We spoke about hope before. Now the formidable John Kerry has been appointed as US President Elect Joe Biden’s special presidential climate envoy when he takes office in January.
Clearly, the work will and must start before then.
There is significance in this, of course. Kerry was the US delegate who signed the US up to the Paris Agreement in 2016.
The hope now being they will lead the line as the countdown begins to COP26 in Glasgow and recommit America to the agreements, after the Trump administration saw the US become the first country to withdraw just weeks ago.
The outgoing President claimed it had been designed to kill the US economy and US jobs. Fake news? You decide.
Live Science suggests fighting climate change could in fact lead to more investment and jobs by funding alternatives to tree planting and habitat restoration as a way to pull carbon from the atmosphere using technology.
It argues that direct air capture and carbon storage are viable, if expensive solutions, saying that natural forms of sequestration could impact policy led activity such as food production. Not something we necessarily endorse, but a worthy read nonetheless.
Could Artificial Intelligence be the answer?
Technology Decisions published this article that indicates too few organisations are using AI for such purposes. Worryingly, it also suggests that they are cutting investment in climate change initiatives.
Someone who has been investing in nature based solutions and rewilding in Scotland is the billionaire Danish landowner Anders Povslen. Some find it controversial, others see what he has achieved and welcome it. Some remain suspicious.
In a rare interview with Dan McDougall for The Sunday Times magazine, he talks about his motives in wanting to do good with his work, the reasons behind the legacy to follow and the impact it might have – and the hope it might make doubters think twice.
The article is behind a paywall, but we thoroughly recommend it.
The Herald was also looking at Scottish estates, this time one owned by the Queen.
Journalist Sandra Dick investigates how the 6,700 acre Delnadamph Estate in the heart of the Cairngorms has so far been a ‘missed’ opportunity for nature activities – something campaigners now want the Royals to help put right.
Farmers are looking for action too. The outgoing president of NFU Scotland Andrew McCornick is calling for more decisions to be accelerated – at governmental level – to help their members recalibrate their own climate futures.
Speaking to Scottish Farmer, he said the Scottish Government has set “challenging” targets for climate change but claimed some policies were “useless” without a clear roadmap.
The Scottish Government, of course, is bringing its own plans to the table ahead of the Scottish parliamentary elections.
All eyes will be on them, not least in the year towards COP26 when bold initiatives, a focus on nature and funding for conservation work will be called for to work in tandem with the efforts of nature groups and private individuals.
The Guardian, for example, published a story headlined, Landscape of Fear: why we need the wolf, including discussions with Alladale estate owner Paul Lister, a stop off at the Highland Wildlife Park and other examples of rewilding in action.
It looks at how thinking differently has contributed to action over rhetoric, a vision for the future that in Europe at least is growing in purpose and could here too.
Cal Flyn writes: “…But wolves will not return on their own. We are separated from the wolf packs of continental Europe by the sea; if we want wolves in Scotland, haunting the hills, we will have to invite them in.”
And if you enjoy that, Scotland: The Big Picture has the second part of its own feature on wolves and Scotland to read too. Another fascinating read.
THE CATCH UP
Do forests grow better with or without our help, ask academics based ay Yale.
While the Thomson Reuters Foundation reports on the call for letting forests grow back naturally.
Plans to ban peat burning have been blocked by UK ministers, reports The Guardian.
US President elect Joe Biden is stocking his team with climate experts, writes Scientific American.
Scientists say the world’s record breaking hurricane season is linked to climate crisis, writes Jeff Ernst.
The public’s need for nature has shone through during the pandemic according to this UK Government report.
And good luck to everyone involved with the Nature of Scotland Awards.
Get your Nature of Scotland Award tickets here! Last chance… https://t.co/t2xHFFmn34
— Francesca Osowska 🍃 (@NatureScotCEO) November 23, 2020
Climate Notes | compiled by Planet Scotland