September 17, 2013
Blogs, U.K.

Wind farms and renewable energy: a modern version of a medieval scam

By Douglas Carswell | Telegraph Blogs | September 16th, 2013 |

Opponents of wind farms are, says Lib Dem energy minister Ed Davey, living in “the stone age”.

In know it is Lib Dem conference season – and so Mr D and co are therefore looking for something to say – but this is daft. It is not the opponents of wind farms that are backward looking and atavistic, but those who champion them.

It is difficult to think of a more medieval technology than wind mills. They were cutting edge when Henry II was king and Richard the Lionheart was launching crusades. The first certain reference to a wind mill in Europe dates from 1185AD Yorkshire, apparently.

Of course, the climate was warmer back then, as even the UN’s International Panel on Climate Change now accepts. Perhaps Ed Davey might like to try to tell us that’s why our medieval fore bearers went for wind.

If Davey was capable of original thought, as opposed to recycling all the cliched ideas in his department, he might ask himself some searching questions: Why, if human industrial activity is warming the world, was pre-industrial Europe in the Middle ages warmer than it is today – with or without wind mills? Why, if carbon dioxide emissions are warming the world, has there been no statistically significant global increase in temperatures since 1997?

Of course, it is not the technology of wind turbines I object to. Nor even really the look of them. It’s the subsidy I can’t stomach.

Wind turbines are a costly means of producing electricity, but a wonderful way of generating a cash income from subsidy. Even if we accept the most optimistic projections, few if any of the wind farms would have been built by private investors – without a massive subsidy. The subsidy is, of course, paid through higher household bills – and more energy poverty.

Unlike solar, which, thanks to innovation, will soon be cost effective, wind farms look like they be harvesting subsidies for a generation to come. Far from progressive, they seem to be about rent seeking. And what could be more atavistic than that?

Through every age, a tiny parasitical elite seeks to game the system to transfer wealth from the many to the few. The more I think about it, the more the renewable energy scam seems just a contemporary manifestation of this ancient, hideous idea.

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