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The Piper Must Be Paid

Energy bills: the Guardian's big green blind spot | Tom Heap | Environment | guardian.co.uk

Damian Carrington's description of this week's Panorama is strident, inaccurate and also reveals a big green blind spot: renewable technologies are currently expensive and demand subsidy. Present government policy will push up the amount of such energy and the resulting cost to all of us. As someone who believes in the importance of tackling climate change, I fervently wish this wasn't true. But it is and, unlike some environmentalists, I am not in denial.


There was an interesting programme two nights ago on German 3Sat TV. There is a revolt starting over the masses of "windr├Ąder" being erected all over Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Hannover and several other areas. They are massively obtrusive visually and the residents are objecting to that, to the lack of consultation, to the erection of even larger ones now in the pipeline and to the noise.

During the summer they are not to bad noise-wise, but in winter, when there is a combination of cold air and humidity, it is like living surrounded by idling helicopters. A further 2,200 of these unsightly, uneconomical and inefficient monsters are needed to replace the four Nuclear plants they shut down in the fuss following Fukushima. Believe me, some of those Prussian farmers in Brandenburg are just about ready to take up arms over it!

It was extremely amusing watching a Greenpeace "expert" trying to tell an elderly lady that the "windr├Ąder" which was disturbing her peace, her sleep and her view that it was "saving the planet." She wanted to know if he had one next to his house and kept backing him up until he admitted he lived in a flat in a city and had never heard 200 of these things in winter ...

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