Peatland theories

I welcome Struan Stevenson’s letter (25 September) pointing out the SNP administration’s strategic inconsistency in promising a commitment to restoring our peatlands.

A recent letter in Nature magazine (6 September) from Jo Smith, Dali Rani Nayak and Pete Smith of Aberdeen University argued that “wind farms on peatlands will probably not reduce emissions”.

This reassessment cannot be dismissed by the government, this being the team whose earlier but now revised calculations are used by the wind-farm lobby to demonstrate that the subsidised construction of industrial-scale wind farms all over the Scottish uplands is justified on the grounds of a net reduction in carbon emissions.

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Our peatlands are increasingly being recognised as constituting a significant element of nature’s carbon capture and storage systems but if the construction of turbines and related infrastructure thereon is releasing more carbon than will be saved it is clearly time for a major policy rethink.

John Milne

Ardgowan Drive