Why do so many people have it in for renewable energy?

New wind turbines in Eye, Suffolk. The two turbines have been erected on Eye Airfield Industrial Sit

New wind turbines in Eye, Suffolk. The two turbines have been erected on Eye Airfield Industrial Site. - Credit: Archant

Over recent years there’s been a marked rise in opposition to new wind turbines and other forms of renewable energy – and I’m somewhat at a loss to understand what upsets so many people.

I can understand those who don’t want a 130m wind turbine at the bottom of their garden. I understand the problems that flicker, vibration, and noise can cause if these turbines are not sited in the right place.

It is pretty clear that the turbines put up in Kessingland near Lowestoft not many years age were sited far too near homes and there should have been more consultation.

But some of the language we’re hearing about wind turbine proposals is fairly extreme – and in one case downright offensive.

And it isn’t just wind turbines that attract anger nowadays. People don’t like the idea of solar power farms or incinerators creating energy from the waste we throw away.


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Why is this? I’m beginning to think many people are now motivated by a dislike of anything they see as “green.”

There seem to be a growing number of sceptics who simply don’t believe the overwhelming majority of scientists who tell us that the world is warming up – and that mankind is responsible.

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So they’re quite happy for us to carry on spewing billions of tonnes of carbon dioxide into the air from coal and oil-fired power stations.

They’re happy to chuck all their waste into a hole in the ground – or dump it in the sea where they can forget about it. Those concerned about this are sandal-wearing yoghurt-weavers at heart, aren’t they?

I can understand the objections to the wind turbines at Belstead and Wherstead on the edge of Ipswich. The Belstead proposal has now been dropped – it always seemed to be very near to large number of homes and it was difficult to see how it would not cause any disruption.

The Wherstead one will need to be looked at carefully – and if it would cause disruption to homes then the planners should reject it.

However if that is not the case, I can’t see that it should be rejected simply on the grounds that some people don’t like the look of it.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Many people (including myself) like the look of turbines and feel they add something to the landscape. I would have no objection to seeing one from my house – unless it did cause problems with noise and flicker.

But some of the language we hear in the debate is appalling. For Laxfield resident Michael Cole to say wind turbines “rape the countryside” is grossly offensive to women – especially those who have been victims of this horrendous crime.

Frankly it would be far better if the those who want to object to renewable energy projects try using cold hard logic rather than making shrill statements aimed at grabbing a headline.

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