Today, a huge new wind farm was opened off the coast of North Wales. Now what is one to think about it - in the context of climate change discussion. Over the last few days, such discussion has been transformed, especially in the US. The publication of 'leaked' emails, emanating from Professor Phil Jones' previously hugely influential Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia has exploded into the debate like an Exocet. Prof Jones standing down today has added to the mayhem. Almost the entire 20,000 strong cast of delegates filling the planes which are filling the skies as they head to Copenhagen this coming weekend are trying to play it down. But the sceptical juices of the non participant public is now in full flow.
I've always found this whole debate difficult. Instinctively, I've been on the side of 'believers', but some of the rhetoric seems so 'over-the-top' that 'believer' is no longer a description I'm comfortable with. Much of it does not seem to be based on common sense. In today's Telegraph, Charles Moore reminds us that Gordon Brown thinks we have just a few days to "save the planet". The article is worth reading - because its representative of what is being written all over the world since the leaked emails hit the headlines. Suddenly, Lord Nigel Lawson has the audience he has been striving to find for years. Prince Charles has said something along the same lines as the Prime Minister. I simply do not believe it. And once part of the rhetoric becomes unbelievable, everything is questioned. And then we find out that the data on which much the science is supposed to have been based has been deliberately 'skewed'. There must be a thoroughly and genuinely independent inquiry into what Professor Phil Jones' CRU has been up to.
But back to the turbines off the Rhyl coast. I don't like off shore wind farms at all, but accept them - just as I've come to accept new nuclear power stations. Neither do I object to the huge new development called Gwynt y Mor, off Llandudno. Still do not think onshore turbines are worthwhile though. The landscape damage is too high a price to pay for pathetically little. I wonder how many turbines would be needed to counter the carbon footprint of the Copenhagen Conference - assuming the wind blows all weekend. Maybe Professor Jones can work that one out, while he's on his unexpected extended leave.