Putting the record straight about views on renewables

It is time to put a small matter straight with the help of your paper.

We are not twitterers, but it has come to our notice via various websites that Robin Pennie is accused of “being against renewable energy”. This seems to have come about because we have both been actively against industrial wind power on Todmorden Moor.

It really is time to say loud and clear that opposing a renewable energy proposal in the wrong place is not the same as being against all renewables.

We would like to make two observations.

Many people will have grave reservations about a tidal barrage across the River Severn because of the environmental damage that might result. Are these people also to be branded as against all renewables? I very much doubt it. Similarly, it is surely not acceptable to label people who are against wind turbines in a vulnerable moorland eco-system either. It makes no sense.

Secondly, we are really pleased to see that Finn Jensen, in his recent letter to this paper, says that wind turbines on peat are not a good idea. We so agree with him. As he says, a powerful greenhouse gas, methane, is released when peat is disturbed. So are huge quantities of carbon dioxide, and as the cut edge of the peat is exposed to the air the release of greenhouse gases continues as the precious peat is eroded.

On Todmorden Moor, three of the five huge turbines and access roads, will cut into peat up to one and half metres deep. Of course we objected.

It is so easy to forget the importance of the soil or the peat beneath our feet. It isn’t just “dirt”. On the moors it is life itself – the foundation of a vulnerable moorland ecology that we shouldn’t take for granted, or dig up to access large government subsidies.

Reaching that conclusion does not make us, or anyone else, against renewable energy.

Sarah and Robin Pennie, Todmorden.