Not to end the week on a rage-inducing note or anything, but I thought I’d share a crucial update in the epic, NIMBY-centric saga of one man’s tireless campaign to effectively piss off not just his immediate neighbors but an entire region (or country, for that matter). That man, of course, is billionaire real estate developer Donald Trump and that country is Scotland, where the orange-skinned climate change denier has been hard at work — much of this "work" entails intimidation and old-fashioned bullying — erecting a $2 billion golf mega-resort on the fog-swept, ecologically sensitive coast of Aberdeenshire since 2008.
As I blogged about back in August, Trump was none-too-pleased to learn that an 11-turbine offshore wind farm could potentially be built in Aberdeen Bay, just 1.5 miles from the site of his habitat-destroying golf fantasyland. At the time, Trump vowed to block the $327 million renewable energy project supported by the European Commission and the Scottish government using “any legal means” in fear that the turbines would compromise his views. Now, in the midst of a colossal temper tantrum/letter-writing campaign, Trump has threatened to pull the plug on the project altogether if he doesn’t get his way.
To be clear, a substantial portion of the 1,235-acre development, the actual 18-hole golf course, will go ahead as planned and is due to open later this year. It’s the development of 1,500 luxury homes, a secondary golf course, and 450-room hotel that Trump has postponed because of the proposed European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre. Caught in the middle of this mess is Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond, who initially supported the Trump project but who is also fully behind his country's movement towards the use of renewable energy. Salmond believes that both Trump and the turbines can both exist in peaceful harmony, but the comb-over king is having none of it, vowing to halt construction on the project until the Scottish government reaches a decision whether or not to approve the application for the wind farm which was submitted last summer. He's also reportedly donated $15.9 million to an anti-turbine organization in Scotland.
In true overblown Trumpian fashion, The Donald let it all out to Salmond in a Feb. 9 letter: “You seem hell-bent on destroying Scotland's coastline and Scotland itself. With this reckless installation of these monsters, you will have single-handedly done more damage to Scotland than any event in its history." Trump continues: “Please understand, I am doing this to save Scotland, and honor my mother, Mary MacLeod, who as you know was born and raised in Stornoway. She would not believe what you are doing to her beloved Scotland!"
Wow. That’s some mighty rich irony right there, folks. And getting your long-dead mother involved? A classy touch, I must say. Bravo, Mr. Trump.
Willie Rennie, a Scottish Liberal Democrat Leader, fires back to The Guardian:
First Mr Trump accuses Scotland of being the laughing stock of the world. Now he threatens to launch an international campaign. What Mr Trump needs to understand is that Scotland will live up to our responsibilities to tackle climate change.
This letter is a rather desperate attempt by a rich man who is used to getting his own way. But his latest tizzy is embarrassing. Instead of the world laughing at Scotland, Scotland is laughing at Mr Trump.
Oy vey. Head on over to CNN for a decent play-by-play of this nasty little battle.