Comment posted on Major environmental groups seriously compromised by wind developers’ cash by Karl Hughes
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
Karl Hughes also commented
- 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
- “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…?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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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Its a fact that the SNP can expect to win the majority of Scottish seat… and lets face it the tories, libs and labour now have have little power north of the border…
I believe in the Union…always will… but I also believe in decentralisation through out the whole of the uk…London is a state of its own… and its time a British parliment was re- established else where…Lancaster ???? Manchester ??? Leeds ???
If it takes the SNP to change British politics, and drive the decentralisation I crave I am happy with that… but like I say I will always vote for Union…
My fear for the elections is not that the SNP will hold the balance of power…but that of a Labour/ SNP coalition… I would be pleased with a Tory / SNP coalition because we need brains and braun… not yawn and braun.
A vote for the SNP would be a vote for change throughout the whole of the Union and throughout messed up politics in general, I would hope ?… they get my X in the box this time around to represent our country…but don’t expect a X in any future referendum other than to say NO.
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I voted NO….and do not see us been led by a bunch of “cheats”…. I see us been led by a democratically elected UK government….
In regards to the SNP, they are a nationalist cause, always will be…and I accept that…. you have to accept that 55% voted NO…against indy and that the majority have to be seen as right…. get over it and move on….
SNP will take a majority in Scotland….and the rhetoric will continue….as for using this majority in some sort of westminster coalition … it ain’t gonna happen.
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