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