Saturday, March 31, 2007

What a Wind Up.

Last night my wife went to a meeting over in Coldingham which is about fifteen miles to the east of us on the beautiful Berwickshire coastline; it is the latest proposed wind farm site in this part of the Scottish Borders. It is on a stretch of moorland aptly named Drone Hill. More about it over the coming weeks but in the mean time this thought occurred to me. A Cockney was someone born within the sound of St Mary-le-Bow’s church bells in London’s Cheapside. With the cricket world cup in full flow we are reminded that the ‘Windys’ is the West Indian team. Perhaps in future a ‘Windy’ will be someone who lives within earshot of on shore wind turbines; there’s going to be an awful lot of Windys in Britain unless government’s, and particularly the Scottish Executive, see sense.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

To have been born within "earshot" of a wind turbine would mean being born in a field within about ten metres of the base. Any farther than that and you don't hear anything!

I went on a guided tour of the windfarm beyond Dalkeith - standing at the base of a windmill turning at full pelt, the tour guide spoke to us in a whisper. The only thing stopping us from hearing him properly was the wind itself.

It is fine to be against windmills, but at least be accurate rather than making up scare stories and nonsense.

Richard Havers said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Richard Havers said...

Mr Anonymous

I didn't write 'born within earshot' I said lives within earshot. We live over a mile from the nearest turbine of a 20 plus turbine wind farm. If the wind is in the right (wrong) direction we can hear it.

My argument against them is largely on economic grounds but there are many people whose lives have been blighted by having them near to their homes.

r morris said...

One must also factor in the quality of life/aesthetics. A wind turbine is a mighty ugly beast. I lived near the world's biggest in Medicine Bow, Wyoming for four years. When the wind got cranking, the blades on that one sounded like thunder, and could be heard from about a half mile away with great ease.
The problem is, where to put them. Unless the politicians and city folk are willing to have wind turbines planted firmly in their own lovely yards, why is it that they end up in areas with little political clout, and often in areas that are pristine and unspoiled?
I favor wind energy but one must also strike a balance. By the way, I currently live within six miles of a large windfarm in what would probably be considered rural Idaho. Idaho is about the size of England and has slightly over a million people, so we have no political power. It's a trade-off.
On an interesting note, I believe California, despite its great wealth, has taken the lead in environmental protection and has literally hundreds, if not thousands, of wind turbines generating power for the state.

Richard Havers said...

Rob, your post hits the nail firmly on the head. Where we live in Scotland is one of the least populated parts of mainland Britain. Added to which we have wishy-washy Liberal Democrat politicians - which is not the same as your Liberals!

Our biggest problem is that there's no strategic view of what to do about renewables. It's driven by subsidies that make landowners rich, turbine developers rich and the minorities have a hard time getting any attention.