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September 12, 2004

Wind Farms for PreBlighted Landscapes

The A13 is not a beautiful road (though there are some people trying to do something about that). Immortalised in poetry by Jah Wobble, it leaves London through the ugliest parts of its industrial landscape, running up to the M25 through Ford's massive Dagenham plant. Dock containers, gasometers, roadworks, revolting sixties concrete flyovers, industrial parks, giant inflatable McDonald's chips, 12-screen cinemas, you get the idea.

And, just as you come over the crest of a particularly ugly flyover, three shiny new Norman Foster designed wind turbines. They provide enough clean electricity for 2000 homes, though in this case they'll be powering Ford's diesel assembly clean room.

Wind turbines are controversial; people ask for planning permission to put large numbers of them on hills in areas of outstanding natural beauty. People rightly ask if it's worth blighting our countryside for the sake of clean power. But that's not a criticism of these wind turbines. They are quite the most beautiful thing on the A13; towering above the ravaged landscape, promising a cleaner, brighter future.

Posted by Alison Scott at September 12, 2004 08:57 PM


...and of course in song by the Bard of Barking, Billy Bragg...

Posted by: Simon Bisson at September 12, 2004 09:44 PM

featuring a rhyme that only works if sung in the Braggster's blunt yet nasal howl...

If you need to go to Shoeburyness
take the A Road, the OK road that's the best
Go motoreen (owch)
on the A Firteen!

Posted by: Wrob at September 17, 2004 03:24 PM

While I've normally shared concerns with the environmental protection crowd, I find myself slightly perplexed by the wind farm controversies. I suppose it has to do with my own first encounter with a wind farm...

(apart from the classic wind-mills of the Netherlands and other classic of the American prairies, used for pumping water out of the ground... ahem, flake in a snowstorm here, sorry)

I saw my first energy-generating wind farm on a stretch of highway between San Fransisco and Sacramento; bare hills that were beautiful in a stark and sober way, not lyrical but still talking to the soul. The massed ranks of the towers with their blades, rotating in tandem, added to that strange beauty, I thought. Particularly as my friend doing the driving mentioned how much electricity was being generated...

But, I have to remember, others' milage most certainly will vary.

Crazy(and still watching this one from the sidelines, for the most part)Soph

Posted by: crazysoph at September 19, 2004 11:34 AM

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