Climate change: As drought-hit Scotland is forced to build dams to store water, the economic case for fighting global warming should be crystal clear to all – Scotsman comment

If humanity continues to ignore the dangers posed by climate change, pumping greenhouse gases into our already over-heated atmosphere like there’s no tomorrow, then the Apocalypse awaits.

Moss growing on a weir on the Water of Leith, with the river reduced to a small channel on the right, shows how long water levels have been low (Picture: Ian Johnson)
Moss growing on a weir on the Water of Leith, with the river reduced to a small channel on the right, shows how long water levels have been low (Picture: Ian Johnson)

However, we are surely smart enough to see through the decreasing number of bombastic blowhards like Donald Trump who dismiss established science as a “hoax” or those who slyly pay lip-service to the risks while taking every opportunity to make them worse if there’s money to be made.

The overall cost of delaying the transition to net-zero emissions is rising with each day that passes. The longer we take, the more our climate will turn against us and the more expensive it will become to adapt to our new reality.

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Scotland’s whisky industry has already been paying a heavy price for periods of drought that have forced some distilleries to temporarily cease production. And, as our climate changes, it is a problem that is only going to get worse.

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In response, dams have now been built at the Glenlivet distillery in Moray to capture water for use during dry weather. Other distillers, farmers and any businesses that rely on water supplies may soon feel the need to follow suit.

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And that is just one of a whole array of measures, such as protecting vital infrastructure like railway lines and electricity cables from increasingly powerful storms, that will need to be taken.

The economic case behind the fight against climate change was established more than 16 years ago when the landmark Stern Review concluded the costs of inaction far outweighed the costs of reducing greenhouse gases. It’s past time to realise the false economy of our current trajectory.

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