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Letters / A council without empathy

Well here we are, eight years on from this article in Shetland News which everyone should read again.

Viking Energy: the human impact

Why is this sickening project happening? Why is our environment being destroyed and many Shetlanders’ lives permanently blighted along with it?

Alice Walker (writer and social activist) sums it up. ‘This is a wonderful planet, and it is being completely destroyed by people who have too much money and power and no empathy’.

Alice’s quote neatly describes all who fostered the Viking Energy project. It also applies to those who followed in their footsteps as leaders, councillors and senior officers in Shetland Islands Council.

By their actions they have shown no trace of any cognitive, emotional or compassionate empathy with those who will live in the giant industrial turbine forest Shetland is becoming.

Donald Trump is an example of a leader without empathy and an inflated ego. He has, through abuse of power as well as bullying and intimidation of dissenters, rolled back and dismantled decades of environmental legislation.

Those who oversee Shetland’s planning processes, which is supposed to protect our environment and wellbeing, are likewise opening every environmental avenue to SSE’s cable and VE windfarm as their destructive works continue to be foisted on us.

SSE/Viking Energy’s vast compound being ripped out of virgin peat at Sandwater being the latest example.

One of the many lies propagated at the onset of the VE project was; ‘this is the only wind farm Shetland will need’. Lack of empathy (and, some will say, an abuse of power) saw planning granted for two more giant turbine farms to be dug and blasted out of our hills.

Others are in the planning pipeline waiting for the rubber stamp of the SIC planning leader and the SNP government.

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It was said by many when the VE project was first mooted ‘It’ll never happen’.

Well it has, and from then right up to today, the SIC could have stopped it going ahead – and still can, but they won’t.  They haven’t, and won’t, due to councillors’ callous indifference and total lack of empathy with those Shetlanders who will live within their monstrosity.

Viking Energy happened because of lack of empathy by those who convinced themselves that only they know what’s best for Shetland. Today the same arrogance and inflated egos is bringing further destructive madness in the form of the SIC’s planned Energy Hub.

To meet the energy requirement of ‘The Hub’ the output of 20 Viking Energy wind farms will be needed – just imagine that – over 2,000 giant turbines 500 feet tall and their connected infrastructure blasted and bulldozed out of Shetland’s landscape.

Viking Energy should be a lesson to those who again may think ‘It will never happen’. The same lack of empathy and questionable practices we have seen, and continue to see, within the stinking SIC swamp will endeavour to bring on ‘The Hub’.

I hope I don’t live to see it.

Allen Fraser

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