Thursday, 28 May 2009


Yesterday's analysis of the local surveys conducted by three parish councils in the area immediately affected by the proposed Lenchwick Windfarm revealed something very interesting.

To recap: according to the squawkers of VVASP, the majority of local residents support their blinkered, propagandist, hysterical campaign against the turbines.

In reality, the true figures for local opposition were:

Church Lench - 57%

Norton & Lenchwick - 44%

Harvington - 31%

Hardly a majority, is it?

But these figures do help to explain certain things. For example, residents in Norton and Harvington haven't exactly rushed out to plaster those hideous anti-windfarm placards over anything that doesn't move. In some of the Lenches villages, though, those bloody awful placards are everywhere. The protesters have even happily put them on land and property that doesn't belong to them (perhaps they really do believe that EVERYTHING belongs to them). One Lenches resident was even ordered by the district council not to be such a knob with his floodlit rooftop banner.

The atmosphere in the villages differs mightily. Life in Norton and Harvington continues much as normal. In certain Lenches villages, a siege mentality has taken over.

So what's the difference between these neighbouring parishes?

Is it that residents of Norton and Harvington care less about wildlife and the countryside than the people up on the hill? Unlikely.

More likely that, in Norton and Harvington it is widely appreciated that the countryside is a working environment. Certain people in the Lenches (say, between one half and two-thirds of the parishioners) don't want the countryside to be a working environment. They want it to be a picture postcard which never changes, a fantasy landscape which only the wealthy can buy into.

It is a telling fact that, when ScottishPower Renewables invited interested locals to visit a working windfarm, only one person from the Lenches took up their offer. Everyone else came from Norton and Harvington. And yes, they'd been concerned about the windfarm - until they saw one, and heard one, for themselves.

Evidently, something's different up the hill in the Lenches. Is it something to do with property, with privilege, or with people who are simply accustomed to getting their own way, regardless of who or what suffers in the process?

Why is it that trouble only flared at a Norton and Lenchwick parish council meeting when a gang of protesters descended from the Lenches to disrupt the meeting? Could it be that arrogance, intolerance and raging self-interest have become endemic in parts of the Lenches, while the surrounding villages have clung on to their basic humanity?

These questions are valid, not only in trying to understand why certain Lenches people have got such a weed up their ass over these turbines, but in addressing a rather upsetting development.

The Worcestershire branch of CPRE (Campaign to Protect Rural England) has thrown its weight behind the VVASP's protest.

Now, broadly speaking, I'm in favour of protecting rural England. But this protest has got nothing whatever to do with preserving the countryside or conserving wildlife. VVASP's campaign is run by a bunch of nimbies who think that 'their' views might be affected by the turbines.

The parishioners of Norton and Harvington share the countryside with the Lenches lemmings, but only in the Lenches do certain people seem to believe that it belongs to them.

These people have bought or built themselves houses in a quaint rural location and are now up in arms because their deluded ideas of what the countryside actually is are being threatened.

And because of that, they are willing to lie to their neighbours, harass landowners, abuse parish councillors, threaten anyone who holds a different opinion, clutter the landscape with their ghastly posters (even in places which are not theirs) and act like a bunch of spoilt children throwing a tantrum.

Is this what CPRE exists to protect? Is this why Bill Bryson became president of CPRE? So that a few middle-class nimbies can absolve themselves from the climate change and imminent energy crises?

No doubt VVASP sold CPRE Worcestershire the same bogus information they've been spreading around the place like manure. Their campaign has really got nothing to do with misleading claims about noise or nonexistent threats to wildlife. It's about whether or not they might be able to see something that, quite frankly, they'd rather not see. That's all.

Remember: theirs is a minority view. And if you feel that CPRE Worcestershire are making fools of themselves by backing VVASP's disreputable and disingenuous campaign, do feel free to contact Frank Hill and let him know what you think.

The countryside belongs to us all - and not just to a few escapees from the cities whose heads are firmly stuck up their backsides.

Wednesday, 27 May 2009


Exactly how much opposition to the proposed Lenchwick Windfarm is there in the local villages?

If you listened to VVASP, you'd be fooled into thinking that there's an 'overwhelming' majority opposed to the plans.

Yes, fooled is the word. Let's look at the actual surveys conducted in recent months by three parish councils: Church Lench, Norton and Lenchwick and Harvington.

In Church Lench, 563 questionnaires were sent out by the parish council. 395 were returned. Of those who cared enough to answer the simple questionnaire, 323 were against the windfarm proposals, 51 were in favour and 21 had no opinion either way.

VVASP concluded that 82% of the residents of Church Lench were opposed to the windfarm.

Now, hang on a minute. Opponents of windfarms aren't known for their coy refusal to keep their opinions to themselves, especially not in the Lenches. So the 168 questionnaires which weren't returned must be considered as abstentions.

Which means that 57% of the Church Lench residents were against the windfarm. It's still a majority, but it's not quite the 82% falsely claimed by VVASP.

The protesters used the same trick with the results from Norton and Lenchwick. 385 poll papers were distributed. 230 were returned. 169 voted against the windfarm proposals, 41 in favour and 20 had no strong opinions.

Brilliantly, by misrepresenting these results, VVASP were able to claim in the local press that 73% of the Norton and Lenchwick villagers were opposed to the plans.

The reality? 44% of Norton and Lenchwick residents voted against the windfarm. The remaining 56% were either in favour or couldn't be bothered to answer.

The results from Harvington were even more spectacular. According to the minutes of Harvington Parish Council, 1282 papers were distributed, just 558 returned. 399 were against, 117 were for and 42 were no strong opinion either way.

As usual, VVASP lied about this, claiming that the majority of the people of Harvington had voted against the windfarm. But how many had actually done so? 31%. That's right - 31% of the residents of Harvington cared enough about the proposed windfarm to vote against it.

So, VVASP rushed to tell the papers that the majority of local villagers were on their side. But they're liars. In Church Lench, only 57% of residents voted against the proposed windfarm. In Norton and Lenchwick, 44%. In Harvington, 31%.

Interestingly, that makes Norton and Lenchwick the most representative of the three parishes, because the aggregate total of local opposition to the windfarm works out at 44%.


It's good to know that this blog is on the side of the silent majority, who don't go round intimidating people, creating an eyesore with their ugly placards and generally being boorish and ill-informed.

But where VVASP is concerned, their politically-motivated manipulation of the local surveys is symptomatic of something else - a compulsive, even pathological need to misrepresent the truth.

The VVASP website proudly announces that they've got hold of information regarding the precise locations of the proposed turbines.

The website tells you that this information was acquired from Wychavon District Council. Privately, members of the VVASP committee claim that the information came from the Ministry of Defence.

So, which is it? Even VVASP must be able to tell the difference between their local district council and the MoD. But why the need to tell different stories in different contexts? Can't they even get their story straight over something as simple as where they actually got their information? Why this constant need to mislead people? What's so wrong with the truth?

Could it be that, in their heart of hearts, VVASP know that they are in the minority, know that their protest is motivated by selfishness and intolerance, and know that, if they did admit the truth about windfarms, their cause would collapse?


And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie.

- 2 Thessalonians, II. xi.

Some people hear a constant background hum. In some places, this has been going on for years - decades, even. In the UK, this phenomenon first came to light as 'The Bristol Hum'. (Click here for more:

Various theories have been put forward to account for the fact that people in different places experience this irritating humming. Tinnitus, 'oversensitive' hearing, roads, airports, industrial premises, have all been considered.

Some, no doubt, would blame the mysterious background hum on windfarms, especially if they happen to live near one.

But, hang on - this 'hum' has been experienced in places where there are no wind turbines, and was noticed some time before windfarms even began to appear in this country.

I have great sympathy for anyone suffering this incessant background noise. More studies need to be made of this phenomenon. But to insist, without any a priori evidence, that wind turbines are to blame is a logical fallacy. People experiencing this 'hum' will naturally, automatically, look for something in the vicinity to blame. But we all know how dangerous such assumptions can be. And to blame windfarms for a phenomenon which has been recorded in places where there are no windfarms, and at times when windfarms hadn't been built, is just plain daft. So more research is needed.

It is worth noting, though, that the description of the noise allegedly made by a Cumbrian windfarm at night, as given in the LBV TV video on VVASP's website, chimes with the reports of the mysterious background 'hum'. One of the residents interviewed in the slanted video stated that the sound was like an old boot going round and round in a washing machine. Anyone who has stood near a wind turbine will know that it sounds nothing like an old boot in a washing machine. But, to some at least, the 'Bristol Hum' sounds just like that, and produces exactly the same symptoms as those which have been blamed, by a few, on windfarms.

Which might suggest that the background hum isn't caused by windfarms at all.

Now, a week or two ago, New Scientist magazine ran a cover story looking at how the mind can make the body ill. The full article can be read here:

In many ways, the New Scientist article tells us nothing that we didn't already know - if you believe that you're going to be ill, the chances are that you will be.

Apparently, the so-called 'Bristol Hum' can be treated through hypnosis, relaxation techniques, counselling or psychotherapy. In other words, the way to make that irritating, generally untraceable background hum disappear is to stop worrying about it. Which, in a sense, is what the New Scientist article was indicating: people who have convinced themselves, without any good reason, that they are ill can be cured if their erroneous belief is altered.

The good news, then, is that both states - 'Bristol Hum' and psychogenic illness - can, if sensitively handled, be dealt with successfully. People hearing the mysterious hum, in the presence or absence of windfarms, can be helped to blot it out or, rather, not to keep dwelling on it, so that the noise then effectively disappears. And people who have made themselves ill, often dangerously so, for no good reason can be returned to health if they stop believing that something is harming them.

The bad news is that anti-wind farm protesters, such as VVASP, are determinedly exploiting the fears about windfarms in such a way as to make some of their neighbours ill.

Look at it this way: if people keep telling you that a windfarm built in your area will create (apparently unrecordable) noise at night, keeping you awake, forming a constant background hum, leading inevitably to mental health problems, there's a terrible chance that you might start to believe them.

Maybe you do suffer from 'oversensitive' hearing, in which case you will, consciously or subconsciously, be listening out constantly for the sound of a wind turbine. Maybe you can't actually hear them at all, but all that dangerous, irresponsible, anti-social rubbish spouted by nutcases like VVASP has sunk in. So that, even though you can't hear the windfarm, you begin to believe that you can, and that it's driving you out of your mind. Worse still, you might even start believing (as VVASP told you to) that some undetectable sound is infiltrating your home and your brain.

This is how reckless the protesters are being. So determined are they to prevent a windfarm appearing somewhere near where they live (for purely selfish and misguided reasons) that they will happily subject their friends and neighbours to unnecessary worry and the distinct possibility of illness. Let's be clear - people familiar with windfarms know that they're not noisy. The VVASP protesters want you to believe that they are. What is more, they want you to believe that this noise is especially noticeable at night, that the soundwaves move in mysterious ways, and that you will suffer appallingly as a result of having a wind turbine somewhere in the district.

VVASP, and their self-serving ilk around the country, want to make you ill, if only to justify their outrageous and out-dated opinions. They want you to suffer.

You don't have to believe them. Remember: the antidote to the 'Bristol Hum', and to any illness which is created solely by suggestion and the mind's ability to think itself ill, is to change the way you think.

If you want to be plagued by a noise which can't be recorded, measured, detected or quantified, all you have to do is believe VVASP's hysterical lies about Lenchwick Windfarm.

If you want to carry on with your life, unaffected by mysterious, phantom sounds, ignore VVASP's self-serving nonsense. It's as simple as that.

As the quotation at the top of this post indicates, God's punishment on liars is that they end up believing in lies. Let that fate befall those nimbies who tried to make their neighbours ill with their unfounded rumours and nonsense about windfarms. Whatever you do, don't fall for those lies yourself. They might make you ill.

Tuesday, 26 May 2009


On the VVASP 'Stop Lenchwick Windfarm' website there is a video you can play which purports to prove that windfarms are noisy. In fact, it does nothing of the sort.

The sixteen-minute video was produced by LBV Television Ltd. You could be forgiven for imagining that LBV TV is a broadcaster or television production company. But they're not. They're a corporate video production company, working for clients who include police forces, NHS trusts, local authorities and the Environment Agency. One thing they are not is journalists.

If you were paid a considerable sum of money by a client to present the client's message and point-of-view, what would you do? You'd give the clients what they want, yes? Which is what happened with the video which VVASP are so happy to show - it was produced in accordance with a particular brief, in this case to 'prove' that windfarms are noisy.

The video itself could not be broadcast on the BBC - partly because of its low production values, but mostly because it breaks the BBC's fundamental rules about balance and journalistic impartiality.

Even so, the video almost completely fails in its task of showing how noisy windfarms are.

Yes, there are various shots of a working windfarm. And yes, a vague hum can be heard whenever the camera is pointing at the turbines. The hum remains at the same volume, whether the camera is a mile or a couple of metres away from the turbines. This is because the soundtrack is a recording of the turbine taken at approximately two metres from the mast. This 'wildtrack' is played whenever a wide-angle shot of the turbines is shown. In other words, no matter how far the camera is from the turbines, the sound being played was recorded immediately beneath the rotating blades. A cheap trick, but hey, the producer's got a job to do, right?

Amazingly, even the recording of a wind turbine close up provides no more than a low hum for the soundtrack. That's how the producers could get away with a little jiggery-pokery here - because a low hum is all you get, even at the closest quarters. To pretend that that low hum can be heard a kilometre or more away, which is what LBV did through its editing, is misleading.

The presenter - who, let's not forget, is not a journalist - first interviews an elderly woman outside her Cumbrian home. She admits that she cannot see the nearby turbines from her house. Listen to the soundtrack - you can't even hear the turbines from her garden. You can hear the odd car driving past, a helicopter overhead, and the rustle of wind on the microphone (this is a pretty low-budget production), but you can't hear a wind turbine.

Nevertheless, this elderly woman wants her 'quality of life' back. Hmmnnn ...

Next, the interviewer talks to a local farmer who had no idea that a wind farm was about to be built near her sheep farm. She also has no idea who built or manages the turbines. She needs to get out more, because it's clear that she doesn't talk to her neighbours, read the local paper, or even know how to find her own toilet. She's up in arms about the windfarm, of course (wouldn't you be, if you had no idea that one was about to appear next to your property?), but her sheep don't seem to have been affected. In fairness, the sheep seem to have their fingers on the pulse more than their rather addled owner.

All in all, during a handful of local interviews with people who insist that they've had sleepless nights since the windfarm was built, at no point do you hear a turbine. You hear other background noises, but no windfarms.

Had this been a genuine piece of journalism (and not, say, a Daily Mail frightener, or a video commissioned by an anti-wind protest group), we would have heard from local residents who didn't have a problem with the turbines. Why a few people claim to be able to hear the turbines at night, when the majority of their neighbours don't, will be looked at in another posting very shortly.

But if the noise, especially at night, was so bad, would it not have been standard journalistic practice to play a recording of the turbines at night? Did nobody think to do that? What about decibel readings? Wouldn't they prove something? Wasn't that what the client wanted?

Well, a few people claim to have suffered horribly from the turbines, but nobody thought to record the noise they make (if any) at night. Not even the young man introduced as an 'engineer' (see what they're doing there? He's an engineer, so he must know what he's talking about, right? Huh - not enough of an engineer to get the scientific evidence to support his case). Nope, no one, neither the local complainers nor the producer, took the trouble to gather any scientific data whatsoever. The corporate video producers at LBV TV decided to talk to a small bunch of disaffected locals - who clearly can't hear the turbines during the day, and in some cases can't even see them - without presenting a scrap of actual evidence for the 'noise' of the turbines.

We're given opinions and grumbles - but no proof.

The producers then show us what wind turbines would look like somewhere else. Again, they use the sound trick - play the sound of a wind turbine recorded at close quarters over shots taken from a distance (check the shot where a van turns and drives right past the camera - you can hear the narrator's voice-over, and the hum of a turbine, but no sound of a van).

And then, the stroke of genius. The producers show us a maggot farm, allegedly as an example of how planning permission can be abused. Brilliant! So, having failed to demonstrate how 'noisy' windfarms are, they now try to associate wind turbines with maggot farms. Their clients must have been delighted - I mean, windfarms, maggot farms, what's the difference, really? Apart from the obvious, of course.

So, what we get from this useless video is a propaganda piece, created for a client with an interest in presenting windfarms in the worst possible light, which fails to demonstrate how noisy windfarms are. Using tricks of sound editing, it pretends that a turbine makes as much noise at 1,000 metres as it does at 2 metres, but still can't detect the sound of these turbines when it's interviewing local residents with a grievance against them. You see now why this video would not make it onto BBC television - it's a load of balls, that's why.

And VVASP wants you to think that this pile of crap was made by a television company, that it's a considered piece of journalism, and that it proves that windfarms create unacceptable levels of noise. Well, only if you switch off your brain and gawp at the screen without asking the most basic questions, like:

* who was this video made for?
* why can't they present evidence for the alleged noise?
* why have they fiddled with the soundtrack?
* why can't the turbines be heard whenever they're interviewing the locals?
* what the hell have maggot farms got to do with anything?
* why are these bastards insulting my intelligence?

Now, this sort of scaremongering bullshit is beginning to attract the attention of the Advertising Standards Authority. Click on this link to see the results of a recent ASA hearing into the lies and misleading claims being made by an anti-wind farm group:

That's the real news, here. Not that somebody made a video for a client who wanted proof that windfarms are noisy (but didn't get it), but rather that sober individuals are getting a bit sick of the way the protesters are trying to upset people through their irresponsible and ill-considered use of blatant propaganda and downright claptrap.

Yes, some people (a minority) reckon that they can hear the windfarms at night. What's going on here will be examined shortly.

But let's be clear. Nothing in the video on the VVASP website proves that windfarms are noisy. You'd be a fool if you thought that it did.

Monday, 25 May 2009


You might well have read this already (it was published in last week's Evesham Journal), but here it is again:

Unfortunately we are writing to inform you of our disagreement with the people who are against wind turbines. Horrendously, people complain bitterly about these wonderful structures, however, if they don’t want wind turbines what other energy source are they going to use?
Fusion nor fission would work, for it hasn’t properly been invented yet and would run out very quickly if it had been. Maybe someone could invent geothermal energy more or could fund solar panels. Perhaps you could invent your own energy producer. Or maybe you do want the human race to be wiped out like the petty prey of a cheetah. If you don’t then let the wind turbines get put up.
Strangely, some people say that wind turbines look silly and ruin the countryside therefore they don’t want them around. Despite these off-putting comments most right minded people think they look modern, technical even. It would ruin the countryside without them anyway as if we don’t global warming will overcome us and possibly destroy the world. We think that its not what the machine looks like (in this case wind turbines) it is what is doing that really matters. For instance if the machine is possibly saving the world then the outside shouldn’t be considered at all.
As we have many years ahead of us (for excitement and enjoyment) we don’t want to spoil it. Furthermore, we want to live healthy lives, not lives spent seeking out another planet to destroy with our toxic gases and foul fumes. Friends of the earth say ‘stop the earth being used up like there is no tomorrow’. As tomorrows people we feel wind turbines are an essential item.
In conclusion, we feel that we should allow wind turbines, they are good for the environment and for our futures.
Ellie Clark (aged 10 3/4) Fiona Jones (aged 11 1/2)

Ellie and Fiona are the very people we need to hear from. Theirs is the generation which will have to pick up the pieces of whatever is left of society and the planet when the current generation has finished with them. It will be the unenviable task of people like young Ellie and Fiona to clear up the mess we made and to live with the consequences of our selfishness and greed.

It'll be interesting to see whether any of the VVASP fools takes up cudgels in the Journal to tell these young people where they're wrong.

After all, how do you tell young people that their concerns and desires are irrelevant, that their future is no concern of ours, and that people in the Lenches would rather see our home environment choked, blitzed and denuded than run the risk of being able to see the solution close to their comfortable homes.

Of course, what Ellie and Fiona don't realise is that this dispute is purely over whether we should be siting wind turbines in the most suitable places or whether we should cave in to the short-term interests of a few middle-class nimbies. Ellie and Fiona might, all being well, have sixty, seventy or eighty years ahead of them, but their rights are minimal, compared with, say, those of someone who retired to the Lenches and doesn't want anything getting in the way of their view.

If any of the VVASP ring-leaders had a conscience or a scrap of scruple in them, they would read Ellie and Fiona's letter and bury their heads in shame. They would realise that there is more at stake than what they might be able to see from a corner of their garden. They would realise that their pompous little protest is, in fact, a betrayal of EVERYBODY - themselves, their neighbours, their children, the rest of the UK and life on this planet, now and in the years to come.

The sad thing is that VVASP doesn't care who it betrays or who it lies to. What matters is what they might have to catch sight of, every now and then, in the years which remain to them. The needs of the next generation ... well, what have they got to do with anything? It's all about the alternative reality in which members of VVASP live, not the real world which Ellie and Fiona and millions like them will have to deal with when the hated pariahs of VVASP are dead and gone.


It seems I might have been a bit harsh with the people of the Lenches. Sorry.

Since the Evesham Journal somehow got wind of this blog and gave it a free plug last week (thanks, EJ!) I've had correspondents getting in touch with their own views about the proposed Lenchwick Windfarm and the activities of those who are opposed to it.

Many of the thoughts and insights which have come my way are considerably more incisive than anything I could have come up with on my own.

There were the emails which expressed unhappiness at the hideous, garish placards which the VVASP drones have littered the local villages with. As one resident points out, these seem to have been deliberately designed to echo the anti-nuclear posters of the 1980s (and yes, that is a shabby trick, trying to forge an association between clean, wholesome wind energy and the terrifying longterm perils of nuclear power - but then, that's VVASP for you: they have no shame).

There have been remarks about the problems surrounding other alternatives for energy, such as nuclear (ugh!) and bio-fuels (not a bad idea, so long as we're not too concerned about eating), and how the wind option makes obvious sense in comparison.

I have even heard from people thanking me, or rather, this blog, for providing a little light relief for those who are unfortunate enough to be living in the midst of all this nasty VVASP nonsense.

All in all, a most encouraging response.

It's good to know that VVASP haven't created a monopoly of opinion, regardless of their best efforts to swamp the district with lies and propaganda, or to browbeat their neighbours into agreeing with what is clearly a selfish and shortsighted opposition to the turbines.

It's great to know that there are people in the area affected who have kept aloof from the protesters' shenanigans, who haven't lost sight of the issues involved, and who have remained true to their consciences.

I appreciate that it's difficult to express your opinions openly when there are so many around you who have abandoned common decency and democratic principles.

So, for getting in touch to let me know how you feel about the turbines and the behaviour of VVASP, a big, heartfelt thank you. And I promise that, in future, I will distinguish between the walking, talking evil of VVASP and the genuine people of the Lenches, who are thoughtful, reasonable and concerned.

VVASP must not prevail. They are in the wrong.

At least there are a good few out there who recognise that. So there is still hope that common sense will carry the day.

Thanks, guys.

Friday, 22 May 2009


So the proposed Lenchwick Windfarm will 'kill the Vale countryside', will it?

Well check this out:

There you go: VVASP - wrong again!


No? Well, there's a couple in the Lenches who do.

Their second home is in Spain - and it's right next door to a wind farm.

They must be really hacked off at the prospect of living next door to one in England as well!

You'd think that, wouldn't you, especially if you've been swallowing VVASP's misleading propaganda hook, line and sinker.

So what does this couple think about the proposed Lenchwick Windfarm?


And they're sickened by the rubbish that VVASP and the numpties - sorry, nimbies - of the Lenches are spouting.

They KNOW that wind farms aren't noisy. They KNOW - because they live next to one!

VVASP has to keep brainwashing people into believing that wind farms are noisy because that's the only grounds for objection that might really count. It's vital to the interests of those at the heart of VVASP that you 'know' that windfarms are noisy, even though they're not.

People who've visited working wind farms know they're not noisy. People whose holiday homes are next to working wind farms know they're not noisy.

But their opinions don't count. If you're not perpetuating VVASP's self-serving myths, you're not allowed an opinion.

The couple with a wind farm on their Spanish doorstep consider the turbines 'ethereal'. Which is a nice, and rather appropriate, description, coming as it does from people who know what they're talking about, unlike their zombie neighbours in England.

There are several things to be said about the noise issue - including a close examination of the video which VVASP display on their website, and the unfortunate longterm consequences of the kind of dangerous propaganda the VVASP spew out at every available opportunity. We'll look at these issues in the next few postings.

But, for now, we can all rest assured. As I've stated elsewhere, those who have genuine experience of windfarms know just how badly the turbines are misrepresented by the self-serving VVASP nimbies.

Like the couple who live next door to one in Spain. Shame that Vale Villagers Against Scottish Power don't want you to hear from them, isn't it?


Spare a thought for poor Peter Luff. And not just because of the expenses business. No. He's got a problem.

Peter Luff MP opened Evesham's first 'Eco-Fair' last Saturday, and a good time was had by all. The main aim of the event was to promote awareness of, and to stimulate local responses to, peak oil and climate change.

We all know what climate change is (although we may not all know how urgent the crisis is - at the recent climate change conference in Copenhagen, a poll of the scientists present revealed that the vast majority had knowingly underplayed the problem: most had acknowledged a likely increase in average global temperatures of 2 degrees this century, but admitted that, in reality, they actually expected a rise of 4 to 5 degrees; they hadn't publicised their beliefs for fear of causing panic, because although we can't predict what a rise of 4 or 5 degrees will lead to, we do know that the consequences will be devastating).

Peak oil has a specific meaning. Crude oil has to be pumped out of the ground under great pressure. Halfway through extracting the total amount of available oil from any source, the job starts getting immensely more difficult and expensive. 'Peak oil' is the moment when half of the available oil - the easy half - has been taken, and whatever we're able to extract of the remaining oil costs a lot more to recover. In the United States, peak oil was reached in the early 1970s - and instantly, there was a global oil crisis.

Remember when international oil prices were rising so high last year? Well, that's just a taster of what's coming. Globally, peak oil is happening now. Oil is getting harder to find, harder to extract, more expensive to use. That trend is irreversible. Pretty soon, we're going to have to give up our dependence on oil.

So, Peter Luff MP was doing a Good Thing in opening the Evesham 'Eco-Fair', because it's important that we all know about, understand and respond to the colossal issues involved in climate change and peak oil.

But then, Mr Luff also has some obstreperous and uppity constituents who don't give a stuff about climate change or peak oil. All they care about is themselves, and the views they seem to imagine they've bought.

As any Tory MP will tell you, there are few things in this world more unreasonable than a Tory voter who thinks, rightly or wrongly, that his interests are threatened.

Now, it could be that your interests consist solely of patrolling the borders of the village you moved into about twenty minutes ago to make sure that nothing ever changes. In which case, yes, your interests might be slightly threatened by the proposed Lenchwick Windfarm. Otherwise, no - your interests are not under threat from the wind turbines. Your local area - you know, the one you've only just moved to - will only benefit from the turbines.

Ah, but the mendacious maniacs of VVASP have been pandering to your baser instincts. They have been telling you lies, winding you up, turning you into a spluttering idiot. They have convinced you, in the face of all the evidence, that these wind turbines mean the end of civilisation as we know it. You went to one of their hate-filled, moronic meetings - the equivalent of a Do-It-Yourself Lobotomy. And now you're demanding that your long-suffering local MP does something about all this.

Hang on - Peter Luff MP publicly opens an event designed to raise awareness of climate change and peak oil, which hopefully signifies that he's aware of the issues. He's also a member of Dave Cameron's newly-green Conservative Party. And he's a smart guy, so he knows that humanity faces a simple choice - wise up or die out.

And you want him to help you stop these turbines coming to a site near your jumped-up little village?!

You don't want these turbines because you don't want them. You don't want them because you don't understand them. You don't want them because your so-called friends and neighbours have been lying to you about them. Do you have an actual, grown-up, intelligent reason for not wanting them? No.

So what are you really expecting your MP - a man who apparently understands the terrifying real issues involved (not the ones that VVASP have just made up) - what are you really expecting him to do about it?

Sell the planet downriver just so that a tiny bunch of ignorant, self-centred cretins can live in their own little dreamworld for a few more years?

The 'Eco-Fair' in Evesham was part of a movement called Transition Vale, which aims to 'decrease dependency on cheap oil by localising economic and lifestyle activities as well as producing a healthier and more vibrant community'.

Ah, yes - I remember a healthier and more vibrant community.

It's what we had before the moneyed idiots moved in. Before lies, bullying and narrow-minded self-interest. Before the lunacy of VVASP. When there really was a community.

Nice one, Peter, for doing your bit for the planet at the weekend! Now, do a bit more for the planet and tell the self-important quislings of VVASP where to go.

Thursday, 21 May 2009


Promise not to tell anybody?

Okay, here goes: even the protesters know that their wild claims about wind farms can't be proven.

Gosh, that's an extraordinary revelation, isn't it? I mean, surely that undermines their argument more or less completely. They're just speculating, plucking their so-called 'facts' out of thin air. How do we know this?

Let me explain ...

Being the fine, upstanding citizens that they are, the anti-windfarm protesters are not above using threats, harassment and, where necessary, physical violence to get their own way. After the unseemly incident in Norton and Lenchwick, when the 'nutters' descended from the Lenches and one of them grabbed a parish councillor by the throat, the good people of Norton and Lenchwick decided that it's best not to let VVASP hire their village hall because they can't be trusted (only 44% of Norton and Lenchwick residents expressed opposition to the windfarm proposals, which no doubt drove the rabid protesters up the wall). Warnings have also been issued to various villagers who have let their support for the proposed windfarm be known. If, like VVASP, you can't tolerate open debate, forcing everybody else to agree with you is the only option, even if such behaviour exposes the protesters as thugs and bullies.

A while back, a particularly nasty piece of literature was thrust through our door. Some residents of Norton and Lenchwick received it, others didn't. It was an A4 leaflet, crudely produced, which rehashed some of the familiar nonsense about wind turbines catching fire all the time, creating imaginary sound-waves and wrecking your property values.

Nowhere on the leaflet did it mention who was responsible for its production or publication.

Tucked into this leaflet was a pro forma letter which the protester wanted residents to sign and send to a local landowner.

The principal effect of this leaflet and letter was to convert several villagers, who had previously been sitting on the fence, into active supporters of the wind farm out of disgust at the furtive, misleading and cowardly activities of the protesters.

The letter which we were asked to send to a local landowner was nothing short of a threat. This particular landowner is an elderly lady who lives on her own - in fact, the land in question is her son's. Hidden away at the end of this letter was a very revealing phrase.

Now, a confession - I don't have a copy of this letter anymore. Copies were passed on to the police (who acknowledged the potential criminality of the letter, but couldn't take action because no one was admitting to having produced it) and to the district council, so that the planning committee was aware of what the protesters were up to. But I well recall how the letter ended.

It gave notice that, if any of the claims made in the leaflet were, at a later stage, proven to be true, legal action would be taken against the landowner for allowing wind turbines to be erected on her family's land.

So - an anonymous letter, inciting villagers to harass an elderly woman, and a belated admission that the crazy statements made by the protesters about the hazards of wind turbines are not (yet) backed up by any empirical proof.

Let's be clear about this. With swaggering arrogance, the protesters were doing their utmost to terrify the locals with tall stories about health risks, dangerous machinery (which, they insist, doesn't work anyway), flying debris, sleepless nights and negative equity. And THEN, they quietly had to admit that NONE OF THIS WAS ACTUALLY PROVEN! It might be proven, sometime in the future (wind farms have been around for years, so whatever proof they're anticipating is taking a long, long time to appear), but at present, there is NO RELIABLE EVIDENCE that their preposterous claims are true.

Their claims would simply not stand up in a court of law.


Naturally, VVASP denied all responsibility for the nasty, borderline-criminal filth that had been pushed through doors in Norton and Lenchwick. But then, VVASP has shown itself incapable of controlling its members, and besides, denial is at the very heart of their campaign. They're specialists in burying their heads in the sand.

But the incident revealed much about their approach and their methods. Which are:

* fling no end of outrageous statements about wind turbines out there with the sole intention of confusing and terrifying your neighbours

* be prepared to issue warnings and threats, to incite hatred and harassment, and to shout down and silence all alternative opinions

* only grudgingly admit that there is no evidential or scientific basis for the ridiculous claims that you've been making

So, remember - the loudmouths of VVASP cannot prove any of their claims.

No wonder their followers have resorted to menaces.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009



Comedy remake of M Night Shyamalan's 2004 chiller.

Residents of a Worcestershire village have turned their backs on the 21st century - "We demand all the benefits and none of the responsibilities!" - and have brainwashed their children into believing in monsters which lurk just outside the village, making terrible noises, chopping the heads off sheep and sending people round the twist.

Their deception is revealed when a youngster has to go out of the village to fetch a bucket of electricity because the villagers can't get any. The monsters turn out to have been the villagers themselves. One spineless parent confesses: "I didn't mean to terrify my children - some bigger boys made me do it!"

Not suitable for those of a gullible disposition.


150 - number of objections against anemometer wind masts received by planning officers from people who had little or no idea what they were actually objecting to

11 - number of people who took up ScottishPower Renewables' unconditional offer to visit a working wind farm and make up their own minds

(Government Health Warning: listening to VVASP can seriously impair your mental faculties)


Back in the early '90s, the UK was a world leader in the development of renewable energy resources.

Then, thanks to the cretinous activities of protest groups, putting self-interest ahead of the broader picture and misunderstanding the principles at stake, the UK fell behind its European neighbours.

Which makes today a very special day. Click on the link below to find out why:

A cause for celebration. Unless, of course, you're an unpatriotic loon.


If VVASP are going to waste time and public money in pointlessly fighting the proposed Lenchwick Windfarm, they need your cash NOW!

So, join VVASP (Vale Villagers Are Suckers for Propaganda) TODAY and you'll receive a FREE 'Dum-Dum' Nimby Sat-Nav!

The Nimby Sat-Nav employs no modern science or technology whatsoever! It doesn't actually get you anywhere, but just takes you round and round in circles, shrieking 'Not here! Not here!' over and over again, before disappearing up its own hole.

Guaranteed to lead you up the garden path!

The 'Dum-Dum' Nimby Sat-Nav comes with these added extras:-

* Instant Fact Spotter - allows you to avoid all factual evidence, leaving you free to make your decisions based on rumour, myth, hearsay and absolute nonsense

* Special Don Quixote Mode - so you can tilt at windmills in the mistaken belief that they're dragons, just like the loony in the book!

* Choice of hilarious voices (Rev. Ian Paisley, PW Botha, Boycie from Only Fools and Horses)

The Nimby Sat-Nav comes with a No Money Back guarantee and is designed to fail when reality kicks in. So sign up with VVASP today and get your FREE 'Dum-Dum' Sat-Nav NOW - before your neighbours MAKE you get one!

Extra Special Offer: sign up your whole family today and we'll also give you a free clockwork torch, which will be extremely useful when the lights go out.

(Disclaimer: VVASP is not responsible for anything its members say or do.)

Tuesday, 19 May 2009


'There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.' - Hamlet

Last week, the first of two anemometers - wind monitoring masts - was erected in the area currently being examined as a potential wind farm site.

Naturally, the nimbies made sure that the local press were aware of their unhappiness about this. One of them - a scientist who, having retired, has put scientific principles firmly behind him - described the slimline mast as 'absolutely astonishing'. Another noted that the mast is 'quite visible from Church Lench'.

So there you are. Something is 'quite visible' from somewhere. It's the end of the world as we know it.

There had, of course, been objections to this temporary mast, none of which was sufficient to convince the local planning committee - probably because it was clear that the objectors had very little idea as to what they were objecting about. One even complained that the only information she was receiving about the masts came from VVASP, which is a bit like saying, 'I'm only getting information about this from the Daily Mail, so obviously I'm going to jump to some bizarre conclusions.'

Now, to be honest, I've always had my doubts about these wind-measuring masts. Consultants employed by ScottishPower Renewables have been conducting wildlife surveys in the immediate area for over a year. The sites of the proposed Lenchwick windfarm weren't just plucked out of a hat: the company behind the plans has been looking into this for some time. The decision to erect two anemometer masts just a month or two before the planning application for the windfarm is expected seemed a little late in the day to me.

I'm not saying that the anemometers serve no purpose whatsoever, but I have been wondering to what extent the masts are really there to measure something else altogether. They're part of a process of finding out just how stupid the protesters are.

I caught a passing glimpse of the anemometer mast at the weekend, and almost instantly lost sight of it. I suppose 'quite visible' is a good way of putting it. It's not exactly obtrusive - unless, of course, you're pretty unhinged and looking for an excuse to complain.

But if the purpose of the mast - at least in part - is to measure local levels of nimbyism and idiocy, you have to admit that it's worked. ScottishPower Renewables now have a pretty good idea of the specious arguments, the kneejerk nonsense and the general frothing at the mouth they can expect when the real planning application for a wind farm is submitted.

They now know that VVASP is incapable of mounting an intelligent and honest campaign and that their capacity for objectivity is nil.

So maybe the anemometers aren't really there to monitor the wind. They're there to measure hot air. And there's plenty of that in the district these days.

Monday, 18 May 2009


Residents of villages in the area affected by the proposed ScottishPower Renewables Lenchwick Windfarm project are terrified that the values of their properties will collapse when the turbines are erected.

They're so concerned, they've plastered their charming villages with crude yellow posters designed to welcome prospective buyers.

"Anyone thinking of buying a property in this area," said a spokesperson from VVASP (Vale Villagers Are Spouting Piffle), "will see these glaring 'NO' placards everywhere and realise that we are a caring community. We meet up regularly to rant and rave, to abuse parish councillors and to tell each other scary stories about progress. We care passionately about wildlife, including the stuff we blast out of the skies with our shotguns, and our concern for the environment is such that, when all this is over, we will dispose of hundreds of these plywood anti-wind farm placards by burning them on a huge bonfire ... er, I mean ... putting them in landfill."

Said another, "We welcome any newcomers to these villages - especially those who build big new houses which blight the landscape, and we're not too worried about planning permission if you want to build a huge new extension and then sell your property on. All that we ask is that you agree unthinkingly with everything we say, or we'll send the boys round, know what I mean?"

As for the proposed wind farm, VVASP are adamant that no one anywhere in the world likes them. "We are not a protest group," said one swivel-eyed protester. "We believe passionately in renewable energy. We just don't want to see any of it near us. We have as much right to electricity as anybody, but really, I mean, we shouldn't have to see it being produced, all quietly and without pollution and all that! I mean, the Lenches are a special area! We have special needs! Someone else can provide our electricity - it's not our problem!"

Another pointed out that the Lenches are not a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty - "Cripes, you have to be really loaded to live in one of them!" - but insisted that it was rather pretty all the same. "Buying a house in the Lenches is like buying a yacht: it's a status thing. We moved here for the peace and quiet, for the quaintly rural sound of angry mobs, and we've already complained about the noise made by inconsiderate farmers with their industrial tractors and their bleating sheep. Now they want to put up some turbines somewhere nearby. Well over my dead body," he said, as the vein in his temple throbbed.

Even though the area is ideally suited for the siting of a commercial wind farm, the protesters - who aren't protesting about anything, of course they're not - argue that they should be erected somewhere else, preferably well out of sight. "Why can't they put them in the middle of cities, or in the ghetto, or somewhere? Why not build them where we used to live, before we made a bit of money? This is a middle class area - they've no right to produce clean energy harmlessly in a middle class area! It's just wrong!"

"They'll blow all the blossom off the trees!" said an old man with a poor grasp of science.

"I had no problem at all with wind turbines, I even thought they were quite nice, until they started talking about putting some nearby, and then I went to a VVASP meeting and discovered that they're something to do with al-Qaeda or something and paedophiles hide inside them," said an attractive but rather dim woman. "Now I've already got a drink problem just thinking about them."

"These turbines will knock ten per cent off the value of our house overnight," said a man with a big red face. "That's a fact. There's no actual evidence for it, but it is a fact. Just like what the VVASP have told us, that these turbines climb into your bedroom at night and murder your firstborn."

The protesters raised their fears about the possible impact on mental health with a representative from Scottish Power. "I said to him, these things turn people into raving loonies, don't they? And all he could say was, 'I doubt you'll notice any difference.' Pathetic!"

"Nuclear power - that's the answer!" said another protester - correction: thoughtful individual. "They should build a nuclear power station here instead," he added, before being beaten to death by villagers wielding angry yellow placards.

"Vale Villagers are the most tolerant people anywhere, and I'll twat anyone who says otherwise!" said one of the survivors. "We want plenty of wealthy people to move here, to buy our houses from us, even though we have no intention whatsoever of leaving, because it's such a great community. Inclusive, that's the word. We just don't want any Guardian readers. They make me sick."

Anyone thinking of moving to the Lenches should lie down in a dark room for a while.


I guess it was bound to happen. The protesters are now threatening local supporters of the Lenchwick windfarm with physical violence.

One villager was warned (in a public place) that if he didn't keep his support for the proposal quiet, he'd receive an unwelcome visit.

Let's face it: the VVASP morons don't have an argument. If they did, they wouldn't have to resort to so many untruths about the wind turbines. But their willingness to make threats merely illustrates the fact that their opposition to the proposed wind farm is based not on sound and intelligent reasoning but on blind ignorance, prejudice, and a determination to force their neighbours to conform to their own sick, selfish, anti-social stance.

These are the people who claim to be trying to protect the countryside. In reality, they're only interested in protecting their own little exclusive haven (against what, one might ask), and are prepared to use menaces to force their more intelligent neighbours to join their gang or keep their heads down.

So - welcome to the Lenches, where fascism is alive and will soon be kicking.


Just like some weird far-right political group, our local anti-windfarm protesters claim to be helping 'The Community' to make an 'informed decision' about the proposed turbines by lying their heads off about them.

Early on in all this nonsense, one of the local parish councils organised a straw poll of the residents' views about ScottishPower Renewables' wind farm proposal for Lenchwick. The parish councillors instantly came under fire from the more knuckle-headed, or politically motivated, protesters because the PC hadn't allowed the parishioners a chance to hear about these turbines from the protesters, yet.

In other words, a few demented locals were angry that the parish council canvassed the locals' opinions before the VVASP had got its mindless propaganda out!

So much for the truth in the matter. The VVASP, and doubtless other, similar groups of snarling nimbies all around the country, are strictly opposed to any local resident finding out about wind farms for themselves or - perish the thought - reaching their own carefullty considered conclusions. Rather, they trade in lies. Lies, lies, lies. Lies which have been proven, over and over again, up and down the country, to be lies.

But, as Adolf Hitler knew, all you have to do is to tell a Big Lie over and over again, and some nitwits will believe you.

Well, here's a more sober approach from someone in the Isle of Wight - they're facing the prospect of a wind farm in their area, but rather than going bonkers about it, shouting and screaming and forming little groups of hatred in order to spin lie after lie about them with no other end in mind but scaring friends and neighbours, someone had the common sense and good taste actually to go visit a wind farm. See what you think:

That's an example of how civilised people approach the prospect of a wind farm in their neighbourhood.

After the nonsense we've had to live through so far round our way, courtesy of the VVASP and its hoodlums, it's a joy to read.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009


When it comes to making your mind up about wind farms, which is the most sensible option - finding out for yourself, or listening to a dangerous bunch of bullshitters like VVASP?

ScottishPower Renewables, the company behind the proposals to build a windfarm at Lenchwick in Worcestershire, held out the opportunity to visit a working wind farm. Disappointingly, only eleven people took up the free offer. Which would suggest that most locals would rather listen to rumours and lies than find out for themselves.

We set off, one Saturday morning, in a minibus, guided by a SatNav which took us through every village, along every B-road, and practically through every back garden along the way. There wasn't a huge amount of conversation: if anything, there was a certain tension in the air as we trundled across the country to Northamptonshire. At lunchtime, we arrived at the pub where a buffet lunch was to be served.

Hearing that a pub lunch was part of the itinerary, one of our friends in the Lenches observed that there's no such thing as a free lunch. Well, maybe there is: we ate, we didn't pay, and all we were invited to do was to visit a working windfarm and make up our own minds. No strings attached. After all, if anything that the protesters had ever said about wind turbines was true, the visit could have been a PR disaster for ScottishPower Renewables.

Over lunch, however, my fellow travellers opened up with a barrage of questions, which they fired at the two young women from SPR.

Why is it that in Scotland, wind turbines can't be built within 2 kilometres of a property, but in England they can be erected right by our back doors?

Well, because the mythical Scottish 2 kilometre law doesn't exist. It's another of those lies spread by protesters.

What about the noise these turbines generate?

We'll be standing right by a bunch of turbines shortly, so we'll find out just how noisy they are.

What about the health risks?

This is where I piped up, because few things annoy me more than people spreading rumours and lies about the health problems created by modern wind turbines. There is no evidence - not a scrap, not a shred - that windfarms damage the health of those in the area. Of course, if you're determined to believe that a nearby windfarm will ruin your health, what's likely to happen? You'll make yourself ill, that's what. But that's your fault, for kidding yourself, and not the fault of the turbines, which cause no health problems at all. Just because a small number of people are stupid enough to imagine that a wind turbine, of all things, is a health risk, that doesn't make these turbines dangerous - rather, it just proves that some people are really rather silly.

And then we set off for Burtonwold Wind Farm, near the Weetabix factory.

The farmer met us at the gate to his property and escorted us to within 500 metres of the nearest turbine, where we all got off the minibus. And we looked, and we listened.

There was a twenty mile-an-hour wind blowing. Ten large turbines were turning away at full capacity. At 500 metres, you couldn't hear them at all.

The nearest village was just a kilometre from the turbines. Naturally, when the windfarm was first proposed, there was some local opposition. More recently, plans had been submitted for a further seven turbines on the site - and there had been no complaints from the villagers about these new turbines. So, what does that teach us? That people only object to what they don't know about. Once they'd discovered that these modern turbines are clean, quiet and pose no health risks whatsoever, they chilled out and got on with their lives.

Next, we drove right up to the turbines and, once again, got out of the minibus.

The farmer still farms his 200 acres. Crops were growing all around; only five acres, in total, had been lost to the turbines and their access roads. What a sensible use of land: growing crops AND harvesting the wind. Farm workers' cottages were there amongst the turbines. Did any of the farm workers have a problem, living so close to the turbines? Apparently not. There were no problems at all.

Even right next to a hard-working turbine, the noise was negligible. We walked right up to them, stood directly underneath the turning blades. We climbed the maintenance steps, placed our hands on the masts, chatting away all the time. Local children had taken part in a competition to name the individual turbines - one has been christened 'The Wind Wizard'. We watched red kites flying between the blades, as if playing a game (which is how 'endangered' species respond to these things - they find them amusing). We assessed for ourselves the impact on the landscape. We took photographs and recorded videos - partly to prove that THESE TURBINES BARELY MADE A SOUND! We had the evidence. So many lies had been told about these things, but there we were, finding out for ourselves ...

Just as members of our local district council's planning committee had found when they went on a fact-finding visit. Let's be clear: those who've visited a working wind farm know that there's nothing wrong with them, and no intelligent, grown-up reasons to object to them. Those who haven't, and who've just let protest groups like the VVASP infect their minds with their lunatic propaganda, know nothing at all.

The sense of relief was tangible, as was the awe felt by my fellow visitors as they stood amongst these magnificent machines. Elderly people from my local villages were smiling, gazing up and around at the turbines, enjoying the visit, having their fears laid to rest.

We explored the site. We stood. We looked. We listened. We chatted away. We were satisfied. Wind farms work. They are not a problem.

The atmosphere on the bus for the return journey was completely different. There was an abundance of relaxed and friendly conversation. The girls from ScottishPower Renewables were no longer the enemy. Nobody was worried anymore about the turbines. All the lunatic phantoms raised by the maniacs of the VVASP, or the myths spread about by their sheep-like followers, had been dispelled.

As we drove back into the Lenches, I gazed out across the fields near Harvington where some of these turbines are likely to be built. It struck me how bare and empty the landscape currently was. The VVASP cretins have made ridiculous claims that the wind farm will ruin the landscape forever. But then, they're ignorant and deluded.

The truth is that much of the landscape has already been ruined by monoculture. At least, I felt, the turbines, when they come, will give the landscape some interest. They will even enhance our much-denuded Blossom Trail, providing visitors with a reason to come and look. That's been the experience elsewhere in the country where wind farms have been established. As usual, the protesters, spouting a load of self-serving bilge, are wrong. Wind turbines are an attraction.

So - what did we learn from the trip? Well, there's nothing actually wrong with wind turbines. They're pretty well silent, they do little or no damage to the landscape, they don't harm wildlife, and people who actually know what they're talking about don't have a problem with them.

What a shame that only eleven individuals chose to make the trip. What a shame that most of the locals in my villages aren't interested in the truth, but rather in the lies told by the VVASP.

What a shame that the debate has been hijacked by self-interested idiots, when finding out the truth for oneself can be so easy, and so enjoyable.

PS: Andrew Harmsworth, head of physics at The Leys school in Cambridge, took the photo at the top of this post during a school visit to Burtonwold wind farm

Saturday, 9 May 2009


Very. Hugely. They're missing the point by miles.

Let's take the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB). Earlier this year, the respected wildlife charity reversed its opposition to wind farms and called for an end to the 'needless delays' over their construction (these 'needless delays' are, by and large, the work of self-serving idiots like VVASP).

Now, the RSPB has erected a wind turbine of its own at their Rainham Marshes visitor centre at Purfleet in Essex.

So, the morons who claim that wind turbines attack wildlife are flying in the face of what the RSPB is both saying and doing! Do they think they know better than the RSPB, or are they still swallowing the misleading and inaccurate propaganda of pressure groups like VVASP, which are putting their own members' self-interest ahead of the needs of wildlife, society, the community, the environment and the planet as a whole?

And how about the loony claims that wind turbines 'don't work'? One headcase recently wrote to the local paper, stating that 'several' European countries are dismantling their wind turbines for this very reason. Could the deluded correspondent name any of the countries doing this? No. Why? Because they don't exist.

Even the United States generated over 10% of its electricity last year from renewable sources, which can be compared with the slightly less than 12% it got from nuclear power. In fact, nuclear energy usage declined in the US in 2008 by 1%, while renewable energy usage increased by 5%. Experts all over the world are recognising that nuclear power is not going to be the answer - it's too expensive, too dangerous, too vulnerable. In the meantime, Spain has been producing up to 40% of its electricity from windfarms, and in parts of northern Germany, windfarms produced a surplus of electricity in 2008.

Neither of those countries has anything like the UK's wind resources. The British Wind Energy Association has noted that so much wind passes over the UK that it could easily be harnessed to generate several times our electricity needs.

Out there in the real world, away from the Lenches with their surplus of village idiots, the green revolution is advancing apace. Yes, EVEN IN AMERICA!!! Proof that so many of the concerns voiced by anti-windfarm protesters are unfounded - are, indeed, downright lies promulgated by people who really should know better - is continually coming to light. Wind turbines are becoming more and more efficient, thanks to improvements in design, and anyone who thinks they're noisy is just displaying their woeful ignorance of the truth. They are harnessing more and more wind energy to create vital electricity far more cheaply and cleanly than any other resource. They are, in short, the future, and even erstwhile opponents, like the RSPB, have wised up and embraced this fantastic science.

Remember: wind farms do NOT harm wildlife. Anti-windfarm protesters do.

But then, they're living in the past, and doing their utmost to return us all to the Dark Ages.

Don't listen to them. Their narrow-minded self-interest and stupidly mistaken ideas are holding us all back. Listen to the experts. Listen to the facts. VVASP and their dimwitted ilk are betraying all of us - and their children, and future generations, and the wildlife they claim to be fighting for. They are old news. They're completely out of touch, and they're wrong.

Friday, 8 May 2009


No, they don't.

My next-door neighbour went on a fishing trip to Upper Tamar Lake in Cornwall last week. He set up his bivvy on the shore of the lake and spent three relaxing days fishing and gazing at a windfarm.

He showed me the photos he took. The turbines were about a kilometre away from his pitch.

'Were they going round?' I asked him.

'Oh, yes,' he said. 'I'd sit there in the mornings and just watch them.' Like so many, many others, he'd found idly watching the wind turbines turning strangely hypnotic; therapeutic, even.

'Could you hear them?' I asked him.

'No,' he replied. 'But I had a chat with the bailiff about them. He was doing his rounds, so I pointed to the turbines across the lake and told him we're supposed to be getting some of them up our way. Only there's a chap up in our neck of the woods, I told him, who's convinced they're going to kill all the fish in his lakes.'

The bailiff laughed: 'Well, they ain't killed bugger all here!'

The Tamar Lakes are an outdoor activity and holiday centre. In addition to tea rooms and restaurant, the Upper Tamar Lake boasts a campsite and nature walks. Watersports take place there, or you can just fish, or hire a rowing boat for a peaceful day on the water.

Are the visitors, the holiday-makers, the walkers or fishermen bothered by the presence of these turbines? No.

Have the turbines blighted the landscape at a popular leisure facility? No.

Have they done any damage? No.

Are they noisy? No. Do they kill birds, fish or mammals? No.

Have they made any difference whatsoever to the tourist trade? No. As with many other places, Cornwall has discovered that normal people actually like these wind turbines. They're impressive, reassuring, inspirational things. They do a fantastic job, noiselessly generating the cheapest electricity going. They enhance the natural landscape.

What's not to like?

Thursday, 7 May 2009


One of the most bizarre aspects of the wind farm debate is the tendency of people to believe things which are directly contradicted by the evidence of their own eyes and ears.

As part of their grassroots campaign against the 21st century, a delegation from VVASP (Vale Villagers Against Science and Progress) went on a field trip to Coldham Wind Farm in Cambridgeshire back in January of this year.

The windfarm at Coldham is a joint venture involving Scottish Power, the Co-operative Group and Fenland District Council. The land has been owned by the Co-operative Group - the UK's largest farmer - since 1914. In 2003, an application to erect eight wind turbines on the site was approved, although there was some local opposition. The Co-op and Scottish Power liaised with the local community to agree on where the turbines would be sited.

In addition to generating enough clean energy to power 10,000 homes, the Coldham development includes an education centre and a fund, made up of Section 106 payments, for community projects, including the local football team.

Scottish Power recommended the site to members of VVASP (Vale Villagers Against Sensible Policies). The Co-operative Group is justly proud of its Coldham facility, and featured it in its recent 'Good For All' advertising campaign. Scottish Power evidently felt that Coldham was a good example of a modern wind farm.

They hadn't counted on the intrepid investigators of the VVASP (Vale Villages Against Simple Physics). The delegation tracked down John Scott, a local farmer with a gripe against the turbines.

Mr Scott describes himself as a lifelong member of the RSPB, and voiced his opinion that the number of birds in the area had been 'significantly' reduced since the turbines were erected. Scientists from Newcastle University studied this issue and concluded that the turbines had no impact on bird populations or migratory patterns, but this wasn't enough to sway Mr Scott. Poor chap - the bottom must have fallen out of his world when, in March of this year, the RSPB called for an end to the 'needless delays' which are holding up the development of windfarms in this country, adding that it would be 'disastrous' if the vast potential of wind power in the UK was wasted.

What the RSPB had noticed was that windfarms do not harm wildlife. Climate change, however, does. So whenever anyone tries to tell you that wind turbines are a hazard to local wildlife, they're talking out of their backsides. Even the RSPB knows that NOT building windfarms, or creating 'needless delays' over their construction, is what really constitutes a threat to our native species.

Undeterred, Mr Scott was happy to moan on to anyone who would listen - in this case, the willing and credulous ears of the Lenchwick windfarm protesters. Light flicker from the revolving blades, he said, made it difficult to drive tractors. The noise from the wind turbines was enough to keep him awake at nights. The Lench delegation returned from their journey into the wilds of Cambridgeshire and straightaway got onto the local papers, describing what they had learnt about the Coldham windfarm as 'alarming'.

So - here's a question: did they go to listen to the turbines, to find out for themselves how much noise they make (by simply standing close to them), or did they just go there to talk to someone who would TELL them these things were noisy?

Did they go to form their own judgement, or to have it formed for them?

Were the turbines making any noise while they were there? Or were they too busy listening to the gripes of a disaffected local farmer to notice that the turbines were pretty well silent?

What about those other local residents, who have stated publicly that:

'Coldham was off the map ... The wind farm brought renewed interest [to the area] and we feel involved in local politics and planning again ... It will breathe life back into Coldham.' (Terry Hall, chair of Coldham Residents Action Group)

'I'm very supportive of the wind farm ... Coldham is tiny, and the turbines blend into the peaceful, rural surroundings.' (Paul Wood, potato farmer, Coldham)

'I was concerned about the noise initially, but that was unfounded.' (Sue Jeeves, local resident)

'They're doing no harm. People in the area had reservations, but that's always the case with something new. The world is changing, and we've all got to accept that.' (Michael Hughes, local resident for 39 years)

Did the blinkered visitors from the Lenches talk to any of these people? Or were they only interested in what one disgruntled farmer with an unfounded bee in his bonnet about birds had to say? Were the delegates from VVASP (Vale Villagers Aren't Serious People) interested in the reality, and the evidence of their own eyes and ears, or about some far-fetched horror stories they could bring back to support their own specious arguments?

What do you think?

Well - how about this, then? Last year, plans were put forward to extend the Coldham site by the addition of a further seven turbines. The local planning committee heard objections from just two residents. Nobody else was bothered. After five years of living with eight wind turbines in the area, all the nonsense talked by protesters against turbines had been proven wrong.

It's a shame that some people don't want to believe the evidence of their own eyes and ears and experience - that they'd rather go round spouting some rubbish they've been told, rather than what's actually been proven. Even worse when they dress up their 'discoveries' as hard fact and sell it to their nervous neighbours, omitting to mention the benefits noticed by people who do have experience of windfarms.

What about you? Would you rather find out for yourself, or would you rather be told what to think?

(NB: the two objections to the extended wind farm at Coldham were based on the suggestion that Coldham already had eight turbines and so didn't need any more. The objections had nothing whatever to do with noise, 'flicker', wildlife, property values or any of the other nutty things said by your average protester.)

Tuesday, 5 May 2009


A few months ago, one of our local parish councils ceased to function. After a series of regular parish council meetings had been disrupted by a crowd of noisy, belligerent protesters against the proposed windfarm, the PC was unable to carry out its normal business. The health of the chair had already suffered from the abuse he'd been getting; now the parish councillors felt obliged to resign en masse.

Then the protesters started invading parish council meetings in the neighbouring villages. 'Nutters', was how one of my local parish councillors described them. 'They're like the mafia.' Shouting wasn't enough for them: one of the protesters actually got one of our parish councillors by the throat. So when a later public meeting was held prior to a regular parish council meeting, two police officers had to be in attendance.

The latest news, and it isn't good, is that our local planning committee has turned down an application relating to another proposed windfarm in the area. One of the district councillors involved felt that the committee was intimidated by the vocal hoodlums who arrived to protest. The decision will probably go to appeal, and with the government's commitment to renewable energy, the application might well be approved after all. So, all the protesters have managed to do is to waste time and public money.

This is becoming a recurring problem. Important local matters are being decided, not according to the planning guidelines and the democratic process, but by howling mobs. Mob rule of a kind has already broken out in the local villages, where neighbours are sent to Coventry if they express an alternative viewpoint to that of the 'nutters'. A message was sent to me, via my wife, that I should keep my opinions to myself. It would seem that only one opinion, only one viewpoint is allowed - that of the protesters. Only their lies can be heard. Only they are allowed to make decisions which affect all of us.

A straw poll conducted by my local parish council concluded that 44% of villagers were opposed to the proposed windfarm. The VVASP protest group instantly got onto the local press and claimed that 72% - an 'overwhelming majority' - were against the windfarm proposals.

This is how their version of democracy works. They make up lies about wind turbines. They promulgate these lies at every opportunity. They scare and bully their neighbours into agreeing with them. They stifle different opinions, and then they storm meetings of parish and district councillors and shout and shout until they get their way.

These issues are far too important to be left to the shouters and screamers, the liars and bullies. We are being forced into a situation where crucial decisions are being determined by a wealthy minority who will do anything to browbeat their democratically-elected representatives. They are intimidating public servants and hijacking democratic debate.

And this is what they call democracy. Maybe next they'll be putting on black shirts and marching through the villages, beating up anyone who disagrees with them, all in the name of their quiet and unspoilt countryside.


My sources tell me that, at their latest rallies - sorry, 'Question and Answer Sessions' - the opponents of the proposed Lenchwick Windfarm have been advised that they should only object to the proposals on the grounds of noise.

This strikes me as an advance on some recent advice they were given (by the local MP, I believe) that objections should be based solely on local, and not national issues.

Instantly, most of the loonier claims of the protesters are disqualified from the debate (oh, by the way, apparently they're not protesters; oh no, they BELIEVE in renewable energy, just, er, like, not around here). So, the stories that wind turbines 'don't work' because they're 'inefficient', or that they only catch fire or topple over, or that they destroy the local environment (what???), or halve your property values overnight, or send out deadly untraceable soundwaves which creep into your bedroom at night and send you crazy ... all that crap doesn't count. These people who have a problem with the thought of wind turbines somewhere in their neighbourhood can only object to them because they're noisy.

Which is terrific, because anyone who's actually stood close to a wind farm knows that modern turbines are practically silent.

The 'noisy turbines' argument was one of the first to catch on around here. The other nonsense grew out of Chinese whispers and the deliberate peddling of misinformation by the frauds of he VVASP. But noise was an issue from the outset. Wind turbines are great noisy whooshing whoomping things, aren't they? Stands to reason, doesn't it?

Well, no, actually. Way back, when only the first generation of turbines were being erected in wild and windy places, the Open University produced figures which indicated that wind turbines are pretty quiet. There have been developments in the technology since then.

A small group of us went to visit a working windfarm recently. There was a twenty mile an hour wind blowing, so that the turbines were working at maximum efficiency. There were ten of these things in a large field. Even standing right underneath them, you could hold a conversation at normal volume; a few metres away, you couldn't hear them.

(This was not my first experience of visiting a windfarm, so I am satisfied that the noise they emit is practically minimal. Remarkably, however, a delegation of local protesters - no, not protesters, erm, fools - managed to find a windfarm somewhere or other which makes so much noise it drives people out of their minds. As far as I can tell, this 'fact-finding' mission didn't really go anywhere near the turbines, they just went to meet someone who had a grudge against them. So, more misinformation gets spread about the place: windfarms are noisy, even though they're not.)

The Environmental Impact Assessment scoping document is available to download. The issue of noise is just one of many which have to be examined, analysed, measured by independent consultants before the planning application for these turbines is submitted - indeed, before any final decisions are made about the siting of the turbines.

So, the turbines emit pretty well no noise whatsoever, and a few metres away they can't really be heard. The planning application will have examined the potential noise issue in detail and produced actual scientific figures - you know, science, that thing that the protesters don't believe in - which will help the local authority planning committee decide whether or not the windfarm will be noisy or not.

The protesters will be objecting to the proposals on grounds that don't really exist. Okay, pretty well all of their objections are nonsense anyway, but noise ... hah, it's simply not a real problem.

Which is terrific news, because if the only objections which will be considered are those based on the problem of noise, and the turbines demonstrably aren't noisy, where will that leave the VVASP?

With their heads still stick up their communal arse, probably.

Saturday, 2 May 2009


The campaign of lies and bullying has been going on for months.

It started when Scottish Power Renewables announced that they were considering my local area as a potential site for up to ten wind turbines.

Now, the UK is the windiest country in Europe (we get 40% of Europe's wind passing over our shores). Prevailing south-westerly winds head straight up the Severn Vale from the Bristol Channel. At the top of the Severn Vale, they pass over my village and the nearby hills. So, it's pretty well the perfect spot for a modest-sized windfarm.

But there's a problem. Wealthy people have bought themselves nice little houses in the nearby villages. They believe in something called 'unspoilt countryside' (a strange concept at the best of times). More to the point, they don't want 'their' views affected by a graceful and necessary piece of modern technology.

Their campaign group, VVASP ('Vale Villagers Against Scottish Power') claim, rather bizarrely, that they are PRO renewable energy, just not in their backyard.

To begin with, VVASP was just a small band of local nutters with too much time and money on their hands. But a sustained campaign of lies, wild rumours, ridiculous exaggerations and lunatic speculations, combined with intimidation and bullying, has dragged more and more people into the group.

What do these people have against windfarms?

Er, nothing, really. They just don't want one near their nice expensive houses.

What depths will they stoop to?

Any. They have lied to their friends and bullied their neighbours. They have misrepresented the scientific facts. They have peddled nonsensical myths about wind turbines. They have threatened parish councillors. They have cluttered up the local villages with their stupid signs. They have deliberately set out to scare, frighten and coerce people into joining their selfish and irresponsible campaign. They are not interested in democracy or debate. They will not tolerate other opinions. They are simply determined to have their own way, whatever the cost.

Now they're spreading their campaign of lies further afield. Partly, no doubt, this is because they have realised that one small bunch of privileged crazies does not a proper pressure group make. More to the point, they need to con money out of more people.

They want to hire a BARRISTER to fight this sensible, valuable, necessary proposal. They SERIOUSLY think that the next British government (which they assume will be a Tory government) will reverse the UK Government's renewable energy policy. If they can WASTE enough time and money, they actually believe that they can stop the windfarm being built.

Forget about the planet. Forget about our ever-increasing energy needs. Forget about the problems of oil, coal, gas and nuclear. Forget about future generations. Forget about society's needs. This is only about them. About their selfishness, their intolerance, their belief that they own the countryside. This is about mob mentality. This is about people with time and money believing that they are exempt from responsibilities.

Theirs is the generation which has taken and taken and taken, which has wasted valuable resources without a thought to the future, which doesn't care about THE environment, only about THEIR environment. No wonder they think the Tories are on their side!

It would be a tragedy if their disgraceful tactics were to succeed. Opting out of a renewable energy future is not an option. Lies and intimidation are not legitimate debate. Selfishness and stupidity are not the way forward.

Do you have experience of similar nonsense in your local area?

Share your views. And let's not let those red-faced dimwits in VVASP, or their clones elsewhere in the country, shatter our futures for the sake of their own greed and foolishness.

The fightback starts here! The fightback starts now!