Toxic Turbines Around The Dark Peak

Today’s blog entry is a tale of two halves. Firstly, a bit more discourse following on from yesterday’s fruit trifle. Bananas and Watermelons nom nom. After dining, let us go on a relaxing drive around the Dark Peak.

As always, now I have a hypothesis, I test it rigorously. These are confusing times we live in, and rather than prolonging the culture wars, I’m much more interested in finding synthesis, common ground and mutually agreeable solutions that work for everyone. But we are where we are, and when it comes to wind turbines it’s a pretty divisive issue. We can’t help but hate them, those of us who do (clearly enough of us to bring the problems of wind power into the Overton Window at last). If Watermelon sounds like an insult, calling myself a Banana is hardly an indication of superiority! I guess I’m saying we’re all fruit fools deep down.

Part of the problems we face are that the old labels of left and right seem, on this issue at least, totally redundant. I know my role models in terms of activism are the Kinder Trespassers, a movement with deep ties to the Manchester Communist Party! Does that make me a Communist? Isn’t being a Watermelon being “Red” (ie Commie) on the inside, so weren’t the Kinder Trespassers the original Watermelons?

It’s tricky, I’m thinking as I type, and maybe the fruit analogies are starting to break down, well biodegrade at least. I like the internal and external locus of control spectrum (and it seems worthwhile to consider it more of a sliding scale rather than a binary choice), and that certainly applies to the EU Referendum. But I don’t think the divide between traditional notions of left and right applies in the age of crony capitalism.

The industrialisation and corporatisation of the Pennine tops goes against everything the Kinder Trespassers stood for. From Ewan MacColl’s “The Manchester Rambler”: “No man has the right to own mountains, any more than the deep ocean bed.” I guess that means no offshore wind farms too.

There’s no longer a clear divide between Thatcherite corporations and the traditional left-wing public sector, in this age of PFI and huge billion dollar Cultural Marxist organisations like Google. Wind power blurs the boundaries even further, with massive global investment banks fronting literally millions of pounds for the construction of huge wind farm schemes, backed not by the Tories or UKIP, but by Friends Of The Earth and the Green Party. What about Labour? Well, we’ll come onto that…

I mentioned the Gorpley Wind Farm planning meeting in a previous entry, and I saw a local farmer reduced to tears at the prospect of three huge towers above his hillside property. As I sat there at the back, three young people in suits were chatting, not really paying attention. They seemed pleasant enough, but disengaged from the conversation. Turns out they were from the PR company sent by Kelda Water to make the half-hearted case for the wind farm. They needn’t have bothered. Interesting that nobody actually employed by Kelda turned up.

Do you ever have that feeling when someone enters the room and the temperature drops? I swear that happened as this strange, aloof man sidled in late and sat at the end of the row. Who on earth is that, I thought? He seemed shifty somehow. All became clear as he spoke, coldly and emotionlessly reading out a pre-prepared speech on behalf of Friends Of The Earth, recommending the wind farm. The rest of the room audibly groaned in disbelief.

We were on tenterhooks waiting for the decision, and then the Leader spoke on behalf of Calderdale Council, with a truly inspirational speech about how they had gone on a site visit that day, and on hearing the birdsong and feeling the amazing high altitude atmosphere, they just could not bring themselves to approve the wind farm. It was rejected unanimously! The farmer was absolutely delighted. I went over, shook his hand and said how happy I was for him. The Friends Of The Earth guy sidled out as quietly as he entered. The PR guys representing Kelda really looked like they couldn’t give a monkeys that they’d been rejected. Worth a shot, at least they got a day out of the office, better luck next time. Try and blag another hilltop in another town next week.

What was also notable, making the local papers and certainly the first time I’d heard of such shenanigans, was the deceitful and duplicitous fashion in which Kelda Water had “astroturfed” support for the wind farm. Yet again, pure Watermelonism! Secret behind-the-scenes operators pulling the strings. Dozens of signatures endorsing the wind farm had been provided to the council, yet it turns out these people had not specifically recommended Gorpley, they had merely been stopped on the street, harrassed with some annoying questions, and probably under duress said they approved of the idea of “clean, green energy”. Which is like saying 99% of UK residents approve of overseas holidays, therefore there must be huge support for building a new airport in the middle of Snowdonia. I’ll wager, too, that if you looked closely at the list of names supposedly supporting the Gorpley wind farm (funny how none of them turned up to the planning meeting), you’d probably find a Mr Donald Duck and a Ms Minnie Mouse in there too…

It’s such a shame Calderdale Council didn’t apply the same incontestable logic to Ovenden Moor’s repowering. I will be devoting a lot of words to Ovenden Moor, but not yet. Today’s travels were south of the Calder, so for today we’ll focus our attentions there. But I just wanted to refer to this classic case of a Watermelon, the Friends Of The Earth guy parachuted into Halifax, totally acting against the wishes of everyone in the community. Had it been his own opinion, passionately argued from the heart, I might have disagreed, but I’d have respected him. However he just seemed like a pawn in a larger game, standing on the same side as an eco-destroying corporation instead of standing with the community to reject the bulldozers. And that’s a Friend Of The Earth!

That’s what makes it confusing and no longer about left vs right. If you listen to Jeremy Corbyn’s brother Piers, another hero of mine (check his website!), Jeremy is totally on board with his anti-Agenda 21 stance, but the Labour party under Ed Miliband took millions in donations from wind energy companies. The waters are murky, so Labour has some serious soul-searching to do about where its loyalties lie. I will never forget Labour’s role in creating the National Parks in the first place, and there is always a part of me that hopes they rediscover that voice representing the right of working people to experience unspoilt nature. I am quietly confident that Jeremy heeds his big brother’s advice on all matters to do with climate change and the environment.

Whereas left-wing Watermelons tend to put their trust in an authoritarian state apparatus over the rights of individual citizens, right-wing Watermelons (I should really give them a different name) put their trust in authoritarian corporations over the rights of individual citizens. Different institutions, but in fact it’s the same psychology: first instincts are always to reach out to that external locus of control. These type of right-wing Watermelons (shall we call them Blueberries?) are the Cameron, Osborne, Hammond set, the uber-corporate friends of big business. To be fair, David Cameron did speak up against wind farms, so he saw the light belatedly.

As always, I don’t mean to insult any of them as people, or even to say they are wrong. I’m merely pointing out that their solutions generally involve outsourcing the locus of control to huge top-down organisations such as the EU (another post-left/right hybrid of old-left social policy and Thatcherite economic liberalism).

I think Theresa May started off more of a Watermelon, but has gradually found her own locus of control, rising to the challenge of Brexit now she’s realised that that’s just the way it is. I give Theresa May the benefit of the doubt as a ripening Banana, a good lady with the country’s best interests at heart, going through something of a personal transformation and spiritual rebirth following her very public ego death earlier in the year. What a narrative, especially if she can hang on and, five years from now, finally win the massive majority she always wanted!

Left-wing Bananas are those mavericks like Kate Hoey, George Galloway, Dennis Skinner, even Tony Benn (RIP), whose socialism retains that local rather than global locus of control. On balance, Jeremy Corbyn is far more in this vein than anyone from the New Labour era. That’s probably why he’s so popular with the public (well, sections of the public).

I may possibly be the only person in Britain who genuinely likes both Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn, and I am confident that, were I to have a ten minute chat with each of them, they would both be on the side of reason regarding wind blight.

THAT’S BECAUSE OPPOSING WIND BLIGHT IS THE RIGHT POLICY FOR BRITAIN.

If you can find a pattern in all the above, good luck to you! The locus of control spectrum is complex and inexact, and we each have different loci according to different issues. So it’s not so much left-wing vs right-wing, more a case of local vs global, and both the UK and the US seem to have now opted for a more localised approach after years of globalist dominance. This effectively puts the kibosh on large-scale, Agenda 21-imposed wind energy projects for the foreseeable future. I won’t say forever, but certainly not in the next few years. Dare I say it, for now, the Bananas have won the wind farm debate in the UK, well England at least. Wales has been stung badly. Scotland is another story altogether…

We just have to deal with the turbines that slipped through the net, to make sure no more pop up, and to take steps to decommission all those that we can prove do more harm than good. We’re working on it.

I drove northwards along Mortimer Road (see the “Royd Moor, Spicer Hill & Hazelhead” entry), and tried the control experiment again. Due to a hazy atmosphere, the impact of the turbines wasn’t as drastic as I’d described it. I hit the A616 and headed towards the Woodhead Pass. The turbines loomed ever nearer, with more and more gradually appearing, and soon I felt my amygdala being assaulted. They really started to dominate the surroundings as I approached the Flouch Roundabout.

It’s always quite exciting heading west onto the Woodhead at this point, my little “eco” car feeling particularly tiny in amongst the relentless stream of trucks that traverse this high altitude pass between South Yorkshire and Manchester. The traffic of the Woodhead Pass (and its western approach through Mottram and Hollingworth) is the subject of a whole blog in itself, one of the most pressing issues for the Peak. Just before the scary corners that send the Woodhead racing over the county line into Derbyshire, I turned right and headed down a long, straight hill towards Dunford Bridge. Ahead of me, as far as the eye could see, I saw the 20+ turbines of the terrible trio. From this angle, the three turbines of Hazelhead stood out most closely. Awful, awful, unacceptable blight of the entire northeast of the Peak. Royd Moor’s turbines look old and outdated now, let’s hope and pray they are not given approval for repowering anytime soon. I’ll certainly be watching like a hawk. At the back, Spicer Hill’s huge turbines completed the diabolical vista.

There was slight relief as I turned left onto the Holmfirth road, with the idyllic, unspoilt moors of the Dark Peak to my left. Even man-made Winscar Reservoir looked beautiful, proving we can be both functional and aesthetically pleasing when we put our minds to it. On hitting the West Yorkshire border, however, another nightmare vision appeared almost instantly. Several large single turbines peppered the approach to Holmfirth, once such a gorgeously situated, remote town, now surrounded on all sides by a ring of steel.

It’s not too much of an exaggeration to say in the last ten years the countryside around Holmfirth has become a no-go area for nature lovers, due entirely to unchecked wind blight. Why would anyone choose to come here for leisure? What a travesty.

Marsden restored my faith. Finally a Pennine town totally unmarred by turbine blight, with the mighty bulwark of Standedge standing high, proud and mercifully uncrowned by blades. Standedge, you made me proud. The people of West Yorkshire don’t know how lucky they are to have you, just the way you are. Long may your unspoilt beauty endure.

I passed Pule Hill and followed the A62 over the summit into Saddleworth, still West Yorkshire but also part of Oldham, which is Lancashire (and kind of Greater Manchester). Confused? I think of Saddleworth as pure Yorkshire, but because it’s so cut off from the nearest big Yorkshire town (Huddersfield), it makes more sense to come under Oldham’s jurisdiction. A long line of pylons more or less marks the traditional Yorkshire-Lancashire boundary, not the most scenic addition to the landscape, but not really that offensive either. It was only after cutting down through Delph and up towards Denshaw that I had a slight amygdala hijack, on seeing the horrible, out of place turbine immediately north of the village. THIS MUST COME DOWN!

I headed out of Denshaw onto the A640 Buckstones Pass, one of my favourite Pennine passes, very light in traffic and offering stunning, stunning views. The road reaches its peak by some rocky outcrops, with a left fork down towards Elland. This is another long, arrow-straight hill which crosses the M62 on the huge Scammonden viaduct. Almost as soon as I turned onto this road, I saw the most repulsive turbine blight so far, three manically spinning dervishes so out of place they made even the motorway look attractive by comparison.

Three “small” wind turbines have a more destructive impact on the landscape than a six-lane motorway.

There was a police roadblock at the viaduct. As it is a notorious suicide spot, with Samaritans notices on the railings, I can only hope the worst hadn’t happened {Edit: I found out later, it had]. I made a U-turn and, by now in the midst of a full amygdala hijack, took the opportunity to capture some footage of the “macabre, sabre-toothed monsters”, complete with appropriate commentary.

A letter to Kirklees council, with a link to the video and this blog, is on my To-Do list for tomorrow.

I will talk more about wind turbines next to motorways and major roads in a future blog. I’ll just sum up today’s entry by saying I spent a lot of time around turbines today, loads and loads of them, and I didn’t like what they did to the landscape one bit. They look unhealthy and alienating, sometimes even demonic (like the ones I caught on film), totally inappropriate in their colour, shape and location, totally harmful to our mental health and well-being.

THEY MUST COME DOWN AND HEADS MUST ROLL.

THERE CAN BE NO ESCAPE FOR WIND SCAMMERS.

THEY MUST GO TO PRISON.

Poor man. The three demonic turbines would have been leering directly at him, watching him fall. The very sight of them gave me an instant amygdala hijack (DOCUMENTED IN REAL TIME). What on earth would such a grimacing vision do to a disturbed mind? http://www.examiner.co.uk/news/yorkshire-news/man-dies-after-falling-m62-13678952

Piers Corbyn’s view of the world, which he says Jeremy shares (and I believe him…brothers know): http://www.weatheraction.com/

Gorpley Wind Farm and a botched attempt at astroturfing: http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/plans-for-400ft-wind-turbines-on-pennine-moorland-should-be-rejected-1-6871936

And here is the strange, aloof man himself. Fascinating to read this in the light of my long essay about Watermelons. This is a textbook example of Watermelon “logic”. I’m not even saying he’s factually wrong, in fact there is some interesting information in there, but it’s all too theoretical and devoid of empathy, which is not how our relationship with Mother Earth should be; emotional resonance is everything! Mr Rae demonstrates the ultimate technocratic approach in his bitter sore-loser rant at the end, in which the world would be just fine if it wasn’t for us thickies and our silly “feelings” getting in the way of cold hard science. He concludes by blaming the Calder floods of 2012 and 2013 on global warming. I BLAME THEM ON TODMORDEN WIND FARM.

Occam’s Razor: which do you think is the simplest explanation for the Calder floods? (A) Global warming caused the icecaps to melt at the North and South Pole, resulting in the oceans rising and a river near Halifax bursting its banks; or (B) cubic tonnes of impermeable concrete dumped all over the moors at the source of the river screwed up the watercourse and overloaded the few remaining channels down the hillside? Oh and by the way, a year after the Gorpley meeting, immediately following the construction of the eleven-turbine Crook Hill Wind Farm on the southern bank of the Calder, even worse floods occurred. But everything to do with climate change and nothing to do with concrete? Riiiight…

http://www.greencalderdale.org.uk/news/calderdale-joins-anti-windfarm-camp/

(I prefer the Ewan MacColl original, but this video has some great imagery that perfectly illustrates the lyrics…still a great version though!)

EDIT: Letter sent to Kirklees Council!

Dear Sir/Madam

Please could you send me copies or links to every planning document pertaining to the 3 high-visibility white wind turbines located on the south side of the M62, just east of Scammonden Reservoir?

I wish to make a formal complaint about the negative impact of these three wind turbines on my safety, health and well-being, and I will be taking further action to enforce the compulsory removal of this toxic blight, with a mandatory 25 year custodial sentence for non-compliance.

I have documented the harmful impact of these turbines on my mental health in the following video and blog. In addition, I have provided a written testimony of the harmful impacts of the wind turbines near Holmfirth on my sense of well-being. From the blog:

“It’s not too much of an exaggeration to say in the last ten years the countryside around Holmfirth has become a no-go area for nature lovers, due entirely to unchecked wind blight. Why would anyone choose to come here for leisure? What a travesty.”

Please provide all the relevant documentation for the wind turbines next to the M62 so I can commence legal proceedings against the operator. I will enquire further about the remainder of the turbines once I have successfully enforced the removal of the three at Scammonden.

Kind regards

**Mr Peak Protection** (real name and address provided, as always)

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