Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Why I should not be called a NIMBY

For those of you who do not know me my name is Rob Shairp. Shairp is an uncommon Scottish surname ehh,  I am from a wee island off the West coast of Scotland with a population of about 200 people. Spent 20 years of my life in Australia and have Aussie citizenship before myself and my wife decided to emigrate to Ireland "as it was closer to home" Galway had an airport back then with a quick flight to Inverness where my wife hails from.

Anyway on to the topic of NIMBY ism, I got involved with researching industrial wind turbines and all aspects of their existence when I bought a home in Connemara. I suppose my initial motivation was NIMBYism I had spent all our savings on buying a house and doing it up so the last thing I wanted was to lose money if a industrial wind turbine complex was built close by. The Real Estate agent I bought through, when I asked for a valuation if the turbines were built told me I could lose up to 20% of the houses value due to the view being such a huge part of the attraction of the property. We look over the Costello river and bog to the Connemara hills and there is not another house in sight. No lights, no noise top views, lovely wild forest garden full of wildlife I was entranced. So I started a website and face book page and joined with some of my neighbors and

The Developer, Gaoi an Iarthar (Enerco Energy Ltd) had an information day in a local hall with lots of people in suits walking around telling everyone how lucky they were. There were photos of how the turbines would look in the distance promises of monies to be paid to local charities and the like. The first thing I noticed being an avid photographer was the shots were all taken with wide angle lenses which diminishes height in objects in the background, I thought that's a bit rude the turbines are over 140 meters tall and yet they have been made to look like the height of telegraph poles.  Since then there have been laws made to stop developers using photo montages that misrepresent reality. The development has never gone to planning since and that was over two years ago now, everything has calmed down no more meetings and folks here uninterested, apart from myself as I started doing some research.

This is where I feel I can no longer be called a NIMBY ( Not in my back yard) I do not want to see another industrial wind turbine planted ANYWHERE  in anyone's back yard, WHY? well
  1. They do not work. The whole purpose of wind turbines was to lower CO2 emissions and help save the Earth by altering Global warming. Ireland saved only 2.6% of its emissions last year which cost huge amounts of money.  And that 2.6% does not factor in CO2 produced by diesel generators used to turn the blades when the wind is too low or the CO2 emitted by the manufacture process or transportation of the mills to the destinations. 
  2. They are not proven to be safe. More and more people all over the world are reporting medical effects from low frequency noise emitted from the turbines mostly due to sleep disturbance, also effects are being seen on animals living close to them.
  3. House prices near turbines can drop by half their values more in some cases, I know one man whos house is worth 80 % less than it was before the development came along.
  4. All the countries that have embraced wind farming have not managed to close a single conventional power station as they are needed to back up the turbines when they are either not turning due to no wind or shut down due to too much wind. The conventional power stations ramping up and down, produce more CO2 than they would running at max capacity cutting CO2 emissions reduction for the country even further.
  5. Trees are being cut down replaced with turbines, the last thing we should be doing is cutting down more trees.
  6. Turbines have large magnets inside and the mining of the rare earth minerals and production of magnets for them has seen a thousand fold increase and is causing huge environmental damage.
  7. Ireland produces enough electricity already to satisfy demand in this country, increasing the amount of wind power in the equation means a larger network of electricity lines to transport it and more back up generation.
  8. The plan to export electricity to the UK is flawed, there was no CBA done before vast amounts of money were ploughed into it. The plan did not go to public consultation before being launched which is illegal according to Aarthus and the International conventions Ireland has signed up to obey. 
  9. The whole system of planning has been corrupted by big wind and politicians with vested interest in promoting wind energy.  
  10. The Wind energy scam is just a massive, easy way to take money from those who cant afford it and transfer it to greedy landowners, developers and multi national companies.  They lie, cheat and ruin countrysides all for money, money, money. 

Chest playing a wee tune

My ICD started playing tunes to me, the first time I heard it I thought Angie had changed the ringtone on her new iphone and it was stuck under a pillow somewhere, but no it was me playing. Have sent a transmission to the hospital over a remote carelink machine they gave me last year so they can check whats happening inside me, amazing technology ehh. Anyway I think it will just be a signal that the battery needs replaced as it has been almost 8 years since I had it fitted. Time flies.

The crocodile got painted green yesterday and I made another bench seat and moved some rocks for my rockery. Potatoes are a sucsess this year they must have liked the addition of seaweed to the plot, over the winter I will cover the area with a tarp to kill off weeds and have my fingers crossed that next season I can afford a polly tunnel for part of it.

My summer cold has almost finished just left with a nagging cough and a bit of a tight flemmy chest  mostly when I'm flat out. Today is dry again so I should try and get some whipper snipping done today lots of areas needing it again. I suppose the growth will start to ease up a bit soon and I can get on top of things again the bracken got the best of me this season in parts of the place. Gus has a gash on his leg so I have been trying to keep him out of the burns and mud but if the whipper snipper comes out they get covered in dirt and have a ball so I shall just have to make sure it gets clean later. 

Monday, July 28, 2014

Lake Maquire monster

Our friend Leona from Australia named the garden pond Lake Maguire when she visited a couple of years ago and it now has its own monster in competition to Loch Ness.

The pond is at an all time low after the dry summer we have had, not that I'm complaining it has been great to have had dry weather, no doubt the winter will be here soon enough.

Next project is to move some rocks from a wall that was demolished by a falling tree down behind the pond up to the house and enlarge a rockery. John gave me some rockery plants that have done well so I shall try taking cuttings from them for the new rockery when I finish building it. The two pics below are the rockery plants I will try and get cuttings from, they have just past their best flowering time.

Other colour round the garden just now is from the mopheads, angry panthers and sweetpea.

I have had a summer cold here and am still a wee bit crook but I must be feeling more like myself as my projects have started again :)

The Commonwealth games have been good so far I enjoyed the rugby 7,s competition, they had over 180,000 people at Ibrox over the two days to watch the games and the weather was good for them for the most. Last week they were having 27C in Glasgow, same as here, but its cooler this week, I think the marathon runners would have been happy to have it cooler.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Visitors away home

Had a great time with my nephew, niece and Mum and Dad and took them back up to Belfast yesterday, we had a few stops along the way the first was at Clonmacnoise monastery it was founded in 546 by CiarĂ¡n, a young man from Rathcroghan  Co. Roscommon. Until the 9th century it had close associations with the kings of Connacht. The strategic location of the monastery helped it become a major centre of religion, learning, craftsmanship, and trade by the 9th century and together with Clonard it was the most famous in Ireland, visited by scholars from all over Europe. From the ninth until the eleventh century it was allied with the kings of Meath. Many of the high kings of Tara and Connacht were buried here.

It rained for most of the journey but cleared up and the sun came out for our stop here, we had a picnic and drove up to the Boyne valley and stopped at the battle of the Boyne site.

It took us about 7 hours to get up there with the stops along the way and I made it home today in 5 hours with stops for lunch and to do a bit of grocery shopping in Galway and it was sunny all the way today.
We missed getting onboard the SS Nomadic as we were too late but I got some photos from the dockside.