Welcome to the Highlands

Welcome to the Highlands, the land of  sparkling Burns, The Heather hughed Glens, High Mountains where the Eagles soar, a land of Deer and Salmon, Kilts and Pipes. The Corbetts, the Grahams and the Monros. A place to revitalise the Spirit and the Soul. This is a land of proud people, people that will give any man the time of day.

But today a certain sadness pervades all. In a desperate drive for fame our politicians have sold Scotland and its wild places to the lowest bidder. The march of the wind factories is heard in the Glens. Tourism for Scotland is dead. Our way of life crushed beneath the greed of mostly foreign adventurers and aided by our Government and Planners.

This is the opportunity for all you to have your say and perhaps we will save something for our children.

The first great requisite of motive power is; that it shall be wholly at our command, to be exerted when, and where, and in what degree we desire.The wind, for instance, as a direct motive power, is wholly inapplicable to a system of machine labour, for during a calm season the whole business of the country would be thrown out of gear.

William Stanley Jevons (1865)

“God never made an ugly landscape. All that sun shines on is beautiful, so long as it is wild.”

— John Muir

“Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is necessity; that mountain parks and reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life.”

— John Muir

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Northern Ireland – The Land of the Turbines

Whilst we fought against wind farms in England, Wales and Scotland, we missed what was happening to Northern Ireland. We know the aggravation of Eire which came somewhat later to the Wind Scam, but whose politicians and councillors have been catching up big time, but we lost site of such as County Tyrone. Now they are reminding us long and loud.

Just look at their web site

Pat Rabbitte, their energy Ministers parrots “this is about Jobs and the Economy”. Where have we heard that before. I don’t see many wind farm factories in Northern Ireland. His arrogance is outstanding. No Pat, this should be about people abut really it is all about money. Northern Ireland’s Politicians and Councillors do not have the best record when it comes to planning and money. Too much is rumoured to have ended in the wrong bank account in the past.

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The latest UN Climate Conference on Maragarita Island, Venezuela

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WASTING AWAY IN MARGARITAVILLE

The recent UN sponsored ‘Climate Change Conference’ in Venezuela (which called for death to capitalism to save us from climate change) was held the at 5-star ‘Hotel Venetur Margarita’ (formerly the Hilton Margarita) on Margarita Island (see attached pictures) which is described as;

“One of the tourist destinations ‘par excellence’ in the world. It is a magical place of warm and varying beaches to suit all tastes.”

You have to hand it to the entrepreneurial skills of the modern socialist – masquerading as environmentalists, they issue edicts calling for the ‘death of capitalism’ to stop ‘global warming’ while basking in the luxuries of a 5-star beachside hotel in the warmth of the tropics.

And as they sit back and down yet another Margarita, (nibbling on sponge cake, watching the sun bake, with all of those tourists covered with oil, smelling those shrimp beginning to boil – apologies to Jimmy Buffett) – they conveniently overlook the fact that socialism has kept the average citizen in the country they are relaxing in, from ever being able to afford to such luxury.

This does prove the oft quoted mantra that it is not Climate Change that interests the environmental bodies but fancy trips to lavish hotels and flown in lobsters and French Champagne. The carbon footprint of all those of the faith to Venezuela would be interesting. If all conferences were held in Bolton or Narsarsuaq, I think Climate would slide down the political agenda like a fireman down a greasy pole(except they don’t now – ‘Elf and Safety!).

 

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Reality dawns, for those who want to listen

Gore Blimey

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Explosion of Ticks and Flies

flies

Tis a bad year for creepy crawlies not helped by a mild winter but the decimation of the bird species by the wind turbines probably has done irrepairable damage which all the experts wont accept until it is too late. Nature operates best in balance. Man interferes at his peril! Many bats thrive on an insect diet. A single bat can eat up to 1,200 mosquito-sized insects every hour, and each bat usually eats 6,000 to 8,000 insects each night. Wind turbines kill a rather staggering 600,000 to 900,000 bats every year. Do the sums! Of course the Green Blob will blame it on Climate Change and in that they are partially correct. Mild winters always result in a balloon of insect life. Climate changes year upon year in the same cyclable way that it has for millenium. That is why in the past we have had good and bad tick years. Some years the Cleggs are an absolute nightmare. Nowadays one Clegg defies the variation and has been a nightmare for the last three years! However that does not suggest the IPCC graph of continuing Change of Climate. It just mean life goes on! What it does question is whether ‘ALUC’ is a more serious concern. Anthropogenic Law of Unintended Consequences. Wind farms were built to provide fossil fuel free energy(?) but  kill bats whose demise destroys the ecological food chain!

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The Green Blob

Patterson_2336409b

Owen Patterson’s article from the Telegraph. If ever you thought the Green Lobbyists are out of control and need immediate investigation by the Charities Commission, this will confirm your worst fears.

Every prime minister has the right to choose his team to take Britain into the general election and I am confident that my able successor at Defra, Liz Truss, will do an excellent job. It has been a privilege to take on the challenges of the rural economy and environment. However, I leave the post with great misgivings about the power and irresponsibility of – to coin a phrase – the Green Blob.

By this I mean the mutually supportive network of environmental pressure groups, renewable energy companies and some public officials who keep each other well supplied with lavish funds, scare stories and green tape. This tangled triangle of unelected busybodies claims to have the interests of the planet and the countryside at heart, but it is increasingly clear that it is focusing on the wrong issues and doing real harm while profiting handsomely.

Local conservationists on the ground do wonderful work to protect and improve wild landscapes, as do farmers, rural businesses and ordinary people. They are a world away from the highly paid globe-trotters of the Green Blob who besieged me with their self-serving demands, many of which would have harmed the natural environment.

I soon realised that the greens and their industrial and bureaucratic allies are used to getting things their own way. I received more death threats in a few months at Defra than I ever did as secretary of state for Northern Ireland. My home address was circulated worldwide with an incitement to trash it; I was burnt in effigy by Greenpeace as I was recovering from an operation to save my eyesight. But I did not set out to be popular with lobbyists and I never forgot that they were not the people I was elected to serve.

Indeed, I am proud that my departure was greeted with such gloating by spokespeople for the Green Party and Friends of the Earth.

It was not my job to do the bidding of two organisations that are little more than anti-capitalist agitprop groups most of whose leaders could not tell a snakeshead fritillary from a silver-washed fritillary. I saw my task as improving both the environment and the rural economy; many in the green movement believed in neither.

Their goal was to enhance their own income streams and influence by myth making and lobbying. Would they have been as determined to blacken my name if I was not challenging them rather effectively?

When I arrived at Defra I found a department that had become under successive Labour governments a milch cow for the Green Blob.

Just as Michael Gove set out to refocus education policy on the needs of children rather than teachers and bureaucrats and Iain Duncan Smith set out to empower the most vulnerable, so I began to reorganise the department around four priorities: to grow the rural economy, to improve the environment, and to safeguard both plant and animal health.

The Green Blob sprouts especially vigorously in Brussels. The European Commission website reveals that a staggering 150 million euros (£119  million) was paid to the top nine green NGOs from 2007-13.

European Union officials give generous grants to green groups so that they will lobby it for regulations that then require large budgets to enforce. When I attended a council meeting of elected EU ministers on shale gas in Lithuania last year, we were lectured by a man using largely untrue clichés about the dangers of shale gas. We discovered that he was from the European Environment Bureau, an umbrella group for unelected, taxpayer-subsidised green lobby groups. Speaking of Europe, I remain proud to have achieved some renegotiations.

The discard ban ends the scandalous practice of throwing away perfectly edible fish, we broke the council deadlock on GM crops, so decisions may be repatriated to member countries and we headed off bans on fracking. Judge me by my opponents.

When I proposed a solution to the dreadful suffering of cattle, badgers and farmers as a result of the bovine tuberculosis epidemic that Labour allowed to develop, I was opposed by rich pop stars who had never been faced with having to cull a pregnant heifer. (Interestingly, very recent local evidence suggests the decline in TB in the cull area may already have begun.)

When I spoke up for the landscapes of this beautiful country against the heavily subsidised industry that wants to spoil them with wind turbines at vast cost to ordinary people, vast reward to rich landowners and undetectable effects on carbon dioxide emissions, I was frustrated by colleagues from the so-called Liberal Democrat Party.

When I encouraged the search for affordable energy from shale gas to help grow the rural economy and lift people out of fuel poverty, I was opposed by a dress designer for whom energy bills are trivial concerns.

When I championed brilliant scientists demonstrating genetic modifications to rice to save the lives of hundreds of thousands of children in developing countries, I was vilified by a luxury organic chocolate tycoon uninterested in the demonstrable environmental and humanitarian benefits of GM crops.

When faced with the flooding of the Somerset Levels I refused to make the popular and false excuse of blaming it on global warming, but set out to reverse the policy inherited from a Labour peeress and serial quangocrat who had expressed the wish to “place a limpet mine on every pumping station”, while deliberately allowing the silting up of drainage channels.

When I set out to shatter the crippling orthodoxy that growing the rural economy and improving the environment are mutually exclusive, I was ridiculed by a public school journalist who thinks the solution to environmental problems is “an ordered and structured downsizing of the global economy”. Back to the Stone Age, in other words, but Glastonbury-style.

Yes, I’ve annoyed these people, but they don’t represent the real countryside of farmers and workers, of birds and butterflies.

Like the nationalised industries and obstructive trade unions of the 1970s, the Green Blob has become a powerful self-serving caucus; it is the job of the elected politician to stand up to them. We must have the courage to tackle it head on, as Tony Abbott in Australia and Stephen Harper in Canada have done, or the economy and the environment will both continue to suffer.

* Owen Paterson is a former secretary of state for environment, food and rural affairs.  

I think we are all the poorer for the Camoron removing one of the few politicians who speaks common sense from a position of influence. The delivery by FoE of dozens of wellington boots to the front door of DEFRA demonstrates the puerile attitude of these “charities” with their Give Patterson the Boot campaign. Are the boots recyclable and who paid for them? The EU? On that ground alone had our PM got any balls he would have kept Patterson in place and not allowed the Green Blob to crow success. Patterson has had a great deal of success in the Somerset Levels but I don’t see the BBC running back to back news of fields springing to life, clear roads and an effective and funded drainage policy which should prevent any early recurrence, unless of course Ms Luss fails to continue Patterson’s work and falls prey to the Green Blog! Don’t be surprised. Good Ministers; the very few we have; are usually replaced by duds! And that is irrespective of Party.

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University of Edinburgh: Fire is a Major Cause of Accidents in Wind Turbines

Dougal Quixote:

And the industry claims it as an usual occurrence

Originally posted on Quixotes Last Stand:

University of Edinburgh — July 16, 2014

Fires impact on wind farms
Fire is a major cause of accidents in wind turbines, according to research involving Edinburgh engineers.
Researchers carried out a global assessment of the world’s wind farms, which amount to an estimated 200,000 turbines.

The team, from Imperial College London, the University of Edinburgh and SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden, estimate that more than 117 turbine fires take place each year.

Common causes
The main causes of fire ignition in wind turbines are lightning strike, electrical malfunction, mechanical failure, and maintenance errors.
In 90 per cent of cases, the fire either leads to substantial downtime or total loss of the wind turbine, resulting in economic losses.

Turbines catch fire because flammable materials such as hydraulic oil and plastics are close to machinery and electrical wires. These can ignite if they overheat or are faulty.
Oxygen in the…

View original 133 more words

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Highlands Policing 2014

High543

Is this Sauchiehall Street in Glasgow, the centre of Manchester or Soho? No it is outside MacDonalds in the Centre of Inverness. Sir Stephen House, Chief Constable of Police Scotland, considers this a proportionate response. What world does he and MacAskill live in or is this what Policing in Scotland post Referendum is going to be like. And for those not aware those read circles are identifying 17 shot Gloch automatics. A heavyweight automatic favoured by special forces and the more gung-ho police forces around the world. A Chief Constable that I once knew, who had tremendous respect from his force, once told me that the day officers routinely carried firearms on the streets of the UK, consensus police would end! This is a reflection of the SNP’s attitude to the people of this once proud nation. They have NO respect for the people which is demonstrated by their wind policy and their centralisation of both the Police and the Fire service. There was nothing here about cost saving. It is all about Control! On saturday night there were no less than five armed officers in Inverness, neither a large city or a den of iniquity. Sir Stephen insists the move is essential becuase the Highlands has 40,000 guns in private hands, Yes sporting rifles and shotguns used for game control by estates and farms and everyone licensed and kept separate from the ammunition in locked gun cabinets. Not sawn-offs and Uzzi machine pistols favoured by the criminal classes. I suspect that come re-licensing time we are all in for a difficult time justifying our need to a Strathclyde constable.

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SNH Survey

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SNH is doing a customer survey. Their customers it would seem are developers and planners, not the people who pay their wages! I think all of us who have to deal with SNH have been extremely disappointed at their behaviour and lack of protection for Scotland’s Natural Heritage. A previous survey suggests that their relationship with developers is far too close for a body tasked to protect the environment. But then their previous Chairman clearly stated that when the Minister says jump, they say how high!

SNH Planning & Development – Customer Survey 2014

Why Research has been commissioned to undertake a short online survey among Planning System customers.  Here is the link to this anonymous survey, which is hosted by Why Research, an independent market research company.  Feel free to have your say! Date they have to be in for is 4th Aug 2014. 

http://www.whyresearch.org.uk/4354snh/

I have been sent one response which I think hit the nail on the head. You may wish to read it.

“It is a disgrace that SNH do not comment on smaller onshore wind developments, rely on developer’s EIAs, allow their own guidance to be ignored, cannot object unless the impact is deemed to be nationally significant (or some such qualification), allow themselves to be railroaded by developers so that initial objections get watered down into “concerns”, do not take legal action  or otherwise protest when SNH objections are ignored by Ministers, and cannot produce relevant guidance that is binding and up-to-date. The fact that the new visualisation guidance still hasn’t appeared is a scandal and means many onshore wind applications are being consented on the basis of information that is deliberately misleading – as SNH well knows. Cumulative impact on landscape, wildlife, hydrology etc is a huge concern for decision-makers but clear and up-to-date guidance, research and rules simply aren’t there – SNH officers wringing their hands in anguish and moaning about a lack of resources does nothing. In general SNH is doing a rotten job in protecting Scotland’s landscape from inappropriate turbine development and is far too obviously bending to pressure from both the Scottish Government and wind developers. NGOs and private individuals have to take up the slack – witness the shenanigans about getting a Wild Land Map, which is nevertheless much too late, much too thin and not efficacious because it is not binding in planning terms. If Scotland is supposed to be leading the world in developing renewable energy, why isn’t it also leading the world in monitoring, assessing and researching its impacts on natural heritage? The answer of course is obvious and goes to the heart of the issue. SNH is not independent and must back, and be seen to back, government policy, however bad it might be for the natural environment. Its failure to protect the Scottish countryside from exploitative development is so grievous, and the loss of public trust in it by those who are informed so great, that it should be abolished.
 
SNH needs to live up to its mission statement and stop kow-towing to government. It is not listening to people, to Community Councillors, Councillors and NGOs – and the tens of thousands of ordinary people who have objected to wind turbines on natural heritage grounds. The worst thing is that Andrew Thin the former Chair knew this very well – as was made clear to an anti-wind activist at one of the regional receptions SNH likes to hold to meet the people. But as he said SNH’s job is to carry out SG policy so you can take a hike!

So our assessment: SNH is so indoctrinated by Groupthink and obeisance to Scottish Ministers aspirations that there is virtually nothing will change them. We know of people that sit on the committees that decide policy and they live in another world. Question a policy, based on fact and peer review, and you might as well suggest they eat their babies! SNH and their advisors could NEVER be WRONG!! On the 50 mm lens, industry standard(?) for photo montages we raised strong objections. SNH advice actually says lens in excess of 50mm but SNH has never challenged a single developer on that inconvenient fact! New Visualisation Guidance is still stuck in their time warp. That we were able to provide world leading experts in camera technology and world leading practitioners in photo montages, now backed up by Stirling University and also by the 75mm lens requirement of The Highland Council for planning applications. Interestingly community presentation nearly always revert to the 50mm lens despite 75mm being provided to the planners. Reason for that is obvious to a blind man! The SNH response to Beinn Mhor at Glen Affric is simply unbelievable. On numerous aspects it raises serious issues but concludes each by a quote from the ES which is almost farcical! Could Scottish Natural Heritage be better described as the developer’s boot licking department? Because it is not the protector of our natural heritage.

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Another of Scotland Iconic Wild Places under Threat

Rannoch Moor

Mountaineers have objected to a proposed wind farm in highland Perthshire.

A proposal for the 24-turbine wind farm at Talladh-a-Bheithe estate, near Rannoch Moor, was submitted to the Scottish government last week.

The Mountaineering Council of Scotland claim the farm would have a “major visual impact” on a “unique landscape”.

The Mountaineering Council say the 125m tall turbines would affect views from Schiehallion, Ben Alder, Glen Lyon and Loch Tay, and would be visible from the A82.

Chief officer David Gibson said the need for renewable energy needed to be balanced with “significant protection” for wild land.

He said: “Schiehallion, Rannoch Moor and the route to Glencoe all have a very special place in people’s hearts and in Scottish culture, and this proposal would affect an area which has a unique landscape character offering panoramic views over a fantastic area of wild land.

“Any presumed benefit from this development would be far outweighed by the damage it would do to such a distinctive landscape which is vital not only to highland Perthshire’s identity but also to Scotland’s international image.”

Please support MCofS and Dave Gibson in supporting their objection. Visit their Campaign page now!

http://www.mcofs.org.uk/talladh-a-bheithe-wind-farm-campaign.asp

Also visit the Keep Rannoch Wild website:

I will leave few further comments except that this attack on the new Wild Lands Designation and that part of Scotland that is it’s very essence is totally unacceptable. The very names Rannoch Moor and Schiehallion, Ben Alder and Loch Ericht, Glen Lyon and Loch Tay sends a shiver down you back as the songs and history of our past is riven with the Ghosts of the men and women who have been before. This is truly part of Scottish History. Yet again it is a foreign sharecropper who has no love or care for Scotland but only their bank balance. Hopefully the Scottish Ministers will signal this as truly a step to far. If they fail to do so then Scotland has no future, either in Tourism or in our Ancestry and Heritage! We will be the Dead Parrot of Europe!

 

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First you’re excited then you realise they still haven’t got it!

Scour Effects Offshore Turbine Towers More than Predicted (UK). Wind energy is taking an increasing battering, with vulnerability to storm damage, ...

Scour Effects Offshore Turbine Towers More than Predicted (UK). Wind energy is taking an increasing battering, with vulnerability to storm damage, …

Grant Shapps, Chairman of the Conservative Party has thrown down the gauntlet that says no more onshore wind farms. Up yours, Cleggie! A hard and straight reaction that wind has had it’s day and subsidies must be axed. Never mind that the Lib-Dims want a turbine on every blade of grass. Hooray!! And then you catch site of the follow on. Off-shore is where the future lies. Plenty of wind around our coasts. They really have no idea do they. Subsidy levels to offshore wind are twice plus those for on-shore and the foreign developers are demanding more and more. They are the greedy piggies! Efficiency may run as high as 30% but that actually means that 70% of the time they are as much use as a cat flap in a submarine!  That is like having a dairy cow only firing on one udder. You would send it for petfood! Likewise these turbines at that level of operational efficiency should be sent for scrap! Off-shore wind is not only expensive but it is technically flawed. The saline conditions, the sea bed and the sea state conspire against long term reliance on wind. Offshore wind has to come onshore and the substations and overhead towers to convey the power to our cities are as visually intrusive as wind farms. The substations are also very noisy as the power is balanced for the grid. I have spoken to many people ‘hosting’ off-shore wind and they remark that the noise is intrusive and it carries over the water. Any sailor could tell you that, if you ever bothered to listen Mr. Shapps! Our fishing industry is being fragmented and destroyed by major off-shore development. Our coastal holiday trade is being decimated by off-shore wind be it Norfolk, Skegness, Whitby, Wales, Devon or Hampshire. Our sea farers are put at risk and our sailing industry, or what is left of it, is in danger of collapse. We still have not got any joined up thinking in Westminster. There is an opportunity with fracking but the DECC is delaying that as much as their Lib-Dim Secretary of State and his climate munchkins can. We are years behind with nuclear and we are closing coal fired power station, changing them over to bio-mass or screwing around with nonsensical Carbon Capture that pushes coasts through the roof! Coal is at it’s cheapest for a generation. Do we need to paint you a picture Mr. Shapps? Read the story and weep!

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They’ve all gone Bananas in Westminster!

bananas in Pajamas

Smart meters are anything but SMART

Unveiled: New £200 ‘smart’ meters every household must pay for (but may not work)

o Minister and Bob Geldof to launch £11bn scheme to make us all use ‘green’ meters… which other EU nations rejected
o Project will be launched this week despite fears they will not work and they pose a security risk to power supplies

  • Energy companies will begin the mass installation of smart meters next year and expense will be passed on to customers

By David Rose and Martin Beckford

Published: 01:39, 6 July 2014 | Updated: 08:03, 6 July 2014

A Government plan to put ‘smart meters’ into every British home – costing households £200 each – will be launched this week despite fears they will not work and that they pose a security risk to power supplies.

The £11 billion project, introduced to meet EU green targets, is supposed to cut down energy consumption and reduce bills.

But official reports seen by The Mail on Sunday reveal that: trials show consumers with smart meters save far less energy than predicted; five countries considering such a plan have decided it would cost more money than it saves; the meters do not work in a third of British homes, including high-rise flats, basements and those in rural areas: hackers and cyber-terrorists could break into the system  causing chaos in the national grid, or carry out large-scale fraud by fiddling bills.

Energy companies will begin the mass installation of smart meters next year at a cost of at least £200 per home, and have admitted the expense will be passed on to customers.

MoS2 Template Master

How it works: This diagram explains how the new smart meters will work, or more precisely, how they won’t

Sir Bob Geldof will launch an expensive publicity drive, featuring ‘out of control’ cartoon characters called Gaz and Leccy, on Tuesday. Last night he confirmed he was being paid for the campaign, but refused to reveal how much, saying it was ‘none of your f***ing business’. Sorry Sir Bob, but if it is paid by us it is our f***ing business you uncouth foul mouthed old Irish git! Look at the mess you are making of your own Country at the moment so sod off home and leave us alone. (He should understand that -Ed)

The cost of his appearance will also be added to bills.

Last night Margaret Hodge, chairman of the powerful Commons Public Accounts Committee, said: ‘This is a typical Government project – they set up a big scheme but don’t think about the costs to the consumer because it’s being driven by the energy companies. This expensive equipment is already out-of-date, because we could get the information on our smartphones.

‘The Government should really think about the technology they are using and make sure that the consumer benefits.’

The National Audit Office, the public spending watchdog, said in a report: ‘Significant risks remain, including potential consumer resistance to smart meters, technical issues, the readiness of suppliers, network operators and the supply chain for large-scale installation and the robustness of data security and privacy arrangements.’

Smart meters work by recording gas and electricity consumption every 30 minutes. Consumers are also given monitors called In-Home Displays, which let them see how much power they are using at any time and how much it is costing them.

 

geldorfSir Bob Geldof will launch an expensive publicity drive for the new green meters scheme

Supporters say extra information will encourage people to use less energy, cutting their bills and helping the environment. They will also be able to see times when it is cheaper to run appliances, and will be allowed to switch energy supplier more quickly.

Energy firms benefit because they will no longer have to send meter-readers into homes, and will be able to disconnect customers more easily if they do not pay their bills.

Smart meters are being introduced under a 2009 EU proposal. The UK scheme was the brainchild of Labour leader Ed Miliband when he was Energy Secretary in the last government.

The plans for this country have been devised following years of discussions by Whitehall committees, endlessly updated calculations and advice costing £44 million from three consultancy firms.

Each home gas and electricity meter and energy monitor will ‘talk’ to another device called a Communications Hub, using  a wireless communication method called ZigBee, which was designed not for mass consumers, but university labs.

ZigBee does not work in buildings with thick walls, or in multi-storey flats – that make up 30 per cent of homes.

Scientists are trying to develop a new, low-frequency version that will – but project insiders say it may take years to iron out its bugs.

Once it has the information from the meters, the hub will send it by mobile phone-type signals to gigantic computer switching centres, which will then pass the data on to the relevant gas and electric supply firm.

THREE MAJOR HEADACHES FOR ‘GAZ AND LECCY’ REVOLUTION

smart meter poverty

1. THEY WON’T ACTUALLY SAVE YOU MONEY

Doubts remain about whether the ambitious scheme will really save consumers money.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) believes the technology will enable customers to learn more about how much power they use and so work out how to cut their bills.

It estimates bills will fall by £26 a year by 2020 and £43 a decade later as consumers cut their electricity usage by 2.8 per cent and gas by two per cent.

But an early study of 743 Dutch households with the meters found they only used 0.9 per cent less gas and 0.6 per cent less electricity than those with old meters.

The European Commission itself has pointed out that of the 19 EU countries that have carried out an analysis of the likely costs and benefits, five have concluded that electric smart meters will lose money and three are not introducing  the scheme. For gas smart meters, 12 of the 19 countries ended up with ‘negative’ results.

Here, the National Audit Office pointed out that households would have to keep their energy use down year after year for costs to materialise. Yet ‘the evidence on longer-term behaviour change’ is ‘limited’.

Experts say if smart metering is to save families money, they must change their behaviour by using less power or by running appliances at different times of day. Merely having a smart meter only saves the energy firms money, as they no longer have to send people out to do readings.

Overall DECC says the project will cost £10.9 billion but create benefits worth £17.1 billion for consumers and suppliers.

However the NAO has stated that the economic benefits ‘are subject to a wide range of uncertainty’, and pointed out that the hoped-for savings have been reduced by £2.1 billion recently thanks to better calculations.

In addition, it is by no means guaranteed that all consumers will end up with smart meters in their homes, let alone use them.

One supplier told the NAO that ‘up to 20 per cent of customers will refuse to have smart meters installed’ and two firms fear added costs from dealing with ‘reluctant customers’.

If fewer people sign up, energy usage will not fall and so the predicted savings will not arrive.

2. TECHNOLOGY HASN’T BEEN TESTED YET

The proposed smart meters will not work in a third of British homes, according to the National Audit Office spending watchdog.

The meters need to communicate through a form of wireless communication.

Yet the UK has chosen a little-known ten-year-old system called ZigBee rather than the better-known wi-fi or Bluetooth.

ZigBee does not work in high-rise blocks, because the meters tend to be located in basements too far from people’s flats, and will also struggle in buildings with thick walls.

Critics say Britain has developed by far the most complicated form of smart metering in the world, greatly increasing the costs and risks.

Elsewhere in Europe, the energy networks are responsible, allowing them to send meter readings directly through power lines. In Italy a simpler system has cost just £1.5  billion.

In Britain the retailers are running the scheme and in addition to the actual meters, ministers have insisted that every home be given another box – known as an In-Home Display – that lets users see what they are currently spending on power.

Paul Nickson, British Gas commercial director for smart metering, admitted: ‘There is not a technical solution for high-rise buildings.’ Trials may lead to smart meters in flats being connected by cables.

The NAO said: ‘Suppliers are still developing a home area network radio system for up to 30 per cent of premises.’

A wireless network that works for all but five per cent of homes will not be finished until at least 2016.

The meter readings are sent from homes to the energy companies by mobile phone signal, but this means the system will not work in some rural areas.

The Government’s latest Impact Assessment admitted the wireless coverage may be ‘difficult to achieve’ in remote or mountainous districts.

In addition, not all of the energy firms have developed ‘viable’ systems that work for customers who pay for their energy in advance, the NAO said.

3. THEY ARE VULNERABLE TO HACKERS

The Government insists smart meters will be safe from hackers and cyber-terrorists.

But a risk assessment carried out by the energy watchdog, Ofgem, identified ‘a range of threats such as cyber, viruses and malicious software. The potential impacts… range from fraudulent transactions for financial gain… to compromise of critical operations such as remote disablement.’

This means that criminals could break into the system and try switch off the supply to millions of homes at once, leaving the national grid crippled.

The dangers were considered so great that in 2012 the Government spy agency GCHQ and its cyber protection offshoot, the Communications-Electronics Security Group, dramatically intervened, delaying the entire project.

Experts from the CESG and the body that protects major assets, the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure, joined a top-level body called the Security Technical Experts Group that  has held monthly meetings to assess the risks.

The final guide to how these security controls will work is  still months from completion.

One project insider said the security systems should have been planned from the start,  but instead, were a ‘desperately late add-on’.

He warned: ‘You just shouldn’t do things this way round. The security spec is a sticking plaster. The risk is that as soon  as holes are plugged, others will open up.’

Idan Edry, a former military intelligence officer who is now  a senior executive at the Israeli firm Nation E, a world leader in energy cyber security, said he has studied the UK system carefully, ‘and I can tell you, it has nothing like enough protection’.

It would leave customers exposed to being hacked: thieves could steal millions from pre-paid energy accounts. More seriously, it created millions of portals into the energy supply system for cyber terrorists, who could use them to cripple large parts of the network.

Last month the National Audit Office said the security challenges ‘should not be underestimated’.

Another difficulty may occur at this stage in rural areas where the phone signal is patchy.

Energy computer specialist Nick Hunn, who has advised the Government, said combining so many new and untried technologies at once was ‘risky and unprecedented’.

He added: ‘Systems like wi-fi, Bluetooth and 3G took ten years to have their problems fixed and become stable. The Department of Energy and Climate Change expects it to work perfectly on day one. It’s a recipe for disaster.’

hodgeCommons Public Accounts Committee chairman Margaret Hodge said it was a typical Government scheme – it didn’t consider the costs to the consumer because it was driven by the big energy companies

The DECC says smart metering will cost £11 billion, to be passed on from energy firms to consumers. At least £3 a year is already being added to bills to cover the suppliers’ cost of buying the meters.

A recent European Commission report states ‘a smart metering system could cost on average £158 to £198 per customer’.

The Government’s latest Impact Assessment puts the cost of installing dual fuel meters at £214.80, which will be added to bills.

It claims this will be offset by massive savings. In all, the ‘benefits’ of the meters will amount to £17 billion – a net £6 billion saving.

Overall, DECC says, electricity use will fall by 2.8 per cent, and gas by 2 per cent. However,  customers will not be forced to have smart meters and if many people refuse the meters, the hoped-for savings in money and carbon emissions will be lost.

Gordon Hughes, Professor of  Economics at Edinburgh University and one of the country’s leading energy experts, said last night:  ‘I’ve been asking, where is the evidence that people will make major changes to their way of living?

‘It’s just not there. We’re about  to add to people’s bills for the  sake of benefits that will not justify the cost.’

Alex Henney, a former director of London Electricity and a global electricity consultant, likened smart meters to the computerized NHS records fiasco, which wasted £12 billion, saying: ‘The smart meter rollout bears all the hallmarks of the next great government IT crash.’

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Baroness Verma, said last night: ‘Smart meters will give consumers control over their energy use and help them reduce their bills.’

What Baroness Verma knows about Smart Meters could probably be written on the back of a postage stamp and quite why she was promoted to the Lords is a bit of a mystery. Except she was a woman, Asian, ambitious and a conservative. She has obviously been listening to the lobbyists at the DECC and is a safe pair of hands to do her masters bidding!

Should we have any respect for her views? In a word – NO!

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Cameron announces his new Cabinet by Tweets!

Private Frasero

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The Heartland Institute – Free thinking or Climate Sceptics?

Disagreement“The Heartland Institute is a 30-year-old national non-profit organization devoted to discovering, developing, and promoting free-market solutions to social and economic problems. Heartland’s Center on Climate and Environmental Policy promotes pro-environment policies based on sound science and economics, not alarmism or ideology. Our strong stand against the politicization of science on matters of public health and the environment have earned us the enmity of many liberal public health and environmental groups and their allies in the mainstream media.” 

The heartland Institute has been targeted as Climate Sceptics and Climate Deniers by the Climate “Industry”. They say they listen to real scientists and informed decision. Well that is a point of view but to some the Heartland Institute has less credibility than the Sierra Club. Whilst the Sierra Club is seen to be under the influence of the green lobby, Heartland is seen to be in the pocket of big business. I make no comment on that. On Climate I take no firm line although I find the Climate brigade and their bombastic arrogance hard to take. My view tends to be Climate changes. It has since Moses was a boy. That Mankind has had any drastic influence on it, I would find hard to accept in global terms. Micro Climate can be affected by local situations. I must admit that de-forestation in the Amazon Basin and in the Far East does concern me as these are our Carbon sinks. Just as in a smaller way I am horrified at Wind Farm destroying our peat lands. In fact it may be that those actions to “prevent” Climate Change may in fact have a temporary negative effect. Enough of my prattling as I am neither a Climate scientist, whatever they are, or a true scientist of the things that do affect Climate., The Sea, the Sun and the Moon to name but three. This response to a journalist’s report on a Heartland’s Conference makes interesting reading, but be warned it is far from brief! Heartlands 2014

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The Carrier Elizabeth – Is it fit for purpose?

Carrier Elizabeth

 

Great pride of a major Carrier built in the UK eclipsed the reality that it uses ordinary engines rather than being nuclear powered, which limits its ability, and that there are no aircraft yet available which can fly off the decks. The F35 has now escalated in cost to an estimated £70m each and the program is beset with problems. When that was realised the MOD could have modified the design to host catapult launched fighter bombers (the ship is large enough) but that idea was quashed on cost grounds. So what is the future of such ships? Doubtful at best. Had the Argentines used Stanley as a springboard we would no doubt have found out how vulnerable large carriers are, however many escorts they have.

Now I will add two issues. The first is future proofing technology, the second Political face saving. We have seen more and more that drones may well be the future of air combat. BAE have a system under development supported by £132 million of government funding of proof of concept aircraft, the Tiranis. A stealth fighter bomber that is in fact a drone. problem is that it is not designed to fly off and land on such carriers! TaranisThat it reflects the future of military aviation in the not so distant future is pretty obvious. Other more fanciful flights of fancy including ‘comic book aircraft‘ that can split in three for multiple targets and ones that can replicate themselves in flight by 3D printing as well as self repair are actually in development. All they now need to do is develop warp drive! Don’t laugh too loud. Consider how many of Q’s gadgets for James Bond are now reality!

The second element is the Political decisions behind our latest Carriers. In truth were they part of Euro Force! Was it a vanity project or an agreement for the creation of a more powerful Federal Europe. This article, “It’s thanks to the EU we’ve got this White Elephant”, raises the history of the Carrier program and asks some uncomfortable questions that sees both Portillo’s and Blair’s fingerprints in the evidence. I noted the grand statements of a UK built Carrier launched from a Scottish ship yard and amongst the companies listed was Thales, main shareholder the French Dassault Aviation Company. English? Zut alors! NON! Much is made of the Rolls Royce gas turbines but less that the propulsion engines are from Wartsila in Finland. The truth is that these mega ships are not even powered by UK manufactured engines. But then, that is a reflection of modern Global trade and the fact that we have allowed so much of it to slip through our fingers. Gone are the days when UK engineering powered the worlds navies.

What has this to do with wind? Nothing other than prove our Politicians, our Military Men and our Council leaders are all full of hot air and can be bought by a photo opportunity! Never let the truth get in the way of a good story!

machrihanish

Runway and wind turbine tower factory!

However on a similar tack we hear Scotland shortlisted for a ‘Spaceport’. First suggested some years ago that Kinloss, or it could have been Lossiemouth, would be a spaceport for The Virgin Galactica, the idea is back on the table from the Westminster Government. Quoted as the first spaceport outside the US is rather forgetting the Russian Space program, the Arian Rocket program(250 launches) from French Guiyana, the Indian space program and the Chinese space program to name but a few. But then Politicians seem somewhat lax of inconvenient truths. A variety of alternatives including Leuchars and Campbletwon have been suggested with the bitter sweet pill of a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ vote be the deciding factor. Grow up Cameron. If you think such largess will buy Scottish votes, you are as deluded as those that believe Community Benefit will make wind farms acceptable. Oh, that’s right, you do! Let’s get ‘real’. We have one of the longest runways in the UK at Machrihanish in Campbletown with the added ‘advantage’ that SSE has a wind turbine tower assembly plant there so I am sure SSE’s Regional Community Benefit Fund would pay the set-up costs and when the wind scam falls over the unsold turbine towers could be recycled into launch rockets.  Slightly off message was the Virgin organisation with the news that they have no immediate plans to move from the New Mexico Space Centre. 

 

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What the Politicians should know about Intermittent Power Supply

India Power Crisis - Could we be heading there?

India Power Crisis – Could we be heading there?

We challenge our Politicians for their lack of Knowledge about our Energy Supplies but they do have access at to briefing notes. A big pity that they so seldom seem to read them! (or possibly their inability to understand them) Below is the Briefing Notice on Intermittency in the UK Power supply chain from the Houses of Parliament. We may question some ‘Facts’ such as energy storage which is still really a pipe dream in any form of scale but on balance a well thought out paper.

intermittent electricity – May 2014

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Danger, Ospreys Nesting!

 

Eventually a worthwhile use for a wind turbine!

 

osprey nesting copyThis from New Jersey is a great use for a wind turbine although those that protect Ospreys from people may consider that perhaps these birds may sometimes enjoy a bit of company!

Now all we have to do is stick a load of nests on all the big wind farms and force them to be switched off whilst the birds are nesting. Anyone know where we can get some remote controlled plastic Ospreys from?

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Brian Wilson on Energy

 

Hunterston-Nuclear-PowerI heard the other day that the SNP have our mandate for their renewable policy. Well I do remember the elections that got them into power. I remember that Labour had bankrupted the Country, agreed the Climate Change Act and were as popular as Herpes at an 18/30s holiday resort. I remember that the Lib-Dems had really blown support from Scottish supporters by joining the Coalition with “The Conservatives”. The least popular party in Scotland since Maggie Thatcher and the Poll Tax. The SNP did not really get in on any Mandate. They got in on a protest vote against the other parties! What I certainly don’t remember is Salmond’s 100% renewables until some time after the elections. One should remember that the Coalition in Westminster was as greenwashed; remember Cameron with the huskies; and totally dedicated to Wind anyway.

Now Brian Wilson has written a great article on Salmond’s Energy Policy, or should we say the lack of one post 18th September! Read here

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More Scottish Jobs?

Xia Zhi Yuan 6

This massive ship has arrived in the Cromarty Firth carrying concrete caissons for the Moray Firth Wind Farm built in SCOTLAND Spain. You really could not make it up! Only a few months back we had the First Minister visiting Nigg and praising it as a Renewable Manufacturing facility. Shortly after praise for the re-opening plans(again!!) for the Ardersier Yard for Renewables. Now we know the turbines and towers are built everywhere but in Scotland but surely the heavy bases are an opportunity for local production due to the heavy transport costs. It would seem not! And all this time the First Minister must have been aware that he was simply making empty gestures. The full BBC version of the story is here. We really do have to look at this industry again and look to our skills, which are in the oil drilling industries and nuclear, and maximise those, protect our USP, our landscape and scenery, and stop the march of the turbines. Too late in many areas but still time to protect the likes of Loch Ness, Glen Affric and Rannoch Moor.

 

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Waste of Space

The Welsh Assembly is infamous for it’s support of wind farms in Wales. That they refused to take advice on a turbine next to their offices should not really surprise anyone.

A wind turbine which cost the taxpayer almost £50,000 but generated just £5 of A wind turbine which cost the taxpayer £48,000 and generated an average of just £5 worth of electricity per month, is being removedelectricity a month is to be scrapped.

Installed outside an office of the Welsh government, the turbine was part of its plan to become more environmentally friendly.

Despite the fact that civil servants were warned the 60ft turbine was being placed a location that was too sheltered and would not experience enough wind, they went ahead and paid £48,000 for it.

Last year it was revealed that the turbine was producing an average of just 33 kilowatts of energy a month – the equivalent of £5.28 worth of electricity.

Based on those figures, the turbine would need to stand for 757 years before the cost of it was offset by the electricity it produced.

Yesterday it emerged that the turbine is to be removed because the manufacturer has gone into liquidation.

Ministers said they do not have anyone else to maintain it.

A spokesman for the TaxPayers’ Alliance said: ‘It beggars belief that tens of thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money was squandered on a scheme with such a minuscule return.’

The turbine manufacturers, Quiet Revolution, warned civil servants that their office in Aberystwyth, West Wales, was the wrong place for the turbine before it was erected in 2009.

Instead of putting it close to the coastline, they insisted on sitting it in a valley, two miles from blustery Cardigan Bay.

Turbine expert Paul Burrell said: ‘It’s very important with any wind turbine to ensure they have unobstructed access to wind from all directions.

‘Unfortunately, the Welsh government’s turbine was located in a valley two miles from the sea.

It was also located next to tall buildings, so even if there was a strong wind it was displaced by the time it reached the turbine.’

aberystwyth plus osprey

Well they could make it useful!

The wind turbine’s performance was monitored from January 2012 until July 2013 and it was found to generate 33 kilowatts per month.

Using the current average price of electricity of 16p per kilowatt, that means it made £5.28 of electricity a month.

The turbine broke down in January and the manufacturer went into administration soon after that.

A Welsh government spokesman said the turbine stopped working when the brakes were ‘locked on’.

He said: ‘Our contractor was in discussion with Quiet Revolution until March to try and resolve the fault, when they received an email [to say] that the company had gone into administration.

‘They have been unable to progress the matter with the administrator and, as such, the wind turbine has remained out of use.

‘As the prospects of finding a company able to take on the maintenance and repair are limited, we are considering options for its removal.’

Not enough power: Last year it was revealed that the turbine was producing an average of just 33 kilowatts of energy a month. Based on the figures, it would have needed to stand for 757 years before cost was offset

Experts are divided over the efficiency of wind turbines and their capacity to generate electricity.

Lucrative subsidies – paid for by taxpayers in the form of higher energy bills – are offered to landowners who erect turbines on their property by the Government, which sees building new wind farms as key to meeting tough European carbon emission targets.

But opponents say the targets, which aim to reduce carbon dioxide by 80 per cent by 2020, are unrealistic and wind turbines will never be an efficient source of electricity for the National Grid.

Earlier this year Rushcliffe Borough Council in Nottingham was criticised after it emerged it spent £30,000 on two turbines which generated only £95 of electricity in 12 months.

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The Conspiracy Theory

In the Politics of Energy and the Global Warming Agenda we come across certain terms which reflect where we as a Society have gone. Some see this as a Global Conspiracy, others as ineptitude of Politicians bowing to lobbying and self interest groups. In both instances there is certainly an element of ‘Follow the Money’. More likely they are imbued(to inspire or influence thoroughly; pervade) with groupthink:

conspiracy theoryCognitive Dissonance – The tendency to resist information that we don’t want to think about, because if we did it would conflict with an illusion we have ought into – and perhaps require us to act in ways that are outside our comfort zone – Lean Festinger

Common Purpose – A UK ‘Charity’ specialising in Behavioural Modification. An elitest pro-EU political organisation helping to replace democracy in UK, and worldwide, with CP chosen ‘elite’ leaders. In truth, their hidden networks and political objectives are undermining and destroying our democratic society. Google their ‘graduates’.You will be alarmed.

Common Good – The political expediency that Politicians actions are in support of the common good. In that way there is no room for individuals. It is their definition of Democracy.

The Law of Unintended Consequences - often cited but rarely defined, is that actions of people—and especially of government—always have effects that are unanticipated or unintended. Economists and other social scientists have heeded its power for centuries; for just as long, politicians and popular opinion have largely ignored it.

Groupthink - a term coined by social psychologist Irving Janis (1972), occurs when a group makes faulty decisions because group pressures lead to a deterioration of “mental efficiency, reality testing, and moral judgment”.  Groups affected by groupthink ignore alternatives and tend to take irrational actions that dehumanize other groups.  A group is especially vulnerable to groupthink when its members are similar in background, when the group is insulated from outside opinions, and when there are no clear rules for decision making.

Mindguards – Protection of the group and the leader from information that is problematic or contradictory to the group’s cohesiveness, view, and/or decisions.

Plausible Deniability - is used when someone in a position of authority, or setting an example, cannot admit something he needs to say. To take care of this, a story is created so that he can say it, but if he is asked about it, he has a good explanation so that he can say he didn’t do it. In other words, plausible deniability.

Newton’s 3rd law of motion - if applied to bureaucracy, would state: “Whenever politicians attempt to force change on a market, the long-term results will be equal and opposite to those intended”.

Agenda 21 – said to be a major tool of the New World order, conceived in 1992 in Rio De Janiero at the “UN Earth Summit.” its original aim was “Sustainable Development”. However there have been worrying glimpses of something much more invasive: “global land use, global education and global population control and reduction” The true objectives of Agenda 21, revealed, include an end to national sovereignty; restructure of the family unit which means basically the state will take care of your children, with a keen eye toward indoctrinating them into state control over family allegiance; abolition of private property. Looking at the SNP moves to provide every child a state guardian and their new Land Reforms does question whether this is as far fetched and conspiracy theory as we first think. After all the IPCC and AGW could be considered the first steps down the road of global governance. The actions of the EU in attempting to foist a Federal Europe on us. The removal of state veto and the power of the EU elite.

The Bilderberg Group - Bilderberg Club is an annual private conference of approximately 120–150 political leaders and experts from industry, finance, academia and the media.The Group is not democratic or accountable to the people of the world. Yet the decisions taken by this group affect every human being on earth, now and far ahead into the future. And Bilderberg Group meetings are never reported in the news.

The Club of Rome - The Club of Rome is a conspiratorial umbrella organization, a marriage between Anglo-American financiers and the old Black Nobility families of Europe, particularly the so-called “nobility” of London, Venice and Genoa. The key to the successful control of the world is their ability to create and manage savage economic recessions and eventual depressions. The Committee of 300 looks to social convulsions on a global scale, followed by depressions, as a softening-up technique for bigger things to come, as its principal method of creating masses of people all over the world who will become its “welfare” recipients of the future.

Green 10 -  Ten of the largest environmental organisations and networks active on the European level. Such is the scale of environmental NGO penetration into the structures of governance, at global, regional and national level, that it is almost impossible properly to describe the degree to which they have become part of the fabric of government, their massive influence setting the agenda in a way that is scarcely realised. EU Grants to the green anti-industrial lobby included multi-millions to Friends of the Earth €4,188,230 (£3,332,220), WWF €5,344,641 (£4,252,279) and the RSPB €3,802,544 (£3,024,327).

Quotes by H.L. Mencken, famous columnist: “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed — and hence clamorous to be led to safety — by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.” And, “The urge to save humanity is almost always only a false face for the urge to rule it.”
The threat to the world, as is always the case, is a current group(s) of humans who want to impose their values and desires on others. These people represent such a group, and they are not saints as individuals; in fact, quite the opposite, unfortunately

Now we need to consider where common sense and conspiracy theory diverge. And that I will leave you to ponder!

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