Through his painting and writing he hopes to bring about a greater awareness of the threats to the natural environment, and he is particularly active in conserving the wild areas. He is currently campaigning to preserve his beloved Welsh Hills from the scourge of Wind Turbine Developments.
People often ask me to explain ’ What have I got against wind turbines?’
Here are a few of their problems:
1 They exacerbate flooding due to the massive concrete bases being built on our hills for turbines which cause faster run-off during periods of heavy rain. Old wind farms, such as at Llandinam, have passed their sell-by date much earlier than expected and are being replaced by larger turbines, each of which requires a new concrete base. They old bases are left in the ground. As you will appreciate, the mountain will eventually be covered in concrete, a highly-polluting process itself, and this will increase flooding many-fold.
2 Proximity to wind turbines can cause high blood pressure, tinitus, sleeplessness and many other health problems, due to infra-sound – there is now much evidence of this in many countries, with massed chronic examples in the US, Canada and Australia. (many reports, including Wind Turbines Make Waves: Why Some Residents Near Wind Turbines Become Ill, contained in the Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society, 30th September 2011; Wind Turbine Syndrome, A Report on a Natural Experiment, by Dr Nina Pierpont, published 2009 by K-Selected Books, Santa Fe). The UK government insists on using a system called ETSU-97 for monitoring wind noise, but this is 16 years old, produced when turbines were far smaller, and there is much more sensitive equipment available now, which they refuse to use because it will reveal the shortcomings of the industry. Unbelievably, the Health & Safety Executive are kept well away from wind turbine developments, when every other form of activity in the UK is subject to their investigations, even harmless bookshops in Brecon.
3 Despite what government and the wind industry say, turbines devalue property and in many cases destroy any chance of selling the property – there is a lot of evidence from estate agents all over the UK.
4 In extreme cases people such as Jane and Julian Davis in Lincolnshire even had to abandon their property. There is no provision for compensation for such people.
5 Wind energy destroys local jobs: according to a report commissioned by the Scottish government 3.7 jobs in the UK are lost for every 1 wind one produced (Verso Economics: The Economic Impact of Renewable Energy Policy in Scotland and the UK 2011).
6 The Mid-Wales economy relies heavily on tourism, and many businesses will have to close and the economy devastated if hundreds more turbines are erected. It is completely unfair that Powys should bear such massive numbers of these alien, out-of-scale objects and have to pay some £3m to fight it through the public inquiries – that is why we have the highest hike in council tax in the country. See the PCC Red Kite newsletter.
7 Industrialising much of our finest natural landscapes that are vital for people’s wellbeing, tourism, etc, is totally unacceptable in a civilised society. We need natural landscapes unadulterated by monstrous metal structures, for our well-being.
8 Introducing gridlock into Mid-Wales highways over 7 years or more as is forecast by Powys CC (comment by Dale Boyington, Director of Highways, PCC in 2012) if current proposals go ahead will inevitably destroy much of the fabric of our society and culture, but this matters not a jot to those in Cardiff or Westminster.
9 This is leading to the disintegration of local communities, many of whom will be virtually imprisoned when surrounded by monstrous metal turbines nearly 500 feet high.
10 Billions of our money going abroad to foreign energy corporations (who form some 70% of our energy companies), furthering problems with our balance of payments.
11 Energy bills are rising alarmingly, mainly because of subsidies to wind energy, thus creating fuel poverty for so many in Mid-Wales, with consequent increase in deaths in winter.
12 Turbines kill birds (particular raptors) and bats, also spook many domestic animals. Horses are especially vulnerable.
13 Turbine bases destroy vast areas of peat blanket, the British equivalent of a rain forest and thus releasing vast tonnes of CO2.
14 The intermittency of wind energy makes it a pretty useless source of energy, leading to brown-outs, grid destabilisation and costly backup from traditional power stations which are forced to operate at inefficient levels, and thus creating more CO2 than if they operated normally without the turbines.
15 People regard nuclear power as being dangerous, yet more people have died from wind turbine accidents over the last five years than from nuclear ones. During the 5 years up to December 2011 there were 1,500 accidents and incidents on UK wind farms, with four deaths, according to Renewable UK.
16 During periods when the grid cannot cope with input from wind turbines the latter are told to shut down, yet are given hundreds of thousands of pounds for not producing any power.
17 Wind turbines each have a magnet as part of their structure, and some of the content for this comes from rare earth minerals mined exclusively in China. This process is dirty and dangerous, with waste products, including radioactive thorium apparently allowed to leech into the waterways. See http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/asia/july-dec09/china_12-14.html
This book explains much of the above in greater detail:
The Wind Farm Scam by Dr John Etherington, £9.99 Stacey International publishers
Watch this excellent film by Godfrey Bloom explaining the economics and the threats to our energy supply that will result from our government’s obsession with wind energy
Mynydd y Gwair, Watercolour by David Bellamy
There is a proposal to built a large Wind Turbine development on this beautiful unspoilt common land, with views across Swansea Bay, the Bristol Channel and the Decon coastline. The local people will loose their peace and serenity, and walkers will loose the sense of isolation and solitude so vital to restore well-being in many of us. And all for the sake of a small supply of intermittent electricity
We are both very concerned about the impact of proposed Wind Turbine developments in the Welsh Uplands. Numerous developments of large Wind Turbines are currently being proposed for many of the country’s most beautiful hilltops. Sixteen wind turbine developments already exist in Wales creating an unacceptable visual intrustion. Some turbine developments are currently being built such as Cefn Croes in Ceredigion where huge tracts of land are being devastated in order to install access roads. Visit Cefn Croeswebsite to see the damage. All this destruction in order to produce a very small and intermittent supply of electricity.
‘We are both working to bring about more awareness of the issues’
The two David Bellamys have met on two protest marches against wind turbine developments in Wales.
David and Jenny passionately believe in the principle of renewable energy but wind turbines are the least reliable or productive, and the most intrusive of all the renewable options.
Far from being a ‘green’ option, there are many arguments against them. For example – here are just two of the many facts
1. Their unreliability means that conventional coal, gas or oil fired power stations will still have to be kept running on standby in case the wind stops blowing, or blows too fast, thus any perceived saving of carbon emissions is a myth.
2. 1,000 tons of concrete is required to install each individual turbine. Concrete production is the second most polluting industrial process in the world.
Please take the time to educate yourself on this subject as we are being told by our government that this is the solution to reducing our carbon emissions but wind tubines cannot help to solve the problem of global warming in fact they may even be adding to it.
The only people to benefit from this industrialisation of our countryside will be the developers.