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    Stop Wind Energy Development on Lewis  

    Wind Farms on the Isle of Lewis are on the verge of being rejected. Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond is being subjected to aggressive lobbying by the developers, despite the clear environmental harm that would result from such a massive development on peat bog, let alone the desecration of the wild landscape and the likely threat to important bird populations. Write to him in support of clear rejection of this ill-conceived project. Below are three sample letters, kindly provided by their writers.


    Office of the First Minister
    St. Andrew’s House
    Regent Road
    EH1 3DG

    Dear First Minister

    A National Conversation has been set up by your party to engage the views of the people of Scotland on Independence and the future of our country.

    Why is there no National Conversation on wind farms?

    Areas of high scenic value in Scotland are under attack by wind developers!

    Prior to your election you told the people of Scotland that you would listen to their views.

    More than 5,000 people objected to the Barvas Windfarm in Lewis. Will you listen to them or ignore them?

    Will SNP be known as the party that helps a rich ‘few’ make vast sums of money through wind farm subsidies, whilst the poor, the vulnerable, the sick and the elderly are expected to suffer increasing fuel poverty?

    If consumers of electricity are expected to pay subsidies for wind farms, shouldn’t the people of Scotland have the right to a National Conversation about wind farms?

    Golden eagles bring in huge amounts of cash that benefit the ‘many’, not the ‘few’.

    Scotland does not need its own Altamont Pass, environmental law suits or massive EU fines.

    The purpose of this development: to make money. If breaking EU law results in EU fines, that negates the whole purpose.

    Will the people of Scotland perceive “minded to refuse” as being a wishy washy response by a party that wants to lead an Independent Scotland?

    Please offer confidence with a decisive, resounding, ‘NO’ to this wind farm development.

    I look forward to hearing that this development will not proceed.

    Yours sincerely
    Sylvia Wallace

    Dear Mr Salmond

    Over the past few days it has been reported that you are ‘Minded to Refuse Permission for the Lewis Wind Power development’

    I applaud this stance and encourage you to stick to your intention.

    Far from being the green solution that it has been claimed as, this development would be very damaging to the environment. Not just the damage to the landscape but the amount of carbon released from disturbing the peat bog would in fact negate any possible benefit gained from the ‘green’ energy.

    The promise of jobs for the locals is just smoke and mirrors. I live in Mid Wales and at Cefn Croes the same promises were made – jobs for local people and economic benefits for the local community. None of this is true. There have been no jobs created locally at all. The contractors came in, tore up the landscape, poured masses of concrete into a primary water source, scattered the disturbed peat over the concrete bases in the name of conserving the environment and left. So far the local community are still waiting to see the benefits.

    I urge you to refuse permission for this development and to mount a thorough review of your government’s policy on wind energy. An intermittent source of power can never provide the ‘base load’ energy that is required for a civilised society and will only every be a symbolic gesture of ‘greenness’

    My husband and I are both artists and for many years we regarded Scotland as our second home, enjoying the unspoilt beauty of her wild places. The prospect of the industrialisation of the most inspirational views in the British Isles fills us with utter despair and we could not bring ourselves to visit Scotland again if it becomes the industrial wasteland that your government is proposing.

    Please remember why tourists come to Scotland – for the scenery – don’t destroy it. Please.

    With heartfelt feeling.

    Yours sincerely
    Jenny Keal

    Dear First Minister,

    I subscribe to the terms of Mrs Keal´s letter and invite you to ponder the enormity of the loss a windfarm on Lewis would represent. Tourism, wildlife, biodiversity, ruined quality of life for the inhabitants, who massively rejected the project in various polls …

    The developer may present a revised plan with fewer turbines. But Lewis must be saved in its entirety. A stain on a beautiful painting is not acceptable, no matter its size. Likewise, placing giant de-facto bird traps within a bird reserve is an act of poaching, no matter their number.

    The European Commission has been informed of this threat to the Lewis Peatlands Special Protection Area, and they may bring the matter to the European Court of Justice, who in turn may impose heavy fines that would burden Scottish taxpayers.

    It would be regrettable if the Scottish National Party would tarnish its good name with the destruction of Scotland´s wildlife, of its landscape, and of its main renewable resource: tourism.

    Yours, faithfully
    Mark Duchamp

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