John Finnie Green MSP: THE climate emergency has never been more visible. Record-breaking heat in Australia, record-breaking cold in the USA, and a huge chunk of ice has broken away from the Arctic’s largest remaining ice shelf in north-east Greenland. While the Los Angeles Times called the wildfires there a “climate apocalypse”, there has also been evidence of this breakdown closer to home. In February, Storm Dennis brought with a month’s worth of rainfall in just 48 hours and that pattern has been repeated several times since, interspersed with some of the hottest weather on record. Now, winter is coming. Network Rail has worked hard to assess the impact of climate change on our railways, but the body admitted it “is an area that is accelerating faster than our assumptions”. ScotRail boss Alex Hynes has said: “The railway in this country can no longer cope because of climate change.” Quite. The question then becomes what are we going to do about it? Clearly, we need to reduce transport emissions as fast as we can to stop contributing to this breakdown. Transport is the single biggest source of net carbon emissions in Scotland and these emissions have increased since 1990 rather than gone down. This is frustrating, not just because of the obvious environmental impact but because the solutions are so clearly within our grasp. But we also need to recognise that our transport infrastructure was built for a temperate climate and is not prepared for the extreme storms and floods that are becoming more frequent in Scotland.
The National 25th Sept 2020 read more »