Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Blackcraig Hill by Patricia McCrow
















On February 12th 2004, I was invited up to to Dumfries and Galloway, and, along with the GLARE group of artists and Professor David Bellamy, we launched the Artists Against Wind Farms website.

The watercolour above was painted by a wonderful lady called Patricia McCrow. She had lived below Blackcraig for many years, and loved the hill, as so many people do. That day in February was a very cold one, but, although she was 82, she insisted on coming outside with the rest of us as we sketched Blackcraig Hill, on our first "Paint it while it's there day."

She said "The hills would never forgive me if I did not fight to save them."
Since that day, she has sadly passed away.

This month, the Scottish Government has approved a 69 MW 23 turbine wind farm on Blackcraig. The only word that can be used to describe this is vandalism.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Coming to a hill near you...?


Another short clip showing what happens when they build a wind farm. They have to lay down roads, to bear the weight of the heavy construction vehicles. On either side of Burland Lane, the ancient drovers track between Ilfracombe and Braunton, roads have been constructed. This was filmed at a point where they had made an opening through both sides of the lane, so that they could drive across it.
If you live in the countryside, the chances are that this could be happening in the future to your hill, or your moor, or your valley, too, wherever you are.
More photos and videos to come, look for them on YouTube.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Here were orchids



















It may not mean much in the larger scheme of things, but on this bank, on this quiet little road, near Beara, in North Devon, orchids usually bloom. You couldn't expect the contractors to know that, I suppose.

Cambrian Mountains Society Exhibition

On Facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/cambrianmountains#!/album.php?fbid=188796561163999&id=155679791142343&aid=44865

More interesting links

"WRONG kind of WIND blamed for renewable red-ink FAIL It doesn't blow, it sucks"
By Andrew Orlowski

His article includes this quote "And, quite often during the December cold snap, wind plants used more electricity than they generated – just when the electricity was needed the most. (Electricity is drawn from the grid for yaw control, lighting, de-icing, pumps and to power the control mechanisms.)"

Read more at this link:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/03/22/wind_abnormal_fail/

Another good link from The Register:

"Fukushima's toxic legacy: Ignorance and fear
Hysteria rages unchecked as minor incident winds down"

by Lewis Page, this is another article that points out the comparison in risk between nuclear and wind power. He also says this: (quote here)

"Suppose that nuclear power were allowed to be merely, say, 100 or 1,000 times safer than coal or oil (or wind: wind power has already caused scores of deaths in a brief period while at the same time generating very little energy). In that case nuclear would become so cheap as to wipe out carbon emissions and other pollution from electricity production in the advanced nations – and it might also start to make serious cuts into emissions from other sectors such as transport, heating etc, as electrical heat became cheaper than that from gas or oil and cheap juice drove down the expense of EV charging infrastructure."

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/03/22/fukushima_tuesday_2/


Isn't it time that we did get serious about reducing CO2 emissions, rather than talking about it?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Cambrian Mountains Society

News on the their excellent website:

Artist David Bellamy donates a watercolour to the Society to help raise funds:

http://www.cambrian-mountains.co.uk/issues-wind-nantymoch-bellamy-watercolour.php

Some amazing - and horrifying - photo-montages of the proposed Nant y Moch wind farm:
http://www.cambrian-mountains.co.uk/nantymoch-windfarm-photo-montage1.htm

More about the horrific plan to put a 64 turbine wind farm with turbines up to 481 ft high on these most beautiful mountains:
http://www.cambrian-mountains.co.uk/issues-wind-nantymoch.php

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:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/mar/21/pro-nuclear-japan-fukushima

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.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Scientific Sense

There is a kind of madness that has overtaken the media - we have had a real disaster - the earthquake and the tsunami - and yet if you look at the headlines you would think this was nothing in comparison with events at Fukushima nuclear power stations. On the BBC news last night, a mention of the Fukushima disaster was followed immediately by a statement about the fact that thousands had died. How many nervous people watching this and other news items will have presumed - because of the hype - that somehow these deaths were caused by Fukushima, rather than the earthquake and the tsunami?


More from Watts Up With That - a heartfelt plea for a return to scientific sense regarding nuclear power - by a physicist Dr Peter Heller:

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/03/20/a-plea-for-a-return-to-science-on-the-nuclear-power-issue/


James Delingpole also quotes Dr.Heller:

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100080636/japan-whatever-happened-to-the-nuclear-meltdown/

Jamess Delingpole also says, interestingly, that the lesson to learn is that "if your country is hit by a monster earthquake and tsunami, one of the safest places to be is at the local nuclear powerplant." Apparently, other Japanese nuclear power plants - which have survived the quake - are sheltering the homeless in their buildings, which are not only still standing, but have heating and lighting.

And here is another article bringing the number of deaths caused by the nuclear industry into comparison with that by the wind power industry. More people are killed by wind power than by nuclear power:
http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Fukushima-is-not-Chernobyl,-wind-power-causes-more-deaths-21064.html

And what about coal? Where are the screaming apocalyptic headlines about this disaster? Pakistan - 52 feared dead in Mine.
It just doesn't make sense, especially when you remember that no one was killed at Three Mile Island. Is it because fatal accidents are so rare in the nuclear industry that they make such headlines?

How many wind turbines don't even spin?

It is time for someone to make a website/webpage/ with links to all the videos that show wind turbines that don't spin. Or perhaps they have already? If anyone knows of such a site, let us know! We all see them, but unless you can video them, photographs don't show the reality.

This is a good link, on the Watts Up With That site


http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/03/19/the-reality-of-wind-turbines-in-california-video/

A once beautiful field



















Not so long ago, you could do a beautiful walk, from the valley down below the little hamlet of Fullabrook, up a sweet path through trees, that opens onto a hill. All you would see in the way of movement would be sheep and ponies grazing. I remember a particular walk, on a spring evening. It was so peaceful. It is not quite the same now. The hills look like the site for a gigantic motorway, great heavy vehicles trundle by for twelve hours a day, six days a week.

Imagine what is it like if you love solitude, and you have chosen to live somewhere quiet, somewhere peaceful, because you love the countryside. You love the solitude: you haven't asked for much, just to be left in peace to live your life the way you want to. You do not miss the bustle of the modern world, the conveniences of city life, you do not miss having shops nearby, you do not care if you are cut off during snowfall. You love your home, your hills. You may even have said that when you die you want your ashes scattered here, on the hill that you love so much. Where can you go to now? The Isle of Lewis? The Shetlands? The Australian Barrier Ranges? The Kansas Prairie? Nowhere is safe from the Wind Power Industry.

Here is a photographic record of another walk, started at Burland Cross, where the above photograph was taken.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Bananas

While the problems the Japanese are having with their nuclear reactors are serious, it is important to keep some perspective on the issue, especially when the media get carried away with doom-mongering.

Did you know that bananas are radioactive enough to cause false alarms on radiation sensors? Read more here:
http://dailycaller.com/2011/03/18/going-bananas-over-radiation/

Anthony Watts has also produced a live real-time monitoring map of radiation counts in the USA. The levels it shows are reassuring. Perhaps if more members of the general public had their own geiger counters, we would all have a better understanding of the risks/benefits of nuclear energy.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

More about whales and wind farms

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/energy/windpower/8382476/Wind-farms-blamed-for-stranding-of-whales.html


Note;, April 2nd:
This link does not work. The article was removed from The Telegraph because it was in error, Professor Boyd did not talk to anyone in the Press about wind farms, and the paper that is mentioned does not mention wind farms either.

The link below gives more details:

http://www.windturbinesyndrome.com/news/2011/do-marine-wind-turbines-drive-whales-to-beach-themselves-nobody-knows-for-certain-uk/

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Anne Campbell



















Moorland on the Isle of Lewis


Go to this website to see new work by Isle of Lewis artist, Anne Campbell, who was one of the first featured artists on the Artists Against Wind Farms website.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Remember the Whales

A good article here by Larry Bell titled Wind energy's overblown prospects.

Larry Bell is a Professor at the University of Houston. My sister Jane and I were students there, many years ago, and still have fond memories of days spent in the Cougar Den. So, as someone who was led a Save The Whales protest back in 1970, before it was fashionable, I was especially pleased when I noticed that he mentioned the risk off-shore turbines might cause to whales. On reflection, I am not sure if he was taking this so seriously, but the article makes many good points.

For anyone who is concerned about whales, we have already highlighted several articles about whales and underwater noise on this blog, and he gives a link to a lawsuit filed by environmental groups that accuse the Obama administration of violating the Endangered Species Act with its approval of the Cape Wind Project in Nantucket Sound.

Christine Lovelock


http://blogs.forbes.com/larrybell/2011/03/08/wind-energys-overblown-prospects/

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

More about Nant y Moch and Cwm Hyddgen

"Spirit of Glynd┼Ár lives as Perrin leads walk against turbines"

Go to www.grough.co.uk for another article (by John McHale) about the Nant y Moch protest walk - this article is illustrated by one of Tom Hutton's beautiful photographs

http://www.grough.co.uk/magazine/2011/03/05/spirit-of-glyndwr-lives-as-perrin-leads-walk-against-turbines