Natural legacy

Dick Balharry (“Looking after wild lands vital for future”, Friends of The Scotsman, 4 March) wisely suggests that there “should be incentives to encourage the capture of carbon through the way that we manage our upland landscapes”.

The Scottish Wild Land Group suggests that it is surely ironic that the incentives currently on offer by way of subsidy may well result in the release of carbon rather than its capture.

To elaborate on what we mean by this we highlight the importance of our peatlands in capturing CO2.

Sign up to our Opinion newsletter

However, reputable academic research has suggested that the construction of wind turbines on healthy peatlands releases sufficient carbon dioxide to cancel out the reduction in emissions claimed for by the industrial wind farm lobby and their political backers.

We are aware that scientists can disagree on such issues and thus we suggest that an “evidence-based approach”, to use the Scottish Government’s own terminology, be taken to clarify them, by the establishment of an Independent Energy Commission, free from the influence of vested interests.

But surely it is not unreasonable that we non-scientists in the meantime heed the warning, before it is too late, that turbines may make much less of a contribution to solving global warming than those who benefit from the aforementioned subsidies allege.

John Milne

Scottish Wild Land Group

Ardgowan Drive

Uddingston