Tag Archives: green philosophy

Environmentalists and windfarms: Beware the loss of vision

A couple of years ago I visited Te Apiti Windfarm near Woodville. I found the windmills both impressive and disconcerting.

The generation of ‘green’ energy is something I strongly support. I admire the engineering feat, and I have to say that the visual impact on the landscape doesn’t bother me too deeply. But I don’t live in the region any more. Besides, given that Woodville is at the heart of a farming area that only 130 years ago was known as the ‘Seventy Mile Bush’, my feeling is that the clear felling of this once forested region was a change to the landscape far more traumatic, for both tangata whenua and the natural world, than the installation of 55 windmills.

Nevertheless, standing at the foot of one of the 70-metre pylons, looking up at the rotor turning directly above my head, I immediately felt uncomfortable: there was something about those huge blades churning up the air that was more than a little disturbing. Although it’s not something a supporter of ‘green’ energy might care to admit, I have to say that I just did not enjoy being around the windmills. And so, since that visit to Te Apiti, I’ve had a certain sympathy for the opponents of windfarm developments.

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Filed under climate change, David, green politics, social justice, sustainability

Green Puritanism or green realism? Frank Furedi on environmentalism

Frank Furedi, sociologist, political guru, and much else besides, writes an occasional column called “Really Bad Ideas” on the Spiked website. In his column, Furedi offers cultural and political criticism on issues as diverse as “The tyranny of science” and “Censorship”. It didn’t take Furedi too long to get around to ripping in to environmentalism, which he did in a column published in September 2007 here. There are plenty of critiques of green politics around the web and the secondhand bookstores of the world, but this is certainly among the more interesting, rigorous and insightful that I have read.

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Filed under David, green politics