Vanessa Nakate and map showing the South in comparison to the North.
The Scottish Word:


Ahm frae the Sooth ahn the Sooth’s whaur the suffering’s sair ahn weary langtime frae global warming. Floods, fire, famine, landslides, heat, drought and death.

The carbon footprint generated by the siller-grippit North is a hunner times* greater than oor poorest nations o aw the Sooth thegither. Yet it’s the Sooth that’s suffering the maist.

We shouldni blythely greet the faithless Northern nation’s wha siller-dodge what they ocht. Instead caw them oot tae act, ahn foreby, mak them pey their share tae victims o their greed an comfort bocht wi carbon.


sooth: south

The Scottish Word: sooth with its definition and its meaning illustrated and captioned with the word used in context in the Scots language and in English.

Vanessa Nakate.

Now Vanessa Nakate didn’t actually say the above. But some of the things she did say are:

” … the climate crisis is affecting the African continent, which is ironic given that Africa is the lowest emitter of CO2 emissions of all continents, except for Antarctica. …”

The true size of Africa in comparison to other nations. Kai Krause, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons
An accurate reminder here for how the big CO2 emitting nations such as the USA, China, Japan, UK and most of Europe can all fit into Africa with space to spare. Map by Kai Krause, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons.

” … The droughts and floods have left nothing behind for the people. Nothing except for pain, agony, suffering, starvation and death. …”

” … this is not just happening on the African continent. Hurricanes Irma, Maria, Dorian and Harold have left some islands in the Caribbean and Pacific totally uninhabitable. Six million Bangladeshis have become displaced as a consequence of climate change. By 2050, 17% of the country’s coastline will vanish underwater, creating an estimated 30 million climate refugees. …”

” … What is the state of the hearts of the world leaders who watched this happen and allow it to continue? Our leaders are lost and our planet is damaged. …”

” … far too little evidence of the $100 billion per year that was promised” … “those funds were promised to arrive by 2020, and we are still waiting …”

“… Sometimes I hear leaders talk about the need to fund adaptation efforts, …”

” … You cannot adapt to lost cultures. You cannot adapt to lost traditions. You cannot adapt to lost history. You cannot adapt to starvation. And you cannot adapt to extinction. …”

” … Why is it so easy for leaders to open up new coal power plants, construct oil pipelines and frack gas, which are all destroying our planet and harming the present and future of their children, but so hard for them to acknowledge that loss and damage is here with us now? Climate action is not a pick and choose. …”

” … It’s time for our leaders to stop talking and start acting. It’s time to count the real costs. And it’s time for the polluters to pay. It’s time to keep the promises. No more empty promises. No more empty summits. No more empty conferences. …”

Excerpts above are from Vanessa Nakate’s Keynote Speech at Youth4Climate Pre-COP26 conference 2021 in Milan. You can view the whole of Vanessa Nakate’s speech here – it is commanding.

*The carbon footprint produced by Europe, North America, and other nations in the Global North, is in fact 100 times greater than that of the world’s poorest nations combined, according to an OXFAM report.

North South World map courtesy of Kingj123, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

Quick summary of the science.

  1. Our air is mainly made up of nitrogen and oxygen along with some argon and carbon dioxide.
  2. Nitrogen, oxygen, and argon will not absorb heat from the sun’s rays. Carbon dioxide will (happening). And the amount of carbon dioxide in our air has risen by 40% since 1800.
  3. The increase in carbon dioxide will mean our world’s surface temperature will rise (happened) and that will mean our polar ice caps will start melting (happening).
  4. Trapped (so far) under that melting polar ice there are methane gas deposits thousands of years old.
  5. Methane will absorb four times as much heat as Carbon dioxide.
  6. And as you will have worked out – escaping methane (now happening) will mean an even faster increase in our world’s surface temperature.
  7. (9) will happen even without (4), (5) and (6).
  8. Ice reflects the suns rays away and back out into space – it’s warm air and water that melts ice.
  9. More water from our disappearing polar ice will absorb more of the sun’s rays, heat up, and evaporate into our air (happening).
  10. More water in our air is one of the major things that will make our weather more destructive (happening).
  11. Water in our air absorbs ten times more heat than carbon dioxide.
  12. We don’t have energy enough to put methane back in the ground or re-freeze the polar ice caps. That’s reversing the energy of the sun. You can set paper on fire in a few seconds with a small magnifying glass. Add it up. Years of sun worldwide.
  13. How long til it hits a vicious unstoppable circle and we are extinct? Not long.

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