Areas of discontent

3 min read

I don't think I have ever read such racially slanted remarks as those in 'Tilting at windmills'.

I don't think I have ever read such racially slanted remarks as those in 'Tilting at windmills' (Letters, 4 September).

Local pride and conservation is unrealistic and unsustainable, and with the Scottish Nationalists less than 10 per cent away from taking us into full independence, Melanie Watson could be their finest asset.

I remember the promises that were given during the race to install hydro-electro power stations throughout Scotland, when villages were flooded. People were forcibly evicted from their homes, while the Scottish public was placated with promises of cheaper electricity than the rest of the country.

This cheaper electricity was to be the magnet that would attract industry and encourage the construction of smelter plants and pulp mills. Where are these promises now? Gone, every single one of them.

I don't think Ms Watson will ever be able to sell her proposals to the Scots, however, since Scotland is a net exporter of energy. Perhaps she should find a 'bleak empty useless for agriculture', place in England (where the energy is needed).

Places that spring to mind are the Lake District, where there's not much activity. Or perhaps the Cotswolds, which consists only of vast estates (complete with 1,000 hp cars).

And maybe now that our supermarkets buy all their sprouts from South America, how about the Fens, which are too wet to be of any real use. If these suggested areas are too bleak or desolate to be considered, then there are always The Dales — miles of them, all empty with boarded up pubs and empty holiday homes.

Should I forward a copy of the letter to the Scottish Nationalist Party?

I think not, it could start a renaissance in the party that could well threaten the stability of all the western democracies.

Alex Kennedy


While I agree with Melanie Watson (letters, 4 September) that people should be given a choice of windmills over nuclear power stations, that's where my agreement ends.

Her suggestion that signs in Scotland 'No super-pylons' refer to windmills is wrong. They refer to the upgrading of an existing high-voltage overhead power link which would require much larger pylons to be installed. The upgrade is needed to deliver electricity generated from renewable energy installations (wind and wave power) to the south. Opponents favour a sub-sea or sub-surface cable, but the electricity companies need some more convincing.

I also strongly disagree with the statement that 'the [Scottish] landscape is bleak and empty'. It is bleak and empty to those that like or expect to see roads, housing and pollution wherever they go. Many parts of Scotland are still relatively wild and would be all but destroyed by large-scale wind farm developments. It is not only a unique part of the world to live in but also a major attraction for tourists.

Not far from my own home in Dundee, tyre manufacturer Michelin recently installed two 2MW turbines on their site — not much visual intrusion on a bleak landscape here. The response among friends and colleagues has been unanimously positive. I still have to find someone to say a bad word about these windmills.

I can't help but think Ms Watson is in the NIMBY camp. I am unaware that her own region, Cheshire, is covered in windmills. So why does she go on about having Scotland covered in them?

Finally, if all of UK households and industry would make a real effort in reducing energy wastage the need for new electricity generation, renewable or else, would be much reduced.

Joachim Neff


Any engineer worth his salt and who investigated wind farms/turbines would know that they are a white elephant ready for the picking by construction companies and power corporations who see the subsidies as a way of printing money at the grace of exaggerated output claims and the threat of climate change.

Ms Watson's argument (Letters, 4 September) could also be applied to other areas of life.

Chas Edgington, via e-mail


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