THE advance tremors are already rattling the tea-cups. The seismic event, this coming Monday, is the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Which, if it was an Arctic survey boat (to change metaphors), would be at the bottom of the sea, so leaky has it become.

According to the latest PDF to slip out from the biggest scientific peer-review exercise ever conducted, the message is stark. We must aim to keep global warming below 1.5% (that’s the percentage above pre-industrial eras) by 2050. We’re already at 1% above.

READ MORE: Campaigners urge for action ahead of UN global warming report

Unamended, current behaviour takes us to 2-3%, where civilisation is barely thinkable. But even at the lower target, we are facing rising sea levels, burning summers and droughts, and massive societal disruption.

How is it that carbon production levels are twice what they were 20 years ago, when the crisis was clearly seen? Why might it have taken us until too late to wake up? The finger of blame travels everywhere. Best not to follow it to the very heart of human nature, where it would seem we jumped-up mammals may end up incapable of acting in our long-term survival interests.

READ MORE: Three decades since its advent, is it time the internet grew up?

Better – at least as a motivator – to approach that question historically, or even psycho-historically. It’s as if there are massive collective traumas standing in our way, stopping us acting with clarity in the face of these brutal, chastening climate facts. For the indy-minded in Scotland, there are a few extra strands to this emotional denial.

There is much resistance to hearing about the lifestyle and prosperity consequences of a zero-carbon civilisation – the rationed flights, the reduced consumerism, the endless energy monitoring. And these often come from ex- and post-proletariats, beached by the industrial age.

“What!?” goes the litany. “We’ve ground it out for centuries, and we eventually wrested a little leisure time and some minor luxuries from the maw of industrialism. And now, you’re telling us we’re losing not just the dignity of the latter, but the sensuality and pleasures of the former?”

The populist reaction across England and Europe, against the super-regulatory spectre of the EU, is partly rooted in this Buckaroo reaction to incessant change. De-industrialisation … now unbended bananas… and then getting us to pay subsidies for all of this … Ping! Kick! Too much! No more!

I predict it will be pretty easy for the Westminster shock-doctors to present the loosening of environmental laws, post-Brexit, as an act of “a free people” who not only decide on their own borders, but on their own climate-system facts too.

What’s the same and what’s different in Scotland? Well, even when it seems different, it’s kind of the same (and similar to the UK left and centre-left, too).

That is, our status as the “Abu Dhabi of renewables” has offered Scots the potential return of industrial society, via engineering and retrofitting. (The Corbynites are only the latest on the long wagon-trail of a “Green New Deal”, offering a salvific burst of traditional manufacturing and building, oriented to sustainability).

Here’s the problem. The grand aim is to convert new natural resources into usable energy. But won’t that energy still largely be at the service of the same old wound-healing consumerism?

The dots between a revolution in sustainable economics, and a revolution in sustainable lifestyle, haven’t really been solidly joined up in Scotland (though, of course, there are pockets of coherence, for example around land reform or cultural rights). The urgent nature of next week’s stats, even from the conservative IPCC, make this imperative in the next decade.

But Scotland has something of an extra curse to dispel: our tortured emotional relationship to the hydrocarbons in our waters.

The announcement of a few new fields in oil and gas in Scottish waters this year causes a bilious mixture of gratitude and grief in the thinking Nat. If we are to reduce our carbon output appropriately, as a contribution to the now-desperate global effort to keep hundreds of billions of tonnes of the stuff out of the atmosphere, we must regard these finds as interesting, but irrelevant. If price fluctuation eventually makes them viable enough to be extracted, then they’ll be dangerous too.

But another cry goes up – in essence, a huge “that’s no’ fair!” We’ve had five decades of the decoupling of hydrocarbon bounty from Scottish self-determination. And now that the latter’s close to being grasped, some phalanx of green-tinged scientists tell us the black gold must stay under the seabed?

Meantime, just across the North Sea, Norway hums away serenely on its nest-egg investments from the era of peak oil exploitation. Grrr.

All of this is hard to take. I’d be lying if it didn’t say I feel the pain. My earliest indy dreams, as a wee 1970s boy, involved scenes of an oil-fuelled, technotopian Scotland, full of smiling inventors and shimmering structures, all laid out beneath my Thunderbirds-printed blanket. (And yes, those dreams were pretty Norwegian-looking.)

It should still be possible – with enough national power and strategic intent – to turn the skills and techniques of the oil and gas sector into the kind of engineering needed to help prevent planetary catastrophe. In his epic history of North Sea oil, Fool’s Gold, Christopher Harvie said the engineering feats of our hydrocarbon exploration were “equivalent to that of the Moon landing and the Apollo missions”.

It would be a mighty (and globally moral) act to relentlessly pursue the conversion of such earth-moving powers to sustainable production. Something to be proud of. An enlightened response to our nation’s role, unwittingly (like everyone else) during the high modern era, in taking the planet to the edge of habitability.

Maybe that pride could extend to an indy programme that kept new hydrocarbons under the sea. And then turned its face to the kind of society we also need to move towards to make the climate numbers work fully.

Probably the best legacy of the Sustainable Growth Commission – and maybe a somewhat inadvertent one – is that it’s helped us get used to calculating prospects for indy without including revenues from oil and gas.

Unionist pundits gleefully point to the permanently straitened budgets that result from this, on current macro-economic calculations. The usual retort is that taking full control of the country, and doing new things, will change the very nature of those calculations.

But there are perhaps more “new things” to do than might be imagined in the carpeted corridors of Edinburgh’s New Town. Which is, usually, a high-talent, high-tech dash for growth. That’s understood. But how might we imagine a Scotland that both produced brilliant solutions to mitigate a burning planet, but also became much less consumerist at home?

Even in terms of those fiendish deficits, one could imagine how this works. Healthier, more self-regarding, more communally self-reliant Scots might reduce those health, social and welfare bills – themselves already swelled by the bodily costs of compensatory consumerism.

What would we do with ourselves instead? Read, blether, play, care, get fitter, become more enterprising, tend to our lands and commons, exercise our daily citizenship (both national and global), think of things to find out from a satellite launched at our spaceport …

Come on now. Is it so hard to imagine a sustainable Scottish culture and society – gracefully conscious of its impact on the planet, but nevertheless seeking (in Neil Gunn’s words) “the atom of delight” in everything?

We’re in for a week of eco-apocalypse – and we probably deserve it. But Scots have all the resources – natural, infrastructural, social and cultural – to face the wall of fire with a creative resilience, and a deep adaptability. Time to seize the full national powers which could maximise that response.