Thanks for the reaction

SIR - Wow, what a reaction, I feel honoured to be taken so seriously (Opinion June 27 - five reply letters).

I have to admit I was not at the wind turbine meeting and have subsequently managed to speak to someone who was there who confirmed Dr Phillip Bratby’s more even handed account that maybe events were not quite as lairy as reported to the bishop, in this newspaper and on the BBC news, (on which I based my letter).

But obviously people on both sides got upset.

However four of the replies to my letter of June 20 highlight my point about ‘windmill rage’ and intolerance of opposing views. Not liking wind turbines or being concerned to find you might be adversely affected by proposals right on your doorstep is a perfectly acceptable point of view.

What I find tedious is the raging distortion, exaggeration and demonisation of anything and everything to do with wind turbines that we are subjected to by some CPRE and UKIP members and their acolytes, while completely avoiding the real argument of what wind turbines are actually for (carbon reduction in the face of climate change).

I suspect it is precisely because they cannot argue this point that they resort to such vilification to justify their opinions.

A favourite subject for vilification, even to the point of misquoting the Bible, in three of the ‘anti’ letters from June 27, is subsidy. All forms of renewable energy are capital intensive to build and therefore attract subsidies to stimulate growth.

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The energy companies say that wind power does not raise the price of electricity (subsidised construction and no fuel costs) but fluctuating oil prices are responsible. And yet, as if from a script, all three letters moralise about taking from the poor (consumer) to give to the rich (energy company/ landowner).

Are they referring to general taxation? This is a total nonsense in a society that runs on subsidies (agriculture, arts, nuclear energy, the Queen). According to their quixotic logic, should we also view the Queen as some sort of evil ‘Sherriff of Nottingham’ impoverishing the poor of this land?

Claiming subsidies are immoral is a typical example of the made up, distorted non-arguments being used to justify opposition to wind power by these people rather than sticking to the real issues that concern people such as visual impact and siting.

To me, this kind of demonisation makes these people’s opinions just sound rather ridiculous. If wind turbines are such an ineffective, destructive, impoverishing technology as they constantly claim, then why is there square mile upon square mile of them operating off the coasts of and throughout Europe and more building all the time?

Yes North Devon is a beautiful place but we need to have a rational informed debate about people’s concerns and how we as a region/ nation respond to the challenge of climate change rather than rage against a created bogeyman.

Most thinking people care about the future of this planet as well as that of North Devon, the two are not as mutually exclusive as some would have us think.

S Jarvis Bideford

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