We have been betrayed (Laughton Johnson)
In response to James Mackenzie and Sustainable Shetland’s support of the UK government’s negative attitude to renewable onshore wind energy in the islands (last week’s Readers’ Views): yes, we’ve been betrayed!
Mr Mackenzie and Sustainable Shetland need reminding, yet again, that at the last poll of Shetland opinion on the proposed Viking Energy windfarm (“More now for the windfarm than against”: Shetland Times 10th December, 2010) there were 36 per cent for, 33 per cent against, and 31 per cent undecided. That poll indeed reflected the growing level of support as the enormous benefits to the community became clear.
In other words, despite being extremely well organised and well funded, Sustainable Shetland could only muster less than a third of Shetland against the windfarm.
In the present, and likely future, desperate economic situation for Shetland, Scotland and the UK as a whole, the opportunities for green energy and community benefit that the cable and Viking Energy windfarm would bring have become increasingly important, if not critical.
Then there are the proposed Yell projects and the huge potential for tidal energy in Yell Sound … and let’s not forget the Western Isles in all of this.
I have no doubt that if a poll was carried out today we would find even less support for Sustainable Shetland’s stance, while the proportion of Shetland supporting the cable, windfarm and other renewable energy projects would be substantially higher.
The loss of such opportunities would indeed be a betrayal.