Monday, 30 November 2009


As our occasional visitor, "windturbines", has indicated, a Non-Governmental Organisation by the name of Environmental Protection UK has called for updated guidelines on noise on the grounds that wind turbines are much bigger today than they were when the Government's guidelines on noise were established back in the '90s.

Naturally, this is being sold by anti-windfarm nimbies as a campaign against bigger, noisier wind turbines.

But, as usual, the way the nimbies interpret these things might be slightly at odds with what's really going on.

Environmental Protection UK has published on its website some correspondence with Lord Hunt of Kings Heath, Minister of State at the Department of Energy and Climate Change. Lord Hunt wisely, and rightly, points out:

"You're quite right that modern turbines are generally larger than those on which the ETSU-R-97 guidance was based. Noise outputs from these larger turbines have also, however, reduced in that time. Since the ETSU-R-97 derived noise limits are a function of background noise, there is currently no evidence to suggest that the larger turbines are any more likely to cause a noise impact than earlier and smaller designs ..."

In other words, given that modern turbines are considerably quieter than the early designs on which the Government's guidelines were based, there is hardly a prima facie case for revising the guidelines on the grounds of noise.

But the nimbies want people to think that bigger turbines equal more noise. It's not true - in fact, it's the opposite of the truth. By spinning the news, however, the nimby brigade, VVASP included, reveal their deep-rooted dishonesty.

Environmental Protection UK seems to be calling for the guidelines to be revised simply because they are a few years old now. That doesn't mean that they're out-of-date, seeing as they were devised before advances in wind turbine design did a great deal to reduce the noise output from modern turbines so that - as anyone who has spent time at a modern windfarm will know - there's hardly any noise at all, and certainly nothing that can be heard a few hundred metres from the masts.

The NGO continues to support windfarms as part of the necessary national move towards renewables and sustainable energy. Reading between the lines, Environmental Protection UK seems to want new guidelines to help put people's minds at rest, and consequently to reduce the crazy amount of time that is currently wasted in fighting windfarm proposals.

But let's be clear. Environmental Protection UK is NOT stating that modern turbines are noisier than the older variety. That would be a foolish claim to make.

Which is precisely why nimby groups are making it.

Friday, 20 November 2009


Following on from last week's letter in the Evesham Journal, which tried very hard to convince people that climate change might not really be happening, a small consortium of informed, wise and concerned citizens sent in a measured reply.

The substance of Dr Dine's original letter was drawn from the ramblings of a former weatherman in the US, a guy called Art Horn, who has found a new role for himself. He now gives talks in the hope of convincing American waverers that the whole climate change-renewable energy row has been whipped up by certain industries looking to make a fast buck.

Anyone who believes such a monstrous thing is fooling themselves.

Naturally, such climate change denial plays into the hands of the anti-windfarm nimbies, who will clutch at any straw going to justify their unnecessary, thoughtless opposition to the proposed Lenchwick development. And, given the hot air that has risen like a cloud over the Lenches ever since ScottishPower Renewables announced that they were surveying the area for a possible windfarm, more misleading nonsense really is the last thing we need.

In contrast to the biased noodlings of Art Horn and his isolated followers, there are the considerations of Dr James Lovelock, the esteemed British scientist who first came up with the Gaia theory (the Earth is basically a self-regulating organism). Alternatively, you might like to pick up a copy of New Scientist magazine, where the scientists are sounding increasingly scared about climate change and angry about the failure of politicians and the media to get the message out there.

As this lecture of Dr Lovelock's makes clear (, real scientists are no longer being all that sanguine about man-made climate change. To put it another way, they're terrified. They have peered into the abyss - the genuine, imminent threat of global catastrophe - and they realise that urgent, far-reaching action is desperately needed. It is long overdue. And cretinous "It's not really happening" arguments, like those advanced by Art Horn and Dr Dine, do nothing but confuse people, creating the pretence that we have nothing to worry about.

The truth is, we should be more than worried. We should be reaching out for solutions, gladly embracing anything that might defend us against the horrors of climate change as anticipated by the majority of international scientists.

The situation is clear. While a small number of muddle-heads and busy-bodies try to hoodwink the general public, the global situation is worsening and the outlook looks increasingly desperate. And while all this is going on, Boycies all over the country are regurgitating lies and ludicrous nonsense in the hopes of avoiding having a windfarm near them.

With the facts as they are, these people cannot be allowed to succeed. Windfarms, like the relatively small development at Lenchwick, are a vital part of the future. Other countries have realised this, and it's really only in the UK (where a generation has grown up believing that a bit of money excuses you from social responsibility) that deranged nimbyism is holding up the implementation of an elegant and effective solution to this pressing problem.

There is no excuse - there can be no excuse - for opposing a modern, safe, near-silent windfarm in your local area. No amount of lies can alter the facts.

We need that windfarm, and hundreds - nay, thousands - like it. The objections raised by the self-centred protesters of VVASP are specious. The reality, as acknowledged by noted scientists, is so grim that such self-serving behaviour constitutes a crime against humanity.

So three cheers for those individuals who wrote to the Journal to expose Dr Dine's letter as being based on the shoddy 'science' of a passionate deceiver.

Will those same individuals now stand up to trumpet the Lenchwick Windfarm and denounce the muppets of VVASP as misguided, deluded and dangerously out of touch?

Monday, 16 November 2009


Faced with a man-made problem, the consequences of which could, and almost certainly will be, devastating, it's tempting to stick your fingers in your ears and go, "La, la, la, la, I can't hear you!"

What's interesting is that a minority of scientists are trying to get us all to do this.

Now, we know from the Lenchwick Windfarm fuss, and the behaviour of VVASP, that being a scientist doesn't automatically mean that you'll take an objective, rational position based on quantifiable evidence. Some people with scientific backgrounds do the exact opposite, digging up and publicising so-called "facts" which they know to be untrue.

Maybe that's just human nature.

But there really is no excuse for the sort of "scientist" who tries to persuade us all that man-made climate change isn't happening. That's extremely dangerous, irresponsible and morally unforgiveable behaviour.

Take the letter in last week's Evesham Journal. There's little point in going into every statement the author made, so we'll just focus on one of them - the one intended falsely to reassure that soft, emotional part of us that feels rather sorry for polar bears.

Polar bears, of course, have come to be rather symbolic of the plight of the natural world in the face of mankind's thoughtlessness. But according to Dr Tom Dine, writing in the Journal, we all seem to be getting worried about nothing.

Dr Dine tells us that the polar bear population had fallen to around 5,000 in the 1960s. It now stands at around 25,000. So - where's all this global warming, then?

Superficially, the good doctor's facts are true. Thanks to hunting, the polar bear population was in a parlous state in the 1960s. So a hunting ban was implemented in 1973. And the polar bear population quickly began to recover.

Note - nothing as yet about climate change. The near-collapse of the polar bear population, and its subsequent recovery, had nothing whatever to do with climate and everything to do with another sort of despicable human activity followed by a sensible, long overdue international agreement (sound familiar?).

So why has the International Union for Conservation of Nature warned that, "If climatic trends continue, polar bears may become extirpated from most of their range within 100 years", noting that eight out of 19 subpopulations of polar bears are declining and only one increasing (figures far worse than they were four years ago)? Why has the US Department of the Interior listed polar bears as a Threatened Species? Why has Russia listed the polar bear as a 'species of concern'? Why is the US Fish and Wildlife Service worried about the declining polar bear population in Canada's Hudson Bay? Are they all part of some crazy conspiracy?

The reason is well known to us all. As the polar ice cap melts at a rate faster than that predicted by scientists, the polar bear's natural environment is vanishing. And that IS a result of climate change.

What Dr Dine has done is gathered up some statistics and brazenly bandied them about without bothering to put them in context. This is the classic scientific approach to pulling the wool over everybody's eyes.

Or, to put it another way, a few scientists, rejecting the consensus of their peers, are trying to tell us that the obvious is something else. There can't be such thing as climate change because there are more polar bears in the world now than there were forty years ago.

That argument can only be sustained if you don't tell the whole story. And that's the problem with climate change deniers (and anti-windfarm loons). They'll selectively pick a couple of bits of information and carefully avoid letting you know the rest. Just to bolster their silly, and horrifically misguided, views.

So ... who's betting on a white Christmas? You know, the sort we used to get all the time?

Or are our warmer, wetter winters just another example of climate change not happening?

Get real. We're in trouble. And so are the polar bears.

Whatever you do, don't listen to those "scientists" who keep trying to tell you otherwise.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009


The 2km campaign is a dead duck.

It's not difficult to work out why. Firstly, it would obviously preclude the erection of wind turbines near built-up - i.e. urban - areas. Now, while a few clueless nimbies continue to whine things like, "They should put them on the edges of towns!" (Wake up, guys - they already are!), Peter Luff's moronic bill, if it did make any headway, would put a stop to that. So where are the thousands of wind turbines required to reduce the UK's carbon emissions going to be sited, then?

Yep - in rural areas. Not such a bad thing, when the CPRE, National Trust and RSPB are already arguing in favour of wind energy. But hardly what the VVASP quidnuncs had in mind.

Secondly, and more importantly, the braindead 2 km campaign would effectively put a stop to wind energy generation in mainland Britain. Which would mean that a handful of nimbies had ensured that the lights will definitely go out.

The fools and fibbers of VVASP may have trumpeted Peter Luff's brainless bill, but another local MP has already stood up to oppose it. Martin Horwood, Lib Dem MP for Cheltenham, has challenged the gormless 2 km campaign launched by Luff and a few other anti-wind Tories, indicating just how unworkable and ill-thought-out it is. While Dave Cameron's Conservatives struggle to come up with a clear energy strategy, the Lib Dems have already called for 30% of the UK's electricity to be generated by renewables.

Within the next few years, wind turbines will be generating more electricity for Britain than nuclear power (so much for the cretinous argument that windfarms "don't work"!). As existing coal and nuclear power stations are phased out, increasing emphasis will be placed on renewables to provide us with the energy we need.

Luff's bill would of course throw a large and particularly thick spanner in the works - and unless several new nuclear power stations could be commissioned in record time (never mind the costs), the UK would be unable to cater for its domestic energy needs.

Thanks, Peter - and all those self-important nimbies who created the problem.

When BBC Midlands Today visited Burtonwold Wind Farm a week or two ago, a local councillor explained how the anti-wind lobby, composed of nuclear apologists, neo-fascist climate change deniers and a few Neanderthal homeowners, had repeatedly lied about the impact of windfarms. Villagers living a few hundred metres from a ten-turbine windfarm - soon to become a 17-turbine site - had experienced no problems and hadn't objected to the additional seven turbines. And why should they? There's nothing wrong with them.

Luff's law would presumably mean that Burtonwold, along with other successful windfarms, would be forced to shut down. All because of a few selfish twits in the Lenches. You know the sort.

Britain's energy policy - sustainable or otherwise - would be thrown back to ... what?

We don't even know if clean coal technology is going to work. Gas is both massively inefficient and politically dangerous. Nuclear costs too much and won't be ready in time (and even Ed Miliband admits that the next generation of nuclear power stations will only be a stopgap).

So if Luff and his nimby puppet-masters had their way, the UK wouldn't even have an energy policy.

Supporting the laughable 2 km campaign is like voting for a return to the Dark Ages. Of course, we'll know who to thank when the lights go off, our freezers defrost and computers can't power up - it'll be those who lied to us repeatedly about wind turbines. And we'll look at our European neighbours - Spain, Denmark, Germany - who are happily getting a large percentage of their domestic electricity from windfarms and we'll wonder how we could ever have been so stupid as to let a few self-centred liars lead us up the garden path.

The reality is that being upwards of half a kilometre from a wind turbine is no hardship - unless you decide to make it one.

Whereas putting electricity generation in the UK on hold just to satisfy a few demented nimbies will mean hardship for us all.

So which would you prefer? Clean, green energy, harmlessly generated, or blackouts?

Think about that before you decide to join the dimwits and their preposterous, fraudulent, nonsensical "2 km OK" campaign.

Monday, 9 November 2009


"What is a cynic?" wrote Oscar Wilde. His answer - "A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing."

It is typical of the cynicism of the nimby campaign in the Lenches that they would assume that someone is paying for this blog.

They simply cannot understand that principles come before cash - that's just not the world they live in.

Money is what lies behind the nimby nonsense and the utterly dishonest VVASP campaign. Money invested in buying and developing properties in the area - although in no way threatened by the proposed windfarm - is what has inspired and governed the anti-windfarm waffle. Money, and a basic misunderstanding of what the windfarm would involve, has led to the barrage of lies, silly rumours and monstrous scare stories peddled by irresponsible and self-serving protesters.

Councillors around the country have noted a gradual increase in complaints and objections to perfectly reasonable, beneficial developments. These complaints are almost universally fatuous in nature. Basically, wherever it is, and regardless of what is proposed, a small, misguided and fundamentally selfish minority decide that they're going to object.

To put it simply, they just don't want it (whatever it is). They then set about conjuring up some supposedly justifiable reasons for objecting.

In the Lenches, this took the form of regaling the locals with all that total claptrap about windfarm noise, infrasound, threats to wildlife and - the most irresponsible and maniacal claim of all - that the windfarm would harm house prices.

All lies. All nonsense. All designed to make the nimby's opposition to a sound development seem reasonable.

Well, now, of course, the nimbies have settled on their argument. A few people will be living over half a kilometre from the turbines (that's well over a quarter of a mile away). So the nimbies are now pretending that their irrational opposition to the windfarm has nothing to do with self-interest, unscientific stupidity and the strange belief that if you don't want something beneficial nearby you can stop it happening, and everything to do with the plight of a tiny number of people who still won't be inconvenienced by the windfarm.

The "they're too close" argument is every bit as bogus as all the other crap spouted by VVASP - although Peter Luff has weighed in on this one, proving that the Tories don't actually have a proper policy on renewable energy and still tend to prize private wealth and selfishness above the greater good.

Meanwhile, the government is moving to alter the planning laws. The reasons for this are simple: too many necessary developments are being held up by selfish nimbies lying their heads off and objecting to they know not what. Such depressingly predictable nimby behaviour is bad for Britain, bad for the environment and very, very bad for the future.

When you've got so many dishonest, disingenuous campaigns around the country, getting in the way of progress and the national benefit because a few people don't like the idea, you're in trouble.

Lying about these things (as VVASP have consistently done, and continue to do) doesn't help. It clouds the issue, and promotes mindless opposition to vital schemes.

And, let's face it - if the nimbies have been so prepared to lie about noise, house prices and all the rest, why shouldn't they lie now about their fake concern for a few dwellers in Sheriffs Lench?

The kind of person who assumes that anyone in favour of the Lenchwick Windfarm (and totally opposed to the crazy abuses perpetrated by the frauds of VVASP) is in hock to ScottishPower Renewables is obviously the sort of person who can't be relied upon to present a balanced argument about anything at all. They have simply demonstrated how severely limited their understanding of important issues can be.

So the lies continue, altering their nature to appear to be based on good neighbourliness and genuine concern. But a lie is always a lie, and a cynic remains a cynic.

And the UK is drowning under the deadweight of selfish nimby nonsense.

But hopefully, not for much longer.

(Don't forget to get your letter of support for the windfarm ready - see the post below this one.)

Tuesday, 3 November 2009


This could be a big month, as we anxiously anticipate the arrival of ScottishPower Renewables' planning application for the five-turbine Lenchwick Windfarm, while Peter Luff MP (who less than a year ago was warning of electricity shortages if we don't get our energy strategy sorted out) fights a rearguard action on behalf of a handful of nimbies.

Next month, the eyes of the world will be on Copenhagen, as we wait with baited breath to see if politicians can agree on plans to cap global warming. We in the Vale of Evesham have a chance to show the world's leaders how ordinary citizens can embrace a better future. But we will be stymied if we allow the arrogant loudmouths of VVASP to continue to dominate the argument.

Let us not forget that Vale Villagers Against Scottish Power have spread no end of lies about the wind turbines. As BBC Midlands Today demonstrated so recently, the reality of modern wind turbines is very different from the looney stories bandied about by the 'me-me-me' nimby brigade. The same protest group has hogged the media, littered the area with ugly placards and endeavoured to overturn local democracy. But worst of all, they have lied.

The best thing that those of us who share concerns about the future, who desire effective green solutions to the pressing problems we all face and who have felt despair at the viciousness employed by nimbies to whom the view matters more than the planet - the best thing we can do is write to Wychavon District Council's planning department, the moment SPR's planning application arrives, to emphasise our support for the windfarm development.

The more letters of support the planning committee receives, the more they will feel justified in taking the right decision.

There's a lot at stake, here. Will the future be determined by a few grasping speculators or by the will, and the needs, of society as a whole?

You can help determine the outcome by writing a letter, along the lines of the following. Please feel free to copy it out, or email Wind of Change if you wish to receive a copy of the letter of support by email attachment.

A letter like this could make all the difference - and the more the merrier!


Mrs Gill Collin,
Head of Planning Services,
Wychavon District Council,
The Civic Centre,
Queen Elizabeth Drive,
WR10 1PT

Dear Mrs Collin,


I am writing as a local resident to express my support for the proposed Lenchwick Windfarm development.

Like many others in the area, I have been horrified and dismayed at the reactions of a small number of locals to the plans. The protesters have sought to mislead people by spreading ridiculous lies and rumours about the impact of a modern windfarm on the area.

I believe, however, that we all have a duty to future generations, and to the environment which is home to us all, to take the necessary steps to reduce carbon emissions. I also believe that renewable energy supplies are vital to the local, national and international interest, and that the wild claims made by the anti-windfarm protesters have been motivated purely by self-interest. The benefits of the proposed development, in my opinion, massively outweigh the purported disadvantages to a tiny minority of residents.

I therefore wish to add my voice to the many who sincerely want the Lenchwick Windfarm to go ahead, regardless of the specious arguments of the anti-windfarm lobby, and am therefore eagerly registering my heartfelt personal support for the proposed windfarm development.

Yours sincerely,


Sunday, 1 November 2009


Over the course of the windfarm 'debate' (when has there been any debate?), Wind of Change has been rather critical of the local media. True to type, a nimby sneezes and it makes the front page. Supporters of the windfarm point out that the nimbies have been lying their heads off ... and no one takes any notice.

But on Friday last, BBC Midlands did us all proud with a properly balanced piece of journalism.

The item was inspired by Peter Luff's misconceived campaign for a minimum distance between wind turbines and residential properties. But, rather than featuring a group of hideous nimbies spouting their usual drivel, the editorial team actually sent a reporter to a working windfarm to find out what they're really like.

The one chosen was Burtonwold Windfarm, at Burton Latimer in Northamptonshire. Assiduous followers of this blog will know that Wind of Change is familiar with Burtonwold - a ten-turbine windfarm situated less than 1 km from the nearest village and which has recently secured planning permission for a further seven turbines with no opposition whatsoever from the locals.

The reporter stood immediately underneath the blades of one 100-metre turbine, chatting away happily to the camera. Was the turbine noisy? Er ... that's a big NO, of course.

(Don't forget, the nimbies have turned the world of science on its head in order to pretend that wind turbines get noisier the further away you are!!!)

Next, the reporter interviewed a local councillor in the local village, just 800 metres from the turbines. This councillor pointed out that the turbines could not be heard, that all this lunatic talk about wind turbines being noisy was just dishonest claptrap, and that the turbines have been nothing but good news.

Cut to a tiny group of miserable looking nimbies in a garden in Sheriffs Lench, their only comment being that the proposed Lenchwick Windfarm would be "too close" to peoples' homes.

The person who made that remark appears to be in the process of moving from a village that is barely affected by the proposed windfarm to an address which is about as close to them as anybody. Naturally, the entire world should be required to back off and stop implying that climate change is going to destroy everything, because this person doesn't want a turbine nearby. End of argument.

But not only was the BBC Midlands news broadcast informative, and the biggest breakthrough in local news reporting since the windfarm issue arose, it was also subtly subversive in a way that the BBC used to be but seldom is anymore.

By highlighting the fact that the anti-windfarm protesters have sold their neighbours a bunch of total hogwash about wind turbines, the news report delicately raised the question, "What is Peter Luff's campaign really all about?"

It's not about noise, which is a non-issue. Neither is it about all those freaky, hard to identify noise issues which the protesters are so fond of moaning about, because they don't really exist.

It's not about damage to wildlife or the countryside, because there won't be any. It's not about impact on house prices, because that's yet another issue which VVASP have lied about.

So what is it about?

It's about a small number of people who have bought themselves houses in the country.

If the Lenchwick Windfarm had been proposed for somewhere else - somewhere where the per capita income range was somewhat lower - then it's unlikely that Peter Luff would have bothered to get involved.

But here, a tiny, tiny minority of people who have property interests in the area are up in arms. Like a good Tory, Luff has taken up their cause without attempting to find out whether or not they actually have a case, whether they represent local opinion, or whether we as a nation can afford to place the desires of a miniscule sample of investors ahead of the urgent needs of everyone.

As the BBC news report demonstrated, campaigning against the windfarm is stupid. It's unnecessary. And the only way VVASP can get others to support their selfish and misguided campaign is by lying and lying and lying and lying and lying and lying about windfarms.

For which the BBC news team at the Mailbox in Birmingham deserve praise and admiration.

As for Peter Luff MP, wasting parliament's time with an ill-considered defence of rampaging self-interest and anti-social behaviour ... well, what can we say?