Exhibiting his trademark restraint and good taste, Donald Trump told Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmon what he thought of Scotland's ambitious offshore wind projects. “With the reckless installation of these monsters, you will single-handedly have done more damage to Scotland than virtually any event in Scottish history." Why is The Donald so mad? Because distant offshore wind turbines might be visible from his luxury golf resort in Aberdeenshire, and such a "destruction of Scotland's coastline" is simply unacceptable to Mr. Trump.
(Note that this photo is not of a Scottish wind farm, and not representative of what one would see from the shore.)More gems from Trump's letter:
"I have just authorised my staff to allocate a substantial sum of money to launch an international campaign to fight your plan to surround Scotland's coast with many thousands of wind turbines.
"It will be like looking through the bars of a prison and the Scottish citizens will be the prisoners.
"Luckily, tourists will not suffer because there will be none as they will be going to other countries that had the foresight to use other forms of energy."
Mr Trump added of his objection: "I am doing this to save Scotland."
The Scottish government doesn't seem scared by Trump's threats, and Niall Stuart, chief executive of Scottish Renewables, which represents the renewable energy industry in Scotland (take note that he's not a neutral party either), said:
"Who is Donald Trump to tell Scotland what is good for our economy and our environment?" he said. "Offshore wind is already attracting billions of pounds of investment and supporting hundreds of jobs across Scotland, including in his mother's hometown of Stornoway.
"He completely overblows the impact of the proposed wind farm and to be honest there are so many mistakes in the 'trumped-up' nonsense that it's difficult to know where to begin."
Bottom line is: As long as people like to flip on the switch and have the lights turn on and want a healthy environment to live in and a sane climate, we'll have to figure out how to produce energy as cleanly as possible. Wind power has great potential. It's not without downsides, and we should exploit it as thoughtfully as possible. But it's impossible to always do it out of sight of everybody, everywhere. Sometimes seeing some turbines off in the distance (and in many cases they will be over the horizon, so they won't even be visibile) is still a smaller price to pay than to have coal plants spewing out CO2, particulate matter, mercury, etc in the air that we and our kids breathe. How would Mr. Trump like to have a coal plant next to one of his resorts?