06.07.2012 - 'Wind turbines are three-armed bandits'Published the week after Elspeth's letter to The Buteman local man Mr Jim Mitchell (who has written charmingly before describing us as 'carpetbaggers') has another letter in to the local paper.
Read on for Mr Mitchell's letter and our response.
Where does one begin?!
- There is indeed a long tradition of energy generation at Ascog. In the days before Loch Ascog was dammed the burn powered three mills for 'grinding corn, fulling cloth and carding wool' (Bute: A Guide, p85).
- Indisputably a coal mine has existed at Ascog (search for 'Ascog' on this Coal Authority page).
- As we seek to 'de-carbonise' our energy generation systems (and our lives in general) windy hilltops do offer quite good potential for wind energy generation!
Far from living in London and having 'a rosy vision of far-off Bute' our time - not that it's any business of Mr Mitchell's - is currently divided between Sussex (where our children are still at school) and Bute.
Consequently, when we're not on the Island (which we often are) we couldn't actually get much further away from Bute if we tried. This doesn't, however, stop us thinking about - and trying to do something for - the land we own and the Island itself.
Mr Mitchell goes on to wonder whether '[we] could just admit [we] are doing [a wind energy project] for the money' going on to say 'There's no shame in admitting the truth, even if the truth is shameful.'
We have been here before, when locals George and Christine Morrison suggested that 'the only people whose quality of life will improve are those who own and run this wind farm for profit'.
As we have said from the start, 'the wind blows over all our heads' and consequently - if planning permission for turbines is granted - we will feed a large proportion of the revenue, and much more than is typical in power-company-owned schemes, back to the local community through Towards Zero Carbon Bute.
There is no shame whatever in this.
What is 'shameful' is to get reactionary Tory MEPs writing inflammatory letters to the local paper without having ever visited the place, trotting out the same old myths about subsidies and the death of tourism etc etc.