KENNY MACASKILL: Climate change’s threat to humanity is crystal clear. As Scotland and the rest of the UK bask in yet another record summer, it’s frightening to realise that global warming’s only just begun. To paraphrase the constitutional debate, it’s a process not an event. It’s started but certainly hasn’t finished and how it might end could be truly apocalyptic. A recent report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggested warmer summers are here to stay with the pace of temperature rise increasing. That’s bad enough, even if many in Scotland might not begrudge the sunshine remaining. But, as the temperature rises other factors are coming into play for the increased heat has also borne down on places as diverse as Siberia and the Arctic. Methane trapped in the tundra may be released and, as the ice melts, sea levels could rise with potentially calamitous results. The consequences can’t be fully predicted but the reports are based on authoritative work and it won’t be pleasant or easy to deal with. Nor will it be something that happens somewhere far away, but here and the reality could be grim indeed. As a society, we’ll have to adjust to a hugely different climate where the social and economic consequences will be massive and are impossible to quantify. It will mean an entire change to our way of life and almost certainly quality of life in many respects. We need to change and change fast. That means governments must take decisions that are hard and probably unpopular but cannot be shirked. They have a duty to lead as they know the potential consequences. Scotland has done moderately well but it’s nowhere near enough. Pledges to work to reduce emissions aren’t enough. Concrete actions are needed. It will affect us all and how we live. Unrestricted car usage and cheap flights may well become things from a bygone age. It won’t be easy to reconfigure our society but it must be done, if we want humanity to continue to exist.
Scotsman 9th Aug 2018 read more »
Dr Matt Winning: Climate Strange is at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe: The next 20 years will irreversibly determine the future of humanity on Earth. Scotland is undoubtedly at the vanguard of action on climate and I’m incredibly proud of that. But it is now time to start taking the tougher steps. Especially those who are well-off. People say they’d do anything for their children. That they’d die for their children. Yet they won’t not fly to Marbella for their children.
Herald 9th Aug 2018 read more »
GORDON MACINTYRE-KEMP: Why our choice on climate change is a simple one. Let’s turn Scotland’s world-leading energy expertise and our massive renewable energy (especially tidal and wave energy potential) into a massive economic opportunity and show the world what a sustainable future looks like – in other words, let’s be a different country.
The National 9th Aug 2018 read more »