We know there is a vocal minority of anti-wind campaigners out there, who still cannot see the irony in their statements that wind turbines will destroy their local environment, even in the face of serious flooding across the UK being the latest in a series of ‘funny weathers’ that have gripped the globe this year (extreme droughts in many US states being just one other example) . Organisations such as Windefensible cite scare-mongering articles from the Daily Mail and other hysterical sources, referring to them as ‘the science’, which evidences their concerns about issues as far-fetched as wind turbines causing dizziness, increased blood pressure and depression. They evoke derision and frustration, but in the end those that believe in democratic process have to respect the right of local communities to have their say.
However, the anti-wind lobby are looking a lot darker and more organised as this latest Tory government’s grip really takes hold. Leo Hickman at the Guardian received an email sent out from Chris Heaton-Harris MP, which he obtained from a secret source. Chris Heaton-Harris is the Conservative MP for Daventry, who is well known to be in active opposition of wind turbines. In February he organised 100 Tory backbenchers in writing a letter to David Cameron, publicly putting the PM on the spot to reverse subsidies for renewable energy. In Hickman’s email, Chris Heaton-Harris boasts that he has won the support of the tycoon Donald Trump. Trump is campaigning against wind turbine developments off the coast of Aberdeenshire on environmental grounds– yes, that the same Donald Trump who bulldozed his way through real environmentalist efforts to protect the site of special scientific interest on which his Scottish Golf course is built.
Trump has billions behind him and has promised a ‘war chest’ of £10million to fund British anti-windfarm campaigners. Where that money will be spent, nobody knows. Its very difficult indeed to follow the money, and to tell the difference between genuine and ‘astroturf’ resistance groups. Climate activists might worry there is a strong front on its way to undermine the progress we’ve made so far.
For now at least, lets revel in the fact that these people are not yet as powerful as they’d like to make out. Even having promised £10 million to the cause, Donald Trump still failed to attract enough interest to the lavish dinner for which he was guest speaker, which was set to be held at the Emirates Stadium. Despite the cooing email that Hickman got hold of, the plan seems to have failed spectacularly, with the £275 tickets being so undersold that the event was cancelled.