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Cameron's Viewpoint: The Wind Compromise

Re: Cameron's Viewpoint: The Wind Compromise

Postby Wilco de Jonge » Thu Apr 04, 2013 1:34 am

Though Dutch - that is,not really entitled to join the discussion - I feel strongly about this. Suppose one has to accept the incursion of those windmills - again, I'm Dutch :D - sure, do try to compromise and find a channel to deflect the mainthrust of the enemy!

If one subscribes these postulations:
(1) What you really don't want is nuclear reactors ... just wait for the next generation of terrorists ... :sick:
(2) You do want your countryside to remain attractive for (the right minded & well behaved) hillbaggers & outdoor enthousiasts from abroad. Despite their somewhat foreign tendencies ...
(3) You do realise the economic suicide that comes linea recta :!: :!: with the killing of your country's main selling point, the incomparable beauty of untouched hills, moorland and so on

Then ... counter with the the approach "get those mills out at sea". As far from your coast as possible, that is.
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Re: Cameron's Viewpoint: The Wind Compromise

Postby Spade » Thu Apr 04, 2013 8:39 pm

let's face it they look bloody awful.
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Re: Cameron's Viewpoint: The Wind Compromise

Postby WHZeez » Thu Apr 04, 2013 9:31 pm

I live in Aberdeenshire and am no stranger to wind turbines popping up all over the place. Some of the most attractive parts of the countryside are now covered and there are very few prominent vantage points from which you cannot see a large number.

I have however supported a few applications to site turbines, including a wind farm close to my house – where it was more appropriate and the lesser of two evils. Here lies the rub – nearly all applications to site turbines in Aberdeenshire have been supported by SNP councillors regardless of the merits of the proposed site. This is, unfortunately, very political.

So, Cameron, you can’t have your pragmatic cake and eat it. Alex wants turbines on hills and you don’t. I suspect you will have to walk from the party to show you feel disenfranchised with the party line (that would have a significant public impact) or, if it isn't a priority for you, accept that it is policy.

If Alex Salmond is so open to turbine-free areas, he has shown no haste in doing anything about it and needs every encouragement. Don’t underestimate how highly valued your public support for the SNP is. Are you prepared to publicly use it for leverage on this important issue.
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Re: Cameron's Viewpoint: The Wind Compromise

Postby jester » Fri Apr 05, 2013 11:54 am

WHZeez wrote:I live in Aberdeenshire and am no stranger to wind turbines popping up all over the place. Some of the most attractive parts of the countryside are now covered and there are very few prominent vantage points from which you cannot see a large number.

I have however supported a few applications to site turbines, including a wind farm close to my house – where it was more appropriate and the lesser of two evils. Here lies the rub – nearly all applications to site turbines in Aberdeenshire have been supported by SNP councillors regardless of the merits of the proposed site. This is, unfortunately, very political.

So, Cameron, you can’t have your pragmatic cake and eat it. Alex wants turbines on hills and you don’t. I suspect you will have to walk from the party to show you feel disenfranchised with the party line (that would have a significant public impact) or, if it isn't a priority for you, accept that it is policy.

If Alex Salmond is so open to turbine-free areas, he has shown no haste in doing anything about it and needs every encouragement. Don’t underestimate how highly valued your public support for the SNP is. Are you prepared to publicly use it for leverage on this important issue.

Ah, the old independence or windfarms argument! I think it's been demonstrated that every major party supports turbines. Labour controlled North Lanarkshire for example is awash with the bloody things. Politically Cameron in this case better inside the tent **** out, than outside trying to **** in.

Anyway, thanks to google ads this thread threw up a link to the proposed Benhar Windfarm. Objection submitted!
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Re: Cameron's Viewpoint: The Wind Compromise

Postby Goats Began » Fri Apr 05, 2013 9:19 pm

jester wrote:Anyway, thanks to google ads this thread threw up a link to the proposed Benhar Windfarm. Objection submitted!


I very much agree with Cameron on this. Some posters here have focussed more on the rights / wrongs of windfarms, but I fear the truth is there here to stay, regardlees of which party is in power. Personally I don't have a problem with turbines as long as their away from the mountains, wilderness and beautiful places. I'm the opposite of a Nimby! Jester I live in Lanarkshire and would be quite happy to have them all down here. Benhar Windfarm you say? - wouldn't that actually make Harthill more attractive?: Well maybe not but, rather that than in The Highlands in my opinion.
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Re: Cameron's Viewpoint: The Wind Compromise

Postby WHZeez » Mon Apr 08, 2013 7:35 am

Sorry, but it is political. Unfortunate though this is, it means that at a national level the individual will have to take this matter into account when it comes to the next election.

Councillor voting records are rather an education in this respect (link below). There is perhaps no point in writing to your local SNP councillor. Lobbying is a waste of time as the stats show they will vote in favour of nearly every planning application because they are following a national policy. The other councillors are free to vote as they see fit and, generally, they do because they are not dictated to by their national party leaders (+/- certain leanings one way or the other).

http://www.cawt.co.uk/index.php?page=voting-records

I guess this provides some focus - at the local level campaigns should focus on lobbying the councillors that can be turned i.e. not the SNP.

At the national level, our interest groups that are concerned with the future well being of the wild spaces need to take a deep breath and consider how this will shape their lobbying of the political parties. Not an easy task when we are such a diverse bunch politically. But if there is traction to be had with one party over another, then the subject of alignment through the next election cycle should be muted. Think about it - if the outdoor lobby aligned itself with one party on this issue it could send the others into policy u-turn. There are plenty of examples where interest groups are aligned with one party and clearly shape party policy.
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Re: Cameron's Viewpoint: The Wind Compromise

Postby clivegrif » Mon Apr 08, 2013 9:19 pm

Recent research reveals that Windmills built on peat land release more carbon than they save. The peat locks up so much carbon, and destroying it by bulldozing a road across it to build and service the windmills completely defeats the object. So much for the green argument. :roll:
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Re: Cameron's Viewpoint: The Wind Compromise

Postby camusrory » Tue Apr 09, 2013 1:44 pm

It's all been said already but I wholeheartedly agree with Cameron's viewpoint. I have tried the various routes, writing to MSPs and directly to Alex Salmond, all to no avail, standard political replies. The general tide of public opinion is against the mountaineering fraternity on this one however I am encouraged by the current mapping exercise being undertaken by SNH and we should contribute to and support this.
This does not mean ignoring all future applications. We must as individuals and through organisations like the MCofS and JMT make our voices heard against any sustainable energy development which encroaches on wild land.
And yes its true that windfarms built on peatlands releases more stored CO2 than windfarms will save but all these arguements have also been used to no effect.
There is only one real solution and that is for us all to use less energy in the first place. Unfortunately energy demand is increasing.
As for Cameron tearing up his SNP mmbership card - it is better to work within an organisation to make your voice heard than from outside.
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Re: Cameron's Viewpoint: The Wind Compromise

Postby gusmacdonald » Tue Apr 09, 2013 7:21 pm

I simply want to remind everybody that our country, both Scotland and the UK, are currently highly dependent on energy sources in Russia and the Middle East. This is an obviously weak strategic position which makes us very vulnerable, Obviously any energy source which is local, is of value even if it is more expensive. Wind turbines must be important in this respect, The real dilemma is where to put the things. Personally, I think they are elegant structures and for that reason I see no reason way they should not be sited as close to the major conurbations. Developers will go for cheap sites and the Town and Country Planning system seems to be skewed to locating them on land of little economic value, i.e. the mountains and moors, and politicians will support any location which does not contain too many voters, but the argument for those who love Scotland's wild places should be that our mountains and moors do have a value in their current state. We are in danger, again, of falling before the accountants who know the cost of everything but the value of nothing. ,
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Re: Cameron's Viewpoint: The Wind Compromise

Postby Deesider » Wed Apr 10, 2013 12:08 am

Mr McNeish no doubt commands a following which includes the First Minister, by the sound of it, but perhaps not to great heights. However, there is a deficit in their Big Country Thinking which makes it look rather Small.

What about the quality of life of those who don't wish to or can't stride out into the remote lands for their regular, and no less vital, recreation? I suspect that could constitute a large proportion of the resident population and visitors. There are those who want to grasp the "crumbs" of inspiration from their local landscapes on a long-term, health-giving basis which cannot be sustained through "expeditionary" visits to the Wildlands. What about those whose living depends on the accessible, but beautiful landscapes (remember them?) of Aberdeenshire, Perthshire, and all the others?

Mr McNeish makes no case for accepting the destruction of most of his country for no discernible benefit. Note the long periods of cold, stable weather which has characterised recent winters. Last year the number of turbines went up by a third on 2011 but power "generated" went up less than a fifth. There is no attempt to measure the true impact of the destructive non-policy on emissions or security of supply being foisted on a mystifyingly accepting public. Conclusions from the stock tourism surveys have been based on the assumption that discerning tourists will always have somewhere else to go. That may not be within Scotland for much longer. The alleged mere 25% or whatever will go elsewhere and take your B&B's profits with them. Note that Mr McNeish's party's concern for your "views" is so limited that the Minister for Energy and Tourism does not even warrant a seat in the Cabinet.
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Re: Cameron's Viewpoint: The Wind Compromise

Postby DingoDave » Wed Apr 10, 2013 8:13 am

Not sure that I entirely accept the alleged support for wind energy as politicians are past masters - particularly Salmond - of providing information that does not stand up to scrutiny. The best we can hope for I suppose is that all the 'supporters' get a reality check as they become more aware of the personal cost to them via energy bills. At the end of the day when the lights go out, the politicians may have to answer at the ballot box.
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Re: Cameron's Viewpoint: The Wind Compromise

Postby dmurphy » Wed Apr 10, 2013 8:33 am

seems like a good way forward.. well argued
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Re: Cameron's Viewpoint: The Wind Compromise

Postby john stirling » Wed Apr 10, 2013 8:50 am

I am disappointed and saddened to read this, although I can see where he is coming from. The crumbs of comfort that he refers to are coming too late. The call for a moratorium was the right call whilst a policy could have been produced speedily to offer something for all, this was disregarded and now look where we are.
Politicians use figures that suit them, if you ask someone if you are in favour of something that will not be near you but produce money for you then they are bound to say yes in these troubled times.
I find turbines to be an engineering masterpiece nicer to look at than pylons. I think where a single turbine is located to provide power for a rural community or business is to be welcomed providing it is sensitively located.
I support the call for protection of our wild land, but it has to be accepted that all of this land is not located in the Highlands, there are areas in the Borders and Central Scotland which require this protection.
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Re: Cameron's Viewpoint: The Wind Compromise

Postby heebee » Wed Apr 10, 2013 9:17 am

what type of renewable hardly matters if the conditions for generation are wrong: I don't have figures, but would be surprised if the plethora of mini-hydro schemes in Lochaber have produced any significant power so far this winter, when it is most needed, because it has been cold and dry, as it very often is in Scotland.
Come summer they'll be pouring unneeded power into the grid. I'm sorry, but the only real answer to renewable energy is nuclear, even with all its attendant problems.
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Re: Cameron's Viewpoint: The Wind Compromise

Postby bobble_hat_kenny » Wed Apr 10, 2013 9:52 am

I absolutely agree with Cameron's comments, which I would say are an excellent summary of what should be the best way forwards. I was walking up the Campsies a couple of weeks ago (Muckle Bin; mucho snow) and couldn't help feeling that the big wind farm in the vicinity did look "quite pretty in an arty-farty kind of way" as Cameron nicely puts it :) . However, there is a massive difference between a big commercial wind farm on the Campsies, which is a landscape on Glasgow's doorstep that has already been substantially "tamed" by commercial forestry, waterworks, farming, et cetera et cetera et cetera, and a truly wild landscape such as the Monadhliadh, which should surely be a no-go area for wind farms. You would think that planning departments would understand the obvious distinction. You would think :-| .
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