This time last year I made a mistake; I had an appointment near South Park in the south of Lincoln followed by one up at Stokes. As I struggled up the hill on my bike, I was sweating from head to toe: It was scorching in Lincoln and at Connigsby the record was broken for the hottest day ever recorded in the UK.
I thought that the cathedral has probably never seen a hotter day, and when I saw Laura Stratford, who runs the Lincolnshire Food Partnership she told me that climate change poses a risk to other parts of the county as well: global warming risks the fertility of the soil, particularly in areas near the coast as salty sea water rises.
To preserve what is important to us we need to take action to mitigate the effects of climate change. But there are opportunities for Lincoln too: at the SPARK engineering festival in July the many opportunities for the city were clear. I heard about the work Siemens Energy are doing to harness hydrogen as an alternative power source; I saw a whole range of electric vehicles (including a terrifying ‘monowheel’ which won’t be replacing my bike any time soon) as well as plenty of innovative work being done by the University of Lincoln who are working to capture carbon emissions before they contribute to climate change, develop alternative fuel sources, and use technology to reduce emissions from agriculture.
Hamish with Construct3D's Jacob Lord
Lincoln is an engineering city: climate change is a chance for us to demonstrate that we can make a contribution to tackling a massive global challenge. I’m excited about what that could mean for jobs, wages and skills here. I was particularly impressed to meet Jacob Lord, who founded ‘Construct3d’: he went to school, college and university in Lincoln and from his home in Waddington he’s created the UK’s fastest 3d printer according to Warwick University.
Climate change is a huge risk for Lincoln and Lincolnshire but it’s an opportunity too. Managing those risks and seizing those opportunities has to start with recognising that climate change is real. I try not to argue with my Conservative opponent much, but I was baffled when he claimed recently those record breaking temperatures last year that we all felt were in fact errors recorded when a jet flew too close to the Conningsby thermometer. You can see our two positions on climate change here.
I’ll be visiting local businesses making a contribution to combatting climate change over the summer, do get in touch if there’s anywhere you think I should be visiting: [email protected]