CAB - 7 Oct 2020 - 10 Oct 2020 - Advice

Letters / Unprecedented scale

Danus Skene goes to great lengths (‘Viking: the horse has bolted’, SN 11/4/15) to justify his support for the Viking wind farm, the interconnector and SNP renewables policy.

However, his qualified “Yes, but…” for the first of these is basically a tacit admission that the project was a democratic mistake (= miss-take, like the wrong road) that we are going to have to live with, and make the best of. And if the interconnector requires another 200MW of on-shore wind-power (the likelihood of any other significant sources being extremely unlikely), then, hang it, we’ll have more of the same mistake. Thanks for that then; it’s great to profit in such a manner.

He is not comfortable with the phrase “industrialisation of the landscape”, and tries to downsize it to “human intervention”. Intervention, in the context of landscape, is by no means necessarily the same as industrialisation, which in this case would be on an unprecedented geographical and ecological scale in Shetland. (I think many people still fail to grasp the size and spread of the project.)

As for his expectation that opponents will monitor the minutiae of windfarm developments in their spare time, thereby healing the rifts in the community – well, if they haven’t died, despaired or quit the isles in the meantime, perhaps he might lessen the burden of their responsibility.

Perhaps he could help, if he is in a political position to do so, to ensure that the relevant national and local government agencies, for which the taxpayer pays, are sufficiently resourced and supported in undertaking their statutory duties – to protect the health and wellbeing of the Shetland community and environment.

James Mackenzie

Vice-chairman, Sustainable Shetland

The Lea, Tresta