A Weblog monitoring coverage of environmental issues and science in the UK media. By Professor Emeritus Philip Stott. The aim is to assess whether a subject is being fairly covered by press, radio, and television. Above all, the Weblog will focus on science, but not just on poor science. It will also bring to public notice good science that is being ignored because it may be politically inconvenient.

Saturday, November 15, 2003

Beauty before bluster.....

"Wind farms don't work - they ruin people's lives, destroy the countryside and harm wildlife. It beggars belief that certain members of the Green movement have bought into it." [The environmentalist, Dr. David Bellamy, on wind farms, November 10 - see below for story].

If I were asked what is the single most crass policy of the present government, it would have to be the promotion of wind farms. These make no sense environmentally, economically, or in terms of energy production, as many despairing experts point out daily. It is thus wonderfully encouraging to read about increasing local opposition to the desecration of our last remaining wilderness by these ephemera of modern sensibilities.

Forgive me for being parochial, but I am especially pleased by the growing resistance to wind farm sites on some of my old haunts when I was a young lad 'up North'. Here is a recent report from the Rochdale Observer: 'Political rivals unite against wind of change'.

I grieve that Tandle Hill, in Royton, and Crompton Moor, above Shaw (my father - a Shaw man from th' edge o' moor, the heyside - would have been horrified if still with us) are seen as two prime sites for wind farms. It is thus most satisfying that Euro MP, Chris Davies, and Phil Woolas, MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth, are putting their political differences aside to fight the proposals. "Go lads, get 'em!"

Sadly, I also gather that there are further threats in the Oldham and Saddleworth districts, including Dovestones and Indian ('Injun') Head (where I spent hours of my childhood climbing and pretending to be an Indian brave, when not looking for parts of a 'plane that had crashed there); most of the hills around Uppermill (austere, but immensely beautiful); open land between Springhead and Scouthead; and pretty Delph and Denshaw. This is just outrageous.

But, luckily, the fight against such orc-like behaviour has now drawn in a real heavyweight environmentalist to the cause, namely Dr. David Bellamy. "Well done, mate!" In Rochdale, I gather David has already led a march to the top of Knowl Hill to highlight opposition ('Bellamy battle over wind farm', Manchester Evening News, November 10).

It is thus no surprise that readers of Country Life have just voted wind farms Britain's worst eyesore. Here are the report and survey results: 'The 10 most hated eyesores'.

All the bluster in the world will not hide the fact that wind farms are totally ephemeral to our genuine energy and environmental needs. This is where 'global warming' is proving such a dangerous political construct. The battles against the loss of our last wilderness MUST be won.

So don't forget to visit and support the excellent new web site: Wind-Farm.org. Highly recommended with your morning coffee.

Philip at Gale Force.

[New counter, June 19, 2006, with loss of some data]

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