The National Trust for Scotland, the Association for the Protection of Rural Scotland, the Mountaineering Council of Scotland, the Munro Society, Ramblers Scotland and the Scottish Wild Land Group who signed yesterday’s letter condemning the Scottish Government’s abuse of the planning system to promote wind development are spot on (“Rural alliance in scathing attack on windfarm policy”, The Herald, February 9).
But they are not the only non-governmental organisations deeply concerned at the lasting damage the SNP’s overriding target for unlimited wind energy is wreaking on the Scottish environment. Both the John Muir Trust and RSPB feel the same; each is engaged in exemplary legal proceedings against Scottish Ministers for their careless approval of colossal onshore and offshore wind farms. Beyond them are hundreds of environmental or landscape groups which have formed over the last few years to fight predatory applications for giant turbines in their local areas.
Then there are the local authorities, and hundreds of community councils the length and breadth of rural Scotland who for years now have vainly rejected specific wind farm applications and begged for moratoria on new applications.
What’s happened? Nothing. The turbine juggernaut has just rolled on, flattening everything in its path.
Scottish ministers have variously “listened”. They have tried denial, prevarication, procrastination, before pretending their hands are tied. As the recently announced moratorium on fracking showed, this is not true.
Behind all this lies the most cynical calculation by SNP strategists. They reckon promoting the myth of Scotland as a green utopia will garner more votes than it will cost them.
I am sure there is not a senior official or minister concerned with wind policy in the Scottish Government who has not realised that wind energy is expensive, destructive, inefficient and loathed and who is not dismayed to see these negatives increasing, not diminishing, with every turbine that is approved or built.
There is no chance the SNP will admit they were wrong on wind, so demonising fracking is a useful distraction. Ultimately it will be able to save face by crying foul when Westminster cuts wind subsidy and stymies the Scottish renewables industry – as the Conservatives have promised to do if they win the next election, and as any UK Government must do if it is to keep the lights on.
Or is it naive to believe that a nationalist movement can succeed without resorting to political gangsterism and trashing the very land and values it stands for?
Dreel House, Pittenweem.
WHAT a wonderful Steven Camley cartoon illustrating beautifully the proliferation of wind farms foisted upon the inhabitants and scenery of Scotland (The Herald, February 9).
Thank goodness at long last, as your front -age headline informed, the various land and heritage bodies seem to be wakening up to the ever-increasing march of windfarms set inappropriately within our wild and natural landscapes.
The life and achievements of John Muir were recently celebrated in 2014 and I would imagine this great innovator of national parks and protector of nature would be spinning in his grave were he to see the scale and enormity of developments on his beloved wilderness areas over the past few years.
Time now for a moratorium on these developments, to draw breath, and to work out ways to ensure that no more industrial damage is impacted on our wild, natural, vulnerable environment.
74 Douglas Park Crescent, Bearsden.
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