Heavy rain city Square

The climate is a-changin’ but is a hard rain gonna fall?

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“…’Cos the sun will heat up and the rain will get worse

For the climate it is a-changin’”

(With apologies to Robert Zimmerman)

THERE ARE two topics de jour in which one dabbles at one’s own peril – climate change and the transgender debate. To do so invites a pile-on from the righteous, the woke, and other sub-groups of the unco’ guid, as Burns might have described them. Accordingly, I thought they might be ideal subjects for me to tackle. But only the climate one this time, I’m afraid, because both at one time would be far too dangerous. Hic sunt dracones, as the old maps used to say.

What then do I think about the climate change debate and its close cousin global warming? I have read both as widely and as in depth as any person of retirement age on a state pension might be expected to do, and I have come to accept that the climate is indeed changing. Even a casual observer like me (some folk would say “like myself” here but I have been proper educaitit) has noticed that the weather is warmer, the rain heavier, and the seasons a bit topsy-turvy. And that’s just in douce, safe East Lothian. Heaven knows what it must be like in the heathen lands of North Lanarkshire and beyond.

What is not so clear, though, is why this is happening. Notwithstanding what the eco-warriors might say, there is no consensus here; one group of learned scientists and their fanatical acolytes will tell you it’s a result of human activity – the so-called anthropogenic climate change – while the other camp will aver equally passionately that the whole phenomenon is entirely explicable in terms of the world’s natural cycles.

I have read into both sides of the argument and have been unable to make up my mind who’s right and who’s wrong, if indeed either of them are. The pro-anthropogenic warming advocates seem to be in the majority, it is true, but history shows us all too clearly that being in the majority does not necessarily mean they are right. The contras, sometimes labelled climate change sceptics or, even more damningly climate change deniers, may not be right either.

Personally, I’m more of a climate-change-need-more-cogent-arguments-to-be-persuaded sort of person. It’s a bit like the Scottish independence debate; I can see what the Yes camp is getting at but its case is far from persuasive or convincing. So I’m a sort of Kenny Dalglish (Sir Kenny Dalglish to you, son!) ‘mibbes aye, mibbes naw’ observer on all matters climate.

The main criticism of climate change belief ideology is that its predictions are just that, predictions, relying hugely on computer-based projections and based on historical data for its modelling. And there’s the rub; just because it has been happening in the past – rising temperature, for example, and I’m not saying it hasn’t risen – doesn’t mean that it’s going to continue similarly in the future. Mother Nature has form in going off in other directions.

Be that as it may, it’s all coming to a head now in the Dear Green Place that I am still proud, just, to acknowledge as my home city. The paradox of thousands of so-called world leaders and accompanying delegates jetting in to save the planet has been well covered elsewhere. So too have the plans of the various overlapping, incestuous tribes of eco-nutters, anarchists, and semi-professional agitators to disrupt proceedings. Thoughts and prayers go out to the 10,000 or so police tasked to maintain law and order. Plus the other agencies we don’t have space to talk about here, of course.

No doubt disruption will be caused and the city trashed and litter-strewn by the end of the festivities, but happily the locals will hardly notice. By all accounts much of Glasgow is permanently in this state anyway.

I am all for Scotland, and indeed the UK, setting an example and taking a lead in steps designed to mitigate mankind’s ecological and environmental foot print. It does provide us with a couple of steps on the long climb to the moral high ground for sure, but at the present time it’s a bit of a futile gesture, sadly. Until major polluters like China, India, the USA, and Australia, all addicted to fossil fuels in general and coal in particular, get on board then all our efforts will come close to zero, and by that I don’t mean carbon net zero.

In Scotland we have a government which is clearly ambivalent in its attitude to climate change action. On the one hand it wants to be cool, trendy, and down wiv da kidz, thereby continually setting targets which it knows cannot possibly be achieved in the timescales designated. On the other hand it is well aware that, without nuclear power stations and further exploitation of potential oil and gas opportunities around our shores, at some point the lights will go out and the country’s home’s will turn chilly. We can carpet the landscape with wind turbines and solar panels until there is no space left, but when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine we are stuffed without gas, oil, and nuclear.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m all in favour of saving the planet. But, for all the good intentions of COP26 and the wishful thinking of current Scottish government greenwashed policies, we’re a long way from where we may well need to be.

© Stuart Crawford 2021

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Photo by Vanillasky Friday  from Shutterstock

 

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