Lies and Allies

The Scottish resistance against “Big Spin” (also known as BS) has reorganized under the umbrella of scotlandagainstspin.org which gives us news of the continued efforts of our longtime allies.

Graham Lang of Scotland Against Spin, a new national anti-wind farm alliance, commented:

“Once again the Scottish Government has been called to book by a canny member of the public. Stuart Young is right to demand an apology and a correction for the blatant misinformation purveyed by Mike Mackenzie MSP about the true cost of renewable energy to consumers. Mr Mackenzie’s defence – “it wisnae me”, a Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) caught out in wind industry spin – is pathetic.

Scottish Renewables is a lavishly-funded trade and PR organization. Its sole purpose is to win support for its paymaster, the renewables industry, whose profits depend on huge levels of public subsidy. Unsurprisingly Scottish Renewables produces reams of “research” showing wind energy is a good thing which the Scottish Government in turn laps up and repackages with added authority in its renewables policy.

In the same debate in which Mike Mackenzie was caught out, Fergus Ewing opened his speech with a bogus point about carbon-saving copied from the latest press release from Scottish Renewables.”

Government clutching the wind lobby asp to its bosom; it all sounds so familiar, we would be cheering on the warriors for truth and accountability even if they were not already our heros.

Thanks to the John Muir Trust (JMT) (http://www.jmt.org/home.asp) and their principled stand on wind energy, we have benefitted in 2011from their commissioned research; the report, ‘Analysis of UK Wind Power Generation’ by Caithness-based Stuart Young consulting, states:

“It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that Scottish Government energy policy is not fit for purpose.”

That analysis of actual performance data caused the proponents of wind to go into a predictable frenzy of illogical argument typical of their response to facts. According to the BBC http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-12985410
Jenny Hogan, Director of Policy for Scottish Renewables, said:

“Yet again the John Muir Trust has commissioned an anti-wind farm campaigner to produce a report about UK onshore wind energy output. It could be argued the Trust is acting irresponsibly given their expertise lies in protecting our wild lands and yet they seem to be going to great lengths to undermine renewable energy which is widely recognized as one of the biggest solutions to tackling climate change – the single biggest threat to our Natural Heritage.

We have yet to hear the Trust bring forward a viable alternative to lower emissions and meet our growing demand for safe, secure energy.”

So not only the old ad-hominem attack but also damning JMT for “acting irresponsibly given their expertise lies in protecting our wild lands” and then damning them again for not providing “a viable alternative to lower emissions and meet our growing demand for safe, secure energy.”

Jonathan Balls of Full Fact,(http://fullfact.org/about/background) – a cross-party group of politicians, journalists and outsiders who have come together to show that specific inaccuracies can be corrected – more helpfully investigated both reportage:

“The unreliability of wind power in Britain was exposed yesterday in a shock report issued by environmentalists… Over the past two years UK wind turbines metered by the National Grid ran at just 10 per cent of capacity for more than one-third of the time.” The Express, 7th of April.

“A lot of hot air: wind farms ‘working at just 21 per cent of capacity’… A damning report from the John Muir Trust found the UK’s heavily subsidized wind farms were working at just 21 per cent of capacity last year.” The Daily Mail, 7th of April.

And the analysis itself.

He asked is wind power in the UK struggling to blow? (http://fullfact.org/factchecks/wind_turbines_performance_capacity_muir_trust_express_daily_mail-2646) and concluded:

“The data on wind power reported by The Express and The Daily Mail does accurately reflect a report that in turn is based on official data.”

It seems that officialdom is not always a reliable source as Kathleen Nutt reports in ‘Civil Servants In bid to Gag Anti-Wind Farm Protesters’ http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/home-news/civil-servants-in-bid-to-gag-anti-wind-farm-protesters.20455619

She explained that Christine Metcalfe, 69, went to the UN on behalf of Avich-Kilchrenan Community Council in Argyll, after failing with a complaint to the Scottish Government about the building of the Carraig Gheal wind farm near her home in Taynuilt – an area of great beauty and a nesting site for golden eagles.

With the case due to be discussed again at the end of this month by the international tribunal, it has emerged UK Civil Servants have attempted to use a technical point which would stop others following her lead by casting doubt on the status of Scottish Community Councils, saying they might be considered public authorities which would exclude them from bringing a complaint.

After the case was heard December 2012 in Geneva, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) wrote to the UN arguing that Scottish Community Councils might be considered to be “public authorities” and therefore excluded from the complaint process.

Christine is quoted as saying:

“If UNECE accepts DEFRA’s position and stops Community Councils making complaints, it would restrict the ability of the public to raise objections.”

she said:

“It’s extremely important community councils can make complaints. It’s easier for Governments to ignore an individual, pass him or her from pillar to post or fob them off. Community Councils have to be answered.”

Two things are sure, the Scottish Government, which is responsible for the remit of Community Councils, states they are not public authorities.

And Christine Metcalfe, is not a woman easily daunted. You can hear her courage and determination on Wind Wise Radio http://www.windwiseradio.org/2013/01/aarhus-swords-and-metcalfe-ecology-of-turbines-hambler/

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About lsarc

LSarc is grassroots protection of Lake Superior through citizen science and volunteerism.  If you are interested in preserving intact ecosystems and restoring biological integrity of the Lake Superior watershed using the scientific method to test hypotheses and research, then you are LSarc LSarc is proud to be a member of the John Muir Trust and the 60th member organization of Wind Concerns Ontario
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