The Government’s Climate Change Risk Assessment published today reports on benefits of climate change from cheaper shipping costs to new fishing and crop opportunities. But the prospect of a longer crop-growing season in the Welsh hills does not fill me with joy. The risks far outweigh the gains. Which is why I am dismayed at the unthinking opposition to plans for wind farms in our undoubtedly windy area. Our little wind generator backed up by solar photovoltaics gives us all the electricty we need, so we should ignore the sceptics who doubt the contribution wind energy can make to low carbon generation.
Of course every effort must be made to minimise any environmental impact (particularly of the electricity transmission system – pylons are ugly, whereas wind generators can have a certain beauty – as seen at the gateway to La Alpujarra) but the bottom line is that if NIMBY attitudes prevail we will end up losing many precious landscapes to unchecked climate change.
The Environmental Assessment of the Neuadd-Goch Bank wind farm, which I read whilst I was “working” at the community shop, concludes there will be no significant ecological impact. The report mentions observations of skylarks which gave me confidence that I was right in thinking I had spotted one last year on Beacon Hill! It is acknowledged that the wind farm will have a strong influence on the character of the landscape up to 2km – that means us. But at least we can carry on watching the red kites and brown hares whilst my precious marsh marigolds and mountain pansy are still more at risk from farming practices than wind farms.
McAlpine were surveying for road access this week. Could be a problem!