Showing posts with label diversity. Show all posts
Showing posts with label diversity. Show all posts

Thursday 21 October 2021

COP 26, Glasgow

COP 26 takes place in Glasgow, Scotland 31st Oct to 12 November 2021, at the SEC Glasgow. Many road closures start on 23sd October. 

We are expecting great disruption to traffic, as well as demonstrations and all the extra security. 


I remember a drive in the natural forests of Fall in Massachusetts when I was blown away by the beauty and range of colours. Sadly the contrast in Scotland couldn’t be more stark, after depleting the natural forests to build trenches in the First World war, the UK Forestry Commission has built these squares of dark green conifers where there is dead undergrowth and no biodiversity can survive underneath. Some have burnt and nothing survives here.


Scotland has seen its resources depleted and destroyed over centuries. Like Ireland we suffered enforced emigration, particularly in the islands with the Highland and the Lowland clearances.  

In recent centuries humans have been disturbing the world’s natural habitats and wildlife – destroying forests, depleting fish stocks, burning fossil fuels, polluting our air. There are much fewer butterflies or insects and under many tress there is a dead undergrowth. 

Wonderful fall colours New England

Empty Glencoe

We’ve disturbed the habitat of bats, which has led to several recent world pandemics – SARS, Mers, Ebola, Swine flu and now Covid-19. This will continue, unless we all change our attitudes to selfishness and growth. 

In recent centuries humans have been disturbing the world’s natural habitats and wildlife – destroying forests, depleting fish stocks, burning fossil fuels, polluting our air. There are much fewer butterflies or insects and under many tress there is a dead undergrowth.


There are signs of hope – more people are cycling, more are reducing meat intake, more work at home, more people want to buy local. Its great to see families cycling on our quiet roads – is this the way forward? Any drugs or vaccines are only short term fixes, we must cure the source of these serious threats. More people die from air pollution, asthma and allergies than ever before.    If this virus has taught us anything, its that we depend on each other. We must urgently save our planet to save our own lives. 


**The Earth Shot award to Costa Rica – rewards landowners to restore forests and plant fruit trees. Celebrates its bicentennial of independence , a country of 5m able to build a sustainable future with healthy eco-systems.

*Food waste. A third of food is wasted. We need to go back to local shops for fresh foods. 91% live in areas of air pollution, at lest 7m are killed each year by air pollution. 


 **When is COP and when do travel restrictions begin?


COP26 will be held over two weeks from 31 October - 12 November 2021 at the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) in Glasgow. Road closures start a full week before on Saturday 23 October, and last until Monday 15 November.


Some roads within the SEC campus site are already closed.

Some days are expected to be busier than others, with the biggest disruption expected on Saturday 6 November which has been designated as the 

Global Day For Climate Justice.

About 100,000 protesters are expected in Glasgow, with a march which begins at Kelvingrove Park at noon before making its way to Glasgow Green for about 15:00.


 The hope is for Carbon Neutral by 2040.

**We all benefit from being in nature. 

Scotland can join other world leading nations, with its vast natural resources, as a leader in renewables. We also need to urgently change our attitudes to the crisis – we all must change how we behave and take the climate crisis seriously.”


Every sovereign issuer in the world could agree to create up to 5% increase annual GDP in new  money and ring fence it for a revolutionary investment in referable energy generation, in carbon capture, climate science and protection of the worlds vulnerable ecosystems. This wouldn’t devalue the value of any single currency because if all nations act multilaterally the risk of an inflation crisis would be negligible. “


“Cop 26 means Glasgow can host the moment that the world changes direction and avert na environmental disaster and Scotland can be a leading light in helping realise the new global environmental zeitgeist.”  Gordon Macintyre Kemp


We must dare to dream we can build a better world – or we’ll have no planet left to save. 


Wildlife Photographer Peter Cairns

Thursday 29 June 2017

Our European past

‘If you prick us, we’ll bleed Europe, the world.”

Excellent article by Scottish writer AL Kennedy who writes in the Bella Caledonia magazine June 2017.
 ‘after Brexit we will rely on Europe for moral and intellectual support. And be eager for the new, travel and different voices.

With Holywood movies it may appear in recent times that there is a big American influence here, but when we dig deeper we find our connections and heritage to Europe – Scotland has a long centuries old history of trade, travel and connections to Europe – France, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Poland Germany and more.

She writes, “First we are human, Brexit will leave us trapped on a apparently increasingly racist island with faltering press freedom and crumbling press reliability, adrift in a shrinking culture enthusiastically rejecting real-world knowledge of all kinds.”
She claims that "Europe is already viewing us as a failing state and as somewhere whose writers need support. They are supporting dissident voices in the UK. It is so important to protect our acceptance of diversity."

‘The post-war efforts to unify Europe were aimed at reversing any drive towards violent ignorance, silence and fear. We have evidence from all of nowhere that this drive always begins in the suppression of diverse voices, words, creativity, books, vitality. We must protect our diversity.”

She quotes, Homers Odyssey – “Muse sing the man of long experience tried
Who, fertile in resources, wandered wide.” 
The Odyssey is a book of polices, war, bloodshed, foolishness, wisdom, mercy, love – and at long last  - home.

“And that speaking of these things allows us to stay morally, imaginatively and literally alive."
The opposite of a free, open society is what once threatened Europe’s peace.
We’ve had a rise of populism – that one voice might speak for all -

“In the end, only one voice is permitted and that voice will only speak of entitlement, threat and hate.’

And so we really have to welcome divergence and diversity.

For anyone following RR Martin’s Game of Thrones – it’s a story of betrayals, ignorance, loyalty, faith, diversity, travel, dictatorship, magic, hope, violence, war, hatred, love, companionship, intellect, strength, morality, weakness – and the game of politics. Who wins?
It’s certainly not the one who is unable to learn….

There are often no right or wrongs, only shades of grey.