Desperate attempt (Kathy Greaves)

I have remained silent for some time on the issue of Viking Energy’s proposed giant windfarm for Shetland, which is now on the back boiler as far as the Shetland community is concerned, as the future of this project is now in the hands of the [next] energy minister.

I note from your Readers’ Views page that a Facebook poll is now being used as an indication, and thus interpreted by some as definitive confirmation that “we” are for the Viking project.

Given socio and demographic users of Facebook, it is true to say that that a great percentage of young people are on Facebook compared to other age groups, while in the main older people are neither interested in nor know how to access it, and therefore will not be contributing to the poll. Therefore, of course, this poll should not be used as in any way representing the views of “the Shetland people” as a whole.

It does not take a genius to work out that this is just one more desperate attempt by Viking Energy supporters to justify their claims that a majority are for it, when actually common sense tells us that generally more young people could be for rather than against the giant windfarm. But we already knew that.

The letter from Peter Jamieson was puzzling in that he questions the motives of a member of Sustainable Shetland, yet says nothing about the conflicts of interest of a local councillor who has been, and still is, paid by Viking Energy (via the charitable trust) to actively promote it. Where is the integrity or morality in that? You can be sure that the Shetland public will be at the bottom of the pile when it comes to benefitting financially from this project.

And I ask: what legacy would we leave our descendents – the detritus and concrete footprint from a giant windfarm across our hills? These islands do not belong to us, we belong to them – we are merely the custodians for the future generations.

Kathy Greaves
3 Anderson Road,


Add Your Comment
  • Heather Awcock

    • April 13th, 2011 10:22

    I;m not about to comment on the pros and cons of this project as I am not residing in Shetland, however I’d like to correct the statement that : “Given socio and demographic users of Facebook, it is true to say that that a great percentage of young people are on Facebook compared to other age groups, while in the main older people are neither interested in nor know how to access it, and therefore will not be contributing to the poll. ”

    As at August 2010, in the UK people aged 30 – 50+ made up nearly 50% of facebook users – have a look at this link: so maybe a facebook poll is more representative that first thought?

  • Colin Hunter

    • April 13th, 2011 10:39

    Kathy, I totally disagree with your sweeping statement that only the younger people are interested and able to access facebook. What do you call “young” anyway? I am 56 and have a quite modest 137 “Friends” on facebook, ranging from relations as young as 12 through workmates and old “Deep sea” buddies to elderly friends and relations, the eldest being over 80! These people are not only in Shetland but spread all over the world. The facebook vote, in which I participated, was interesting to me as it actually identified voters by their “Avatar” next to the yes/no columns. I was surprised to find some of my “friends” in the no column who I would have thought actually swung towards yes but then that is the nature of these things. I am personally ambivalent because it all relies on the interconnector cable and I think it will be a cold day in hell before we see that one!

  • ali inkster

    • April 13th, 2011 12:02

    Given the way that facebook works ie people are invited to join campaigns, be friends of this that or the next thing, it is something of nothing to skew the results of any poll on facebook, simply by targeting the folk you know that agree with you. I am on facebook I am against the wind farm yet I have seen nothing on facebook about this vote.

  • ian tinkler

    • April 13th, 2011 12:24

    I am on facebook. I use it often. I have seen nothing on facebook about this vote.

  • Colin Hunter

    • April 13th, 2011 12:31

    In reply to Ali, it wasn’t around for very long. It didn’t appear to be “By invitation” in the way of “Causes” but appeared on your profile if one (or more) of your friends had voted on it. Some (of my friends) were for, some against, but the majority of voters appeared to back the project. I don’t know what’s come of it because I am unable to find it again!

  • douglas young

    • April 13th, 2011 20:04

    The SIC promised the people of Shetland a referendum on the subject, and agreed to be bound by the result.
    A collective class action enforcing this would be delightful, but probably rather expensive!

  • Kathy Greaves

    • April 13th, 2011 20:36

    Mr Hunter – Colin

    I would agree with your chastisement of me, if I had made the sweeping statement you misquoted me as writing “only the younger people are interested and able to access facebook”. That is not what I wrote. Nor is it what I meant.

    And to add to another point which has been raised, over 50s on Facebook, are very much in a minority. And there are a great deal of us.

    So, what is to argue with?

    Best regards

    Kathy GReaves

  • Sandy McMillan

    • April 14th, 2011 0:16
    Ian this is the link, and for the use of one and all.

  • Colin Hunter

    • April 14th, 2011 0:59

    I have just had a look at my Facebook page before heading off for bed (It’s 0045) and the Windfarm vote has made a magical re-appearance! Far from being a desperate attempt by Viking energy to prove anything, it appears to have been a question asked by an individual who is named on the questionaire and the results (So far) are as follows. For:728, Against: 554, Undecided:150, Indifferent:22, I have saved a screenshot of the vote if anyone wants proof of this. It is interesting to add up the againsts, undecided and indifferent because you find they are, together, only 2 behind the fors. What this says to statisticians, rabble rousers and other peddlers of taurean excrement is open to debate! Goodnight!

  • Kenny Gear

    • April 16th, 2011 7:27

    This Facebook poll largely reflects the results of the Shetland Times poll.

    No desperate attempt needed – a professional opinion poll and now a separate Facebook poll have indicated a majority in favour by similar margins.

    The only desperation apparent to me is that reflected in letters such as this, which in the face of strong evidence to the contrary, continue to insist a majority of Shetlanders are against the proposed windfarm.

  • Colin Hunter

    • April 17th, 2011 18:26

    Yes Kenny, you’re absolutely right! Some folk just won’t be told. I’m sure some of them think that their lugs are there for the sole purpose of holding their glasses on!

  • Jane Booth

    • April 17th, 2011 23:20

    “over 50s on Facebook, are very much in a minority” Where is your evidence for this? You might not be on Facebook, I don’t know, but please don’t presume to speak for over 50’s in general. My 85 yr old father and 91 yr old mother are on Facebook.

  • Danny Mullay

    • April 21st, 2011 21:05

    Seen as it is clear that younger folk are voting consistently for the wind farm, would it be possible for the the current custodians of the Shetland Isles to listen to what the future generation is saying and give it the go ahead?

  • Colin Hunter

    • April 21st, 2011 21:53

    The younger folk are as much custodians of Shetland as anyone born here, and should, of course be entitled to their say. They will, after all be the “Old folk” someday, and if my experience is anything to go by, a damn sight quicker than they expected! What I can’t suffer is folk who come and settle here and then start throwing their weight around to suit their own ends. They can be here as long as they like, but they’ll never be Shetlanders.

  • Bert Morrison

    • April 22nd, 2011 11:35

    Facebook Poll “Are you for or against the proposed Viking wind farm?” 22/04/11 at 10:30am
    For:743 49.1%
    Against:574 37.9%
    Undecided:156 10.3%
    Indifferent:23 1.5%
    Total votes:1513

    From the results so far it can be seen that people voting in each category cover a broad range of ages. It appears from a quick scroll through the names that the average age in the ‘against’ group is higher than in the ‘for’ group.

    Some things that are clear:
    The windfarm is devisive – we already know that
    More people support the windfarm than do not (Shetland Times poll and now Facebook bear witness to this)
    A lot of young people support it.

    Quote: “These islands do not belong to us, we belong to them – we are merely the custodians for the future generations” – Does this mean we ignore the obvious future challenges facing Shetlands economy post oil or sieze this opportunity to secure Shetlands future? Renewable energy (Wind, Wave & Tide) offers a bright new dawn for Shetland and its youth – pure and simple. It is a shame that so many “Dirs nithin in it fur me” people are trying to stand in its way. “Dirs nithin in it fur me” either; before anyone asks!


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