Vestas, one of the world’s largest wind turbine manufacturers, as well as Greenpeace and other environmental groups, have launched a campaign to push back at a virulent anti-wind lobby that continually distorts the truth about the electricity-generating technology in Australia.
“The wind industry is being challenged by an anti-wind lobby that often disregards factual information,” Vestas said, adding the new “Act on Facts” campaign is the company’s way of ensuring global citizens have an informed and balanced perspective about emissions-free wind energy.
In a statement, Vestas said atmospheric concentrations of CO2 have passed the 400 parts per million (ppm) mark and are well on the way to the 450 ppm tipping point after which there’s no turning back. Saying the effects of climate change are very real, the company added extreme weather events are becoming more frequent while ice caps are melting, forests are burning, and coasts are flooding.
“As part of the solution, wind power helps tip the balance back in our favour,” the company continued. “Yet anti-wind activists sometimes via deception and misinformation are threatening a promising move toward a clean energy future and the investments and jobs that that future holds.”
Launched in Melbourne, the campaign consists of viral movies that put a new perspective on wind “myths.” It also includes a web portal that features well-documented, fact-based information to dispel incorrect information peddled by anti-wind activists as well as up-to-date information on pro-wind initiatives in which local citizens can engage.
The company also said it is important to distinguish between genuine local concerns and the increasingly professional anti-wind activists whose strategy seems designed to confuse and inflame the debate.
The Guardian reported Sunday that Morten Albaek, senior vice-president of Vestas, was to launch the campaign in Melbourne as anti-wind activists gathered in front of Parliament House in Canberra to demand a future Coalition government stop new wind farms and end or scale back the renewable energy target that underpins their operation.
The Guardian story added Ken McAlpine, public affairs director for Vestas in Australia, said the highly-unconventional corporate campaign was being launched in Australia because anti-wind groups in the nation had been more successful than in any other country.
“They don’t observe rules of civilised debate, they are not particularly interested in facts and they have been doing it for years,” McAlpine said. “They have been able to achieve change at a state policy level and there is a risk they will be able to do it at federal level as well.”
Vestas is working on the campaign with other wind companies, the story added, in addition to environmental groups such as Greenpeace and Environment Victoria.
A federal election is to be held in Australia on 14 September. Currently there is a Labour minority government under Prime Minister Julia Gillard. The opposition Coalition is led by Tony Abbott, a Liberal who has described climate change science as “absolute crap.”