Guest essay by Eric Worrall
Tom Cheshire, Sky Technology Correspondent, has claimed that President-elect Donald Trump is a “climate denier” because of his legal battle to prevent offshore wind turbines messing up sea views at his Aberdeenshire Golf Course.
Sky Views: Why Trump denies climate change
Tom Cheshire, Technology Correspondent
When the oceans rise and the world ends, do remember to thank the RSPB for their small part in armageddon.
I’ll get round to the twitchers’ role in our doom shortly, but that doom feels closer than ever.
Mr Trump’s incoming administration will likely be the most anti-scientific and anti-technological in a while.
The President-elect is a climate change denier, one of his few consistent positions.
Trump denies climate change because he hates wind turbines. Can’t stand them.
Trump didn’t care about global warming until a renewable-energy company proposed building 33 wind turbines off the coast of Aberdeenshire. Right next to where Trump wanted to build a golf course.
For more than a decade, Trump has been fighting those turbines.
He was still lodging objections on the presidential campaign trail, after Scottish judges threw out an appeal against the development.
The golf course has been built. The wind farms still have not.
It was in 2006 that RSPB Scotland came to Trump’s aid, also opposing the wind turbines, saying they were “extremely concerned” about their effect on avian life.
Trump seized on the orniphile argument, a step on his journey to climate change sceptic.
Is support for wind turbines and support for climate action the same thing? Sky correspondent Tom Cheshire is not alone in conflating opposition to wind turbines with climate “denial”.
Former NASA Chairman James Hansen, the granddaddy of the climate movement, whose pivotal testimony in 1988 kicked off the entire global climate scare – can you think of anyone with a stronger, more consistent track record of climate activism? Yet Hansen’s decades of crusading against fossil fuels wasn’t enough for some greens. Naomi Oreskes in 2015 accused Hansen of practicing a “strange new form of denial”, because Hansen supports nuclear power – he thinks renewables aren’t up to the job of rapidly decarbonising the economy.
Like Trump, in 2006 prominent eco-activist Robert F. Kennedy Jnr. vigorously opposed a planned offshore turbine installation which would have messed up the view.
RFK Jr. and other prominent enviros face off over Cape Cod wind farm
By Amanda Little on Jan 13, 2006
A long-simmering disagreement within the environmental community over a plan to build a massive wind farm off the coast of Cape Cod, Mass., is now boiling over into a highly public quarrel.
The four-year-old battle started heating up last summer when Greenpeace USA staged a demonstration against well-known eco-activist Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who’s been an outspoken opponent of the proposal for a 130-turbine wind-power project in Horseshoe Shoal, a shallow portion of Nantucket Sound south of Cape Cod. Kennedy — a senior attorney at Natural Resources Defense Council and a pioneer in the waterway-protection movement — was on a sailboat for an event with the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound, which opposes the wind project. A Greenpeace vessel cruised up alongside with a banner that read, “Bobby, you’re on the wrong boat” — a stunt that was part of a larger Greenpeace campaign pressuring Kennedy to change his mind on the development. (Hear audio from the Greenpeace/Kennedy confrontation.)
Read more: http://grist.org/article/capecod/
Does RFK Jr.’s opposition to offshore wind turbines in a place of scenic beauty make him a “denier”?
What does President-elect Trump think of wind turbines?
Trump: Our energy companies are a disaster right now. Coal. The coal business is – you know, there is such a thing as clean coal. Our miners are out of work – now they’re just attacking energy companies like I’ve never seen them attack anything before.
They want everything to be wind and solar. Unfortunately, it’s not working on large-scale. It’s just not working. Solar is very, very expensive. Wind is very, very expensive, and it only works when it’s windy.
Trump: Someone might need a little electricity – a lot of times, it’s the opposite season, actually. When they have it, that’s when you don’t need it. So wind is very problematic and – I’m not saying I’m against those things. I’m for everything. I’m for everything.
Trump: But they are destroying our energy companies with regulation. They’re absolutely destroying them.
Cain: But their viability has to be demonstrated before you shove it down the throats of the American people. That’s what you’re saying.
Trump: In all fairness, wind is fine. Sometimes you go – I don’t know if you’ve ever been to Palm Springs, California — it looks like a junkyard. They have all these different –
Cain: I have.
Trump: They have all these different companies and each one is made by a different group from, all from China and from Germany, by the way – not from here. And you look at all these windmills. Half of them are broken. They’re rusting and rotting. You know, you’re driving into Palm Springs, California, and it looks like a poor man’s version of Disneyland. It’s the worst thing you’ve ever seen.
And it kills all the birds. I don’t know if you know that…Thousands of birds are lying on the ground. And the eagle. You know, certain parts of California – they’ve killed so many eagles. You know, they put you in jail if you kill an eagle. And yet these windmills [kill] them by the hundreds.
Why to skeptics oppose climate action?
The reason in my opinion, quite simply, is the green movement stuffed up – they couldn’t bring themselves to present a compelling, consistent position.
If greens had embraced nuclear power from the start, like James Hansen, I and many other skeptics would probably never have questioned predictions of imminent climate catastrophe – I would likely have been out there on the streets, joining in with the mass demonstrations, demanding an end to fossil fuels for the sake of our children’s future.
By insisting that the solution had to be renewables, which clearly aren’t up to the job, and demanding more government control of the economy, greens raised legitimate concerns that there was something very wrong with what they were advocating.
Think about it – even if you believe nuclear power is really dangerous, what harm are a few nuclear meltdowns every year, compared to the risk that carbon emissions will irreversibly destroy the entire world? The majority green position simply doesn’t make sense.
Climate skeptics do not oppose action on climate change because we hate wind turbines. Skeptics oppose climate action because green insistence on ridiculously implausible responses, to a problem which greens claim is an existential crisis, forced us to ask questions, to dig deeper, to examine and reject their utterly inadequate supporting evidence.