Today is the Scottish National Party conference in Perth. At some stage, SNP leader Alex Salmond will no doubt be crowing, as he is wont to do, about his success in transforming Scotland into the “Saudi Arabia of renewables”. This is inaccurate. What he has actually done is transform Scotland into the Saudi Arabia of tourism, which is to say he has turned a once-beautiful country into a vast, inhospitable desert which no one in their right mind would want to visit.
Scotland’s landscape was, until recently, one of the great glories of our national heritage. What made it so special was its vastness, its remoteness, its stark, unspoilt magnificence. Though, of course, man has played his part in shaping it – the stone walls and bothies built by crofters, the patchwork colours on the hillside caused by burning sections of heather on the moor in order to provide new shoots for the grouse – but till now his presence has been discreet and has enhanced the country’s beauty rather than detracting from it. No more, however. Wind farms have ruined everything.
This must-read article about the devastation wrought on just one part of Scotland – remote and rugged Caithness – says it all. It was written by a man who genuinely loves and appreciates nature – as opposed to all those misanthropic environmental zealots who are destroying the planet while pretending to save it with “renewable energy”. Here’s a sample:
While it was still unspoilt I recently had a gentle walk from the top of the road, over the wet moor and down to the Berriedale water where it flows through the gorge under a shaky suspension footbridge.
The red deer rut had begun and stags roared to each other from skyline locations across the valley. The wind was cold, the sky bright, the heather already dying, real autumn though only mid-September.
Those who want wind farms see only the pound signs and have no understanding of the value of a wild Highland landscape like this one or how 20 or 30 giant turbines will turn it into yet another industrial site.
Places in this world which have not visibly been trampled and subdued by man are increasingly rare. Already, up on the Scaraben ridge, the Sudoku grid of the Boulfruich intrudes jarringly into the eastward view.
Absolutely nowhere in Caithness is safe from the marching white monsters.
LOCH Calder remains unspoilt, fortunately the council had the sense to repeatedly refuse permission for three huge windmills on the hill top to the east. But the forests to the west are for sale… an obvious temptation for yet another site.
And the Broubster wind farm has come back, a proposal for 20 or 30 huge turbines at the top end of Broubster Forest which, with Limekiln and Baillie Farm, would mean the western fringe of the county becomes nothing but a mass of giant whirling concrete blades.
Already Baillie Farm is surprisingly prominent from the loch with only three towers up so far and the blades not even attached.
Yet they still call Caithness the land of big skies. In a few years’ time this will be sheer nostalgia.
I weep for the rural Scots and what has been done to their countryside by the Chavez of the North, Alex Salmond. He has devalued their properties, blighted their views, stolen their tranquillity and wiped out their tourist income – all so that a few greedy landowners and mostly foreign-owned Big Wind conglomerates can make a fat fortune through the massive subsidies they receive for producing intermittent, overpriced and useless energy.
I’m sorry I’m unable to join today’s protests outside the Perth conference by Scottish anti-wind-farm groups. I share their outrage at Salmond’s ludicrous claim that wind farms do not detract from the Scottish scenery. Here’s what Linda Holt of the protest group Communities Against Turbines Scotland (CATS) has to say:
“Instead of parading around the world as a great green leader, Mr Salmond needs to get out into the Scottish countryside and meet the communities, including tourism stakeholders, whose lives and businesses are being ruined by turbinisation.
No one (apart from politicians) comes to Scotland to see a windfarm. No one wants to live next door to a windfarm. No one climbs a mountain to see a windfarm.
If Mr Salmond’s main experience of windfarms is pretty photos or glimpses from a passing car, he might just be able to fantasize that they are not giant, noise and flicker emitting structures which dominate their surroundings for miles around. In reality, windfarm landscapes are alien, alienating places, hostile to man and beast.
Many people in Scotland will be horrified to hear these remarks from the First Minister, including the poor beleaguered officers in planning departments across the country and in Scottish Natural Heritage, the agency charged by the government to protect the Scottish landscape. Government is about more than enticing industrial wind developers to your country at any cost.”
Donald Trump, fighting a massive offshore development opposite his golf course, puts it even more bluntly. Of Salmond, he says,
“He will go down, far and away, as the dumbest and most destructive leader in the history of Scotland.”
Trump is right. No man in history – not Edward “Hammer of the Scots” Longshanks, not even the “Butcher” Cumberland – has ever wrought such havoc on the fair land of Scotland as Alex “Butcher” Salmond. His name will live in infamy.