Massey University, Palmerston, New Zealand, has recently published a survey showing that 80 per cent of people who live within 3km of wind turbines in Manawatu, near Palmerston, find them intrusive and 73 percent think them unattractive.
This is entirely at odds with the repetitive British Wind Energy Association claim that “Opinion surveys regularly show that just over eight out of ten people are in favour of wind energy” and that “There has never been any other result from surveys into wind energy, no matter where or when they were carried out.”
The academic who led the survey said the results could reflect the reality of living with wind turbines as opposed to the ideology of renewable energy. Over half the survey forms were returned, suggesting a high level of concern – not surprising, as turbine noise is heard by 45 per cent of households living within 2 km of the Manawatu wind farm and 20 per cent of households living up to 8 km away.
Recently the ITV “Wales this Week” programme discussed windfarm development and a subsequent phone poll received a record number of calls which showed that 72 per cent of respondents opposed onshore windpower development.
Our politicians need to take the temperature of public opinion rather than fallaciously trust that a few UK windmills might alter the warmth of the planet.
Dr John Etherington
18 April 2007
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