Sacred landscape and Sustainable Development

Cynog Dafis argues that a circle can be squared on green growth

The Welsh economy is seriously underachieving. As economist, Gerry Holtham, has demonstrated, Wales’ public sector deficit, the difference between public expenditure and what is raised through taxes, is £12 billion, a quarter of Wales’ Gross Added Value (GVA). Wales’ average GVA is about 75 per cent of the UK average, and the ‘prosperity gap’ is at present widening rather than closing.

Compare this with Scotland where the deficit is no worse than that of the whole United Kingdom. As Gerry Holtham points out, the reasons for the difference are that Wales has neither its own oil field nor a sizeable financial services sector, and that taken overall its economy is not in a healthy competitive state.

As a result of these economic realities the positions of Wales and Scotland in constitutional debate over the future of Britain are totally different. Scotland can consider political independence, whether you think this desirable or not. The next option, fiscal autonomy or ‘Devo-max’, is also credible and a real possibility.

However, for Wales both these options are out of the question. Not only that, but a third option of giving the Assembly the kind of substantial taxation responsibilities known as ‘Devo-plus’, remains a considerable challenge. Wales would still be heavily dependent on financial transfers from the Westminster Treasury. In short, and depressingly, the weakness of our economy limits our national aspirations.

There are other serious effects of economic underachievement, including unemployment and economic inactivity, educational underachievement, and a range of health and social problems. In addition, and as serious as all of this, is the continuing haemorrhage of our best and brightest talents through emigration. In turn this is a drain on our social and cultural confidence and specifically on the vitality of the Welsh language.

The promotion of Sustainable Development is as we have all heard ad nauseam, a statutory obligation placed on the National Assembly through the 1998 and 2006 Government of Wales Acts. I played some part in the process of including this obligation in the 1998 Act, and am glad to be able to say so. However, from the standpoint of constitutional principle, it is wholly unacceptable that Westminster legislation places such an obligation (and there are others) on the National Assembly and I look forward to doing away with such obligations in a new Government of Wales Act as soon as possible.

The Welsh Government is committed to passing a Sustainable Development Act and a Bill to take this forward will be presented to the Assembly this October. It is opportune therefore, and at the risk of oversimplification to remind ourselves of the two rival visions of a future Wales set out in the iconic englyn of Taliesin o Eifion (Thomas Jones 1820-76):

‘Pure Wales, tranquil Wales – fair Wales

Wales beloved always

Fairest Wales, seize the day,

Land of song, advance and progress.’

Here we have two versions of Wales. In the first couplet there is a complacent, sentimental, picture of a pure, tranquil, beloved Wales. In the second, there is the alternative, a Wales which seizes the day and embraces progress, one of the key concepts of the Victorian age and the industrial revolution.

The concept of Wales as a beautiful, unspoilt landscape, a marvellous country for visitors to explore and discover its romantic, rocky primitive beauty is analysed in Peter Lord’s masterly volume Imaging the Nation. It was this version of Wales, and of so-called ‘North Wales’ in particular, which caused the UK government to designate 20 per cent of the land of Wales as national parks (note the adjective, and bear in mind that the nation is question is not Wales), and a further 10 per cent as Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. In both designations there are substantial limitations on development, including renewable energy, in the name of conserving the priceless landscape of pure Wales.

The rival version is to be found in the reality of the lives of the majority of the people in 19th century Wales, which turned them into an industrialised population in one of the most innovative and enterprising countries in the world. It was this spectacular  transformation that gave rise to political and religious radicalism, social and cultural creativity and ferment. As a result, and unlike Ireland, we retained a high percentage of our migratory population within the boundaries of Wales which in turn injected new energy into the Welsh language. One by-product of this transformation was, of course, the ‘land of song’ invoked in Taliesin o Eifion’s englyn.

True, all this came at enormous human (although not nearly as bad as that suffered by rural Ireland) and environmental cost. It was a perfect example, you might say, of unsustainable development. And, in addition to injecting new life into the language, did it not also sow the seeds of its decline? But seriously, where would Wales be today were it not for what was forged in this amazing revolutionary cauldron?

When I walk in the countryside today, what never fails to entrance me, and what gives meaning to the landscape, is the human, social and cultural inheritance passed on by past generations. And so much of that priceless heritage is due to the development of industry. Is it not striking, and proper, that the industrial town of Blaenafon has gained UNESCO World Heritage Site status?

The other day, I stood on Banc y Darren in northern Ceredigion, above Trefeurig, Cwmerfin, Cwmsymlog and Penrhyncoch. The view was amazing,, while the ground under my feet was a maze of mine workings, lead, silver, and copper. The surrounding villages were as much industrial settlements as Blaenafon and Merthyr Tydfil, Glyn-neath and Tredegar or Llanberis or Rhosllannerchrugog. These were among the powerhouses of the cultural, social and national awakening which is responsible for the fact that Wales is today a political nation.

From Banc y Darren I could also see wind farms enlivening the view. Erecting and maintaining them has created jobs and is pumping tens of thousands of pounds a year into the surrounding areas. But these developments happened in the teeth of the fierce opposition from a minority of dedicated people. As often as not their opposition was articulated in terms of the romantic image of Wales as a priceless and unsullied landscape which must be preserved from development and radical change.

Yet when I stand at the summit of Pumlumon I see not destruction but the miracle of turning wind into electricity, the spinning of the blades enlivening the view, and the fascination that these depopulated, post-industrial areas are once again contributing to the economy and creating a new and valued product.

Concern for the preservation of a priceless landscape was what informed the Welsh Government planning decisions which led to the failure of the Cambrian Engineering Company which constructed wind turbine towers and employed 80 workers in Gwynedd. It was the same concern which meant that producing a planning framework for renewable energy was such a long-drawn-out, tortuous process, from which emerged the infamous TAN 8 planning document. One consequence of that is the ill-informed and negative protests in Powys today, before which the Welsh Government retreated with such alacrity.

When the sawmills at Newbridge on Wye, Powys developed a scheme to generate heat and energy from waste wood and conifers, increasingly difficult to exploit because of the increased recycling of paper, one of the objections listed by the Environment Agency was that a rising column of steam from the works – steam, not fire or smoke – would sully the view. In the face of planning objections the scheme, which could have helped kick start a Welsh biomass industry, was withdrawn.

At a recent conference on renewable energy a constant refrain by the companies present was the difficulty of carrying on their business, and thus competing and producing profit, in Wales. The contrast with Scotland was mentioned repeatedly. There the installed capacity for renewable energy has risen from 1,800MW in 2004 to 4,360 in 2010 – an increase of 242 per cent. The corresponding figures for Wales were 429 and 764, an increase of 56 per cent. Wales had a target of reaching 4TWh for renewable energy by 2010, but only achieved 1.6TWh.

The Scottish Government has certain powers which the Welsh Government lacks, and which have enabled Scotland to innovate in tidal and wave technology as well as wind. However, this has as much to do with political will as with powers. And part of the problem is Version 1 Wales – pure Wales, tranquil Wales, the sacred landscape which must be kept inviolate. The irony is that strict environmental regulation often prevents precisely the type of development which is essential for a sustainable natural environment.

However, we also need to consider our attitude towards economic development that is not sustainable in the full sense. The evidence suggests that Wales’s reserves of shale gas along with methane from the extensive coal seams remaining under land and sea, for example in Swansea Bay, are substantial. Carbon emissions from gas are less than from coal and oil, but they hardly fit a true definition of sustainable development. If these sources were intelligently developed and set within the framework of other policies such as workforce development and creating Welsh supply chains, might it be that Wales’ natural gas reserves could have a transformational effect on our economic fortunes not unlike that of North Sea oil in Scotland? Would it make any kind of sense for Wales to reject this opportunity in the name of sustainability or in keeping with the pure, tranquil Wales mind set.

Wales then should interpret its national commitment to promoting sustainable development rather by what we do than by what we don’t do. We should regard sustainable development as an opportunity to surge ahead rather than as a series of hurdles to be surmounted before we can act. Rather than adopting the role of well-behaved ecologists we should be pushing the boundaries of invention and innovation, eager to grasp the opportunities when they arise. If that is environmental heresy, it is also simple common sense for a small nation whose collective environmental global footprint is tiny, and whose need of economic transformation is profound.

So we come at last to the proposed Sustainable Development Act. Part of the background is the Sustainable Development Charter which according to the Welsh Government “sets our vision for a sustainable Wales”,. Sustainable development, described as “the central organising principle” of the government’s policies, has the following elements:

  • Living within our environmental means, using only our fair share of the earth’s resources.
  • Supporting healthy, productive and biological ecosystems.
  • Building a sustainable and strong economy, and fostering local economies and suppliers.
  • Enjoying safe, sustainable and attractive communities.
  • Creating a fair, just and bilingual country.

Wales’s environmental footprint heads the list. However if we were to succeed in closing the prosperity gap between Wales and the rest of the UK, an increase in our environmental footprint would be a well-nigh inevitable consequence. Improving our primitive road network, for example within Wales and between north and south, would in all probability increase our carbon emissions, unless we produce new sustainable fuels – and Wales is not likely to manage that on its own.

WWF and other environmental organisations complain that the Welsh Government’s legislative proposals place insufficient emphasis on reducing our global ecological footprint. Here is an excellent example of transferring a UK policy automatically to the Welsh context, with no attempt to think creatively about the specific problems and priorities of Wales. In this mind set the economy comes third and not first.

What, therefore, should be the foundations of the new Sustainable Development Act? In other words, what kind of Wales do we wish to see? Here are two options. The first is to commit to our present route:

  • Emphasise environmental conservation and living within global limits.
  • Develop a range of locally-based enterprises which conform strictly to the sustainable development template and gain brownie points from environmentalists and within the UN Network of Regions for Sustainable Development.
  • Reject economic growth as a key consideration.
  • Accept Wales’ dependence on fiscal transfers from Westminster, with all w that implies for our  constitutional aspirations.

Or we can be much more ambitious:

  • Use sustainable development as an engine for improving economic performance and creating a new industrial revolution in Wales.
  • Accept the need for compromise in conserving the environment, particularly the visual landscape.
  • Over time to wean ourselves off our dependence on the UK Treasury.
  • Keep our constitutional options open according to what is advantageous for Wales.

I favour the second option, and recommend the following underpinning principles for the proposed Sustainable Development Act:

  • Target and support environmental sectors which can contribute to economic growth.
  • Create a planning and regulatory framework which will facilitate and accelerate the sector’s development.
  • Develop and sustain our environmental assets, including water and energy, for the economic benefit of the nation.
  • Establish a hierarchy of considerations which will rank climate change, biodiversity and control of pollution higher than considerations of (subjective) visual aesthetics.
  • Develop expertise in predicting and analysing international and European policy trends so as to help set the direction for our economic development.
  • Ensure that Welsh businesses are aware of and informed about these trends and are thus able to take advantage of them.
  • Ensure that understanding sustainablity is a key element in the curriculum at all levels, so as to create a nation well-versed in the field.
  • Accept that the well-being of the natural environment must be placed in the context of the necessity of improving Wales’s economic performance.
  • Set per capita GVA and economic growth within a wider framework of sustainable development indicators.
  • Do everything possible to ensure that the result of economic success is strongly linked to social justice and community regeneration.

Cynog Dafis is the former Plaid MP for Ceredigion and AM for the Mid and West Wales region. This is an edited version of a speech he delivered at the National Eisteddfod 'Maes Gwyrdd' last August.

13 thoughts on “Sacred landscape and Sustainable Development

  1. I’m broadly in agreement with you Cynog. In particular, I quite see the schizophrenic nature of the Welsh view of itself, its future and sustainability. On the one hand I see the unrealistic belief that Wales should support the ‘Loving spoon and laver bread’ economy of rural, tourism based, projects. On the other I see the well organised and effective protest against all things that might bring real prosperity to the whole of Wales… and by that I mean all of its constituent parts not just the well populated areas of the South and East.

    The schizophrenia is wide spread and the result is a country tying itself in knots over ill-defined objectives and poorly thought out policy. Where I live is an area of post industrial slate quarry waste nestled above Llanberis. The site is owned by the Council and has for twenty years been the subject of various projects. The last major initiative was a Snow Dome and holiday resort. It was well thought out and had private finance. It offered to generate 700 jobs.

    The protests against this development were led by ‘Cymuned’ who declared that such a development would threaten the Welsh Language in the area… there were not 700 local Welsh speakers unemployed and therefore there would be an influx of English workers.

    Planning permission was refused.

    In the last decade a group was looking to build on this site and run a medium sized business there. Unfortunately the Council had designated the site as one where buildings would comply with “BREEAM EXCELLENT” ratings. The building that would have cost £350,000 to construct would now cost just over £1m. The banks would lend against a value of £350,000.

    End of project.

    All over Wales we see the same arguments… Wylfa B PAWB (People against Wylfa B) joins forces with Cymdeithas Yr Iaith to organise protests on the grounds that the large influx of non-Welsh speakers would dilute the Welsh speaking character of Ynys Mon (sound familiar?).

    Meanwhile our State paid Commissioner for the Welsh Language complains that the Welsh Government has not moved forward with a new, more restrictive, version of Tan 20 (The planning measure that restricts developments on the basis of the Welsh Language character of an area). Simultaneously Cymdeithas Yr Iaith protests against a 289 unit housing development outside Ammanford… on the grounds that… You know the rest.

    This is the problem with a sustainable development plan in Wales (I’m tempted to say any development in Wales). We cannot get past our religious obsession with the drive for a bi-lingual nation.

  2. There’s much in Cynog’s article that I agree with. But I disagree with at least two of his contentions. Firstly, even though Wales’ total environmental footprint is small, our per capita impact is one of the highest in the world. Our actions in Wales have a real impact in the here and now on people right across the world. Is it morally acceptable that people in Wales should be contributing to the destruction of communities much poorer than our own through exploiting dangerous new sources of energy such as the shale gas feted by Cynog? After all, nearly 80 per cent of people in Wales are concerned about the effects of climate change on developing countries

    And secondly, why the apparent obsession in making economic comparisons with “the rest of the UK” (Cynog is far from alone in this regard)? As Professor Calvin Jones has recently pointed out, the mantra of unending economic growth is doomed to fail. And is there in any case much merit in comparing ourselves with a country (England) where we’re repeatedly told large proportions of GDP are generated from a discredited banking sector? We have a real opportunity to develop in a sustainable way, for the good of people and the planet. Perhaps the time has come for us to recognise that a gentler economy, without the focus on a constant treadmill of economic growth, can liberate people to spend more time with friends and family, and to enjoy more conversations with neighbours and within communities, in ways that are more socially and environmentally rich rather than materially so. There’s a big difference between lives lived with high well-being – even if we’re poorer than people in England – and lives in which we’re tormented by our never-ending and apparently unavoidable failure to keep up with the Joneses.

  3. I agree but knowing what I know, we should stay well clear of shale and coal seam gas extraction.

  4. Since you quote me, Cynog, as saying that Wales runs a budget deficit of 12 billion pounds or a quarter of GVA, perhaps I should provide an update. That estimate, made in 2010, related to 2008/9 when the full effect of the recession on public finances had yet to be felt. Work by Bob Rowthorne to estimate tax receipts in Wales suggests the deficit is now much bigger, perhaps as much as 18 billion or some 40 per cent of GVA. If that seems an improbably large deterioration, recall that the UK budget deficit went from somewhere around 2 percent to over 10 per cent of GDP in the years after 2008.

  5. Gareth Clubb, the Welsh people gave their answer to your arguments in the 19th century. There they were living in the most beautiful countryside in close-knit communities when they got the chance to huddle In cramped terrace housing and insanitary conditions in order to do dangerous work underground. What did they do? They jumped at it in very large numbers because they wanted more material things and the chance to move on in life. All the information we have suggests they would make the same choice today. If ever Wales became the place of bucolic bliss that you picture, half the population would emigrate and the place really would be an old folks’ home.

  6. I found myself agreeing with a lot in this article. In particular, ”Wales…. should interpret its national commitment to promoting sustainable development….by what we do than by what we don’t do”.

  7. Tredwyn – rural poverty, low wages, poor housing, were all factors that drove people from the land into the industrial settlements. The historic evidence shows us that by the 1890s, farmers could not match the wages offered by industry to keep men on the land. And living in a damp, clom-walled cottage, with a leaking thatched roof, was not as good as moving to a stone-built, slate-roofed terraced house, where there was money, community and a standard of living in excess of anything possible in the “beautiful countryside” – regardless of the dangers of industrial employment. I think that it was only wealthy travellers who had the time to find beauty in the countryside in the 18th and 19th Centuries. On the whole it seems that the peasant population lived in dreadful circumstances.

  8. Like most others i agree with the comments. One big issue is the Governments own instruments of delivery and regulation which think globally in ambition but act at a micro level on instigation. Working in the sustainable development (doing) sector I am now never disappointed to see new and exciting ways to interperate well meaning strategy into red tape which can often bring different statutory bodies to blows… And not with the developer but with themselves.

    “Between thought and deed lies a grey area and in that grey area the hollow men dwel… Beware the hollow men!” Sort of TS Elliot!

    Ambition and vision is great but … This thing needs some conviction and drive if we are to be sustainable. Has Cardiff got the balls to do it? I hope so.

  9. Whether you see the move to urbanisation as a push or a pull it is happening right now across the planet. Whether you are a Malthusian, a Keynesian, a Buddhist or a Baptist the icecaps are melting -and melting fast. We don’t NEED to reduce the size of our ecological footprint – we MUST.

    Our apparently incontrovertible belief in a need for leadership has driven us to a point where all the evidence before us is indicating that those leaders are out of touch and clueless -yet we continue to support a system that rewards greed and nastiness whilst trying to live our own lives peacefully and politely (essentially co-operatively). What mugs we all are!

    Gareth Clubb hits the nail on the head. We should be planning for Economic Shrinkage – not growth- but for growth in social and environmental returns – plan and work for a better quality of life – not quantity. Sustainability is the human survival plan – not an academic choice.

    We know deep down that the current system based on continuous economic growth has failed, as it was bound to. But which political party anywhere in the world is going to be the first to put that in its manifesto?

  10. Cynog Dafis says “Wales then should interpret its national commitment to promoting sustainable development rather by what we do than by what we don’t do” The “don’t do” seems to be aimed in part at the “well-behaved ecologists,” among other things. There is also the old saw from energy companies of their difficulty of carrying on business in Wales. Cynog – they say that all over the world to put governments on the defensive in the negotiation process. Don’t fall for it!

    The government has placed a marker in the sand as regards its vision of Wales in the future, the ‘political environment” in which business will be expected to operate. The historic reasons for sustainability as the way forward are probably rooted in the 19th century and what happened then – boom and bust, whether in coalfields of South and North East Wales, the mineral resources of Cerdigion, or the slate quarries of North Wales. Gwilym Tlsley’s ‘Cwm Carnedd’ goes into my poetry list in this respect. Ironically, remnants of the industrial legacy are being trasformed into heritage resources and potentially a source of income and employment, such as at Blaenafon or the National Slate Museum in Llanberis.

    “Sacred landscapes” are also cited as examples of “don’t do.” For the most part, National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty were established in the 1950s ( The manner in which they are managed has changed significantly since then, with sustainability embedded as a core value as regards the protection of the natural environment and the social and economic viability of the communities within them. The collective body of knowledge and experience in Wales in the management of National Parks and AONB is potentially a source of expertise both in Wales and to other countries who realize the long- term benefits gained from the protection of lands from uncontrolled, boom and bust development. The anticipated designation of the Slate Industry in North Wales as UNESCO World Heritage ( is another means of “adding value” in the under consideration Snowdonia National Park.

    I hesitate to quote business consultants, but admit to returning once in a while to what Rosabeth Moss Kanter had to say in her book When Giants Learn to Dance regarding the post-entrepreneurial society as she called it. It was, admittedly, a book for the end of the 1990’s, but sometimes yesterday’s ideas get recycled. Kanter was concerned that the managers of certain business models were too wedded to the tried and traditional way of doing things without considering productive options. The perception given of Wales as “well-behaved ecologists” slows down the discussion around sustainability rather than advancing it.

  11. Cynog’s article is an important and timely provocation which highlights the dilemmas faced by all of us, not least environmentalists. As I write, the news is that, for the first time in human history, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has exceeded 400 parts per million, signalling devastating consequences for life on Earth. So, should we embrace nuclear power because it is carbon neutral or accept shale-gas because it emits around half the carbon of burning coal? To even begin to address such questions, we must first decide whether we are in an age of transition or continuing ‘the age of stupid’ (Franny Armstrong’s film). In energy terms, the contrast is between serious conservation and spiraling consumption. Economically, we must decide whether we want growth to continue to be our defining measure of progress, which is the premise underlying Cynog’s arguments. In this respect, Gareth Clubb does well to link Cynog’s article to another vital contribution to the vibrant Click-on Wales debate: Calvin Jones’ critique of economic growth, market society and the predominance of exchange value.

    Throughout his article, Cynog sets up a number of false binaries, I think. Tranquillity and progress only tend to be antithetic notions within the paradigm of neoliberal capitalism where progress is measured by economic growth alone. Indeed, tranquillity seems to me one good measure of progress. Calvin Jones highlights the alternatives in the existing paradigm – exhaustion, stress and fear. Cynog asks where would Wales be today if not for the industrial revolution? The more pertinent question is where we would be if that revolution had benefited Wales in proportion to the sacrifices of our land and labour: Where would we be if the distribution of benefits had been just?

    To an extent, I fear the repeat of the economic injustices of the industrial revolution if Wales embraces renewable energy within the current economic paradigm where windfarm development represents a triple bind. We are industrialising the landscape for relatively minor local and national benefits while making no meaningful contribution to mitigating climate change as global energy demand continues to increase. Without putting numbers on the income from large-scale windfarm developments, it is fair to say the developer benefits hugely compared to the landowner (most often the Welsh Government via the Forestry Commission – now Natural Resources Wales) and even more disproportionately compared to ‘the landscape community’ (a term which intentionally challenges exclusively local jurisdiction over landscape).

    Don’t get me wrong. Like Cynog I personally see most windfarms as ‘enlivening the view’ and I deeply appreciate the ‘miracle of turning wind into electricity’. However, my view is spoiled by the further turning the wind into unjustly huge profits. Although I acknowledge studies that show the benefits of windfarms to the local economy, most of the profits flow out of Wales into the coffers of the developers. In his recent book Andrew Cumbers highlights the potential for ‘Reclaiming Public Ownership’. Imagine how enlivened and miraculous the view would be if some windfarms were nationalised and others were cooperatively owned or community-owned, funded by a Welsh Development Bank.

    To conclude his article, Cynog sets up a set of false binaries with respect to the potential content of the Sustainable Development Act. For example, living within global limits is not the logically inevitable bed-fellow of continued ‘dependence on fiscal transfer from Westminster’. Apart from the problem of all Cynog’s recommendations being framed by the economic growth paradigm, there are normative concerns too. A hierarchy of environmental considerations – presaging an environmental goods and service approach – can mean trading cultural resources such as landscape with critical resources such as breathable air under a single measure of value (money) which is inappropriate to both. It would also be sad to see a Sustainable Development Act which didn’t link the prosperity of Wales to a committment to global economic justice. I hope it is the nature and not the strength of our economy which limits our national aspirations, but even more so I hope our national aspirations are internationalist.

    Finally, I appreciate Cynog’s challenge to judge our commitment to sustainable development by what we do rather than what we don’t do as this is one of my own preoccupations. However, the ‘do’ in this construction is loaded with the notion of progress as growth. The best measure of our commitment, I suggest, is what we do differently. With respect to our future energy development, within a paradigm of well-being and sufficiency not growth, I believe what we should do differently is introduce diverse forms of public ownership and ensure through-going public participation in planning and decision-making processes. If my arguments seem utopian, I have to say I agree with Calvin Jones (again) that Wales is a really good place to supplant the age of stupid with the age of transition. Moreover, a proposition such as Plaid Cymru’s ‘Greenprint for the Valleys is an optimistic sign that transition is beginning to be taken seriously in contemporary Welsh politics.

  12. Cynog bach, you seem to be losing the plot in your old age.

    Wind turbines generate more for their businesses and generate more ticks for boxes than the pittence given back to the communities. Community funds like this are bribes. Make no doubt of that. Many communities accept they are bribes, and choose to make use of them. But let’s not fool ourselves that tens of thousands of pounds given back to the community is big bucks. It should be hundreds of thousands of pounds given to Trefeurig and Talybont from Mynydd Gorddu, not the loose change that’s thrown down the little valleys.

    And let’s not forget that without the significant subsidy given to each turbine that they don’t really break even (on paper maybe so, but in reality they dont – things break down, maintenance is required etc etc). Who pays the subsidy? well it comes from the taxpayer doesn’t it?

    Until we are told the truth openly about the cost of wind turbines people will still choose to object to them, based mostly on the doubts planted in peoples minds (which are based on fact). Lies, deceit and wool pulled over eyes is no way to gain trust.

    Come out openly about the cost, and let us then decide whether we prefer wind to other forms of sustainable generation.

    People are not stupid. They may even come to prefer wind energy over other forms given the opportunity to make decisions based on fact, and not on spin.

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