Intro – my father has long believed that an independent Scotland with full control over its decision making would, by managing plentiful resources that many countries can only dream of, would not only survive but prosper. He believes that, today, Professor David King’s message that food, water and energy are the keys to prosperity has never been more relevant. Indeed, he was President of the NFU from 1990-96 and was one of the four ex-presidents of the NFU to declare for Yes in 2014.
In today’s guest column, John Ross outlines his vision of Scotland’s bountiful resources and how they can help to build a new nation.
Once again the people of Scotland are considering what the future governance of Scotland will be. Will we be an independent country of five point five million people or continue to be part of the UK with a population of some sixty million?
We already have a well researched paper comparing our country with similar sized independent European states. Many more learned papers will be published over the coming months.
Twenty-five years ago scientists across the globe were concerned as to how a growing population could be fed. Today climate change is for many scientists and academics top of their agenda.
In 1997, I had the privilege of being present when Professor David King, who went on to be an advisor to Number 10, presented then a superb paper on global food security. His clear and simple final message was this.
“For communities and countries to survive and prosper, three essential elements are required – water, food and energy.”
Scotland as a country is fortunate to have adequate supplies of these three vital commodities.
Not only are rural areas well supplied with water but investment over many years has ensured that urban dwellers also have supplies of clean and affordable water.
Not only does Scotland have sufficient food supplies to satisfy the needs of the population – it is also a major exporter of food and drink – and this sector is a major contributor to Scotland`s economy.
North Sea production, renewables and the potential for tidal power will ensure adequate supplies of energy for the foreseeable future.
Comparing the natural wealth of Scotland with other parts of the UK illustrates major differences. Water is a scarce and expensive commodity, particularly in the south of England. Moreover, England is far from being self-sufficient in food supplies and has traditionally depended on food imports. The current panic to establish nuclear power stations throughout the UK demonstrates clearly their lack of secure energy supplies.
The simple clear message delivered by Professor King is still valid today.
Water, food and energy, of which Scotland has adequate supplies will ensure that Scotland can prosper as an independent country.