As one of the many Shetlanders genuinely in favour of a renewable energy industry, I take issue with Sustainable Shetland’s conspiracy theory that somehow we are all being coerced and directed into giving support. Nonsense!
Personally my letter to the energy consents unit was typed on to a blank Word document with just as much passion as any submitted by Sustainable Shetland. I have, on occasion, dipped into my back pocket to donate to the Windfarm Supporters Group and personally know no-one who works to Viking Energy, nor do I ever expect any personal benefit from it.
Here are a fraction of the reasons why Shetland must look beyond the present and prepare for the future:
• Shetland’s economy needs to diversify;
• The oil industry will not last forever;
• Already we see the SIC making cuts of £9.5 million per annum – just the beginning?;
• Shetland has huge potential in wind, wave and tidal power;
• The price at the petrol pumps is already excruciating – as global oil production inevitably declines look out for worse to come;
• The UK’s dependence on hydrocarbons must eventually end – to be replaced by what?;
• People in the young generation need jobs.
Does Sustainable Shetland have any arguments against these points?
Personally I would urge people to think long and hard about Shetland’s future before deciding to join the rally and protest against Viking Energy on Saturday.
We have been lucky to be born into or moved into good times in Shetland; children today face a much more uncertain future. It will be interesting to see how many comfortably-off people living the good life join the march – maybe a nice display of “I’m alright Jack” banners?
Hug a windmill; it is the future!