Members of Scottish Parliament (MSP) have rejected Donald Trump’s incorrect, outrageous, and unsubstantiated claims that wind turbines will do incredible damage to the Scottish tourism industry. However, Mr. Trump may have an ulterior motive; he is trying to stop an offshore turbine from being developed because it is in view of his north-east golf course.
In addition to Trump making a statement about the economic dangers of wind turbines at a high profile hearing at the Scottish parliament in April, Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond has received dramatic letters in which Mr. Trump has said that wind power will destroy the Scottish economy. Trump claimed his opinion was valid since he was an expert on tourism and the parliament needed no evidence, only his opinion.
Despite Mr. Trump’s emphatic appeal to MSPs, a report by the cross-party Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee acknowledged Trump’s anecdotal opinion but said there was no empirical evidence substantiating Trump’s claim. They determined Scottish tourism would not be adversely affected by country-wide implementation of renewable energy projects and 80% of UK tourists would not be deterred from visiting Scotland.
In fact, inverse to Trump’s claim, a wind farm at Whitelee, south of Glasgow, is now a tourist attraction itself, and has drawn praise for advancing renewable energy.
On a positive note, Trump’s claims have called attention to the need for the Scottish government to combat common misperceptions about wind energy. The committee recommended that the government work with the wind turbine industry to combat misperceptions that would affect career choices and widespread acceptance of wind energy.
Scotland acknowledges that while size and low carbon emission output will never significantly contribute to the global reduction of carbon emissions, but the country has pledged to develop alternative technologies in order to support a global transition to sustainable energy.