COP 26 climate rally Aberdeen 2021

We went to a COP 26 climate rally outside Marischal College today as part of the Aberdeen Cycle Forum contingent. Gavin Clark who is chair of the forum gave a very good talk about the importance of active travel in solving the crises and the depressing lack of infrastructure in Aberdeen. Will politicians act or are we doomed? We need deeds, not words, as the suffragettes used to say.

There was quite a large turnout.

On the way home I snapped this pic of the very handsome Aberdeen Town House which is headquarters for the city council.

20 Replies to “COP 26 climate rally Aberdeen 2021”

  1. I do so hope some progress is made. Its rather telling this is the 26th COP and we’re still waiting on so many real acts to transform our ways of living.
    I wonder when COP 1 was? Noah building his ark?

      1. I’ve just written a short piece speculating that COP1 was really Noah. I want that to be true…

      2. Indeed so, and it feels worse to know that is is likely to have to be our children who really crack the issue

  2. How is your Electric car charging infrastructure? I have a battery electric car. If I were to visit Aberdeen, how easy would it be to charge and at what cost? How many residents have elective cars (not hybrids)?

    1. It’s not bad but could be better. I have no problems plugging my car in whenever it needs it and we don’t have a driveway or garage to charge at home. I use the map on ChargePlace Scotland to find charging stations – https://chargeplacescotland.org/

      I don’t think you’d have any trouble charging your car here. As for the number of people with electric cars, I’m not sure. There are at least two others in my neighbourhood – I’m getting better at recognising them now.

  3. I just went to visit my cousin, who is at Uni in Manchester. She is into fashion so is studying fashion marketing but is very interested in the sustainable side of things – those are the first things she puts forwards as the most interesting parts of the course she studies. She said at Manchester students are often protesting about climate change. When I explained that some Unis have protests about lecturers they don’t agree with politically, she said she hadn’t see any of that. So that’s a relief that there are still places that seem to have sense.

    1. That’s good to hear. I haven’t heard of any protests like that here either but I think the UofEdinburgh has had issues. Most people, myself included, dare not say anything. Imagine protesting outside a women’s conference where victims of sexual abuse are speaking and holding signs telling women to “suck my dick you transphobic cunts”? That’s what they did. No wonder women are afraid.

      1. No, I’m nowhere near brave enough to speak out. And you speak out on lots of things, so this is a pretty bad situation.

  4. That language is unproductive, as is the public cussing that Prof. Kathleen Stock, OBE directs at students who disagree with her. I agree that all those instances are unproductive and we’d be better off as a society if all those people stopped hurling around language like that.

    It’s important to remember that every hate group justifies their hate by “protecting” women from whatever minority group they’re targeting. That’s one of the reasons why Black Americans were segregated into “separate but equal” third spaces for decades. That’s why cis lesbians were banned from women’s bathrooms and changing rooms for decades. Etc.

    It’s also important to remember that every hate group points at minorities who are behaving badly in order to justify taking away rights from ALL of the members of that minority group. This is possible because some humans are terrible people, and no minority group is exempt from that principle.

    But think about how it would sound if you tried to apply this same reasoning to cis women. Google Vanessa George, Angela Allen, Tracy Lyons, Tracy Dawber, Rebecca Holloway, Sophie Elms, Dawn Marie Baye, Amelia Ressler, and Krystal Jackson. They’re all cis women, and it’s estimated that there are ~50,000 cis women like them in the UK alone. Would it make sense to point at them and say their existence means we need to protect girls from cis women by taking away cis women’s rights? I doubt anyone would say yes, because everyone knows multiple cis women and knows that those monsters don’t represent cis women. But only ~0.6% of the population is trans, so it’s apparently all too easy to use the same reasoning to demonize trans people.

    It’s also important to remember that hate groups don’t operate by convincing people to hate minorities. Instead, hate groups convince recruits that whatever they’re doing to “protect women” simply doesn’t count as “hate”. So any member of a hate group won’t be able to recognize that they’re in a hate group, because they don’t feel “hatred”. Instead, what they almost universally feel is fear. Racists are indoctrinated to be afraid of Black people, so anything they say or do to “protect women” from Black people is justified and “doesn’t count” as hatred. Homophobes are indoctrinated to be afraid of cis lesbians, so anything they say or do to “protect women” from cis lesbians is justified and “doesn’t count” as hatred.

    If someone is physically attacked by a member of a minority group, it’s normal to feel fear and anxiety around other members of that minority group. At least for a while: therapy is important for overcoming those feelings. But if that person starts to support laws that would take away rights from members of that minority group, that’s where a normal trauma-based reaction turns into bigotry.

    Recently a tweet claimed that trans people are “living a lie”. This is false. Anyone who “liked” that tweet might want to read this statement from the Endocrine Society, which is the largest professional medical society in the world that studies hormones and hormone therapy: http://archive.is/250nf

    Here’s a quote:

    “Although the specific mechanisms guiding the biological underpinnings of gender identity are not entirely understood, there is evolving consensus that being transgender is not a mental health disorder. Such evidence stems from scientific studies suggesting that: 1) attempts to change gender identity in intersex patients to match external genitalia or chromosomes are typically unsuccessful3,4; 2) identical twins (who share the exact same genetic background) are more likely to both experience transgender identity as compared to fraternal (non-identical) twins5; 3) among individuals with female chromosomes (XX), rates of male gender identity are higher for those exposed to higher levels of androgens in utero relative to those without such exposure, and male (XY)-chromosome individuals with complete androgen insensitivity syndrome typically have female gender identity6; and 4) there are associations of certain brain scan or staining patterns with gender identity rather than external genitalia or chromosomes7,8.”

    The links in that paragraph lead to scientific papers that directly refute the notion that being trans is “living a lie”. In addition to that scientific research, I happen to have first hand knowledge of this fact. I realized I was trans in 1986, when I was 6 years old. My parents are conservative Catholics, so they certainly didn’t brainwash me into being trans. I didn’t have the internet until MUCH later, and there was NO trans representation on any of the TV shows I watched or the books that I read.

    I came very, VERY close to committing suicide on multiple occasions because I thought that I was the only trans person in the world (though obviously I didn’t use that word at the time because I’d never heard it before). That same “living a lie” tweet implies that we shouldn’t teach kids that some kids are trans, which is a repeat of “section 28” that traumatized gay kids in the UK for so many years. If I had known when I was a kid that other trans kids existed and that I wasn’t just a freak, I would have been able to avoid unspeakable amounts of misery.

    It wasn’t until after I suffered irreversible damage from the wrong puberty that I learned I could have been put on puberty blockers and avoided all that trauma. Every day I’m haunted by the grotesque changes my body went through during that time. I’m spending obscene amounts of money (and enduring nearly unimaginable pain) in a futile attempt to undo some of that damage. That’s why nearly every medical society in the world endorses the current system where puberty blockers are made available to adolescents if their dysphoria is “insistent, persistent, and consistent”. I’ve compiled a long list of statements from the world’s leading medical societies at bit dot ly slash 3EljcQx

    Here are some quotes from that list:

    The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention: “Medical providers have derived these standards of care from decades of scientific research and on-the-ground experience, and that’s why they’re endorsed by every major medical association.”

    “The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) supports the use of current evidence-based clinical care with minors. … Blocking access to timely care has been shown to increase youths’ risk for suicidal ideation and other negative mental health outcomes.”

    Endocrine Society: “Transgender individuals who are denied health care are more likely to report having suicide thoughts and suicide attempts… Considerable scientific evidence has emerged demonstrating a durable biological element underlying gender identity.”

    “The American Academy of Pediatrics has long been on the record in support of affirmative care for transgender children … Today, we are going on the record to oppose public policies that … interfere in the physician-patient-family relationship and would cause undue harm.”

    American Psychological Association: Transgender adults and adolescents are “more likely to experience positive life outcomes when they receive social support or trans-affirmative care. … (i.e., psychotherapy, hormones, surgery)”

    The Pediatric Endocrine Society Opposes Bills that Harm Transgender Youth
    These bills will increase the risk of suicide in trans youth.
    Gender-affirming care is medically necessary, potentially lifesaving, and improves the well-being of trans youth.

    The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health: “… puberty blockers reduce suicidality. Removing these treatments is to deny life… Trans youth seek gender-affirming care because they are trans, and they have the same right to health and wellbeing as all humans.”

    Human Rights Campaign Foundation, American College of Osteopathic Pediatricians and the American Academy of Pediatrics: “… there is evidence that both reparative therapy and delayed transition can have serious negative consequences for children.”

    Giordano 2008: “This paper argues that suspension of puberty is not only not unethical: if it is likely to improve the child’s quality of life and even save his or her life, then it is indeed unethical to defer treatment.”

    Trans youth who began treatment at a mean age of:
    11 years old: 7.9% reported a past suicide attempt.
    16 years old: 24.6% reported a past suicide attempt.
    Conclusion: “possible benefits of accessing gender-affirming treatment earlier in life.”

    “Conclusions: Transgender adolescents show poorer psychological well-being before treatment but show similar or better psychological functioning compared with cisgender peers from the general population after the start of specialized transgender care involving puberty suppression.”

    So anyone who “likes” a tweet that says “children shouldnt be given puberty blockers” is implicitly endorsing a course of action that interferes with the decisions made between a physician, their patient, and the patient’s family. And based on many, many lines of evidence, that interference would increase trans kids’ risk of suicide.

    Naturally, anti-trans groups spread misinformation about that last point by cherrypicking results from subpar research or by misrepresenting legitimate research. So the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, American College of Osteopathic Pediatricians and the American Academy of Pediatrics wrote a booklet explaining how pediatricians treat trans adolescents, and they specifically addressed the anti-trans misinformation on pages 13 to 16. See bit dot ly slash 3vFXuU8

    1. Emmy, thanks for your comment but I do not wish to get involved in a discussion on gender identity and this is very off-topic for a post about a climate change protest.

      If anyone reading this is having suicidal thoughts then I encourage them to seek help. There are numbers you can ring for help. Here’s a list of international numbers: https://www.opencounseling.com/suicide-hotlines

  5. Are you vegan? Drive a car? Fly? World leaders flew. Spread emissions by the kilo. The rules they’d like to force on us don’t apply to them. I hope you walked to that rally and that your shoes weren’t leather produced from farting cows. Ever visit the embassies of the world’s largest emitters? If there’s no planet B, developing countries need to play their part.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Mary. I am vegan – for 20 years now. I walked to the rally and indeed walk and cycle most places I want to go. If I want to travel further I take the train or use an electric car. Many of my clothes come from the charity shop. I try to avoid leather when buying new but I don’t mind leather if it’s second-hand. Our family takes local holidays in Scotland. I used to have to fly for work for an old job and one of the reasons I quit more than 3 years ago is because I didn’t want to fly anymore. I’m not perfect but the important message I want to convey is all these changes haven’t come at a cost. Indeed my life has improved because of them. Even if there was no climate change I’d still walk and cycle everywhere because it makes me feel so good and has improved my quality of life. I would still be vegan too because it’s cheaper, healthier, and you can’t beat a good lentil curry!

      I agree that politicians need to walk the talk and not just expect us to change. They need to set an example and it’s not a good look to see world leaders flying into Glasgow. Many could have taken trains or attended the conference remotely from zoom.

      1. You should be the poster girl for the cause, Rachel. That’s an amazing effort. I raised my children to do as I do, not what I say. They did, but now, they’re vegan. That’s because I raised them to be individuals. The cynic in me believes that no matter how sincerely felt, your fellow protesters are they wouldn’t all have walked to the protest, that many don’t use renewables to charge up their gadgets, that they keep their old gadgets, that most don’t shop in charity shops for clothes, haven’t given up their jobs if it meant having to fly. The richest (those who constantly lecture us) 1% emit twice as much carbon as poorest 50%: says an Oxfam report. That’s the Hollywood mob, the royals, the millionaires. Whether or not she actually said it, that lot puts me in mind of Marie Antoinette’s ‘let them eat cake.’
        It’s become a tradition to protest the COP gatherings, but it’s a mystery to me why no one badgers the Chinese, Indian, Russian embassies. What about the airports? It’s group think, I think, to stick to the same tried but not true routine.

      2. Yes, I do agree that many people want action on climate change as long as others do it and not themselves. There are some rich people who are also quite vocal about the issue but then they do inexplicable things like jetting off in private jets to far-flung places. We need words. not deeds.

        Good for you on raising your children to be individuals and think critically about the world.

      3. I prefer deeds to words. I’m sure you’re aware that the world’s biggest emitters couldn’t be bothered to turn up to COP. So if you believe that words count more than deeds, then set those placards up outside the embassies. Aim them at the CEOs of the airlines, name names and aim them at those hypocrites in Hollywood and those who had no official role to play at Glasgow but came along for the ride.
        You have your opinions and so have I. So let’s leave it at that.
        💋

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