Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Why Fukushima made George Monbiot stop worrying and love nuclear power

Up on the North Devon Downs, by a once peaceful field.

At the Fullabrook Down Wind Farm Public Inquiry, the "Friends of Fullabrook Down Wind Farm" talked a lot about George Monbiot, quoting from his book "Heat". Their favourite refrain was "better a wind farm than a nuclear power station," which was anyway irrelevant since no one had planned to put a nuclear power station up on Fullabrook Down.

I will never forget hearing one passionate wind farm supporter saying that we must have these turbines, because we need energy security (in case, for example, the Russians switched off our supply of gas.) She seemed oblivious of the fact that it was a freezing cold day. There was no wind, and any turbines up on Fullabrook would have been producing virtually no electricity at all (as we have learnt this winter)

But the Inspector appeared to listen to the Wind Farm Supporters, and the Wind Farm Developers, and of course had to pay attention to government targets. He gave consent for the Wind Farm to be built, against the opposition of North Devon Council, and the many local people who would be affected by these turbines. Now the hills above the North Devon coast are being raped (it does indeed feel like that to those who love them) by heavy machinery, and filled with concrete.

Read George Monbiot's article in the Guardian:


Incidentally, opponents of the Wind Farm also raised the issue of noise. The Inspector did say (if I remember correctly) that he was the same Inspector who had given consent for the the Wind Farm at Deeping St. Nicholas. He seemed a nice man, as are - of course - many of those who fear nuclear power and love wind turbines because they believe them to be green and clean. But the people who will have their lives ruined by these developments are also nice people. I wonder how many Wind Farm supporters would really be prepared to swap houses with Jane and John Davis?

Deeping St. Nicholas is the village where Janet and John Davis are unable to live in their home, because of noise problems.
We can only hope that the people who live in the 75 or so homes that will be within 1 km of a Fullabrook turbine won't suffer in a similar way.

1 comment:

brian said...

wind farms vs nukes..a choice of evils.

my letter to george:

Hi george
your Guardian article on how you learned to stop worrying and love nukes
is a bit premature...April fools day is not till friday!
'Yet, as far as we know, no one has yet received a lethal dose of radiation.'
that is noone has died yet..is that what your saying?. Well its too soon to say for Fukusihima, but with Chernobyl...its not:
140000 is a nice round number for just one power station...
theres also amatter of cancer and birth defects.
I take it youve also fallen in love with nuclear waste...and DU.
As a fellow Green, i can say youre very much alone in your new found love.
I hope a UK nuke plabt also melt down, then you will be able to demonstrate your love by helping the cleanup, without protective clothing, for as you say: nuke power is not lethal
His article: and his site:
Show George what you think of Nuclear power.