Friday, 1 June 2012


Look at where all the atrociously inaccurate and misleading stories about windfarms keep coming from and you'll notice a trend.

Fox News in the US, for example, constantly peddles ludicrous lies about wind power:

Why?  Well, presumably for much the same reason that the discredited Heartland Institute, a fanatically right-wing "lobby" group, seeks to malign and demonise anyone who believes in climate change.  Because some businesses - mentioning no names - are making so much money out of heavily-subsidised fossil fuels that they have a commercial interest in attacking climate science.

Here in the UK, we have cretins like Derek Clark, UKIP MEP for Leicestershire, spouting idiotic anti-windfarm lies.  Of course, the besuited racists of UKIP don't believe in either climate change or renewable energy - but then, they don't believe in sexual equality, either.  They're the sort of people who would not only have been unable to domesticate fire, but would have campaigned angrily against doing so as a dangerous shift to the left.  They are the Jeremy Clarksons of British politics: empty-headed bar-room bores sounding off about things they don't understand.

Clark refuses to get his facts right about wind power, even when those facts have been clearly pointed out to him.  He claims that the Swinford Wind Farm in Leicestershire was "opposed by thousands of people" (oh, really?) and that windfarms are a "massive confidence trick" because they "only turn out any electric power for 30 per cent of the time and not on full power for more than a fraction of that."  This is typical nimby gibberish, as far removed from reality as the rest of Derek Clark's grotesque party is.

And then there's the soi-disant Renewable Energy Foundation (REF), which exists solely to publish lies about windfarms.  They published a pamphlet claiming that government policies designed to encourage the development of renewable energy would destroy thousands of jobs.  What was so odd about this pamphlet is that it flew in the face of all the available research.  A report published by various UN agencies and trades unions indicates that shifting to a greener economy could generate up to 60 million additional jobs worldwide over the next two decades.

Indeed, renewables are about the only growth area in the European economy right now.  In 2010, the wind industry directly and indirectly contributed 32.43 billion euros to the EU's GDP and accounted for 3.59 billion euros in tax payments, while saving the EU 5.71 billion in additional fuel costs.  It also accounted for 135,863 jobs across Europe in 2010.  In the UK alone, the wind industry contributed over half a billion pounds to the economy last year and supported thousands of jobs.  No wonder the financial sector is going cool on nuclear - way too expensive and unreliable - and getting very excited about renewables.

So, either John Constable of REF knows something that nobody else in the world knows when he claims that renewables cost jobs ... or he's a liar.

The godfather of British anti-windfarm nutcases, though, is the inimitable Delingpole, a frothy-mouthed merchant of right-wing insanity on demand.  Like his fellow climate "sceptic", the deranged Lord Monckton, Delingpole has no scientific qualifications whatsoever.  This means that he is ideally suited to keep hurling his own excrement at the global scientific consensus, which has been studying masses of evidence for years, and insisting that he alone is right and 98% of the world's scientists are wrong.  He has even claimed that "the more scientifically illiterate you are, the more you believe in 'climate change'."  This, let's remember, is a man with NO SCIENTIFIC CREDENTIALS AT ALL calling almost every scientist in the world "scientifically illiterate"!  Or, if you prefer, misquoting the findings of a Yale University report, because - like every nimby on planet Earth - misrepresenting the evidence is all that Delingpole is good for.

Delingpole doesn't just unleash his demented diatribes against climate scientists.  He's got a thing about windfarms, too.  Strangely, the two things - climate change denial and anti-windfarm vitriol - go hand in hand, like racism and homophobia.

In one of his latest assaults on sanity, Delingpole went so far as to say "I would rather a child of mine went into business manufacturing land mines (which at least have a valid defensive pupose) than got involved in the wind farm industry."

The thought of Delingpole having children is enough to make one queasy.  And, if windfarms really were the subsidy-sucking money pots that Delingpole likes to pretend they are, he would surely be impressed to find that his spawn had found such a lucrative occupation.  But Delingpole is certifiably insane, as any competent psychiatrist would be able to prove in five minutes flat.  If he started barking at the moon, it would be seen as a sign that he was on the road to recovery.  And so he vomits his thoughtless, knee-jerk anti-windfarm buffoonery all over the Telegraph whenever the editor pays him to.

Still, when you look at the other "celebrities" on Delingpole's side of the "argument" - Griff Rhys Jones, Louise Mensch, David Bellamy, Donald Trump - you have to accept that they, too, are probably much more in favour of a thriving and heavily subsidised land mine industry than inexpensive, clean green energy.  Because they're all a few plates short of a full service.

Look back at this list of the infamous, the insanitary and the terminally insane.  Notice anything about them?  Anything they might have in common?

No?  Okay, we'll try again.

What links Fox News, the Heartland Institute, UKIP, REF, Monckton, Lawson and Delingpole, as well as the ugly company they all keep?

They are all fanatical right-wing maniacs.  Their pronouncements about wind energy are blissfully unencumbered by facts and are inspired purely by prejudice and extremist ideology.  They all have their reasons for telling blatant lies about windfarms, over and over and over again, but they're not exactly good reasons.  They are based solely on hate, greed, and a warped view of the world.

As recent polls have shown, less than 10% of the UK's population is absolutely opposed to wind power.  Presumably, they are the very far-right fantasists who lap up Delingpole's weird drivel and believe everything that the crazies of UKIP and the propagandists of REF tell them.  A tiny lunatic fringe of swivel-eyed conspiracy theorists and neo-fascists.

Hardly the sort of people we want dictating our energy policy over the next few decades, wouldn't you agree?

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