It was reported recently in a structured survey by Ipsos/Mori (commissioned by Renewables UK) that 60 per cent to 72 per cent of people are in favour of wind farms.
On the face of it, using freely available wind is a good idea, but it is surprising that such a respected research outfit would build in such bias in selecting respondents.
Firstly, it appears that anybody aged over 64 was excluded.
Secondly, the bulk of respondents live in England, most of them from the South East or West Midlands where there are very few onshore wind farms.
On the other hand, only five per cent and eight per cent of the people were from Wales and Scotland respectively where the bulk of onshore wind farms are to be found. In other words, those respondents who were most likely to have experience of living near wind farms were severely under represented.
To cap it all there were little more than a thousand participants surveyed; hardly a representative sample! Even if a good number of people had experience of living near or visiting areas with existing wind farms, very few would have come across the current generation of huge machines now being proposed.
Developers take great care to soften the impact of placing these massive contraptions in unspoilt countryside. The very term ‘wind farm’ is an euphemism and a more realistic terminology would be giant industrial structures (GIS).
They are not placed in farms but create great industrial parks with a hundred or more machines together which completely changes the nature of an area.
If the bulk of the British public knew just how intrusive are these GIS, not only would they be appalled, but I suggest very few people would choose to go to such devastated areas for a quiet relaxing holiday.
Finally, it is interesting to note that when Friends of the Earth recently did an online survey whereby respondents were self selecting, there was a clear majority against onshore wind farms; not the sort of response you would expect from people likely to browse this particular website.