DURING these pre-COP 26 climate conference times there have been occasions when I have wondered whether or not agreeing to Glasgow being the host city was a wise decision.

In due course, I have no doubt, the upsides for Glasgow and Scotland, including boosts for hotels, restaurants, the tourist industry generally and international publicity, will eventually be weighed in the balance with the downsides, some of which have already evidenced themselves.

These downsides include effects on the NHS with a significant number of hospital appointments (some longstanding) being amended and many staff and patients likely to find their journeys more problematic; the demands and pressures on Police Scotland suggest that there will be less resource available for dealing with law enforcement generally; the opportunity presented to trade unions to put extra pressure on the employers of their members with regard to wages and other conditions of employment; the serious disruption caused to commercial and other road traffic; the loss of direct tuition at places of further education with students being directed to work online, and concern about the potential Covid implications of such a substantial number of attendees/delegates arriving from countries all over the world.

The selection of Glasgow took place some time ago and I appreciate that someone has to do it. However, there have been moments when one is left wondering whether or not those who were looking after the interests of Glasgow during the selection process fully considered and took into account all the implications of hosting such a significant international event for the communities of the Glasgow area.

Ian W Thomson, Lenzie.


I WONDER to what extent COP26 or indeed the anti-climate change movement is addressing the issue of energy waste and unnecessary energy usage? Instead of searching for ways to keep up with an apparently ever-increasing demand for energy should they not be seeking ways to encourage a reduction in energy consumption?

Now that the winter-time dog-walking regime is in place I am becoming aware yet again of the ever-increasing number of houses with unnecessary and often garish under-eaves lighting that serve no useful purpose, routinely unoccupied but fully illuminated rooms, totally superfluous year-round fairy-lights, not to mention illuminated trees, for Pete's sake (has no-one heard of photosynthesis?). Do people really need widescreen televisions that take up an entire wall? Does a household really need more than one television, a home cinema, microwave ovens, electronically-operated garage doors, dishwashers and every appliance under the sun you can think of? And as for SUVs and hot tubs...

We are told that sending an email is more energy-efficient than sending an item by post but how many totally unnecessary, not to say pointless, emails and texts and social media messages are fired back and forth nowadays? Do people not realise that they use energy? Probably not.

Sad to say, but the human race, at least the industrialised, commercialised west, is too egocentric and regards itself to be too entitled, to even consider that these things are adding to the current crisis. And as for giving them up – no chance.

C Fleming, Kirkintilloch.


I READ Colin Gunn’s letter re heat pumps (October 28) with incredulity. Having seen the price of oil head skywards, we installed a heat pump 10 years ago to directly replace an oil boiler. The heat pump comes on for an hour in the morning to heat the water – if required as we also have solar thermal. It is also programmed to come on for an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening, both if the temperature in the house falls below tolerable levels. At no time is it required to be on for 24 hours.

It is absolute codswallop to say it takes a complete day to heat the house, the mind boggles.

Steve Barnet, Gargunnock.


GLASGOW is a word we will hear spoken with accents strange from across the world: but how should we hear it here?

PM Johnson and his ilk will give us both barrels with the posh Glahsgeu (with a tight stretch of the last dipthong). We will recognise the more common Glahsgo with its variants Glazgae/ eh (the last sound really is a neutral vowel sound). Of course we will hear Glezgie and Glesgae, yet whatever version is chosen please let us lose the dour mumble through clenched teeth. Surely we should be confident enough to deliver our great city with clarity, pride and confidence.

Thomas Cross, Glasgow.


INTERESTING to read the explanation of the various ways that the title of doctor is bestowed on individuals by your correspondents (Letters, October 27 & 28). As a humble member of one of the professions supplementary to medicine we always felt disadvantaged in the hierarchy when it came to salary negotiations. My curiosity has been aroused by the number of professors that have emerged during the pandemic and wonder how you achieve this status? In my day a professorship was a relatively rare accolade, or maybe it is just another ruse to rise in the salary hierarchy?

Many years ago visiting France with some pals I was astonished when we associated with a group who all seemed to be professors, only to be told that’s how you address a teacher.

Thomas Law, Sandbank, Argyll and Bute.