Most of the links on this page lead to further explanation and supporting evidence.
Mr Ridgway's Net site was rewritten in the second half of 2013This page was written based on Mr Ridgway's old Net site.
The main part of this page begins with some extracts from Mr Ridgway's (old)
Quotes from Mr Ridgway's page are on the left, the facts are on the right.
(Mr Ridgway's Net site, http://www.davidridgway.com.au, was off-line
from around the time that I mentioned
he was one of the main opponents to the Ceres wind farm on Yes 2 Renewables,
on 2013/07/30, was still off-line on 2013/08/11, but was back by
Quote 1 from Mr Ridgway's page"A Parliamentary investigation into the social and economic effects of wind-driven power stations has heard of a looming clash between the energy industry and primary production."
"... the Australian Energy Market Operator [AEMO] revealed a large discrepancy
between the installed capacity of wind-driven turbines and the actual power
they could reliably or consistently deliver."
Quote 2 from Mr Ridgway's page"The investigation will soon travel to the Yorke Peninsula where according to one submission about 800 square kilometres [80 000ha] of prime cropping land would be impacted by the proposed giant Ceres project, which is now awaiting Ministerial approval."
Even worseOn his page about Gail Gago Mr Ridgway took this even further. He wrote "just one wind-driven power station on the Yorke Peninsula would impact about 800 square kilometres of prime cropping land". In saying this Mr Ridgway made this ridiculous and unsubstantiated claim his own.
Wikipedia, 2013/05/20, stated that the total installed wind power in Iowa was 5137MW in 2012 (at the same time the total for the whole of Australia was about 2600MW) and that Iowa had the greatest wind power capacity per square kilometre for any US state. The area of Iowa is less than two-thirds that of Victoria.
A very high concentration of wind power combines successfully with a highly intensive and productive grain industry in Iowa making complete nonsense of Mr Ridgway's claim.
The three US states having the highest agricultural production also
have the most wind power, demonstrating again the
compatibility of wind power and agriculture.
Quote 3 from Mr Ridgway's page"Peter Blacker [once Nationals MP for Flinders, now Chair of the Regional Communities Consultative Council] said wind-driven power stations even had the capacity to create marine disturbances because of a proposed under-sea cable across Gulf St. Vincent."
[Peter Blacker said] "I fly across that very regularly and there is nearly
always a ship or two anchored out there, so clearly they would have to go
further north to come around that shipping basin.
There is the prawn industry, coastal protection, marine parks, the whole
Quote 4 from Mr Ridgway's page"When you put together the possible economic loss to primary production, government subsidies to the wind industry and wind's inability to reliably cope with periods of peak demand, there are many questions which have to be answered"
media release David Ridgway expresses disappointment that wind turbines, towers and blades were not to be manufactured in Australia. He said "I'd hoped that as the wind power capital of Australia, with over half the installed wind generating capacity, SA would have had hundreds of jobs in manufacturing turbines and blades."
This is a remarkable statement to come from a man who, as this page shows, does all he can to destroy any wind power development in Australia. His party too, is fighting a war against renewable energy. This does not make Australia look like a great place to invest in building wind turbine components.
It seems to be another exposure of the
two faces of David Ridgway.
One of Mr Ridgway's pages, "Ill wind on Yorke Peninsula"
"The average temperature on the Yorke Peninsula in February is a toasty 28 degrees. This year in mid-February the toast burnt; the mercury climbed to 40".Mr Ridgway, we can expect a lot more of that in the future, it's called climate change and we need to change from burning fossil fuels to renewable energy if we are going to combat it.
Mr Ridgway cherry-picks evidence and exaggeratesHe wrote "The Federal Magistrates Court in Victoria has ruled that a property is worth up to 33 (sic) less if a wind farm is built on neighbouring land." (It seems that Mr Ridgway meant 33%.)
I don't know where Mr Ridgway got the 33% figure, but an article in The Australian includes a sentence, "In a decision believed to be the first time an Australian court has recognised the adverse financial impact of wind farms for neighbours, magistrate Kate Hughes ruled a property would be worth 17 per cent less if a 14-turbine facility were erected next door." Note, 17% rather than the 33% claimed by Mr Ridgway.
Mr Ridgway has found, in among the masses of evidence that indicate wind farms do not cause significant declines in land values, one case that went against the trend. This use of convenient evidence that suits one's preconceptions, while ignoring the bulk of the evidence, is called cherry picking.
The graphs on the right show that in all the Australian cases where wind farms have been constructed close to towns, there has been no tendency for house and land prices to fall.
Go to the source for facts, Mr Ridgway, not to wind farm opponentsMr Ridgway quotes Martin Hayes and Tania Stock, two of the main Ceres opponents, for his information on aerial fire-fighting. Mr Hayes said:
"Aerial fire bombers will not be able to operate within the vicinity of the turbines due to visibility issues and wake turbulence, creating a major risk for the wider community in the event of a significant fire."CFS aviation manager David Pearce has said:
"We would treat the wind farms exactly the same way as we treat powerlines that are reasonably high, also radio masts, television towers or even high structures."Why quote wind farm opponents if you are interested in the facts Mr Ridgway? Why not go to the CFS?
A lie, or at best, a gross exaggerationMr Ridgway said "... more and more wind farms are being built closer and closer to homes, villages and schools." This is not so Mr Ridgway; you are making it up. I challenge you to substantiate this claim.
Some turbines of the Ceres Project will be 2km from the small townships of Port Julia and Sheoak Flat. While this may be closer than any other South Australian wind farm comes to a township, it hardly justifies Mr Ridgway's claim.
Something we should be proud ofMr Ridgway said "SA has one of the highest proportions of wind power generation in the world. More than half of Australia's installed wind power is in this State." In a world where there is a huge and growing climate change problem this is something of which all South Australians should be very proud.
Tell us who these experts are Mr RidgwayMr Ridgway claimed that "... some experts blame [wind generators] for making SA's electricity almost the most expensive in the world." Please tell us who these experts are Mr Ridgway; the experts I've heard commenting on the matter say it has been the costs of transmission infrastructure that has been forcing up electricity prices.
Tourism on Yorke PeninsulaMr Ridgway implied that tourism on Yorke Peninsula will be damaged by the proposed wind farm, but typically, gave no evidence to support his claim. There is substantial evidence that wind farms do not harm tourism. It is far more likely that the Southern Hemesphere's biggest wind farm would be a huge boost to tourism on Yorke Peninsula.
Wind power and agricultureMr Ridgway claimed, again without evidence, that wind power was incompatible with the agriculture on Yorke Peninsula. As discussed elsewhere on this page the US state of Iowa very successfully combines a very high concentration of wind power with an exceptionally productive agricultural industry.
I have also shown arguments on my Heartland Farmers page debunking the claim that wind farms will significantly adversely affect agriculture.
Examine the evidence fearlessly and impartially?Mr Ridgway said "I invite South Australians from the cities and the bush to prepare their evidence. We'll examine that evidence fearlessly and impartially." Given his obvious bias and careless use of the facts, as demonstrated on this page, can Mr Ridgway be trusted to be impartial?
I think the answer to that question is pretty obvious.
Mr Ridgway was quoted by the ABC as saying:
"I couldn't really hear any distinctive noise that I could say was coming from the wind farm".Mr Parnell said that the wind was blowing directly toward them from the wind farm early in the night, but, perhaps not surprisingly, Mr Ridgway did not mention this.
A short segment by 9 News is on U Tube. It was stated on the segment that the house is two kilometres from the turbines. Bob Lamb and Ally Fricker also featured on the video clip. They live eight or nine kilometres east of the wind farm, on the far side of the Totthill Range of hills are have long opposed wind farms. Ms Fricker said that "they [the turbines] were incredibly noisy at our place last night as a matter of fact". Can the reader believe that? The turbines were inaudible 2km away, yet were "incredibly noisy" 8km away on the far side of a high range of hills?
Tom Richardson, of the InDaily, wrote a piece on the sleep-over. He wrote "Personally, I couldn't hear a thing above the snoring resonating from the rooms around me."
Let's just give this some thought in the context of the world wind power industry. World-wide wind power has been growing at an exponential rate for several decades. In 2011 alone, China installed around 17GW of wind power (at the end of 2012 the total wind power in Australia was about 2.5GW). Can the reader believe that the energy experts all over the world are busy installing thousands of turbines each year when the whole thing is grossly counter-productive?
Mr Ridgway implied that most of the carbon dioxide involved was released from the making of the cement in the footings of the wind turbines. The actual time in which a wind farm 'pays back' the CO2 component of the footings is not 3580 years, but rather a very few days.
A similar claim made by wind power opponents relates to how long a wind farm takes to pay back the energy used in the construction of the whole wind farm. The actual figure for this is around five or six months.
If one looks at the carbon intensity of wind farms it works out at about 10 or 12 grams of CO2 per kWh of energy generated. The corresponding figure for coal is about 1000.
Considering another way of looking at this question, wind farms abate around one tonne of carbon dioxide (CO2) for each megawatt-hour (MWh) of electricity that they generate. The Ceres wind farm, if built, will generate about two million MWh each year. Mr Ridgway claimed that the wind farm construction would be responsible for releasing a total of 398 000 tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere (although how this figure was arrived at we were not told). From these figures we can simply calculate that the wind farm will abate the CO2 in a fifth of a year.
Yet Mr Ridgway accepted and repeated this 3580 year claim, apparently without any checking, any serious consideration, or any thought that it might be absolute nonsense!
This is a bizarre claim, but it seems that Mr Ridgway is willing to repeat anything that appears to cast wind turbines in a bad light, no matter how incredible.
The blades of modern wind turbines don't come any closer to the ground than
about 30 or 40m.
When a farmer (or an aerial spraying contractor) is spraying, using chemicals
that will be toxic to adjacent crops, they have to be very careful that as
little as possible of the spray drifts anywhere.
Most spraying has to be done when there is little or no wind; in which case
nearby turbines would not be operating at all.
How spray could get up 30 or 40m above the ground to be picked up by a wind
turbine and then 'shifted' to another paddock, if the spray operator is doing
his job properly, is unimaginable.
The caption under my photo used in the Liberal's brochure read "Construction of the Snowtown wind farm in South Australia's mid north dwarfs the house in the foreground, demonstrating how close to residents the Government is willing to build wind turbines. Photograph taken by Dave Clarke, February 19th 2011."
The turbine is about 1.8km from the house, making a lie of the statement in the brochure (need I say that this is not the only lie in the brochure).
The use of this image, without asking me for permission, is quite unethical; but to use it dishonestly and misleadingly and claim that it shows a wind turbine close to a house when this is quite false, compounds the abuse.
I first used the photo on my Net pages on the Snowtown Wind Farm section.
Further actionI had a letter to the Editor about the Liberal's use of the image published on 2013/06/26 in the Clare Northern Argus. While several emails to the Liberals and to Mr Ridgway concerning the use of my photo had previously been ignored, Hendrik Gout of Mr Ridgway's office contacted me following the publication of my letter. His initial contact was by email. He asked that I telephone him. I told him I wanted to keep all correspondence in writing. He ignored this, phoned me and claimed that I had given permission for the use of the image. On 2013/06/28 I requested that he provide evidence of this; no evidence has been provided.
I have given permission to various parties to use some of my photos under certain conditions. Of course I would not give permission for the use of one of my photos on a misleading and dishonest anti-wind brochure, particularly for Liberal Party propaganda, considering their anti-renewables stance; so if I ever did give permission it would have been because I was misled about who was to use the photo, and for what it was to be used.
I don't know if Mr Ridgway has grandchildren, but suppose that he does and consider what might happen if they look into the history of climate change in fifty years time when everyone has seen how much harm it has done and is continuing to do. They will see that Australia was among the very worst of the climate polluters, while it had 0.3% of the world's population they will see that it produced 1.5% of the world's greenhouse gasses.
And perhaps they will look into their grandfather's part in climate change action. (It will still be on the Internet, if there is still an Internet.) They will find that their grandfather not only did not press for action to limit climate change, but actively opposed the introduction of renewable energy. How will they feel about their grandfather, one of the more outspoken Austraian politicians against climate change action?
I wonder if Mr Ridgway gives any thought to how the people of the future will view his actions? Does it concern him?
Which would you prefer, Mr Ridgway?
While Mr Ridgway obviously is opposed to wind power, he doesn't say what he believes the alternatives are. Would he prefer: