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Survey claims on windmills are propaganda 

Credit:  Sue Cheshire, Stinchcombe www.thisisgloucestershire.co.uk 19 January 2011 ~~

What a shame for Ecotricity that it so badly mistimed the release of its survey results concerning the proposed four wind turbines in the Berkeley Vale. It clearly planned to release these results two working days before the planning decision was due to be made, hoping to influence its case. Unhappily for Ecotricity, the delay in this application coming before the planning committee has created a time-slot in which its spurious claims may be examined.

Fundamentally, the results of any telephone survey depend on what group is approached and what questions are asked.

Further, the results of any such survey can be selectively publicised to suit the sponsor’s own agenda.

On this occasion, Ecotricity says the survey company telephoned 500 people “living in the GL5 postcode (Stroud) and within 10 kilometres of the proposed wind park”.

So what about people in GL11/12 who live within two kilometres of the proposed wind farm?

The survey results shown on Ecotricity’s website found that: “42% said wind turbines were attractive”; “46% felt they were efficient at making energy”; “two thirds said they would be happy to live within three miles of a wind turbine”.

This, we are led to believe by Ecotricity, shows “overwhelming support” for the proposed wind turbines in Stinchcombe.

Another version of these results, could just as easily have read: the survey found that: 58% said wind turbines were unattractive; 54% said they were not efficient at making energy; two thirds said they would be unhappy to live within less than three miles of a turbine (in this regard, Ecotricity is proposing that some residents of Stinchcombe be forced to live within not much more than 400 metres of a turbine).

It all depends how you manipulate the words and figures and what your agenda is.

As with much of Ecotricity’s constant publicity in the district, we, and your newspaper, are only told what suits Ecotricity.

This attempt to influence the Stroud planners is pure propaganda and is a standard Ecotricity tactic.

In 2009, Ecotricity ran its nine-week Stroud 50/50 campaign. Despite no more than one per cent of the population of Stroud district responding to this campaign, Ecotricity claimed in its publicity that “the vast majority in this district wish to see developments such as this” – the Berkeley Vale wind-farm.

This campaign was also based on Stroud town.

Stroud town, and the organised Green cabal which resides there, seems to have an influence totally out of proportion to the small place they occupy in the district. What they think is purely academic, as they would not be in the slightest affected by this monstrous proposal, at 10km distance. Ecotricity should understand that Stroud town is not Stroud district.

This survey is irrelevant to the main issue that Berkeley Vale is, for many reasons, the wrong place for wind turbines and we trust the planners will see it for what it is – a marketing tool, propaganda.

Source:  Sue Cheshire, Stinchcombe www.thisisgloucestershire.co.uk 19 January 2011

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 educational 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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