Tha cus gaoth mu thimcheall deasbad na h-àrainneachd, tha Murray MacLeòid ag ràdh

Tha an dearg nàire air Boris Johnson a’ dol a bhruidhinn ri duine mu dheidhinn brùchdail no cur a-mach a tha a' dèanamh cron, ach feuch riut: siud e air an àrd-ùrlar air beulaibh an t-saoghail a’ cur a’ choire air gnothach a tha air leth toinnte is duilich – gas metan (methane) anns an iarmailt – air crodh. Co-dhiù, bu chòir a bhith taingeil nach do chuir e a’ choire air na Frangaich.

Bha an òraid a thug Boris Johnson seachad a’ sealltainn nach eileas a’ dèilgeadh le cùis na h-àrainneachd ann an dòigh tomadach gu leòr (Oli Scarff/AFP via Getty Images)
Bha an òraid a thug Boris Johnson seachad a’ sealltainn nach eileas a’ dèilgeadh le cùis na h-àrainneachd ann an dòigh tomadach gu leòr (Oli Scarff/AFP via Getty Images)

[English-language version below]

Chan eil duine, gu seachd àraid ann an àiteachas, nach aidich gu bheil beathaichean mairt a’ cur a-mach ìrean àrda de mheatan agus tha obair a’ dol airson sin ìsleachadh, mar eisimpleir, athrraichean nam biadh, agus tha sin cho ceart sa ghabhas.

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Ach, tha a bhith a’ cur a’ choire air a’ bhò bhochd ro choltach ri cus dhe na tha a’ cuairteachadh a' dheasbaid air atharrachadh na gnàth-thìde agus a bha faicsinneach a-rithist aig COP26: daoine a tha airson gnothaichean gu math toinnte a shìmpleachadh ann am faclan furasta fhad ‘s tha cothrom aca air an ùrlar. No ga chur ann an dòigh eile: fada cus gaoithe agus fada ro bheag de bhrìgh.

Airson eisimpleir eile, seall air na thuirt an sgrìobhaiche agus am fear-iomairt Seòras Monbiot. Thuirt esan gum faodadh an fhreagairt a bhith ann an leantainn na tha iad a’ dèanamh ann am Paris: ’s e sin, gum feum a h-uile duine a bhith a' fuireach cairteal na h-uaireach de choiseachd bho na prìomh sheirbheisean – mar an obair aca, sgoil, ospadal, trèana is eile.

Ann am baile mòr mar Pharis, chan e droch rud a tha sin, ged a bhiodh e cosgail a thoirt gu buil. Ach nan deigheadh gabhail ris, cha b’ urrainn do dhuine sam bith fuireach air an dùthaich. Agus seo fear aig a bheil cliù airson a bhith a' cur a-mach mu dheidhinn na h-àrainneachd.

Cha leig thu leas ach sùil bheag a thoirt air na stataistaigs: tha teas an t-saoghail air a dhol suas aon degree thairis an leth-cheud bliadhna a dh’fhalbh – mun aon àm ‘s a tha ola air a bhith againn sa Chuan a Tuath.

Anns an DA CHEUD bhliadhna ron a sin, cha mhòr nach tàinig atharrachadh sam bith agus sin a dh’aindeoin ’s nam mìltean de bhliadhnachan agus na milleanan de chrodh, buffalo, bison is iomadach beathach eile a’ bramail is a’ brùchdail an t-slighe tro na linntean.

Tha buaidh a’ dol a thighinn air gach nì de ar beatha ri linn èiginn na h-àrainneachd agus ‘s e an aon cheist a bu chòir a bhith oirnn, dè cho luath ’s a gheibh sinn air gluasad air falbh bho dh'ola is gas. Ma tha aon fhreagairt shìmplidh ann, sin i.

Tha COP air dòchas a thoirt dhuinn ach tha faireachdainn ann nach dèan e gu leòr – gu h-àraid leis an t-seòrsa theachdaireachd a tha a’ tighinn bho Shìona is Ruisia agus na tha aig na Stàitean Aonaichte ri ghluasad air.

Bu chòir dhan leithid a bh’ aig daoine bho, mar eisimpleir, Eileanan a’ Chuain Shèimh, a' toirt oirnn stad agus smaoineachadh. Tha am beatha ann an cunnart.

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Tha sgrios a’ dol a thighinn dha na milleanan air feadh an t-saoghail ri linn àrdachadh ìre na mara no fearann a’ dol bho fheum – agus sin fiù ‘s ged a thig coinneachadh ris an targaid airson am blàthachadh a chumail aig 1.5 degrees.

Bidh aig daoine ri teicheadh agus cha ghabh e bhith nach tig an gluasad ann an daoine gu ar crìochan agus ar stàrsach fhèin.

Sin, am measg iomadach adhbhar math eile, a bu chòirear dèiligeadh ri seo ann an dòigh chiallach agus thomadach agus nach e gòraiche mu chrodh a bhith a’ brùchdail no a’ tarraing comas le geamannan ball-coise.

Fios bhon neach-deasachaidh:

Tapa leibh airson an aithris a tha seo a leughadh. Tha sinn an eismeil ur taic nas motha na bha riamh agus buaidh a’ Choronbhirus air buaidh a thoirt air luchd sanasachd. Mur eil sibh air a dhèanamh mar-tha, ma se ur toil, nach beachdaich sibh taic a chumail ri ar obair-naidheachd earbsach, a tha sinn a’ dearbhadh a tha fìor, le bhith toirt a-mach ballrachd digiteach.

It may seem a tad rich for Boris Johnson to be lecturing anyone on irresponsible “belching”, yet here he was on the world stage reducing the complex issue of global methane emissions into a reductive sound-bite and convenient scapegoat, in this case cattle. I suppose we should just be grateful he didn’t blame the French.

No-one, least of all the agricultural industry, denies that cows and other bovines emit high levels of methane during their digestion process and efforts to bring that down, such as changes in feed, are very much in the farming zeitgeist right now, as is only proper.

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However, the singling out of cattle – agriculture as a whole contributes around 30 per cent of all methane emissions – is symptomatic of too much that surrounds the environmental debate and was evident again at COP26: a compulsion to reduce highly complex scientific issues to a simple sound-bite to suit a platform. In other words, too much hot air and too little substance.

Take as Exhibit B, the campaigner and writer George Monbiot. He suggested that a solution to the climate crisis would be to implement the 15-minute policy adopted in Paris: that is everyone should be within a 15-minute walk of key services – their work, school, hospital, train connection, etc.

And in a metropolis like Paris that sounds feasible, if expensive, but taken to its logical and practical conclusion would mean that nobody could live in the countryside. Maybe somewhere in a Monbiot bourgeois paradise that makes sense.

Even a cursory glance at the statistics will tell you everything you need to know about where the real focus of attention should be: fossil fuels. In the last 50 years – about the same timescale as we have had North Sea production – there has been a one degree Celsius rise in the global temperature. In the 200 years previously, there was barely any change at all, despite thousands of years and millions of cattle, bison, buffalo and all sorts of other creatures belching and farting their way quite contentedly through the ages.

This is a man-made crisis and, if we’re serious about it, all strands of society will be affected by the need to tackle a real emergency. The only question that should really exercise minds is how quickly can we wean ourselves off fossil fuels. If there is a simple solution, that is it in a nutshell, though it will be far from easy given the degree to which crude oil derivatives permeate our lives and the economy.

COP has provided renewed hope, but the sense is that it’s not going to be enough – especially given the stance of China and Russia, and how much the USA needs to do to reverse its complete dependency on gas and oil.

The stakes could hardly be higher. The message at the conference from those from the likes of Pacific Island nations was stark: their lives are in peril.

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Millions of poor communities, whether it be through rising sea levels or loss of agricultural land, face devastation as a result of climate change – and that’s with global warming being limited to the 1.5C target.

People will be forced to flee their homes and it’s inescapable that a new wave of world migration will arrive at our borders and on our doorsteps. That’s why, among a whole host of reasons, it deserves the most serious of responses and not fatuous remarks about “belching” cattle or moronic comparisons with a football game.

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