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Letters / The clock is ticking

Whilst I pretty much agree with a lot of the comments criticising the approval of the Rosebank oil development, I cannot support the hidden truths, lies and profit driven propaganda that fronts the current debate on petrol/diesel vs battery cars or wind farm proliferation that’s blighting Scotland and its coastline.

Rosebank oil development given go-ahead

The poor quality of the science being used, ethics and debate is utterly ignoring some stark facts and the two big elephants in the room.

Firstly global population levels are still rising and well over eight billion which is calculated as four billion more than the earth can safely sustain, so irrespective of global warming this locust swarm human population is already stripping the planet bare and trashing much of the rest.

Secondly as an engineer I have no problem with the concept of solar panels, wind turbines, battery cars etc as on their own they are just machines, but I utterly despise and reject the profit driven lies that wind farms and battery vehicles are being touted as solutions to our fossil fuel environmental problems.

Put simply, replacing internal combustion for battery cars does nothing to solve the real issue and just shifts the problem of city and town air pollution to that of mining pollution which affects not just the air quality in the areas where vast open cast quarries can now be seen from space, but blighting local air quality, toxic dust, toxic leaching spoil heaps, huge water pollution and more as the demand forces bad and unregulated rare earth and toxic mineral extraction around the globe.

The real issue here is the car culture with its global numbers of private vehicles, linked to the inefficiency of transport systems around the world.

Transport systems driven by global distribution networks that support green beans flown in on Jumbo jets from Egypt to London etc.

A key solution to this would be ending private car ownership and replace it with proper efficient public transport, backed up with better planning placing jobs where folk live to end commuting, a return to local manufacturing and food production.

Add to this the end of frivolous holiday flying and cruise liners which are both very serious polluters. Wind farms can help but their proliferation is not the solution to our energy issues and is being driven by subsidies and corporate greed, nothing to do with environmental best practice. Why? Simply, because the UK wastes over half (54 per cent) of all the energy it generates or buys in.

If we had a government with balls many years ago (or now) that forced the energy industry to deal with this first we could have shut down a significant part of the dirty generation without spoiling much of the UK’s precious wild spaces.

The energy industry is driven by subsidies, boardroom bonuses and shareholder profits that are protected by corrupt Scottish and English governments, the evidence for this is clear for all to see, as the industry is being allowed to make £9 billion per annum in profits just from the waste energy element alone and been doing so for many years.

To add environmental insult to injury the energy industry has now been allowed to receive constraint payments (compensation payments when they are asked to shut down when its too windy, thus avoiding grid fluctuation overload) – this of course is charged to consumers further increasing fuel poverty levels.

The current Klondike of new wind farms is being pushed by this as the more wind farms you have the more shutdowns are likely to occur and then the energy industry makes millions for doing nothing – so every day is a potential lottery win for the industry, a level of sanctioned greed and racketeering you previously couldn’t make up.

As the energy waste is seen by government and the energy industry as a cash cow in its own rights, all the wind farms here and those being rushed out all over our green and pleasant land and the sea, will just add their own 54 per cent waste into the mix – utter greed driven stupidity.

The real solution to climate change is to stop all frivolous and unnecessary travel/transport. Introduce and encourage measures to support local manufacturing of goods and materials.

Stop the import of single-use and low quality rubbish and make things to a higher standard with spare parts to prolong life. Stop or reduce energy waste and come up with proper energy strategies that are guided by environmental science and not corporate profits or corrupt and profit skewed governments.

Oh and a longer term debate on global population reduction by at least a third. However and sadly, as corruption, nepotism, private and corporate greed will never give way to best environmental practice, none of this will ever happen in a meaningful way, but what it does guarantee is climate change continuing to run rampant and delivering the prospect that in the next 50 to 100 years around a third of the Earth’s surface will be rendered completely uninhabitable.

One of the most ignored lessons for humanity is the need to drill down to the root cause of a problem and deal with that, not its effects as dealing with the effects rather than the cause has never solved anything and that is precisely why the clock is ticking and in human terms, already past the point of no return.

Vic Thomas



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