Welcome to the Highlands

Welcome to the Highlands, the land of  sparkling Burns, The Heather hughed Glens, High Mountains where the Eagles soar, a land of Deer and Salmon, Kilts and Pipes. The Corbetts, the Grahams and the Monros. A place to revitalise the Spirit and the Soul. This is a land of proud people, people that will give any man the time of day.

But today a certain sadness pervades all. In a desperate drive for fame our politicians have sold Scotland and its wild places to the lowest bidder. The march of the wind factories is heard in the Glens. Tourism for Scotland is dead. Our way of life crushed beneath the greed of mostly foreign adventurers and aided by our Government and Planners.

This is the opportunity for all you to have your say and perhaps we will save something for our children.

The first great requisite of motive power is; that it shall be wholly at our command, to be exerted when, and where, and in what degree we desire.The wind, for instance, as a direct motive power, is wholly inapplicable to a system of machine labour, for during a calm season the whole business of the country would be thrown out of gear.

William Stanley Jevons (1865)

“God never made an ugly landscape. All that sun shines on is beautiful, so long as it is wild.”

— John Muir

“Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is necessity; that mountain parks and reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life.”

— John Muir

Posted in Tourism, Uncategorized | 36 Comments

Will Thorium be tomorrows fuel?

I was shocked to be berated by an ecology graduate recently over my support for nuclear energy. It seemed her knowledge was restricted to Greenham Common and Magnox reactors. Hey, nuclear energy has moved on light years from when energy from nuclear was a by-product of the production of fissionable materials for nuclear weapons. And yet at a time when new technologies from Fusion to micro nuclear to thorium are just arriving in the mix our government it stuck inthe dark ages with the commissioning of the Hinckly Point’s new reactor. The UK used to lead the world in nuclear power station construction but we sold our last manufacturer, the US Westinghouse Company, to the Japanese a couple of years ago. So we have jumped for the French Electricité de France who have major problem with the Finnish Nuclear scheme and the cost of de-commissioning aged French reactors. Should we not again by extending the frontiers with new technologies? This video gives a good background to Thorium generation, the 21st Century answer to nuclear energy.

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Area 34 – the future of wild lands

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A Post Election letter to our Prime Minister

cameron thinking

Dear Mr Cameron

Following your success in the General Election, and now that you are no longer hamstrung by coalition partners who worshipped at the windy altar, we are looking forward to you honouring the pledge in your manifesto to stop onshore wind subsidies.

Please ignore the inevitable wailing from the wind industry and greedy landowners.

They have played us – you – all for fools for far too long.

Their coffers floweth over.

You have to admire them in a way. This was the scam to end all scams. They have gotten rich on the back of the most vulnerable and persuaded many that they are here to save us from ourselves and to protect our ‘dying’ planet.

Their hypocrisy never ceases to amaze as big windy players continue to mine and burn the dirtiest coal, lignite, because wind energy is so unreliable.
The very same players have been allowed to lecture us on the need for ‘clean’ energy as they try and force their wind developments upon us.

They have convinced the politicians and the planners that industrial turbines enhance the environment, don’t cause adverse health effects to those who live near, pollute the environment or kill too many birds and bats.

They have been indignant at the suggestion that local sustainable tourism will suffer from their dominating machines and the miles of required access tracks, pylons, transmission lines and ugly sprawling substations.

They have spouted and waffled about emissions savings while all the while knowing the calculations to get to their fantasy figures are deeply flawed.

They have promised thousands upon thousands of homes ‘could’ be powered by their unreliable rotating cash machines.
They forget to add there will only be energy when the wind blows and fossil fuels will always be needed to stop the lights going out.

They have slithered into our schools to ‘educate’ the young minds of pupils into their windy ways to keep the next generation onside and the money flowing into their already bursting bank accounts.

They launch a full and devastating attack on the areas they target.

They take an axe to communities to split them in two in an effort to divide and conquer creating wounds that will never heal.

They have ignored the voices of the local people who have said ‘No’ to them and lie and say they are ‘listening’ to the community.

They shuffle a turbine here or there, reduce the height, raise the height, remove one or two (replaced when their next application for an extension gets approved) and say it is because ‘they have heard our concerns’.

They wave the stinking rotten carrot of community bribery under the noses of the persuadable – usually those who will be least affected.

They effectively run in, lob in a hand grenade of misery, destroy dreams and hopes and run back out again – never having to see or live with what they have inflicted on a once peaceful and happy community.

They have overwhelmed cash strapped local authorities with multiple turbine applications knowing the system is creaking and struggling.

They have routinely appealed refusal by the naughty council, who dared to stand up to them, to the government costing the local authority even more money which leads to cuts in vital services for the tax payer.

Yes they have played a blinder but little by little dedicated campaigners have chipped away at their windy lies and people are beginning to realise just what this is costing them on their energy bills, goods, services, council taxes, income tax, the environment, quality of life and the wildlife.

So Mr Cameron forget the troughers you may know who also feed on the windy subsidies and stand up for us instead.

You said you would. We are relying on you to deliver the swift blow to put the wind industry down once and for all.

We never want it to raise its ugly subsidy dependent head again.

You will never be forgiven if you don’t.

So please Mr Cameron just “get rid of all the green crap”

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Death of Tourism

effects on Tourism

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The effect of wind turbine noise on sleep and quality of life: A systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies

Dougal Quixote:

Now the information is there for all to see

Originally posted on Quixotes Last Stand:

From Science Direct — Environment International — Volume 82 – September 2015

Igho J. Onakpoyaa and Carl J. Heneghana — University of Oxford, Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine, Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, New Radcliffe House, Radcliffe Observatory Quarter, Oxford OX2 6GG, United Kingdom

Jack O’Sullivan –Department of Health Sciences and Medicine, Bond University, Gold Coast, Queensland 4229, Australia

Matthew J. Thompson — Department of Family Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195-4696, USA

Received 16 September 2014, Revised 27 April 2015, Accepted 30 April 2015, Available online 16 May 2015

Highlights
• Our results suggest that the odds of being annoyed appear significantly increased by wind turbine noise.
• Wind turbine noise significantly increases the odds of experiencing sleep disturbance.
• Noise generated by wind turbines appears to correlate with lower quality of life scores.
• Community preferences should be a priority during construction of new wind turbines.
• Objective outcome measures which separate…

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I had to share

four wise monkeys plain

Reminds me of so many politicians, past and present!

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First sign of light or a false dawn?

No subsidies will be paid to operators of new onshore wind turbines under legislation to be included in the Queen’s speech. The legislation, which Rudd is “hopeful” will be law by the middle of next year, will ensure that consent for new wind farms will have to be given by a local council planning authority, which will be duty-bound to consult residents. Under current planning rules, big onshore wind farms(Section 36 applications) are handled by a central government national infrastructure body that can ignore the wishes of local people.

Amanda Rudd, Secretary of State at the DECC

Well we could say that is good news but there is an awful lot of time between now and then for lobbyists, energy companies and the Labour/Lib-Dims in the Lords to scupper the good ship Rudd! What concerns us North of the Border is that Planning is a devolved power so that support for local communities in the Queens Speech will be an irrelevance in Scotland. One could also question the role of Reporters/Planning Inspectors who often over-ride Local Planning objections(in the National Interest). New onshore –  does that mean applied for, agreed in planning or built. Is it going to stop those with approval but yet to be constructed or only refer to those not even the apple in the developers eye. Like so much the devil is in the detail.

http://www.thegwpf.com/uk-energy-minister-announces-new-law-against-wind-farms/

One area of concern for us in Scotland as we look at these proposals is that, with an almost complete wipe out of non SNP representatives in Westminster, those opposing wind have no representation in the Palace of Westminster. 

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Global Warming Lies and Propaganda

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Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee 11 March 2015

This committee is well seeded with SNP or Greens, six out of nine, and has never made a suggestion contrary to SNP policy. However there is devil in the detail so worth consideration, especially regarding Longannet

Energy Committee reportEnergy Committee report

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Nationalism, the route for Scotland?

Can of wormsFor many Scots the attraction of a powerful and united lobby in Westminster has many attractions. Fifty five Scottish MPs voting for and supporting Scottish interests. Sounds attractive. Except of course we have always had fifty five Scottish MPs supporting Scottish interests. Arguably the last three Prime Ministers have been Scots. Yes, Mr. Cameron, as his name implies is a Scot. Father born in Moray and like many Scots, now and then, moved down to London to make his fortune. Let us look at the famous sons of Scotland and how many made their name and fortune outwith Scotland. Danny Alexander is a Scot and Secretary to the Treasury. Ramsay MacDonald was another son of Scotland. So whatever party they vote for Scots have punched well above their weight south of the border. What is certain is the a Nationalist MP in London will have no real power as the body politic will close ranks on a minority party. Now let us explore the tack record of power from Scotland imposed on the rest of the UK. Let us travel back in time to Charles I who moved south with his supporters and produced the first tartan Westminster Village. Once in power in London he barely cast a glance north to his country and his cohorts, much enamoured with the London social life, quickly lost interest in their cold castles and peasantry. The attractions of London will soon sway the SNP MPs towards a southern lifestyle. Don’t believe me? Name a sitting SNP MP!

So the attraction of a united caucus of Scottish MPs, singing from one hymn sheet, may well sway the vote, but the reality is that individual interests will always carry the day. The odd committee here, the odd directorship there and our Nationalist MPs will soon become part of what most see as a corrupted Westminster Village.

The rise of Nationalism in Scotland has been meteoric but not without precedent. Look back to Germany in the 20’s. We are seeing exactly the same control from the centre; Police Scotland, Fire Scotland, Named Person(children) etc. We see the same party supported abuse and thuggery. And we see the blind faith of the followers. Racism against the English is now endemic in same areas especially the SNP social media. When has Sturgeon moved against the SNP trolls. No, she supports them. Try criticising Salmond or Sturgeon and Police Scotland will soon be knocking on your door. Humour in Politics north of the border is not tolerated. Scotland’s police on Energy is a disgrace driven by avarice and greed. Common sense is not part of the SNP philosophy. Disagree with the SNP and “See you, Jimmy!”, a Glasgie kiss! Scotland has a massive welfare state and a great number of Scots who unfortunately carry a massive chip on their shoulders. The SNP have massaged that and directed all the angst against Westminster and the Tories. And yet a great deal of that anger is misdirected and should be directed at the Scottish Parliament and the SNP mismanagement of the last nine years. Despite Danny Alexander releasing £300million for the A9 upgrading it is only now starting. Just in time for plaudits to be raised for the 2016 Scottish elections. Education has suffered a leger de main where university fees were waived but at the cost to further education colleges. Rates are effectively frozen with any rises immediately nullified by a reduction in central funding. Plays well to the council tax payer but has resulted in drastic cutbacks in local services. The problem being that at some time in the future the piper must be paid! And the SNP have no idea how to do so. Their option is, like Esmeralda Marcos, spend, spend, spend! Reality of life be you a housewife, home owner or government, in the end the money runs out unless you budget wisely.

Now I shudder at the policies of Westminster over energy and planning. I despair at a growing aid budget only exceeded by UK borrowing. But that is the result of a generation of career politicians with PPE degrees from Oxbridge who came into politics as SPADS for Ministers. The reality is that we have some good people in Politics but they are presently on the backbenches whilst Cameron and his cronies, pushed no doubt by the interests of their wives, seem to run a gentleman’s club of self interest. One of the main restrictions has been the coalition and the agreed positions for the Lib-Dems especially in Energy and Environmental affairs. Free those positions up for the rank and file and Cameron may have a very different hue to his Cabinet! One well seeded with experience in commerce rather than PR.

So are we sleep walking into a disaster or are we about to unleash a can of worms? On the one side we have Millibean, the architect of the Climate Acts. and Balls, ‘ha, ha, we have spent all the cash and the cupboard is bare’, or we have Salmond and Sturgeon intent on destroying UK politics for their ambitions of fame and an Independent Scotland, albeit one that will be as bankrupt as Greece in a few months.  As an outside bet we have the Lib-Dems still believing that they will be partners in a future administrations but not really caring be it blue or red. Wake me up when the elections are over!

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Why Reliable Information on Wind Power is So Important!

and now listen to the report by Stuart Young

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Are wind farms an ecological disaster or a benign source of energy?

crook hill

Well if you live in a city and use electricity you probably believe that wind energy is benign. If you walk the hills or live in the country you may be aware of the ecological damage done to the environment in the guise of sustainable renewable energy but, in reality, purely in the pursuit of profit. The developers spend millions on PR companies to promote their interests and honesty is the first casualty. Follow this link to see what is happening to the Pennines and then multiply that by the thousands of planned and constructed turbines in Scotland and the Rest of the United Kingdom. Then tell me that wind is a benign source of energy. Click here for link.

But sometimes the Hills strike back!

The empire strikes back!

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Huge wind farm corruption scandal in Spain

Dougal Quixote:

And is it so different in the UK. Certainly from what has been said in Ireland, corruption seems endemic in the Industry

Originally posted on World Council for Nature:


corruption 5

Spanish tax agency uncovers wind farm payoff scheme



Only part of the Spanish press covers the story, and television channels ignore it so far. The wind business is taboo in this country, where Greenpeace and other wind-crazy NGOs have a huge audience.


Tax inspectors have only started to reveal their findings in this complex web of corruption: €110 million worth of illegal commissions paid in Castilla y León, one of Spain’s 17 states (Spain is a de facto federation of 17 “autonomous communities”: Catalonia, Valencia, Andalusia, the Basque country, etc.). The Spanish IRS is presently investigating in other states. At the national level, illicit enrichment at the cost of taxpayers could easily top one billion euros.


Unexplained payments to public officials received from Switzerland, shares in obscure windfarm companies resold for hundreds, even thousands of times the initial capital invested, home mortgages paid off by opaque entities, homes renovated by…

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Michigan: County Pushes Stop Button on Wind Development

Dougal Quixote:

Some one send this to Highland Council

Originally posted on Quixotes Last Stand:

New regulations will include increasing the setback distance for the turbines, creating tighter noise restrictions, eliminating turbine flicker for the homes of nonparticipating residents, and a ban on wind development within three miles of the Lake Huron shoreline. This three-mile no-windmill zone was recommended by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Jack Spencer — CapCon — April 14, 2015

Local officials at Michigan’s ground zero for wind energy are telling wind developers “enough is enough.” Huron County has 328 wind turbines, more than all of the other Michigan counties combined. But it has just enacted a moratorium on any additional ones until stricter regulations for industrial wind turbines can be put in place.

“What this means is no turbines for people who don’t want them,” Huron County Commissioner John Nugent said. “The people who want them can still have them as long as it doesn’t adversely affect their neighbors.”

At its…

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Wind, The Big Swindle!

A video from France that exposes all that we have experienced. As the French Government runs cold on Nuclear which has served them so well in the past the wind lobby is there with the wild promises. The video has English subtitles. Where have we heard all this before?

http://en.friends-against-wind.org/realities/energie-eolienne-la-grande-escroquerie

 

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A fond farewell to the magnificent Monadhliath

Dougal Quixote:

A pity that so few see until it is too Late!

Originally posted on Backpackingbongos:

I stood under blue skies and hot sun, after stopping to strip down to just a baselayer. A welcome relief after three days of freezing temperatures and limited visibility. The high plateau stretched into the far distance, every gully and hag of the brown moor still filled with snow. For a while I was transported back to Arctic Sweden, such was the scale of the scene. It was day four of a solo backpack and I had yet to see another human being.

The Monadhliath have long held a magnetic draw for me, unlike any other place in Scotland. It is predominantly moorland in nature, although in places it does rise above the magic 3000 feet. High plateaus split by long lonely glens, perfect for the backpacker.

My attention for five days over the Easter weekend was a leisurely exploration of the area where the consented Stronelairg wind farm will sit. 67 huge…

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Could you live with this?

Those that live in an urban environment welcome wind turbines as a clean convenient technology. After all they live with the continuous noise of cars, trains and people. What are the rural dwellers complaining off? Well hopefully this will open their eyes and ears to what it is like to host their “Clean Green” energy. Then they might just start looking at the reality of an energy source that is anything but clean, anything but green, cannot deliver to demand, doesn’t work 80% of the time and is truly “the neighbour from HELL”. Then if they need more convincing, we could point out that it is making conventional energy and nuclear energy economically not viable as they need to operate 24/7/365 to balance the books and with preference to wind when it is available(20% of the time) that is something which is increasingly difficult to attain. Then they may look at the sums and see that this technology cannot stand on it’s own feet but needs heavy subsidies which they are paying. Will this urbanites then understand that to support wind just plays into the PR exercise of multi nation off-shore corporations with no interest in the UK save as a milch cow, for a technology which is built overseas and installed by mostly foreign labour. Will they then understand that their jobs are reliant on an economical energy market, not one eschewed by expensive renewable energy. As long as their plasma TVs and iPads work and provide sanitised, turbine free, images of our rural landscape on programs such as Countryfile, they just don’t care a Damn! They will continue to fill in YouGov polls to save they support wind farms and renewable energy, just as long as it is not in their back yards.  After all Climate Change and Global warming is the New Religion!

What a Divided Nation we have created!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qKjT3eqU6jo

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Save Loch Ness

Pass this around the world to show how the Scottish National Party is destroying much of Scotland!

Read also this report by David Gibson, MCofS

And don’t forget the Petition to the Scottish Government!

 

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Nuclear in the 21st Century – micro-sized

The future of Nuclear Energy may not be super sized power stations but something on a more human scale.

New salt nuclear

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A Highland Beauty – Clothed as she is in her winter coat

 

When the colours start to assert themselves, then you really appreciate what we have. Another few days and it will be another landscape and that is the point with the Highlands. The landscape changes with the sun and the clouds, the different colours from the brown heather, the black peat hags, the greening of the spring to the purple of autumn, and the winter snows. It is an ever changing landscape and that we and our visitors never tire of. in a few moments the light can change from sun to darkness, the reds of morning and evening. And whilst the lights move across the vista, there is a permanence to that landscape. Not to be destroyed by the ‘sometimes’ moving blades of turbines introducing a discordant note into the land or the sharp angles of an industrial goliath.

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