Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Scotland Declares Climate Emergency

Last month the Scottish National Party's MSPs had joined other parties in voting against a Scottish Greens motion calling for parliament to declare a climate emergency. 

This month, they changed their minds. 

On Sunday, Nicola Sturgeon (left) announced: “…I met some of the young climate change campaigners who’ve gone on strike from school to raise awareness of their cause. They want governments around the world to declare a climate emergency. They say that’s what the science tells us, and they are right. 

Today, as first minister of Scotland, I am declaring that there is a climate emergency and Scotland will live up to our responsibility to tackle it”. 

She said the pronouncement was “a public promise” to act on global warming – and I say, it is a timely response to a world that is on the brink of climatic calamity. 

Already at least 90 councils across the UK have proclaimed a climate emergency and pledged to work to limit damage to the environment. 

MPs in Westminster will vote on whether to follow suit tomorrow, after Labour forced a Commons debate on the issue following mass protests over political inaction on the crisis. 

The declaration of a climate emergency is one of the key demands of environmental campaigners including the Extinction Rebellion movement, which paralyzed parts of London with protests in the last fortnight. 

Scottish Greens MSP Mark Ruskell (left), the party's climate spokesperson, while welcoming the SNP's "dramatic u-turn" on the issue said "actions speak louder than words". 

He added: “Declaring a climate emergency is about more than posing for pictures with climate strikers, it’s about ditching policies that are destroying the planet and investing in the jobs and technologies of tomorrow, today”.

He’s right – an acknowledgement of a "climate emergency" may just be that. An acknowledgement. And that's it. 

Right now, we want a commitment to specific action – and it helps if countries seriously work towards being carbon-neutral as soon as possible. 

The UK has pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent from 1990s levels by 2050. But campaigners and climate scientists warn this would not be enough to avert environmental catastrophe, with Extinction Rebellion demanding the UK government commit to zero carbon emissions by 2025.

All I know is – it’s time to take action! 

Yesterday, I caught this posting on Facebook. 

Safura Atan had written: “Congratulations to Shah Alam Toastmasters Club #shahalamtmc members, especially dedicated to Victor Ong DTM, for clinching the Presidential Distinguished Club Award…” 

It is heart-warming when the president of your Toastmasters club acknowledges your contributions. Thank you!

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