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Not "Green" Thinking

Updated on December 16, 2012

Jurassic Coast

Going Green?
Going Green? | Source

Jurassic Coast

The Jurassic Coast is a stretch of coastline in Dorset in the south of England. It surely is a place of beauty and apart from that it is one of only eight coastlines to be awarded World Heritage Site status by UNESCO. One of the main reasons for this, and the reason why this 95 mile stretch of coastline got its name, is that 175 million years of geology can be seen in its rocks.

There is now controversy in the area because a company, Navitus Bay Development proposed to build a wind farm of 335, 210m high turbines 7 miles off of the coast.

This plan has received criticism from a local group, headed by Mr. Drax, the conservative MP for Dorset South.

The critics complain that the development will be an “eye sore” on the otherwise beautiful scenery of the coastline, which could affect its WHS status. They also claim that it could be a danger to local boats and fishermen as there was Hurst Lighthouse in the designated area for development.

Navitus Bay Development

In response to these objections, Mr. Unsworth the Director of the company has altered their plans.

One, the turbines would be reduced to 218 and their height to 200m.

Two, the northern boundary of the development had been moved southerly to have less effect on the navigation of seafarers.

Three, they had held meetings with the local WHS steerage group, who had said that although the site was primarily awarded for its geologic properties, the scenic beauty could also affect the status.

Mr. Drax still has concerns but both parties have agreed to have the renewed plans put out for public consultation in 2013.

Not Green Thinking

Now I can fully understand nobody really wanting to spoil scenes of natural beauty anywhere. However, for years now, the natural beauty of many places has already been spoiled through oil rigs, oil spills and coal mines and will be further spoiled by shale mining. At least this scenery will be in part of an effort to reduce global warming and be overall good for the planet.

UNESCO quite rightly recognizes places of natural beauty. The most part of its job though, is to promote the sustaining of this beauty and so, as this particular site was awarded for the coastline itself as opposed to the scenery from that coastline, and the turbines can play their part in helping sustain natural beauty, by perhaps helping to minimize the increasing number of hurricanes etc., induced by global warming, they should allow the site to keep its award.

The people of Dorset should perhaps be a little less selfish. They have been blessed with a thing of beauty but must also be thankful that they are not in a hurricane zone, YET. They should think of the damage that a hurricane could do to their cherished Chesil Beach.

Yes I know that the Jurassic Coast gets 16 million visitors a year but most of them come for the coastline itself, not the view from it. Besides though, surely they could make up those numbers by claiming that they are being an “Eco” friendly site. Eco tourism is an increasing market. Perhaps as these turbines are being planed to be just 9 miles from the coast instead of the 14 miles recommended by the EU, they themselves may bring tourists.

As the Doha 2012 conferences have once again shown that the Worlds Nations cannot effectively work together to agree on a viable plan for the reduction of greenhouse gases, it is obviously up to all of us, working individually or in small groups, to unselfishly try and play our part in trying to save our planet.


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