Happy New Year everybody. Back to your desks.
Noticed on my way in this morning the usual lack of cars. Hardly surprising at £10 a pop. If & when I eventually bottle it cycling against the elements, I will almost certainly be braving the stench on the tube, rather than taking to the road in my newly acquired car. Also noticed this morning that the turbines on top of the Strata SE1 tower block are rock stationary again. These two things are emblematic of the effects the right-on handwringing watermelon do-gooders have had over the past decade or so.
Winner of the 2010 Carbuncle Cup for its "plain visual grotesqueness", Strata SE1 is known to those who are forced to encounter it daily as "Isengard" after Saruman's gaff in the Lord of the Rings. Telegraph blogger James Delingpole frequently writes on the undocumented health problems caused by wind turbines; This Guardian article documents at least one person who has had to move away due to nauseous adverse health effects.
The most interesting things about the otherwise unlovely tower are, of course, the wind turbines. Hailed by the sustainable tofu set as the future of just about everything, the design and manufacture of the turbines is indeed very exciting. At a staggering £1.5m, quite an expensive added extra. Even with the generous levels of government subsidy currently available, the much touted 50MWh per year would only bring in £15k, at which rate it would pay for itself in a measly 100 years. Having cycled past these daily for the past two years, I've not seen them turning once. It would appear that technical problems are to blame. My best guess after a brief trawl of some of the local forums is that they are too noisy, either due to problems in manufacture or design. The best description I have heard from one person who claims to have seen them turning was that they sounded like a "box of demented frogs". The official website claims that we will know how much power the turbines produce following "two years' comprehensive wind data analysis". As work was completed in 2010, that date cannot be far off. Perhaps global wierding changed the direction of the Gulf stream & now it will never, ever work.
One has to wonder whether there was some other incentive other than grubby old financial profit? Well, yes actually - it was a requirement of planning permission being granted by ex London Mayor, "Red" Ken Livingstone. There was also an agreement to support local starving artists, which resulted in a handful of students work being pasted up here & there. Both of which are tokenistic gestures to modern lefty fetishes. Personally speaking, I dont care greatly what they do with the place, as it can hardly be possible to make Elephant & Castle any worse - sell it to the highest bidder & be done, but the blighting of the London skyline with these satanic symbols is far more nefarious. Now that it has been proved that the Shard was the realisation of Sauron's Mordor luxury apartment complex Barad-dûr, can we afford to take any more chances?