There are a number of reasons why somebody might oppose a proposed wind farm; I have discussed these on another page on this site.
Most who are concerned about a wind farm that might be proposed to be built nearby are content to go to a local meeting or two, but a very few publicly campaign over an extended period. Others who are prominent in the campaign against wind power live nowhere near a wind farm or a proposed wind farm.
In my experience one thing that many of those who campaign against wind power have in common is that they deny the link between greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. Decades ago scientists were warning that adding billions of tonnes of greenhouse gasses to the Earth's atmosphere each year would likely cause global warming; more recently the evidence that the world is warming and the climate is rapidly changing has become irrefutable.
To not accept the reality of ACC requires a lack of knowledge of how science works or some sort of mental block against the overwhelming evidence about ACC. If those who oppose wind power are willing to ignore something as thoroughly supported by copious evidence as ACC because it does not suit their dislike of wind turbines, can they be trusted to tell the truth at all?
As mentioned above, air pollution from coal burning is killing many thousands, or millions, of people world-wide each year and making even more very ill. A World Health Organisation report (summarised in The Guardian) states that air pollution is the world's single biggest environmental health risk. The main sources of ambient air pollution are motor vehicles and coal burning. The main sources of air pollution in homes are coal smoke and wood smoke. I've written more on this on another page on this site. Wind power (and solar and other forms of renewable energy) can largely replace the burning of coal for the generation of electricity. Also, electricity generated by renewable means can replace coal for cooking and kerosine (paraffin) for lighting in third world countries; both of which cause major health problems.
Almost all of those who campaign against wind power ignore or deny ocean acidification and the harm to people's health due to the burning of coal.
Some examples of those involved in wind power opposition and climate science denial
The Murdoch media and Graham Lloyd, Environment Editor in The Australian newspaper in particular, disparage renewable energy and cast doubt on climate science.
Radio shock-jock Alan Jones is an outstanding critic of wind farms and denies climate science.
Family First Senator Bob Day has called climate change a scam and has claimed 'compelling' evidence linking wind turbines with health problems, against all the evidence.
Stop These Things: a very vocal anti-wind power group run by a person or people who hide their identity. A quote from one of their pages, published 2017/01/12:
"STT tends to leave the debate about global warming or 'climate change' to others. However, STT has always thought that if man-made CO2 emissions really were destroying the planet, then sensible governments would have moved to build nuclear power plants from the moment the Chicken Littles started wailing about the heavens collapsing."This strongly suggests that if the person behind STT accepts the reality of ACC he or she doesn't care about it or whatever harm it may be doing to the planet.
Beyond Australia there is Lyndsey Ward who calls herself a "wind factory fighter" and is based in Scotland brought herself to my attention by several times commenting on my Facebook page. She doesn't outright deny ACC, but claims that the 'science is not settled'; which shows just as much failure to examine the evidence as does downright climate science denial. (See the box "Is climate change proven by science?")
A Mary Young, apparently also in Scotland, also calls herself an anti-wind campaigner. I put a question to her on Facebook: "Do you accept the reality of anthropogenic climate change, ocean acidification and the numbers of people who die each year due to air pollution (largely as a result of burning coal)?" I will quote her answer:
"No I cannot. I am not a scientist. But there again, neither are you. I am an anti-wind campaigner, purely and simply – nothing more, nothing less."The implications of this answer are discused below.
The author of anti-wind power site Wind Energy's Absurd (also based in Scotland) is a climate science denier too. A quote from his blogspot:
"But you're just a bunch of climate change denying NIMBY's aren't you? Yes. Well, I can categorically say I am on both counts. My own thinking leads me to the conclusion that believing in man-made global warming is like pissing in a swimming pool and believing you're turning it yellow."
In January 2017 I noticed that there is a wind power opposition group on the Internet giving itself the important sounding name of The World Council for Nature. It seems that the WCFN opposes renewable energy, denies climate science, and ignores the damage done to nature by coal mining and coal burning.
Then, of course, there's Donald Trump who has called climate change a hoax and a scam organised by the Chinese. Wind Power Monthly fact-checked a number of Trump's comments on wind power.
DiscussionThe reply from Mary Young (above) when asked "Do you accept the reality of anthropogenic climate change, ocean acidification and the numbers of people who die each year due to air pollution (largely as a result of burning coal)?" is worth some examination:
"No I cannot. I am not a scientist. But there again, neither are you. I am an anti-wind campaigner, purely and simply – nothing more, nothing less."She seems to be saying that she cannot accept those things because she is not a scientist and that I could not know anything about them because I am not a scientist and that she has no need to even think about them.
This seems a remarkably naïve, foolish and irresponsible point of view.
External sitesGeorge Monbiot, Backward Reasoning. People can see that if climate change is a big problem, then there is a strong need to replace fossil-fuel burning power stations with renewable energy such as wind power. Those who don't like wind farms see that denial of climate change helps them to justify their opposition to wind power. To paraphrase George Monbiot: "If you don't like the outcome, deny the premise".
The 'Alice in Wonderland' mechanics of the rejection of (climate) science: simulating coherence by conspiracism; published in Synthese.
An article that covers most of the aspects of wind power opposition in a clear and succinct way was written for Green Left Weekly by Coral Wynter.
Are anti-wind turbine groups causing wind turbine syndrome?, by Wendy Zukerman.
An interesting article in The Limited Times (originally written by Christian Stocker and published in German in Spiegel, 2019/11/17), titled "Wind power opponents: You ruined our future". The damage done by wind power opponents seen from a German point of view.
On this siteOpposition to wind power and to the coal industry; opposition to wind power is usually selfish while opposition to coal is usually altruistic
Those who oppose wind power often deny climate change. It seems that the reasoning is something like this: "If climate change is real then there is a strong need for development of renewable energy to replace fossil fuel energy. If I deny the reality of climate change then I have a stronger argument against wind power."
To oppose wind power is, in effect, to support the killer coal industry.
A page has been dedicated to links relating to wind power; other links are scattered throughout the text of all my wind power pages.