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Friday, 21 December 2007

Development Strategy for Scotland

In February 2006 after looking at a back catalogue of our work, consultants at Perth Business Gateway asked if we could produce an executive summary of how to make Scotland the world's first ecological superpower. The following consultation document was produced. At the beginning of April 2006 it was sent to every MSP at Holyrood.

Scotland: The World's First Ecological Superpower

In 2007 the United Nations Environmental Programme will produce a report showing climate change is far worse than was original accepted. Some leading climatologists already believe that we have already passed a point of no return and the deaths of billions of people and the extinction of most of the planets animals and plants is now inevitable.

MP2 believes this Extinction Horizon (EH) is 2012, that is we have 6 years to ensure the viable diverse future of the planet in some form that resembles what we accept as normal over the last few thousand years. If we have not established a sustainable global system by that date then those forecasts will come true.

In order to contribute to a better and safer future for the Earth and all living things that are part of and live on the planet, MP2 is creating a strategy to be implemented that will make Scotland the worlds first ecological superpower. Scotland will adopt a position that will lead the planet into a stable and sustainable future.

This will ensure it’s survival and the rest of the planet which it is part of. The urgency and importance of this project can be comprehended most easily in that 5 billion deaths over a 6 year period is the equivalent of around 2.5 million deaths per day, or 2 days to eliminate Scotland. Each day of delay now will cost half of Scotland’s population per day after 2012.

The Commonwealth Games 2014

Glasgow’s bid for the 2014 Games is significant as it is the first major world event after the 2012 EH. 2014 is a point defining an emerging development trajectory of global sustainable transition.
Adam Smith is one of Scotland's most influential philosophers. His Wealth of Nations
has development derived from the concept of empathy. Empathy with the planets ecological life support systems can drive Scotland to be the worlds first ecological superpower.

The Commonwealth
Of Nations
Games 2014

should be the worlds first organised event that is derived from working with, not against or at the expense of, the planets ecological life support systems.

Tourism is polluting. It is not possible to fly visitors and competitors to the Games, due to the damage it will cause. Air travel is expanding as one of the main contributors to climate change. By 2014 due to its consequences air travel will have to be banned apart from essential use, taxed prohibitively or will become the pariah of social unacceptability e.g. as drunk driving has been made or smoking in a public place will soon be.

Banning air travel to visit Scotland and the Games will be one drive in establishing Scotland as the world’s sustainable superpower. Ecologically driven development should permeate through the Games planning, organisational and implementational systems.


Provision will have to be made for the mass transit of people when air travel is banned or reduced. Scotland has a history of expertise in this industry. This expertise must be focused on designing and building a new generation fleet of ocean going vessels to replace air travel.

There are ideas and designs for modern wind and renewable powered vessels. Their production will create sustainable jobs in Scotland and make Scotland a major maritime force.

Oceanographic Research

Scotland has a history of such research. Though some of this derived from it’s whaling industry this was transposed into it’s construction of ice breaking vessels for exploration.

Only a small amount of knowledge is available on the oceans of the world. They are now being affected by climate change. Dissolving of CO2 in the water is causing acidification. This is reducing shelled animals ability to survive and destroying the coral reefs. What else?

The ocean currents are being disrupted by changing climate and the currents are changing climate. Reduction of oxygen capacity and alteration of nutrient cycles are affecting Scotland's fishing industry. Seabird populations, part of Scottish tourism, are reducing through the decrease in the availability of food.

Scotland can become a global leader in oceanographic research not only to protect it’s own interest but as a consultancy service to the rest of the world. This will create jobs in oceanography, ecology, climatology and the technologies associated with such research.

Scotland is vulnerable to ocean change. If the North Atlantic Drift stops, Scotland could enter a minor ice age prior to its temperature rising to meet the global increase.

Oceanic Clean Ups

For many years the seas have been used as a dump for a range of materials including chemicals. The oceans are already under pressure from changing climate and over fishing. Any additional stress such as pollution could trigger marine meltdown and a collapse of the oceanographic system.

The dumped chemicals and other pollutants need removing from the oceans. Scotland has transferable skills and technologies from the oil industry which can provide this essential service.

All the oceans need cleaning up. Scotland has the potential to lead the world in the technology. RPV (Remote Piloted Vehicle) experience from submarine rescue is another example of technology transfer.

As this is a global service this will have to be funded from the World Bank etc.

Research and Applied Planetary Engineering

Scotland is not just people. It is snow capped mountains in winter, the animals and plants and everything that is part of the whole called Scotland.

Can Scotland still be what it is if it loses what it was?

Everything on the planet is connected and related to everything else. If penguins, polar bears, the large mammals of Africa and the great apes are all going to become extinct in the next few years, then Scotland looking at its own bio-diversity will protect them.

Putting the protection of the ecology of the planet as the first major development priority has the affect of flipping a global system that is chaotic and unstable; extinctions, famine, droughts, conflict, extreme weather events, terminal etc, into a sustainable evolving one with the effective use of resources in attaining desirable goals.

Scotland decides what the maximum diversity and stability of its ecosystems is. This gives the optimum climatic conditions e.g. range and average temperatures. The appropriate levels of atmospheric CO2 are derived to attain these conditions, then social and economic processes and strategies are devised to bring them about in the shortest time.

The cascade affect from establishing ecosystem protection, enhancement and diversity then flows through the entire eco-socio-economic system generating stable sustained development and evolution.

To ensure it’s own survival Scotland only trades with others from the basic priority of ecosystem protection.

Having established the fundamental project principles for global sustainability Scotland sets the lead. One planet one goal sets a common focus for co-operation.

All consideration of strategy, policy, planning, implementation or action begins with , how does this protect or enhance the ecological systems of the planet? More simply do you want to live or do you want to die?

Northern Tundra Alliance (NTA)

Scotland as part of the UK is part of the EU and NATO it is also part of the Commonwealth. There are various other organisations it is part of through the UK, the G8, the UN etc.

The most important group Scotland should be part of does not exist. Scotland is unique within the UK as, climate change apart, it nearly has a permanent snow line at altitude. The climatic climax at altitude gives it an affinity with other countries of northern latitudes.

Scotland needs to form a group with its biome partners Sweden, Norway, Finland, Iceland, Greenland, Northern Russia and Alaska.

These are at risk of having their very essence altered by global warming. This temperate to cold belt up to the Arctic is essential to the survival of human society.

The climatic, meteorological, oceanic and nutrient cycling systems of the planet are driven by the temperature gradient between the equator and the Tundra regions. Once this gradient is lost the dynamism that powers the global biosphere disappears.

In the oceans nutrient cycles slow or stop. Productivity of the oceans decreases, fish stocks reduce or species become extinct. Weather patterns alter.

The maintenance of the viability of this region is far more important than an economic union. It is possible to survive without economic union. It is impossible without ecological viability.

Scotland must take a lead in establishing an organisation of countries linked with the preservation of the Tundra biome. This is crucial to Scotland's and global sustainability.

Energy and Resources

From the research in knowing the amount of reduction in CO2 required to restore and protect the Scottish ecology the energy policy for Scotland can be derived. It is not a question of reducing emissions, or going carbon neutral it is going carbon negative. It is the simple question again do you want to live or do you want to die?

Projects have to be delivered quickly with minimal or negative environmental impact and social and economic systems adjusted to conform to carbon negativity.

Roger Thomas
22 February 2006

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