“I am afraid I can’t see what the …

Comment posted Major environmental groups seriously compromised by wind developers’ cash by W.S..

“I am afraid I can’t see what the problem is.

The forces of darkness have……..”

Of course you can’t see the problem, your terminology (“forces of darkness” etc) shows just how deep in the mire of the global warming industry propaganda you are steeped.

He who pays the piper……..

Big wind interests pay FoE and therefore call FoE’s tune.

The extent of funding into WWFS, FOES, RSPB from those aiming to make a taxpayer-funded fortune out of windfarms just goes to prove, utterly, that the jury is still out on the whole ghastly mmgw/windfarmscam affair….if it wasn’t out they wouldn’t be spending the hush money.

…oh, and Webcraft, or ScotRenewables, or whatever you are calling yourself today; attacking ForArgyll purely for reporting implies you are no lover of freedom of speech; a common trait amongst global warming fanatics.

W.S. also commented

  • Looks like Webcraft/ScotsRenewables/Batwing has thrown his toys out of his pram due to this item !


    Oh dear !

Recent comments by W.S.

  • Scotland’s Future: from the Referendum to Independence and a Written Constitution
    If the current polls are to be believed then all we need is for everyone who already knows they will be voting NO to persuade one other person over the next 18 months and there will be a totally overwhelmimg majority for remaining British.

    I wonder when the NO vote comes if the cybernats will move to Iceland or Norway ?

    Or another North European country all of which are so different from us culturally, historically, financialy and with totally different mindsets to us Scots ?

  • Scotland’s Future: from the Referendum to Independence and a Written Constitution
    You’ll find that its the poster not the post getting the thumbs down.

    Check everything that you and your aliases post; immediate multiple thumbs downs. People here are fed up with trolls like you.

  • Scotland’s Future: from the Referendum to Independence and a Written Constitution
    Okay, I followed your suggestion and very quickly spotted that Webcraft goes by the name of NickB***** and operates ScotsRenewables.

    Your BicNee username then connects logically.

    Since you suggested it a further google search brings up all your other usernames clearly connected to you eg Crimson Vicar comes up as the moderator of a small community website run by Webcraft.

    Sure Newsroom knows who you are. I guess everyone does now thanks to your suggestion to google Webcraft.

    However the point is that you have clearly breached Terms and Conditions by posting here using multiple different usernames.

    Why do you do this?

  • Scotland’s Future: from the Referendum to Independence and a Written Constitution
    >>> “so I think I’ll stick to the grown ups web sites where serious debate on serious issues in conducted.” <<<

    Almost exactly the words ScotsRenewables used when he pretended to flounce off after a couple of long rants about perceived anti-Independence/SNP bias on here.

    FofS then (re)appeared on here a week or so later and carried on in exactly the same way as SR.

    ….and of course its easy to prove the connection further between SR, Webcraft, NickB, BicNee, and Crimson Vicar by just doing a google search for one of the first two.

  • Scotland’s Future: from the Referendum to Independence and a Written Constitution
    Troll says >>>”WS: Get a life. I don’t think I have never even met Webcraft – though from his previous posts I know who he is.” <<<

    You've never met yourself !!!

    You've been outed by others, not just me, as posting on here using multiple user names just as you used to on the Oban Times forum.

    What do we have? a right trollicking collection:
    Feltcher of Soltoun
    Scots Renewables
    Crimson Vicar
    …..and others.

    The giveaway is the shared obsessions and shared insulting posting style of all above. Shared; I mean exactly the same.

    Many of us have sussed you. Newsroom probably tolerates you for the amusement factor, but not for much longer I reckon if you keep insulting her under whatever username you happen to be trolling with..

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173 Responses to “I am afraid I can’t see what the …

  1. I’m perhaps a bit ironic on the subject of windfarm nonsense but it does come down to a basic Scottish saying.

    “You were lucky with the weather”

    By debasing our nations future on ‘luck’… you couldn’t make it up!
    No sane person would fuel their car just a little bit and hope the journey was mostly down hill. Except those who accept funding from windmill snake oil salesmen.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    • “Scotland’s top civil servant has been accused of acting like “an SNP lackey” in a fierce attack on his political impartiality. In rare public criticism of a leading mandarin by all three opposition parties, Sir Peter Housden, the Scottish Government permanent secretary, was accused of “failing to uphold” the impartiality of the civil service”.

      Do they all dance to the tune ? When a number of NTA members managed to get a meeting with the civil servants of Marine Scotland…we were told the following when we pointed out a long list of failings in the current licencing system…”…we are understaffed, over worked & under pressure from upper government (SNP) to be the open stop shop for offshore wind…” Just what is going on in Hollyrood…are we really heading into the realms of power facism…it seems this SNP government is even ignoring the civil service…?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

      • When one hears the comment ‘on behalf of the Scottish Ministers’, one assumed that was on behalf of the Body Politic in the same way as Queen always uses the first person plural. However on several issues recently it is obvious that the Scottish Ministers has become personal and refers to part of SNP policy. In this way civil servants have become politicised as they now answer to the Ministers Themselves(in most cases the Swinney, Sturgeon,Salmond cabale), not the Government.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  2. The dash for cash and politics, not saving the planet, are the driving forces behind wind energy. Principles are no longer held in high esteem by a lot of people who should know better.

    Are you disillusioned by rising electricity prices, over dependence on the “green” dream [especially uneconomical and inefficient wind farms] and the destruction of our countryside then please object to the Government at


    or by GOOGLING “E-PETITION 22958″ and following the link.

    Please note that the main purpose of the petition is to get a meaningful debate in Parliament on this matter. Parliament is able to call on all the necessary experts to make it a worthwhile discussion and to reach the right conclusions. At the moment most of our MPs are burying their heads in the sand and do not seem to have the ability to convince the British public that wind power, with all its associated problems, is part of the answer to our energy problems.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    • “Are you disillusioned by rising electricity prices, over dependence on the “green” dream [especially uneconomical and inefficient wind farms] and the destruction of our countryside”?

      After six months of relentlessly spamming every wind power story on FA and no doubt elsewhere with this e-petition, a grand total of, er, 5,300 people are indeed. That’s a whopping not-quite-one-hundredth of one percent of the population, which is perhaps why the wind power industry is in a blind panic rushing round funding all those ‘green’ lobby groups :-)

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • The anti-wind ‘movement’ is pretty tiny, but the support for hard core climate denial claptrap is miniscule. Check out the e-petition to repeal the Climate Change Act – less than 1400 signatures in nearly nine months.

        The noise NIMBYs and deniers make and the media exposure they receive is out of all proportion to their numbers. Polls and policy tell the real stories.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

        • ‘Tiny’ .. comment from the Independent: which sums up your last Nick. Just love the TINY buzz words !

          “Last week, to take the latest example, Renewable UK, the trade body representing energy companies, proudly announced that, in a survey, 66 per cent of Britons were in favour of wind energy. Its boss, Maria McCaffery, has expressed her surprise that those who live in the country support it, too.
          Why the surprise? If I were asked whether I was generally in favour of wind power as part of the energy mix, I would be cheerfully part of the majority. Only when you poll those whose daily lives would be affected about specific plans does a survey make any sense. Then there was McCaffery’s bizarre claim, on the Today programme, that only “tiny, tiny little parcels” of the English landscape are vulnerable to the plans of developers. A single glance at her own organisation’s map of proposed developments gives the lie to that absurd claim.
          This disingenuousness is reflected at a local level. When developers conduct an environmental survey, they are not seeking to assess whether the site is suitable or not. The process is skewed from the start. Every test of noise, wildlife, impact on landscape, houses and churches, is designed, selected and presented with one aim in mind – to get it through planning.
          Then there is the nastiness. Almost the most shocking part of my exposure to the tactics of wind farm developers has been the attitude of those pursuing their business interests towards those who would be affected by them. It starts with weary indifference, a refusal to attend meetings, attempts to discredit opponents.
          Those speaking against a development are accused of selfishness; sacrifices, it is said, have to made by the few for the greater good. It is a somewhat one-sided argument. Ordinary people are required to make a sacrifice in their own lives and health while multinationals can increase their profits”

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

        • THE chief executive of environmental campaign charity Friends of the Earth Scotland will leave the organisation next week.
          Stan Blackley has been at the helm of the organisation for just a year, after he took over from former chief executive Duncan McLaren. He will leave on Tuesday. “During this period, Stan has also improved the organisation¹s financial situation, maintained its public and media profiles and delivered considerable campaigning activity.
          Anotherone bites the dust…and this comes upon Iain Grays sensible retort in regards to the SNP renewables policy being out of touch with reality…(Alex…whan questioned about the viability of his renewables crusade simply ‘winked’ and said “believe”…YOU COULD NOT MAKE THIS UP

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    • David Ramsbotham (April28th)has hit the nail squarely on its head. Wind farms are about making money, notabout the environment.Those in power have been hoodwinked by the wind energy lobby, perhaps in order to partake of the largesse provided by that lobby. That largesse of course is funded by the ordinary citizens of this country

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  3. You just made my morning – Ed ! What more could anyone want – a headline like this – the sun pouring in the windows – all is well with the world !

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  4. You could not make it up !
    I recently contacted FOE to ask on a case by case basis what were their thoughts ( if any ? ) on the affects to the environment of placing upwards of 300 turbines in shore of Tiree…I was told that “… if you don,t want the island to suffer from rising see levels…support it ” ….I nearly choked on my porridge! I rest my case. FOE for one belive in wind energy at any cost…Hopefully this is not the view of all FOE supporters…? to this end I have directed further letters to the Scottish FOE rather than FOE international ( when, if, I get a reply I will post it)
    Judas money…the buy out runs deep…the Tiree Communitee Development Trust, though initially taking the very difficult neutral stance, is now in negotiations with Iberdrola for community handouts from the developer…TCDT are not an elected body or local council…they do not represent the views of the community en mass…and as such have no voted in remit to ask on the behalf of the general community for renumeration. (local hero is such a good movie…)
    These huge multi national energy companies that have their fingers in many pies, lets not forget that Iberdrola also build nuclear powerstations and are also involved in hydro development in the Amazon basin….they have a huge pot of money and can buy their way into any venture…they are not on a moral quest to save the planet…they are in the business to generate cash…vast amounts of cash…any small reductions in global CO2 emmissions is a welcome spin off.
    In comparison to the profits the handouts are miniscule.
    We might add at this juncture that the wee eck is also courting favour with these folks as much as he did Trump and Murdock…I wonder if he is a signed up member of the FOE ?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    • We once asked FoE what they thought of the danger to health and the environment in Neodymium mining. We were told that as far as FoE were concerned more Chinese died in the cultural revolution. So that’s OK then?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  5. We now discount – without reading or listening – anything or anyone promoting wind as ‘clean green energy’.
    Why? Because any pitch running under this sort of banner headline is either underinformed or deliberately deceiving. Wind energy is neither clean nor green.

    Hmmmm . . . .

    What about the involvement of the founder of ForArgyll and its current ‘Internet Director’, Charles Dixon-Spain, in the acquisition of Stronafian Forest with a view to putting up a windfarm?

    The Trust are hoping to purchase the forest in Spring/Summer 2012 by a combination of commercial forest lease and grant funding. The windfarm will be an extension to Cruach Mhor Windfarm and will be 49.9% owned by the Trust and 50.1% by Carbon Free.

    Mr. Dixon-Spain is one of the prime movers behind this project. He also owns Dunans Castle, the bridge to which has been maintained by contributions to the Dunans Charitable Trust from the existing Cruach Mhor windfarm community benefit fund.

    All this anti-wind bluster by Newsroom is starting to look a tad hypocritical – or is this purely Newsroom’s stance, with the views of the other main mover behind ForArgyll being quite the opposite?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  6. This story is from the Daily Mail, now famous for it’s inaccuracy and bias (see the Full Fact and Tabloid Watch websites for story after story…)

    So I’ll reserve judgement on this until its confirmed (rather than repeated) by a more reliable source.

    Just as I asked what was particularly wrong about wind turbines, compared to roads, cars, pylons, buildings, etc. (and never received an answer!) I’ll also ask, what’s particularly wrong about this funding? Compared to all the other things going on?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • I am afraid I can’t see what the problem is.

      The forces of darkness have been heavily funded by fossil fuel and mining interests for decades, so it seems natural for conservation groups to take the renewables dollar to fund their fightback.

      This is a wholly manufactured and ludicrous outrage, made particularly hypocritical by the involvement with wind of one of ForArgyll’s leading lights.

      If any group is compromised by this it is ForArgyll.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • So webcraft you are saying that FOE, WWF & RSPB are not recieving either directly or indirectly cash from Industrial Windfarm Developers ???? they are !
        While I have no problem with any of these organizations supporting or not supporting community projects on a case by case basis…I do have a problem with the broad brushstroke support of industrial windfarms and their massive footprint and support of purely commercial windfarm ventures.
        Prof J.Vertterlain the original founder of the center for alternative technology (CAT…yep another one) is a friend…he has distanced himself from all three of the above and any non-community based wind company on the basis of all of these ORG’s are feeding from the same trough.
        The Mail has simply opened this existing angle to the general Mail reader…In Feb they also published an article in relation to local climate change caused by ‘ large’ commercial windfarms…and although the root of the information in the article is correct and NTA are in the process of expanding local crofters concerns and community interest in the problem we felt that the Mail was not a rational quotable reference.
        Just one question…who are the forces of darkness ?

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

        • Karl,

          The ‘forces of darkkness’ are people like Donald Trump, a self-declared climate change denier who has attempted to bribe and bully people off their land in Aberdeenshire to build his daft golf course and who now seeks to use bullying and threats to influence government policy in a country he is not a citizen of.

          CATS have nailed their colours firmly to The Donald’s mast, so throwing in their hand with climate change denial and losing all credibility.

          I have a lot more respect for NTA, but that will wane rapidly if you do not distance yourselves from Trump.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

          • Firstly, I think the wee Eck would have done better to heed your Trumpeting. NTA have no affiliation with Mr Trump or the Scottish Government, or FOE, or WWF, or any other org….
            Thanks for the vote of respect, we do get our fair share and based on that we even get invited to meetings in Brussels….something I do not think either Mr Trump or CAT have yet achieved.
            If your ‘respect’ does start to wane go and make a coffee.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

          • I am what you scandalously and libellously call “the forces of darkness” … I’m a sceptic, or as they used to call it “science” before all this consensus nonsense.

            As someone who was very close to the inner workings of the renewables business, I can tell you that all the major oil companies have commercial interests in wind. Back when I was part of the BWEA, they were certainly the biggest industry grouping in wind.

            I know many of the sceptics in Scotland. I certainly know the prominent ones. None of them either work for oil companies or receive oil money … how do I know … because none of them have any money. We pay for things out of our own pockets.

            Personally, I have spent far too much of my own time and money trying to explain that all we sceptics want is good science.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

          • We would have thought that good science – and enough good science – would be an absolute prerequisite for the policy currently being implemented wholesale.

            The preparedness to drive ahead without anything like an adequate reassuring research base, on matters which will leave a permanent negative legacy, challenges belief in reason.

            We also find it disturbing to witness how far the ability even to conduct civilised shared investigation on a rational footing has been undermined by an evangelical abusiveness which does not grace humanity.

            There is an extent to which the issue of renewables has been hard wired to the vision of Scottish Independence and has become synonomous with it, distorting the need to interrogate the scientific foundation for a major redirection of the environment.

            We are agnostic on both independence and on turbine driven renewables -although increasingly opposed to the latter on objective, rational grounds. It is worth saying that we were not previously agnostic on either.

            Evidence emerging on serious environmental and physical consequences of turbine production and operation, alongside the sheer scale of some of the installations contemplated on and offshore, without the support of adequate research results, is redirecting our view weekly.

            And the management of the independence prospectus increasingly seems so ad hoc, opportunist and inflexible in its response to changing external circumstances – like the reality of the condition of the eurozone – that any intelligent person would pause for more considered personal thought.

            Neither cause is made more attractive by intemperance and abuse.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

          • I think Newsroom’s view might have more weight if wind power was a peculiarly Scottish phenomena. If it is Nationalism driving wind in Scotland (to the extent that we are ignoring serious disbenefits), just what is driving wind in, say, Germany?or Denmark? or China? Is the influence of the SNP and the First Minister really that pervasive?

            Where I would agree is that the anti-wind lobby (and I still find it astonishing that there is such a thing) have conflated wind with the SNP and nationalism. This suits their political agenda.

            I was just reading of a study today that suggests that pursuit of renewables will lead us to a cheaper and more secure energy supply than if we follow a fossil fuel route. What I would like is an evidenced based discussion on the reality of the choices that face us as a society.

            Despite all of the wind coming from the anti-wind lobby, public attitudes to wind and renewables in general remain strongly in favour. I suspect that this is partially because of the quite ridiculous conspiracy theories about wind power all being a scam perpetrated on the public by evil corporates who have somehow hypnotised our governments into accepting these machines that just don’t work except to suspend dead birds in their mysterious vortices.

            I await with some interest the first sociological studies into why a pretty innocuous technology seems to drive a small minority of people into such bizarre lengths of techno-hatred. Do we have such a perfect society that there is really nothing else to exercise the imagination? What about the fact that mortgages went up today due to increased costs to the banks – despite base interests remaining unchanged? That will hit peoples’ pockets a lot harder than the modest amount that is going into renewables.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • “I am afraid I can’t see what the problem is.

        The forces of darkness have……..”

        Of course you can’t see the problem, your terminology (“forces of darkness” etc) shows just how deep in the mire of the global warming industry propaganda you are steeped.

        He who pays the piper……..

        Big wind interests pay FoE and therefore call FoE’s tune.

        The extent of funding into WWFS, FOES, RSPB from those aiming to make a taxpayer-funded fortune out of windfarms just goes to prove, utterly, that the jury is still out on the whole ghastly mmgw/windfarmscam affair….if it wasn’t out they wouldn’t be spending the hush money.

        …oh, and Webcraft, or ScotRenewables, or whatever you are calling yourself today; attacking ForArgyll purely for reporting implies you are no lover of freedom of speech; a common trait amongst global warming fanatics.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

        • I am not ‘attacking’ ForArgyll, I am merely ‘reporting’ on the involvement of one of ForArgyll’s directors with a bid to erect a windfarm.

          There is some rank hypocracy here. At least FOE, WWF and RSPB are open in their sujpport of wind. To condemn it in one place then actively seek to support and benefit from it in another is considerably worse.
          From THIS WEBSITE on June 17th:

          Charles Dixon-Spain, Chair of the Development Trust says: ‘The scope of the Forest is enormous and our ambitious plans include investigation of wind and hydro sites, the most promising involving creation of a community owned 30 MW/h extension to the Cruach Mhor windfarm.

          ‘With national renewable targets to reach and our commitment to help achieve these, there is much to accomplish in the 18 months in which we have to raise the finance.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

          • Karl,

            Newsroom has clearly said that windpower per se is unacceptable:

            We now discount – without reading or listening – anything or anyone promoting wind as ‘clean green energy’.

            Yet a charity that one of the directors of ForArgyll is closely associated with is taking money from a windfarm community benefit fund while another group he is involved with is actually proposing to construct an extension of the windfarm.

            I know you are in favour of community renewables Karl – as am I – but those community turbines use just the same ‘filthy’ real earth magnets that Newsrooom loves harping on about.

            I do not believe that you cannot see the hypocracy of this position Karl – you are smarter than that. I know it is hard when you find that your allies have feet of clay, but I had thought that NTA of all the anti-wind groups posessed some integrity.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

          • For Argyll is not a political party operating a whip system. Of course we have different views and we are each entitled both to express and pursue them – in genuine mutual respect.

            Each of us is entitled to say what we see and think – so long as we provide the evidence and argument for it, which we work to do.

            Charles Dixon Spain remains faithful to wind and I have no doubt that his community – and others – will benefit substantially from the inventive energy I hugely admire which he has put into the Stronafian forest project. Another colleague in our core team, John Patrick, is also vigorously committed to the value of wind energy.

            I am the one who has changed position, driven by evidence I am unable to dismiss, from having been a supporter of renewable energy and of wind energy, to a position of serious concern.

            All that any of us can do, within and without For Argyll, is to test privately the validity of what we see and think; present publicly the evidence and reasoned arguments for what we come to see; be prepared to listen to and honestly examine contrary evidence and other equally reasoned views; and, on occasion, accept the case of a superior reason.

            If I had not personally been prepared to go through this process I would not be where I now am – which is not where I expected to be.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

      • Enjoy:

        Friends of the Earth chief executive Stan Blackley says: “Only an idiot would argue that harnessing clean and safe renewable energy to power our nation, boost the economy and create new jobs is wrong” (“Trump jibe on eve of Holyrood visit”, The Herald, April 25).

        If he is right then the majority of Scots must be idiots. The recent outrageous claim that over 70% of Scots favour wind power over other forms of electricity generation is a skewed mis-representation of the facts.

        Actually 65% of Scots would be happy with wind power included in a mix of other forms of generation, with only 18% rating wind power as a first choice. The claim by Friends of the Earth that wind farm opponents are “completely out of touch with Scottish public opinion” is a typical pro-wind farm slice of outlandish propaganda.

        Examining Mr Blackley’s statement that wind energy is “clean and safe”, I presume he is referring to CO2 emissions. Construction of wind farms involves the mining and smelting of huge amounts of metal, road building, carbon intensive cement for the turbines’ massive foundations and release of vast amounts of CO2 when excavating peat bogs – upon which most Scottish wind farms are built.

        The annual increase in China’s CO2 emissions is greater than the UK’s total emissions in a year, which amounts to only 1.5% of the global total.

        His claim that renewable energy will “boost the economy” is frankly pie in the sky. Leaving aside the fact that wind power is inherently inefficient, uneconomic and unreliable, requiring back-up from conventional power stations, the eye-watering subsidies ploughed into the construction of wind farms will ensure that this expensive folly will cost consumers £120 billion over the next decade – almost 10 times more than the cost of generating power from gas-fired power stations.

        What other industry gets a public subsidy of between 10% and 200% of the value of what it produces?

        His third claim that renewable energy will “create new jobs” requires examination. The vast majority of turbine suppliers are foreign engineering firms, such as in Spain, where a university study discovered that for every job created on the renewable sector, nearly three others are lost; and where jobs are created, only 10% are permanent.

        Job creation in this area is akin to sending out a volunteer to smash a few windows so that a glazier can follow him with new panes of glass.

        Scotland is unique in Europe for its unrivalled wild and beautiful landscape; it is also unique in its tragic, obsessive, target-driven industry of smothering this landscape with hideous arrays of giant industrial machines in order to court a misguided energy policy and to pander to the siren calls of environmentalists such as Friends of the Earth.

        Other more informed European countries are retreating from the folly of wind power, such as Spain, where it was seen as a significant contributor to economic collapse, and in Denmark where tourism fell by 40% in affected areas.

        Finally, to those who absurdly claim that most people find wind farms attractive – try and obtain planning permission to put one on Arthur’s Seat, where the wind blows most of the time.

        Why would Edinburgh City Council not approve? Because it rightly knows that most of Edinburgh’s population and visitors would be outraged.

        I am sure the person who wrote this will not sue me for posting…Karl

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • You obviously have a computer so a good idea would be to do some research of your own on the web and maybe come back and give us YOUR answer, rather than leaving it up to others.

      Sorry – wrong place – answer to Stephen 6 above

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • Aye, Malcolm, that threading’s dodgy isn’t it? Maybe we should all just post into the main thread rather than trying to reply to each other. It’s bad enough talking past each other without talking sideways as well.


        It’s already clear that I don’t mind wind turbines and don’t consider them to have a worse impact than new roads, buildings, deer fences, etc. (All intrusive into unspoiled landscape, mind), so what I am asking, apparently rhetorically as no one seems willing to answer, is what is so special about wind turbines that makes them worse than any other kind of development.

        Similarly, I’m asking what makes environmental groups receiving funding from renewable developers worse than other groups receiving funding from other sources. Because you know, there’s a lot of it about.

        So if a couple of folks on the anti side could explain their thinking on these matters, rather than being nippy… we might have a useful conversation here…

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

        • As I have pointed out twice now to a deafening silence, one of the directors of ForArgyll not only has a property on his estate that has benefited from windfarm cash towards its upkeep but he is also is part of a community group that intends to erect a windfarm.

          Now, to my mind taking money from an industry you pretend to despise is more compromising than taking money from an industry you openly support – and WWF, FOE and RSPB haver been open supporters of wind (subject to practical environmental constraints).

          So, does that mean ForArgyll is ‘severely compromised’? By the daft values espoused in this article , I would suggest that it does.

          The whole premise of the article is flawed. Charities such as WWF and FOE would presumably not be criticised if they received donations from Shell or BP, but if they receive donations from the evil wind industry then they are beyond the pale.

          Either this is utter nonsense or ForArgyll is ‘severely compromised’ – one or the other, your choice.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

          • I already ‘named names’ in my first post on the subject, which was widely ignored.

            ForArgyll’s ‘Internet Director’, Charles Dixon-Spain is involved in the community aquisition of Stronafian Forest with a view to putting up a windfarm and making lots of money (for the community) from it.

            The Trust are hoping to purchase the forest in Spring/Summer 2012 by a combination of commercial forest lease and grant funding. (Grant funding means public money Malcolm).

            The windfarm will be an extension to Cruach Mhor Windfarm and will be 49.9% owned by the Trust and 50.1% by Carbon Free.

            Mr. Dixon-Spain is one of the prime movers behind this project. He also owns Dunans Castle, the bridge to which has been maintained by contributions to the Dunans Charitable Trust from the existing Cruach Mhor windfarm community benefit fund.In addition, the windfarm fund has also paid for signage at Dunans Castle, which Mr. Dixon-Spain runs as a commercial enterprise selling titles and ‘lairdships’ over the internet.

            Now, unlike you Malcolm I have no objection to the community in Glendaruel getting involved in a windfarm project, and I am pleased to see that the community – including Mr. Dixon-Spain – is benefiting from the existing community benefit fund (or ‘bribe’ as you and Newsroom would probably prefer to call it).

            What I do object to is the hypocracy of ForArgyll in taking a ‘no-compromise’ anti-wind stance in light of this. It is obvious that this stance is being driven soley by ‘Newsroom’ and that ForArgyll’s internet director is unaware of or prepared to ignore these increasingly strident anti-wind policy statements.

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          • Webcraft, I think Newsroom has really very adequately answered your query. However, in the interests of giving you my take on things: I read the article with interest, was disquieted by much of it, have filed some of it away to research more properly and moved on.

            We have a very open editorial policy here, and as Lynda says both myself and John Patrick are very much more pro-wind than she is. However, in broad terms we adhere to the idea that everyone has a voice, and a view, if that view is contradictory, if it sits in a grey area of opinion, if it espouses a different view, then that is to be encouraged because it widens the debate and gives the conclusions one draws from it depth and strength. As you have so plainly put into the public view on this thread, I am committed to the community I live in, I chair an organisation which is acquiring a forest, and that organisation is also looking at a windfarm. As for Dunans Castle, you are conflating a social enterprise with a Charitable Trust, and it should be clearly stated here, that it was the charitable trust which benefitted from the funding from the Windfarm Trust, for which the Charitable Trust was very grateful.

            So to your last paragraph: there is no hypocrisy at ForArgyll, only openness, both to a multiplicity of views and people, and to the right to express them. I’ll turn this around: why is it that you want to accuse us of these things? Why are you going for the messenger? Surely, what we need here is not a picking over of the personal, but the examination of a significant and worrying issue.

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          • ForArgyll posed as a news site but has turned into an endless series of higly slanted opinion pieces dominated entirely by one voice and one opinion, Newsroom’s.

            As long as we are all aware of that . . .

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        • I used to work for a company that erected mobile phones and the small masts that monitor wind before a wind industrial estate.
          I was heavily pro-environment (I was even selected as a candidate by the green party in 2004?). However, I just couldn’t stomach the lies and deceit of wind.
          I was desperate to start erecting mobile phones. I just wanted to work with people who were honest. No one says a mobile phone mast is there to protect the environment. No one lies about the jobs, no one lies about the “need” for phones … they don’t have to.
          In contrast the people we normally turn to, to protect our landscape were actively trying to destroy it. Worse they were fraudulently portraying anyone else who tried to protect the landscape as “evil people in the pay of big oil”.
          There was also the lies about jobs, the obvious one about climate change (1C not 6C is real science, the rest is voodoo augury).
          And unlike mobile phones (which I dislike as well), windindustrial estates, litter the landscape not dot it. They destroy scenic beauty, put of tourists, … and the real clincher … is that it is the poor who pay hardest and it the rich “English upper class twats” I had to deal with who were making all the money from wind.
          Then you have the lying media in Scotland. E.g. has anyone heard that Arctic ice is back to normal? Of course not! The BBC on climate is just one propaganda machine spreading any and every lie it can about the climate … and never telling the truth. Like it hasn’t warmed this century (they denied that … and many in the BBC still do), only a small fraction of the predicted warming is actually based on hard science.

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  7. OOOh how the little piggy wiggies squeal – that much banded about word ‘deniers ‘ comes to mind. The CATS protest march last wednesday at ‘ The Inquisition’ in Edinburgh had to get full permission from the police, confirmed 28 days before the event, had to have a set number of marshals, yellow jackets etc etc,and undertake to ‘behave’. The noisy young protesters – there to insult their elders and betters – apparently just turned up although it was obviously orchestrated. Word has it that they represented ‘Friends of the Earth’ – say no more. This is the same age group by the way that our ‘Dear Leader’ wants to include in the vote on Scottish Independence. Heaven help the rest of us.

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    • The said protest march you refer to reminds me of the state sponsored eco-terrorism against coal fired power stations in the run up to the 2008 Climate Change Act. Undercover police officer Mark Kennedy actively participated in the planning of said protests even to a point where he actually personally paid for the transport of protestors to the venues.

      Its all very cleverly organised to give politicians justtification to continue to follow the provisions of the said Act. Perhaps likewise to meet the renewables target set by Tony Blair and the EU

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  8. Yes it was orchestrated because the announcement went up on the FoE website the day before.
    I’m not sure we should blame them because of their age – they are the willing idiots of the Green establishment – and it’s those people who are actually responsible, the heads of the organisations named in the Daily Mail article who are in receipt of wind lobby money.

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    • Yes – perhaps not fair to blame them for being young – after all we all had ‘attitudes ‘ looking for a cause at that age – we all new better than our parents and elders etc. But the present voting system allows that age group to just begin to mature before they have an influence on others.

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    • Karl – please remember this is still (just) a debate – not a mutual anti-wind backslapping forum.

      Your characterisation of anyone who dares to take a positive view of renewables as ‘irrational, unquestioning, fanatical’ and perhaps even ‘fascist’ is not only wrong and offensive, it seriously diminishes your own credibility as the moderate and reasoned voice of NTA.

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      • These are solely my views:

        We are in the midst of a pro- industrial wind campaign that is being fought using social rejection to manipulate acceptance of industrial-scale wind energy stations across the UK. It can be argued that while brute force is one way to take away democratic rights, they can be lost just as easily by the social rejection via political correctness.
        We are all subject to the campaign that uses social rejection as a force to make us accept industrial-scale wind power stations, calling them ‘wind-farms’ is akin to calling a nuclear reactor ‘a magic moon-beam factory\.
        As part of this campaign, some of the great and the good are ranting on about the moral need to embrace wind energy, you all surely remember Ed Miliband comment “Opposition to windfarms should be as unacceptable as failing to wear a seatbelt.” Seatbelts are a legal requirement, those who care for freedom should beware. There are a plethora of other organizations acively spewing out the same rhetoric, the Green party pleads for wind energy as if it were the holy grail. The RSPB also have been openly lobbying for wind energy.
        If wind energy were the one practical and affordable answer to global warming then I would bite the bullet and accept the loss of our wilderness’s, seascapes and rural landscape. But I know that industrial windfarms are no answer to global warming in northern Europe.
        Germany, have invested more than anyone in wind energy, they too are now finding that despite 17,000 or so wind turbines, German is producing more CO2 than before it built them. Why? Because the turbines are only 17% efficient. As a result, 83% of the electricity that should have come from wind has to be made in coal-burning power stations that can never work efficiently because they are forever adjusting to the up and down nature of wind electrical generation. Even with huge subsidies, energy companies are abandoning wind as an effective and green source of energy.
        Lets remember that EU was formed partly in the hope of avoiding the wars that marred the early 20th century, the founders have forgot that ideology and have replaced it with an extreme ‘green ideology’ fuelled by industrial greed that has made Europe make the ‘Renewables Obligation’ that subsidize unproven energy providers. The sooner this is abandoned, the better chance we have of meeting the appalling climate challenges of the century. Lets make it clear that there is no such thing as renewable energy; and the thought of it belongs with perpetual motion, alchemy and other delusions, politicians and ideologues are skilled at using enticing words to cover their rotten ideas..
        I shiver at the thought that through misguided faith in renewable energy we could destroy the wilderness’s and seascapes of GB and specifically Scotland a country that is gifted with some of the best coastal scenery in the world. In relation to the Tiree Array I am proud to be a nimby: my home is in a wilderness area and these wilderness areas are the real face of Gaia. I totally agree that human accelerated global warming is real and deadly and, that we have to do our best to slow it, but we must not be led astray by the special pleading of an industry made rich by over-generous subsidies paid for by your taxes and an industry that is bound to fail.
        It is an arrogant human perception based on false pride and hubris to believe we can do anything to “save the planet”. Wind energy will hamper not help us achieve that end. It is time we as a species fully and deeply understood that our Earth can and always has, saved itself, although not necessarily for our benefit.

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    • Hi…It’s a quote…and affects the extreme anti as well as the extreme pro- wind lobby.
      No offence intended or indeed ment…I could have also said: Fascists seek to organize a nation according to corporatist perspectives, values, and systems, including the political system and the economy.
      “The word has also become widely applied in ways which denote nearly any promotion of tyranny or unjust oppression.The word Fascism has now no meaning except in so far as it signifies “something not desirable”. The words democracy, socialism, freedom, patriotic, realistic, justice have each of them several different meanings which cannot be reconciled with one another. In the case of a word like democracy, not only is there no agreed definition, but the attempt to make one is resisted from all sides. It is almost universally felt that when we call a country democratic we are praising it: consequently the defenders of every kind of regime claim that it is a democracy, and fear that they might have to stop using that word if it were tied down to any one meaning. Words of this kind are often used in a consciously dishonest way. That is, the person who uses them has his own private definition, but allows his hearer to think he means something quite different.”
      George Orwell, in “Politics and the English Language” in Horizon (April 1946)

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  9. This is the sort of news I like to recieve:

    Martin Harper, RSPB Conservation Director: “We are keen to promote the use of wind energy where it does not result in unacceptable impacts to wildlife and we are confident that an area suitable location to do so…..”
    Also RSPB are in the process of reducing their own carbon footprint at their offices in Sandy bedfordshire by using wind power…the ethos behined their choice of company to install the turbine could not be better….”…“Ecotricity is a British company which started 16 years ago as the world’s first green energy company and we don’t pay dividends to shareholders, instead we use our profits to build new sources of green energy…” We should all be anti-wind when the noble cause is simply a scam to generate green $….good on you RSPB.

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    • Karl – I’ve tried several times to make sense of the series of quotes in your post, but I can’t work out the point – could you clarify please?

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  10. To say that the environmental charities are receiving funding from the ‘wind industry’ is a simplification.

    Both Scottish Power and SSE have substantial portfolios of fossil-fuelled generation plant. SP (of which SPR is a sister company under the Iberdrola group) is in the process of planning to replace the life-expired Cockenzie coal station with a CCGT plant.

    In any case, WWF, FoE and RSPB are environmental lobby groups with their own agendas which they are free to choose. They are also free to accept funding from whoever they wish. If they need to tailor their agendas to suit their funders, or vice-versa, so be it – that’s in the nature of lobbying. We as the public are free to believe or dismiss what they say, and so are politicians.

    Does anyone expect to get unbiased information from environmental lobbyists any more than they would from, say, a fossil-fuel industry lobby? Surely not – so what exactly is the problem?

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  11. Pingback: Green isle forced to revert to diesel, and other tales of Wind Money is Scotland « WIND CONCERNS ONTARIO: On Wordpress

  12. Wow. Lots of people posting on this.

    My personal stance is I’m wholly in favour of renewable energy and wholly dismissive of wind turbines as a viable entity. They are simply a ‘get rich quick’ scheme where mugs will suffer as they rely on our country being ‘lucky’ with the weather.

    Since when has Scotland been lucky with the weather? When it’s properly cold in winter and people die, the wind ain’t blowing.

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    • Scotland needs to get cracking with developing efficient, viable, energy storage systems – and reviewing the profit margins on government subsidised windfarms, to discourage ‘the get rich quick brigade’.

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      • A wee correction Robert, the wind farms are subsidised by consumers, not government, although the amount of subsidy (through the RO) is set by government. It is already under review and the proposal is to reduce it by 10% for onshore wind, with similar reductions proposed for offshore wind, phased over time.

        I fully agree with you on the need to develop the ‘other side of the equation’ – namely methods of storing energy and managing demand so as to better match it to supply.

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      • Watch this space ! apart from placing industrial wind power stations in wilderness areas there will, no doubt, be a rush to flood more remote and not so remote glens to provide pump storage facilities…if this is not the case then the corprate wind energy multi nationals will expect to be paid for electricity we cannot use

        No doubt somebody will correct me if I am wrong ?
        How will the environmental lobbies (WWF, FOE etc) feel about this…?

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    • Grant – when the wind aint blowing, we still have plenty of fossil-fuelled and hydro capacity to take up the slack. Nobody is going to die because engineers ‘forgot’ that the wind is intermittent.

      All forms of renewable electricity generation are intermittent to some degree, so why do you single out wind as being not a viable contributor? Tidal power is also intermittent, both daily & monthly. Dam-storage hydro power has the major advantage of being controllable, but still relies on high rainfall to keep the reservoirs full. Wave power is just concentrated wind power, so no different in ‘reliability’.

      There are no easy single answers to energy – we need all of the above. Wind power is not the ‘only’ solution, but it is certainly part of the solution. At the moment it is the focus for development because it has the greatest potential for expansion combined with the lowest need for subsidy.

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      • On the subject of intermittent tidal power, I’m surprised that the Sound of Islay scheme seems to be going ahead but as yet there’s no talk (as far as I know) of complementary tidal schemes to even out the electricity produced, nearer than Kyle Rhea . The Corran Narrows, Connel and Otter Ferry all spring to mind as having potential.

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        • Robert: the principle you suggest is good, however the amount of energy produced by these initial tidal schemes is so tiny that selecting sites to balance the generation is not a significant part of the equation, either technically or economically.

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          • The Islay scheme, described by the BBC last year as ‘major’, is a 10MW array – equivalent to a small farm of around 5 decent sized wind turbines.

            This is not intended as a negative comment on this exciting new technology, but does illustrate how far tidal power has to go to catch up with wind, further illustrated by the fact that the government is offering 5x the onshore wind RO subsidy rate to tidal stream generation.

            Tidal power is not an alternative to wind, it is an additional source – we need ‘em all.

            Karl – the Islay scheme will feed into the local distribution system (on Jura I think), which is of course connected to the grid.

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  13. It’s gone quiet so time to add this little gem:- http://www.alienergy.org.uk/education.html
    This was at our village hall last week – lots of pictures of wind turbines, models etc. I believe all our primary school pupils were taken to see it – I see they even do a pre school demo ! Financed by the Scottish Government and Scottish Power Renewables and this explains a lot – Website created and hosted by none other than WebCraft ! The lady running the exhibition was extremely pleasant and knowledgeable so I’m not inferring that the thing is being organised by radical extremists, before anyone takes it the wrong way. I am however becoming extremely concerned at how young people are being used by the powers that be at the moment. There’s this, also there’s no doubt young people made up the majority of the ‘Rent a Mob’ last wednesday in Edinburgh and Mr Salmond wants 15 year olds to vote on Independence. And what has this got to do with Newsroom’s main article above – a great deal !

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    • This whole thread has become very silly and I comment only to point out another of Malcolm’s errors: The proposal to lower the voting age is that 16 and 17 year olds receive the franchise. Nothing about 15 year olds.

      As for education, I’m just waiting for someone to suggest that Creationism should be taught as an equivalent theory to Evolution in our primary schools. One side has faith and a very dodgy interpretation of assorted facts, the other a consensus built on a huge body of scientific data and thought.

      What does that remind me of?

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      • This whole thread has become very silly

        I beg to differ – it has been silly since the start.

        Silly first beause of the faux outrage that triggered the headline. Many (most?) businesses donate to charities. It is entirely logical that that they would give to charities who’s objectives they agree with, or even share!

        Silly secondly because of Newsroom’s sweeping statement We now discount – without reading or listening – anything or anyone promoting wind as ‘clean green energy’. – a clear trumpeting of a closed mind if I ever heard one.

        And silly thirdly – of course – because of the increasingly banal remarks by Malcolm Kirk.

        Best let this ‘discussion’ sink into the obscurity it so richly deserves.

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  14. OK – before you run away guys – hows about organising lessons for young school kids on best shopping practices – how to spot bargains etc – how to help mother – but only allow Tesco in to do the teaching ! Seem fair to you ?

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      • Come on Dr Douglas – you’re beginning to sound like Webcraft – just slagging off poor old me and thus avoiding answering a very pertinent question – should we allow people with commercial interests to influence our young children while they are at school. Simple answer – yes or no. No maybe’s because to me there is no difference between Tescos and Scottish Power Renewables.

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        • Yes. (simple enough?). We employ teachers to act as filters for the children (and parents should chip in too). By secondary they are so cynical anyway that Satan himself probably couldn’t influence them.

          The alternative is that we have a strictly proscribed curriculum (that presumably changes every time we have a change of Government ideology) and no-one is allowed into a school from a commercial enterprise (or charity).

          I remember walking my weans home a couple of years ago and they were hugely excited (genuinely) by the visitor they had that day who had explained to them …. how the Scottish Parliament works. Never underestimate the young.

          And I wasn’t really slagging you off Malcolm , just suggesting that your ideas are sometimes a bit outre.

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        • NO.
          And we have SPR knocking at the door of the Tiree High School.

          Not to be outdone the school kids got a petition together with over 70% of the kids asking SPR in an open letter to fund (whether the array goes ahead or not, a new play park and skateboard park…(not a Tesco’s)as of now they have had no answer from SPR. Cost 50 grand…given the state of Spanish economy (seems the Spanish drive for wind also compounded the Spanish economic woes) maybe SPR think this would break up the EU. :)

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          • Oh come on Karl!

            Just imagine the rabid headlines if SPR funded a playpark on Tiree:


            etc etc . . .

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        • Or Alternatively we could have ‘small group of under 16′s seriously compromised by wind developers’ cash’ get real webcraft
          This was an idea the kids came up with…good effort I say, they must have got the idea from the wee eck…for he is leading by example…ultimately they could be the people who have to live with the consequences for the next 30 or so years…!!
          Given the 3 or so years of stress we have already had on the island (something that is being noted by the islands medical proffessionals) and no doubt affects our children too…I think it shows the strength of feeling in our community when 80% of the children are against the array…
          Its only a junior version of phoning a foreign owned news group for votes or supporting a foreign developers purchase of a links for golf development.
          As it happens…the windfall fund (Community turbine) has generated some of the cash instead…obviously Iberdrola can’t or won’t afford to help them at the moment !
          But I will save your suggested headlines just incase. Thanks :)
          Or Alternatively we could have ‘small group of under 16′s seriously compromised by wind developers’ cash’ get real webcraft…you really do get up in the mornings and have windmills with your porridge don’t you ? :) :) :)

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  15. I have problems reconciling big “charities” strategic objectives. Make no mistake, these charitable organisations are big businesses, up there with some of the world’s best and most profitable organisation – ramshackled two bit organisations they are not- some like RSPB and its Scottish ilk are big land owners too, wielding massive funds as the Officers and Board think fit. It is disquieting to find them taking funds from the very organisations that they criticize. I would no more expect Sea Sheppard to be funded by the whaling industry – if you get my drift.
    From the Power industry’s point of view this is excellent news. Corporate communication is enhanced by telling your audience that you have direct communication with and actively support RSPB – Scotland. Strange bed-fellows indeed. There’s the rub – does once cancel one’s RSPB subscription or work as a Member to change this policy? I’m open to suggestions.
    I’m a long term critic of ForArgyll’s editorial policy. I for one think it’s not even written in Plain English. I have difficulty sorting editorial comment from fact. yet again, we have it’s editorial team in one breath decrying wind turbines while actively supporting community involvement in schemes up in Glendaruel. A simple statement is needed at times to make clear that the editorial team and or site owners have a vested interest in such schemes. But then if the big charities can’t get their act right, should we expect Forargyll to be any different?

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    • WWF, FOE and RSPB have always been publicly in favour of wind power, subject to what each deems as suitable environmental constraints. No real conflict there.

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      • What you say is true. RSPB qualifies that statement “We are involved in scrutinising hundreds of wind farm applications every year to determine their likely wildlife impacts, and we ultimately object to about 6% of those we engage with, because they threaten bird populations. Where developers are willing to adapt plans to reduce impacts to acceptable levels we withdraw our objections, in other cases we robustly oppose them.
        However, there are gaps in knowledge and understanding of the impacts of wind energy, so the environmental impact of operational wind farms needs to be monitored – and policies and practices need to be adaptable, as we learn more about the impacts of wind farms on birds.
        A strategic approach
        We are calling for a more strategic and long-term planning approach to wind development than is currently being taken. With the right strategy and planning safeguards, and with co-operation between developers and conservationists, renewable targets can be achieved without significant detrimental effects on birds of conservation concern or their habitats.
        Wind power has a significant role to play in the UK’s fight against climate change and we will work with Government and developers to ensure this outcome. But a closer examination of the effects of interactions among wind farms and between wind farms and other forms of development is still necessary”.
        What I said was: “It is disquieting to find them taking funds from the very organisations that they criticize and object to the sighting of their sites.”

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      • In a perfect world this would be true…and much like CAT holding onto the shakey shirt tales of Mr Trump….the above should be wary of sharing a bed with power companies who’s fingers are not just involved in renewables…long term there are some real credibility issues.

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    • Somewhere on these forums are the results of a study on the Ben-bova claims that I think found he had not used all the information available to him, so his conclusions were wrong.
      As they used to say on the Goon Show ‘ Min – what is the answer’ the reply being ‘ what was the question’

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  16. I have just remembered a good bit which I don’t think I have imparted yet from last Wednesdays ‘Inquisition’ in Edinburgh involving Mr Donald Trump. He was expressing the view that, because the UK only produced 1.5% of the CO2 in the atmosphere, investing billions of pounds in wind farms was ridiculous and further, if our country became independent the debt on these wind farms could bankrupt Scotland. He further pointed out that other countries in the worlds were the main polluters ie China 25% etc. At that point one of the MSPs interrupted and said – ‘and the USA’ – Mr Trump looked him in the eye and said – ‘ Yes – and the USA. Actually he repeated it very clearly. Plain, forthright, honest speaking at Holyrood ? ? ?

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      • Et tu, Brute. From my experience it is the enthusiasm of the person giving the talk that creates the excitement and interest in the listeners – not necessarily the subject – especially I suspect in this case.
        Done it again – this refers to 19 above

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    • Sorry Malcolm, but the UK has produced a lot more than 1.5% of the CO2 in the atmosphere. That might be our current production rate but the UK produced considerable quantities of CO2 fuelling its industrial production with coal from effectively the Napoleonic Wars onwards. In terms of carbon produced in the atmosphere in terms of tonnes CO2/y per person we come number two in the world after the USA. China is well down the list.

      If you are really interested in having a genuine grasp of renewable economics I suggest reading David Mackay’s “Sustainable Energy – without the hot air” (which is free on the internet). It is entirely objective and has a sense of humour I think you (and everyone else) will enjoy.

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      • Re 1.5% ” That may be our current production rate ” A. So me old mate’ Donald was right then B. If he was right on that- then presumably you are accepting that the 25% for today in China is also correct. C. Which part of the last 250 years are you living in ? What he was pointing out was the ridiculousness of the wee UK spending billions on wind mills to try and resolve a theoretical world problem and landing ourselves in the proverbial s… because of the huge debts incurred. Donald Trump for First Minister – yeeeaaaaaaa ! You may want to have a look at a wee video I made towards the end of last year which covers the times of which you speak !

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        • Malcolm – China has high CO2 emissions because it is a country with a large population. UK emissions per person are still around 40% higher than China’s.

          Countries in the west cannot reasonably start lecturing the emerging economies over CO2 reductions while our per-capita emissions are higher than theirs. The historical position as referred to by Douglas only weakens our argument further.

          You may personally not accept the basic premise that global CO2 emissions need to be cut, but if you did, surely you would agree that it is only fair that those with the highest per-capita emissions should act first and fastest?

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        • I actually have no idea what the UK current CO2 production rate is as a global percentage so I was just guessing that the 1.5% figure might be current rate of production. However, in your post you wrote “produced” ie past tense and a lot of the CO2 in the atmosphere was put there by the UK in the past during the industrial revolution.

          I think both you and Mr Trump’s have a shaky grasp of energy economics. If we don’t spend billions on wind farms we spend billions on some other form of electricity production. You can do things cheaper (ie save a few million here and there) but at higher environmental cost and with less energy security. Governments world wide have decided that wind is a very useful part of the energy mix. There is an interesting debate around how much of the mix it should be and what level of subsidies are required but you are barking up the wrong tree if you think you are going to persuade anyone in authority to scrap wind generation.

          I would also be careful about making Mr Trump your pin up boy for the anti-wind crusade. His intervention is purely driven by the fact that he doesn’t want turbines in sight of his golf course. Had the proposed experimental farm been out of sight then it would also have been out of his mind.

          While I find Mr Trump amusing and as a business minded person I have to admire his acumen, I do have a feeling of disquiet over his attitude towards Scotland. It is far too reminiscent of those landed gentry who fought tooth and nail to keep vast areas of Scotland as “unspoilt” wilderness so they could selfishly pursue their hunting and fishing un-bothered by riff raff. I think the days of rich men dictating what can and cannot be done in Scotland are now past.

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          • ‘..I think the days of rich men dictating what can and cannot be done in Scotland are now past’ – so did I, and was surprised at the way in which an obvious ‘fat cat’ was given a platform in the Holyrood parliament to promote his personal cause. How many of the rest of us would be granted that privilege?

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          • Robert – maybe the EET committee was bored of their weekly sessions of important but dull technical evidence from experts, and wanted a little light entertainment for a change :-)

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          • “Governments world wide have decided that wind is a very useful part of the energy mix”. wrong ! governments world wide look at the fiscal drivers not of cheap wind energy but of big business, green credentials is the bait…they have been carpet bagged.

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  17. Pingback: “Green Groups” bribed to sell “Wind Is Good” message?…..”charitable status” should be revoked! « The Big Green Lie

  18. I am a newcomer to ForArgyll and enjoy much of what is posted here. I am now beginning to get a picture about ‘who is who’ amongst posters which helps explain where their arguments are coming from.

    However I am confused about ForArgyll’s pitch: this story has been posted by ‘newsroom’ but is as much opinion piece as news information (which is what the name implies). Could FA not post news items under ‘newsroom’, and separately post opinion pieces – which in themselves are perfectly valid – under a clear ‘opinion’ label? This would be more transparent.

    As to this particular opinion piece, I am going to refrain from commenting on the merits of the technology in question but would point out a couple of journalistic issues:

    Firstly – ‘wind energy is neither clean nor green’ is not an ‘agnostic’ statement, I suggest this is reworded.

    Secondly, in constructing an argument on the merits of a particular technology, highlighting a negative in isolation is not especially informative to the reader unless (a) any positives are also assessed alongside, and (b) the positives & negatives of the alternatives are discussed.

    It is disappointing that FA claims that such a discussion has not yet been had (“as yet neither of these arguments has progressed beyond consensual persuasion. This is not enough”), but then rather than choosing to explore these arguments, resorts to writing a piece which doesn’t appear to reflect the ‘honest but searching’ qualities they ascribe to themselves.

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    • Welcome to the forum Jamie.

      With regard to your main point about not knowing where Newsroom is coming from, I think this is valid. I struggled initially to categorise what is being written in the headline articles. Some pieces are straight news (though Newsroom usually adds some commentary), whereas other pieces are pure opinion. Most lie in between. As I have said before, it’s their blog so Newsroom can write in any style she likes. However, your suggestion about having a different name for different purposes has merits but a simpler device would be to signpost the article (as is done in, say, the Herald). This would have the advantage of separating Newsroom’s opinions from those of FA (as a corporate entity). As we have seen on the turbine issue, Newsroom’s opinion does not coincide with other members of the FA team yet a casual reader would presume that Newsroom’s view does indeed reflect that of FA. One for you to consider Lynda.

      I also appreciated your comment about not judging a technology on a single detrimental characteristic. All technologies have good and bad points. To condemn wind turbines simply because they require magnets that are derived from rare earths that are mined in an irresponsible manner in China is naive. The Chinese set about creating a monopoly position on rare earths by aggressively pricing other mining operations out of existence (as indeed is their competitive policy in all arenas). Mining for rare earths doe snot have to be environmentally destructive (or at least not the scale evident in China), nor do miners have to be paid such low3 wages. These are economic decisions the Chinese have made. It is one of the madnesses of globalisation that we allow the Chinese to out-compete western suppliers of raw materials and manufacturers of finished products on price without acknowledging that this price advantage is based on practises that would be unacceptable in the West.

      So what can be done about this? Newsroom seems to be arguing that if we stop purchasing wind turbines we will alleviate the problems caused by rare earth mining. However, this is highly unlikely. China itself has a huge demand for rare earths and for turbines so all that will happen is that mining will continue apace to satisfy domestic demand (and the Chinese have been signalling for some time their intention to reduce supply of rare earths to non-Chinese companies. The next point is that rare earths are not just used in turbine magnets. Magnets make up about one fifth of total rare earth demand. Magnets are of course used in a much wider range of devices than turbines. Electric and hybrid cars, loudspeakers, air conditioners and hard drives for example.

      So, if we are to decry the use of wind turbines out of concern for China’s environment we also need to decry a huge range of other technologies and this is just not practical. We also need to ensure that it would indeed have a beneficial impact on China’s environment. This is a dubious premise.

      Are we then just to hold our nose and keep buying Chinese rare earths? No. The correct response is to innovate so that we don’t need to use rare earths (or at least a lot less of them). Major programmes are underway in the Western World to replace the need for rare earths in magnets and to develop small scale electro magnets instead. This will not only reduce demand for rare earths but hand competitive advantage back to the West.

      Just to finish, we also have to note that all forms of electrical production have negative environmental consequences and if we eschew wind then we have to use other generating technologies and suffer the environmental consequences associated with them instead. Uranium and coal mining; oil drilling, gas fracking… even hydro is not entirely clean (lot of concrete involved then there is flooding of productive land, methane releases from rotting vegetation, sedimentation etc).

      To return to Jamie’s point: all technologies need to be compared with a life cycle analysis that takes cognisance of all of the environmental pluses and negatives. Then a sensible decision can be made.

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    • ForArgyll’s style is more along the lines of Mrs Merton’s tv programme -”lets all have a heated debate”. I’m utterly confused by their editorial policy – the one that is on a pull down menu at the top of the site needs a bit of plain English applied – how they apply and adhere to it beats me. It will be interesting to see if Jamie McIntyre gets a response from the site’s owners and managers – it’s certainly the oddest “news” site I read and comment on. The good news is that the other commentators are invariably really worth reading – all good stuff

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  19. You two are proving why I believe that graphics speak louder than words – hence my 17 videos on youtube – I note Dr Douglas that although you had the time to write all the above this morning you still haven’t yet looked looked at my wee 2 min video on the very subject you were promoting earlier. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pojp9c9F_jE
    Incidentally your recommended reading – David MacKay’s ‘Sustainable Energy ” is 3 to 4 years out of date but I quote his words ‘ Such an immense panelling of the countryside and filling of British Seas with wind machines may be possible according to the Laws of Physics,but would the public accept and pay for such extreme arrangements ? If the answer is NO, we are forced to conclude that current consumption will never be met by British Renewables” All these years on – I think we can now give him his answer.
    By the way – I think ‘newsroom’ is absolutely wonderful !

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    • Malcolm – David MacKay does not say he is pro- or anti- anything, just that proposals have to add up. Energy is about numbers, but much of the ‘debate’ is purely rhetorical. Here is a quote from MacKay which probably most of us could agree with (taking the advice that we will have to get off fossil fuels sooner or later as read):-

      “I think when you look carefully, the sort of message you get is that you actually need to build everything that is going to be economic as fast as you possibly can. So I think a sensible outcome of these public consultations is that we build more wind than most people are imagining and more nuclear than most people are imagining. And we go for stronger demand reduction and efficiency measures than people are imagining. A bigger push for public transport and building insulation, and maybe we will be able to get off the fossil fuels.”

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    • Malcolm: I’m intrigued as to how you knew that I hadn’t looked at your video? Well I have now.

      I do try to be nice to pretty much anyone on here but I’m afraid your wee You Tube video just demonstrates everything that is wrong with your approach. You make lots of statements that are just not true, you exaggerate things that are and you throw in lots of red herrings that have nothing to do with the subject. Before you ask, I’m not going to go through it line by line showing you why its is wrong (all wrong). I’ve been patiently doing that for some weeks now and you just ignore it all so, sorry, no more wasting my time.

      However, I will ask you one question Malcolm: just what motivates you? You obviously spend a lot of time on these little You Tube presentations and animations. A man has to have a hobby – is this what your “turbophobia” is to you? Or is there some deeper stimulus to your obvious obsession?

      I loved your bit about Spain’s economic problems being down to them pursuing a green agenda. Not the bankers then?

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      • There you go again – just like Webcraft and Salmond – rubbish anything that doesn’t fit . Everything on my’ wee video’ was researched as I suspect was the content of the Spanish video. But the reason I am involved is that I actually care about others, and to see the massive waste of money going into renewables for no other reason than to boost certain politicians egos, is unacceptable. It’s the people that matter – the politicians are supposed to be there for the safe management of our country, not to lead us down expensive blind ideological paths. And I’ll remind you that only 24% of voters voted SNP

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        • There you go again – just making things up. Even in this post you cannot help saying things that are just not true or at best misleading. The percentage of voters (ie those who voted) who voted for the SNP was 44 and 45% on the constituency and lists. You say you research things but you only relate “facts” that you think support your position. That is not research. And the bit about renewables being a waste of money – well that is your opinion and you are welcome to it but it is not the opinion of the majority of Scots nor indeed the UK population (nor of any European country I am aware of). Saying that the dash for renewables is just down to “certain” politicians’ egos is just infantile and untrue. Who is the leading country in Europe in renewables? Germany. Who has the strongest and largest economy in Europe? Germany. Is this because of renewables? No, but it is an indication that the smart money is backing renewable technologies because it knows that we must end our dependence on fossil fuels because of the twin problems of resource exhaustion and climate change.

          I would say that in pushing for ambitious targets for renewables in Scotland and elsewhere our politicians are doing exactly what is needed for the safe management of our country.

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  20. I am not a Trump supporter due to the devastation his project has brought to the SSSI. However, whilst his evidence to the Scottish Parliamentary committee may have amused some, one thing he mentioned was correct. Scotland is 20 years behind others with regard to renewable energy. Wind energy is so yesterday.

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    • And SPR plan to destroy a proposed SPA and the micro-climate effects felt on Tiree could affect our SSSI’s…I take it you would agree that the Argyll aka Tiree Array should not go ahead ? Wind may be so yesterday…but unfortunately for us the proposed wind power station haunts all of our tomorrow’s…

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  21. I am opposed to all wind farms – very heavily subsidised and inefficient industrialisation of our environment.

    I am an environmentalist and it took me some time to realise the hypocrisy on this so called “green economy”. I was appalled at Lovelock’s stance on nuclear energy but have finally realised why he made such a statement.

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    • Lowry – nuclear power also requires massive subsidy, and has clean-up and waste disposal costs which have not even been properly quantified yet, half a century after the technology became widespread.

      Of all the renewable technologies, wind has currently far and away the greatest potential for rapid expansion, and is also at present among the cheapest in terms of subsidy required to make it commercially viable. That will hopefully change in time as other technologies such as tidal catch up, but these will ALL be needed to replace fossil fuels.

      There is a continued and probably increasing role for nuclear power in the UK, but the notion that it can obviate the need for development of renewables is wishful thinking.

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      • For the 2nd time – At the Inquisition in Edinburgh last week, a woman MSP – in
        trying to knock the CATS representatives – said loudly and proudly the same as you above – the subsidies for Coal,Gas,Oil,Nuclear, came to £3.7 Billion but wind was only £1.4 Billion therefore wind was cheaper – it was quietly pointed out to her by Mr Lang of CATS that the £1.4 billion only generated 2% – whilst the £3.7 billion produced the other 98% (and indeed could produce the full 100%, therefore doing away with wind altogether.) I do not believe for one moment that the woman MSP was that stupid – what she tried to do was get a headline hoping the subject would end there with her on camera. Fortunately – she failed – but doesn’t it say something about the quality of person sitting in Holyrood at the moment.

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        • Malcolm – you have misread my post and misquoted both the EET committee member & witness.

          I was talking about the fact that nuclear power requires large subsidies, and therefore you cannot say ‘wind requires subsidy, we should build nuclear instead’ without acknowledging that and considering the whole picture.

          At the committee meeting, it was Claire Baker MSP who put the figure of £3.7bn to the panel, for FOSSIL FUELS, not nuclear.

          CATS’s Mr Gibson (not Mr Lang) then quoted the 2%/98% figures, which he had perhaps mis-remembered. As you can see from this DECC publication, UK energy from renewables in 2011 was 9.5%, and from fossil fuels around 70%.


          You keep saying that your claims are ‘researched’ yet I get the impression that you never actually seek out any hard information.

          Incidentally, what has become of your world-famous lightbulb videos. They seem to have ceased on 8th April. Has it become ‘inconveniently windy’ :-)

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          • I think my bum has just been skelped for simply getting a name wrong – unlike you, I didn’t have time to go back into the video – every thing else I said was accurate – so what’s your problem ? I think you should also do the maths and see if you can still claim wind mills are worth the cost. And
            be aware that the 9.5% will (hopefully) never be repeated or there will be nothing left standing in Argyll. However you have made my day by showing your enthusiasm and interest in my light bulb videos. I stopped bothering because they all proved the same = low output – unreliable spasmodic – wind turbines. The last calculations for a few weeks ago specifically for the hours of 8am – 8pm when most power is needed by commerce and industry showed wind efficiency of – Mon 3.35% Tues 3.95% Wed 0.0% Thurs 0.77% Fri 0.76%. However the good news was that because of the pathetic output we – the bill payers – only had to pay out £2.79 million in subsidies plus the cost of the electricity,of course.

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          • As of this moment, wind is providing 5.4% of the UK’s total power production. I’m sure someone asked you this before Malcolm, but what would you consider to be a significant contribution by wind?

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  22. Spain’s problems are largely due to a truly epic overproduction of properly in the last few years.

    There is some evidence that wind farms alter their local climates. The latest report is evidence of slight warming at night under them. But the evidence is weak and equivocal.

    I suggest that if NTA want to be taken seriously they make an honest attempt to realistically assess the impact of the argyll array, not wildly exaggerate for rhetorical effect.

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    • Hi…surely it is up to the developer to ‘assess the impact of the argyll array’ and up to the developer to consult with the local community…we ask the questions based on available information and in some cases have to draw on the mass of pro and anti information available…why? because trying to get answers from SPR, Marine Scotland, Historic Scotland, SNH, RSPB,A&B council or the Scottish Government is worse than trying to squeeze blood out of gabbro…
      ‘There is some evidence that wind farms alter their local climates. The latest report is evidence of slight warming at night under them. But the evidence is weak and equivocal.’…I suggest you check the available facts..the size and location of existing wind power stations that have had study’s relating to nano and micro climate change completed ‘prior’ to construction…
      In regards to rhetoric we are seeking answers to questions that have not been answered…trying our best to bring the subjective into the light of objectivety.
      You might also like to investigate the unique nature of both the Tiree Array and it’s geographical relationship to an Island community…that may be forced to live in it’s wind shadow…I also refer you to the letter I have posted in For Argyll.
      You may not be aware that there is currently no provision in any future EIA for study of local climate change implications and there is currently no legislation that states this should be investigated.
      Scottish Power Renewables are doing their best to comply with only bare minimum of existing legislation…this is a corporate fiscal decision and has nothing to do with the expansion of a responsible development of the existing environmental licensing framework.
      Given their corporate stance on climate change and Scottish Power Renewables much publicised green credentials, I would have thought the company would embrace the opportunity to ensure that any ‘possible’ future consequences to the climate of Tiree would be of some importance to them.
      To negate the issue once it has been raise by a community that they are duty bound to consult with, is deeply disturbing…if a perceived problem is highlighted: it is a recognised corporate responsibility issue to both investigate it with vigor and, openly discuss it with the possibly affected party, in this case the: 800 or so folk who live on Tiree.
      I also refer you to BBC News today: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-17871300 Wind farms affect local weather
      This is an issue we will pursue with total commitment, it is an issue which could directly affect our agricultural sector.
      I would have prefer to expand on the issue of ‘local micro climate change’ via consultation with the developer, the community have tried their best to get SPR onboard, but again no two way consultation is offered by either SPR’s Tiree based liaison officer or SPR’s ghuru’s in Glasgow.
      I am a deep believer in cause and effect…and as with the Great Northern Diver issue I will also pursue this issue to what I view is a satisfactory conclusion…the GND issue was highlighted by NTA and may have indeed caused the delay recently announced by SPR…hopefully this issue will also make sure they step up their game…or at least start communicating with Tiree…
      Hounding SPR and the governmental licencing agents over issues that will completely change our home isle should be part of a democratic system. If SPR and the powers that be show that there is no reason to object to the Array…so be it. But what would you have us do ? sit back and watch our home change and just say ‘Yes’ ?…be neutral and take whatever comes our way ? this is not how the real world works…SPR have come to our home uninvited…we intend that we dictate the route of any change by saying ‘NO’…
      plus or minus 1c is the difference between freeze or thaw, liquid or boil…how much is the global climate expected to change during the next 8 years ?

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      • Karl – I think you meant ‘…between freeze and thaw’?

        Nothing you say in your post is unreasonable, and I would agree that it is up to the developer to make absolutely sure that any impacts of the type you mention are properly investigated, and to pay the costs of those investigations. Also including the issues that you bring to light but which they may not have thought of, due to the unique local circumstances.

        Personally I wish you every success in getting these issues fully investigated and answered to everyone’s satisfaction, and if the rational conclusion is No Tiree Array, or a much-reduced Tiree Array, then so be it.

        However, I also hope the potential for an offshore renewables industry in Argyll is not choked off at birth by the more irrational and absolutist anti-renewables ‘movement’.

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        • Cheers for the correction ! I went off on one then didn’t I :)

          Potential for an offshore renewabbles industry in Argyll should be based on the local and strategic benefit to firstly the environment and then the populace (us). If the implications of development outweigh the realistic benefits or the benefits are core based on fiscal gain, then the whole sector is rotten.

          We are dancing to the tune of the EU…and current governmental thinking…whats the rush ? we spent over 300 years making this mess and caution and delay now will only make sure we get things right this time.

          ( Off at a Tangent: not sure why this is going through my head…the development of railways in GB caused massive change…Beeching destroyed an incredible national asset…what a legacy ?)

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  23. It is correct to state that subsidies cover other energy provision. However, when considered by installed megawatt or, as that’s being generous as it doesn’t take into account load factor, delivered megawatt, wind energy is by far the most subsidised.

    Also, other energies do not pay FiTs, are not based on private land and do not industrialise such huge areas of our outstanding national beauty.

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    • Lowry – subsidies for wind power ARE based on delivered energy, not installed capacity. Currently 1 ROC per MWh generated – due to be reduced to 0.9 soon.

      How much are the life-cycle subsidy costs for nuclear power? I don’t know (they’re much more difficult to find clear information on), but the fact that you are so certain it’s much cheaper suggests that you have a comparitive figure – please share. Make sure you include a reasonable sum for accident insurance, and the full costs of decommissioning and waste disposal. I think you will find that nuclear power is actually pretty expensive and that much of the cost is hidden in taxpayer-funded underwriting of the risks.

      ‘Industrialise’ is of course a subjective term – there are a great many ‘industrial’ impacts on the landscape even in Argyll – the forestry industry, the fishfarming industry, the tourist industry to name a few. The areas of outstanding natural beauty (AONB) you refer to are the very places where you will NOT find many wind farm applications being approved.

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    • Lowry: no it is not. Solar is far more heavily subsidised per kwh.

      I wish the anti-wind lobby on here would start providing actual facts, with references to support their contentions. Remember that data is not the plural of anecdote. One thing I did like about Hans Blix’s posts were that he provided figures that were referenced (and not just taken from the Torygraph). The alternative is that we just go round and round the house son this issue with no hope of resolving the number of points of contention.

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        • OK – try some facts on me. But if all they show is that wind is very efficient when there is no, err, wind then that is hardly earth shattering news.

          Back to nuclear for a second. Let’s just say that we go big time for nuclear with a target of producing 80% of our electricity from this source. One of the drawbacks with nuclear is that it is basically best run at 100% and there is very little scope for rapid alterations in output. This makes it a great base load generator but it is poor at delivering rapid changes that the grid requires to meet fluctuating daily demand. To deal with peak loading we would also require a large hot spinning reserve of gas fired plants. When demand drops it is not economic (or indeed very practical) to vary nuclear output so plants will have to be taken off line and the generators provided with financial compensation for the power that they could supply (and are contracted to supply) but which the grid cannot take.

          Because of the immense costs and financial risk in building nuclear plants, a heavy subsidy will be required to coax operators to build the plants.

          Heavy opposition from NIMBYs is expected to slow the planning process down and greatly increase costs.

          All of this sounds vaguely familiar……

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          • We all know that – there is nothing new there. Get rid of the horrible waste of money being poured into renewables and we can offer more to the people that are investing in keeping our lights on, and Industry working, no matter the hour of the day

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      • Maybe we should all approach the issue of onshore/inshore wind farms from a new direction ? and let the people of Scotland rather than the government or the power companies decide where they should be placed…after all they are for our benifit (?)
        Onshore: a simple one question poll…” would you support a windfarm development within 2km of your property ?
        Inshore: would you support a windfarm within 20km of your shoreline ?
        Offshore:Go ask the fish…

        Take all the data, find the hotspots (with due consideration to grid connection and wind availability) where a majority of folk support development and build with application of environmental constraints.

        How many NIMBYs would there then be in Scotland ?

        I also think that you will find that the majority of communities in Scotland would support a single or two community turbines and that the grid could support this….(?)

        The problem is…there is no big cash return for the multi-nationals by following community energy projects………………….or maybe I am wrong.

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      • There would not be an anti-wind lobby if there was no problem !
        If the british public wasn’t screwed over by the banks, the government, the councils and the commercial wind farm developers…if we were not in a major down turn…
        If you really feel that covering our wilderness areas with turbines to keep the lights on is not based on making $ from the people…and that our small island can have an affect on percieved man made global warning…and that the profit margins of the likes of Iberdrola are low because they are in a noble quest to save us from ourselves…then you need to take the blinkers off.
        People are hurting in GB more than they were in the 80′s…everything is sky high expensive, we get taxed from birth to death (and after) we have fuel poverty, old folk dropping dead because of the cold…a lost generation of kids who have no hope of getting either a job or job experience…yet the maddness of throwing heaps of cash into the wind continues…our votes mean nothing anymore…we are ruled by self gratifying politicians that dance to the fiddle of big business…and to what end, greed…major windfarm development has nothing to do with saving the planet…it has everything to do with squeezing every last drop of cash out of the british public…what is even more sickening is that these so called ‘ investors’ come from overseas and plough the profits away from the uk…investors my hairy —- they are parasites.

        Phew happy to get that off my chest :)

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  24. I have not seen anywhere any realistic estimate of the subsidies required to buld and operate a nuclear power station that includes the decommissioning costs and the ultimate disposal of the toxic waste.

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    • Been doing a bit of cyberstalking again have we WS?

      Most of the others on this thread post under their real names, or like me are easily identifiable. I wonder what it is you have to hide.

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      • As for RS, just answer me this:

        In the UK, according to Age Concern there are 23,000 extra deaths in the winter. If nothing changed (i.e. no warming) that would be 2.3million deaths over the next century.

        Who are the real holocaust deniers?

        Why have people like you consistently denied the deaths caused in the UK from cold? Like you denied the damage to tourism, the loss of jobs, the fact that your taxes disproportionately hit those 2.3million which can only increase it (unless it gets warmer).

        In the 1690s during the last Maunder Minimum, it is estimated that a quarter of Scots died due to cold. Many scientists are concerned that the recent change in activity of the sun means we are about to enter a new Maunder Minimum.

        Yet again, you will deny that we have anything to fear from a Maunder Minimum, yet you will then tell us Scots that the 2.3million deaths do not exist and that we are to fear warming in Scotland.

        But it is the same worldwide. Those who actually monitor global weather rather than pick or choose the latest flood/drought snow/heatwave to attribute to global warming, know that climate extremes are not increasing.

        In other words, there is almost no hint that the small rise in 20th century (not this century) has caused any harm at all.

        Indeed, now that Arctic ice is back to normal, the only real sign of warming is the melting glaciers … and perhaps that might have something to do with the fact we were in the little iceage in the 19th century (just when the global temperature … very conveniently!! … starts)

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  25. Wow! Ken MacColl – “I have not seen anywhere any realistic estimate of the subsidies required to buld and operate a nuclear power station that includes the decommissioning costs and the ultimate disposal of the toxic waste.”

    I find myself in the absolutely astonishing position of agreeing with you. :)

    You must therefore be wrong…

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  26. More than half the income of wind-farms comes in the form of subsidies. You don’t need to know anything else to realize that they are mostly a scam. In some cases the developers don’t even bother to test the wind with an anemometer, because they are more interested in farming the subsidy than the wind. What most people don’t know is that these subsidies (which go mostly to foreign companies and rich landowners, as well as some so-called environmental agencies) aren’t paid by the government, but instead are financed entirely from electricity bills. This covert tariff throttles economic growth, makes our exports less competitive, and is horrendous for the seven million people in fuel poverty.

    More than a hundred MPs have seen the light. To help them get a full debate in parliament, please vote on the wind petition. You can find it by googling “petition 22704″ or going straight to http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/22704. There now seems to be so many planning applications for wind farms, that we need action at the centre. No wind-farms will be built if there are no subsidies, and the purpose of this petition is to reduce or end the subsidies.
    Please also circulate this link and encourage your friends to vote. When the petition reaches its target, then it is eligible for debate in the House of Commons.

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    • This is just nonsense. You aren’t allowed to build a wind turbine without having anemometer readings over at least a year. As the “subsidies” come from the power you produce, it would seem a fairly dim plan to sink the capital costs of a windfarm without knowing whether you are going to be able to generate enough money to pay for the capital costs.

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  27. Mary Doll – as Rab C would say – nothing, but nothing, but nothing, will change Dr Douglas and Mr McIntyre from the doctrine issued by their beloved Holyrood. Their answer is normally just to denigrate the writer – but don’t you worry, there are plenty of us who agree with your every word except perhaps the bit about not requiring anemometers – unless of course you know differently in which case let us know.

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    • Hunterston B and Torness nuclear power stations are due to close in 2016 and 2023 respectively. However, they might well not. All the Scottish Government’s emphasis in its energy policy is on ‘no NEW nuclear’

      The Government states in its draft Electricity Generation Policy Statement that it expects EDF (the, er, foreign owner of Scotland’s nuclear plants) to apply for a life-extension of a minimum of five years for each of these plants. It goes on to clearly state that it would have no opposition to this, provided that the independent nuclear regulator is satisfied that it can be done safely.

      This would mean we maintain a sizeable nuclear generation capacity in Scotland well into the next decade, to allow time for the renewables ‘revolution’ to mature and prove itself able to take over in the longer term. As such, it would seem to be a sensible and prudent approach, and perhaps a Holyrood policy that even Malcolm could approve of?

      The policy statement can be read at:-
      Sorry – this was supposed to appear under comment 38 Dr Douglas below!

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        • My point as well Karl and the answer seems to be clean coal. Given the lengthy planning and construction times associated with nuclear plants and the lack of a proven alternative to nuclear for the base load other than fossil fuels I just don’t see the position on “no nuclear” is actually tenable.

          And I write this with no great happiness: I don’t like nuclear, I don’t like its expense and I don’t like the fact we haven’t sorted out the waste problem (and no sign of doing that anytime soon either). However, with the technological options currently available then I cannot see an alternative.

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        • Karl – reading between the lines, I sense that the government are quite keen to prolong the life of the two existing nukes, so the question of how to replace them can be held off for another 5 years (at least).

          That may seem a bit cynical; to be fair, there are, unavoidably, big and rapid changes to come on energy generation, CCS, storage, demand management etc. – much of it very uncertain still, so a few more years of development will allow a better picture to emerge on how to replace them – that includes possible future developments in nuclear technology of course.

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  28. You are talking nonsense again Malcolm (and that’s not denigration of the writer but denigration of what they write – a crucial difference).

    My views on wind power have nothing to do with Holyrood-derived doctrine. As a matter of fact I disagree with some aspects of the SNP Government’s energy policy. While I applaud the drive for renewables I cannot see how this can be squared with a position where we completely reject at least some nuclear base load. The Government seems to be trying to square this particular circle by putting its faith in carbon capture and storage (CCS) so we can continue to burn coal. I believe this is a misguided approach both from a technical standpoint and from the economics. If you worry about how much extra wind power costs you should see what CCS would add to the average domestic bill.

    So, please no more comments about myself or Tim following doctrine: we are both very much free thinkers and our interest in this debate is not no much as pro-wind advocates as anti-BS devotees.

    We have real problems with energy and climate that will become increasingly acute as this decade wears on. It requires proper debate about priorities and must be based on facts, not absurd conspiracy theories. Getting the facts right is a crucial part of the debate.

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    • We must also remember not to cut off our noses to spite our face…or words to that effect…and that if Scotland generates Zero CO2 by the end of this decade it will make diddly squat difference.
      Some arrays should have never been contemplated…and realistically, given the emotive subject, I whole heartedly support your view of putting these things way off shore, this at a later date when the tech is mature enough is the sensible option.
      Given the fiscal problems we are all going through the 2020 targets are now out of date and place hardship not just on the member states but on the citizens of these states
      If we are going to go through this huge mind set change it would be better to do it once we are ready…we are not at the moment ready…

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      • The Government was clever in having the headline grabbing target of producing all of Scotland’s electricity CONSUMPTION covered by renewables. Last year that was around 27,000 GWh whereas our production was 46,000 GWh. So the SNP Government’s target is to have about 50% of Scotland’s electricity being produced by renewables. A long way off being CO2 neutral.

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    • So what would CCS add to the domestic bill ? And all this is subject to the assumption that there is something called man made Global Warming – which me and my mate Donald are not convinced about – but whatever -why the panic ? Simple facts please this time – not references to umpteen ‘New Scientist’ documents. Fact 1 – Fact 2 – Fact3 – etc.

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      • Malcolm – Doc may have a ballpark answer, but I think the truth is that we don’t know – CCS has not yet been proven on a commercial scale, so the costs are subject to huge uncertainty.

        Unfortunately CCS does have one big downside which is that it substantially depresses the overall generation efficiency, due to the large energy cost of compressing and pumping the CO2 underground. It might have a part to play, but it will mean we need to burn a good deal more of the fossil fuel in order to get the same amount of electricity.

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      • “Estimated costs per tonne of CO2 emissions reduced by CCS vary but range from about £30 to £90 without
        EOR.3 If the CO2 is used in EOR to recover more oil,
        these costs are reduced by an amount dependent on the oil price (£6-12/tCO2 for oil at $20/bbl).7 The cost of emission reduction using CCS are comparable with those of using offshore wind power or nuclear power.3
        Carbon emission reduction costs of about £50/tCO2 have been estimated to add about 1-3p/kWh to the costs of electricity generation (estimates of the cost of generating electricity from fossil fuel fired base-load plants without carbon capture have been estimated as 2.2-3.2p/kWh”

        Source: http://www.parliament.uk/documents/post/postpn238.pdf

        It is not clear from the report if this includes the increased fuel costs or not and, as Tim says, this is a completely unproven technology whereas estimates for wind are pretty good though cost estimates for nuclear are a bit shaky as well.

        Bottom line is that CCS would not be cheaper than using all wind to meet government targets and may be considerably more expensive.

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  29. One person posting said wind farms could not be built without an anemometer. WRONG. Whirlwind Renewables applied for 3 x 110m turbines at Gatebeck (Cumbria) called Sillfield with no anemometer data. They even went to Public Inquiry without it. When challenged they asked Banks Renewables for their nearby data. Banks gave it to them, having denied it to the local objectors. Evil company.

    Banks have admitted, though, that without subsidies wind farms would not be built. So help us cut them. Google ‘e-PETITION 22704′ and follow the link.

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      • One exception does not disprove the rule, Malcolm. This doesn’t even appear to be an exception – they had to provide anemometer data from another nearby site, which was presumably considered to be suitably representative.

        Just more e-petition spamming, I’m afraid.

        You might get an apology from Doc, but I wouldn’t hold your breath :-)

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        • Beat me to it Tim!.

          The Scottish regulations require:
          Scottish Planning Policy 6 – Renewable Energy – requires local authorities to prepare maps and policies (known as ‘spatial frameworks’) to guide wind farm developments in their areas.

          A key principle of SPP6 is that wind farms should be accommodated where they can operate efficiently and environmental and cumulative impacts can be satisfactorily addressed.

          Without anemometer data you obviously cannot assess the suitability of the site. But the regulations only require suitable anemometer data to be available: it does not prescribe where the data comes from.

          In the example given, acceptable anemometer data was available.

          No apology required.

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          • In regards to ‘Scottish Planning Policy 6 – Renewable Energy – requires local authorities to prepare maps and policies (known as ‘spatial frameworks’) to guide wind farm developments in their areas’. This does not apply to offshore wind…though how anybody can state the Tiree aka Argyll array is offshore is beyond me…it’s 5km from our shore.

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          • Local authorities can and do issue all sorts of guidance re wind development. Wind developers routinely ignore it. In my view this should mean their applications are automatically thrown out – but planning departments can’t do this and developers know they can still get consent (even if they have to appeal to Scottish ministers) if they persist. Anyone who has worked on wind applications in Scotland knows this.

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  30. They took another sites readings and put them forward as their own in the dash for cash. Smacks of something unpleasant. So your Scottish Government has come up with a regulation that says that if you are going to build wind turbines on a particular site you will need anemometer readings, but they could be for any old site – doesn’t really matter as long as the Public employees involved can tick a box – are you happy with that ? However you really have sunk to a new low Doc – I asked you for facts on Carbon Capture and you offer a government paper issued in 2005 – 7 YEARS AGO DOC. ! ! ! ! !

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    • It remains a good synopsis of the position – is there any point in the report you disagree with?

      Regarding the anemometry, I don’t know the area or the facts concerning this particular wind farm site but I reiterate that it would be a pretty thick developer that proposed building a wind farm without having a good idea what the wind speeds associated with that site were.

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  31. Malcolm, there is very little data on CCS because no one has successfully done it on an industrial scale. Personally I think it’s a techonological blind alley.

    As opposed to energy from renewables, being produced on an industrial scale… right now.

    Sorry, couldn’t resist that.

    Karl, you may be surprised to hear that I largely agree with what you say.

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    • Cheers…I am personally in a pretty unique position…I have supported community renewables including wind since the 80′s, work for multi nationals as a consultant involved in environmental remediation, (cleaning mistakes up), have the advantage of perception denied many due to what I do. I know we have messed the planet up…problem is we continue to do so by rushed planning driven by greed. I can smell the stench of oil field burn off here now…I wake up every morning in a Hades of a place on the shores of the greatest environmental disaster in modern history…Saddams draining of the marshlands.

      But sometimes I get it wrong too, though you will find I have no difficulty admitting this.

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      • I feel a bit sorry for Mr Haesler. He has obviously put a lot of time and thought into his submission but I’m afraid that it will just be stamped with “crank”.

        I am the last person to want to discourage people from voyages of discovery or to stifle free thinking but everyone has to recognise that persuasive arguments are ones free from errors, based on accepted and easily confirmed facts and are articulated in a concise, clear, coherent and focussed manner.

        Mr Haesler makes the common mistake of tilting at too many windmills simultaneously (literally!) whereas there is no real relation between his targets.

        The weather is far too good to spend any time with a detailed refutation of his points but I will just point to one thread of his argument. In the UK death rates are indeed higher in the winter and some of these are indeed due to cold. However, Mr Haesler’s portrayal of tens of thousands of pensioners freezing to death in a holocaust because of the SNP Governments’s support for wind power ignores some fundamental truths:

        1: extreme weather both hot and cold does increase death rates. While heat is rarely a major factor in Scotland, it is dangerously disingenuous to suggest that cold is a bigger killer of the elderly than heat. Try telling that to the relatives of the almost 15,000 French people who died directly because of the heatwave of 2003.

        2: While death rates in Scotland are higher in winter than summer, many of these have nothing to do with the direct effects of cold. Influenza is essentially a winter disease and this, along with a range of respiratory diseases (such as pneumonia) cause a major increase in mortality rates. Falls also become more common in icy weather (though you could claim this is a direct effect of cold).

        3: Fuel poverty is indeed a serious problem. However, railing against wind turbines as a cause of this is, to say the least, misguided. Gas is the source of almost half of the UK’s electricity generation (and a good portion of heating). Variation in wholesale prices for gas are much more important in terms of increasing fuel prices than the additional costs caused by the renewable levies (some of which are actually measures intended to alleviate fuel poverty in the elderly!). It also ignores the role of profit taking by the energy supply companies who behave suspiciously like a cartel when it comes to pricing.

        4: Renewables, by their nature, increase the energy resilience of the UK, making us less vulnerable to price fluctuations in imported gas. While electricity generated by wind is currently more expensive than gas, this situation is predicted to change as fossil fuel prices continue to rise (the wind never increases in price!). Having a sensible portion of our electricity supplied through renewables should help alleviate fuel poverty, not increase it.

        One question for the climate change deniers who make much of the fact that the highest recorded monthly temperature over the last few decades was recorded in 1998 (coinciding with a large El Nino event). What will your argument be when we record a higher monthly figure? Will you agree that temperatures are indeed rising? (as an aside, the annual mean temperatures are already higher than 1998 and the five year means show a clear and rapid warming trend):

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        • Unfortunatelly the weather is horrid here.
          Lateral thinking ?
          Maybe the simplest policy for all is that all windfarms however big or small are decided on a case by case basis…by the affected encumbant communities or land users. They should decide on ‘if’ they want a development on their doorstep, in their hills or on their shores. ? what benefits they require in exchange…and though this might cause an explosion of replies (playing the devils advocate)remove all tax payer subsidies from all power manufactures…and impose a Tax for energy waste on all home and business owners, all architects and all designers of modern electrical appliances. Lower duty on hauliers, and public transport companies…and seriously investigate why a family of 4 living in the same house needs 4 cars…

          And while we are on it BAN all high octane motor sports much as we have banned smoking ! maybe that will get somebodies attention…

          This would remove much of the debate…and prick up a few ears !

          I am just throwing some questions out into the ether.

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          • On the subject of cars, I find it very strange that we live in a society that sets increasingly ambitious targets for moving to renewable energy – and for increasing thermal insulation of buildings – but exercises no control over the purchase of ‘gas guzzlers’ other than what appear to be rather ineffective tax penalties.
            The price of fuel is irrelevant – if you’ve got the money there’s no limit on how profligate you are on the road.

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          • Totally agree with this point…if we want change we know it is going to hurt…integrated public transport and only one car per household would start to put things on the right track…

            We are all barking up the wrong tree…dancing to the needs of big business and not the needs of the planet.


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  32. Hi all ..I have had to take some down-time after making a very detailed personal submission to the Tiree Array Onshore Scenario Mapping exercise. I wont bore you with details, but it is a Scottish Government inspired and funded study, originally conceived as “ THE TIREE MASTER PLAN “ . Over the 12 months since conception it was reduced to a study into possible implications, for Tiree, which may arise from any of the 4 possible Operation and Maintenance options for the proposed Tiree Array, if consented. Amongst its weaknesses, the exercise’s remit (1) did not address the socio economic implications of two of the options dictating a demographic transfer not seen since World War 2, and (2) in its analysis, assumed that part of the required housing demand, would be satisfied by over a third of Tiree’s holiday accommodation housing stock ,willingly transferring to a long-let market for offshore maintenance workers.

    Exactly where it will fit in the grand scheme of things can be concluded from developer’s (SPR) opening statement to the steering committee :
    The master plan should therefore be decoupled from the project consent process
    This has kept me rather busy, so lets get so back to the originating issue flagged up in this post. I apologize if what I am proposing has already been suggested ,or implemented , by anyone contributing to this post.

    I am staggered at these environmental protection groups taking the ‘Queen’s shilling’

    I suggest any member of any of these organizations approaches the Chairperson and/or board to request the following

    (1) Details as to how the decision was taken

    (2) Was the decision put to the members for their approval?

    (3) On what basis /conditions was funding offered/accepted.

    (4) How has such funding been subsequently disbursed?

    (5) How has such disbursement been reflected in the annual audited accounts?

    NTA will, in any event request this information of each of these groups

    Rob Trythall

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  33. Pingback: Wind Farm Scam And Carbon Credit Fraud | Social Issues and Politics

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