A blog about my Pennine Way walk in July 2011 to raise money for Breakthrough Breast Cancer and other random musings mostly to do with the desecration of Scotland's wild land by wind turbines and the people who make money from them!
Thursday, 6 January 2011
Mike Lowson on the folly of the rise of wind turbines in the Press and Journal 5th January 2011
This is an extract from an article which appeared yesterday in our local newspaper the Press and Journal. It was entitled 'Heeding the lessons of history' I don't usually set a lot of store by the local rags but this is spot on.
Over the past century, the world has regularly failed to heed what history and geography tell us about climate change, about the building of sprawling cities and towns, the spread of epidemics of all kinds, the destruction of natural resources and wildlife, breakdowns in society, or claims that new golf courses or concrete city squares will provide boundless benefits for all. Even worse is the unchecked rise in our world of I rather than we.
Travelling through vast tracts of upland Scotland this past week I saw numerous tangible examples of such folly. There is barely a vista now that is not polluted with hideous white whirling dervishes paying lip service to our failed energy policy. Often, they were inactive, impotently awaiting a calm winter’s day to break into a full gale.
History and geography show that onshore wind turbines do not deliver the goods, despite the adoration of their advocates. They are inefficient and unpredictable and can’t meet the power needs of the communities they purport to serve, especially in calm weather. Other renewables such as tidal, geothermal and hydro do deliver predictable energy patterns. Offshore wind can play a part, too.
Tragically, further despicable desecration of our countryside is on the cards with the approval of the Dunmaglass windfarm in the Monadhliath hills, some 20 miles south of Inverness. It’s a dreadful decision bordering on the criminal and one that biologist David Bellamy said would “sell Scotland’s heritage for a mess of wattage”.
We rarely learn our own lessons. While those who trumpet extensive investment in onshore wind simply tilt at windmills and ignore geographical realities, their madcap myopia means the rest of us face the lights going out and our countryside deteriorating.