The only land route to a Hebridean island was blocked to traffic yesterday as its millionaire owner declared a climate and ecological emergency. Helped by fellow residents and visitors to the inner isle of Gometra, Roc Sandford blocked the route with a boat. At low tide the island is connected by causeway and bridge to the neighbouring island of Ulva. Gometra, west of Mull, has five houses and does not attract much traffic. Land Rovers and quad bikes are usually the only vehicles on the rough eight-mile track. Mr Sandford, 61, who ditched his quad bike two years ago and swapped his car for a bicycle, said he wanted to highlight Gometra’s solidarity with islands that are sinking due to climate change, such as Fiji. Some will be uninhabitable by 2030.
Times 26th Aug 2019 read more »
Nick Butler: Greta Thunberg should not waste time in the US talking to the already convinced elite. As climate activist Greta Thunberg sails into New York this week, the concern of those campaigning like her for action against climate change cannot be that their cause lacks publicity. From a series of authoritative scientific reports to the Extinction Rebellion protests in Europe to the extreme weather of the past two months, such issues have been high on the agenda. That coverage, along with growing evidence of the real impact of global warming, of which the dramatic melting of Greenland’s ice cap is just the most recent example, has led to a range of new policy commitments. Ten European countries have promised to deliver net zero carbon by 2050. In the US, the Green New Deal has shaped the debate among the numerous would-be Democratic presidential candidates. Putting in place detailed policies to support such ambitious commitments will require sustained electoral support. The problem is that in an age of populism the campaign for action on climate change remains dominated by the views of the highly educated minority – the liberal intelligentsia – led by academics, scientists and students. For them, climate change is an existential issue that cuts across conventional ideological lines. Such groups, however, no longer hold sway in the political market place. Populism, and in particular resentment against the views and attitudes of traditional elites, has grown. Resistance to climate change policies has become a feature of the populist agenda. This has happened not just in the US, where President Donald Trump is openly sceptical of climate science, but also in France, where the gilets jaunes movement emerged in response to attempts by President Emmanuel Macron to impose higher fuel taxes. In Australia, hostility to the climate agenda helped swing the election earlier this year. Nigel Farage’s recent attack on Prince Charles for his views on climate issues also fits the pattern. For too many people, action on climate change has come to represent an elitist attempt to take away their jobs and to impose new taxes and higher prices on products that are part of their lives – not just fuel but also plastic straws and packaging.
FT 26th Aug 2019 read more »