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Home / Tim Worstall /We spy that cakeism the Prime Minister is so fond of

We spy that cakeism the Prime Minister is so fond of

Summary:
If we are to avoid the problem of trivial earthshakes from fracking (‘quakes is far too strong a word) and also to have our energy domestically produced we’ve got to put the windmills and the solar panels somewhere: Countryside campaigners have warned that swathes of rural southern England face being ruined by “massive industrialisation” if plans for one of the country’s largest solar farms are given the go-ahead.The approval of plans for a large solar power plant in Oxfordshire has sparked fears of a “tidal wave of solar farms” despoiling rural areas.There are now proposals for another four huge solar farms covering between 160 to 340 acres each, close to the Chiltern Area Of Outstanding Beauty and the north part the Oxford Green Belt.We have been known to recommend the blowing up of the

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If we are to avoid the problem of trivial earthshakes from fracking (‘quakes is far too strong a word) and also to have our energy domestically produced we’ve got to put the windmills and the solar panels somewhere:

Countryside campaigners have warned that swathes of rural southern England face being ruined by “massive industrialisation” if plans for one of the country’s largest solar farms are given the go-ahead.

The approval of plans for a large solar power plant in Oxfordshire has sparked fears of a “tidal wave of solar farms” despoiling rural areas.

There are now proposals for another four huge solar farms covering between 160 to 340 acres each, close to the Chiltern Area Of Outstanding Beauty and the north part the Oxford Green Belt.

We have been known to recommend the blowing up of the Town and Country Planning Act 1947 and successors but this idea that building cannot happen even close to the protected areas, let alone in them, is extreme in the other direction.

The point that caught our eye though is this:

The CPRE argues that solar farms should be built on brownfield sites and not in open countryside.

Definitely cakeism, the wanting to have it and also eat it.

For the CPRE also argues that if we continue to stuff the British into the smallest new housing in Europe then we’ve, just about, enough brownfield land to stick the rabbit hutches on. Only very minor amounts - but even so still some - of greenfield land will need to be used to provide such shelter. All of which will be far away from the window views of any CPRE bigwigs which is the point of the objections.

But if those brownfield sites now have to be used for the solar cells then where are the houseless proles to be stocked? Don’t ask the CPRE for as long as it’s far away from those countryside views they’re not worried.

The essential truth here is that if we are to move to an energy provision system that makes extensive use of land - which renewables do - then we’ve got to use more land than we did in the previous, land-light system. As population isn’t going down then that means more land must be brought into housing/industrial use. There simply isn’t enough brownfield land to do both, land hungry energy supply and also house the population in shelter fit for helots let alone heroes.

Make a decision people. One way or the other for you cannot have it all - that’s cakeism.

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Tim Worstall
Tim Worstall is a British-born writer and Senior Fellow of the Adam Smith Institute. Worstall is a regular contributor to Forbes and the Register. He has also written for the Guardian, the New York Times, PandoDaily, the Daily Telegraph blogs, the Times, and The Wall Street Journal. In 2010 his blog was listed as one of the top 100 UK political blogs by Total Politics.

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