Jobs, bribes and re­new­able en­ergy

Argyllshire Advertiser - - YOUR VIEWS -

Sir, Mr Hamil­ton’s and S White’s let­ters in the Au­gust 31 edi­tion of the Ar­gyll­shire Ad­ver­tiser can­not go un­re­marked upon.

What we have never lacked in Ar­gyll is an end­less sup­ply of arm­chair ex­perts, of­ten blow­ing in from the ur­ban south, sel­dom re­quir­ing a lo­cal job to sup­port a grow­ing fam­ily, and quick to crit­i­cise oth­ers over mat­ters they gen­er­ally know very lit­tle about.

The busi­nesses which have long bat­tled to pro­vide lo­cal eco­nomic op­por­tu­nity to young fam­i­lies in our most frag­ile ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties have grown used to these slings and ar­rows. Kelp has been sus­tain­ably har­vested for gen­er­a­tions in Ar­gyll and talk of fish farms de­spoil­ing the sea is rank non­sense.

To­day around 600 peo­ple in Ar­gyll de­pend on aqua­cul­ture for their liveli­hood. To crit­i­cise our coun­cil for rightly hav­ing a keen in­ter­est in lo­cal em­ploy­ment is baf­fling, par­tic­u­larly in a ru­ral county where our work­ing-age pop­u­la­tion con­tin­ues to de­cline sharply through lack of job op­por­tu­nity.

S White’s rant on re­new­able en­ergy is both ill-in­formed and silent on any con­struc­tive al­ter­na­tive route to re­duce the car­bon emis­sions that are likely driv­ing cli­mate change. As we con­tem­plated the wis­dom of S White’s views last Fri­day morn­ing, around £1.5m of lo­cally man­u­fac­tured wind tow­ers were be­ing loaded aboard in Camp­bel­town Har­bour, des­tined for the Netherlands. Ar­gyll’s and much of greater Glas­gow’s ket­tles were cer­tainly be­ing boiled by the wind and hy­dro power be­ing gen­er­ated in Ar­gyll, and hun­dreds of lo­cal peo­ple were go­ing to work and earn­ing their liv­ing de­rived from the re­new­able en­ergy busi­nesses of Ar­gyll.

For lo­cal peo­ple who have sup­ported re­new­able en­ergy de­vel­op­ments that have brought real eco­nomic ben­e­fits far be­yond the ob­vi­ous com­mu­nity funds, the sug­ges­tion that they have been ‘bribed’ is pa­tro­n­is­ing and ab­surd.

It is self-ev­i­dent that we are eco­nom­i­cally de­pen­dent on what we can pro­duce from the lim­ited op­tions avail­able to us in re­mote ru­ral ar­eas. Ar­gyll’s nat­u­ral re­sources favour aqua­cul­ture and re­new­able en­ergy, for which global de­mand con­tin­ues to grow. For our part, we hope our coun­cil­lors and busi­ness en­ter­prises will con­tinue their laud­able ef­forts to grow these in­dus­tries, and the associated eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity that helps pro­vide the se­cure em­ploy­ment and op­por­tu­nity for our lo­cal com­mu­nity and also funds a big slice of Ar­gyll’s non-do­mes­tic rates. James F Lith­gow of Orm­sary

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.