Chairman Roger Bancroft opened the meeting by offering five apologies from absent members. He gave a news update on one former member and one current member. Dr. Edward Broadhead Chairman in 2000 and renowned expert on insects and plants now lives in London and had written to Mrs Mountford about George’s death. He has happy memories of the Forum and is still going strong at the age of 94 pursuing bugs in Kew Gardens as opposed to Harlow Carr. Alan Norton has now recovered from his pre-Christmas fall and living happily at Belmont House Starbeck. He hopes to attend a number of meetings next season and thanks all members who helped when he attended regularly particularly naming Tom Snelling, Roland Moor and George Wells. Secretary Neil Ramshaw gave advance notice of the A.G.M. on April 29th and advised members to submit any proposals for tabling and discussion to him in the next two weeks.
A returning Speaker Mr Tony Burkitt informed today’s audience with his talk ” The Rush For Wind ” which was a study of the rationale for wind farms. This was presented in an even handed fashion and covered climate change issues, carbon emissions and looked at the statistical changes of the last two centuries. He demonstrated the impact of countries such as the U.S.A. and China with their conventional energy dependencies whilst also looking at the U.K.’s record and the changing usage mix in the last 30 years which now sees transport as the biggest area of concern. Renewables in this country currently account for well under 10% of energy usage (Wind Farms 1.5/2% ) whilst having signed up in the E.U. to a 15% target for these sources by 2020. He looked at the economies and efficiencies of Wind Farms onshore and off shore highlighting the lack of consistency in their productive usage, their associated costs including subsidies which are paid for by consumers and showed some calculation of the number of turbines needed to increase energy production to target and beyond over the forthcoming years. The talk and accompanying slide show with its associated facts and figures stimulated the Forum’s thought processes and led to a number of questions and comments at its conclusion.
The Vote of Thanks was given by John Corby on behalf of the 33 attendees.
NEIL RAMSHAW SECRETARY