Tag Archives: climate

Letter To The Editor

letter to the editorThe photographs from Nàdair Thiriodh of Crossapol taken in December and again in March (An Tirisdeach 566) are a timely reminder of how vulnerable the machair dunes are to extreme weather conditions. The most damaging of the winter’s storms on 3 January 2014 was caused when low pressure drew in very strong winds and a tidal surge of about a metre on top of the high spring tides. These are the very same conditions that caused the lethal floods in East Anglia in 1953.

Walking the beaches the day after the January storm was a sobering experience. Ten years ago, when I was studying oceanography and climate change for an OU degree, the forecast was that such events could be expected once every 200 years. More recently it has come to be understood that higher ocean temperatures will cause storms to be more powerful and more frequent. We have seen what that will be like this winter. If we care about the machair we must also care about climate change. It is right that we should ask Argyll & Bute and the Scottish Executive what they are doing to protect the machair. In return they could reasonably point to their ambitious renewables strategies as contributions to achieving a low carbon economy.

We have seen the formidable spin machine of No Tiree Array in action in recent weeks as they stamp on any sign of opposition. Tiree has much to fear from climate change and how we respond to the challenge of renewable energy is much too important to be left to a single issue pressure group that feels no obligation to listen to the community or to consider the wider context of what they campaign for.

The Argyll Array may have gone away for now, but there will be other renewable opportunities for Tiree such as a re-engineered array, wave generation or building on the success of Tilley with an ambitious community owned project. It is time to hear from others in the community. For example, is it the settled will of the majority on Tiree to refuse to play any further part in implementing the Scottish Executive’s renewables strategy? If we are unwilling to make our own contribution to this strategy, what right have we to ask others to help protect our machair?

It is to be hoped that the new community council will be an opportunity for a more democratic discussion of issues in which single interest groups are not the only voices heard.

Bill Welstead, Taigh Allamsa, Baugh

Atlantic Rising Update

Launching the bottle

At the beginning of January we published a letter from abroad giving an update on the progress of the Atlantic Rising Expedition, a number of readers have asked for more details of this, I hope this explains what it is all about.

HUNDREDS of letters from school children in Tiree were dropped into the Atlantic Ocean as part of a huge message in a bottle. Letters written by students at Tiree School were put into a buoy equipped with a tracking device so the progress of their messages can be followed via a website (www.atlanticrising.org) as the capsule drifts around the ocean with the currents.

The message in a bottle was dropped into the ocean from a containership Safmarine Bayete on its route from Senegal to Brazil. This project is part of an international environmental education project, called Atlantic Rising.

Will Lorimer, from Atlantic Rising said:
“Students can visit the website and see where their letter has got to and where it is likely to wash up. We hope that one day someone will find the messages and get in touch. “The project is a good way to illustrate how currents move around the ocean. “Currents are a key way that heat moves around the ocean and so are very relevant to climate change.” The three directors of the charity Atlantic Rising (Will Lorimer, whose family have a house on Tiree, Tim Bromfield and Lynn Morris) visited the school last summer term to talk to students about climate change and collect their letters before embarking on a 32,000 km expedition around the edge of the Atlantic.

The idea behind the journey is to follow the one meter contour, predicted to be the new coastline of the ocean in 100 years time, if sea levels continue to rise. Along the way they are creating a network between schools in coastal communities of which Tiree School was a founding school. The trio, all 29, left the UK on September 1st last year and drove around the coast of Europe and West Africa to Ghana. They then shipped their Land Rover and themselves on a containership to Brazil. The journey continues northwards up the east coast of the Americas to Canada. The Atlantic Rising team will be returning to the school later this year to talk about the expedition.

For more information please visit www.atlanticrising.org or email lynn@atlanticrising.org.