Anti-Wind Farm Group Heavily Criticized for Distorting the Truth
UK sports car manufacturer Lotus made a high-profile commitment last year to build wind turbines at its headquarters, a move welcomed by many environmentalists, including ourselves. Not everyone was so excited. it seems an anti-wind farm group with the implausible name of RUNGA (apparently standing for R U NaÃ¯ve, Gullible, Apathetic?) has been busy disseminating leaflets to local residents warning of dire consequences if the projects were to go ahead. However, the group's publications have been slammed by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), after a complaint was brought by developer Ecotricity over what they felt were deliberate attempts to distort the debate and stir up opposition. Ecotricity disputed the leaflets on 9 separate counts, including claims that tax-payer money was being used to construct the turbines; that there would be 24 hour noise audible from 5 miles away; that property values could fall by 15-20%; and that television reception would be effected by the turbines. The Authority found against RUNGA on all counts, ruling that the leaflets were inaccurate, and were likely to mislead the public. RUNGA were also criticized for not responding to the ASA, thus showing a total "disregard" for the standards set out by the consumer rights organization.
Dale Vince, CEO of Ecotricity (who we previously interviewed here) welcomed the decision:
"The leaflets amounted to nothing more than scaremongering, creating fear based on half truths, exaggerations and lies. They were put together with the aim to cause panic in the local community."