East Lothian Courier – 3 August 2023


The heatwaves and fires raging in Europe are frightening and sadly a portend for what we face in coming years. The fear of both tourists and locals in Mediterranean resorts well known to Scottish holidaymakers was evident. Worse still, lives have been lost, not just holidays ruined. But heatwaves are also affecting almost a third of the USA, and similar challenges are being faced in Africa and Asia, though with far less publicity. Yet with even worse impacts on countries far less able to cope with the fires that are burning.

It confirms why addressing climate change’s the greatest challenge facing humanity. The suggestion by a leading Tory Lord that Britain could benefit from global warming’s absurd. We’ll face our own problems as we’ve seen with storms and floods. There’s no upside for anyone or anywhere.   

The young man I referred to last week who had told me about his coming fatherhood also spoke of his fears and even some guilt about bringing a child into this world. It’s heartbreaking that what should be a time of joy’s tinged with such concern. That’s why it’s not just about addressing our own current safety but protecting the world for future generations. We have a duty to cherish our planet and especially to leave a fitting legacy for those who will follow us.

Global gatherings, such as COP26 which was hosted in Glasgow, come and go and aside from backslapping and warm words little action seems to be taken. Yet action there must be, or the future isn’t just about having to change where you holiday. It’s about the mess we’ll be leaving yet my friends child and future generations will have to live with what past generations both did and failed to do.

It’s not going to be easy as some actions that require to be taken will come at a cost and impact on our lives. They must be taken though as the situation’s worsening. Politicians require to show courage and be bold. But we must all play our part, if not just for ourselves then certainly for future generations.