Wednesday, 30 May 2012


We'll start this post by kicking away one of the nimbies' favourite lies.

Anti-wind fanatics are fond of claiming that wind power is "too expensive".  They never actually qualify this claim - i.e., they never explain in what way wind is "too expensive", or is "too expensive" compared with what.  It's just one of their blanket myths, like the one about wind turbines being "noisy".  The mere fact that these dunces have made these claims means that, as far as they're concerned, they must be true.

A whole raft of recent studies have proven the opposite.  Wind power isn't "too expensive" because it's cheaper than the conventional alternatives.

The monthly journal Nature Climate Change has published a study by ETH-Zurich's Department of Management, Technology and Economics which shows the extent to which "fossil fuel subsidies can negatively affect the competitiveness of renewable-energy technologies".  In other words, it's not renewables that are expensive - it's the colossal subsidies offered to fossil fuels which skew the market.

What the researchers discovered was that, in all the countries studied (including Brazil, Egypt and India), "with one franc or dollar of funding, you can produce more electricity ... if the money is invested in wind power plants."

Just a month ago, the Michigan Public Service Commission produced a report which showed that wind power and electricity from other renewables was close to one-third cheaper than electricity produced by a new coal-fired plant.  AND - the costs of wind power and other renewables are COMING DOWN!!

Yet another report has shown that adding more wind power to the grid could reduce wholesale electricity market prices in the Midwestern states of America by more than 25% by 2020.

Even the UK government has admitted that investment in wind power will lead to a net saving on household energy bills.  This link explains more:

So, all in all, when a nimby tells you that wind power is "too expensive", you know that they're talking absolutely garbage.

But why do they do it?  Why do these nimby scumbags constantly, repeatedly, incessantly LIE about wind power?  Why?

Well, a few clues have been provided by some more recent research into the associated issue of climate change and, in particular, climate scepticism (or denial).

You might think that those who don't believe in climate change, or don't believe that it is man-made, even though the global scientific consensus has proven that it is, must be scientific morons.  The answer, then, would be better science education.  If people were capable of understanding how science works, they'd be less likely to ignore or challenge what every climate scientist has been saying for years.

You'd think that, wouldn't you? But you'd be wrong.  It turns out that climate change denial has got nothing to do with a lack of scientific training and everything to do with cultural values - or, as the Yale University scientists who published the latest report might say, it's a matter of "cognitive dissonance" rather than "scientific illiteracy".

Basically, there are two types of person.  The "egalitarian" type recognises the problem that human activities have created, and advocates joint action to curb carbon emissions.  The "hierarchical" type is more of an individualist and doesn't want to admit that his or her behaviour has contributed to a global crisis.  What is more, the "hierarchical" type rejects the very notion of communal action as something vaguely "socialist".  And so that type refuses to believe in man-made climate change because it doesn't suit their selfish, me-first view of the world.  Even if they do believe in man-made climate change, they refuse to do anything about it because it doesn't really affect them.

The difference, then, is between the democratic types who have no problem is seeing what is happening and think that we really ought to be doing something about it at every level, and the autocratic type who doesn't want to be forced to do anything about it at all.  Even those who have a sure grasp of science can deny the evidence when it doesn't agree with their cultural perspective.

The "argument" about climate science, then, has got nothing whatever to do with science.  It's about whether you believe in collective action or whether you're a rampant individualist.  Which explains the ghastly and insane attempts of Lord "I have no scientific qualification" Monckton and his grubby friend, Lord "You will only believe what I want you to believe" Lawson, to mislead everybody with their climate lies.

Anti-windfarm campaigners are "hierarchical" individualists.  They don't see why the view from their bathroom windows should be in any way affected by the far-off presence of a windfarm.  No - put the damn' things somewhere else.  Or, better still, abandon all wind power (because, let's face it, when you've lied your head off about one windfarm, you kind of have to lie about them all).  Never, never, never, never, never!!  No one - but NO ONE - is allowed to provide the cheapest form of electricity, nice and clean, with minimal harm to the environment, no hazardous emissions or waste, and the benefit of energy security for the next generation and financial benefits for the local community - NO!!!  NO ONE is allowed to do that if I MIGHT BE ABLE TO SEE IT!!!

Yes, it really is as mindless as that.

But here's the paradox.  In order to get other people to back their insanely reckless and selfish anti-windfarm campaigns, these nutters have to pose as the defenders of their community.  That is, rampant, egotistical right-wing individualists have to PRETEND to be community-minded egalitarian conservationsists.  And that is why they lie.  Because to get real people on their side - the sort who really do care for their communities and believe in collective action - they have to whip up fear, panic and hysteria by telling loud and stupid lies about windfarms.

There's a good example of this currently in the Scottish Borders, where a typical nimby menace is at work.  Never having given a thought to renewables until a windfarm was proposed nearby, this nimby fool did what the worst kind of nimby does - instantly set himself up as a world expert on wind energy.

Like yer typical nimby, this bozo attacks everybody if they don't support his blinkered and wildly misinformed views.  Indeed, anyone who expresses any form of support for wind power, whether it be a local council officer who can find no grounds to oppose the development or a local resident who can spot the benefits of a wind turbine or two, becomes a target for his Blimpish ravings.  A surprising number of objections lodged with the local council have come from him alone, masquerading as various "preservation" bodies.  Almost singlehandedly, he has set out to fight these perfectly sensible developments, come what may.

He has deployed his knowledge of engineering in order to "prove" that windfarms don't work.  Only the kind of engineering he understands doesn't cover windfarms, and he wrecked his own arguments by pointing out that the windfarms which already exist in his region produce nine times as much electricity as his region needs.  So, they don't, and can't, work, but they also work so well that we don't need any more of them.  Anyone who can advance both of those arguments IN THE SAME SUBMISSION is clearly insane.

This is what makes the paranoid claims of the nimbies that "communities" feel powerless in the face of giant greedy global windpower conglomerates such a joke.  For a start, some 68% of country-dwellers want to see more windfarms and turbines.  The percentage of Britons who are opposed to wind energy under any circumstances is less than 10%!  The "communities" which bleat that they cannot fight the wind industry don't exist!!  They are, in fact, a minority of bigoted, brainwashed, lying wretches who do more harm to their own communities than any windfarm ever has or will.

They are the sort who will drag their communities into their boorishly selfish stance by spreading lies, myths and scare-stories.  They don't actually believe in community - that's an egalitarian principle - but they will USE their communities in any way they see fit, just as long as they get to fight their evil fight against reality.

They're the ones who will tell you that there is no such thing as climate change, or that mankind isn't causing climate change, or that we cannot do anything about it because of the Chinese.  They will also tell you that wind power is "too expensive" ... while the costs of nuclear continue to spiral upwards, and subsidies for fossil fuels hide their real costs, and wind is pretty much unique in being both clean and cheap and in getting cheaper.

The nimby maniacs are lying to you.  They don't care about their community.  They just believe that they can be absolved from any responsibility for their actions, now and in the past, and that they should not have to play any part whatsoever in mitigating the effects of their selfishness.  They would rather the rest of us starved, burned or died of thirst, than that their petty-minded little world be disrupted in the slightest degree.

So when you join their fight on the basis of the lies they told you, at least you now know that you're fighting against your own best interests, and those of your country and your kids, in order to satisfy a small bunch of sociopathic liars.  Good move.  We hope you feel proud.

1 comment:

  1. Coal power is cheap because the plants are decades old. Plants built today aren't so cheap.

    "Efficiency" is another canard of the NIMBY stable. But even though they focus on the power ratio of wind, if you compare it with the actual efficiency of a coal plant (yes comparing apples with oranges, but *they* said the figure was efficiency so-) you'll find a coal plant is about 30% efficient, and a wind turbines loading is about the same.