THE Scottish Government at lang last declarit a climate emergency. Whit a relief. Oor Parliament doon at Holyrood mibbie isnae ane o the great state pooers o the warld, but ilka declaration sic as thon is a dunt on the richt drum. Wee Greta Thunburg cam oot in praise o the Government. Nae lang aifter, the Tory Government in London follaed suit wi a declaration o their ain. Then the SNP shawed their intent bi gingin back oan their pledge on Air Departure Tax, as it wisnae compatible wi their efforts. Genuinely a braw stairt.

But thon declaration wis a month ago, an naebody has mentioned Aiberdeen, an naebody has mentioned ile.

The ile wis in decline nae sae lang syne, but noo a “North Sea renaissance” is bein toutit. A renaissance supportit bi the same government thats noo declarin a climate emergency.

I dinnae expect the Government tae mak muckle concrete bungs an stap up the wounds in the seabed richt aff. Pragmatism has aye been the SNP’s watchword at Holyrood. But we maun dae somethin, an we hae tae dae it soon.

Aiberdeen sooked itsel fat on the grim black teat o North Sea ile. An as wi ony beast raised on sic a diet, the city has a blackened its hert. Superchairged Jaguars an hunners o gey martial-luikin Range Rovers roar aboot the car-prioritised streets, breengin ablow some o the maist drug-afflictit tooers an by the miast poverty-struck schemes ye’ll fin in Scotland.

The displays o ile-wealth are baith gey arrogant an unco gendered. Men fresh aff the rigs an fou wi the drink, fleein on the coke, steam oot fae the bars an intae legal stripclubs or whlies illicit brothels. Ile wives ging fae bijou bistro tae claes boutique at leisure in the middle o the week. This is the life that ile buys the toon. Meanwhile foodbanks proliferate.

Aiberdeen at peak ile wis jeelit in time. Aahin wis a 1980s Californian carnival o excess. The hail warld wis growin mair an mair panicked aboot global warmin, but no mony fowk here seemed tae tak owre muckle tent o it. A muckle new road, 26 mile o dual carriageway, wis biggit in pairt tae allow the ile sector tae flourish. The fitba team are awa tae big a new stadium oot o toon, meanin the thoosans than ging tae the game on fit will hae tae lowp in their motors. Mental.

I bide in the Granite City, an I love it. But bidin here means ye hae tae hae a certain cognitive dissonance anent global warmin. Aabdy here benefits fae the siller the ile brings in. We’re aa collaborators, an aa clarty wi the black stuff in ae wey or anither. I ken a wheen o pals wha’ve bought muckle hooses off the back o wark in the industry. Ithers wha’ve filled their pooches an set aff aroon the warld wi the cash.

Aiberdeen isnae awa tae pit doon the ile rigs an haun owre the keys tae its fleets o Audis wioot fechtin an girnin first. Sae the Scottish Government is gonnae hae tae come in aboot wi some bad news, an stairt tae shut the industry doon.

This was be an unco risk tae ony central belt pairty. But tae the SNP it wadnae be far fae suicide. The Ile Capital o Europe – thons how Aiberdeen unselfconsiously styles itsel – votit firmly agin independence in 2014. Wi anither vote on the horizon, ilka effort tae win owre tens o thoosans o north-easters maun be made. It wilnae be easy tae mak a bauld vision fir a better future fir the region gin yer talkin aboot takin awa the main source o wealth. This maks the north-east a richt fankle fir central government.

We cannae noo push a Yes vote wi an ile-rich independent Scotland bein the reward. Nae maitter how muckle the Norwegians hae made aff theirs, an whit Scotland wad hae done had we gane independent years back. Thon ile boat has sailed an we tint oor chance. We hae tae turn oor collective backs on fossil fuels no as Scots but as humans. Sae we’ll hae tae campaignin tae strip awa the ability o fowk aroon here tae pey their mortgages. But in this crisis is opportunity.

Bring renewable solutions. The north-east, fae Angus richt the wey up the coast, is hoachin wi engineers, workshops, harbours, universities an colleges, trainin centres an dynamic wee companies. Turn this apatable ecosystem intae a warld-leader in green energy. Insteid o takin fowk’s work aff them, we could be helpin them change the warld fir the better.

Stephen Flynn, heid o the SNP group at Aiberdeen City Cooncil, is aware o baith the risks an opportunities o movin awa fae the ile. “The oil and gas sector permeates every aspect of social and economic life in Aberdeen – simply ‘turning off the tap’ would be reckless and naive. We need to harness the talent of the highly-skilled individuals who have driven [oil] forward, and transfer their skills to a future built on renewables. After all, sitting off our coast are not just oil rigs but some of the world’s most powerful wind turbines.”

Fine wirds. But, as yet, nae action.

Scotland has tae thole it’s ain dowie role in mony o the dairkest hours o man’s history. Slavery? We were richt at the hert o it. Empire? There wis aye a wheen Scots haudin the muskets an chorin the gowden gear. The Great War? We couldnae send puir young lads oot tae the trenches fast eneuch.

Dae we want ile tae be oor neist legacy? Dae we want the contribution tae the warld fae Scotland at this moment in time tae be mair climate disasters, mair storms, mair deeth, maistly tae the warld’s puirest fowk? I dinnae.