Friday, May 19, 2006

An anti-wind-power conspiracy?

Today's Sydney Morning Herald has an interesting article about the misinformation campaign to discredit windpower in Australia:
Leaked minutes from a meeting in the chilly confines of Canberra's political corridors show the Prime Minister had called on some of Australia's biggest contributors to global warming - including the coal and uranium miners Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton - to help the Government devise a way to pull the rug from under the wind industry, but still be seen to be tackling climate change.
It also contains a run-down on the myths and truth about windpower.


Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

It is a shame with the energy crisis that our nation faces the Sen. Kennedy puts his own desires above the greater good! We need to take advantage of wind power as it is an environmentally friendly energy source!

HDZ said...

Wind power is "philosophically" tricky.

It falls slap bang into the interface beween "environment" and "conservation" arguments.

The opponents of the schemes (if we exclude big oil conspiracy arguments) are generally "conservationists" who don't want local beauty spoiled.

The proponents of the scheme are businesses who hope to make money out of one of the most environmentally friendly energy generation processes.

This troubles some environmentalists who (a) recognise that wind power is envirionmentally friendly, but (b) have problems with the fact that wind power works best on a large scale when linked into a regional/national grid (which offends their "small is better" / "act local" mentality) and (c) have a traditional affinity with the "conservation movement".

chris said...

From a conservation standpoint, I'd say think a windfarm has a minimal impact locally; very small amount of land actually affected by installation etc.

I know the 'small is better / act local' mentality is popular among environmentalists, but I think that largely derives from the grass-roots nature of their work. From a practical standpoint, a large project like a windfarm is going to need a company with many resources to pull it off.

I think the opposition is mostly due to aesthetic reasons disguised as conservation. The land allocated to windfarms would be of no interest to property developers.. (committed conservationists that they are)