Rossendale Free Press
Wind of change needed to preserve children’s future
THE world’s great and good have been in Glasgow this week, working out how to tackle climate change.
It’s an understatement to call it a huge issue, but at the same time, it does feel very removed from our day to day lives.
We know we need to change, but it’s going to take more than paying
20p for our plastic bags in Tesco, sorting out our recycling and switching to electric cars.
Rossendale Council, to its credit, is leading the way in saying it will be a ‘net zero’ authority in the years to come - meaning it doesn’t produce more carbon than it can offset.
But that still probably isn’t enough - although it’s absolutely the right thing to do.
Time and again this week, the Prime Minister has talked about how we need to take big decisions and do things differently.
The key to climate change being tackled is the abandonment of fossil fuels.
To do that, you need to take every opportunity to invest in sustainable, green energy.
Here in Rossendale, there’s a great chance to play our part - wind power.
We have several wind farms in the area, the biggest being at Scout Moor. It should be a lot bigger by now, but for the intervention of politics over what is good for the planet.
Rossendale Council, in line with then Government policy, approved a plan to extend the wind farm - which presumably was only being extended because
the developer, Peel, felt it the existing wind farm was working - despite opposition from people in nearby areas.
The Government then turned against its own policy and over-ruled the council, saying the extended wind farm shouldn’t be built.
It has always felt to this columnist as the wrong decision - and one our children and grandchildren will pay the price for. It was the local Conservatives, including MP Jake Berry, who led
the opposition to the new wind farm and their voices were ultimately successful.
But time moves on and while the Tories may still be in power, we live in a very different world.
A world where a Prime Minister is making it his mission to solve Climate Change and a Prime Minister who isn’t afraid to upset some voters along the way.
The current fudge of the Tories being pro off-shore wind farms but anti on-shore wind farms is an
example of silly politics getting in the way of the bigger picture.
Of course, there was a price for us to pay from the Rossendale wind farm project not going ahead.
The council would have picked up a substantial amount in income from allowing the wind farm in its borough, something which would have helped pay for services and, who knows, maybe even helped reduce council tax increases.
Imagine if that wind farm was allowed to be built today - helping power homes with renewable energy and raising money for the council to spend on further improvements to make the area a greener, more climate friendly place to work.
Big promises are being made in Glasgow this week - but until politicians are prepared to be unpopular locally, such as by explaining why we should be supporting wind farms on top of windy hills, the future looks quite bleak.