Stop Debating the Wind Industry & Start Destroying It

wind_turbine_fire

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 scams, like the mandatory LRET (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 LRET, 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.

In some parts of the US, the wind industry has only just begun to infiltrate and destroy communities, so their members can be forgiven for being less battle-hardened than STT’s well-drilled, long-term followers, as this one-sided piece from Vermont reveals.

Turbine meetings spark opposition
The Commons
Mike Faher
23 March 2016

WINDHAM – A proposed 28-turbine wind project has grown so contentious, even the format of public meetings spurs vehement debate.

As international wind developer Iberdrola Renewables continues to refine plans for what could be Vermont’s largest turbine site, the company has scheduled public “technical workshops” for April 5 in Grafton and April 6 in Windham.

“The goal of the public meetings … is to share information gleaned from site-specific evaluations of the Stiles Brook tract by the experts performing the actual scientific studies,” Iberdrola spokesman Paul Copleman said.

But opposition groups in both towns are criticizing that format. Rather than the informational booths Iberdrola is planning, the Friends of Windham and Grafton Woodlands Group have lobbied instead for a “panel discussion” that features advocates on both sides of the debate.

Iberdrola representatives say they’ve worked hard to engage residents in the proposed project.

But wind-power critics see the company’s efforts as an attempt to “control the conversation” rather than inform the public.

“We are shocked that they are proposing yet another meeting where free exchange of information and ideas will be not just discouraged but crudely squelched,” wrote Nancy Tips on behalf of the Friends of Windham.

It’s been nearly four years since Iberdrola administrators first disclosed that they were interested in building wind turbines within the 5,000-acre Stiles Brook Forest. The land lies in both Windham and Grafton and is owned by New Hampshire-based Meadowsend Timberlands Ltd.

In October, Iberdrola detailed its preliminary plans for a 96.6-megawatt project that would place 20 turbines in Windham and eight in Grafton. The company also projected a combined $1 million in annual tax payments to the towns.

Meadowsend has offered environmental and economic reasons for supporting the project, saying turbines would allow the property to continue functioning as a working landscape that allows for public access. More information from those backing the project is available at http://www.stilesbrookforest.com.

But the opposition groups have raised concerns about health, environmental, aesthetic and property value impacts, organizing a series of public meetings held periodically in Grafton. Wind critics have established their own website at http://graftonwindhamwind.org.

Officials in Windham also have pointed to their town plan, which opposes large turbines. That document will be considered in eventual state permitting for the Stiles Brook project.

Iberdrola administrators say they “have been working to provide answers to some of the highly technical questions we have been asked,” and the April 5 and 6 workshops are meant to disclose some of the company’s findings thus far.

The meetings are scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m. and will be held at each town’s elementary school. Topics include “initial sound assessments, visuals, delivery route evaluation surveys and the continuation of wildlife and environmental studies,” Iberdrola’s new community newsletter says.

Copleman said the delivery route study focuses on how construction vehicles and equipment would get to the turbine site, “as those possible routes are naturally a question we field frequently from folks in the community.” The Vermont Agency of Transportation provides guidance on that topic, he added.

In response to Iberdrola’s meeting announcement, Friends of Windham and Grafton Woodlands Group members released a letter written to Jenny Briot, a senior business developer with the company. The letter is dated March 4, which is after Iberdrola’s mailing announcing the workshops was distributed.

“We are concerned that the format allows for the information to be presented from only one point of view,” the letter says. “As you know, there are several points of view regarding whether the placement of wind turbines is appropriate in the Stiles Brook Forest.”

The letter, signed by Tips and three members of Grafton Woodlands Group, instead suggests a panel discussion that would include Iberdrola’s representatives as well as “an equal number of subject-matter experts, consultants and advocates with no personal stake in the Stiles Brook Forest project.”

That’s apparently not going to happen, leading to a stiff rebuke issued last week by the opposition groups. “How many times can (Iberdrola administrators) tell us one thing, and then do another?” Tips wrote. “Many people in our communities don’t trust Iberdrola and are unwilling to allow them to control the conversation.”

Copleman objected to that characterization.

“This information builds on the information communicated with the communities of Grafton and Windham in the eight previous public meetings and roughly dozen newsletters that we’ve delivered,” he said. “We will be certain to provide ample time for those in attendance to ask questions of the presenters as well as Iberdrola Renewables employees.”

Beyond the argument over the upcoming meetings’ format, wind critics contend Iberdrola’s announcement “contributes to community distrust” by furthering a pattern of misleading information released by the company.

For example, they point to confusion over Iberdrola’s Stiles Brook filings with ISO New England, which administers the regional power grid. Iberdrola last year withdrew its initial ISO interconnection application, with administrators saying they needed to adjust the filing due to the inclusion of newer, larger turbines in project plans.

According to an e-mail submitted by Tips, Briot asserted in late November that the ISO application “will be filed … this week.” But that never happened, leading some to wonder whether the Stiles Brook project had been set back or even canceled.

Iberdrola now is tying the ISO application to community sentiment: The company’s latest newsletter says there will be no interconnection reapplication unless local voters support the Stiles Brook in votes expected later this year.

Copleman characterized that as a business decision, noting that an ISO application is an involved process with time and cost considerations. And he said delaying the reapplication is not expected to significantly change Iberdrola’s proposed project schedule, which calls for construction in 2019.

“If we’re fortunate enough to win the vote in the fall, there’s still a multiyear process that remains,” Copleman said. “So there’s time within that to complete the ISO process.”
The Commons

Spanish wind conquistadors, Iberdrola are out to destroy Vermont’s verdant hills and valleys for one reason, and for one reason only: and that’s to get at US wind power subsidies.  Back on their home turf, an economically crippled Spanish government retrospectively slashed subsidies for wind power, almost 2 years ago, and since then, Iberdrola hasn’t erected a single wind turbine on Spanish soil.

Below, we set out a useful guide on how to deal with the criminals, chances and shysters that people the wind industry from John Droz.

But, if you’re willing to sit around in town halls, listening to well-rehearsed liars, wasting your breath in pointless efforts to reason with sociopaths, then why not hit them with three very simple questions?

Now, we’ve dumbed them down – noting that Iberdrola’s former second-hand car salesmen have been hard pressed “to provide answers to some of the highly technical questions” that they have been asked. Here they are – along with the correct answers:

1. You say your wind farm will ‘power XX,000 homes’, so what powers those homes when the wind stops blowing?

[A: 100% of every wind farm’s nameplate capacity is backed up 100% of the time from conventional, dispatchable generation sources: coal, gas, hydro and nuclear, in that order.  And don’t buy the line about the “wind is always blowing somewhere”: it isn’t – see our posts here and here]

2. Why, after more than 25 years, is the wind industry incapable of operating without $billions in permanent subsidies (renewable energy certificates, tax credits etc) guaranteed by governments and paid for by taxpayers and/or power consumers?

[A: wind power doesn’t run on wind, it runs on an endless stream of subsidies, without which there would be no wind industry full stop – see our posts here and here]

3. Will your company willingly shut down its turbines at night-time when the low-frequency noise and infrasound they generate is destroying the ability of me and my family to rest and sleep comfortably in our own home?

[A: never.  In the absence of a court order we will operate around the clock, with complete impunity, hiding behind a set of irrelevant noise rules, written by us, and with the willing assistance of planning authorities and government agencies, which we practically own – see our posts here, here, and here]

If you’re still keen to debate them after you receive their ‘couldn’t care less’ responses to any of the above, you’re probably a glutton for punishment.

If not, then get with the program and get in their faces – challenging their lies with a barrage of facts, like those set out by American Physicist and Environmental Activist, John Droz Jr, which 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

angry-mob

About stopthesethings

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

Comments

  1. Keith Staff says:

    Organise an “open” community forum.
    Advertise well – letter box drop.
    Invite local press, politicians, Shire councillors, — and — the proponent.
    Give selected people 5 minutes to address the audience, with 5 minutes at the END for the proponent, followed by questions.

    The result?
    “The proponent was on the back foot from the opening minutes” one local journalist reported.
    A Local politician who addressed the audience stated “in all my years in politics, I have never come across such a divisive issue in communities as that of wind farms”.

    The proponent refused requests to organise an open forum.
    They said “we prefer to have one-on-one meetings with residents in the area”.
    We all know why.
    So it was up to our small group to take some action. Over 250 attended.

    Organise well.
    Facilitate well.
    Go for it.

  2. I fully agree with John Droz Jr. regarding the focus of a lawsuit. In Ontario we need people who fully understand the issues he raises and people with legal backgrounds to lead this action.
    We need this now. Please share this article with the kind of people who might have the intelligence and wherewithal to work together and organize this sort of lawsuit. I believe Ontario is ready to sue this government.

  3. We totally agree with STT, that “your group will have far more success if you don’t concede that there is any right place for a wind farm, anywhere, ever.”

    Wind Power is a Perpetual Loser: Wherever These Things Get Planted:
    https://stopthesethings.com/2016/02/07/wind-power-is-a-perpetual-loser-wherever-these-things-get-planted/

  4. Reblogged this on citizenpoweralliance.

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