Not surprisingly, the annual general meeting on Saturday of Westmill Windfarm Co-operative produced opinions totally dissimilar to those of campaigner Joanna Lambert, who regards the five wind turbines as a noisy eyesore. However, some of them are as prone to overstatement as Ms Lambert.
I think they are not only beautiful but absolutely vital to the survival of our species and the planet.
A lack of cheap electricity may be inconvenient, but it hardly threatens the extinction of the human race.
The AGM itself was an odd affair. Held in a marquee beside the turbines and run by a chairman who forgot that not only did motions need to be proposed and seconded but they also needed to be voted on. Then their were the questions and comments from the floor, a mix of a few logical questions concerning the future of the business, and a large number that were bizarre to varying degrees. There were people who clearly found the whole idea of making money from a business as abhorrent and suggested alternatives to people receiving interest on their investments. There were others proposing over-the-top technological solutions to non-existent problems: as one of the co-op’s advisers said, why bother with battery storage of power from windfarms when they’re connected to the National Grid? Others were keen to publicise their own schemes — watermills on the Thames seemed popular — or had parochial questions about their own interests. The overall impression was more parish council than efficient business.
One thing was indisputable: the turbines were quiet, with the sound of birds in the surrounding fields much louder than the swishing of the blades.