Political Comments

Despite a great deal of time and effort our Political Masters(sic) feel it against their interests to listen to us. After writing to every MSP we received only a dozen replies. The majority simply referred to Scottish Government Policy. I may be wrong but I thought that we appointed MSPs to Holyrood to represent our views and not for those MSPs to solely represent the views of the Scottish Goverment to us. Never have I come across so many people with a totally closed mind. They are quite happy to attend Renewable Conferences but only a limited number including Mary Scanlon, Conservative, and one prospective Lib-Dem candidate, Alan Macrae and Donald Gapp,the UKIP candidate have shown themselves willing to attend a Conference that asks the Questions. In the next few weeks up to the election very few MSs and no SNP candidates were prepare to engage us in Meaningful Dialogue. Whilst the rest of Scotland is inundated with wind farm applications, we note that the seven hills of Edinburgh are imune from this scourge.

When will the Scottish Parliament practice what it preaches!

I would at this time like to thank Murdo Fraser for his support and to Mary Scanlon for taking the time to address our issues and expressing the willingness to discuss matters further. Less complementary, I might refer to Dave Thompson whose letters show a person unable to open his mind to alternative viewpoints and hopes to garnish votes on the issue of compensation that we all know is circumvented by the provision of Community Benefit or in fact is a commercial descision by the developer.

The President of the Renewable Industry in Spain (wrote a column arguing about the difficulties of the Spanish Industry saying that) …the only way is finding other countries that will give taxpayers’ money away to our industry to take it and continue maintaining these jobs.”  Scottish Power is now a subsiduary of a Spanish Company! It certainly looks like they found the mugs to do that!

The Three Innocents or Fools?

Ring a ring a turbine

A pocket full of dosh

Four and twenty dead birds

Worth it for the Rocs

‘In 2005 Deputy First Minister, Jim Wallace, was forced into issuing this statement. “Reports suggesting the massive proliferation of wind farms across Scotland are simply nonsense. It is true that a large number of applications are in the system but a great deal of these will not meet our stringent planning regulations. These are designed to protect our countryside, wildlife and natural habitats and this is exactly what they will do”. As everyone knows and as Jim Wallace almost certainly did at the time, this statement is/was untrue and perverse. There are for example currently 54 wind farms proposed, being built or operating within 30km of Edinburgh. When the statement was made there fewer less than 30 and they continue to come.’ Look to our Turbine Truths and Edinburgh University’s Prof. Anthony Trewavas’s report “Public Perception of Wind Farms”

May we make very clear that we have no political affiliations to any party and any posts on this web site may represent Political views that viewers may strongly disagree with. Don’t shoot the messenger. This simply extends the opportunity of any commentator from any party to express their position as to Wind

 

Oh Boy! The Post Election Party is not over but Mr Salmond has got the bit between his teeth and wants to help himself to the key to the Crown Estate Coffers. He seems to think that not only will it release all the cash to pay for his grandiose spending spree pre election but also pave the way for his aspirations of an independant Scotland. His old adversay Gordon Brown may yet throw his cap in the ring and oppose this aim.

 

And things are hotting up in Huhne Land. We have always known that Chris Huhne has some strange ideas, but according to his wife, one is to pressurize some other poor sucker to take his speeding points. After his behaviour recently, when is Mr Cameron put this Minister out to grass. If true, and I see no reason to question his ex-wife, this sort on behaviour is a) below contempt and b) illegal.

The tale goes on. After the Volvo Project, one wonders why Tony Blair never got rid of Gordon Brown and his gang of plotters. Now we have David Cameron allow Chris Huhne free reign to destroy the future economy of this country. The old phrase keep your friends close and yout enemies closer still comes to mind!

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13 Responses to Political Comments

  1. An Email recieved from UKIP candidate.
    We will –
    l Repeal the Climate Change (Scotland) Act,
    which is pointlessly wrecking our world-famous
    landscape with wastefully-subsidised, useless,
    bird-killing wind-farms.
    l Abolish the Department of Climate Change.
    l End all subsidies to monstrous,
    climate-irrelevant, cost-ineffective wind-farms.
    l Subject all wind-farms to democratic planning
    procedures. Owners of existing wind-farms
    rejected by planning committees will pull them
    down at their own expense.
    Stop the proposed wind-farm projects that will
    ruin Scotland’s forestry land.
    Support new nuclear power stations,
    particularly next to existing nuclear stations.
    Support efficient clean-coal power stations,
    hydro-electric and tidal power.
    Spare taxpayers the huge bill for needless
    carbon capture and storage.
    Spend no taxpayers’ money on the non-problem
    of man made climate change until a Royal
    Commission has heard both sides of the
    scientific case and has reported.

    Best regards
    Donald Gatt
    Scottish Parliamentary Candidate
    Moray Constituency &
    Highlands & Islands Region
    UK Independence Party

  2. I was appraised the other day of the medial/pyschological that most of our politicians are suffering from.

    Cognitive Dissonance: The tendancy to resist information that we don’t want to think about, because if we did it would conflict with an illusion that we have bought into – and perhaps require us to act in ways that are out if our comfort zone. – Leon Festinger
    I think that quite accurately describes the sense of denial in the Scottish Parliament.

    John Graham

    • One can go further and state that the conditions for cognitive dissonance are being deliberately set up all the time with regards to ‘wind farms’. Even the name ‘wind farm’ sets up conditions for cognitive dissonance because when you learn they are in fact environmentally damaging industrial power sites this conflicts with our notion of ‘farms’ as being both environmentally in tune with nature, wholesome and picturesque. (OK modern farms are not always so idilic, but they are if you spent most of your life in the city and get all your countryside knowledge from BBC’s ‘Countryfile’!).

      In fact ‘Countryfile’ is another good example of setting up CD as it shows arial shots of wind turbines in its opening credits mixing it with spectacular views of the British countryside. There are so many other examples of subtle (or not so subtle) deliberate association of wind turbines with all things wholesome, natural, clean and lovely – as well as futuristic, sexy, sleek, modern…. I’m sure I don’t need to point this out to most people reading this.

      By training us using all of this ‘product placement’ (much of this training occurring semi subconsciously) so that we associate wind power with positive things like blue skies, fluffy bunny rabbits and children running through fields flying colourful kites etc etc it sets up the very powerful (yet totally irrational!) conflict state (in other words: cognitive dissonance) in our minds whenever we happen to come across any, you know, actual facts, data, evidence and the honest reality of wind energy – all of which tends to be far less appealing, and perhaps even quite frightening!

      Our natural tendency as humans is to resolve such an uncomfortable state of cognitive dissonance.

      If we are open minded and free thinking and willing to put in the work we can resolve it by diving into proper research and being willing to modify our own preconceptions about the subject which is causing us cognitive dissonance. In other words by separating facts from fiction and adjusting our views accordingly.

      If we are NOT open minded and free thinking or willing to put in the work in (or if we are so weak as to be overly influenced by social/ political pressures to conform to a certain ‘group think’ and consensus) then we will likely resolve the cognitive dissonance by simply dismissing any incoming information which is contradictory to our current beliefs. ie dismissing any and all contradictory facts, data, evidence and the reality of wind energy.

      This is why it’s often so hard to get through to people using proper data, facts, evidence! 😉

      And it is why, when talking to some people, it can feel like the better your argument, the more staggeringly convincing your case (backed up with astounding facts, figures and evidence), the less convincing it seems to be….. or rather, the MORE opposition you encounter. (why it becomes like talking to a brick wall).

      This is because in a peculiar (and rather frustrating) kind of way, the better your argument is the more cognitive dissonance you are actually creating in the mind of the poor misguided and indoctrinated person you are talking to! Therefore the more they are likely to simply ‘shut down’ their thinking, and irrationally dismiss your nice, well researched, verifiable information, just to save themselves from such a massive internal conflict.

      Such a person might even try and justify such dismissal of your info by saying you must be a ‘ranting conspiracy nutter’, or ‘it can’t be true’, or ‘they wouldn’t do that!’ or ‘they can’t all be that corrupt surely!!?’ etc

      The fact that we are all so easily affected by the sheer amount of information (especially when delivered over an extended period of time), regardless of the quality of that information, means that whoever can control the mainstream media (especially TV) can in effect control our (perception of) reality.

      Thank goodness the mainstream media now has competition (for the first time in history) in the form of the internet!

      If you suspect the person you are talking to about wind energy is suffering from cognitive dissonance it may be a good idea to take it very slow and ask lots of simple questions rather than just feeding them more and more shocking facts and figures. Help them to ‘work it through’ by asking THEM to explain what figure x or study y seems to be suggesting – that way any cognitive dissonance created is not so much associated with you personally.

      Also if they dismiss your argument/ info, rather than stepping up your argument, you can try helping them to articulate their reasons for doing so. Help them to formulate their own opposing argument against your information! Often it soon becomes clear they have no argument – just a bunch of indoctrinated beliefs in their heads about wind being ‘green’ and ‘clean’, or ‘cheap’ yet with no actual data or evidence at all to back this up!

      Those who oppose (or question/ challenge) wind power are generally trying to expose information and not hide it! This means it really doesn’t matter how we talk about the issues. It’s not about making an argument ‘appear convincing’. It’s not about being deceptive. After all, the facts and figures do most of the talking for us.

      Assuming the person you are talking to is NOT about to receive £3 million from an energy company, if you encounter strong opposition to some well researched information it may well be due to cognitive dissonance rather than any rational opposing argument. And so arguing your case even more convincingly may make matters even worse! It may be better to take the foot off the ‘facts and figures gas pedal’ for a moment and deal with just a few facts and issues at a time.

      Interesting subject anyway! I’ll shut up now 😉

      For more info on how we are all being indoctrinated (especially children) please check out my blog. I have a whole section devoted to it called ‘The Indoctrination Zone – Converting You to Carbon Slavery’.

  3. Letter written by Sir Donald Miller to First Minister Alex Salmond and printed with his permission.

    09 March
    The Right Hon AlecSalmond
    FirstMinister
    ScottishGovernment

    Dear Sir
    It is I believe becoming clear to a rapidly increasing number of voters in Scotland that the Scottish Government’s concentration on so called renewable energy sources to the exclusion of more reliable and economic sources , such as nuclear , is little short of disastrous. Let us look at the facts:-

    1. No wind or marine energy sources can be relied on to provide power when it is needed- the only time when electricity is of any value.
    2. Wind and marine need nearly 100% back up from conventional generators. Therefore any expenditure on these is additional to ‘normal’ capital required to secure our electricity supplies.
    3. Output from wind turbines varies rapidly, not just locally but nationally, so that conventional back up generation is required to run inefficiently at part load, incurring further costs for the consumer.
    4. Wind and wave are such extremely low density sources of energy that costs will always be high and no amount of development will alter this significantly.
    5. The cost of onshore wind to the consumer is some £200/MWhr taking into account the ROC subsidy, back up generation and additional transmission costs. This is over four times the cost of energy from conventional or nuclear sources. The cost of off-shore wind is even higher at over £250/MWhr.
    6. The claim that Scotland has vast resources of marine energy is based on a failure to appreciate the physics. The actual potential is readily assessed by normal engineering criteria (as in studies by Consulting Engineers Black and Veatch for The Carbon Trust and Robert Gordons University). These show that the total tidal current resource of UK waters from the Pentland Firth to the Channel Isles, neglecting costs and practical limitations such as interference with shipping and fishing and impossibility of servicing such a plethora of installations, would amount to no more than 2.5% to 5% of UK electricity requirements.
    7. The costs of tidal energy to the consumer will be significantly higher than offshore wind, even after taking credit for possible developments. Wave energy will be even more costly.
    8. Other low carbon technologies such as Carbon Capture and Storage are unproven on the scale envisaged, requiring long term sequestration of some 200millions tons of CO2 per year from the UK alone. Taken together with the 25% loss in efficiency of generation, energy costs would more than double.
    9. Ofgem has estimated that the UK Government’s energy policy will result in a doubling of electricity prices to consumers within 15 years. The much higher renewable targets of the Scottish Government would, on a stand alone basis, result in even higher prices.
    10. The CEO of National Grid in a lecture to the Royal Academy of Engineering in March 2011 stated that the effect of present energy policies would be that the era of having electricity on demand in the UK was coming to an end. The UK Government estimates there is a high risk of power cuts within five years.
    11. High energy prices based on subsidies are certain to have an extremely damaging effect on the Scottish Economy as recently quantified in the Verso Economics Report using the Scottish Governments’ own economic model for the Scottish economy. The loss of jobs will far outweigh the few gains, most of which will be of low to medium quality, from renewable installations.
    12. Already there has been very significant damage to Scotland’s environment- the massive installation at Doune dominating the route North from Glasgow is a case in point- with consequent loss to one of its greatest assets, the tourist industry. The value of tourism to the Scottish economy is put at £4.2bn a year, far in excess of the value of all the energy produced from wind farms even with the Scottish 80% target for renewables.
    13. Prior to privatisation Scotland, with six commercial reactors, produced over 60% of its electricity from nuclear and had a thriving and profitable export trade to England. As a result Scotland benefited from having one of the lowest electricity prices in Europe and this after proper allowances for all the costs involved including waste disposal and decommissioning. Unlike the present energy regime there was no element of subsidy. As distinct from other low carbon generation, nuclear is a tried and tested technology of which we have had excellent experience now for over 50 years. Supplies of nuclear fuel are secure and the cost of energy to consumers from a new generation of reactors would be less than a quarter of that from wind and marine sources.
    14. The well being of a modern economy is based on a reliable and economic supply of electricity and will be even more so in future as transport becomes increasingly electrified. If one wanted to go down in history as the politician who did most to damage Scotland’s economy it would be difficult to think of a more effective route than the present energy policy.
    15. It is not too late to have a rational and balanced energy policy- but it soon will be. We have only a small window of opportunity- let us grasp it before it is too late.

    Sir Donald Miller. F Eng. FRSE.
    Chairman, Scottish Power 1982-92.

  4. I have to admit to more than a shudder of fear as the SNP romp home with a land slide victory. Have the returning MSPs learnt anything from their canvassing or will they just consider this a green light to desecrate the Scottish uplands with their Holyrood Follies. Expect in the next few days a cascade of new applications. The developers will certainly be reacting with glee. What can we do now? On Tuesday, 17th May, Alan Sloman has a Wake for the Wild at Dumnaglass. Can it be that this country that we so love is, as Fraser says in Dad’s Army, “Doomed”? May be they have listened and learnt. We can only hope but don’t hold your breath.

  5. Unlike Westminster, Holyrood is a unicameral parliament – there is no House of Lords to scrutinise proposed legislation. No checks and balances!

    Consequently, Scotland now has a parliament in which the government can in theory always get its way. A key question that now arises is whether in these new circumstances Holyrood will continue to be sufficiently effective at holding ministers to account. Experience before and during the election suggests that Wee Eck and his bunch of henchmen, sorry whips, will ensure that no one breaks the party line. Without the balances of a second chamber and with the cunning plan never to have one party in charge in shatters. The Scottish Parliament has all the attributes of a true dictatorship.

  6. It is important to be aware of how our elected members are representing us.
    Mary Scanlon (Highlands and Islands) (Con): This is the first time that I have spoken in a renewable energy debate, despite the fact that my son is a project manager on a wind farm that is being built between Keith and Dufftown. In his statement on taking Scotland forward, the First Minister said that renewable energy was a growth sector. As Fergus Ewing made clear this morning, that is undoubtedly true. The Scottish Conservatives, too, would like Scotland to lead the world in onshore and offshore renewable energy and to make much needed progress on marine energy. However, although there is no doubt that renewable energy will create wealth and jobs, our current and future projections will have to be realistic. Various speakers in the debate have referred to turbine manufacturers and other manufacturers setting up in Scotland. However, the truth is that about 70 per cent of the money for wind farms goes abroad for the manufacture of turbines and towers. For an average £50 million wind farm, £35 million goes out of Scotland and the remaining 30 per cent is used for civil engineering, electrical work and cables. When the Government talks about multi-million pound wind farms, we should be mindful that at the present time 70 per cent of the value of those multi-million pound projects goes out of the country. For that reason, I very much welcome Kenny Gibson and others talking about the setting up of production facilities in Scotland.
    My second point is that the First Minister and others constantly remind us of the jobs to be created. Yes, there are probably about 40 to 50 jObs for about two years in an average 50MW wind farm project. However, when all the contractors have moved off site, about two or three full-time staff are left long term, and technicians are called in for maintenance or breakdowns. There is therefore a lot of employment in the short term but not long-term jobs. Wind farms certainly generate energy, but they are not huge generators of long-term jobs. My third point relates to the grid connections. Many years ago when we were up the road in the old Parliament building, I met representatives from Scottish and Southern Energy, as I am sure John
    Swinney and others did, to be briefed on the proposed Beauly to Denny transmission line upgrade. Over a decade later, following a year-long public inquiry, it seems that very little has changed. The people around Beauly still come to my surgeries and ask whether there is any chance of undergrounding the cable and why, although there is undergrounding of cables in Perthshire, the visual impact did not seem to be taken into account in the Highlands. Further upgrades are required from the north of Scotland to Beauly to maximise the opportunities for tidal and marine power in the Pentland Firth. I say to ministers that I hope that some of the lessons
    from the Beauly to Denny upgrade have been learned. I hope, too, that communities will be better informed and consulted to ensure that developers can get the grid connection that they need and that Scotland can be the success that we want it to be in renewables. Fergus Ewing: In the construction of the northern section of the Beauly to Denny line, consent for which my predecessor granted, much of the work will in fact benefit Scottish companies and employees. Mary Scanlon: I am aware of that, but little cognisance was taken of the community”s desire to underground the cable, despite the area being a huge tourist attraction. Much has been said about the SNP Government”s ambition to produce 100 per cent of energy through renewables. However, in the area that I represent in the Highlands and Islands, the Government”s determination to deliver that target is causing serious concern in local communities another e-mail came in on that today-who now fear that every application that goes to the Scottish Government will be approved in order to meet ambitious goals and that there will be scant, if any, regard to the views of local communities Among the communities in the Highlands and Islands that have spoken loudly in this regard is Shetland. Over 3,000 Shetlanders signed a petition about the proposed Viking wind farm for Shetland. The petitioner, Billy Fox, also won a 30 per cent share of the vote in Shetland on 6 May. It is difficult for people to make their voice heard in Shetland when the council owns the land and is the wind farm developer and the planning authority. I congratulate Billy Fox on standing up for the views of the people in Shetland.
    On other problems that local groups face in this regard, I received an e-mail today that refers to another wind farm application in the Highlands that had an environmental statement that ran to 2,100 pages. Local people had 28 days to read it, understand it and object to or support the application. Statutory consultees such as Highland Council and Scottish Natural Heritage had four months to study the statement. The document was available for viewing by appointment only at Highland
    Council offices. If that was not convenient, people could buy a copy for £850. That is not the best in consultation.
    The Deputy Presiding Officer: Wind up now, please.
    Mary Scanlon: I am positive about renewables, but let us treat people and communities with the respect that they deserve in the drive towards meeting the target.

  7. Look to the Welsh Assembly. Eventually the shutters are cominng up to say enough is enough. TAN 8 should be an absolute Maximum not a standard. The Welsh Government does not support the construction of large pylons in mid-Wales. Whilst one might suggest this is a case of shutting the door after the horse has bolted, it does suggest that eventually members of the Welsh Assembly are hearing their constituants voices. Go to Glyn Davies’s Blog for a view with a welsh perspective.
    http://glyn-davies.blogspot/2011/06/listening-first-minister.html

  8. British Gas hit by £4m green fine Telegraph 02.07.11
    British Gas will have to hand over £4m in green fines to the government regulator Ofgem after under calculating the amount of electricity it sold to consumers by 0.62% over the last seven years. It failed to purchase enough Renewable Energy Certificates!
    Distributors are supposed to source ten per cent of their power from renewable sources although they can purchase extra ROCS on the market. Other ROCS may be bundled with electricity purchased. It is a somewhat complicated route and one must wonder whether a shortfall of 0.08% per annum. notified by British Gas to Ofgem deserves quite such a large penalty. Problem is that these people deal in millions whilst the people that in the final count have to pay for it; you and me; earn the cash in pounds!

  9. Read this link that shows Scotland is reliant on English power for up to 22% of the time contrary to the statements of the First Minister. http://www.jmt.org/news.asp?s=2&cat=Campaigning&nid=JMT-N10555
    One must assume that Mr Salmond is either woefully misinformed or economical with the truth. As an economist by training I would suggest that the latter may be nearer the truth.
    However Scotland remains a net exporter of electricity as it has done for many years thanks to the Hydro and it’s Nuclear Power Stations.

  10. When a MSP makes public comments that refer to Wind Farm Protestors as Selfish, what does it tell us about him. He was appointed to look after his constituents interests. It is the people that pay his wages. I am aware that many MSPs take the view that you buy them and their beliefs and once appointed to Holyrood they can do what they like and if the constituents don’t like they can express their views in five years by deselecting their representative. And you know, legally they may be right. However when the comments could even be judged as defamatory, they should take care. Then the people say are you dancing to our tune or trying to impress your political master? Maybe even getting your politics mixed up with the Green credentials of your long term partner. We are of course referring to the comments of SNP MSP Rob Gibson. Now I have a little message for Mr. Gibson. We don’t expect you to agree with us all but we do expect you to extend to us the courtesy of listening. You may even find some common ground or, if your mind is open, learn a little not promoted at Renewable Conferences. You may find that those whose policy you have bought into don’t always tell the truth. Many of your constituents have embraced alternative technologies and renewable energy to a far greater extent than one wood stove and one photo-voltaic panel on the roof. New, we note, so you will have made sure your hand is deep in the subsidy box. Mind you one PV cell will hardly boil a kettle and is, in the now famous utterence of a Westminster MP, “As much use as a cat flap in a submarine” Just because someone does not want the world to be ruined by inefficient windmills and can understand that the economics are back to front does not make them Selfish. No Mr. Gibson. It proves that they have an independence of mind. They hear of facts that seven out of ten wind turbines in Aberdeenshire has noise issues. Precisely the sort that you are wishing to promote. They question the diatribe of greedy and foolish men. If you actually took the trouble to listen you may well find their green credentials are much more developed than you may think. It might also be possible that they adopted the sustainable lifestyle; Renewables is just a vacuous word for something that actually has as much credibility as perpetual motion; far before any grants, subsidies or bribes were forthcoming. But of course, you will not listen because you are a SNP MSP and you don’t need their votes for another four years. When Tourism has collapsed, the country is covered in rusty relics of the 21st Century Darien and the SNP have bankrupted us and left us in thrall to Westminster, then you can raise up your head in pride and say I followed my leader. Didn’t I do well! So, in conclusion, are we selfish to wish to protect our futures and those of our children, or are you arrogant and foolish to not listen to our concerns.

  11. Malcolm Shykles says:

    The Origin of the Climate Change Hoax:

    “From 1994 to 1996, the Enron Foundation contributed nearly $1 million dollars – $990,000 – to the Nature Conservancy, whose Climate Change Project promotes global warming theories. Enron philanthropists lavished almost $1.5 million on environmental groups that support international energy controls to “reduce” global warming. Executives at Enron worked closely with the Clinton administration to help create a scaremongering climate science environment because the company believed the treaty could provide it with a monstrous financial windfall. The plan was that once the problem was in place the solution would be trotted out.”

    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1813229/posts

    It is nothing more than a hoax. The fact that is a hoax needs to be broadcast far and wide.

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