Mission: Toppers at Sea


Wind Turbines, Peat, and Sheep, OH MY!


Lerwick – of the beautiful Shetland Isles

Pictures and a journal entry from the POV of a geoscience student 



Today I gained great insight to one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to. When learning about the wind farm plans, I was surprised to hear about the debate. I think wind turbines are great! They are a great source of clean energy, and will reduce carbon emissions. But if I was in their shoes… would I really be okay with 103 huge wind turbines on my small little island – tearing apart all of the peat, which being a carbon sink, will release tons of carbon? Hmmm… 


What really stuck out to me was the fact that the whole issue with things was coming from the fact that there was not enough scientific data to completely satisfy either side of the debate on following through with the wind farm plans. They need to know what will happen. Will it hurt birds? Will it make it hard for people to sleep? What about the beautiful landscape? Although I don’t have plans of being in the field of study that is required for gathering the data they needed, I still desperately wished I could be the one to jump in and help them reach an answer. The small community is being faced with a really difficult problem that is also really scary for them too. I couldn’t imagine being in their place in the midst of the debate and problems stemming from a changing climate.

And not only the wind turbines… but the PEAT! I first imagined a small little stream when they told me about the erosion. But this was HUGE. See the picture below for scale!