21.06.2012 - Only Conservative MEP in Scotland 'opposes' Ascog windfarm. Quel surprise!Local opponents of a wind energy project at Ascog Farm are whipping up a storm, having found that the only Conservative MEP representing Scotland opposes the plans!
According to The Buteman "Mr [Struan] Stevenson, the only Conservative among the six Scotland representatives in the European Parliament, said the turbines would do nothing to reduce carbon emissions or to halt climate change - and accused Mr Tear of 'scaremongering' by warning of the threat to the island from melting polar ice caps in his presentation to Bute Community Council last September."
He went on to state that "Mr Tear's three turbines will do nothing more than despoil the landscape and reduce the value of local land". Perhaps this is his true agenda and he is attempting to whip up more NIMBY sentiment with scaremongering of his own by suggesting that property values will fall!
A recent study by academics at the University of St.Andrews suggests that this is a highly questionable assertion, remarking instead "that trying to assess the impact of wind farms on property values is a complex and emotive subject. Apparent changes in value disappear when examined more closely and the objections that are raised are often found to be less about genuine local concerns and more about wider ideological issues."
Anyone who believes Mr Stevenson's other jibe, that Adrian's comments noting that the low-lying foreshore housing around Bute may be at risk from flooding if the West Antarctic Ice Sheet gives way, would do well to read this Abstract, or indeed the whole article, from well-respected scientific journal Nature.
It's true to say that in isolation three wind turbines at Ascog Farm will have no impact in mitigating global climate change. But if the same attitude were adopted everywhere the sum of all the renewable energy sources available would never be used, our reliance on fossil-fuel burning would continue and the likelihood of an unpredictable and potentially catastrophic climatic change would increase.
Let's hope that other politicians take a more holistic and enlightened view than Scotland's only Conservative MEP in Strasbourg!