It sits ill to be discussing the future of Scotland thanks to Donald Trump.

No doubt Manhattan's finest golf-related environmental guru will have plenty to say when he turns up at Holyrood. On the other hand, some casino magnate who isn't taken too seriously by America's Republicans might not be entitled – just a guess – to our undivided attention.

Which other billionaires do we have handy? More to the point, does everyone who proposes residential-leisure projects now have a right to parliamentary (by invitation) time? And is national policy to be debated henceforth only according to a tycoon's reality- show mood swings?

I thought I should ask. Then I thought I would add: when this country grows up, this sort of stunt will be an embarrassing memory.

Alex Salmond can't say he wasn't warned. It might have been mentioned before in this space, but the First Minister's delight in the supposedly rich and powerful will end in tears. Leveson, anyone? For now: here's Donald.

On the face of it, Mr Trump's complaint is startling: he believes he bought a view. People have been making that claim on Scotland for a couple of centuries. Once they used to clear the people/scum from the vistas. Now Mr Trump is offended because a nation's energy strategy might put his golfers off. Crivvens.

Should Scotland be dependent on diminishing oil, or Russian gas, or the hope of clean coal?

Should we improve our piece of the planet and keep old folk warm in an Aberdeenshire winter?

Mr Trump says he was deceived, that wind power is a costly fraud, that Scotland is going to chilly hell in a handcart, and that he fears for his ancestral homeland. Hand me the chanter.

Those of us who live here do a bit of worrying too, from time to time. Where I live, there are a good number of turbines, with many more offered, planned, or locked in the ritual of local contention. People I respect, who despise the things, reckon that Scotland's Government has inserted a bias into the process. First they question the environmental argument, then they ask what happened to democracy.

The first time I paused to think about wind power I was living, like Lear with central heating, on a moorland. One night, a rich man came to the door. I happened – not that I let on – to know his name. He was polite and impassioned on the subject of turbines. Unlike Mr Trump, he had no financial stake (I checked) in his opposition to the proposal.

Instead, he talked base loads, the carbon aftermath of all the concrete poured, the impact on the whaups and plovers that were my daily delight, and the claims made for jobs in the "renewables revolution". He too said it was a con. He regarded "saving the planet" as the worst of jokes where industrial wind was concerned. He made a good case.

I didn't sign his petition. Nor did I agree to have one of his posters on my gatepost. I wanted that bit of moor preserved, even when the old maps called it "a waste". I wanted to keep the whaups and plovers flying for the sake of RL Stevenson. But the dapper protester from the financial sector hadn't answered my question: what do we do instead?

The First Minister doesn't quite answer that. Mr Trump barely bothers to inquire. In my patch of the world, it seems to me, people who don't want turbines, onshore or off, assume that power will continue even after their landscape is redeemed. Ask them whether we should ditch those ugly electricity pylons marching over the face of Scotland, though, and they think your joke has gone too far.

When I was younger I protested against the creation of a nuclear power station at Torness, in East Lothian. I was there. Nowadays, in one of those obliterating historical ironies, you can pick up the John Muir Way just above the bay, and let the dog ponder the future of homo sapiens while he sorts out his own energy choices. Back then, nuclear was unthinkable; the waste problem was unspeakable. One part of that sentence hasn't changed.

Mr Trump, God help us, has brought an argument into focus. The First Minister of Scotland has bet the farm – and the high-rise flats, and the old folks' home – on the idea that Scotland will be first in the next industrial revolution, with energy too cheap to bother the meter man. Opposing nuclear power has become part of his credo while he enumerates the jobs just around the corner. Perhaps Mr Salmond should count hands in his Cabinet instead.

I don't like nuclear: that's a big and corrupt industry, with waste liable to repeat as with the worst curry. I don't like wind farms: they put four fingers up to any notion of historic beauty. I don't like coal: I grew up in the Lowlands, and remember the stinking trail. I don't like gas because I don't care for Vladimir Putin: try that for geopolitics.

So what can we do instead? Mine is the least-inspiring answer: a bit of this and a bit of that, a bit more until what's left in the North Sea – just the 50% of proven reserves, my London friends – won't keep us warm. The least-worst solution is nuclear. But one former RBS oil economist, who has never met a Trump-type he couldn't stomach, won't have it. That's foolish.

Mr Salmond is right in one regard. We are "potentially" one of the most energy-rich patches on the planet. If any of these technologies should happen to pan-out, and if no-one else does the fusion trick, and all other things being equal, we're quids in. Reality is trickier.

Even at the First Minister's best estimates, we have a generational shortfall. Should that generational group vote for independence, come 2014, they will still have an energy problem. Once they have finished working out why our First Patriot ever gave Donald Trump the time of day, the task of putting energy into energy will have become national. Then fundamental.

It will not be a clean fight.