If you haven't taken a moment to celebrate Scottish culture and heritage for a while, do so for a minute now. And if your knowledge of things to celebrate from Scotland fades fast after kilts and bagpipes, add some of the stongest climate legislation in the world today. A few weeks ago now, Scotland signed up for bold short term emissions cuts - 42% by the year 2020. There are other reasons to celebrate - that bill also recognizes not only the carbon emitted in Scotland, but the carbon created by activities of Scotland outside its borders. Quite impressive.
In my own celebration, I emailed some friends in Scotland with the news that I was adding the climate bill alongside kilts and bagpipes, and they said, 'Not so fast.' It's important to measure these things against the scientific necessity and the best policies out there. Fair enough. So Justin Kendrick gave me the real goal - Scotland is capable of full 100% decarbonization within 20 years, with a combination of a bunch of smart ideas interwoven together. You can check out their good ideas, like Transition Towns, Zero Carbon Britain, and Contraction and Convergence, through Justin's analysis of the bill and the Holyrood 350 site.
Here's the hardhitting answer from John Riley, a veteran campaigner in Scotland:
"Scotland kick-starts world governments into action with a very creditable climate change bill. On one hand we are very proud of this, but on the other, we recognise that it is based on old science and will still be “too little too late”. If we need to get below 350 ppm as soon as possible, then we need to plan for 100% cuts in carbon emissions within 20 years, not 42%. This might sound unthinkable, but the alternative is even more unthinkable. So now the work really starts to convince the politicians we need more sooner.”
So, after you celebrate Scotland for a minute, get frustrated again, because we need much more, and then start making plans for some real excitement this fall.