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Letters / Losing faith in our council

I am not surprised by the “non-committal” response of the local oil industry businesses to the Shetland Energy Hub (Oil companies keen to cut emissions but are non-committal on energy hub; SN, 25 June 2020).

Oil companies keen to cut emissions but are non-committal on energy hub

I imagine that their boardrooms are dominated by quite a hard-headed bunch of people, not easily fooled by ‘management-speak’, even if they themselves employ experts in its language when dealing with the public.

The SIC’s press release for the energy hub was accompanied by a “fact sheet”.

This contains ten bullet points. Four of them contain sentences with the word “could”. Others have “estimated to”, “predicted to”, “potentially”, and their common feature is that they describe possible future scenarios.

I don’t think you need to be a philosopher to realise that something which has not yet happened is not a fact.

It may be more debatable how factual are such statements as: “One MW of energy will power up to 1,000 homes”, or: “A car emits ca 40 tonnes of CO2 over its lifetime.” But they are, are they not, a trifle vague?

The last bullet point is worth quoting in full: “Reducing emissions in Shetland region by 2Mt/yr by 2030 is equivalent to emissions by over 200,000 cars (over their lifetime).”

I’m still scratching my head over that one.

And I’m afraid the fact sheet does nothing to stabilise my own rapidly capsizing faith in our council to act in the interests of those it is supposed to represent.

James Mackenzie
The Lea