So, the Monadhliath thread on OM has now been closed by the moderator. Firstly, I want to thank readers for their support. I think Jon has done the right thing in closing down what was becoming a slanging match. As we have seen in previous threads, these things have a habit of spiralling out of control. It’s not easy moderating. How much freedom of speech to you allow? Equally, as a participant, do you just shrug off defamation or do you call the perpetrator to account? To do nothing seems like surrender. I think the right thing to do is to ask the perpetrator to desist. To be fair to ALS, at no time did I feel that he was abusing me. All I wanted him to do was to stop making unwarranted assertions about me that had nothing to do with the topic in hand. It’s a real shame as I have had some cordial email exchanges with ALS (Jerry) through this blog in the past.
Unfortunately, communication through forums and email can get very heated. As Dave (Backpackbrewer) points out, face to face, these rows are often defused quickly. In cyberspace, they take on a life of their own. As Alan said, it is a shame that the Monadhliath thread will now pass out of view and that people may miss a chance to join the protest. The petition now has around 840 signatures, but really needs ten times that to be effective. Spread the word as best you can.
There is a dilemma here. Do I leave the OM forum in disgust or continue to contribute? A number of others have been subject to much worse abuse than me and, understandably, have left. Others see what goes on and decide not to participate. I’ve kept a relatively low profile since the last wind turbine thread. The disappointing aspect of this recent one is that it started off in a totally uncontentious manner (deliberately) and was then hijacked. If outdoor folk can’t discuss important issues like this amicably, why should politicians listen to us?
I want to commend Chris Townsend for his contributions. I kind of dragged him in by quoting him. Chris is someone I’ve never met, but feel I know through his books, articles and blog. He is never less than passionate about the things he cares about, but expresses himself in courteous and considered manner. He was never less than polite and informative in his comments. Thanks for your help, Chris (stop blushing!).
This country of ours (all of it) has a unique landscape. Although it is one of the most densely populated countries in the world, it has a surprising amount of beautiful wild land. While none of it is pristine in the sense of being untouched by man’s influence, much of our uplands and moorlands retain a feeling of remoteness and an aspect of grandeur that man has been unable to mar. The siting of huge wind farms with not just their oversized turbines, but all the attendant roads and pylons will irrevocably change the aspect of the land and its ecosystems, many of which are fragile in themselves. Let’s not stop campaigning against these monstrosities, but let’s keep our dignity. I would also urge you to sign one of the petitions against the new planning guidelines, which threaten our landscape.
Lastly, I want to share a YouTube video that I found, that I thought was (loosely) appropriate for the ALSs and Parkys of this world: