Tuesday, 31 January 2012


We mentioned this not long ago, but today it was announced that a cross-party group of MPs has endorsed a report which reveals that ministers in successive governments mislead parliament over the "need" for new nuclear power stations:


Although the organisation responsible for the report A Corruption of Governance? insists that it takes no stand over nuclear as such, the conclusions of the report are clear: government ministers overstated the need for new nuclear power stations. Or, if you prefer, we as a nation might have TEN expensive and dangerous nuclear power stations foisted on us which we don't actually need.

In the light of which, we think you deserve some better news. A couple of weeks ago, the Worcester News announced that plans are afoot to install a large wind turbine near the M5 motorway. The online version of the story included a straightforward poll: "What do you think of wind turbines?" to which the answer could either be "I'm all for them" or "I'm against them".


Interestingly, when the poll closed the result was pretty clear. 66% of those who deigned to answer were "all for" wind turbines.

In the midst of the nimby insanity unleashed by the arch-deceivers and antisocial thugs of VVASP, the same newspaper carried out a similar poll. Then, 92% of respondents were "against" wind turbines.

Of course, you can guarantee that VVASP High Command sent out instructions to its clueless drones, telling them to vote in the poll (and telling them what to vote as well). That's the problem with a lot of these polls - the nutty brigade get to hear about them and you end up with a very skewed result. So, 92% of those who had swallowed VVASP's atrociously inaccurate and misleading propaganda were "against" wind turbines. Big deal. Just like 92% of racists are against mixed marriages.

But that was a year or two ago. The latest poll shows that, when the barking, self-interested propagandists aren't involved to such an overwhelming extent, and the Great British Public is actually allowed to express its views, the majority are "all for" wind turbines.

Maybe the people of Worcestershire have wised up. Maybe they've figured out that they were being brainwashed, manipulated and lied to by Dr No and his charmless cronies. Maybe it's struck them that wind power is both desirable and necessary. You still get the usual cretinous comments about wind turbines being noisy (yeah, right) or useless (wrong, wrong, wrong) or obscene in some weird way or other. But the majority have spoken in favour of the M5 turbine.

So - the next big question - will Wychavon District Council do the right thing this time around? Will they keep a lid on the inevitable outbreak of nimby nonsense and vote for the good of the district, or will they bow to the intolerable pressure exerted by a few pompous idiots who don't care what they have to say or do just as long as they get their selfish way?

Oh, and here's something: Belgium will soon have a railway powered by wind. Consent has been granted for 25 turbines to be installed along the line from Brussels to Liege. These turbines will power the trains which run along that route.

Can you imagine the nimby nightmare we would all have to suffer if such a proposal was put forward in England? The nutters would go ballistic! It would be the end of civilisation! Dozens of middle-class Daily Mail readers would go to war with the truth to stop this White Elephant in its tracks.

But then, that's England for you. They often do things better on the Continent.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012


In the past we have raised questions about the honesty and integrity of the Global Warming Policy Foundation. The registered charity routinely publishes claims which run counter to the global scientific consensus. In short, it tries to persuade people that climate change isn't happening - or, if it is, then it's got nothing to do with any of us - and so we should just carry on doing what we're doing, such as burning fossil fuels like there's no tomorrow.

The Global Warming Policy Foundation has been criticised because, as a registered charity it really should avoid political campaigning. It also refuses to disclose the sources of its funding. This is quite possibly because it is funded by the oil industry. The oil industry doesn't like talk about climate change. It's bad for business. So it would make sense if Big Oil was supporting the Global Warming Policy Foundation, a charity which has done much to confuse the public about this crucial issue.

Well, it turns out that we're not alone in having concerns about this bunch of climate sceptics. A Freedom of Information request has been submitted, demanding to know who is actually paying the Global Warming Policy Foundation.

If you're quick, you can sign a petition calling on Chris Huhne, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, to make the GWPF come clean:


Meanwhile, the oil industry comes in for a pasting in a new film documentary. Titled, with delirious honesty, GREEDY LYING BASTARDS, the featire-length documentary by US filmmaker Craig Rosebraugh claims to be a "searing indictment of the influence, deceit and corruption that defines the fossil fuel industry". Featuring an impressive roster of interviewees, the film analyses the ways and means by which Big Oil tries to cast doubt on climate change and make out that any increase in global average temperatures is certainly nothing to do with CO2 emissions - no sirree Bob! Just the sort of thing that the Global Warming Policy Foundation keeps trying to thrust down our throats: a wholly bogus and unscientific argument designed solely to prop up the profits of the oil barons at the expense of the planet.

So, definitely worth keeping an eye out for: http://greedylyingbastards.com/

Now, all this on the day that one of the UK's biggest oil refineries goes into administration. One really has to wonder how long any of us can afford to play along with the Big Oil blood-sweat-tears-filth-spills-and-money machine. After all, when there's so much clean, green, cheap and harmless potential energy out there in the form of wind, waves and sunlight, you do have to question the sort of idiocy which criticises windpower for being "inefficient" and "unreliable" when a major oil refinery can shut down just like that.

But that's the problem with the mounds of self-serving propaganda which spew forth from the oil industry like so many oil slicks. It plays into the hands of the mega-maniacs of the nimby fringe, those lunatics who pretend to be "pro-renewables" but only if they can't actually see them. Having no moral scruple or basic integrity, your average nimby will happily tell any old lie that seems to help their cause - and the oil and nuclear industries, having the most to lose from a healthy renewables industry, are only too eager to keep supplying them with those lies.

So please do sign the petition above (before Friday 27 January) so that we can find out if the professional climate change deniers of the Global Warming Policy Foundation really are being kept in champagne and oysters by the oil industry. It would be just another example of major vested interests campaigning ruthlessly and dishonestly against the public good - the sort of thing that Craig Rosebraugh's GREEDY LYING BASTARDS would appear to be all about.

The idiots out there like to claim that windfarms only happen so that unscrupulous developers can get their sticky hands on oodles of government subsidies. Well that, dear friends, is a load of absolute balls. Those who make those claims are either mouthpieces for the GREEDY LYING BASTARDS of the oil industry or are dupes of those same illegitimate and mendacious money-grubbers. As we've shown in the past, most of the claims made about wind power by dimwits and spin doctors turn out to be untrue - as far as renewables are concerned - though they are in fact amazingly accurate when applied to oil and nuclear.

It should come as no surprise, then, to discover that most of the false claims made about renewables - and wind power in particular - originate in the oil industry or firms which represent the oil industry (like Civitas, whose brainless anti-renewables report, published the other week, just shows how they'd rather take Big Oil's dirty lolly than protect your children's future). Bear that in mind next time you hear a scary or disturbing "fact" about windfarms.

Friday, 20 January 2012


UK wind power reached a new record for capacity this week. The fact that the Ormonde offshore windfarm off the Cumbrian coast now has 120 megawatts of operational capacity thrust the combined wind energy capacity of the UK's onshore and offshore windfarms to more than six gigwatts. That's enough to provide the electricity needed by more than three million homes.

The news that UK wind has broken through the 6GW barrier came on the same day as the right-wing think-tank Policy Exchange published yet another useless report rubbishing renewables (see previous post). The Energy and Climate Change Secretary, Chris Huhne, responded robustly to the Policy Exchange's stupid attempt at derailing the burgeoning renewables industry. He called the report "nonsense on stilts" and aptly accused the "rather silly thinktanks" of "coming up with wild and woolly estimates to get headlines in the Daily Mail and the Daily Telegraph."

(Foreign readers might care to know that the Daily Fail and the Torygraph are low-grade "newspapers" with a history of denying climate change (the Telegraph) and making up outrageous stories to scare the middle-classes (the Mail). Neither can be trusted to print the truth when it comes to renewable energy. Even petrochemical giant BP has recognised that renewables are set to be the fastest growing energy sector over the next two decades.)

In addition to the 6GW of wind energy capacity already installed, there's still another 19.5 gigawatts currently under construction, consented or in planning. Which means that the UK is on course to achieve the impressive total of 31 gigawatts of wind energy capacity required by the government's renewable energy roadmap for 2020. Well, lordy, lordy, looks like we might be doing something right, for once!

One thing that will help matters enormously is the fact that a new radar system has been developed which will allow the Ministry of Defence to put aside its objections to at least 4GW worth of wind power projects. Previously, the spinning blades of the turbines created "clutter" on the MoD's radar screens. But a new software system has successfully dealt with that. This will open up the way for many more new onshore and offshore windfarms, and the hateful nimbies who object to windfarms for no good reason can no longer rely on the MoD to put the kibosh on things.

And the good news just keeps on coming. The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection has published a report, compiled by a panel of independent experts, which reveals that there is no connection between windfarms and ill health. Executive Summary and link to the MassDEP report here:


The alleged impact of windfarms on human health has been grotesquely played up by nimby groups in recent years, purely to spread unnecessary concern and alarm. The claims made the nimbies, ludicrous and unfounded as they are, are based almost entirely on one poor-quality study, carried out under extremely unscientific circumstances, which has never been peer-reviewed or publishing by a recognised scientific journal. All this means that the "research" which the nimbies routinely point to is - scientifically speaking - pants.

Meanwhile, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection's report joins the growing list of genuinely scientific studies which have established that there is no discernible link between windfarms and health problems ("There is no evidence for a set of health effects, from exposure to wind turbines that could be characterised as 'Wind Turbine Syndrome'.". It's yet another nimby myth - and how sweet of our barking neighbourhood nimbies to go round convincing their friends and fellow villagers that a windfarm would make them sick when they had absolutely no evidence to prove it!!

Oh, and one final bit of good green news. The Energy Fair group is taking the UK government to court over its policy of building ten new nuclear power stations. This is partly because the tax-payer would have to underwrite the costs of any nuclear accidents - which amounts to a subsidy. And that's illegal under EU law.

Think of it as a bit like an apocalyptic version of the PIP breast implants scandal. In the latter case, private companies inserted cheap silicone implants into large numbers of women. When it became clear that those implants could burst, the private companies decided, in the main, that it wasn't their problem. The NHS could sort it out. Or, in other words, a private company creates a godawful mess which the public sector then has to clear up. Well, a nuclear accident in the UK would be a bit like that, only on a massive scale. A private company screws up, and the tax-payer foots the bill.

The government has insisted that there will be no public subsidies to pay for the new generation of nuclear power stations - the sort that take twice as long, and twice as much, to build as originally estimated. However, the introduction of the carbon floor price is likely to see the nuclear power operators given £500 million of taxpayers' money every year until 2030 for doing nothing, and there are other hidden subsidies buried away in the system.

The more manic and mendacious anti-wind campaigners continually bang on and on and on about the "subsidies" which help to create a level playing field for renewables. Those "subsidies" - which actually come from small increments on the energy customer's bill, and not from taxpayers - will soon be phased out. After all, some windfarms are already producing electricity as cost-effectively as gas, and pretty well all of them will be within three or four years from now. But still, the raging reactionaries of the Taxpayers' Alliance (an extreme right-wing pressure group) and the nimby dingbats keep citing "subsidies" as a reason to halt all renewables, now and forever, amen.

The reality is that fossil fuels and nuclear are heavily subsidised. Renewables currently receive a mere fraction of the government support available to the more polluting and dangerous energy industries. Those who keep crying "subsidies" are either missing the point or having you on. And as recent surveys have shown, the UK public is quite happy to see subsidies going to windfarms. It's a good way of getting a strong, clean, green energy system going throughout the country.

By taking the government to court over its "hidden" subsidies to new nuclear, Energy Fair could call a halt to the deployment of new nuclear power stations. And why not? It's not as if they're really needed. One serious report after another has noted that, with a bit of effort, we could meet most if not all of our electricity needs from renewables over the next few decades.

We're getting there. 6GW of wind energy capacity already, and plenty more when they came from. Another major objection or two to windfarms swept aside. The government in the dock over nuclear. What's not to like?

Wednesday, 18 January 2012


Being an anti-wind nimby must be a bit like queueing for the bus.

You wait ages for one biased and inaccurate report from a right-leaning think-tank and then three come along all at once!

First, there was the gormless report from KPMG which was leaked to the Sunday Telegraph (who else?) late last year. This report made the bold (i.e. ludicrous) claim that it would be a lot cheaper to build new nuclear and gas-fired power plants than to invest in extra wind power capacity. Somehow or other, Germany, Denmark and Spain have managed to reduce electricity prices by investing in wind power. But the gonks at KPMG really were trying to say that nuclear would be cheaper (when has that ever happened???)

Next came the astonishingly fatuous report from the right-wing Civitas group, which tried to make out that wind power is "inordinately expensive" and that - yes, you guessed it - nuclear and gas would work out cheaper in the long run. It so happens that Civitas, and the report's author, don't believe in climate change and are fundamentally anti-renewables, so one has to wonder whether their findings were skewed in any way. Oh, and some of their source material came from those slippery anti-wind lobbyists of the Renewable Energy Foundation. QED.

Now, we get another way-out report from the right-of-centre Policy Exchange. Anyone want to hazard a guess at its findings?

Yep. Green policies are "unnecessarily expensive". The report's authors have dreamt up a figure ("Oooh, what shall we say? £400? An extra £400 per household by 2020. Does that sound scary enough?") and, on the basis of that we-just-made-it-up amount, argue that the "power of market processes" should be allowed to "innovate and discover" the best routes to a low-carbon economy.

You know, somebody really should tell the twits at Policy Exchange what the "power of market processes" achieved just four short years ago - the near total collapse of the global financial system. That's what happens when you leave everything up to the "power of market processes".

At last, though, the Department for Energy and Climate Change has had enough of all these wet-behind-the-ears hoorays publishing their useless "reports". They've pointed out that the figures produced by Policy Exchange are plain "wrong". Other groups, such as WWF-UK and, unsurprisingly, RenewableUK, have also lined up to point out just how stupid the Policy Exchange study is.

Of course, all these think-tanks exist to influence policy. It's interesting, don't you think, that three right-wing think-tanks have all produced what amounts to the same report - more nuclear, more gas, leave it to the market - in what is clearly a co-ordinated attempt to advance the interests of Big Carbon, the scary old nuclear industry and the lunatic climate sceptic fringe.

It's a good thing the government is striking back against these blatant efforts to derail the development of a decent renewables industry. Because, too often, governments are all too susceptible to this sort of mendacious posturing and misleading PowerPoint nonsense. If you want to see how both the previous and the present governments were tricked into supporting the construction of ten - yes, TEN - new nuclear power stations in the UK, just have a quick look at this document:


That's the problem when lies are used to influence policy. You end up with policy decisions based on misinformation. Which is a Bad Thing, obviously.

For an even more startling example of the bullying, blackmailing, throw-your-dollies-out-of-the-pram approach of the political right, one need only look at Donald "Syrup" Trump. Just yesterday he was granted planning permission to build a five-star hotel on his grotesque golfing playground for the rich and the folicly-challenged on the coast of Aberdeenshire. Today, he has announced that he's stopping work on his Golfyland nightmare until he gets his way over stopping the European offshore wind development centre which is planned for the sea off the Scottish coast.

Now, Trumpy had previously admitted that the global financial downturn had impacted on his plans to make Aberdeenshire safe for self-obsessed idiots in silly trousers who are quite happy to see a natural habitat converted into a godawful golf course. And he's been opposing the £200 million pound offshore windfarm project from the start. Because, in Donald's warped view, what the world needs right now is not advances in clean, green energy. No. It's expensive golf courses and overpriced hotels. He's not thinking about the planet, he's thinking about his pocket. And now he's trying to hold Scotland to ransom.

As the saying has it: Trump by name, trump by nature.

Do people like Donald "Goofy" Trump, the climate change deniers at Civitas and the Telegraph, the raging anti-wind power monsters at the Mail, the not-exactly-honest pressure groups like Country Guardian, REF and Lawson's treacherous Global Warming Policy Foundation ... do they really believe we can't see what they're up to?

They're putting their narrow-minded and discredited ideologies, their personal greed and their reactionary fanaticism ahead of the local, national, international, longterm need. They're expecting us to believe their lies, demanding that we believe them, even though they're lying through their eye-teeth and only a fool would believe a word they say.

Some, maybe, are beginning to see the light. Take Karen Lumley, new-girl Tory MP for Redditch. Early last year she let the side down badly. She had been prepared to be photographed in front of the VVASP Lorry of Lies and didn't think to question why large sections of the VVASP artwork had been blacked out (because the Advertising Standards Authority had forbidden them to keep making claims about windfarms that were untruthful and couldn't be substantiated). She then stood up in the Wychavon planning meeting for the proposed Lenchwick Windfarm and read out VVASP's figures on local opposition to the scheme - figures which bore little relation to the actual surveys carried out by the parish councils. She had allowed herself to be used by the maniacal leaders of a dishonest, discredited protest group.

Interesting, then, to read what Lumley had to say on the ConservativeHome blog about the controversial High-Speed Rail Link (HS2). She accused those who were campaigning against HS2 of using statistics and propaganda that were "unfounded and deceptive". "Clearly the anti arguments need to challenged", she wrote. "The myths need to be proven wrong."

She then pointed out that a report produced by the Institute for Economic Affairs (another right-wing think-tank) was "not so much a report, as a repackaged and padded-out version of a Taxpayers' Alliance 'research' paper ... discredited in public by leading rail figures.

"The authors are far from dispassionate: one has a record as a long-time advocate for roads, the other is an active member of a local activist group with a house on the HS2 route. Both fail to declare their interests."

Karen Lumley then proceeded to debunk the myths published by the anti's and their pet "experts" in the right-wing-opinions-for-hire think-tank.

What prompted this Damascene conversion, we might well ask. At what point did Karen, former puppet of a nasty nimby group, realise that some vested interests might try to pull the wool over everybody's eyes? And when, exactly, did it occur to her that proper research by experts should be given more credence than the rubbish spouted by self-serving nimbies?

Ah well. There is more joy in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, etc., etc.

Now Karen Lumley just has to persuade the rest of her Tory confederates and their Lib Dems allies that certain think-tanks, certain reports, certain claims and certain American billionnaires really should be flushed down the toilet. As she herself wrote of the Anti-HS2 campaign: "The attitude of the antis seems to be one of 'throw enough mud and some will stick'. This trivialises a debate of national importance."

We couldn't have put it better ourselves.

(PS: we will shortly be publishing a study of our own. Actually, that's a lie. We shall be posting excerpts from a university paper which analyses the impact a proposed windfarm can have on a local community. This report has been graciously passed on to us by the author, who has witnessed the same old nimby nonsense at first hand. TTFN.)

Tuesday, 10 January 2012


On the day that the government has wisely given the go-ahead to the High-Speed rail link (HS2), we take a look at what high-speed winds in Britain recently achieved.

The dingbat's favourite tabloid, the Daily Mail, rushed to announce a few days ago that high winds had wrecked three wind turbines in Yorkshire - "sweeping away any remaining illusions that strong winds simply mean more electricity being generated."

The three turbines in question were not part of any windfarm. They were installed by individual landowners as micro-renewables, generating electricity for their owners, the surplus of which is sold on to the National Grid.

Typically, the Mail then railed against the "constraint payments" made to windfarm operators when their turbines produce so much electricity that the grid can't cope. In those circumstances, windfarm operators are asked to shut down their turbines and are (rightly) compensated for lost revenue. The point being that - though the anti-wind loonies keep trying to persuade people that windfarms "don't work" - the reality of wind power in the UK is that it's almost too successful. It produces large amounts of electricity for next to nothing, and is much easier to control than conventional methods of generation. It's a lot quicker and safer to shut down a windfarm than a nuclear power station.

But if you work for or read the Mail, all that counts for nothing.

Just as the Mail was repeating its usual nonsense, the Reuters news agency released some interesting figures. The high winds which had harmed three small individual turbines in Yorkshire had also contributed to a massive increase in the amount of electricity generated by the UK's wind fleet.

For a start, on 28 December 2011 windfarms smashed the previous record for wind-generated energy in Britain. On that day, 12.2% of our electricity demand was met by windpower (the previous record was 10%). Not only that, but the UK's windpower capacity is projected to grow by one third this year, bringing it very close to parity with nuclear (according to the San Francisco Business Times renewable energy overtook nuclear as a power source in the US last September; God forbid that the States should turn out to be greener than our green-and-pleasant-land-fit-for-nimbies!!)

Even more amazing, the high winds had a huge impact on the load capacity of our existing turbines. Usually, the load capacity of a turbine is about 30% - meaning that, over time, it will achieve about 30% of the output it could theoretically achieve if the optimum wind speed was blowing 100% of the time. Now, 30% load capacity doesn't sound much, but it compares very favourably with the efficiency (pretty much the same thing) of coal, gas and nuclear. It does not, for example, mean that wind turbines only work 30% of the time. They typically generate electricity for between 70 and 85% of the time, although the variability of wind speeds mean that the average turbine will produce around 30% of its theoretical maximum.

On 4 January 2012, the UK's wind turbines achieved 66% capacity - more than double the average.

66% - !!!!!

So much for the Mail's nonsensical drivel about strong winds not meaning more electricity generation. In short, the Mail either has no idea how these things work, or it is simply ignoring the facts, or it is only interested in brainwashing its readers.

Given all this good news - a massive increase in wind capacity projected for this year, record-breaking contributions by wind to meeting our electricity demands, load capacity more than doubled during the recent gales - it seems a bit of an odd time for yet another right-wing think-tank to have produced yet another misleading report.

Civitas released a so-called study which claimed that there is "no economic case for wind power". This is as stupid as it gets. The report's author, Ruth Lea, wants us all to be paying a significantly higher price for imported gas. That, apparently, makes more sense.

Even more demented and detached from reality is the report's claim that windfarms actually increase CO2 emissions. Meat and drink to the nimby subculture, no doubt, but about as scientific a claim as pretending that the Earth is flat.

Unsurprisingly, the figures used for the rubbish Civitas report were all supplied by fervent anti-wind lobbyists, including those con-artists at the laughably misnamed Renewable Energy Foundation (Noel Edmond's uber-nimby hobbyhorse). It's a bit like the Adam Smith Institute publishing a report on the economic impacts of immigration and relying entirely on the BNP, the EDL and certain Premier League footballers for its source material.

If you're interested, the Guardian tried to get to the bottom of the insane anti-wind power claims published by Civitas, and you can read the results here:


Wade through all the data and you'll see that, as usual, the Civitas contribution to Britain's nimby nightmare is a hodge-podge of false facts, misleading comparisons, meaningless claims and absolute nonsense. Which is what you'd expect if hard-line anti-wind types like REF are behind the report.

They'd rather your fuel bills were skyrocketing forever (isn't that what "market forces" would require?) than a free and inexhaustible resource was cleanly, quietly and harmlessly harnessed, and to support their bonkers standpoint they are more than happy to misquote statistics, bend science and lie their heads off to you. You know, like nimbies do.

So - good news all round, really. Unless you read braindead rubbish like the Mail or the dimwit doggy-doos issued by Civitas - reports so crazy they're actually twitching.

Let's all raise a glass to our ever more successful wind fleet ... oh, and to the High-Speed rail link too, of course.

Nimbies be damned!

Friday, 6 January 2012


... and then there are REAL communities.

One way of telling them apart is to look at how the react to the issue of renewables.

A REAL community will want some of that for themselves. Take Fintry in Stirlingshire. A windfarm developer wanted to install a windfarm near the village. Did the locals go berserk, start telling each other silly stories, plaster the area with unsightly placards and object, object, object, object about it?

No. They arranged to have one turbine all for themselves. So the windfarm gets built, and one of its turbines provides an income for the Fintry Development Trust. This, in turn, has been ploughed back into the village - insulating homes, for example - so that everyone is benefitting massively from their far-sighted, forward-thinking and intelligent decision.

Now THAT's a community.

The other sort of "community" tends to be dominated by a few right-wing nutjobs. They tell lies. They want to be Hon. President, Secretary and Chair for Life of every pointless little committee going. To them, the village is their own personal fiefdom. Very often, they relocated there in search of some mythical rural idyll. They either bought an expensive house or built one there. And the moment anybody suggests a renewable energy project ...


These people go mental. They stir up the "community" into opposing a totally sensible, harmless and beneficial development by spreading insane lies about it. They threaten, bully and terrorise their neighbours into doing as they're told, toeing the party line and going every bit as mental as they are. They undermine local democracy, take over parish councils and cosy up to district councillors on the golf course. They move heaven and earth - often illegally, always immorally - in order to get their way. They are a cancer in our society.

They are the Nimby Nutters of Olde England.

Thankfully, there are still some real communities out there. The number of community-owned co-operative renewable energy projects is growing, even in these straitened times. Read all about it:


You see, folks, that's what REAL communities are like. They don't allow themselves to be trampled over by nutcases. They don't fall for the grotesque lies spun by a few local bigheads. They don't go crazy over something that's perfectly safe and desirable just because the self-appointed Mr Big in the village tells them to. They see a golden opportunity and they go for it.

But here's the thing. How can it be that a windfarm will "kill the landscape forever", drive down property prices by anything up to 54%, destroy the local economy and prevent anybody from ever getting a good night's sleep in one village, while in another village a windfarm brings only benefits (economic, social, environmental, etc.)? How can that be?

How could the useless members of Wychavon District Council's planning committee fall for the moronic lies spread by Dr Evil and his godawful cronies in VVASP - and be prepared to regurgitate those obvious lies in the council chamber - when there are GENUINE communities in this nation of ours who have figured out how good renewables are and who know that the banalities spread by manic nimbies are just self-serving claptrap?

Doesn't it suggest that there is really nothing wrong at all about renewables - and that includes windfarms - unless you happen to be a nimby fascist with delusions of grandeur?

And that if you really do care for your community, you'll be getting a co-operative renewable project up-and-running for your village as soon as you can?

But if you have nothing but contempt for your community, you'll campaign on a platform of lies and intimidation against any renewable project that you just might be able to see because that's the kind of person you are?

Yep - that's exactly what all these community-owned renewables projects suggest. That renewables are great for the community. And nimby nutters aren't.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012


Seasoned observers of nimby nitwittery will have noticed that anti-windfarm campaigns tend to follow a set pattern.

It all starts with your standard Chicken Little ("The sky is falling! The sky is falling!") hysteria. A few harebrained locals will try to convince everybody that -

Windfarms DESTROY the local property market (not true)
Windfarms DESTROY the landscape ... forever!! (very silly)
Windfarms DESTROY your health and well-being (erm - no, they don't)
Windfarms DESTROY 99% of household germs (now you're just making it up)

The idiot brigade will claim to have PROOF of all this, but a quick glance is usually enough to tell you that their so-called "proof" is wildly off-target, unscientific and totally wrong.

Things then tend to develop along three different pathways.

Some nutters will continue making extremely stupid claims for which they have no evidence whatsoever, which tend to defy the laws of physics, and which just go to show that there's one born every minute. So we start hearing that windfarms kill fish (how?), that they are transported on intergalactic cruisers (what?), that they spear small children (when?) and blow the blossom off the trees (duh!). They are also totally reliant on subsidies (what subsidies?), they never work, except when they work too well and have to be switched off (???), and nowhere else is even thinking about installing them (oh, grow up!!). This is because Britain is the only country in the world which (a) takes the reduction of carbon emissions seriously, and (b) does whatever the EU tells us to do without question. By this point you will have realised that the person who's spouting all this nonsense is a maniac and should be kept out of reach of sharp instruments.

Others disappear off into the hedgerows in search of a tiny endangered bat in the hope that this will prove to be a "show-stopper".

The third sort turn to the self-styled experts. They thereby manage to convince themselves that the government's established guidelines on windfarms and noise - ETSU-R-97 - are "outdated" and "unfit for purpose" (real acoustics experts say that the guidelines are holding up "robustly" and there is no need to update them). They also form the impression that windfarms are a waste of time because we will always need conventional power stations to take up the slack whenever the wind isn't blowing.

The proper term for this is "baseload". Now, the UK gets 40% of all of Europe's wind passing over it, so days when the wind isn't blowing are fairly few and far between. Still, what do we do about electricity on those days, eh? Eh?? EH??? Oh yes, windfarms - all well and good, in a monstrous, tree-hugging sort of way - but we'd still need baseload. So we might as well just invest in gas, coal and nuclear, and to hell with the planet.

Okay - first of all, the feeling that nuclear is a dead duck is growing, even in the good ole US of A. Hence this very interesting piece from the Huffington Post:


That, of course, leaves only fossil fuels to make up for the purported deficiencies in wind power. Which means imported gas (the real cause of the massive hike in energy bills recently) and that great polluter, coal.

What a shame. Because, let's face it, away from the bizarre world of nimbydom, windfarms do an amazing job, quietly and harmlessly harnessing a natural resource that is free, abundant and inexhaustible. How sad that we cannot rely on them and will always be building new coal and gas plants to burn stuff when the wind takes a day off.

But then, what if the whole "we'll always need baseload" argument is actually wrong?

David Mills thinks so. A retired solar technology developer, Mills has recently presented evidence in both Australia and California that pretty much all the electricity they need could be generated by wind and solar. Indeed, the whole of the US could be powered by wind and solar thermal, with a little solar storage and some biofuels. In his view, the very idea that we must always have flatline baseload capacity (coal and nuclear to keep the lights on) is, frankly, the wrong way to look at the problem.

This article appeared in Australia's Climate Spectator a little over a year ago, under the heading "Is baseload power necessary?":


A fascinating update on the story appeared just a month ago:


Mills's message is a striking one. "People say we need baseload plans," he has said, "but we don't." Indeed, with the right mix of renewables, the "whole concept of baseload becomes redundant", as another expert has observed: "It's worse than redundant, it gets in the way."

All this is a giant stake through the heart of the anti-wind argument. True, windfarms alone are not the answer (though they are a very, very big part of the answer). The trick is to combine inflexible supply (windfarms) with flexible supply (such as solar thermal with storage), and the whole baseload problem pretty much disappears. In fact, all this baseload that the nimbies insist we'll need is really a massive hindrance - a way of creating extra capacity we don't need while delaying the implementation of a system that will do just fine.

So, in addition to hoping that this is the year when the world finally gives up on nuclear, could it be that 2012 will also see us beginning to abandon our weird addiction to fossil fuels? If all our electricity needs can be met by wind and solar - no need for baseload after all - why on earth would we want to keep on burning coal for no good reason?

Because the nimby nutters said we would?

Well, you know what a bunch of liars they are!

Monday, 2 January 2012


Welcome to the first Wind of Change blogpost of 2012!!!

It'll be an interesting year - mostly because we here at Wind of Change confidently predict that 2012 will be, will have to be the year in which the nonsense is finally brought to an end. Sure, there will still be fanatical nimbies who are "pro-renewables" but not in their "back yards" (i.e., more than half a kilometre away), and there will still be a few fools spinning anti-windpower myths. But there is also reality, and the reality is that oil is in decline, nuclear is on the way out, gas is getting too expensive, and a green future is the only sane and sustainable option.

Part of the journey towards sanity and thinking properly about the future will be an embargo on misleading newspaper headlines. Our old fogey friends at the Telegraph recently warned that switching to a low-carbon energy system will cost everyone in the UK an average of £5,000 a year. OUCH!! Cue the terrifying Bernard Hermann strings. Or, look at the figures: going green is actually one of the most cost-effective of the available options. Read more here:


Better news, though, for the UK's burgeoning wind power sector. In spite of the lunatics out there who routinely oppose everything that's good for Britain, good for their local communities, good for their children and the planet, windfarms are contributing more and more to our electricity supply. In the third quarter of 2011 (July to September) renewables generated 9% of the UK's energy, and most of that came from windfarms. Taking the first three quarters of 2011 together, offshore windfarms generated 64% more electricity than in the comparable period in 2010 and onshore windfarms generated 36% more. Just to be clear, these figures were released by the government's Department for Energy and Climate Change, and they give the lie to the idiotic nimby myth that windfarms "don't work". Even with the monstrous nimby deception merchants shouting their silly stories left, right and centre, wind power in the UK really is going from strength to strength.

Much of this information doesn't reach the general public - who, as the recent polls so prudently buried by the Murdoch press showed, are on the whole in favour of windfarms, would like to see more of them, and think that subsidies for windfarms are the right thing to do. Worse than the information-deprived man in the street, though, is the deluded nimby who insists on reading nothing but the lousiest anti-windfarm propaganda and has no idea about what is really happening in the glorious world of clean, green, inexpensive wind energy. That's because your average nimby lives in a bubble of his own making.

So, for those of you who feel that you have been misled by the nasty nimbies and their stupid stories, and would like to know more about the exciting developments that have been going on in the real world, here's a precis of last year's highlights, courtesy of the European Wind Energy Association's very useful blog:


Worth noting: worldwide, nuclear is falling behind renewables (which is only right and proper), green energy is advancing the world over, the Danes never did lose faith in wind power, and yet another genuine scientist has poured scorn on the daft nimby claims that wind turbines can damage your health.

All in all, it makes for optimistic reading. If we could only see beyond the gibberish spouted by right-wing newspapers and certain cretinous Tory MPs, we would be in no doubt that renewables really are the future. Maybe not the entire future ... but then again, maybe they are. As the following article indicates, it is actually perfectly possible for us to, quote: Nix nuclear. Chuck coal. Rebuff biofuel. All we need is the wind, the water, and the sun.


Let that be the inspiring message for the year ahead. No more nimby lies. No more Big Oil and Bad Nuke lobbying. A world fit for our children, and their children - nuclear free and carbon free. It can be done. Most of the people living on this planet want more renewable energy. The EU's Climate Action Commissioner thinks that Europe will be 100% renewable by 2050.

We can do it. But only if we silence the liars and deniers first. So let's make that our mission for 2012. Happy New Year, one and all!!