How to destroy a landscape;
or just comparing the proposed fracking in England with what has happened in Scotland.
Such places as the outer Scottish Isles will "always be deeply contested, as the dynamics of capitalism - such as the short term pressure of share prices - comes up against profoundly different local cultures and precious natural environments"..
Reading yesterday I came across another episode of destruction that could have happened but luckily there was an enormous clamour against it. This time a mountain in the Scottish Isles, seen as a quarry for the roads in England. The book I am reading is Madeleine Bunting's Love of Country.
The Isle of Harris had to fight a destructive bid by Lafarge to create probably one of the world's largest quarries by actually taking a whole mountain down. It was fought bitterly and in the end the campaigners won against such foolishness. The whole story can be found here. It took many years but....
"Plans to develop what would be Britain's biggest ever quarry were set back today (Friday 9 January) following a unanimous decision by judges at the Edinburgh Court of Session to reject a "back door" appeal by French aggregates giant Lafarge. The company failed to overturn a previous Executive decision blocking the establishment of a massive 600 hectare superquarry within a National Scenic Area on Harris."
The Isle of Lewis was also faced with a similar 'force majeure' when the idea of covering its vast moors of peat with wind turbines. To the people who live on these islands, place is important, the land is named, it holds the history of the people and their lives. Luckily the plan was brought down to a more reasonable level. The investing company always holds out substantial rewards to the people whose land it is about to destroy, in Yorkshire £10,000 is waved around as a comforting plaster to people affected by fracking.
(Capitalism threatens to turns place into abstract space). The fracking map above with blunt squares to denote areas of fracking is hardly a map you would pick up and scrutinise. It makes one weep to think that the big companies, in this instance Ineos see our beautiful countryside as an industrial fossil fuel pit to wreck and create havoc, we have become 'squares' instead of forest, wood, or moor.
This is capitalism in all its raw exploitative force, making money is the name of the game. We are already beginning to see the unrest in the world as people's lives are overturned by gambling by others on their future.