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The opposition
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Liars? Selfish?
Endorsement
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Payback
Index


About the wind power pages

Why oppose wind power?

Why support wind power?

Wind Energy Opposition

The home page of the Wind Power Ethics group of pages*

Anthropogenic climate change (ACC, climate change caused by man) and ocean acidification (OA) are both largely caused by the release of greenhouse gasses due to Man's activities. In the long term carbon dioxide is the most important of these gasses, and much of it comes from burning fossil fuels to generate electricity.

Any argument against wind power that does not take into account ACC and OA is not a full and sound argument. If human society does not quickly and greatly reduce our use of fossil fuels we will be condemning our children and grandchildren to living in a greatly inferior world to the one we have been privileged to enjoy.

Most of those who are vocally opposed to wind power are also in denial of ACC and OA. There is probably a link:

  • they could see wind power as being unnecessary if they truly don't believe ACC;
  • they could just find it convenient to deny the reality of ACC because that seems to give their wind power opposition argument more validity;
  • or they could simply be out of touch with reality.

Air pollution from the burning of coal causes serious diseases and kills many people annually. Wind power is one of the front runners among the types of renewable energy that can replace fossil fuel-burning power stations.

Robert Swan, OBE, Explorer and Environmentalist, said "The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it." We all have a moral responsibility to do as much as we can to reduce the damage being done by the burning of fossil fuels. The people and groups discussed in these pages are not only failing to act, they are unethically opposing action.

Written 2012/10/03, modified 2017/06/30 – ©
Contact: email daveclarkecb@yahoo.com
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The author of these pages is not beholden to any company or lobby group and is entirely independent; see About Me.

Rather than write pages such as this, I would prefer to simply inform people of the facts, but someone needs to expose those who lie about wind power.

I have written about wind power since at least early 2004. My impression is that all of those who vocally oppose wind power are willing either to lie, exaggerate, misrepresent the facts, distort the truth, use insults and abuse, or all of the above. Reader: please inform me if you know of anyone who is both vocally opposed to wind power and is honest and is polite. My email address is below.

As with all my pages, informed feedback is welcome. If you are disagreeing with some point please supply evidence in support of your argument.

 
Google search Ramblings

The opposition

 
The reputable Australia Institute provides the facts on Wind Enegy, Climate and Health
I have studied the development of wind power, particularly in Australia, for more than a dozen years. In this time a number of groups and individuals who oppose wind power have become active. Those that I have written about are listed below, together with links to pages addressing their claims.

Strikingly, the main common factor among the most prominent individuals and groups who are opposing wind power in Australia is a willingnes to lie; or if not knowingly lying, at least ignorance and a willingness to repeat falsehoods without fact-checking. The use of insults, abuse and name-calling is also common.

Their misinformation campaign is causing huge harm to the urgently needed response to climate change.

Individuals
NameComment
Chris Back Senator for Western Australia, Liberal Party
Ron Boswell Nationals Senator for Queensland
Steven Cooper An accoustician with wind turbine experience
Bob Day Family First Senator for SA
Sean Edwards Senator for South Australia
Sarah Laurie Ms Laurie spreads unfounded fear
Alan Jones Radio shock-jock
Jacqui Lambie Senator "Lock 'em all up" Lambie
David Leyonhjelm Liberal Democrat Senator for NSW
Graham Lloyd Anti-environment Editor for The Australian
John Madigan Democratic Labor Party Senator for Victoria
Peter Mitchell Past chairman of Waubra Foundation
Maurice Newman Head of PM Abbott's Business Advisory Council
Rowan Ramsey Australian Federal Member for Grey
Peter Reardon Property valuer
David Ridgway South Australian Liberal politician
Dr Roger Sexton Prominent economist
Angus TaylorAustralian Liberal member for Hume
Lyndsey Ward For some reason she hates wind turbines
Nick XenophonSA independent Senator
Groups/organisations
NameComment
Aust. Energy Forum Hardly worth mentioning
The Australian A Murdoch fossil newspaper
Boorowa L.Guardians Opposing wind power
Heartland Farmers Opposed to the Ceres wind farm
Landscape Guardians Opposed to the Palmer Wind Farm in SA
National Wind Watch A US-based anti wind power group
wind-power-problems.org A US-based anti wind power site
Senate committee Senate Select Committee on Wind Turbines
Stop Keyneton Wind Farm Dedicated to opposing a wind farm in SA
Stop These Things Childish and abusive opposition site
sWINDle Well named; it aims at swindling the readers
Wind energy's absurd This group is based in Scotland
Waubra Foundation Not a true foundation nor connected to Waubra
World Council For Nature Opposed to renewables, ignores fossil fuels

When all else fails resort to abuse

It is notable on the internet when there is 'debate' between wind power supporters and detractors, that the latter make very little use of evidence and science (no doubt because it is generally against them) but use insults, abuse, name-calling and personal attacks.

Another common tactic is to hide behind a false name so that they can tell lies and libel people without suffering the consequences.



 
Liberal's war on renewable energy
NameComment
Main page The Australian Liberals are opposed to renewable energy
Abbott Government September 2013 – ?
Senator Chris Back Senator for Western Australia
Sean Edwards Senator for South Australia
Maurice Newman Proposed head of the PM's Business Advisory Council
Rowan Ramsey Australian Federal Member for Grey
David Ridgway South Australian pollitician
Angus Taylor Australian Liberal candidate for Hume
 
Miscellaneous pages relating to wind power opposition
NameComment
Wind power lies The outstanding lies and liars
Pierpont/Laurie Syndrome It's not wind turbines that make people sick, but people who spread baseless fear.
Ceres Correcting some misleading statements about the proposed Ceres Project on York Peninsula.
Palmer Wind Farm A page to provide the facts
Why oppose a wind farm? A short opinion piece
While there are valid reasons for objecting to wind power and some people do indeed have valid objections, there are several things that the great majority of the wind power opposition have in common:
  1. A willingness to exaggerate, use half-truths, misleadingly twist the facts, or simply to lie;
  2. They repeat fallacies that have been created by other, earlier, wind power opponents; they do little checking of the facts;
  3. If they do any research, they cherry-pick the evidence;
  4. They ignore the serious diseases and deaths caused by the burning of coal;
  5. They either deny climate science or place more importance on their own selfish concerns than on the damage that climate change and ocean acidification is doing to our planet.
  6. A significant proportion resort to:
    • Name calling; for example 'wind weazles' and 'greentards';
    • Ad homonym attacks: trying to discredit those who support wind power using arguments unrelated to wind power;
    • Simply calling supporters liars without providing evidence to justify their claim.
  7. They very rarely refer to science published in respected peer-reviewed journals.
This suggest several things:
  1. The opponents do not have many valid objections to wind power;
  2. The valid objections that exist are not serious enough to significantly help the opponents achieve their aims;
  3. The opponents feel that the general population is ignorant about wind power and will not recognise the misinformation as such;
  4. Some, at least, of the opponents are themselves ignorant that many of the arguments they use are false.

A natural alliance

As mentioned above, wind power opponents do not have many valid objections to wind farms beyond 'they are in my back yard!' Some less scrupulous politicians and media people want causes that they can pursue. So long as a cause will get them some notice, whether or not it is supported by the facts is very much a secondary concern.

Politicians who fall in this group are Senators Ron Boswell, John Madigan and Chris Back and South Australian Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council David Ridgway. A prominent reporter using this dubious course is Graham Lloyd, anti-environment Editor for The Australian. Angus Taylor, Liberal member for Hume, has two motives, chasing the support of those who oppose wind power as well as a personal desire to not have wind turbines near his own property.

The opponents are always looking for anyone who is willing to champion their cause, the politicians are looking for followers; the two groups form a natural alliance.

Cherry-picking evidence

Most opponents are very willing to cherry-pick evidence. A good example of this is to do with land values. There are a very few cases of courts deciding that a wind farm, or a proposed wind farm, has caused a decrease in land values. The great majority of the evidence, including a number of studies, have shown that there is no significant or long-term decline in land values linked with nearby wind farms. The opponents reference the few court decisions that have gone against wind farms while ignoring the bulk of the evidence.

 
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What type of people support or oppose renewable energy?

At the time of writing [this section] I have been home several days from a 328km Walk for Solar Power from Port Augusta to Adelaide in South Australia. There are two old and polluting coal-fired power stations at Port Augusta. These are to be replaced with either renewable energy or gas-fired power stations. The Walk was organised by an inspiring group called the Australian Youth Climate Coalition in support of a solar thermal power station combined with a wind farm rather than the polluting gas option.

 
Walk for Solar Power
Sunset at wind farm
A few of the walkers watching the sun set at Snowtown Wind Farm

What type of person did the walk?

The great majority were young people from their late teens to early thirties, but there were also six who were in their sixties. They were well informed, intelligent, and at least largely motivated by altruistic aims; they wanted to see strong action to slow the rate of climate change. They wanted a future that was not greatly inferior to the present.

What type of person opposes wind farm developments?

There are two main classes of people who oppose wind farm developments:
  1. Those who have financial reasons; these people are usually supporting the mining and/or fossil fuel industries;
  2. Those who are more concerned about the impact that a local wind farm will have on them personally than they are about the its overall impact in the region, the nation, and the planet.
Of the latter group, in my experience these people are usually at least in their fifties. Many of the concerns of this group come from the accumulated misinformation built up by other wind power opponents. They are almost always acting out of selfish motives: they don't seem to care about (or perhaps don't believe) climate change and probably know nothing about ocean acidification. They often say they are not opposed to wind power as such, but don't want wind turbines to be built near them; they say that wind turbines will lower their property values (not true), they fear that the turbines will make noise that will keep them awake at night (wind turbines have been shown to not adversely affect sleep), they claim that the turbines will reduce the profitability of their farms (without any evidence for this), they don't want to have to look at wind turbines, etc.

Some opponents of wind power fear that the turbines will make them sick (there's no scientifically acceptable evidence that they do), some have large investments in mining and/or the fossil fuel industry.

I have written more on this subject on the main wind power page.

Quite honestly the majority of people who publicly oppose wind power tend to repeat anything they have heard that seems to support their stance with very little regard to truthfulness, are not interested in sound evidence and they do very little research into the facts.

Some examples of typical comments by wind power opponents

The following Facebook comments are typical; commonly no evidence is given for a particular point, there is no rational argument, name-calling and insults are common, and there is a refusal to accept well-founded evidence.

 
The Callous Wind
From a long standing opponent of the Ceres development on the Yorke Peninsula; following my posting of a peer-reviewed paper on Wind Turbines and Health on Facebook.

 
Shannon Phillips
Another opponent of the Ceres development; following my posting on Facebook on the sources used by an opposition group.

 
Karen Wilson
From an opponent of the proposed Palmer Wind Farm following my posting of a peer-reviewed paper about Wind Turbines and Health on Facebook. Of course she, like so many other opponents, are quite unconvinced by the plentiful evidence that wind turbines harm nobody's health.

 
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About the Wind Power Ethics pages:
Wind power and ethics

These notes concern the 'Wind Power Ethics' pages, for which this page serves as a base. Another page deals with the purpose and background of my general wind power pages. Yet another page deals with ethics in general.

If I had to give a simple reason for writing all of the Ramblings pages I would say ethics and might write about truth, science, honesty and facing up to facts. I am trying to do what little I can to get more ethical behaviour from wind power opponents, governments, the current generation in its responsibilities to future generations and the wind farm operators too. I have no doubt that by pointing out the unethical behaviour of the nasty and selfish people who dishonestly oppose wind power I am making enemies; but then who wants nasty, selfish and dishonest people as friends?

 
Why oppose wind power?
Why not wind power?
Of course this is an oversimplification, but in my experience it is the main reason for most of the opposition to wind farms. How many wind farm opponents look at the bigger picture and consider the damage that will be done to the planet and to the lives of generations to come?
 

Two good sources of reliable information

Mike Barnard has a very informative Net site titled "Barnard on wind: countering disinformation about clean, safe wind energy". Mike is a Canadian who has lived in Brazil and, currently (July 2013) Singapore.
Ketan Joshi's blog, titled Some Air, also provides good, factual, information on wind power. Ketan is Australian.
Truth is fundamentally important to ethics. Twisting the truth, exaggerating, intentionally using half-truths to mislead, intentionally misleading in general, and simply lying are all unethical. Some or all of these actions have been used by the groups and people that I discuss in my pages that are subtitled Wind Power Ethics.

Climate change (and the related problem of ocean acidification) are the greatest threats facing our planet in the early twenty-first century. Australia ranks 53rd in the world in population, but sixth in the world in the CO2 produced by its mainly coal-burning electricity industry; it has 0.3% of the world's population, but produces 1.2% of the world's greenhouse gasses; it is well up among the worst greenhouse polluters on the planet. Everyone in the world – but Australians in particular – have an ethical responsibility to future generations to limit these forms of harm as much as we can. We must, among other things, stop burning fossil fuels. One way we can reduce the amount of fossil fuel we burn is by replacing it with renewable energy, including wind power.

Those who knowingly, or even unknowingly – by the repetition of other people's lies – dishonestly slander wind power and so slow action on climate change are doing enormous harm. There can be no doubt that such action is unethical. My aim in writing these pages is to expose these groups and people.


Some of the people targetted on these pages are powerful, many are involved in the notoriously dirty game of politics. It is probably only a matter of time before one or more of them uses some underhanded method in an attempt to punish me. In the meantime I will keep up what I believe to be a well justified and highly ethical fight against their disinformation.
I have no doubt that there are errors on some of my pages. There are not intentional lies. An email from anyone finding an error, ambiguity, or misleading statement is always welcome, but if you are disputing one of my statements please provide evidence supporting your argument. My email is at the top of this page.

How will those who oppose renewable energy be seen by future generations?

 
I have little doubt that some, perhaps most, people will think that the statement on the left is going too far. To the present we have had a bit less than one degree of global warming. We are heading for as much as six degrees. To object to wind turbines is one thing, but to knowingly lie and deceive to try to achieve your ends is quite another.
People and groups such as those discussed on these pages, who twist the truth and outright lie in order to oppose action on climate change, action that is desperately needed if our children and grandchildren are to live in a world that is not greatly inferior to the one that you and I enjoy today, are about as close as anyone can come to being simply evil in the twenty-first century.

I ask the reader to imagine how these people will be seen by future generations. By the time my grandchildren are middle-aged and our wonderful planet has been severely damaged by climate change and ocean acidification people will find it almost impossible to understand how those of our generation allowed rampant climate change to happen, with very little effort to limit it. But those who lied and misled to fight against action to limit climate change will be seen as the worst of the worst.

Shining a light on their lies, giving honest people the facts about wind power, and in the process, doin all I can to foil the subversion of groups and people such as these gives me a great deal of satisfaction. It gives me another very worth-while purpose in my retirement; something that I can do and be very proud of doing. What better can anyone do with their time than expose those who, apparently due to their selfishness, and perhaps ignorance, are working to damage the world that we should be doing our best to protect?

From a purely selfish point of view, thank you to those who dishonestly campaign about wind power. I haven't had a cause so worth-while since the Walk for Solar Power back in September 2012. (Correction/update; there was the Climate Walk of September/October 2014.)

 
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Are the opponents liars? Are they selfish?

 
One of the Clements Gap turbines
Turbines
Wind farm opponents (WFOs) complain that pro-wind people call them liars; it is a simple fact that a person who repeatedly tells lies is defined as a liar.

Anthropogenic climate change is a fact and recognised as such by the vast majority of climate scientists and national governments (including Australia's), many WFOs deny it, in some cases at least it seems this is purely to help them discredit wind power. More information: Why accept climate science?

There is no evidence that wind farms make people ill; many WFOs claim otherwise. More information: Wind turbines improve health

There is no evidence that wind farms substantially lower property values; many WFOs claim otherwise. More information: Wind farms and land values

WFOs claim that pro-wind people say that those who believe that they have been made ill by wind turbines are telling lies; not so – we claim that they are mistaken in the cause of their illnesses. More information: Wind farms and health

WFOs blame wind farms for social disruption. There is no social disruption where there are no WFOs (some examples in just the region of South Australia where I live; there is no social disruption at Snowtown, Clements Gap, Wattle Point, Hornsdale wind farms); so it is the WFOs, rather than the wind farms, who cause social disruption. More information: Wind farms and social conflict

WFOs like to blame wind power for poor economic performance in the hosting nation or state. Germany has more wind power than any other European nation, it also has a higher gross domestic product (GDP) than any other European nation. Denmark has the highest amount of installed wind power per capita of any European nation, it also has the sixth highest per-capita GDP of any European nation (out of a total of 48 nations). More information: Financial and social rankings of sovereign states in Europe

WFOs have commonly claimed that wind farms generate very little electricity: in 2015 South Australia's wind farms generated about 34% of the state's electricity. In 2002 SA had no wind power and negligible renewable energy.

Those opposed to the Ceres WF claim that wind power is not compatible with agriculture; yet the three most agriculturally productive US states also have the most wind power. More information: Agriculture and wind power are compatible

WFOs complain about being called selfish, but they are putting their own wants ahead of the pressing need to change from polluting fossil fuel energy to renewable energy; the burning of fossil fuels is causing ocean acidification, is the single biggest cause of anthropogenic climate change (ACC) and the burning of coal and diesel in particular causes air pollution that kills millions of people each year. At worst, WFOs will have to see and perhaps sometimes hear nearby wind farms; they will not suffer any more harm than that. More information: Wind turbines save lives

WFOs commonly use abuse, name-calling and character attacks against pro-wind people. More information: Character attack

 
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Endorsement

Moral philosopher and author Peter Singer was kind enough to provide me with the following endorsement:
"Climate change is a looming disaster, and one that we should all be trying our best to avert. The ethical questions involved warrant more attention than they have had. David Clarke has a substantial knowledge of wind power in Australia and I commend his efforts in puncturing myths and trying to ensure that everyone has access to full and accurate information about wind power and renewable energy"
The first sentence of the Wikipedia entry on Peter:
"Peter Albert David Singer, AC (born 6 July 1946) is an Australian moral philosopher. He is currently the Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University, and a Laureate Professor at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics at the University of Melbourne."
Peter has written a number of books on various aspects of ethics. I have admired him for many years; his books have influenced my thinking.
 
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Links

An article that covers most of the aspects of wind power opposition in a clear and succinct way was written for Green Left Weekly by Coral Wynter.

Are anti-wind turbine groups causing wind turbine syndrome?, by Wendy Zukerman.

Those who oppose wind power often deny climate change. It seems that the reasoning is something like this: "If climate change is real then there is a strong need for development of renewable energy to replace fossil fuel energy. If I deny the reality of climate change then I have a stronger argument against wind power."

To oppose wind power is, in effect, to support the killer coal industry.

A page has been dedicated to links relating to wind power; other links are scattered throughout the text of all my wind power pages.






Payback

In these pages I have annoyed some very powerful people and groups. I am expecting, sooner or later, that someone will either make a serious attempt at a character assassination or try to use litigation to silence me. I don't believe I have written anything that is libellous, but a court case can be cripplingly expensive even is one is inocent.

The people I am attacking are dishonest; I would not be attacking them were they not. As might be expected, they have very low ethical standards; there is little they would not be willing to do if they thought they could gain something out of it. The writers of the childish and insulting anti-wind power blog, Stop These Things has already ineptly tried a character assassination.

Any of these people who feel that I have targetted them unfairly can provide evidence in support of their case. I am quite ready to listen to rational argument.

I am 67 years old; these people cannot do much to harm me. I am considering giving everything I own to my wife so that the enemies of action on climate change cannot rob my wife, children and grandchildren.






World Council For Nature

 
Clements Gap Wind Farm
Wind turbines
Mid-North South Australia
In January 2017 I noticed that there is a wind and solar power opposition group on the Internet giving itself the important sounding name of The World Council for Nature.
"The World Council for Nature is the new, totally independent umbrella organization that will defend natural habitats above anything else. Without habitat there is no biodiversity, no unspoiled landscapes, and no recreation, no inspiration for man."
Someone asked why the WCFN didn't mention climate change. The reply from a WCFN spokesperson was:
"Contrary to what green activists, corrupt politicians and windfarm salesmen tell us, the science is not settled on climate change."
The WCFN site spoke of:
"wilderness areas invaded by wind turbines, deserts desecrated by solar plants",
but significantly didn't mention the much greater damage to nature caused by coal mining or the air pollution and ocean acidification caused by the burning of coal and other fossil fuels.

There is a huge amount of evidence indicating that climate change, ocean acidification and the air pollution from the burning of fossil fuels are incomparbly greater threats to nature than is the renewable energy that can displace fossil fuels.






Index

About these pages
Are the opponents liars? Are they selfish?
Cherry-picking evidence
Endorsement
How will they be seen?
Links
Natural alliance
Payback
The opposition
Type of people
Typical comments by wind power opponents
What type of person opposes wind farm developments?

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