Climate emergency? What climate emergency?
Fergus Ewing, the Scottish Government’s Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Tourism, was speaking at the Scottish Gamekeepers Association’s political hustings last Friday (and more on that soon!), and this is a direct quote from his two-minute position statement on what the SNP can do for gamekeepers:
“It’s essential that we carry on with muirburn. We might come to that later. It’s absolutely essential to protect peatland. I’ve seen the Mars Bar film. I get it“.
Good grief. Let’s hope Fergus, if re-elected, isn’t part of the delegation attending the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow on 1 – 12 November 2021; a summit to bring together parties to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Meanwhile, as we wait to find out what the proposed muirburn licensing scheme will look like, post-Werritty, the grouse moors are once again being set alight up and down the country.
Here are some photographs of the moors on Lochan Estate in Strathbraan this week, sent in by a blog reader:
And not for the first time (see here, here and here), here is the grouse moor on Moy Estate in the Monadhliaths, set alight last week, perversely next to the wind turbines installed to to create renewable energy and thus reduce the carbon emissions that would otherwise be created from burning fossil fuels:
The ParkswatchScotland blog has also reported on grouse moors being set alight inside the Cairngorms National Park this week (see here).
But not to worry – we’re only in a climate emergency and these fires are just like having your hair cut. And besides, the Cabinet Secretary has watched an amateur video made by some gamekeepers to convince himself that muirburning “is essential“. Who needs scientific research, eh?
If you’re in England, where DEFRA has announced a pathetic proposal to ban burning on moorland that isn’t anywhere near as strong as it should be (see here), the RSPB has launched a burning reporting system where members of the public can report any upland burning that they see. Please report your sightings here.