One of the joys of working across timezones is catching English media at hours I wouldn’t normally. A neat example of this presented itself to me this week with a typical Yay-or-Nay talking head shout-off. It concerned a 240 wind turbine farm about to be built in the Bristol Channel, known as the Atlantic Array.
Skynews revelled in pitting a pro-green versus a local nimby from campaign group Slay The Array. The opening question went to the green guy. “Why do we need them?” He stated there were three reasons. To précis, they are;
- for plentiful socio-economic benefits, such as several new local jobs
- the obvious need for green energy, and
- to hit our 2020 & 2050 targets the country’s committed to on renewables
At the time, I did wonder how this trio had emerged. These kinds of campaigners have thorough media-training. And yet the chosen pluses strike me as being of the ‘so what’ variety. A touch too woolly and wet for my liking.
This depressing feeling was exacerbated by the Woolacombe Bay Slayer’s spitting incredulity.
He chose first to attack the final point, “arbitrary targets are ludicrous”.
Then he savaged the touted economics, ‘4m visitors to North Devon and 3m in S Wales will no longer come if their view is blighted’ was his thrust. Topped off with “we’re gonna pay the price and a lot of people are gonna get rich”.
And lastly he turned to the greenery or otherwise of the scheme. ‘ It is wrong technology. It should be for tidal and marine current power instead. There’s
no environmental benefit’. And concluded that it was a ruse courtesy of “an amalgamation of green fundamentalists and big business’. Ouch.
Faced with such shockjock onslaught, the windfarm fan spluttered a response of this offshore contribution being equivalent to a major dam, and by the end of the decade six times that is possible. So it’s a key ingredient in our energy mix.
It didn’t gain him debate ascendency. So a re-crafting of the platform three reasons is sorely needed.
Given the opposition’s gripes, it seems a useful place to start is by turning each of those around rather. My immediate ideas thought of a text picture to;
prove wind’s contribution and future proofing technology
show the easiest of transition from fossil to renewable
elude to future prosperity overcoming flat-earther doubts
These were my instant, embryonic reactions. I’m sure decent workshopping could conjure better colours across a canvas.
The selling parallel is clear. When a prospect prods with the “why you…” have you got a cast-iron reason? Does it ably fend off any inevitable counter or is it merely insipid words for the sake of speaking?