Happy Days – taking a cruise in the climate crisis

"Say,, a cruise liner burns as much gas as a million cars!... Remember our first car?" "Happy Days". A happy old couple enjoying a cruise. A worried looking abandoned baby floats on a plank of wood in a polluted flooded hellscape.
‘Happy Days’. Sharpies, 2021.

Happy Days – taking a cruise in the climate crisis.

Dealing with the climate crisis facing the planet is not just the responsibility of governments. Individuals also bear responsibility for their own lifestyle choices and personal carbon footprints. The IPCC report into climate change is absolutely devastating: it is a serious threat to the stability of human civilisation and we have already ignored it for far too long.

“We’re really talking about preserving the stability of countries, preserving the institutions that we have built over so many years, preserving the best goals that our countries have put together. The catastrophic scenario would indicate that we would have massive flows of displaced people.”

Patricia Espinosa, executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change

The Cop26 summit in Glasgow is not currently inspiring much hope.

In the last 10 years scientific consensus that global warming is a man-made problem has risen to the point that it is now almost universal. Personal vehicular transport is one of the single biggest drivers of climate change, and the number of cars on the road has all but doubled since 1980. In Orkney there are 919 cars for every 1000 adults – the highest number in Scotland.

A single cruise ship can emit as much pollution as a million cars. Orkney is also welcoming ever-increasing numbers of cruise ships each year, in total disregard for the climate catastrophe and with a complete lack of consultation with the local populace.

And for what?

A cruise ship docked in Kirkwall.

Historic Environment Scotland is currently running a competition called Visions of Climate Heritage. People are invited to submit images relating to climate change concerning the past, present and future. The UK was of course at the forefront of the industrial revolution which has taken us to this point.

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