Friday, 30 October 2009


... just as long as no wind turbine is more than three feet high. Oh, and they're all put somewhere else. India, preferably.

That, in essence, is what Peter Luff MP has decided to campaign about. On Tuesday of next week, he will waste ten minutes of parliament's time with his thoughts on how windfarms shouldn't be built near places where people (especially Tory voters) live.

The '2km - OK' campaign is one of the most impractical and fraudulent to have emerged from the current debate. Two kilometres was chosen, somewhat at random, because of a misunderstood situation in Scotland.

See, Scotland has quite a lot of territory which is two kilometres from any habitation. All the same, building windfarms exclusively in the Scottish Highlands, the Welsh mountains and around Cornwall wasn't going to solve the problems we need urgently to deal with. And as windfarms began to appear closer to population centres (like the huge SPR development near Glasgow), the two kilometre recommendation quickly proved to be unworkable.

Ah, but now a small number of English people who retired to country areas, or who made some money by whatever means and fancied the life of a country squire, are threatened with the appearance of a windfarm near them. And, of course, there's hell to pay.

But here's the first question to ask ourselves: what would be the result of imposing an exclusion zone around windfarms, be it two kilometres (as the ghastly VVASP placards insist upon) or 1.5km, which a 'scientific' study, carried out on behalf of a nimby group and relying on the desperately unscientific theories of Dr Nina Pierpont, suggested.

Granted that thousands of new turbines are required, where could they be built if the totally daft argument advanced by Luff and his cronies in VVASP won the day?

Quite how empty-headed and dumbly repetitive the argument has been rendered by VVASP's lies and untruths was demonstrated by a letter published in the Evesham Journal yesterday. The correspondent argued that covering the UK with thousands of wind turbines would make no difference to the energy problem. Surely by the age of 19 (the age of the brainwashed letter writer) it should have become apparent that such an argument is a) plain silly, and b) plain wrong. But that's how VVASP have conducted themselves in this dispute - by talking such utter rubbish about windfarms that many a local understands nothing whatever about the issue.

No, instead, the not-quite-with-it letter writer of Atch Lench insisted that the government should be encouraging us to conserve energy.

As far as I'm aware, that's precisely what the government has been trying to do for years, now. Has it worked? Apparently not.

So a solution exists. It has been proven to work. It's implemenation will have many and various benefits - clean, green energy, cheaper to produce than the known alternatives and generated at so many sites that the National Grid is able to counterbalance supply and demand in a way that was much more difficult with fewer, larger power stations.

But a few nimbies don't want it. They're not entirely sure why they don't want it, mostly because their self-appointed leaders have lied repeatedly to them about it. But they don't want it. And now Peter Luff MP is arguing that they shouldn't have to have it.

We have a solution that is good for all, but the reluctance of a tiny minority is enough to put the kibosh on it, at least as far as the egregious Luff is concerned.

But what exactly is the problem? VVASP have banged on and on, dishonestly, about noise, infrasound, amplitude modulation, shadow-flicker, property prices, wildlife and the landscape. However, most, if not all, of their claims are manifestly untrue. And a lot of them know that. So that their fallback position (articulated by the young letter writer of Atch Lench), is that we don't really know what might happen if the Lenchwick Windfarm is built.

We can make an educated guess, of course. Electricity will be produced quietly and harmlessly, with no impact on local ecology and with financial benefits for the immediate area.

But no - for as long as VVASP are able to plant the suspicion (based on incredibly dodgy 'evidence' and a complete breakdown of scientific method) that SOMETHING might go wrong, people will argue that we can't have a windfarm because we don't know what it will do.

That is specious reasoning. It's circular logic. Effectively, what they're saying is, "Okay, we know that we've lied about windfarms, but those very lies suggest that there is some doubt about them, and while that doubt exists we shouldn't build any."

Those doubts are all in the minds of the protesters.

And given that their claims about noise, health and environmental impacts are all hysterical nonsense, based on a deliberate misreading of data and lending credibility to unscientific studies while ignoring the scientific ones, the question should arise: "Why not build windfarms where they can function at their optimum level, as opposed to where a few self-interested nimbies, property developers and their stooges tell us we're allowed to build them?"

Let's face it. The argument isn't really about noise at all, or any of the other stupid claims made by the mouthpieces of VVASP. It's about whether a tiny cadre of wealthy people living out in the countryside should be inconvenienced by having to catch sight of a windfarm every now and then.

On that basis, there really is no argument, and Peter Luff is betraying himself, as well as the British people, by standing up for the interests of a privileged few when it is the longterm needs of all that should be considered (and let's not forget how that privileged minority has conducted itself during this whole dispute).

To summarise: if we accepted an exclusion zone around wind turbines, then we'd be abandoning wind turbines as a means of generated power. We would, to all intents and purposes, make it impossible for a viable windpower industry to exist in mainland Britain. Which would be fanatically stupid and, in the medium-to-long term, catastrophic for British interests.

If we accept that this wholly arbitrary exclusion zone is being demanded by people who just don't want to live near a windfarm - partly because they've told so many lies about windfarms that they've come to believe their own propaganda, and partly because these people are phenomenally self-obsessed and haven't the slightest interest in benefits which apply to other people as well as themselves - then we can see just how fraudulent the '2km - OK' campaign, and Peter Luff's ill-considered speech to the Commons, really are.

Both are based on a lie. That we can have a sustainable power industry without offending a tiny minority of middle-class country dwellers who are interested in nothing but themselves.

Peter Luff can't see it. He's trumpeting the "rights" (!) of property developers, liars and useless inheritors in the face of global need and the truth of the matter. He's speaking up on behalf of those who make the most noise, who demand always to have their own way, and against the interests of both local communities and the nation as a whole. He's defending the privileges of a tiny minority against the needs of society and future generations.

But this issue is too big and important, and the circumstances too urgent and alarming, to be left to the likes of Luff and the pack of braying hounds he's supporting.

Which is why, as Luff makes his speech to the Commons, and Wind of Change celebrates six months of blowing the lid on the immoral and anti-social activities of the nimby loons, we will be uploading a letter template expressing support for Lenchwick Windfarm.

Please, let's show our MP what democracy really is. It's not about the rights of the rich and the lies they tell to defend those rights. It's about the rights and responsibilities of us all.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009


Let's take a moment to imagine what might have been.

When the news broke that ScottishPower Renewables (SPR) was examining the Lenchwick area as the potential site for a windfarm, those who were likely to be most affected by the immediate presence of wind turbines had an option.

They could have gathered the facts, assessed the extent of the probable impact, and then endeavoured to negotiate with SPR over how to move forwards in the most mutually beneficial way.

Or they could scamper round the place looking for anti-windfarm dirt on the internet and then foment an atmosphere of deluded anger, misguided hatred and panicked confusion.

Which do you think they did?

At the heart of the VVASP is a handful of individuals - monied and determined. They exploited the uncertainities of other villagers faced with the prospect of a windfarm by spreading rumours and lies about it. As a consequence, the entire debate about the windfarm became lopsided.

For example - noise. It doesn't take much to find out for oneself just how (not) noisy a modern windfarm is. But so many in the Lenches who haven't been bothered to go and find out have willingly relied on the obfuscators and the propagandists of VVASP to tell them how noisy they are (not). So we have a strange situation - dozens of people convinced that the Lenchwick Windfarm will be noisy, when it won't.

Not a good basis on which to build, is it? People have been misled, and have allowed themselves to be misled, and have actively misled themselves. In the Lenches, this has become something of a social requirement: if you want to fit in with the village scene, you have no option but to spout ignorant rubbish about the windfarm.

This is no way to run a protest. Because the basis of the protest is lies.

Yes - a tiny number of households will be quite close, in the great scheme of things, to the turbines. That is an issue which requires looking at - initially to determine if there will be a downside (apart from the fact that one or two people may not be excited at the idea of looking at a windfarm), and, if so, what can be done about it.

That would have been the logical, intelligent, grown-up approach to the problem. To put it another way, study the matter in detail to identify the genuine areas of potential disruption and then seek a solution.

Spreading lies about windfarms, noise, magical mystery noise, pretend noise, infrapenny infrapound noise, dead bats, house prices, 'light flicker' and all the rest of the gobbledegook has no place in this debate. It counts as white noise, a deliberate move to confuse, alarm and terrify the neighbours so that the whole debate is hijacked by the lunatic fringe.

This is where Peter Luff's latest meaningless contribution comes in. Luff is strutting his stuff. He plans a ten minute bill reading in the House, in which he will argue that windfarms shouldn't be built close to people's homes.

It's a point that deserves debate (of the grown-up variety, rather than the screeching, hysterical, woefully misguided and hopelessly badly managed VVASP variety). Not least of all because this situation is going to arise often, repeatedly, up and down the country as the UK struggles to catch up with the rest of the world.

Let's put it this way. We need thousands of new wind turbines in this country. And dreaming up an arbitrary exclusion zone of the '2km OK' type espoused by the nimbies will only prevent that from happening. Back to square one. The rest of the world forges ahead with a low carbon economy, renewables and green energy. We sit on our backsides pulling faces.

Peter Duff demonstrated in today's Evesham Observer where his true interests lie. He linked the need to protect rich peoples' properties from the encroachment of windfarms to the need to limit affordable housing.

Duff likes to boast of his pro-green, pro-renewables credentials (another example of the 'I'm not racist, but' school of green politics). But he also doesn't want a tiny minority of wealthy individuals inconvenienced in the slightest way by the nation's vital move towards green energy. Similarly, he believes in affordable housing, but only 'the right amount and in the right place.'

Yes, you heard that right. Social housing, like renewable energy, can be held hostage in Duff''s whacky world by a couple of people who've made a bit of money.

It is utterly wrong that an area like the Lenches can be turned into a rich person's playground, with traditional rural activities stopped by the incomers (who consider them, a) noisy and b) dirty) and only a privileged few permitted to enjoy the unnatural peace and the almost unlimited pony riding ground. That is not what the countryside is for.

But that is what MP Duff is trying to enforce. Privilege which, having stamped itself on a living community (in the process, undermining and sidelining that community), sets itself the task of determining what can and cannot happen within its domain.

The sad thing is that Duff has been repeatedly advised about the real methods, tactics and motives of the protesters. But he has chosen to ignore the majority of his constituents, and the needs of the nation at large, in order to defend the 'rights' of a tiny number of self-important, arrogant and anti-social property owners and developers.

This is no way to move forwards. Regardless of the fact that Duff's bill has approximately nil percent chance of becoming law, the local MP has given a clear signal as to where his priorities lie. The needs of the many (of society as a whole, future generations, millions in developing countries) are essentially irrelevant. What matters is those handful of Tory voters who live on the hill and are fighting a proposed windfarm.

If only the protesters had had better leadership from the start. Then, perhaps, Duff might have been able to help them.

Instead, he has entered a debate which has been hijacked by self-centred liars and dangerous bullies, and he has done so on their side. He has ignored the very basics of democracy to concentrate on the noisy demands of a privileged few. He has confused the idea of 'community' with those tantrum-throwers who always expect to get their own way, regardless of costs and who suffers.

Couldn't he have thought about this a bit more carefully?

Hmmnn ... maybe. But then, so could the protesters, if they'd wanted to. But they didn't.


P.S. - the Transition Towns initiative has been trying to draw Peter Luff's attention to a couple of undeniable facts.

Firstly, that inequality breeds inefficiency and a whole raft of social problems. Secondly, that communities need to become sustainable and to embrace the transition from an exploitative, inefficient consumer society to a low carbon local economy.

Sadly, however, it seems that the well-meaning Transition Towns people were wasting their breath. Luff still believes that inequality is valuable and vital (wealthy people shouldn't have to contribute anything at all to the problems we all face) and that sustainability doesn't really matter, compared with the views from a few wealthy people's bedroom windows.

Still, three cheers for Transition Towns Evesham for trying.

Monday, 26 October 2009


It's pretty well a year since the news first broke that ScottishPower Renewables was investigating the area around Lenchwick as the potential site of a windfarm.

Instantly, the lies started. A small band of self-interested people thrust a bewildering raft of phoney facts and misrepresentative information down the throats of those around them.

Parish councils were assailed by nimbies en masse seeking to expel those councillors who were kindly disposed towards the windfarm plan and those who were committed to behaving according to the rules of parish councils. In Church Lench, the protesters were successful - the original parish council resigned, allowing nimbies to take over the parish council and to enter into a symbiotic relationship with the misguided protesters of Vale Villagers Against Science & Progress (VVASP). In Norton & Lenchwick, the nimby mob was markedly less successful.

The barrage of propaganda continued, fuelling crazy rumours and bizarre notions of what a windfarm actually is. The nimbies set out to frighten, to terrify, their neighbours with their looney claims. Anyone who expressed an alternative view was given an unambiguous message: 'Shut up, or else!'

This blog came into existence nearly six months ago, with the aim of countering VVASP's dishonest propaganda, relaying the misdeeds of the protesters (diverting parish council money, anyone?) and offering support to all those in the area who approve of the windfarm. The 'silent majority', in other words.

Six months, and nearly 100 blog posts later, and now we're anxiously waiting for the planning application for the windfarm to be submitted by ScottishPower Renewables (SPR). The moment it is, expect a massive clamour from some of the residents of three Lenches villages.

There will be demonstrations. There will be publicity stunts. There will be lies.

The nimbies have bent the ear of the local MP, fooling him into taking a token stand on behalf of a handful of wealthy individuals against the interests of the wider community - an interesting clue as to how an incoming Conservative government might operate.

(Please feel free to contact Peter Luff MP by post or email if you feel that his campaigning on behalf of a bunch of liars, bullies and property developers isn't really the way forward.)

The truth of the matter is that there is a continuency here, many of whom believe in the windfarm as a progressive step, as a tiny fraction of what is urgently needed and as an inspiring addition to the local scene. With their usual scattergun, never-mind-the-facts-just-scare-the-punters finesse, the nimbies shrieked that the windfarm would 'kill the Vale countryside'. Surely a contender for the Silliest Remark Ever Made prize.

But a large number of local people see the windfarm as rescuing the Vale countryside from the depradations of interlopers, agribusiness and monoculture and the terrifying consequences of climate change. In other words, if you want to save our countryside, vote windfarm. Typically, the VVASP spokespeople are out to the tune of 180 degrees (which you might expect when they're not really thinking about the countryside, only themselves). The windfarm won't, and couldn't, 'kill the Vale countryside'. Rather, it would help to protect the area.

What the anti-windfarm protests have shown is how much the relevant villages have changed in recent years. They have become insular, petty-minded suburban retreats attracting acquisitive investors who have no interest whatsoever in the community. Such people have no qualms about lying to and terrorising their new neighbours if they feel (wrongly, as it happens) that their financial interests are threatened.

So what do those who support the windfarms plans do? Well, it's quite simple. We need to flood Wychavon District Council with letters of support for Lenchwick Windfarm. That's all.

We just need to let the councillors and council officers know that there is huge support for the windfarm in the local villages, and that that support cannot be silenced, cannot be overruled or swept aside, by a small number of nasty nimbies.

Very soon - perhaps even as the 100th blogpost here - we shall be presenting a proposed letter which supporters of the windfarm need only sign and send in to the district council when the planning application has been received from SPR.

We'd be more than happy to hear from anybody who has some suggestions or ideas as to what this letter might include.

But we shall definitely be offering a standard latter of support for anyone to use. We want to make it as easy as possible for the many supporters of the windfarm to make their views known to the planning committee.

VVASP have made a huge amount of noise, pretty well all of which was based on myths and lies, on misquoted reports, on dubious science, on hysteria and blatant nimbyism.

They've had their day.

Let common sense and forward thinking prevail. You can help. All that's needed is a letter of support. The more, the merrier. And we here at Wind of Change will happily do all that we can to overcome the fascist tendencies of the protesters.

Do let your voice be heard - for the sake of future generations.

Friday, 23 October 2009


Much of the talk across the nation today might be about Nick Griffin's appearance on Question Time last night, but there is a bigger political issue around at the moment.

Last week, senior Tory backbencher Douglas Carswell MP proclaimed that anyone who believes that climate change is happening is part of a "lunatic consensus".

This was a shocking statement. The world is facing the greatest crisis ever to affect humanity. Earlier this year, New Scientist magazine ran a piece which suggested that rising global temperatures could lead to a reduction in the human population of the planet to around 1 billion in ninety years time. That would mean that some six billion lives are to be wiped out during the remainder of this century. Mankind has never faced a catastrophe on that scale before.

Then, this week, shadow business secretary Ken Clarke MP announced that, in his view, onshore windfarms are "not suitable" for the UK.

By the following day, Clarke had been forced into an embarrassing climbdown. The Conservative Party insisted that it remained committed to expanding the onshore wind energy sector, and that Clarke's remarks had nothing whatever to do with Tory party policy.

Evidently, 'green' Dave Cameron has a problem on his hands. His party simply doesn't get it. The Conservative Party is still stuck in the 20th (or perhaps the 19th) century. Tory politicians have completely failed to grapple with scientific evidence and the growth of the low carbon economy.

Against the background of disarray in Tory ranks, Peter Luff's announcement that he intends to speak for 10 minutes in the House of Commons on his own proposals to limit the distance between wind turbines and peoples' homes makes perfect sense.

The likelihood of Peter Luff's bill getting anywhere is negligible. But with a scant disregard for evidence or the national need, Luff's plan cosies up to the maniacal nimbies. It's essentially a pointless gesture, but it has been designed to keep the nimby loudmouths satisfied.

No wonder that VVASP seems to imagine that a Tory government will release them from the spell of having a windfarm - a windfarm, of all things! - somewhere near their homes.

The reality of the VVASP protest is this. One man simply doesn't want to see a windfarm nearby. A handful of others are developing properties in the area. They have reacted to the windfarm proposals with a shocking display of selfishness. They don't want the windfarm because they think it will harm their investments (it won't - why should it?) or, in the case of one individual, they just don't want it to be able to see it. They have been prepared to lie, to mislead, to misinform, to bully and to bend the rules in order to have their own way.

Are these the sort of people Peter Luff really wants to champion? Is this what the UK needs right now - a party committed to promoting the interests of a few property developers and raging nimbies in the face of a looming global disaster (not to mention the national humiliation of electricity blackouts on the horizon)?

If the local MP were a tad more thoughtful he might have taken a moment to consider the many residents of the Lenches and surrounding villages who support the windfarm (or whose unhappiness with the proposed windfarm is as nothing compared with their disgust and outrage at the tactics employed by the VVASP nimbies). If Peter Luff only took time out to ask himself which is the majority - the handful of narrow-minded nimbies in the Lenches or those who would benefit, in a variety of ways, from the windfarm - he might give some consideration to what might be the best use of his valuable time. Does he represent the short-term interests of a few monied individuals or the majority of voters in his constituency? Are his interests the present desires of an irresponsible, unscrupulous, reckless group of self-interested bullies or the long-term needs of society?

A TV programme last night, entitled 'BNP Wives', showed hard-right activists spreading their sick propaganda on Britain's streets. Their attitudes, their tactics, their insane paranoia and their gross unreasonableness would have been instantly recognisable to anybody who has witnessed the anti-windfarm nimbies of VVASP at work.

Are these the sort of people Peter Luff wants to put first?

The great sadness here is that the current government of the UK has only recently begun to grapple in any meaningful way with the dire consequences of global climate change. Just in time, potentially, to lose control to a Tory party which is about as ignorant and unrealistic about these problems as the nimbies of Lench.

Naturally, an incoming Tory government will be forced to deal with reality. Maybe just at the moment a few MPs are queueing up to spout nimby nonsense on the stupid grounds that it's a 'vote-winner'. Again, we get the sense that the Tories aren't seeing the bigger picture, but the demands of government will force them to wake up. At which point, the nimbies might recognise that Peter Luff's posturing was simply that, and that Ken Clarke might not care much for windfarms but that's not going to stop them.

But it is disturbing to find that the party most likely to form the next British government is in such a mess over the biggest issue to threaten the 21st century.

Will they recognise that they don't just serve the interests of a privileged few? For that is simply what the VVASP protest is about. It's a tiny minority who think that their finances, their privileges, are threatened by the Lenchwick Windfarm development. They're wrong, but they don't care - they'll do anything to force their anti-social opinions down everybody's throats.

And unless Tory politicians get real and accept that the future belongs to all of us (not just an arrogant, intolerant few), that energy and climate change are the big issues of today (and tomorrow) and that the genuine needs of the many outweigh the selfish desires of the few, the UK will be going to hell in a handcart while the rest of the world takes steps to protect itself against catastrophe.

Let's hope and pray that common sense descends on the Tory party before it's too late.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009


There was a bingo night in Harvington, last week. This event was advertised in the latest VVASP newsletter and on posters in the area.

One thing that these posters failed to disclose, though, was whether or not the bingo night was a VVASP fundraising event.

Now, this sort of thing is nothing unusual in the Lenches these days. Many people find that it's almost impossible to determine which village events are, covertly, VVASP events and which are, therefore, means of raising money for VVASP's anti-windfarm protest.

What was slightly unusual about the Harvington bingo evening was that this blurring of the line between village social and political fundraiser, so common of late in Church Lench, was now being exported to the surrounding villages.

Is it possible that people have gone to events like this, either in the Lenches or elsewhere, unaware that in so doing they were supporting the nimbies of VVASP?

Looking ahead, we have good reason to expect the planning application from ScottishPower Renewables for the Lenchwick Windfarm to be submitted to Wychavon District Council imminently. At which point, we can expect a re-run of the madness which descended over the immediate area when ScottishPower Renewables held their public information sessions in September.

The problem the nimbies have is that the planning guidelines offer no obvious legitimate grounds for the planning application to be turned down. The government has, of necessity, committed itself to renewables. The supposed downsides of windfarms are pretty well all in the protesters' heads. There will almost certainly be an astonishing display of spluttering anger at the relevant planning meeting, but councillors are getting a little peeved at being barracked by noisy nimbies. There is also a quiet, undemonstrative but pleasingly healthy degree of local support for the windfarm development.

VVASP have pledged to fight the windfarm till the bitter end. They half believe that if they can hold things up until the next general election, an incoming Tory government will be more amenable to their selfish cause. Which is unlikely.

Failing that, they seem to feel that simply delaying the arrival of the windfarm for as long as is possible would be an honourable result.

But if the windfarm is coming (which it is), what is the point of trying to postpone its appearance for a couple of years?

It's this kind of pig-headed exploitation of the planning system in order to delay developments which are in the national (and international) public good that has led the government to reconsider our rather ricketty planning system.

Pursuing their campaign through as many stages of the system as they can will cost VVASP a lot of money - which they're raising, in part at least, through events which don't exactly boast about their VVASP credentials.

It will also cost public money - tax-payers' money - every time VVASP delay the inevitable with another stalling tactic.

We can expect more events to take place locally which manage to be rather coy about their real purpose. That in itself is telling. Perhaps VVASP are struggling to maintain their support and finding it more effective not to mention their involvement in local events.

But each one coaxes more money out of local people to be devoted to a time-wasting exercise, and one which could cost each and every single one of us.

This kind of behaviour is costing us our national pride - the UK gets 40% of Europe's wind and yet lies second from bottom in the European renewables league table. It is also costing the future. As politicians the world over are beginning to realise, we all need binding commitments and urgent action now.

Surely if VVASP knew that they were fighting the good fight, and that there was some point in doing so, they wouldn't be quite so coy about their local fundraising activities.

Thursday, 15 October 2009


Windfarms are noisy.

They're not, of course, but this is what the nimbies keep telling us. They're noisy, so there.

But what happens when someone actually visits a windfarm, or stays near one, and discovers that they're remarkably, surprisingly quiet?

Each time that happens - each time somebody returns to the Shire with the news that it's possible to stand directly beneath the blades of a working wind turbine and still be surprised by how quiet they are - the nimbies are caught out. Telling porkies again. Windfarms aren't noisy at all.

So the nimbies have been employing a cunning new weapon. When it is pointed out that so-and-so actually stood directly beneath the blades of a turbine on a windy day and says they're not noisy, the nimby response will be:

'Of course. Sound travels outwards. Wind turbines get noisier the further you are from them!'

This claim has the appearance of science to support it. Soundwaves radiate outwards from a source. If you're right up against the source, the soundwaves will be heading outwards into the atmosphere above your head. You won't hear them, but somebody standing further away will.

Unfortunately for the nimbies, this argument is sheer cobblers.

Sound follows the inverse square rule. The volume of a sound diminishes rapidly as you move away from it.

This is why modern turbines can barely be heard 200 metres away. Up close, they're very quiet. Even that low level sound quickly disappears as you move away from the masts.

So, no - wind turbines do not get noisier the further you move away from them.

Science nails another nimby myth.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009


Under the stewardship of Lord Turner, yesterday the government's Committee on Climate Change (CCC) published its first annual report.

The conclusions were inescapable. Britain needs to pull its finger out.

Amongst the recommendations of the report was a call for 23 gigawatts of new wind power generation in the UK by 2020. That equates to an extra 8,000 three megawatt turbines.

The Lenchwick Windfarm will comprise 5 turbines rated up to 2.3 MW each. That's a tiny fraction - less than a quarter of one per cent - of the total required.

Now, here's the rub. Every single one of those 8,000 additional wind turbines will be in the 'wrong' environment. It's not just a few locals in the Lenchwick area who don't want a brand new windfarm near them. Nimby groups spring up everywhere a new windfarm is proposed, and they all spout the same empty arguments: 'We're all in favour of renewables, but just not here!'

So we need a massive increase in the amount of wind power generated in the UK. But nimby groups are going to fight this every inch of the way.

Maybe VVASP really do believe that they are so special, so unique, that they can be exempted from this form of national service. The government and power companies are going to have to find sites for at least 8,000 turbines, but the Lenches feel that they have the right to oppose the five we've been offered.

And if everybody else feels the same way? If everybody takes up the nimby mantra, what then?

Perhaps it's time for the anti-windfarm protesters of the area to come to their senses. Not everywhere nominated for a windfarm can be an 'inappropriate' environment. There is a national need - nay, a looming national crisis - to be addressed. The message from scientists and advisers is clear: the UK is going to get a lot more windfarms and we'll be getting them soon. It's not a question of whether we like them or not.

What kind of example are we setting? The UK needs 8,000 new turbines. The nimbies of Lench are refusing to have five.

It would certainly help matters if groups like VVASP would stick to the facts about wind power, rather than constantly trading silly stories about windfarms. With such a massive increase in wind-generated energy on the cards, such behaviour is monumentally irresponsible and immoral.

We could wise up. Accept the fact that windfarms are going to be part of the British landscape. Acknowledge that the problems we face require answers that involve us all. Recognise that windfarms are quiet, clean and green and that opposing them is socially unacceptable.

Or we could waste large amounts of money and time in fighting the inevitable.

Saturday, 10 October 2009


The latest VVASP newsletter (October 2009) is out.

And they have the temerity to accuse ScottishPower Renewables of practising 'deception'!

"We have the right to expect a large company like SPR to show honesty and integrity in dealings with the public but these aspects were in short supply", claimed the newsletter.

This 'party line' seems to have been agreed before SPR and its consultants held the three public information sessions in Norton & Lenchwick, Harvington and Church Lench last month. There was an assumption - a prejudice, if you will - that SPR would inevitably be lying.

In fact, there are numerous reasons why ScottishPower Renewables are unlikely to tell lies during this process. The most obvious being that it would seriously damage their cause, and the cause of other renewable energy companies seeking to solve our energy problems before they become insurmountable. There is, quite simply, too much at stake. Lying to the public would be a very foolish, and unnecessary, thing for SPR to do.

A while back, this blog asked if anyone could site a single lie told, thus far, by SPR. Still haven't found one, but do keep looking.

VVASP meanwhile can, and do, spout any old rubbish they want to with impunity.

Even before the public information sessions were held, people in Bishampton (including supporters of the windfarm) were being urged to attend the sessions because 'we have to fight this thing.' Not - you may note - to find out what's actually at stake.

This was evidently VVASP's tactic. ScottishPower Renewables, along with consultants from Dulas and an environmental campaigner, were making it possible for locals to peruse the plans and ask questions. This was the first time such an opportunity would exist since VVASP was created to mislead and misinform the locals. A concerted effort was made to limit the impact of these information sessions. While experts were in the halls answering questions (or being told, on no grounds whatsoever, that they were 'lying'), the nimbies were doing their utmost to present their own alternative reality to the villagers.

One criticism made was that the information sessions showed just two photographs with a computer generated windfarm visible - one from the Handgate crossroads and one from Spitten Farm. Where was the photo taken from the Lenches Club, for instance (which, by the way, would have shown that the view of the Malverns from the club's windows would not be obscured in any way by the turbines)?

According to the VVASP newsletter, the two photographs were "taken from viewpoints deliberately chosen to minimise the dominance of the turbines". That is, one was taken from the east and another from the north-west. For anyone who wanted to know what the windfarm would look like from other angles, there was a consultant there to conjure up the relevant diagram on a laptop.

What VVASP were so annoyed about was the simple fact that the windfarm didn't look quite so terrifying when it was in situ, as it were. VVASP had flown a blimp 125-metres up and 'most people' were 'amazed at how high the turbines would be'. Why? What did they think 125-metres would look like? Of course, when you're standing directly beneath it, a blimp flying 125 metres up in the air seems rather high up. But when you're at the distance you'd normally be at - i.e., on two of the main roads into Church Lench, it doesn't seem quite so big.

So - question: how many residents of the Lenches are going to spend significant amounts of time standing directly under the turbines, looking up at them?

Not many.

No, what VVASP were fuming about was that the images of the windfarm rather contradicted their entirely misrepresentative image of what the turbines will look like (a blimp, 125-metres up, which you stand underneath and express surprise at how high it is). SPR had taken plenty of steps to show anyone present what the windfarm would look like from either side and from any point requested. But this wasn't what VVASP wanted people to see. So, as the VVASP say of SPR, "they should be ashamed of themselves."

Ashamed of themselves for making information available. Information that showed how paltry VVASP's 'information' is.

Maybe flying the blimp at 80-metres - the actual height of the hub at the top of the turbine mast - would have been more representative.

Two things made an impression at the public information sessions hosted by SPR in October. One was the sheer level of hostility and unreasonable behaviour in Church Lench (VVASP's 'peaceful protest'). The other was the surprising degree of support for the windfarm, especially in Harvington and Norton & Lenchwick.

And although this blog has no connection whatsoever with Scottish Power or any other developers or operators of windfarms, Wind of Change is happy to point out that SPR have not yet been caught out telling lies. Whereas VVASP have consistently made claims about the windfarm which are demonstrably untrue.

Who, then, has really shown a short supply of 'honesty and integrity' in dealing with the public?

A little further into the VVASP newsletter comes the news that the Lenchwick Windfarm could "bring about the end of cricket in the Lenches." "Turbines Four and Five will be behind the bowler's arm at the south end of the cricket ground" (actually, they won't - turbines 4 and 5 are at the other end of the development).

Does this count as a genuine threat? The Lenches sports ground has been there for all of - what? five years? Many villagers were opposed to it, and there is unhappiness at the prospect of the sports club extending its ground, pulling up hedges (without planning permission) and adding to the noise pollution experienced by locals, as well as light pollution in a quiet country village during the evenings.

Quite why a five-turbine windfarm some distance from the cricket pitch should "bring about the end of cricket in the Lenches" isn't clear. Are cricketers unusually sensitive creatures? And, even if it was true (which anyone with a functioning brain knows it isn't), how does the "end of cricket in the Lenches" stack up against electricity black-outs and climate change?

Let's face it - the energy news isn't good. The government's chief adviser has warned that there will be electrcity black-outs by 2016 if we don't get a grip. Ofgen has now announced that energy bills could rise by 60% over the same period as the loss of nuclear and coal-fired power stations leads to an increasingly risky dependence on imported gas.

The crisis is coming. But we can take steps to avert it. And if that means the end of cricket at the Lenches sports ground, not everyone in the area will be sorry.

Then again, in the real world cricket will continue. The windfarm will look less threatening than VVASP want you to think it is. And they'll still accuse SPR of 'deception' when all the evidence points in the other direction.

They should be ashamed of themselves.

Friday, 9 October 2009


How many storeys does a wind turbine have?

According to VVASP: 40.

According to the English language: none.

By definition, a 'storey' is 'any of the parts into which a building is divided horizontally'. In other words, it's a 'floor'. So turbines, obviously, don't have storeys.

Constantly announcing that the Lenchwick Windfarm turbines will be 'forty storeys high' is yet another example of the nimbies' tendency to twist language. When fully perpendicular, the height to the tip of a blade might be equivalent to a forty-storey building. But there the resemblance ends.

Another question: how many windfarms are there in the UK?

As of 1 May 2009, there were 211 operational windfarms in Britain - a total of 2,434 turbines and 3,391 megawatts of installed capacity, with a further 2,192 MW worth of schemes under construction, another 6,694 MW having secured planning consent and some 8,486 MW waiting for planning approval.

But if you talked to VVASP, you might be forgiven for thinking that the grand total of windfarms in the UK is ... two. And that everyone living near those two windfarms is passionately opposed to them.

One of the windfarms visited by members of VVASP was Coldham, near March in Cambridgeshire. Eight turbines went operational at Coldham in 2005. So awful are they that plans to extend the site to the tune of seven more turbines were not opposed by local residents and were granted approval in 2008.

The site of the Coldham windfarm is a farm owned by the Co-operative Group since 1914. The Co-op does not really have a reputation for investing in noisome, anti-social projects. Joining forces with Scottish Power, the Co-op established the windfarm, gaining planning permission in 2003 after some opposition from local residents.

Evidently, that opposition was unfounded. The residents have grown accustomed to the windfarm and haven't objected to the addition of seven more turbines. Coldham turned out to be such a success that the Co-op received approval from East Riding Council to build a 14 turbine windfarm near Goole.

Overall, local residents seem to have done rather well out of the Coldham windfarm, which has brought educational and financial benefits to the area, as well as putting Coldham 'on the map'.

But when VVASP visited, they ignored all this. Instead, they tracked down a couple of farmers who were prepared to grumble about the windfarm.

Now, Wind of Change rather likes farmers, but we do recognise that many are experts in the art of griping. Perhaps the two VVASP spoke to were jealous, knowing that if the turbines were on their land they'd be receiving a handsome income while still being able to farm around them.

Whatever - the story that came back from Coldham was not one of community benefits, local approval of the windfarm and no resistance to the site's extension. No: what VVASP returned with was some 'alarming' information that two farmers didn't like the windfarm.

Case closed, as they say.

The only other windfarm VVASP like talking about is at Deeping St Nicholas in Lincolnshire. The area is home to Toni Chapman, who moved to the village as the first eight turbines were being erected and who sees no reason to object to the further sixteen turbines which have been proposed (source: Spalding Guardian).

Deeping St Nicholas is also home to a community initiative, known as the Fenland Green Power Co-operative, which saw massive positive interest in 2007 when it offered shares to local residents in two of the turbines (source: Spalding Today).

In January 2006, Mr Watts, whose organic farm hosts the turbines, welcomed a visit to the windfarm ( Mr Watts lives 750 metres from the turbines and had experienced no problems with noise at any time. Neither had he seen any evidence of 'bird strikes' (although he does offer a good explanation for how this myth came about). One member of the visiting group discovered that, at 250 metres distance, the turbines could not be heard.

Overall, there seems to be quite a lot of good news about Deeping St Nicholas. But you'll not hear any of it, because Deeping St Nicholas is home to Jane Davis.

If the nimbies had their way, Jane Davis is the only person in the entire country who would be allowed to talk about windfarms. She claims that she and her husband were forced to leave their home (which is 200m further away from the turbines than Mr Watts's is) because of 'noise'.

Naturally, Mrs Davis's concerns were looked into. Environmental Health Professionals working for South Holland District Council spent 26 days and nights trying to monitor this 'noise' in October 2007. The experts failed to find a problem.

At one stage, attempts by consultants to gather and review data relevant to the case were delayed by the Davises themselves.

Jane Davis would seem to be unique. There have been no complaints from the other six households living at a comparable distance from the windfarm. Locally, indeed, the windfarm would appear to have done a great deal of good, and many locals have joined the Fenland Green Power Co-operative scheme. But all of that is irrelevant, because the nimbies really like Jane Davis. She says what they want to hear.

Regardless of all the positives surrounding Coldham, all that we've heard from VVASP is that two farmers don't like it. And regardless of all the good news surrounding Deeping St Nicholas, all that VVASP have announced is that Jane Davis had to leave her house, in a case which is still problematic because the objective facts in the matter are proving elusive.

It's this utterly selective 'cherry-picking' of the evidence which undermines VVASP's case. Six months ago, there were nearly 2,500 wind turbines operating in the UK. One couple claim to have been forced to move because of an alleged 'noise pollution' which remains unproven and which failed to affect others living nearby.

Now, let's try a thought experiment. Imagine the VVASP representatives visiting Coldham earlier this year and coming back with the news that the turbines aren't all that bad actually and by far the majority of local residents approve of them.

Likely? Not really. Because VVASP are committed to opposing Lenchwick Windfarm regardless of the facts. For their own reasons, ranging from abject NIMBYism and the desire to protect investments to some rather random worries about something-or-other, VVASP have consistently sought out any 'bad news' they can find.

This has required them to ignore most of the information available and to trumpet unscientific reports, unsubstantiated rumours, Chinese whispers and claims which simply don't add up.

The many who are benefitting already from windfarms are ignored. A miniscule, totally unrepresentative sample is all that VVASP are interested in.

So - how many stories does a wind turbine have?

Many. But VVASP don't want you to hear most of them.

Thursday, 8 October 2009


Someone seems to think that they will be living 'in the middle' of a windfarm when the Lenchwick development gets the go ahead.

How odd. Looking at the map, it's hard to see how anybody will be 'in the middle' of the windfarm. Outside the windfarm, yes. Within so many hundred metres of a turbine, yes. But 'in the middle'? That's not really possible, is it? Unless they're planning on erecting a tent on private land, in between a couple of turbines. Which is not really likely to happen.

Aside from the paranoid guff that everyone in favour of windpower (or this blog) works for a windfarm company, there has also been the suggestion that anti-NIMBY, pro-windfarm people don't live anywhere near windfarms (and certainly not 'in the middle' of one).

But, as usual, a VVASP 'statement' turns out to be laughably easy to refute. There's quite a rich crop of community windfarm projects to consider.

But wouldn't you just know - another contributor has been in touch to point out that villagers in Fintry, Stirlingshire, took a most unusual step when a windfarm was first proposed for their locality.

Did they form a NIMBY group to fight the proposals?

No. They asked the developer (West Coast Energy) to install an extra turbine which the villagers themselves would pay for!!!

With the Fintry windfarm now up and running, the villagers, in the form of the Fintry Development Trust, are receiving an income from their own turbine, as well as seeing their domestic energy bills reduced by a huge amount.

Here's the link:

So - in conclusion. Some pro-wind people live in close proximity to windfarms, and are really rather proud of them (as well as benefitting directly from them). Some people don't get their knickers in a twist over phantom fears. Some people are capable of recognising a Good Thing when they see it.

Once again, it seems, VVASP can only shout, threaten and regurgitate inaccurate information.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009


Few people can be more alert to the progress and perils of climate change than David Attenborough.

Well, this is what he said after visiting the site of a windfarm application in Sussex (Times Online, 26 February 2008):

"Having visited the proposed site, I noticed that it is close to a place where not long ago, a windmill once stood. I suspect that were that windmill still in existence, many of us would regard it as a welcome feature in the essentially domesticated Sussex landscape and would speak passionately in favour of its protection. That, surely, is because most of us have a care and affection for the past. I certainly have.

"But I also have a care and affection for the future. A wind turbine, with its graceful lines, collecting energy from the environment without causing any material damage, is a marvellous demonstration of the way we can minimise our pollution of the atmosphere, if we wish to do so. It would help protect not only the countryside we have known for centuries but also the wider world beyond."

Can you feel that?

That's a breath of fresh air, a few measured words of common sense.

VVASP once claimed that Lenchwick Windfarm would 'kill the Vale countryside'. But David Attenborough recognises that such windfarms are a way to 'protect not only the countryside ... but also the wider world beyond.'

Whose view do you reckon is the more impartial, the more reliable? David Attenborough, who has spent a lifetime studying the natural world, or VVASP, who haven't?

Tuesday, 6 October 2009


In the 1950s, the Corporation of Liverpool decided that it needed more water. This was not for the citizens of Liverpool, who had plenty of water. The Corporation believed that it needed more water for its proposed programme of industrial expansion.

Bypassing local democracy, the Corporation of Liverpool acquired an Act of Parliament allowing it to flood a Welsh valley. Naturally, there was massive opposition. Nothing did more to promote the growth of Plaid Cymru, the Welsh nationalist party. There were even outbreaks of what we would now call terrorism.

Still, in 1965, families living in Capel Celyn were evicted. Bodies were exhumed from the cemetery, which was then concreted over. Twelve houses and farms were drowned, along with the post office, the school and the chapel.

Even today, Liverpool does not use all the water stored in the Tryweryn Reservoir created by the flooding of Capel Celyn.

The Welsh-speaking people of Capel Celyn could not have been described as 'NIMBYs'. Partly because the word (or acronym) didn't exist. It was invented in the 1980s - the 'me' decade. Even so, those families who had lived in Capel Celyn all their lives were not campaigning against the reservoir on the grounds of 'Not In My Back Yard'. They were campaigning for their homes, their village, their family property to be saved.

The threat which faced the people of Capel Celyn was a very real one.

NIMBY groups form to confront a threat that isn't real.

Let's take a fairly recent, and utterly disgraceful, nimby campaign.

When, in 2007, the Ministry of Defence opened a new 30-bed annexe at the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre in Surrey, the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA) decided to convert a local house into a temporary home-from-home for families visiting seriously wounded service personnel. The place they chose was in Gray's Lane, Ashtead.

83 letters of objection were lodged by local residents. The objectors cited 'increased traffic noise', 'additional pollution' and the slim chance that the area would become a 'soft target' for 'these awful terrorists'.

One local resident kept demanding, 'would you be happy with the relatives of a bunch of soldiers on your lawn?'

It goes without saying that most of the Ashtead residents were only too happy to see British service personnel going overseas to protect British interests. But when some came back with hideous wounds and injuries, those same local residents were not prepared to allow the families of the wounded to stay nearby.

Unlike the people of the lost village of Capel Celyn, the Ashtead residents were categorically not fighting to protect their homes. Rather, they seem to have had a mental image of their well-heeled area which did not include any kind of temporary home for the families of wounded soldiers. They were not opposing a direct threat - for all that laughable nonsense about becoming a terrorist target. They were fighting an imaginary one.

It's easy to spot a NIMBY campaign. The language tends to be hysterical (like, the turbines of Lenchwick Windfarm will "kill the Vale countryside" - a monstrous suggestion if ever there was one). The 'facts' turn out to be merely opinions. Crazy rumours spread like wildfire.

The threat confronted by nimbies is a perceived threat - it is not a real threat. Although dramatic claims are made about the impact on house prices, the evidence fails to support the claims. Imaginary threats (such as 'noise') are blown out of all proportion. A deliberate campaign of misrepresentation, often supported by strong-arm tactics, is engineered to scare or force other residents into supporting the nimby cause.

In Capel Celyn, a community existed and struggled, unsuccessfully, to defend itself. In stark contrast, nimby campaigns tend to be illustrative of a community breakdown. A sense of community is manufactured by creating an illusory threat against which locals are obliged to combine. But a real community would not object to a home for families visiting badly wounded soldiers. The very existence of that shameful campaign was proof that all community spirit in the area had vanished.

The perceived threats conjured up by those opposed to a windfarm in their local area are illusory threats. This blog came into existence largely as a result of the barrage of propaganda being unleashed by VVASP. The protesters claimed to be 'informing' the community. In reality, they have been misinforming, misleading and terrifying their nieghbours with unfounded scare stories. Had they really been interested in 'informing' the community, there would have been a bit of balance, not to mention reliable science, in the information they provide.

No one is obliged to like the idea of a windfarm nearby. But spreading unsubstantiated rumours about windfarms with the sole purpose of whipping up opposition to the proposals is deeply immoral. VVASP have planted a psychological timebomb. There will, unfortunately, be those who believe the misquoted reports, the misrepresented studies, the misleading myths. When Lenchwick Windfarm becomes operational, these poor people will expect problems. They will blame anything and everything on the windfarm.

The reality is that the windfarm poses a negligible threat. It is all in the mind. Unlike Capel Celyn, the village, the community, does not face the genuine threat of extermination.

By pretending that it does, and by mounting vociferous opposition to what is essentially a much-needed and beneficial development, VVASP have proved that they are NIMBYs, products of the 'me' generation, with little or no concern for anything but themselves.

Saturday, 3 October 2009


The moment this was sent in we just had to pass it on. Please click on the link and have a read:

Apparently, most of his villagers didn't really understand what he was trying to do - a situation we can relate to locally. But at least they didn't try to stop him!

Friday, 2 October 2009


George W. Bush is an oil man, through and through. Had the oil lobby decided it wanted its own man to be President of the United States of America (which, let's face it, is essentially what happened), then they couldn't have found a more sympathetic guy.

Even so, in 2008 - the last year of Bush's presidency - windfarms accounted for more than half of all net electricity-generating capacity added in the U.S., according to the Department of Energy's figures.

And, somewhat amazingly, Texas generates more windpower than any other state. That's right: the oil state, former Governor one George W. Bush, is way ahead of the rest in making use of the power of the wind.

So they might know something over there about the so-called 'inefficiency' of wind turbines.

If anything, the problem can be that the turbines are too efficient. On occasion, utilities have 'dialed down' some of their fossil-fuel power plants because the turbines are producing so much electricity.

(Let's compare this with France, which is mostly nuclear powered, and which had to purchase electricity from the UK this summer when temperatures of 30 degrees forced them to 'dial down' their nuclear power stations for safety reasons.)

As the Wall Street Journal reports, the massive growth of windpower in the States has led utilities to develop more accurate meteorological forecasts in order to predict fluctuations in wind strength. The race is also on to develop smart ways of storing the surplus electricity generated by turbines at times for use when the wind isn't blowing quite so strongly.

The system was originally devised for fossil-fuel based power generation. The switch to renewables is forcing new approaches and new systems to be developed. A mix of renewable sources (wind, wave, tide, solar, etc.), combined with greater energy efficiency and smart new systems, is what will deliver our power in the future. The so-called 'inefficiency' of windfarms is a canard, and the issues surrounding fluctuations in wind and so on are being addressed. And to suggest that wind turbines are 'expensive' is to pretend that coal and nuclear power are cheap.

It has to be said, though, that if a state like Texas can embrace windpower with such aplomb, it's a bit embarrassing that the UK is still struggling to do so. The only reason for this are the nimby protests. The rest of the world is surging ahead. We're falling behind. It's the self-interest, short-termism and downright absence of logic demonstrated by myth-mongering nimby groups that is holding us back.

Makes you proud to be British, doesn't it?

Thursday, 1 October 2009


Here's a treat for you.

Follow this link to find a number of videos examining various windfarms and highlighting the idiocy of the nimby protests:



Following yesterday's unauthorised comment, Mr Davies has asked us to point out that he has also written physics, cosmology and mathematics programmes for the Open University and worked with the Royal Geographical Society in producing an exhibition on the Royal Research Ship Discovery for Dundee Industrial Heritage.

In keeping with the Wind of Change policy of not censoring or moderating comments, however, Mr Davies has insisted that yesterday's comment should not be removed.

As he said to us, "The information given out by a VVASP member in the comment is four or five years out of date. That's actually pretty good, for them."

Mr Davies has been a vocal supporter of Lenchwick Windfarm since all this started and recognises that the nimbies would sooner or later assume that he was responsible for the Wind of Change blog, to which he has made many contributions of research, advice and ideas.

Now the nimbies just have to identify the other contributors (last count: 15) from Harvington, Atch Lench, Church Lench, Sheriffs Lench, Bishampton, Throckmorton, and Norton and Lenchwick.

When we spoke to Mr Davies today about the comment left by a VVASP supporter, and in particular about the suggestion that he might one day write a script about the issue, he laughed. In an email, he went further:

"Funnily enough, the same suggestion was put to me a few months back by a producer on 'The South Bank Show'. I said then what I'll say now - what would be the point?

"With a fair wind, it can take a minimum of two years to get a script idea onto the screen. By then, all this nonsense will have gone away.

"Remember the mobile phone mast frenzy of a few years ago. Everyone wanted mobile phones, and masts had been around for ages. But then suddenly certain middle class areas discovered that they were going to have to have phone masts if they wanted the mobile phone coverage. Instantly, no end of bogus science appeared. There were placards, protests, demonstrations. All based on rumour and hearsay. And then the fuss died down and we all got on with our lives.

"The windfarm issue is exactly the same. Windfarms have been around for ages, but now communities in England are finding that they too will have to do their bit. They want electricity but don't want a clean, green, harmless and efficient windfarm producing it. So what do we get? No end of bogus science, placards, protests, all based on rumour and hearsay.

"This is the end of the nimby era. In a couple of years time, these protests will have gone the way of the mobile phone masts protests. It's just a temporary madness, and it will pass as more and more people wake up to the real issues involved and discover for themselves how beneficial a windfarm can be.

"Ed Miliband, the climate change secretary, remarked back in March that 'It is socially unacceptable to be against wind turbines in your area - like not wearing your seatbelt or driving past a zebra crossing.'

"Once people buck their ideas up and stop swallowing nimby propaganda whole, the situation will change. So what would be the point of a script about all this? By the time it was ready for broadcast, the issue will be old hat."

Mr Davies has promised to continue contributing his experience as a researcher to the Wind of Change blog.