I attended the wind turbine meeting on the PfR Pannington Hall application. It was packed with many standing at the back of the Pinewood Community Hall Ipswich.
Before any proposed government legislation can become approved, there are a number of stages and checkpoints designed to ensure that all relevant factors have been considered. This is to protect the nation against poor quality or erroneous decisions adversely affecting the interests of the electorate, and at least to gather valid criticisms of that legislation.
The Climate Change Act of 2008 did not follow that path, with only five MP’s voting against it. One such MP who opposed the legislation gives his reasons here . It was carried forward without proper scrutiny, without public input, and with barely any dissenting voice being allowed to be heard. Its stipulation to ensure that the net UK ‘carbon account’ for all six Kyoto ‘greenhouse gases’ for the year 2050 were to be at least 80% lower than the 1990 baseline, prompted the move away from conventional power sources to renewables.
George Osborne gave his fiscal summary in a confident manner. Public sector net borrowing down to zero by 2018-19, over a million new private sector jobs created, higher domestic spending as a sign of recovery, new incentives for small businesses, more students at university, petrol prices down, rail fare price rises held down, capital gains tax would be charged to foreign owners of houses in the UK; the list went on.
The ‘Conference of Parties’ to the U.N. Framework Convention of Climate Change (UNFCCC) 19th annual event, 2013, closed in Warsaw to controversy. There was a walkout of many of the world’s poor countries over refusal of compensation for supposed climate related harm arising from the West’s emissions of CO2. This was estimated at $350 billion a year by the 2070′s if action was not taken to halt emissions. Also, it would require some $100billion a year from the West to be given to the poorer nations for pre-emptive mitigation action. No doubt the disappointed environmental pressure groups were also expecting to obtain a large slice of that annual $100billion, too. However, this was altogether too much for even the EU, otherwise wholly committed to supporting climate change measures.
Connie Hedegaard, EU climate commissioner said:
“The EU understands that the issue is incredibly important for developing countries. But they should be careful about … creating a new institution. This is not what this process needs,” She ruled out their most important demand, insisting: “We cannot have a system where we have automatic compensation when severe events happen around the world. That is not feasible.”
- Warsaw climate change talks falter as EU and developing countries clash (theguardian.com)
- Warsaw climate negotiations achieve nuggets of progress, but defer major decisions (carbonbrief.org)
- Wobbly Warsaw Warming Worriers Wrangle While World Watches (tallbloke.wordpress.com)
The rollout of windturbines across the UK since the Climate Change Act 2008, has been relentlessly driven at a political level. The level of subsidies for windturbines is such that it is very attractive for businesses and landowners to push proposals for them, even though they may not be in the best practical locations. Many people living near to such proposals are naturally concerned that their hitherto unspoiled local environment may now be blighted by unsightly windturbines, visual disturbance and flicker, noise, and the presence of new pylons to connect to the grid. Not to mention the possibility of the loss of property value, which can be as high as 20%. http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/427689/Proof-windfarms-will-cut-Scots-house-prices
“In 2008 a Valuation Tribunal ruled that a wind farm 930m from a home near Spalding had reduced the value of the house and that it should be changed from band B to A. The tribunal commented that “Case law and experience elsewhere had shown that dwellings which were located in close proximity to wind farms had seen their property prices drop by around 20%” ” http://www.illwind.co.uk/Pages/Dowindturbinesaffecthouseprices.aspx
People have become motivated to explore the topic of Anthropogenic Global Warming for many reasons, sometimes starting from a passing interest, as in my case. It intrigued me in about 2007 to find that the UK was proposing to create an act of parliament entitled the ‘Climate Change Act’. Anyone with a background in technology and the numerate sciences, might take this Act to mean that it was something to provide extra funds and preparedness for what we had already experienced by way of climate effects. The consequences of cold winters, flooding, low rainfall, coastal erosion, had been long understood and mainly been countered by experience. Whilst there were hazards from the UK climate, surely very little would be required to improve on protection?