I have another string to my bow, as a Director of Highland Tourism Community Interest Company. Both renewables and tourism have grown up together in the Highlands, going way back to the development of hydro, right up to the present day where it is becoming a centre of European renewable energy and initiatives to tackle the climate emergency are really starting to take off. My role is to support Highland Tourism to strengthen links and collaboration between tourism and renewables and to work towards the Highlands becoming recognised as a world leading sustainable place. HTCIC is going from strength to strength with a wide range of initiatives, and growing support.
One small part of this is to sponsor the environment and sustainability award at the Highlands and Islands annual media bash, held this year on the 3rd February at the Kingsmills Hotel in Inverness. In celebrating the superb nominees and category winners it was clear to me that sustainability, the environment and especially climate change as the greatest threat to all ecosystems upon which humans depend, are now recognised as central, not peripheral, to journalistic endeavour – and quite rightly too.
In the early 20th Century Editors finally gave up printing ‘balancing’ letters and opinions of people who railed against the science that the Earth was round, not flat. Now it is extremely rare to see comments from people with dubious, or not fact-checked evidence, attacking the overwhelming science pointing to humanity and carbon dioxide pollution, as the major drivers of dangerous climate change. Instead there is now much more focus on positive action for change and long may it flourish.
Congratulations to Donna MacAllister of the Press Journal on being awarded the Environment & Sustainability Writer of the Year, with close runners up from the Orcadian, Ethan Flett and Mark Harcus. Both of whom went on to win, and deservedly so, young journalist, and journalist, of the year respectively.