Alex Salmond has been extolling the success of Scotland’s renewable energy industries and said we were leaders, not just in Britain, nor just in Europe, but in the world. In these remarks, Mr Salmond conveyed the sense that he was addressing the world, presumably in the belief that “the world” would praise him (and us) for this achievement.
But if the First Minister were to turn his back to the world for a moment and face the Scottish people, and say the same things – would he receive the praise that he perceives comes from outside Scotland? And does “the world” know at what cost to our country, this beckoning golden age has been achieved?
One of Scotland’s core assets is its scenery, and in the proliferation of wind turbines Mr Salmond and his executive have committed themselves to the spoiling of it, in the hope that some wondrous economic miracle will ensue from its conversion from wilderness to a production facility. Many businesses have failed because they have tampered with their core asset. He didn’t say anything about that.
With many hundreds of planning applications for wind farms in progress, there will remain no rural or marine view in Scotland that does not contain wind turbines. If you were a tourist in Scotland, would you, as a memento of your holiday, put up on the wall, a framed picture of a mountain scene with wind turbines in it?
And seeking open vistas in which to permit the soul the opportunity to locate and repair itself from the pressures of the modern world, would you find solace in a terrain in which every horizon is interrupted by clusters of turbines?
Perhaps Mr Salmond is of the view that people’s souls and bodies can find an alternative to the myriad benefits which a wild landscape delivers. If the time comes when he examines whether his own value comes from the opinion of the world, or the opinion of his neighbours, he can try explaining this – and then see if he receives the praise which he seems to be seeking.
Name withheld, Aberdeenshire
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