How to Fight the Great Wind Power Fraud

Money Wasted

In this post we documented over 2,000 Anti-Wind Power Fraud groups operating world-wide, fighting to protect their homes, farms, families and communities from being overrun and destroyed by giant industrial wind turbines.

The battles being waged have a common enemy, but the tactics and strategies employed are diverse – and, unfortunately, in some cases play into the hands of wind power outfits, their advocates and apologists.

In Australia, when the battle to save communities began some years back, the usual response from those opposed to wind farms was along the lines of: “we’re all in favour of renewable energy, so long as wind farms are built in the right place”.

Thankfully, it’s a line rarely heard these days as people switch on to the scale and scope of the great wind power fraud – and open their eyes, for the first time, to the phenomenal cost of the subsidies directed at wind power through the mandatory RET (see our post here) – and the impact on retail power prices (see our post here).

Fair minded country people are usually ready to give others the benefit of the doubt; and, not used to being lied to, accepted arguments pitched by wind power outfits about the “merits” of wind power: guff like “this wind farm will power 100,000 homes and save 10 million tonnes of CO2 emissions” (see our post here).

Not anymore.

Apart from the very few farmers that stand to profit by hosting turbines, rural communities have woken up to the fact that wind power – which can only ever be delivered at crazy, random intervals – is meaningless as a power source because it cannot and will never replace on-demand sources, such as hydro, gas and coal. And, as a consequence, that wind power cannot and will never reduce CO2 emissions in the electricity sector. The wind industry has never produced a shred of actual evidence to show it has; and the evidence that has been gathered shows intermittent wind power causing CO2 emissions to increase, not decrease (see our post here and this European paper here; this Irish paper here; this English paper here; and this Dutch study here).

The realisation that the wind industry is built on series of unsustainable fictions has local communities angrier than ever and helps explain the phenomenal numbers opposed to wind farms within those communities: 90% or more in plenty of cases (see our post here).

However, if your group (wherever it is) is still running the line that: “there’s nothing wrong with wind farms just as long as they’re in the right place”, you might as well run up the white flag now. Likewise, if your pitch is based on a proposed wind farm’s negative impact on your visual amenity.

When arguments like these are reduced to their common denominator they’re all based on the “my patch of paradise is special, so go and find somewhere else” proposition.

Wind farm developers have faced that pitch thousands of times in hundreds of places. Their obvious response is that ALL of these places can’t be “special”; governments set up policies to save the planet; therefore, wind farms have to go somewhere, so it may as well be at [insert place name], right next to your place ….

Having stuck with a “wind farms are alright somewhere else” case, pro-community and pro-farming groups find themselves being steamrolled by the combined forces of lying, cheating wind farm developers and corrupt planning systems.

STT thinks your group will have far more success if you don’t concede that there is any right place for a wind farm, anywhere, ever.

STT has hammered the fact that wind power is both an economic and environmental fraud, making it plain that there is never a “right” place for any wind farm: we’d like to think that we’ve got that message across; to the benefit of many, we hope.

While the wind industry in Australia is on its knees, there are plenty of threatened communities here still taking it up to slimy developers and bent planning panels, to make damn sure that the country surrounding their towns, farms and homes remains turbine free.

In any battle, it is always sound practice to settle on a strategy from the beginning and to stick with it, no matter what the enemy throws back.

Fighting planning battles at the local level requires a different strategy than that required to get the Federal government to chop the mandatory RET, where the case to kill the wind industry is largely about subsidies and power prices. However, there are some arguments that will win traction in both forums; such as the absurdity of trying to rely on a power source that has to have 100% of its capacity backed up 100% of the time by conventional generation sources, among others.

If you’re engaged in a local battle, STT thinks that this wrap up from American Physicist and Environmental Activist, John Droz Jr is as good a template as you’ll find.

An Analysis of Anti-Wind Farm Strategies
John Droz Jr
16 May 2009

As a “concerned citizen” I often (probably too frequently) find myself in the situation of trying to fix some type of community problem — like propagating wind power.

Through years of valiant efforts — often successful but sometimes not — one thing I have learned is that being right isn’t enough. As a scientist, this concept is not intuitive to my way of thinking. It generally seems to me that the facts should determine the outcome.

But no, people being people, that often is not what happens.

This had lead me to a greater appreciation of the value of Public Relations. Most people do not understand Public Relations very well, as they confuse it with “advertising”, or categorized as a “pseudo-science” that amounts to a lot of subjective opinions. It’s neither.

I now understand Public Relations as really meaning “effective communication.” Clearly any issue stands a better chance of being resolved when there is better communication.

Public Relations is most applicable at public meetings, Letters to the Editor, websites, etc.

So how does this apply to local groups or environmental organizations who are against industrial wind power?

Since you will be up against well-financed businesses, money-focused politicians, and maybe even well-intentioned (but misinformed) environmental organizations, it is critical that your group employ a well thought out strategy if you have any hope of success — and there HAVE been grassroots groups that were successful in fighting off wind developers.

In my opinion, by far the most important decision that needs to be made is exactly where you want to have the battle, and then carefully controlling things to keep it there.

The problem I see with most groups trying to resist the wind power conglomerate, is that they are fighting the war on the wrong front.

These groups say something like “we will accept wind power if it is sited properly.” Then they work to get “proper siting” to deal with one or more (legitimate) concerns: noise levels, bird flyways, habitat destruction, property devaluation, view setbacks, etc.

In my opinion, this is a MAJOR and usually lethal mistake. Here’s why:

1 – This position amounts to a counter-proposal to the developers: that if the turbines are moved X feet in some direction, then the project will be acceptable. Implicit in that is an admission that wind power really works. This admission is erroneous and is usually fatal.

2 – Once the developers have your acknowledgment that wind power will work (with just a different positioning of turbines), they will then focus on undermining your proposed adjustments. They do this by bringing in their experts who dispute your noise, etc. findings.

The result usually is that it ends up being “He says, She says”. There is almost never a clear cut victory for you on such points — even though you may well be 100% right!

3 – Let’s say that the developer agrees with your objection and moves the wind towers X feet in some direction. Are you saying that this is now a good thing, that these wind towers are now an asset to your community? Hopefully not, but that is also implied with this strategy.

4 – Framing your group’s position as a siting issue gives the appearance (right or wrong) that this is a NIMBY matter. Be assured that the proponents will put it that way.

5 – You are unlikely to get widespread public support using such tactics, because if another community member isn’t personally affected by your issue (e.g. noise levels) then they could probably care less. You need broad public support!

6 – Another problem in garnering public support is presenting multiple, technical issues for average citizens to absorb. What does Joe Public know about acceptable decibel levels?

7 – Going down this path will also likely fracture your group. Some will want certain issues front and center, others will want different ones. This is not a recipe for success.

8 – Even under the best circumstances — that you prove your point (e.g. that in some cases the noise will be too loud), you will then have to deal with their trump card:

Yes that may be so, but we all have to make real sacrifices to save the planet.”

Now what are you going to say? Effectively you’ve lost.

All this happened because of one thing: you fought the wrong battle.

————————————————————————————————————

Let’s start over. Your one position is that you support sound scientific solutions — and wind power is not acceptable as: it fails to deliver the goods.

By this you mean that wind energy:

1) is not a technically legitimate solution for our grid, or to meaningfully reduce CO2, and

2 is not a commercially viable source of energy on its own; and

3) is not environmentally responsible.

Those basic criteria haven’t been selected to make wind power look bad, but are what should be used to evaluate the legitimacy of any proposed new alternative source of energy. You are not against global warming or renewable energy or economic incentives: you are only against proposals that don’t make good scientific sense.

Here are some benefits of this approach:

1 – You are on MUCH stronger technical ground than you would be on any of the secondary issues, as the wind power industry does NOT have proof — anyplace in the world — that CO2 has been materially reduced, or that any coal power plant has been shut down due to wind power added to the grid.

Since there are some 100,000 wind turbines now in operation world wide, such evidence should be plentiful and easy to produce. Maybe it has been too long since I got out of graduate school, but my recollection of how science is supposed to work is this:

When a new idea is proposed as a potential solution of a problem, it is up to the solution proponents to PROVE its efficacy — not the other way around.

Here we have businessmen, investors and politicians proposing wind power as part of an energy “solution” to global warming. So the ball is in their court as to providing independent, objective proof that wind power is a viable solution from all pertinent perspectives. THIS HAS NOT YET HAPPENED, and your group should stay focused on that significant vulnerability of theirs.

2 – Once you fully absorb the understanding that wind power does not work, then you can see the foolishness of saying that it is OK if it is “sited properly.” {Exactly what is proper siting for something that does not work?} Since siting is no longer a major issue, there is an increased likelihood that (if you win) that there will be NO wind project in your community. Isn’t that a MUCH better result than getting one with setbacks?

3 – Once you get your members educated, they can ALL be on the same page. Who would be in favor of something that doesn’t work?

4 – Your group will no longer come across to the public as a fractured collection of malcontents trying to protect some niche area of personal interest.

5 – It will be easier to educate the public on this one issue.

6 – You can still bring in some secondary issues (but only as need be) under the auspices of “wind power is not environmentally responsible because…”.

7 – Taking this approach will less likely result in criticism of your group being NIMBYs.

Saying that you are against something because it doesn’t work, is quite different from saying that you are against it because it’s in your backyard.

8 – You are also less likely to be labeled as anti-green, because you are in favor of green solutions to our energy situation — but wind power isn’t green and isn’t a meaningful solution. There are alternative energy sources that better meet the science/economics/environmental tests much better than wind: like geothermal.

9 – The only good reason to support setbacks is to make them so restrictive that the cost of the project becomes prohibitive and the developer leaves. It is important to do this ONLY after making clear that your position is that wind power does not work. [An excellent example of scientifically based setbacks is from an ordinance in Trempealeau County, Wisconsin. Find this and others at my site <<http://www.wiseenergy.org>>.]

10 – Most importantly of all, the “it doesn’t work” strategy removes the developer’s trump card. There is no “sacrifice for the planet” anymore, as you have proved that his development doesn’t help the planet one whit.

————————————————————————————————————

Hopefully this should show you which path is in your best interest. Let’s say you take my suggestion and fight on the “It doesn’t work” front. Are you still home free?

Almost, but they will likely throw out a new trump card: “OK it may not work, but look at all the money our community will get!”

That’s good as you will have successfully ferreted out the real driving force here: MONEY.

Here’s how to deal with that:

1 – Anticipate this ending, at the beginning. Get your town board (or whoever is advocating this) to make a commitment before you show your hand. Get on the pubic record their answer to your question: “Are you supporting this project because of the global warming benefits, or the money?” It is almost 100% assured that they will say the former.

2 – Now at the end, you bring out their documented position and say that you have addressed their good objective of helping with global warming, and shown that this project does NOT help. Therefore you expect them to be good to their word and not support it.

3 – You can point out the fact that the money that the developer is so generously tossing around is not through his own largess — it is taxpayer money in the first place. Are we really so gullible that we can be bribed with our own money?

4 – Let’s say that they now admit that it’s only all about the money. This is where you put that position in context. “OK, what I hear you say is that you want to bring money into our community — despite the fact that wind power has no other meaningful benefit to anyone, and despite the fact that wind power has proven environmental liabilities. Well then I ask you, since this seems to be your thinking, what’s next?”

“Should we expect that you will be signing us up for a regional landfill? How about a toxic chemical plant? How about a slaughterhouse? Maybe a prison for terrorists? Should we clear-cut all our trees to cash in on their value? Maybe a strip mining operation? How about selling our water to Nestle to bottle? These businesses would also employ people and pay taxes — just like wind power.”

“We live here. We work here. We have brought up our children here. Our life is here. What is at stake here is our quality of life. As our representative, we want to make this very clear: our quality of life is not for sale at any price.”

If done right, this approach will have widespread community support, and that is your best chance for victory.

————————————————————————————————————

Let’s wrap it up here and just say that despite ALL your good efforts that your representatives refuse to listen to reason, and still choose not to do the right thing.

Unfortunately, it happens!

In brief you have two options: a) replace them, or b) sue them.

The obvious way to replace a person who is a poor representative is to vote them out. But how do you do this if they are entrenched in the system, or elections are a long way off?

One strategy that does work is to get them to resign, through public pressure. (Again you only embark on this option after you have exhausted the polite attempts at conversion.)

Another effective tactic is to form a Political Action Committee (PAC). Since this is a legal matter, it is discussed in our Some Legal Options report (see wiseenergy.org).

The good news is that if you have gone about this in the proper way, then you have set the stage for a lawsuit (a latter level recourse) that is likely to be successful.

Because there is a lot to the legal aspect topic, please refer to the aforementioned Some Legal Options report for more information.

Whatever your strategy, to be successful your group must get a sound understanding of the wind power matter before taking on the developers or local politicians.

There is a wealth of applicable information at my web page: <<http://www.wiseenergy.org>>. Please consider the findings of independent, environmentally concerned scientists that are listed at that page, especially “Essential Reading” which also has more links to detailed information.

John Droz, jr.
Physicist & Environmental Activist
Brantingham Lake, NY

1397574371-dublin-thousands-gather-to-protest-against-pylons-and-wind-turbines_4479876

Get angry and get organised.

About stopthesethings

We are a group of citizens concerned about the rapid spread of industrial wind power generation installations across Australia.

Comments

  1. Ian Peterson says:

    Great Article……has any work been done to counter the argument of combined wind, solar & battery projects like the proposed Neoen Crystal Brook Energy Park? I will be affected and I need some help…..PLEASE

  2. This site is the most brilliant site around. It lays bare the greatest fraud of all time: what proponents of infantile renewable scams, like wind power, should do is put their own money where their mouths are – ie if they want power delivered 30% of the time at 4 times the cost of coal and gas, they should pay for it – on their own. And should stop the hypocrisy of happily using established power sources, while railing against the very power sources they despise. Intellectual dishonesty doesn’t cover it.

  3. Reblogged this on How Green Is This.

  4. Absolutely Mr Hayles, then when you posted in 2014 as now 6 months on.

    And don’t forget the Greens who are up to their necks in the tainted money spilling from the ‘sustainable’ trough.

    They have no concern whatsoever regarding the harm done to neighbours affected by acoustic pollution living in despair or having to leave their homes or to the fauna diced and sliced.

    They continue to support a fraud based on a lie because the ongoing green of the corporate wind money clenched in their palms depends on it.

  5. How to get rid of wind power real fast – do not vote for any politician who believes in it !

  6. Martin Hayles says:

    Excellent understanding of a situation where ‘decent’ people wish to appear ‘decent’.
    The wind industry play on this.
    The wind industry has no scruples whatsoever. They have no decency. They are nothing but opportunists.
    They are nothing but ‘about the coin’.

    The point that is made about not wishing to offend the sensibilities of the enemy is nothing more than cowardice.
    Not overt, knowing cowardice, but a weak strategy just the same.

    In any form of warfare to acquiesce, is to accept imminent failure.
    Neville Chamberlain was a great example of acquiescence, to Hitler.
    It has been unfortunate that a great deal of us fear the idea of offence.
    A noble gesture, perhaps, but a weakness just the same.
    The wind industry believe in nothing such as the noble idea of fair play.
    It is why they gave up trying to convince me, after their first attempt, because they realized that I recognized the lie.

    The wind industry is nothing more than a fraud, based upon a lie.

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