Julia Stephenson: The Green Goddess

I won't be seduced by Cameron
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The Independent Online

I'm delighted that David Cameron is applying for planning permission for a wind turbine on his house in Notting Hill. This means he will join the small band of windmill applicants in Kensington and Chelsea (well, basically just me). Not only that, but we share the same eco-architect, Alex Michaelis.

I find this tenuous link with the bastions of power secretly exciting. Surely, quite soon I too will receive my invitation to join one of Dave's cutting-edge think-tanks along with Zac Goldsmith and Bob Geldof? I'm sure Alex can put in a good word and fast-track my entrée into this glittering new Camelot.

However, I won't be seduced away from the Green Party by the glamorous Tory revamp, even if they are cherry-picking our best tunes. I can't forget that in his acceptance speech, Cameron spoke of a big increase in the road network almost in the same breath as talking about climate change. He was pro the war in Iraq and remains spookily silent on the whole nuclear issue. But it's admirable that he's the only politician seriously greening up his lifestyle.

My eco coach, Donnachadh, recently installed the first wind turbine in London and it's been a great success. He recently invited Alex the architect and me to take a look and we were spellbound by its beauty. It was much smaller than we'd expected - a bit like a Hollywood actor.

A domestic turbine is no bigger than the average satellite dish (Donnachadh's has a diameter of 1.2 metres), with a sharp metal fin that whirs almost silently, making electricity from the breeze. We would have stared at it all day if Donnachadh hadn't dragged us inside to examine his latest discovery, a machine that makes soy, rice and almond milk.

On our way inside two "hoodies" strolled past.

"Wow, look at that turbine," said one. "D'you reckon it produces electricity?"

"Yeah, man, how cool is that?"

This kind of eco-knowledge is par for the course in Southwark, London's most eco-friendly borough. However, Chelsea council is making increasing efforts to be green. I was impressed that instead of bunging the dead Christmas trees lying in the street into landfill, it collects and mulches them to make fertilizer for the royal parks.

Since New Year, my road has been awash with trees - Norwegian firs keep sailing out of penthouse windows and crashing into the road. No SUVs have yet been crushed but there is still time.

I must confess to a small arboreal contribution of my own, although at least my tree had roots and was potted. Trouble is I have no garden, just a tiny roof terrace full of crumbling worm bins. So it is languishing outside in the street waiting for my romantic interest to drag it to Warwick Square gardens and plant it at night, guerrilla-gardener style.

If this wasn't nerve-racking enough, my planning application for wind turbines, solar panels and rainwater harvesting has just popped into all my neighbours' letter boxes and I am praying they will not object. Surely, in this bastion of Torydom they will delight that I am following in the steps of their Great Leader? Failing that, I hope they will all be away skiing, in their second homes or in Barbados, and back too late too register opposition. All's fair in love, war and wind...

Wind turbine information: www.est. org.uk/myhome/generating. Milk-making machine from www.livingearth.co.uk. Alex Michaelis: alex@michaelisboyd.com

j.stephenson@independent.co.uk

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