MR Brown's lament about the rationale for wind turbines misses so many points it is hard to know where to start.
Far from being useless the latest independent review for the Government of wind energy's contribution so far concludes that "onshore wind is a mature, low carbon cost effective technology which can be deployed at scale now, and can play a vital role as part of a flexible energy mix". I know this does not square with the way those with similar views to Mr Brown have presented them on these pages. Unfortunately they use a tactic which is effective in making clever sounding points in debate but not for strategy analysis for the real world.
Let us review the performance of cars in the way they have presented the facts on wind turbines. Cars spend most of their time being completely unproductive. When they are used they operate very inefficiently most of the time because that is all that driving conditions allow. They are unable to get me up my stairs to bed. What is more, the people that sell them are only in it for the money. Therefore we should not have them here.
I think the basis on which most analyse the value of cars is their capacity to provide a unique role as part of our transport needs. Along with walking, cycling, rail, bus, tractor etc. they are an important part of a mixed transport strategy that allows us to be flexible, productive and have a better quality of life than generations before. Similarly, wind power is productive and effective by harnessing wind energy when it is available as part of a broad mixed energy strategy, each complimenting the other (including smoothing the fluctuations in wind power generation), as has been described before on these pages. What is more, the cost per unit of wind energy is tumbling, with costs paid to wind power generators falling each year.
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As for the idea that the only reason to reduce carbon emissions is to be nice to others in developing countries, I can only think back to a previous correspondent's accusation and that Mr Brown is "wilfully misguided". His suggestion that I do not care for the beauty of this area could not be more wrong either. But the boundaries in which Mr Brown asks us to consider protecting that beauty puts us all at unnecessary risk.
This is not sitting around the camp fire singing Kumbaya. This is about getting the best climate change outcome for the current and future generations of Mendip and Somerset. Mr Brown's comments suggest he is reluctant to achieve that.