MUCH has been written about climate change, but less on what should be done about the potential threat without wrecking the economy.

First, most people would agree that the climate is warming and that burning fossil fuels could be a major contributor and that a staged transition to cleaner alternative power would be a desirable way forward.

Clearly the pace of the transition should differ from country to country depending on the level of current omissions and their economic development. However, having energy weaponised by wars in Europe and the Middle East has made the situation far more complicated, with energy security now arguably the immediate emergency facing most European governments including the UK.

Also to bear in mind is that high and uncompetitive green energy costs kill jobs and reduce taxes to fund our public services. In addition our manufacturing sector has shrunk to around 10% of GDP which has resulted in a further decline in our direct emissions.

Small wonder then the total UK emissions are now only 1% of the world’s total (Scotland 0.1%) which is now much less than the annual increases by the likes of China and India. This makes the trillions of pounds earmarked for the rush to Net Zero a complete nonsense, especially when it would make a negligible impact on climate change. Surely a much more staged transition would free up funds to spend on our sea and river defences to protect our population from the inevitable consequences of climate warming. You can’t spend the money twice.

Given the above circumstances we should keep the jobs (and taxes) in the UK by extracting every drop of oil and gas from our shores and start fracking in England, boost our nuclear energy and limit wind farms to offshore unless there is a local need in isolated areas. By all means continue to explore green hydrogen, nuclear fusion and small nuclear reactors but the idea we can throw away billions to cater for the proliferation of dispersed, intermittent renewables projects which all require grid connection is bonkers. Fortunately much of the work for our flood defences has already been completed by Sepa and should be implemented. Only then we will be able to make a safe transition to proven economically sustainable greener energy.

Ian Lakin, Aberdeen.

Good news for Scots workers

IN the midst of this period of depressing war news, day after day, it was a relief to at last get some welcome developments on another front.

Twenty-seven new oil and gas drilling licences have been issued in various regions of the North Sea ("Go-ahead for 27 new oil and gas licences in North Sea", The Herald, October 30) and this means the jobs of hundreds of thousands of Scots are guaranteed, as well as precious security of fuel for the foreseeable future for the people of the UK. We need not worry about more Russian invasions and consequent shutting of gas pipelines. Nor do we need to think of Middle East wars.

With this energy security, we in the western world can now employ all our best brains and technological expertise in developing crucial alternative and renewable sources, but not with the self-imposed Sword of Damocles of impossible Net Zero targets hovering above our heads.

Common sense at long last.

Alexander McKay, Edinburgh.

Read more: We need to talk about the needless prolonging of life

Stop knocking Big Pharma

IN recent times, two of your correspondents, most recently Susan Walker (Letters, October 30) have described motives of Big Pharma which frankly are fiction.

I agree wholeheartedly with Ms Walker that prolonging life needlessly with inappropriate active treatments is a poor service to patients. She describes a 95-year old with heart failure. For years, an optimal treatment for that condition has been low-dose oral morphine.

Professionals are not "egged on by Big Pharma (to) pump us full of life-prolonging drugs". Doctors make evidence-informed decisions and share that evidence with their patient before prescribing. They do need to be alert to identify the right time to have last year of life discussions with patients and carers - and to know and describe the scope of a palliative approach. There is good evidence for an agreed withdrawal of certain medicines less useful and with more side-effects in frail older people.

The pharmaceutical industry has consistently produced life-saving drugs and many medicines which relieve pain and symptoms. Careful use of these has made a significant difference to quality of life and life expectancy, available to all.

Philip Gaskell (retired GP), Drymen.

Farmers on the edge

THE RSPB is delighting in the increasing numbers of birds of prey while blaming farmers for the reduction in small birds. Scores of farmers are having to resign themselves to the fact that sea eagles are making their jobs impossible, not to mention what their mental health will be like having to face up to endless losses of livestock each day.

It is a high price to pay for the amusement of birdwatchers.

Sheila Kerr, Newton Mearns.

Disappearing world

I WAS interested to see St Enoch Church feature in your 100 years ago item ("From our archives", The Herald, October 31).

The Glasgow Presbytery agreement was eventually carried, and, despite overtures by the Old Glasgow Club, among others, we lost St Enoch early in 1926. How many fellow citizens now know of its existence?

Brian D Henderson, Immediate Past-President, Old Glasgow Club, Glasgow.

Former relationship

I WAS interested in Alastair Clark's letter (October 31) about X, formerly Twitter.

My son now addresses me as “Mate", formerly "Dad”.

Eric Macdonald, Paisley.

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American lesson

IN considering possible reasons for the decline in language learning, Daniella Theis ("I must speak up for the gift of learning another language", The Herald, October 30) omitted to mention the opinion of a Congressman who declared himself to be unconcerned about the trend, since “if English was good enough for Jesus Christ it should be good enough for Americans”.

Robin Dow, Rothesay.