Monday, 29 September 2008

Sustainability - some thoughts

Ann Kaniuk with Campsie branch member, Ron Mackay.

Ann Kaniuk, Campsie Branch member, shares her thoughts on sustainability.

As if the credit crunch and collapse of banking wasn’t enough, climate change is hitting us before we’re ready, and the oil is running out; it really is finite, and we’re using it up as fast as we can. North Sea oil has peaked, along with all other sources.

It’s a mug’s game to be dependent on other countries for our energy (new French nuclear power stations built in Britain, imported Russian gas, German electricity…). We need to create our own energy. Wave power good, wind power problematic. Huge wind farms are erratic and destructive, and they’re usually owned by profit-hungry foreign powers anyway. Putting small windmills in communities makes more sense – not attached to houses, where they can shake the walls to bits, but standing free in strategic places. What CAN be attached to houses – and SHOULD be attached to every south-facing roof in Scotland – are solar panels. Photovoltaic cells would be ideal – creating electricity that could be used by each household, with the surplus fed into the national grid. The technology for these is still a way off, but people should be working on it. Economy of scale should bring the price down. What we could do right now, though, is put solar heating
panels on all our roofs, providing hot water. We need the hot water for heating, and washing dishes and clothes. By hand (remember that?). No more dishwashers, washing machines, and tumble driers. Too profligate, when we have the sun shining for free.

Ann with SSP Campsie member Thomas Swann campaigning recently in Glasgow East.

Flying and trucking food from all over the globe is becoming increasingly expensive. Oranges, pineapples and bananas may become unaffordable luxuries again. We need to grow our own food. That means not using our land for biofuels, but using all our land for food. Look your last on vast lawns with stripes made by power-mowers. Dig them up. Grow food.

We need to stick together to overcome the challenges ahead. Sticking together sounds good to me.

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