canada and the U.S.

      • IBM: Presenters’ biographies

        Michael E. Daniels, was manager of IBM’s Sales and Distribution operations in the U.S., Canada and Latiin America.

        Then read the rest at:
        http://www.ibm.com/investor/events/bios.phtml

        Business Week says:
        Michael E. Daniels served as SR.V.P. of Global Technology Services-IBM Global Services at IBM Canada.

        Barnard worked for IBM in Canada?

      • Barbara – Barnard was (maybe still is) a partner at IBM Global Services in Canada. That can be a big-buck position, sharing in profits. How much of a factor that is, I can’t say. He consistently denies any vested interest.

      • Some employees of companies do have access to insider information. Is this a factor here? Unknown at this time.

  2. Does Sarah Laurie have a Doctor of Medicine degree as Universities grant in Canada and the U.S.? If so she is entitled to use the designation Doctor the same as Ph.Ds do whether she is retired or not.

    Even if not,she has completed the required course work and internship to practice medicine and did secure a license to do so.

    Right now she is semi-retired and likely doesn’t prescribe DRUGS which requires an active practice/license. And I assume that everyone knows what DRUGS are.

    This is nothing more than nit-picking this DOCTOR.

  3. Social media has created a breeding ground for guys like Mike Bernard, who have this massive craving to feel important and noticed. It’s all about feeling inadequate.

    Some experts have commented that this unfortunate state of mind has similar symptoms to the affliction known as “short dick syndrome”. While SDS can be debilitating, it is certainly nowhere near as serious as the problems people have living near wind turbines.

    I hope Mr. Bernard gets the help that he needs. Even seasoned wind opponents wouldn’t want to kick a man while he’s down. Good luck Mike, let us know how things turn out.

    • Mike Barnard may have SDS, but I have Spelling Deficit Disorder (SDD).

      My apologies to Mr. Mike Bernard, wherever you are, for this huge insult.

  4. Perhaps you shoulsd all upgrade your status in the proffesional distruction of the IWT industry.
    You know more than any of the plodders on the blogging machinettes!

    These people as we all know,can only blog plagiarism,they have no reality other than a computor screen an XBox and memories of Tom Cruise dodging around a few IWT’s on big screen.There hand is somewhere else!

  5. Thank you so much for making that movie. I saw it a while ago, It shows many issues and shows also how it screws up the grid.

    We’ve had more black outs since the damn crop statues started, possible this has occurred.

    Hope they air it lots more. Again thanks

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