The UN Climate Change Conference ,COP26, takes place 31st October – 12th November2021 in the host city Glasgow. Our planet is in a climate emergency.
The World Health Organization declared the Covid-19 outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on 30 January 2020, and a pandemic on 11 March 2020.
It is estimated that, so far, 4.2million people across the world have died due to Covid. Many, many more will have life changing long term health conditions because of the virus.
The Covid pandemic is not over, even with high levels of vaccination in this country, because access to the vaccine has not been equitable across the world, opportunities exist for the virus to mutate. The choices we have
The vaccine is really important but you are not immune from Covid if you are fully vaccinated. Booster jags will be needed.
Back to the climate emergency – and the pandemic is linked to that. “Let’s defend our future, let’s fight for it, let’s create it” #NobelPrizeSummit. It seems we have rushed back into the very conditions that created these global catastrophes.
On 30th of July, Orkney’s leaders welcomed the arrival of a massive cruise ship. Here’s the list of what might be coming the way of islanders: Cruise Ships 2021
And – Cruise ship visits 2021
So there are two issues for islanders to consider with the return of cruise ships: 1. the possibility of the transmission of Covid either into the islands or back onto a cruise ship from Orkney, and 2. the damage to the environment by cruise ships.
Of course, some people, businesses and organisations will make money out of the return of the cruise ships – not the wee shops across our islands that kept going throughout lockdown and were our lifeline – cruise ship passengers hustled around in ‘bubble’ groups will not be visiting those.
Tourism is important – and we have seen a welcome return to visitors who love to come here, who stay in our holiday accommodation and spend money in our cafes and shops. Those visitors stay for several days, many go to the outer isles, and they spend their money supporting the businesses that did so much to get us through those dreadful early days of the lockdown in 2020.
The driver in all of this is money – not consideration of the environment or the health and well being of the people – just money. Short term gain that will have very long term consequences.
Reporter: Fiona Grahame