Turbine trauma

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Thursday’s disastrous encounter between a rare white-throated needletail with a wind turbine on Harris was not a good omen for wildlife tourism in Scotland.

It’s also another headache for energy, economy and tourism minister Fergus Ewing. How can he square this deadly contradiction between his tourism and energy portfolios?

Alex Salmond has argued that Scotland’s commitment to renewable energy makes it more attractive to ecologically minded visitors.

Ministers routinely tout Whitelee wind farm as a successful tourist attraction.

Perhaps Mr Ewing should take this creative thinking a step further, and present Thursday’s fatality as an exciting new marketing opportunity for Scottish tourism.

Scotland is now the must-visit place for viewing bird-mincing turbines in action and rare birds as museum exhibits.

Linda Holt

Pittenweem

Anstruther

Your editorial (28 June) correctly highlights the danger of power shortages by the middle of this decade.

This is at least in part due to an obsession with directing scarce financial resources towards subsidising wind farms rather than investing in reliable forms of energy.

On the same day we read your report that a wind turbine has slashed to death a rare bird and hear from David Gibson that our wild land is being threatened by the steady encroachment of turbines.

It is clear that current energy policies are not only destroying our wild landscape and its wild life but are also putting at risk our standard of living by failing to ensure we have sufficient reliable energy supplies.

Alan Black

Camus Avenue

Edinburgh

The statement by the spokesperson for RSPB after the death of the white-throated needletail from collision with a turbine needs moderation. The claim is that birds hitting turbines are rare occurrences. How many wind farms does the RSPB properly monitor before and after construction to justify his statement?

Collecting such evidence is extremely difficult and I know of none by the RSPB. The further claim is that wind energy makes a vital contribution towards mitigating climate change, the supposed greater danger.

Scotland’s electricity generating system produces 0.03 per cent of world’s emissions. Perhaps the RSPB could explain how wind energy in Scotland can in any way materially impact on world emissions.

Many think the RSPB should remind itself that the P and the B in RSPB stand for Protection of Birds and not be apologists for their destruction. And a warmer climate might see more of these birds from Siberia.

(Prof) Anthony Trewavas FRS FRSE

Scientific Alliance 
Scotland

North St David Street

Edinburgh