I'm off away to the Lakes for a week of walking and cycling and, being beyond the range of a decent mobile signal let alone wi-fi, its unlikely that anything will get posted until I get back.
Meanwhile however, a letter has appeared in our local paper to which I feel an annoying need to respond. It's about wind farms and you can read it here.
I keep getting this sense that I've been through all this before and I'm now wondering more about my feeling of a need to respond than about the nature of the response itself.
What good will it actually do to go through a point by point rebuttal or even to concede that there are risks associated with wind farms but they're to the health and safety of those who build and maintain them not the nebulous stuff about flicker (Just think how you'd work out for how long for each day the turbine blades and the Sun are going to be lined up, how this depends on your precise location and how often you're likely to be there when it happens). I suspect that "smart-arse strikes again" is the likely response however many suspicious references, from no doubt vested interests, I might care to quote.
One key thing that does come through this letter is the sense of there being some sort of conspiracy. Either our decision makers have been duped by vested interests or they've got vested interests themselves. But conspiracies are hard to undermine with evidence, particularly if all you can show is that there isn't any evidence of a conspiracy because this then becomes evidence of the conspirators ability to cover things up. So, not likely to be much luck there.
My own hypothesis, for what its worth, is that what's important about wind farms is their sheer visibility. For people like me, who take climate change seriously, they're a visible sign of doing something about it. For those who are against them they are a visible reminder of a responsibility that they'd rather not acknowledge. They're a visible reminder that to deal with the threat of climate change we simply can't go on as before.
I think the Tea Party understands full well that dealing with climate change will make it impossible to live as they do now. That's why their first step is to deny that its happening, the second to suggest that the theory isn't actually backed by evidence but has been invented precisely in order to subvert their way of life, the third to selectively pick their own evidence and turn this into myth.
If one excuse, for not doing anything, doesn't work then just pick another.