Cohocton Wind Watch: The Wind Farm Scam by John Etherington
Cohocton Wind Watch is a community citizen organization dedicated to preserve the public safety, property values, economic viability, environmental integrity and quality of life in Cohocton, NY and in surrounding townships. Neighbors committed to public service in order to achieve a reasonable vision for a Finger Lakes region worthy of future generations.

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Friday, October 02, 2009

The Wind Farm Scam by John Etherington

The spectre of global warming and the political panic surrounding it has triggered a goldrush for renewable energy sources without an open discussion of the merits and drawbacks of each.

In The Wind Farm Scam Dr Etherington argues that in the case of wind power the latter far outweigh the former. Wind turbines cannot generate enough energy to reduce global CO2 levels to a meaningful degree; what’s more wind power is by nature intermittent and cannot generate a steady output, necessitating back-up coal and gas power plants that significantly negate the saving of greenhouse gas emissions.

In addition to the inefficacy of wind power there are ecological drawbacks, including damage to habitats, wildlife and the far-from-insignificant aesthetic drawback of the assault upon natural beauty and the pristine landscape, which wind turbines entail.

Dr Etherington argues that wind power has been, and is being, excessively financed at the cost of consumers who have not been consulted, nor informed that this effective subsidy is being paid from their bills to support an industry that cannot be cost efficient or, ultimately, favour the cause it purports to support.

The following national organisations are campaigning against wind farms:


NAWAG - the National Alliance of Wind Farm Action Groups. E-mail

John Etherington - THE AUTHOR: John Etherington was a Reader in Ecology at the University of Wales, Cardiff. Since his retirement from the University in 1990, he has devoted himself to researching the implications of intermittently available renewable electricity generation, in particular wind power. He is a Thomas Huxley Medallist at the Royal College of Science and a former co-editor of the International Journal of Ecology.


Anonymous Tony Parker said...

By John Etherington

Thank goodness for this timely contribution. As a professional engineer and academic I was recently faced with the task of educating myself and fellow villagers on the numerous issues surrounding industrial wind turbines. We needed to rapidly acquire and assimilate the information on turbine capital costs, electrical output, revenue streams, subsidies (including the Alice-in-Wonderland ‘renewables obligation certificates’), health issues (particularly noise) and claimed contributions to carbon-reduction.

All this was required to counter the ‘steamroller’ tactics of developer and lobby groups, both apparently determined to despoil the new South Downs National Park landscape and (as it transpired) to charge us for the privilege! We spent many weeks collating information, then promulgating to residents and planning authorities and at public inquiry. Dr. Etherington’s monograph would have dramatically eased and speeded our learning experience.

Etherington’s book will surely come to be recognised as the immediate source of reference for communities such as ours when faced with proposals for industrial wind turbine farms. From painful experience our community now knows that they are indeed a ‘scam’.

Hopefully ‘The Wind Farm Scam’ will also be required reading for all MPs in the 2010 intake; particularly so for ministers who thus far have failed spectacularly to grasp the scientific and environmental issues which John Etherington so adeptly assembles and analyses.

It is no exaggeration to say that none of our legislators (with the honourable exception of Lord Lawson) has thus far grasped the futility of wind turbine economics. If appropriate early action is taken to modify current policies it would save our nation tens of billions of pounds that we can ill afford - and all this with no harm to the environment!

We all owe Dr. Etherington a debt of gratitude for his timely publication – let us not waste the opportunity to revise our strategy.

Dr. Tony Parker
East Sussex, UK

10:53 AM  

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