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.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Whinash: I was not angry until now.....

The proposed wind farm at Whinash in Cumbria, on the very borders of the iconic Lake District National Park, is an environmentalist's folly too far. By supporting it, Friends of the Earth (FoE) and Greenpeace lose any credibility to be taken seriously as organisations defending our British landscape and environments. Indeed, I now see such organisations as intrinsically dangerous to the true aims of conservation and landscape care.

In the name of an arrogant, ill-thought out, set of dogmas and theologies, these misguided and misinformed souls will sacrifice anything, even landscape beauty, peace and wilderness. And we should never undervalue the importance of 'wilderness' for the long-term psychological health of an increasingly-urban world. People are fully aware that the British landscape is largely a product of human action, but they crave open areas where they can feel the wind free on their face and where there are no overt signs of an industrialised planet.

And anyway, wind farms for what?

Trying to plug Britain's looming energy gap with a proliferation of wind farms is like trying to solve the pensions' crisis by putting a tax on babies' nappies. It stinks.

All 'renewable' sources of energy together contribute but 4% of Britain's energy needs and they will toil to achieve 10%, especially when one takes into account the fact that the wind fraction requires a constant back-up from either fossil fuels or nuclear power. Moreover, the ecological footprint of wind farms is enormous. Environmentalists would tolerate no other industrial development that gobbles up over 150,000 acres of wilderness just to replace one conventional/nuclear power station.

And it is all aeolian ephemerality anyway. The real energy question is how on earth is Britain going to generate its core 93% of energy! The answer, of course, is a mix of clean coal, natural gas, and nuclear power.

With Whinash, the time has come to be counted. This willful despoliation by big energy companies of our last-remaining countryside for effectively no gain would normally be an anathema to any sensible Green and it has to stopped.

The battle cry, 'Say No to Whinash!', must sound throughout the land, from Peter Rabbit (himself) to Melvyn Bragg (for it is he), until we halt the outrageous sacrifice of our heritage.

Whinash is a wind farm too far. I was not angry until now.....

Philip, off for a soothing coffee. Grrrrrrr!

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

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