All those naysayers bleating about wind farms being useless have been proved wrong. Buffeted by 50 mph gales, a £2-million wind turbine caught fire in Scotland yesterday, providing much needed light and heat for the countryside. Admittedly, that was the only contribution made by Scottish windfarms to that noble task, as all other turbines went on strike.
This isn’t just a figure a speech: according to a spokesman for National Grid, ‘wind farms just decided not to generate’ the 1,500 MW they were expected to produce — enough for two million homes. By inference, the turbines must have got together, in the TUC manner, taken the vote and ‘decided’ to form an uncrossable picket line. Unless the winds meet their demands (as yet unspecified), they’ll stay idle for as long as it takes. Let those Scotsmen freeze in the dark, see if the turbines care.
It has to be said that the winds haven’t always been cooperative, so this deadlock in negotiations is at least partly their fault. Sometimes they are nonexistent, leaving the turbines unemployed. At other times they are so still that the farms have to be helped along by the grid, consuming more power than the gadgets can generate. This power struggle will continue, and it’s unclear which party will emerge the winner. The loser, on the other hand, is fairly easy to predict with confidence: the public. You and me.
With the EU shenanigans laying a dense smokescreen, the government has unveiled plans to build 30,000 more of those ugly things. At £2 million a pop it adds up, but no sacrifice is too high for our spivocrats to show the world that THEY CARE. The world economy may be going to the dogs, an apocalyptic war is brewing in the Middle East, China is flexing its military muscle, Putin is threatening the West with nuclear weapons, but that’s nothing to prevent Dave et al from screaming that THEY CARE. That’s why they continue to increase our expenditure on foreign aid to economies considerably more dynamic than our own. The late Peter Bauer quipped that foreign aid is a transfer of money from the poor people in rich countries to the rich people in poor countries, but he missed the point. Which is that, to attract the lower intellectual and moral tiers of the electorate, our spivocrats have to show that THEY CARE.
Hence they’ve been neglecting for years the development of nuclear power, which isn’t just the most effective but also the safest alternative to hydrocarbons. And that’s why they keep throwing our money on various harebrained projects, such as solar and wind energy. The justification is that THEY CARE not only about this generation but also about hundreds of future generations threatened by global warming. Never in the history of politicking has so much been spent by so many on so little scientific evidence.
Meanwhile, we continue to buy our electricity from France, where more than 80% of it is produced by nuclear stations. This is one area in which Angie and Nicky don’t seem to see eye to eye. Driven by their high principles and intellectual integrity, they agree to disagree. Angie is faced with a strong Green party, and Nicky isn’t. So Angie is planning to get rid of nuclear power (a courageous decision in a country that doesn’t have its own oil), while Nicky doesn’t have to. That way both can claim that THEY CARE.
Meanwhile, yesterday’s accident in Scotland shows a way forward: using those turbines for firewood. This source of energy wouldn’t be exactly renewable — unless of course in parallel we continue to build more wind farms. Yes, that would work. Especially if the low energy output of the wind farms could be boosted by the hot air produced by our politicians. THEY DO CARE about power. But only the naive think it’s of the electric kind.