Polly Toynbee's article in today's Guardian about wind farms makes interesting reading. NIMBYs are usually more of a bother than a benefit, since bad things (out of town supermarkets, nuclear power stations, airport expansions, etc) get pushed through anyway while good things get blocked. Wind farms are a case in point.
Being anti-wind farm is the default Tory position, whatever David Cameron may say. I've seen this effect myself with my parents. While naturally quite green, being paid-up Conservative members and reading the Telegraph and Spectator have taken their toll. They now have the strange flat-Earth style faith in bad science that Polly describes in the article. I guess it's inevitable if you just believe the right-wing press, but it bothers me that the Conservatives pretty much brainwash their members. 'Group think' and all that. Of course, the power of the right does come from ignorance and fear, but allowing this to help destroy the planet is going too far.
So, what are we to do? As the article says, a firm hand from Westminster is a good idea. It saddens me to see that some LibDem councils are just as bad and block wind farms too - they should be slapped-down for it. However, discipline from parties themselves doesn't go far enough. I think that wind farms and green energy in general should be made almost impossible for local councils to block. This sounds quite draconian, but let's face it, most people won't want one on their doorstep. It doesn't matter that they wouldn't want a nuclear power station either - those are so universally unpopular that they get forced through anyway. No, I'm afraid to say that where politicians depend on rural votes then there is a risk that they will block wind farms whatever they think of the environmental benefits. If they are forced through by the government then the council won't lose votes since they can't block them anyway. Problem solved.
While people are dithering about with tiny numbers of wind farms we're still killing the planet. It's time to get serious about building them on a massive scale. In the end, who cares what they look like if it means we are getting clean energy? Better that than global warming or a legacy of nuclear waste left for the next thousand generations.