Would Newton have got the pip over turbine bid?

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THE Journal headline article (September 21), expressing serious concerns at the prospect of proliferation of local wind turbines, has triggered a predictable reaction from the wind farm zealots – exemplified by columnist Jacob Stuart and reader Mr E. Tree (Journal, September 28).

Jacob Stuart cites a paper from the Universities of Stanford and Delaware (we are not told who funded the ‘research’) claiming that half the world’s energy needs COULD be provided by wind turbines – so a definite ‘maybe’ there. He conveniently ignores the fact that more than 14,000 of massively subsidised USA turbines, built in the 1980s, are either abandoned and rusting, or being expensively removed because of their basic inefficiency and, more significantly, because the subsidies dried up.

Mr E. Tree’s wish to be a “world leader” in wind technology should be consigned to his “wishy-washy negatives” box, since the overwhelming majority of turbines installed in the UK are from foreign manufacturers, and without the current, outrageous subsidies, no smart businessman or landowner would entertain them.

Neither of the wind farm proponents mentions the various other renewable energy options (wave, tide, hydro etc) which are much more efficient and dependable. If Mr E. Tree is concerned about saving the planet, does he not realise that the UK only produces two per cent of global emissions, so why bankrupt ourselves, destroy wildlife and deface our countryside?

Jacob Stuart wants us to follow in Isaac Newton’s footsteps, but, according to Stephen Hawking, there were two sides to Newton’s character. He was undoubtedly a colossus in terms of theoretical physics, but would he have subsidised a wind turbine alongside that apple tree in Woolsthorpe Manor? I think not.