Tuesday, 31 May 2011


With good news often comes bad. And so, closely following Germany's announcement that nuclear power is simply too dangerous to continue with, we now hear from the International Energy Agency (IEA) that energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in 2010 reached a higher level than at any other time in history.

The global economic crisis had brought a slight dip in carbon emissions, but emissions increased globally by 5% last year, making it unlikely that governments will hit their internationally-agreed targets for reductions in emissions.

As Private Frazer would have said, "We're all doomed! Doomed!"

Of course, we are all responsible for humanity's failure to control its historic levels of greenhouse gas emissions. The situation was aptly summarised by one of the youngsters in the Lenches who, having listened too much to the wayward nonsense spouted by VVASP, argued that the government should be encouraging us to reduce energy consumption. And so it should. And so it has been. For years. The fact that a local teenager was unaware of this indicates the scale of the problem. We all know we should be reducing our demands, and yet few of us can be bothered to do so. We expect the government to tell us these things - and then completely ignore the messages. Worse, we whine, whinge and moan about the government telling us what to do, and then pretend that they never told us in the first place.

We stand at an interesting moment in time. Future generations will be entitled to wonder how he responded to the growing evidence of a monumental crisis. Did we react reasonably and responsibly, in a forward-thinking and enlightened way? Or did we stick our fingers in our ears and go "La, la, la, la, I can't hear you"?

More to the point, when practical, attractive, sensible and beneficial solutions were proposed, did we embrace them or did we tell loud lies about them, plastering placards over anything that doesn't move and organising campaigns of disgraceful dishonesty?

Did we think about those who are to come, or did we get trapped in our own narrow vision? Did we let our petty prejudices and privileges dictate the shape of the future?

VVASP did - and dozens of evil groups just like them. They all regurgitate the same mindless propaganda, they all quote the same dodgy sources, and they all stand in the way of progress that is not only desirable, it is urgently-needed and ultimately inevitable.

Returning to the BBC's "Windfarm Wars". As Roger pointed out in a comment to yesterday's post, the figure at the centre of the anti-Den Brook windfarm movement is losing the sympathy that might have been extended towards him earlier in the series.

His case is far from unique. When a windfarm development is first proposed, there will be those who overreact with a display of kneejerk nimbyism. It's got nothing to do with a windfarm as such - it's just that these people are fanatically selfish, self-centred, and live in a strange world, believing that things should never change (not that they've now got what they want).

Others will be slower to leap onto the nimby bandwagon. We saw that locally with the Lenchwick Windfarm proposals. Some in the area weren't particularly bothered - until something or someone got to them.

This demonstrates the insidious nature of nimby protests. They'll find your weak spot and exploit it. It might be the value of your property. Regardless of the fact that the evidence is quite clear - houses near windfarms tend to go up in value quicker than those elsewhere - the evil-minded bastards of your local nimby group will lie to you, telling you that your property will be worth nothing when the windfarm goes up.

Noise is perhaps a bigger issue. Even the worst-worst case scenario proposed by unbalanced noise "experts" (mentioning no names) would be no worse than installing a modern domestic fridge-freezer unit at the bottom of the garden of the nearest property to the windfarm and then standing in your bedroom listening for the 'noise'. But the nimbies are liars, one and all, and they'll tell you that it will be "deafening".

We now know that Mike - the "Windfarm Wars" most confused character - was being manipulated by the fraudulent operatives of REF. He was worried about noise. He could have approached people who actually live near windfarms - not just the only couple ever to have claimed to have been forced out of their home by the proximity of the windfarm (their parents remained in the house, they seem to be spending an awful lot of time there themselves, and they reckoned they could "hear" the windfarm when it wasn't even operational - make of that what you will).

Up and down the country, communities have grown to love their local windfarms. Did the bewildered Mike go to visit any of these communities? No. He went where REF told him to go, and therefore got an astonishingly warped idea of what windfarms are. The first couple he spent time with didn't even have a wind turbine anywhere near their house - how was that visit meant to clear up his concerns?

Isn't it better to visit windfarms which do exist, and to talk to as many people nearby as possible, than to go to places where there aren't any windfarms yet because a jumped-up bunch of mindless nimbies have deployed every shocking tactic they can come up with to avoid any change to "their" view.

(Interesting moment when Mike said he wanted to strangle the windfarm developer when she pointed out to him, quite rightly, that he didn't own the view. But then, nimbies always respond to genuine facts with demented outrage and speckles of sputum.)

Mike is symptomatic of what happens when sick nimby propaganda goes unopposed. A fundamentally sound and sensible individual goes a bit insane and starts believing whatever the frauds and fools want him to believe.

He will, sadly, become one of history's enemies of the people. He preferred lies and hearsay to facts and the future.

Carbon emissions are rising. And it's people like him - and the dangerously irresponsible maniacs of the nimby movement - who are most to blame. They did everything in their power to oppose the solution. Because it might spoil their view, or because they might catch the occasional sound of a turbine if they happened to venture a little closer to the source.

We must make sure that future generations are aware of this. There were some of us who tried to leave the world a better, cleaner, safer place. And then there were the acronyms: VVASP, REF, and all the other enemies of mankind. To them, the "view" they did not own was more important than everything and everybody else. It was worth betraying your neighbours, your children and your grandchildren for.

Let that never be forgotten.

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