Climate change action call

Local scientist Pete Smith recently helped Ellon Rotarians to understand the causes of climate change and what can and must be done about it.

One of his messages was “Business as usual is not an option!” as ignoring the problem won’t make it go away.

Professor Peter Smith is well known locally for his enthusiastic support for many community projects in Collieston, both in the village and for nearby Slains School.

He is Chair in Plant and Soil Science at Aberdeen University’s School of Biological Science and is an adviser to the UK Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

The professor reminded Rotarians of the long-term failure to combat climate change, referring to Margaret Thatcher’s speech to the United Nations in 1989, calling for action.

Existing policies have not even stopped the increase in greenhouse gas levels. He likened the problem to people having an illness, which, if diagnosed and treated early, can be relatively quick and inexpensive to cure, but if left untreated, will often get worse, meaning more aggressive and costly treatments are required, with much lower chances of cure and survival.

There was some good news, though, he thought that in the short term, the use of Hydro and Nuclear fuels would cause less harm than current use of fossil fuels, and he mentioned that research is to be carried out at Peterhead Power Station in the form of a pilot project into the use of Carbon Capture and Storage.

Rotarian Jim Porter thanked Professor Smith for his presentation.