Sunday, October 10, 2004

The worm turns

Given the enthusiasm displayed by Green MEP Caroline Lucas for wind power - to the extent that she believes the democratic process should be overturned in order to allow developers to cover the country with wind factories – it is instructive to read in today’s Sunday Telegraph the account of the German professor who has taken on the wind lobby.

Professor Hans-Joachim Mengel, who vehemently opposes wind power, has dealt a blow to Germany's powerful Green lobby after winning 19 percent of the vote in the key Brandenburg regional election.

Standing on a platform of opposing plans to double the number of wind turbines in Germany, his vote-winning plea was remarkably similar to that offered by the UKIP and other single issue groups: "…none of the major political parties is prepared to listen to voters' concerns."

In fact, it really is quite remarkable how the political establishment, across the whole of Europe has managed to grasp the wrong end of the stick on environmental issues, and it is no surprise that the EU has followed in their train.

But, as the obsession with wind energy continues, Britain – and the rest of Europe – faces the spectre of serious electricity shortages and even the collapse of the grid, as politicians fail to come to grips with our growing energy crisis.

Such is the deficit that the UK government is being forced to keep in service obsolescent and highly polluting coal-fired electricity generators, as reported by the same edition of the Sunday Telegraph, which announced "Power stations can pollute more".

Interestingly, this story was in the business section but, if it had been linked with the wind power story in the main paper, readers might have been able to see the beginnings of a cause and effect relationship.

But, as politicians bleat about "Kyoto targets" – with the Europhile Tim Yeo affirming the commitment of the Conservative Party to this failed mantra at the Conservative Conference -
dissenting voices are increasingly being heard.

Not least of these is Bjorn Lomborg, whose thesis that we would be better off tackling global poverty rather than wasting our money on global warming, repeated today in the Sunday Times is unarguable.

And, while the EU and its fellow travellers are happy to bleat about Kyoto, global warning, pollution and the rest, they are spending billions of our money on not solving the problem. Perhaps this dictatorship should take a lesson another, with which it is so keen to have relations – China. There, the leadership is getting to grips with the energy crisis by going nuclear, capitalising on the flexibility and safety of pebble bed technology.

In the not too distant future, one of the most polluting nations of the world is set to become one of the cleanest – not least though its ability to provide nuclear-generated hydrogen for motive power. Then, as we light our candles yet again to see us though the latest power cuts, the worm will really have turned.

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