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Wind power creates hope and new jobs

First published in Letters by

PHILIP ROE’S reply (Letters, November 26) to my letter about the link between North Yorkshire floods, climate change, and opposition to wind turbines is an example of the shortsighted thinking I sought to query.

Perhaps Mr Roe reveals his true colours when he seeks to cast doubt on the reality of man-made climate change – a reality which is now accepted by all governments, and virtually all scientists, except for a few eccentrics and those in the pay of fossil fuel industries.

Perhaps we will have to accept more nuclear power to keep the lights on and the carbon down, even though it needs massive subsidies, will saddle our descendants with radioactive waste for hundreds of years and creates the possibility of Fukushima-style disasters.

But even ignoring these problems, there is no way that nuclear power can come on stream quickly enough to decarbonise our energy supplies over the next few climate-crucial decades. Meanwhile UK wind power output has grown by 25 per cent over the past 18 months and has the potential to expand much faster, creating thousands of jobs. Sadly, this potential is at risk from government indecision, partly fuelled by opposition to onshore turbines.

Mr Roe describes turbines as monstrosities. I think that in the right location, turbines are objects of great beauty; and I think nuclear power stations are pretty ugly.

Mark Gladwin, Huntington Road, York.

 

• IN Monday’s Press an attack was made on wind farms by one of the nuclear brigade. Many points were indeed valid, but a couple of points were carefully ignored.

In the event of a wind farm being decommissioned, the land would immediately be available for alternative use. Decommission-ing a nuclear site is not the same, is it?

That process costs millions and leaves a large quantity of contaminated waste to dispose of. Even then, how long before the site could be used for anything else?

A wind farm doesn’t leave a legacy of radioactive waste that has the potential to kill and maim thousands. No one really knows how many centuries it will take for nuclear waste to burn itself out.

But that doesn’t bother the nuclear protagonists; after all, the problems of disposing lethal waste probably will not arise in their lifetime.

Wind farms are not as efficient, but they do not have the potential to wreak havoc for decades. I think the problems of radioactive waste facing future generations are far more important. But no doubt I’m in a minority.

G Brian Ledger, Horseman Close, Copmanthorpe, York.

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