So who are the real wind farm ‘cranks’: the sceptics who oppose them or the eco-fanatics and profiteers who support them?
Just for the record, I detest wind farms and all that goes with them: always have done. I first started investigating these blights on our land and seascapes several years ago when the effects of another bogus green fad – a gigantic, 25,000-ton compost heap erected near my village – led to me to look into the terrible grip that eco-fanatics, nitwitted politicians and green profiteers now have on the whole global warming debate.
That was when the obvious, insoluble problem with wind-power was first explained to me: the wind doesn’t blow all the time. And it almost never blows evenly. Power generation, on the other hand, has to be constant, steady and absolutely reliable, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
So wind farms can only be operated alongside conventional power stations, which have to be kept ready to spring into action the moment the wind is either too weak or too strong to make the turbines spin at precisely the right speed.
But that didn’t seem to stop the blasted propellers popping up all over the place. I spoke to the desperate workers at a home for children with mental disabilities who had protested in vain that the sound of the turbines was deeply disturbing to their children.
At a public inquiry, some self-righteous councillor told them they had no right to object, since millions of Bangladeshis would drown in floods unless we all converted to wind power.
In the mountains of mid-Wales, villagers explained how their beautiful hills had only been spoiled from despoliation by wind farms because the RAF practiced low-level flying over the same terrain and didn’t want their Tornado jets crashing into turbines.
The locals had thought the planes were a nuisance, but compared to the utter devastation that massive steel turbines, on huge concrete foundations, transported on trucks would have caused, mere bombers were a blessing.
Still the wind farms have maintained their march across the most green and pleasant parts of our land. Yet the evidence against them is now becoming overwhelming.
In the past few weeks we have seen turbines burst into flame in strong winds. Huge steel blades have sheared right off propellers and gone flying out across the local countryside, miraculously missing any living targets.
The issue of the low frequency boom emitted by turbines has become progressively more significant as the disturbance it causes becomes ever-harder to deny.
The effect on wildlife of wind farms has been highlighted by an American case in which the US federal government is permitting a wind farm developer to kill golden eagles. Not even that most magnificent, and endangered bird is safe from the madness.
The vast subsidies wind farms receive simply serve to make the rich even richer. Samantha Cameron’s father, wealthy landowner Sir Reginald Sheffield already makes £350,000 a year from turbines situated on his land and is – not surprisingly – planning to out up even more.
Six Scottish wind farms were paid £900,000 for turning off their turbines on one particularly windy night last April, when they were churning out more electricity than the system needed. That was more than 20 times the amount they would have earned had the darn things stayed on.
Now, as the government plans a further 32,000 wind turbines over the next 20 years, the think-tank Civitas has released a damning report that concludes that ‘horrendously expensive’ wind farms ‘do not fulfill ‘sustainable’ objectives. They cost more fuel than they save and they cause no CO2 saving, in the contrary they increase our environmental ‘foot print.’
To this Dr Gordon Edge, director of policy at the lobby group RenewableUK has replied by saying that the Civitas report relies on ‘discredited assertions’ from ‘anti-wind farm cranks’.
Well, he’s welcome to his opinion, though I hardly need to say what I
think of it. What I will say, though, is that those of us of a naturally sceptical disposition are used to we’ve had so-called experts and self-professed progressives telling us that we’re cranks.
When we said that the Euro wouldn’t work, we were cranky Little Englanders. When we warned of the dangers of uncontrolled immigration, we were racist cranks. And when we suggest that there is something very, very bogus about the renewable energy racket we’re ‘anti-wind farm cranks.’
Well, the cranks were proved right about the first two issues I’ve just mentioned. And my bet is we’ll get a hat-trick and be right about wind farms.