Hello dear readers, we hope all is well as we greet the new month and bring you another edition of the Voice for Arran. Here at the Voice we are welcoming the start of October and everything it yields, and from guided hill walks to foraging sessions to apple harvest days, we have a lovely autumnal issue coming up.

The political environment on the other hand does not feel so full with the season’s abundance. In fact, while Arran’s September festival rush has passed and we settle into the slower rhythm of autumn walks and talks, today’s Don’t Pay National Day of Action, is a reminder of the political and economic turbulence going on around us. Perhaps it is the apparent contrast of realities – the wider troubling events with the many things we can celebrate here in Arran. But I have been left with a distinctly more surreal sense at the end of September than when it began.

The last month has seen the Queen’s passing, and the incoming of a new prime minister. It might just be me, but I didn’t have an inkling of the extent to which Truss would take things. Apparently during her campaign she spoke out against solar farms, and in favour of extracting more fossil fuels. And now with her newly appointed cabinet of climate sceptics we are seeing a full scale rolling back of EU environmental regulations, the overturn of the fracking ban, and what the RSPB and others are calling the worst attack on nature in generations. Then a little over a week ago came the mini-budget.

In what looks something like reverse prescience, Scottish Labour MSP Katy Clark, called for the new PM to launch an “unprecedented package” to fight “post-war levels of inflation” and stave off recession. She said, “Liz Truss cannot put her head in the sand and pretend tax cuts for the super-rich will solve this crisis. The UK needs to be put on an economic war footing. That must mean a Marshall-style plan to mobilise industries that bring us vital services and goods, a major house insulation programme and enhancing our energy security.” But tax cuts are what Truss has done, and rather than setting out a programme of support and energy saving measures for households she is protecting the profits of the big energy companies.

In another piece, The Time for Energy Efficiency is Now, Sally Campbell looks at the work of Amory Lovins, a leading advocate of energy conservation. Known as the ‘Eistein of energy efficiency’, Lovins has been working in the field since he was a student at Oxford in the 1960s. He knew then what needed to be done, and Lovins’ hope is that the time for energy efficiency may have finally come – “for the mass insulation of buildings and a vast acceleration of renewables”. He believes that with the added pressures of Putin’s war, the turning point for climate economics is here: “We have a new energy crisis, and efficiency is the largest, cheapest, safest, cleanest and fastest way to address it.”

These strong and coherent voices make a lot of sense to me, and seem to be sounding out with more frequency at every turn. That they should be incongruous with a present day government seems to be an incongruity itself, and I wonder for how long such a situation can remain. Perhaps by next month we’ll be in a different place again, and in the meantime we hope you enjoy the issue and have a lovely month… Elsa