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Connery joins protest to halt windfarms 

Credit:  Jonathan Lessware, www.theherald.co.uk 10 July 2003 ~~

Sir Sean Connery put himself on a collision course with environmental groups last night by backing a campaign to protect Scotland’s beauty spots from windfarms.

The actor, who lives in the Bahamas, has thrown his weight behind a campaign to halt the development of wind turbines across the country after contacting an activist whose organisation protests against the farms being built in scenic areas.

He left Bob Graham, the campaigner, speechless when he phoned him recently to ask how he could help with the challenge.

Mr Graham, of Elgin, who stood as an MSP candidate for the Protect Rural Scotland party, wrote to Sir Sean at his home in Nassau while he was campaigning for the Holyrood elections in May.

But when Sir Sean, who is currently promoting his new film The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen – due for release tomorrow – failed to reply, Mr Graham presumed that he was too busy.

However, last week when Mr Graham answered his phone he heard the distinctive voice of the 73-year-old Scot.

Mr Graham, 60, an ex-RAF serviceman who lives with wife, Isobel, 49, said that when he first heard the voice he thought it was one of his friends playing a joke.

He said: “The call came completely out of the blue.

“This voice came on the phone and said: ‘Hello Bob, it’s Sean here’.

“At first I thought it was one of my friends trying to wind me up with a perfect impersonation. When I realised who it was I managed to compose myself.

“We spent some time talking about the issues and how he could help the campaign.”

Sir Sean, who has followed the expansion of windfarms across Scotland, told Mr Graham that he wanted to help oppose the onshore windfarm industry after recognising the threat to Scotland’s natural heritage.

Although he is known to support “sensible renewable energy”, he insists Scotland’s beauty spots should not be sacrificed in the process.

Mr Graham added: “He said he was totally supportive of what we are trying to do and was concerned about Scotland’s heritage.

“He is Scotland’s biggest ambassador and his support will be a huge boost.

“The fact he came to me having seen my letter shows he must feel strongly about the windfarms.”

The veteran actor joins David Bellamy, the conservationist, in supporting the group in its attempt to slow down the development of windfarms.

Sir Sean previously showed his support for the anti-windfarm campaign when he contacted Christine Metcalfe, who was battling ScottishPower’s plans to build 22 turbines on the banks of Loch Avich, Argyll.

He phoned her in December and told her she could use his name in the campaign.

Duncan McLaren, the chief executive of Friends of the Earth, which supports windfarms, said yesterday that the actor’s home in the Bahamas – where the average height above sea level is three to four metres – is at huge risk from global warming.

He said: “As a resident of the Bahamas, an island already under threat from rising sea levels, Sir Sean will be acutely aware of the action the world must take to prevent climate change.

“In Scotland alone flooding is set to increase by 20% over the next 80 years and 170,000 Scottish homes and industrial sites are at risk from rising sea levels, increased rainfall, and frequent storms.

“Just like any member of the public, Sir Sean is entitled to comment on planning applications for windfarm developments.

“A recent Scottish Executive study said Scotland could easily supply all its electricity from renewable resources without damaging any scenic or nature conservation areas.”

Source:  Jonathan Lessware, www.theherald.co.uk 10 July 2003

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial educational effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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