OPINION: Wind farms and climate change

DEAR News Of The Area,

FOR more than 50 years I have been following the science of climate change.

The only thing that climate scientists got wrong in the 1960s is that we shouldn’t be where we are now for another ten years.

Some 20 years ago the International Insurance Council issued a warning that if we did not move away from our reliance on fossil fuels an increasing number of householders would either be unable to find insurance for their property or it would be unaffordable as climate change increases the risk of severe weather events.

I find it extraordinary that the NOTA would give precedence to the views of two federal politicians, including our local member, who for the ten years they were in government chose to ignore the warnings they were given, and the increasing evidence.

Not to act is costing far more than acting.

In none of the ‘surveys’ David Gillespie has invited us to participate in over the years has climate change been mentioned as something which may be of concern to us, and in correspondence with him over the years it is obvious that he is not genuinely concerned about its impact.

I have concerns about the offshore wind farm, but do not believe it will go ahead purely from the economic perspective.

The cost is three times greater than the land based alternative.

We should also remember that they were proponents of schemes such as this.

My genuine question to those opposing it is: Do you believe the scientists all over the world who are deeply worried about climate change?

Do you still want manufacturing in the Hunter as we move away from coal?

Does it concern you that valuable farming land has been lost to coal mining, and physicians in places such as Singleton express concern at the declining health of their patients living with coal mining?

Are those opposing this standing with the communities who are expressing very real concern at the expansion of coal mining and gas exploration in their local areas?

Are you standing with the miners experiencing a rise in the insidious pneumoconiosis (black lung disease) since the big mining companies won the right to ‘self regulate’?

Is it just the location, or if not what is the alternative?

For the proponents of nuclear.

Years ago Dr. Helen Caldecott, working as a paediatrician in Adelaide, was concerned at the high number of children she was seeing in her practice who were suffering from leukaemia.

It was found that open cut uranium mines, where waste was left, meant that the dust was carried on the prevailing wind, and continues to do so.

Last year we visited the Montebello Islands off the coast of W.A., very beautiful, but they will be toxic for thousands of years.

As it’s only 70 years since the last nuclear testing there, large signs warn that it’s only safe to go ashore for one hour.

We use nuclear isotopes for vital medical diagnostic purposes, however as yet none of the ‘small modular reactors’ now being advocated by some are actually in operation anywhere in the world.

As with uranium mines and other sites in Australia, there is no known way of cleaning up, no known way of assuring that waste can be safely stored for the thousands of years it remains toxic.

The people of Kimba gave a resounding no to the suggestion that it be stored there.

Barbara LYLE,
Tea Gardens.

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