Into the not-so-wild-anymore

Approaching the crest of a low ridge on the edge of the Cairngorm mountains, I could sense their massive bulk beyond, out of sight still - the vast plateau, the bite of cold air shifting between granite tors, falling toward the icy depths of high lochans. Nearly there, the scent of heather clear as a weak autumnal sun drew subtle shades of colour from burnished slopes. Cresting the ridge I simply stopped, dumbfounded, the impact of these turbines sudden and absolute, utterly at odds with the landscape that dwarfs them and yet is dominated by them.
The so called renewables debate continues to rage - the questions politicised, the answers polarised, the lay-person seeking balanced objective information left to muddle through a mass of conflicting, spurious arguments. In fact I find it amazing that any real progress has been made in preventing the industrialisation and destruction of wild space which includes far more than turbines like these. The launch of things like the SNH map of wild land areas in June is encouraging, yet the fact that proposals such as the wind farm application between Loch Rannoch and Loch Ericht continue to be taken seriously is a damning indictment of just how little value so many place upon such spaces. A decision is due in November. Should the proposal go ahead, it will make a mockery of any pretense to the contrary. And so for a little while longer, a few will hold their breath, as countless millions continue, oblivious, into the not-so-wild-anymore.

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