EACH day brings news of yet another energy company going out of business, of food producers being unable to send their stock to abattoirs, of industrial units stopping production, of increasing food shortages in supermarkets. The huge increase in the cost of gas is the root of the problem ("Business Secretary bids to calm fears over rocketing fuel prices", The Herald, September 21). Major fertiliser production has been halted, the knock-on effect of which is rapidly becoming evident as a by-product of fertiliser production is carbon dioxide. Only now we are finding how important that gas is.

That the country still needs gas is self-evident, but the rush to rely solely on energy from wind and solar sources, industries still in their infancy, means we seriously need to consider other methods of power generation. Nuclear is one we should be examining, putting to rest the outdated scare stories. And what about wave power? The tides rise and ebb each day and yet we seem to do little to tap into that one truly reliable energy source. Instead we cover the country with wind farms that cannot cope with excesses of wind, or stand idle when the weather is calm. At our peril should the Government shut down oil and gas production in the North Sea.

Winter is coming. We have to do better.

Celia Judge, Ayr.


JUST when you thought things couldn’t possibly get any worse, the feckless Tories deliver another disaster. Despite the UK being Europe’s second-largest gas producer, 62 per cent of it from Scottish waters, UK businesses and consumers are being hammered by enormous price increases for gas and electricity just as winter looms. And these increases are far higher than in the rest of Europe, 136% more than Norway and 112% more than Germany.

In its infinite wisdom, the UK Government sold off state energy suppliers British Gas and British Petroleum and we are now saddled with a deregulated energy market with many small suppliers going to the wall unless the Government – ie the taxpayer – bails them out, so consumers are in for a massive shock. Most other European nations kept their energy companies in state hands, limiting price rises.

The SNP conference called for a national energy company to keep our abundant energy resources in our own hands and to provide affordable energy, a basic human right, to its citizens. But that can only happen once we are free of the UK.

In the meantime, fuel poverty will increase given the UK’s miserly winter fuel allowance. Add to that a hard Brexit, food and labour shortages, rising prices, Universal Credit cuts, and a continued bungled Covid response, and we’re in for a winter of discontent, to put it mildly.

Leah Gunn Barrett, Edinburgh.

* WITH oil at $75/bbl (Scotland produces over 1 million bls/day) and with gas at its highest-ever price (Scotland produces more than 50 per cent of the GB output) why is no-one pointing out that once again it is the "broad shoulders of Scotland's oil and gas'' that is rescuing the Westminster Government?

Nick Dekker, Cumbernauld.


THE latest panic over the lack of supply of carbon dioxide is puzzling to me.

Billions are being spent in eliminating carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and it is surely ironic that there is a shortage. Whatever happened to the capture and storage of carbon dioxide? That solution to the emissions seems to have been shelved.

Eric Macdonald, Paisley.


ERIC Flack (Letters, September 21) gives the imperial equivalent lengths in yards (of the metric mile) as used by the Scots, Irish and English, amongst other measurements, but omits the Welsh one.

A Welsh mile is 3 miles and 1,470 yds long, comprising 9,000 paces, each of 3 Welsh feet of 9 inches. I stick with my father's definition: "a Welsh mile is as long as it takes to get there and sometimes as long as it takes to get back as well, but you can sit down along the way". And what about thinking of it as being 3 miles, 6 furlongs, 27 poles and 15yds English? Places could also be "as far as the crow flies but with a few hills in between".

Wikipedia gives so many equivalents of the metric mile that life becomes really confusing so I will stay with my dear old dad's explanation. Life was very straightforward living with someone who would answer most questions with "it's as broad as it's long", or who spent a lot of time making "wim-wams for winding up the sun" or, occasionally, "wim-wams for meddle-oes".

As for acres ... the Welsh acre was measured by a rod or pole (when they weren't messing about with grains and thumbs) which is the length of the tallest man in the area, with his hand above his head.

Maybe stick with the metric after all?

Thelma Edwards, Kelso.


IT is interesting to compare Jimmy Greaves’ wage of £19 per week (almost £1,000 per annum) as reported in your obituary (September 21) with the £250,000 weekly salary of some of today’s top players.

Yes, there has been inflation over the last 60 years but not to this level. One has to ask if this trend is sustainable or will football eventually implode as many feel it deserves to?

Willie Towers, Alford.


R RUSSELL Smith appears to have had a better experience than I had before attending a recent funeral, the first in 18 months. I refer, of course, to his letter on ties (September 21).

Apprehension about remembering how to tie one of these almost-redundant objects was justified. Panic subsided when I succeeded at the third attempt.

David Miller, Milngavie.