Scotland’s first National Windfarm Conference in Ayr was a huge success said MEP Struan Stevenson. ’It was attended by over 300 people from all across Scotland. Represntatives of protest groups from as far afield as Tiree, St Andrews, The Borders, Inverness and Sutherland all contributed. There were even anti windfarm protesters from England. At the end of the conference there was unanimous support for a motion to adopt CATS (Communities Against Turbines Scotland) as a national organisation embracing all the many diverse anti windfarm protest groups. CATS will now begin to organise a national membership database and start campaigning nationally gainst the scourge of onshore and offshore wind turbines. See Struan’s speech NATIONAL FOLLIES – AYR
This is great news and fills an obvious vacuum. As a national body, CATS will be able to harness the leading experts drawn from the various different protest groups, to mount the most serious challenge yet to the SNP’s deeply flawed renewables strategy.’
Every delegate and speaker learned something new about the ravages of windfarms and the scale of deceit, at the conference. It was the first time, in Scotland, that all the issues – from the National Grid – to health – to landscapes were discussed in one venue by so many renowned speakers.
“Colin Gibson and Iain MacLeod gave very interesting presentations regarding the ‘engineering dimension’. Their basic message was that an engineered approach to planning for electricity generation is needed. This would involve, amongst other actions, consideration of how changes would affect the system as a whole. Colin’s presentation on cost showed how the real cost of wind power to customers is likely to be much greater than is normally estimated when the effect of the wind power input to the grid system as a whole is taken into account.”
CATS is giving hope to many victims of windfarms with advice from Dr Chris Hanning on how to monitor your disturbed sleep. He is going to add some advice on the Society For Wind Vigilance web site. Dr Malcolm Swinbanksand explained how low noise frequency travels and affects people living in the vicinity of wind farms. He also explained that people haave widely varying sensitivity to low frequency noise and that that sensitivity increases with repeated exposure. Those who live in rural areas with low ambient background noise tend to be more affected than those who live in cities whose ears become accustomed to continuous background noise. He said that the 2km guidance, from turbine to residence -should not be infringed other wise there are serious risks to health. Dr. Sarah Laurie – sent the AYR statement 11 11 2011 which Dr Malcolm Swinbanks read out.
After a good lunch, Helen McDade highlighted the impact wind farms are having on our wild lands. The extent of Scotland unaffected by any form of visual influence declined from 41% in 2002 to 28% in 2009…mostly attributed to wind farms and connecting transmission infrastructure. She finished by asking ’What would John Muir say to Alex Salmond today?’ Something like: ‘Make the right decisions for the right reasons, these landscapes belong to the future as well as the present, look on the walls of Holyrood Alex and hear what I say “The battle for conservation will go on endlessly. It is part of the universal battle between right and wrong” – and these are the wrong developments in the wrong place. From today lets have an honest, evidence based debate and come forward with a strategy that delivers renewable energy without costing the earth.’ Helen McDade – Powerpoint presentation at Ayr Conference (it is in 3 parts as the file is too large ) -JMT Ayr nov 2011 Part 1 JMT Ayr nov 2011 part2 JMT Ayr nov 2011 part 3
Robert Trythal shocked us all with a presentation for the proposed off shore development off Tiree
The conference also revealed the EPAW-NAPAW media release 11 nov 2011 from EPAW -European Platform Against Wind Farms questioning the fact that wind farms reduce CO2. This data at is particularly interesting as it relates to Scotland.
And the case of Scotland:” Table 4.1 lists those environmental topics for which data has not been practical to obtain and provides a summary of the approach taken to address the issue.
Box 4.1 SEA Objectives
- Biodiversity, fauna and flora: Avoids damage to, and seek to enhance, designated sites and protected species?
- Conserves and enhances Scotland’s natural heritage?
- Population: Safeguards or enhances the living environments of communities?
- Protects the noise environment of communities?
- Human health: Has no adverse impact on human health?
- Soil: Protects or enhances the quality of soils?
- Water: Protects the water environment?
- Air: Reduces pollution or emissions to air generated by the energy sector and protects air quality?
- Climate factors: Reduces emissions of greenhouse gases, including CO2?
- Material assets: Reduces the proportion of wastes disposed of to landfill?
- Protects Scotland’s assets of economic and recreational value, including those of importance for the tourism industry?
- Reduces/minimises the use of natural resources in the energy sector?
- Cultural heritage: Protects, conserves and enhances, where appropriate, Scotland’s historic environment (including the setting of listed buildings and Scheduled Ancient Monuments)?
- Landscape: Respects and protects the character, diversity and special qualities of Scotland’s landscape?”
In the words of Pat Swords, Fellow of the Institution of Chemical Engineers and a Chartered Environmentalist: “All that expenditure and impact on the landscape and biodiversity for a question mark!”
Research has not been carried out on several important issues including that of CO2 reductions, implications of health upon humans, noise protection, biodiversity, tourism etc. Nobody has really thought this through. Indeed many countries in Europe have not done their homework and many economists are questioning the value of this “green” economy.
CATS – Communities Against Turbines Scotland could also be Common-sense about Turbines Scotland – and we will continue to lobby the Scottish Government and Councils accordingly.