Christine Grahame is SNP MSP for Tweeddale and Lauderdale

The importance of ice

OK you will be pleased to learn that this is a Brexit free zone. Did you notice among all the babble about the what might or might not happen scientists have an ominous message that the earth’s ice is melting at an alarming rate? To quote: “Antarctic is melting away, not just in a couple of places”. This has not been consistent over the decades instead is accelerating with up to 280 per cent loss in the last 40 years. Why should that matter? Sea ice provides that crucial barrier between lands and the warmer waters of the oceans. Without that, more and more ice melts, and oceans rise affecting islands and coastal areas. So while the airwaves and social media naval gazes, our world is having its very ecological changes ignored. Add to that the real possibility that global warming is already on our own doorstep. There are meteorological cycles of course but that increased frequency of hurricanes elsewhere and warmer wetter winters in Scotland may just may be indicators that with the polar ice research while national politics count, it should not be to the exclusion of global issues. The magnolia is threatening to burst its buds after flowering twice last year, the crocuses are up and being foraged by the sparrows and I think the family sledge will be underused yet again. In the meantime, local issues remain very much my focus which brings me to…

Peebles Visitor Centre

The campaign to keep its presence of the High Street continues. I sent Freedom of Information requests to Visitscotland and Scottish Borders Council separately to find out the thinking behind the decision to close it and make Jedburgh the Centre for the Borders. The wording in both requests was identical. Visitscotland came back with emails and so on. From SBC not a cheep claiming the following “The above request is exempt under S39(2) Environmental Information of FOISA therefore we respond under the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004.” I have checked out examples where refusals like this have been referred finally to the Scottish Information Commissioner where it has ruled that this total exemption applies for example in cases of fish farms, beaver reintroduction and so on. Blow me what closure of a Visitscotland Information Centre has to do with the animal life. Needless to say, I am seeking a review or does the council think that melting ice cap is threatening the Tweed's course through to Peebles High Street?