Well-known meteorologist and former BBC Scotland forecaster Heather “the weather” Reid is to attend a small conference on climate change in Mareel next month.
She will be joined by fellow meteorologist Alex Hill, also a former TV weatherman and now the Met Office’s chief adviser to the Scottish and Northern Irish governments.
The conference, entitled Change, is being sponsored by Shetland Aerogenerators, owners of the five-turbine Burradale windfarm.
Its director Angus Ward said he was “very pleased that Heather and Alex will be coming to talk about climate change”.
“This conference is not about pushing a particular point of view – climate change is a complicated subject – but about encouraging people to engage with one of the biggest issues of our time,” he said. “So we are inviting folk of all opinions and none to come along to Mareel on Thursday 6th June to find out more.”
A free screening of the film Thin Ice, about the work of climate scientists around the world, will be held in Mareel at 7pm that evening.
Geologist Simon Lamb took his camera around the world documenting the work of climate science colleagues, who have been attacked by climate change sceptics for being “alarmist” and “extremist”.
After the film, Ms Reid and Mr Hill will speak and host a Q&A session. The event is open to all.
During the day on Thursday 6th and Friday 7th June, school pupils from around Shetland will attend a showing of another film, Chasing Ice, about the rapid decline of glaciers in Greenland, Iceland and Alaska.
“I think climate change is the biggest issue facing the global community,” Ms Reid said. “It is essential that young people are aware of this issue and how it affects everybody’s lives. I’m delighted to be coming to Shetland for this exciting conference.”
Mr Hill added: “Young people will bear the brunt of climate change and it is humbling to see their commitment to making a difference. It is their future that is at stake and for me it is marvellous to be involved in an event like this.”
The two meteorologists will also be taking to pupils, and a new app depicting Shetland under high sea levels – the “likely consequence of warmer temperatures” – will be unveiled. Two pieces of art commissioned by Shetland Aerogenerators with support from Shetland Arts, one visual and one written, will also be shown for the first time.