Wind turbines have been on the receiving end of more criticism this week, most of which revolves around the effect on the rural landscape. Considering the alternatives, though, turbines should be praised for their aesthetic appeal.
The most recent opponents of wind farms come in the form of Lincolnshire MP, Edward Leigh, and US billionaire tycoon, Donald Trump, whose latest bout of condemnation is riddled with selfish undertones.
Trump, the modest founder of The Trump Organization and Trump Entertainment Resorts, amongst other Trump-tagged ventures, is notoriously and ironically anti-wind.
Earlier this month, he spat his dummy out at the Scottish Government, because of plans to build a wind farm off the coast of his £750m luxury golf estate in Aberdeenshire.
Now, he’s announced plans to donate £10m to anti-wind campaigners in a bid to thwart any further developments.
Susan Crosthwaite, a spokeswoman for Communities Against Turbines Scotland (CATS), said, “I think he genuinely cares about Scotland. We don’t agree with everything Donald Trump stands for, but we do agree on this issue”.
CATS’ agreement with Trump is unsurprising given that he is contributing £10m to fight their corner – pocket money for him, but a massive backing for the anti-wind cause.
The reasoning behind Trump’s stance is straightforward. He simply doesn’t want his high-class punters to be relaxing on his resort with clean-energy producing wind turbines on the horizon.
Perhaps it’s another instance of the question, “What is art?” We at Blue & Green Tomorrow happen to think the majesty and aesthetic quality of wind turbines is well-suited to most landscapes, and we’re not alone. Lava360.com offers a few (enhanced) photographs of wind turbine wallpapers, and The Guardian is a fan, too. And doesn’t the thought of harnessing all that otherwise wasted wind energy make you feel warm inside rather than bloated?
Edward Leigh, MP for Gainsborough in Lincolnshire and long-time supporter of Margaret Thatcher has joined the artistically impaired dissenters. Responding to the news that 17 126-metre turbines were to be built within his constituency, he said, “As a countryside dweller and frequent rambler, I am totally opposed to the building of wind farms which are beginning to blight our rural areas.
“Not only are these structures an offence to behold and to hear, they are entirely economically unjustifiable and are made profitable only by massive subsidies from central government.
“In these trying times when many of us are feeling the pinch, government should end these counter-productive subsidies and make sure that money stays in the pockets of working people rather than subsidy scroungers.”
Like the National Trust chairman, Simon Jenkins, before him, Leigh’s argument is essentially a “not in my backyard” attitude disguised with seemingly legitimate economic jargon.
Matthias Fripp, of Oxford University’s Environmental Change Institute, answered some questions about wind power for Blue & Green Tomorrow earlier this month [http://www.blueandgreentomorrow.com/news/2012/2/20/questions-of-efficiency.html], and he said, “Wind ranks very well on cost”, compared to other forms of renewable energy.
We’ll leave you to decide who you would rather trust. But the choice is between a qualified barrister-turned-MP with, we imagine, limited qualifications in renewable energy cost-effectiveness, or a research fellow in renewable energy at the Oxford University Environmental Change Institute with a Ph.D. and Master’s degree in the subject.
The UK has enough wind capacity to account for three times our total energy demand. At Blue & Green Tomorrow, we realise that some people just don’t like change. But because of the huge potential that wind offers, opting to disregard it in favour of other forms of renewable energy simply because they aren’t to your taste seems plain wrong. They are a key part of our energy mix, and if we don’t capitalise on it, Edward Leigh’s descendants won’t have a countryside to ramble in.
We can all make choices to move to a better future. Choosing ethical, sustainable and green funds will help support industries that are vital to sustainability. You can do this by getting in touch with your IFA, or filling in our online form. Or if you’re interested in supporting green energy closer to home, contact Good Energy, the UK’s only 100% renewable energy provider.
Photo: Gage Skidmore via Flickr