This is the season for quizzes. So fingers on buzzers, here’s your starter for ten. In percentage terms, how much electricity do Britain’s 3,150 wind turbines supply to the National Grid?
Is it: a) five per cent; b) ten per cent; or c) 20 per cent? Come on, I’m going to have to hurry you. No conferring.
Time’s up. The correct answer is: none of the above. Yesterday afternoon, the figure was just 1.6 per cent, according to the official website of the wholesale electricity market.
Over the past three weeks, with demand for power at record levels because of the freezing weather, there have been days when the contribution of our forests of wind turbines has been precisely nothing.
It gets better. As the temperature has plummeted, the turbines have had to be heated to prevent them seizing up. Consequently, they have been consuming more electricity than they generate.
Even on a good day they rarely work above a quarter of their theoretical capacity. And in high winds they have to be switched off altogether to prevent damage.
At best, the combined output of these monstrosities is equal only to that of a single, medium-sized, gas-fired power station.
To make matters worse, there is no way of storing the electricity generated on the rare occasions when they are working.
Yet the Government is ploughing ahead with plans to erect 12,500 of these War Of The Worlds windmills in the sea and across our green and pleasant. Some of them will be up to three times the size of the present structures.
Every time I drive up to North Norfolk, another crop of turbines has sprouted from the soil, disfiguring the scenery for miles around.
Swaffham, the picturesque location of Stephen Fry’s TV series Kingdom, is virtually surrounded. None of them ever seems to be turning. They just stand there, ominously, like invaders from outer space laying siege to the town.
Billions of pounds are being wasted on these worse-than-useless blots on the landscape. We’d be better off spending the money on snow ploughs.
While we’re on the subject of snow, Britain’s most tenacious ‘climate change denier’ Christopher Booker, occasionally of this parish, has just revealed the real reason why this country was so ill-prepared for the Arctic weather.
Airports, rail operators and local authorities all subscribe to the Met Office’s long-term forecasts. And over the past few years, the Met Office has become evangelical about ‘man-made global warming’.
Every weather forecast is now extruded through the prism of so-called climate change, even when all evidence points to the fact that the Earth is actually getting colder.
The Met Office’s predictions are based on a computer model which assumes ever-rising temperatures — so much so that it forecast that this winter would be significantly milder than the past two years.
Even though the winters of 2008 and 2009 were ferociously cold, they were dismissed as ‘random events’. The Met Office put the odds on a third harsh winter no higher than 20-1.
Those responsible for keeping our transport network running were stupid enough to swallow this bogus, optimistic forecast, and consequently failed to make proper provision for the blizzards which duly followed.
This, of course, was the same Met Office which predicted a ‘barbecue summer’ shortly before Britain was hit by gales and widespread flooding.
For this wildly inaccurate and deliberately skewed service, the British taxpayer is charged a staggering £200million a year.
Needless to say, the head of the Met Office is not even a weatherman. He’s a leading ‘climate change activist’ who buys into the propaganda pumped out by the fanatics at the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU) — exposed for blatantly suppressing evidence which contradicts their messianic belief in ‘global warming’.
Back in 2000, the CRU’s Dr David Viner told The Independent that winter snowfalls would soon be a thing of the past.
‘Children just aren’t going to know what snow is,’ he predicted confidently.
Even when they are proved wrong, the warmists will never admit it. They simply move the goalposts — which is how global warming morphed into ‘climate change’.
You can’t argue with them. That’s because ‘climate change’ isn’t a science, it’s a religion. Sceptics are trashed as heretics.
The climate change lobby is a curious mix of cultists and cynical opportunists. As I write, Sky News is spotlighting a project on Humberside aimed at brainwashing children into believing that wind is the fuel of the future.
Call Me Dave bangs on about all the jobs which will be created by the ‘green economy’ — ignoring the fact that almost all Britain’s wind turbines are built and installed by foreign firms.
The defining characteristic of all fanatics is that they have no sense of the ridiculous.
According to the BBC, Town Halls across the country have been appealing to owners of 4x4s to offer lifts to ‘essential staff’ during the cold snap.
These would be the same 4x4s which these very same councils want to ban, because they cause global warming and kill polar bears.
You couldn’t make it up.
Let them slip and slither their way into work. I shall be saddling up the SUV and tilting at windmills