“The prizes in terms of turning farming into a low emissions sector are significant, and necessary, to meet Scotland’s climate change targets. The challenge is to ensure food production can operate at a sufficient scale and quality to make the sector financially, as well as environmentally, sustainable.”
‘The risks are higher for the Greens than they are for the SNP. Voters are likely to see any failure of government as Green failure too. And with only two ministers, their ability to effect meaningful change is limited. They may find themselves carrying the can for any mistakes without ever having been in a position to take a different path.’
Germany’s Social Democrats are emerging as the surprising potential winners in the general election of September 26 under Olaf Scholz. Is the EU’s most important member about to opt for seismic change?
“..whilst natural resources from coal to oil and gas to wind and tidal have been pivotal to recent Scottish history, we have to understand them in terms of their constitutive role in human social relations. These themes will become only more pivotal as the energy future dominates political discussion and the urgency for socially just climate action continues to grow.”
“today’s numbers set the starting point for a discussion about the choices and challenges that need to be addressed by those advocating independence or new fiscal arrangements. It is not enough to say ‘everything will be fine’ or ‘look at this country, they can run a sensible fiscal balance so why can’t Scotland?’. Concrete proposals and ideas are needed.”
‘Research estimates that by 2025, the IT industry could use 20% of all electricity produced and emit up to 5.5% of the world’s carbon emissions. That’s more than most countries’ total emissions bar China, India and the US’: the case for an internet powered by renewables.
“The manifestos have fallen short on the level of financial detail behind their plans.” And so has the debate. Parties need to be more transparent about their fiscal options…
This tiny village (Diabaig), nestled at the foot of the Torridon mountains in Wester Ross, makes an interesting case study for the second homes issue that concerns many voters in the Highlands in the run-up to May 6. Should we regulate 2nd homes ownership?
“Growth is slowing. Inequalities are rising. With Covid adding its own malign legacy to the challenges ahead, we need to sweep away a lot of that accumulated institutional clutter. And we need politicians prepared to face much more forensic scrutiny of what they are actually delivering. I fear that is not what’s on the ballot paper next month.”
“And even though, with Scotland as an independent country, your policy options would be much greater, you have to be constantly aware of the trade-offs involved and the limitations on your power to influence the choices made by workers and by companies. You can at least take comfort from the fact that less prosperous nations with less well-developed institutions than Scotland manage these issues without the roof falling in.”