Christmas Peace & Goodwill

It’s been a while since my last entry, but that doesn’t mean I’ve not been writing. Far from it, as you can see from the Comments section beneath the previous post. A massive thank-you to Phil H, whoever you are! I have no idea how on earth you stumbled across my blog, but I am truly grateful for the highly detailed technical knowledge you have brought to the discourse.

“It takes two to tango”, and it takes two to have a debate. One of the recurring themes of the blog is the importance of Hegelian Dialectic (thesis-antithesis-synthesis) as a tool for arriving at the truth: opposing opinions being graded against each other until a best-fit, win-win synthesis can be reached that factors in the salient points from both thesis and antithesis.

I’ve been frustrated at the lack of credible antithesis to my initial thesis, precisely because of my sincere belief in the power of Dialectic, the understanding that there must be more to reality than simply our kneejerk reactions to what we experience. I’ve known (and articulated) all along that my negative reactions are merely the first steps on my journey towards the truth. Not that I’m wrong, but that in order for wind turbines to spring up on a hilltop, there MUST be people angling for their construction, people with the opposing opinion to mine, people who have a positive opinion of wind turbines.

I’ve simply tried to challenge those who support wind turbines to speak up. and consistently received in return a total lack of meaningful response. More than that, I’d noticed an external locus of control that seemed to characterise all wind energy schemes, with responsibility always passed to mysterious third-parties rather than anyone standing up and taking ownership of the issues flagged.

Bravo Phil for standing up and making the case for wind power, and congratulations also for the critical thinking you’ve displayed in not just evangelising about “clean, green energy”, but also taking on board the very real negatives associated with wind blight. In return, I’ve dropped some of my own irrelevant claims against wind energy (eg any unfounded claims that the turbine capacity statements are fraudulent). Dropping unhelpful arguments from my campaigning doesn’t suddenly make me a fan of wind power, it just helps me refine my opinion and filter out any misstatements that don’t make logical sense.

The synthesis always comes back to “doing wind well”, and agreeing that if we must have wind energy, it should maintain the highest standards of probity at all times. Maybe that’s all that’s needed, and maybe it’s the egregious examples of wind done badly (particularly around the South Pennines and Southern Scotland, that I’ve experienced anyway) that give the entire industry a bad name. Any honest wind farmers out there would do well to understand it’s the rogue traders who are sullying the entire industry, and they should turf them out on their ear.

Maybe it’s something else that is behind all the problems I’ve encountered, eg crony capitalism or flawed planning policies. Wind is just the scapegoat; maybe I’d be equally unhappy with fracking at the same locations, so I should separate out my complaints about bad planning decisions from my blanket criticism of wind energy per se.

I’ve considered this, but as wind is strongest on the hilltops, as a source of electrical energy it’s intrinsically a threat to the integrity of the UK’s peaks, more than almost any other source of energy. As a Protector of the Peaks I will always be averse to wind blight at these special high-altitude places. Offshore wind may be a solution, but then it screws up our beach resorts. It’s hard to think of the right locations for wind power, other than those areas already industrialised.

Phil asks what my solution is, if not wind energy, and my answer is simply to represent the voice of nature-lovers in terms of improving the environmental impact of ALL energy forms, and to ensure that whatever method we choose is compliant with the fundamentals of conservation. It just so happens that wind power has crossed my path significantly more destructively than any other form of energy generation, and it’s wind turbines that have invaded the landscapes that energise me most as a person. Wind energy has therefore de-energised me, and thousands like me, more than any other form of power generation. That’s the story I’ve needed to share.

As well as my debating partner Phil, I’d also like to thank the UK Government. You don’t hear people say that very often! But I have received a very nice message assuring me that the relevant people in Government are aware of my blog, my videos and my training materials for the Planning Inspectorate. Whether they take my opinions on board remains to be seen, but it feels good knowing that at least the message has got through.


I hope this inspires people to reach out to politicians – give them a chance! If you are aware of an issue that you think should be dealt with, gather your evidence, build a case and present your findings to the authorities. Be prepared to listen to and engage with opposing opinions, drop those elements of your case that don’t stand up to cross-examination, whilst holding onto your core beliefs. In this case, dropping my false accusations about “capacity factor” fraud doesn’t impact on my core belief that too many of our hills have been degraded for insufficient benefit.

I’ll hand the rest of this entry over to the vast amount of links that I’ve encountered over the last couple of weeks.


(Phil, check this link… what’s your verdict?)