Protecting earth by despoiling it?

Cllr Gardiner calls UKIP’s energy policies ‘muddled’ (letters, March 28), and champions wind farms as good for both the environment and energy security.

UKIP is wholly in agreement that our energy sources need to be more secure, particularly in light of the grave situation in Ukraine.

But wind power is not the cure-all solution that the Liberal Democrats would have you believe, for the simple reason that it is not in the slightest bit environmentally friendly.

We have 5,276 turbines in this country already, yet as I’m writing this, only 2.5% of our energy is coming from wind power.

Therefore we would need over 100,000 turbines littering our countryside to get just half of our energy from wind. It’s a funny sort of solution that seeks to protect an environment by despoiling it.

Let’s not forget that each turbine is set into a block of concrete up to 15,892 cubic feet in size, each containing up to 70 tonnes of steel rebar, yet has a lifespan of only 20 years. How will all those blocks of concrete be removed once the turbine is decommissioned – or will they simply be left in our fields and hilltops?

As for wildlife, an American energy company has already had to pay out over $1m in damages after its wind farms in Wyoming killed dozens of birds, including rare eagles.

Closer to home, a rare white-throated needletail, a species last seen in the UK 22 years ago, was killed by a turbine on the Isle of Harris in front of horrified birdwatchers last year; thousands more bird and bat deaths have also been reported across the UK.

That’s just the environmental damage caused in this country. The turbines use a neodymium magnet in their generators to work. Neodymium is mined in China, where the extraction process used to refine this rare earth material has resulted in a lake of toxic waste five miles wide where there used to be fields of wheat and corn.

The chemicals pollute the air and local waterways; have turned farmland into wasteland for miles around; caused animals to die; and caused the villagers living nearby to suffer skyrocketing rates of cancer, osteoporosis, and respiratory diseases.

Children are born with soft bones, and people are losing their teeth and hair at an unusually young age.

So before Cllr Gardiner accuses us of muddled thinking on energy, perhaps he ought to consider the true environmental credentials of so-called ‘environmentally friendly’ wind power.

Cllr Donna Edmunds

Barcombe and Hamsey ward, Lewes District Council