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” on May 22 each year, after its 400-year union with Denmark which ended in 1814, so it was another slow process to full independence!).

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 $1 trillion.

Norway have 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.

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Denmark focused on funding renewable innovations 20 years ago and now leads the way with the manufacture of wind turbines and wave power, worth billions to their economy. Germany has focused on well-insulated homes and solar energy. Scotland is hosting the world’s largest wind farm in Aberdeen and testing the world’s largest tidal farm in the Moray Firth, and offers ideal locations, but because of the UK’s 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 back-up 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.

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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 wellbeing society – instead of nations at war. The UK is the biggest seller of arms.

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

We must transition to renewables as fast as possible – but the reality is that we can’t turn off oil and gas overnight. And if we did millions of people would die! So this “transition” will take many years to deliver and to answer the challenges over how will we heat our homes.

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 numbers or 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 in the 1960s under the threat of the nuclear bomb when he wrote his haunting Masters of War, and the other 200 years before by our Scots bard Robert Burns, who grew up in the 1760s with the threats of war with France when he wrote Westlin Winds.

P Keightley