WHEN you think about things, especially with the jaundiced eye of a bus pass holder, it all seems pointless.

Climate change is not new, it’s been discussed for decades with nothing much being done. And there can be little hope for real change anytime soon.

The pandemic taught us, if we are prepared to learn, just how self centered folk are. How fragile those long supply chains are. Destroyed in a day by rumour. A hint that there is a lack which rapidly becomes a truth as folk consume without limit to appetite.

As lockdown started sales of freezers went up. Folk who could insulated themselves from a lack of food by setting a great store for themselves. And that meant that our “just in time” supply near broke. Sure some had plenty, while others went without.

The auld bugger sits, soured by age, looking at the hopelessness of it all.

We were warned. We knew. And we still let it happen. Michael Moorecock warned us about gender fluidity in the Dancers at the End of Time, must be thirty or 40 years ago. Pohl and Kornbluth warned about consumerism in a paperback I consumed 50 years ago. All that time scientists have warned, and been ignored, about climate change.

The space race showed us all just how small our planet really is. How fragile and lonely it sits, surrounded by an almost endless vacuum.

Yet what have we learnt? How has mankind grown?

We don’t have unity of purpose, species survival is not high on anyone’s list.

More concerned about our supply of bog roll than we are for any other human. It’s just more bogroll for us. COP26 has seen billionaires jet in on their climate destroying private planes, direct from the spaceport. Talking the talk while they obviously look for an exit.

Politicians have made great speeches, but all the while keeping fossil fuels out of things.

Yet we have many solutions, tried and tested.

Aulder kids in Scotland will remember the gless cheque. More aware ones will know about Germany’s 20 year history with recycling puggies that pay out for your cans and bottles. Where are ours I find myself asking?

Plastic is a huge problem but we have it in everything. Our smartphones, tellies, carpets, clothes, cars and electrical goods, never mind the food packaging!

Scotland is making giant strides to renewable energy. We can produce far more green energy than we can use. But timing is still an issue. Hydrogen cells seem an obvious answer, yet still seem far off.

It will take decades to turn things around. But that is time we do not have.

Oil must mainly be kept where it is. Coal used sparingly, for processes we need such as steel making.

Marketing and consumerism must be made illegal.

Two things that we need to do today are make all public transport free and to ban the use of outdoor heating.

If we can’t take those two tiny steps we have already failed.

The collective spirit of the blitz replaced by a navel gazing individualism, paired with selfish consumerism, in a race to get all the toys before our planet dies.

Our race is doomed save a few space merchants that will peddle their destruction across a multi verse as they obey the seven laws of acquisition, just like the Ferengi they really are.

Brian Kelly


“KEEP 1.5 alive” may well be the inane mantra that will emerge from COP26. The “fossils” breathe a sigh of relief, it’s keeping our shares alive. Thanks to the hint of taxpayer bail outs to ease the pain of plugging our wells and closing the pit, the FT index is alive and kicking at a healthy 7400.

Although 80% of the developed world has no means of feeding itself short of a supermarket shelf, fossil fuel energy has helped feed us and provide much of the comfortable lifestyle we intend to keep enjoying. Power’s off Dear, my mobile phone needs charging. Rolls-Royce plans to solve the problem, sell mini nuclear plants worldwide, don’t mention the waste. Terrorists smile, care for one in your back garden?

Methane, we’re still wondering how to plug the tundra. Can the planets temperature be controlled by human ingenuity? Renewable energy systems merely turn benign forces into radiant heat, and there are cosmic forces even beyond control of the Boris Boys. How about a mega solar flare on the internet? Rather alarmist I’d say old chap. Meantime, the folly of adding another half a degree rise on a ‘shinty club’ graph may loose us the match.

Iain R Thomson