Donald Trump’s predictions that Scotland’s tourism industry would be damaged by wind turbines have been proved wrong, one of the US president’s critics claimed last night.
Ahead of Trump’s visit to Scotland this week, Green co-convener Patrick Harvie mounted an outspoken attack on the president ridiculing his attitude towards renewable energy.
Harvie described Trump as an “increasingly fascist” politician as he recalled dire warnings made by the billionaire when he appeared before the Scottish Parliament six years ago.
Before he entered the White House, Trump gave evidence to Holyrood’s Tourism Committee.
Angered about the presence of a wind farm off the coast at his golf course on the Menie Estate, Aberdeenshire, Trump made a series of withering forecasts about the impact of turbines on tourism.
In 2012, Trump told MSPs that wind turbines would “lead to the almost total destruction of Scotland’s tourism industry”.
The future president said: “Windmills are so unattractive, so ugly, so noisy and so dangerous that if Scotland does this, I think that it will be in serious trouble. I think that you will lose your tourism industry to Ireland and lots of other places that are laughing at what Scotland is doing.”
He added: “If you dot your landscape with these horrible, horrible structures, you will do tremendous damage. If you pursue this goal of having these monsters all over Scotland, Scotland will go broke.”
But Harvie said that since Trump’s Holyrood appearance, renewable energy capacity had doubled from 5,816MW to over 10GW. Over the same period the number of jobs in tourism in Scotland has risen by 25,000, from 175,000 in 2012 to 200,000 in 2016.
Harvie said: “As subservient Tory politicians get ready to roll out the red carpet for an increasingly fascist president who puts children in cages and brags about sexual assault, we should remember that this man is as delusional as he is dangerous, and cannot be trusted on any subject. Scotland’s renewable energy and tourism sectors have flourished despite his doom-mongering, proving he is the worst kind of clubhouse bore, who just makes it up as he goes along.
“Greens stand ready to take part in this week’s public protests to show solidarity with the people he oppresses. We’ve long challenged his bluster and bullying, and we will continue to support American friends and colleagues working to end Trump’s chaotic rule.”
Huge protests are expected in London when Trump arrives in the UK on Thursday.
Demonstrations are also expected in Edinburgh and Glasgow.
Trump’s itinerary steers him away from the protests and he will spend minimal time in London. It includes a black tie dinner at Blenheim Palace, where the president will be piped out of the dining room by the Royal Regiment of Scotland.
Talks with Theresa May on post-Brexit trade deals will be conducted at the Prime Minister’s country retreat, Chequers.
On Friday night he will come to Scotland, where he is expected to stay at the Turnberry Hotel, the famous golfing establishment which his organisation bought with its championship course.
It is not thought that he will have time to visit the Menie Estate where his organisation runs another golf course, or his mother’s childhood home on Lewis.