SEAS @ Aldeburgh Carnival meets “MAD MAX” by SEAS blogger Jean Herring
The SEAS campaign was launched on Monday 19 August 2019 at the Aldeburgh Carnival. Passionate and concerned students created an impact with their dystopian view of the 21st Century new age Gold Rush fervour: big private sector energy companies, including Scottish Power Renewables and National Grid Ventures racing to capitalise on the Crown Estates sale of our Seabeds (the new-age gold). A war like 'MAD MAX' chariot-tank paraded through the streets with the awesome Clean Energy Empress, dressed in black, presiding on her throne over her underling clean energy consultants and their black costumed platoon. Armed with his chain-saw in hand, 'MAD MAX' charged forward intent on making a fast track onslaught on the unsuspecting creatures around him. The 'MAD MAX' float was awarded first prize and the EDF sponsors bestowed gleaming silver trophies and certificates at the same moment that the first aerial message passed over head:
"CLEAN ENERGY YES, BUT DO IT PROPERLY"
As the second aerial message flew over, the crowds gathered to witness the procession pass through Aldeburgh High Street:
“EDF/SPR PLANS NO, LET'S REFOCUS"
The third message was displayed later in the afternoon:
"OFFSHORE SOLUTIONS YES TO A RING MAIN"
The plane flew along the coast from Aldeburgh to Southwold three times that afternoon. Golfers, cyclists, ramblers, gardeners, farmers, ornithologists, Duke of Edinburgh participants, residents and tourists alike, looked up to the leaden skies, wondering what all the fuss was about. A romantic marriage proposal perhaps? The launch of a new Suffolk Marina or a new Supermarket Prosecco promotion?
The "fuss" is that residents and tourists are unwittingly allowing a fiasco to take place before their eyes and our children and their children will not thank us for being so ill-informed and complacent about something as precious as our countryside. Most locals do not understand that Friston is a least appropriate place to build six substations and interconnectors.
These young students get it. Why do we not get it?
I think it is because we were not aware of the scale of the industrialisation required for six substations and interconnectors. We did not know that there would be so many. We thought there were just one or possibly two. We did not understand the size of the cable trenches or the impact of the actual substation site. We did not know that we would have to endure at least ten years of the construction process with all materials being delivered by road. If you had to choose a site for all these structures why on earth would you choose one of the most environmentally sensitive spots in the whole of the U.K.?
Industrialising the countryside should be as much a crime as usage of fossil fuels is compared to use of sustainable green energy alternatives.
The race to provide clean energy should not be at the expense of existing fragile environments. Clean energy needs to be delivered cleanly offshore using hub platforms and ring mains and in the short-term on existing brownfield sites. It may cost more but what are the costs of ruining the countryside?
Yes, "we all need to do our bit", but we should be more thoughtful about what that "bit" is, and that it's not wrecking the countryside.
SEAS blogger Jean Herring
Photos copyright of SEAS
Photos copyright of SEAS
If you haven't already done so, why not invite your friends and family to write to the Secretary of State.... use the sample letter.
If the UK is to meet their commitment to the Paris Agreement on greenhouse gas reductions, surely it is better to build offshore solutions for wind farm energy delivery, rather than release more emissions by digging up the countryside to lay cables and build massive substations, interconnectors and converters. The Government should take a leaf out of NSWPH's book, keep it all in one place, offshore..
"The industrialisation of The Shire was based on Tolkein’s childhood experience of the blighting of the Worcestershire countryside by the spread of heavy industry. In the Fellowship of the Ring the main protagonists have their homeland in The Shire: Frodo,Sam, Merry and Pippin all had to face great danger in their quest against grave threats to life as they knew it. I think many of the [Suffolk]communities that I have spoken to in recent months will identify with the plight of Frodo and his friends." writes Fiona Cairns, Director of Suffolk Preservation Society.