Showing posts with label Climate. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Climate. Show all posts

Saturday 29 June 2024

A Just Transition who decides


Its crucial we have sustainable and realistic moves to Net Zero. For a fair just transition should a small group of activists decide?


Fossil free Books (FFB), campaigned in 2023 to have UKs book festivals ban major sponsorship by Baillie Gifford investment bank, who also fund Edinburgh’s children’s program. This was brought to a head by Greta Thunberg’s cancellation of her major event at Edinburgh’s Playhouse last year. This also effected the Hay and Cheltenham’s book festivals in England.


It turns out only 2% the Baillie Gifford investment is for fossil fuels – and that most financial investment banks have 11% fossil fuel investments. Bookshop Waterstone’s are backed by Elliot advisors investment bank, who have oil and gas funds - as have Amazon books. in fact book production itself requires fossil fuels. 


The Green economy requires both private and public funding. The Greens, in the Scottish government partnership have encouraged ‘active travel’ – which is fine – but at the huge expense of drastic cuts to road infrastructure. Quite simply not everyone can ride a bike to work. Spending on main A trunk roads  - in 2016, 500m/ 2021, 54m/ and 2024, 12m. 


Book festivals are a major platform for informed and constructive debate on many major issues facing us, such as the climate emergency. The Arts funding, particularly after Covid, are under serious financial strain. Did book festivals appear an easy target? I attend EIBF each year and its an unmatched place for informed debate, intellectual collaboration and creative thinking. Why are green activists targeting a place of free add open ideas for our future? When there are so many fake, ignorant click baits on so much of online media?


We must question why a small group of extreme activists must hold the rest of us to account? I’m as keen as anyone on a just transition but it must start at the cliff face. That is by consumers asking for plastic free food. Twenty years ago our fruit and veg would not come wrapped in plastic, but rather cardboard or brown bags. A main culprit to the climate crisis, is plastic clothes and there must be another way of producing plastic free practical sweat tops etc. I buy cotton when its available. I prefer organic and vegetarian food.


This rush to Net Zero is not all about electric cars. Its about improved infrastructure – park and ride, joined up transport, better insulation etc. Scandinavia has been planning for net zero since the 70s. Britain is far behind this curve. About biodiversity, natural woodlands, and protecting our seas.. Meanwhile Baillie Gifford invests in several green innovations such as – Northvolt (Swedish battery company), Climeworks (carbon capture Iceland), Solagen (Texas, first carbon-negative molecule)


Who decides on planning for this huge pylon destruction of Scotland’s beautiful countryside? – the local council, the Scottish government or the UK government. Energy policy is reserved to Westminster. 

New oilrigs are much more efficient while the older rigs are more carbon inefficient – so the carbon intensity must be analysed on a case by case basis – as the SNP are advising. Scotland will require the engineering skills of UK companies to aid with green innovations for our just transition. 


I agree we must encourage a green economy and jobs for the future – as Biden has done in America with a green deal. The reality is complicated with the need for investment. Its such as farce – when ignorance leads to misguided judgements and imposing fake opinions on how both scientific innovation and investment actually works. The green economy requires both private and public funding and for oil companies to drive innovation to a greener future. 


The green activists would turn off the oil and gas taps tomorrow. This is not practical. The UKs older homes are poorly insulated. What about petrochemicals that are used in medicine, dyes, paint, clothes, supplies for industry and more. Until an alternative can be found we will need oil and gas for decades to come.

Friday 31 March 2023

Rewilding Alliance


Scotland is one of the worlds most depleted countries – with its huge areas of intensively managed and ecologically destroyed land.  

Rewild Scotland’s national parks – the Cairngorms and loch Lomond & Trossachs


Are not really nature reserves, with fake forests with dead undergrowth and the peatbogs (that could soak up carbon dioxide) have been burnt and drained. Scotland’s parks serves the needs of a select few. 


We must allow nature to thrive in our national parks, we live in times of both nature and climate crisis. Scotland has only % of natural forest. Our N should and could lead the way for nature and wildlife to recover.

I was surprised to learn that Japan has over 60% natural forests. Other countries of comparable size such as Denmark have 6 national parks. 




Tuesday 30 November 2021

Some Nations are Prepared for Climate Emergency

Some nations have been preparing sustainable, circular and resilient economies for decades now! A good example is Norway, who gained their independence in 1905, from Sweden. (Norway celebrates its Constitution Day May 22 each year, after its 400 year union with Denmark which ended in 1814). Not only did they manage their oil and gas efficiently (taking out 100% rather than 50% as in the UK) they built up a pension oil fund for Norwegians of one trillion. Norway has also built their towns beside waterfalls for green Hydro energy, so they only rely on Gas for a mere 5% of their energy supply. They also run their own Norwegian energy company, rather then being exploited by giant global oil companies.

Denmark focused on funding renewable innovations 20 years ago and now leads the way with the manufacture of wind turbines and wave power, worth 70 billion to their economy. While Germany has focused on well insulated homes and solar energy. Scotland is hosting the world’s largest wind farm Aberdeen and testing the world’s largest tidal farm Moray Firth, and offers ideal locations, but because of the UKs lack of investment Scotland is sadly missing out on the future of the Renewables industry.

Meanwhile Scotland also has poorly insulated homes, so there’s no clear solution here in the UK at all. All the talk of heat pumps will not work for most homes, without an electric backup system. There’s been no long term planning, for a greener, sustainable future by the UK government - but rather an ignorant recklessness, which results from the confrontational and divisive nature of UK politics.

And the richest 1% waste money on needless luxuries such as space rockets and avoid paying tax – have they no shame? While our world burns and floods….. have they no shame? Instead of selling weapons of war, the UK should focus on the future of our planet! The richest must be answerable for their careless, unthinking attitudes. This includes the uncaring Tories.

The richest nations, must give back and pay for the cost for the exploitation of the poorest nations. And what of China and India? The future will be renewables, not dirty, polluting fossil fuels. Where is any moral compass? I’d hope to see more women leaders who will promote a more rounded well being society – instead of nations at war. The UK is the biggest seller of arms.

While the world is better connected, globalization and the internet has led to a dark side, with dark money and dark forces lobbying, and corruption is undermining our democracy. Its essential we fight back. Dark money has led to extreme right wing, controlling populism (such as Brexit).

The arts and culture were excluded from COP26. Even while it’s the arts that change hearts and minds, and not number crunchers! (SNP take note!). Change often does not happen because of number crunching or even “facts”, but because we imagine better! There are two songs that speak volumes about humanity's reckless exploitations – one by the Bob Dylan who grew up who grew up under the threat of the bomb, and he wrote his haunting 'Masters of War' and the other by Robert Burns who grew up with the threat of war with France when he wrote 'Westlin Winds'.

Thursday 11 November 2021

March for Climate Action Day Glasgow COP26! - Scotland’s motto is “Bairns not Bombs”

The Real Voices for Climate Justice speak out! - Scotland’s motto is “Bairns not Bombs”

Over 100K, by far the biggest march during COP26 in Glasgow, took place Saturday 6th November 2021, as part of the Global day of Action for climate change. If the diversity, enthusiasm, belief and energy of those marching, and chanting for change to insistent drum beats could be bottled we’d have change immediately!

The march was good natured and fun with people of all ages and from all corners of the world who want their voices heard! They marched morally for a just transition. Many different activist groups took part – indigenous peoples group, Scottish green party, All Under One Banner (AUOB) for Scottish Independence, for a greener, sustainable, inclusive, well being Scotland free of nuclear weapons. And many more besides. 


It seems that world leaders and democracy is failing us. Some might ask how urgent is the climate crisis, our planet now faces? We only have to look at the images of grey, dead coral reefs (once multi-vibrant colours), ice caps melting, violent storms and floods – to see we are reaping the devastating aftermath of careless Global “growth”


There are many voices calling for action now – later will be too late, telling us we have no time to loose now. Vague promises are of no use anymore. I see my grandchildren’s faces and I hope there is a future for them.

How ironic that the UKs Trident nuclear subs are housed just up the road at Faslane naval base and peace camp. Scotland’s motto is Bairns not Bombs and we don’t want to store these disastrous weapons near our largest city.

A majority of Scots don’t want Trident in our waters, we don’t want Brexit, we want fairer welfare and pensions, investment in renewables and we don’t want a Tory government. So why do Scots have to be the caterers and not have a seat at the table of the Climate Conference? Why are Scots alone in not wanting independence? Scots my once have been the engine of an empire but now we’re not even partners.


Many now believe climate is the top of the agenda and cannot be ignored. its complex too. There are several issues to address - Biodiversity, forests, energy supplies, the oceans, reducing meat, using local, transport, and giving back to indigenous peoples. The Covid pandemic showed us that the world can act when it decides to – with all nations putting money into their pots to deal with the crisis. People are now not asking, but demanding change.  


We must address our own actions, science and the land and oceans.

The question is how do we change?


We must develop Renewables much faster! Ban private jets, massive yachts,

And the indigenous peoples of the world, cannot be ignored. In the developing nations morally we know greed is a sin and we need to give back to save our planet. There is many lands under threat because of the industries of the developed world. Time to pay back.

Do we fight Big Business. Democracy is failing us…One way is for our politicians to stop fooling us and to stop talking about this growth. 


Instead we need cleaner air, better quality of life. After this moving Glasgow march for social justice and part of the Day for Action to save our planet, on the train I passed the pristine white village of the COP26 climate conference, where the world leaders were in a ring of steel. And I thought our only hope is for People Assemblies for change, made up of civic groups, academics, scientists and the professionals – who can see the answers and understand the urgency. 

Cop 26 Protesters include - Pacific climate warriors, Ocean Rebellion, Greenpeace, Green Party, 

Extinction Rebellion