Onshore wind is great. You know it and I know it, but does your MP know it? Probably not. Most MPs don’t realise how cheap and popular onshore wind is. And these misconceptions mean it has been blocked since 2015.
We need to set them straight. But talking to your MP can be tricky. We asked our wind-loving Whatsapp group Team Turbine what’s worked for them.
Getting your MP’s attention
Persistence is key - keep poking them!
Ruth had this advice: “They never tend to reply straight away so if it's over a week and they haven't replied yet send another email about the topic. They tend to reply after the second email.”
Personalise what you say.
Elspeth’s top tip: “I tend to add my own personal ‘bit’ at the beginning of any emails I send to my MP: simply because they will have had so many emails that they’re bound to just skim over the text.”
Call their office, or arrange to see them
Ruth adds “if the email doesn't work you can always try ringing them and leaving a message”
For Dave“calm respectful phone calls and engaging 1-2-1 human communications with their office staff” are really important.
What to say
Think about why climate change should matter to them.
MPs care about a whole host of things, how can action on climate change feed into that??
Richard has a top tip if your MP doesn’t seem interested in climate change: “when talking to the neighbouring Tory MP, who comes from a farming background, talking about energy security and food security (impacted by climate change) seems to be on his wavelength.”
Gina agrees: “[it’s important to] stress concern for future generations (if he or she family person). Never attack, but raise concerns”
Think about their misconceptions and get ready to counter them
Stefano has clearly dealt with sceptical MPs before: He said the key is “knowing what the likely objections and misconceptions might be”, and added “it might help to have an electronic note with a list of informative links to the various subject, so that they may quickly refer to them, as well as forward them on.”
Have a read of our tips on dealing with wind power myths.
Use your personal experience - why do you support action on climate change?
Catriona says: “We have solar panels and I tell my MP how good they are.”
Thank them when they do what you’ve asked
Annie never forgets her Ps and Qs: “Thanking them when we get a result” is really important.
Is there something you can invite your MP to come to?
Rosanna’s top tip is “I think asking them to get involved with active things seems to work: eg joining litter picks and beach clean-ups. Not sure what activities might be suitable in relation to onshore wind: maybe a site (ie information) visit?”
How to say it
Be respectful and pitch what you have to say at the right level.
Dave’s first bit of advice is to be calm and respectful. “Ideally find one thing you can ask the to thank the MP for. (Can be tricky but keep searching!) and starting with that.”
Gina’s had good experience balancing the need for explanation without being patronising: “Sympathising with his/her position, but having clear points to explain and showing clear concise information showing the weight of technical or scientific evidence and asking him/her to look at it. Never assume he/she is Einstein but equally show respect for his/her ability.”
Good luck! If you chat to your MP about wind, let us know how it goes.
Thanks to everyone who sent in tips!