19: Wildland Scotland

Posted by on Oct 28, 2013 in Resolutions

View Resolution 19: Wildland Scotland
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  1. I thank those who put forward this resolution.

    While extractive industries leave great desolation behind them, wind farms are not as ecological harmless as was initially depicted. I wonder why no mention is being made of the carbon payback equation related to a wind turbine (building, transport, erection, grid infrastructure and grid connection, peat drained for cable trenches and pylon erection, operation, road maintenance, soil displacement, forestry clearance, back up by other sources in case there is no wind, not to mention subsidies, health effects, house price devaluation and effects on nature and wildlife) nor any mention to the government commissioned study by the scientists of Aberdeen University as well as the importance of peat as carbon sink.

    Has any mention been made of the clean-up of future obsolete wind-turbines by the wind farm developers or will Scotland be littered with these, or worse still, will these turbines be ‘gifted’ to Scotland at the end of their working life so that the nation and the Scottish people will need to deal with the cleaning-up? The fact is that the thermoset plastic blades cannot be recycled nor is there a commercial market for this material as it releases toxic gasses when it burns. This fact has in all likelihood not been included in the carbon payback equation and could be mentioned.

    “Professor Henning Albers from the Institut für Umwelt und Biotechnik, Hochschule Bremen, calculates that at current growth rates by 2034, there will be a mountain of 225,000 tonnes of unwanted rotor blade material waste.”

    It could be advantageous if (brief) scientific evidence could be used in this Resolution, especially as the world’s peatlands have four times the amount of carbon then all the world’s rainforest. The peat is therefore a more valuable and longterm asset than the wind farms! Scottish Natural Heritage sadly notes that 67% of planned onshore wind development in Scotland is on valuable peatland.

    Another point: the UK largest PA (the Cairngorms National Park) is a valuable carbon sink, wildlife reservoir as well as a busy tourist area all year round. The fact that 31 wind turbines are planned to be built ½ mile from the boundary of the Cairngorms National Park (and more around it) will greatly affect all these assets while the National Parks (Scotland) Act 2000 states that it is”to promote sustainable use of the natural resources of the area.”

    VisitScotland, Scotland’s national tourism organisation, has admitted that wind farms could harm tourism, a sector that generates yearly more than £4 bn to the Scottish economy and supports 200,000 full time jobs. Visitor surveys showed consistently that 80% chose Scotland because of the scenery and nature (and these are longterm assets)

    What is not yet well known are the health effects related to wind turbines and if these were to be better known people would be less eager to have wind turbines near them, which in turn could affect house prices even if local communities benefit from investment fund created by the wind farm developer. (I will send a study on health issue related to a Danish wind farm to this Resolution’s Proposer, as such research might be useful)

    Wild places contain sites of cultural significance. An example of such sites in PAs: The Majella National Park (Abruzzo, Italy) has 40 major sites of spiritual significance on its territory and attracts a million more visitors than the nearby Abruzzo National Park. Considering that each visitor spends 180€ a day on visits, souvenirs, accommodation and food, such sites benefit the Park and local area greatly.

    With appreciation and kind regards,


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