There was a time, when my kids were younger, when we used to watch a lot of Would You Rather YouTube videos, in which we were offered terrifying, absurd or unappealing options in the following manner: Would you rather hear a comforting lie or an uncomfortable truth? Would you rather swim in a pool full of Nutella or a pool full of maple syrup?

The real-life questions around what we do to mitigate climate change can sometimes seem like “would you rathers” in which none of the options seem nearly so attractive as swimming in a pool of syrup.

I was mulling on this as I read a Herald on Sunday article in which it was revealed at least 14 major wind farm proposals had “bypassed local authorities to go straight to the Scottish Government for consideration directly on account of their size”. The turbines ranged from 720 to 850ft tall, with some “twice the size of what is purported to be Scotland’s tallest freestanding structure, the 420ft high Glasgow Tower”.

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Campaigners, unsurprisingly, were furious at this seeming elimination of local voice from decision-making. “The Scottish Government,” said Ashley Smith, spokesperson for the anti-windfarm group No Ring of Steel, “has made it clear it wants to rush towards renewable energy. But that cannot come at the expense of Scotland’s world-renowned landscape.”

It was in the light of this article that I wrote down the question: Would you rather the whole world suffered devastating climate change or you had to wake up every morning next to a noisy, super-turbine outside your window? I know this sounds simplistic and artificial. But, given the majority-agreed science on human-caused climate-change, we have to acknowledge that drastic action is necessary and this does involve changing our energy supply.

We also need to acknowledge that many of those answers will not be perfect – but the hope is that they will be a lot less wrong than what we have. One of the issues I have with many of those who campaign against wind energy is that rarely do they suggest any real answer to the urgent problem of ever-rising parts per million of greenhouse gases and their link to oil and gas. They rail against wind, but don’t mention the climate.

That’s not to say that the answer is inevitably wind turbines. Another “would you rather” could be, “Given that super turbines are not the only option, would you rather a nuclear power station 20 miles from your door, or a wind farm two miles away?” And, of course, a lot of people have fretted over this question. But nuclear versus wind is a distraction, for if you look at the majority of research into price and potential, it’s clear renewables are out front winners.

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So it’s no wonder Scottish Government plans to fast-track and increase onshore wind from 8.78 GW to over 20 GW by 2030. But that rapid expansion does bring other issues, from impact on landscape and tourism to the damage that wind farms inflict on wildlife. Recently, for instance, it was reported that 33 raptors, including ospreys, golden eagles and peregrine falcons, have been killed as a result of collisions with onshore wind turbines in Scotland since 2019.

This figure is upsetting and more research should be done on how to prevent it, but it’s worth putting into context with the question, “Would you rather ten birds of prey a year are taken out by wind turbines or hundreds of thousands of seabirds lost to climate change in the coming decades?”

Research, after all, suggests that the impact of warming has on the food source of Scotland’s iconic seabirds, such as puffins, is set to impact populations. And this is just one tiny example of the impact of climate change. I am not against listening to local campaign groups. Far from it, I think we need to create a system that joins up thinking locally and acting globally more effectively. More needs to be done to benefit locals.

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It doesn’t help, for instance, when we learn, in an article in The Ferret last year, that only “loose change” was being delivered to communities from onshore wind, while multinationals raked it in. We should also welcome recent recommendations from a UK backbench committee that those living within a mile of a scheme should be given free energy, and those within three miles should get a 50% discount.

Meanwhile, I suggest you create your own climate “would you rather”.

As a thought exercise it reminds us that there are no absolutely right answers, but that nevertheless we do need answers.

And, yes, when it comes to my original question, I would rather super-turbines outside my window.

Though, instead the bane of my life is a tramworks construction on my doorstep – and I am learning to live with it, in hope.