May 12, 2005

Environmentalists hoisted with their own petard

Press and Journal (Aberdeen, Scotland), May 4, 2005:
Scottish ministers are planning to give themselves unprecedented powers to push through controversial developments such as windfarm projects and the Aberdeen bypass, according to leaked documents.

Environmental campaigners branded the move a "naked power grab" and claimed it would make it virtually impossible to object to a slew of controversial developments.

Under a new "streamlined" planning process, once ministers had declared a project as being of "national strategic significance" it would not be possible to challenge it on the basis of need.

Instead, planning inquiries would only be able to look at detail and location.

Environmentalists believe if projects such as nuclear power stations and associated nuclear dumps or motorways have been designated as part of the national planning framework, it would be impossible to stop them, regardless of public opposition. ...

Duncan McLaren, chief executive of Friends of the Earth Scotland, said, "This is an unprecedented power grab which will centralise planning, reduce public involvement and allow the imposition of unpopular, socially unjust and environmentally unsustainable projects."

Business leaders back the executive proposals.
This kind of centralized planning to ignore public concerns is precisely what Friends of the Earth supports for putting hundreds of industrial wind power facilities throughout Scotland. Corporatized environmentalist groups worldwide argue urgency and "strategic significance" to ram the wind energy boondoggle into rural and wild areas despite widespread opposition. As opposition grows as more such facilities are built and more people see what they are, so does the call for national policies to force their continued building. When environmentalists thus sound like industrialists and land developers, they can hardly be surprised when their new friends apply such power-mad reasoning to other pet projects as well.

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