Television historian Neil Oliver has launched a blistering attack on the Scottish Government and its green energy plans.
Oliver, best known for presenting the BBC’s Coast series, spoke out against the increasing numbers of “intrusive and uglifying” wind farms, warning they could ruin every viewin Scotland.
The 45-year-old also accused Donald Trump, the American billionaire, of presiding over the “wholesale destruction” of an irreplaceable stretch of Scottish coastline.
In an outspoken critique of the future of Scotland’s landscapes, he went on to urge corporations and elected representatives to tell the truth and not hide behind spin.
He said: “I’ve got to the point where I wish politicians and big companies would just talk to the population like grown-ups. Wind turbines, whatever you think they look like, are destructive and intrusive.
“They involve massive amounts of cement, which is an extremely ungreen material, and pre-suppose the construction of power lines either with pylons or underground cables.”
The Stirling-based academic said the public needed to hear the unvarnished truth about the hard choices that lay ahead.
“We’ve become squeamish about oil and gas-powered power stations and we’re definitely squeamish about nuclear power. We should be grown-up enough to understand that if our energy is to come from turbines, it will come with a price.
“That price might be that in the future we live in a country that is in many ways uglified. If you want renewable power then you’ll have to live with a landscape that is completely altered by turbines so that every view on land and seascape will be compromised.”
Oliver accused Alex Salmond of ingratiating himself with the rich, and attacked Labour and the Tories for wanting to preserve the union for self-serving reasons.
The broadcaster, who also hosted A History of Scotland, claimed it was ironic and “almost the stuff of a Biblical parable” that Trump had raised fears that the siting of wind turbines in the North Seawould ruin the beauty of his Aberdeenshire golf complex.
Lawyers for Trump last week demanded a public inquiry into plans for a wind farm near his Balmedie course.
He added: “There’s an irony in the fact that Trump is upset about something which he feels will destroy the landscape. We’re too grown-up as a people, I hope, to be fooled by the idea that you can have the world’s most prestigious golf course, hundreds of holiday apartments and a fivestar hotel and therewon’t be any consequences from that.
“That dune system, which was almost unique in Scotland, has been scraped away by an army of bulldozers.”
On the referendum, the Renfrewshire-born historian said: “Independence is a powerful word and it begs the question: what are you independent of? On the one hand you say you want to be freed from Westminster, but there is always going to be someone out there you’ve got to get into bed with that compromises some of your ideals.
“You can argue that Salmond wants independence for the good of the people of Scotland, but it’s also for his professional advancement. Likewise, the unionist parties don’t want it because of all the well-rehearsed reasons.”
A Scottish Government spokesman said: “Scotland has astounding green energy potential and vast natural resources and we have a responsibility to make sure our nation seizes this opportunity to create tens of thousands of jobs and secure billions of pounds of investment.”
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