Further AGAST

It seems that AGAST is now fully up and running. This morning I found a leaflet on the doormat and it also seems that they've got a website up and running — the site contains much of the text that's in the leaflet but nothing else.

Sadly, so far, it seems that they're running the usual sort of FUD campaign that is common to many protest groups. This tends to be a case of preaching to the converted, it seldom seems to convince anyone else. Worse yet, it plays right into the hands of the opposition.

I think the thing that really reduces the usefulness and believability of the site (and the leaflet) is that some bold claims are made (literally, some of them are written in bold) but no source is given for the information. That's a real shame. I can understand space being short on the leaflet but there's no reason for failing to cite sources (and link to them where possible) on a website.

Take the claim that the plans are for "6 of the largest on shore turbines in Britain" for example. Okay, ignoring for a moment why that's actually an issue, where's the evidence, where will they actually be in the wind turbine height league for the Britain? I'd have an easier time believing this and putting it into some useful context if the details were actually given.

Another example: "It is reported that from as far as 2 miles the aerodynamic sound can be heard and felt like the boom boxes teenagers have in their cars". Sounds bad doesn't it? Even more so in Billingborough because there are plenty of those sorts of cars around so many people know what that's like. But, "it is reported" where and who reports this? Is this hearsay evidence, just an anecdote? How do I test the validity of this? Compare this with the BWEA's factsheet on wind turbine noise where they give plenty of values, place them in context and provide you with information as to who did the study so you can follow it up. While I wouldn't expect AGAST to do the same it would make the whole thing appear a little more believable if I know where it had been "reported".

I won't comment on the rest of the content as pretty much every item is presented as a fact with no backing whatsoever. I hope this was a design decision, I hope the intent was to get people thinking about the issues — sadly it doesn't look that way, it looks a little more like an attempt at FUD.

I'm not, by default, opposed to a wind farm on our doorstep; then again I'm not, by default, fully in favour of one either. I've been doing a fair bit of reading up, on and off, and so far I've failed to find very convincing arguments either way (although the balance is slightly in favour of the "pro-" rather than the "anti-" side but only because the "pro-" arguments tend to be more rational).


  1. Yeah, from what I see of the site I'd agree there's too much FUD / everything needs substantiating.

    Strange choice of picture, too. Looks like they nicked it from the opposition somewhere - so pretty, clean, sunny and futuristic. (Can I have a flying car now please?)

  2. It's funny you should say that about the image because I was looking at it too, picturing myself driving up into the village from the south, and seeing that before me and I'm having a hard time trying to find it unattractive.