No response as yet from Wakefield Council [**a response came promptly after this post, see the edit at the end of the previous post**], and reading through my amygdala-hijacked rants of six months ago, I realise what a nutter I must have seemed. Maybe this blog is helping me shift towards a more neocortex-based communication style. But the anger is real, and it needs expressing. After all, as John Lydon reminded us, “Anger is an energy”, and it’s certainly as plentiful and renewable as the wind! If only we could turn anger into electricity…
Just as punk metamorphosed into post-punk, the intitial thunderstorm of raw anger soon giving birth to a brand new mainstream, so our instinctive anger about wind blight needs to be culturally transformative; it needs to continue on the journey to its logical destination, which is, believe it or not, peace. I don’t have a personal problem with anyone with whom I engage in discourse; sure, I initially come in like a barking mad Sergeant Major yelling at a recalcitrant cadet, to wake them out of their bureaucratic slumber and rote assumptions that we all just love fluffy wind turbines.
But then, if they bite, which they mostly do, I start to take them by surprise, when I show that my angry prose is effectively a DEMONSTRATION, a piece of self-aware performance art, almost like a punk song. My reason for starting my official comms in this way is my essential belief that, on a human level, almost everyone I deal with is a good person who genuinely has no idea of the emotional impact of the policies they enact, day in, day out.
Maybe my approach has been borne out of the fact that often it’s the squeaky wheel that gets the oil. Our politicians and councillors need to be made aware of the emotional impact of the decisions they make. You see it with IT – you don’t need me to tell you what broken computers do to people’s emotional temperature! And in particular we as technicians and engineers should never forget this. We should not be technocrats; we are first and foremost here for service delivery. If the customers don’t like the way we provide our service, then we either change our model to better satisfy them, or else we go out of business. End of. We don’t expect to continue inflicting shitty service on people who constantly tell us how much it’s making their life hell.
If me failing in my IT job results in someone crying (due to lost work, missed deadlines etc), then I need to acknowledge the lack of service delivery, and analyse what process failure triggered their negative emotions. There WILL have been a process failure. People don’t just get upset for no reason. If I can reassure them, and resolve whatever has affected their wellbeing, then that should be my first, second and third priority.
You can think of this blog (weblog) as like an IT error log. Calling me names, insulting me, or even claiming I work for an oil company (as one deluded fool once did, which shows how much they know), simply for writing down the impact of wind turbines on my mental processes, is like shouting at a computer for keeping an event log. It’s just a journal, which is what journalism is all about, tracking what happened, where, when, to whom, and with what impact.
There may come a time, weeks or months from now, in which troubleshooting some wind turbine-related emergency will be made easier by referring back to the log of events immediately prior to the catastrophe. And I would say there’s at least a 50% chance of some major wind turbine related disaster happening within my lifetime. My money is on a loose turbine blade flying onto a motorway and causing a multi-vehicle pile up, or possibly an Aberfan-style landslide caused by inappropriate construction on a mountain. A bit like the Derrybrien Peat Slide, only with deaths. I hate to be morbid, but that’s why I blog. I get bad thoughts and feelings from wind turbines; nobody listens when you try and express it amongst urban “intellectuals” (haha); so, just as the Grenfell residents must have concluded, having had their fears fall on deaf ears for months, what’s left but to keep a blog?
In fact, working in IT has been of the essence in understanding wind blight and exactly how we need to identify and patch the security vulnerabilities in our eco*SYSTEM*; if any IT Group Policy was set up and administered in such a haphazard, illogical and ignorant way as Wind Turbine Planning Policy, the whole network topology would very quickly be overrun by scammers, malware and Trojan Horses. Ahem…
The topology of Barnsley could do with some Turbine AVG. I have such a soft spot for Barnsley. Maybe it started with Kes. Alexei Sayle’s immortal “‘Ullo John Gotta New Motor” features the all-time classic gibberish line: “‘E lost ‘is bottle in Barnsley, ‘e lost ‘is bottle in Barnsley”! If you’re ever in the town centre, be sure to visit the lovely Cooper Gallery, a beautiful place of artistic inspiration 🙂
The borough of Barnsley stretches way out into the Dark Peak, reaching its highest point at Howden Edge, over 500m above sea level. More about the Peak later. I can’t believe I’ve not mentioned it yet. Oh, I will. In detail. Great detail… All in good time though.
I turned off the M1 just after Wooley Edge and meandered through some of Barnsley’s gorgeous Pennine foothill countryside, via the stunning village of High Hoyland and the immaculate grounds of Cannon Hall.
I turned right onto the A635, one of the most epic roads of the North, and one that will give any Southerner a real appreciation for the variety of landscapes up here, nice and not so nice. The road actually wends its way from Doncaster to Manchester, via Barnsley, Holmfirth, Saddleworth Moor (the dramatic Isle Of Skye Road), Stalybridge and Ashton-under-Lyne. I’d have loved to have carried on over the tops, but in the event I barely scraped half a mile, before forking off left onto South Lane.
To my left, down near the urban area, and far too near to high density housing for comfort, I saw three toxic-looking wind turbines, gleaming artificially and disfiguring the skyline.
To my right, I saw the first full-on industrial wind farm since starting this blog. Well, three of them. Impossible to tell where each one ends and the next one begins. Spicer Hill, Royd Moor and the utterly horrendous Hazelhead.
It’s late, and I think these three abominations of wind farms deserve a fresh round of intellectual ammo, but I just wanted to introduce these monstrous eyesores, the towering wall of steel that now stands between Barnsley and the Peak. Poor, poor Barnsley.
At the top of South Lane I joined another great Trans-North road, the A629, one of very few to pass through South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire and North Yorkshire as it makes its way from Rotherham to Skipton, via Huddersfield, Halifax and Keighley. The section I travelled, southwards towards Wortley, offers an incredible panorama over vast swathes of Yorkshire. At the A616 junction, I turned off onto Woodhead Road, which climbs even higher, reaching its pinnacle just north of Greno Woods.
If you’re sceptical about the extent of wind turbine impact, get yourself up to Woodhead Road and look down on the surrounding countryside. It is still an amazing, gobsmacking view, possibly stretching a hundred miles left to right, but you’ll see for yourself just how gauchely the wind turbines stand out.
In my opinion, they have a more negative visual impact than even the coal-fired power stations!