Why are politicians so in love with wind farms?
John Hutton, the Energy Secretary, has announced a vast expansion of them and David Cameron loves wind so much he had a wind turbine perched on top of his house.
We need at least one party that opposes them but instead have some wretched consensus which is denying the nation the debate it deserves.
Something that is renewable must also be efficient and reliable. Yes, we have now more of a commitment to nuclear energy and quite right, too, because nuclear power is clean, efficient, renewable and reliable. But we prefer to spend millions to return to a method of energy generation used by distant ancestors for no better reason than we associate “nuclear” with weapons and Chernobyl.
The first requires different technology and the second is utterly avoidable, occurring only because it was possible for an arrogant human being to override the automatic shut-down which happened when overheating began.
The ugliness of the useless horrors of wind farms alone should be a reason for preferring almost anything else. They wreck the beauty of the countryside, which is why country dwellers hate them but trendy metropolitans, with aching consciences, love them.
The word “green” is uttered in the reverential tones once associated with the word “God” and is used as an excuse for everything from snooping in wheelie bins to betraying future generations by investing in the technology of the past.
Wind now accounts for 0.5 per cent of our electricity. Just imagine what the country would look like if we had to build enough farms to provide the other 99.5 per cent.
So I had a not-so-quiet laugh when the Ministry of Defence pointed out that these infernal, arm-waving monsters disrupt radar and allow enemy aircraft to pass overhead unobserved. Bravo! One can just imagine Osama Bin Laden poring over maps of wind farms and emerging from his cave shouting, “Eureka!” Sadly, I doubt if even this will give pause to the headlong rush towards wind power. After all, what has national security to do with it?
Green is good, green is modern and politicians wear green on their sleeves with all the mindless enslavement shown by flighty teenage girls worshipping rock stars.
Developers are reported to be furious at possible disruption to their plans to build wind farms along lines of sight of radar stations. Presumably they are worried about losing money while the MoD is worried merely about losing lives.
Ministers are concerned for targets when they should be concerned for truth.
Eventually, I suppose, we shall get the truth but by then we will be half-submerged by windmills and reliant on other countries for power. We already hypocritically avail ourselves of France’s nuclear energy while being so grudging towards our own. What happens if France has any reason to alter that cosy arrangement?
The RSPB is reported to have queried 200 wind farm projects because of the dangers to birds and bats. Mashing up wildlife seems pretty ungreen to me but the attention paid to such objections has been little more than a bat-squeak.
It will be interesting to see if the prospect of a breach of our defences arouses any greater concern. Such is wind worship that I suspect not.
National policy making is a serious business for grown-ups. Hard-headed estimates of efficiency and reliability are what should dictate energy policy and if that leads to some unpopular conclusions then so be it.
It is the business of politicians to make the right decisions, not just the popular ones. Or has that concept been blown away by the wind?
By Ann Widdecombe
6 February 2008
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