The Great British Wind Farm Scandal: These Are The Heads That Should Roll

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by JAMES DELINGPOLE11 Jun 2016

Regular readers may be aware that I am not a fan of wind farms.

This is because, among other things, they kill birds and bats, hurt the environment, cause sleeplessness and sickness in humans, drive up fuel prices, enrich troughing rent-seeking crony capitalist scumbags, blight views, cause people to die in fuel poverty, harm property values, destabilise the grid, and inflate the cost of living – all while signally failing at the one thing they’re supposed to be good at, viz supplying us with the clean, abundant, eco-friendly energy which is going to save us all from “global warming.”

For anyone prepared to do their research – as opposed to take back handers from the renewable industry, mouth green platitudes or get frightened off by the wind industry’s super-aggressive lawyers – all this has been obvious for years.

Now, even the wind industry’s leading spokesmen have come half way to admitting how utterly crap and pointless wind energy is.

In England, we learned this week from the head of the wind energy lobby groupRenewable UK, the wind levels are so puny and unreliable that turbines cannot generate economically viable quantities of energy.

How about that all you idyllic villages from Cornwall through Northamptonshire to the Fens and thence up north to the humpy Howgills and beyond who’ve had your views blighted, your peace disturbed, your property values trashed, your avian wildlife sliced and diced, your livestock frightened and your community cohesion disrupted by wind projects you never wanted, which you fought hard to prevent, but which were dumped on your doorstep anyway?

How does it feel to know that – having wasted all that time, money and heartache trying unsuccessfully to fight those greedy developers and selfish landowners through the biased planning process only to be overruled by some sinister Inspector Blight figure from the Planning Inspectorate – you’ve belatedly been vindicated by the wind industry itself?

Yes, Big Wind has finally admitted: all those bat-chomping, bird-slicing eco-crucifixes dotted hither and thither over the choicest parts of the matchlessly beautiful English landscape were entirely unnecessary. They’re sitting on those hilltops, turning or not turning as the case may be, making so little difference to Britain’s “energy security” or power supplies or carbon emissions reductions or economy that really they might just as well not be there.

And the most stupid thing of all is we’re paying for it.

This is a disgrace. A national scandal. I’m racking my brain for some equivalents.

In terms of corruption combined with wanton vandalism, it’s akin to all those cities, especially in the North, whose town councillors – in league with developers – allowed perfectly decent Victorian housing stock to be destroyed and replaced by ugly, soul-destroying tower blocks.

In terms of abuse of state power, it is even worse. Property rights are one of the bedrocks of liberal democracy. Arbitrary confiscation – whether literally taking someone’s home and land or reducing its value through state-mandated blight – is something you associate with banana republics and communist tyrannies. Part of the social contract that electorates in Western liberal democracies enjoy is that, in return for their tax money the state will attempt to act in the interests of the people it serves.

Furthermore it is understood by all that the state will only act against its citizens’ individual interests in matters of overriding national importance, such as national security or the need to build infrastructure such as motorways.

Usually – and correctly – people are paid compensation by the government for any losses imposed on them in the “national interest”. But before any of this takes place, one more thing is naturally understood by all: that the government has submitted whatever mega-project it is about to undertake – be it depopulating a whole village in World War II for use as an urban warfare training centre or flattening a swathe of countryside to build the M1 – to a proper cost benefit analysis. That is, one fully – and again quite reasonably – expects that when the state undertakes to do bad and expensive things to its people, it will have first taken steps to ensure that these bad and expensive things will ultimately result in more good than harm.

In the case of the Great Wind Con this manifestly hasn’t happened. Billions of pounds have been squandered, lives blighted and swathes of countryside ruined for a generation because of the lies, greed or incompetence of a fairly small group of people, some of whom frankly ought to be facing criminal charges for corruption, all of whose names ought to live in infamy for the damage they have wantonly inflicted on Britain’s landscape, people and economy.

Unfortunately it is often the way of British politics to let people go scot free for the disastrous cock ups they make while in government. I really don’t think we should. These tossers should be harried to the end of their days and then have their crimes engraved on their headstones as a salutary warning: ruin your country and we’ll ruin you.

Here are some of the rogues whose involvement in this grotesque and unforgiveable scam should never be forgotten.

Ed Miliband – Britain’s first Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change; failed Labour leader; unemployable gimp

Once said that opposing wind farms ought to be as “socially unacceptable as not wearing a seat belt”. As architect of the Climate Change Act – committing Britain to spending over £18 billion a year every year till 2050 pointlessly decarbonising her economy – he probably cost the British taxpayer more money, more pointlessly than any other politician in history.

The European Union

Not that we’re exactly short of reasons to loathe the EU but here’s another: it was responsible for the renewable energy targets – 20 per cent of energy to come from renewables by 2020 – that gave UK politicians like Ed Miliband the excuse they needed to railroad though the policy.

Bryony (now Baroness) Worthington – former Friends of the Earth activist; now in the House of Lords

Bryony effectively wrote the Climate Change Act for Miliband. It really is astonishing the leeway a minority interest campaigner from a hard left  lobby group was given to create legislation that held the whole of Britain hostage to the anti-capitalist fantasies of a small group of green zealots.

David Cameron – Prime Minister; leader of the “greenest government ever”

He could have put a stop to this. As a Conservative, he really should have done. Conservatives are not supposed to be the enemy of property rights nor of the countryside. But instead – perhaps under the influence of his hippy wife SamCam – he sold the pass and embraced green nonsense wholesale. During his Coalition government he handed over the Department of Energy and Climate Change to the fanatically green Lib Dems – the equivalent, as PJ O’Rourke might put it, of giving car keys and whisky to small boys.

Chris Huhne; Ed Davey; Nick Clegg; Lib Dems generally

Huhne’s a perjuring spiv and jailbird; Davey’s thick as pigshit; Clegg is a revoltingly entitled, Westminster educated slimeball of a Euro creep. But let’s not dwell on the nice distinctions: the point is they’re all Lib Dems and therefore so ideologically wedded to the green project that they were quite incapable of subjecting its details to proper scrutiny. Like Dr Johnson said, “there is no settling the point of precedency between a louse and a flea.”

Sir Reginald Sheffield Bt

Of all the toffs with their snouts in the green trough why pick on Sir Reg? Well because he’s the Prime Minister’s father-in-law and because ultimately some of the £1000 a day he makes just to have eight wind turbines sitting doing bugger all on his Lincolnshire estates will end up in Dave and Sam Cam’s pockets – and I really don’t think it’s right that they should benefit financially, at taxpayers’ expense, from policies they helped engineer.

Toffs and landowners generally

Yes there are exceptions – the Duke of Northumberland, for one; my landlord in Northants being another. But generally the upper classes have behaved quite despicably in this matter. When the chips are down, it seems, they don’t give two hoots for the beauteous scenery they inherited by accident of birth. All that counts for them is the free money they get for having bat-chomping, bird-slicing eco-crucifixes on their estates. The Scottish toffs are by far the worst. But in England, special dishonourable mentions could go to Earl Spencer and the Duke of Gloucester, a member of the Royal Family no less: both have tried to host turbines on their lands, regardless of the protests of the poor sods who have to live with them.

That revolting man from Fisher German Estate Agents

I forget the awful creep’s name but he worked for Fisher German and his speciality was to travel the length and breadth of my county advising landowners of the cash bonanza that awaited them if only they didn’t mind totally ruining their neighbours views and peace. Naturally, he was a very passionate advocate for wind energy – and was totally deaf to its shortcomings. As Upton Sinclair said: “It is hard to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” Obviously there are estate agents and land agents like that frightful man from Fisher German all over the country. May they all end up unemployed!

The RSPB

Not only has Europe’s largest wildlife charity promoted wind farms but actually benefited from them financially – despite copious evidence of the damage bat-chomping, bird-slicing eco-crucifixes to the very wildlife the RSPB is supposed to save. That’s why they call it the Royal Society for the Prevention of Birds.

Greenpeace; Friends of the Earth; the WWF etc

These helped promote the climate change hysteria which lent policymakers the apparent moral justification for forcing renewable energy on their electorates. They have never apologised for the damage their junk-science propagandising has caused and they never will.

Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors

By no means is the RICS the only professional institution to have jumped on the green bandwagon regardless of all evidence. But let it stand for all those public and professional bodies which has been corrupted morally and intellectually in the green scam. My beef with the RICS is its complicity in playing down evidence that wind farms have a significant impact on property values. This was shameful.

Acousticians

Again there have been honourable exceptions. But certain sections of the acoustics industry – they know who they are but if I name them I dare say they’ll try to sue me – have quite deliberately gamed the system, covered up evidence, even lied at the behest of the renewable energy behemoth. Had these people done their job half the wind farms blighting our landscape would never have been permitted on health and safety grounds because they’re just too damned close to human habitations – and the damaging effects of infrasound and the noises caused by wind sheer have been known to the acoustics industry for years.

Ecologists

One of the more despicable aspects of this scam – and it just goes to show how corrupting money can be – is the way people who presumably got their various ecology and environmental sciences degrees because they loved nature ended up using their qualifications to help destroy it. You often encountered them at planning hearings, abusing their professional status by testifying that “Oh no, don’t worry. In our expert opinion this sensitively sited wind farm won’t remotely damage any wildlife” – thus undermining one of the main planks in the defence used by hapless local communities trying desperately to avoid having one of these monstrosities plonked in their neighbourhood.

Conservatives

Again not all of them. But it’s quite amazing how many of them acquiesced in this scam – only five of them, for example, voted against the Climate Change Act. Most loathsome of the bunch, though, are the ones who actively pushed for more stringent green or renewable energy policies and who have often ended up benefiting from their various green business interests. Former MP Tim Yeo; the slithy Lord Deben; Charles Hendry. Wherever it is these scumbags live I do hope that no one ever invites them to dinner and that everyone cuts them when they bump into them in the village Post Office or wherever. I certainly would. How they can live with themselves or indeed sleep at night is a mystery to me.

Tony Blair

Well obviously. Almost everything that is wrong with the world can be traced, ultimately, to Tony Blair.

Dale “Dog On A Rope” Vince

Let this deeply unpleasant man stand for all the rent-seeking troughers who have benefited from this Ponzi scheme of an industry which I’m quite sure Enron would dearly have loved to have invented. Dale Vince has made a multi-million pound fortune not by creating value but simply by being canny enough to milk the system. In an open market not one single wind turbine would have been erected in England (or anywhere else probably). They’re there purely because of the government’s regulatory fiat, which heavily incentivises people to build wind turbines not because they’re economically viable but because they’re politically useful. This is crony capitalism pure and simple. It’s ugly, it represents an abuse of government power and I have no sympathy whatsoever for people who make their money in this way. They don’t deserve a penny of it. I wish I could show my contempt by shorting shares in Vince’s company. But you can’t because he’s not publicly quoted. I wonder why.

The BBC

Never once – so far as I can recall – has the BBC ever called into question the viability of or the need for these industrial blights on our landscape. It’s supposed to be impartial and to represent the interests of the whole country. Yet it has allowed itself to be captured by a narrow establishment with a vested interest in promulgating the renewable lie. This represents a betrayal of trust, an abuse of the licence fee and a failure of journalism.

The media generally

Here is what ought to be – indeed is – one of the most scandalous wastes of public money in living memory. Why weren’t our journalists on top of this?

This list is by no means exhaustive. What it does, I hope, is show how easy it is for vocal minority groups – in this case green activists – to hold public policy hostage and also how depressingly easy it is to buy the support of theoretically reputable institutions and individuals with a flash of filthy lucre. Wind energy is so wrong in so many ways that it should have never been allowed past the planning stage. Unfortunately money talks.

I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say that this is the most disgraceful public scandals of our age. And I think it makes a nonsense of our belief that we are a country of great probity with an effective, honest political system. If we were as high minded and decent as we kid ourselves, then some of the parties I have named above would be facing hefty fines or a stint in prison – and certainly the confiscation of their assets to compensate all the people who have lost out as a result of their dishonesty or, at best, grotesquely misguided high-mindedness. Green loons will always be with us. But the very least we ought to be able to expect our scientists, politicians, economists, businessmen and journalists to do is to hold their wild claims to account rather than indulging their fantasy and impoverishing ordinary people as a result.

And the scandal isn’t over yet, either.

As Paul Homewood reports, the Government is preparing to break its promise to put an end to the subsidies we are forced to pay this pointless and undeserving industry. Under pressure, clearly, from the powerful vested interests involved in the renewable energy scam, the Government plans to redefine the meaning of the word “subsidy” so that the troughers in the wind industry can carry on troughing. How sad to learn that Andrea Leadsom, the Conservative minister who acquitted herself so brilliantly in the Brexit debate on ITV the other night, should be playing a leading role in promulgating this duplicity.

If Cameron’s administration had a shred of moral integrity it would be distancing itself from this scandal as quickly as possible by apologising for its mistakes and making amends.

I hope this piece will be shared around the world by all those groups – I know there are lots of you – from Canada to Australia, from Scotland to Kenya, striving desperately to protect their own special stretch of countryside from this vile, mendacious, conscience-free industry. One day, sooner rather than later, you will be vindicated by history. Wind energy – people will come to recognise – was one of the greatest follies of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. If only the bottom-feeders who have promoted it or profited by it got the punishment they all deserve!

Iberdrola, EverPower, NextEra, Apex, WindLab…they are all talking to your Representatives…Are You?