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Trump’s tirade against wind farms in Scotland: update

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Donald Trump’s transatlantic crusade against Scottish first minister Alex Salmond’s drive for wind power earlier this week is undermining his own anti-renewable energy campaign in the country, writes Jamie Mckenzie.

The US billionaire touched down at Aberdeen airport on Sunday April 22 ahead  of his appearance before the Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee at the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday to stand against plans for an 11-turbine European Offshore Deployment Centre off the coast of his £750m luxury golf development at Menie, Aberdeenshire.

The tycoon, who spent most of Monday fine-tuning his golf course development before heading to Edinburgh, said that if the wind farm went ahead then the full-scale development would end after the course is opened later in the year and the clubhouse building was complete.

He remarked, “It will be a golf course and it will be a beautiful clubhouse and that will be it. That’s not what I want.

“We have a concept for a hotel which will blow everyone’s minds but I can’t have a hotel looking in to those windmills.

“I just want what’s good for Scotland and also what’s good for my course. I built the greatest course in the world and I don’t want it tarnished by this industrial junk that doesn’t even work looming over it.”

Trump’s idea of this so-called “industrial junk”—a proposed £150 million venture to be pioneered by Swedish utility company Vattenfall in partnership with engineering firm Technip and Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group—was brought to life earlier this week by a full-page advert that Trump took out in the Aberdeen Press & Journal.

It showed a misleading photograph of 11 rusty wind turbines under the headline: “Welcome to Scotland”—a photograph that was in fact taken in Hawaii.

If his desire is to protect the Scottish tourism industry with all of this trumpeting of heritage, then where is his evidence that wind farms do, in fact, damage tourism?

Incidentally, Trump’s claims don’t marry well with new research that suggests tourists visiting Scotland do not see wind farms as a problem. In a survey commissioned by tourism agency VisitScotland, about 80% said a wind farm would not affect their decision about where to take a holiday.

Trump’s arrival has also coincided with publication of a YouGov opinion poll by Scottish Renewables that highlights the backing of renewables by the Scottish public.

Of the 1041 people surveyed, 38.81% strongly agreed with the statement: “I support the continuing development of wind power as part of a mix of renewables and conventional forms of electricity generation.” A further 32.52% said they tended to agree. The poll reveals that overall 71% of people in Scotland support wind power as part of the energy mix. This compares to just 7% who strongly disagree with the statement.

The weaknesses of Trump’s backlash to the proposals crystalized in his appearance in front of the Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee on Wednesday morning.

He argued again that the appearance of turbines will destroy the tourism industry. He went on to say that wind farms are fine in “industrial locations”, but that they should not ruin the countryside.

Yet those latest public opinion polls reflect the efforts made by the Government to ensure that offshore and onshore wind developments will continue to go ahead in a sustainable Scotland.

From an environmental perspective, this means carefully selecting sites for wind farms and ensuring that the environmental value of Scotland’s natural ecosystems is preserved—it does not mean following the notion that the countryside and coastline should be completely untouched.

Such a view is frankly unrealistic and outdated. And in response to Trump, wind farms cannot simply be erected in places where the wind blows significantly less than in others. It is the blustery coastline and high-altitude winds typical of Scotland which produce the abundant source of wind energy necessary for turbines to work efficiently.

The tycoon later in the debate claimed, “You are spending billions of pounds unnecessarily and it will affect Scotland.

“The few jobs you will create will be offset with the jobs you will lose in tourism.”

In economic terms—as Salmond has highlighted repeatedly—the renewables industry will in fact create thousands more jobs through growth of the supply chain in old industrial areas and rejuvenate those communities most in need. This is a concept Trump seemingly fails to grasp.

International turbine manufacturer Gamesa has already announced plans to build a £125m turbine plant at the port of Leith in Edinburgh, creating over 800 jobs and helping reindustrialise a place characterized by the effects of twentieth century economic decline.

For a man famed for his boldness and lack of subtlety, it is hardly surprising that Trump overlooks the key reasons why the inclusion of wind power is paramount to Scotland’s energy mix and the re-industrialisation of its economy.

But interestingly, recent studies suggest a shift in Scottish public opinion away from wind towards wave and tidal power in the efforts to encourage the country’s renewables drive.

A YouGov survey by Friends of the Earth in The Scotsman showed that 32% of Scots first choice for future energy is wave and tidal, compared to 18% for wind power.

The important thing for Scotland is to continue supporting a full mix of energy, such as solar, hydro, wave and tidal, as well as offshore and onshore wind.

So long as the investment commitment to develop and improve cost-effectiveness of renewable technologies remains, the 2020 renewable energy targets can still be met.

One nation should be able to resist the flimsy views of anti-wind campaigners—especially those staged by the ridiculous sideshow that is Donald Trump. Most probably, his ill-informed anti-wind noise will ruin his chances of getting his own way this time round.

If you want to support the future energy security of the UK, we encourage you to visit Good Energy, the UK’s only 100% renewable energy provider.

Further reading:

Salmond vs. Trump in heavyweight offshore wind match-up

Economic importance of wind power highlighted

Renewable energy backed by 85% of Brits

Anti-wind watch: new complaints to rebuff  

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What Kitchen Suits Your Style? Modern, Classic or Shaker?

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shaker kitchen designs

A kitchen is the centre of the home. Your kitchen ranges between where friends and family gather, talk about their day, cook meals, have drinks, to somewhere you can just enjoy each other’s company. The kitchen is the heart of the home. But, everyone’s lifestyle is different. Everyone’s taste is different. So, you need a kitchen that not only mirrors your lifestyle but matches your taste too. Whilst some prefer a more traditional design, others want a modern feel or flair – and it’s all down to personal taste.

When it comes to redesigning your kitchen, what style would you go for? It’s a difficult one isn’t it. With so many different styles to go for, how can you know exactly what you want until you’ve seen it in action? Leading kitchen designer, Roman Kitchens, based in Essex, have provided three examples of bespoke kitchens and styles they specialise in, accompanied with beautiful images. This design guide will get you one step closer to picking your dream kitchen for your home.

1. Modern

New home in the city centre? Or even a sleek new modern build? You want a trendy and modern kitchen to reflect your city lifestyle. In modern kitchen design, colours are bolder and fresher, with sleek design and utilities that are distinctive and vibrant.

modern kitchen designs

This modern kitchen is sleek and smooth with flawless design and beauty. Minimalism doesn’t stop this kitchen standing out. Featured walls of wood and vibrant mint green draw the eye, whilst the white surfaces reflect the light, illuminating every nook and cranny of this kitchen. This kitchen features products from Rotpunkt, innovators of modern kitchen design. Made with German engineering, a Rotpunkt Kitchen is the ultimate modern addition to your home. Rotpunkt Kitchens have timeless design and amazing functionality, they work for every purpose and are eco-friendly. Sourced from natural materials, a Rotpunkt kitchen uses 37% less timber, conserving natural forests and being more environmentally conscious.

2. Classic

Prefer a homely and traditional feel? Classic kitchens are warm, welcoming and filled with wood. Wood flooring, wood fixtures, wood furniture – you name it! You can bring a rustic feel to your urban home with a classic kitchen. Subtle colours and beautiful finishes, Classic kitchens are for taking it back to the basics with a definitive look and feel.

classic kitchen designs

With stated handles for cupboards, Classic kitchens are effortlessly timeless. They convey an elegant but relaxing nature. Giving off countryside vibes, natural elements convey a British countryside feel. The wood featured in a classic kitchen can range between oaks and walnut, creating a warmth and original feel to your home. Soft English heritage colours add a certain mood to your home, softening the light making it cosier.

3. Shaker

Any kitchen planner will tell you that the meeting point between traditional and modern design, is a Shaker kitchen. They have a distinctive style and innovative feel. Shakers are fresh, mixing different colour tones with stylish wood and vinyl. The most important feature of a Shaker kitchen is functionality – every feature needs to serve a purpose in the kitchen. Paired with stylish and unique furniture, a Shaker kitchen is an ideal addition to any home.

shaker kitchen designs

The ultimate marriage between Classic and Modern kitchens, this Shaker kitchen has deep colour tones with copper emphasis features. All the fittings and fixtures blur the line of modern and tradition, with a Classic look but modern colour vibe. Unique furniture and design make Shaker Kitchens perfect for the middle ground in kitchen design. Minimal but beautifully dressed. Traditional but bold and modern at the same time. Storage solutions are part of the functionality of Shaker kitchens, but don’t detour from conveying yours as a luxury kitchen.

Whatever you choose for your new kitchen, be it Modern, Classic or Shaker – pick whatever suits you. Taste is, and always will be, subjective – it’s down to you.

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Features

Ways Green Preppers Are Trying to Protect their Privacy

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Environmental activists are not given the admiration that they deserve. A recent poll by Gallup found that a whopping 32% of Americans still doubt the existence of global warming. The government’s attitude is even worse.

Many global warming activists and green preppers have raised the alarm bell on climate change over the past few years. Government officials have taken notice and begun tracking their activity online. Even former National Guard officers have admitted that green preppers and climate activists are being targeted for terrorist watchlists.

Of course, the extent of their surveillance depends on the context of activism. People that make benign claims about climate change are unlikely to end up on a watchlist, although it is possible if they make allusions to their disdain of the government. However, even the most pacifistic and well intentioned environmental activists may unwittingly trigger some algorithm and be on the wrong side of a criminal investigation.

How could something like this happen? Here are some possibilities:

  • They could share a post on social media from a climate extremist group or another individual on the climate watchlist.
  • They could overly politicize their social media content, such as being highly critical of the president.
  • They could use figures of speech that may be misinterpreted as threats.
  • They might praise the goals of a climate change extremist organization that as previously resorted to violence, even if they don’t condone the actual means.

Preppers and environmental activists must do everything in their power to protect their privacy. Failing to do so could cost them their reputation, future career opportunities or even their freedom. Here are some ways that they are contacting themselves.

Living Off the Grid and Only Venturing to Civilization for Online Use

The more digital footprints you leave behind, the greater attention you draw. People that hold controversial views on environmentalism or doomsday prepping must minimize their digital paper trail.

Living off the grid is probably the best way to protect your privacy. You can make occasional trips to town to use the Wi-Fi and stock up on supplies.

Know the Surveillance Policies of Public Wi-Fi Providers

Using Wi-Fi away from your home can be a good way to protect your privacy.However, choosing the right public Wi-Fi providers is going to be very important.

Keep in mind that some corporate coffee shops such a Starbucks can store tapes for up to 60 days. Mom and pop businesses don’t have the technology nor the interest to store them that long. They generally store tips for only 24 hours and delete them afterwards. This gives you a good window of opportunity to post your thoughts on climate change without being detected.

Always use a VPN with a No Logging Policy

Using a VPN is one of the best ways to protect your online privacy. However, some of these providers do a much better job than others. What is a VPN and what should you look for when choosing one? Here are some things to look for when making a selection:

  • Make sure they are based in a country that has strict laws on protecting user privacy. VPNs that are based out of Switzerland, Panama for the British Virgin Islands are always good bets.
  • Look for VPN that has a strict no logging policy. Some VPNs will actually track the websites that you visit, which almost entirely defeats the purpose. Most obviously much better than this, but many also track Your connections and logging data. You want to use a VPN that doesn’t keep any logs at all.
  • Try to choose a VPN that has an Internet kill switch. This means that all content will stop serving if your VPN connection drops, which prevents your personal data from leaking out of the VPN tunnel.

You will be much safer if you use a high-quality VPN consistently, especially if you have controversial views on climate related issues or doomsday prepping.

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