Friday, 1 February 2013

Dear English Heritage

I just sent this to English Heritage
Dear English Heritage,please accept this e-mail as formal cancellation of my membership. I am leaving in protest at the Chairman's repeated opposition to wind turbines as visually destructive. I have four objections to this approach.  
Firstly, this is a subjective judgement, but when expressed by an influential individual such as Mr Thurley, it has a great effect on government ministers, many of whom are opposed to renewable energy per se.  
Apparently Mr Thurley doesn't consider the York nuclear bunker 'visually destructive': it's an English Heritage property

Secondly, a good number of English Heritage sites are former industrial buildings and working which might once have been considered ugly, destructive or disfiguring. I am certain that if English Heritage exists in a century, it will be fighting to preserve early examples of wind generators. 
 Like this one, currently cared for by, er, English Heritage?

Or this intrusive imposition on the landscape, another EH possession:

Thirdly, Mr Thurley might object to wind turbines, but those of us who live near coal, oil, nuclear or gas power stations (many like Sellafield located in areas of natural beauty) might find them rather more unattractive than some slender, graceful turbines.  
In fact some English Heritage photographers find wind turbines unobtrusive and rather beautiful too:

Finally, and most importantly, Mr Thurley should bear in mind that the visual and environmental destruction caused by fossil fuel energy production is much greater than the local effect of some wind turbines. Has he never noticed the blackening of urban buildings by soot from coal fires and internal combustion engines? Or the death of coral reefs as temperatures rise? Our natural environment is massively stressed by rising temperatures, extreme weather, soil erosion and the associated effects of continued fossil fuel use.  
I accept that turbines can sometimes be insensitively placed, but until English Heritage realises that this debate is much more complex than Mr Thurley appears to recognise, I must withdraw my support. 

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