The Guardian: Sinister Propaganda & Fake News

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It’s been a couple of weeks since my last entry, a nice little hiatus in which hopefully any readers have brought themselves up to speed with the plethora of evidence against wind energy and its destructive impacts. I’ve not come into contact with that many turbines since my last entry, just the usual horrendous and dangerous blight that lines long stretches of our motorways.

I’m pleased to report that the broken turbine next to the Scammonden viaduct currently remains broken, its three blades lying lifeless on the ground and its naked nacelle exposed to the elements. Will anyone bother fixing it? I shall keep you posted. Let’s hope that whatever has afflicted this turbine spreads and takes out the remainder of the unwelcome turbines around Kirklees and Calderdale. I’m certain that by the end of the year, just over six weeks from now, more of these turbines will fail. As always, I will be quick on the scene to take video footage of any accidents.

My several M62 journeys have afforded me regular views of Scout Moor, Crook Hill and the various single turbines on the hillsides immediately north of Manchester. There is a whole swathe of Green Belt that has been trashed by these inappropriate turbines, the two off Ashworth Road near Rochdale in particular casting a negative shadow over the otherwise scenic Pennine foothills.

WHAT KIND OF DISEASED MIND THINKS IT’S ACCEPTABLE TO INFLICT THESE MONSTERS ON THE PUBLIC?

I’ve also been down to London a couple of times since writing, taking me out of my current home patch and back to my Southern roots. Both the A1 and M1 link West Yorkshire with London: heading south, the A1(M) splits adjacent to Hook Moor Wind Farm, a horrid and dangerous affair rejected THREE TIMES by Leeds City Council, and once again only approved on appeal by the Planning Inspectorate under their abysmal and probably corrupt old methodology (the one still largely prevalent in Scotland that says: whatever a wind developer wants, a wind developer gets, and to hell with the general public).

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leeds-16116701

I generally prefer the A1 as there is far less wind blight than the M1, large parts of which are now almost undrivable due to the hazardous wind blight that dominates the landscape between Lutterworth and Northampton, hundreds of massive turbines with their flashing red lights (“Devil’s Eyes”, the locals call them apparently) stretching off as far as the eye can see. One of these turbines, in particular, caught my attention and sparked another One-Man campaign.

I’m referring to the horrible turbine at the Tesco Distribution Centre near Daventry, accompanied by a misanthropic and anti-democratic banner “Less CO2 emissions using wind turbines”. Despite my best efforts to have this banner forcibly removed – so far I’ve contacted Tesco head office, the local Planning Department, the Highways Agency and the Advertising Standards Agency to complain about its offensive, bias-motivated hate speech – it’s still there leering at motorists and sticking two fingers up at nature lovers. Oh well, it’s living proof of the kind of people who promote wind turbines: huge great capitalist corporations like Tesco who can use them as a greenwashing/money-laundering tool.

Lesson for activists: don’t be discouraged by a lack of support from the authorities when you alert them to a new issue. Technological and administrative processes will always be more adept at dealing with known issues over unknown ones. I see this at work constantly – there are templates for how to deal with known and understood issues, but the moment you step outside the Overton Window and present someone with a new and unaccounted-for problem, then you get the tumbleweed treatment. But don’t get discouraged, because eventually when enough people start to experience the same issue, often after a serious failure of some sort, solutions will soon be found.

And so, even if right now nobody is directly forcing Tesco to remove the offensive poster, in terms of the wider war Tesco is on the losing side; it’s just taking longer for them to acknowledge how badly they’ve screwed up. Maybe this is a symptom of their problems as a corporation – they don’t listen to the public, they’re not honest, they’re basically a terrible company with whom I’ve not shopped for over a year now.

http://peak-productions.co.uk/tescotorture.html

Only a fool, or a horsemeat fan, would shop at Tescos.

The A1 corridor has generally avoided the worst of the wind blight, other than the two horrifying wind farms near Doncaster, and at the other end, the truly nauseating wind farm near Biggleswade. YUK! There are also several lone turbines between Worksop and Grantham, yet again disgusting and totally out of place, rendering vast areas of the countryside unpleasant and inhospitable. Wind turbines are truly a pox on an area.

So that’s the real-life turbines I’ve encountered these last couple of weeks. The main developments have come from the internet. First up, some GREAT NEWS! Leeds-based spivs EnergieKontor have been forced to take my advice and combine sex with travel (ie fuck off). They’re not wanted at Bonchester Bridge, as I made VERY clear to them down the phone and via email 😉 Luckily I no longer need to place the company under a curse, as the local community has done it for me. No thanks to the Scottish Planning Inspectors, who recommended the awful Pines Burn proposal; instead this is the voice of the council themselves who have stood up to the bullies and told them to vamoose.

http://www.thesouthernreporter.co.uk/news/environment/controversial-wind-farm-plans-rejected-1-4607651

And there’s yet more bad news for doomed EnergieKontor, with Communities Secretary Sajid Javid once again proving himself to be spot-on in his judgement.

http://lincolnshirereporter.co.uk/2017/11/government-steps-in-to-stop-new-wind-farm-in-lincolnshire/

What a LEGEND! I’ve always had a soft spot for the Rochdale-born MP, ever since his secretary empathetically responded to my Rooley Moor objection letter. saying that although Mr Javid couldn’t formally help me as I didn’t live in the constituency myself, he most certainly took on board my views. I’ll say! Every now and then I hear the salient points from my letter repeated in Mr Javid’s own words. Either he’s just naturally on my wavelength (great minds think alike and all that!), or else he’e genuinely listened to what we Wind Warriors have been telling him all this time, and realised there might actually be something in what we’re saying.

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Now we come to the main point of today’s entry: as always I’m writing the full truth as I understand it, because truth is its own reward. The truth is a thing of beauty and spirituality, the sun that lights up and energises human consciousness. Maybe it’s a personal thing, and I really don’t mean to sound like I’m virtue-signalling in any way, but the truth is pretty much the only thing I’m interested in. I’d rather go through life alone yet wedded to the truth, rather than fall for any kind of illusion whatsoever, and this is one of the worst qualities of wind turbines – they bring lies and untruth into my safe space, causing amygdala hijacks and adverse physiological reactions with their creepy deceptions and covert hostility.

I now have another piece of evidence, through sheer luck witnessed by an impartial observer, that there are Dishonest Bananas out there deliberately and systematically misleading the public about the negative impacts of wind energy. My witness is a dear friend of mine, an incredibly clever man who used to work on security systems for the Ministry of Defence, ie someone who knows a thing or two about logic, science and technology. For what it’s worth, my friend is not a Wind Warrior, indeed I encourage him to play Devil’s Advocate and to logic-chop my hypotheses. He wants hard facts, evidence and valid reasons for opposing wind blight; like everyone he supports the idea of clean, green energy, and originally gave full support to the rollout of wind farms. I’ve only semi-persuaded him of their horrors, which is good, because, once again: HONESTY! I don’t want fake support, it’s not what this intellectual odyssey is all about. It’s about getting to the truth of the matter.

I once again refer to my role model Lieutenant Columbo: what motivates him above all is to prove, with incontrovertible evidence, that whatever lies he’s been told are false. And that’s how it is with me. Hit me with some truths and I’ll incorporate them into my understanding of the world. I gain absolutely nothing from expressing myself within an echo chamber; although it gives me emotional support and boosts my confidence by sharing my findings with fellow Wind Warriors, what I want more than anything is to peel away the soft support for wind amongst casual observers, and to bring previously pro-wind supporters around to the side of nature and truth. You must all know by now, I’m equally happy to shift my stance if it can be proven that I’m believing lies and basing my own views upon untruths.

I was alerted to a debate on The Guardian’s website, which I thought might be fertile ground for engaging with some wind supporters and planting some seeds of truth. As you can see, I’ve linked to The Guardian several times, including in my very last post. I’ve not previously been biased against The Guardian, although I did remark upon how comments are disabled on some of its more dubious opinion pieces.

I now realise that The Guardian is really NOT interested in an honest exchange of opinions, as for reasons best known to itself, it decided to delete my perfectly civil, inoffensive comments (right in front of my witness’s eyes). Because there was hardly any direct speech in my initial comment, merely some useful links to scientific research that I thought would forward the discussion, I can repeat verbatim what I typed, and let you be the judge of exactly why the Guardian might have decided to pull my comments within seconds.

The “debate”:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/nov/11/brighton-rampion-wind-farm-turbines-renewables#comment-108069496

My contribution, which sparked a couple of replies before deletion:

“Scientific evidence that wind turbines increase rates of suicide: ‘Current technology uses wind turbines’ blade aerodynamics to convert wind energy to electricity. This process generates significant low-frequency noise that reportedly results in residents’ sleep disruptions, among other annoyance symptoms. However, the existence and the importance of wind farms’ health effects on a population scale remain unknown. Exploiting over 800 utility-scale wind turbine installation events in the United States from 2001-2013, I show robust evidence that wind farms lead to significant increases in suicide.’

http://www.eric-zou.com/s/turbine_zou201710.pdf

Scientific evidence that people would rather live further away from wind turbines:

http://www.spatialeconomics.ac.uk/textonly/SERC/publications/download/sercdp0159.pdf

63 peer-reviewed articles proving health problems associated with wind turbines:

http://windvictimsontario.com/10/post/2015/04/63-peer-reviewed-articles-regarding-impairment-of-health-in-general-and-relating-to-industrial-wind-turbines.html

Go ahead and screw yourselves up, but not me (or the whales), thanks.”

Someone rapidly replied, calling my post “Bollocks”, before going on to say: “There are four beautiful turbines near me and I’ve not topped myself yet.”

Now bear in mind that this is the apparently progressive Guardian, so one might have assumed that issues relating to suicide and mental health would be treated with a smidgen less callous indifference. But, as I have said repeatedly throughout this blog, when it comes to wind turbines, normal standards don’t apply, and the nature-destroying, humanity-harming predatory corporations that would otherwise be on the receiving end of the progressives’ ire have miraculously been transformed into planet-saving Messiahs who can do no wrong. Nowadays at The Guardian, it’s us poor victims of eco-vandals who are laughed at and ridiculed, while the bulldozers are cheered on.

WHERE’S YOUR HEAD AT, GUARDIAN READERS?

Lest it be forgotten, The Guardian is as capitalist and corporate as McDonalds and Coca-Cola. It sells fantasy. It won’t take you very long perusing their website before intrusive pop-ups start asking you for money to support their “independent journalism.” Yet someone truly independent like me, who brings real news and scientific research to the debate, free of charge, has their contributions instantly deleted!

I simply asked the chap who claimed to live near these four wonderful turbines for some more details about them, so I could do my own research into what makes their design such a success story. My comment was gone within seconds. No insults, no rudeness, no bad language, rather a genuine attempt to enter into an intelligent discourse with someone with an opposing view. Our opening salvos should be seen as just that – the real debate should come after the initial introductions, as we settle down into a full and fearless exchange of ideas, in pursuit of some shared consensus about the nature of reality.

The Guardian blocked the discourse after barely two messages each. How does that move the dialogue forward? Why would The Guardian block links to peer-reviewed scientific research? What is their agenda? I received no notification that my comments were in breach of any rules, they simply disappeared into the ether as if I’d never posted them!

If the science is wrong, then here’s the perfect opportunity to debunk it. There’s no way on earth I would continue to promulgate information I knew to be false! The net result of just rubbing out the science is that The Guardian has proven itself to be untrustworthy. Even if people disagree with some of my opinions, the objective truth is that I have clearly done my research and know my topic inside out. I am equipped with dates, places, policies, scientific research and personal contact with wind victims all across the world. Surely someone with my experience and passion for this topic should be welcomed with open arms into any debate about wind farms? What kind of debate is it when those who are most interested in the topic, those who have done the most research and fieldwork, are not even allowed to take part?

The answer is, it’s not a debate. It’s not motivated by truth, it’s motivated by a hidden agenda. Maybe there is an acceptable level of disagreement tolerated (anything incoherent that makes dissenters look stupid!), but in my case the simple and intellectually honest act of linking to the latest scientific research was deemed beyond the pale.

It’s almost like The Guardian’s biggest enemy is science itself.

More than that, The Guardian has revealed itself to be an enemy of nature. How any truly Green-minded individual could support this fake news rag is a mystery. The scientific research I have drawn upon really does exist, that’s the truth. The research might be flawed, possibly, in which case the voice of nature would be to draw attention to those flaws and move the research forward, applying the Hegelian Dialectic principle of thesis-antithesis-synthesis. As with all debates, whenever I come across a thesis I disagree with, I try and present the antithesis. Science, truth, rationality and reason are all about the synthesis – factoring in all those awkward contradictions to arrive at a one-size-fits-all axiom of inarguable truth! In this case – my antithesis to the central thesis of The Guardian’s viewpoint was simply erased from history.

What they should have done is kept my comments up there and allowed people to fire logical shots at any flaws in the research. We could have batted the dialogue backwards and forwards, really getting under the skin of the topic, before gradually reaching some level of agreement. The Guardian denied its readers the opportunity to experience the voice of nature, instead it has created an artificial bubble of non-reality in order to make profit from the fantasies of its readership.

As my ex-MoD friend pointed out so succinctly, what’s more important to The Guardian (and maybe all media outlets) is to reinforce the existing beliefs of their core readership, than simply to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth!

That’s where this blog comes in. And, as always, priority is always given to those who disagree. I actively want you to reach out and express opposing opinions to mine!

I can’t think of any circumstances whatsoever in which I’d delete a single comment on here, even if “offensive” in anyway. If that’s what I make someone feel with my words, then that’s the true voice of nature. I’d be lying to you all, and above all myself, were I to delete any comments that arise from my think-pieces!

EDIT: I’ve emailed The Guardian with a link to this piece, and I’ve invited them to reply to my allegations. They have yet to respond. But surely that says it all: once again I am being totally transparent and hospitable, welcoming even those I vehemently disagree with to have their say and to move the dialogue forward. I’ve said in black and white, repeatedly, that if the facts change I’ll change my opinion. I love everyone, it’s not PERSONAL, just an intellectual battle of ideas, with the best idea going ahead and shaping government policy. Luckily, the man who actually makes the decisions, Mr Javid, is a beacon of rationality and reason in an ocean of delusion, deception and detachment from nature.

I hope this proves the difference between my approach and that of The Guardian: I invite them to express themselves, I welcome them to my forum and offer them the right to reply. The Guardian, on the other hand, sneakily delete comments they don’t like, and shut out those with the wrong opinions (I’ve had confirmation that this has happened to others as well). As a result, their comments section is artificial, unnatural, contrived, skewed, flawed.

There’s a word for The Guardian’s approach: BIGOTRY.

Bigotry: “intolerance towards those who hold different opinions from oneself”

On the issue of wind energy, comment is truly free on my website. Literally everyone reading is encouraged to have their say, particularly those with an opposing opinion. I might actually learn something from those contributors bringing new information into the discourse! Whereas The Guardian’s website is an exercise in pure, closed-minded bigotry.

I hope everyone reading can spot the difference and figure out whose approach is the more honest, natural and true!

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EDIT 2: Hmmmm. I may have been a bit hasty in my unqualified support for Sajid Javid! A few days since this post (it’s now the 17th November) and I see Mr Javid has ruffled a few feathers with his intent to launch a massive house building programme. Surely this is the antithesis to my own BANANA (Build Absolutely None Anywhere Near Anyone) stance? If it was Sajid who used the word NIMBY, rather than the sub-editors at Metro, then WE REALLY NEED TO TALK!

Luckily I’m not a bigot. Luckily I don’t shut out opinions that differ from mine, but instead I engage with them, I deal with them head-on, and I really try and get under the skin of the antithesis to my original thesis, as always in search of synthesis.

Do we really need new homes? Why? What reason is there that the population has outgrown the buildings available? Is it that we are having more and more babies, with families getting bigger and bigger? Or is it that there are more families to house? If so, where did these new families come from? Have we stemmed the increase in our population, or is it still rising?

Anyone have any ideas why our population has risen so dramatically since 1997?

The synthesis to the house building problem is to ensure we pick the right locations. Nobody wants to live higher than 300 metres above sea level in the UK, unless they’re a glutton for ice-driving, so our uplands should be safe. I’m more worried about the Green Belts that separate our urban areas.

Being totally intellectually honest about it, where I’m sat right now was once upon a time fields. Vast swathes of North Leeds were built upon relatively high altitude open moorland (the clue is in the names: Moortown, Moorallerton, Tinshill, Cookridge etc), yet now these formerly green fields have been covered in suburban sprawl.

Indeed my town of birth, Crowborough, is an urban Marilyn (see my post “I Was Born On A Marilyn”). A few hundred years ago it’d have been part of the ancient Forest of Anderida, now it’s a medium-sized town housing 25,000 people. The trig point is in somebody’s back garden! So everywhere was countryside once upon a time. Where do we draw the line?

I’m starting to think the best synthesis of all would be an actual face-to-face meeting and interview with Sajid Javid, preferably on film, in which I can put my questions to him. Even if I fundamentally disagree with the house building policy – and I’d need to chat with him first of all to work out exactly what he wants to do, and where, before knowing whether I agree or not – I’d thoroughly enjoy the intellectual discourse with a man who clearly has a strong point of view about the wellbeing of the UK. A letter to his secretary will follow…let’s see if we can hook up the first ever MindWind video interview with an MP!

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/11/16/sajid-javid-calls-giant-leap-new-homes-built-challenge-philip/ 

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The Future Leader Of The Green Party

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Still… where there is death, there is rebirth.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enough with the Climate Change crap already!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BEWARE THE GREENWASH! 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

EDIT: SOME BREAKING NEWS!!!!

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

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

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

WAKE UP!!!

 

 

 

I Was Born On A Marilyn

wind-farm-uk-iberdrola

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WHY???

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

WHY???

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

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

WHY???

83eb98de7e2b81e8a269fc89d5ab3424--photo-s-paranormal

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WHAT ARE THEY SO SCARED OF???

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

WHY???

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

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

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

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

It can be done!

The SNP: Making English Eco-Vandals Look Like Amateurs

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

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

These are some of the reactions from the public:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Just stop the subsidies.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

jo

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

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

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

Doing Wind Badly (Part 1)

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

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

LIES! LIES! LIES!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WHAT ARE YOU PEOPLE DOING TO YOURSELVES???

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Bananas vs Watermelons: Internal vs External Loci of Control

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I’ve already described myself as a proud wind turbine Banana (Build Absolutely None Anywhere Near Anyone). Culture wars are raging on both sides of the Atlantic between us Bananas and our deadly rivals, the Watermelons. This could get messy…anyone for fruit salad?

In case you didn’t know, Watermelons are those who are Green on the outside but Red on the inside. A few years ago down in Brighton, a significant skirmish took place between Bananas and Watermelons over whether to pull down a century-old oak tree to make way for a new cycle lane. I forecast a long, protracted and acrimonious period of fighting for the two factions, as the impact of the under-construction Rampion Offshore Wind Farm (**WORST UK ECO DISASTER OF THE 21ST CENTURY**???) begins to envelope the formerly-raffish seaside resort in a miasma of retributions, blame and sheer pig-headed denial.

One has to reserve judgement and tread carefully, keeping an open mind and not actively wishing harm, just in order to say “I knew this would happen”. That would be pure selfish ego, as we are still seeing with some Remainers. Not all Remainers, clearly, not those who have reluctantly accepted the democratic endorsement of the Brexit thesis, despite it being the antithesis to their own views. We need both sides to come to the table to work towards a mutually agreeable synthesis. And so I have to be the bigger man and just hope that, now that we’re lumbered with it, the Rampion Wind Farm at least does some good in the world, rather than killing off one of the UK’s top seaside resorts (it would be a self-administered death to be fair, a Darwin Award for the entire Green Party).

I am sceptical though, and more than a little concerned that dead whales might start regularly floating up onto the beaches between Portslade and Peacehaven. But I don’t actively want it to happen. I don’t want thousands of people, many of them elderly, to find they can no longer sit outside and gaze off into the seemingly endless blue sea, as I myself used to do when I briefly lived in Brighton back in 2002. Strange to think that this former home town, where I used to DJ and throw club nights, is now languishing somewhere at the very bottom of places in the UK I’d like to visit. I can’t see me going back to Brighton for the next 20 years to be honest. Still, if that’s what the residents want, let them live with it. Maybe if everyone else moved to Hastings or Bournemouth, the remainder might get the message that normal holidaymakers don’t want to sit staring at a power station for hours on end.

We Bananas tend to have more in common with the central Brexit thesis than its Remain antithesis – ours is a different kind of environmentalism that maybe does start with protecting our own back yards, but certainly doesn’t end there. The Watermelons believe in a different kind of environmentalism, epitomised by Agenda 21 and enacted by supranational organisations such as the UN and the EU.

I wear my biases on my sleeve, but I explain where they come from and am always on the lookout for the antithesis to my own thesis. I’ve proven it often enough (see the previous entry for some good knockabout self-debating!) My bias comes from loving the earth beneath my feet, which happens to be British soil, not through choice but through the randomness of life. So be it. If I don’t like it here, I am free to leave. Luckily, there’s nowhere else on earth I’d rather be. Not that British is best, but it’s definitely the best for me.

Right now I’m in Leeds so I start with my own city, and spiral my focuses outward from there. To the South lies the Peak, to the north lie the Dales, so I am blessed to have two of the world’s most stunning National Parks on my doorstep. But these landscapes are for everyone, we don’t want to keep them for ourselves, far from it. It’s the millions of visitors every year who keep these places vibrant, alive and worthy of protection, constantly thrilling and exciting first-time visitors with their gobsmacking natural landforms, such as Mam Tor, Kinder Scout, Ingleborough, Malham Cove, Lovely Seat etc.

Bananas tend to start with their own cognitive processes and spiral out from there to come up with an original theory or two, whereas Watermelons tend to start with pre-defined theories, and then apply them to their own experiences. In truth, reality is a bit of both, a SYNTHESIS of both our own empirical evidence and underlying theories formulated by experts.

These are the two starting points upon which our environmental policy debate is based: eco-destruction as perceived directly by our senses (Bananas) vs eco-destruction as explained theoretically (Watermelons). Nothing epitomises this divide more than wind farms.

The justification for wind farms is basically as a “techno-fix”, ie a mechanical solution for tackling climate change, an issue which as I have already explained is not most efficiently or ergonomically solved by trashing our health-giving uplands; however at least I understand, and up to a point agree with, the theory that leads people to think of wind turbines as a solution. If CO2 emissions are the problem, and wind turbines fix that problem, it’s a no-brainer, right?

The trouble with the theoretical Watermelon approach is that there is nobody on earth who can detect climate change through their senses alone, well not until the point where the icecaps melt and Stoke-on-Trent becomes Stoke-on-Sea. Therefore the minute we base our environmentalist discourse on the climate change thesis, the very foundation for our viewpoint rests on other people’s theories, that we only even 1% understand, using modelling data we have never seen, and that even the experts can’t agree exactly what it means.

That’s not to say I don’t believe in man-made climate change, far from it, just that my sole means of finding out about it comes from theory rather than my own experience-based observations: from institutions, governments, journalists and millions upon millions of opinion articles. Overwhelming, confusing, prone to exaggeration, misinterpretation and distortion – how the hell can a normal person make a truly informed decision about climate change?

Clearly the lower our toxic emissions, the better all round. But to proactively add more eco-destruction that has a dreadful impact on our senses, on a scale hitherto unknown, and in locations hitherto sacrosanct, in the name of something so theoretical as climate change, is the hallmark of a true Watermelon. The theory says it’s right, and that comes first. The psychological and emotional impact of the policies upon come a distant second.

Bananas, on the other hand, start at home, with our own garden, or a nearby field, or down at the river, and we contemplate how it makes us feel. If we experience eco-destruction, no matter what its theoretical benefits, it makes us feel bad, and we try to understand what on earth it is about it that has such a negative impact upon us.

In doing this, we may formulate our own counter-theories that challenge the existing theories of the Watermelons. In time, a natural synthesis will evolve, and a general consensus will form. However new generations may then find that their own experiences no longer adhere to the synthesis we arrived at, and they too will come up with their own antithesis. And so it goes on…that’s progress!

Honestly identifying flaws in a product or service and responding to feedback from the public is an essential part of technological innovation. A business ignores the genuine views of the public at its peril.

This is why I proactively like to engage with young voters and bring the topic of wind blight to their attention. To bring it into the Overton Window of relevant topics that our future political leaders consider important. The wonderful health-giving properties of the Peak and the Dales are certainly not lost on the 20-somethings of the North. The tricky part is highlighting the damage to the other parts of the Pennines caused by industrial wind blight, ever-encroaching into these magical watershed landscapes.

Now here’s the bit I want to say to my fellow Wind Warriors, in the hope it will help you better advance your arguments with those who might be most difficult to get through to. If the left gets UKIP wrong, then maybe equally sometimes the right gets the Greens wrong, so allow me to explain.

Green voters are just as intelligent, rational and reasonable as anyone else. Often young and unworldly, but absolutely not stupid or irrational. Far from it, Green Party policies are way more theory-based and intellectual than their detractors might realise.

I believe Green Party voters can best be reached through high-level intelligent discourse.

I would suggest that there’s something else that separates Bananas from Watermelons, and once again it is psychological in its roots. I would suggest that maybe the fundamental difference is that Watermelons tend to have an external locus of control, whereas Bananas veer towards an internal locus of control. Brains or ethics don’t come into it. Watermelons too have their amygdala hijacks and react accordingly. But whereas an amygdala hijack will ultimately lead to a Banana feeling personally empowered and motivated to set things straight on their own, without the need for outside assistance; oftentimes a Watermelon will feel the situation is out of their control and they need someone else to stand up on their behalf.

Once you recognise the fundamental psychological split, often buried beneath layers and layers of behavioural disguise, and once you realise it’s nothing to do with how nice people are or how bright they are, but simply how much control they feel they have over their own lives, then you can truly understand the battle for the soul of the environmental movement, the battle for Brexit, the battle over Trump, the battle over climate change etc etc. All these culture wars are essentially the global consciousness asking itself how much of this stuff we can do on our own, and how much requires the help of other people?

So this Banana here takes that initial amygdala hijack and uses it to become empowered, determined and more than capable of standing up to the wind bullies, to rub their noses in their own eco-destruction, to stop at nothing to personally protect the landscapes near me, and to use my passion to help others protect the landscapes near them! Whereas, I would posit, when a Watermelon is hit with an amygdala hijack, they feel less personally able to deal with it on their own, more in need of assistance from the authorities or the experts to get the ball rolling, after which they might start to take the reins.

All this is grossly generalistic, as Hillary described her election-losing “deplorables” observation, and all of us rely ultimately on the authorities to resolve disputes. But that’s the fundamental difference. Bananas start on their own, and build up to a crescendo that may well end up with the the full force of the law behind them, whereas Watermelons tend to start with an authority/establishment/expert decision, which they then apply to everything they experience, and fall back on that default appeal to authority whenever experiencing an amygdala hijack. Maybe you can even tell a future Banana from a Watermelon from the day they start primary school. A Banana will fight back when attacked by a bully; a Watermelon will tell the teacher.

At the small festival I just attended, I saw a number of stalls, one of which stood out for me in particular, the Greenpeace stall. Compare this to the adjacent stall, a small independent vegan cafe. Greenpeace is a global organisation that has found a way of cascading its PR down to intimate local festivals. Top-down. Draconian climate change policies. If they run out of leaflets, they would be able to report back to head office and get extra supplies sent over. External locus of control. Whereas the vegan cafe…Grass roots. Home-grown produce. If they run out of kale, then, game over, unless they can find their own way of getting more delivered asap. Internal locus of control.

To confuse matters, often a Watermelon operation will disguise itself as grass roots, without revealing the hidden hand behind-the-scenes pulling all the strings (known as “astroturfing”). Occasionally, you might even get the odd Banana operation disguising itself as something that has global backing, when it fact it’s just a couple of herberts doing their own thing. Lonewolf bombers sometimes do this, claiming to be part of a major terrorist group when in fact they’re just suffering from their own private, and highly dangerous, amygdala hijacks.

So yes, I admit, some Bananas are bad people. But the difference is not about good vs bad, or smart vs stupid, or thoughts vs feelings, or male vs female, or black vs white, or even left vs right (lifelong Eurosceptic Jeremy Corbyn definitely has something of the Banana about him, whereas Tony Blair’s ardently pro-EU stance was pure Watermelon!). The ultimate difference is whether people’s locus of control is essentially internal or external, and the cross-party EU Referendum debate encapsulated the difference politically: do we as a society want the UK’s locus of control to be internal or external? Answer: Internal.

I hope I’m proving that, although I’m a Banana first and foremost, I have no disrespect for Watermelons as people, I believe I understand their psychology, especially when it comes to climate change. They feel powerless to prevent it on their own, and that such a vast issue requires top-down solutions rolled out, as per Agenda 21, which we’ll come onto shortly. Wind turbines are the natural outcome of such a policy framework. Whereas us Bananas start with first-hand experience of the eco-destruction of the lands we know and love, and then we work outwards from there.

If a Watermelon can’t empathise with a Banana getting upset at seeing the countryside devoured by machines, then they’d do well to ask themselves what on earth they’re doing in the Green Party. That, ultimately, is why I come down on the side of the Bananas.

No theory or academic paper in the world can remove the emotional sting and psychological impact of seeing our treasured landscapes trashed for profit. 

Yes I’m proud to be a Banana, but I’m friends with loads of Watermelons and I know they’re not bad or stupid people, far from it. More often than not, they’ve never experienced the negative impact of wind energy for themselves. They just feel overwhelmed by the threat of climate change, helpless to tackle it on their own, promulgating directives and talking points that actually originate from big, shadowy agencies, who often don’t have their best interests at heart.

We Bananas say instead: take control, open your eyes, ears and senses to the world around you, engage directly with nature, love the soil beneath your feet, stand strong, and you really can change the world, with nobody else’s thoughts, feelings or ideas but your own!

Ultimately, we all need to work together on environmental issues, so I hope understanding a bit more about the psychology of our political adversaries may help us come to a mutually beneficial synthesis that makes this a better place to live, without needing the help of wind turbines. There’s got to be other ways…let’s start looking for them, together 🙂

Just saying… http://www.theargus.co.uk/news/15502115.Ships_investigated_in_toxic_cloud_mystery/

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-sussex-21702452

http://changingminds.org/explanations/preferences/locus_control.htm

EDIT: As always, my first critic is myself! Maybe there’s a link between critical thinking and DJing… in case you didn’t know, my introduction to low frequency rumbles didn’t come from wind turbines, but from sound systems. Maybe that’s why I’m so sensitive to the negative impact of out of phase infrasonic frequencies; a wind farm’s soundwaves are like a DJ playing 12 songs at once, each out of rhythm with each other. Strewth!

DJing involves listening in headphones to the song you’re playing next, while people are still dancing to the song you’re playing now. Being one step ahead. Knowing in advance that the song you had cued up next might in fact not be the best song to play, and changing your mind before the public even notices!

And so…I hear the voice of critical thinking in my headphones. Woah, woah, woah, it shouts. Hold on, hold on, hold on…how the hell can you describe people who want to be self-sufficient, generating their own power using their own wind turbine, as having an external locus of control?! Surely they are the biggest Bananas of the lot? OK, they might have a small turbine of their own, but only as an alternative to huge, filthy coal or gas-fired power stations, which have way more visual impact on way more people.

Serendipity came to my rescue! I genuinely didn’t have an answer for this, until yesterday evening when I saw a Sponsored Post on Facebook. The post, for a suspicious-looking group called 10:10 Climate Action, which seems to be pure Watermelon (if ever in doubt, ask yourself: IS THIS GENUINELY GRASS ROOTS, OR IS THERE SOMEONE IN THE SHADOWS PULLING THE STRINGS???), features a poll: “Which would you rather live next to, a wind farm or a fracking site?”, illustrated by a wind turbine (minus concrete foundations, substation, cabling, pylons and HGV access tracks, which always seem to get missed out of cartoon depictions of wind turbines) and a fracking well (illustrated with a huge hole in the ground). I added a comment: “Here’s my answer….[link to here]…Enjoy!”

The poll and accompanying blurb is as typically misrepresentative as we’ve come to expect, saying “The government have banned wind farms because they say people don’t want them in their back yard.” I’m sorry, but that is just such BS, so TYPICAL of these bloody wind scammers. Let’s be honest, there is no way on earth any government of any country would give that as an official reason for a policy change (I believe the real reason is the government finds it morally objectionable to keep throwing vast sums of public money at the wind energy companies). It’s pure name-calling by the wind lobby, the same tired old NIMBY epithet which I debunked pretty much as soon as I started this blog. Yet it’s absolutely not NIMBY to oppose fracking, oh no, that’s perfectly sane and normal. Double-standards!

Do you ever wonder if the sole reason fracking gets such a bad rep is deliberately to make people think wind turbines aren’t as harmful? Negotiation #101: start with a ludicrous offer and then gradually whittle it down to something just about acceptable. So you don’t want fracking? No, well OK, we hear you, instead we’ll erect 100 clean, green wind turbines? Too many? How about 50? Still too many? OK, final offer, 20? DEAL!”

People don’t want ANY industrial development in their back yards, which is why for hundreds of years we have had heavy industrial zones nowhere near our areas of natural outstanding beauty. Wind farms tear down that ancient and organic split between “aesthetic”-based and “utilitarian”-based landscapes. If anything crosses boundaries, it’s industrial wind farms, imposing their stark utilitarian ugliness on areas that were formerly aesthetically pleasing (and therefore good for our mental health).

I hope the Watermelons behind 10:10 Climate Action are reading every word of this, because you’ve been rumbled, and you’ve helped answer my awkward question. Well, one of your contributors did, with an excellent point that I’ve never heard before. See, it’s not just a case of the wind turbine powering a property on its own, like a phone charger. All that happens is the wind turbine “feeds in” to the National Grid. Same electricity supply for everyone. So the wind turbine feeds some supply into the grid, not a lot to be honest, which the property then draws back out in its use of electricity. And that’s why a private wind turbine is still, and always will be, a Watermelon concept: Green and self-sufficient on the outside, but Red and externally-controlled on the inside.

The fact is, when it comes to electricity we are all Watermelons to a certain extent, which is annoying, but that’s the nature of electricity. Electrical appliances require a standardised current; if you buy an iPad and I buy an iPad, we both need exactly the same amounts of volts, amps, watts and ohms to make them work. Is it even possible for an individual to generate their own perfectly calibrated electricity, just by means of a wind turbine alone? Or does the turbine merely feed into the grid, possibly contributing a tiny, token amount of power, whilst still at heart relying on the same old coal and gas-fired power stations that we all use? You can’t just set up a turbine on your own and expect your iPad to start working; you need it to be assimilated into the existing grid and its erratic current regulated, which is pretty much a drain on resources for all involved. Lord knows why ANYONE would get a wind turbine!

frax.jpg

HERE WE GO AGAIN. You need to read this, 10:10 Climate Action… https://www.facebook.com/notes/johnstown-wind-action-group/a-wind-farm-lament/1154673064678097/

Awkward Questions Answered

This weekend’s roadtrip was one that could not have come at a better time, and its write-up could not be more germane to the discussion at hand. I travelled about 80 miles from Leeds to just outside Louth in Lincolnshire, and along the way I saw: one dead coal-fired power station (Ferrybridge); one operational coal-fired power station, with a new gas-fired power station being constructed alongside (Eggborough); one hybrid coal/biomass power station (Drax); one of the largest and most hideous “cumulative” agglomerations of onshore wind farms in Britain (stretching pretty much unbroken from Goole to Scunthorpe); and several private wind turbines of varying size, location and impact. You could not ask for a better control environment than today’s journey from which to take a closer look at different forms of power generation and their respective impacts.

With this blog in mind, I listened to no music along the way and instead gathered my thoughts. As always, it’s mostly critical thinking of my own arguments, trying to be the first to spot any inherent logical flaws, and asking myself those annoying awkward questions before anyone else does, such as:

Awkward Question #1: If we can’t see any turbines and we don’t even know they are there (eg at night, or even just because we’re looking the other way), can they still affect us?

Let’s work through it logically. If so, if under a controlled experiment people’s brain activity changed in the vicinity of a wind turbine that they didn’t even know was present, then that’s your smoking gun right there: something about the turbine other than its appearance would be having a neurological impact.

If not however, if we approach a turbine in the dark and don’t even notice its presence, then that would indicate one of two things:

Either: (a) whatever it is that has an impact when we see turbines has nothing whatsoever to do with their sound, magnetic vibrations or otherwise general uselessness, solely their visual appearance.

Or: (b) the visual impact is itself merely a trigger for some other personal cause of amygdala hijack (“Catcher In The Rye” theory, ie it wasn’t anything inherently about the book itself that led Mark Chapman to murder John Lennon, any other book being equally capable of being interpreted by the assassin’s mind as a trigger to attack Lennon). Derren Brown proved this with an excellent episode based on programming a participant to assassinate Stephen Fry with various everyday triggers (eg seeing an advert on a bus). So it is perfectly possible that just about anything could set off an amygdala hijack in people, either deliberately or accidentally. Maybe it’s just an irrational phobia, or even in some way related subconsciously to the arachnoid appearance of the turbines (not that I’m remotely scared of spiders, mind!)

I don’t have the answer but I’d love to test the theory, to find out if our brains detect the presence of turbines even when we can’t see them.

Awkward Question #2: If it’s just an issue of height and inappropriate rural development, how come radio masts, pylons and other assorted towers don’t have the same psychological impact? What about churches, for God’s sake???

This is interesting to me, with the giant Emley Tower visible from just around the corner from home. I love the Emley Tower, it’s one of Yorkshire’s iconic landmarks, higher even than the Eiffel Tower. That certainly comes between me and the Peak, so how come that gets a free pass? I even used to use the huge Holme Moss tower, actually located within the Peak National Park, as a logo for Peak City Radio. That too dominates the surroundings for miles and miles. The fact is, I can’t immediately rationalise why these towers are acceptable and even the smallest wind turbine isn’t. Maybe it has something to do with the motion of the blades, which certainly doesn’t help matters, but to be honest even at a standstill turbines cause an unpleasant sensation. I think the type and colour of high-visibility paint used is a huge part of the problem. To coin a phrase, wind turbines are “hideously white”. Not to mention the sharp and dangerous-looking blades. They just scream out: “WRONG ON EVERY LEVEL”!

Here’s a thesis that has just come to me: all the other kinds of towers resemble a peak, one way or another. They are essentially pyramid or cone shaped, which is natural-looking and in keeping with the laws of gravity and the physical universe. Wind turbines seem to defy gravity, visually anyway, like it’s taking the earth an unhealthy amount of strain to prop them up, and are therefore almost the psychological antithesis to everything we love about mountain landscapes. Wind turbines, especially those with the extra-long blades, look upside down somehow. They certainly clash with upland landscapes aesthetically, and therefore psychologically (unless we are now saying aesthetics don’t affect our moods, in which case we might as well just scrap art and music). Throw The Hay Wain in the bin. Raze Mont Sainte-Victoire. “I wandered, lonely as a Planning Inspector”. “To sleep, perchance, to dream…not to be kept awake by the constant whoosh, whoosh whoosh…”

All other machines tend to get smaller as they get better, less lumbering and more efficient. Wind turbines seem to get bigger and bigger, looking for all the world like they’re regressing in terms of style and sophistication. It’s like the new iPhone being the size of a shoebox!

Here’s my favourite answer though, especially for fans of synchronised dancing. I once read a decidedly Toynbee-esque puff piece for industrial wind farms, prattling on about the “beauty of all these sleek turbines, dancing gracefully like ballerinas in the breeze”…or something equally vomit-inducing. The logic-slapdown to that inane opinion (which you still come across in The Guardian comments section from time to time) is to say: the whole point of ballet is that the nimble dancers are perfectly synchronised, both with each other and with the music. Unfortunately wind turbines seem to have a tin ear to the beat, and therefore rather than emulating the Bolshoi Ballet gliding around the stage in perfect sync to the music of Tchaikovsky; instead the chaotic, haphazard, bad-trip contortions of a dozen 150m tall wind turbines, totally jarring and out of phase with each other, end up resembling nothing more than a mass brawl outside Wetherspoons on a Saturday night. A brawl which the turbines probably helped cause in the first place, by making the locals feel aggressive.

Out of phase industrial wind turbines in the countryside are single-handedly the most ugly, soul-destroying and discombobulating sight I have ever experienced in my entire life.

Awkward question #3: What about old-fashioned windmills? Aren’t they supposed to be beautiful, sometimes even tourist attractions? Plenty of artists have painted them…

This question is one I ponder often, as my uncle and aunt lovingly restored an old windmill, adding sails (not blades), four of them (not three), and taking the best part of twenty years to restore a black stump into a working windmill. I used to love the bread they made! Occasionally even scones. So when I say all owners of wind energy infrastructure should face a mandatory 25 year jail sentence, am I including my dear old uncle and auntie? How come their beautifully renovated windmill gets a free pass?

(Incidentally, this is the same aunt that suddenly started suffering from depression and insomnia at the age of 80. Last time I visited her I noticed the swinging blades of a large wind turbine just beyond her garden fence. Funny that…)

Again, I don’t immediately have the answer, but I do know not a single neighbour ever complained about the noise or visual pollution of the windmill, painstakingly restored with the aid of local craftsmen, in the community in which they spent all their lives. The differences between their windmill and your modern wind turbine are legion – they did it as a labour of love, not for money, with top priority given to aesthetics and style. Different materials used – wood, not steel, for a start. No high-voltage electricity, certainly no live current fluctuating wildly and erratically. No neodymium magnets either, not that I’m aware of…

Maybe hundreds of corporate old-fashioned windmills, located and styled as inappropriately as modern turbines, would have the same impact on our psychology. Maybe they did. Maybe that’s why we got rid of them! In a hundred years from now, maybe there might survive two or three industrial wind turbine remains that might too become tourist attractions, quaint relics of a bygone era, looked upon with incredulity by our descendants.

Awkward question #4: There are so many things in life that cause stress and grief to people, why concentrate on something whose sole impact so far seems to have been that it briefly intruded upon your country drive for a few seconds? FIRST WORLD PROBLEMS! Man up for crying out loud and just be grateful that they’re not mining coal underneath Ilkley Moor.

I use the country drive as a control experiment, to demonstrate an example of how to enter the alpha mental state (which is seen by psychologists as the state of maximum creativity and clarity). I encourage each and everyone of you to try it for yourself.

Here’s another control experiment for you all: where do you go on holiday? Why do you even go on holiday? What does it do to your mind? What would happen if you didn’t take a holiday? Now, how would you react if, on arrival at your long-awaited destination, for which you booked time off work weeks in advance, you check in and see a building site outside your window? (Go to Brighton if you want the answer, more of which later. MUCH MORE…)

There are many physical symptoms of an amygdala hijack: stress hormones such as adrenalin and cortisol flood the body, as if to prepare for a life-or-death fight. Our heartbeats quicken and our breathing shallows. We feel a quivering in our solar plexus, limbs, often even our voice. We may notice heat flush our face, our throat constrict, or the back of our neck tighten and jaw set. This is all “emergency” animal instinct, largely out of our control, though there are coping strategies once you are aware what is happening. Bear in mind, then, if you are on any kind of “nature” holiday whatsoever, attempting to heal yourself from the stress of everyday living by reverting to a more organic existence for a few days, then an amygdala hijack is BAD NEWS. Bear in mind also that it can take up to four hours, if not longer, for the body to relax and calm down fully after a hijack.

A 30 second glimpse of an industrial wind farm can trigger an unpleasant physiological reaction lasting up to four hours. Our National Parks need to be places where people can safely roam for long periods of time without coming anywhere near a toxic wind farm. No wind farms must be allowed within four hours travel time of a National Park, otherwise we might as well scrap the National Parks, there’s no point even having them.

Maybe now you might start to understand the mental health implications of removing people’s places of leisure, recreation, rejuvenation, refreshment, exercise, fresh air, green fields, hills, moorlands, mountains, rivers and the ocean, soft horizons stretching as far as the eye can see, with just the odd small building blending into the landscape.

So what do we do with our turbines then? We don’t want them in nice areas because it makes them less nice. We don’t want them in bad areas, because that’s just taking advantage of vulnerable people and stigmatising deprived communities even more. We don’t want to see them from our beaches. We don’t want them within four hours travel of any National Park.

The only logical solution is to Build Absolutely None Anywhere Near Anyone.

Awkward Question #5: You keep banging on about the unspoilt countryside and torturing people in their homes, yet when it comes to private turbines, it’s the very people who erect them who have to live with them, closer than anyone else. How come turbine owners never complain about health problems? Surely if people didn’t want them, they wouldn’t keep them, so who do you think you are are to stick your nose into country matters? You’re just as much a townie as anyone else. If country dwellers keep erecting turbines, doesn’t that indicate a popular, quality product that people choose to buy?

I’m going to get into a fistfight with myself at this rate! Don’t worry by the way, I’m not arguing with myself out loud. But here’s the answer to that difficult one. Firstly, if you oppose fox-hunting then you can’t ask me the above question with a straight face. If country dwellers want to fox-hunt, by your logic, us townies should butt out of that too and let them get on with it. Why do you oppose fox-hunting, even if you never see it day-to-day in the city, and you proactively have to travel miles into the countryside on the offchance of tracking down a hunt?

Whatever drives you to oppose predatory fox-hunters, that’s what drives me to oppose predatory hill-hunters, so look into your soul, ask yourself why you find fox-hunting so unacceptable, and realise I feel exactly the same about the gratuitous desecration of our hills. Same people, probably. Same lack of respect for other living creatures.

So how come these fox-hunting (probably) turbine owners never complain about getting sick? They must be happy with their turbines, right? Shouldn’t I just leave them alone and stop picking on them? First answer: confirmation bias. Clearly people who get involved with wind turbines are biased towards them for some reason, and therefore they see the world through a totally different prism from mine. That’s fine, and I welcome the discourse, as always. Any happy turbine owners in tip-top health, feel free to fill me in and turn me on. I’m all ears.

(I might just remind people that DelBoy was always the last to lose enthusiasm for his own schemes – long after Rodney, Uncle Albert and Raquel would twig this was another utter loser of an idea, Del would still be convinced success was just around the corner. “Never stop believing. This time next year we’ll be millionaires. This time next year we’ll start making money from the turbine, Rodney…”)

A more sinister explanation is that maybe once they’ve made their Faustian pact, turbine owners are contractually obliged to shut up and only say nice things about their purchases, no matter how many times the blades fly off. Or, if not obliged to say nice things, embarrassed to admit they screwed up. One step ahead of the pure DelBoy denialists, these owners may secretly acknowledge that they’ve been sold a pup, but really can’t be arsed with the inevitable “I told you so”s from us lot, so they just keep their heads down, try and make the best of a bad job and hope that somehow they can be extricated from their nightmare contract asap. Just a hypothesis this, not based on anything other than the odd case in America where a few landowners have finally blown the whistle on the godawful wind turbine deals they found themselves embroiled in.

I’ll keep coming back to these Awkward Questions, and feel free to throw in your own. I love it! I fail to understand people who feel passionately about an issue NOT welcoming questions, counterarguments and logic-chopping. It’s fun! And if you can’t answer a question, then it can sometimes lead you to query your own shibboleths and maybe change your thinking. I’m happy to do that. I’ve been asking wind supporters to engage with me, reassure me, persuade me and set me straight for three years now. They never do.

When I posted the Crook Hill Eco Disaster website, I was expecting to be threatened with legal action for libel at any moment, or at least have some arsey letter from Coronation Power, had I in anyway lied or misrepresented the “Eco-Destruction On An Industrial Scale”, as I tagged it. The website still stands, unchallenged, unopposed. Search Crook Hill Wind Farm on Google, and my website appears before the official one! My website is effectively the go-to resource for information about the wind farm. Nobody seems that bothered. I only ever had one complaint about my website, and that was from a fellow Wind Warrior who was concerned my Bible quotations (“Take these things away, stop making my Father’s house a place of business”) might be a bit inappropriate. Not that I was wrong, but that I might be weakening my own argument by bringing religion into it. Anyway, I put the Crook Hill Eco Disaster website up there expecting some kind of reaction from the developers, but nobody batted an eyelid. It just indicates to me that the parties behind the wind farm really don’t give a tinker’s cuss what people think of them, as long as they get their money. Basically, gangsters, for want of a better term.

I know, if it was me, if I thought I was working on an amazing “clean, green” earth-saving project, and some uppity website pops up criticising everything I was doing, I’d absolutely take steps to reassure them and set them straight that they had it all wrong, this is a great project, they should come and meet me for a chat, check out the operations, be involved and see for themselves what’s really going on. I’d relish the chance to win over a sceptic, if I genuinely believed what I was doing was in their best interests. The fact that nobody involved with Crook Hill reached out to me speaks volumes.

In the next section, I’ll talk in more detail about my complicated relationship with the Green Party and those who vote for it…

“Nature, live! Live, nature! Powers of Nature: Destroy illusion and reveal the truth!”

That was the motto of my Crook Hill Eco Disaster website: http://www.crookhillecodisaster.co.uk

More Worldwide Wind Misery

Another daily roundup of how folks all around the world are being tortured by the psychopathic wind vandals. THESE HORRIBLE PEOPLE NEED INCAPACITATING, SO THEY ARE NO LONGER A DANGEROUS THREAT TO US NORMALS. Remember, all these links are from just one day. This type of cruelty is inflicted on people every single minute of every single day, in every single country of the world.

https://patch.com/massachusetts/falmouth/massachusetts-wind-turbines-trail-bloody-tears

https://www.wind-watch.org/news/2017/09/20/moratorium-on-new-wind-farms-okd/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=facebook

http://www.toledoblade.com/local/2017/09/20/Wind-turbines-removed-from-One-Government-Center.html

https://order-order.com/2017/09/19/green-ngos-spend-taxpayers-millions-lobbying-government/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+guidofawkes+%28Guy+Fawkes%27+blog+of+parliamentary+plots%2C+rumours+and+conspiracy%29&utm_content=FeedBurner+user+view

http://euanmearns.com/the-real-strike-price-of-offshore-wind/

https://green-watch.net/billions-spent-on-rush-to-renewables-based-on-false-stats-5bd6b5164943?gi=5568ad401e90

Knockskae – rightly refused

Killing Australia’s Renewable Energy Target an Essential Economic Reboot

Unreliable Subsidised Wind & Solar – Destroyers of Worlds – Have Become Economic Death

https://ww2.rspb.org.uk/our-work/conservation/projects/effects-of-wind-farms-on-upland-birds/

Is that enough TRUTH for y’all or shall I continue?

WE’RE NOT ACCEPTING THIS SHIT ANY MORE – REMOVE ALL TRACES OF YOUR REPULSIVE WIND TURBINES, OR FACE THE CONSEQUENCES: THE REST OF YOUR LIFE BEHIND BARS.

AND THAT’S NOT A THREAT.

IT’S A PROMISE.

There you go, how’s that for an amygdala hijack? A few hours later and I can read back on that and laugh, whilst still retaining my core anger. I certainly mean every word I wrote, otherwise I’d remove it. What triggered it? Mainly imagery, that same animalistic, defensive anger, caused by seeing yet more egregious eco-destruction for money, defecating all over the world’s natural habitats in the name of “clean, green energy”.

I just had a thought: the reason wind scammers call us NIMBYs is a textbook example of projection – that’s how they think themselves, purely in terms of their own selfish best interests, and so they fail to understand that us nature lovers view the whole planet as our back yard! You can’t be genuinely green without being a NIMBY, especially if your back yard is one of the world’s most cherished National Parks! But seeing photos of wind blight in the Sperrins or the Haute Vienne, and understanding the eco-destruction involved, has exactly the same psychological impact as seeing turbine blight with my own eyes here in Leeds.

Although I try and empathise with everyone, I must admit I find it very hard to empathise with anyone who makes their living from the rape of the countryside. Or maybe that’s the problem, maybe I empathise with them just a little too much. And that’s why I can see through their BS and understand their true motivation. £££££

CRITICAL THINKING #101: Let me just challenge my own thought-processes here, let me debate with myself and present the antithesis to my own thesis. What if I’m wrong and they’re right? What if they’re the heroes and I’m the villain? Driving around country lanes, polluting the atmosphere and scaring the wildlife, just for my own sense of wellbeing? What if my own anger is also projection, imparting onto the “wind scammers” my own bad karma and blaming these poor struggling farmers for my own frustrations in life? What if I’m the deluded, dangerous one? Or, if not projecting my own demons, simply suffering from cognitive dissonance and going after the wrong target, albeit for the right reasons. Shouldn’t I be directing all this anger towards the frackers and oil companies?

IF I WASN’T DOCUMENTING MY EXPERIENCES FOR YOU, DEAR READER, YOU MIGHT HAVE A POINT! But even asking these questions of myself is enough, I hope, to demonstrate critical thinking in action. I can tell you here and now that I paid out of my own pocket to get to Crook Hill religiously every week; I gave days of my own free time to document the construction of the wind farm, painstakingly uploading, arranging and annotating hundreds of photos, hours spent trawling through the thesaurus looking for non-libellous synonyms for “eco-vandals”! I doubt very much anyone from Coronation Power (aka Coronation OIL & GAS) would have set foot within 100 miles of the Pennines were they not being paid to do so. That’s the difference, right there. I give, wind scammers take.

Clearly I have a confirmation bias against wind turbines, and so everything I write should be seen through that prism (just in case you hadn’t figured that out yet…) But where does my bias come from? I’m trying to explain it – the psychological impact of the turbines themselves is the root cause of the negative feelings. Because reading my words is the nearest you can get to the inner workings of my mind, let me say this once and for all (I have to say it in virtually every single debate):

Like everyone else, I was all for the idea of wind turbines until I experienced their negative impact for myself. All my research is a direct result of my own fieldwork, not the other way round. You have to take me at my word on this, unless you chat to people who knew me before 2014 and can vouch for the fact that I never used to bang on about capacity factors and Environmental Impact Assessments!

My bias only kicked in only when I first started to explore the South Pennines, and to experience these effects for myself, totally unexpectedly. It was in Rossendale, I believe, that I first noticed something distinctly wrong with the landscape. In fact, I can actually pinpoint the very first moment of cognitive dissonance I experienced, and exactly where I was…mid-2014, driving along the A681 from Bacup towards Rawtenstall, somewhere near Waterfoot, and seeing the huge blades of the Scout Moor turbines, high over the skyline. “Ooh, there’s something very wrong with that,” I felt, intuitively. Still at this point I was your typical Green-minded, pro-renewables stooge. That was only 3 years ago. WOW!!!

I’ll refer back to my early wind farm education further over the course of the blog, but the reason I now draw upon that first encounter with Scout Moor is because I know (and I could possibly prove, were I to dig out my Facebook entries from the period) that what turned me into a Wind Warrior started with the psychological impact of a wind farm, nowhere near where I live, and a deeply unhealthy sensation that made my whole body recoil, as if my very atoms were being pulsated by a gigantic magnet.

I believe I left it that for a couple of weeks, but at this time I was driving regularly between Leeds and Manchester, and having gorged upon the unspoilt Peak for the last few years, I was starting to broaden my horizons and explore the block of Pennine hills immediately to the north. Lacking the same statutory protection as the Peak, well I refer back to my IT career: switch from a computer protected with antivirus, firewall, adblockers and 856 Windows Updates, to a computer running un-upgraded Vista, riddled with popups and spyware, on an unsecured, open wifi network. Traversing these unprotected hills, it didn’t take long to experience more and more wind blight.

By October I was attending my first Planning Enquiry meeting, to witness the rejection of the truly appalling Gorpley scheme by Calderdale Council. I’ll describe the meeting in detail in due course. But just three or four months and a handful of wind farms later…well, that’s how quickly I transformed from would-be Friends Of The Earth member, to someone with the motto: “With Friends like that, The Earth sure don’t need enemies!”

So no, I don’t work for an oil company. I’m not a NIMBY unless you view the whole world as our collective back yard, in which case it’s a badge I wear with honour. I don’t have a political axe to grind which I take out on poor defenceless wind scammers (a ludicrous claim Polly Toynbee once made about people only opposing wind farms in order to annoy the left! Dear God, do people really think like that?).

Yes I get angry and I mean every word of it, but I also critically think my anger and ask “what if I’m wrong?”

All I can say is…the wind turbines started it, not me! The wind turbines gave me an amygdala hijack, just going about my business. Everything subsequent comes from that immediate, negative neurological reaction to the turbines, not the other way round. I don’t know how much clearer to make that to people. I’d love there to be clean, green energy that saves the planet and lowers pollution. Wind turbines resembling trees is one of the best, most imaginative and empathetic suggestions I’ve ever heard (creative, synthesised thinking like that is exactly what the Green Party leadership needs, more than anything!)

But blade-based wind turbines, as they are, do so much psychological harm that we’re only just starting to understand, that all in all they’re more trouble than they’re worth. Especially when you factor in the opportunity cost to all the other ways we could be lowering carbon emissions, all those resources that could be better spent on the research and design of efficient, ergonomic and user-friendly energy generation, rather than throwing so much into the cruel, cruel wind.

I’ll conclude with one other canard often repeated on forums. Criticising wind blight is NOT defending oil or gas blight. Read other websites to find out more about them and their impacts. My instincts, and the opinions of many whom I trust, lean towards nuclear and coal (cleaner coal). I definitely prefer the look of Ferrybridge coal-fired power station (RIP) to even a single wind turbine, and if anything it’s even more in my back yard than the nearest wind farm (well, Hook Moor has recently come between us, but that’s a story for another time!)

Biomass seems like a scam, chopping down forests, burning wood and giving it a trendy-sounding name (actually Biomass would make a great name for a club night!). Fracking is a really tricky one for me, worthy of a whole entry in itself. Because the Greens and FotE have lost all credibility for me in terms of energy policy, I don’t believe a word they say about fracking. I’ve even seen it with my own eyes once; I barely even noticed due its tiny and aesthetically-pleasing visual impact, the small green “nodding donkeys” blending in smoothly with the surrounding RSPB Nature Reserve. But I’m risk averse, having been brutalised by wind, and I respect other people’s negative reactions to it (see the chapter about service delivery and not being a technocrat…) If we are to frack, we have to do it in a radically different way from how we’ve done wind, with Rule #1 being that any prior involvement with the wind scam automatically precludes an operator from obtaining a license to frack.

In a nutshell, the world really doesn’t need another blog about the environmental horror stories associated with oil. Been done, nothing more to add! Fracking might be one for the future, I’ll watch this space, and maybe throw it out there as a possible documentary idea, should anyone wish to collaborate with me… But right here, right now, there is still an awful lot more that urgently needs adding to the discourse about the negative psychological impact of wind blight.

That’s where my Wind Warrior friends around the world and I come in…

THIS IS A GREAT IDEA (IF IT WORKS)! http://www.iflscience.com/technology/new-wind-turbine-looks-tree-coming-paris/

Some comedy! The BTL comments set her straight, not that Lady Toynbee reads them. Wonder whether she’d find a 24-turbine industrial wind farm looming over her Tuscany villa quite as “majestic” as the ones towering over the council estates of Rochdale? Polly, love, if the Tories have engaged in war on wind farms, it’s because (gasp) THE ELECTORATE ASKED THEM TO. I know the idea of politicians responding to voters’ concerns is alien to you, but that’s how we do things in England. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/oct/28/war-on-windfarms-tories-latest-sop-to-ukip

EDIT: How I accidentally discovered fracking: literally a wrong turn, whilst working on a contract installing routers and switches at every One Stop shop in the North Midlands (which helped teach me the geography of the area in great detail), I was driving from Worksop to Scunthorpe and tried to take a clever short-cut, which turned out to be a dead end leading only to the River Trent. I stopped to take some footage of the appalling wind turbine to my south (dominating the approach to Gainsborough), I span the camera around to get a 3D panorama, and there behind me, and I’d not even spotted it till I zoomed in, I saw the tiny, inconspicuous fracking site.

I mention this anecdote not to say fracking is totally spiffing and risk-free, but merely as another example of exactly HOW I find this stuff out and what kick-starts my research: the serendipity of life comes first, not the dogma. Experiences and empirical evidence derived from them lead me to create hypotheses which I then test, proactively looking for antitheses and seeing if my initial theses hold water. I actively encourage debate and logic-chopping! I generally start by exploring this wonderful island of ours (sometimes for pleasure, sometimes for work); I see what I see on my travels, I document it, I research it and then I share my findings with the world, inviting people’s feedback as a vital part of the discourse. My reaction to the fracking I witnessed was absolutely NOT formed by being “brainwashed by the right-wing media”, as I was moronically accused by some halfwit, but simply by taking a wrong turning near Gainsborough, stumbling across a real-life fracking site, and intuiting, based on my senses and brain activity: “This doesn’t actually look, sound or feel as toxic to me as a wind turbine”. FACT. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-23756320

 

Royd Moor, Spicer Hill & Hazelhead

215-Spicer-Hill.jpg

Having introduced this unholy trifecta yesterday, it’s time to look a bit more closely into the process failure that has led to three separate wind developments effectively combining to form one giant wind farm. The logic behind this, I suppose, is to minimise the overall landtake by sticking all the wind turbines together in one location. Certainly, according to Wakefield Council, nowadays councils have to earmark specific zones as suitable for wind development and can only approve of wind farms in those restricted areas. That’s genuinely good news.

Maybe this belt of high land, the eastern extension of the Dark Peak that stretches along the northern banks of the River Don towards the periphery of Sheffield, is a suitable location for wind development. Relatively sparsely populated, yet less than 30 miles away from literally millions of inhabitants, the wild “bandit country” around Penistone would seem to be as good a location as any.

There are three key issues with the wind blight in this location, however. The first is general and universal – because the land is so high compared to the urbanised lowlands, the turbines dominate the skyline for dozens of miles. Nothing unusual here, but it’s a textbook example of the inherent design flaw that makes ALL high-altitude wind developments unacceptable. The damage done to the landscapes, and the impact of this industrial-scale degradation on our collective consciousness, is immense. Think of the famous “glass ceiling” that prevents people from reaching their true earning potential. Wind farms are “steel ceilings” that prevent people from reaching their psychological potential. They inhibit people’s Peak Experiences and make us feel small and insignificant. However, instead of this being a spiritual and emotionally uplifting experience, people being dwarfed by the mighty wonders of nature, it’s basically psychological torture; people being dwarfed by the mighty force of crony capitalist corporations.

(I should add, I’m not anti-capitalist, but crony capitalism isn’t the real deal, because it doesn’t involve making an honest profit from offering a better product or service than competitors; it involves people who aren’t good enough to succeed on their own merits, gaming the system to force their sub-par products onto a captive audience, whether they’d choose to buy them or not.)

The second issue is specific to all the wind farms surrounding the Peak and our other National Parks. I’m almost at the stage where I feel I need to explain about the social history of the Peak District, and just how the Kinder Trespass led to the formation of the officially designated National Parks. Suffice to say for now, a drive northwards along Mortimer Road will leave you in no doubt of just how damaging wind turbines are to our National Parks.

Mortimer Road (aka the Strines Road) starts on the A57, just east of the Ladybower Reservoir, and it offers an amazing opportunity for every single inhabitant of Planet Earth to experience what I refer to as the “alpha state”. In fact, there are dozens of similar roads around the Peak, which makes it such great driving country. I would also posit that driving in the alpha state is safer than in the normal beta state, because in spite of feeling calm and relaxed, you are conversely more “in the moment” and perceptive of your environment.

The alpha state is a psychological state of light meditation and mental wellbeing, almost dream-like in a way but simultaneously allowing us to harness our full capabilities. It is part of what Maslow means by a Peak Experience, in that it will only occur when all our lower needs have been fulfilled and we are able to gaze down upon our lives from a higher perspective. Ego dissolves and we connect with Mother Earth. The more time we spend in the alpha state, the happier and more well-balanced we are, so it really is a matter of moral necessity to encourage people to spend as much time as possible there, and to remove anything that inhibits that free-flowing lucidity of consciousness.

Does this all sound wacko? If so, your schooling was useless (as it was for 99% of us), because this is all science, and we should all know this stuff. I had to find out for myself, but neuroscience should be taught in all classrooms. We shouldn’t be telling people WHAT to think, we should be explaining HOW we think! It’s almost like we don’t want people to know, in fact we actively frown upon people taking control of their own cognitive processes. Luckily, I had one teacher, Mr Williams (Business Studies of all things, so absolutely as un-wacko as you can get!) to introduce me to Maslow, but the rest is all my own research.

Bear in mind this is about psychology, brain chemistry and mental health, based on the findings of the greatest minds of the 20th century. And I am saying that you can experience the alpha state for yourself, just by driving along an obscure road in South Yorkshire. Try it! Then get back to me. Rather than telling you WHAT to think, I’m asking you to drive Mortimer Road, and use its alpha qualities to observe HOW you think. Then we can compare notes.

What is it that gives Mortimer Road its alpha qualities? Running adjacent to the vast, unspoilt wilderness of the central Peak, Mortimer Road twists and turns over several almost identical looking stone bridges in dark, wooded valleys, offering it a repetitive, hypnotic and slightly disorientating quality (“haven’t I just been here a few minutes ago?”, it makes you think, a bit like a song that keeps coming back to the chorus, or even the bridge…)

The alpha state gets obliterated towards the northern end of Mortimer Road, as you reach the brow of an immensely steep hill and are instantly confronted with the terrible trio of wind farms, even though you are still in the National Park! “WHAT????”, your confused and amygdala-hijacked animal mind starts to panic. Experience it for yourself. Let me know if it has the same impact on you. Test my hypothesis! Allow the Mortimer Road journey to envelop you in its mesmerising haze, and then, just when you are totally immersed in healing alpha waves, see if you too feel yourself being psychologically slashed in the face by the brutal blades of the Royd Moor, Spicer Hill and Hazelhead wind farms.

The final issue (for now) relating to these wind farms is the obvious one, and another issue we will come back to. Cumulative impact and the natural impulse of wind scammers to expand their zone of operations, or to take advantage of any gap in protection so that they can squeeze in as many turbines as possible. Left unchecked, these predators would, by choice, take over every single field in the country, if they could. Why wouldn’t they, if it makes them money?

I have been told by an engineer, and I will research this further, that in fact only a handful of turbines in any one wind farm will operate at top capacity (and even that is rarely more than 25%). The rest of the turbines have significantly lower capacity than those on the edges. It’s kind of a no-brainer when you stop and think about it, there is only so much energy in the air at any given time, and once the first turbine has transferred much of that energy into electricity, there’s literally less energy available for the next turbine in line. So the more turbines, the more useless most of them actually are. One wonders if the turbines in the middle of all these conjoined wind farms actually generate any electricity at all!

I’ve just realised I’ve posted seven entries now and have yet to even mention climate change. Fact is, climate change is a red herring, a non-topic, totally irrelevant to the discussion at hand, which is the psychological impact of wind turbines. The first step is to provide evidence their impact on mental health, which is what I’m doing. Someone once called me a “fucking lunatic” in an online debate, which only proves me right!

As I have already demonstrated, privately owned wind turbines are almost always an indication of failure, a last-ditch effort by struggling businesses to make ends meet, but I confess it’s still not clear to me exactly how the turbines generate any income. All I know is I don’t see any of it, that’s for sure, yet I still have to suffer the blight. It’s like a contractor justifying fly-tipping, on the basis that he would go out of business if he had to pay for the disposal of his rubbish, and the council saying “Sure, here’s a layby at a beauty spot just for you; go ahead, fill that layby with as much junk as you possibly can!”

Banning private wind turbines, and letting unsustainable small businesses go bust if they can’t survive without them, would be a better way of tackling climate change than the inefficient rigmarole of getting unpleasant turbines approved and constructed, all for the benefit of just a handful of people and to the detriment of everyone else.

When it comes to industrial wind farms like Royd Moor, Spicer Hill & Hazelhead, before we even mention climate change, we already have the issue of the corporatisation and industrialisation of our uplands, and its destructive impact on our health-giving National Parks, to be getting on with.

Even if man-made climate change is deemed to be the single most important and urgent issue we face, trashing our areas of natural beauty in order to solve the problem is on a par with Victorian ladies covering their faces in lead make-up in order to improve their complexion.

http://www.mindtosucceed.com/alpha-state-of-mind.html

http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/1920068/science_proves_what_we_all_know_nature_is_good_for_your_health.html

http://curbarcycling.co.uk/the-strines/

 

 

Scammers, Malware & Trojan Horses

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No response as yet from Wakefield Council [**a response came promptly after this post, see the edit at the end of the previous post**], and reading through my amygdala-hijacked rants of six months ago, I realise what a nutter I must have seemed. Maybe this blog is helping me shift towards a more neocortex-based communication style. But the anger is real, and it needs expressing. After all, as John Lydon reminded us, “Anger is an energy”, and it’s certainly as plentiful and renewable as the wind! If only we could turn anger into electricity…

Just as punk metamorphosed into post-punk, the intitial thunderstorm of raw anger soon giving birth to a brand new mainstream, so our instinctive anger about wind blight needs to be culturally transformative; it needs to continue on the journey to its logical destination, which is, believe it or not, peace. I don’t have a personal problem with anyone with whom I engage in discourse; sure, I initially come in like a barking mad Sergeant Major yelling at a recalcitrant cadet, to wake them out of their bureaucratic slumber and rote assumptions that we all just love fluffy wind turbines.

But then, if they bite, which they mostly do, I start to take them by surprise, when I show that my angry prose is effectively a DEMONSTRATION, a piece of self-aware performance art, almost like a punk song. My reason for starting my official comms in this way is my essential belief that, on a human level, almost everyone I deal with is a good person who genuinely has no idea of the emotional impact of the policies they enact, day in, day out.

Maybe my approach has been borne out of the fact that often it’s the squeaky wheel that gets the oil. Our politicians and councillors need to be made aware of the emotional impact of the decisions they make. You see it with IT – you don’t need me to tell you what broken computers do to people’s emotional temperature! And in particular we as technicians and engineers should never forget this. We should not be technocrats; we are first and foremost here for service delivery. If the customers don’t like the way we provide our service, then we either change our model to better satisfy them, or else we go out of business. End of. We don’t expect to continue inflicting shitty service on people who constantly tell us how much it’s making their life hell.

If me failing in my IT job results in someone crying (due to lost work, missed deadlines etc), then I need to acknowledge the lack of service delivery, and analyse what process failure triggered their negative emotions. There WILL have been a process failure. People don’t just get upset for no reason. If I can reassure them, and resolve whatever has affected their wellbeing, then that should be my first, second and third priority.

You can think of this blog (weblog) as like an IT error log. Calling me names, insulting me, or even claiming I work for an oil company (as one deluded fool once did, which shows how much they know), simply for writing down the impact of wind turbines on my mental processes, is like shouting at a computer for keeping an event log. It’s just a journal, which is what journalism is all about, tracking what happened, where, when, to whom, and with what impact.

There may come a time, weeks or months from now, in which troubleshooting some wind turbine-related emergency will be made easier by referring back to the log of events immediately prior to the catastrophe. And I would say there’s at least a 50% chance of some major wind turbine related disaster happening within my lifetime. My money is on a loose turbine blade flying onto a motorway and causing a multi-vehicle pile up, or possibly an Aberfan-style landslide caused by inappropriate construction on a mountain. A bit like the Derrybrien Peat Slide, only with deaths. I hate to be morbid, but that’s why I blog. I get bad thoughts and feelings from wind turbines; nobody listens when you try and express it amongst urban “intellectuals” (haha); so, just as the Grenfell residents must have concluded, having had their fears fall on deaf ears for months, what’s left but to keep a blog?

In fact, working in IT has been of the essence in understanding wind blight and exactly how we need to identify and patch the security vulnerabilities in our eco*SYSTEM*; if any IT Group Policy was set up and administered in such a haphazard, illogical and ignorant way as Wind Turbine Planning Policy, the whole network topology would very quickly be overrun by scammers, malware and Trojan Horses. Ahem…

The topology of Barnsley could do with some Turbine AVG. I have such a soft spot for Barnsley. Maybe it started with Kes. Alexei Sayle’s immortal “‘Ullo John Gotta New Motor” features the all-time classic gibberish line: “‘E lost ‘is bottle in Barnsley, ‘e lost ‘is bottle in Barnsley”! If you’re ever in the town centre, be sure to visit the lovely Cooper Gallery, a beautiful place of artistic inspiration 🙂

The borough of Barnsley stretches way out into the Dark Peak, reaching its highest point at Howden Edge, over 500m above sea level. More about the Peak later. I can’t believe I’ve not mentioned it yet. Oh, I will. In detail. Great detail… All in good time though.

I turned off the M1 just after Wooley Edge and meandered through some of Barnsley’s gorgeous Pennine foothill countryside, via the stunning village of High Hoyland and the immaculate grounds of Cannon Hall.

I turned right onto the A635, one of the most epic roads of the North, and one that will give any Southerner a real appreciation for the variety of landscapes up here, nice and not so nice. The road actually wends its way from Doncaster to Manchester, via Barnsley, Holmfirth, Saddleworth Moor (the dramatic Isle Of Skye Road), Stalybridge and Ashton-under-Lyne. I’d have loved to have carried on over the tops, but in the event I barely scraped half a mile, before forking off left onto South Lane.

To my left, down near the urban area, and far too near to high density housing for comfort, I saw three toxic-looking wind turbines, gleaming artificially and disfiguring the skyline.

To my right, I saw the first full-on industrial wind farm since starting this blog. Well, three of them. Impossible to tell where each one ends and the next one begins. Spicer Hill, Royd Moor and the utterly horrendous Hazelhead.

It’s late, and I think these three abominations of wind farms deserve a fresh round of intellectual ammo, but I just wanted to introduce these monstrous eyesores, the towering wall of steel that now stands between Barnsley and the Peak. Poor, poor Barnsley.

At the top of South Lane I joined another great Trans-North road, the A629, one of very few to pass through South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire and North Yorkshire as it makes its way from Rotherham to Skipton, via Huddersfield, Halifax and Keighley. The section I travelled, southwards towards Wortley, offers an incredible panorama over vast swathes of Yorkshire. At the A616 junction, I turned off onto Woodhead Road, which climbs even higher, reaching its pinnacle just north of Greno Woods.

If you’re sceptical about the extent of wind turbine impact, get yourself up to Woodhead Road and look down on the surrounding countryside. It is still an amazing, gobsmacking view, possibly stretching a hundred miles left to right, but you’ll see for yourself just how gauchely the wind turbines stand out.

In my opinion, they have a more negative visual impact than even the coal-fired power stations!

http://www.itv.com/news/2017-05-16/giant-wind-turbine-blade-collapses-on-german-motorway-after-truck-crash/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2003_Derrybrien_landslide