YOU outline yet another strategy to reduce fuel poverty by 2040 (“‘Bolder’ move on fuel poverty”, The Herald, November 9). It would appear that Holyrood has yet to learn any lessons from the failure by MSPs arising from their original pledge to the people of Scotland, and especially the 40 per cent of Scots living in fuel poverty, to eliminate such poverty by 2016.

It now appears there is to be a new 25-year strategy to attain the failed goal of 2016 yet, since

the Housing Minister does not address the policies of his Environmental colleague, the revised strategy is doomed to fail before the consultation period is concluded.

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Had the Housing Minister checked the fuel use of an average dual fuel consumer he would be aware that 3,500 units of electricity ( 14p per unit ) plus 21,500 units of gas ( 4p per unit ) results in an annual bill of £1,350.

However, as Holyrood has set out a goal to phase out the use of gas in Scotland over the next decade, by 2030 the annual energy bill will be 25,000 units of electricity which totals £3,500. That means an increase in energy bills of around 250 per cent, 10 years before the planned elimination of fuel poverty with the consequence of 75 per cent of Scots being dragged into the poverty trap.

In addition, if the planned elimination of gas includes the import of shale gas from the United States to Grangemouth, then the transfer of the work to Norway will have a major impact on the Scottish economy, hitting even more Scots with austerity.

Ian Moir,

79 Queen Street,

Castle Douglas.

WELL, well, what an interesting, colourful and challenging journey has been made by Scottish Hydro over the last 25 years or so since it succeeded the North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board in 1991 (“Union of two of ‘Big Six’ power firms raises questions for consumers”, The Herald, November 9).

Privatisation under the Thatcher Government has meant that the organisation changed from one mainly concerned with the provision of electricity generation, transmission and distribution to customers, and became one orientated toward profits and the payment of dividends to shareholders.

Scottish Hydro, of course, changed into Scottish Southern Energy (known as SSE) in 1998 when it merged with Southern Electricity, an English public electricity supplier.

SSEB, floated as Scottish Power at the same time, at the same price, with different management, in fact did not survive the test of time in falling into the hands of a Spanish company.

This latest move of merging the SSE household supply business with Npower to form a new energy business is one to be viewed with great circumspection.

I see this piece of corporate power play as being likely to increase the influence from abroad on a British strategic service. Already we have a situation where French, German, and Spanish companies exercise considerable influence through EDF, Eon, Npower, and Iberdrola. The British national interest plays little or no part in the decision-making process of these companies.

While this development may be good news for SSE shareholders, particularly if they invested in 1991 at a price of 240p, it is unlikely to bring much benefit to customers with the Big Six being reduced to Five.

The Unite union is reported as being concerned for the SSE workforce. It is right to be so. In my view, if such a merger goes ahead, substantial savings will be sought and many of these savings will come from job reductions.

Let there be no doubt the rationale behind this proposal is increase in profit margins and

not enhanced service to the customers.

Ian W Thomson,

38 Kirkintilloch Road,

Lenzie.

LED by the Greens, the SNP and most of our Holyrood representatives are basking in self-congratulations for having saved us and the climate from the perceived evils of fracking. This was done at the expense of potential jobs and economic benefit. It also largely ignored the expert advice which we taxpayers funded. Meanwhile we continue to use imported fracked gas anyway.

Lest they be accused of hypocrisy, I’m sure all the politicians and central belt Nimbys who opposed fracking, now regard Margaret Thatcher as a visionary eco warrior, way ahead of her time for sacrificing jobs to close the dangerous, unhealthy, unsightly, polluting and greenhouse gas-producing coal mining industry – years before global warming became a mainstream concern. No? What a surprise.

Mark Openshaw,

42 Earlswells Road,

Cults, Aberdeen.

THE US media has reported yet another report on so-called manmade global warming, specifically Volume 1 of the

United States Government’s Fourth National Climate Assessment.

It primarily blames the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. But studies suggest that CO2 levels were 10-20 times higher in the

past. All that coal, gas, oil, limestone and chalk in the ground is there because living beings sequestered CO2 from the atmosphere. And yet life on earth wasn’t destroyed during these past periods of high CO2, which is contrary to the impression that you’d get from such reports.

For example, Steven Hawking recently predicted 250-degree temperatures, wind of 100 metres per second and rain in the form of acid, from a relatively modest rise in CO2. Surely if this were true life in the past would have been destroyed?

The warmists want us to believe that CO2 has its hand firmly on the world’s thermostat.

However, a 1999 study led by J Petit at Vostok in Antarctica suggests otherwise. Vostok has some of the deepest ice in the world and Petit’s team drilled down and obtained proxy measurements of temperatures and levels of CO2

and methane going back 420,000 years.

The report states that during the start of ice ages “the CO2 decrease lags the temperature decrease by several thousand years”. In other words, the temperature falls hugely while CO2 stay the same, also temperature falls first then CO2 falls much later.

How can temperatures fall when CO2 stays so high?

Geoff Moore,

Braeface Park,

Alness.