Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Taking Another Potshot at Golf Courses


Does the World Really need more Golf Courses?
Donald Trump says the wind farm threatens to blow his dream of a 'global golf destination' off course. Photograph: Murdo Macleod in
Yes I know today's post was supposed to be about oceans and they are definitely in the news, so much so that I am still reading about them and haven’t had time to write. While you are waiting for that one, I‘m just going to have another cheap shot at Golf Courses which are not only proliferating in many parts of the world, but are also appropriating the commons. I might have to change my job description from Practising Geographer to Professional Whinger* [students not familar with this term are advised to look at the end of the post]. 

Donald Trumped

Billionaire property developer, Donald Trump is not a happy camper. He wanted to build another large golf course next to one he has already built on the Scottish Coast near Aberdeen, but the site is earmarked for a wind farm. Now Donald has threatened to use his wealth to support groups which oppose wind farms and use any legal means at his disposal to stop it.
As Pia writes on the Care2 website 
"In a land swimming with golf courses, Trump is going to build two more – alongside a 450-room hotel and 1,500 luxury homes. The trouble is, the land he has purchased occupies one of Europe’s most environmentally sensitive stretches of coast, described by one leading scientist as Scotland’s Amazon rain forest.”
However the Scottish Government refuses to be bullied. In an article by Severin Carrell in the BBC News on February 23rd  Niall Stuart, chief executive of Scottish Renewables, is reported to have said:

 "Decisions over Scotland's energy and economic policy are for the democratically-elected government of Scotland, not billionaire American businessmen sitting in New York"

Apparently the Scots think so too, so now there is a petition to prevent Donald Trump speaking at a forthcoming energy conference.  Sorry Donald, “You’re Fired!”
There is also one asking Donald to Support Windpower in Scotland Petition

Now I am all for rich people getting a bit of exercise and fresh air, some really do look as if they need it, just like the rest of us, but do they really need to do it by setting up their exclusive little clubs in some of the last few remaining wild places, especially when this is much needed to put us on a more sustainable course.
Meanwhile, in another part of the UK...
Over the water, the Irish are also fighting the establishment of a Golf Club at the Giant’s Causeway, a notable historic site and tourist attraction in Northern Ireland.  The following quote comes from the Care2 site.

“The Giant's Causeway, a stretch of bizarre volcanic rock formations, is one of Ireland's top tourist attractions. Situated at the very top of Northern Ireland, thousands of tourists a year visit the Giant's Causeway for the wild scenery and the mysterious hexagonal rocks.

Friends of the Earth and the National Trust have condemned the proposals, with FoE's Northern Ireland director likening it to "building a drive-through burger bar at the Taj Mahal.”

Other Rich People Behaving Badly
In Australia, things just aren’t going as they should for our own überrich underclass either. They too have been throwing their not inconsiderable weight around because they have not been getting things all their own way.  Having used their influence to overturn the mining tax and trying to overturn the carbon tax, they are taking out full page advertisements and taking much editorial space in what used be our newspapers to attack our TreasurerWayne Swan for pointing out that they were greedy “rent seekers” who put their own interests ahead of the best interests of the country.

They claim they were only exercising their democratic rights like any other citizen. I suppose it’s no use pointing out that not too many other citizens can make enormous political donations or buy their own newspapers. Most other citizens also pay their fair share of taxes. Judging by the comments not too many people have fallen for it either.
Might I suggest that we all drop a note of support to Wayne Swan, recently voted the World’s Best Treasurer for telling it like it is. Here’s the address.

ministerial@treasury.gov.au


*For students of English, here is today’s word, courtesy of the Oxford Dictionary:
 whinge  Pronunciation: /wɪn(d)ʒ/
British informal
verb (whinges, whingeing or whinging, whinged) [no object]
  • complain persistently and in a peevish or irritating way: stop whingeing and get on with it! (as adjective whingeing) a whingeing killjoy noun an act of complaining persistently and peevishly: she let off steam by having a good whinge






1 comment:

Mike Parksons said...
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