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For whom the wind blows: an emergent resource gaze? Dan van der Horst

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Presentation on theme: "For whom the wind blows: an emergent resource gaze? Dan van der Horst"— Presentation transcript:

1 For whom the wind blows: an emergent resource gaze? Dan van der Horst

2 Wind farm approval rates in the period 1999-2003* 40% for Wales 50% for England 75% for Northern Ireland 94% for Scotland * BWEA, 2003; figures relate to total declared capacity Why such unequal outcomes?

3 The view from industry (quotes): trouble with retired ABCs Avoid chocolate box villages Selecting a place where people understand that electricity doesnt come out of the light switch (ex-mining area) What do we know about those involved in local opposition?

4 View from a Guardian columnist (Toynbee 2004): How unsurprising that the Prince joins Country Life and the Telegraph's nimby campaign against wind farms, in the company of Noel Edmonds, David Bellamy (Referendum party, now Tory) and Bernard Ingham of the nuclear lobby. If only there were space here to give the full heartrending succession of Telegraph wind-farm sob stories, such as Anne Hassan-Hicks, who fears her 18th-century house in Tennyson country may lose £100,000 in value as it looks on to farmland due to sprout wind turbines.

5 The urbanite perspective? [T]he open countryside space is portrayed as a space of consumption in which ramblers walk – and walk freely – experiencing peace and quiet and spectacular scenery. The lands value lies not in its productive activity, but as an escape for city-dwellers, as somewhere to reconnect with nature, and to inspire art, literature and music (Woods, 2003, 285).

6 Rural versus urban views Evidence that rural people are more tolerant, or even actively supportive of renewable energy activities than urban people (Bergmann et al., 2006; Hain et al., 2005 – both Scottish studies), Evidence that attitudes of local people were more favourable towards renewable energy facilities than those of newcomers who had recently moved to the area (Landscape Design Associates, 2000 in Hain et al., 2005 - regarding windfarms in Mid-Wales; Hanley and Nevin, 1999 - regarding biomass/wind/hydro in Assynt, on the west coast of Scotland). Evidence that the argument of job creation is important for many people in rural Scotland who support the development of renewables, but not for urbanites (Bergmann et al., 2006).

7 Transformation of (bits of) the countryside post-productivism with respect to farming (Mather et al, 2006) counter-urbanisation (Fielding, 1998) rural gentrification (Phillips, 1993) greentrification (Smith and Phillips, 2001), aspirational ruralism (Woods, 2003) So are wind farms a form of neo-productivism? (Tourist gaze -> resource gaze)

8 Is there evidence of Envir. Inequality? Processes causing environmental inequity: 1.Historic patterns of site location and associated housing for workers; 2.The operation of housing and land markets over long time periods; 3.Land use planning policies that tend to agglomerate industrial activities; 4.And deliberate targeting of deprived areas by companies seeking to gain planning permission where local opposition is likely to be less substantial, influential and well organized (Walker et al. 2005, p. 373).

9 Accepted rejected Analysis of 77 wind farm applications in England (appeals not included on this map)

10 Univariate regression for local authority planning outcomes Independent variables with predictive scores of more than 60%. % correct Sig. of variable Sig. Model Directio n Years of potential life lost72.70.0110.004- voter turnout in 200170.10.0050.002+ Distance to polluting source63.60.0870.080+ % population aged 16-2462.30.0200.008- Ammonia emissions to air62.30.0270.010+ Number of days of ground frost62.30.1340.120+ Rural classification61.10.0850.076+ Annual rainfall610.0840.078+ + means a high value of the variable, is associated with a higher chance of rejection - means a low value of the variable, is associated with a higher chance of rejection

11 Mann-Whitney p<0.05 found for the following local variables (LSOAs with planning refusal have:) Appeal Decision Planning decision Fewer years of potential life lost0.000420.0089 Higher voting turnout0.000500.0090 Lower health deprivation index0.0066(p>0.05) Smaller percentage of people aged 16-240.0097(p>0.05) Lower crime deprivation index0.0160.042 Lower percent urban type0.017(p>0.05) Lower cadmium emissions0.0180.016 Higher proportion of self-employed0.019(p>0.05) Higher number of cultural heritage sites0.0190.039 Smaller length of principal roads0.0200.021 Fewer students0.023(p>0.05) Lower emissions of dioxins and furans0.025(p>0.05) More small employer and own account workers0.028(p>0.05) fewer persons employed in public admin, defence, soc security0.031(p>0.05) Lower illness and disability0.031(p>0.05) More settlements0.034(p>0.05) Higher annual rainfall0.0410.030 Larger number of post offices0.042(p>0.05) Fewer road accidents0.047(p>0.05) Higher proportion of 2 nd homes and holiday homes0.048(p>0.05)

12 Name of variables10var.model 85.7% 8 var. model 83.1% 4 var. model 81.8% voter turnout in 20010.0030.0020.001 distance to nearest tourist attraction0.0030.0090.055 Rural classification0.0190.002 number of land fill sites0.0060.0050.074 number of post offices0.0110.021 Ammonia emissions to air0.0150.008 Number of days of ground frost0.0170.055 Flood zone 20.1290.019 Flood zone 30.144 Emergency hospital admissions0.172 % employed in manufacturing0.126 Multivariate regression; the best models for x variables (% correctly predicted by the model; significance of individual variables)

13 conclusions The (very) local area clearly does matter Local democratic deficit is key, + several indicators associated with social capital. The planning process produces unequal outcomes Appeals produce more unequal outcomes than the first phase of application Does this amount to environmental inequality? (scale, time, issue dependent)

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