Thursday, 11 November 2004

F&W reader's letter

I note that Neil Craig had a letter published in the Scotsman yesterday.


David Farrer said...

Comments made on previous template:

When addressing someone with the maturity of a ten year old it is appropriate to use concepts that they can comprehend.

13 November 2004, 14:31:20 GMT
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Neil Craig
Just back from a pub with smoking but relatively non-smokey because they have a hi-tech filtrationn system (The Doublet, Glasgow). (Hi tech always works) 
Stuart I accept you are not a "typical" environmentalist otherwise I wouldn't waste my time. 
David Malloch surely if you were a full libertarian you wouldn't read Stuart's rubbish unless he paid you - I guess you must be a wishy washy liberal like me.

13 November 2004, 01:06:04 GMT
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David Malloch
"I know you are, but what am I?" 
Who dear Stuart, a ten year old could have given a better come back than that. 
But thanks for providing the definition of libertarianism from Websters. You will of course notice that it isn't defined as being two or more persons who totally agree with each other all the time and share identical views. 
Indeed you might care to remember it next time you are banging on about "you libertarians" without actually knowing what peoples views actually are. 
". I am a far greater libertarian than you could ever aspire to be - I attentatively read the childish tripe that you produce for example." 
I like a man with a sense of humour!

12 November 2004, 23:42:46 GMT
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That was me. Cookie-trouble.

12 November 2004, 19:46:15 GMT
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Thank you for your kind words, I'm touched. 
(Well, they are as near to kind as any I have received on this blog.) 
I am not your typical environmentalist - all that posturing turns me off. 
What I am interested in .... 
I'll finish later - being dragged to a smokey pub! I'll revel in a passing liberty.

12 November 2004, 19:43:58 GMT
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David Farrer said...

Neil Craig
The "same to you with knobs on" position doesn't prove much tho' I have some sympathy with anybody attacked for trolling. Having been so described elsewhere (though I am pleased to say never on F&W) it appears to mean little more than that the author disagrees with the predominant position (you can see why I get accused). Debate would certainly have advantages if everybody agreed from the start but would be of limited value. 
On your main point what you said about Scotland having been so uglified that polluting it with 6,000 windmills (the mininmum to replace Hunterston & Torness in reasonable weather) clearly is, if meant, anti-environmentalist & Scotland hating. If you want to consider that merely over-provacative fair enough because I am sure you do love Scotland (& will follow any politically correct SNP "environmentalist" views). My opinion is that most "environmentalists" are actually Luddites flying false colours & are more concerned about using the environment as a battleground than actually doing anything good - only thus is the call to reduce CO2 & oppose Nuclear power explicable.  
Having seen where following that line has led may I ask you to reconsider.

12 November 2004, 18:51:00 GMT
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-"your anti-environmentalist & Scotland hating view" 
In fact my feelings are the diametric opposite on both points. If you had accused me of being over-provocative you may have had a point. 
What I hate is the deforested desert we have allowed to develop in vast tracts of our country. And we have the cheek to criticise developing countries for deforesting and wiping-out large carnivores - we did it centuries ago. 
Wind farms would be a mere pimple on an already deeply-scarred industrial countryside. 
Wee Davie, 
An extract from Webster's dictionary: 
n : an ideological belief in freedom of thought and speech" 
The reason I always insert it in inverted commas is that the only speech you guys ever listen to is the sound of your own, tedious, right-wing voices. I am a far greater libertarian than you could ever aspire to be - I attentatively read the childish tripe that you produce for example. 
-"rather dim, likes trolling, cannot intelligently engage with the issues raised." 
I know you are, but what am I?

12 November 2004, 07:20:28 GMT
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David Malloch
Stuarts "You libertarians" card is something he always plays: 
a} Because he is rather dim 
b] Because he likes trolling 
c] Because he cannot intelligently engage with the issues raised. 
I don't think he actually understands what 'libertarianism' means, he seems blissfully unaware that two men might consider themselves both to be libertarians, and yet strongly disagree with each other on an issue. 
And poor David Farrer even went to the trouble of doing a big long posting to try and explain it to him, but it just didn't work!

12 November 2004, 01:02:03 GMT
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David Farrer said...

Neil Craig
Stuart in this case you are about as wrong as a human being can manage to be.  
The reason running nuclear is so cheap is because that is how the universe works. Concentrated power is easier to use than diffuse - see the laws of thermodynamics. Even if your claim about subsidy was true that would have little bearing on why current running costs for nuclear are so much lower. In fact, of course, for the last 30 years "alternatives" been receiving vast subsidies while nuclear was attacked. This is the only reason why it is the Chinese & not the west who are developing a pebble bed reactor which will be considerably cheaper than even the current 2.3p unit nuclear electricity. Even so it is nuclear that is supplying 45% of our power & wind nearly 1%. 
The idea the "we" libertarians are strangling wind with regulations (because it is a new technology) & subsidising nuclear is, to put it politely, looney. The precise opposite is true. I would be entirely happy with a level playing field on which these technologies could compete. While we are at it attempts to produce electricity from cucumbers should be equally open to alternative entrepreneurs. 
You are entitled to your anti-environmentalist & Scotland hating view that ruining the environment is fine because Scotland's environment has already been completely ruined. However not only I but several million tourists every year have expressed the opinion that we live in a beautiful country. I would regret seeing that beauty destroyed & the Scots people impoverished to support your Luddism.

11 November 2004, 21:42:24 GMT
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-"they kill birds" 
Motor vehicles and pet cats kill millions of birds. Would you like them banned too? 
-"bulldozing miles and miles of the most remote and wild regions of the country" 
There is no such thing as a truly wild place in Scotland. All our land bears the heavy scar of mankind already. I cannot see the difference between a barren, sterile "grouse"-moor and a wind farm - they are both artificial monstrosities. 
We may as well be honest and admit that we ruined our landscape during the Clearances. Its all a relative eyesore compared to how it ought to look.

11 November 2004, 16:45:02 GMT
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The environmental cost of wind turbines is not merely aesthetic: they kill birds, and they need cleared rights-of-way for the high-voltage lines connecting them to the grid. Other non-distributed forms of generation can be sited in places where the environmental impact of the grid has already happened, but wind farms typically require bulldozing miles and miles of the most remote and wild regions of the country. The physical effects of giant wind turbine noise on humans and other animals has been noted but not really fully studied.

11 November 2004, 16:34:14 GMT
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The reason nuclear is so "cheap" is that it has been subsidised to the hilt for decades, and continues to be so. Dealing with the cost of nuclear waste would ruin British Energy in a free market. 
The complaint re wind turbines appearance is purely aesthetic. I'm certain the same complaint was made when telegraph poles, streetlighting and tarmaced highways first arrived. They alter the visual environment, perhaps a little, perhaps more. Whether the alteration is positive or negative is very subjective. 
You "libertarians" are always rattling on about over-tight planning rules; and yet when a new industry comes along you want to strangle it at birth: with planning rules!

11 November 2004, 08:42:14 GMT