Scotland cut down 14 million trees to make way for wind turbines

Scotland, site of the recent United Nations 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) climate summit, has cut down 14 million trees to make room for new wind power installations.

As reported in The Herald, the tree removal was for 21 wind turbine projects.

“The Scottish Government has moved to reassure that more trees have been planted, but it is unknown what proportion of these are mature plants that play a bigger role in turning carbon into oxygen.

“A Scottish conservation charity, which has planted almost two million trees across the Highlands, believes that both wind farms and trees are key to reducing carbon levels.”

The tree removal seems especially ironic given that world leaders supposedly agreed to end deforestation by 2030 at the recent COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland.

The Herald further reports that: “A spokesman for Forestry and Land Scotland, said: ‘Renewable energy and forests are key to Scotland’s contribution to mitigating climate change and FLS is successfully managing both elements.

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Wind Turbine Blades Can’t Be Recycled, So They’re Piling Up in Landfills

A wind turbine’s blades can be longer than a Boeing 747 wing, so at the end of their lifespan they can’t just be hauled away. First, you need to saw through the lissome fiberglass using a diamond-encrusted industrial saw to create three pieces small enough to be strapped to a tractor-trailer.

The municipal landfill in Casper, Wyoming, is the final resting place of 870 blades whose days making renewable energy have come to end. The severed fragments look like bleached whale bones nestled against one another.

“That’s the end of it for this winter,” said waste technician Michael Bratvold, watching a bulldozer bury them forever in sand. “We’ll get the rest when the weather breaks this spring.”

Tens of thousands of aging blades are coming down from steel towers around the world and most have nowhere to go but landfills. In the U.S. alone, about 8,000 will be removed in each of the next four years. Europe, which has been dealing with the problem longer, has about 3,800 coming down annually through at least 2022, according to BloombergNEF. It’s going to get worse: Most were built more than a decade ago, when installations were less than a fifth of what they are now.

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