This is the time of year when the English countryside reaches peak incredible: when we rural folk mentally pinch ourselves in disbelief at our extraordinary good fortune in inhabiting the most beautiful landscape on earth.On every walk you see something to delight the eye and lift the spirits. First the blackthorn exploding in the hedgerows like cascading white fireworks; then the ramsons pushing their lance-shaped leaves through the floor of the dingle, pleading with you to turn them into wild garlic pesto; then the lambs — so wobbly, white and cute when newborn — which turn surprisingly quickly into boisterous adolescents gambolling and head-butting and racing one another in circles; then the bluebells, a strange and precious wonder because where else anywhere in nature do you encounter that amazing anomalous blue in such profligate quantities?
RSPB stands for Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and, no, this is not The Onion.
Yes, Britain’s oldest and biggest ornithological society really has put out a report demanding the erection of yet more avian Cuisinarts – despite swathes of evidence showing that these monstrosities are responsible for killing many millions of birds around the world every year.
The way that we currently use energy in the UK is not sustainable. We use too much of it, we use it inefficiently, and our main sources of energy, fossil fuels, are driving us towards dangerous levels of climate change – one of the greatest long-term threats to wildlife.
In order to save Britain’s wildlife from the alleged threat of climate change, in other words, we’ve got to first got to slice and dice it with the turbine blades that, by some estimates, kill 22 million birds a year.
Britain currently has around 5,000 wind turbines. According to the RSPB, it could do with around 20,000 more. More solar panels too. And wave power. And carbon capture and storage. And herds of organic unicorn to harvest all waste and pollution and magically transform it to special fairy energy which can be sprinkled on the cots of every new born child so as to instil in it a true appreciation of Mother Gaia’s beauty. (I may have invented the last one)
Mysteriously no mention is made of the actual cost of this exercise.
We’re shown a triangle at the beginning which illustrates our ‘energy trilemma’ – Environmental Sustainability; Energy Security; and Affordability.
Opposing wind farms is “irrational”, claimed Liberal Democrat MP Vince Cable at his party conference yesterday.
Actually, no. Here are some reasons why anyone who doesn’t oppose wind farms is most probably either deluded, criminal or insane.
1. Wind turbines kill bats on an industrial scale – nearly 30 million a year in the US alone, according to some estimates. This is somewhat ironic since most of those pushing for more wind are ardent greenies, who presumably understand that the reason bats are such a heavily protected species is that their breeding cycle is so slow and their life cycle so long – making them especially vulnerable when a breeding pair is killed.
2. Wind turbines kill birds on an industrial scale. Between 110 and 330 birds per turbine per year, according to the Spanish conservation charity SEO/Birdlife – though other research puts the mortality rate as high as 895. In the US, they have killed tens of thousands of raptors including golden eagles and America’s national bird, the bald eagle. In Spain, they threaten the Egyptian and Griffon vulture. In Australia, they have driven the Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle close to extinction. Yet bizarrely wind farms are supported by bird charities including the RSPB, because their ideological commitment to “clean energy” trumps the interests of birds, apparently.
3. Wind turbines produce Low Frequency Noise and infrasound, which can cause those who live nearby a range of health problems including insomnia, raised cortisol levels, headaches, panic attacks, tachycardia, nausea, mood swings, palpitations, depression. The corrupt wind industry has known about this for years. – with the complicity of certain tame acousticians – contrived to cover up the problem, recognising that if ever the word gets into the public domain the lawsuits are going to be immense.
4. Wind turbines have terrible impacts on animals besides birds and bats. They have caused stillbirth and deformations in livestock; they can turn healthy, responsive dogs into nervous wrecks. In Denmark they caused the premature births of 1600 mink at a fur farm. In Canada they caused the closure of an emu farm popular with tourists, because the turbines made the docile birds (which cost $3,000 a pair) aggressive.
5. Wind turbines kill jobs. According to research by Gabriel Calzada Alvarez of the Rey Carlos university in Madrid, they destroy 2.2 jobs in the real economy for every Potemkin job (“green job”) created by government malinvestment. Separate research suggests that the damage in the UK may be even higher: 3.7 real jobs lost for every fake green one created.
I wonder what it will take before the world truly wakes up to the horror, the corruption, the expense, the pointlessness, the total wrongness-in-every-way of the wind industry. My guess – and it will happen – is the decapitation, by a rogue turbine blade, of an innocent passer-by.
Till then, though, we have photographs like this to send the mind boggling as to why anyone, anywhere can still be so purblind as to go on championing these bat-chomping, bird-slicing eco crucifixes. What’s particularly interesting about this one is that it was taken in the constituency of one of wind power’s most fervent and tireless advocates, Caroline Lucas MP.
Here’s a picture of the Brighton Bird Chomper:
Marian Cleary – who Tweets as @soundwords – takes up the story on Twitter:
All quite horrific really. Been asked if it’s photoshopped. Nope. Was at Varndean College, Brighton.
The wind turbine was going bonkers so I was filming it with the clouds moving behind the blades.
I didn’t get the incident on film but then a guy called me over and said that the bird had been got.
Careful, Marian. You now run the risk that someone from the wind industry will claim you chopped off that gull’s head yourself, probably because you are in the pay of Big Oil….
Now it might have been interesting to ring up the RSPB for a reaction. But there’s no point because we know what they think already. As far as the RSPB is concerned, the many thousands of birds destroyed by wind turbines each year are acceptable collateral damage in the war on “climate change.” So committed is the Royal Society for the Prevention of Birds to renewable energy that it has actually teamed up with Ecotricity – the one run by Dale Vince – in a promotional deal to encourage more wind farm building. For chapter and verse, read my expose here.
But the birds and bats are the least of it, terrible though the carnage is. It’s the human cost, surely, which should concern us more.
Consider the plight of the communities in Canada, where the wind industry is even more aggressive than it is here. One Ontario resident, Esther Wrightman so objected to the Golgotha of 400 foot wind turbines being planned for her area that she created a satirical website mocking the wind developer NextEra energy. She even filmed them chopping down a tree with an eagle’s nest in it in order to make way for the turbines. How did NextEra – market capitalisation $32 billion – respond to her not exactly unreasonable objections? Why by suing the pants off her, of course.
What I wish is that one of our MPs could be quite as outspoken as good old Alby. Chris Heaton Harris has fought a good fight, as have Owen Paterson, John Hayes, Peter Lilley and Glyn Davies. But they’ve all been hamstrung by the presence in the Coalition of ideological eco-loons like Ed Davey who, even now, despite the copious evidence against, persist in championing wind energy as the way forward. They’re further hamstrung by the Conservative party’s ludicrous policy fudge whereby, apparently, there is such a thing as a “wind turbine in the right place” and that this mythical beast includes all offshore wind developments.
Economically, of course, offshore wind makes even less sense than onshore, not least because it requires twice the subsidy, but also because, as most engineers privately admit, these sea-based turbines are disasters waiting to happen and are highly unlikely to stay up any length of time. And while we’re on this subject, what on earth is The Times doing shilling for Big Wind with this utter non-story about how Donald Trump is apparently threatening to cost “British SMEs dear” thanks to his opposition to an offshore wind development near his golf course in Scotland? The supposedly neutral source they quote for this story is The Carbon Trust, the government quango to which we taxpayers must contribute £44 million a year to enable it to dream up inventive new ways to cripple our economy with carbon emissions reductions schemes.
Yet another reason to vote UKIP, the only British party with a sensible policy on this green nonsense.