Impact on Landscape and UK
Nevertheless, the Scottish Government is right to try to take some of the heat out of the debate and grant a measure of protection to some of Scotland's most remote and beautiful landscape. Wind may be a precious national resource but so is the Scottish countryside.
Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) claims its proposed wind farm development at Stronelairg above Fort Augustus wiill not impact on deep peat. However, the company admits in its environmental statement that a quarter of the site is on peat deeper than one and a half metres, with nearly a further quarter more than one metre.
No more would I trade in blood diamonds or child pornography than I would accept money in any shape or form from Big Wind. The time is long since past when anyone complicit in this vile, corrupt, mendacious industry - not the lawyers, not the engineers, not the land agents, not the investors - could be unaware of the damage it does: to the landscape, to rural communities, to wildlife, to people's health, to the economy generally.
The impact on the people and the beautiful countryside of Mid Wales and Shropshire will be devastating. 800 of these structures in the area proposed is completely and wholly out of proportion. If localism means anything at all, the ruination of the hills should be taken by bodies accountable locally. The macro-economic alleged advantages are, as KPMG point out, a total illusion.
Mr Davies described how the problem is not only the turbines, but the need for two vast substations and 100 miles of steel pylons, up to 150ft high, to carry the electricity into Shropshire to connect with the National Grid. But although he may have spoken eloquently about the visual and social impact of this project, he failed to spell out its nonsensical economic implications.
The John Muir Trust is a wild land conservation charity. SNH statistics show that the percentage of Scotland's natural landscape visually unaffected by built development dropped from 41% in 2002 to 28% in 2009.
This was mostly due to industrial-scale wind developments and infra-structure.
In a paper entitled Windfarms: Time to Change Direction? the Northamptonshire branch of CPRE said the organisation should "re-evaluate" its support for [wind farms] in the light of new evidence suggesting "that the generation of electricity from wind is not an effective way of reducing carbon emissions".
There are lots of reasons for believing this, but the main one is probably the fact that there is as yet no economic way of storing electricity.
Over the past five years, concern for the future of the planet has morphed into an unthinking support of any plan, however harmful to the countryside, that might just possibly help the energy crisis, however infinitesimally.
Turbines have become a marketing tool, representing global concern and niceness, appearing in advertising campaigns, as backdrop for local TV news, even in the England World Cup symbol.
In the past I have always been proud to invite family and friends to visit me in the beautiful Highlands of Scotland.
In the future, I may well be asking them instead to come to the industrial park where I live. ...One of the hallmarks of Scotland's heritage is being destroyed, and to little or no avail.
Rural rejecters of wind power aren't bumptious bumpkins, says Adrian Snook. We are asserting our rights as consumers and voters. ...Opinion polls consistently show strong public support for wind power in the UK with around 80% of people expressing support and only 10% opposed. Yet when this translates into local voter reaction to onshore wind development, particularly in England and Wales, support seems to evaporate. It is often replaced by deep anger and opposition. Why is this? I believe there are two reasons.
We can be fiercely protective of the green and pleasant land itself, or what remains of it.
And it has never needed more protecting, because this autumn a new quango - created, symbolically, by the unelected Lord Mandelson - may usher in the biggest change to the landscape in our lifetime. ...
Well, the Government wants to increase renewable energy production and is irritated that wind-farm developers are constantly being delayed, or even thwarted, by challenges from local objectors and conservation groups such as the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England.
Despite its relatively small land mass, Scotland plays an important role in the UK in storing carbon on our land. We host 55 per cent of the UK's terrestrial carbon store.
The richest stores are our peat lands, poorly-drained soils ...However, the landscapes that best accumulate carbon - our wild and windy moorlands - also offer the best sites for energy generation from wind power: Scotland has 25 per cent of Europe's wind energy source, according to the Scottish Government.
How would you imagine an environmentalist would react when presented with the following proposition? A power company plans to build a new development on a stretch of wild moorland. It will be nearly seven miles long, and consist of 150 structures, each made of steel and mounted on hundreds of tons of concrete. ...The answer is that if you are like many modern environmentalists you will support this project without question. You will dismiss anyone who opposes it as a nimby ...and campaign for thousands more.
As if there are not enough already of these largely-ineffective and unsightly wind turbines in this region, the latest proposal is to build 20 to 30 more between Fountainhall and Oxton.
The Borders is at risk of becoming the dumping ground for these monstrous eyesores and if people are concerned about preserving the natural beauty and landscape of the Borders, they have good cause to be worried by the threat of yet more turbines dominating the landscape.
"How the hell did we let that happen?" we often ask ourselves when we look at the brutalist monstrosity tower blocks which we allowed to blight our towns in the sixties. In a few decades' time we're going to be asking exactly the same question about the 300 foot wind turbines ruining what's left of Britain's wilderness.
And a bit like the perpetrators of terrible sixties architecture now, no one's going to be able to come up with a satisfactory answer because, quite simply, there isn't one: wind turbines are a bad idea in almost every way imaginable.
As National Wind Week draws to a close, we are all being asked to "embrace wind" and turn a blind eye to the real impact of poorly-regulated industrial expansion on some of Scotland's most wild and beautiful landscapes.
British Wind Energy Association's (BWEA) claim that the minimum footprint of a turbine is as little as 25 square metres is a classic example of the marketing hype surrounding onshore wind energy.
Nobody ravages a landscape more devastatingly than an environmentalist. The crazed drive to promote wind farms has destroyed Scotland's natural beauty by peppering our rural wildernesses with Martian wind turbines - to no practical benefit. ...what we are actually doing, at a time of financial stringency, is creating two parallel energy systems, at more than double the necessary cost, to meet demented EU targets, while simultaneously destroying our landscape - in the name of environmentalism.
In the WMN (April 6) Energy Secretary Ed Miliband warns that communities in the Westcountry have "no option" but to support a "massive expansion" of wind farms.
Does he think we are the only ones who care about what happens to the countryside?
If wind energy was the one practical and affordable answer to global warming then I would grit my teeth at the loss of the countryside and accept it. But I know that they are no answer to global warming in northern Europe.
The Germans who have invested more than anyone in this form of energy are finding, according to newspaper Der Spiegel, that despite more than 17,000 wind turbines across Germany the nation is now emitting more CO2 than before it built them.
The view from the top could not be clearer: Ed Miliband, the minister for energy and climate change, said last week that opposing the onward march of wind turbines - on which the government is pinning its hopes of meeting its targets on renewable energy - should be as "socially unacceptable" as not wearing a seatbelt or failing to stop at a zebra crossing.
Hmm. Tell that to the people who believe the view over Britain's last remaining wildernesses is about to be destroyed for ever - and for a very dubious set of returns.