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Where was balance?

Wind Prospect claims it has support for its proposal of a wind farm on Mount Lothian by virtue of a telephone poll through a client PR company (Wind farm firm claims backing, Advertiser, October 25).

My discussion with some of those that were phoned, indicate a rather different side. Anything negative was typically omitted that would have enabled a balanced judgement to be made on the proposal. The height of these turbines (105 metres) was not mentioned, whether the recipient knew the location of Mount Lothian was not asked (few do) or whether they had actually visited a wind farm or seen one only as small dots on a horizon.

They were not told it was less than a mile from Howgate village nor that it was entirely visible through much of Penicuik. Nor was the likely company profit of £200 million mentioned (which is why they are here) nor the likely £12million for the landowner.

Much was made of the inducement of £50,000/year split five ways that Wind Prospect offers but the fact that Penicuik households already contribute over £500,000/year to wind farms and landowners alike, through their electricity bills was ignored, a sum that will spiral rapidly upward as wind farms increase and will likely become astronomical if independence happens.

Nor was it indicated that there are well over 20 wind farms either in production or planning within 20 miles of Penicuik or that wind generated electricity is the most expensive. It was not said that China increases its GHG emissions by a billions tonnes/year and that the offset in GHG emissions by this proposal, of 35,000 tonnes, would be eliminated by Chinese increases in ten minutes.

Finally when unspoilt countryside is industrialised by wind farms and wildlife destroyed solely for profit, what is lost is the quality of life for its citizens with no compensation; simply not said. In short this telephone poll was nothing other than advertising by Renewables Big Business in a crude attempt to manipulate opinion by omitting any balancing information enabling reasoned objection.

Professor Anthony Trewavas FRS

Croft Street, Penicuik

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