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Why Scotland is the worst possible host for COP26

The climate change conference COP26 is well under way, and 30,000 delegates have flown into Glasgow to try to convince everyone to burn less fossil fuels – unless you’re doing something really important, like attending a taxpayer-funded party in Glasgow to convince people to burn less fossil fuels.

Why a conference concerned about climate change is being held in Scotland isn’t clear. Scotland has a terrible climate that needs to change. Climate change won’t be a disaster for Scotland – if temperatures rise by two degrees we’ll just undo the top button on our duffle coats. We’ll stop growing turnips and open vineyards.

If sea levels rise, it’s no problem – we’ll just walk a bit further up the hill. Scotland is made out of mountains; we saw this coming. In fact a warmer climate might offset some of the failings of the ruling Scottish National Party (the SNP) – homeless heroin addicts will be less likely to freeze to death. 

Accompanying the conference are an army of climate change activists. Glasgow hasn’t historically seen much climate activism. I don’t think their tactics would work here. I’ve seen Extinction Rebellion protesters in London gluing their hands to buses so the buses couldn’t drive away. That wouldn’t work in Glasgow – if you glued your hands to a bus there, within about 20 seconds someone would come up behind you, nick your mobile phone, and pump you in the arse. That bus wouldn’t move for three weeks – everyone in Glasgow would have a go. Your arse would have its own Tripadvisor page. And when they got bored pumping it, they’d use it for parking their bikes and keeping their tea towels tidy.

The hypocrisy of COP26

The wheels are already coming off COP26, but unfortunately not in a way that will cut carbon emissions. 

A fleet of Jaguar electric vehicles have been hired to ferry delegates around, but there aren’t enough charging points – so a fleet of generators have also been hired to follow the cars around and charge them. You couldn’t make it up. 

Every aspect of the conference is burning tons of fossil fuels. No less than 400 private jets flew delegates in, pumping out 13,000 tonnes of CO2, which is more than 1,600 Scots would burn in a year. Some have tried to excuse the flights saying they’re using “environmentally friendly jet fuel.” If there’s ever a phrase that sums up the dissonance and straight-faced hypocrisy of the climate change elites, it’s ‘environmentally friendly jet fuel’. Yeah, I’ll just put that next to my ethical cocaine and healthy uranium.

Even the food being served to delegates is environmentally unfriendly with some meals having a carbon footprint of 3.4kg – nearly seven times the target of 0.5kg set at the Paris climate accords. And as there isn’t enough ‘global elite’ standard accommodation in Glasgow some delegates have been placed in environmentally unfriendly cruise ships or hotels a high CO2-burning 80-mile taxi ride away.

In addition, council staff – bin men, school janitors, cleaners and cooks – are on strike, doing even less work than usual for public sector workers. So rubbish is piling up on the streets of Glasgow. Lawyers are also striking – so who will represent all the protesters who get arrested after gluing their faces to the road?

Fortunately, the conference doesn’t include a piss-up in a brewery to be screwed up too.

The hypocrisy of the SNP

Scotland’s ruling party, the SNP, has been keen to use the conference to get a message of independence across with an advert crowing, “A nation in waiting welcomes the nations of the world.” But the SNP has failed hard on every aspect of its own environmental policy.

Scotland ships millions of tons of waste abroad for ‘recycling’ including 1.7 million tonnes of plastic and all of its steel. This waste is sent to countries that burn the plastic and dump rubbish, polluting their own land and water. And it’s Scotland’s green taxes and tariffs that are paying for this!

The SNP have also made big promises on the environment, then failed to deliver.

  • They’ve slashed £100m from environmental bodies – a drop of 40% in spending in a decade.
  • They’ve missed greenhouse gas targets for the third year in a row.
  • They missed the 2020 target for 10% of journeys to be made by bike (it sits at just 4%).

Scotland’s own environment is in a perilous state too. The SNP have missed 11 of 20 targets on preventing species extinction. Currently, one in nine Scottish species is at the risk of extinction.

In fact, one of the few wild species thriving in Scotland are the rats in Glasgow, which have seen an explosion in numbers as the rubbish piles high on the streets – there’s an estimated 1.5 million rats in the city, more than there are people. I’m not sure what the carbon emissions of 1.5 million rats are, but it can’t be good. The rats are so bold that they’ve even been attacking council workers. 

If we’re going to talk about the environment, why don’t the SNP start at home and clean up Glasgow? Hilariously, they have blamed the rubbish and rats in Glasgow on former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher who has been out of power for 40 years and dead for a decade. I’m surprised they’re not blaming their environmental failures on the Roman Empire.

Failing Scottish people

As well as failing the environment, the SNP’s green policies are also failing Scottish people. They promised 130,000 jobs for Scottish workers by 2020 – only 21,000 had materialised by 2017 and that number was falling, not growing. They also promised 28,000 jobs in wind by 2020 – but only 1600 had been created by 2018.

Why? Because the SNP are giving the work to overseas companies. Turbines for wind farms are being built in France and Portugal. We’re paying for it and European workers are getting the jobs. 

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon doesn’t care about Scottish workers – she just wants to hobnob with the global elite. She’s doing more for them than she is for Scots. Covid restrictions have been relatively relaxed for attendees because coronavirus apparently can’t spread when you’re trying to save the planet. I don’t know why we bothered developing vaccines, when everyone could have achieved immunity by joining Greenpeace.

While the SNP have used COP26 to push a message of independence, their own green policies have left Scotland completely dependent on England for power. We can produce lots of electricity when the wind’s blowing – but when it stops, our lights would go out without the UK’s national grid. An independent Scotland wouldn’t even be able to boil a kettle. 

And no, you can’t blame Thatcher for that either.

(You can see my video on COP26 here).

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

© 2021, paradox. All rights reserved.

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