Climate change in Edinburgh..

How to experience your own greenhouse effect. Wander through Edinburgh city centre in a dinosaur costume on an usually hot day in mid-May. Better still get a mate to wear a rubber George W. Bush mask – after 5 minutes inside georges head their brain will be boiled too…

So why a dinosaur and why George Bush? We didn’t just want to experience a personal climate change, this was the return to Edinburgh’s streets of international climate action day – a global day of marches and events on May 15th. [Pictures and call].

So what’s it all about? Climate change is the one environmental issues that no-one dare ignore. The science is clear – two centuries of the industrialised economies of the west pumping pollution in the atmosphere is beginning to have an effect. The CIA rate climate change as potentially more of a threat to the US than terrorism. The answer is simple – we have to stop burning so much oil, coal and gas. Scotland needs to reduce it’s CO2 emissions by between 60% and 80%.

So what is actually happening? The current state of play is the Kyoto agreement – a commitment to stabilise CO2 emissions at 1990 levels. So far 121 countries round the world have signed up to Kyoto – but not Russia and the USA. Without their support the whole agreement will collapse, since they are such major polluters.

So the theme for this year’s climate action day was ‘the dinosaur party, with a special appearance by the fossil fool himself, George Dubya. The dinosaur theme had two sides – a reminder of what happen to a previously dominant species on the planet, and a comment on the prehistoric policies of those who ignore climate change.

The event was organised at the last minute, and so the leaflets, banners and costumes were produced in a mad dash on Friday night - many thanks to all those who spent the evening paints and printing. After much discussion we decided to go for three targets – the Russian consulate, to ask Putin to support Kyoto (he is supposed to make a decision on the 20th May), Princes Street, to ask the people of Edinburgh to support congestion charging, and finally to the US consulate for a dinosaur party.

I enjoyed the demo –what I saw out from my dino costume (and when I was having emergency drinks of water). Lots of colour and banners and energy. We started small, but picked people up as we went along.

Of course, the Kyoto targets or even a £2 congestion charge are completely inadequate responses to the severity of the problem. But no-one on the demo thought that George Bush signing treaties would solve the worlds problems. But at a time when those in power are presenting climate change doesn’t exoist it is important we are out there to make sure they can’t ignore it…