The drive to meet our low-carbon obligations proceeds apace. Last year, a record-breaking 9.5% of our electricity in the UK was generated by renewables. Half of that came from wind power (onshore and offshore).
By the start of this year, there were 6,584 megawatts of installed wind energy capacity in the UK. So, roughly 6,000 MW of installed wind power capacity gave us nearly 5% of our electricity last year. With a further 3,756 MW currently under construction, that will bring us to about 7.5% of our electricity requirements. 5,222 MW of installed wind capacity had already received planning consent, and a further 11,485 MW are going through the planning process. Sadly, some of those will be blocked by self-obsessed nimbies who have no interest in the national need. Even so, we can expect more than 2 gigawatts of installed capacity to come online every year, which is very good news.
At the same time, polls - even those suppressed by the right-wing newspapers which commissioned them - continually and consistently show that a clear majority of Britons support wind energy and are even in favour of subsidies for wind power. Those "subsidies" have been grossly overestimated by anti-wind campaigners - in fact, fossil fuels currently receive FIVE TIMES as much in government subsidies as wind energy gets in top-up fees from the profits of the energy companies.
All this good news for Britain (and the world) is bad news for the nimbies, who would rather pretend that wind power never works - except when it works too well (this is a strange bit of nimby doublethink which is not borne out by real-world experience: high winds back in December led to windfarms contributing an astonishing 12% of the UK's electricity, so clearly they did not have to be "paid" to be "turned off" - no, they did their jobs amazingly well!)
But when people as deluded and vicious as the nimby minority find themselves losing a battle, they just get worse. You can tell this is happening right now. The Green Building Forum website has been hijacked by muck-raking nimbies, turning it into a Green Bashing Forum. And if you want to see what frothy-mouthed hysteria looks like, check out the ludicrous "Save the Dales" nimby website, which merrily repeats a bunch of nimby nonsense on a grand scale.
In fact, the Knab's Ridge Windfarm already exists just outside Harrogate. Eight turbines have been doing their bit there since 2008. The site works, so plans are afoot to expand this successful windfarm, eventually bringing the total number of turbines up to an impressive 36.
According to the fevered nimbies of "Save the Dales" (save the Dales from what, exactly???), this expansion of an already existing windfarm will "destroy" the area "in the name of international corporate greed". Unless, of course, there is a "major public outcry".
Now, you can only claim that the landscape will be "destroyed" if you're not really thinking about wind turbines, but something else altogether ... unmitigated rising global temperatures, for example. And it seems odd that a few more turbines will "destroy" a beautiful area when the eight which are already there clearly haven't. Furthermore, you can only claim that this imaginary destruction is solely "in the name of international corporate greed" if you deny that wind power contributes significantly to our electricity needs which - as figures recently released by the DECC prove - it obviously does.
Looking at the bizarre twisted language used by the fanatics of "Save the Dales", you can see the Goering Principle at work. These crazies are trying to start a false war against our future. They are trying to trick people into going to war ("a major public outcry") by pretending that they are being attacked ("this beautiful area WILL VERY SOON be destroyed in the name of international corporate greed"). Nonsense, of course, but very effective nonsense - as the spiritual mentor of these demented nimbies, Hermann himself, was well aware.
The amount of truth-bending required to achieve the aims of madcap nimby groups like this one is mind-boggling. But truth never meant a thing to the mindless nimbies of the anti-windfarm fringe. Eight turbines have not "destroyed" the area. But, somehow or other, 36 will. Unless people are tricked into going to war with people who are not their enemies (the company which operates the windfarm used to be Yorkshire Water) for the sole benefit of a few demented demagogues.
So, we're back in the topsy-turvy world of nimby "reality". Out there in the real world, wind power is contributing handsomely to our energy needs at a lower cost than nuclear or coal, with far lower emissions that coal or gas, much more safely than nuclear and gas (nuclear may not even have a future in this country, while gas has just shown how safe it is by blowing up in the North Sea) and with only a fraction of the "subsidies" paid to nuclear and other fossil fuels. Every megawatt of wind-generated electricity is one less generated by expensive, dangerous, polluting conventional sources. And a 36-turbine windfarm will generate A LOT of cheap, clean, green electricity. With hardly any noise or adverse impact.
But, in the alternative reality inhabited by nimby nutters, windfarms don't do anything, except when they do too much, and they will destroy everything, even when they have manifestly failed to destroy it already, and they cost more than all the more expensive options which receive much more in real subsidies ("Save the Dales" have really gone off on one about the "subsidies" for wind - they're turning into odd little Bolshevik revolutionaries in their utter contempt for wealthy landowners like David Cameron's father-in-law). No, according to nimby groups like "Save the Dales", a proposed extension to a windfarm that already exists and has been contributing to our energy needs for four years is a "horror story".
That's right. They're telling you that you're being attacked. And they will no doubt rain down their poisonous nimby contempt on anyone who points out how successfully wind power is already powering our nation - the equivalent of "denouncing pacifists for their lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger". Nimby groups do tend to attack their opponents in a determined attempt to silence any alternative opinions, and then they go all whiny when their disgraceful tactics are exposed.
But in the real world, the Yorkshire Dales are not under any threat from wind turbines. From the effects of climate change, yes. Not from windfarms, though.
Practitioners of the Goering Technique will try to convince you otherwise. So that you will vote against your own best interests and go to war with the very people who are working towards a better environment and a safer future. If you respect the facts, you will be accused of "exposing the countryside to danger".
People, you are not being "threatened", "menaced", or "attacked" by wind turbines. They're already doing us a power of good, and they are not the real threat to the country. Don't fall for the lies of the nimbies, who are not your friends.
Bear in mind what happened in the past when Hermann Goering's principles were followed, and then ask yourself - do a few more turbines really pose a greater threat to everything we hold dear than the sort of person who campaigns so aggressively and dishonestly against them?