Ultima Thule

Editorial note: If you have not yet read our mission statement above, please do so in order that you can put our blogs in context. 

 11 April 2012

WINDS OF CHANGE

The Shetland Islands – the northernmost part of Scotland and the Ultima Thule of Pliny and Tacitus – have fallen a prey to massive commercial development that will scar indelibly the unspoilt beauty of their rugged landscapes.

In the teeth of massive local opposition, the Scottish regional government has given the go-ahead for a massive network of 103 wind turbines with associated roads and ancillary structures.

Taking advantage of a site which regularly records the highest wind speeds in Europe, the pylon grid on the main island is expected to generate up to sixteen times the energy needed by the Shetland population of 22 000.

Most of this will be exported via an undersea cable to the Scottish mainland but some of the profits made will be pumped back into the local community. At present electricity on the islands is generated by a diesel-fuelled power plant.

The scheme attracted 2772 objections as opposed to 1115 comments in favour.  Opponents included the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, which warned that the project would damage crucial breeding sites for rare birds.

Antigone1984.com: While conscious of the energy arguments in favour of such developments, we are nevertheless generally opposed to on-land (as opposed to sea-based) wind power plants on the grounds that, at a stroke, they turn a natural milieu into an industrial man-made environment. Our views originated when we witnessed the degradation of the breath-taking natural landscape of the Sierra de Guadarrama northwest of Madrid in Spain as a result of the implantation of a jungle of wind pylons. A great deal of the rest of the Spanish landscape has been similarly affected as the commercial exploiters of wind technology have been given carte blanche to ruin the environment. Commercial development comes first, history, local sentiment and natural beauty a poor second.

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 You might perhaps care to view some of our earlier posts.  For instance:

 1. Why? or How? That is the question (3 Jan 2012)

2. Das Vierte Reich/The Fourth Reich (6 Feb 2012)

3. The shoddiest possible goods at the highest possible prices (2 Feb 2012)

4. Where’s the beef? Ontology and tinned meat (31 Jan 2012)

5. What would Gandhi have said? (30 Jan 2012)

Every so often we shall change this sample of previously published posts.

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This entry was posted in Economics, Scotland, Spain and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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