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The poor old plovers might not appreciate RSPB’s stand on wind farms growth

Having read Aedan Smith lamenting the loss of plovers near Gordonbush windfarm I am puzzled that the RSPB appear not to have objected to the application for an extension consisting of a further 16 turbines at this site (Letters, 19 April). If the existing windfarm is so unsuitable, presumably any extension is even more so and will finally decimate the plover population.

Mr Smith, like the RSPB in general, is well known for his support of windfarms, which is a mystery to many of us since windfarms are killing birds in millions worldwide. The excuse that climate change is a greater threat is illogical unless, of course, you believe that dying by wind turbine, often painful and prolonged, is preferable to possible death at some unknown future date from climate change.

How is it that many organisations whose raison d’être is to protect the natural world apparently believe that covering Scotland with windfarms, which do so much environmental damage, will somehow help to prevent climate change? A little serious research shows they will have no effect so why do they continue in this belief?

Is it money or simply that it is politically incorrect to disagree with the received wisdom?

Brenda Herrick

Harbour Road, Castletown, Thurso

I found myself actually agreeing with Aedan Smith from the RSPB … well, for the first paragraph anyway. I applaud the stance the RSPB took regarding Gordonbush although I can’t find their objection on the Highland Council website regarding SSE’s recent application to extend it by 16 turbines.

However, we swiftly parted company when I read the diatribe about needing more wind farms to cut emissions and combat climate change.

Mr Smith chose to ignore my comment about the pollution that is left where vital components are harvested. I was referring to the toxic wasteland in China left by the mainly unregulated industry of mining and processing the tonnes of minerals needed in every turbine. This is not factored into emissions-savings calculations along with grid connection (no matter how many miles of pylons etc), foreign workers, machinery and parts or decommissioning. Turbines may be shown to reduce emissions on paper, calculated with cherry-picked figures but that is not evidence – that is propaganda and political spin in an attempt to justify the mass destruction of some our most scenic landscapes for an expensive and unreliable energy source.

As for “damaging the reputation of an industry that we all desperately need to succeed” – I think the boat has sailed there, Mr Smith.

If the industry cannot succeed without subsidies, without trashing thousands of acres of precious land, without tearing communities apart and without offering any energy security, then do not lump the many thousands of campaigners worldwide into your “we all desperately need” category. We don’t.

Lyndsey Ward

Beauly, Inverness