Letter: ‘Ostrich Party’ still in sand

Refusing to accept reality.
Refusing to accept reality.

I am pleased that my friend Cllr Mark Vesey and Scarborough’s Green Party consider it a compliment when I said they ought to change the party’s name to ‘The Ostrich Party’ and he goes on to tell his reasons why they regard my comments as a compliment. The ancient Egyptians also reputedly managed to turn lush farmland into the Sahara Desert.

However since Roman times, ostriches have been said to be so dim that they react to danger by sticking their heads in sand. They have thus become a metaphor for humans who refuse to accept reality, preferring to ignore the truth, and by doing so will make the reality go away. That attitude describes exactly the claims by the local Green Party about the viability of renewables.

The energy policy I said was disastrous was that of Lib Dem Ed Davey who pushed forward offshore wind power. He demanded that Owen Paterson the Conservative Environment Secretary’s report on wind farms not be made public. Presumably it was after he read it he started to promote nuclear; thank goodness he got dumped at the last election.

I made no mention of ‘the horrific dangers of fracking. What I do know is that Durham University produced a report several years ago that stated that subject to strict controls it is perfectly safe.

I first suggested the name change in my letter that was published in the Scarborough Evening News on August 20, 2013, after more extravagant and inaccurate claims by the Green Party’s Dilys Cluer.

The facts are really quite simple: generating stations have to be able to supply a ‘base load’ every day of the year. In Britain coal has been the main fuel followed by nuclear. Both of these have steam turbines which are the most efficient of steam engines. It takes time to build up steam pressure which is why it is more difficult to quickly increase the output.

No renewable is able to supply a ‘base load’ which is why none can be relied on to support the National Grid. Because European Law demands renewables have priority to supply the National Grid and when they do an imbalance is created as soon as The Wind Stops Blowing – Darkness Falls – The Tide Turns (eight hours available in every 24) or carbon capture, which we don’t have any that work.

The only way to rectify this imbalance is to have a supply which can be turned on at ‘a flick of a switch’. This is where a gas powered generator comes to the rescue.

Mark is wrong when he claims a gas powered generator uses steam. They have the same type of engines used in a propjet aero-plane.

Also the myth of a 1,000 legacy of nuclear waste. There is more chance of an asteroid hitting the earth than any problems with nuclear waste. Regarding the decommissioning cost the

French figure is 10 per cent to 15 per cent of the build cost after which the land is safe enough to build a school on the site.

We need gas to power them hence the need for more gas which is where fracking comes in. Who has been the main party opposing fracking?

Who are the humans who refuse to accept reality? The Greens of course.

France’s President François Hollande has given in to the ostriches in Holland – Germany and Switzerland - by agreeing to the closure of France’s oldest remaining nuclear power station in Fessenheim against the wishes of their nuclear industry who know it could operate safely for a further 20 years after a routine safety check. Stupid really when you understand where they get their electricity from when their renewables fail. France of course.

I have been an environmentalist for more than 60 years. I wrote to Prime Minister Harold Wilson over 60 years ago saying that all railways in Britain should be electrified yet we still have trains from Scarborough running on diesel oil. Town buses could be changed to trolley buses.

Plug in hybrid cars are now a reality where no fossil fuel is used when used for local journeys.

Colin Wigglesworth

Providence Place