Sometimes it's hard not to be caught up in the significance of a big moment in politics and to hope against hope that, this time, things might just be better.

Two years ago the draft Shared Policy Programme between the Scottish Government and the Scottish Greens, specifying the many serious challenges ahead, spoke of a ‘code red’ warning for humanity "of the consequences of the crises in our climate and in our natural world". A 'code red' warning had been issued by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, ahead of COP26 in Glasgow.

Many thought it would be interesting to see what the Greens, with their historic commitment to protecting the planet, would bring to the issue.

Unspun: SNP could end Yousaf leadership by giving new vote on Greens deal

Two years later, where are we? 'Politics as usual', is the sobering answer. Unrest within SNP ranks about the power-sharing agreement, which in 2021 was backed by around 95% of SNP members, has burst into the open. Joanna Cherry says the SNP should tear up the agreement, and brands the Scottish Greens as "totalitarian" and "anti-gay".

Robin Harper quits Scottish Greens, says party has 'lost the plot'

SNP MSP Fergus Ewing, former health secretary Alex Neil and Highland MSP and former finance secretary Kate Forbes had already urged their party to revisit the agreement. As we reported on Thursday, their main criticisms relate to the balance being struck in the agreement between one aspect - creating jobs and advancing business - with protecting the environment. To varying degrees they believe it currently favours the latter at the expense of the former.

Alex Salmond brands Green minister Patrick Harvie a 'total idiot'

Alex Salmond has dismissed the Scottish Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie as a "total idiot". More pertinently, the former Scottish Green MSP Robin Harper has quit the party, criticising his former colleagues over their support of transgender rights and independence. He accused the Scottish Greens of having "lost the plot" and neglecting the political centre. Tim Flinn, a founder member of the Scottish Green Party, has publicly referred to the “chaos and shambles” of party policies suggested by “the lunatic fringe and sundry carpetbaggers”.

The draft programme two years ago conceded that it was a leap of faith for both parties. Truer words were never spoken.

Ms Cherry’s criticisms underscore the extent to which the Scottish Greens are drawn to such ideological issues as transgender rights. Some Green MSPs, she says, have behaved in a disgraceful way towards women. There was a feeling that the tail was wagging the dog. And apart from what she describes as the “anti-free speech, anti-gay elements” in the Greens, what worries her is that they were not on top of “properly collective governmental solutions to the climate crisis at all”.

She is not too far off the mark. We have seen the unedifying controversies surrounding two key plans of the Green agenda - the Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) and the Highly Protected Marine Areas (HMPAs), the latter being scrapped in June by Net Zero Secretary Mairi McAllan amidst an uproar from Scotland’s fishing communities.

Joanna Cherry calls for SNP to renegotiate coalition deal with Greens

Mr Harvie, whose ministerial responsibilities include carbon-neutral buildings, is strongly in favour of boilers with sustainable systems such as heat pumps, but his faith in them has been challenged by the entrepreneur and Labour peer, Lord Haughey, who claims that heat-pumps are flawed and could leave Scots out of pocket. It is “complete nonsense”, Haughey asserts, to claim that heat-pumps were an efficient means of decarbonisation. They were never designed for that – they were designed to be air conditioning units.”

Moves by the Conservative government at Westminster to encourage people to buy heat-pumps have attracted a backlash from its own MPs on grounds of sheer cost, especially in rural areas.

Harvie calls for UK action so heat pumps lead to lower energy bills

The Scottish Greens can and should do much better than to be distracted by hot-button ideological issues. It is frustrating to see the UK government continue to treat the climate crisis as a political football.

Lorna Slater admits no assessment to use waste for aviation fuel

Rishi Sunak’s hope of more than a hundred new drilling licences for oil and gas in the North Sea will wreck the country’s climate commitments at a time when the need for a just transition to a low-carbon economy and renewables has never been more urgent.

Brian Wilson: We need to embrace American model for a 'just energy transition'

Our columnist Brian Wilson was correct to point out this week that without a far clearer route map the concept of a just transition lacks credibility and gets sidelined by sub-plots such as heat-pumps. With wildfires and extreme weather events disfiguring much of the world, we need clear and unambiguous political leadership. The Greens have an important role to play in this - thanks partly to them, some progress has already been made - but time is running out for them to show what they can do as a serious party that is serious about the biggest issues facing Scotland. It is frustrating that the same old mistakes, often centred around a lack of consultation, are occurring in the Green policies that we desperately need to adopt to tackle the climate crisis.