So today I went (by bike, naturally) to a Climate Conversation, which is supposedly part of a listening exercise by the Scottish Government in the run up to its updating of its climate policy, as well as a chance for people to talk to each other about climate change and where they think the priorities might lie.
While I’m not massively optimistic that whatever we say won’t just end up in a nice report whose only contribution to reducing carbon in the atmosphere is by storing it in paper form, I still think it’s worth turning up to these things, just in case. And besides, it was a chance to meet some folk from the vicinity of the new Nearest Village, at least those portion of them who care enough about the climate to spend a sunny afternoon discussing it.
These things are always an eye opener. I was preparing by reading through the government’s guide to the Climate Conversations and came across this:
I realise that this is really just supposed to be an illustrative photo, not a design guide, but just the fact that someone could even describe that as illustrating a street designed for people – someone who was putting together a guide to discussing climate change policy – suggests we’ve got a million miles to go before we’re even talking about the same things, let alone actually creating people friendly streets.
Anyway. The conversation itself was fine. There was a structure we were supposed to follow, but it wasn’t too rigid and most people were talking a lot of sense. Nobody ranted about windfarms (I might have ranted a bit about plans to cut Air Passenger Duty), and I managed not to bang on too much about bicycles, and we mostly agreed that the Scottish Government needs to do everything – get people cycling, insulate houses, reduce traffic, build more renewable energy – if we’ve got a hope of saving the planet. So I cycled home, mildly encouraged that people seem to understand the problem and are keen both to do something about it themselves and see government action to boot.
To be greeted by this news.
Still, at least I got to ride my bike…