Is he whistling in the wind?

OPINION

Is he whistling in the wind?

I READ with interest the positive and encouraging report on the proposed London Array Offshore Wind Farm in the Yellow Advertiser.

The facts you present are indeed true, and the development will, as with all such developments, have to undergo a full Environmental Impact Assessment before it can be approved.

What astounded me was that a local councillor (David Garston) was able to comment negatively in such an apparently authoritative way.

He is an ardent supporter of the Southend Relief Road – a project guaranteed to cause considerable damage to the green belt – yet somehow he has an objection to something off the coast of Southend that he will struggle to see on a clear day.

Wind energy has the potential to offset burgeoning climate change. Offshore wind power is a largely objectionless form of generation which, once cleared as no risk to migratory bird patterns, will have an enormously positive effect on everyone who wishes to see their land remain green – their coasts remain stable and their air remain breathable.

Any enterprising boat owner in Southend could, Mr Garston would be relieved to hear, even market boat trips to the wind farm.

David Garston clearly has some axe to grind, but it seems to be with the people of Southend, not just the wind farm developers.

Keith Farnish
Eastcheap
Rayleigh

Seize this better way

I WAS astonished to hear that councillor Garston, portfolio holder for sustainable development, should oppose the excellent opportunity for zero-emission energy provided by the proposed off-shore wind farm development in the Thames estuary.

Surely he must know that UK oil production peaked in 2002 and has been in decline ever since.

In 2004, UK oil production fell by nearly 10 per cent, making us ever more reliant upon foreign imports.

A huge proportion of the nation’s oil and gas is set to come from former Soviet countries, which are likely to remain in turmoil for decades to come.

Not only can we be sure that supplies will suffer interruption, there is a very real danger that even more British troops will be killed attempting to ensure security of supply.

In a world where nations will compete ever more fiercely for diminishing resources, most of us know there is a better way.

We must seize every energy efficiency opportunity, so using much less energy, and get as much energy as we can from new sources – chief of which being wind.

Not only is the planet’s climate at stake, so too is the nation’s security.

Name and address supplied

Alternatives badly needed

I FEEL that I have to write to comment on the wind farm article published in theĀ June 15 edition.

I am consistently stunned by the narrow-minded, selfish comments of the bureaucratic minority who appear to have not even the slightest regard for our environment and the well-being of the planet in general.

Do these people not realise that renewable, sustainable energy is desperately required, not in a few hundred years, not in a few years, but today?

Putting a block, or even a negative comment, on a project such as the off-shore wind farm is tantamount to advocating ecological suicide.

What this planet needs is more wind, tidal, geothermal, solar and hydro-electric generators, not more ways to exploit the easy pickings of oil and gas.

The greatest polluters of green-house gasses are power stations and they need to be replaced immediately with no real concern of “it may spoil the view”, or “well, it costs a lot of money”.

I would much rather see a wind farm than an oil refinery or power station, and the money is well spent if it buys us back our planet – which, I might add, is the only one on the market.

As for noise pollution, how many people live next to a main road and learn to ignore it – I did.

I can only applaud London Array Limited and hope that more companies follow their lead, there is too much distrust, snide comment and general apathy going around – we need to act and act FAST.

Please, everybody, get informed. Find out about global warming, global dimming, ways to save energy and be energy efficient.

One person may not make a difference on their own, but sixty million ‘One persons’ CAN.

Tony Wren
address withheld

Danger in attitude

DAVID Garston’s reaction that “Southend isn’t going to benefit” from an offshore windfarm would be laughable if it wasn’t so dangerous.

As the polar ice caps continue to melt – a process which is already underway – and sea levels continue to rise, the danger to these low-lying areas increases. It is not a question of if floods will occur, it is when.

As a coastal town, Southend will be in the front line when the worst excesses of global warming take effect so anything that we can do to alleviate and delay these effects will be of direct benefit to the town.

Many parts of Southend are under severe threat from flooding already because land has been developed at, or only a little above, sea level.

We can forgive those administrations who built houses more than 30 years ago because they cannot have known about global warming. However, that is no longer the case.

Tragically, all our current council can think about is how to cram more and more houses into the east of the town, which, as the lowest-lying area, will be flooded first.

Peter Walker,
East Street,
Southend.

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