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Scotland's green energy policy in the balance

A legal challenge to the Scottish government's green energy policy could kill off Alex Salmond's dream of utterly destroying the Scottish countryside. In a move that parallel's Pat Swords' challenge to Irish policy, Christine Metcalfe's challenge to Holyrood policy was recently given a hearing by the Compliance Committee at the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe:

The question of the Scottish Government’s Renewables Routemap came up. The committee was shocked to discover that, despite the pronouncements of Fergus Ewing MSP and First Minister Alex Salmond, the Scottish Government’s Renewables Routemap 2020 and Energy Policy Statement are still officially only drafts.

So officials have relied on these drafts in giving the go-ahead for more than 3,500 wind turbines, granting planning without proper scientific justification based on a draft.

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    - Bishop Hill blog - Scotland's green energy policy in the balance

Reader Comments (96)

A cool draft, wind of change blowing.

Jan 12, 2013 at 10:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterPeter Whale

" Alex Salmond's dream of utterly destroying the Scottish countryside."

Your use of such hysterical rhetoric renders the rest of your post utterly meaningless. The Scottish country side is only in danger from Westminster as it always has been. The lunar landscape of Sutherland, and the poisonous profile and secret emissions of Dounreay are historical evidence of that.

Jan 12, 2013 at 10:41 AM | Unregistered CommenterHenBroon

Although no fan of the Westminster government and its treatment of the regions/nations of the United Kingdom; I don't think blame for the Caithness Flow Country or Rannock Moor, far more lunar than anything in Sutherland, can be placed totally at their door. I beleive that the tree stumps found at the bottom of most Scottish peat bogs pre-date even Ken MacAlpine and their loss can be attributed to a combination of climate change (part of the natural cycle of things) and human endeavour. Just as the loss of oak wood/forest can be attributed to the Great Michael, pre Union of the Crowns.
"When launched in September of 1511, the Great Michael was the largest warship in Europe, more than twice the size of her contemporary the Mary Rose. She was ordered by King James IV. It was said at the time that ‘all the woods of Fife’ were used to build her." from

So I personally think that despoiling, if that's what you want to call it that (for the current generation of windmills it is appropriate) has been going on a lot longer than we've had a United Kingdom.

Jan 12, 2013 at 10:56 AM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

HenBroon - Mistakes may have been made in the past, although I always think they are often exaggerated. I also remind myself from time to time that many of the worst decisions emanating from Westminster were made by Scots. Before the current crop of idiots took over, the previous two PM's and Chancellors were Scots. You are not related to one of them are you?

Mistakes from now on will make any from the past seem like Noddy's half-hour and they will be made by Scots alone.

Good luck to Scotland - I love the place and most of its citizens, many of whom live in England, and very welcome they are.

Glad you are back in the seat Bish. I hope it doesn't linger with you for too long.

Jan 12, 2013 at 11:00 AM | Unregistered CommenterRetired Dave

I think most visitors to Scotland, and most residents of Scotland, would agree that Alex Salmond's policy of building onshore and offshore wind turbines and linking them together with huge new gridlines strung across the landscape, is utterly destroying the Scottish countryside. It is very noticeable that Visit Scotland is very careful to avoid images of wind turbines in its advertising. How long they will be able to go on doing that is debatable. I'm sure the EU commission and the EU Governments will be quite content to remain in breach of the Aarhus Convention and ride roughshod over the citizens. Democracy is dead in the EU.

Jan 12, 2013 at 11:17 AM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

@ HenBroon

The irony is that no matter how many wind farms are built, their output is unpredictably intermittent. So 'conventional' power generation on (less-efficient) standby is always needed.

Jan 12, 2013 at 11:24 AM | Unregistered CommenterJoe Public

I presume HenBroon is new to this site, as his use of "hysterical rhetoric" to describe the Bishop's writing is so far from the truth as to be absolutely laughable.

Jan 12, 2013 at 11:26 AM | Unregistered CommenterMessenger

Mistakes have been made all round but we are still better together, than divided.

On windpower - well, the plans of Salmond are ridiculous, although the irony is not lost on Alex - the majority English taxpayer forks out for FA energy - how good is that?

Jan 12, 2013 at 12:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

Should Henbroon's hero Salmond achieve independence we will see whether his hubristic approach to energy production pans out in a post AGW world.
The wind turbines and huge gridlines are predicated on the assumption that England and Wales will import Scottish renewable electricity at an eyewatering multiple of the price that those countries could import nuclear surpluses from France.
Whilst still paying lip service to the CO2 mantras and associated scams, the Conservative part of the coalition have given the go ahead to fraccing for gas production from the vast tight shale reservoirs beneath both southern and northern England.
This technology has evolved and been refined in North America where it has become a game changer to their energy reserves and production, and could be put in place here in short order with first gas available long before putative negotiations on UK separation post 2014 referendum.
With 11% of British Gas turnover being Renewable Obligation related (as opposed to 6% profit for which they were mightily slated just recently) and people now beginning to hurt financially, this scam has not much longer to run.
Current forecasts are for the UK to enter a prolonged period of snow and bitter cold, giving a chance to evaluate the input of wind turbines when most needed. Henbroon should watch their output record over the next four weeks on the link below and then re-evaluate the idiot that is currently in charge of the parochial affairs of Scotland.

Jan 12, 2013 at 12:11 PM | Unregistered Commenterroger

"Good luck to Scotland - I love the place and most of its citizens, many of whom live in England, and very welcome they are."

By the same token, over 450,000 English folk live in Scotland, not far off ten per cent of its population.

Not once in over 30 years of living in England was I the target of an offensive remark relating to my Scottish nationality. (Many English people, on meeting a Scotsman, do seem to have an odd urge to say "Och, Aye, the noo" and make a noise they think approximates bagpipes but, though I found it tiresome, I'd never call it offensive).

But two good English friends of mine from opposite ends of the land have been the target of "If you don't like our windfarm policy, move back down south" remarks from leading - yes, leading - SNP members. It doesn't bode well.

Jan 12, 2013 at 12:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterDaveB

With apologies to Phillip Bratby, I think it worth linking to another real engineers view of energy requirements in a country very similar to Scotland. And of course Prof McInnes is a Scot.

Jan 12, 2013 at 12:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterRetired Dave

As some may know, I help prepare this case and helped present it at the UNECE Compliance Committee meeting on the 12th December 2012. While the questions presented by the Committee have yet to be loaded up on the UNECE webpage for Communication ACCC/C/2012/68, a copy has already been received by e-mail. In relation to what the Scottish Administration has to formally respond to, I'm more than happy to share the below. For which they have to formally reply back to UNECE by 11th February in advance of the March Compliance Committee meeting.

• Please demonstrate how the comments submitted by the communicant in the decision-making for (a) the Carriag Gheal wind farm, and (b) the West Loch Awe Timber Haul, were considered in during the decision-making.
• What was the basis document (policy document, strategy, programme, plan, etc.) for decisions on the Carriag Gheal wind farm and the linked access West Loch Awe Timber Haul Route?
• Under Scottish law, is there a specific obligation that information about comments received during the EIA procedure is available before the decision is issued?
• Please elaborate on why the Renewable Energy Routemap, is a policy rather than a plan/programme.

Jan 12, 2013 at 12:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterPat Swords

Westminster has provided the means and the SNP have decided how much to support it, 8 of of 10 wind farms that are legally rejected locally are subsequently allowed by the SNP administation.

Jan 12, 2013 at 1:06 PM | Registered CommenterBreath of Fresh Air

I would be careful about relying on the French Interconnector if I were you.
Apart from the fact that Hollande climbed into bed with the Greens before he discovered that he was likely not to need them (and how he is starting to regret that little escapade) with the resulting blight on new nuclear development, he has set his face against fracking at least for the time being.
The Germans are having their own ongoing problems, also as a result of Green interference, and in a few years time any surplus French power is more likely to be directed towards Germany than the UK, at least until the Brits stop farting about trying to pretend that the EU is some sort of Pik 'n' Mix arrangement and behave like grown-ups.
In? Out? Nobody in Europe really cares; just make your effing minds up!

Jan 12, 2013 at 1:28 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

DaveB - Well that accords with my experience of living in Scotland for a while in the 90's.

I was brought up to believe I was British and I never write or state English on anything. A bit of good humoured rivalry between us is the stuff of life.

I was actually quite shocked by the level of anti-English behaviour of a small minority of people on moving to Scotland. The vast majority were great and we have good friends that we made up there.

I think the English by and large are a tolerant bunch but the rise of Scottish Nationalism has generated a mirror image down south, but that is largely amongst those who are intellectually challenged. Whereas in Scotland I found prejudice was as prevalent amongst intelligent people. Bad enough to be berated in broad Glaswegian, but when the abuser had a cultured Scots accent, or even sounded like they came from the English Home Counties, it seemed somehow worse.

Jan 12, 2013 at 1:52 PM | Registered Commenterretireddave

Salmond's determination to make Scotland green seems bizarre, since his argument for independence relies on income from Scotland's oil and gas fields - surely he should be reducing Scotland's reliance on fossil fuels?

Jan 12, 2013 at 2:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterMr Bliss

The only question you should ask a Scot is "What do they do in Scotland now they don't play Rugby?"

This normally gets a robust response!

Jan 12, 2013 at 2:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoger Tolson

This all looks like an 'Oops..!' moment to me....

Jan 12, 2013 at 3:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid

I find it truly shocking that the Scottish government has deliberately broken its own planning laws in its pursuit of its green agenda. No doubt many of these planning decisions will be given retrospective planning permission which would I imagine provide opponents of the SNP policy of riding roughshod over the law all the ammunition it needs.

As for the poster calling themselves HenBroon: are you aware that your use of hyperbole makes your own post worthless?

Jan 12, 2013 at 3:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterJoseph

Democracy is dead in the EU.

@Jan 12, 2013 at 11:17 AM | Phillip Bratby

Phillip. It was never alive. Ever. Just because it is run by bureaucrats rather than a dictator does not mean that it is a tyranny.

Jan 12, 2013 at 3:40 PM | Registered Commenterjeremyp99

It is the Westminister government that is responsible for energy policy in Scotland, not Holyrood.

Jan 12, 2013 at 4:44 PM | Unregistered Commentersam

This is astonishing. They say one should never underestimate the incompetence of governments, I have done so with regard to the SNP administration in Scotland. They are more incompetent than I had ever imagined. If this all pans out - and all strength to Christine Metcalf's elbow to make that happen, then surely the opposition parties should be able to force a vote of no confidence inside that awful shambles of a building at the foot of the Royal Mile. Or am I doing that underestimating thing again?

Jan 12, 2013 at 4:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Shade

Retired Dave. Thanks for that link. An excellent article, clearly explained, by an engineer who knows what he is talking about. I will pass it on.

Is HenBroon the Scottish cousin of zebedee, without her insults (yet)?

the poisonous profile and secret emissions of Dounreay

It just goes to show you can't trust Government-funded scientists hiding the data.

Jan 12, 2013 at 5:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Reminds me of the tolls £5 to cross the Skye Bridge and prosecutions based on an unsigned agreement. Don't worry, the Scottish courts will see the Government OK in the end.

Jan 12, 2013 at 5:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Peter

@Mike Jackson

I restricted my comment to the current state of English supply, but since you have broadened the scope for consideration, it is indeed quite possible that Hollande might redirect power to Germany from the interconnector and that The Nederland might follow suit.
With the Liberal fools we have in charge at the DECC no one should be surprised if they have failed to put in place long term contracts to protect our supplies against demonstrable eventualities inherent in our wind generation and distribution.
Germany has however already acknowledged the inescapable reality of the failure of renewables by commissioning the construction of lignum powered stations to re-establish continuity of indiginous supply which should be up and running within the time scale we are considering.
Salmond's grand plan to replace the Barnett formula money by fleecing English electricity bills is either way doomed to failure, and quite right too!
Voting for Independence based on the false economics of green power would be foolish in the extreme and a very loose plank in his business model.

Jan 12, 2013 at 5:19 PM | Unregistered Commenterroger

"It is the Westminister government that is responsible for energy policy in Scotland, not Holyrood."

UK energy policy is a reserved matter (i.e. formally the responsibility of Westminster though largely determined by EU Directive) but renewable energy is and always has been a devolved matter.

Ever since the members of the Pretendy Parliament were let out of school and sent to Holyrood, the place has been bedevilled by Greener-than-Thou posturing coupled with a startling level of technical illiteracy. Note how the (relatively) modest "targets" of the early Lab/LibDim coalition which did at least acknowledge (Brian Wilson held their hands) the need for fossil-fueled backup and nuclear for baseload, were upped to keep considerably more bonkers LibDims such as Ross Finne on board. At that time, Labour's target was 20-per-cent-from-renewables, the LibDims wowed for 40 per cent and Salmond was demagogically calling for 50 per cent by half past four on Wednesday.

Once his party took Holyrood, logic and science were out and reckless gambling was in - he's not a former tipster for The Digger's Scottish Sun for nothing. The target was raised to 100 per cent from renewables, Scottish and Southern looked increasingly like the de facto government and planning law was pretty well chucked out the window. And that's where we are right now.

Jan 12, 2013 at 5:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterDaveB


Holyrood can not legislate on electricity, coal, oil and gas.

I made my remark only to inform, if such information is useful. It is, as I am sure you know, the Climate Change Act of 2008 that has increased the drive for renewables. Scotland has its own, slightly later, version of the Act

I think Salmond has swallowed the IPCC line. There is some wriggle room left for change to energy policy should Scotland become independent. There are likely to be opportunities for shale oil and gas. Salmond has claimed Rockall which not only has good fishing grounds but there are thought to be large accumulations of oil and gas as there are in the North Sea. The SNP will not automatically be in power in an independent Scotland.

I think HenBroon may have been referring to the despoiling of the county by forestry and the contamination of the shoreline in more than one place by radioactivity from Dounreay.

Jan 12, 2013 at 6:21 PM | Unregistered Commentersam

"Holyrood can not legislate on electricity, coal, oil and gas."

Under the terms of the Scotland Act 1998, energy policy was "reserved" to Westminster but renewable energy policy was explicitly devolved. It therefore fell to the (then) Scottish Executive to determine how Scotland met the targets imposed by e.g. the EU's 2001 "Directive on Electricity Production from Renewable Energy Sources". It did this, as we know, by creating a system of Renewables Obligations identical to the England and Wales system that came into force in April 2002. It is a feature of the RO systems that the targets have constantly to be increased to prevent ROCs declining in value as installed capacity approaches the current target. Hence the persistent shifting of goal posts.

"I think Salmond has swallowed the IPCC line."

But surely the entire Western body politic has swallowed the IPCC line. In Britain, Westminster's 2008 Climate Change Act was passed by 463 votes to 3; Scotland's 2009 CopyCat Act was voted in unanimously. Kim Il Sung, eat your heart out.

The EU's 2009 Renewables Directive upped the targets from (off the top of my head) 20 per cent of electricity generation from "renewable" sources by 2020 to 20 per cent of all energy from renewables by the same date. The insane, never-to-be-realised ~300 per cent increase was agreed on the instigation of Tony Blair.

I suspect that Salmond neither believes nor disbelieves the IPCC line; politicians are mostly driven by what works for them not by what works for the common weal. Big 'Eck's civil servants and spads tell him what he wants to hear, the electricity companies flatter him rotten and the opinion pollsters tell him he's supported by one and all, the spads have largely devised the questions and interpreted the results.

Jan 12, 2013 at 7:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterDaveB

DaveB: "Kim Il Sung, eat your heart out."

A little behind the times on that one. It's Kim Jong-un the noo. Och, aye. ;)

Jan 12, 2013 at 7:50 PM | Registered CommenterHaroldW

Phillip Bratby -

Yes Prof McInnes speaks common sense and engineering truths - Governments (north and south of the border) just believe in fairy tales. All his articles are worth a read.

I first became aware of his views a year or so ago when I was directed to this article at the Royal Academy of Engineering website.

I made it the basis of a presentation that I did to a science & engineering group - entitled "The thoughts of Prof Colin McInnes", poorly summarised by me.

I am not often impressed by the letters after someone's name, but in this context I think they are more than relevant - his wikipedia entry -

Jan 12, 2013 at 7:52 PM | Registered Commenterretireddave

retireddave -
Another vote of thanks for the link to Prof McInnes' blog.

Jan 12, 2013 at 8:14 PM | Registered CommenterHaroldW

Jan 12, 2013 at 12:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterDaveB

Dave B. stop making stuff up. Either that or put up the proof. You just sound like a wee school sneak like several others who haunt this place to demonise Salmond and Scotland. He is the most competent and popular politician in these islands, and his party have a level of public support and trust others could only dream of. Scotlands government policy on renewables is internationally lauded and investors are lining up to invest here.
There is so much more to our country than oil and whisky. The sooner we break free of the corrupt suffocating patronising hand of Westminster the better we shall be.
The Scotland is covered in wind turbines brigade are truly sad and pathetic, with no obvious signs of life away from there sticky keyboards.

from Sunday Herald, 17 June 2012

Wind turbines at seaScotland is planning to boost its role within the United Nations (UN) after winning warm praise from the international body’s secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon.

In a personal letter to the First Minister, Alex Salmond, Ban said he was delighted by the Scottish government’s “deep commitment” to achieving sustainable energy. He was pleased that the government wanted to work with the UN to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy for all.

“With an abundance of natural resources paired with ambitious renewable targets, Scotland is in an excellent position to play a leading role in our common efforts to find lasting sustainable solutions to the world’s pressing energy challenges,” wrote Ban.

He addressed Salmond as “his excellency” and invited his office to liaise with UN officials “on ways to deepen the engagement of your government with the efforts of the United Nations.”

This follows a meeting between Salmond and Ban in January at the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi. Salmond has now written to UN officials to begin the process of closer cooperation on energy policy.

“I am committed to ensuring Scotland plays its part in the collective efforts of the UN, business and government around the world to bring about improved standards of sustainable energy for all peoples and for the good of our environment,” Salmond told Ban.

“I look forward to the Scottish government working alongside and supporting the UN in pursuit of these goals.”

Scotland’s bigger role in the UN has been unveiled by the Scottish government on the eve of the major UN summit on sustainable development in Rio, Brazil, next week. Known as “Rio+20” as it is taking place 20 years after a historic earth summit in the same city 20 years ago, it’s an attempt to shift the world towards a more environmentally-friendly form of economic development.

Scotland will be represented in Rio by its environment and climate change minister, Stewart Stevenson. He will attend a series of events pledging the Scottish government’s support for sustainable energy, energy equality and climate justice.

“We are delighted to accept the Secretary General’s invitation to deepen Scotland’s engagement with the United Nations on their sustainable energy agenda,” Stevenson said.

“Scotland has a valuable contribution to make – that is the message I will take to Rio and I look forward to a deeper partnership with the UN as we work together for an equitable and sustainable future.”

Last month, Scottish ministers launched a £3 million climate justice fund to help poorer countries cope with the floods and droughts caused by climate pollution. The initiative won praise from Mary Robinson, the former President of Ireland and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, as well as environmental, development and faith groups.

“Developed countries have a moral obligation to help developing countries tackle climate change and energy inequality,” argued Stevenson. “Scotland is already doing what it can, for example our support for work in Malawi and our recently launched climate justice fund which has received overwhelming support from Scottish civic society.

Ban Ki-moon’s backing for Scotland was welcomed by environmentalists. “Scotland's climate targets, our push for renewable energy and the new climate justice fund are all well worth promoting, and the world certainly needs good examples if the Rio meeting is to produce much useful,” said Dr Richard Dixon, the director of WWF Scotland.

“Although the government has a major blind spot when it comes to the oil industry, you can’t fault them for their enthusiasm for renewable energy. In just a decade we have almost tripled the amount of our electricity coming from renewables, reducing emissions and creating jobs in the process.”

The Scottish government also announced this weekend £4 million worth of funding to help farmers and communities in Tanzania, Zambia and Rwanda combat the problems caused by climate change. Support is being given to projects runs by three charities, Oxfam, Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund and Tearfund.

“Scotland is well aware of its responsibilities to the wider world and we know that it is some of the world’s most vulnerable people in Sub Saharan Africa that are dealing with the harsh realities of climate change,” said Stevenson.

“I am delighted to announce this latest support from the International Development Fund ahead of the UN Summit as a sign of our commitment to helping alleviate poverty in the developing world and to empowering vulnerable communities to deal with effects of climate change.

Jan 12, 2013 at 9:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterHenBroon

Salmond and his "wee pretendy parliament" (© Billy Connolly) will be the ruination of Scotland.

Jan 12, 2013 at 10:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterScottie

@ Jeremy Jan 12, 2013 at 3:40 PM | Registered Commenterjeremyp99
quote/Democracy is dead in the EU.

Phillip. It was never alive. Ever. Just because it is run by bureaucrats rather than a dictator does not mean that it is a tyranny./end quote


I hope you mean " Just because it is run by bureaucrats rather than a dictator does not mean it is NOT a tyranny"


Jan 12, 2013 at 10:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlbert Stienstra

Unregistered commenter Henbroon obviously does not know anything about the effect of wind energy on the national grid.

He should check out
, take any month and see how the intermittent wind input creates enormous surges in electricity generation from gas plants to keep a stable voltage and frequency on the grid.

Wind electricity is green? Ridiculous idea.

Jan 12, 2013 at 10:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlbert Stienstra

HenBroon - just FYI, citing the support Eck has had from a high heidyin at the UN for his ill-considered renewables policy is not going to help your argument here.

I (as a long term supporter of independence) am now embarrassed by way Salmond has fallen for the WWF bollocks and put all his economic eggs in the renewables scam, sacrificing many of our best landscapes in the process (and risking our tourism industry which generates £4 billion p.a.). This is economic and engineering madness. Darien 2 is probably an exaggeration but not far off the mark.

Subsidy junkies is is an expression I used to take exception to when it was used by London based politicians and journalists to describe Scots in the 1980s and 1990s. How ironic that the SNP's whole economic policy is now based on an industry which requires a 100% subsidy, and produces very unreliable and expensive electricity when the wind is blowing and none at all when we need it most in winter cold spells. (when hydro also produces bugger all because the run-off falls as snow or freezes).

Jan 12, 2013 at 10:49 PM | Registered Commenterlapogus

It isn't so much that the things are completely ugly as it is the environmental damage the wind turbines do. We now hear about species of birds and bats being driven to the edge of extinction by them. The turbines are much more harmful to the environment than the conventional production they were meant to replace and there is still no sound evidence that there was any reason to deploy them anyway. To my mind this has nothing to do with Scottish independence so much as it has to do with idiotic environmental policy where the "cure" is more damaging to the environment than the disease and for no other reason than to shovel government cash into the pockets of people of the "correct" political persuasion. It is basically nothing more than a great pickpocket scam.

Jan 12, 2013 at 11:24 PM | Unregistered Commentercrosspatch

Bloke is in deep troubs...

Jan 13, 2013 at 12:40 AM | Unregistered CommenterAdrian

"[Salmond] is the most competent and popular politician in these islands"

I'm not getting into a dispute about Salmond's competence, especially in the light of the EU membership fiasco, the NATO volte face and any number of other issues. This is not the appropriate forum.

"stop making stuff up. Either that or put up the proof. You just sound like a wee school sneak like several others who haunt this place to demonise Salmond and Scotland."

Thank you for that - you neatly illustrate my complaint about the boorish standard of debate that characterises many SNP supporters. I can see no errors of fact ("made up stuff") in the two posts I have made in this thread though, if you can point any out, I'll happily address them. I'll ignore your silly abuse in this instance though, if it persists, I shall ask for your posts to be moderated. (You have no idea who I am or what I stand for.)

Thank you also for telling us about "Rio+20" but I can assure you that I am familiar with it and, more importantly, with the process of which it is a part going back as far as, say, the 1st World Climate Conference in 1979. I can bore for Scotland on Sustainable this, Clean Development that and Flexible Mechanism the other. I can even summarise for you the history of the COPs, MOPs and flops that have characterised the UNFCCC. And so on.

No offence but party zealots recyling tedious press releases about pats on the head from Ban Ki-moon are not helpful. If you wish to indulge in "Great Leader" nonsense, such is your right - but it is my right to have contempt for it.

Jan 13, 2013 at 1:33 AM | Unregistered CommenterDaveB

Meanwhile, at
the father of Dolly the sheep warns that Scotland must accept windfarms or face food shortages due to flooding of agricultural land (cue: deep-fried-Mars-Bar-crop-failure jokes)

Jan 13, 2013 at 2:19 PM | Registered Commentergeoffchambers

I do not understand why David Camerloon is so against Scottish independence. Without the overly-weighted preponderance of Scottish Labour MPs, even his present debacle of a government would be guaranteed a return to office for the foreseeable future. Perhaps the Scots want to have independence AND maintain their power in Wastemonster.

Jan 13, 2013 at 2:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterRadical Rodent

Scottish 5 years subject to Wind Farm propoganda

SNP ministers tried to distance themselves from the row, saying it was a matter for the local authority. A Scottish Government spokesman added: “We do not condone this approach.”

Primary pupils in North Ayrshire were handed plans, seemingly written by a developer, encouraging their parents to back a planning application for an extension to a wind farm in the area.

The letter contained a section for parents’ signatures at the bottom and was addressed to the local council’s planning department.

Critics yesterday expressed their anger at both the developer and SNP-run North Ayrshire council for allowing wind farm “propaganda” in the classroom but the local authority claimed the letters were “directly relevant” to the pupils’ school work.

But a council spokesman was unrepentant, saying: “Pupils at the Dalry schools have been involved with projects related closely to the environment and sustainable energy and the distributed information was directly relevant to their school work.

Jan 13, 2013 at 2:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterBreath of fresh air

Jan 12, 2013 at 9:42 PM | HenBroon

So there we have it. The ineffectual UN and it's forlorn Secretary General Ban Ki -Moon lauds His Excellency Alex Salmond for standing steadfast with OUR money to the cause of the IPCC and AGW whilst every other sane country headed for the exits at Rio without a backwards glance. Supplicant nations still favour the cause - give us the money they cry.
By all means have your concience, so obviously misinformed on many levels,but do it with your own money. I would rather see the atrocious potholes here in the Borders filled first.
Wind turbines despoil the Borders and Solway, standing starkly in all quarters of the once pristine landscape, with the exception of today as the snow blankets and softens man's follies in it's cold embrace.
And as the cold begins to bite what is the contribution to current consumption of electricity? Why, I do believe it is 2.6% and that we are having to import 3.9% through the foreign interconnectors.
Welcome to Salmond's Brave New World - but only if you can believe three impossible things before breakfast.

Jan 13, 2013 at 4:13 PM | Unregistered Commenterroger

Breath of fresh air
"A Scottish Government spokesman added: 'We do not condone this approach'".

The Hell they don't. Remember Dimmock v Secretary of State for Education back in September/October 2007? The plaintiff, a Kent business man, sought to stop the educational use of Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth in England and Wales as schools are legally obliged to provide balanced presentation of political issues. The court ruled that the film was substantially founded upon scientific fact and could be shown but identified nine significant errors that guidance notes accompanying the film had explicitly to address. As Matthew Sinclair suggests in Let Them Eat Carbon, if one takes those nine points out of the narrative, there is very little scope for disagreement with what's left. In short, they were the film's substantive points.

No such restraint in Scotland. The SNP government argued that the ruling did not apply to Scotland (which, in a strictly legal sense it didn't though, last time I looked, the laws of science are the same north and south of the border especially when the topic is global warming). It therefore arranged for the film be shown in Scotland's schools with none of the riders stipulated by the English beak. The cost of the operation was subsidised by ScottishPower. (I was inaccurate when I suggested above that SSE is the de facto Scottish Government - it is in coalition with SpanishPower. Apologies for that though, in my defence, it wasn't "stuff I made up", it was "stuff I left out".)

The Scottish Government's spokesman is, it would seem, disingenuous, misinformed or lying.

Jan 13, 2013 at 4:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterDaveB

As the cold spell arrives our magnificent windmills are producing just over 1 MW of an installed capacity of 5.7 MW ie 17.5% capacity. You can check for yourselves here:

Could any supporter of Salmond's 100% target explain where Scotland would get the other 82.5 % from in the future?

Jan 13, 2013 at 6:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterSteve Jones

Oops. My last post should have used GW not MW. The abysmally poor percentage remains unaltered.

Jan 13, 2013 at 6:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterSteve Jones

Jan 13, 2013 at 1:33 AM | Unregistered CommenterDaveB

I do not care who you are. Your silly wee stories about abuse suffered from leading SNP figures to some English person has the whiff of bawbaggery and Darlingesque scaremongering around it. I can reference you to loads of genuine stories on abuse and yes fatal injuries suffered by Scots in England over the past several years, how ever I have just noticed some brown paint I need to watch drying. I will leave this nest of right wing nut jobs to massage you precious little egos amongst your selves. . Do your worst with your moderation, I care not one jot. Missing you already.

Jan 13, 2013 at 9:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterHenBroon

In the space of just under a thousand years, Britain has gone from being a province of Rome, to being a province of the EU. You traded one foreign dictator for another.

In the same time, the Celts of Scotland have gone from believing in magic fairies to believing in magic green energy.

Looks like no progress.

Good thing my ancestors got out of there.

Jan 14, 2013 at 1:14 AM | Unregistered CommenterSean

Passing shot as HenBroon stomps (hops?) out of room, foot in mouth, to head back to Alex Salmond's House of Cards: "I will leave this nest of right wing nut jobs to massage you precious little egos amongst your selves. . Do your worst with your moderation, I care not one jot. Missing you already."

How do you get from windmill efficiency figures and science and engineering truths to "right wing nut jobs"? By posting acres of quotes from environmental political gobbledook and mutual back scratching from the UN, IPCC and SNP and then pretending it means something I guess. Weird.

Jan 14, 2013 at 8:27 AM | Unregistered CommenterThinkingScientist


Lets see you massage those figures I gave above for windmill power output, that should shut us up. Have just checked and the output is 1.04 your own time.

As Thinking Scientist said, "How do you get from windmill efficiency figures and science and engineering truths to "right wing nut jobs"?

Jan 14, 2013 at 8:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterSteve Jones

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