IT is clear that Tony Philpin (Letters, May 23) has bought into Greta Thunberg's doomsday narrative that "our house is on fire". Apparently every dramatic image that is fed to us by much of the media, whether it be landslides due to torrential rainfall, wildfires, heavy snowfalls, ice melt, dying coral, droughts, violent storms or species threats are a direct result of human emissions of greenhouse gases, principally carbon dioxide (CO2).

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has been heavily instrumental in demonising CO2 as a "pollutant" when it is in fact an essential life-giving gas which enhances plant growth. Indeed satellite observations over the past 25 years show significant greening of the Earth's vegitated land. Although CO2 levels have indeed risen by some 40 per cent since the Industrial Revolution it should be remembered that it comprises just 0.04% of atmospheric gases. Just over 96% of the CO2 in our atmosphere originates from natural, not human sources and yet carbon sequestration has become a global buzzword and set in motion a latter day gold rush for research funding and Green Capitalism based on carbon trading.

Ms Thunberg's pronouncements that "I want you to panic. I want you to feel fear" have clearly claimed global attention but a look at relatively recent historical records should serve to temper such extreme language. There have been climatic "blips" before, such as the Dark Ages Cold Period (AD 700-1100) and the Little Ice Age (AD 1300-1850) when the transitions from cold to warm that took place were of a similar magnitude to the current situation and when CO2 levels were stable and much lower that today. It's time Mr Philpin and his friends took a reality check and recognise that the forces of Nature are infinitely more powerful than marginal human influences.

Neil J Bryce, Kelso.

* IF Tony Philpin is so worried about climate change then allegations of rising sea levels could see his home island of Gigha sink below the waves. After all, Al Gore in his 2006 film An Inconvenient Truth said that sea levels would rise by 20ftt "in the very near future". We were told in 1988 that The Maldives would sink below the waves in 30 years.

Mr Philpin ignores my previous statement that "the UN IPCC has repeatedly stated in its annual reports that it had low confidence of any impact on the frequency or severity of floods, that hurricane and tropical storms show a decreasing trend and that droughts were less severe". There have been thousands of scaremongering climate predictions over the years designed to keep the climate brigade on the climate gravy train at taxpayers' expense. In 1970: we'll be in an Ice Age by 2000; 1976: global cooling will cause a world war by 2000; 1989: global warming and rising sea levels will wipe entire nations off the map by 200; 1999: the Himalayan glaciers will be gone in 10 years; 2000: snow will soon be a thing of the past; 2007: global warming will cause fewer hurricanes, and 2012: global warming will cause more hurricanes.

In his film scaremongering Al Gore said that polar bears were endangered but the inconvenient truth is that there are now record numbers – 40,000 – of these magnificent creatures.

Clark Cross, Linlithgow.


IT has been good to see the sun finally rising on the serious concerns extant re UK energy and Net Zero through several excellent articles by leading journalists including from Sandra Dick (“Engineers accuse ministers of an over-reliance on renewables”, May 23).

Our leading politicians live in a simple linear space/time of four to five years. Some repeat the experience but few more than once and the long view is consequentially suppressed. Power systems engineers must continuously take a long view of billions of pounds of assets and additionally are, for example, practised in the logarithmic/linear mathematics of inverse definite minimum time.

Yes, a humorous comparison but it exemplifies why the former plus the “five minute engineers” who seem to predominately populate our pressure and lobby groups will always be unable to understand the ruling physics of the latter given the comparative simplicity of their unscientific “bubble”. Put succinctly, both they and our politicians are technically and futuristically out of their depth.

Forget “debate” so loved by our politicians and these sundry others, as within five minutes they would have nothing technically useful to contribute. Establish a body of power systems engineers to design and determine the future of our UK-wide future electrical grid backed by an appropriate empowering Act of Parliament just as was done under the 1926 Electricity (Supply) Act which resulted in a stable grid and falling electricity prices.
And this before it is too late, otherwise Net Zero by 2050 will be a pipe dream.

DB Watson, Cumbernauld.



SADLY, Devo Max will not provide Scotland relief from "years of fruitless confusion and rancour" as John Milne (Letters, May 23) would have it, and will only perpetuate it.

When you negotiate a deal with a business partner, or go to court to resolve a dispute with someone, the signed contract or the court's judgement is accepted as the final statement on the matter to which both parties agree to abide. However, nationalists never feel that the rules apply to them.

Here's how the nationalist scam works. They demand concessions: they duly get concessions. A few years later they decide that they don't like the deal that they themselves agreed to, and demand a new deal. One is soon made – with yet more concessions. Rinse, repeat. The concessions only ever go one way. If a crook tried this on with a judge, trying to get the court's ruling continuously edited in his favour, he'd get sent down for contempt of court, but the SNP gets to run laughing all the way to the bank. All Devo Max lets it do is skip a few steps in the process: the ink on the law-roll wouldn't even have dried before the next clamour for independence would follow.

Nationalists argue in bad faith and have no interest in reasonable negotiation. They do not want to compromise with the unionist community of Scotland, only overrule it.

Confusion and rancour can only end if the settlement is genuinely final. If Devo Max is to be happen – yet another huge leap in unionist concessions – it should only be done with cast-iron guarantees that it is absolutely the last offer. Nationalist parties must accept that it is the conclusive constitutional settlement and they must agree that there will be no further demands for independence for at least 100 years.

Robert Frazer, Dundee.


IAIN Macwhirter’s trenchant criticism of those in charge of Scotland’s universities ("Time to cancel university bosses who violate laws on free speech", May 22) is merited and timely. The approach taken by them towards members of staff and students who expressed views at odds with what is currently fashionable is contemptible. Unfortunately, such behaviour is also predictable.

Ordinarily, we might expect our elected politicians to boldly leap to the defence of academics being subjected to unjustified attacks. However, in this country the Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Act 2021 can be viewed as the legislative manifestation of virtue-signalling. It validates and encourages those who seek to impose their self-righteous beliefs upon others. Given that an SNP government in the previous parliament brought forward this law, it would be as well not to hold one’s breath until a champion emerges from the ranks.

Mr Macwhirter describes these present-day dogmas as the sleep of reason. The full title of Francisco Goya’s aquatint is, “The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters”. The message is clear, as should be the warning that the work of art was subsequently censored by the authorities.

Bob Scott, Drymen.


"WE don't know this Russian!" announced the late Sir Terry Wogan as Dima Blain (millions of records sold, MTV awards, numerous European number ones) came on stage. He went on to win the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest. The same lack of preparation emanated from Graham Norton last weekend. He kept telling us the show was coming from "Holland" (as Scott Mills had done at the semi finals). Imagine a European presenter referring to the UK As "England".

This is not a joke. A Christian going to the lions had more chance than hapless James Newman, chosen by the BBC without a public input. Even a public vote can be ignored (Polish milkmaids in 2014 anyone?)

The UK pop industry is the second-biggest in the world. It had a pre-Covid income of £5.8 billion annually and employs 455,000. Eurovision is the biggest non-sporting event in the world. It is beamed to North America, China, Australasia and more.

Why then does the UK not send Ellie Goulding, Adele, Ed Sheerin, Little Mix? If only Scotland could send Lewis Capaldi or Amy MacDonald.

Loreen's 2012 Swedish winner Euphoria was streamed more than 250 million times. It is a serious cash-making showcase to the world. The contest has given us some of the greatest pop singers and songs and can strike a serious note, for example when Ukraine performed 1944 to send a message to Russia. It is rather more than a risible festival of high camp.

John V Lloyd, Inverkeithing.


THE collection of pieces grouped as "Blame game. Rangers fans claim 'double standards' over George Square chaos" (May 23) gave us the expected amount of "whataboutery" but for me the saddest part was almost an aside in Andy Maciver's contribution. He claims he feels “less attached to a Scotland team which doesn't field a Rangers player”. In other words, he feels Rangers have some sort of divine right to have players selected for Scotland.

I support a "wee" team and I think it's more than 60 years since we last had a player capped. But, when Scotland field a team, I support them no matter who has – or hasn't been selected. It's my country. I can only suggest that Mr Maciver, if he is being honest, does not support Scotland. That's sad.

Douglas Morton, Lanark.