THAT the carbon dioxide emissions’ reduction target has been missed (your report, 30 January) does not surprise me – it was not really a target in the first place but an unachievable, sound-bite figure.
The response predictably is keep digging – witness the rejection of the Ruth Davidson-led petition (your report, 29 January). Sad as it is for residents, this referred only to small, scattered areas. The real environmental impact of wind turbines occurs in China from whence comes the neodymium for their magnets.
Most people are probably at least aware of the concern over changes to the marine environment but probably less aware that life on Earth is critically dependent on the ecology of coastal waters, which is thus far more important long-term than land-based concerns.
Subsea storage of millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide from fossil-fuel-fired power stations has at least been temporarily shelved but are we really happy about the impact of the constant low frequency vibration and underwater electromagnetic effects of turbines?
Other more sensible (from the supply side) tidal and wave-based systems may even have a similar effect. I live in the sticks and am no longer a practising scientist, so could anyone convince me that all of this has been satisfactorily investigated?
Our potential environmental/ecological impact on a global scale is minuscule in either the positive or negative senses, so is it really worthwhile impoverishing ourselves in the effort?
(Dr) A McCormick
MY OLD sparring partner, Struan Stevenson, has been at it again with yet another rant about wind farms. His complaint this time, curiously, seems to be that the Scottish Government might be doing too well and might “overshoot its electricity target” on renewables. Some time ago Labour Lord George Foulkes accused the SNP of “making things better on purpose” – it looks like he’s got backing for his claims from Mr Stevenson on behalf of the Conservatives.
The fact is, the Tories are dangerously misguided on energy, and now we have proof. Credit to them, they have now actually committed their paucity of vision and dearth of ambition to paper for us all to see. Well done to them. The Tory energy policy paper Power with Responsibility shows just how much the Conservatives in Scotland really are living in the past, and would make us all dependent on “Big Energy”. They have an issue with wind farms as they are “hugely unpopular” but want to see more nuclear power stations on Scottish soil.
I find the proposition that we should build more nuclear power stations at a time when the rest of Europe is decommissioning and closing them particularly incredible.
It’s a sobering fact that if the Romans had built a nuclear power station instead of the Antonine Wall we would still be taking care of the waste from it today.
Scotland doesn’t need nuclear power stations and Scotland doesn’t want nuclear power stations. What we do want and do need is the serious, vocal and consistent commitment to renewables the SNP government has delivered.
Alyn Smith SNP MEP
Alternate Member, Energy Committee of the European Parliament