The 'Curiouser and Curiouser' Case of "Yes to Wind"

Paul Mobbs mobbsey at
Tue Jun 22 17:47:27 BST 2010

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The Curious Case of "Yes to Wind"

A sorry tale in wind-ups, intrigue and misrepresentation

by Paul Mobbs/The Free Range Network
mei at
Tuesday 22nd June 2010

First and foremost, have a look at this well known website --

Remember this? This was the web site that WWF, Friends of the Earth and 
Greenpeace set up a few years ago to lobby for more wind power in the UK. Look 
at it more closely; to bend the old Peter, Paul and Mary song a little, "where 
have all the logos gone?" It appears that they sold-on the name and the 
intellectual property that goes with the site to someone else in late 2009 -- 
either that or they just forgot to register the web address after the two-year 
expiry period. Curiouser and curiouser!

Now: 1. Do a standard 'whois' lookup on that web address and you get "not 
known"; 2. Check the general US .com registry and you get the name of another 
registering company; 3. Check the registering company for their group of 
addresses -- -- and you'll find the registrant as 
being one 'Alex Doyle' from Manchester; 4. Do a company search and you'll find 
"Yes 2 Wind Limited" (company number 6984227); 5. Pull their documents from 
Companies House and you'll find that Alexander (Alex) Doyle is a director of 
the company -- along with Philipa Kershaw, Andrew (Andy) Nicol, and John 
Everett (don't ask me for their full particulars, if you want them you'll have 
to get them yourself). 

So who are these obviously really concerned and dedicated environmentalists 
who run "Yes 2 Wind" now the Greenpeace et. al. have dropped it?; what's their 
common relationship?

Start manipulating the global web of knowledge and very quickly you'll see 
that the name -- "Pendragon PR" -- will keep turning up. Pendragon PR are a 
company who specialise in PR for the energy industries, especially, BUT NOT 
EXCLUSIVELY, renewable energy.

So, this is how the "Yes 2 Wind" scam now works (I use the word "scam" 
deliberately, for it is a deception that I believe might hold some interesting 
opportunities for campaigning in and of itself):

Pendragon PR ( specialise in PR for energy 
companies. Philipa Kershaw looks after their "support services including 
finances, personnel, administration and IT", and so presumably does the same 
for "Yes 2 Wind". Andy Nicol appears to be a front man for Pendragon at trade 
shows, promoting their services including something called "Express Support" 
(I'll come back to these two interesting words later). Skip John Everett, 
we'll also return to him later. Last, but not least, Alex Doyle is Pendragon's 
managing director.

OK, so Pendragon PR represents companies trying to get wind turbines and other 
renewable energy developments?; yes. Local greenies having problems with the 
council's planning committee over a rooftop wind turbine and PV panels?; it 
would appear not. Pendragon represent companies with large PR budgets... not 
really a cause we could define as "environmentalism", which if we take the OED 
definition would be: "1 a person who is concerned with the protection of the 
environment; 2 a person who considers that environment has the primary 
influence on the development of a person or group".

With that definition of environmentalism ringing in our ears lets take a look 
at Pendragon's select client list from their website:

# Carlton Power (don't seem to have a web site!) -- operator of gas-fired power 
stations in UK and Italy; joint venture with ESB building a new plant, 
Carrington Power, near Trafford.

# Catamount Energy Limited -- They appear to be owned by the US based Duke 
Corporation, " of the largest electric power companies in the United 
States, supplying and delivering energy to approximately 4 million U.S. 
customers. We have approximately 35,000 megawatts of electric generating 
capacity in the Carolinas and the Midwest, and natural gas distribution 
services in Ohio and Kentucky. Our commercial and international businesses own 
and operate diverse power generation assets in North America and Latin 
America, including a portfolio of renewable energy assets."

# Covanta Energy ( -- "Covanta Energy is the 
world’s largest supplier of Energy from Waste (EfW); we operate 45 EfW plants 
worldwide and processes in excess of 18 million tonnes of municipal waste each 

# Drax Power ( -- One of Britain's largest point 
sources of carbon emissions, now burning lots of biomass very wastefully 
(compared to the 'best practicable environmental option' for this fuel).

# ESB International, part of the ESB Group ( -- owned by 
the semi-national Irish Electricity Supply Board (ESB, Bord Soláthair an 
Leictreachais), the "unregulated" international arm works outside of Ireland; 
"...we have active operations in over 20 countries, including strategic 
operation and maintenance contracts totalling over 5,500MW. In addition to 
investments in over 2,300MW of installed capacity and a similar amount in 
development, ESBI also has 146MW of renewable wind energy plant installed, 
164MW under construction and a further pipeline of 740MW planned for Ireland, 
UK and Spain."

# Infinergy ( -- "Infinergy is a wholly owned 
subsidiary of KDE Energy of the Netherlands, a renewable energy business 
developing onshore wind projects across Europe. KDE is the renewables division 
of Koop Holding, a large Dutch construction, engineering and contracting 
enterprise, involved in major international development projects."

# Intergen ( -- "InterGen is a global power 
generation firm with 12 power plants representing a total generation capacity 
of 8,088 MW {note: 2,230MW/28% is COAL fired}... InterGen’s plants are located 
in the UK, the Netherlands, Mexico, the Philippines and Australia."

# Langage Energy Park ( -- "The first phase, 
a gas fired power station, is nearing completion and the developers... are 
pushing ahead with a provision of 1.4 million sq ft of employment development, 
which will include offices, industrial, warehousing as well as ancillary 

# Scottish Power ( -- renewable and hydro, as 
well as new gas-fired generating plants. 

In summary: On the back of an envelope I think the fossil-fuel element of 
Pendragon's client portfolio far outweighs the renewable components!! So 
what's with the "Yes 2 Wind" thing? We have little other evidence availble but 
to consider, as I stated above, that it is a scam to encourage pro-wind 
environmentalists into lobbying for a large-scale/industrial development 

OK, now let's clear the lose ends.

Remember the other director I left hanging earlier?; John Everett. He and his 
business partner run a small consultancy company, Green Campaigns Limited 
(, that offers "professional campaigning and 
public relations services in the fields of environmental protection, 
environmental sustainability and action to tackle climate change". Yeah, 
before becoming an author and lecturer I used to do that, except most of my 
clients found it very difficult to pay me anything (I readily accept that my 
personal "business acumen" is not very conventional).

What's more interesting is that they have a "special relationship" with 
Pendragon PR to use their "Express Support" software. What, you may ask, is 
that? Express Software (, developed by 
Pendragon PR, is a suite of computer (presumably database driven) programs 
that is used for public relations. Let me quote from their web site:

"Planning and politics are inextricably linked. After all politicians are 
there to represent the views of the people who elected them. So if it appears 
that a community totally opposes a planning development, local councillors may 
well see it as their job to represent that view and work to have the 
application turned down. The problem is when a vocal minority creates the 
impression of mass objection when in reality most people are supportive. How 
can this happen? Well objectors object -- they make themselves heard -- loudly 
and constantly. Supporters on the other hand tend to be silent. As a 
consequence vocal minority groups often have a disproportionate influence on 
planning decisions. And this can cause delay and be very costly not just for 
the developer but also the local planning authority. Ironically the increased 
local authority costs are paid for by the people who elect the politicians -- 
local community members. For the democratic process to work well it is vitally 
important that politicians at all levels understand the views of the wider 
community and not just those of a vocal minority."

Now let's network that little ditty with something from a Green Campaigns 
Limited flier:

"Green Campaigns currently have exclusive rights to use the *letter-generating 
facility* of the software. This facilitates unique, individual letters to be 
sent to planning authorities in support of planning applications From our 
experience across the whole of the UK, we believe the package is of enormous 
benefit in demonstrating to decision makers the extent and quality of support 
for specific planning applications."

Basically, they're the hit-men from Spam-a-lot!, fronting for Pendragon's 
clients with pro-wind groups. They get paid to bombard your local councils 
with letters of support for development applications. Have you ever wondered 
where those letter turn up from out of the blue in your local newspaper, or 
planning office? -- now you know. But what sort of "development applications?" 
Wind farms; undoubtedly. Anything else? Look at the bottom right of the 
Express Software front page and you'll see an interesting list of project 
types -- allow me to quote:
* Wind farms 
* Power generation 
* Housing 
* Commercial developments 
* Airports 
* Rail infrastructure 
* Energy from Waste 
* Overhead lines 
* Underground gas storage 
* Company reorganisation


Ooopps, hang on -- remember that client portfolio I listed above?... I think 
you get the picture. 

So, let's bring this long, sorry story to a conclusion:

The "green veneer" is wearing thin; so thin that the true purpose of all these 
developments is beginning to show through. The conception of wind power that 
we see promoted by mainstream, industry-supported campaigners today; the 
conception of wind power that "Express Support" letter-bombs local councils 
about; the conception of renewable energy technology that Duke Energy, Covanta 
or InterGen are interested in -- has *absolutely nothing* to do with 
environmentalism (remember the OED definition above?) and everything to do with 
vacillating about "change" whilst the planet slowly goes into melt-down.

This isn't abut "green business", or even "big business", it's just "business 
as usual".

I leave you with three very basic messages I believe you should take from the 
wad of information above:

1. If you are a supporter/member of WWF, Greenpeace or Friends of the Earth I 
think you should be apoplectic with rage that a PR company, representing 
global corporations involved in nothing short of mass-scale environmental 
destruction, is trading on their associations with the former "Yes 2 Wind" 
website in order to promote anti-environmental development.

2. If you really truly believe in large-scale wind development, I still think 
you should be hopping mad! When the Daily Mail/Tory-Lib-Graph (sorry, I don't 
want them to but once I run my 'send' program I've no control over this 
information) pick this up they're going to besmirch your "environmentalist" 
credentials by pointing out that the company who operates the "Yes 2 Wind" web 
site represents a bunch of corporate bread-heads hell bent on eco-destruction 
- -- and not only have they made you fall for it, you've probably been doing 
free lobbying work on behalf of their corporate clients without knowing it!

3. If you play into this game of supporting large-scale wind development then 
don't be surprised if you're honestly held ecological beliefs are pretty much 
done-over by people like Pendragon PR in the name of subsidised corporate 
markets. E.g., that is what the "arms race" of ever-bigger wind turbines is 
all about -- maximising returns. 

In my personal view being an environmentalist is about seeking a 
reconciliation between the planet and the human species, but under the rules 
defined by the planet (those sciency sort-of rules that cause problems for 
economists; Thermodynamics, meta-population dynamics, etc.). Everything the 
Pendragon PR stands for is, in my opinion, the opposite. They are using PR 
techniques and database-driven computerised letter spamming to councils in 
order to get their clients dodgy projects through -- controlling the public 
perceptions of what is or is not "green" my manipulating the agenda through 
front groups and web sites.


- -- 

"We are not for names, nor men, nor titles of Government,
nor are we for this party nor against the other but we are
for justice and mercy and truth and peace and true freedom,
that these may be exalted in our nation, and that goodness,
righteousness, meekness, temperance, peace and unity with
God, and with one another, that these things may abound."
(Edward Burrough, 1659 - from 'Quaker Faith and Practice')

Paul's book, "Energy Beyond Oil", is out now!
For details see

Read my message board, "Ecolonomics", at:

Paul Mobbs, Mobbs' Environmental Investigations
3 Grosvenor Road, Banbury OX16 5HN, England
tel./fax (+44/0)1295 261864
email - mobbsey at
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