Monday, 18 April 2011

The Aliens of Fullabrook Down

From the window of my cottage I can see strange shapes appearing day by day. Three miles, as the crow flies, the horizon's flat shape is changing into a tower of obelisk proportions. At first, a monolith, soon joined by massive wings, and now today the wings are threefold. Put together with the ease of an Airfix model.  Giant propellers front this beast, put there to collect the wind to heat and light our homes...
I was curious, so I set off on my motorcycle to see for myself what these gigantic objects looked like close up, and, on my travels would I come across anyone who had an opinion on these turbines, or any scientific knowledge about the uses, potential and merits of this phenomena? In fact, I did, by a strange chance, meet the very man responsible for initiating, and or, designing these wind turbines, and our conversation was most enlightening and carried out in a friendly manner. He informed me that he had worked at Sellafield (Windscale) and the Hinckley Point Nuclear Power Stations, and had put forward his plans for this alternative energy site some 23-years ago! The constant litigation had ruined him and he had lost most of his friends. Politicians encouraged him to pursue his plans but  when it came to the crunch (election time) they had turned their backs on him.  What had he learnt from all of this: "The cussedness of human nature..." He has nothing to gain from this but the knowledge that his obstinacy and self-belief realized his dream, or the beginning of a nightmare in the countryside.  There is of course, another side as well if you read the endless Blogs and Comments on Google, the proposals made by the National Parks, and the like.
In this climate of political spin, questionable scientific data and spivs seeking the Main Chance.  What truth can we expect from our local and national politicians and do they represent our interests, or are they too, smitten, seduced by the riches of political endeavour?  Perhaps, we are ourselves to blame for being too passive, for not following our passions, our instincts? Should we take to the streets and protest...?
Surely we all realize (after seeing the horrific events in Japan) that we need an alternative to Nuclear Power?  What cost must we put up with to realize constant energy? A few wind turbines on the skyline that interrupts our view of this "green and pleasant land" is surely worth the sacrifice to bring warmth and light into our homes?
The First Wind Turbine to be installed
Is it not a beautiful object? Some aesthetes would argue that it is indeed fine and true, and clean and forthright. An architectural monument of perfection. Others would say it is a "Blot On The Landscape".

Whatever our opinion (which rarely counts for anything) these 23-24 objects are here to stay, and stay they will across a very wide area. I am told there are at least 6 farms involved, and all will merrily be counting the pound notes, very soon....and, there are quiet rumours that "Land Fill" is a future option, too.
But, the debate goes further and way beyond the windswept hills of Fullabrook Down. Does the government have any clear policy on Alternative Energy? The Tidal, Hydro-Electric, Hydro Genetic solutions, Thermal and Pulse Energy sources have been largely ignored by the bureaucrats and financiers. The oil and nuclear (read Military) lobbyists continue to win the day. Why would the Treasury risk loosing millions of pounds worth of revenue to Hydogen generated vehicles  (designed 50 years ago) and other "silly" ideas? And, are we naive to believe that sense will prevail? All eyes will be on Japan - How will they deal with the alternatives? You can bet that human ingenuity will determine a way to overcome these problems but how long before the Chaos Theory prevails, and in effect do these objects not resemble Butterflies?

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