Thinking is easy

A leaflet posted through the door last week by the Windfarm Supporters Group implored the Shetland community to think. There seems to be a misunderstanding that when someone attacks the economics of a project, they are attacking the thing itself. In other words, is it not possible to be very much in favour of renewable energy but against the Viking Energy project? Perhaps my own draft for a leaflet would help to clarify:

Think of an energy independent Shetland, with community owned and operated renewable energy schemes. Energy independence would provide an opportunity for a secure future for Shetland.

How can we make the money to run our care homes, leisure centres and provide the services we enjoy from a method of energy production that by its very nature cannot adhere to the principles of supply and demand, and therefore cannot allow for accurate profit forecasting?

It will be the next generation’s future – better to invest in resource independence than watch our islands be debased as young and old alike leave Shetland to escape a drastically lowered standard of living.

Now with large public spending cuts forecast, hard times are ahead. It makes sense to refrain from placing all our eggs in one basket. For example, a series of small, affordable renewable energy projects could be used to subsidise local food production and bring down living costs for all.

Knowing that sustainability begins with saying no. No to over-consumption, no to corporate exploitation, and no to the Viking Energy windfarm. Attempting to run renewable energy schemes on economic models of the past is folly. The roots of sustainability lie in small, diverse projects, with value added to the community as a whole.

Ah, there we go. Thinking is easy when you put your mind to it.

Chris Thomson
3 Gladstone Terrace,


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