Judging by the letters and comments in local/social media, there seems to be a growing unease about the Viking Energy wind farm project and its impact on Shetland now that reality is starting to bite.
For too long, Sustainable Shetland have been portrayed as climate change deniers, the bad guys who don’t want to save the planet and make Shetland rich again in the process.
Nothing could be further from the truth – from the start their concern has been about the environment and how we look after it, and their fears about unjustified destruction are starting to be realised.
The work that has started in the hills is already damaging peat that has been recognised as being incredibly valuable when it comes to storing carbon. The wildlife there cannot avoid being disturbed by the helicopters and the heavy plant rumbling over their nests and burrows, or the chemicals leaching into their water. And this is only the beginning, folks.
For those living in close proximity to the turbine sites, there isn’t a ‘look away now’ option, unless looking away also means moving away. Permanently.
The human race may not be a protected species, but human beings deserve protection from having their lives ruined by the inescapable noise and flicker from these massive machines.
Shetland has been seduced by the promise of money if it gives up its environment to a developer who, quite frankly, won’t give a **** if it trashes the place and makes people physically and mentally ill in the process.
Environmental management plans and the like are not worth the paper they’re written on, they are simply a box-ticking exercise and in this case completely pointless because the damage will already have been done.
This may not be on the scale of rainforests being lost because of clearances for ‘development’, but the principle is no different.
If the realisation is dawning that actually Shetland’s environment is a very special place that needs to be protected, and you would like the next TV programme to be another celebration of its scenery and wildlife rather than a sorry tale of exploitation, then this is the time to make your voice heard.
Epsom, Surrey (and formerly of Aith)