Friday, July 16, 2004

A chill wind

Peter Simple wrote in the 16 July "End column" of the Daily Telegraph (registration required) about the U.K. plan to 'cover the most attractive parts of the country still remaining with hundreds, if not thousands, of huge, ugly, noisy wind turbines.

'This vile scheme is supported by an unholy alliance of environmentalists and entrepreneurs of the new wind power industry. The motive of the wind industrialists is the same as with any other industry: to make money. As for the environmentalists, they believe that "clean, renewable energy" from wind power will help to diminish "global warming" from conventional methods of electric power generation on which the progress of the economy depends.

'So all our treasured landscapes and our holy and historic places must be sacrificed for the sake of the economy. What is the economy? It is the endless manufacture of more and more objects, some useful but most unnecessary and the proliferation of agencies like television on which they depend, agencies of mental and moral corruption.

'From the sight of wind turbines which, if their supporters have their way, will be inescapable everywhere, we shall be forced to learn the lesson that material convenience and comfort are everything, that our society is based on nothing but gross materialism, and that the few remaining places where people eccentric enough to value natural beauty, quietness and solitude can still experience such things will be spared only under official control, in "national parks" or "areas of outstanding natural beauty", which are merely permitted parts of the industrial system, dependent on the "tourist industry", itself an important part of the economy.

'Thus everything without exception will be organised for the sake of industrial progress as an end in itself, in a world where there is no other end. Wherever we look, in case we have momentarily forgotten, wind turbines will remind us that we are helpless slaves of the industrial system, with no refuge anywhere except in an imaginary "countryside". The real countryside will have been industrialised.

'What shall we do when the wind turbines are everywhere on cliffs and hilltops and the attitude of mind they signify have become compulsory? What kind of a desolate country will be left for us to live in?'