Problems with renewables - land wars
1st April, 2008
Renewables good, fossil fuels bad... unless, of course, renewables begin to take up more and more land in order to meet our energy needs. Paul Kingsnorth adds fuel to a tricky debate.
On a bare and blustery moor in the Outer Hebrides, the future is being played out.
The Isle of Lewis, home to the ancient Callanish standing stones, to golden eagles and Atlantic salmon, to crofts and blackhouses, is rarely at the centre of anything. But it is currently the focus of a battle that not only has enormous local significance, but also is an indicator of a developing global conflict the significance of which environmentalists may not yet fully have grasped.
The battle is over a wind farm – potentially the world’s biggest – which two powerful corporations want to build on moorland on the north of the island. The sheer scale of this open air industrial instalment would be unprecedented: 181 white turbines, each 140m high, would be visible from dozens of miles away. If dropped on to London, it would stretch from the new Olympic Park in the East End right down to Hampton Court in the west.
The Lewis wind farm is supported by some local people, by the developers, by the European Commission and by many – though by no means all – environmentalists. The contemporary green narrative, in which climate change not only takes centre stage but also crowds out virtually...
To view the rest of this article - you must be a paying subscriber and Login
Using this website means you agree to us using simple cookies.