These postings are provided to help publicize the efforts of affiliated groups and individuals related to industrial wind energy development. Most of the notices posted here are not the product of nor are they necessarily endorsed by National Wind Watch.
Aesthetics, Environment, Petitions, Scotland •
Source: Friends of the Great Glen
Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to take steps to designate the Loch Ness and Great Glen as a National Scenic Area; to recommend a priority application is made to UNESCO for the area to be afforded World Heritage protection; and to take appropriate steps to discourage further wind turbine developments and support the restoration of sites damaged by wind turbines.
Wind farms have a part in renewable energy developments but degradation and transformation of the World’s most famous loch and glen from a natural to an artificial landscape is environmentally damaging to the World’s most beautiful landscapes and sensitive and unique highland ecosystems.
Loch Ness is the world’s most famous lake. Loch Ness is 23 miles long, has a surface area of 22 square miles and the deepest point is 230 metres. It contains the largest volume of freshwater in the UK at 7.8 km³. The Loch has 10 species of native freshwater fish with, as yet, no invasive species and so represents a healthy assemblage of fish in an oligotrophic loch.
The Great Glen is the most famous valley system in Europe and is a unique geological feature stretching over 60 miles from Fort William to Inverness. There is a hydroelectric scheme at Glendoe owned by SSE, which closed for 3 years due to a rock fall soon after opening in the main tunnel. The route is also used by small aircraft and helicopter traffic and by RAF planes on exercise. In addition to the outstanding landscape qualities and vast scale of the Great Glen and grandeur of Loch Ness, the engineering masterpiece of the Caledonian Canal would enhance the case for protected status.
Threats to Loch Ness and the Great Glen
Loch Ness and the Great Glen together are part of the World’s most beautiful and inspiring landscapes. Despite this, SNH and Highland Council report that more than 500 wind turbines have been consented to, or are in the planning stage, within a 22 mile radius of the Loch. As such, within a short period, the Loch will soon be effectively surrounded by wind farms and wind turbines will be visible from all hill viewing points:
The Highland Council produce a wind farm activity map, available via: http://www.highland.gov.uk/downloads/download/170/renewable_energy
The wind farm south of Fort Augustus is an open sore on the hills above the A82 and was recently suggested as suitable for the “Carbuncle of the Year Award”, reflecting the inadequacies of the planning system.
Loch Ness and the Great Glen area are prime assets of Scotland of national importance and are under threat from the attention of wind farm companies. The prime question being asked is: “Why should these outstanding and unique highland ecosystems and landscapes be damaged?” These are the world’s most beautiful landscapes and contain some of Europe’s last remaining wild land.
The Highland Council has generally condoned these developments and, supported by national policy, have been negligent in preserving Scotland’s highland heritage. Loch Ness is under desperate threat from over 500 wind turbines, thousands of tonnes of concrete, and hundreds of miles of bulldozed access track approved and in the planning stage within 22 miles radius of Loch Ness (Daily Mail 28/1/2015; and SNH map attached).
Time is, therefore, running out and it is crucial to save these assets for the Nation. Loch Ness and the Great Glen are now prime targets for windfarm developers. Loch Ness and the Great Glen are of World heritage standard status although not, as yet, allocated that honour. They are of international value, recognition and regard, and are Scotland’s second most popular tourist draw (Scotland was voted the most beautiful country in the World in 2014 by the Rough Guides, the travel books):
Unfortunately, the scale of proposed developments indicates that the planning process has failed to protect Loch Ness and the Great Glen, as there have been several approved developments, such as: Bhlaraidh, Invermoriston, Millenium.
Specifically, in the case of Stronelairg, this wind farm development has been approved against the expert advice of SNH that this would cause environmental damage to wild land and sensitive upland ecosystems. The John Muir Trust, the Mountaineering Council of Scotland and the National Trust for Scotland (who speak for the countryside) have objected to the Stronelairg development. The evidence indicates that the planning process has, therefore, failed to safeguard these ecosystems and habitats.
The planning process does not take cognisance of the broader importance and international standard and value of these highland landscapes. The area is being transformed from a natural landscape to an artificial landscape with high negative impact on the quality of the area and the quality of life for those that live in the Highlands. The defining criterion should be: do these changes enhance the area? But the evidence of high cumulative impact is that they will degrade a national asset.
A call for action
Our Petition therefore calls on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government:
- To afford protection to the Loch Ness and Great Glen by designating it as a National Scenic Area*;
- To recommend that a priority application is made to UNESCO for designation of Loch Ness and the Great Glen as a World Heritage Site;
- To take appropriate steps to discourage further wind turbine developments in the area and support the restoration of all sites therein damaged by wind turbines.
*The 5 main qualities of a National Scenic Area are: “setting and physical grandeur, glacial landforms, natural beauty and tranquillity, cultural heritage and man-made resources” (Countryside Commission for Scotland, 1987) and this area arguably meets these criteria.
A map of wind farm proposals near Loch Ness and more information can be accessed at: www.savelochness.com.
Go to the Petition: www.scottish.parliament.uk/GettingInvolved/Petitions/PE01564
Le 19 février 2015, six associations corréziennes engagées dans la lutte contre l’éolien industriel se sont fédérées. Le collectif se compose des associations (adhérentes à la FED) suivantes :
Nature et économie rurale avant les éoliennes – Lestard
Agir pour le plateau des Etangs – Clergoux
Agir pour le pays d’Eygurande – Feyt
Agir autrement pour la Xaintrie – Goulles
Agir pour le midi corrèzien- Beynat
Vents de Corrèze – Meymac
Nous avons décidé de plusieurs actions dans le cadre des élections départementales.
Après avoir rencontré tous les grands élus de notre département (président du conseil général, députés, sénateurs…), nous avons envoyé une lettre à chacun des candidats aux élections départementales leur demandant de se positionner par rapport à tous ces projets qui fleurissent en Corrèze. Les résultats de cette enquête seront diffusés dans la presse et sur internet.
Toujours dans le cadre des élections départementales, nous organisons :
département du président de la république
Rassemblement à partir de 14 h place de la cathédrale
direction la préfecture
pour dénoncer l’aberration de tous ces projets (Nous avons dénombré près de 150 machines en projet en Corrèze – dont certains ont été abandonnés depuis…).
Nous avons besoin de vous pour relayer l’information et mobiliser du monde.
Merci à tous!!
Présidente de Agir pour le plateau des étangs
Porte parole du Collectif contre l’éolien industriel en Corrèze
Contact :06 84 62 72 51
Source: Askos Aiolou production team
Fundraising for completion of full-length documentary (click on widget for complete information at www.indiegogo.com/projects/windbag-of-aeolus–2:
Big Wind will be shown on TVO: Wednesday March 25, Sunday March 29, and Tuesday March 31, all at 9:00 p.m.
It has taken decades for us all to understand the pressing urgency of protecting the Earth’s environment by finding alternatives to fossil fuels. At last, the development of a green energy industry is presenting the opportunity to heal the environment … along with the opportunity to exploit it further. For politicians, going green provides a convincing election platform. For business, it offers the chance to make hundreds of billions of dollars. Green energy is the future and those who get in there first will benefit greatly. But not only honest players are championing this new industry. And nowhere is this more evident than in the massive development of industrial wind power.
Big Wind is a surprising and compelling documentary about the unprecedented rush to develop industrial wind turbines and how this is transforming the landscape in Canada and the world. The film investigates why governments are spending billions on wind power without first conducting health and environmental studies, why corporations are grabbing up precious farmland to put up hundreds of thousands of enormous industrial wind turbines, why people living near the turbines are falling ill, losing their animals and their farms, and whether these new “green” wind turbines are actually helping our environmental aims.
The rush to go green is pitting corporations against residents, government against citizens, neighbour against neighbour. Through the process the people are being stripped of their due democratic process.
Big Wind is a story of unethical political systems, corporate greed, and ordinary citizens who have had enough and are standing up to big government and big business. They are part of a growing revolution in rural communities in Southern Ontario and around the globe – people fighting to defend their homes, their way of life and the environment against Big Wind. It is a battle that will profoundly impact the green movement, as well as the well being of citizens in Canada and citizens worldwide for years to come.
$15,000 goal: Go to Indiegogo site.
Funds will support research on the effect of wind energy on migratory bats and help to conserve them.
Erin Baerwald is a PhD student at the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada. She did her BSc in Environmental and Conservation Sciences at the University of Alberta and her MSc in Ecology with Dr. Robert Barclay at the University of Calgary. For her graduate research she has been studying the issue of bat deaths at wind farms and needs your help to finish it!
If this is your first time hearing about bat fatalities at wind turbines, here’s what you should know:
Bat deaths at wind turbines became an issue in North America in 2003 when thousands of bats were killed at a wind energy facility in West Virginia. Since then bat fatalities have been reported at almost every modern wind energy facility in North America, and many others in Europe, but fatality rates differ greatly. Some wind farms kill very few bats, but other sites kill large numbers and we think that those sites might be built along bat migration routes.
In North America, ~80% of all bat fatalities are of three species of bat that roost in trees and migrate long-distances: Hoary bats, Eastern red bats, and Silver-haired bats. We recently estimated that from 2000-2011 between 840,000 and 1.7 million bats were killed at wind turbines across North America. This number of fatalities is concerning because bats normally live a long time and reproduce very slowly, only having 1 or 2 pups a year. Because of this, they take a long time to recover from population declines.
I am using genetic information to learn about the migratory behaviours of two of the species most heavily affected by wind turbines, hoary bats and silver-haired bats. As you can imagine, studying migration in small animals that fly at night is very challenging, so we know very little about bat migration. By determining the genetic relatedness of bats collected at wind turbines, my aim is to discover if bats use the same migration routes every year and if mothers teach these migratory routes to their young. We can use this information to help us determine where we should be focusing our conservation efforts.
Want to see some of my previous research? Check out my Google Scholar profile.
This project will give us valuable insight into the migratory behaviours of bats. We will use this knowledge to determine if wind energy facilities impact bat migration and to help us reduce the harm. I previously researched ways to reduce bat fatalities at wind turbines and showed that fatalities can be reduced by up to 60% if turbines remain still in low wind speeds. For this work, along with my other research on the issue, I was recently awarded The William T. Hornaday Award. I am hoping to build on this success with knowledge gained in my current research. Without this funding, I will be unable to complete this project, so the bats and I really need your help!
What I Need
Throughout my PhD I have been very fortunate to have received project funding from some great organizations like The Alberta Conservation Association, Alberta Innovates – Technology Futures, and The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. However, I need $15,000 more in order to cover the costs of genetic work and complete this research project. Despite what TV crime shows have led us to believe, genetics work takes a lot of time and money! I have completed a large portion of the work, but your partnership in this project will allow me to finish the lab work that is needed for the study and conservation of migratory bats across Canada and the US.
Want the nitty-gritty details? I have completed sequencing and analysis of a region of mitochondrial DNA for both species. I have also developed ~20 polymorphic microsatellites markers per species. I still need to genotype all the individuals (~200 per species) at all 20 loci. To do this, we need to run many PCRs and do lots of fragment analysis. If you are familiar with this kind of work, you know that this will take a lot of time and money! That’s where your help comes in.
Every dollar raised will be used to pay for the lab work needed to complete this research project. If I raise more than my goal of $15,000, I will be able to analyze more DNA samples and do an even better job!
Source: National Wind Watch
The people of Scotland deserve the real truth regarding the costs, to them, of Renewables.
If the general public realised how hard the SNP government’s policy on wind farms was (and already is) going to impact their health and hit them in the pocket from so many different sources for NO energy security, NO affordable energy bills and NO guaranteed reduction in CO2 emissions, would they continue to go along with what they are being told by this government and the Renewables industry?
HOW MUCH EVIDENCE IS BEING HIDDEN & ARE WE BEING LIED TO ABOUT ADVERSE EFFECTS?
There is a ‘hierarchy of spin’ pervading all this. Firstly, the industry, then the DECC and finally the Institute of Acoustics who present themselves as the ‘honest brokers’ (statement available). They should not put a desire to keep the DECC happy above a need to protect the health of the public.
Councillors, planners, and statutory authorities such as SNH frequently attend presentations and workshops sponsored and hosted by the Renewables Industry.
Not only are most of these bodies prevented from attending events held by those with concerns about the industry, they are denied the same access to information such as that given at the inaugural Scottish Rural Parliament on 6th November 2013 in Oban, Argyll.
The workshop presentation was given in two parts. The first by Christine Metcalfe was entitled: “ Why the need for reliable information about wind power production is so important” focusing on health/legal directives/Forestry Commission Scotland and covering:
1. Why current wind energy policy is likely to affect the mass (urban) population and covers the immediate health impacts of those forced to live in close proximity to industrial wind turbines including issues such as Low Frequency Noise.
2. The danger of ‘Paying to be Poisoned’ through water contamination from IWT’s. See for example: http://www.windsofjustice.org.uk/2014/12/doctor-claims-scotlands-biggest-windfarm-has-contaminated-public-water-supply-with-cancer-causing-chemical/ and http://stopthesethings.com/2014/08/15/scotlands-toxic-shock-wind-farms-poisoning-neighbours/
(A valuable website to view for information is www.westcorkwind.com which includes a particularly relevant section on CITIZEN ENGAGEMENT. The concept of citizen participation, defined by sociologist Sherry Arnstein as “the redistribution of power that enables the have-not citizens, presently excluded from the political and economic processes, to be deliberately included in the future” is graphically illustrated in the form of ‘Arnstein’s Ladder’.)
Just when we thought it couldn’t get any worse with crippling energy bills, fuel poverty, escalating costs on our goods and services and our local authorities slashing their expenditure, the realisation dawns that there are those living in a complete nightmare with family’s health being compromised by living near industrial wind turbines which are approved by a government with a remit to protect us.
3. How the Forestry Commission Scotland’s role as a government organisation is being used to further government aims against the best interests of the electorate.
4. How we are forced to abide by one set of laws whilst by-passing others. How can a government insist that the EU directives relating to climate change are legally binding, whilst ignoring and by-passing equally legally binding directives which should protect our environment? The UK government is in breach of article 7 of the UN’s Aarhus Convention.
The second presentation was the “The road to ruin” by Stuart Young and has been the subject of a letter to Nicola Sturgeon and a press release.
Links to the presentations are:
Transcript 1: Why-reliable-information-on-wind-power-is-so-important
Transcript 2: The-Road-to-Ruin
Enough misleading claims have been made. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has a brief opportunity to restore truth and integrity as a mainstay of the Scottish Government in dealing with the people it is elected to serve. It will prove politically and morally dangerous to ignore the urgent need to conduct a review of all Scottish Government pronunciations on renewable energy, scrutinise them for their honesty and accuracy, and restore some moral fibre to the Governance of this country.
1. Winds of Justice is the trademark and name of the web site of a non-governmental organisation promoting environmental protection. The company – Biosphere and Dark Sky Park Protection Ltd. – purpose is, where possible, through representation to give primacy (in the face of competing development interests) to the protection of the Galloway & South Ayrshire Biosphere and the International Dark Sky Park. Also protection to the local environment against potential individual or cumulative environmental intrusion from wind farm and other industrial developments. www.windsofjustice.org.uk
2. Christine Metcalfe journeyed to Geneva in Dec.2012 to attend the Hearing called by the UN’s Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee. This was to defend the complaint lodged on behalf of her Community Council. That complaint was upheld in that the UK was found to be non-compliant with Article 7 of the Convention. Susan Crosthwaite was one of the observers who also spoke at the Hearing.
3. Stuart Young is a committed anti windfarm campaigner, former Chair of Caithness Windfarm Information Forum www.caithnesswindfarms.co.uk and author of the report “Analysis of UK Wind Power Generation November 2008 to December 2010” sometimes known as the “John Muir Report.” http://www.jmt.org/assets/report_analysis%20uk%20wind_syoung.pdf
The environment of Scotland and the UK does not belong to administrators to do with as they wish, such as filling it with wind turbines and pylons. Instead, the environment of Scotland (including land held by Scottish Water and Forestry Commission Scotland) belongs to its people and they have defined rights in law, which must be respected.
In support of the above statement on the ‘hierarchy of spin’ – the Renewables UK approach has been comprehensively debunked in passing by Mike Stigwood in his paper found at http://docs.wind-watch.org/Internoise-2014-Stigwood.pdf titled ‘Initial findings of the UK Cotton Farm Wind Farm long term community noise monitoring project. Proceedings of INTER-NOISE 2014.’
‘This paper outlines the Cotton Farm Wind Farm community noise monitoring project where real time sound and weather data is continuously gathered at a representative community location and provided on-line for anyone to research, evaluate and improve their understanding of wind farm noise. The Cotton Farm WF project compliments measurements made by MAS Environment al (MAS) of amplitude modulation (AM) and other elements of wind farm noise at over 18 sites.’ The IoA Statement is also available.
Re. the SNH remit on water: Catchment management
A catchment is the area of land drained by a river and its tributaries. The area of a catchment could include the slopes of hills, floodplains, lochs and forests. The quality and quantity of waters within a catchment closely reflect a wide range of natural processes and human activities￼which occur throughout the entire catchment, including its ground waters and wetlands.
The waters in a catchment are connected, which means that an activity leading to poor water quality in one part of the catchment may have the potential to affect the health of a much wider area.
The Water Framework Directive (WFD) is again the legislation by which SNH prevent deterioration and enhance status of aquatic ecosystems, including groundwater:
• promote sustainable water use;
• reduce pollution;
• contribute to the mitigation of floods and droughts.
Groundwater is an important resource, providing more than one-third of the potable water supply in the British Isles. In addition, it provides essential base-flow to rivers and wetland areas, often supporting important ecological systems. However, groundwater is vulnerable to pollution – especially because it is generally less apparent than surface water and the potential impacts on groundwater are rarely observed and so tend to receive little consideration. Groundwater pollution is problematic because aquifer pollution persists for long periods and is often very difficult and costly to remediate: groundwater pollution prevention measures cost 10– 20 times less than groundwater clean-up and aquifer remediation programmes. Groundwater quality is endangered by construction activities that provide a pollution source or pathway or that significantly vary natural groundwater levels. In contrast to surface water, groundwater is generally more vulnerable to pollution by chemicals, metals, hydrocarbons and salts than by sediments, because particulate pollutants are naturally filtered during infiltration and recharge. Pollution of groundwater is likely to result in the loss of potable or other water supplies, the degradation of receiving river or wetland waters and habitats, and, for offenders, prosecution.
Contacts for further information:
Susan Crosthwaite – 01465 831363
Christine Metcalfe – 01866 844220
Lyndsey Ward – 01463 782997
Stuart Young – 01877 330206