Inshore or offshore? That's the energy choice question
WINDFARMS – a vital source of clean energy or an unnecessary blot on the landscape?
It is a question that I have been pondering quite a bit in the past week, after covering a public meeting in Tetney organised by a group campaigning against proposed wind turbine developments in the Marsh villages of Lincolnshire.
It was no surprise that of all the people there I spoke to, every single one was strongly opposed to wind turbines going up close to their villages.
They are "horrid" said one, "disgusting" said another, while someone else said they would result in the "rape of the natural landscape."
2 4 1 on all items on the steak and grill menu served monday to saturday
Monday - Saturday 12noon - 8pm
cheapest item credited for free
Management reserve the right to withdraw the offer at anytime.
not to be used in conjunction with anyother offer.
Contact: 01472 808799
Valid until: Saturday, June 15 2013
One man suggested that they would probably drive down property prices, while one woman bemoaned that they would be visible from her kitchen window.
It would be easy to dismiss such comments as the predictable cries of Nimbys, who think their view of the Lincolnshire Wolds is more important than the country's long-term energy security – not to mention the potential for economic growth in the Humber region.
As if to highlight the point, just a few pages on from my report of the Tetney meeting was a plea by Great Grimsby MP Austin Mitchell – illustrated by a picture of a wind turbine – calling on the Government to commit to wind power.
But is the situation quite as simple as that? I'm not so sure.
It was striking that so many of the residents talked about how allegedly inefficient and ineffective wind power is as a form of energy.
Time and again I was told how countries, such as Germany and Holland, had stopped building wind turbines because they were such a waste of time and money, and how shale gas was the answer to the country's energy needs.
To my mind, the fact that they were engaging with the wider energy debate gave a bit more credibility to their objections, although ironically, experienced anti-windfarm campaigner Melvin Grosvenor advised them that to oppose a planning application on those grounds would be a case of blowing in the wind.
But then again if residents are so incensed at the thought of tax payers' and fuel bill payers' money being wasted on subsidising allegedly inefficient industries, why did some of them say they had no problem with offshore windfarms when these are far more expensive to build than the onshore variety?
Captain was pitched for a walk-out
INDIAN cricket captain MS Dhoni last week found himself at the centre of a bizarre row over the pitch for the third test match against England.
When Dhoni made it clear he wanted a dry and dusty pitch to assist his side's array of spin bowlers, the Kolkata groundsman said such a move would be "immoral" and threatened to walk out.
A bit of an overreaction you might think, given that the same ploy had resulted in a thumping England victory in the previous test match at Mumbai.
And you would be right. Because this was certainly not the first time that a pitch has been prepared to suit the home side – nor was it the first time that such a tactic has backfired horribly.
For the first Ashes test of 1993, England asked the Old Trafford groundsman to prepare a dry pitch to help the spinners, believing this was the one department in which they held the upper hand over their Australian opponents.
But when a previously unheard of young leg spinner called Shane Warne sent down the "ball of the century" with his first delivery in Ashes cricket – on his way to becoming the greatest spin bowler the game has ever known – England's game plan was in ruins.
Leader in death threat over closure bid
COUNCIL leader Chris Shaw revealed that he recently received a death threat over the authority's plans to close Scartho Baths.
But rather than being alarmed by this rather unsavoury correspondence, Councillor Shaw expressed bemusement that he hadn't received a similar threat over the parking permits saga. He had, after all, been sent one for proposing to charge residents £25 a year to have their garden waste collected – a policy that was later dropped.
I suppose it just goes to show that some people really will kill to recycle.