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U.S. property mogul Donald Trump leads a media event on the sand dunes of the Menie estate
Reuters/David Moir
“Is that a gold club I see before me, its handle toward my hand?”
BOGEY MAN

Donald Trump’s might and money are no match for the will of the Scottish people

By Cassie Werber

Donald Trump is nothing if not tenacious.

Since 2011, the American tycoon and presidential hopeful has been fighting the construction of a wind farm off the coast of Aberdeenshire, a Scottish province where he owns a golf course and luxury resort. He says the turbines will spoil the view. He’s lost at every step of the way and, today (Dec. 16), lost an appeal in the Supreme Court.

The Scots, it appears, are equally tenacious.

Scotland has made a massive commitment to renewable energy. It has a combination of extensive coastline and high winds that make it perfect for offshore wind farms. The UK as a whole has by far the biggest offshore wind market in the world.

In fighting for the right to an “unspoiled” view for golfers at his resort, Trump has misread the zeitgeist.

Last year, after an earlier setback, Trump’s team released a statement that claimed ”communities worldwide continue to challenge the destructive proliferation of wind turbines and we will remain a fierce opponent at the forefront of this battle.”

A survey in Scotland this March found that 71% of people wanted the wind-power industry to continue to grow. Wind has become a mainstay of Scotland’s energy mix as well as the nation’s broader economy. If Trump thought he was fighting a small, remote battle and could get his way with might and money, he was very wrong.

This is only the latest setback for Trump in Scotland—following his recent comments about banning Muslims from entering the US, he was stripped of an honorary degree by Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen and dropped as a local “business ambassador” by the leader of the Scottish National Party, Nicola Sturgeon.

Trump hit back at these snubs in an editorial for a Scottish newspaper, mostly by citing his investments in high-end golf courses and resorts. “I have done so much for Scotland,” he wrote. “Politicians should be thanking me instead of pandering to political correctness.” After the wind farm decision, Trump’s disappointment with Scotland’s lack of gratitude will only grow deeper.