Taking the Fight for St Fittick’s Park to Parliament
THURS, 12 JANUARY 2023 1.30pm
At the Scottish Parliament – Holyrood, Edinburgh
This post is a copy of the call from Aberdeen campaigners
Come and join people from Torry and the Friends of St Fitticks Park, outside the Scottish Parliament to demand the government uses its powers to stop the industrialisation of the last remaining accessible greenspace in Torry, Aberdeen.
Meet and hear directly from the people who will be most affected by the reckless plans. And the why destroying a thriving and much loved greenspace is not the answer for Aberdeen’s, or indeed Scotland’s energy transition.
Why are we at the Parliament?
Time is running out. The minister for Planning, Tom Arthur has until Monday 16th January to use his powers to direct Aberdeen City Council’s new development plan is changed to ensure St Fitticks Park is protected from an unjust corporate land grab in the name of energy transition. For more details visit here: https://saintfittickstorry.com
We need as many locals and friends of the park to demand the Scottish Government acts in the interest of people and not profit.
For those travelling from Aberdeen the Friends of St Fitticks Park will provide free coach travel for the day. Booking details will be released early in the new year, but you can provisionally book places by emailing FriendsofStFitticksPark@proton.me .
Climate activist and ex-offshore worker Neil Rothnie has written this letter to climate justice activists and organisations in Glasgow. It has already attracted some interesting and positive responses. As ScotE3 we’d like to share the letter across Scotland at the beginning of the new year. The letter raises important issues and we’d welcome your thoughts and responses. You can email ScotE3 directly via the contact form – and if you would like to contact Neil use the form and we’ll pass your message on.
The climate justice movement shares a common enemy with striking workers, and with those in our communities facing cold and hunger this winter due to energy price gouging,
A quick look at BP, Total, Shell and Equinor’s profits for the first 3 quarters of this year certainly suggests that it’s inflation, caused largely by the profiteering of North Sea gas producers, that’s driving the strike wave and the cost of living crisis.
Is this not why the climate justice movement should be on every picket line, offering our moral and practical support to striking workers?
Energy price inflation, caused by North Sea gas profiteering, is also set to drive many thousands of people into having to organise against cold and hunger and debt this winter.
Should then the climate justice movement not be thinking about how to help to organise locally, to ensure that everyone has access to warmth and food as the crisis bites?
We don’t need to be endlessly pushing the climate science. The people being forced into struggle today are not contemplating the end of the world, they’re trying to get to the end of the month, warm and fed and without more debt. If they want to know why the climate justice movement is on their side they’ll ask, and then we can tell them why.
The point is surely not just to understand the role of fossil fuels in climate change, but to end the oil and gas industry’s stranglehold on energy production, their profiteering, and the misery this is causing
What then are the slogans that we should take to the picket lines on our placards, and into the communities on posters, to expose the role of the North Sea gas profiteers?
How can we collaborate to encourage grass roots organisation, and resistance to the cold and hunger that North Sea gas profiteering promises?
On 10th December 2022 we held an online public meeting taking a critical look at the way in which the oil and gas industry and governments are using hydrogen as part of a greenwashing strategy that undermines serious progress on cutting carbon emissions.
We’re talking about Hydrogen today because of the current focus on Hydrogen in both the Westminster and Holyrood Governments’ climate policies, and because it’s also the focus of the big energy companies.
We were pleased to welcome the author and activist Simon Pirani as the main speaker. Simon is the author of Burning Up – A Global History of Fossil Fuel Consumption and has written extensively about the future for Hydrogen in a sustainable economy. He’s also the author of the highly recommended people nature blog
After Simon had spoken we welcomed Ishbel Shand who spoke briefly on behalf of the campaign to save St Fittick’s Park in Torry, Aberdeen from the threat of industrial development, which is said to be necessary for Hydrogen production and storage. Here’s the video of Ishbel’s introduction:
You may also like to read, download or utilise the ScotE3 briefing on the use and abuse of hydrogen.
The introductions were followed by a wide-ranging discussion. Several participants spoke about the importance of linking the cost of living crisis, action against austerity and climate.
One of the questions in the discussion was concerned with hydrogen and transport.
Do you rule out H for ALL transport uses? What about shipping, and heavy road transport – what alternatives are there for these?
In response Simon noted that:
The first options should be reducing the amount of travel: that’s a decision for society to make collectively. It can’t be left to companies who it suits to move stuff around the world cheaply. There are no simple answers to this. A good survey of the options by the Tyndall centre is here.
Another question addressed hydrogen as a means of storing energy. There were a number of responses from participants, including:
My understanding of what engineering researchers write is that batteries, hydro storage (pumping water up a hill and then down again) and other techniques are in most circumstances preferable to hydrogen. There’s also a need for all these technologies to be integrated, with an emphasis on reducing throughput. Neither the oil and gas companies or the government want to talk about this
Pumped storage hydro is the most widely used energy storage technology – in excess of 90%. It requires particular topography – there needs to be an upper and a lower reservoir with a significant distance between them. Scotland has many good sites, but the last plant was built in 1965 (Cruachan).
Another option for storage is to use large scale heat pump technology that could also underpin district heating schemes. The technology is fairly straightforward. It would be flexible and local.
There’s a Finnish company, polar night, that have developed a thermal storage system using sand. An Italian company is using a carbon dioxide “battery” – there are lots of alternatives.
There are also domestic thermal stores using phase change materials, which enables load spreading on a short term basis.
Another question referred to so-called turquoise hydrogen. Simon’s response was:
Turqoise hydrogen, i.e. producing hydrogen from methane pyrolysis. It’s at a very early stage, i.e. in the lab. It might work, might not. The Russian company Gazprom was investing in it 2-3 years back, as they have huge amounts of cheap gas. But obviously this year their business has been sacrificed to the government’s aim of bullying Ukraine, and even if they have made any progress I doubt that we would hear about it.
There was a question about whether steel could be recycled and it was confirmed that it can be, and is, although not on as big. a scale as would be desirable.