World-famous green pioneer John Muir would be “grief-stricken” by the number of wind farms in his native Scotland, say campaigners.
Scots-born conservationist Muir founded the US national park system and is regarded as the father of the Green movement.
On his 175th birthday, the charity named after him say he would be appalled at the impact of turbines on the landscape.
Scotland now has around 2000 of them, with thousands more in the pipeline.
John Hutchison, chairman of the John Muir Trust said: “If John Muir could see what is being done to his native land today in the name of progress, he would be grief-stricken. He would agree we need to fight climate change, reduce our carbon emissions and move away from fossil fuels – but not by trashing nature.
“California has five times the landmass of Scotland and, thanks to John Muir’s legacy, half of that is protected from modern human development.
“Scotland, meanwhile, has a coastline seven times longer than California. That suggests our contribution to the fight against global warming might be best focused on developing marine energy rather than depleting our precious and finite wild land.”
Muir is hailed across America as a patron saint of conservation.
Born in Dunbar, East Lothian, in 1838, he emigrated at the age of 11 with his family to the United States in search of a better life. He became one of the founding fathers of conservation, helping preserve Yosemite Valley as a national park
In 2006, Arnold Schwarzenegger inducted Muir into the California Hall of Fame.
Hutchison said: “On the 175th anniversary of his birth, are we just promoting John Muir to bring in US dollars?
“Or are we prepared to honour his life by turning the land of his birth into a world leader in wild land conservation?”
Scottish Greens MSP Patrick Harvie said: “The John Muir Trust are right we need much greater effort on energy conservation but they need to explain their alternative plan.”