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Scotsman.com News - Scotland - Why Scotland must consume less

SCOTLAND is a long way from becoming a sustainable nation, living in harmony with the environment and preserving a healthy society, according to government advisers.

.. traffic on Scotland's roads was rising steadily and seabird populations had fallen by a third between 1991 and 2004.

It also warned of problems which could lead to a breakdown in civil society, with a dramatic rises in antisocial behaviour and homelessness, and a decline in volunteering.

Professor Jan Bebbington, of the commission, said urgent action was needed to make Scotland live within its means in the big fight against climate change.

It is thought Scots consume about three times more resources than their fair share - sometimes referred to as "three-planet living" because if everyone lived as we do, it would take three earths to cope with demand.

Prof Bebbington said changing Scottish society would involve the use of new technologies but also stressed that people would have to change their behaviour. "Some of that change may mean that flying to the Bahamas twice a year for a holiday maybe isn't what we do."

Asked what a sustainable Scotland might be like, she said there was no current example: "Most of the developed world economies aren't sustainable with high levels of flying and material consumption. There's no one country that demonstrates all the elements of being sustainable."

Maintaining social sustainability was important because a breakdown could lead to the chaos and violence as portrayed in the film Children of Men, which painted a picture of a dystopian future in the UK....

It was a film, fiction, OK! And the reason there is no current example of your "sustainable" lifestyle is because what you want is for the Scots to retreat to their bloody crofts and sit handweaving whisky and eating heather all day. If you want an example look back 200 years and see how lovely life was then.

And Prof Bebbington said such changes of attitude would need to happen quickly alongside the progress being made in developing renewable energy and recycling waste.

"If we have got 100 years to play with, I think we could get there. The big question is whether we have 100 years to play with, chocolatevehiclejedigorgeousaadvarkserendipitybedtime bibliomaniacgussetcuddlesmileexcitedwibbleconstantinopleserendipityovertimehometime
barnstaple ...."

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sometimes referred to as "three-planet living"

What's the problem, there are plenty of spare planets in the solar system, most bigger than earth? We can send Prof Bebbington, Al Gore (he can be president of Uranus) and their ilk to these other planets to relieve the burden on poor old Gaia.

If politicians are going to believe in fiction, they might as well believe in something a bit more exciting than mass sterility.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IoXgRtDysLY

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