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.

Thursday, February 05, 2004

Country Life opposes onshore windfarms.....

The latest edition of the magazine, Country Life (February 5), carries an excellent Editorial against the development of onshore wind farms in the UK. Under the heading, 'Jolly Awful Green Giants' (p. 35), it argues that a whole suite of current applications for wind farms are "about to assault the countryside" and that these "should be opposed vehemently." I entirely agree.

The Editorial correctly analyses the heavy environmental costs of turbines, "twice as high as Nelson's column", and also points out that any return will be modest, to say the least. Without lucrative renewable energy certificates to trade, most wind farms do not stack up commercially. Moreover, I must add that they will do precious little to manage climate change.

The Editorial also rightly asserts that: "Britain is one of the most crowded countries in Europe; the pressures on southern England, in particular, hardly need repeating. To add to them with wind farms would, ironically, fly in the face of every principle of sustainable development."

The Editorial concludes that "...the building of onshore windfarms should be abandoned....before the whisper of protest turns into a roar."

I congratulate Country Life for recognising so sharply the inherent dangers of onshore wind farms. The truth is painfully obvious - onshore wind power is very expensive, it doesn't deliver the environmental benefits it promises, and yet it carries substantial environmental costs. Promoting wind farms over other forms of energy generation will surely prove to be a most costly blunder, in every sense.

It is time, indeed, to roar out against this crass industrialisation of our countryside and our last remaining wilderness. The government has got this badly wrong, and wrong in environmental terms too. Government's view of wind energy is indeed 'green' - but only in the sense of naif!

Philip, getting the wind up and striking a 'blow' for landscape.

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

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