The Winds They Are A-Changin’

Only about 18% of the population of Vestlandet are pro wind turbine industry on land.
Andreas Lund at the cairn on Gudbrandsfjellet. Photo: Eli S.Lund

by Andreas Lund, first published in Norwegian at CHRISTINAFJELDAVLI

ONE LAST FAREWELL! It’s Sunday afternoon and the calendar shows September 5th. I sit on top of Gudbrandsfjellet, in the middle of the area for Tysvær wind farm, and tears flow! It is barely a year and a half since the construction work started and I was part of the Camp Cleng actionists. I, who through a long life, had never participated in a single demonstration, suddenly came as far away from my own comfort zone as I think was possible.

Throughout the spring of 2020, there were many early trips to the camp in Hersdalen. Many hours of fire in the fire pit with people from different backgrounds and political views. But one thing we had in common, we were all preoccupied with trying to save the Tysvær nature which was now strongly threatened. Hubro and golden eagles, bats, and frogs, even the little white wagtail nest had to be saved. And today I am very grateful to have gotten to know each and every one of these great people. Being part of stopping large construction machines was a new experience for all of us. And the slow walk up the beautiful Hersdalen with all the Risa cars as tails will probably be remembered for a long time! We were often visited by the police too! We had long hoped that we would be able to stop the work, but it turned out to be impossible. At the end of August 2020, I had the last trip up to what had then become a large construction area. The whole beautiful nature area had then been so destroyed and torn apart that I felt it was best to stay away. The Motvind organization worked hard in various arenas, but I personally felt both discouragement and depression.

Gudbrandsfjellet is not the mountain I have hiked the most, but there have been some hikes over the years. A beautiful landscape with a lot of coastal heath and fantastic views of the Hervikfjord, and the painter Hertervig’s kingdom. My favorite area here is probably the area around the idyllic Gudbrandstjødna. For the past year, I have been thinking that I would pull myself together and take one last trip, THE LAST FAREWELL. And it must be said that the idyll from previous trips was gone. No matter which way you turned, when you stood on top of the cairn, it was half-finished or finished wind turbines that dominated the view. Together with 7- 8- 9 and up to 10 meters wide construction roads. And even on this Sunday, there was activity. In a southerly direction, one can see the Kårstø plant, which in comparison seemed very small, set against this enormous wind industry area. It makes me think of those who believe that our skepticism of wind turbines can be compared to the “doomsday prophecy” of the time in connection with the Kårstø development. There were certainly good reasons to oppose that development as well, but there is an important difference if you ask me.

The Kårstø plant has provided many good jobs and large revenues to the state and municipality. While this large area, which has now been demolished, provides almost no jobs if one disregards the construction work. And if there should be income from the establishment, something the “green certificates” help to ensure, then the Australian Macquarie Group probably has routines on how to get the money out of the country and into a tax haven. Besides, I probably think that the birds have learned to keep their distance from the flame towers. I am more worried that some of our birds may fall victim to turbine wingtips at speeds of 2-300 km per hour.

A farewell will always be linked to strong feelings. Often it will consist of both good and bad. Maybe a farewell can also be a beautifully unforgettable blink of an eye that brings hope! But this last farewell, which I have tried and shared a little of, is a blink of an eye that I wish was just a bad dream! Still, I am so lucky that I can travel home and be spared from having the turbines in the middle of the view from home. My great sympathy goes to all the people that get views, peace, and night peace destroyed by such new neighbors.

Relevant questions, in the end, are: Has the struggle to save Hersdalen and Tysværfjella failed? And has all the work that the Camp Cleng activists and all other Motvind supporters have put in, been in vain? My answer is a resounding NO! The time and energy that all nature-loving Motvind people have used, across the pretty country, is very important. A number of mountains have been saved, in our municipality, it is the Dalbygda wind farm that was not built. And that there has now been a break in land-based wind power development, I think is quite clearly a result of Motvind sailing in tailwinds. So even though I felt the tears pressed during the trip around Gudbrandsfjellet, I know that: IT IS POSSIBLE TO FIGHT AGAINST THIS INJUSTICE

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