Nothing definite yet, just a hunch, but any day now I reckon, I shall be on the receiving end of a lengthy litany submitted to the Press Complaints Commission by one of the most loathsomely vile and leprous organisations it has ever been my misfortune to share a country with. I refer, of course, to the wind industry's propaganda arm: RenewableUK.
Why am I expecting a PCC complaint? Only because it's the kind of thing RenewableUK does, all too often, to anyone who has the temerity to tell the truth about the wind industry, which is that it's so noisome, greedy, destructive, repellant and wrong in pretty much every conceivable way that it makes the land-mine industry look about as soft and cuddly as a firm specialising in organic, ethically-sourced teddy bears for children in Great Ormond Street hospital.
The other day, for example, I wrote an extensively researched, carefully documented article showing how – contrary to the wind farm industry's claims – the Low Frequency Noise and intermittent whumping sounds made by wind turbines can cause serious health problems to people living even more than two kilometres away from them. I described this as the biggest public health scandal of our age – which I believe it is. RenewableUK won't have liked this.
Nor will it have liked the article I wrote in the Spectator about the disastrous effects wind farms have on property prices – and which I shall cover in more detail in a future blog post, not neglecting to mention the role played in this shabby episode by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. RenewableUK won't have liked this either. (I would link to the Spectator piece but now its behind a paywall this stuff is much harder to locate)
Will RenewableUK have been given due cause to make a complaint by either of these articles? It won't need one. If past precedent is anything to go by, what it will do is simply grumble vociferously about every point raised, furiously denying that any of the outrageous claims are true. Then, once I've been forced to waste about two days of my working week – unpaid, of course – preparing a defence with the lawyer, demonstrating that every point is in fact demonstrably true, RenewableUK will then demand a right of a reply anyway.
More often than not they get away with. The other day, for example, the Express ran an excellent piece similar to my one talking about the awful health impacts of wind farms. At the bottom, mysteriously, was a screed from RenewableUK's deputy CEO – one Maf Smith – making sundry extravagant claims to demonstrate that wind energy is in fact great.
I don't remotely blame the Express for this. I think it just goes to show how bullying and demanding and querulous RenewableUK can be. But their cheek and arrogance is extraordinary. Can you imagine the Vegetarian Society demanding a right of reply every time a newspaper runs a meat recipe? Are the City pages expected to run a statement from the Workers Revolutionary Party decrying capitalism next to the day's share prices?
I think it's about time we recognised RenewableUK (formerly the British Wind Energy Association) for what it is: an extremely well-funded lobby group which slants the truth in favour of a powerful vested interest. Or, as Bishop Hill puts it, a "self-help group for subsidy junkies". Adding insult to injury, it's ultimately not the wind industry that pays for all this propaganda telling us how great wind power is: it's us – the taxpayers and energy users. We, after all are the ultimate source of Big Wind's dodgy earnings: through Renewable Obligation Certificates, through Feed In Tariffs, through subsidies, through taxes we are the people subsidising this massive scam.