The English Must follow where the Scots Lead

Three ago I attended a meeting of Energy Action Scotland as a guest speaker at their annual conference on a cold rainy night in Scotland in November. Energy Action Scotland is a highly deserving charity which campaigns to end fuel poverty in Scotland. The issue of fuel poverty is very important throughout the British Isles, but nowhere more important than in the northern parts of these islands where winters are longer and colder and where you need more money to heat your home to the same standard as those of us who live in places like London, where I live.

Fuel poverty will undoubtedly increase in direct relation to increasing inflation of fuel prices, inflation of food prices and increasing unemployment. This will constitute a serious problem in years to come, far more serious than it is now. All of the delegates and attendees were very concerned about fuel poverty the; I have no doubt that Energy Action’s concerns have since increased enormously.

The night before I spoke there was a diner for all the delegates and at the end of the meal was a quiz, which each table participated as a team. One question was “what is the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide?” The question stumped a few of the tables but the answer that the organisers accepted was 382 parts per million. It had been rising by 2 ppm for the previous seven years and for the previous forty years by less than 1ppm. Today atmospheric carbon dioxide as measured at Mauna Loa is 393 ppm.

I have visited Mauna Loa, which is the Big Island of Hawaii. There are five volcanoes there, and the beaches are black with volcanic rocks but the air is very clean in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Mauna Loa has been monitoring carbon dioxide for more than 51 years and uses an established methodology. Its location enables it to give atmospheric readings free from human and vegetation influences which might affect the measurements and they have established devices which exclude any volcanic emissions from their results.











Big Island is very warm, unlike Scotland in November.

The effect of climate change mainly caused by anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide, is felt all over the world. The way of reducing emissions is to reduce the consumption of fossil fuel and in practical terms Scotland is doing more than any other part of the British Isles to reduce emissions and is doing more than most other countries in the world. Perhaps in England we do not recognise this; we are possibly brainwashed by our English politicians who tell us what they will do at some time in the future. The Scots have grasped the nettle, and even though they are more affected by fuel poverty than England they are pressing on with the installation of all types of renewable energy. It is time for the proud English, when it comes to doing something real about climate change to think again.

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