Posts Tagged 'Wind Power'

Dartmouth: Skewed priorities and poor judgement

Long time, no blog. Apologies for the break, it’s been very busy at Mind Towers.

We are not letting up in our efforts to get to the bottom of the actual ownership of land on which a co-operative hopes to build wind turbines.

The land was formerly the possession of William Dartmouth MEP. However in February 2011 the land was gifted, given away, free of charge and the Land Registry recorded the new owner as Rosscroft Limited.  Trying to unpick who actually owns and benefits from Rosscroft Limited sends us deep into a rabbit warren of overseas directors, ownership by other companies, shareholders who are actually companies where the directors are the former directors of Rosscroft and include Dartmouth’s own solicitor, Tim Haggie, etc.

In short, Rosscroft Limited has been structured in a such a way as to prevent the actual beneficial owner at the end of the trail being identified. It is a determined effort at concealment, the opposite of transparency.

But as we saw in our most recent post on the subject, William Dartmouth has since admitted in a statement that the land is actually ‘owned by a relative’.  When the term ‘family’ was used in a write up of the statement elsewhere, Dartmouth sought a correction to the story asserting that relatives and family are very different.

Following on from that we have received lots of emails from people providing information that variously claim Dartmouth’s illegitimate nine year old son (and therefore barred from inheriting the title), Gerald, as the actual owner for whom Rosscroft is acting, and other claims that a substation for the tubines is planned to be built on Reaps Farm, which is said to be Dartmouth owned (tenant Mr S Lunn), and that the cables to feed to the grid will cross Dartmouth owned land.  If accurate, these essential elements of the wind farm could only be installed with Dartmouth’s permission. More questions clearly need to be answered.

Efforts by some opponents of the wind farm to get Dartmouth to come out against the wind farm plan received this response:

Clearly Dartmouth was far too busy to deal with such minor issues as the concerns of neighbours who have been given the run around over the ownership of land on the Dartmouth estate.  But his substantial workload and excessive travel didn’t stop him from jumping in with both feet to make a foolish comment regarding the winner of the IEA’s now discredited Brexit Prize:

Clearly it’s just a question of what he sees as a priority.  Opposing a wind farm that will blight an area of natural beauty and harm wildlife in the area is not as important as his appalling judgement in spouting off about the non-existant ‘silencing’ of a diplomat who won the IEA prize for, amazingly, producing a completely new solution to leaving the EU that only five other people (the other finalists) and one of the judging panel removed for conflict of interest, have ever brought into the public realm.

Interestingly, although in his statement Lord Dartmouth explained that it was an adjacent piece of land, which is owned by him, that was erroneously included in the application, as of 12.30pm this Good Friday, the planning application Certificate B remains unchanged, listing him as owning land forming part of the application.

Nigel Farage has been copied on the correspondance and we have written to him separately detailing the unanswered questions that Dartmouth needs to address.  But so far there has been no response from him or his office, suggesting that UKIP is either turning a blind eye to one of its MEPs laying the ground for a wind farm development of the type the party opposes, or is busy trying to fight off questions about the use of money by Farage’s European constituency.

So it is we continue trying to discover who the mystery ‘relative’ not family member is; and we will continue to pose the questions Farage does not seem to be asking, and enquiring if he feels the lack of transparency and drip feed of information under scrutiny and pressure by Lord Dartmouth sends the right message to UKIP members and supporters.

Is UKIP’s William Dartmouth MEP using an offshore company to conceal involvement in a wind turbine development?

Following on from yesterday’s post, the curious story surrounding UKIP MEP William Dartmouth and allegations that his land is the site of a proposed wind farm development – in direct contradiction with UKIP policy – has become even more interesting.  This is a detailed post.

We have managed to obtain a letter that was sent by Lord Dartmouth’s solicitor to UKIP chairman, Steve Crowther (below).

It states that William Dartmouth does not have any interest in the land where the wind turbines will be sited, rather the land’s ‘proprietor’ is Rosscroft Limited.  However Mr Tim Haggie, solicitor at Latimer Hinks, does say that Dartmouth owns land adjacent to the site and that is perhaps why a ‘third party notice’ was served on him.   It is interesting to note the address of the local office that Rosscroft Limited uses in the area…

By coincidence it just so happens that another local firm is based at that address…

Backing up Mr Haggie’s assertion about Rosscroft is a document that shows Dartmouth transferred land on Slaithwaite Moor to Rosscroft Limited on 10th February 2011.

However, Lord Dartmouth must be a very generous fellow because he transferred the land for zero consideration.  In other words he gave it away to Rosscroft for nothing.  And we are not talking about a plot the size of a domestic garden here, the land in question is shown edged in red and the Cupwith Reservoir is surrounded by a blue box…

But the situation becomes more confused thanks to a letter from Carter Jonas, Lord Dartmouth’s land agent, in April 2013 to campaigners who were seeking to prevent plans to drain Cupwith Reservoir.   As you can see in the circled section, Carter Jonas have been instructed to explain to the recipient of the letter that his comments and remarks in a previous letter regarding the ownership of Slaithwaite Moor by Dartmouth are ‘misconceived’.

Yet in the same letter, two years after Dartmouth transferred ownership of Slaithwaite to Rosscroft Limited, Carter Jonas make this astonishing comment…

If William Dartmouth had transferred ownership of Slaithwaite Moor two years earlier, and had no direct or indirect interest in the land, why on earth are his land agents saying that Dartmouth is sensitive to the concerns of people who did not want the reservoir drained and has given considerable thought as to ‘how he could best accommodate what you are seeking to achieve’?  How can a man with no interest or ownership over the land in question accommodate anything to do with its use or ownership?

We have seen above on the TP1 form that William Dartmouth transferred ownership of Slaithwaite Moor including Cupwith Reservoir in February 2011.  The documentary evidence is clear.

As such we have to pose the following question… if Rosscroft Limited became the owner of the land in February 2011, why is it that in August 2011, a memorandum written by consultancy Mott MacDonald asserts the following?

If this is incorrect why was it not corrected either by William Dartmouth or Rosscroft Limited?

Indeed, this takes us back to yesterday’s post and that wind farm planning application.  The applicants, Valley Wind Co-operative were duty bound to inform owners of the land on which they wished to develop a wind farm that they were putting in an application.  Owners and tenants have to be listed on a form in the application known as an Article 12 Certificate.  There are four types, A, B, C and D, neatly explained here.

A Certificate B is completed and submitted when the planning applicant (in this case Valley Wind) know the names of all the owners of the land upon which a planning application is being made.  On the wind farm planning application, there is a Certificate B which clearly names Rosscroft Limited and William Dartmouth, both care of Carter Jonas in York, as an owners (or tenants) of the land concerned.

dartmouth_owner

Despite Carter Jonas evidently being made aware that Valley Wind understand William Dartmouth to be an owner of this land, the planning application has not been corrected or amended.  Given that such incorrect information is valid reason for a planning application to be rejected, it seems very curious that no correction has been made to what William Dartmouth has said is an error and what his solicitor has said is a third party notice.

We have not yet been able to check with the Huddersfield Daily Examiner if William Dartmouth had requested a correction to their December 2012 story that identifies him as the owner of Cupwith Reservoir, nearly two years after the transfer to Rosscroft Limited.  But the stories still make the assertion.

So the question is, why have Carter Jonas and William Dartmouth apparently made no efforts to correct the record which has seen the media and even their paid consultants identify Dartmouth as the land owner at Cupwith Reservoir?  It’s an odd one.

We invited UKIP to comment on our story but have not yet received a response.

We also contacted William Dartmouth and invited him to comment on the ownerships and relationships concerning the land in question. He did not want to answer any questions from an anonymous blogger hiding behind a pseudonym and was more concerned in getting a name, however in the end he did email us the following:

But – to be crystal clear  – I do not own the land .

So, we know Rosscroft Limited owns the land.  But who owns Rosscroft?  It seems the directors of the company have been all or mainly ‘paid for’ names on paper only who have directorships in a large number of companies in different fields.  But there was a sudden and dramatic change of ownership last year that fitted into an interesting timeline of events.

In February 2013, pre-application advice was sought from Kirkless Council to discuss its views on the proposed wind farm development and whether it would have a possibility of being approved.

Shortly after that process, without explanation, the long standing directors of Rosscroft Limited were suddenly replaced by a professional director based in Monaco called Ian Frederick Ledger and a company based in the Bahamas called Ambassador Directors Limited.  This change means that Rosscroft’s human owners on the other side of the Atlantic cannot be easily identified.

With Rosscroft now enjoying the benefits of offshore privacy, the formal planning application for the wind farm was submitted by Valley Wind.

It’s a happy set of coincidences that just by chance seems to have seen Rosscroft adopt a very deep interest in privacy for its beneficial owners – just before it was to become involved in plans for wind turbines on land that we are told was formerly owned by a UKIP MEP, whose party opposes them.

Rosscroft was remarkably fortunate to have been gifted land that within a couple of years would be considered ripe for lavishly rewarding wind turbines; while William Dartmouth seems to have been remarkably fortunate to no longer own land on which an application for wind turbines – against UKIP party policy – was soon to be submitted.  And of course there is also the incredible coincidence that both Rosscroft and Dartmouth share the same solicitors and agents!  It’s a small world.

Curious people will no doubt be asking questions about all this.  Here are some that need to be answered:

  • Given these series of events, do William Dartmouth or the Dartmouth family have any financial interest or share ownership in Rosscroft Limited?
  • Has William Dartmouth ever created a bare or discretionary trust where the trust property includes all or part of Rosscroft Limited, or any of the land transferred to Rosscroft Limited?
  • Why have neither Carter Jonas nor William Dartmouth immediately corrected what must be an inaccurate planning application, especially when his solicitor said as long ago as January that the Dartmouth has no interest in the land he is listed on Certificate B as owning?
  • Why did neither Carter Jonas nor William Dartmouth immediately correct the Mott MacDonald memo and report stating the Earl of Dartmouth is the owner of the land well after the transfer date?
  • Why have local media stories citing William Dartmouth as the owner of land he transferred to Rosscroft not been corrected?
  • If William Dartmouth, despite not being the owner of Cupwith Reservior and having no direct or indirect interest in it, was influential enough to bring about an offer by its owner to give away the reservoir to campaigners who did not want it drained, does he not have the same influence to prevent the wind turbines being constructed on the same land?
  • As a UKIP MEP and stated adjacent land owner, with apparent influence and concern in the local neighbourhood, will William Dartmouth be submitting a formal objection to the wind farm planning application?
  • Will William Dartmouth or his solicitor make available the ‘third party notice’ he is said to have received in respect of being an adjacent land owner to the application site?
  • Does William Dartmouth or his family have any direct or indirect interest or share ownership in Ambassador Directors Ltd?
  • Is UKIP’s William Dartmouth MEP using an offshore company to conceal involvement in a wind turbine development?

The UKIP MEP, family land, a windfarm application, a party denial and EU money

UPDATED BELOW:  An interesting story has been submitted by a reader, concerning a controversial planned wind farm development in Yorkshire that could call into question the position one of UKIP’s highest profile MEPs who is also a candidate in next year’s General Election.

slaithwaite

The name of UKIP’s William Dartmouth MEP appears as an owner or tenant of land on a planning application that was submitted to Kirklees Council last year, to build three 100m wind turbines on unspoilt countryside next to Cupwith Reservior (location shown above) near Huddersfield, where the scheme applicant, Valley Wind Co-operative, is receiving funding for the project from the EU’s European Regional Development Fund.

What makes this matter curious is that William Dartmouth’s office has denied that he is directly or indirectly linked to the application site.

All of the the information about the proposed windfarm development was sent to Nigel Farage, and a member of Farage’s staff eventually responded stating that Dartmouth’s office had replied claiming he wasn’t linked directly or indirectly.  This is curious given this screenshot of the land ownership section of the planning application:

dartmouth_owner
What also appears to put a question mark against Dartmouth’s denial, while giving the accuracy of the information above further weight, is a story from 2012 that demonstrates land ownership and three-way linkage between Dartmouth, Carter Jonas and Rosscroft Ltd (whose name appears at the top of the screenshot). The story concerned a planning application to drain Cupwith Reservior.  The applicant was Rosscroft Ltd, the agent was Carter Jonas LLP, and the owner of the reservoir is the Dartmouth Estate of one Earl of Dartmouth (aka William Dartmouth) – an assertion reported  by the Huddersfield Daily Examiner when reporting that Dartmouth’s appeal against the rejection of the application had also been lost.  There is no evidence the media have been asked to correct their assertion.

As if further evidence is required that where there is Rosscroft / Carter Jonas there seems to be Dartmouth, there is an entirely unrelated planning matter, where William Dartmouth was the named applicant for planning permission, with his chosen agent was Carter Jonas LLP.  The links are clear.

dartmouth_jonas

Given all this information, it seems that UKIP has accepted Dartmouth’s denial without checking the facts for themselves, calling into question yet again the party’s internal processes for dealing with complaints or reports of conflict of interest among its elected officials.

UPDATE:  We have been sent a copy of a letter that was sent to Nigel Farage personally, just after one of the recent debates with Nick Clegg, from an opponent of the wind farm.  It includes the following paragraph which suggests that William Legge (Legge being the family name of the Earl of Dartmouth) stands to gain in the region of £60,000 per annum if three wind turbines are erected on his land…

So I was delighted on your stance against wind turbines but have to point out the total hypocrisy of your MEP William Legge who is touting his land out for a wind farm as one of the above applications. This land is protected moorland and 300 meters away from a National Trust Bird sanctuary. It is estimated he will receive £20k ground rent per 100m turbine (there are 3 currently planned) – i.e. £60k per year. This is in total opposition to UKIP’s manifesto.  I cannot see how he can be a UKIP MEP and at the same time pursue this course of action in his private life.

It is worth noting that David Cameron’s father-in-law, Sir Reginald Sheffield is often referred to as an example of a land owning rent seeker, trousering an reported £350,000 a year for turbines on his land.  Is the only difference between the Sheffields and the Dartmouths a mere matter of scale?

In addition to wanting the UK to leave the EU, UKIP has a policy against onshore wind turbines.  So, having one of its senior MEPs set to benefit financially from money given in grants by the EU, for the installation on his land of three giant turbines – that the party’s policy formally opposes – would be a serious conflict of interest and a likely resigning matter.  Further, that UKIP does not seem to have diligently investigated the reports sent to them by concerned residents in the area of the planned windfarm that one of their senior MEPs had this conflict of interest, seems to be another failure of internal process. UKIP has questions to answer about that.

But for now, William Dartmouth has questions to answer.

Why is it that he appears to have been untruthful about his interest in the land where the turbines are planned?

As a clearly stated  owner or tenant of the land, as shown on the official planning applications, what does he stand to gain if the application is approved and Valley Wind Co-operative build the turbines?

I think we should be told.

UKIP have been contacted and asked if they wish to respond to this story.

The poor value wind turbines deliver in return for the subsidy

When Christopher Booker isn’t ploughing a lonely furrow exposing the disturbing secret behaviour of the courts as they put children into care or take them to be put up for adoption; he is making the weather on the wind turbines – and specifically this week reminding us of how the weather reduces their already poor performance to even more rotten levels.

Yet even though the facts Booker has presented are accepted by DECC – meaning their projections for wind power generation are being significantly overstated – DECC is continuing to use their incorrect and inflated numbers to justify the proliferation of wind turbines at vast expense to taxpayers, in return for even less energy than the fraction of capacity they already deliver.

Getting energised about energy

Barely a day goes by without the media (particularly the BBC with its desire to air Labour’s current favourite topics) focusing attention on something we are all very acutely aware of, namely energy prices.

In recent days we have had Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) lead off the regular cycle of price rise announcements with an 8.2% hike on gas and electricity bills.  The political response was all too predictable.  Labour – the party which, with Ed Miliband as Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, wilfully took ‘green’ measures in the 2008 Climate Change Act it knew and admitted would drive prices upwards and increase the cost of living – described the rise as scandalous.

As an example of rank hypocrisy, this is head and shoulders beyond anything we’ve seen in a long time.

Meanwhile the Tories maintained their mind-numbingly stupid refrain that the energy sector needs more competition and that people can save money if they shop around.  This is patent bollocks.  I have used every available price comparison website and I’ve checked for every available deal based on the energy my household uses.  I am on a tariff that expires in 2014, but which is cheaper than any tariff or fixed deal currently available on the market from any energy provider.

When my current deal expires I will have to pay more for my energy.   All I can do is limit the increase to the smallest amount possible, which will be well over an additional £100 per year.   And my provider is yet to increase prices this winter, so the amount will be even more.

My only option to avoid paying more for my energy is to use less.  And that is exactly what the government’s energy policy is designed to achieve, to force everyone to use less by driving up the prices.  This goes to the heart of the sustainability mantra.  This is based in the enviro-belief that humans are a plague on the planet and must use fewer resources.  They resent the idea of technology being used to provide abundant energy that is affordable for most people.  They want people to have a difficult existence.  Richard explained this on EU Referendum this week when he wrote:

Never properly explained, though, is that the price increases are the result of deliberate government polity, using the price mechanism to reduce demand and thereby enable successive governments to meet self-imposed targets for “decarbonisation”.

Where the politicians have been caught out is in listening to Green propaganda, offering the fools’ paradise of increased energy efficiency, though more efficient appliances and insulation, without realising that low-income families are quite unable to offset increased costs in this manner, making fuel poverty the problem of our times – and again one which was entirely predictable.

What was interesting to note last week was SSE echoing what is becoming an industry-wide mantra that government ‘green’ levies are responsible for a substantial proportion of the price increases people have been and will continue to experience and struggle with.  They have made clear that while wholesale energy costs have gone up by about 4% in the past year, the cost of government-imposed levies on energy bills has increased by three times as much – 13%, and will continue to rise due to the cost of connecting useless wind farms to the energy grid, where they can provide a fraction of their potential and far less than the equivalent of nuclear or conventional installed capacity.

Today, Christopher Booker reminds us of more mind numbing Tory stupidity from the fool Michael Fallon:

While SSE called for a curb on these green levies – such as the crazy “carbon tax”, designed eventually to double the cost of electricity from fossil fuels, which still supply 70 per cent of our needs – the only official response was a fatuous call from our energy minister, Michael Fallon, for consumers to boycott SSE. Mr Fallon was oblivious to the fact that his Government’s policies will soon force all other energy companies to follow suit.

Just as the government and the media  twist themselves into contortions to hide the fact the Royal Mail privatisation has only happened because the EU said it must, the government and the media are twisting themselves into contortions to attack the power companies and conceal from the public the fact that rising energy bills are largely due to government policy; which is taking our money to pour into unjustified subsidies for wind turbines and lavish payments for wealthy landowners to have them on their land.  And all this despite the evident inefficiencies and failings of turbines as a source of energy generation.

People can be forgiven for being sick and tired of energy price rises, but they need to be aware of where the upward price pressures are coming from – and the majority of it is from the hypocritical, deceitful and delusional morons that infest the corridors of Whitehall, taking their orders from Little Europe, which has taken its orders from the global power brokers most of us have never heard of.

Germany’s rebellion against wind power picks up pace


Reading the propaganda that Greens and wind power fanatics churn out the state of affairs in Germany, one could be forgiven for thinking our Teutonic cousins are experiencing a universal condition of rapture and living in a wind energy utopia.

The reality is, as one finds all too often, very different.  As Dellers explained in his piece in the Mail on Sunday, sudden fluctuations in Germany’s power grid caused by the ebb and flow of wind have led to serious industrial damageand the number of short interruptions in the grid has increased by 29 per cent in the past three years – resulting in some firms on the grid reporting damage running into hundreds of thousands of euros as a result of unexpected stoppages.

In 2006, when wind farms were few and far between, engineers in eastern Germany running coal, gas and nuclear power plants took action to stabilize the grid roughly 80 times a year.  Today, as the amount of electricity generated by the region’s 8,000  wind turbines rises and falls by the hour, engineers have to intervene every second day in order to maintain network stability. The knock on effect cannot be underestimated either as neighbouring Czechs and Poles are so fed up with the instability that they are on the verge of blocking the disruptive wind-produced electricity from their power lines.

These are just some of the technical problems that are conveniently being ignored by Ed Davey and the rest of the coagulation government.  But from Germany, via stories in publications like Spiegel that are ignored in our own patsy press, we also discover that the dash for wind is seeing increasing setting the establishment and big business against ordinary citizens who are declaring enough is enough.

The excessive costs borne by taxpayers and energy customers is becoming a major issue.  The effects on residents who are being physically affected by the consequences of living close to the noise and vibration of the turbines is being increasingly reported and stirring opposition.  And of course the blight of the landscape and the horrific death toll inflicted on insects, birds and bats is also making many former supporters of wind switch to opposing the proliferation of ever bigger and more harmful masts, some in new developments and others replacing existing smaller masts as part of a process of ‘repowering’.

Despite all this, the UK government presses ahead with plans to erect more wind turbines around this country, citing its carefully constructed fictions about the efficiency, cost effectiveness and future benefits of wind farms.  But the tactic of wind advocates of citing Germany as a wind power success story is increasingly failing to stand up to scrutiny as the counter consensus becomes stronger.

Factor in the extortionate costs to energy customers and taxpayers of providing generous incentives to corporates to install CO2 emitting diesel generators as back up for wind via the short term operating reserve (STOR), as we start to see the makings of a dramatic shift away from the renewables fantasy.  What we are seeing in Germany we can soon expect to see here in the UK.  Then things could get interesting.

STOR scandal: Revealing the rip off to millions more people


Following the exposure of the rapidly growing use of diesel generators, to provide energy when the wind doesn’t blow to turn those intermittent and inadequate turbines, the story revealed by Richard North and Christopher Booker in being brought to a much wider audience via the Mail on Sunday today, courtesy of James Dellingpole.

Making use of Richard’s content, Dellers makes the key points that should make a lot of people sit up and take notice:

The National Grid’s eye-wateringly expensive solution to counter the instability of wind power is known as the Short Term Operational Reserve, or STOR, to generate a reserve capacity of eight gigawatts (GW) by 2020, the equivalent of about five nuclear plants.

The diesel-generators will provide immediate computer-controlled back-up for that significant period when the wind turbines are not working, but at a hefty premium.

Currently the wholesale price for electricity is around £50 per megawatt hour (MWh) but diesel-generator owners will be paid £600 per MWh.

At 12 times above the market rate, this represents a bigger cash bonanza even than that currently enjoyed by wind developers, who receive a subsidised price of between two and three times the market rate, depending on whether their turbines are on land or offshore.

With the huge reach that can be achieved by the Mail due to its millions of online readers, the STOR scandal is starting to gain some traction.  This increased attention will surely lead to more scrutiny about why the UK is decommissioning coal and nuclear power stations to be replaced with ineffective wind turbines, that in turn rely on hugely expensive, CO2 emitting diesel generators as back up when electricity demand exceeds what can be supplied.

The detail that should make people’s eyes open wide in disbelief is that in 2010, the scheme was already costing us £205 million a year, yet by 2020 this is expected to rise  to £945 million.  All this money being taken from us in addition to what was already being taken to fund our energy needs – and it is only being taken because the politicians have wantonly abandoned reason and made us increasinly dependent on the least efficient, least reliable and least affordable form of power generation, which necessitates diesel generators to be on standby to make up the shortfall when the wind drops off.

To call this a scandal doesn’t come anywhere close to underlining the scale of this corrupt rip off or the extent of the carbon con that is being used by the government to enrich corporates at our expense.

Delusions of the Living Dead, aka Europlastic Tories

A Victor Kiam moment here at AM Towers.  This blog post over at EU Referendum hit the nail on the head so accurately and articulated my own thoughts so precisely, I have ripped it off almost entirely, with only a few minor personalisations.

——————


Normally, I ignore Conservative Home. That part of the blogosphere remains the hunting ground for tribal warriors, and I have neither time nor patience for its party-before-principle guest and the attendant petty-mindedness.

Others, with tougher constitutions, still frequent the site, and I have thus had my attention drawn to this from Andrea Leadsom (above), who is still pushing her mantra of “meaningful reform” of the EU. And there is also this from George Freeman, also of the Fresh Start Group.

Actually, having read the pieces, I wonder why I bother – why anyone bothers. Neither are saying anything new, nor anything interesting – there is nothing at all that informs or inspires. We are not getting argument – simply leaden propaganda, repeated again and again, presumably to reinforce the belief systems of the faithful – for no one else will believe it.

Richard North’s answer to this was given in June 2004, repeated many times, but particularly in January of this year. These are Richard’s “barking cats” pieces, to which – in conceptual terms – neither he nor I can add very little. Leadsom and her ilk – including her Open Europe minders, say we must “reform”. I, and many others, say that “meaningful” reform is not possible and will never happen.

And those are the positions – fixed, unchanging. There is no debate, nor any possibility of debate. Disagree, and make the mistake of disagreeing too forcefully or too often, as you get “disappeared”. The other side do not want to know, any more than we want to hear the repetitions of their flawed, evidence-free and indeed ridiculous arguments.

From that, though, does not emerge a counsel of despair – simply a recognition that head-butting gets you nowhere. It seems to Richard – and I wholly agree – that a better strategy is to introduce new facts and ideas, which by-pass the blockage. Leadsom might want to bleat about “over-regulation” and “negotiating over tedious directives”, at EU level. We simply point out that the regulation is at dealt with at a global level and that is where the UK needs to be engaging.

On wind turbines, we can rehearse the arguments for and against until the cows come home and the macerated birds fall from the sky. But sell the idea that, if you buy wind, you get diesel, and pay an additional £1 billion extra for the privilege, and the argument looks very different. Similarly, take the claims of our influence inside the EU, and tell people we can’t even argue for our mackerel quotas and again the terrain looks very different.

But talking about the reality and sharing it with others who are not as well informed is why the opposition wants to control the flow of information. It does so mainly by ignoring new facts – by not discussing them, not debating them, not even recognising them. When, for instance, have you ever heard about Codex on Conservative Home?  Where have they added value or anything worthwhile to the sum of their readers’ knowledge?

Thus, we do not speak to the close-minded. It is a waste of time. The likes of Leadsom will go to her grave still arguing for “meaningful reform” of the EU, long after we have left the EU and it has crashed and burned. We can’t deal with that. This is the dialogue of the living dead.  The stake through their heart or axe through their head will be when reality – that thing they desperately ignore as they play party political games for a party political audience – bites hard.

The great wind power rip-off revisited

In the Telegraph today is a piece about the ‘true cost of Britain’s wind farm industry’ which underlines the extent of direct (let alone the indirect) consumer-funded subsidy deployed to propping up one of the most unreliable and inefficient forms of energy generation available.

The piece opens:

A new analysis of government and industry figures shows that wind turbine owners received £1.2billion in the form of a consumer subsidy, paid by a supplement on electricity bills last year. They employed 12,000 people, to produce an effective £100,000 subsidy on each job.

The disclosure is potentially embarrassing for the wind industry, which claims it is an economically dynamic sector that creates jobs. It was described by critics as proof the sector was not economically viable, with one calling it evidence of “soft jobs” that depended on the taxpayer.

It’s an interesting take, to focus on the extent of subsidy paid to wind farms against the number of wind farm jobs that exist.  But that doesn’t take into other subsidy that pours into the industry from other taxpayer funded sources.  Also it encompass jobs that were focussed on building and installing the subsidy farms in the first place, so the piece undermines itself.  When that happens it doesn’t do any favours to those of us opposed to the government’s insane and utterly disastrous reliance on wind farms for baseload power, for such pieces leave us open to attack for inaccuracy.

What the piece should do is remind people that creating jobs which are reliant on public subsidy does nothing to boost the productive sector of the economy.  It is simply another government mandated burden on the consumer/taxpayer.  That is because the roles that have been created at these subsidy farms would not have been without legislation designed to skew the energy market to underpin uneconomic wind farm development, and without rules put in place to confiscate extra money from us to service their upkeep we would not be paying so much for our energy.  The energy market would not have opted for wind if left without interference to develop the most cost effective and reliable energy solutions that would be delivered at less cost to the companies and their customers.

But while we are on the subject, let’s take a quick look at the contribution being made to our power needs by all those grotesquely expensive wind turbines pitting the countryside up and down our nation, within the last hour…

 
1.4% is a disgraceful return for the huge sums of money that have been taken from us to service the government’s unjustified and pressure group driven decarbonisation agenda.  Hanging would be too good for these people as punishment for the wholesale theft we have suffered at their hands and their justification for it on the strength of an unproven hypothesis.

They should count themselves fortunate that most people have, as intended, been distracted from real issues affecting all our lives by mind numbing TV programmes and glitzy trivia.

We’re all in this together – on scandalous wind power deals

As David Cameron announced the austerity measures that would be taken in the UK by the coagulation government, he was very fond of repeatedly telling voters ‘we’re all in this together‘.

It may not have been true when it came to the financial hardship many have experienced due to this so called austerity.  But it certainly was true – and remains true – when it comes to describing the political class working against the interest of the poor bloody energy consumer by agreeing insane deals for wind power.  It has resulted in a glaring example of the damage that is caused when lazy consensus politics is coupled with idiots, who have no experience of the real world, seeking to demonstrate their virtue:

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Yes, that’s right.

… a scheme agreed by Labour leader Ed Miliband during the last Labour government, but implemented by Coalition ministers,

No questioning, no challenge, no scrutiny.  Just a huge commitment made with other people’s money so the politicians can indulge their deluded wet dreams of being seen as ‘green’ and taking action to ‘fight climate change’.  This is a party political scandal.  Labour, Conservatives and Liberal Democrats – oh yes, they’re all in it together, ripping off the taxpayer and exhibiting a degree of incompetence that is enough to make this blogger reconsider his position on euthanisia.

Following the MPs damning report into the wind farm contracts, the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has now said it will “re-examine some of the terms” of the lucrative deals.

Too little, too late.

Under the terms of the contracts the companies are guaranteed an RPI inflation linked income for 20 years regardless of how much the infrastructure is used.

The estimated returns of 10-11 per cent on the initial licences “look extremely generous given the limited risks”, the MPs said.

And where were the MPs when all this was being set up?  Asleep at the wheel, or drifting around Westminster with their thumbs up their bums and their brains in neutral, doing what the whips told them?

Millions of votes swing between these parties at general elections as voters seek to punish unpopular governments.  Perhaps the message will soon get through to voters that voting for any of this consensus of careerist power-seekers results in an identical outcome and real change will only come about if voting for none of them removes their legitimacy.  Otherwise the faces might change and the colour of the rosettes may differ, but everything else stays the same to the detriment of this country and its long suffering people.

We don’t need change, we need a grassroots revolt to end this elected dictatorship.  The power of dictatorships comes from the willing obedience of the people they govern – and if the people develop techniques of withholding their consent, a regime will crumble.  It’s in our hands to take back power.

Met Office ‘nowcasting’ and the power of wind

While the Met Office hits back at critics and points to its five-day forecast record as ‘evidence’ of its accuracy, over the last 24 hours it has been quietly revising its forecasts so they look very different on the BBC Weather page to what they did two days ago.

It’s very easy to claim wonderful accuracy when you simply point to the last forecast only hours before the weather condition arrived.  This time yesterday the forecast overview page for London did not display a single snow flake.  But now…

london_weather

Hypothetically, anyone hoping for no snow who was making plans and relying on the Met Office forecast of two days ago are likely to be disappointed tonight.  Yet this ludicrous organisation still enjoins the public to trust is accuracy in forecasting weather trends years ahead, even though it has been forced to change those in recent weeks.  This isn’t forecasting, it’s nowcasting and we can all do that for ourselves by looking outside.  Yet we pay a fortune for this slanted crap.

Moving on from the Exeter-based scam artists, now is a good moment to take a quick look at another scam – wind power.  It’s a bitterly cold night, increasing the need for energy to warm homes.  So how much power is wind energy pumping into the grid at inflated prices?

When it’s needed most, it’s not there.  Yet billions of pounds of our money are being poured into this unreliable and inefficient form of generation, with thousands more turbines planned.  The insanity continues.

Wind power? What wind power?

It has fallen below freezing outside Mind Towers, ice is covering the car windscreens and the central heating has been turned up. No doubt families up and down the country are having to use more energy to offset the cold.

So now is a good time to take a look at how much power wind turbines are contributing to the UK energy supply after the billions of pounds lavished on them…

1.2% of all the energy being generated!  Money well spent, eh.

But don’t worry.  Our brilliant political class has declared there are many more of them to be installed at crippling cost to consumers, to stand virtually idle just when we need power the most, on freezing nights like tonight.  Sheer bloody genius.

Thank God we still have some coal fired generating capacity to shoulder the burden of our power needs.  In years to come though…

The wind energy subsidy farmers are looking to boost their harvest of our cash

A couple of weeks ago after John Hayes made his comments about enough being enough when it comes to onshore wind turbines, I listened with incredulity to the radio as the bandwagon jumping opportunist, Dale Vince (founder of Ecotricity) claimed that in 2011 support for onshore wind turbines cost consumers only £5 per year on their energy bill.

While I should have written about it at the time I was busy with other things and let the moment pass.  However now is an ideal moment to bring this deception back to the fore.  Firstly to correct the falsehood promulgated by Dale Vince, a man with tens of millions of pounds worth of vested interest reasons to spin a lie.  One commentator on the Bishop Hill blog puts it nicely in context:

Looking at ROC’s [Renewable Obligations Certificates for the UK] rather than any other costs, that’s £1.3 billion, which, if we assume 24 million households gives us £54.17 per household p.a. or around 15p a day. Further into the report they [Ofgem] state that out of the 24.9 million ROCs issued, 7.7M were for onshore wind, so applying that factor to our figures would still leave us somewhere north of 4.5p per day per household just for ROCs and only for Onshore wind.

Colour me sceptical, but I call bullshit on the 2p figure, unless someone wants to point out where I’ve gone wrong in the above maths and can also explain how, other than ROCs, wind power costs absolutely nothing.

And of course, wind power does cost the taxpayer a lot more than that because ROCs are not the whole cost of renewables.  Not even close.  Vince and the various lie machines at the heart of Ofgem and the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) are deliberately leaving out other costs to the taxpayer to make their subsidy farming seem almost inconsequential for the hard pressed taxpaying consumer.

The reality is that the amount paid in wind power subsidy during the coming year is expected to be over £1 billion, with just 10 companies between them set to get £800million of our tax pounds through subsidies over the next 12 months.  That figure is not included with the ROC direct charge on our energy bills.  Nor is the cost of paying over the odds for energy produced via Feed-in Tariffs.

A look at DECC’s own figures (pg 64) show they admit the cost of renewables policies alone has already added 15% to the retail price of electricity (£/kWh) and this will rise to 27% by 2020 – and wind subsidy is a signifcant part of that. £5 per year?  Give over.

So why is this background timely now?  Because in the media we are seeing comments from the likes of John Selwyn-Gummer (aka Lord Deben) hinting at a change in focus to offshore wind power.  Earlier this year the cost of offshore wind was £150–£169 per MWh and the most optimistic projections don’t see offshore wind close to £100 per MWh until at least the 2020s.  How does that compare to other energy generation?  Well, why not let the Secretary of State at DECC tell us

Reports by ARUP and Parsons Brinckerhoff [External link] commissioned by DECC in 2011, found that the cheapest onshore wind has a cost of £75/MWh, which is around the cost of nuclear at £74/MWh.

Given these costs you can be certain that if the amount of subsidy doled out for onshore wind is staggering, the billions of pounds of subsidy that offshore wind will attract will be mind blowing.  Which is why the wind subsidy farmers are content to dial down onshore wind and position their behaviour as conceding to people pressure to stop scarring our landscape.

There is an evident financial vested interest in doing so and the taxpayer is going to see the amount of money diverted to offshore wind dramatically increase, both in visible ROC charges on bills and government spending that uses more of our tax pounds to make the proliferation of offshore turbines attractive for private business that will make huge sums as a result.

Do not be fooled into thinking the gradual shift in focus from onshore to offshore wind that is underway and will become more prominent in weeks and months to come is any form of victory for taxpayers and residents.  A bigger and more lucrative opportunity has been identified.  The wind energy subsidy farmers are not backing off, they are actively looking to boost their harvest – and their crop of choice is our cash.

Wind power – missing when needed, harmful where produced

It’s another chilly day across the UK with temperatures not getting above 8C/46F.  Being a weekend the demand for power from business is reduced, however the demand for power from residential customers who are at home rather than work, is higher.

So what is wind power contributing to our energy mix right now?

3.3% of our energy generation is currently being satisfied by the thousands of wind turbines installed at huge cost and made feasible by billions of pounds of direct taxpayer subsidy and feed in tariffs that increase our energy bills.

The inescapable fact is when the wind doesn’t blow, the turbines produce no energy.  We could have 500,000 turbines across the country, scarring our landscape and decimating our disposable income, and our energy needs will not be satisifed unless the wind blows.  That’s why we pay even more money for conventional power stations to ‘back up’ wind power, which only the utterly deluded could ever consider to be capable of providing our baseload energy generation.

Added to this we now have a report in the Barclay Brother Beano by Andrew Gilligan of the first full peer-reviewed scientific study of the problem of wind farm noise causing “clear and significant” damage to people’s sleep and mental health.

The more that people look in detail at the flaws of wind power, the more ridiculous government (both EU and national) policy looks.  We are at the point when people must robustly question just why the political class is pursuing this direction, in spite of the rapidly growing body of evidence showing how wasteful, ineffective and damaging wind turbines are.  Elsewhere in the Beano, their diamond in the rough – Christopher Booker – believes the consensus on wind power is cracking.  But much as I respect Booker that is not an assessment I share.

There has to be a reason why the wind agenda has advanced this far; and as the public interest is clearly not being served (spiralling cost and negative health impacts) one can only conclude the interest of the political class is being put first.  Regardless of the comments of John Hayes, they are not going to give that up while they retain the ability to spend our money as they see fit. As Gilligan says in his article about the effects of wind farm noise, the EU will shortly begin work on a new directive which may impose a binding target for further renewable energy, mostly wind, on the UK, to be met by 2030.  It is inconceivable this would see a reduction in wind turbine proliferation or the staggering amounts of our money doled out by governments to opportunist subsidy farmers.

Those who should be servants are again treating those who are supposed to be masters with contempt, while picking their pockets.  In a democracy this could be stamped upon by people power.  But as more people are at last realising we don’t live in a democracy.

Wind power reality bites again

image

After the recent puff about a record amount of wind power being produced in the UK, it’s time to return to reality. The image above shows the contribution wind is currently making to the energy generated to meet demand across the country.

After the vast sums poured into wind via subsidy, rising electricity bills and excessive feed-in tariffs, the return on a cool day with greater power needs is minuscule. We could increase installed wind capacity by a factor of 10 at huge cost and still barely register wind’s contribution to the energy supply on days like this – of which there are many just when demand increases because of the colder and darker days and nights.

Coal is currently stepping up to keep business and residential lights and heating going. But what will happen when coal is phased out? Get the candles and Calor gas ready as rota disconnections take centre stage.

Reality of wind folly dawns on the National Trust

According to the Chairman of the National Trust, Sir Simon Jenkins, ‘not a week goes by’ without the charity having to fight plans for wind farms that threaten the more than 700 miles of coastline, 28,500 acres of countryside and more than 500 properties owned by the Trust. He is quoted in the Barclay Brother Beano, saying:

Broadly speaking the National Trust is deeply sceptical of this form of renewable energy.

Jenkins has correctly identified wind power as the least efficient form of power generation.  Despite having previously supported all forms of renewables, the National Trust’s official position now caveats this heavily. The official position now is to support renewable energy, including wind, although only in places where the turbine will produce the maximum amount of energy and ‘with regard to the full range of environmental considerations’. Jenkins said:

We are doing masses of renewables but wind is probably the least efficient and wrecks the countryside and the National Trust is about preserving the countryside.

Only the stuffed suits inside the Westminster bubble and those in the wind industry who stand to make a fortune from installing turbines, whether the wind blows or not and whether the energy contribution to the grid is negligible or not, remain doggedly in favour of this unreliable form of renewable power.  But that is all that’s required to push ahead with spending many more billions of pounds of our money on this folly.

As if to underline the level of reality disconnect among the political class, the new Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Ed Davey, has already stated his position when he claimed wind power will ensure energy security as fossil fuels run out, cut carbon emissions and provide jobs.  Very much a case of meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

Wind power cannot provide energy security. Wind fluctuates, therefore the power generated from it fluctuates. That is not reliable and therefore it cannot help us secure our energy needs. Until the dogmatic lunatics in orbit around the Cameron Presidency base policy on fact instead of the spin emanating from the rent seeking wind power companies, this subversion of common sense will continue.

Another example of BBC green distortion

(Update to this post now added at the end…) AM reader, Ron H, kindly draws attention to Friday’s coverage of the wind farm cable corridor for the offshore development known as East Anglia One. This is the proposed first phase of the East Anglia Offshore Windfarm Zone (EAOW) being developed by Scottish Power Renewables and Swedish wind power operating company Vattenfall, with a planned installed capacity of 1,200MW.

It provides us with yet another example of the weasel words used to overstate the likely amount of power that will be generated.  Compare and contrast:

We are working with stakeholders to realise the full potential of the zone, with initial studies identifying a target capacity of up to 7,200MW, which could provide enough clean, green energy for over 5 million homes.
East Anglia Offshore Windfarm Zone

The full East Anglia Offshore Windfarm Zone, when built, is expected to power five million homes.
BBC News

While EAOW carefully words its information to say that a capacity of 7,200MW could provide enough energy for over 5 million homes, it knows that an average offshore wind load factor of around 30-35% means the installation will never generate that amount of power.  It is very likely to produce somewhere in the region of 2,300MW.  But this doesn’t stop the BBC from exaggerating the amount of power that will be generated by the East Anglia Offshore Wind Zone, as it says the zone is expected to power five million homes.

Expected by whom?  Certainly not the companies who are preparing to soak themselves in huge sums of money extracted from taxpayers and energy company customers.  The distortion is blatant and dishonest.  It underlines that on environmental and renewable energy matters (among many others) the BBC simply cannot be trusted.

For the long suffering taxpayer and energy consumer the issue is the cost of this vast array of wind turbines.  The capital cost of wind is many times that of nuclear power and gas fired power. To achieve 2,300MW of power via nuclear plant has been assessed as one sixth the cost of wind, and gas works out more than 22 times cheaper than these sea based bird choppers.  When viewed through that cost prism, is this wind farm folly something to get anything other than violently angry about?

Update: On Twitter, the CEO of Bloomberg New Energy Finance, Member of the UN’s Sustainable Energy For All and Visiting Professor at Imperial College, Michael Liebreich, (all that prestige!) has responded to this blog post thus:

I have enquired of the great man on what basis he is contesting the cost figures, asking for his figures and working, but at the time of writing he has not provided a response.  The figures I have used to explain how much cheaper nuclear and gas are than wind, megawatt for megawatt of actual power generated, were explained by Christopher Booker in August last year:

[...] a Swedish firm, Vattenfall, has spent £500 million on building 30 five‑megawatt turbines with a total “capacity” of 150MW. What Shukman did not tell us, because the BBC never does, is that, thanks to the vagaries of the wind, these machines will only produce a fraction of their capacity (30 per cent was the offshore average in the past two years). So their actual output is only likely to average 45MW, or £11 million per MW.

Compare this with the figures for Britain’s newest gas-fired power station, recently opened in Plymouth. This is capable of generating 882MW at a capital cost of £400 million – just £500,000 for each megawatt. Thus the wind farm is 22 times more expensive, and could only be built because its owners will receive a 200 per cent subsidy: £40 million a year, on top of the £20 million they will get for the electricity itself. This we will all have to pay for through our electricity bills, whereas the unsubsidised cost of power from the gas plant, even including the price of the gas, will be a third as much.

What this does not take into account is that the gas fired power stations will last twice as long as the wind turbine equipment, so the replacement cost of the turbines would increase the cost still further – making offshore wind up to 40 times more expensive than gas, megawatt for megawatt.

Perhaps Liebreich will eventually get around to telling us which of these figures is ‘bollox’ and offer some evidence, rather than just play the part of Dr No.

The latest band of wind turbine rebels

In Cleveland, North East England, a group of residents from Marske, New Marske and Saltburn have joined forces to oppose the installation of eight wind turbines across several local sites, according to a story covered in the Evening Gazette.

This story stands out from many others because underlines the dash for cash that keeps the uneconomic wind industry on life support.  Firstly it tells readers the agent acting on behalf of the developer, Empirica Investments Ltd, is working for the West Midland Metropolitan Authority Pension Fund – a body committed to making a lot of money for members.  Secondly it also carries a nail-on-head quote from a local councillor, Dr Tristan Learoyd, that defines this money train for what it is:

Local people are united in their opposition to the proposal. I am a lifelong environmentalist, but these projects aren’t about climate change. They’re about a few people making fast cash from government grants.

The Gazette story, which has attracted a handful of comments that are universally hostile to the collection of turbine planning applications, also mentions that a leaflet circulated in the area by EDF Energy has left residents questioning the need for the eight turbines given that a previously approved 29-turbine offshore Redcar wind farm was pitched as catering for all Marske and Saltburn energy needs.

The money train is used as a hook in the marketing material published by Empirica Investments.  It is of course a staggering coincidence that at the exact time this story makes  headlines in the area, Empirica are in the process of redeveloping their website.  But Google’s graphic cache of the pages of Empirica’s website, pre redevelopment, enables us to see how they lure landowners into having turbines sited on their land, so both they and the parasitical Empirica can make money from our taxes and energy bills.

For those who cannot make out the text it reads:

Offering to the landowner

The attraction of the Empirica Investments offering is for the landowner to receive income from their land at no cost to them.

As Empirica receive the tariff from the Government backed Feed in Tariffs, the income is underwritten by Government policy and is not subject to the volatility of the wholesale energy markets.

The landowner will share in the total income received from the electricity generated from the wind turbine in exchange for leasing their land, without the risks attached with developing the project.

Typically we are seeking sites for the installation of a single turbine, however in certain circumstances we can look at multiple installations and possibly the installation of a different size or model of turbine.

We adopt a bespoke approach to any deal with landowners, however our standard terms offered for suitable site criteria are based upon the following [...]

These are government facilitated parasites, hoovering up money from our pockets via our taxes and energy bills for the installation of an unreliable technology that we have shown contributes a negligible percentage of our energy when the energy is needed most.  But the target of our ire must be the bureaucrats and politicians in Brussels and Westminster who have imposed this corporatist scam on us.  It is legalised theft, a forced redistribution of wealth from those who often can least afford it, to those who already have significant resources.

Wind energy generation – Our money at work

It is currently -5C (23F) at Mind Towers according to the weather station at the local airfield, and falling at a rate of 1.6C per hour.  The wind supposed to be coming from SSE, but is currently showing as 0.0 knots.

Be it directly through our tax pounds, or by proxy via the charges loaded on to our energy bills as part of the Renewables Obligation, the hundreds and hundreds of millions of pounds poured into wind turbine subsidy and feed-in tariffs is delivering next to nothing to the energy supply, because the wind is next to nothing – barely 4% of the official figure for installed wind generation capacity and providing 0.4% of current energy being generated in this country:

It cannot be repeated frequently enough that the government’s obsession with wind power is an obscenely expensive folly.

While Germany talks a good renewables game, it quietly does what is necessary to provide the energy needed by its people and its industry by investing heavily in new coal-fired power.  Just look at what Germany has been building while Cameron and Huhne have been tilting at windmills.  Conversely, our politicians are so blinded by the CO2 bogeyman they ignore 200 years’ worth of domestic coal reserves and put their faith in intermittent and unreliable natural phenomenon.

Germany’s government is putting Germany’s interests first.  Our government is advancing someone’s interest, but it is not that of the British people.  When will people sit up, take notice and declare ‘enough’?

Update: At 9.40pm it is now almost -8C (17F) and wind is now generating even less, a meagre 120MW of power, or 0.3% of the current energy generation.

Taking the wind out of their sails

It’s another cold one in the UK today, with temperatures barely getting above 5 degrees celsius (41F) on mainland Britain.  And as Richard North points out on EU Referendum, coal fired power is providing most of our energy.

But the real story here is that at 11.30am, wind power was providing just 51 megawatts of energy.  That means wind is contributing a derisory 0.1% of the UK’s current energy.  Since Richard posted his piece, it has got even worse as you can see below:

At a measley generation of just 45MW wind power is contributing virtually nothing to the grid.  This is what we get for £400m per annum on top of the money that has been lifted from our pockets to facilitate the installation of the turbines.

While the wind generation companies are getting rich soaking up huge amounts of our money and the politicians are busy supping the kool aid,  the turbines are failing to make energy exactly when we need it.  But this is no surprise to those of us who have long argued against the – there is no other word for it – insanity of increasing our reliance on wind as part of the energy mix, at gigantic cost.  It is the politics of delusion.

It seems to have only recently dawned on some MPs that this fetish for wind energy is not only fundamentally flawed by incredibly damaging.  But as Richard points out elsewhere, even this recently acquired awareness is tempered by a startling lack of knowledge:

But, if these 101 Dalmatians MPs are so concerned about consumers having to pay subsidies, why are they only talking about in-shore turbines, when off-shore windmills get twice the amount, and are set to take the greater proportion of the subsidy pot?

Lavishly paid, well expensed, and deeply immersed in the trappings of imagined power, even when they grandstand to give the impression of heading in a worthy direction they still manage to demonstrate their ignorance of the situation they and their predecessors have dragged us into.


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