Contents

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PEAK PROTECTION FORCE / SOUTH PENNINE PROTECTION FORCE SUCCESSES:

2017 – SCOUT MOOR EXPANSION REFUSED AT NATIONAL LEVEL

2015 – ROOLEY MOOR WIND FARM REFUSED AT LOCAL LEVEL

2015 – UK GOVERNMENT ELECTED ON POLICY OF REMOVING SUPPORT FOR ONSHORE WIND FARMS

2014 – GORPLEY WIND FARM REFUSED AT LOCAL LEVEL

BLOG CONTENTS:

It’s The Wind Wot Won It (In England & Wales, Anyway)

https://peakproductionscouk.wordpress.com/2019/12/14/its-the-wind-wot-won-it-in-england-wales-anyway/

The Difference Between Rhetorical Brutalism And Hate Speech

https://peakproductionscouk.wordpress.com/2019/11/23/the-difference-between-rhetorical-brutalism-and-hate-speech/

Come Swear At Me! In Defence Of Rhetorical Brutalism

https://peakproductionscouk.wordpress.com/2019/09/29/come-swear-at-me-in-defence-of-rhetorical-brutalism/

Why Do So Many “Nature Lovers” Censor The Voice Of Nature?

https://peakproductionscouk.wordpress.com/2019/07/17/why-do-so-many-nature-lovers-censor-the-voice-of-nature/

Greg Clark MP – The Ultimate NIMBY?

https://peakproductionscouk.wordpress.com/2019/06/25/greg-clark-mp-the-ultimate-nimby/

Wind Energy – The Indisputable Axioms

https://peakproductionscouk.wordpress.com/2019/06/11/wind-energy-the-indisputable-axioms/

Peak District Turbine Blacklist: Naming & Shaming Those Who’ve Blighted The Peak & South Pennines

https://peakproductionscouk.wordpress.com/2019/05/20/peak-district-turbine-blacklist-naming-shaming-those-whove-blighted-the-peak-south-pennines/

Welcoming Our New Student: Emma Pinchbeck!

https://peakproductionscouk.wordpress.com/2019/05/13/welcoming-our-new-student-emma-pinchbeck/

Extinction Rebellion: A Critical Evaluation

https://peakproductionscouk.wordpress.com/2019/04/23/extinction-rebellion-a-critical-evaluation/

Scotland, The UK & The EU

https://peakproductionscouk.wordpress.com/2019/04/05/scotland-the-uk-the-eu/

The Psychological Issues Revealed By Brexit

https://peakproductionscouk.wordpress.com/2019/03/30/the-psychological-issues-revealed-by-brexit/

Hendy Wind Scammers Using Diesel Generators To Fake “Wind” Power

https://peakproductionscouk.wordpress.com/2019/02/03/hendy-wind-farm-scammers-using-diesel-generators-to-fake-wind-power/

The Streisand Effect And How It Harms The Wind Industry

https://peakproductionscouk.wordpress.com/2019/01/23/the-streisand-effect-how-it-harms-the-wind-industry/

How Blogs Like This Are Directly Killing Off The Wind Scam

https://peakproductionscouk.wordpress.com/2019/01/09/how-blogs-like-this-are-directly-killing-off-the-wind-scam/

Crazed Green Scammer Aims Speeding Lorry Directly Towards Member Of The Public

https://peakproductionscouk.wordpress.com/2019/01/05/crazed-green-scammer-aims-speeding-lorry-directly-towards-member-of-the-public/

If Common Decency & The Rule Of Law Won’t Stop The Hendy Scammers, Would A Hail Of Bullets?

https://peakproductionscouk.wordpress.com/2018/12/23/if-common-decency-the-rule-of-law-wont-stop-hendy-scammers-would-a-hail-of-bullets/

Pollution, Corruption & Lawbreaking @ Hendy: Just Another Day In The Life Of A Typical Wind Farm

https://peakproductionscouk.wordpress.com/2018/12/12/pollution-corruption-lawbreaking-hendy-just-another-day-in-the-life-of-a-typical-wind-farm/

Sociopathy In Wales: Lesley Griffiths & Her Insane Eco-Vandal Mates

https://peakproductionscouk.wordpress.com/2018/12/06/sociopathy-in-wales-lesley-griffiths-her-insane-eco-vandal-mates/

The Hendy Plot Thickens: Exposing Welsh Labour’s Crimes Against Nature

https://peakproductionscouk.wordpress.com/2018/11/24/the-hendy-plot-thickens-exposing-welsh-labours-crimes-against-nature/

Lesley Griffiths AM: A Corrupt/Stupid Woman Who Despises Wales

https://peakproductionscouk.wordpress.com/2018/10/30/lesley-griffiths-am-a-corrupt-stupid-woman-who-despises-wales/

Hate Wind, Love Farms

https://peakproductionscouk.wordpress.com/2018/10/25/hate-wind-love-farms/

Case Study: Keighley – A Crime-Ridden Town Surrounded By Turbine Blight

https://peakproductionscouk.wordpress.com/2018/10/22/case-study-keighley-a-crime-ridden-town-surrounded-by-turbine-blight

Wind Turbines In Art

https://peakproductionscouk.wordpress.com/2018/10/11/wind-turbines-in-art/

Cigarettes & Wind Turbines

https://peakproductionscouk.wordpress.com/2018/10/03/cigarettes-wind-turbines/

Who Wants To Blow The Whistle On The Wind Industry?

https://peakproductionscouk.wordpress.com/2018/09/24/who-wants-to-blow-the-whistle-on-the-wind-industry/

The Left Wing Case Against Wind Energy: Turbines Are The Enemy Of Social Justice

https://peakproductionscouk.wordpress.com/2018/09/01/the-left-wing-case-against-wind-energy-turbines-are-the-enemy-of-social-justice/

Conscious vs Subconscious Brutality: The Difference Between Trump Fans & Turbine Fans

https://peakproductionscouk.wordpress.com/2018/08/05/conscious-vs-subconscious-brutality-the-difference-between-trump-fans-turbine-fans/

Trump Derangement Syndrome: Advice From A Fellow TDS Victim

https://peakproductionscouk.wordpress.com/2018/07/19/trump-derangement-syndrome-advice-from-a-fellow-tds-victim/

Defeating The Wind Scam With Statistics

https://peakproductionscouk.wordpress.com/2018/07/13/defeating-the-wind-scam-with-statistics/

Moulins Et Éoliennes

https://peakproductionscouk.wordpress.com/2018/07/02/moulins-et-eoliennes/

Firearms & Explosives vs Unwanted Wind Blight

https://peakproductionscouk.wordpress.com/2018/05/26/firearms-explosives-vs-unwanted-wind-blight/

Robin Brooks’ Big Mistake: Carsington Pastures Wind Farm

https://peakproductionscouk.wordpress.com/2018/05/06/robin-brooks-big-mistake-carsington-pastures-wind-farm/

Aesthetics For Dummies: The Majesty Of Wind Turbines Debunked

https://peakproductionscouk.wordpress.com/2018/04/30/aesthetics-for-dummies-the-majesty-of-wind-turbines-debunked/

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly In Scotland

https://peakproductionscouk.wordpress.com/2018/04/17/the-good-the-bad-the-ugly-in-scotland/

Exploring The Ethics Of Defending The Moors With Force

https://peakproductionscouk.wordpress.com/2018/03/14/exploring-the-ethics-of-defending-the-moors-with-force/

Turbine Blight Between Leeds & Liverpool

https://peakproductionscouk.wordpress.com/2018/03/08/turbine-blight-between-leeds-liverpool/

Wind Energy Is Worse For The Environment Than Fracking

https://peakproductionscouk.wordpress.com/2018/01/20/wind-energy-is-worse-for-the-environment-than-fracking/

Dialectic In Action (Part 2)

https://peakproductionscouk.wordpress.com/2018/01/11/dialectic-in-action-part-2/

Dialectic In Action

https://peakproductionscouk.wordpress.com/2018/01/02/dialectic-in-action/

Christmas Peace & Goodwill

https://peakproductionscouk.wordpress.com/2017/12/14/christmas-peace-goodwill/

The Importance Of Hearing Opposing Opinions

https://peakproductionscouk.wordpress.com/2017/11/20/another-awkward-question-answered/

Kirklees & Craven Councils: Sh*tting On Their Own Doorsteps!

https://peakproductionscouk.wordpress.com/2017/11/14/2966/

The Guardian: Sinister Propaganda & Fake News

https://peakproductionscouk.wordpress.com/2017/11/12/the-guardian-fake-news-sinister-propaganda/

The Future Leader Of The Green Party

https://peakproductionscouk.wordpress.com/2017/10/29/the-future-leader-of-the-green-party/

A Practical Solution: The Turbine Traffic Light Scheme

https://peakproductionscouk.wordpress.com/2017/10/24/a-practical-solution-the-turbine-traffic-light-scheme/

I Was Born On A Marilyn

https://peakproductionscouk.wordpress.com/2017/10/21/i-was-born-on-a-marilyn/

The SNP: Making English Eco-Vandals Look Like Amateurs

https://peakproductionscouk.wordpress.com/2017/10/18/the-snp-making-english-eco-vandals-look-like-amateurs/

Leeds To Scotland & Back Again

https://peakproductionscouk.wordpress.com/2017/10/12/leeds-to-scotland-back-again/

Doing Wind Badly (Part 2)

https://peakproductionscouk.wordpress.com/2017/10/09/doing-wind-badly-part-2/

Doing Wind Badly (Part 1)

https://peakproductionscouk.wordpress.com/2017/10/07/doing-wind-badly-part-1/

Doing Wind Well

https://peakproductionscouk.wordpress.com/2017/10/05/doing-wind-well/

10:10 Climate Action EXPOSED

https://peakproductionscouk.wordpress.com/2017/10/03/1010-climate-action-exposed/

Sustainable Development?

https://peakproductionscouk.wordpress.com/2017/10/01/sustainable-development/

Worldwide Wind Scams – Daily Update

https://peakproductionscouk.wordpress.com/2017/09/28/worldwide-wind-scams-daily-update

Toxic Turbines Around The Dark Peak

https://peakproductionscouk.wordpress.com/2017/09/26/toxic-turbines-around-the-dark-peak

Bananas vs Watermelons: Internal vs External Loci of Control

https://peakproductionscouk.wordpress.com/2017/09/25/bananas-vs-watermelons-internal-vs-external-loci-of-control/

Awkward Questions Answered

https://peakproductionscouk.wordpress.com/2017/09/24/awkward-questions-answered/

More Worldwide Wind Misery

https://peakproductionscouk.wordpress.com/2017/09/22/more-worldwide-wind-misery/

Royd Moor, Spicer Hill & Hazelhead

https://peakproductionscouk.wordpress.com/2017/09/20/royd-moor-spicer-hill-hazelhead/

Scammers, Malware & Trojan Horses

https://peakproductionscouk.wordpress.com/2017/09/19/scammers-malware-trojan-horses/

Wind Blight @ Park Mill Lane, Ossett

https://peakproductionscouk.wordpress.com/2017/09/19/turbine-blight-between-leeds-mansfield/

Turbine Torture Around The World

https://peakproductionscouk.wordpress.com/2017/09/18/wind-torture-around-the-world/

Wind Blight @ Harper Farm, New Farnley

https://peakproductionscouk.wordpress.com/2017/09/17/wind-turbine-harper-farm-new-farnley/

Hegelian Dialectic & My Local Wind Turbine

https://peakproductionscouk.wordpress.com/2017/09/17/hegelian-dialectic-my-local-wind-turbine/

Welcome To MindWind

https://peakproductionscouk.wordpress.com/2017/09/16/welcome-to-windblog/

It’s The Wind Wot Won It (In England & Wales, Anyway)

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I’m old enough to remember, as a politically fascinated 17-year old just a few weeks shy of having my own vote, those agonising moments just after 10pm on Thursday 9th April 1992, when the Exit Polls indicated a shocking majority for the Tories. Throughout the election campaign, the polls had shown that Labour, under Neil Kinnock’s leadership, were almost certainly on course for a majority over the tired, sleazy Tories, led by “grey” John Major following Margaret Thatcher’s unceremonious dumping a couple of years earlier. Just a few days before the election the Labour Party even held a triumphalist, rock’n’roll style rally in Sheffield, with Neil Kinnock punching the air like a Welsh, ginger Springsteen: “We’re alright! We’re alright!”

They weren’t alright. I’m really not quite sure why The Sun claimed to have won the 1992 election, as it was as basically down to John Major’s deliberately understated “soapbox” tours of much-needed marginals winning out over Labour’s hubristic, self-congratulatory rallies, but it became one of the paper’s most famous headlines of all time.

Well, fast-forward a scary 27 years (gulp!), and this time I think it’s fair to say “It’s The Wind Wot Won It”. In England and Wales, anyway. We’ll come back to Scotland later. Granted, nobody will come out and say they voted either for the Tories or against Labour specifically because wind blight is their most urgent problem. But scratch the surface and you’ll see there’s clearly something of a correlation between opposition to wind blight and electoral success. Or rather, those parties that push wind blight on communities against their will tend to get massacred at the ballot box.

The “Derrybrien Hypothesis” I posited at the end of my previous entry – the party most vocally opposed to wind blight usually wins an election by a landslide – certainly seems to have been confirmed once again. In England and Wales, anyway.

You can now read back through this blog since its very first entry, almost 3 years ago now (even more scary!!!!), and you can re-read its entire contents in the context that OFFICIALLY, ADMINISTRATIVELY and LEGALLY the next five years will be in adherence with the paradigm that I have already laid out.

And for me, read millions of voters around the Pennines and their foothills, stretching from Tyneside and County Durham in the North East down through Yorkshire into Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, then back around to the North West via Staffordshire, Cheshire, Lancashire and Cumbria.

The people of The Peak and Pennines have spoken!

It’s the same story in Wales. The photo at the top left of this article shows one of the Welsh Conservative Party’s campaigning posters. The map at the top right shows the corresponding election results. You can re-read the 4 or 5 blogs I wrote about Welsh Labour’s appallingly corrupt Hendy Wind Farm scheme, in the context that a few months later those responsible have had a fucking slaughtering at the polls. Sadly it’s too late for Llandegley Rocks. But maybe not for the rest of rural Wales.

Every passing remark about an unwelcome wind turbine I’ve spotted near Doncaster or Bishop Auckland; every video I’ve ever shot of broken wind turbines near Mansfield, or blighting the moors near Burnley, or surrounding Keighley with a ring of steel; these can all be re-examined in the new knowledge that those responsible have just had their entire approach rejected by the very communities they’ve ruined.

It’s necessary to see the wider, deeper link between wind blight and what it represents in order to truly understand its connection to the election result. As I’ve said before, many, many times, the towering turbines, with their narcissistic white paint and brutal, warped blades, against which I’ve railed for so long, are symbols of something alien and unwelcome imposed onto our heartlands, against our will and without our consent.

It’s not just about “clean, green energy”, it’s about power and control, and these people can intuit that in a heartbeat. Their only real opportunity to express their discomfort is via the ballot box. One of the most ignorant and factually incorrect accusations made against Brexiteers, or even Conservative voters in general, is that they are racist. I’ve said before that if anything makes people feel strangers in their own country, more nationalist and anti-globalist, it’s seeing the traditional landscapes that define this Green and Pleasant Land thrown under the bus in the name of pushing renewables down our throat.

It’s no surprise (to me, anyway), that, having had their own industrial base shut down over the decades, the proud communities of the North and Midlands are hardly going to be happy seeing their precious open spaces colonised by preening German wind companies like Energiekontor, rubbing their noses in the fact that there’s apparently no need for old industry any more, and that this is the way of the future, whether they want it or not.

Looking at a map of the Pennine seats that switched directly from Labour to Conservative, an awful lot of them are seriously affected by wind blight:

Workington: Winscales Moor Wind Farm overlooks the town directly; Siddick Wind Farm is on the coast a few miles north, and there’s the massive Robin Rigg Offshore Wind Farm. No wonder Workington Man has finally turned around and said “Sod this!”

Barrow & Furness: West of Duddon Sands and Barrow Offshore Wind Farms dominate the coastline

Blyth Valley: there’s both a Blyth Wind Farm (onshore) and a Blyth Offshore Wind Farm

Durham North West: Burnhope Wind Farm and Humbleburn Wind Farm

Bishop Auckland: I’ve made my feelings known about West Durham Wind Farm

Sedgefield: Butterwick Wind Farm, scene of a recent turbine fire

Darlington: Lambshill Wind Farm

Redcar: the beachfront is now dominated by the intrusive Teesside Wind Farm

Keighley: the textbook example of everything I’ve been saying all along, now confirmed by the residents. They’ve been screwed over by those in authority they trusted to have their best interests at heart! My entire blog was kickstarted by the horrors of the Jaytail Farm wind turbine (in my avatar) and its impact on the hills above Keighley.

Burnley: another town where the turbine blight is an obvious sign of corrupt local politics. And there’s more!

Hyndburn: don’t get me started on this one! Energiekontor have totally ruined the moors with the horrid Hyndburn Wind Farm.

Bolton: mercifully there is a small pocket of protected upland (the West Pennine Moors) ranging from Winter Hill all the way to Hyndburn, where the gorgeousness instantly gives way to turbine hell. I have blogged about the individual turbines around Edgworth and their negative impact on the vicinity.

Bury: to the west of Scout Moor, it’s taken the locals a few years to get angry enough to reject Labour, but they’ve finally gone and done it.

Heywood & Middleton: swinging around Scout Moor to the south, exactly the same applies. Only Rochdale itself seems to have no problem with Labour threatening more wind blight. Weird! (Mind you, such a famously left-wing town – birthplace of the Co-operative Movement – would possibly be the last place in the UK to ever swing behind the Tories; plus their most notable Liberal MP was Cyril bleedin’ Smith…. so hardly surprising they’ve stuck with Labour for the time being).

High Peak: the true voice of the Peak, the “People’s Park”!!! I will never ever forget, and I daresay the residents are also aware of the Labour Party’s role in creating the National Parks. Should the Mountain People themselves decide in the future to return their votes to Labour, I’ll take that as a good sign of recovery in the party, an indication that they might be sorting themselves out. Till then, if the High Peak says “No!”, then so do I…

Penistone/Stocksbridge: home of the horrendous Spicer Hill / Royd Moor / Hazelhead abominations I’ve referred to again and again and again. Enough is clearly enough too for the residents!

Colne Valley: another place I’ve described again and again, home to the dozens of  Scammonden and Holmfirth monstrosities.

Rother Valley: home to Penny Hill Wind Farm, horrible blight of the precious green belt for miles around Rotherham and south east Sheffield.

Don Valley: Doncaster is surrounded on all sides by wind blight, much of it caught on camera.

All the above seats swung directly from Labour (proposing 2,000 more onshore wind turbines, whether wanted or not) to the Conservatives (proposing to keep the community veto of any unwanted wind blight) in the 2019 election. The difference between these pledges may not have made Question Time or The Guardian – and I’d wager a genuinely knowledgeable discussion about wind energy would have been conspicuous by its absence from Channel 4’s climate change debate (the “block of ice” one, which I didn’t get to see myself; feel free to fill me in if i missed anything germane!) – but it wouldn’t have been lost on shrewd Northerners.

The Labour Party of the 1940s (Jesus, do we have to go that far back to find a functional Labour Party??? Strewth, they really have got serious problems…) would have protected the precious common lands and open spaces in between the industrial zones from corporate encroachment, as a symbol of the working man’s right to escape all traces of industry and commerce in his free time; a reminder that ultimately industry is a mere subset of nature.

What the Labour Party have done for these seats in the interim has been not only to preside over all the jobs disappearing from their industrial bases, but also to now allow wind blight to colonise the rapidly disappearing rural areas.

Now I realise it’s flawed thinking to lump all the blame on Labour. Both parties share the blame for the industrial decline of the North and Midlands. And indeed the Tories were perfectly onboard with wind power up until David Cameron’s prescient pledge in 2015 that enough was enough. Before 2015 there was no real difference in any of the major parties’ policies.

What this suggests to me is that, when it comes to understanding the issues of wind blight and just how badly it affects these communities, the Tories have learnt and moved on, whereas Labour haven’t budged, if anything they’ve gone backwards. And let’s be clear, this demonstrates that the Tories have had their finger on the pulse for much longer than they’ve had Boris in charge; indeed the change of policy towards wind farms even predated Brexit, albeit by not a lot. Credit to David Cameron for getting the ball rolling.

Regrettably in the kamikaze 2017 election, Theresa May was diabolical at communicating any new-found alignment between the Tories and these working class communities; and with his initial commitment to respect the referendum result, Jeremy Corbyn was able to temporarily stem the exodus of Labour Leave voters. Still, although the last two years may have seen Brexit temporarily paralysed, at least there have been no broken promises regarding wind blight.

The Tories are bloody lucky that it’s not the party as a whole that’s taken a hit for the Brexit delays, and much credit for that must go to Boris for drawing a line in the sand and managing to get traditional Labour voters to hold their nose and lend him their vote in order to get the job done.

I suspect Boris’ work was made easier by the fact that the Tories still oppose the imposition of wind blight on communities, against their will and without their consent. And they have indeed delivered on this commitment. The big test was the Scout Moor expansion, and the Tories stood up for the people of Heywood and Bury; you can see that they have now shown their gratitude!

Finally…. Scotland is the antithesis to the thesis above. The Tories’ anti-wind message didn’t cut through in Scotland half as much as the SNP’s continued support for trashing their hills. Why is this? I’ll have a think about it and maybe come back to it in another entry. Any ideas why the people of Scotland are much more keen on a pro-wind party than the people of England?

The Difference Between Rhetorical Brutalism And Hate Speech

A giant crane lifting the blades of the first of three wind turbines at the Hazelhead Wind Farm west of Barnsley. Picture by Chris Lawton.

[Concrete foundations at Hazelhead Wind Farm, near the headwaters of the River Don]

If nothing else, my blog posts certainly make ME stop and think! Do I really mean what I just wrote? Does it stack up logically? Are there any exceptions to the rule? What happens if I’m wrong?

Rather than taking this all self-doubt as an indication that I am riddled with insecurities, I view it as a sine qua non of critical thinking, and the eternal search for inarguable, axiomatic truths.

I think I’ve come across another one, pertaining to the crucial difference between rhetorical brutalism and hate speech.

The thesis of my previous entry was that it’s fine to be rude! In the cut and thrust of a heated debate, the odd bit of industrial language should be tolerated and accepted.

Now on my personal Facebook earlier this week, I posted the following: “A lot of Hate Speech on FB at the moment. I am unfollowing anyone who posts bias-motivated Hate Speech that bullies people on grounds of their race, religion, gender, sexuality or political beliefs. Respect people’s differences. ONE LOVE

That’s pretty antithetical to the blog entry in question, isn’t it? One minute I’m saying it’s OK to call people a stupid wanker, the next I’m preaching respect for people’s differences! Surely a quick trawl through some of my own online rants would reveal that I’m one of the most hate-filled posters out there, certainly when it comes to wind farms.

I’ll even provide you with a real-life example, also from earlier this week. It was my reaction to this advert by Ordnance Survey:

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Haha indeed. Gotta see the funny side, after all! Still, once I’d dried the tears of laughter from my eyes and put back together my split sides, I penned the following customer feedback:

I wish to make a formal complaint about your horrendous advert featuring a wind turbine. This is NOT what people want to see in natural environments. Please remove all traces of this advert, or else face the consequences.

I was actually pleasantly surprised by the prompt response:

“Hi [Peak Protector], thank you for your feedback. We are really sorry to hear you were offended by this advert, we will pass your comment on to the marketing team who will review and deal with your request accordingly. Kind regards Ordnance Survey”

I’d have loved to have been a fly on the wall in the marketing office! If nothing else, I’ve brought the issue of wind blight in through their Overton Window. They needed to be educated, and that’s the purpose of every word I write, after all: Edumacashun as to what an awful lot of people really think of wind blight.

Now, the point I’d like to make about the difference between hate speech and rhetorical brutalism is illustrated by my response:

Hi thanks for the nice reply, and sorry to be so brusque, as I have been the ultimate fan of OS maps since I was tiny! But you must realise that wind farm developments are highly controversial, at best heavy industrial equipment suited to urban areas, at worst a downright scam that redistributes ownership and control of our precious natural spaces away from leisure and amenity for the whole community. Most walkers who get to the top of a hill would rather just see a small trig point and stunning unspoilt views for miles around. All the best and thanks so much for engaging Keep up the great map making, just stop using wind turbines in your adverts!

Well, it’ll give them something to talk about in the office for a few moments, anyway. And it is true – I absolutely adore Ordnance Survey maps, and I think it’s a hallmark of their integrity as a company that they bothered to engage with me. As I’ve said previously, it takes good character to deal with someone angry, to gently lead them away from their state of amygdala hijack through a combination of empathy, understanding and general lack of ego (the ability to see the bigger picture and not get personally offended by someone having a good old vent!).

This brings me onto another conversation I had earlier in the week, with my local MP Alex Sobel. I won’t bore you with my first message to him, as it wasn’t really on-topic and was rather heated, shall we say. If you really want to see it, leave a comment and maybe I’ll post, but it’s not germane to the story. Anyway, Alex replied nicely and certainly managed to bring me down, somewhat, from my angry state of mind. My follow-up email was much more considered:

Dear Mr Sobel

Many thanks for replying to my admittedly somewhat harsh critique. As you are no doubt aware these are times in which our country’s political discourse arouses a great deal of passion, and I’d just like to say on a personal level I think it takes great courage and integrity to be able to respond in a way such as you did towards the angry writings of a constituent.

Even in the short space of time since your reply, the political landscape has changed dramatically now that there is an imminent General Election; therefore the nature of some of the complaints I raised is already now rather out–of-date. However, I understand from studying the psephology of the Leeds NW seat that as a whole it did indeed vote to Remain within the EU, and you were elected with a majority on that basis. I fully respect the democratic mandate of your position and I would just like to say thank you for taking the time and trouble to clarify your views.

My main concern, as I mentioned to your staff, is to alert to the Labour Party to the environmental hazards of its policy towards wind energy. As things stand, since 2015 local communities have had the final say in vetoing any unwanted wind energy projects in their communities. There seems to be some confusion about exactly what Labour’s policy is regarding wind energy. Having carried out my own fieldwork and research on this topic over the last five years, due to the overwhelming evidence I have amassed about the problems associated with wind power, please note I would be forced to strongly oppose any reverse of the current policy.

As you are no doubt aware, the River Don burst its banks last week. In the line of my work I had to visit a flood damaged site in Rotherham, owned by the company I work for, which not only had a lot of stock destroyed but was also victim to two incidences of looting. The cost to the community must have been hundreds of thousands of pounds.

It is my contention that the Don flooding was exacerbated by the large amount of wind farms constructed within a mile or two of the head of the river near Dunford Bridge. There are over 20 industrial wind turbines at the Hazlehead, Blackstone Edge, Royd Moor and Spicer Hill wind farms, all on huge impermeable concrete foundations dug into the ground. As such the water courses of these fragile Pennine uplands have been disturbed and blocked, and the rainwaters are now overloading the few remaining channels, exacerbating the impacts of floods. Furthermore, the Don is joined at Rotherham by the River Rother, which has the Penny Hill Wind Farm constructed upon its eastern slopes.

I am not saying wind farms on their own cause the floods, I am saying they make their impacts much more severe. Indeed one such wind farm I researched, Crook Hill, Rochdale, was proven to have contributed to the 2015 Calder floods.

A lot of people have been claiming the Labour Party has “turned its back on the working class”, and one of the most obvious examples of this is the imposition of wind farms on valuable Open Access Common Land, often actually owned by the aristocracy yet with commoners’ rights upheld for centuries and centuries. To see these areas of common land deregistered so that the aristocratic landowners can be paid millions by (often tax-evading) corporations is to see the traditional Labour values espoused by the likes of the Manchester Ramblers trashed, money and energy flowing “from the many, to the few”.

I’m sure you can understand why the moratorium on onshire wind cannot, under any circumstances, be allowed to be rescinded. It is my honest opinion that if Labour “gets real” about wind power, it will win the next election. Rejection of this virtue-signalling faux-green technology would be as symbolic a recalibration of the Labour Party’s values, back towards the right of the working man to enjoy nature, as Tony Blair’s “Clause 4” moment.

Back nuclear, drop support for wind energy, and win the next election.

Investigation into claims wind farm worsened Boxing Day 2015 floods

Yours sincerely

[Peak Protector]”

Let me explain how the above conversations are examples of rhetorical brutalism rather than hate speech: the point is about the DIALECTIC, a two-way conversation between opposing points of view, with the aim of reaching a mutually agreeable truth. Rhetoric itself is defined as: “language designed to have a persuasive or impressive effect, but which is often regarded as lacking in sincerity or meaningful content”.

Well, in my case my rhetoric certainly doesn’t lack sincerity, but I will happily concede it occasionally veers away from meaningful content, or at least literal content. In other words, saying “I will destroy your business” does not literally mean vapourising the staff and premises, it means exposing any false claims or rogue operational processes, and, if possible, making it untenable for said business to survive with its current modus operandi.

More importantly than rhetoric occasionally lacking literal content, it is language designed first and foremost to PERSUADE. To make the focus of the rhetoric change their mind, or adopt a certain point of view. And, it has to be said, rhetorical brutalism can be utterly counterproductive on occasion – people rebelling and doing the exact opposite, just because they feel they’ve been brutalised. Sometimes, however, rhetorical brutalism works. We all talk about “knocking some sense into someone”. We don’t literally mean banging their head against a piece of wood, we mean giving them a firm, no BS, talking to.

This is the fundamental difference between rhetorical brutalism and hate speech. Rhetorical brutalism is about connecting with someone on an emotional level and trying to create alignment where it is lacking. Hate speech is just that, spreading hate, not trying to find any kind of alignment but more entrenching division. Rhetorical brutalism, ultimately, is based on unconditional love. Your ideas might be shit, but I still respect you as a person. “Love the sinner, hate the sin.”

Now the reason I posted my FB comment was because in the run-up to the General Election I have been bombarded, on both sides, by memes that veer more towards hate speech than rhetorical brutalism. These memes are not designed to persuade, but to reinforce tribalism. And it’s more than just the memes, it’s their entire context that is wrong and out of whack with the nature of reality.

As I have said on several posts, I love it when people respond to my blogs, even if it’s to set me straight about something. Factored into these rants is the fact that you ALL can voice your opinion on my claims, and together we can move the conversation forward, as a whole, to the point where it no longer matters who says what, but that the gestalt of the dialectic offers the reader as many facts as possible.

The trouble with the FB hate speech memes is that, in reality, they’re really not designed to be debated with. I mean, yes we can technically comment on anyone’s status updates, but I don’t think those posting want to be argued with really, it’s just not that format. Especially when close friends and family post memes that you KNOW are factually incorrect, or missing vital information, yet to enter into a big debate would only escalate things that really are better left unsaid.

There is a time and place for political debate, eg this very blog! When good friends post memes that are factually dubious at best on their own timelines, I don’t see that as a socially appropriate place to disagree with them. Maybe it’s just me, but it all comes down to respecting peoples’ differences, and 99% of the time I do.

Wind energy is just about the only topic I will openly disagree with people, even close friends and family, should they accidentally post something in favour of it. Not many people do nowadays, which is good.

So to summarise: rhetorical brutalism, as part of a two-way dialectic, is a tool designed to persuade people of the truth of something they are steadfastly refusing to grok. It is my default method of expressing just how bad wind turbines are for the environment, linguistically encapsulating the brutality of the wind industry and communicating it to wider society.

Rhetorical brutalism is borne out of unconditional, spiritual love for the people you are talking to; but deep, deep frustration with their flawed thinking. After all, I love Ordnance Survey to pieces, indeed it was whilst poring over their amazing maps of the Peak District and South Pennines that I really developed a curiosity for seeing what these fascinating contour patterns looked like in real life! I just needed to persuade them, quickly and effectively, to sort their marketing out. I believe there is real validity to my argument that the people most likely to indulge in a paper map (rather than a sat-nav) are those who want to walk and explore the hills, and this demographic is probably the least likely in the universe to be happy at seeing wind blight in the middle of the uplands.

Hate speech is all about wishing people would die in a flood. Rhetorical brutalism is all about shouting at them to get out the way. In that sense Greta Thunberg is the High Priestess of Rhetorical Brutalism! But where maybe I could teach her a lesson is that it has to be part of a wider dialectic. You can’t just shout at people and deny them the right to reply. It’s a back and forth: you shout at them, they shout back at you, and slowly, but surely, together you find a new alignment.

Whether Alex Sobel or indeed anyone else aligns with my observations that the wind farms at the head of the Don (that I’ve written about extensively) probably exacerbated the effects of this month’s floods remains to be seen.

We shall shortly find out which way the electoral wind is going to blow in the UK. I wonder if my thesis still holds true that the party most likely to win an election is the one most opposed to wind blight.

If it does, then the Tories are in for an even larger landslide than Derrybrien!

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[Twenty miles downstream the River Don at Rotherham]

Come Swear At Me! In Defence Of Rhetorical Brutalism

Image result for brexiteers i'd like to stab book

Once again, this blog has proven to be ahead of the curve. It was over a year ago now that I discussed, in some detail, the ethics and usefulness of what I termed “rhetorical brutalism”.

My basic point was this: wind turbines are modern examples of brutalist (or at least post-brutalist) architecture. Although not as blocky and concrete in their appearance as traditional brutalist structures, wind turbines are nonetheless firmly rooted in the brutalist principles of creating “socially progressive” (allegedly), “statement-making” architecture that stands out in stark contrast to its background. Essentially, brutalism means capturing people’s attention via means of an aggressive assault on the senses, deliberately and for a specific purpose.

The difference between brutalism and simple brutality is this:

Brutalism = Brutality + Brains

Not that wind turbine designers are the sharpest tools in the shed, but it’s fair to assume even they recognise the brutal appearance of the machines they make. Given that the basic shape and colour of wind turbines hasn’t changed much for a couple of decades now (only their size has gotten bigger, which is the opposite direction of travel for most improving technology), one would have to assume that their brutal impact on the countryside is at least semi-deliberate. After all, if it was acknowledged by the designers that they had made a terrible misjudgment, they would at least put in place some steps to ameliorate the horrendous impact they have had on nature.

But they don’t, so one can only assume the wind turbine designers have been practising deliberate brutalism rather than accidental brutality.

Occasionally, we learn to love brutalism and find ways of slightly softening its impact with the use of bright colours (eg the famous Park View flats in Sheffield), so there can be a time and place for it. But, more often than not, brutalism simply breeds a brutal counter-reaction, leading to local opposition that can last years or even decades. Eventually, most brutalist 1960s car parks or tower blocks end up getting demolished.

So that’s brutalism in terms of architecture. Now let’s look at it in terms of discourse. Rhetorical brutalism itself became the subject under discussion earlier this week in Parliament (apparently the word “humbug” qualifies as unacceptably brutal…), as tempers become frayed and language became coarser on all sides. There was even a book published entitled: “My Little Book Of All The Brexiteers I’d Like To Stab”, which unsurprisingly generated an equally brutal response.

What forces did we unleash on ourselves as a society when, about 10-15 years ago now, we decided to apply a policy of brutalism towards our natural green spaces by allowing wind developers to puncture the lungs of our countryside?

Still, we are where we are, and if rhetorical brutalism is what it takes to force a recalibration of this imbalance, then I have to say: “Bring it on!”

That said, we must understand the nature of brutalism before wielding it as an intellectual tool for political or societal change. We must realise there will be a backlash if we are too aggressive in our tone (just ask Greta!), so if one starts down the road towards rhetorical brutalism, one must be prepared for the Mother of all counter-reactions.

Does that make it bad or morally wrong? No, not necessarily, and this is the point I’d like to make:

The ethics of rhetorical brutalism derive entirely from the point being made, not the way in which it’s made. If the point has validity and is genuine, then honestly who gives a fuck about a couple of swear words? To attempt to invalidate a point of view because of some intemperate language is frankly passive-aggressive, selfish and covertly hostile.

For God’s sake, let people rant! Indulge them! Let people call you all the names under the sun. Sticks and stones may break your bones, but words will never hurt you. You can have a much better, closer and more mutually beneficial conversation with someone if you start things off with a freestyle swear-off. I’ll swear at you for a few minutes, then you swear at me. Eventually we’ll both calm down and be grateful for the opportunity to vent. You never know, we might even end up agreeing!

Whereas if I shut you down because in your anger you had a perfectly normal, natural amygdala hijack and said something you didn’t mean, and I take that excessive bad language as a reason to censor you, well it’s me that’d be morally wrong, ignorant of human nature and opportunistic in the extreme.

The fact is, we as a society are largely sick of “polite” conversation covering up an inner kernel of pure BS. That kind of repressed, fake and unnatural politically correct slipperiness is what leads to people like Jimmy Savile not getting caught, because nobody wanted to speak out. Cobblers! If you see something wrong, call it out! Raise merry hell. That’s fine! It’s NATURAL 🙂

Equally naturally, brutality breeds brutality, so if you dish it out you need to be able to take it. And, of course, in an ideal world there would be no brutality at all. We’d all rather spend our days in loving prose than a miasma of hate speech, but emotional honesty and resonance are everything. If you feel angry, let it out! Find the right target and give them both (rhetorical) barrels!

The main thing is to apply brains to your brutality, to get the right message targeted in the right direction, in order to transform it into actual functional brutalism, rather than just raw, destructive rage.

It just so happens we are going through a rhetorically brutal period at the moment. I’d way rather have that than yet more fake, stilted, dishonest spin that says one thing and does precisely the opposite!

So if I make you angry, come swear at me! Give me your best shot, I’ll give you mine, we can slug it out in the comments section and then end it all by shaking hands over a beer.

Isn’t that a nicer, more compassionate and empathetic way of dealing with our opponents, than simply refusing to engage with those who have used slightly aggressive words in their upset emotional state?

What rhetorical brutalism does is to bring people’s real thoughts and feelings out of the shadows and into the light. This is great for mental health! Sometimes in polite conversation we deceive others, or sometimes we simply deceive ourselves. Sometimes we don’t even realise there’s any deception going on, despite inadvertently promulgating fake news and/or flawed thinking. We all have the capacity to do this, me included! Rhetorical brutalism simply fast-tracks the return of any faulty logic back to its source. I never have a problem with having my arguments forcibly logic-chopped, should it be proven with rhetorical brutalism that any of my theses require a rethink.

All in all, we can only end up learning new information from letting those with opposing points of view have a good old rant!

Now I mentioned above that a few swear words don’t invalidate an entire argument, so could it not be similarly argued that the brutal appearance of wind turbines doesn’t negate their environmental benefit? Well, my answer to that is this:

I reject the fundamental thesis that the promotion of wind energy is more beneficial to the future of the Earth than the conservation of its unspoilt natural landscapes.

Why Do So Many “Nature Lovers” Censor The Voice Of Nature?

It’s happened yet again! Not for the first time, I find my contributions to an online discussion about wind energy mysteriously removed from public view, for some reason “flagged as spam” despite being totally on-topic and not trying to sell anything.

A cursory glance at Extinction Rebellion’s Facebook page reveals that they too take great pride in deleting what they consider “hateful” comments. As such, what’s left is the polar opposite to the threads in my local Leeds Facebook group, following the XR protests in our city. Anyone researching both groups would struggle to reconcile the difference between Extinction Rebellion’s opinion of themselves and the hostile reaction towards them expressed by many local residents.

I’m minded of the difference between how Scientologists see themselves and how the residents of Clearwater, Florida view them.

I’ve written blog entry and blog entry about the necessity for free and open discourse, and the importance of giving special priority to those with a different point of view. And I’ve absolutely practised what I preached!

It comes easily to me because I have a genuine passion for dialectic. I do it with myself, and I recommend you try the same. Think of a statement that you consider to be true (your thesis), then deliberately try and think of the opposite to that statement (your antithesis).

Here’s a thesis: “Wind turbines are bad for the environment.”

The obvious antithesis is: “No, wind turbines are good for the environment.”

Believe me, I consider this antithesis with every word I write.

In science, we talk about a hypothesis, which is basically a more specific, disprovable thesis, eg “wind turbines have a dangerous impact on bee populations”. We then test the hypothesis to see if it can be disproven, eg in this case monitoring bee populations in regions with several wind turbines and noting whether bee populations in any of those areas are actually growing.

The vital third stage is synthesis, and this requires the kind of joined up thinking that can really only come from two-way dialectic. If you’re really deft intellectually, you can play your own Devil’s Advocate, but the easiest way is to get one of your friends to try and pick holes in your argument. If you can come up with an answer that explains both the thesis and the antithesis, even if it veers more heavily towards one than the other, then that’s your synthesis, the true Voice of Nature.

In the case of bees, it could be argued that although there is clear evidence that the populations are in decline everywhere we’ve tested, it might not be the wind turbines to blame, it might be pesticides or air pollution of some sort. This is our synthesis: “Yes, there is indeed a problem with bee populations. We can’t assume wind turbines are the cause, BUT THEY MIGHT BE… or at least contributing in some way. Further testing is required.”

As such, syntheses don’t generally lead to pithy soundbites, they just lead to further theses and antitheses. Eventually, however, assuming you’ve been assiduously honest all along and covered all bases, censoring NOTHING, your syntheses will ultimately lead you to an axiom of inarguable truth. These axioms are intellectual gold, because nothing can disprove them.

The difference between a thesis and an axiom is the working you’ve put in along the way. A thesis is just a “what if?” You could come up with a million in a morning, just for fun! Theses are random statements that might or might not be true, mere starting points for further investigation and research; whereas an axiom comes after you’ve batted the original thesis and its antithesis back and forth until such time as there is literally nothing more that can be said.

People get the two confused, so we have a lot of unproven theses passing themselves off as axioms (“settled science”). Indeed, this might be the defining characteristic of our polarised political discourse these days: what for some people are self-evident axioms, beyond the need for any further discussion, are for others merely unproven theses, very much fair game for debate and dialectic.

I played with this a few entries ago, provocatively listing a series of my own axioms about wind energy, many of which no doubt people would dispute, and of course I always relish the challenge. The point is, however, my axioms derived from pages and pages of research and discourse; they are my conclusions rather than my starting points. This is exactly why I’ve shown my workings along the way, and invited you all to join in the research, adding your own tuppence ha’penny!

Climate change, like many political causes, is seen by many as axiomatic rather than still an unproven thesis – ie we’ve already done all the testing and debating, and it’s futile to keep on arguing with what should be universally agreed upon by now. Now, although there are plenty of people, such as Piers Corbyn, who do indeed reject the axiom that we are screwing up the climate with our CO2 emissions, that’s not my role.

My own axioms about wind power are perfectly compatible with the axiom that we are facing a “climate emergency”. They are also compatible with the axiom that we aren’t.

So how can we tell the difference between a thesis and an axiom?

Well, the simplest way is to understand that every belief you hold should have passed through the thesis-antithesis-synthesis stage multiple times, before arriving at its final destination as an axiom of inarguable truth. If it hasn’t, send it back. Think of the House of Commons and the House of Lords, or even just a civil court case. Both sides must be weighed up before making a final judgement.

I would posit that this is because we live in a dualistic universe, and what defines physical reality is that it operates between opposing poles, ie everything we experience is consciously perceived within the context of opposites – from North to South, from East to West, from left to right, from top to bottom, from front to back, from hot to cold, from wet to dry, from black to white, from good to bad, from Brexit to Remain, from Trump to AOC, from “she loves me” to “she loves me not”.

To be or not to be? That is indeed the question…

Nature is therefore an almost infinite number of polar opposites, of theses and antitheses that together form a myriad of syntheses. Censoring any one of these theses or antitheses will impact upon your connection with Nature. Covering up any awkward antithesis to your original thesis only stunts your perception of Nature, creating what I term as an “artificial bubble of non-reality”.

In truth, we all need a degree of non-reality to survive, so I’m not saying we should all live in the forests, unplugged from the grid, sleeping under the stars. But we should see our electronic 21st century lifestyle for what it is: NON-REALITY!

Most of my comments in forums have simply been about reconnecting people to that Voice of Nature, the voice of dialectic reminding people of the dualistic reality of the physical universe. When these comments get deleted for whatever reason, all it says is that the forum is more interested in maintaining the bubble in which its members reside rather than exposing them to the elements! And that’s fine, nine times out of ten, for most social media based on shared interests or mutual support.

It’s not fine, however, when said forums are allegedly run by Nature lovers, or those claiming to be saving the Earth.

These people are setting themselves up as “important” in some way, not necessarily egotistically but certainly positionally, as I have discussed before. Extinction Rebellion are all about this: their high self-regard runs through their noticeably one-sided communications.

I guess as a blogger I too consider myself somewhat “important”, in that I have a perspective to share that I think is germane to the wider environmental movement. This is why I consider it my moral duty to provide unlimited freedom of speech for everyone reading. Join in! Challenge me, debate me, call me names if it makes you feel good. Nothing will be censored, because however I make you feel is the true Voice of Nature in relation to my writings. This is what dialectic is all about, after all.

Be very sceptical of those who say they are on the side of Nature, when they censor people’s natural reactions to what they say and do. 

I hope that what all the above proves is: when it comes to the search for truth, there is absolutely NOTHING to be achieved by censoring or covering up any “awkward” antitheses to your original thesis, because it is precisely these contradictions and paradoxes that help you get closer to the true Voice of Nature. The original debate that inspired this thread is a good example of an artificial bubble of non-reality.

It is demonstrably true that I am not trying to sell anything or make money from my contributions to online debates. It is also demonstrably true that wind turbines trigger amygdala reactions in me and I love to talk and write about this phenomenon, for free, gratis, on the house, no payment needed. And it is demonstrably true that each of you reading has 100% ability to add your own comments to mine, in order that the conversation as a whole is open and amenable to peer-review, clarification and, if need be, factual corrections. To claim my comments about wind turbines, on a public forum dedicated to the topic, are spam… well, it’s clearly untrue, and I can’t even go on there to let the readers know! Therefore the veracity of the whole forum is compromised; if they can’t get a simple thing like my true motivation right, then what else have they got wrong?!

Arbitarily “detected as spam” and deleted from public view, here then is my comment, which follows my previous comment that had also been “detected as spam”. I’ll let you be the judge!

I’ve just found that this comment has been supposedly “detected as spam”. Now why would you do that? I’m not selling anything, I’m 100% on topic? I’ve joined the debate to have my say, to get involved in the conversation and discuss wind turbines with you all. Feel free to disagree and logic-chop, sure, that’s what dialectic is all about. But to censor perfectly reasonable comments is not on, it’s suspicious, it’s artificial and not in keeping with the true voice of Nature, which would be to move the dialogue forward. If you really are tree huggers you will allow the true voice of Nature to express itself. Calling me a Russian or a Fossil Fuel backer is bonkers and deluded! I’m a “mountain hugger”! You could call me a pagan, I guess, in that I commune with the Pennines and run my ideas past the peaks directly before coming back to the city to engage with people intellectually. Censoring me means censoring someone with genuine passion, love and commitment to the environment. Why would you do that??? Here’s the comment. Please explain why this is “Spam”?

The offending comment…

Hi, thanks for engaging. Let’s try and work through the points together and see where we agree and where we still need to do more work to cover all bases. I disagree that wind turbines are significantly less damaging to nature than oil/gas/coal power plants. Well, I’ve yet to see the evidence, put it that way. The important point is that we ensure we are comparing like for like – megawatt per megawatt. So it’s not a case of comparing one wind turbine with a coal-fired power station, it’s a case of comparing approximately 2,000 wind turbines with one coal-fired power station (stats based on comparing Scout Moor Wind Farm’s capacity factor vs Ratcliffe coal power station).

2,000 wind turbines vs 1 coal-fired power station? That’s the true comparison. I simply do not accept that the environmental impact of 2,000 wind turbines is better for the planet than 1 coal-fired power station. Not that I’m a fan of coal btw, I’m just demonstrating how low-performance our wind turbines really are, and just how many of them would be needed.

Where on earth would we put 2,000 wind turbines – complete with concrete foundations, access tracks, and links to the National Grid, without impacting severely on the environment for dozens of miles around?

“A person’s opinion that they don’t like the way they look has nothing to do with the effects on nature/the environment.” –

I fundamentally disagree with this statement, indeed I think this is flawed thinking in that you are detaching human emotional resonance from your view of the planet, which is just not reality. The environment is the interaction between the physical universe and the species that reside on it. Removing humans from the equation might well save the earth, as a lifeless, sterile sphere, but the environment right here, right now, is a symbiotic relationship between us and the Earth. I don’t want to live on a planet which makes life hell on earth for humans and animals. It goes against nature itself. It means humans are supposed to reject our senses and live in a state of negativity, simply because the “experts” tell us it’s “good for the planet”.

If something is genuinely good for the planet we will intuit it on a deep level. Wind turbines do the reverse to me – on a very deep, primal level, they worry and concern me, they feel wrong and toxic, they take our fragile upland ecosystems and make them inhospitable and alienating. The main issue is that these spaces that were hitherto sacrosanct from inappropriate development for hundreds of years – AONBs, SSSIs. even the peripheries of our National Parks – yet they have been thrown under the bus in the name of renewables. Electricity trumps nature, it would seem. 

NO! Green means GREEN – chlorophyll. Not hideous, inappropriate white paint!

If giant metal towers need painting to stop them corroding, at least make it subtle, dark green paint that is more in keeping with the rural environment.

CRITICAL THINKING #101: HOW TO SPOT AN UNPROVEN THESIS FROM AN INARGUABLE AXIOM

Study the following examples of axioms and how they differ from theses. NB sometimes an axiom will turn out to be almost the same as the original thesis, but going through the dialectic process will make it a more rounded, well-defined, finely-balanced and factual statement. Conversely, sometimes an axiom might end up having more in common with the antithesis rather than the original thesis, if it’s false in any way. The dialectic method helps you work out fact from fiction.

All in all, an axiom is what you end up with when you’ve balanced a thesis with its antithesis to come up with a synthesised statement of undeniable fact: the Voice of Nature.

Example 1:

Thesis: The sun will rise tomorrow.

Antithesis: The sun won’t rise tomorrow.

Synthesis: Every day, since records began, the sun has risen. There has not been a single day so far in which the sun didn’t rise, somewhere on earth. That’s not to say maybe tomorrow isn’t the exception; a giant meteor could hit the earth tonight and that’s it, game over. Come back tomorrow lunchtime and let me know what happened!

Axiom: Well here I am, the following day. And I can indeed confirm: the sun rose this morning.

Example 2:

Thesis: 1 + 1 = 2

Antithesis: No, you’ve actually given me 0.6 + 0.8 = 1.4. Rounding these to the nearest integer, 1 + 1 in fact = 1

Synthesis: Any value between 0.75 and 1.25 added to any other value between 0.75 and 1.25 will equal between 1.5 and 2.5.

Axiom: Alright then, here you are: 1.0 + 1.0 = between 1.9 and 2.1. Happy now?

Example 3:

Thesis: The world is round.

Antithesis: No, everyone knows the world is flat, dummy!

Synthesis: Leave your house and keep travelling in a straight line till either (a) you arrive back where you first started; or (b) you fall off the edge of the earth. If you don’t have time, study every map you can lay your hands on and come up with just one that shows where the edge of the world’s flat surface lies. Photographic or video evidence would also be handy. Until then, there is plenty of proof the world is round, and no credible proof that the world is flat. But I’ll keep an open mind!

Axiom: 99.99% of the evidence that has ever been made available to us indicates that the world is round.

Example 4:

Thesis: MindWind is fake news, and the f***ing lunatic who writes it (either a Russian bot or a fossil fuel company CEO) is dangerously ill-informed.

Antithesis: Actually, that MindWind blog, though a bit wordy, does come up with some genuine and under-reported facts about the wind industry, every now and then.

Synthesis: With any blog or publication of so many millions of words, some sections are bound to be more on the case than others. The best the author can do to ensure veracity is to allow anyone who spots an error to correct it. Wherever falsehoods are noticed, readers are actively encouraged to set the author straight.

Axiom: Any “fake news” or “lunacy” found in this blog can be corrected by anyone and everyone. No censorship needed when you’re telling the truth!

Now see if you can create some axioms of your own. My hope is that by showing you HOW to think about wind energy, rather than telling you WHAT to think, you’ll naturally discover that my axioms are indeed indisputable. Test your initial theses; explore their antitheses; do your research and show your working!

Let me know what you come up with…

 

 

 

 

Greg Clark MP – The Ultimate NIMBY?

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I know every square inch of Tunbridge Wells like the back of my hand. From Southborough to North Farm, from Bidborough Ridge to Benhall Mill; from the Pantiles to Calverley Gardens, from Langton Green to Hawkenbury; there’s not a single street in the town I don’t know. Further afield, I also know my way around all the outlying villages and hamlets. Drop me off in Lamberhurst and I’d be able to get to Speldhurst with no map and no compass!

I only mention this so that Greg Clark, MP for the Kentish spa town, understands that I know his patch better than he does. And I genuinely believe that, hand on heart. Were someone to hand both Mr Clark and myself a pen and a paper, and ask us both to draw a map of the borough of Tunbridge Wells, mine would wipe the floor with his.

One thing I can also tell you is this: there ain’t a single wind turbine in the entirety of Tunbridge Wells.

You have to travel miles and miles to see them. People in “Royal” Tunbridge Wells live in a different universe from the turbine-ravaged towns of Rochdale and Halifax. So, if it’s true that Greg Clark has signalled his approval of wind turbines through the back door, this would mark him as literally the ultimate NIMBY, someone prepared to inflict wind blight on other communities, just as long as it’s nowhere near The Wells!

Furthermore, Greg Clark could well be an example of a Dishonest Banana. Remember, a Dishonest Banana is someone who, in their heart, knows exactly how unpleasant wind blight is, but they’re not upfront about their true knowledge of the hurt they are causing. This is implied by the “back door” through which this latent support for wind schemes has allegedly been sneaked.

The latest message I received from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy contrasted sharply from their rather more constructive reply of a few months ago. And so I reach out, in the spirit of free speech and the right to reply, and directly offer Mr Clark or his office the opportunity to set us all straight and to explain exactly what is going on.

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I’ve said before that when confronted with an angry man, good customer service involves calming them down, working through their anger and leaving them satisfied that their issues are well on their way to being resolved. The absolute worst thing you can do with someone angry is to stonewall or gaslight them – you’ll take someone who was moderately angry and you’ll amplify their anger to a state of cold, vengeful rage.

Unfortunately the above email did not answer the direct question of whether the allegations about the sneaky return of wind subsidies are true. Sadly, one is left with the impression that they are.

“It’s not me that’s changed. It’s you.” 

The tone and content of my email was much the same as my previous message of a few months ago: unashamedly angry, worried, frantic and in need of reassurance that the Government had taken on board the very real impacts of wind blight. In fact most of my message was simply my preceding blog entry repeated verbatim.

The last time I emailed the BEIS, they managed to reassure me by spelling out in black and white that the Conservatives were opposed to the expansion of our onshore wind infrastructure (their use of the word “onshore” clearly meant to give a free pass to offshore wind farms).

So, Mr Clark, the floor is yours. Are you a man or a mouse? Are you going to scurry back to Tunbridge Wells, hiding in the shadows with your head down, which would be TERRIBLE for your mental health and well-being, or are you going to step out into the light and talk openly and honestly about your policies?

As I have said before, it is perfectly possible to stand up proudly for “green” schemes, if you genuinely believe in them and are prepared to fight your corner. I call this being a Lime – green on the outside, green on the inside. If you believe in your wind turbines, make the case for them, win over the critics, take sceptical people like me with you on the journey. Your very reticence and furtiveness makes it look like you’re ashamed or guilty of some kind of chicanery.

Back door schemes WILL wear you down, Mr Clark, they will gradually eat away at your vitality and leave you feeling grey, haggard and weary. Why slowly kill yourself and destroy the countryside, simply to make money for a bunch of unsavoury wind scammers? Why fuck up the Conservative Party any more than the slow motion car-crash it has already become in the two short years since I described you guys as “the adults in the room”? I wish my friend Sajid Javid would knock some sense into your head.

I’m on my way to Tunbridge Wells tomorrow. I will be down there for a few days. I may even pay you a visit so we can chat face-to-face. After all, you’d certainly be welcome at mine. Despite my distinct lack of trust towards your best intentions, I’d warmly welcome you for a meal and a glass of wine (though I’m not sure I’d turn my back on you for too long, just in case you sneaked my TV out “through the back door”). Would you welcome me to yours? Would you be as hospitable and open to dialogue with me as I am with you?

If you’d like a chat so my readers are given the true facts about what exactly your party is up to, then reach out. Or, if you’d prefer a neutral space, I can highly recommend a lovely pint of Kentish ale at The Peacock Inn, Goudhurst!

EDIT 25/7/19: This must rank as one of the most rapidly dated blog posts I’ve ever written. Exactly one month after writing, and Mr Clark has been replaced at the BEIS by Andrea Leadsom. As I know how much they enjoy receiving my letters, I thought it fair to offer a note of congratulations to the incoming Secretary of State for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy:

Dear BEIS,

I would like to follow up my email of one month ago, addressing allegations that Greg Clark MP intended to reintroduce wind subsidies “through the back door”, with a message congratulating Andrea Leadsom on her appointment as the new leader of the BEIS. I have every confidence that Mrs Leadsom will be truly superb in her role, and I would like to wish her all the best in her appointment.

I would just remind you of Mrs Leadsom’s famous quote from 2016: “I conclude that the benefits of onshore wind have been hugely exaggerated by the developers who stand to make huge sums from the taxpayer incentives… It used to be the case that criticising onshore wind energy led to being denounced as a ‘climate change deniier’. I sincerely hope those days are over.”

I trust this sensible attitude will continue under Mrs Leadsom’s leadership of the department.

Finally, should the BEIS require any information about wind energy’s impact on the UK, please do get in touch, as I would be happy to offer my extensive knowledge of the geography and hydrology of the UK, and how these are impacted upon by inappropriate wind development. If you ever require more information about wind energy, I freely volunteer my services.

Yours sincerely

Peak Protector

Wind Energy – The Indisputable Axioms

  • Wind energy is bad for the environment.
  • Wind turbines have a negative impact on the countryside.
  • Wind turbines are the wrong shape, the wrong size and the wrong colour to be aesthetically appropriate for rural areas.
  • Wind turbines kill birds, bats, bees and (I’m alleging) whales.
  • Wind turbines can make humans feel sick.
  • Wind turbines have a quantifiably negative impact on mental health, increasing the instances of suicide in their vicinity.
  • Wind turbines have a quantifiably negative impact on property values.
  • It is immoral, directly contradicting the teachings of the New Testament, to impose unwelcome wind blight on people, against their will and without their consent.
  • Wind turbines are bad for social justice, directly handing over control of our natural assets “from the many to the few” and resulting in the corporatisation and industrialisation of Open Access Common Land.
  • Although wind turbines are indeed capable of generating electricity, weather-dependent energy sources are by their nature intermittent,  unsustainable, and unreliable.
  • The wind itself is one of the principal causes of turbine damage, meaning that the very resource they require to operate is also an existential threat to their sustainability.
  • Wind turbines are non-renewable disposables with a lifespan of just a few years, made of metal and paint, built on huge concrete foundations, often on fragile upland ecosystems.
  • The average capacity factor of wind turbines (ie what they actually generate in reality) is rarely more than 30% of their total capacity (what they theoretically could generate should the wind be blowing at gale force 24/7, 365 days a year).
  • Biomass is a vastly more reliable and sustainable form of renewable energy than wind (a single biomass-fired power station can generate the equivalent of 500 industrial wind turbines running at an unachievable capacity factor of 100%); however because smoke-belching biomass-fired power stations look exactly the same as smoke-belching coal-fired power stations, inefficient wind turbines are more widely used as the shorthand symbol for all renewable energy, despite biomass contributing significantly more pro rata.
    ** See comments below **
  • Anyone who prefers looking at a rural landscape with wind turbines to the same landscape without turbines has elevated the symbolism of renewable energy over the symbolism of unspoilt country views, indicating that their emotional resonance is more aligned with man-made technology than with the natural world.
  • Liking wind turbines is therefore an artificial social construct rather than an innate biological instinct.
  • In other words, people only like wind turbines because they’ve been told to.
  • What this signifies is that, psychologically speaking, those who like wind turbines have an external locus of control, whereas those who don’t like them have an internal locus of control.
  • This is confirmed by noting that opposition to wind turbines primarily derives from people’s personal experiences and the real-life impacts of specific wind projects, whereas support for them primarily derives from their theoretical meaning as abstract symbols of renewable energy.
  • Opposing wind blight does not automatically correlate to any particular opinion on the use of coal, gas, fracking, nuclear, or any other form of energy generation; it simply means being realistic, sensible and candid about the numerous problems associated specifically with wind turbines.
  • Opposing wind blight is not NIMBYism, unless the whole world is classed as our back yard, in which case it’s a badge we wear with honour; the real NIMBYs are those who virtue-signal their green credentials with wind turbines, whilst almost never personally suffering from the pollution involved in their operation.
  • Blogs such as this are directly responsible for challenging the wind industry’s one-sided propaganda, bringing some natural balance and equilibrium back to the global discourse about wind energy.

I’ll come back to these axioms and I’ll add more later. Feel free to add your own! This list stems from re-reading through the blog from start to finish, and extracting what I feel are the most salient points from throughout the pages and pages of prose. I’ve shown my workings throughout – the theses, antitheses and syntheses I’ve explored along the way. The axioms above are the subatomic-level kernels of inarguable truth that I genuinely believe are now “settled science”!

If you can spot any logical flaws in any of the above axioms, then the floor is yours. If I’m wrong, set me straight!

Peak District Turbine Blacklist: Naming & Shaming Those Who’ve Blighted The Peak & South Pennines

THE wind turbine off Ripponden Road, with Scout Moor wind farm above Rochdale in the background

The aim of this entry is simply to remind people of the adverse impact unwelcome wind turbines have upon the the health, beauty and well-being of the Peak District and South Pennines. The Three E’s are my chosen method for removing this unwanted blight: (1) Education; (2) Engineering; (3) Enforcement.

Let’s start with Education. Each of us has a duty not to harm the Peak National Park in any way. This is enshrined in The National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949, which set out two statutory purposes:

“1. to conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the area, and

2. to promote opportunities for the understanding and enjoyment of the park’s special qualities by the public.”

It’s self-evident that wind blight falls foul of both of these statutory purposes, so right from the off there is justification for enforcing the removal of all wind turbines from The Peak.

We show the proper respect for nature, wildlife and humanity by leaving the countryside just the way we found it, not by selfishly spoiling beautiful landscapes for others. 

I learnt this life lesson when I was about four, and so I deeply worry for the following turbine owners, who clearly missed out on this rudimentary childhood education. It tallies with my theory that, generally speaking, wind turbine owners aren’t well-rounded, well brought-up, nice people who have the best interests of their local communities at heart. There’s clearly something a bit dysfunctional about a lot of wind turbine owners.

I have devised a 200 mile circular route around the Peak District, which forms the basis for my regular Peak Patrols. Any unpleasant wind turbines that are adversely affecting the special qualities of The Peak are duly noted, and those responsible educated about the impact of their unwelcome turbines.

One hopes that Education is all that’s needed to wake up the guilty parties as to the necessity for them to remove their toxic wind blight ASAP, without the need for deploying any Engineering or Enforcement solutions.

The following wind turbines, having been flagged as causing unacceptable harm to the well-being and beauty of The Peak, are now under close surveillance and performance monitoring.

This list is dynamic and ever-changing: my eventual aim is that we can write in large red letters “DECOMMISSIONED” by the side of each and every turbine included in the blacklist. So watch this space and let’s see how many turbines can be downed over the next few months!

BUXTON / STAFFORDSHIRE MOORLANDS:

Garstones Farm ST13 7SF (1)

Lane End Farm ST13 7HA (1)

Moss House Farm SK17 0SF (1)

Slate House Farm SK17 7SF (1)

AMBER VALLEY:

Highfield House Farm S45 0LW (2)

DERBYSHIRE DALES:

Carsington Pastures Wind Farm DE4 4ES (4)

Crow Trees Farm DE56 2DT (1)

Longcliffe DE4 4HN (2)

Viaton Industries DE4 4ES (1)

SHEFFIELD / ROTHERHAM:

Moss Valley Fine Meats S8 8BG (1)

Penny Hill Wind Farm S26 3YF (6)

University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre S60 5TZ (2)
* ONE TURBINE CURRENTLY INACTIVE (clearly not so advanced manufacturing after all!)

Upper Birchitt Farm S18 8XL (3)
* ONE TURBINE CURRENTLY INACTIVE

CROW EDGE:

Blackstone Edge Wind Farm HD9 7TW (3)

Hazlehead Wind Farm S36 4HG (3)

Royd Moor Wind Farm S36 9PA (13)

Spicer Hill Wind Farm S36 9PA (3)

HOLMFIRTH / MELTHAM:

Longley Edge HD9 2JD (1)

Moortop Farm HD9 5PT (1)

New Dunsley Poultry Farm HD9 2SW (1)

Upper Whitegate Farm HD9 2TH (1)
* TURBINE CURRENTLY INACTIVE

SADDLEWORTH:

Bent Heath Farm OL3 5LN (1)

SCAMMONDEN / OUTLANE:

Daisy Lee Farm HD3 3FW (3)

Leyfield Farm HD3 3FR (1)

Marsden Gate HX4 9LD (1)

Mount Pleasant Farm HX4 9LG (1)

Round Ings Hall Farm HD3 3FQ (3)

RIPPONDEN:

Crow Hill End Farm HX6 3HA (1) 

Greave Head Farm HX6 4NU (2)

WEST YORKSHIRE MOORS:

Jaytail Farm BD20 5RL (1)
* CURRENTLY INACTIVE

Keelham Farm Shop BD13 3SS (3)

Ovenden Moor Wind Farm BD22 9HP (9)

Soil Hill HX2 9NT (7)

Tewitt Hall Farm BD22 0QR (1)

EAST LANCASHIRE MOORS:

Coal Clough Wind Farm BB10 4RR (8)

Coldwell Reservoir BR10 3RD (2)

Crook Hill Wind Farm OL14 7RJ (11)

Hyndburn Wind Farm BB5 3RP (16)

Rakewood Mill OL15 0AP (1)

Reaps Moss Wind Farm OL13 9UZ (3)

Scar End Farm OL13 8QB (4)

Scout Hill Wind Farm OL12 7TY (26)

Stand Lees Farm OL11 5UN (1)

Todmorden Moor Wind Farm (5)

Wind Hill Farm OL11 5UN (1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Welcoming Our New Student: Emma Pinchbeck!

Image result for emma pinchbeck renewable uk

Firstly, a warm welcome to one Emma Pinchbeck, Executive Director of RenewableUK. She looks like a very nice person, as do a lot of people who ignorantly tout their support for toxic wind turbines. Consciously, at least, Emma no doubt takes pride in doing a good job. Subconsciously, however, her public statements reveal some extremely poor cabling inside her mind, resulting in flawed thinking and policy suggestions that are dangerously bad for the environment.

Luckily, Emma, I’m on hand to help you work through your flawed thinking, with some kinesthetic education about the emotional impact of your policies. Compulsory Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is essential for all wind scammers, you see, to protect the planet from your lunatic impulses to trash our countryside.

So who exactly are RenewableUK? Well, the very first statement of their mission statement is factually incorrect: “RenewableUK members are building our future energy system, powered by clean electricity.”

IF YOU ARE PROMOTING WIND TURBINES, YOU ARE NOT PROMOTING CLEAN ELECTRICITY.

I’m starting to get heartily sick of the word “clean” when it comes to electricity. Since when did “clean” equate to “good for the environment”? I mean, shiny new plastic bags are clean, aren’t they? Does that make them good for the environment?

Nobody would call horse shit “clean”, yet can you think of a better fertiliser for plants? Nature can be filthy, as you know if you’ve ever come back from a ramble covered in mud. Cleaning, on the other hand, generally involves the use of synthetic chemicals.

Which is more polluting to a river: a bucketful of horse shit or a bucketful of cleaning bleach?

It’s NLP again, the use of words to trigger reactions. Once you break the programming and actually THINK, instead of simply mindlessly repeating the slogans, you see the world differently. Cleanliness is a red-herring that only indicates corporate whitewash and an artificial, gleaming “clean” sheen.

So just that single sentence from RenewableUK reveals that either they don’t respect the messy reality of nature, or, more sinisterly, they are deliberately misleading the public into dumping loads of “clean” chemicals into the heads of our rivers. After all, toxic wind turbines – made out of metal and paint – are basically man-made consumer disposables that malfunction, break down and need replacement on a far too regular basis.

“Our priority is to make sure that it is RenewableUK members at the heart of delivering this UK opportunity. To do this [missing “we” – fire your sub!] provide them with the highest possible quality services and information, supporting them in any way we can to do more, and better business.”

Here we go again. EGO not ECO. Now we’re getting down to the Benjamins. RenewableUK’s first priority is to feather the nest of its members. To make more sales. OK, that’s good about providing their members with information, so presumably the info within this blog can be added to their knowledge base. Happy to be of assistance!

Next up we come to the Statistics section of the RenewableUK website. This’ll be good. Let’s take a butcher’s:

farm

So that’s a total operational capacity of 20,805.670 MW (or 20.80567 GW) apparently, which is ACTUALLY right now generating only 0.87 GW. That’s only 2% of all our power needs.

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What all this says, and what I witnessed on yesterday’s Peak Patrol, was that wind turbines are for the few, not the many. They literally are the antithesis to the Labour Party’s motto. If the party is to be taken at its word (don’t laugh!), then we need to confront Labour politicians with the fact that wind turbines actually take energy from the many and give it to the few.

I noticed this at Dick Hudson’s pub near Bingley. The exceptional views from this country pub on the southern slopes of Ilkley Moor have been OBLITERATED by a hideous, spinning turbine, spoiling the landscape for everyone other than the landowner.

Indeed, Bradford’s natural assets on all sides have been trashed, to the detriment of hundreds and thousands of citizens, solely for the benefit of a couple of dozen landowners.

WIND TURBINES ARE BAD FOR THE ENVIRONMENT!

NOBODY OTHER THAN THE LANDOWNER BENEFITS FROM A WIND TURBINE.

WHY SHOULD EVERYONE ELSE SUFFER BLIGHT, LOSS OF AMENITY & THE DESECRATION OF OUR NATURAL LANDSCAPES?

WHAT’S IN IT FOR US???

IF YOU REALLY WANT TO LOWER YOUR CO2 EMISSIONS, SHUT DOWN YOUR BUSINESS, GET RID OF YOUR MACHINERY & KINDLY KILL YOURSELVES!

YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT WILL BE ZERO AND THE COUNTRYSIDE WILL BE PROTECTED!

Read and understand all that, Emma, and you’re well on the way to having your thinking corrected. Sorry about the rhetorical brutalism; it’s simply the cerebral equivalent of using a power drill to extract all the greenwash gibberish from out of your brain. In time, you’ll thank me 🙂 Everyone else does, once they see the error of their previous path and how I’ve helped get them back on the right track psychologically, emotionally, spiritually and above all ENVIRONMENTALLY!

Finally, I notice that the abhorrent Jaytail Farm wind turbine is still conspicuously stationary. Every day it doesn’t spin is a day closer to it meeting that “six months of no activity” mark, after which it must legally come down. Meanwhile, over at Scammonden…

Extinction Rebellion: A Critical Evaluation

Image result for extinction rebellion

It never ceases to amaze me just how many foreshadows of upcoming events or trends have made their way into this blog over the months. I refer to these foreshadows as “Future Echoes” (an early episode of Red Dwarf revolved around this very concept).

With a lot of mainstream news now starting to examine some of the environmental topics that we’ve already been looking at for over a year now, it does seem like Green is very much the In-Thing of 2019. That can only be good… just as long as by 2020 it hasn’t become passe!

I should be delighted by this. After all, as a self-appointed “Wind Warrior” who a few years ago did a website called “Crook Hill Eco Disaster”, surely it should be music to my ears that Eco-Warriors are on the rise! On a superficial level, it’s great; the more eco-conscious the planet, the better. But that’s not to say I don’t have some cognitive dissonance going on at the same time, indeed some critical thinking that needs to be done. I simply wouldn’t be me without asking awkward questions, would I now?!

Maybe it’s ego… We should always check our egos first and foremost when evaluating our responses to any challenging stimuli. There is often an element of elitist hipsterism that rankles whenever an obscure minority interest suddenly goes mainstream, minus the original edge that made it so compelling in the first place. This would not be uncommon; after all in economics there is something known as a “positional good“: a good or product whose value derives almost solely from making its owners seem slightly aloof from normal society, rather than any intrinsic value of its own. The classic example, for years and years during the 80s and 90s, was the Apple Mac: a quasi-Green, anti-corporate, counter-culture, rebellious option for those who liked to “think different”. Are Apple Macs still a positional good? Or have they moved squarely into the mainstream?

I’ve long seen the Green Party as similarly deriving much of its value from its leftfield (not necessarily left-wing, just anti-mainstream) position on the political spectrum, and therefore in society, rather than having any bona fide credentials as an environmental organisation dedicated to conservation per se. That’s also what my instinctive reaction is towards Extinction Rebellion, the latest in a long line of high-profile organisations who I should be cheering and siding with, as they say they stand up for the environment against wanton eco-destruction. However, something about them strikes me as too “positional” to be truly in harmonic resonance with the Voice of Nature.

I could be misreading the public mood, but the general verdict from the mainstream seems to be, at best, indulgence towards the folly of youth, and, at worst, disrespect. Now this isn’t my subjective opinion, far from it. It’s more an objective assessment based on social norms and real-life public reactions to the protestors.

It becomes a genuine problem for the environment if those speaking up on its behalf  alienate the general public, by coming across as unappealing, unprofessional and altogether too far removed from the norms of working adults. It pushes environmentalism into the hands of the freaks and the weirdos, instead of normal folk. Like me. Ahem! I joke because I know what it’s like to be ridiculed, shunned and sidelined for standing up for the environment. It ill behoves me to do the same to others. Still, activists need a thick skin and should always be conscious of the optics of their operations.

All of us, no matter where we stand within the wider environmental movement, need to therefore be aware of the impact of our actions and statements on the general public. It’s an ongoing process: to act, to take on board feedback, to critically assess that feedback and to improve our actions accordingly. I often premise my more outrageous online skirmishes by saying: “I’m well aware I come across like a lunatic…but thanks for engaging, and let’s have an interesting debate about WHY!”

The very act of critical thinking itself is thus innately good for the environment, because it fosters equilibrium, balance, well-reasoned decisions and thoughtful, considerate contemplation about whether we are changing the world for the better or worse. As long as Extinction Rebellion are routinely critically thinking their actions, I can cut them some slack for any mistakes and misjudgements. We all do it, and if we’re serious in our aims then we should be happy to engage with those who criticise. We need to win hearts and minds of those who might need convincing, not just talk to those who already share our views.

The overarching point of all this is that environmentalism shouldn’t be defined as belonging solely to the counter-culture, it shouldn’t be a positional good specifically designed to signal the virtue of a few white knights fighting to save the planet vs the dumb masses. This is cult-like behaviour, meeting several of the criteria of dangerous groups.

Maybe it’s just that I have a very different version of environmentalism from the Extinction Rebellion crew, but I’m not totally convinced that what they recommend is in fact best for the future of the planet. Even if the problem is as they say it is, how good is their solution?

For me and my style of environmentalism, it’s primarily a personal relationship with the Earth, although communication and bringing other people along is an essential second step. But the first step, the Sine Qua Non, is ensuring I regularly have a physical communion with the Earth. We connect with the air every time we breathe, granted, but we should also connect with the land and sea (rivers will do if we can’t make the seaside, after all it’s the same water, just a bit further upstream!)

Let me illustrate what I mean: on a sunny Bank Holiday, the protestors chose to spend hours in the sweltering, concrete jungle of London rather than actually touching base with nature. For what it’s worth, I spent Easter Monday exploring my local 700m peak, Great Whernside (not to be confused with Yorkshire’s highest mountain Whernside, miles away on the other side of the Dales). I immersed myself in the soft, soothing, unspoilt shapes of the fells rising to meet the big sky.

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In doing so, I felt myself relaxing, unwinding, reconnecting with my spiritual essence and meditating over life’s mysteries. My belief is that these direct communions with nature are of a deeper benefit to our affinity with the planet, than spending too much time in the groupthink of the cities. Therefore, if climate change is the problem Extinction Rebellion claim it to be, these upland open spaces contain the solution, and I see my role in the eco-movement as simply to spread awareness of the vital importance of conserving these landscapes, to protect them at all costs, and to encourage as many people as possible to also spend as much time as they can surrounded by the beauty of nature.

It doesn’t have to be about the mountains and moorlands, that just happens to be my niche. It could be gardens, parks, even the tiniest slither of green, undeveloped urban space. Just somewhere accessible where we can spend time directly interacting with the natural world.

Within the protestors there will indeed by some Earth Lovers, some Pagans and Wiccans; however there will also be an awful lot of Muggles who can’t wait to get back home to their Xboxes. Let’s be honest: at the age of 16 I’d have probably gone and got fully involved as a social thing, I do get that entirely, and it’s certainly not a bad bandwagon to jump on. If anything introduces people to caring about the environment, that can only be a good thing.

But it’s also an example of the Watermelon psychology, if you remember my piece about Watermelons and Bananas. Watermelons are those who support Green causes on the outside, but down to youthful inexperience they have an external locus of control and can thus be easy prey to get co-opted into various other socialist causes.

Could Extinction Rebellion even be a front for the rollout of 5G? Make up your own minds…

This brings me on to my final concern: the elevation of technology over nature. This is where Extinction Rebellion really need to don their critical thinking and self-awareness hats. Opposing wind blight needs to be totally separated from climate change denial in their minds, and it needs to be seen for what it is: just other strain of opposition to corporate desecration of the natural world.

True, there are some folk who hate wind turbines because they don’t subscribe to the theory that we even need to lower CO2 emissions; but there are many others, like me, who simply place electricity second in priority to nature. Of course we need electricity, but we need the natural upland watershed landscapes even more.

Anti-wind activists therefore need to be paid attention to and heeded by Extinction Rebellion, because these guys are the real deal when it comes to standing up for the planet against huge corporations, often privately and with no fanfare. I made this point in pretty much the first entry I ever wrote, and I’m saying it again now, so there is no doubt whatsoever.

OPPOSING INAPPROPRIATE WIND BLIGHT DOES NOT EQUATE TO BEING A CLIMATE CHANGE DENIER! 

IT SIMPLY MEANS DOUBTING WIND FARMS ARE THE SOLUTION TO CLIMATE CHANGE THEY SAY THEY ARE.

AND EVEN IF THEY DID HELP A BIT, THEY CAUSE SO MANY OTHER ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEMS THAT THEY’RE SIMPLY NOT WORTH THE BOTHER.

I barely talk about climate change in this blog, because I really don’t have anything useful to say about it. I just don’t like pollution full stop, whether it be of the land, sea or air. I would however err on the side of acting as if climate change is a genuine threat (because that’s the Precautionary Principle in action), whilst simultaneously keeping a calm head and critically thinking about the proposed solutions (a must-read article that critically examines the available sources of low-carbon energy, including wind).

Having done all this critical thinking, and despite having a few issues with their answers to the problems of environmental destruction, all in all I feel generous towards the Extinction Rebellion guys. I assume, deep down, we share the same aim of a clean, green planet. Who doesn’t, after all?

I just need them to know that wind turbines won’t provide what they’re looking for. I for one wouldn’t want to live in a world – even with the threat of climate change solved for good – if the price we had to pay for survival is forests of huge spinning metal blades, owned by multinational energy companies, blocking us from our connection with the natural Earth.

And I’d be gobsmacked if any fellow Eco-Warrior really wanted to live in that kind of world!

EDIT: I’ve read that back and I do sound a bit holier than thou! I apologise if that’s the case, as always I’m just showing my inner workings and explaining exactly why I feel the way I feel. All I can say is, my findings ARE based on my own research and fieldwork, they really are. I genuinely do trace our interconnecting mountain ridges and watersheds by eye and by feel. I am 100% for real when I say that I can sense whether I am in Wharfedale, Airedale or Calderdale entirely by the shapes of the valleys! It’s all true 🙂 I probably deserve pity more than praise, but this deep connection to the Earth is precisely why I care so much, and precisely why inappropriate wind blight physically hurts me so much.

It also explains my uncanny knack for uncovering USELESS wind turbines at the sources of these rivers, that just keep on breaking down!

EDIT 2: A very busy this week! Dramatic fire engulfed the Paul’s Hill Wind Farm in Moray. Boo-hoo. If you can’t stand the heat, get out the kitchen! Obviously it’s a tragedy that so much wild land has caught fire, but at least there’s a silver lining to the story. On a more serious point, the fire risk is now plain to see. If by any chance you’re reading, Duncan, when I said your wind farm ran the risk of being burnt down to the ground, this is what I was talking about… the voice of Nature. Not lil ol’ me going around with a box of matches and a petrol can, but simply nature reasserting its dominance over the uplands. Electrify and industrialise them at your peril…

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-north-east-orkney-shetland-48017104?fbclid=IwAR364AsQ6WAZgXMTY5G95JLH3zOKN2i5Hvh6_BaN4Na4tEyjJ_gS4eX9uH0 

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