In Douglas Adams’s Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy an insane bunch of people starting out on a new planet try to get a money system going and decide that leaves will do as banknotes. Unfortunately, because there are so many leaves on the new planet, they decide to instigate a massive programme of deflation and burn all the forests down. This is a bit like environmentalists chopping trees down to build a solar plant because climate change is damaging the environment. But who’s ever heard of that happening?
Well, Natural Resources Wales have. In January, far out in the unfashionable end of a small unregarded town in South Wales, near an insignificant region called Croespenmaen, 200 ancient beech trees were felled to make way for exactly that: a new solar farm. Illegally. However, while Natural Resources Wales knew what was going on, the rest of us were kept in the dark. Consider this ITV News report from January. There is no mention of who might be behind the destruction:
I only discovered this story when, driving along the Manmoel Road, I was surprised to discover a solar farm slowly taking shape across several fields either side of me. Apparently there has since been an effort to postpone the construction of the farm until a thorough investigation of the crime is carried out, and a petition was launched here to this effect. But as you can see, the petition hasn’t exactly gone nuts. I can’t help thinking that if the trees had been chopped down by a fracking company, things would be different somehow. There just might have been a teensy, tiny bit more news, a slightly higher count on the petition following it, and who knows, possibly even a comment from George Monbiot. As it is, we just have to put up with environmentalism in action. Wha – what do you mean, “why has it got to be built?” It’s a solar farm! You’ve got to build solar farms!
Here are a few pictures I took near sunny Croespenmaen: