WHAT a bind it is having to construct a network for charging electric cars from scratch; extremely expensive and logistically challenging ("‘Confusing’ charging network putting drivers off electric cars", The Herald, March 22).

But wait. Supposing there was an alternative?

Let’s imagine there was an infinite source of fuel to power our vehicles right on our doorstep. In fact our country is bounded on three sides with the raw material to produce it.

Let’s further imagine that we could manufacture this fuel using non-CO2-producing renewable energy.

Even better, when this source of fuel was “burned” the only pollutant was water – not a pollutant at all.

Let’s call this fuel hydrogen.

Stretch the imagination a little further and picture a ready-made nationwide network of outlets where, with just some adaptation to store this mythical wonder fuel, you could “recharge” your vehicle in just a few minutes. Let’s call them filling stations.

If only such resources were already available. If only such a solution did not exist only in our dreams.

Instead let’s transport the raw materials for electric car batteries halfway round the globe, despoil the natural environments from which we extract the rare metals required and rip up our existing road network at great economic and environmental cost to try (and fail) to provide adequate charging facilities for these electric cars.

Of course we shall.

Just forget our foolish dreams. Just wake up and smell the insanity.

William Thomson, Denny.


I WOULD like to raise the following points with respect to electric vehicles (EVs).

Just how sustainable are EVs given the finite amount of lithium there is in the world, the problem of their disposal and so on?

What is the lifespan of an EV? Manufacturers don't advertise how many charging cycles they are good for.

I accept that we should reduce the number of fossil fuel vehicles but how would people whose use of a vehicle is essential charge their EV if they live in a high flat or need to park on the road?

How much would it cost and how long would it take to upgrade our already-creaking National Grid to deal with the spike in demand which would occur when people come back from work in the evening and put their EVs on charge? Think of what happens to demand when people put the kettle on between sets in a Wimbledon final.

There is a good chance that hydrogen-powered vehicles will become viable in the near future in which case EVs will become obsolete overnight. Governments' reluctance to commit to the huge investment in the infrastructure which will be required to support EVs is understandable. Think of what happened to Betamax video.

James Caldwell, Glasgow.


MARIANNE White writes of breastfeeding that "infant feeding is a chance for mothers to form a bond with their baby" ("Helping mothers to breastfeed with confidence", Agenda, The Herald, March 22). I would heartily endorse what she writes and that even in 1961 there was help from midwives and district nurses once you were discharged from the maternity Ward; but I would add that there can be times of "make it up as you go along", and even excitement too.

Feeding my baby daughter in 1961, in my usual state of day-dreaminess, whilst keeping the dog entertained by throwing his old golf ball around the room, when it came to the time to swap Julie over to the other breast, I picked up the golf ball and threw it as usual but mis-aimed and the thing went into the fire. Sam the dog just lay down and went to sleep. After a while, when the feeding was over and the burping stage had been reached, there was the most mighty explosion and shreds of hot golf-ball-filling covered all of us. This was one of those "make it up as you go along" times as I picked the stuff from my daughter's little curls and the dog's ears. When he arrived home from work Jim commented that breast-feeding must be a really exciting, if not down-right dangerous, occupation. I left it to him to remove the golf ball filling from the walls and ceiling.

Breastfeeding really is lovely to do and forms a bond with one's baby. Sitting in a daydream as the wee one suckles feels wonderful. It just takes patience to achieve the result you wish for and if help is needed then any help offered should be welcome.

Thelma Edwards, Kelso.


I NOTE the producers of the TV channel Talking Pictures afford a suitability viewing guide prior to each programme screening. Very commendable, but to date I have observed very little offensive language or scenes. Conversely, current programmes contain a stream of obscenities with no or little advance warning. I trust future audiences will be suitably warned.

Better still, why not a united TV effort to eradicate offensive language, thereby proving that TV has both listened to and benefited from its predecessors?

Allan C Steele, Giffnock.


I UNDERSTAND Eric Macdonald’s relief on being reassured that the diagnosis of seborrhoeic keratosis and ominous-sounding poikilodermatous plaque-like haemangioma was nothing to worry about (Letters, March 20).

Other frightening terms to contend with are nocturnal diuresis, veisalgia, and panic-inducing sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia: respectively, bed wetting, hangover, and ice cream headache.

In contrast, the easy to pronounce and seemingly innocuous “Brewer’s Droop” is of more concern.

R Russell Smith, Largs.