Thursday, 29 March 2012


First, the good news.

Figures released by the government show that greenhouse gas emissions in the UK fell by seven per cent last year (2011). A major part of the reason for this was a significant increase in renewables, which accounted for a record 9.5% of the UK's total energy mix (it was 7.5% the previous year). In all, renewable sources saw a 35% increase in the amount of electricity generated (up to 34.8 terawatt hours) while renewable energy capacity rose by 32% in 2011.

Wind energy production rose by a massive 54.5% (offshore wind went up 68%) across the UK, due to higher wind speeds and increased installed capacity (i.e. more windfarms).

In Scotland, the picture was even more extraordinary. Last year, Scotland smashed its green energy target for 2011 by achieving a 45% increase in the amount of electricity generated by renewables. This meant that 35% of Scotland's electricity in 2011 was renewable (the target had been 31%). Wind generation reached a record high (7,049 gigawatt hours), more than doubling the figure for 2007. Scotland also saw a 9.5% increase in installed renewable capacity and is well on its way to achieving its stated aim of 100% of its electricity needs from renewables in 2020.

This, folks, is more like it. But we cannot rest on our laurels. Regardless of the government's plans for hugely expensive (and unpopular) new nuclear, two of the Big Six energy companies have now withdrawn from nuclear power altogether. What is more, falling gas and oil production in the UK led to a worrying 36.5% net energy import dependency - the highest it's been since 1976, with net imports of gas rising to levels not seen since 1967. We're paying more and more to import fossil fuels, while nuclear gets more expensive and energy companies are dropping it like a hot rock (which is what, in fact, it is).

Thank God for renewables, which are actually becoming cheaper.

But here's the downside. As they lose the ideological battle over wind and other renewables, nimby campaigners have been getting dirtier, nastier and meaner. Nimbies are very bad losers, and as more and more good news about renewables rolls in, their squawking gets more and more aggressive and ludicrous.

Worse still, the nimbies are causing a massive amount of damage, in terms of energy efficiency and security, combatting climate change, time and money, jobs and - worst of all - human suffering. That is why we fight them.

Most nimby campaigns are started by people who know nothing whatsoever about wind power. They just don't want a turbine or two anywhere near them - end of. They seek only to preserve their supposed special privileges (i.e., we live in nice houses in exclusive areas where there isn't any riff-raff and where the views are uniquely unspoiled by thousands of years of human activity, so somebody else should get the windfarm; we're far too special to have to do our bit!)

That isn't really much of an argument against windfarms - although, if the nimbies were honest, it is the sole driver of their foolish campaigns.

So they resort to lies. Massive, outdated, repeatedly discredited, destructive, socially harmful, brainless lies.

When this is pointed out, they go berserk. Often, they threaten legal action (the first resort of the scoundrel), although this is just an empty threat, because if they had to defend their monstrous lies in court, they'd be exposed as the fraudulent dimwits they really are.

They do, however, show no qualms about subverting the democratic process and terrifying their neighbours into abject hysteria with their lies.

They do everything they can to find your weak point. Are you worried about the value of your house going down (wwwooooooooohhh! Negative equity!!)? They'll tell you the old lie about windfarms knocking 54% off the value of your property. It's utterly untrue - if anything, a windfarm nearby is more likely to increase the market value of your house - and they can only get away with that ridiculous claim by misquoting one report.

Are you worried about losing your peace and quiet? They'll lie to you about windfarms being "noisy", especially at night, and try to convince you that you'll never be able to sleep soundly again. If you're distressed or foolish enough to believe this lie, you'll imagine that you can hear windfarm noises in your bedroom, when in reality you can't.

Are you a mild hypochondriac? They'll produce false, bogus and unscientific evidence that windfarms cause health problems. At the same time, they will deliberately suppress the growing wealth of genuine evidence which proves that the fanciful so-called "wind turbine syndrome" is sheer nonsense designed only to scare innocent people. And once they've got you believing that load of old rubbish, you're buggered. At the first sight of a windfarm you'll start having palpitations. Not that it's the windfarm's fault. No: your nimby neighbours did that to you. They made you believe in fairies at the bottom of the garden.

This is becoming a national problem. The lies published and repeated and shouted and screamed by nasty nimby nutters are causing real pain, concern and alarm, and all for no good reason. People are being bullied, misled, threatened and brainwashed by members of their own communities into believing a pack of lies which can only cause them lasting suffering.

The nimbies only doing this out of selfishness and a misplaced right-wing belief in their own superiority. If they were honest, they would be giving you all the information - which contradicts everything they've been saying - or even just admitting that they don't much care for the look of wind turbines, which is fair enough.

But these people are not honest. They attack others and then cry foul when their attacks are reported. They tell masses and masses of lies about windfarms and then accuse everybody else of lying. They set out deliberately to create panic on no grounds whatsoever and leave a toxic legacy of division and phantom symptoms in their wake.

They are also holding Britain back from meeting its climate obligations and securing a clean, green, low-cost energy future.

But the worst of it is, they are harming their neighbours with their poisonous falsehoods. For that alone, they will be forever damned.

And for that reason, we here at Wind of Change will continue to expose their self-serving myths and lies, their disgraceful tactics, their exorbitant vanity and their treacherous intents. No matter how much they may threaten us, we will continue to stand with the victims of these vicious and unprincipled nimbies. We will not stop telling the truth, no matter how far some nimby groups may go in seeking to silence others.

We are doing this for Britain, and for the growing number of people who have been lied to, bullied and betrayed by nimby zealots.

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