The National:

JULIA Hartley-Brewer’s arguments against climate action failed to go down well with the Question Time audience and panel on Thursday night.

The radio broadcaster’s claims about net-zero and push for more fracking and nuclear energy production were absolutely demolished by an expert in the audience and SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford – leaving the controversial commentator backed into a corner.

A sustainability consultant asked why the UK is still entertaining domestic fossil fuel extraction given the climate crisis. (Don't forget, the UK hosted COP26 just a few months ago...)

After Hartley-Brewer insisted that net-zero targets had been randomly plucked, the audience member shouted: “It’s not about a date, it’s about a reduction in global atmospheric carbon emissions to reduce the global temperature rise.”

A smug-faced Hartley-Brewer asked what that would achieve, prompting the guest to explain that minimising emissions would stop eco-system collapse. The broadcaster laughed and insisted it wouldn’t, without providing any evidence for the claim.

The audience expert then branded Hartley-Brewer a climate denialist, before schooling her by saying: “This is a global problem, and it’s not about individual targets – it’s about everyone working together to reduce atmospheric carbon to reduce the rise in temperatures, so we don’t see an escalation in eco-system collapse around the world, increases in volatility of weather patterns, flooding, forest fires, refugee crises, people moving. Climate change is a huge disaster.”

The National:

Couldn’t have put it any better ourselves. Unsurprisingly, Hartley-Brewer didn’t have a response other than to laugh and shake her head.

At this point, SNP Westminster chief Ian Blackford cut in to add his two cents and further embarrass the radio host.

“We just had a ScotWind round in the last few weeks and we’re greenlighting 11 gigawatts of new offshore wind capacity. We have 25% of [Europe’s] wind capacity on the Scottish shores … we could increase over the next 25 years our green energy in Scotland about five-fold from where we currently are. By the way, we can also provide the baseload with tidal, which can reduce that need for nuclear which has been talked about.

“We can make sure that we can deliver safe and cheaply, the green energy we need.”

The National:

Exactly, Ian. What is the point of these hypothetical conversations about nuclear and fracking when Scotland has such incredible renewable potential just sitting there waiting to be used? We’re sure there’s no hidden agenda from the right-wing on this one …

The effort to rubbish net-zero and Brexit-ify climate action from the likes of Hartley-Brewer and Nigel Farage is dangerous nonsense. We have a climate crisis. Action is required – and is absolutely within reach.

We also can’t help but think they aren’t too keen on the idea of Scotland being successful via its own resources …