HAVE you taken a drive to The Borders lately; in particular, down the A74 road to Carlisle? If not, you’re in for a bit of a shock.
It’s one of the most stunningly beautiful areas of the country. Streams, forests, ancient dykes, the gentle curves of the hills, and whacking great metal wind turbines. Dozens of them.
Comes as a bit of a shock, does that. Mile after mile, you just get used to the splendour of the place, then you come round a bend, and there’s yet another forest of these great, arm-waving robots. Except, when I was there recently, they weren’t waving… no wind you see.
Another mile of unspoiled country and – ooops, there’s more, right along the skyline of some wild, desolate hill. Lovely.
Once you’ve seen this horrendous blight on the landscape, it’s something you just can’t get out of your head.
But putting aside the ugliness of these things encroaching on what was once some of the most beautiful scenery in the country, let’s remember that they’re one of the most expensive and inefficient ways to produce power. High winds and no winds; they don’t work at all.
What’s more, the Government has shovelled money into making sure this happens, paying subsidies left right and centre.
Even paying compensation to shut the things down for periods when there is enough electricity from elsewhere. One of the greatest scams of our age, that is.
All that would be bad enough, but in a recent presentation to Holyrood’s Economy Energy and Tourism Committee, the chairman of Scottish Natural Heritage said that “We have evidence that wind farms can be positive for certain species and, from some people’s point of view, a well-designed wind farm can be positive in the landscape in aesthetic terms.”
He has “evidence”? And what evidence would that be, exactly?
It might have been a bit more convincing had he actually named the species, and how great, towering, spinning monstrosities can be “positive” for them.
And it would have been even more convincing if he could have explained how a “well-designed” wind farm can be almost a work of art.
They’re a blight on the landscape; a blind man galloping past on a horse could see that.
I just wonder if the MSPs who heard this tosh actually swallowed it. Hopefully, the general population won’t just lean back, open wide and swallow whatever nonsense is fed to us by yet another “expert”
And while you’re thinking on that, just bear in mind that it looks like another 28 turbines – taller than the ones you’ve seen so far - are coming to West Lothian (West Lothian Council has no say in the matter) and they say, “It is not yet known whether connection to the national grid would be above or below ground.” Go, on take a guess.
Are they going to be right next to you? Or planned for one of the scenic areas still left in West Lothian? Ask an expert – preferably not one who thinks they are good for wildlife while being aesthetically pleasing.