NOW for the weather.
Next week, Edinburgh should brace itself for hurricane force blasts from the west. The capital's wifies are warned to batten down those scones and consider wearing something under their fur coats. Yes, The Donald, Mr Trump, the Blowhard from the Big Apple, the Mouth from Manhattan, is coming to town.
The billionaire property developer's appearance before the Scottish Parliament's Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee is set to be one of those occasions when it is very heaven to be alive and a Scot. It will be our equivalent of the Murdoch and Son show in the Commons. Mr Trump can rest assured, however, that there will be no bad behaviour from Edinburgh residents. Have you seen the price of flans these days?
But one must be serious. It is too easy to approach any matter involving Mr Trump and allow the debate to descend into cheap jokes. In some parts of the world the law requires it. Even so, we should extend to our visitor from overseas the kind of warm welcome we would give anyone spending £750 million on a golf course and resort. Particularly in this instance when, and it pains me to say it, the kind of pain induced by a five iron to the forehead, he is right.
Mr Trump has a bee in his bouffant about wind farms in general and the planned building of an 11-turbine one off the Aberdeenshire coast in particular. He has compared the Aberdeenshire development to building a block of flats on Arthur's Seat. As every visitor to New York knows, Mr Trump, owner of a hotel overlooking Central Park that would give King Kong vertigo, knows his edifices.
Mr Trump says the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre, to which the Scottish Government must soon give the thumbs up or down, will ruin the views from his course. Again, some empathy can be exercised here. Many local people felt the same about the building of his resort in the first place, but their objections were overruled by some faceless sort in Edinburgh. No, hang on, having just had another look at the face of the man who said yes, he looks remarkably like Alex Salmond, the First Minister.
Oh, happy days, when Donald and Alex were as one on the Menie resort. Now, Donald says Mr Salmond's plans for generating all Scotland's electricity from renewable resources by the end of the decade is "craziness". It will be financial suicide, turning the country into the sort of place tourists shun. He didn't go on to say wind farms kill puppies, but you get the idea.
For its part, the Scottish Government says it rejects "unsuitable" applications for wind farms, the science works, and tourism, far from withering away, is growing. The spokesman didn't go on to say puppies love wind farms, but you get the idea.
The EET committee is investigating whether the wind farms will indeed produce enough energy to meet the Government's target. One might have thought such an inquiry would be done before the farms were established, but there we are. As set out in evidence to the committee this week, the current scores on the doors are: 134 wind farms built; 24 under construction; 104 with planning permission; and 177 seeking it.
Green MSP Patrick Harvie, a member of the committee, says shrewd business folk can see nothing but great potential in renewable energy. To mark Mr Trump's visit, Mr Harvie is to host a screening of You've Been Trumped, an excellent documentary about the building of the Menie course. If it helps Mr Harvie with the vol-au-vents requirement, I'll venture Mr Trump will not be attending.
The swirl of argument around wind farm fair makes the head spin. Renewables are cheaper; no, they are heavily subsidised. They are good for the environment; but turbines are an eyesore. Jobs will be created; but they will mainly overseas where the turbines are built. Turbines are efficient; yet a study has shown they run at only a fraction of capacity. Despite the doubts, the wind farm roll-out is belting along. Would any other project, costing so much and having such an impact on communities, be implemented this way?
Optimist or otherwise, renewables are a punt in the dark. To see how changeable the outlook is, note Doosan's abandonment of plans for a turbine factory and research unit in Renfrew, a decision that only came to light on Wednesday despite the Scottish Government being told last December. Presumably the SNP press release machine, normally so efficient, ran out of juice on that occasion.
Mr Trump's opponents can accuse him of selfishness, of trying to dictate policy to a democratically-elected government, of scaremongering. But it still comes down to this – would you want a wind farm in your backyard?
How we cooed when the first ones were erected, basking in the white heat of new technology. Weren't we clever creating sustainable energy from the free stuff all around us. But the more one ventures around Scotland the more one starts to believe the policy is going too far, too fast.
Mr Salmond hasn't had too much luck with his powerful pals. He backed Sir Fred Goodwin and that ended embarrassingly. Now he's being monstered by a New York billionaire.
Yet as canny Mr Salmond knows, The Donald could be the best thing to happen to the First Minister's renewable energy strategy. Though Mr Trump is putting millions into fighting wind farms across Scotland – up to £15 million said a Trump trumpeteer – the very fact that it is him who is objecting is Christmas come early for the Scottish Government. No need to go out and argue for wind farms when the spectacle of Mr Trump telling Scotland what to do goes a fair way to winning the debate for you. After all, if he's against the plans, that surely makes any progressive Scot for them.
It is to be hoped that next week's visit will be regarded as what it is, an amusing sideshow. There are other groups, such as Ramblers Scotland, equally worried about the effect on Scotland's landscape. Lend them your ear if Donald is not to your taste.
In making up your mind, do remember the wise words of a song about the cabs where Mr Trump comes from. As Joni Mitchell sang in Big Yellow Taxi, don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got 'til its gone? Let's not pave any more of this paradise for wind farms till we know what we've got.
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