Monday, 23 May 2011


First, some good news of sorts. Pressure continues to build on the so-called Renewable Energy Foundation to come clean.

We've encountered the Renewable Energy Foundation previously in these blog pages. The REF is symptomatic of the fatuous anti-windfarm movement in the UK, in that it claims to be one thing when it is quite transparently something else altogether (click here for a recent Guardian piece on the shady organisation:

Of course, like others who protest against windfarms, the REF pretend that they are not against windfarms as such. No, they just continually brief maniacal right-wing newspapers against onshore wind energy. But they're not against windfarms. No sirree.

Last week's episode of "Windfarm Wars", the BBC documentary covering the seven-year battle over the Den Brook windfarm in Devon, showed the REF in their true colours. One of their spokespersons attended the public inquiry into the Den Brook proposals in order to argue against the windfarm.

Makes you wonder which windfarms the REF might actually be in favour of, doesn't it? They say that they're not against windfarms, and yet they're funded by anti-windfarm fanatics and all they ever do is campaign against windfarms.

If that sounds duplicitous and dishonest, it's simply in keeping with the anti-windfarm lunatic fringe in the UK. Basically, they don't have any good, honest, reasonable arguments against windfarms, so they make up silly, dishonest and fraudulent ones.

As it happens, the BBC's documentary series is doing a reasonable job of showing up the idiocy of the anti-windfarm movement. Into the battle last week waded a journalist, who had recently moved to the Den Brook area. Showing the usual disregard for the facts, Zoe Kenyon abused her journalistic privileges by writing an astonishingly stupid piece. It was she who made the claim that windfarms pose a danger to children (oh? how come, exactly?) and proved that she really hadn't even tried to get to grips with the issues. And then she turned out to be a coward, as well as a fool, by refusing to discuss the cretinous claims she had made with a local farmer.

Like the other anti-windfarm protesters in her adopted area, Kenyon demonstrated a gross inability to be fair, unbiased, honest and realistic. As the Den Brook campaign moved into its public inquiry phase, protesters lined up to address the planning inspector and to burst into tears because they were so fond of the landscape.

To be honest, the landscape around the area in question was hardly special, definitely not 'spectular' and, like so many other parts of the country, manifestly not 'unspoilt'. So why did these frauds take it in turns to weep crocodile tears and basically have a childish tantrum in front of the planning inspector?

The answer gets to the heart of the anti-windfarm debate. It's got nothing to do with preserving the landscape. The landscape, whether 'spectacular' and 'unspoilt' or not, will still be there when the turbines go up, while they generate electricity, and long after the windfarm's days are over.

No, the reason these people were indulging in hysterics and phoney tears in the hope of swaying the inspector - rather like children hoping that some well-timed blubbing will get them what they want - has got everything to do with privilege.

The protesters had almost all moved into the area in recent years. They had bought themselves a place in the country - qua Kenyon - and, like our own local maniacs, genuinely seem to believe that, by doing so, they had bought the whole valley. So nothing is ever allowed to change in the slightest degree as long as they're looking at it.

The claim that they are trying to 'protect' an 'unspoilt' landscape is so bogus it's laughable. What they're trying to protect is nothing more than their own sense of superiority. Because they bought a place in the country, they honestly believe that they are better than other people, and that they can be excused having a windfarm nearby because they think they own the view.

The debate therefore concerns those who believe in collective responsibility versus those who can think of nothing but themselves. The latter have to bend over backwards to deny the realities of climate change and to pretend that windfarms 'don't work' - both utterly untenable positions, but let's not expect logical consistency and grown-up arguments from the anti-windfarm brigade.

What this means is that these people, along with their pet journos and propagandists in the REF, are willing to betray everything and everybody, to sell us all, not to mention future generations, downriver in defence of their own petty privileges.

They won't lose anything from having a windfarm in the area (especially those ludicruous hoteliers who convinced themselves, probably thanks to some deeply dishonest VVASP-style campaigners, that their business and their lives would be 'ruined' by the windfarm), and the likelihood is that they will all benefit financially.

But it's not about energy security, sustainability, or the future of the planet, is it? No, it's about those who on principal hate anything that benefits others, those who think that having a house in the country means that you own the country, those who want our farmers to go out of business just so that they can look out over a field and call it 'unspoilt', those who react to sensible, positive, harmless developments by turning on the artificial tears.

Fortunately, the planning inspector was intelligent enough to see through these hysterical displays of fake emotion.

Let's suppose that the Lenchwick Windfarm case goes to appeal. Anyone want to lay bets on how many members of VVASP will breakdown in tears at the planning inquiry as they struggle to defend something they don't own against something that will do no harm?

After all, if your moronic anti-windfarm myths won't do the job, what's left to try but a strategic emotional breakdown? At least it makes you look like you really care. And maybe the adults will fall for it, against their better judgement. You never know.


  1. Nice blog. Regarding Wind Farm Wars, I thought the journalist was a disgrace to write some of the misleading drivel she did (in particular the bit about wind farms being dangerous to kids), and then as you point out not having the guts to defend what she'd written when the farmer who owned the land on which the wind farm would be built came to her house, saying she was holding her baby etc (thus using her kids an excuse, a pet hate of mine, twice). The hotel owner was also an OTT drama queen, mired in self pity in believing she'd have to sell the hotel and/or lose all her customers (the evidence for which is where?). I do have some respect, however, for the gentleman trying to get hold of the noise data - at least he conducted himself in a reasonably dignified manner, was trying to base his arguments on scientific evidence and he and his wife were at least honest enough to admit it was their house price that was their primary motivation behind their objections. I do wonder why RES witheld their data for so long, and I think they overplayed the climate change card in their arguments for the wind farm - they could also have emphasised fossil fuel depletion, energy security, pollution (as distinct from climate change), and decentralisation of energy supply in my opinion, as it strikes me that the sort of people vehemently against wind farms may well also not believe in climate change. One would hope they, and other developers, have learned from this episode too. Finally on the visual impact on the scenery some of the objectors seem to have such an attachment too, I agree with you entirely in that a) It isn't 'unspoilt' as it contains roads, houses, farms, telegraph poles etc, all man-made items used to exploit the land for our own use, as with the wind farm, b) even if it were it doesn't give you the right to say it should stay unchanged just because you want it to, and c) the land in the program isn't especially beautiful anyway, it's ok but fairly nondescript in my opinion (Dartmoor is beautiful which is why it's a national park and a wind farm could never be built there).

  2. Hmm, even the Telegraph's reviewer (and some of the comments) weren't convinced by the anti-WF campaigners: