After reading that Scottish Borders Council has been inundated with applications for wind turbines large and small, it occurs to me that the rest of Scotland must be likewise.
Often tourism is and quite rightly quoted as an objection, but this opposition is far more profound.
No other small country has quite as many spectacular film locations and TV drama backdrops as Scotland.
Part of the appeal of movies filmed in Scotland is the stunning scenery of mountains and lochs seen in the background. The diversity of spectacular and memorable locations used in the making of films from Brigadoon and Whisky Galore to Harry Potter, Greystoke, James Bond, Highlander, Da Vinci Code, Flash Gordon and Bollywood is responsible for promoting Scotland, and most especially the Borders, worldwide, creating an industry of wealth and employment for the entire country.
Film makers have used Scotland to double for other locations all over the world. Franco Zeffirelli had considered eastern Europe to shoot Hamlet until he stood on the cliff top ruins of Dunnottar Castle. 2001: A Space Odyssey was not filmed on Jupiter (honest), but in Scotland. Braveheart probably inspired more people to visit Scotland than any other movie, prompting the perpetual question: “Where was that film made?”
It is these turbulent heights of scenery preferred by those who would destroy the Scottish landscape with turbines that film makers find so powerfully seductive and enticing, making our countryside and locations a mecca for fans. I cannot think of anything more appalling than Bonnie Prince Charlie raising his standard with a wind turbine in the background or Mel Gibson storming the English with same entering stage left unforeseen in the distance.
But that is the apparition we will present to the world if this nonsensical proliferation is not controlled. It is not just tourism at risk, but a time-honoured multidimensional industry established, recognised and admired throughout the entire world that is potentially in jeopardy.
Sir Walter Scott made this area famous, the Border country saw numerous clashes between Scots and English, but its violent history has never been more at odds with an upstart than now with the intrusion and invasion of the wind turbine.
On Sunday I went out to look at the night sky – wonderful and starry, and another joy of living in the countryside.
Alas, I immediately became aware of the unpleasant low-frequency noise from the wind machines some miles away. That, according to the acolytes of the wind machine industry, should not happen. Goodness knows what other lies they are telling.
The name “wind turbine” is a lie – they’re not turbines, as any mechanical engineer will tell you. Goodness knows what it must be like living near one of these money-making contraptions. Money-making for developers and land owners that is. Subsidised cash for the rich, unsubsidised bills for the poor.
Not one more wind machine should be erected in the Borders. If the incumbents of Ramshackle House (the Scottish Parliament) want them so much, let them plaster Arthur’s Seat and Holyrood Park with them at the maximum density possible. And let us demand that every council candidate at next May’s election should be forced to state whether they are for or against them. No ifs or buts.
A moratorium is essential and plans should be put in place to dismantle within 20 years the hundreds already scarring our ancient hills.
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