Saturday, 9 March 2013
Why we should boycott stately homes to defend renewable energy
Green energy activists should now be considering boycotting stately homes now that the National Trust and English Heritage appear to have launched a campaign to defeat large numbers of windfarm applications near their assets by virtually any legal means possible. They have been successful in overturing a Government decision to grant planning consent to a windfarm in Northamptonshire. This is significant because they persuaded the High Court to overturn a decision made by a Government Appeal Inspector. If this was about birds, ecosystems, or even serious threats to human wellbeing I would be less annoyed, but it seems to me that these so-called defenders of our environment are using their power and resources to defend not ecology or people's welfare but their own misconceived commercial interests coloured in many instances by a conservative antipathy to wind power. See some detail in the the press releases:
Given that the fact that the National Trust is now Chaired by a longstanding opponent of windfarms, Sir Simon Jenkins, we can be sure that this is at least partly driven by ideological objections to windfarms, as well as misplaced commercial notions. Simon Jenkins is welcome to hold his views, but equally, if the National Trust and English Heritage are so determined to put their resources into mounting such legal challenges to windfarms then green energy supporters are equally welcome to boycott visits to stately homes and other ornamental ventures run by these organisations.
The new Director General of the National Trust, Dame Helen Ghosh, claims that she finds windfarms beautiful....so long as they are not close to National Trust assets! If that is not a blatant admission to Nimbyism I don't know what is!
She claims her views are different to Simon Jenkins. I think that actions speak much louder than words and that the actions her organisation is taking represent a serious blow to wind power since they can only but delay windfarms in general by encouraging more groups to take to the High Court to try to stop windfarms that they do not like. It is not as if this was an isolated case. The National Trust appear to be gearing up for a major legal campaign against windfarms. In doing so they form part of what is a concerted campaign against windfarms being waged by various largely conservative led councils and many Conservative MPs.
I for one will be steering well clear of visiting stately homes run by the National Trust. The National Trust are wrong to think that windfarms are a threat to their income. Indeed, we should give the National Trust reason to believe that their income stream will in fact be harmed by their anti-windfarm stance. I would urge other people who want renewable energy to prosper to boycott stately homes.