Shetlanders join global climate strike action

The group gather at the Market Cross in Lerwick. Photo: John Coutts

The Market Cross in Lerwick was taken over by environmental protesters on Friday afternoon as around 100 people gathered to support a day of global climate strike action.

Friday’s protest follows a march to the Town Hall from schoolchildren earlier this year, led by teenage activist group Eco Youth Shetland which urged the SIC to follow in the path of Orkney Islands Council to declare a climate emergency.

Members of Eco Youth Shetland were in attendance at Friday’s event, and Elliot Tait, one of the organisers of the Market Cross protest, said that there was a “show of solidarity” between this event and that organised by the schoolchildren.

“It shouldn’t just be up to them,” he said.

He argued that the SIC were not doing enough locally to tackle climate change and called on the council to make climate change more of a priority.

“It should be higher up on their agenda.

“We hope to engage with as many people as possible today.”

He said that he “appreciated” that the SIC was in the process of putting together a plan in order to be able to declare a climate emergency and felt that Friday’s protest would “show that the community wants this to happen”.

Anderson High School S2 pupils (from left) Kiera Nicolson, Noura Adelhassan, Justice Zalekesina and Gracie Gowans-Little. Photo: John Coutts

Many protesters brandished placards denouncing the Viking Energy windfarm on the day that Viking discovered they had not received funding in the latest round of Contract for Difference allocations.

And Mr Tait said that it was “just how the world works sometimes” in relation to the protest lining up with the milestone defeat for the divisive windfarm.

Helen Moncrieff with her dog. Photo: John Coutts



Add Your Comment
  • John Ridland

    • September 20th, 2019 18:10

    Shetlanders …….? A’m lived here 58 years an I don’t see wan kent face ….

    • Stuart Hannay

      • September 23rd, 2019 13:14

      Perhaps the headline should have read:

      “Some Shetlanders, Some People Who Have Lived Here For a Long Time, Some People Who Have Lived Here Most of Their Lives, Some People Who Have Not Lived Here All Their Lives, Some People Who Were Born Here But Their Parents Were Born Elsewhere, Some Who Are Living Here Temporarily, Some Who Have Married Shetlanders But No-one Who John Recognises, Protest Against Climate Change? ”

      Not quite as snappy, I suppose.

  • Paul Friedman

    • September 21st, 2019 2:12

    Greetings from Brooklyn, New York, USA. I visited Shetland in August 2015 and am glad to read that there was a good turnout in Lerwick today for the international climate strike. Many thousands participated in New York City.

  • John Tulloch

    • September 21st, 2019 8:35

    None of this is called for or supported by the UN’s expert panel, the IPCC.

    “Climate emergency” and associated, apocalyptic prophecies originate in the crazed, delusional minds of ‘far-Green’ extremists like Heathrow drone terrorists, Extinction Rebellion (ER) and Old Testament-style child prophet, Greta Thunberg.

    The Green Party, cynically smelling votes, dived in head first and is administering the ER/Thunberg Kool Aid, with gusto.

    Intelligent adults should not be sucked in by this shameless fear-mongering.

    International agreements, backed by IPCC science are the only sensible way forward.

    • Brian Smith

      • September 21st, 2019 13:32

      John Tulloch has been reading the Collected Speeches of Donald Trump again.

    • Peter Hamilton

      • September 21st, 2019 15:34

      People aren’t waiting for the UN to tell them when to demand change. Too much for John Tulloch’s authoritarian streak? Pity dat.

    • Stuart Hannay

      • September 22nd, 2019 20:44

      The usual cynics out again. Well done to all those who bothered to go out to make their feelings known, rather than sitting at home making supercilious comments online.

  • Peter Hamilton

    • September 21st, 2019 14:12

    Surely all Shetlanders are either incomers or the descendants of incomers? John Ridland presumably wants to see some form of Apartheid with multigenerational residents receiving greater recognition and status. This rednecked social exclusionary nonsense just gets so tired.

    It might help if it can be appreciated that there are different types of Shetlanders, with all Shetlanders being equally valid. Maybe Shetlander is a state of mind, of wanting to care for, share in and build the community for the greater good, doing weel for the common weel and persevering.

    I sincerely hope John Ridland’s atypical attitude will one day be consigned to the dustbin of history. It should be challenged wherever it raises its ugly head.

    So far as he knows John did nothing worthy in a past life to be born in Shetland. He could equally have been born elsewhere. It’s the lottery of birth that entitles him to don that mantle and there is no need for him to be making others who also care for where they live feel unwelcome. Can he not see this inward and backwards looking approach is harming his community, not strengthening or celebrating it? Shameful. #xenophobiasucks#getoverit

    • John Inkster

      • September 22nd, 2019 14:11

      Yes Peter totally agree. Because if you went to live with the Pigmy people of equitorial Africa for several months you would be just as big a Pigmy as they are. That is because they “are just incomers or the descendants of incomers”. There is obviously no difference.

  • John Tulloch

    • September 22nd, 2019 15:44

    The IPCC calls for collective international action and condemns unilateral actions e.g. “declaration of climate emergency”, as ineffective.

    From IPCC 2014 Report (AR5), Summary for Policymakers, Paragraph SPM 3.1.

    1. “Climate change has the characteristics of a collective action problem at the global scale”, and

    2. “Effective mitigation will not be achieved if individual agents advance their own interests independently.”

    The current, tawdry campaign is disreputable. It is based on Old Testament-style, apocalyptic prophecies, cynically intended to raise public alarm for grubby, political purposes and the Green Party is up to their ocksters in it.

    By far the most numerous deaths will be due to cold – excess winter deaths (50,000 in England and Wales in 2017/18).

    Stick with international action, informed by IPCC science, please.

  • Peter Hamilton

    • September 23rd, 2019 14:36

    Life is better when folk agree the differences between people matter less than what we have in common.

    The attitude John Inkster appears to demonstrate is far more of a threat to the strength of Shetland culture than taking pride in the outward-looking, open-minded, warm-hearted and welcoming nature of most of his fellow islanders.

    Shetland folk music would never have developed if those playing it only ever stuck to listening to and playing the original tunes. Let’s remember the accordions came in fae sooth.

    If, in times past, the small-hearted and narrow-minded had called the tune, well there certainly would not have been so much Shetland culture to celebrate.

    Shetland culture has always developed in relation to other influences. There is nothing to fear that won’t be made worse by treating new Shetlanders or unken folk as undesirable.

    Accordions and fiddles are indeed different. What matters is what they can achieve together. Would that John, John and indeed John could dance to a different tune.

  • David Spence

    • September 23rd, 2019 21:35

    Put simply, as long as humans put the concept of money, greed and profits ahead of anything else, many of the problems of the environment caused by human activity will never be dealt with in a way which is harmonious not only to human life, but life and the environment as well.

    The driving force to human and social development is based on a system which is at odds and against the natural laws of nature.

    As long as this is the case, very little, if anything at all, progress will be made to reduce the damage and destruction of natural habitat and the mass extinction of life continuing until it is too late…. like many situations where a disaster has been created before improvements are made, and the usual ‘ If only we knew in the first place reaction ‘.

    Is it not disturbing that the most intelligent form of life (or the perception of) on the planet is also the planets nemisis?


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