For ‘Spanner’ and all the deniers who are threatening our future
Naderev Saño, the lead negotiator of the Philippines delegation, breaks down halfway through his prepared statement at the COP18 climate talks in Doha yesterday.
Saño was speaking about the 16th typhoon to hit the Philippines this year which killed hundreds of people. He appealed to the world: ‘no more delays, no more excuses’
Sometimes, there’s just so much news about wind power that we here at Wind of Change get a bit overwhelmed. Like this past week. So many studies and surveys published. We simply don’t know where to start.
So perhaps it’s better to take a global or holistic view of the insane, intransigent, argumentative, illogical, unreasonable, deeply divisive and dishonest nimby movement that is currently doing its utmost to wreck Britain’s energy future and the planet as a whole.
You could say that there are two types of people in this world. One kind tends to keep an open mind, to seek out and weigh up the evidence, to make decisions based on careful consideration of the evidence and the overall need, and continually to monitor the basis of their decisions.
The other makes up its mind instantly on the basis of kneejerk prejudice, short-sighted self-interest and total ignorance of the facts. It then seeks out any “evidence” it can find which appears to support those prejudices and ruthlessly discounts, ignores or misrepresents any evidence which contradicts its blinkered stance.
(Don’t let the nimbies fool you. If you’ve really examined the evidence, you won’t go around telling stupid stories about windfarms that have already been shown to be untrue. Any nimby who claims to have been open-minded until they did some research into wind energy is lying, to themselves and to you. So tell them that.)
Into the first category fall those adults amongst us who are not particularly fond of wind turbines as such, but recognise that they are a valid and vital part of our urgent drive towards a low-carbon economy and a sustainable future. They are open minded enough to realise that it’s not all about them. And yes, in an ideal world, maybe, there would be no need for wind turbines (or nuclear power stations, or coal-fired power stations, or gas pipelines, and so on, and so forth). But we need renewables, and maybe everybody has to make a sacrifice of sorts to help the UK in its economic and environmental progress. And here’s the good news: these people tend to find out that having a windfarm nearby is actually a Jolly Good Thing.
The latter bunch are the monstrous misfits of the nimby fringe. They have never given a thought to wind energy until somebody mentioned the possibility of a windfarm or turbine somewhere in the vicinity. At which point, the shutters came down. These buffoons straightaway started looking for excuses to oppose a perfectly reasonable and indeed desirable development. They knew that just saying “I don’t want it near me!” wasn’t really going to cut it, so they went hell for leather in their desperate hunt for excuses. That’s when they put together websites and placards and pamphlets which merely repeated the idiotic lies of other nimby groups. The stories they tell are shocking, startling … and plain wrong.
The worst kind of nimby fraud is the one who tries to use science in an attempt to dismiss the efficacy of wind power. We saw it here in the Lenches and we’re seeing it again now in the Borders, where the so-called Lauderdale Preservation Group has devoted an enormous amount of energy to trying to prove that wind turbines don’t really do anything, only to blow it all by stating that the ones already operational in the Borders are doing a terrific job so they don’t need any more. A real scientist would not fall into that sort of trap – presenting gibberish evidence which claims to prove one thing and then proving the very opposite as part of your next made-up argument against wind turbines. But, sadly, even people with a scientific background are capable of being betrayed by their own ideological prejudices and selfish pomposity into making idiots of themselves.
The bigger problem, however, is that there are some very dark forces in our world which are gladly providing these knuckleheads with the “evidence” to back up their demented, and wildly inaccurate, claims about wind power. Like the fools of Montgomeryshire Against Pylons (MAP), lately criticised by the Advertising Standards Authority for indulging in disgraceful terror tactics and spreading false information in a lunatic attempt at converting public opinion, the nimbies who routinely and thoughtlessly oppose windfarms are rather too ready to soak up and spew out any stupid gobbet of misinformation they can get. And much of it comes from lobby groups like the disreputable Renewable Energy Foundation and Nigel Lawson’s propagandist Global Warming Policy Foundation (both of them fronts for the fossil fuel industries).
“Lord” Lawson repeatedly tells lies in order to pull the wool over people’s eyes. As a committed capitalist, he refuses to believe that the insanity of over-reliance on fossil fuels is causing any kind of problem at all. Now, if he wants to believe something as cretinous as that, well, that’s up to him. But he goes further, taking large amounts of money from shady sources (which he refuses to name) and spreading false information in a deliberate attempt to confuse the public about the realities of climate change (
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/oct/21/lord-lawson-global-warming-errors). If Planet Earth had a single enemy, it would probably be Lawson. Karma will decide what to do with him, and it won’t be pleasant.
However, every tin-pot right-wing nutcase who decides that anything “green” is clearly some sort of EU/Socialist/New World Order conspiracy is only too happy to quote Lawson’s egregious climate lies, or the equally mendacious gobbledegook promoted by REF. Take the latest group of climate traitors to lumber over the horizon – a national anti-windfarm campaign group calling themselves NOW. Not only are all their facts wrong (nothing unusual there – try finding an anti-wind nimby who actually knows anything about wind power, even though they like to give the impression that they know a lot) but they have made it their ambition to oppose every wind development in the UK. That, folks, is a betrayal of everything – our children’s future, our climate commitments, our energy security, our right to the least expensive form of electricity available, as well as government policy, global agreements and the longterm health of the planet we call home. People like Lawson might be massively deluded and evil enough to try and delude everybody else, but the motives behind NOW are completely insane. It’s a campaign based entirely on an complete absence of reliable evidence and scientific fact: a kind of supernimby group dedicated to undermining the United Kingdom. They should be locked up for their own good, let alone the good of everybody and everything else.
It’s not just the perversion of scientific evidence, the presentation of false evidence, the cherry-picking of data and the willingness to misinterpret that data along profoundly unscientific lines (a la Lawson, and various other right-wing thinktanks) that gives the nimbies comfort. There’s also the bare-faced egotism of the practised liar who seems to believe that he has a right to bully and browbeat everybody in sight into doing what he says. Plenty of those thuggish sorts in the nimby movement, for all their risible posturing as the “victims” of something or other. But they have anointed a new king who, just for now, finds it convenient to support the anti-wind lunatics, although that probably won’t last. His name is Donald Trump.
There have been a slew of opinion polls, the results of which have been published in the last few days, and all indicate that the clear majority of Britons (over two-thirds) actively support wind power, do not think that windfarms are a blot on the landscape and feel that subsidies for wind power are the right thing to do (by way of contrast, less than 10% of Britons are actively opposed to wind energy). Other polls have shown that tourists are singularly unfazed by windfarms (thus demolishing the brainless nimby argument that a windfarm would destroy local tourism). Add to that the fact that the RSPB has recently published the results of a long-running study which shows that wind turbines are not the “bird blenders” that nimby idiots want you to think they are, and you begin to wonder whether anything a nimby has ever said in his or her life ever turned out to be true.
People like Trump, though, don’t care. For them, it’s all bluster. It’s a matter of smearing your opponents, hiring lawyers to do your dirty work, and lying in public. During Trump’s farcically egotistical appearance before the Scottish Parliament today, the folically-challenged one actually had the effrontery to answer questions about whether he could provide any evidence to back up his far-fetched claims with the words, “I am the evidence.” One of his henchmen then told the MSPs that, just because they were democratically elected, that did not give them the right to carry out their policies. So, a rather strange notion of what democracy is and what it means in the Trump camp.
Or, rather, a strange notion of what counts as the truth. But it doesn’t matter. People like Lord Lawson can manufacture false evidence, based on a skewed idea of what science is. People like Trump don’t bother with that. They just make their ridiculous statements and assume that, because they made them, everybody will agree with them. Okay, so opinion polls and other surveys have shown that windfarms do not adversely affect tourism. But Trump thinks he knows better. After all, he is “the evidence”.
Between them, Lawson and Trump represent the twin fists of the nimby knuckledraggers. They both tell lies. One, however, twists science in order to create illusions. The other just swaggers and bullies people. Spend any length of time near an anti-wind nimby group and you’ll come across both character types – the Pseudo-Scientist and the Ugly Thug. Chances are, those two will be the mainstays of your local nimby campaign. One, at least, tries to make it look like they’ve got some evidence on their side, even it is absolute rubbish with no basis in reality. The other doesn’t care: you’ll either do what they say or they’ll make you suffer for it.
Can we really afford to let these delusional right-wing extremists, these greedy egotistical monsters, these practised liars and their hired hoodlums dictate our energy policy for years to come?
Or shall we believe in democracy and science?
Put it this way. It’s a lot cleaner and healthier outside the mind of a nimby. They’d like to pretend that it’s windfarms that keep people awake at night. But with corrupted consciences like theirs, it’s a wonder that they can ever sleep at all.
‘Aeolus’ publishes the ‘Wind of Change’ blog. The blog’s strapline is ‘Campaigning for Truth in the Battle for Renewable Energy’. This post was originally published on Wind of Change on 25/04/2012.
8 months in the climate change repeal petition has <1500 votes
HM Government’s e-petitions site was created to be an easy way for ‘ordinary people’ to influence government policy in the UK. Respondents can create an e-petition about anything that the government is responsible for and if it gets at least 100,000 signatures, it will be eligible for debate in the House of Commons. The first e-petition to prompt a Parliamentary debate was signed by more than 240,000 people and called for those convicted of involvement in the summer riots to be stripped of their benefits.
A Roger Longstaff created the following petition in August last year:
Responsible department: Department for Energy and Climate Change
The Climate Change Act will cripple the UK economy (to the tune of hundreds of billions of pounds) by imposing legally binding restrictions on carbon dioxide emissions that are more stringent than those of any other country on Earth. It is based on a totally false premise – the science of anthropogenic global warming was completely discredited by the “climategate” scandal – and the policy is being pursued solely for financial gain by academics (grants), government (“green” taxes) and vested interests such as investors in subsidised “green” technologies and “Enron-like” carbon trading scams. The Act must be repealed before it is too late.
What an opportunity for the climate change ‘sceptic’ movement to show the UK government how many people are sick of this climate change ‘scam’, eh?
Except that two thirds of the way into the 12 month period a pathetic 1,364 people have signed this petition. Here’s a few other ‘important’ petitions for comparison:
- Keep Formula 1 Free To Air in the UK: 42,658
- Recruit 5000 more NHS midwives in England : 38,558
- Grant a pardon to Alan Turing: 33,346
- Thatcher state funeral to be privatised: 32,054
- Stop the beer duty escalator: 29,351
Now, when you consider that this is the single most important Act of Parliament for climate change deniers you have to wonder how many of them there actually are in the UK. When you consider that this is an incredibly well organised, media savvy and manipulative group you really have to wonder.
Or do you? Perhaps not. I put it to you that there are less than 2,000 people in the whole of the UK who believe the Climate Change Act should be repealed. Over thte last three months I have posted this sad fact on climate denial blogs like Bishop Hill and Scottish Sceptic more than once in an attemptto warn the deniers that they are making fools of themselves with this petition, but in spite of my taunting the numbers have barely moved.
This is of course an extraordinarily small number when you consider the time and column inches the popular media give to reporting the so-called ‘debate’. What it shows is that there is no genuine ‘debate’ on the science of global warming. The self-styled ‘sceptics’ are a tiny number of people making a noise out of all proportion to their numbers and seeking to distort the public view of the issue.
This pathetic petition reveals the deniers as the tiny minority they really are. It is time that we all petitioned our media and their controllers demanding that they stop giving equal time and weight to an essentially non-existent point of view.
Public opinion changes with the weather . . .
Recent poll data from the USA show that public ‘belief’ in global warming is swinging back in favour after reaching an all-time low in 2010 and early 2011. 62% of respondents now agree the earth is warming, compared to a low point of only 52% two years ago in Spring 2010.
Analysts ascribe this resurgence to the record-breaking March heatwave that has gripped most of the continental USA for the entire month of March.
Meanwhile, scientists from NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies are predicting that an upswing in solar activity combined with the next El Niño will trigger record global temperatures over the next three years.
Climate models and their interpreters all agree that the number/percentage of extreme weather events will increase as a result of global warming. Although it cannot be proved that any individual event would or would not have occurred in a pre-industrial atmosphere, statistics and avarages will increasingly bear out that hypothesis as more and more extreme weather events occur.
The ordinary people so beloved of pollsters will make their judgement based not on what the IPCC or politicians tell them but on ‘common sense’ and what they see happening around them. An increase in extreme weather events will lead to increased ‘belief’ in MMGW and increased support for policies designed to mitigate it.
I think that we will see this trend taking hold increasingly over the next three years, which are likely to be record-breakers all over the globe.
I predict that 2011 will go down in history as the year the wave of climate change denial reached its highest point and broke, foaming and hissing impotently, on the jagged rocks of reality.