The Rape of Britain

Wind Farms and the Destruction of our Environment

Today at the Conservative Party Conference, my Scottish colleague Struan Stevenson MEP launches his new booklet, “The Rape of Britain”.  It is, as the title suggests, a passionate plea for an urgent reassessment of our manic renewables policies, which propose to generate around 30% of UK electricity from wind by 2020.  Bizarrely, the Scottish government has set itself a target not of 30%, but of 100%.

Struan approaches the issue from three directions.

First, as he puts it, “The Financial Scandal”.  Wind farm subsidies are extraordinarily regressive.  Quite simply, they take money from the poor (who pay electricity bills, and probably find themselves in “fuel poverty”), and give it to the rich.  Struan lists the Lairds and Landowners across Scotland who are making hundreds of thousands out of wind subsidies (though he discreetly fails to mention David Cameron’s father-in-law, Sir Reginald Sheffield, who is up to the same trick in Lincolnshire).

Despite the absurd protestations of Energy Secretary Chris Huhne (who blames high energy prices on the failure of consumers to shop around), Struan rightly points out that our obsession with renewables and wind-turbines is dramatically driving up electricity prices, and threatens to force energy-intensive industries to move off-shore, taking their jobs with them.  Struan also reminds us that because wind is intermittent, it requires conventional back-up (usually gas).  So far as we know, the government is not building the necessary back-up plants.

Struan also points out (as I also have) that over-reliance on wind, without conventional back-up, coupled with the planned closure of coal and nuclear plants, looks set to deliver widespread electricity shortages and black-outs by the end of the decade.  He reports that countries which are further down the wind-power route than the UK, like Germany and Denmark, are unable to demonstrate any reduction in CO2 emissions as a result.

Then there’s the issue of “Landscape Vandalism”.  These vast industrial-scale structures are bad enough anywhere.  But as a Scottish MEP, Struan is particularly alarmed at plans to site 150 giant turbines around Loch Ness.  There are special concerns in Scotland where too many wind turbines are sited on peat moor-lands, where they release more CO2 from displaced peat than they can ever hope to recover in their lifetimes.

Last he turns to “Human and Animal abuse”.  The damage done to local residents by low frequency noise and amplitude modulation from turbines (both indoors and out — windows are no protection) has been well-documented.  But Struan with his farming experience is also concerned about damage to livestock and wildlife — particularly large raptors like sea eagles known to have been killed by turbine blades.  As I was writing this, I noticed press coverage in the Sunday Telegraph suggesting that similar disruption has been noted in marine wildlife around off-shore wind farms. 

I am of course delighted that one of my colleagues has picked up the cudgels in a battle which I have been fighting for some time, and I strongly recommend this booklet.  I was especially pleased to see that Struan has picked up some of the points that I have been emphasising.  “The myth that wind is ‘free’ is just as false as saying that coal or oil is free”.  “They’re no longer farming wind, they’re farming subsidies”.  “The recent gigantic hike in electricity and gas bills is directly related to this renewables madness”.  “We are witnessing a dramatic transfer of money from the poor to the rich; from beleaguered consumers to wealthy estate owners and power companies”.  “(This is being done) all for a small, intermittent trickle of electricity at vast cost”.

Struan’s booklet is published by Bretwalda Books (who also published my recent “Sceptic at Large”).  It forms Number 5 in their Policy Papers series, and is available for £4:99.  Bretwalda Books is owned and operated by my good friend and colleague Rupert Matthews, who is of course next-in-line on the Conservative East Midlands MEP list.

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7 Responses to The Rape of Britain

  1. Lazarus says:

    ” I noticed press coverage in the Sunday Telegraph suggesting that similar disruption has been noted in marine wildlife around off-shore wind farms”.

    This link just appears to be a letter from someone in the Isle of Man citing anecdotal experience and no evidence.

    This link;
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100118132130.htm

    Is about actual research into the subject and appears to show benefits to marine life.

  2. Lynn Ingledew says:

    I totally agree with all the points raised

  3. Pingback: Tories behaving badly  —   MULE

    • When my colleague Struan Stevenson MEP faced an Early Day Motion in the Scottish parliament condemning his use of the word “rape” in this context, saying that it was “demeaning to women”, he replied: “Don’t they know that Homer was writing about the Rape of Troy three thousand years ago?”.

  4. Axel says:

    The shocking truth is that this mass industrialisation of the countryside, which would not even be contemplated for ANY other industry, has led to millions of Deaths of raptors worldwide. The UK experience is likely to mirror that in Spain and the USA.

    In Spain hundreds of Eagles and other Raptors are slaughtered annually, see the webpage of GURELUR
    http://www.gurelur.org/ENG/proy-energia-eolica.php

    Within the territory of the USA, 440,000 birds are killed by wind turbines each year, according to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, although that number is expected to exceed one million by 2030 as the number of wind farms grows to meet increased demand.

    LOS ANGELES — Federal authorities are investigating the deaths of at least six golden eagles at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s Pine Tree Wind Project in the Tehachapi Mountains, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Tuesday.”Wind farms have been killing birds for decades and law enforcement has done nothing about it” said Shawn Smallwood, an expert on raptor ecology and wind farms.
    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2015802910_eagles03.html

    Scores of protected golden eagles have been dying each year after colliding with the blades of the very many wind turbines along the ridgelines of the California Bay Area’s Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area. “It would take 167 pairs of local nesting golden eagles to produce enough young to compensate for their mortality rate related to wind energy production,” said field biologist Doug Bell, manager of East Bay Regional Park District’s wildlife program. “We only have 60 pairs.”
    http://articles.latimes.com/2011/jun/06/local/la-me-adv-wind-eagles-20110606

    Not Just Eagles and Raptors, but Bats as well. Farmers rely upon bats to consume millions of harmful argricultural pest insects each year in the UK alone, but windmills kill bats in large numbers. In the USA, the 420 wind turbines now in use across Pennsylvania killed more than 10,000 bats last year — mostly in the late summer months, according to the state Game Commission. That’s an average of 25 bats per turbine per year, and the Nature Conservancy predicts as many as 2,900 turbines will be set up across the state by 2030.
    http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11198/1160977-28.stm#ixzz1SMTdZ779

    There are hundreds of stories like these. They are NOT apocryphal tales. This is the reality of the so called “green wind power”.

    This is a wildlife crime, and in my view actionable in Law.

    • If you believe that a wildlife crime has occurred due to a wind turbine, or indeed any other aerial device or means, having killed or injured a protected species, such as a Golden Eagle, Peregrin Falcon, Red Kite, Hen Harrier or other raptor, Owls, Swans, Geese, or indeed any other bird, or any bat; then do report the matter to the UK Wildlife Crime Unit, and it will be investigated. The Unit covers the entire UK.

      National Wildlife Crime Unit

      Old Livingston Police Station

      Almondvale South

      Livingston

      West Lothian

      EH54 6PX

      e-mail: ukwildlifecrime@nwcu.pnn.police.uk

      Telephone: 01506 833 722

      ——-

      Click Link for ACPOS Report on the UNIT – PDF File

  5. Janet Kealey says:

    How sad, that we are willing to ravage Britains beautiful countryside all for the sake of monetary gain.

    Some things are priceless and nature, and all her inhabitants are just that.

    There is nothing natural about Wind Turbines.

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