Tuesday, 28 April 2009

The Wind of Change

There are wind farms - and then there are wind farms. Whatever the pros and cons of the big installations that march across the skyline like Birnham Wood come to Dunsinane, which we won't go into here, there is the issue of much smaller, community based schems and even wind turbines for individuals. Over in Mallaig, on the west coast, the Mallaig and Morar Community Association have an emerging proposal to install two 30ft high wind turbines on waste ground next to its car park, to solve the problem of 60% of it's £10,500 per year income being swallowed up by electricity bills. But following publication of the idea in their community newsletter opposition has rolled in - from Montreal, Florida and Adelaide. An American tour operator has the temerity to say that wind turbines are not what his clients wish to see. He claims, somewhat bizarrely, that Mallaig is noted for 'small islands, forests, mountains, waterfalls and wildlife'. And Dorothy is alive and well and living in the land of Oz! (oh yes - wasn't there a windmill on Dorothy's farm, now I come to think of it) Someone in Montreal says that she is horrified at the idea of these turbines being 'close to houses' because of the 'noise levels' - but many people have this kind of turbine actually mounted on their homes, or very close by - they are not the huge whirling dervishes of the wind energy farm. And the Adelaide contribution said 'If I can ever visit again, I would be very disappointed to see such a beautiful place exhibiting such an ugly reminder of the modern world'. That's as opposed to the beautiful working fishing boats streaked with those delightful variations of the colour of rust, or the elegant railway platforms, or those neat little articulated fish lorries then?
The trouble with the global communications world is that the capacity for the eccentric, the uninfomed and the opinionated becomes infinite. Come to think of it, this blog is testament to that!

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