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Public support growing for wind farms reveals latest poll

A new opinion poll shows public support for wind farms is growing in Britain, despite noisy and aggressive campaigning against them in recent months and misleading press and media coverage of the opposition's claims. The poll, carried out by ICM and commissioned by Greenpeace, reveals that 80% of people support government plans to increase the number of wind turbines in Britain, with just 8% opposed. Perhaps even more interestingly, it finds that 70% of people support the construction of wind farms in their local area. The poll's findings will comfort the beleaguered British wind industry, which has seen members of parliament from the Conservative opposition party join media celebrities in a highly publicised and multi-stranded campaign against wind. Jim Footner from Greenpeace says: "Some notable people have been working hard these past months to bring about the demise of wind power, but this poll shows that the public support for wind power is increasing." The British Wind Energy Association (BWEA) points out that the latest poll is consistent with all previous surveys. "Eighty per cent is the level of support for wind that has been coming up again and again," says the association's Alison Hill. The really interesting result was that 70% of people would support a wind farm in their locality, she says. "That has destroyed the NIMBY [not in my back yard] myth in one fell swoop." Greenpeace released the results of its poll in the week that Prime Minister Tony Blair and leader of the opposition Michael Howard both made major speeches on the environment.

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