The UK’s energy plan is all very well but it ignores the forecast rise in global sea-levels

LONDON - IN concentrating on electrically driven cars, the UK’s new ten-point energy plans ignores the elephant in the room.

It fails to address the forecast six-metre sea level rise from global warming rapidly melting the Greenland ice sheet.

Rising sea levels and storm surge, combined with increasingly heavy rainfall swelling our rivers, threaten not only hundreds of coastal communities but also much unprotected strategic infrastructure.

New nuclear power stations proposed in this United Kingdom plan would produce radioactive waste requiring thousands of years to safely decay.

This is hardly the solution for the Green Energy future that our overlooked marine energy resource could provide.

Sea defences and barrier design, built and integrated with subsea turbines and heat pumps, can deliver marine-driven heat and power to offset the costs, not only of new Thames Barriers, but also future Severn, Forth and other barrages.

At the Pentland Firth, existing marine turbine power could be enhanced by turbines deployed from new tidal bridges to provide much of UK’s electricity needs from its estimated 60 gigawatt capability.

Energy from Bluemull Sound could likewise be harvested and exported or used to enhance development around UK’s new space station at Unst.

The 2021 Climate Change Summit gives Glasgow the platform to secure Scotland’s place in a true green, marine energy future.

We must not waste this opportunity.

THERE is no vaccine for climate change.

It is, of course, wonderful news that such progress is being made in the development of Covid-19 vaccines but there is a risk that, no matter how serious the Covid crisis is, it is distracting attention, political will and resources from the climate crisis, a much longer term and more devastating catastrophe.

They are intertwined. As climate and ecological systems change, vectors and pathogens migrate and disease spreads.

What lessons can be learned from one to apply to the other?

Prevention is better than cure. We need to urgently address the climate crisis to help prevent future pandemics.

We are only as safe as the most vulnerable. Covid immunisation will protect the most vulnerable; to protect against the effects of climate change we need to look far more deeply. Global challenges require systemic change.

Neither Covid or climate change respect national borders and, for both, we need to value and trust science and the scientific experts and separate them from political posturing.


in Year