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Michael Howard breaks wind Aug 10

The Tories aren’t keen on wind farms.

It’s not surprising. Wind farms are more likely than not to be built in the countryside, which gets the Conservatives’ backs up because they are the self-proclaimed defenders of rural England. (Which it’s not hard to be when you are irrelevant in the inner citiies.)

The Tories are promising to stand up for local people who don’t want wind farms nearby. And who would? (Actually, I think they look quite elegant…) This is nimbyism, but the Tories are happy to pander to it in the name of populism. People might not want wind farms built nearby, but they’d probably object rather more to a new power station, be it nuclear or fossil fuel burning. Wind farms have to go somewhere. Some can go off shore, some can go in cities, but some will have to go in the countryside.

But perhaps this isn’t just populism. Michael Howard is getting on a bit. His average party member is pretty ancient. What do the Tories have to fear from global warming? I’m reminded of William Hague’s infamous “you’ll all be dead” speech from the 1970s.

In the unlikely event of the Tories getting re-elected, some of us will have to live in their polluted future world, stripped bare of its natural resources. Michael Howard will have died of old age (he’ll probably have died of old age before the Tories get re-elected), but it would be nice if the rest of us could look forward to clean air and a sensible climate.

We need to invest in all manner of renewable energy sources, but we also need to start building them yesterday.

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