Bye Bye Welsh Winter and more damnation

So the last three days I have seen the snow strip back, to be honest on the scoured slopes and ridge the cover was only a few inches deep. Today even more has gone, and I cancelled another welsh winter skills course.

Don’t get me wrong there is probably still loads of snow in the gullies and if the freezing levels drops then they will be in great condition. However the Met Office are predicting more warm and no doubt wet weather this weekend. So whilst it may not be over, I am pretty sure it is for the time being.

Today I managed to get in the sea, and it was way warmer than a couple of weeks back, probably because of the recent warm weather and sunshine! Caught a few good waves, some chunky sets coming through at cable bay.

In the mean time I am trying to catch up with all the comments people made on my last post. A few general questions answered. Yes I deliberately used Damned as a word. Yes the title was to gardener response and it seems to have worked as many people saw it and shared via various social media. Lots of people were unaware of what was going on at that specific site, I was surprised by how many people could not give two hoots about such a development in the national park.

I learnt that there were some 70+ planning applications in the National Park (The someone from the BMC said they simply can’t track them all!), most backed by a company that has seen a niche similar to you getting solar panels and not paying a dime as they take the fed in tariff to pay off the cost.

The BMC claim to have mentioned this at local area meetings (not been recently) and published Tom Huttons piece which I did read but it didn’t mention the pass specifically (although how could he mention them all with 70 of them!). However more people I know locally did not know about the development in the Pass than did. Hopefully that shows the BMC that they need to do more about engaging with the majority of local climbers in ways other than areas meetings and their website.

Also and most interesting the new director of planning at SNPA, used to work for Renewable UK and West Coast Energy (I don’t know if he has any relation to company involved in this project). Add in that the government change the planning ethos to aim at commerce and jobs rather than protecting the environment, we are starting to look done for.

I am not against all these micro hydro developments in general, many are in more urbanised areas of the national park, some are even closer to my house. I just don’t want this one to be built, simply because of its location in a wonderful valley, around 400m from the main road on the side of Snowdon. I do see the need for ‘green energy’. However I will add a few comments here, one of my favourite quotes from the Ford car company, “The Stone Age didn’t end because we ran out of stones!”. Similarly the dependence on fossil fuels will probably end because we find a better technology.

On that note, in the last month scientist have created a fusion reaction. (What essentially drives the sun, or clean nuclear energy). The experiment for the first time produced more energy than it used to contain the reaction. Maybe funding nuclear fusion technology would help speed us to a point where it is commercially viable and when energy has no carbon footprint.

Similarly, I think that helping the local community reduce their carbon emission by providing cheap/free insulation and energy efficient household systems may be of more benefit than giving a private company money to put up dams in beautiful areas. Also how much is this going to cost and how many houses could have had free solar panels fitted for that cost?

Final someone said that they are not damming the stream but building a weir. Total semantics their, and another of favourite quotes, “You can’t turn a horse into a cow, simply by calling it a cow”. It is a concrete structure design to hold back water. It is a dam!

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