Scotland's Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon, a member of the ruling Scottish National Party (SNP), made the admission. She estimated that 15.7 million trees had been cut down since 2000 on land currently managed by Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS) – the equivalent of more than 1,700 trees being felled per day.
Gougeon, who serves as the Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) for Angus North and Mearns, disclosed the figures to North East Scotland MSP Liam Kerr in a July 13 letter. The letter stated that around 7,858 hectares of trees "have been felled in order to facilitate wind farm development." (Related: Scotland cuts down 14 MILLION trees to build new wind farms in latest greenwashing fiasco.)
The rural affairs secretary insisted that there was a planning presumption that favored the protection of Scottish woodlands, explaining that "removal should only be permitted where it would achieve significant and clearly defined additional public benefits."
Gougeon continued: "Where woodland is removed in association with development, developers will generally be expected to provide compensatory planting in order to avoid a net loss of woodland." She further explained that many of the felled trees will have been "replanted on-site" or replaced elsewhere. Moreover, the vast majority were part of a commercial crop that would have been chopped down anyway "at the end of their rotation."
In response, Kerr remarked that the public would be "astonished" at the figures. He said: "Most people will be astonished to see the number of trees cut down to make way for wind farms."
"I've been contacted many times by rural communities all over the country questioning the location of these developments, sharing legitimate concerns not just about the visual impact but also damage to wildlife and business. Now we learn there’s significant damage when it comes to trees."
The North East Scotland MSP ultimately commented that ministers "must be alive" to the "significant costs" that could be incurred with the erection of wind farms.
As of writing, Scotland already has turbines theoretically capable of generating 8.4 gigawatts (GW) of power. However, ministers from the ruling SNP want to add a further eight to 12 GW to this capacity.
Aside from erecting new turbines, the SNP also plans to replace existing turbines that may be coming to the end of their working life with even taller and larger versions – in a process called "repowering." Reports from early 2023 stated that some wind farm developers want to erect turbines up to 850 feet tall.
Meanwhile, FLS said it had planted more than 500 million trees since 2000. The quantity cut down for wind farms, it added, equated roughly to its annual harvesting program.
"Renewable energy generated from wind farms is a key element in Scotland's response to the climate emergency," said a spokesman for the agency, which is under Gougeon's purview. "The shift toward net zero and the infrastructure on land that we manage generates enough power for 600,000 homes."
"The volatile price of imported gas has left energy consumers suffering some of the highest prices in living memory, alongside a climate emergency which means cutting the amount of carbon we emit as quickly as possible," said Scottish Renewables Policy Director Morag Watson. "Building new wind farms, the cheapest form of power generation tackles both problems at once."
Climate alarmists claim that trees aid in "lowering carbon emissions." Yet they are more than willing to cut them down for occupying land supposedly for renewable energy sources that are ultimately unreliable.
"It seems deeply ironic that trees are being felled to make way for wind farms, when both healthy, growing forests and renewable energy are important," Steve Micklewright, CEO of the conservation charity Trees for Life, told the Herald.
"Not only are millions of [carbon-dioxide] absorbing trees being felled for turbines, hundreds of thousands of acres of ancient carbon-holding peat are being dug up too," commented activist Lyndsey Ward. "Many more trees will have been sacrificed and peat lost as remote wind factories are connected to a grid that cannot cope with them."
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Watch Harrison Smith of "The American Journal" explaining how Scotland cut down millions of trees in favor of wind energy farms.
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