Sunday, 14 August 2011

What's this then?

This is a blog dedicated to the effects of, and the actual process of the industrialisation of a part of the United Kingdom known throughout the world for its unspoilt beauty. A part of the United Kingdom that is home to large swathes of forest (albeit softwood forests - but forests none the less), and iconic, protected creatures. It is a part of the United Kingdom struggling to come to terms with its newly rediscovered identity. This part of the United Kingdom is not small, it is around 30,000 square miles in area, less than England  (which is around 50,000 square miles), but clearly of considerable size. The population of the area in question is around 5.2 million, which can be put into perspective by comparing it to the population of England - which is around 52 million.

So, just where is this place? Well, if you hadn't guessed, its Scotland. Although I have a particular interest in one part of Scotland (namely the South West) - since I live there, this blog will draw upon events, plans, procedures and policies that are impacting this entire region of the United Kingdom; specifically, the proliferation of wind farms.

I mention the phrase wind farm in the preceding paragraph, but I really do have a problem with it. Let us be quite clear about this, there is nothing agricultural about these developments except that they are often sited on agricultural land. However, I am forced into using this colloquialism since otherwise, this blog will not be indexed by search engines very effectively. So, I will have to (begrudgingly) continue its use, despite my feelings about its misleading nature.

From the preceding paragraphs, you may feel that I oppose wind farms. This is not true. Wind power as a renewable energy resource has a significant part to play in the United Kingdom's energy policy. My gripe is with inappropriate, profit driven developments. Specifically:

  • The inappropriate siting of so many of these developments
  • The way the planning system is skewed to ensure virtually every application is approved
  • How wind farms are touted inappropriately by our political masters as the solution to our current energy crisis
  • How peoples lives are shattered by the siting of these developments
  • The direct, adverse impact on our environment of some of these developments
  • How energy companies are using such developments to bolster their profits in an immoral fashion
  • How land owners are quite literally scrambling to jump upon this gravy train

I will try and be as balanced as my personal beliefs allow, but it is inevitable that the contents of this blog will be skewed towards the 'anti-wind farm' brigade.  I will try and draw upon any positives I can find but ultimately my purpose is to inform, to try and get the wider population conversant with just what is going on in the name of 'being green', and perhaps ensure that local, regional and national governments truly understand the impact of their policies (well, one can dream). So if you are curious and just want the facts without the associated baggage, come back regularly and see what transpires.