The Future Leader Of The Green Party

 

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If I’m directing this blog at anyone in particular, it’s the future leader of the Green Party. Whoever that might be…

The future leader of the Green Party will be a very special person indeed. Can you think of a more important role, to ensure the conservation and protection of the UK’s green and pleasant countryside, than its official spokesperson in Parliament?

The health and wellbeing of Britain’s countryside is an indicator of the health and wellbeing of our population as a whole. Our Green Belts are often described as the “lungs” of our cities – the source of our fresh air, food and water, and a vital recreational, recuperative resource that directly contributes to our health and happiness. Screw up the countryside and you screw up the adjacent cities. Prioritise the well-being of the countryside, however, and the surrounding population will soon feel the benefits.

This is just the voice of nature, no dispute really. And if the Green Party truly wants to represent the voice of nature, then Items 1-999 on its manifesto will relate to the conservation of our countryside, at pretty much all costs. Items 1000- onwards can possibly pertain to other social issues, but only once the survival of our natural habitats has been guaranteed.

The Green Party’s continued unconditional support for wind power schemes, with their proven negative environmental and psychological impact (http://en.friends-against-wind.org/health/impact-of-wind-turbines-on-suicide), indicates that under its present leadership the party has become corrupted with tainted money. Bought and paid for by international banking syndicates looking for a fig-leaf, to make it almost socially unacceptable to oppose their “clean, green energy” BS. It’s called “greenwashing”, it’s a known phenomenon.

As I said in a previous entry, when it actually mattered most, the Green Party sided with the bulldozers, lending a veneer of eco-credentials to the Turbine Mafia, steamrollering their way over our unspoilt moors with their terrifying Weapons of Moss Destruction. On this issue at least, it’s the Tories and UKIP who are siding with nature and humanity, and the Green Party siding with the global investment banks.

If that shocks you, then you need to do some research, fast, into what on earth has gone so wrong with the Green Party that EVEN THE TORIES have better environmental policies than the Greens.

Don’t think that’s going to make me vote Tory by the way – they’re merely acting the way anyone with half a brain would do when confronted with a scam as egregious as wind energy. But all across the North Midlands, South Pennines and Southern Scotland, formerly safe Labour or SNP seats swung blue in the last couple of General Elections, indicating to me that opposing wind blight is now becoming an important factor in electoral success.

The Labour Party coming out firmly and unambiguously against wind blight would be as significant a shift as Tony Blair’s “Clause IV” moment. Come on Jeremy, even your own brother campaigns vociferously against Agenda 21, and he says at heart you feel the same. Speak out and win the next election by a landslide!

Seeing how the Tories and UKIP have taken the lead in starting to campaign against wind blight has been something of a reality check as to just how disastrously the other parties have lost the plot when it comes to the conservation of our countryside. Most upsetting is that the protection of our moors and uplands from HGVs and bulldozers should be the natural impulse of the Green Party. It’s almost as if Joni Mitchell never wrote “Big Yellow Taxi”; with a few notable exceptions, the party has revealed itself to be totally apathetic to the eco-destruction of our wild natural spaces for profit.

The appalling Rampion Wind Farm off the coast of Brighton, blighting the South Downs National Park for over a hundred miles, really is the final nail in the coffin of the Green Party’s reputation as a serious environmental organisation. RIP Green Party. RIP Brighton. RIP the old ways of doing things.

Still… where there is death, there is rebirth.

And where the field lies fallow, that’s precisely where we should be planting the seeds of future growth, development and success 🙂

If, hypothetically speaking, one was to groom potential candidates for the leadership of the Green Party, what personal qualities would one look for, and how would one wish to help prepare them for the role, should they choose to accept it?

Step One is to ensure that the Green Party fundamentally remains a party of geography. Detailed knowledge of the geography of the UK is the sine qua non of environmentalism, as I have said repeatedly over these pages. Every Green Party activist needs to know the lie of the land, they need to know from memory how our hills and rivers link up, in order to truly understand how we came to live where we live and how we interact with our landforms. So many social problems of today stem from the geographical characteristics of the environment.

A deeper knowledge of geography would help the Green Party figure out that sticking dozens of industrial wind turbines over the high moors from which rise the Rivers Irwell and Calder might just possibly increase the likelihood and severity of flooding!

Tied in with a love and passion for geography should be appreciation for and dedication to the spirit of the National Parks, because these places represent the Green idyll, and anything that has a negative impact on the National Parks is clearly against everything the Green Party should stand for.

My own journey into environmentalism started with my Geography A-Level coursework, which involved a trip to Mam Tor and my first real academic research into the geography of the Peak.

I WAS ONLY 16! The Peak Vibe has stuck with me ever since. In fact, that Geography project seems strangely recent, like it’s much more prominent in my memory than anything else from that era. It almost seems like yesterday I was throwing quadrats over the hillsides and counting the daisies in each square metre!

Our National Parks are where the physical geography of the UK meets up with our social history. I’ve already discussed the Kinder Trespass, and I really can’t emphasise just how important this movement was in paving the way for the creation of the National Parks. Another old comment I’d like to recycle (to save people having to trawl through dozens of previous entries): whatever problems the Labour Party has had under Blair, Brown and Miliband, once upon a time it was the party of working class outdoor pursuits. I am hopeful Jeremy Corbyn is as committed to the principle of the National Parks as his political ancestors.

So our future leader of the Green Party must be rooted in geographical knowledge and the need to conserve our National Parks. These founding principles will underpin every subsequent decision they make – is a policy in keeping with the nature of the geographic world, and does it help conserve our National Parks? If not, then it’s not a policy the Green Party should have anything to do with!

I’ve said this before (something of a Greatest Hits entry this, but good to get these salient points all linked together in one post): honesty and integrity are also crucial for the Green Party to separate itself from the more mainstream options. If the Green Party isn’t dedicated to honesty, then it’s absolutely unfit for purpose. There is simply no room whatsoever for any kind of untruth or deception within the environmental movement. The harm done to environmental causes through being associated with untrustworthiness is immense.

Dogma and hidden agendas are enemies of truth, especially when it comes to the murky world of renewable energy. Nothing is as it seems. This is why we should go back to basics, back to the 70s Green slogan “Small is beautiful” (tell that to the turbine operators!), and away from crony capitalism and Cultural Marxism. Free and open debate and discourse are better for the environment than a movement based on people being afraid to speak out for fear of not seeming adequately “progressive”.

I sometimes feel embarrassed to speak out against wind blight because it’s not an “approved” Green position. Stop and think through the implications of this for a second: if saying all the right things is all that it takes to be considered Green, just consider how easy it becomes for a bad person to abuse the Green ideal, simply by “talking the talk” rather than “walking the walk”. I call these people Dishonest Bananas, and they’re basically scammers who take advantage of people’s good nature by telling them what they want to hear. This has happened on a global scale with the endless repetition of the “clean, green energy” mantra, to the point where calling out wind blight is commonly seen as being opposed to clean, green energy.

NO! It’s simply saying that wind energy is neither as clean or green as it claims to be, and if the Green Party was all about honesty, geography and conserving the countryside at all costs, it would have no problem in calling this out.

The future leader of the Green Party will be no more dogmatically attached to wind turbines than they are to typewriters. If a technology is obsolete and outdated, and superior alternatives are available, then the genuinely environmentally friendly course of action is to just tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, rather than continue to promote failed wind power with dubious claims and bogus support.

This brings me on to the next radical break with the past the future leader of the Green Party needs to make.

Enough with the Climate Change crap already!

Climate change is a symptom, not the root of the problem. Having a War on Climate Change will probably go as well as the War on Terror and the War on Drugs. The Green Party needs to stop scaring the bejesus out of everyone with its apocalyptic nightmarish visions of the world going up in flames. What on earth does all this nihilism do to the mental health of its members? Bad decisions will be made in a panic, so far better to take a deep breath, go for a long ramble, and critically think about ways in which we can sort out the issues associated with wind energy.

All this needs to be part of a much wider engagement with the environment – it’s not just about CO2, it’s about all the other ways we destroy the planet, such as industrialising mountains and killing whales. A much more rounded discourse is needed, not just splattering climate change sceptics or ridiculing those with genuine concerns about the impact of wind turbines on their health and wellbeing.

I know from my correspondence with the Green candidate for Rossendale, that there are indeed members of the party who truly believe in wind energy. They need to take responsibility for policing the industry, and they need to be aware that simply believing in a concept does not automatically grant immunity to those who let down the cause. Believing in the concept of the police does not equate to approving of police brutality; believing in localism does not equate to endorsing xenophobia. Critical thinking once again… separate the wheat from the chaff, analyse what works and what doesn’t, be open and honest about what requires improvement.

All parties do this in order to adapt, evolve and survive. Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party has moved on from Blairite policies; the Tories have moved on from Thatcherism. No party today has the same policies as it had a couple of decades ago. The Greens should be no exception – it’s not still 1992!

Well, I hope this gives some pointers and good constructive advice for anyone reading who is considering standing as leader of the Green Party. We need a great Green Party, the environmental conscience of Westminster. I would love to vote Green, and with the right leader and the right policies, I would vote Green tomorrow!

Wind energy is the Achilles Heel of the Green Party, however, and I for one will continue to campaign until the problems with wind energy generation take centre stage in Green Party discourse! It will take real leadership and true passion for the geography of Britain to transform the party into one genuinely concerned about the best interests of our green and pleasant land.

There are future leaders of the Green Party out there with the intellect and empathy required to restore some natural equilibrium to the environmentalist movement, I know this for a fact. Although the mistakes the party made in the past made me angry, and the lack of concern for the health and wellbeing of wind victims made me upset, I am confident that the next incarnation of the Green Party will be smart and compassionate enough to learn from these mistakes and to reconnect with the voice of nature: ECO not EGO 🙂

When they return to nature, I’ll give them my vote!

COURSEWORK FOR ASPIRING GREEN LEADERS: READ “SMALL IS BEAUTIFUL”!!!

“Socialists should insist on using the nationalised industries not simply to out-capitalise the capitalists – an attempt in which they may or may not succeed – but to evolve a more democratic and dignified system of industrial administration, a more humane employment of machinery, and a more intelligent utilization of the fruits of human ingenuity and effort. If they can do this, they have the future in their hands. If they cannot, they have nothing to offer that is worthy of the sweat of free-born men.”

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2011/nov/10/small-is-beautiful-economic-idea

BEWARE THE GREENWASH! 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenwashing

“Put it this way, he’d rather say nothing and carry on getting support from various greenies.” Well that’s not very honest, is it Jeremy? Be like me, an Honest Banana: if you think they’re misguided, set them straight!

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/is-jeremy-corbyn-a-climate-change-sceptic-his-brother-suggests-he-could-be-a6760346.html

Here’s the Green Party’s official energy policy statement. There’s not a lot I’d argue with in there, so it’s just about ensuring compliance with these fine aims, and calling out those projects that fail to live up to the hype. Most wind schemes breach several of these targets, eg “3. Ensure secure, reliable and resilient energy supply.” Well, can we rely on the wind? Exactly how resilient is our wind energy supply when the wind stops blowing???

Don your Critical Thinking Cap, do your research, and separate the Heroes from the Zeroes!

https://policy.greenparty.org.uk/ey.html

“A fraud promulgated by fools based on a fantasy” – so is the Green Party dishonest or merely stupid in its support for wind energy? Either way, the party needs a reboot – out with the old, in with the new. Less dogma and deception, more nature and truth please!

https://stopthesethings.com/2017/11/01/wind-power-a-fraud-promulgated-by-fools-based-on-a-fantasy/

Just in case you missed it above, here’s that Smoking Gun once again: WIND FARMS CAUSE SUICIDES. ***SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN*** 

http://en.friends-against-wind.org/health/impact-of-wind-turbines-on-suicide

EDIT: SOME BREAKING NEWS!!!!

I can’t wait a whole blog entry for this. Remember a couple of weeks ago I informed Kirklees Council that any useless turbines would be recommended for destruction? I WARNED YOU VERY CLEARLY AND UNAMBIGUOUSLY THIS WOULD HAPPEN!

When will you start listening to the voice of nature, Kirklees Council??? This is why I send emails, take videos and write blogs…. This was the scene at the Scammonden suicide blackspot yesterday. I posted a video message from here just a couple of weeks ago.

THIS IS THE REALITY OF “SECURE, RELIABLE & RESILIENT” WIND ENERGY.

WAKE UP!!!

 

 

 

A Practical Solution: The Turbine Traffic Light Scheme

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To everybody who thinks this blog is one long moan, and in answer to the age-old question I get in forums: “OK, what would YOU do then, if you’re so clever?”:

I do indeed have some great solutions to the problem of turbine torture.

Maybe I should jump ship and get a job with the Planning Inspectorate. Boy could they do with me in charge. Heads would roll for the mistakes made over the last decade; there would be a root-and-branch overhaul of the basic training received by inspectors (including compulsory cartographical exams – if they can’t hand-draw from memory a map of the hills, mountains, rivers and settlements of the UK, then they’re simply not knowledgeable enough to have a valid opinion on planning policy).

There’d also be much more emphasis on understanding the UK’s social history as it relates to matters of conservation; far more engagement with the public, more of an “open source” approach to the inner workings of the Planning Inspectorate, encouraging all citizens to contribute to the nation’s knowledge base and to actively feel part of the planning process, rather than having to stand back and let people with less geographical knowledge make important decisions on their behalf. At all times there’d be a culture of Kaizen, the Japanese approach to total quality management and continuous process improvement, in which feedback and new information is ALWAYS welcomed and incorporated, rather than resented and obstructed with a haughty “We know best” attitude.

NO, PLANNING INSPECTORATE, YOU DON’T KNOW BEST. I BLATANTLY KNOW FAR MORE ABOUT THE GEOGRAPHY OF THE PENNINES THAN YOU.

I KNOW FAR MORE ABOUT THE IMPACT OF INAPPROPRIATE WIND BLIGHT ON MY NATURAL HABITAT THAN YOUR INSPECTORS WILL EVER UNDERSTAND.

UNTIL YOU START LISTENING AND LEARNING FROM PEOPLE LIKE ME AND MY WIND WARRIOR FRIENDS, YOU WILL CONTINUE TO BE CONSIDERED PART OF THE PROBLEM, NOT THE SOLUTION.

Let’s hope Scout Moor marks a new era. I’m glad you made the right decision. Better late than never.

If I was in charge of the Planning Inspectorate, above all there would be a ZERO TOLERANCE policy to any kind of gratuitous eco-destruction whatsoever. The Planning Inspectorate would start off pure BANANA in its mentality towards wind turbines: Build Absolutely None Anywhere Near Anyone. This is clearly and unambiguously the best policy for the environment: zero building equals zero carbon footprint. Therefore refusing all turbines would be the default position of the Planning Inspectorate. If someone brave wants to chance their arm on a wind turbine proposal, they would have dozens of stringent hoops to jump through before even beginning to get planning permission.

We are where we are, however, and sadly the Planning Inspectorate was corrupted for a decade, using flawed processes open to abuse and malpractice. The inspectors I’ve named and shamed, Robin Brooks, Brendan Lyons and George Baird, ARE guilty of eco-vandalism (not a libellous allegation, but a proven scientific fact) because they each made a personal decision to allow our National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty to be degraded for profit.

You can argue the toss of whether they broke the law in any way (I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and say their decisions were lawful, if unethical), but the end result is undeniable: these were the individuals who could have said “NO!” to the bulldozers, they were entrusted with the personal authority to uphold the will of the councils that had already rejected the applications; they were legally empowered to reinforce the view of the communities that each scheme was unacceptable. Instead they chose to allow the imposition of horrible wind blight on the public, against their will and without their consent.

Thankfully, having learned from my training materials, the Planning Inspectorate finally called it right with their rejection of the Scout Moor expansion. Good stuff, and credit where credit’s due. Maybe things have changed now, in which case it’s just the legacy issues that need resolving.

It’s only because of the mess left by the Inspectors, and those who hadn’t trained them properly, that we now need a remedial solution, and I have one. I present my Turbine Traffic Light Scheme. I’m drawing inspiration from my day job (remember, I work for a huge and globally popular corporation, so my ideas aren’t just back-of-a-fag packet, they’re based on seeing what successful people do). Every 90 days I carry out a full IT Health Check at various sites. I turn up, I clean and maintain every single piece of kit onsite, I audit software and hardware and work with the client to evaluate the performance of every device. Should I unearth an issue with an item, I log it and assess the viability of repairing it or replacing it. Once I’ve left a site, I know exactly what equipment is there, what state it’s in, and what needs doing to make any necessary improvements.

We talk about domains in IT, a collection of devices belonging to an organisational unit. We could say local councils are domains, and so every wind turbine within a council’s boundaries could be seen as a computer on the network. Step one is to draw up the complete inventory for every council. There is no reason on earth why this information shouldn’t be in the public “domain”: every resident of the UK should be able to Google “list of wind turbines in Kirklees” and find definitive, up-to-date information.

No IT Department in the world would allow unaccounted-for computers loose onto the domain, and it should be the same with wind turbines, they should all be registered and itemised, maybe even giving them an “asset tag” (eg KIRKWT0856), like a car number plate. These should be displayed on the turbines, but their main use is in quantifying the performance metrics of each turbine.

What sort of data is in the public interest, and should be added to our inventory? Well, obvious things such as the date of construction, the end date of the contract, the owner’s name, the financial arrangements, the capacity factor of each turbine, the carbon footprint of construction, the CO2 emissions offset so far, the expected date after which each turbine will have saved all the CO2 it took to construct and maintain it. Can you think of any others? This could all be stored in an Excel spreadsheet.

Once we have all the data, we as a society have to look at what we want our service level agreements to be, and what our penalties should be for non-compliance. If a turbine only offsets the CO2 it took to build it nineteen years into a twenty year contract, is that really acceptable? Is nineteen years of psychological harm to people worth it, merely in order to lower CO2 emissions slightly for a few months in two decades time? Would it not be better to hold fire and wait a few years till we can do it more efficiently and less environmentally destructively? All that money going towards inefficient turbines, would it be better invested into R&D for better technologies? We will only know once we have the data available.

The final step of the audit is the Turbine Traffic Light Scheme. I should be able to look at every turbine in a borough and immediately see which ones are performing at a satisfactory level, and which ones are underperforming. We also need to factor in visual impact and the views of the public. If a member of public complains about a turbine, then this will be quantified as a negative reaction.

(There’s no point in recording positive reactions, as knowing the wind companies, they would just astroturf bogus support, whereas I cannot foresee a single person making false complaints about turbines, ergo all complaints will be genuine. Who would make a bogus complaint about a wind turbine, and why? Nobody makes money from opposing turbines, and if someone is motivated by not wanting their home depreciated by wind blight, that’s a perfectly valid reason that should be recognised! The best compliment that could be paid of a wind turbine is that not a single person has complained about it.)

Those turbines that both perform according to the terms of the SLA and have an acceptably low number of complaints would be permitted, on one condition: the turbines would have to be repainted dark green, in keeping with the landscapes and much more blended in to the countryside. Green turbines would be a mark of honour – they would have gone through the audit and proved themselves to be genuinely good for the environment.

Whereas red turbines….these are the ones that have failed, ones that have breached the SLA and had too many complaints from the public. They are basically condemned, dead men walking, and should be scheduled for demolition. Is it worth painting them red if they are to be destructed anyway? Well, maybe we give the operators a choice: six months in the red with a final chance to prove themselves, in which case they can ultimately go green, or else give up right now, admit defeat and take the turbines down without the need to splash out on red paint!

We could possibly have an amber stage, those turbines that haven’t been tested yet or still have work to do to meet all their targets. Ones that aren’t out-and-out failures, but equally haven’t emphatically proved themselves.

Even within a large wind farm, every turbine needs assessing individually. It might be that only two or three out of an eleven turbine array are doing anything, in which case they would get the green paint, and the rest would get the red treatment!

What my Turbine Traffic Light Scheme would do would be to give turbine operators an incentive to up their game and earn genuine approval based on achieved performance rather than simply hopes and promises. It would also stigmatise rogue operators, whose red turbines would immediately stand out as having failed to prove themselves. I would hope that sensible people would rather remove their red turbines than leave them standing as a record of failure!

Well, it’s just an idea to get the ball rolling. The important point is now that I’m starting to form syntheses, refinements of my still-dominant BANANA thesis that also take into account the idea that it might just feasibly be possible to do wind well. I’m doubtful that many turbines in the UK would achieve green paint status, but I’d be prepared to give them a chance to prove their abilities.

Just as long as we stop rewarding failure!

EDIT: My introduction to Kaizen was, like all my other discoveries, based on serendipity. I worked on a short contract installing display systems for hybrid cars at Toyota dealers across the North. “What a great, well-run operation”, I observed. Further research into Toyota’s workflow processes revealed that the company’s methodologies are rooted in Kaizen philosophy. https://lifehacker.com/get-better-at-getting-better-the-kaizen-productivity-p-1672205148

I Was Born On A Marilyn

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Good old serendipity. It’s one of the buzzwords of this blog that keeps cropping up over and over again, along with terms such as “toxic”, “torture”, “greed”, “eco-vandals”, “Watermelons” and “Rossendale Council”…

Serendipity has been very good to me this week, and real-life has swirled around MindWind as organically as the winds that swirl around the Campsie Fells. If this blog is something of a turbine itself, transforming the destructive force of the wind scammers into a positive, constructive energy that can help humanity, well this week’s weather has resembled Hurricane Ophelia: a gentle breeze of conversation whipping up into a fierce storm, before easing back down again.

So much has happened this week in terms of experiencing wind blight, writing about it, discussing the points raised, and then using the discussion to further develop the blog. It’s definitely sustainable, that’s for sure!

Just stop me if ever I start plastering my blog all over people’s newsfeeds, whether they want to read it or not. Call me out if ever I promote my blog with lies and distortions of the truth, making loads and loads of money from gratuitously upsetting people (whilst also getting paid “constraints”, even if I don’t write a single word!).

The entry about the SNP is my first really successful blog entry, and an introduction to how the blogosphere works. Now it’s out there in circulation, it’s taken on a life of its own, circulating the globe and hopefully providing support for wind victims the world over. 100% positive feedback so far, not a single word of criticism for the points made, If by any chance anyone is reading and finds something to dispute, please, please get in touch. This website isn’t about one-way propaganda, it’s about free and open discourse that encourages everyone to chip in with useful information that can add to our collective knowledge base. Don’t let my snarling invective put you off! A dog’s bark is always worse than its bite. And anyway, dogs mostly bark in order to alert you to some kind of imminent danger.

It’s at this point I should explain, just in case anyone hadn’t noticed the stylistic trimmings yet, that I am a graduate of one of the finest Journalism courses in the land. At the time I underperformed, getting only a 2:2 (a “wind turbine” degree: I had the capacity to get a First but only delivered a fraction of what was expected of me); looking back, however, my excellent tutors certainly instilled in me some of the fundamentals of great Journalism: how to ask the right questions, how to see through PR puff pieces, how to fact-check EVERYTHING…

These blogs are what is called in the trade “think pieces” (more technically, “opinion-editorials” or “op-eds”), and their point is to make you think, to tell you stuff you didn’t already know. To be challenging, troubling and thought-provoking, whilst hopefully, like all my journalistic role models, raising a naughty laugh every now and then. We wind victims need to find humour in amongst all the eco-destruction of our homelands.

The internet has been an amazing help in allowing readers to continue the discussion where the op-eds leave off, and I hope you all know just how much I actively encourage you to use these pieces as a springboard for your own research and debate. As a thought-experiment, look for some pro-wind websites that express the opposite viewpoint to mine, and see how much they encourage you to have your say. Anyone who seems to be denying you a voice would appear to have something to hide. You see it a lot with the Guardian’s website (formerly “Comment Is Free”). If there’s no comment section beneath an article, you can probably call BS on its contents. Comments are the journalistic version of science: peer-review.

I’ve noticed a total silence from the councils and politicians I’ve contacted this week. Let’s apply some Socratic Questioning.

LEEDS, HARROGATE, BRADFORD, CALDERDALE, ROCHDALE, ROSSENDALE, PENDLE & SOUTH LAKELAND… WHY NO REPLY???

Only Wakefield have been consistently on-the-ball, polite, informative, empathetic. Superb stuff!

Kirklees do tend to reply, after a fashion, although with zero enthusiasm for looking into the problems reported. Still, they have said they’re investigating the blatant case of a planning proposal for one small turbine having nothing in common with the three large turbines actually erected, so I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt for now and hold fire until I receive more information.

All in all though, it really seems like councils can’t be arsed to do anything to stop wind blight, despite the fact that I’m alerting them to a universal problem that is experienced all over the world. WHY DON’T THEY RESPOND???

Again I feel I’m talking to myself, and I really want to know why. What is the reason the councils have for not engaging with the letters I write to them? Is it that they’re not receiving them for some reason? Is it that they’re reading them and don’t think they’re worthy of a response? Or that they don’t know how to respond? Why can’t you people just talk like normal humans and simply answer the questions asked of you? Why the silence???

How come if someone reported a broken bus shelter or “hate speech” (like calling someone “luv”, no doubt), you Councils would be instantly on the case; but the minute someone reports crimes of eco-destruction on an industrial scale, all they get from the Councils is a total tumbleweed moment?

WHY???

What is it about wind turbines that makes people in authority just clam up and suddenly go all non-responsive? How come you never get straight, plain English answers? You have to prod and prod, pester and pester people for even a single sentence.

WHY???

And these are simple, basic, everyday questions that we shouldn’t even have to ask – we should be able to find all this stuff out at the click of a mouse. What is the specific purpose of each turbine? What are the service level agreements in place? What are the financial arrangements? What are the penalties if a turbine doesn’t meet its electricity generation claims? How can the public monitor the performance of each turbine and report those that don’t have any environmental benefit? What measures are available to make an official complaint about any inappropriate turbines?

You see what I mean? Just common or garden questions that you’d expect to be asked of every school, every hospital, every transport network in the land. What is it that makes wind turbines so different? Why won’t anybody provide simple answers to these simple questions?

WHY???

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It feels like the Devil himself – or maybe just Common Purpose (http://www.cpexposed.com/about-common-purpose) – has taken over the hearts and minds of vast swathes of our bureaucracies, and nobody is speaking up! I have only ever had ONE solitary soulful, empathetic, engaged, intellectually honest response from a wind supporter, and that was the Green Party guy I corresponded with, whose awesome reply I posted a few weeks ago. He was quite literally the ONLY person I have ever known, in my entire life, to make a passionate case from the bottom of his heart about why he felt we needed wind turbines. He was  sympathetic to the disfigurement of the landscape they cause, he talked to me like a human, he was happy to bat my points back and forth like a proper discourse. We ultimately agreed to disagree, but I think you’d have to say there was a lot of mutual respect there.

WHY IS IT SO HARD TO HAVE A TWO-WAY DIALOGUE WITH THE AUTHORITIES ABOUT WIND BLIGHT?

EVEN IF I DISAGREE WITH PEOPLE, I RESPECT THEM FAR MORE FOR ENGAGING IN A DISCOURSE THAN JUST SHYING AWAY FROM IT!

http://peak-productions.co.uk/PPF%20CASE%20AGAINST%20WIND%20TURBINES_FAO%20PLANNING%20INSPECTORATE.pdf

This is the document I lovingly prepared for the Planning Inspectorate – a fact-filled set of case studies that took hours of my own free time, travel, fieldwork and research to present them with a review of all the mistakes their inspectors Brendan Lyons, Robin Brooks and George Baird had made, possibly deliberately or under some kind of duress. I volunteered to travel down to Bristol for a chat in the Planning Inspectorate’s offices. I love talking to people. I love conversation and debate and discussion, systematically working through disagreements and coming up with a mutually beneficial win-win synthesis. Yet they didn’t want to know. Their replies didn’t answer my questions, other than to say they’d destroyed the paperwork so couldn’t provide any more information about the locations they’d visited to carry out their demonstrably inaccurate Environmental Impact Assessments.

All in all, the Planning Inspectorate provided me with nothing but the cold, emotionless, passive-aggressive, scripted auto-responses of someone advised by their lawyer that anything they say might be used in evidence against them, so best say nothing.

I believe the basic tenet of my complaint was fair and reasonable. Scout Moor’s expansion was rejected by Planning Inspectors for eminently sensible reasons. So they obviously get it now, having clearly taken on board my points. But over the last decade they’d already allowed dozens and dozens of inappropriate wind turbines that had been rejected by local councils. What changed? And if they’re now refusing wind farm schemes, why did they previously allow equally destructive ones to slip through? Even David Cameron announced that the public were fed up with wind farms, implying strongly that too many inappropriate ones had been approved, which were now starting to have a negative psychological impact on the public.

Surely in terms of process, there had been a major error in Planning Policy over the last ten years. Would the Planning Inspectorate like to discuss the process failure and work with me to rectify some of their worst mistakes?

Their replies made no sense, and were bordering on offensive and personally disrespectful, bearing in mind I pay these people, with my taxes, to do what I tell them to do.

SO WHY IS IT SO HARD TO HAVE A GENUINE CONVERSATION WITH THE AUTHORITIES ABOUT WIND BLIGHT?

WHAT ARE THEY SO SCARED OF???

Here, look, you’re all invited to my house for a cuppa. Every single person reading this is welcome, just send a comment and I’ll invite you over for a coffee, a cake and a natter about wind energy and its impact! Why aren’t all the people who inflict wind turbines on us equally as open, hospitable and willing to have a normal, adult conversation about their policies?

WHY???

To wrap things up for now, a couple of more light-hearted points. Firstly, in doing some research about the Marilyns of the UK, I discovered that my home town is actually a Marilyn! The hospital I was born in lies just a few metres below the summit, which is actually in someone’s back garden. Hills come in all shapes and sizes, and this one is a whole town, Crowborough in East Sussex.

So when I say wind turbines screw up my natural habitat, it’s because I was literally born on a Marilyn!

Crowborough: http://www.hill-bagging.co.uk/mountaindetails.php?rf=2913

And finally, I believe at last I’ve found a genuine LIME. Thank you Mary for pointing me in this direction 🙂 Remember, a Lime is someone truly Green on the inside, someone with an internal locus of control, who really does believe in wind power, who takes full responsibility for the success or failure of their wind projects, and who isn’t doing it to make profit or degrade the countryside. I’d like to introduce this inspiring gentleman, just to prove that I really am receptive to those who can “do wind well”.

It can be done!

The SNP: Making English Eco-Vandals Look Like Amateurs

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In the last few hours I have received 63 likes (and climbing), plus 13 shares, for the following Facebook comment:

“I’ve truly never seen anything quite like the 40 miles from Beattock to Glasgow. There must be literally thousands of wind turbines visible from the M74, as far as the eye can see. This was my worst nightmare and what an awful way to introduce visitors to Scotland. How do people live here surrounded by dozens and dozens of wind farms? I am totally unsurprised nobody in southern Scotland votes SNP, it took me barely an hour of driving through this ring of steel to get the measure of that bunch of fakes. Corrupt gangsters talking the talk of nationalism to get votes but once elected puppets of the EU, showing utter contempt for the Scottish people, total phoneys who’d be happy to turn Scotland into a third world country in order to make their landowner mates rich. Feudalism lives on in Scotland. I am so angry and upset for Scottish wind victims, this is outrageous and far far worse than anything I’ve seen in my entire life. Words cannot express the toxic dump the SNP have turned Southern Scotland into. Any campaigns in Scotland that need support, count me in. Am I right about the SNP? What do you think?”

These are some of the reactions from the public:

“Yup, that about sums them up. Rights are taken away by the developers and the so called authorities sit back and reap the cash.”

“This is the reason I no longer visit Scotland.”

“And all that to produce just 0.97 GW of electricity.”

“There is no end to this. SNP are guilty of reckless, industrial scale vandalism to our treasured wild places. There are no winners here except greedy energy companies and rich landowners. Bill payers get poorer and our energy security has never been at such risk.”

“Try going up on to the Lowther Hills. This abomination is absolutely horrific. Over 200 white luminous monsters and wildlife completely trashed.”

“The Ochills and The Campsies are trashed with them too. Try going up to Aberdeen and see the horror as you get near to the city. There are few places left where you don’t see the things.”

“They are on the march to the Highlands as well.”

“You want to see the mess the SNP have made of Dumfries and Galloway, they hate Scotland.”

“We lived there and saw what was happening so we moved….to England. Breaks my heart every time I go back to see how much worse it is getting.”

“I took a road trip up to and around Scotland a couple of years ago and like you, was horrified at the destruction these things have caused.”

“Just stop the subsidies.”

To my Scottish friends: please excuse the following rhetoric. As you know, I’m on YOUR side. But if people are to listen to what you’ve been trying to tell them (analyse the psephology of the Scottish election results for more evidence), then shocking language is of the essence. You know me!

I’m therefore torn between wanting to be respectful to the poor, traumatised Scottish public and empathetic to the fact that they still have to live in this degraded shithole; versus needing to paint a true and accurate picture of exactly what Southern Scotland now looks like: HELL ON EARTH.

The most horrific blight was around Beattock Summit, with the Clyde Wind Farm seeming to be never-ending, several sectors that are gradually being infilled to form one uber-wind farm. Possibly a good idea, if wind worked, but a dreadful location, on both sides of the main gateway to Scotland, the first real mountainous terrain visitors drive through after the border foothills, so absolutely a mission statement from Scotland to the rest of the world: “This is who we are as a society…”

Except it’s not. It’s only a few rich landowners and spivvy contractors, sticking two fingers up to humanity and nature, and doing it deliberately to wind people up, I swear. As I said before: bitter, misanthropic and sadistic. Welcome to “their” Scotland, not yours.

Less than ten years ago I would have jumped at the chance to see all those hills and mountains. Maybe once you get to the Highlands, it might be worth it. But for mile after mile, almost continuously from the English border to Glasgow, the Scottish countryside resembles a dead body. A victim of multiple stab wounds.

Why would anyone bother going all the way to look at wind blight in Scotland, when they could enjoy the unspoilt mountains of the North Pennines or the Yorkshire Dales?

Please don’t get me wrong. I say all this with more love and compassion in my heart for the people of Scotland than I ever thought possible. The population of Scotland have my deepest sympathies, because everyone I met on my trip was so kind-hearted. But I feel the very open, socially conscious and progressive nature of the Scottish people has been abused and taken advantage of by some seriously Dishonest Bananas.

Maybe the SNP really do believe this is the way of the future, in which case they’re not dishonest, just demented. I think they’re probably both to be honest, and it’s starting to look as if the Scottish electorate feels the same as I do. Imposing wind turbines on people against their will is a surefire way of haemorrhaging votes. When will politicians learn???

It’s not for me to chip in about the Independence debate. Although I’d be sad to see Scotland break away from the Union, I perfectly respect the need for a nation to feel in control of its own destiny. But come on people, critical thinking! There’s other options than just wee Jimmy Krankie.

And I won’t even delve into the SNP’s extremely creepy Named Person legislation. Just eurgh…

What happened to that rebellious Scots spirit, can it rise again? Braveheart would have seen off the hordes of wind scammers by now. Prove yourselves, Scotland! I love that you’re so nice, but you need to be STRONG, and you need an internal locus of control that I don’t think you’ll get from ruining the very hills and mountains that define you and make people come from all around the world to explore your country.

Finally, for what it’s worth, I saw a car crash right under the shadow flicker of a huge turbine alongside the M74, possibly the A74(M) – ask the road geeks about this well-known road numbering anomaly. The horrific looking turbine was right in the line of vision of northbound traffic. It certainly distracted me!

Thanks for a fascinating stay, Scotland. Glasgow itself was wonderful, but I fear for the sustainability of your energy supply.

Bring yourselves out of the 15th century and into a world where you don’t have to sit around waiting for the weather to power your economy!

jo

EDIT: I’ve been thinking long and hard about my use of the word “shithole” above. I’ll keep it, as yet more documentary evidence of an amygdala hijack triggered by wind turbines, but now, safely away from the direct impact of the blight, I worry that I might be insulting and offending the thousands of people who live in Scotland with hurtful language. You all know I don’t really mean it! But things could soon go that way, if the virus of unconstrained wind blight isn’t contained. As I prefaced the shocking linguistics employed above, indeed my whole website, it’s all about proving the psychological impact of wind turbines qualitatively, equally important as their claimed quantitative benefits.

If a nature-loving visitor comes away from Scotland describing its countryside as a “shithole”, nowhere near as hospitable as England’s green and pleasant landscapes; even if just said in a temper tantrum, it’s still an animal reaction, the true voice of nature. As such, it should be acknowledged by anyone genuinely interested in the impact of wind turbines on wildlife.

EDIT 14/01/18: It is with considerable amusement that I observe the world’s reaction to Donald Trump’s alleged use of the word “shithole”. I described above my own mixed feelings about the usage of this incendiary term!

Leeds To Scotland & Back Again

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I’m going to start today’s mighty entry with a boast! I’m going to get all my arrogance out of my system in the first few paragraphs, then I’ll shut up about “me” and let nature do the rest of the talking. I just wanted to preface this travelogue with a short section about who I am and why I’m doing this. Maybe I sometimes scare myself with the ferocity of my language (though, as you’ve hopefully noticed, I try and minimise swearing). I do wonder how the outbursts make me come across. Especially to official organisations, more and more of whom I hope are reading the blog. Hello Kirklees Council, welcome to the discourse! Feel free to chip in and move the dialogue forward, happy to engage with you.

Every time you read something in here that makes me sound extreme, always remember:

IT WAS THE TURBINES THAT MADE ME FEEL THIS WAY!

And that’s why I temporarily want to boast, just to set the record straight once and for all about who the hell Mr **Peak Protection** really is! Well, it’s not even boasting, just the facts really… The truth is I was head-hunted for the role of team leader representing one of the world’s most popular brands. I have a very demanding job managing a team based all across Europe, and my own role involves travelling across the North doing technical and customer facing work, with strict service level agreements to be adhered to, and no BS tolerated. In my last performance review, I’m proud to say I got amazing feedback 🙂

OK, that’s the gasconade out the way. I only mention it to contextualise the rants that you’re about to encounter. Luckily I’ll mostly be writing lavish prose eulogising the stunning landscapes of this still predominantly green and pleasant land; but interspersed, as you will find, there will be some finely targeted grenades launched. My default position is that I love every woman, man and child on this planet APART FROM THE ECO-VANDALS. Even then, I “love the sinner”, I just “hate the sin”. My anger is specific, pinpointed and entirely rational.

That’s why I mention the fact that I’m a team leader: I’m actually a people-person whose job it is to get the best from my team, and to draw attention to any process issues that stop us from achieving our potential. So if ever my words seem OTT, just remember: TURBINES TRIGGERED ME! I’m absolutely not in the habit of losing my rag, I never do at work or even socially. I’m not an angry man, I’m a hippie earth child at heart.

But, like all animals, when my habitat is under threat, I suffer an amygdala hijack. That’s nature!

Opposing the EU’s disastrous climate change policies does not make me “xenophobic” towards my European team members in anyway. Calling out corporate malpractice and downright lying doesn’t make me anti-capitalist, seeing as I work for one of the biggest corporations in the world. (The difference is, my company makes great products that people love and choose to buy, products associated with fitness, exercise, health and well-being that sell on the open market, with no help from taxpayer subsidies). Calling out wind energy as a fifth-rate “joke” technology, that is patently struggling to live up to its ridiculous claims, is not being a Luddite or anti-technology in any way, it’s just having standards which wind turbines fail to live up to (why else would they be getting bigger and bigger, if smaller and more efficient models could do the same job?).

Hopefully now I’ve earned the right to be taken seriously as a hard-working, tax-paying, pro-nature, positive, creative individual. Believe me, I’d much rather be blogging about self-development and proactive steps to better health and well-being. I suppose getting rid of toxic wind blight is Step One to a happier life, so it kind of fits.

I certainly represent the views of hundreds, if not thousands of other hard-working, tax-paying, pro-nature, positive, creative individuals, all around the world. We are in agreement: those who would inflict wind turbines on society are actually anti-success, anti-aspiration, anti-innovation, anti-Peak Experiences… The saddest thing is most of the time they don’t even realise.

Wind turbines are truly the product of diseased, bitter, misanthropic minds.

If anyone is “negative”, it’s those who degrade beauty. Don’t blame me – I just call them out. These muggles totally miss out on the brain-boosting, spirit-cleansing, transcendental properties of our wild open spaces. Only an utter dullard wouldn’t grok the negative impact wind blight has on these sacred landscapes.

And yet I liked the Scout Moor Wind Farm at first. Does that make me a negative muggle with a diseased mind? No, because I now realise “the real me” didn’t like it, I was just programmed to. It almost worked.

I had an unexpected but perfectly-timed reunion with Scout Moor yesterday, so the ideal opportunity to test my hypotheses and re-evaluate my opinions. In the line of my duties I had to get to Manchester for 8am, and then make my way up to a hotel near Gretna for an 8am start this morning. However, due to an administrative snafu I couldn’t proceed with the planned installation in Manchester, so I had the rest of the day free to amble northwards, with only one self-imposed stipulation: NO MOTORWAYS! Instead, I’d explore the hidden byways of East Lancashire and Cumbria.

Before I’d even left the city limits, the horrendous turbines of Scout Moor loomed ahead, dominating the skyline to the north of the great metropolis. Was my description accurate? Well, suffice to say, Scout Moor lived down to my post-“red pill” verdict. It just makes the northern half of Manchester seem tired, jaded, degraded and de-energised. It looks pikey. What on earth does that do to the mindset of the residents?

After a couple of miles of green belt countryside, I drove through poor little Heywood, right there under the shadows of the Scout Moor wind farm. Now here’s where serendipity did its usual trick of turning an annoying detour into the trip of a lifetime! I wanted to go up Ashworth Road, which climbs its way up to the edge of Scout Moor, but the road was closed, so took a diversion into the western edge of Rochdale. Barely a few minutes later, I saw Rooley Moor Road to my left, the suburban section that gives not a hint of what lies a couple of miles northwards.

I can’t even say it was a conscious decision to follow the yellow cobbled road, it was just animal instinct. After about a mile, the road leaves the suburbs behind and heads up to Catley Lane Head, where a final bus stop marks the end of the tarmac section. Already significantly higher than Rochdale town centre, this is just the beginning of the real ascent. I parked up and went for a ramble about two miles up the Cotton Famine Road. One solitary turbine from Scout Moor kept annoyingly poking its blades over the hill to my left, and to my right the horrors of Crook Hill Wind Farm looked as depressing as ever. Somehow, in amongst all of this wind blight, not to mention the twin rows of electricity pylons you have to cross under before really hitting the wilds, Rooley Moor soon exerted its magic, and the modern world rapidly faded away into a distant blur (well, apart from the Facebook selfies, but I make no apology for bringing the inspirational story of the Cotton Famine Road into people’s social media feeds!).

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CORONATION POWER WANTED TO SEND DOZENS OF TRUCKS UP HERE TO CONSTRUCT AN INDUSTRIAL WIND FARM! CRAZY AND DOOMED, BUT TRUE. 

THANK HEAVENS SANITY PREVAILED, ALL CREDIT TO THE INCREDIBLE WORK OF THE LOCAL COMMUNITY: JOHN, GRAHAM, ALAN, STU, “SIMON”, STEVE, PETER, JEFF, AND THE DOZENS OF OTHERS WHO ALL WORKED SO HARD TO FIGHT FOR THE COBBLES… BRAVO SIRS 🙂 

The views on the way back down the Cotton Famine Road were absolutely unbeatable, the Peak filling the entire left flank of the view, the mountains of Wales visible to the right, with Manchester in the centre, hundreds of metres below. Two individual turbines stood out, inappropriate and unwelcome: that dreaded turbine north of Denshaw which I’ve already logged, and another frightful one to the east of Hollingworth Lake. Complaints letters and FOI Requests in the pipeline…

Once back in the car, I threaded my way through Rochdale and Whitworth, past the Landgate entrance to the Crook Hill Wind Farm where I used to park up before a day’s photoblogging. One of the massive Reaps Moss turbines was dominating the skyline as I passed Shawforth and across the high col between Hail Storm Hill and Freeholds Top, immediately after which the road drops down through Britannia towards Bacup. Two turbines erected last year dominated the views to the left, awful, awful awful blight from the moronic Rossendale Council, possibly one of the most erratic councils of the lot. All in all, their decisions have been catastrophic for the borough’s countryside, yet even a stopped watch tells the right time twice a day, and even they rejected Rooley Moor, which just goes to show how truly abysmal Coronation Power’s plans were.

When even Rossendale Council (who’d permit Kim Jong Un to build a wind farm if it added a few coppers to their budget) think your wind farm scheme is a bad idea, then you might as well just give up and get a proper job…

Now here’s where things get interesting, and you have to take my word for it. Believe me, I wanted to throw up just so I could take a photo of my vomit and ask: “Is THAT proof enough for you?” Heading east on the A681, with Reaps Moss and Todmorden wind farms on either side, I genuinely started to feel extremely nauseous. Almost seasick, queasy and torn between the need to pull over and the need to get the hell away. I swear on the Holy Bible that I suddenly felt ill in the presence of these dangerous instruments of sickness and decay. I safely arrived in Todmorden and had a sit down in the Morrisons cafe.

I WILL TESTIFY IN COURT THAT THE WIND TURBINES AT REAPS MOSS AND TODMORDEN CAUSED ME TO FEEL PHYSICALLY SICK, TO THE POINT WHERE I GENUINELY THOUGHT I WAS GOING TO THROW UP.

Rather perturbed by that brief moment of nausea, but now feeling better, I headed north out of Todmorden on some seriously steep, narrow lanes, clinging to the hillside of the Calder Valley. Views of Stoodley Pike and the mercifully unspoilt Dark Peak to my right provided a much-needed boost to my spirits, although I noticed a couple of small turbines dotted around the high altitude villages east of Bridestones Moor.

I zigzagged my way to the Widdop road, possibly the most stunning road in the whole South Pennines, the only real “mountain pass” in this section of the Pennines between the Peak and the Dales. You must make your way to Widdop, you will NOT be disappointed! Finally, finally, no wind blight anywhere near, with the high summits of Black Hameldon and Lad Law obscuring views of any distant turbines. Unfortunately, almost as soon as the narrow lane reached its highest point, just before a dramatic descent down a steep ravine, some dreadful wind blight appeared ahead of me. In particular, the two wind turbines by the Coldwell Reservoirs, operated by United Utilities, were unbelievably ugly and out of place.

THEY MUST COME DOWN!

Further wind blight lined the hills near Colne, with one final outlier on the ridge north of Blacko, far too close to Pendle Hill to be acceptable. After Gisburn the blight disappeared and unspoilt Lancashire enveloped me in healing alpha waves. The Forest of Bowland is gorgeous, off-the-radar fell country, ignored by most people as they zoom up the M6 towards the Lakes. I was the solitary driver along the spectacular lane that winds its way up the western edge of Great Harlow, something of a miniature Hardknott Pass. By now it had started to rain, with streams raging down the mountain sides.

I ambled my way down from Bowland towards Kirkby Lonsdale, with the rain showing no sign of letting up. I stopped to check my messages next to the Devil’s Bridge and a chap came over to the car, alerting me to the fact that the roads were pretty much flooded in every other direction apart from the one I’d just come from. Well, seeing as Withnail & I is one of my favourite films of all time, I thought I might follow in their footsteps and stop for some refreshments in Kirkby Lonsdale (“We want the finest wines available to humanity. We want them here, and we want them now!”) Totally unchanged since Uncle Monty dropped the pair off to get some wellington boots, Kirkby Lonsdale’s distinctive village square was indeed still home to a delightful tea room, the only difference being that this one offered me wifi and a mocha, and the owner didn’t threaten to call the police to have me removed!

Instead of taking the main road to Sedbergh, I headed north on country lanes, the puddles of water now becoming more like ponds. About four miles north of Kirkby Lonsdale, I passed the Armistead Wind Farm, which for a fleeting moment actually looked OK. I’m always prepared to be surprised – in case you hadn’t got the message yet, I’m the first to challenge my own assumptions! And, for about thirty seconds, the gleaming turbines of Armistead weren’t too offensive. But then I saw the hideous turbines of Lambrigg Wind Farm just a few miles away, and suddenly it made me hate Armistead. CUMULATIVE IMPACT 101, and a very important lesson: you don’t get wind farms on their own, once the precedent has been set then “everyone wants one”. You see it with IT – give someone a new computer and then everybody else in the office says: “Ah it’s not fair, why can’t we have one?” Let one in, and you break that golden rule that says “NO MEANS NO” to all inappropriate development in the countryside.

I can’t believe I had to write a twenty page document for the Planning Inspectorate teaching them how to do their jobs, but clearly nobody else had.  How come an amateur like me knows way more about good planning policy, and puts way more effort into enforcing it, than the people who get paid to do it?

IF YOU WANT SOMETHING DONE, YOU JUST HAVE TO DO IT YOURSELF!

Back to the journey… I somehow managed to semi-drive, semi-sail my way through some extremely deep and scary floods, with two industrial wind farms constructed on the hilltops from where torrents of water were gushing down and overloading the streams below.

Just sayin’…

Up close, Lambrigg Wind Farm looks like it’s had an appalling impact on the ground. It looks unhealthy, barren and lifeless. Who in the name of God thought it would be a good idea to build a power station here?

My journey proceeded in increasing darkness; by now I’d given up on the no-motorway rule because the alternative route options were more like rivers at this point. I eventually arrived at the hotel at Carlisle Todhills, just south of the Scottish border. Fittingly, the very last thing I saw before I walked through the hotel door was a large and ugly wind turbine, spinning away less than 100 metres from my bedroom for the night!

I wish I could say I was kept up all night and given a headache by the swoosh swoosh swoosh of the turbine, but you know I believe that genuinely Green people don’t tell lies, so it wouldn’t be right to make up stories. The fact is, I was out like a light! But who knows, maybe tired travellers only staying one night in a motorway-side hotel maybe aren’t going to ever really know what it’s like to sleep next to one of these monsters, night in, night out.

The morning’s scenery started with pretty much the final field in England before the Scottish border hosting a wind farm doing sweet Fanny Adams; not even a cup of tea could have been brewed by the motionless blades. I did my work in Gretna and embarked upon the return journey. I won’t go into as much detail describing the route back, because I’d made up my mind to head for the safety of the main Pennine chain, mercifully untouched by turbine blight for miles and miles.

I did notice the meteorological station atop Great Dun Fell, disliked intensely by hillwalker supreme Alfred Wainwright (Lord knows what he would have made of wind farms), but not remotely offensive to my tastes. Interesting… OK, the dome up there now is not the same structure as the one he objected to, maybe that was an eyesore. On an aesthetic level, the small dome did not impact on the scale and wildness of the skyline; there are rock formations and cairns that don’t look dissimilar from a distance.

What about trig points? Weren’t they the original man-made, white-painted structures inserted into peaks?! What about the cafe on Snowdon, not to mention the bleedin’ railway? Even my favourite mountain of the lot, Mam Tor, has a staircase and a paved summit!

It is complicated, and critical thinking is once again of the essence in evaluating exactly what structures are acceptable on our otherwise unspoilt peaks. I myself am trying to understand specifically what it is about wind turbines that triggers my anger in a way these other hilltop structures don’t! I’m on a voyage of discovery to understand what it is about these horrible machines that gets under my skin like nothing else.

There was one other notable incident that spoilt my mood for the rest of the journey, and it’s one I implore you to replicate. Get yourself to the A683, heading south towards Sedbergh from Kirkby Stephen. You’ll pass the utterly spectacular Howgill Fells, up there with Snowdonia and the Lakes for pure drama. The Calf is the highest Marilyn in the Howgills, and the most mountainous-looking peak I encountered on my entire trip, with the fearsome Cautley Spout waterfall lashing down its sheer eastern face.

What happens to your mood, dear reader, when you round the corner and come face-to-face with the diabolical vision of Armistead Wind Farm looming on high? It made me want to punch a Planning Inspector! Try it out for yourself, let me know what it does to your own mental health!

ARMISTEAD AND LAMBRIGG WIND FARMS ARE TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE BLOTS ON THE LANDSCAPE.

ONCE AGAIN, THEY NEED TO COME DOWN AND THEIR OWNERS NEED SENDING TO PRISON FOR CRIMES AGAINST NATURE.

THIS **IS** GOING TO HAPPEN.

Could the Armistead and Lambrigg wind farms have exacerbated the floods I experienced as I was driving past them? http://www.thewestmorlandgazette.co.uk/news/15589072.Flood_warnings_in_force_as_heavy_rain_blights_Cumbria/

“Is there no nook of English ground secure from rash assault?” (William Wordsworth): http://www.cumbriawindwatch.co.uk/index.php/Armistead

Soul stealers, that describes wind scammers perfectly. Despicable creatures. What other species wrecks hills for profit? Have they got something missing from their brains? http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/energy/windpower/9845499/Wind-turbine-plans-stealing-soul-of-Cumbria.html

WHOEVER WROTE THIS SOUNDS MORE LIKE ME THAN ME! When I read a total stranger saying exactly what I’ve been saying, it all gives credence to my observations. https://www.visitcumbria.com/cm/wharrels-hill-wind-farm/

NORMAL PEOPLE HATE WIND FARMS AND WANT TO INCARCERATE DANGEROUS WIND OPERATORS! ONLY TWISTED FREAKS AND WEIRDOS LIKE THEM!!!! http://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/4885444.Residents_urged_to_oppose_wind_farm_near_Kirkby_Lonsdale/

Great Dun Fell Field Station: it’s not for profit, it’s about knowledge and understanding, it’s a one-off and it doesn’t look like a monster, so it gets a free pass from me!  http://www.cas.manchester.ac.uk/restools/fieldstations/greatdunfell/

Black Hameldon (“If you like your hills wet, wild and dirty…” YUP!!!):

https://www.flickr.com/photos/67668518@N08/16398843619

Lad Law – highest point of the South Pennines: https://www.themountainguide.co.uk/england/boulsworth-hill-lad-law.htm

Great Harlow: https://mapcarta.com/17641848

The Calf: http://myyorkshiredales.co.uk/hills/the-calf/

Finally, some light relief 🙂 Kirkby Lonsdale hasn’t changed, apart from the hideous wind blight at Armistead, a few miles to the north.

Doing Wind Badly (Part 2)

Dear **Letting Agent**

This afternoon I viewed a property in Tinshill, which I was on the verge of deciding would be perfect for me. However, on looking out of the bedroom window, beyond Leeds-Bradford Airport the view was dominated by the huge wind turbines at Ovenden Moor Wind Farm, some 17 miles away. Unfortunately, the unpleasant sight of these turbines, and their potential impact on my health and well-being, means that the property is essentially uninhabitable.

I am writing this to inform you of the impact of wind turbines on the desirability of this property, and I am CCing this letter to Leeds and Calderdale Councils so that they too are aware of the issue. The wind turbines have a more negative impact on the environmental quality of the property than even the airport. Speaking for myself, on looking out of my bedroom window at the faraway hills, I would feel deeply unhappy to have the views degraded by a huge, intimidating industrial wind farm, especially knowing the health implications, as proven by the Cape Bridgewater Study.

I just wanted to place on the record that it was specifically the blight from the wind turbines of Ovenden Moor Wind Farm that have made the property undesirable for me, on every other level it would have been perfect for my needs. I thought you should know the honest feedback of the public, and how the view of wind turbines makes at least one potential customer look elsewhere for a property.

Yours sincerely

Mr **Peak Protection**

Right, that’s gone to the letting agents, with CC’s to Leeds and Calderdale Councils. Meanwhile, Kirklees Council have come back to me saying they are struggling to identify the three massive wind turbines that cast their shadow flicker over the M62, the ones that you can see from ten miles away. I’ve offered them a helping hand:

Dear Kirklees Council

Thank you for your prompt reply. The three turbines are located at Daisy Lea Farm, adjacent to the M62 immediately to the west of the A640 overbridge. They cannot be missed!

http://www.kirklees.gov.uk/beta/planning-applications/search-for-planning-applications/detail.aspx?id=2012/90540

I believe this is the correct application, but there are some discrepancies, as this only relates to the erection of one turbine. Was the application modified at any point to add another two turbines to the existing application for one? Also, did the height of the turbine change since this original application?

Some of these statements in the Environmental Assessment certainly do not appear to be accurate.

4.2 The study found that the aggregated visual impact for the visual amenity assessment of near distance views (within 1km) for the construction phase and operation is moderate; the middle distance aggregation (1km to 2.5km) is moderate, and the distant view aggregation (2km to 5km) is zero. It notes that “Fundamental change at the site will result from the erection of the turbine as a new vertical structure in the landscape. The site is visible to varying levels of significance in the landscape. There is no major visual impact on the M62. There are a number of other vertical features in the landscape that are more prominent than the proposed turbine”

This absolutely does not describe the visual impact that is currently extant. There IS a major, and highly distracting visual impact on the M62, to the point where it feels highly dangerous driving past these turbines when they are spinning fast. I certainly don’t pay my road tax to have any unnecessary road side hazards installed. Also, the three turbines are by far the most prominent features on the landscape from the higher ground to the west of the site (National Trust land). Just because the turbines themselves might not be in protected land, due to the terrain of the area, their visual impact destroys the beauty of the landscape.

THEY HAVE A WORSE IMPACT ON THE LANDSCAPE THAN A SIX-LANE MOTORWAY!!!

4.3 The report concludes that This is an application for a single wind turbine. There are other existing vertical structures in the area. Views are limited to near/ middle distant views (less than 2500m) due to the terrain. There are numerous power lines and poles within the survey area which will detract from the overall impact of this additional turbine. Visual impact will be moderate/slight but significant at Location 1 (i.e. at close range from the A640 New Hey Road). Cumulative impact is classed as Combined It is felt that the erection of this turbine will not create any significant change in cumulative impact, as this is outweighed by the numerous other vertical structures nearby.

Again, this does not relate to what we now have. There IS cumulative impact, between this and the surrounding wind turbines, the whole area is now surrounded by a “ring of steel”, exactly the same as the landscape south of Holmfirth, which is now almost unvisitable due to the alienating wind blight.

Kirklees Council needs take a long, hard look at the wind blight that is ravaging the open countryside of the region. Why has it allowed so many inappropriate man-made vertical structures, plastered in high-visibility white paint, to wreck the landscapes?

And “climate change” is no excuse – the carbon footprints of all wind turbine applicants would be reduced to ZERO were they refused permission for the turbines and as a result forced out of business. The only solution wind turbines provide is to prop up failing businesses at the expense of everyone else. I for one would rather you’d turned down the three turbines at Daisy Lea Farm. They are of no benefit to me whatsoever, only detriment to my safety, health and well-being

Please do investigate this awful blight, and please do find out how come there are three towering turbines at the location where planning permission was only approved for one.

Kind regards

Mr **Peak Protection**

How long is it going to take me to finally get round to describing Coronation Power’s attempts to colonise each and every square inch of South Pennine moorland? I keep getting distracted by turbines, every which way I turn. Whether it be going to rent a property, or driving to work, or trying to relax in the countryside, or just browsing Facebook…there’s nothing but wind blight all around me! Where in the world can we go to escape? Where can we go to be nowhere near the damn things? Just, you know, that old-fashioned Green idyll of a field with some trees, maybe some animals, and NO BLOODY ELECTRICITY GENERATORS PLASTERED IN HIGH-VISIBILITY WHITE PAINT!!!

Is there any sanctuary? Well, up until about ten years ago, the Peak District was my “safe space”. I’ll devote a future chapter to one of the most disgustingly-located wind farms of the lot, Carsington Pastures (thank you Mr Robin Brooks of the Planning Inspectorate, for overturning the almost unanimous decision of Derbyshire Dales to reject the power station, after all, you’re right…the visitors to the Peak District will barely even notice four 200 metre tall wind turbines, visible as far away as Hallam Moors for crying out loud!!!).

UNBELIEVABLE CONTEMPT FOR EVERYTHING THAT NATIONAL PARKS STAND FOR.

ROBIN BROOKS (WHO USED TO BE A PLANNING INSPECTOR BEFORE GETTING THE “GOLDEN HANDSHAKE”) NEEDS TRACKING DOWN AND EXPOSING.

YOU CAN RUN, MR BROOKS, BUT YOU CAN’T HIDE.

Come on lads, let’s get out the Semtex and blast the unwanted junk at Carsington Pastures till it explodes into a million fragments. Nothing morally wrong with that – it’s ethically on a par with wiping graffiti from a wall, or picking up dog mess from the park. Just improving the environment for everyone else. Unfortunately I don’t know where to get Semtex from, so my explosive of choice is my vocabulary. I’m happy to detonate the wind farm with incendiary prose. It’ll have the same effect in the long run, it’ll force the owners to skedaddle, if they value their liberty. It just takes a bit longer to do it this way. It also saves the Peak from any further eco-destruction, keeping this showdown out here in cyberspace, rather than on the moors themselves.

Following the Kinder Trespass of 1932, one of the most important moments in the UK’s social history, the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act was passed in 1949. This led to the formal designation of the Peak District as the UK’s first National Park on 17 April 1951. That’s nineteen long years between the protest and the law catching up. I don’t think it’ll take that long to see the back of toxic wind farms, to be honest. At this rate they’ll be outlawed in under a decade.

Kinder Scout is the highest mountain in the Peak, one of only three to qualify as a Hewitt (Hills in England, Wales and Ireland of Two Thousand feet…) It’s also a Marilyn, one of the most famous and most climbed in the country. Not only does this prove that hillwalkers give their peaks bloody stupid names, it also shows just how important Kinder’s conservation and well-being is to our own conservation and well-being.

The high altitude land continues unspoilt northwards as far as the Calder Valley, immediately after which start the South Pennines. The Walsden Gorge is the first point north of the Peak where the national watershed drops to below 300 metres above sea level, at the semi-appropriately named Summit. It is the summit of the Leeds-Rochdale Canal, the A6033 Todmorden – Littleborough Road and the Halifax – Manchester railway, but it’s also the lowest “summit” between the Peak and the South Pennines.

Our dear friend Freeholds Top lies west of the Walsden Gorge, adjoined by Thieveley Pike to the north, which then drops down to the truly spectacular Cliviger Gorge. I can’t believe this amazing landform isn’t more well-known due to its immense crags and almost Swiss appearance. It’s a geography teacher’s dream! Sadly, but unsurprisingly, it’s not uncommon to see huge turbine blades spinning over the top of the hillsides. Just imagine if they built a wind farm over Cheddar Gorge…

Hail Storm Hill, the one that started my journey of investigation in the first place, lies immediately to the west of Freeholds Top. If you look at it on a map, you’ll see a long, straight bridleway passing east of the summit. Vickram Mirchandani, the brains behind Coronation Power, must have seen this line on a map, and £££ signs would have started flashing in his mind: “Hey! There’s already a track. Shove some tarmac down and we could probably get our trucks up there…”

What Mr Mirchandani singularly failed to realise was that this wasn’t just any old bridleway. Oh no, this one has the mojo. This one does not take kindly to any form of oppression. This is a bridleway you’d do well not to mess with. It pretty much did for the career of Mr Mirchandani, now forever viewed by the public as a failure, an unsuccessful snakeoil salesman chased out of town by angry residents, a greedy and unprincipled man who has brought shame upon his entire family.

By Jove, I think this is the first time I’ve been so rude about an individual in my entire blog. That’s actually not bad going! And even now I’m writing more out of pity than trying to bully him in any way. There’s nothing I can say that will hurt Mr Mirchandani any more than his own bad karma. I actually feel sorry for all the money he’s lost, all the credibility he might have once had, now gone with the wind. The world will forever know Mr Mirchandani as the man who tried to mess with the Cotton Famine Road and failed.

Speaking of the ill-fated attempt to send trucks up the Cotton Famine Road, a councillor said: “This is a disastrous plan, a veneer of gloss has been applied by this company which has a history of putting in these type of applications, and every time they obtain permission the site has immediately been sold on to developers.

They put company profits before the rights and needs of people in the borough who would have to live with the development.

I have never seen a report so comprehensive and the fact there are eight reasons for refusal is overwhelming, and these are comprehensive and valid reasons.

They want to plough up fragile moorland to install these windmills and they will not be able to be removed, they will be there forever.”

So what’s so special about the Cotton Famine Road, and what was so misjudged about Mr Mirchandani’s plans to let hundreds of HGVs ride roughshod over its hand-laid cobbles? For that, you have to go back to the cotton famine from which it takes its name. Here, read this, it says it way better than I can, and I’ve already written enough!

https://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/regions/manchester/2007/11/384980.html

Once you’ve read that, you’ll get it 🙂 But, as always, don’t just rely on the textbooks. Get up there and experience the Cotton Famine Road for yourself.

Sadly, although the restless spirits of the cotton workers were enough to scare off Coronation Power (to the point where they’ve now given up on the wind altogether, boo hoo…), they’d already laid waste to Freeholds Top and Thieveley Pike with their Crook Hill, Reaps Moss and Todmorden Wind Farms, none of them even operated by Coronation Power (talk about external locus of control). Nothing could be further from the idea of a nice, clean, green, down on the farm, Mom ‘n’ Pop wind project than the billion-dollar, investment bank-funded wheeling and dealing that encircled Coronation Power’s schemes. They’d buy up the land, do all the bullying and harrassing of the locals themselves, and then pass the whole site over to some third-party wind developer to come along and stick in the giant voodoo pins.

Luckily, the Cotton Famine Road and the wonderful, wonderful free-thinkers of Rochdale and Rossendale who came together to protect it, were able to defeat the avaricious Mr Mirchandani and his band of sadistic eco-vandals.

Some more reading material:

http://www.minnellium.com/2015/08/rooley-moor-road-an-appreciation/#.Wdu-XI9Sy1s

http://www.rmnf.org.uk/area/cotton-famine-road/

http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/local-news/rochdale-windfarm-plan-thrown-out-9530745

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mass_trespass_of_Kinder_Scout

Cliviger Gorge: http://pygs.lyellcollection.org/content/30/4/375

 

Doing Wind Badly (Part 1)

The biggest problem with today’s entry is going to be how to keep it short. It could take some time… An awful lot to get through, and reading back what I’ve written so far, I realise just how much I’ve already covered. I wish I didn’t have to write so much, I really do. But it’s all defensive, not aggressive. I wouldn’t harm a fly!

It’s just essential, in the name of natural equilibrium, that each and every one of the lies told by the wind industry is balanced and corrected. There’s been such an awful lot of lies, there’s bound to be an equal and opposite amount of words required to set things straight.

LIES! LIES! LIES!

This really is the blog that writes itself, real-life news events occurring in sync with the topics I discuss (a darn sight more in sync than the turbines at Ovenden Moor earlier this afternoon, but I’ll come onto that later). Check out this story:

https://www.thegwpf.com/gwpf-lodges-asa-complaint-over-false-claims-in-offshore-wind-campaign/

“The claims in the Westminster offshore wind campaign are some of the most blatant distortions of the truth that I have seen in pro-wind advertising… This campaign is deliberately aimed at MPs, peers and other decision makers. The wind industry and green campaigners owe them a public apology. This is a shameful piece of spin.”

A bunch of Dishonest Bananas trying to control a bunch of Scared Watermelons. And they are Dishonest Bananas at heart, not Limes, because people who are genuinely Green on the inside don’t lie. The very act of lying proves that, deep down, they know their solution is a crock of shit. How do they live with themselves?

Hopefully, dear reader, you’re starting to join the dots!

22449841_1577090239028520_6955222175580613362_n

And there’s yet more wind being done badly. More LIES! What else is in today’s news feed?

http://fox59.com/2017/10/05/wind-turbine-setback-and-ethics-violations-bill-gains-support-at-statehouse/

“Concerns are growing about potential ethics violations by wind companies and some county officials who approve their projects….“

Had enough LIES yet, or do you want some more?

https://stopthesethings.com/2017/10/07/why-governments-refuse-to-admit-the-true-staggering-cost-of-subsidised-wind-solar/

“If the true and staggering cost of subsidised wind and solar power were public knowledge, there would be public outrage.”

So that’s what’s going on across the world. Closer to home, I had a great Peak Protection drive today, my usual Pennine Patrol: just checking all is well in the hills and nothing untoward to report. My journey started at Horbury Bridge on the River Calder and took me up onto the foothills to the north east of the Peak. At Grange Moor I headed north onto a very twisty and dangerous B-road, with a couple of nasty wind turbines very close to the road, adding a distracting visual presence to what is already a challenging drive.

I twisted my way down some country lanes with far-reaching views over the South Pennines. Just past Hopton I crossed onto the northern bank of the Calder and headed west onto the A644 towards Brighouse. A couple of large turbines dominated a hill straight ahead of me, somewhere just south of Southowram I make it. I continued on the long, almost continuous uphill drag, through Hipperholme, Stone Chair and Queensbury to the appropriately named village of Mountain, over 300 metres above sea level.

The appallingly blighted Soil Hill loomed ahead of me, with seven or eight turbines haphazardly plastered all around the summit. Not an actual wind farm, this is one of the worst cases of cumulative impact in the area, its appearance and character totally and utterly degraded by the horrible white pillars dotted around its upper slopes.

I cut south of Soil Hill, crossing the A629 near Ogden Water, and to my right I saw the monsters of Ovenden Moor, most spinning rapidly despite very low wind. About three of the turbines were stationary. Suffice to say that poor old Ogden Water, up until just a few years ago one of the most relaxing and life-affirming beauty spots of West Yorkshire, has had its pleasantness totally destroyed by the repugnant wind blight. Yes, there were smaller turbines here before, remnants of a bygone era, but you couldn’t see or hear them from the nature reserve. Now you can’t avoid the bastards.

I drove through the strange village/overspill estate of Mixenden, not one of the most inviting settlements I’ve ever visited, and headed north onto the ancient Withens Road. Finally above the tree line, I drove alongside the barbed-wire fence that surrounds the Ovenden Moor substation, and shortly beyond I passed the last building before the wilderness. To my left, the true wuthering heights of the South Pennines stretched off into the fog. What an incredible, if hazy view.

To my right, however, the turbines of Ovenden Moor seemed to monopolise the landscape for ages and ages. At first I thought, “Well, this isn’t so bad”, but after a while their presence started to get on my nerves. How can I best explain the annoyance? It’s like a dripping tap. You wonder what the fuss is about until suddenly you lock into the sound and it becomes the loudest noise in the world. I was truly glad to be past Ovenden Moor when I reached the end of Withens Road, however dominating the view directly in front of me, and single-handedly ruining this supposedly tourist-friendly landscape, was a truly obnoxious turbine, immediately east of the approach to Haworth.

WHAT ARE YOU PEOPLE DOING TO YOURSELVES???

Horrible, horrible, horrible, and a good chance to cue up the Kate Bush. No, not “that” song, a different one…

They told us all they wanted
Was a sound that could kill someone from a distance
So we go ahead and the meters are over in the red
It’s a mistake in the making

Now in my last entry I referred to a Mr Vickram Mirchandani. Have you done your research yet? What have you found out? My introduction to his company, Coronation Power (registered at the same address in the British Virgin Islands as Coronation Oil & Power, wannabe frackers who can’t actually get a licence anywhere, boo hoo!), came shortly after my first real moment of cognitive dissonance, which I described a few entries back. Driving around Rossendale, I felt something seriously wrong with how the Scout Moor wind turbines were making me feel.

I can prove scientifically that right up until this moment, if I did have a bias regarding wind turbines, it was favourable. I’m almost embarrassed to admit I posted this! Oh my Lord. The Kool-Aid hadn’t worn off yet, as of August 6th 2014. On that date I posted on Facebook: “Hail Storm Hill – this is one of my fave mountains. It’s also the site of the UK’s largest onshore wind farm, Scout Moor. Unlike at Rushy Hill, the wind farm here suits its location perfectly. You get the feeling that Hail Storm Hill loves using its height and landmass to produce energy, it’s definitely a mountain that likes to feel useful.”

“When the facts change, I change my opinion. What do you do, Sir?”

Within just a couple of years I would be writing to Rossendale Council, threatening to personally lie in front of a bulldozer if they planned on erecting any more turbines on Hail Storm Hill. I hope this proves again, I really don’t have a beef with honest Watermelons, because I was one myself, just three years ago. We were all hoodwinked, it happened to us all. Maybe that’s another reason I feel so strongly about it. The people who get most upset about a scam are those who fell for it themselves. The first step is to acknowledge it and then we can move on.

It turns out Hail Storm Hill did enjoy being useful, but not in the way I initially thought. I think the good reaction I got to Scout Moor Wind Farm is only now starting to reveal its true purpose.

Firstly, it demonstrates that I didn’t come into this with any kind of hidden agenda (no, I don’t work for an oil company!). Just three short years ago I was publicly singing the praises of at least one wind farm, although clearly the desecration of Rushy Hill (site of Hyndburn Wind Farm) had triggered a bad reaction from the outset.

Secondly, Scout Moor hadn’t at that time been joined by the Reaps Moss and Crook Hill wind farms, adding a further 14 turbines to the skyline above Rochdale, let alone the failed attempts at Rooley Moor, Gorpley and the further two dozen applied for at Scout Moor itself.

Thirdly, I hadn’t seen Scout Moor from up close, or spent considerable time there. I’d probably only seen it from the M62, or possibly the A680 Rochdale – Edenfield Road. I certainly hadn’t talked to anyone in the community about its impact on their health and well-being.

Still, I liked it. I find it hard to believe now, but there it is in black and white. Scout Moor grabbed my attention and said “Look at me!”, and my initial reaction was favourable.

It wasn’t until I was driving through Rossendale a few weeks later and felt that unmistakable sensation of something not quite right that I took a closer look into what might have caused it. I’d never even heard a bad word said about wind turbines up until that point. I just assumed that everyone liked them.

It was around this time I stumbled across Rooley Moor. Another wrong-turning, trying to be clever and to cut from Whitworth to Heywood, I ended up at a quarry overlooking the absolutely gobsmacking hidden treasure of Rooley Moor. “This place is out of this world!” I thought. Totally unheard of outside the local area, Rooley Moor is a high-altitude oasis of moorland surrounded by heavily urbanised valleys. When I found out there were plans to build a wind farm on this ethereal plateau, I had the mother of all amygdala hijacks, and felt myself rapidly transforming into the Wind Warrior whose words you’re reading today!

There was one final piece of the jigsaw. I don’t know if it was the same day or soon afterwards (I was driving around the area about once a week by this point). I parked in Whitworth and went for a ramble up past Brown Wardle and to the rear of the stunning Watergrove Reservoir, another hidden treasure (well, it used to be, just three short years ago…). I still remember the sound of church bells peeling through the air, reverberating off these dark hills. I could also hear football fans cheering somewhere in the distance as I clambered up the side of Crook Hill. I could not believe what I saw at the summit: an HGV access track carved over the top of the moor. I can’t explain just how it made me feel, but I was now frantic with worry about what on earth was going on up there.

When I got home, I soon discovered that Coronation Power, the very same company behind the Rooley Moor proposal, also wanted to build a wind farm up here on Crook Hill, to add to their existing Todmorden abomination just a few miles away. Unfortunately, they’d been given permission and were just about to start work. Not only that, they had also been given permission for a further three turbines at Reaps Moss, between Crook Hill and Todmorden. Coronation Power wanted to literally surround the town of Bacup with turbines in every direction. And, as if all that wasn’t threat enough to these vulnerable moors, Kelda Water had their own plans for the Gorpley Wind Farm, slap-bang in the middle of this Ground Zero for eco-destruction.

Just as an IT system is a network of interconnected devices, so is the system of peaks that form the Pennine chain. What happens on one peak has an impact on those around it. Remember what a Marilyn is? It’s a peak that is over 150 metres higher than the surrounding land, more often than not in the Pennines a large, high, flat-topped plateau, like a giant tabletop, rather than a Toblerone-shaped Alpine mountain. Hail Storm Hill is the Marilyn that hosts Scout Moor Wind Farm on the south-western sections of its plateau. The Scout Moor extension would have also taken out the entire north and centre of the plateau, and Rooley Moor Wind Farm would have obliterated the east. Literally the whole of Hail Storm Hill and its upper slopes would have colonised by wind companies, Peel and Coronation Power slugging it out between them in a mountain-top turf war.

The Pennine Peaks are supposed to provide us with a high-altitude escape from the corporate shenanigans of the valleys below. 

Hail Storm Hill’s eastern edge links with the neighbouring Marilyn, Freeholds Top, just north of Whitworth, where the A671 reaches its high point in a cutting between the two Marilyns. Like Hail Storm Hill, Freeholds Top is a high moorland plateau with steep, sometimes sheer drop offs. It’s also on the national watershed, the high point between the Irish Sea and the North Sea, and something of a “crossroads” peak between different sections of the Pennines: immediately to its east, just across the Walsden Gorge, lie the northernmost moors of the Dark Peak. Less than a decade ago, a drive along the A681 from Bacup towards Todmorden would have showcased the natural unspoilt majesty of Freeholds Top. Now, following the construction of Todmorden, Reaps Moss and Crook Hill wind farms (but mercifully not Gorpley), the same view will make you cry. Thank you, Coronation Power.

What they’ve done to Freeholds Top is GBH to a mountain.

I believe Hail Storm Hill called out to me. It introduced itself and pointed me in the direction of Freeholds Top. Between the two of them, these criminally unprotected mini-mountains of the South Pennines have had to take their wind blight on the chin, in order to provide us with close-up exposure to the true nature of wind energy. That’s what I feel Hail Storm Hill wanted to show me: “I can handle it (just), but there’s many, many vulnerable hills out there who are under attack. Like my good friend and neighbour over here, Freeholds Top. Go and take a closer look, and see if you can put a stop to it!”

There were an awful lot of people involved in the successful protest against Rooley Moor, which I’m going to document in full next time I think, because I’ve already given you loads to take in for one entry, and it’s such a long saga it deserves fresh eyes! I probably had negligible personal influence in the decision to reject Rooley Moor, other than to do whatever I could to amplify the voice of the community. But if there’s one small contribution I was able to make to protect Rooley Moor, it was to keep the horrors of the neighbouring Crook Hill construction in the spotlight, which I’m sure didn’t help instil confidence in Coronation Power’s eco-credentials!

I’ll fill you in with all the mistakes Coronation Power made next time, but that’s how I initially found out about it. From liking Scout Moor at first, to having it make me feel sick, to stumbling across Rooley Moor by accident and finally making my acquaintance with Crook Hill. Throughout it all, my understanding of the wind scam derived 100% from rambling and exploring, then researching what I’d found, not the other way round! I started positively biased towards wind energy, and within two months I was a confirmed Wind Warrior. This is the direction of travel almost all of us have followed – from supporting wind to opposing it within just a few weeks.

You don’t meet many people who travel in the other direction, from opponent of wind power to supporter. Funny that…

Ovenden Moor: http://www.mypennines.co.uk/south-pennines/walks/160809.html#sthash.elAA9qIR.Lg5KmTD5.dpbs

Hail Storm Hill: http://www.mypennines.co.uk/west-pennine-moors/walks/180111.html#sthash.ZFLZ3IiK.dpbs

Freeholds Top: http://www.mypennines.co.uk/west-pennine-moors/summits/freeholds-top.html

Finally, a couple of great blogs from two fellow Wind Warriors. Great minds think alike 😉

http://cates1980.wixsite.com/cateswebsite/about-us-a

http://jasonendfield.weebly.com/home/wind-power-not-green-not-clean-the-murky-truth

 

 

Doing Wind Well

100300905_Ecotricity_dated_October_2008_of_green_energy_tycoon_Dale_Vince-xlarge_trans_NvBQzQNjv4BqtGQB12KHxxQCrwnTZkX0nwgWqwm85JEWpGVhFb46TTg.jpg

Dear Mr **Peak Protection**

I own a wind turbine company. I’ve read every word of your blog and am mortified that you have such a low opinion of my industry. My employees and I work incredibly hard to make a high-quality product that has a provable positive impact on the world, and I invite you to come down to the factory to meet the team and take a look at how we do things.

We believe in our wind turbines because we have hundreds of satisfied customers who keep coming back to us, ordinary members of the public like yourself who find our products help them lower their fuel bills and reduce their carbon footprint.

We also take very seriously the impact of our turbines on the surrounding areas, and we would be horrified to think that our turbines arouse such anger in people that they want to shoot them. We strive to make our turbines as small, efficient and attractive as possible, with no superfluous white paint and an ergonomic design that blends unobtrusively into the landscape. That’s why we’re in business – we want to transform the wind turbine industry and distance ourselves from the rogue traders who understandably give our industry a bad name.

Here is a list of our turbines, together with the independently measured energy generation statistics and carbon footprints of construction and maintenance. The performance of our turbines is audited regularly, and if ever one fails to meet the strict service level agreement in place to ensure it is provably contributing to lower CO2 emissions, we would remove all traces of it at once. Detailed performance metrics for every turbine we operate are available to the public at any time.

Feel free to visit any of our turbines yourself, and please pass on your feedback should you have any complaints. We’ll also see if we can set up a chat so you can speak to some satisfied customers. Above all, we want to prove that we share your concerns about some of the malpractice within our industry, we stand against it and we distance ourselves from any kind of unethical practices whatsoever.

We do our best to do wind well.

Yours sincerely

———————

That’s the type of letter I’d LOVE to receive. That’s the type of letter that would instantly carve an HGV access track through my unspoilt mental landscape, paving the way for dozens of shiny, happy wind turbines to be erected on the ridgelines of my mind.

It would prove that there is another psychological archetype I haven’t yet accounted for in my calculations: for want of a better fruit term, let’s call this character type a Lime. Green on the outside, Green on the inside. People who believe hand on heart in what they do, equally as passionate and verbose as my good self, but on the opposite side of the fence.

More than just being a Watermelon however (remember, a Watermelon is someone who only believes in the wind solution because of what they’ve been told to think, rather than through any actual first-hand personal experience of its benefits), a Lime is someone who is a real mover and shaker within the wind industry, someone in full control over their own thoughts and actions, someone who is motivated by the true and genuine conservation of our planet, a wind turbine entrepreneur who WANTS to hear honest feedback, and who realises that the angry voices of me and my friends are a perfectly natural defensive reaction to the relentless onslaught of big energy companies riding roughshod over our vulnerable rural areas.

A Lime is someone who really does believe in the possibilities of wind power to clean up our air quality, but is honest and upfront about how corporate malpractice and wanton eco-destruction have sold the industry short and destroyed its reputation in the eyes of the public, rather than pure denial and simply blaming (or trying to manipulate) the electorate. Someone who says: “The buck stops with me. If the government has effectively banned wind farms, it’s probably because of the appalling way we behaved; had we conducted ourselves more responsibly, maybe we wouldn’t have aroused such hostility. We need to change to survive, otherwise we deserve to die.”

Someone with an internal locus of control.

A Lime is someone who doesn’t run away from the very real problems of wind energy, but addresses them directly and comes up with innovative, genuinely green solutions, honestly, openly, transparently and empathetically. Someone who would never dream of imposing their wind turbines on communities without their consent. Someone with enough integrity and care for the planet that they’d rather go bust and get another job than make their living from selling products under any kind of false pretences.

If there exists such a Lime, please get in touch. You know you’ll get a warm reception in this parish!

Is Dale Vince a Lime? Google him. Do your research. Would you buy a wind turbine from this man? I’d love a chat. Dale, if you’re reading, get in touch. Let’s have a vegan lunch sometime and you can set me straight about a few things. You oughtta know by now, I’m open-minded and eager to be proved wrong. Just nobody has been able to do it yet!

What about Vickram Mirchandani? Is he a Lime? Or is he a Dishonest Banana? I’ll simply answer that by saying we shall be looking a bit more closely into Mr Mirchandani’s portfolio of wind energy projects in the next edition of this blog: “Doing Wind Badly”…

I’ll leave it at that for now!

Finally, I read back through some old entries and did wonder if I came across as too aggressive and sarcastic, to the point of just seeming horrible?! It’s a tricky tightrope…I really do want to express the amygdala hijacked mindset of someone driven to the end of their tether by wind blight, and I really do want to counterbalance the sickly sales pitch of the wind lobby with some punky straight-talk. But equally I don’t just want to be so biased the other way I refuse to acknowledge genuine successes within the wind industry. I want to stay objective and fact-based, rather than just coming across as some deranged anti-wind nutter (even though I would argue, it was the turbines that made me deranged in the first place!)

I guess every blogger has their own style and I’m developing mine with every entry. If my words sometimes come cross as angry, I’ve tried to go beyond the raw emotion and look deeper into the psychology behind what causes it. I do know that the anger expressed here is merely a distillation of the anger felt by wind victims the world over. It would be highly passive-aggressive of the wind companies to make us feel this way and not acknowledge that they’ve had such an impact on our psychological state. That’s the point I try and get across repeatedly – the angry words are the best possible evidence I can provide of just how wind turbines make us feel. For the record, this is the first time in my entire life I’ve ever been angry enough to start blogging (let’s be honest, almost every blog is borne out of the need to right some wrong, to correct an imbalance of some sort).

The happy coincidence of 10:10 Climate Action simultaneously popping onto my news feed at exactly the same time as me starting this blog does give me considerable justification for continuing, I feel. If I ever thought that debating wind policy was out of date now that the game has changed (in the UK at least), when I see 10:10 enrolling children with their sinister astroturf campaigns, it just makes my flesh creep, and once again I feel the need to stand up and speak out.

I remember this clip from a few years ago and the outcry it generated, but it had slipped my mind that the culprits were the same 10:10 lot who are now back on the scene. I thought they were a new operation, but no, they’ve been around for years, pushing the wind agenda all along. This “classic” of theirs proves my point perfectly. And it’s not just me who finds the whole thing doesn’t sit right… Read the comments and you’ll get an idea of just how abhorrent their “Buy our products or your children die” approach is to most people.

I think the folks who decided the gruesome “Splattergate” film was a good idea (a film described as the PR flop of the millennium and an utter catastrophe for the environmentalist movement) are just about the very last people to lecture us on the aesthetic value of wind turbines!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_Pressure_(film)

Read the below-the-line comments! https://www.theguardian.com/environment/blog/2010/sep/30/10-10-no-pressure-film

The 10:10 Splattergate goes “sploot” – a roundup

10:10 Climate Action EXPOSED!

wind_turbines_obscenery_01.jpg

I was going to start today’s blog with some Awkward Questions. I had some lined up: “What on earth is the point? Who actually cares what you say? Will anyone read your blog other than people who already agree with you? Will you change a single person’s mind? Maybe you’re wrong, after all. Maybe the man from the Green Party was right, and wind turbines are the only solution left before the planet implodes. What if? What if?”

I’ll still ask myself these awkward questions, because it’s fun, but now that I’ve hit upon the fundamental axiom that underpins my argument, that people only like wind turbines because someone else told them to, there’s no point typing the same thing over and over; the discussion needs to be moved forward and a pragmatic solution needs to be found.

I’ve realised now that arguing with Watermelons over their honestly-held beliefs is futile; if there’s anyone who needs telling off it’s the Dishonest Bananas, those who secretly know the harm wind turbines do but try and cover it up, actively spreading incomplete and misleading information that plays down the negative impact of wind blight.

I figure that if people only like wind turbines because someone else told them to, the most efficient use of my time and efforts is to directly intercept that “someone else” and to bring a semblance of natural balance back to their skewed communications. If we can stop people telling other people to like wind turbines, the voice of nature will soon reassert itself, and people’s true feelings will gradually make themselves known.

So I guess that’s the point of this blog: to restore some natural equilibrium to the dialogue about wind farms and their impact; to offer people access to a wide range of different opinions and ideas about wind energy that they might not have heard before; and to help humanity assimilate all this new information into the global eco-consciousness.

My aim is simply to shed some light upon the impact wind turbines have had on my own mental health and well-being, to let you judge for yourselves what you make of my story and whether it resonates with your own. It matters a great deal to me that people have the freedom to make their own decisions; I just believe the decisions we make will serve us better if they are based on the truth, not other people’s hidden agendas.

THE TRUTH SHALL SET YOU FREE!

What if I’m wrong though, what if I’m missing some vital piece of information that would instantly win me round to a windy way of thinking? Well, just like the awesome Randi has his million-dollar psychic challenge, we could set up a Windi challenge! I’m a sceptic, you’re a believer (I hope I’m reaching some pro-wind types, I really don’t just want to preach to the converted)… If you can prove that there’s a wind farm out there with a positive impact on my health and well-being (and I don’t just mean “a less negative impact than climate change”, I mean an actual positive impact of its own!), then I’ll pull this website in a heartbeat and give you the keys to my house. Why wouldn’t I? If there was a specific wind farm out there that could cheer me up and make me feel good, it’d be a foolish act of self-sabotage not to support it! Just point me in its direction and I’ll give it every chance to uplift me.

10:10 Climate Action have been irritating a lot of Wind Warriors recently with their trolling pro-wind sponsored posts, so I invite them to take the Windi challenge… Can they prove the positive impact of wind farms on my health and well-being, and win over this arch-critic of their entire weltanschauung? (**Best word of the entire blog so far!!!**)

You be the judge, dear reader…

“We need to talk about wind”, they say. So it’s not just me then, at least we agree on something!

https://1010uk.org/talkaboutwind/

Let’s go through their points one by one, and see if we can find any evidence to prove the positive impact of wind turbines. First up, bird deaths: https://1010uk.org/talk-about-wind/birds

There’s no argument here. There’s no denying or covering up the bird deaths caused by turbines, however their whole argument seems to be built around the fact that Donald Trump said that turbines kill “all” the eagles, instead of just “many” eagles. Oh no, hold the front page, Trump exaggerated something!

They also bring in the RSPB as an appeal to authority, whose sole contribution to the debate seems to be that “well yes, wind turbines kill birds, but climate change would kill even more”, which is either Watermelon or Dishonest Banana, depending on their motivation. They’re either so scared they’re not thinking straight, or else they’re crooked. WHAT IF THEY’RE RIGHT? Well, let’s imagine… The trick, according to the RSPB, would be to “do wind well”. How does one do it well then? And all that time and effort to “do wind well”… If it takes three years of ornithological surveys before even a single megawatt of electricity can be generated, IS IT REALLY WORTH THE EFFORT???

This paragraph about bird deaths reveals an awful lot about the psychological trickery at hand here. I’m so glad these guys popped into my life, just as I started writing about wind farms and mental health. What a perfect case study! I do love serendipity… See, it’s kind of moral blackmail and almost an ultimatum: “Birds are gonna die, right? So either buy our product, and only a few get it, or else watch climate change kill the bloody lot of them…” Imagine going out with someone who said: “Well, I’ll only beat you a little…any other man would beat you five times as hard.” Sorry for the unpleasant analogy, but I really want to convey the hidden aggression behind the “clean, green” sales-pitch. There’s often a hint of menace as to what would happen if we didn’t partake of wind farms, which again proves my point that people only like them because someone else told them to, possibly even under duress of some sort. “Don’t blame us. We’re only supporting them because of what the RSPB said what would happen if we didn’t…”

This is gonna take ages to get through at this rate… Well, I’ve got time. Unless climate change threatens to flood my house before I finish typing. What’s up next then, money? https://1010uk.org/talk-about-wind/cost

Simple answer to this, in fact I don’t even need to read it, because money’s got nothing to do with my argument. A wind turbine could cause a million pounds to come fluttering down from the sky, but that would have no bearing whatsoever on the psychological impact of erecting one in an area of outstanding natural beauty, other than confirmation that certain people would willingly destroy nature for money. The reality is, however, that whatever money wind turbines generate for their operator, it’s simply money knocked off the value of the adjacent housing stock, its worth depreciated by thousands of pounds due to wind blight.

Who do you think is more academic, more scientific, and more rigorous in their approach to mathematics: the RSPB or the London School of Economics?

http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpolicy/gone-with-the-wind/

Now THAT is research!

Noise: https://1010uk.org/talk-about-wind/noise

This is one for the hardcore scientists to get to grips with. Sound waves are very strange things, and their effects very difficult to pin down. I do know that low frequencies can either sound amazing, or else particularly harmful. Well-arranged, harmonically, rhythmically and sonically sculpted bass sounds form the roots of just about all the music I like best. However, unarranged or badly arranged low frequencies – or even just well-arranged low frequencies playing at an inappropriate time (eg late at night when you’re trying to sleep) – have a distinctly toxic effect on human health and well-being. You don’t need me to tell you what it’s like when a distant bass rumble keeps you awake at night, making you feel anxious and on edge.

I see no mention of Enercon or the Cape Bridgewater study in 10:10’s “Aren’t wind turbines quiet?” piece. Follow the links and judge for yourself!

https://mothersagainstturbines.com/2016/12/12/families-forced-from-their-homes-win-case-against-enercon/

http://waubrafoundation.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Cooper-S.-Soundscape-of-a-Wind-Farm-Cape-Bridgewater.pdf

Impacts on Health? None, apparently. https://1010uk.org/talk-about-wind/health

So my blog is just a work of fiction, I thought as much. “All in your mind!” they’ll say, proving my point for me. Blimey, I actually thought debunking this document would be intellectually demanding; in fact it’s proving to be about as difficult as making a cup of tea. Yet again the paragraph about health draws upon the same old trope that I hope you can start to recognise for yourself…”Well OK, um, erm, some people say wind turbines ruin their health. There’s no evidence that they’re genuinely suffering, they’re probably just making it up for fun. But, even if they are suffering due to wind turbines, they’d be suffering even worse due to climate change…” It gets old after a while.

I must remember to break into someone’s house later. I’ll steal everything they own, other than their bed. If they catch me, I’ll just say: “Stop moaning. Climate change would have destroyed your bed as well. You got off lightly.” I’ll just randomly punch someone on the street, and when they complain, I’ll say: “Ah, well climate change would deny you the very oxygen you’re breathing, so shut up, stop being a wimp, and take this. Kapow!”

Right, now for some fun. Here’s one I can really get my teeth into, in fact I already have, but I don’t mind a little encore. Aesthetics: https://1010uk.org/talk-about-wind/eyesore

“Aesthetics are a personal thing.” NO THEY ARE NOT. PEOPLE SPEND THREE YEARS AT UNIVERSITY ON ART, FILM AND MUSIC COURSES, LEARNING THE FINER POINTS OF AESTHETIC APPRECIATION. IF AESTHETICS WERE PURELY PERSONAL, WE WOULD BE SAYING THE MUSIC OF JEDWARD HAS JUST AS MUCH INTRINSIC AESTHETIC VALUE AS THE MUSIC OF MOZART. WE WOULD BE SAYING A LAYBY WITH OLD MATTRESSES AND FURNITURE DUMPED IN IT HAS JUST AS MUCH AESTHETIC VALUE AS WINDSOR GREAT PARK.

THAT’S CLEARLY NOT REALITY.

Still, I do respect people’s right to make their own decisions. I don’t mind if people personally like something ugly, as long as they don’t lose sight of objective reality in the process. Aesthetics are based on certain core values that we all share, that’s the whole point of it, durrr. I’ll even Google it again if you don’t believe me:

“A set of principles concerned with the nature and appreciation of beauty.”

Yes, we all have different tastes, but transcending personal tastes are certain principles that determine whether something has a positive or negative aesthetic quality. I’ve talked in detail about the things that I would argue make wind turbines objectively ugly – the paint for example. Please, please, please, someone explain to me what is aesthetically pleasing about a huge, high-visibility white pillar, with three huge, lethal-looking, high-visibility white blades, dominating an otherwise totally green landscape? Please explain what is aesthetically pleasing about the juddering movement of the blades, not (as cartoon depictions would have you believe), a continuous spinning motion, but in fact a magnetised “pulling”, “jerking” movement that yanks the blades around the nacelle? I’ve already gone into great detail about out of phase blade movements looking like the worst ballet company you’ve ever seen.

Still: “I’ve always loved seeing wind turbines in the landscape, I think they look elegant and majestic. As someone more than a little bit concerned about climate change, I find the sight of wind power in action uplifting and deeply reassuring – perhaps we really are going to solve this problem after all.”

DOES ANYONE REALLY TALK LIKE THAT???

Elegant and majestic? Which turbines were these then? I want names, I want dates, I want addresses. Where did you go? What did you see? OK, maybe I’ll grudgingly accept that wind turbines sometimes resemble trees… DEAD TREES. No leaves. No flesh. Just a bunch of creepy looking, disembodied skeletons, casting a deathly pall over the surrounding fields.

“As someone more than a little bit concerned about climate change…”

That’s not a sentence, that’s a bleedin’ random word generator. But it also makes the point I was making earlier – that is not an AESTHETIC reason for liking wind turbines. They are merely a symbol, a tube map if you like, that represents in this person’s mind a means of combatting climate change. Following this person’s logic, if they have any, a wind turbine could resemble a giant spooky clown that makes children cry from dozens of miles away, but if its meaning is one of tackling climate change, then miraculously it would suddenly look amazing. They totally misunderstand that aesthetics are about the precise, geometric and spatial qualities of an object, nothing whatsoever to do with what that object represents. I could change the aesthetics of this website without changing a single word.

It’s the meaning behind wind turbines that this person claims to be more than a little bit entranced by, not their aesthetics. A meaning, I repeat, that derives from somebody else. This person’s entire reason for liking wind farms comes from somebody else telling him what wind turbines are supposed to mean.

Finally, to their credit, and once again to show I am a fair-minded soul at heart despite the flamboyant displays of anger, I actually agree with everything they say in the second half of this page, regarding communities being involved in the planning process, and wind turbines needing to be something people want near them. Bravo Sirs! Just a shame it’s buried away beneath pages of misleading drivel.

I shouldn’t be too quick to congratulate them maybe, because if anything all this Aesthetics page does is reveal that, deep down, 10:10 Climate Action really do have something of the Banana-In-Disguise about them. If they know and acknowledge the “imposition” (their word) of wind farms onto communities, and they are genuine about “the involvement of local people in planning processes”, then they’d do well to speak out publicly about my next topic, and maybe one of the other reasons I initially felt the need to blog. I almost forgot, there’s so many!

I’m talking about unfair and suspicious Planning Appeals, and I will devote a whole chapter to this single legal loophole that has allowed so many unwanted wind turbines to slip through the net. Maybe it’s the planning process itself that has been the weakest link, the abuse of which leading to almost all of the controversies. Maybe if our planning system hadn’t been corrupted (some might say “rigged”), we wouldn’t even be having this conversation now…

As for who exactly is behind 10:10 Climate Action, and why, well the question you should all be asking yourselves now is: Banana or Watermelon? I’m starting to sound more and more like a teacher! OK, 10:10 are clearly not Honest Bananas like me. But possibly Dishonest ones, ie deliberately trying to misrepresent the true impact of wind power for a hidden agenda of some sort? Or is it a well-intentioned Watermelon operation, people genuinely worried about climate change, reaching out in good faith to the wind industry and the solutions they offer?

We know that UK citizens can’t detect any discernible climate change with our own senses (yet, I might say…) Therefore we can rule out 10:10 Climate Action arising out of any direct grass roots experiences within the communities of Britain. So what made these people come together, if it was nothing they had experienced first-hand? Where did they get their information from? Is there some kind of hidden hand pulling the strings of these well-meaning people, in order to promote its own agenda? Or are the ones pulling the strings none other than 10:10 Climate Action themselves, and they want YOU to be their puppet?

Make your own minds up, as always. Do your research.

You’re getting the hang of this Journalism lark now! I’m really proud of you 🙂

https://1010uk.org/history-1010

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_Million_Dollar_Paranormal_Challenge

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sustainable Development?

I’ve mentioned Agenda 21 a few times, without ever explaining what it is. I’ve hoped that everyone reading is intellectually curious, and able to use a search engine without my help! Happy researching 🙂

Here’s a thesis:

Here’s its antithesis:

https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2015/jun/24/agenda-21-conspiracy-theory-sustainability

What’s your synthesis?

Let’s hear from the horses’s mouth. It’s only 350 pages long, so I’ll see you in five years when you’ve finished reading… https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/Agenda21.pdf

Got that? Great, now we can have a debate, although it won’t take long! In fact, there’s a “Scholar’s ‘mate” quick-win that should, in a logical world, take out the entire justification for the wind energy industry, in literally one killer sentence. The fact is Agenda 21 and wind turbines should come nowhere near each other, which I can prove in 30 seconds flat, because Agenda 21 is all about “sustainable development” (their own words). Sounds groovy! It really does, in fact:

“Humanity stands at a defining moment in history. We are confronted with a perpetuation of disparities between and within nations, a worsening of poverty, hunger, ill health and illiteracy, and the continuing deterioration of the ecosystems on which we depend for our well-being. However, integration of environment and development concerns and greater attention to them will lead to the fulfilment of basic needs, improved living standards for all, better protected and managed ecosystems and a safer, more prosperous future. No nation can achieve this on its own; but together we can – in a global partnership for sustainable development.” (Paragraph 1 of Agenda 21)

Well there we go. It even refers to Maslow, with its talk of fulfilling needs. Better life for all, better protected ecosystems, working together to make the world safer and more prosperous. It comes across as more me than me, to be honest! Count me in. Yup, working towards sustainable development sounds like my dream come true.

I’m on the verge of an epiphany in fact, and I’m prepared for this to be my last ever blog post on the matter, now I realise that in fact Agenda 21 has been saying exactly the same thing I’ve been saying: we need sustainable development in order to protect our ecosystems and enable the people of the world to fulfil their needs. What a lot of words I’ve wasted, arguing against a document that officially sets out a plan to enact exactly the kind of world I want to live in.

Before signing up to get involved in this global partnership for sustainable development, I suppose I better just check I understand exactly what I’m signing up for. I better just check what “sustainable” actually means, before scrapping this blog and permanently dropping my Banana stance towards wind turbines: Build Absolutely None Anywhere Near Anyone.

Let’s Google “sustainable”…

su

Oh. Hold on. Cognitive Dissonance alert! Agenda 21 is all about the promotion of sustainable development, yet according to the dictionary, “sustainable” means: “able to be maintained at a certain rate or level.”

When was the last time the wind was “able to be maintained at a certain rate or level”???

No further questions, Your Honour.

Well, maybe just one. How the hell has Agenda 21, an agenda for sustainable development, been used as justification for the worldwide rollout of energy projects that rely upon the fickle wind, a meteorological phenomenon singularly and spectacularly unable “to be maintained at a certain rate or level”???

Is there anything less equipped to fulfil our needs for both sustainable energy and the protection of our natural ecosystems than an industrial wind farm?

I realise that I’ve talked in great detail about Bananas and Watermelons, taking an extended look at the two different psychological archetypes behind the two opposing sides of the wind farm debate. You’re either for them or against them. (People who don’t give a hoot one way or the other won’t even be aware there’s a debate going on!)

I wonder if I should maybe delete some of the paragraphs and paragraphs of working I’ve done, as it might be difficult to read or even alienate people I’m trying to persuade, but as I have prefaced them, these are my workings, pencil scribblings feverishly jotted onto a dog-eared notepad (metaphorically speaking). The next step is to distill all these workings into one clear, concise kernel of pure, inarguable truth. I think I’ve got one:

People only like wind farms because someone else told them to.

There we go! What do you think? It sums up everything I’ve been saying. The only fans of wind farms are those with an external locus of control, who have been told that they’re “good for the environment”. Nobody with an internal locus of control likes wind farms.

Can I prove such a sweeping statement? Well, get in touch if you like wind farms, on an aesthetic, visceral, emotional and psychological level. If they elevate your mood and lift your spirits, then please, please, please get in touch and allow your positive feelings to shine through in an effusive paean to turbines. I actively want to hear from people who like wind turbines. I want to know which turbines it was that had such a positive impact on your health and well-being so I can go there and experience it for myself. As you will see if you read through my entries, I give specific locations for you to go and experience what I experience (eg Mortimer Road). If you know of a wind farm that will make me feel good, I’ll meet you there for a picnic!

What about people who only DISlike wind turbines because somebody else told them to? Well, where are these people? Anyone out there who used to like them, and maybe still does deep down (a guilty pleasure!), but due to peer-pressure or social norms, you feel you can’t speak up in public for wind farms? Really??? No, I didn’t think so. That’s because Wind Warriors don’t walk the streets in masks, smashing windows and pulling down statues, to force our views upon people. When was the last time anti-wind activists intruded on your reality while you were just going about your business? Opposing wind power is confined to intellectual debate, political discourse and planning policy.

Wind Warriors never impose our views on people against their will. Far from it, Wind Warriors actively encourage people to carry out their own research into environmental horror stories, and to find out for themselves the impact of official policy. Wind Warriors believe that our relationship with nature should be based upon Love, not Fear 🙂 

Let’s refine the Banana/Watermelon dialectic to take it away from personalities and more towards policy. I don’t want to define people’s spiritual essence by their locus of control, and as I have said before, in reality it’s a sliding scale with many anomalies and contradictions. So, rather than categorising people as either a Banana or a Watermelon, I want to refine my argument by saying every problem we face has a more internal-based solution and a more external-based solution, and people may align themselves with either, based on the specific situation.

Yet again, I can draw upon my IT experiences, with computer issues being logged to engineers who can either resolve them themselves, or reassign them should the resolution lie beyond their own locus of control. This is the essence of my Day Job: can I fix this one or do I need to pass it across to the Infrastructure guys?

Although I like to think I generally have a relatively internal locus of control, I can think of examples in life where I’ve actually gone externally to solve a problem. For example, I had an issue with a noisy neighbour. A true Banana would have dealt with it directly, without the need for outside help. I didn’t – I rushed straight to the agents and asked them to sort it on my behalf, which is pretty Watermelony, I confess!

Now, I didn’t want to get the neighbour into trouble, but looking back I DID have an ulterior motive. I wanted to move anyway so I used the noise complaint to make the case for an early end to the tenancy agreement. I didn’t lie, but I did have another agenda. If I’d wanted to stay at the property, I would have just dealt with the noise problem myself. What this tells me is that, although calling in the letting agents to resolve my noise issues gave me the outward appearance of having an external locus of control, in fact I retained an internal locus throughout, because I’d exploited the situation for my own benefit. Hardly even unethical – there was a genuine noise issue and I wanted to move anyway, so why not “kill two birds with one stone”?

That’s what we have to work out with wind turbines: is there a deeper reason, a hidden agenda, why a wind turbine backer might promote these horrible machines? Is there a chance that wind turbines “kill two birds with one blade”, as it were, only one of those birds being renewable energy? What other hidden reasons could people have for supporting wind turbines? Money is the obvious, but could there be others, such as the deliberate degradation (and maybe even depopulation) of our rural areas? Is that what “sustainable” really means?

Let me know your thoughts, Watermelons! Why DO you like wind turbines? Even the Green Party candidate I spoke to about Rooley Moor doesn’t LIKE them! Even he acknowledged how they “disfigure” the landscape, but unfortunately in his opinion the Earth needs them as an emergency measure to immediately start lowering CO2 emissions. This is possibly the opposing opinion I have most respect for, as I told him, the opinion that, yes, wind turbines are physically repulsive, and nobody wants them, but unfortunately we NEED them, like sticking a broken leg in plaster. Nobody is going to say the plaster enhances the natural beauty of your leg, but for a few months it might just make the difference to ever being able to walk again. Our debate rested on whether we trust the Doctor’s best intentions – the Green Party guy does; I don’t!

Never let it be said I don’t encourage people to express the opposite opinion to me, in order to factor in any valid points they make to my own thesis. Here, once again, is the Watermelon case for wind turbines, the antithesis to my thesis, this time expressed by the Green Party itself. What do you think?

Dear **Mr Peak Protection**

I am the general election agent and also a local election candidate for the Green Party in Rossendale and Darwen.

I know Rooley Moor well. The first time I turned up at the Rossendale Harriers and asked if I could go fell running with them, they took me up Whittle Pike, across to Top of Leach, and back down Rooley Moor Road. I got left behind of course, but one of them took pity and shepherded me home, or I’d probably be up there still. Since then I’ve run, walked and cycled there many times. I don’t like the idea of more wind turbines up there. They disfigure the landscape and destroy the peace up there.

I am a scientist. I studied chemistry and have spent the last 30 years working in research in various parts of manufacturing industry. I have followed the debate on climate change. There is a lot of nonsense from both sides of the argument, and objective data are hard to find, but the latest report (November 2014) of the IPCC gives a reasonable summary.

The impact of climate change is already under way, shown in extreme weather events. This is from a temperature increase of 0.8C. Future impacts include floods, crop failures, displacement of people and increased poverty. And it’s going to get much worse. If the world acted now to cut greenhouse gases, the temperature rise might be limited to 2C. But the world will not act because that would cut their scared cow – growth. Every nation will meet and decide that not they, but someone else, should cut their carbon emissions. So the temperature rise will be 2.5 or 3C, with consequences that are catastrophic. The next generation will inherit from us a planet that is dying.

I can’t go into great detail, but this wind farm will generate 40MW of electricity (when it’s running). An efficient gas fired power station would produce 20 tons/hour of CO2 in generating this power. Assuming the wind turbines operate at an average of 50%, they will save about 88,000 tons CO2 per year. The UK total carbon emissions in 2012 were 474,000,000 tons, which we have to reduce to about 150,000,000 tones by 2050.

Renewable energy is one of the ways to reach this target and mitigate the worst excesses of climate change. Rooley Moor wind farm is a step in that direction. I don’t like it there, but it is the lesser of two evils. We cannot behave like our governments and say that we want renewable energy, but on someone else’s doorstep, not ours.

I also regret the fact that renewable energy projects such as this one are dominated by large companies, and would like to see smaller schemes run by local communities. The Green Party emphatically does not support corporations, but believes in localism.

The true environmental position is to support this development, despite the visual impact, because it will help save the planet we live on.

**Mr Green**

Interesting. Very interesting to read that again, nearly three years after it was written. Glad to see there, in black and white, that the Green Party believes in localism. One might be surprised, given their support for the EU, but hey, that’s good! I sent the following reply:

Dear Mr **Green**

I cannot tell you how grateful I am to you, and impressed with the quality of your email to me. This is a very good advertisement for the Green Party, because it directly deals with all my accusations, provides me with credible evidence and, to a certain extent, explains the Green Party’s position. In addition, your personal connection to the area really demonstrates that you “care”! I think the most disconcerting factor in the wind farm debate is the sheer disconnection many supporters of wind turbines have from their actual effects, It is to your great credit that you acknowledge these negatives but make the case that, on balance, you feel the wind farm is worth them for the greater good. Regardless of whether I agree with the position, it is certainly one I respect.

I totally accept your statistics about the effects of climate change, however I am less inclined to accept the energy production statistics you present at face value, though I am not saying you are wrong – simply I would need to investigate these myself, to ensure they are accurate, independent, and the predictions/forecasts are actually achieved in real life. In other words – these are not just manufacturers’ claims.

I also feel, even though the Green Party may support the principle of constructing a wind farm on Rooley Moor, it has a duty to do so with extreme diligence, it must remain totally detached from the operators of the wind farm and ensure they comply with the utmost of environmental and ethical standards at all times. There are credible allegations of deceipt and tax avoidance on the part of Coronation Power (I can provide evidence if necessary). Just because the product itself is one the Green Party supports, if individual manufacturers are found to be behaving in an inappropriate, or even unethical fashion, then the Green Party should come down doubly hard on those rogue traders for besmirching its noble aims.

Therefore, I still have concerns that the Green Party is not more vocal in qualifying its support for wind energy by insisting that those companies entrusted with the protection of the planet behave with the utmost of probity at all times. Support for wind farms should be conditional, not unconditional, support, given with heavy heart and stringently monitored at all times.

I would also like to say that not all locations are appropriate, and in the context of Rooley Moor I believe the moor itself is absolutely the wrong area. I do NOT see anything morally wrong about being a “NIMBY” (in fact it’s not even my backyard, as I live in Leeds). If people feel strongly and are prepared to protest passionately enough, then their wishes should be respected. I fail to see why wind energy developers are not winning hearts and minds, making a good strong positive case for why people SHOULD welcome these developments in their area. If Rooley Moor is a specific area that arouses such strong feeling enough to object, then on a purely moral level I believe it is unethical to force the wind farm on residents. Why not find an area where everyone WANTS a wind farm?

To be honest, I could debate this for weeks but I appreciate you have taken time out to write to me, and you have certainly set me on a path towards finding out more, which is always good. So I am still as strongly opposed to the construction of the Rooley Moor wind farm as I ever was, I still believe the Green Party needs to be more vocal about stamping out malpractice in the wind industry, and more understanding that it’s not inherently right-wing or NIMBY to be opposed to bulldozers and HGVs (my own inspiration derives from Dr Seuss and Joni Mitchell!), it’s a perfectly valid position for green-minded people to be opposed to the industrialisation of the countryside. What you have done though, is explain a bit deeper the reason why this is even an issue, and you have certainly restored my faith that there are knowledgeable, passionate people in the Green Party.

**Mr Peak Protection**

The above correspondence dates from the very beginning of 2015. By the end of the year, the Rooley Moor proposal had been unanimously rejected. I’ve not really told you much about this one yet. It’s a whole saga in itself. Maybe next time! If Gorpley was the first wind turbine application I got involved with, Rooley Moor was the second. It’s a long story that starts with Abraham Lincoln and the American slave trade, and ends up in a council office in Rochdale. It’s a fascinating and uplifting tale, which I’ll come onto shortly!

What I hope to have demonstrated is that almost all Watermelons are good, honest and well-intentioned people, who have simply made the decision to outsource the locus of control for “saving the planet” to the wind energy companies. I might disagree with the solution they are recommending, but at no time do I deny the rational, logical and ethical reasons that a Watermelon might have for supporting wind farms. In theory, anyway.

I just think all their reasons derive from somebody else, and it’s that somebody else that I really have the problem with. Because, ultimately that someone else is almost definitely a Banana-In-Disguise, someone who knows deep down exactly how unpleasant wind farms are, and therefore deliberately distorts the public’s perception of them in order to pursue some kind of hidden agenda – probably money, but not necessarily.

I’m talking about every single person who ever lied, misled, obfuscated or omitted vital information in their support for a wind energy proposal. That includes YOU, Planning Inspectors of the UK, you know precisely which individuals I’m referring to… These are the people I’m really angry with, not those like the Green Party guy above who openly acknowledge just how badly wind turbines disfigure our landscapes.

It might be true that wind power really is capable of generating a certain amount of carbon-free electricity, so in their own minds they’re not lying so much as playing down the known adverse side effects. The bit they’re missing out is the unfortunate side effect of destroying the countryside as we know and love it, and its negative impact on our health and well-being.

Rather than admit this catastrophic side effect upfront, like the Green Party guy above did, instead they steadfastly refuse to acknowledge the harm wind turbines inflict upon the countryside, and worm their way past all conventional planning policies with slimy NLP and creepy promotional campaigns (yes, 10:10 Climate Action, I’m looking in your direction). You want to build a wind “farm”, you say??? Ooh that sounds nice! Will there be chickens and cows there as well, and a jolly, ruddy-cheeked man driving around on a tractor halfcut on scrumpy? Are there nuclear “farms” and fracking “farms” too, or do we only farm the wind?!

A few wind turbine supporters might go so far as to have some kind of twisted anti-nature psychopathy – these would be the same people who enjoy pulling the wings of butterflies for fun. Or, it might be that they are just anti-human. They might believe that it’s us humans who are causing all the problems on this planet, so let’s just have a mass cull of humanity. If there are millions too many people on the planet, why not start by making the countryside sterile and uninhabitable, forcing everyone into the cities, from where they can be controlled much more easily?

Finally, and following on eerily from my previous sentence, let’s have some more news from Brighton. Do I detect the very early, embryonic stages of Cognitive Dissonance forming in the mind of Caroline Lucas? Grab some popcorn. We’ve got years of this ahead. She’s a funny one is Caroline. What does she REALLY think about wind turbines? Is she a panic-stricken Watermelon who genuinely believes the solutions to the planet’s eco-problems can best be solved externally, or is she in fact a Dishonest Banana, who knows deep down wind farms aren’t the answer she claims them to be, but is too deeply involved in the scam to turn back? I really don’t know. Thoughts?

Outside the wind farm debate, Caroline Lucas has clearly done a lot of good stuff, in order to keep getting re-elected. I’d be a fool to criticise such an adept politician. I just get the feeling she never actually spends any time in nature. Maybe I’m doing her a grave injustice, but Caroline, if you’re reading, when was the last time you came up here to the Backbone of England and did some rambling? I think you should set aside some time every week to climb a new Pennine peak, if you really want me to take your views on the environment seriously.

Do you even know the name and spot-height of your nearest Marilyn, Caroline? Do you, dear reader? You really should know these things… Mine is Ilkley Moor, 402m above sea level 🙂

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/09/30/adeles-husband-reveals-wind-farm-scars-home-county/

https://www.hill-bagging.co.uk/Marilyns.php