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Profits not the planet  

Your paper tells the story of how Nuon Renewables seeks to undermine the credibility of the action group opposing its proposed supermassive turbine development on the doorstep of several local villages – Observer last week.

In the list of items it queries within the action group’s publicity literature, one is the claim that the wind farm will lead to disruption at a nearby primary school, attended by many local children from affected villages. The children in class less than a mile from the giant turbines will suffer their effects, whatever those effects might be, every hour of every day.

Nuon claims Swinford Wind Farm Action Group are stifling debate by scaremongering, according to your report. Nuon did not want scaremongering in the list of tactics employed, obviously, or they would have ensured that public debate, consultation with knowledgeable local groups, and full disclosure of both sides of the scientific evidence were undertaken prior to their planning application being presented to Harborough District Council.

Nuon are very anxious that investigation into wind farm effects does not take place at all among your readership, or your readers would quickly find unsurmountable evidence that wind farms are dangerous to health and their impact is far from negligible. The article found at http://www.ref.org.uk/PressDetails/136 published by the Renewable Energy Foundation is quite enough to convince any parent that their child is at risk from serious health implications if the wind farm is built.

It is to be speculated that this is why Nuon Renewables are anxious. They know the weight of evidence pointing to the insanity of their proposal is growing with each research project that is completed.

Research into wind turbine impact is scant because it is only now taking place. Many results will come to publication too late to affect this enquiry.

Rob Fellows, spokesman for Nuon, is “pleased that the ASA are investigating the unreferenced and unsubstantiated claims that have been put forward as fact by the action group.”

Any member of the public who wishes to read Nuon’s Environmental Impact Assessment is free to do so, and if they have any difficulty finding it I expect SSWFAG will be able to help. In that Assessment are many examples of unreferenced and unsubstantiated claims.

If the ASA wish to challenge me on this, prompted naturally by Nuon, they will find me willing and able to provide a number of examples of claims which fall into unreferenced and unsubstantiated categories. Among them is this, an extract from the findings of Bullen Consultants, who acted on behalf of turbine developers at Ovenden Moor in the South Pennines. It says: “Curlew numbers at the site have gradually declined, however, and it has been speculated that this is due to birds curtailing display flights to avoid turbine blades.”

This is very like saying that hedgehogs at the site have probably declined because they decided not to cross the road any more while declining to explain it is most likely they have been mopped up by cars.

Nuon are after money. I challenge them to prove that they are interested in the welfare of the global environment ahead of their own profits. I challenge Nuon to explain what it means by “unreferenced and unsubstantiated”, and to demonstrate beyond reasonable doubt that the claims they have made in their own literature, including their published EIA, are above such contemptuous description.

Kathy Ratcliffe

Lutterworth Road


The Rugby Observer

27 June 2008

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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