We could have been spared the turbines

Ithink it outrageous that Friends of the Earth appear prepared to compromise aircraft safety for their beloved wind turbines.

Ithink it outrageous that Friends of the Earth appear prepared to compromise aircraft safety for their beloved wind turbines. (The Journal, August 25).

They say that the North-East is not positive about the environmental and economic benefits of turbines.

I wish someone would tell me what they are. The reports I read roundly condemn them as a waste of money.

The recent report on the Scroby offshore wind farm at Yarmouth, for instance. Thirty huge turbines cost £67m and only produced 28.9% of what they were built to provide (Scotland On Sunday, August 13) This was the ideal place to build, we were told: shallow seas and constant wind would supply countless homes while hundreds of tons of emissions would be prevented. It would even become a tourist attraction.

The excuse for the appalling results from E.ON-UK, who built the wind farm, have been that some gearboxes had to be replaced and lessons had been learned. I think we are the ones that need to learn lessons.

Is anyone seriously going to tell me these turbines will produce anything like £67m worth of electricity over their estimated life of 25 or so years? It will probably take years to catch up on the energy consumed during the wind farm's construction; then it will need dismantling.

If that huge sum of money had been spent on measures that actually work, it could have saved much more energy than produced at Scroby, eg low energy bulbs, assistance to install solar panels and so on. Of course, these don't have the same visual impact.

Everybody can see turbines: they look as though they work, give an impression that something is being done about global warming and most people accept them at face value. Appearances, it seems, are more important than reality.

If the Government had commenced building nuclear power stations when they came to office, they would now be nearing completion. I fear that the clamorous protests of minority groups has delayed the decision being made, and we are consequently going to have the worst of both worlds, nuclear power stations and wind turbines, vainly trying to plug the gap until they are built. We could have been spared the turbines.

In the meantime we are threatened with power cuts and the possibility of industry closing down every winter, due to energy shortages.

All wind turbines are useless when there is high pressure and no wind over the whole country.

It surely follows that we must have an alternative means of producing 100% of our needs in situations like these. Consequently turbines will not prevent a single power station, nuclear or otherwise, being built or maintained, nor reduce emissions from them, since they have to be kept constantly on standby in case the wind drops.

J HAGGIE, West Rainton, County Durham

Myths and lies of wind power supporters

WIND farms don't make noise; it is a myth that wind farms influence property values; light flicker through turbine blades is not annoying; no bird would be stupid enough to fly into a wind turbine; wind turbines are magnificent sculptural entities which enhance nature's boring landscapes; and so on.

We are told such things repeatedly. Indeed, the Department of Trade and Industry has a website entitled "Ten myths explained about wind power", which includes several such assertions. Has any Government department previously promoted a single private industry in this way?

Similar stories are told by governments and the wind power industry throughout the world, but the whole monstrous lie is blown apart in a letter sent this month by the Noble Environmental Power company of Churubusco, New York State, to neighbours of Noble's wind power developments. The letter offers a Windpark Border Easement Agreement which would pay the owner, or any future owner, of the neighbouring property "an annual easement fee".

Now, why would a wind power company wish to pay its neighbours for the pleasure of living beside a wind factory, which does nothing but enhance the local landscape?

Or is it true that most people do not like these 400ft machines, that property values really are reduced and the turbines save next to no carbon dioxide emission?

Dr JOHN ETHERINGTON, Llanhowell, Pembrokeshire.

Executive should be encouraged to get out

IDISAGREE with Geoff Humble's critical comments about Northumberland County Council's executive having a hospitality marquee at the recent Jools Holland concert at Alnwick Castle (Voice of the North, August 23).

We should encourage the executive to get out from their plush office suites, the new computers and the endless round of civic entertaining to cross the A1 on a fact finding mission. At least it is still in our county and not the usual trip abroad.

They could see why the A1 needs dualling. They also may have encountered some of the many potholes in the other roads that have benefited from their halving of the highways budget to pay for the new schools that they are going to build.

There will be a lot of concerts before they see any new schools west of the A1! Let's have more Jools concerts in the rural parts of our county and get our council leaders out into the areas they rarely see.

RICHARD DODD, Belsay, Northumberland

Patience and respect for other drivers needed

YOUR correspondent B Mayer is incorrect to say that drivers should observe the speed limit and travel at 60mph (Voice of the North, August 25).

The speed limit is exactly what it says: a maximum speed limit, not the speed at which you are supposed to drive.

Indeed, the writer should refer to the Highway Code which clearly states "you must not exceed the speed limit" and "a speed limit does not mean it is safe to drive at that speed". Furthermore it goes on to state: "Don't treat speed limits as a target. It won't always be safe to drive at that limit."

The difference in time between driving between Prudhoe and Newcastle at 45mph and 60mph is very small.

Perhaps a little patience and respect for other drivers who do not always want to "live on the edge" would be appropriate.

B STEPHENSON, Forest Hall, Newcastle

Stunning photographs published by Journal

MANY of the photographs of the North-East and Cumbria published with Voice of the North are simply stunning.

The ones of the butterflies (The Journal, Thursday, August 24) taken by The Journal's photographer Tim McGuinness and reader James Foggin were superb. The mix from your contributors has been excellent, with many "jewels in the crown" of our heritage under the spotlight.

What about someone collating the collection of photographs and publishing a book of the best? An idea for the Christmas present list!

CHRIS ROBINSON, Gosforth, Newcastle

Sad to see animals tied to posts

EVERY time I have been to the Royal Quays in North Shields in the last year there have been animals tied to posts or caged or hemmed in.

It makes me feel very sad. We have asked my mum if we cannot go to the Royal Quays, but she has told me to ask the people in charge:

1) Which days are the animals there?

2) Which days are the animals not there?

We want to shop on the days the animals are not there.

TOM PARKER (aged 8), Wylam, Northumberland

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