THE biggest global threat to the health of people and their environment remains climate change. It is immediate, as we hear each week of more fires and floods across Europe, Africa, Asia and North America. The disaster is not looming, it is already with us.

The terrible events in Ukraine have further highlighted some short-term reasons why we also urgently need energy security. This will come from cutting and not increasing fossil fuel extraction. It will come from more rapidly developing sustainable energy sources – wind, solar and tidal – not pushing further fossil fuel developments such as fracking and new North Sea oil developments ("Fracking could give Europe its energy independence", The Herald, April 14 and "Cambo case boosted as minister sees energy environment is evolving", The Herald, April 14). It will come from insulating buildings and reducing energy demands.

It is not surprising but nevertheless disappointing to see the alacrity with which the fossil fuel industry, its advocates and apologists have seized on the war in Ukraine as an opportunity to push for more oil and gas extraction. Instead, what we need is the more rapid adoption of the energy policies advocated for years by the International Energy Agency, the UN and the World Health Organization if we are to prevent further catastrophic climate changes. This will require greater action too by the Scottish Government to meet climate change targets.

As an example of putting profits before people and the planet, the fossil fuel industry in recent weeks has again provided us with another grim example of its methods. It could have flagged up how it was now rapidly going to move towards sustainable energy, create more green jobs and ensure just transition for its workers. It could have indicated how it was going to abandon its play book of using doubt and denial to rubbish climate change science. Instead it has chosen to do none of these things but simply presses on with trying to get more and more oil and gas developments that will ensure we fail to meet our climate change targets nationally and globally.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres said this month that "the truly dangerous radicals are the countries that are increasing the production of fossil fuels. Investing in new fossil fuel infrastructure is moral and economic madness". He was right. The immediate economic, moral, public health and environmental cases for sustainable energy development are indisputable. We should avoid new oil and gas industry investment madness at all costs in Scotland and elsewhere in the UK.

Professor Andrew Watterson, Public Health Researcher, University of Stirling.


VARIOUS correspondents (Letters, April 11, 13 & 14) give various reasons why over recent years Glasgow Airport has declined in comparison with Edinburgh Airport, but I haven’t seen any mention of what I have always thought to be a major contributor to that decline, the establishment of the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood.

Until that happened, I recollect that passenger numbers and destinations served at Glasgow Airport exceeded substantially those at Edinburgh, but as the years passed Edinburgh gradually caught up and then overtook Glasgow. That could partially be a reflection of the industrial decline of Glasgow coupled with the growth of tourism to Edinburgh, but it would be interesting to learn, if it was possible to do so, the extent of passenger traffic and destinations to and from Edinburgh which could be attributed to Holyrood.

If there is such a connection, the situation from the Glasgow point of view could only deteriorate should Scotland leave the UK .

Alan Fitzpatrick, Ayrshire.


GOOD to note Ruth Marr's experience on jury service duty (Letters, April 14) was more accommodating than I experienced. Factually only after six attempts by phone and a detailed email (rejected three times) was my call accepted by a pleasant and empathetic lady. Instant acceptance of my declinature request was given.

Ms Marr also dismisses my point on the £1,000 fine threat on the initial letter as unreasonable. Surely a more conciliatory and less threatening attitude should apply (especially when dealing with the elderly). It does seem that perceived "greetin" mature citizens are not a priority on this current Holyrood Government's agenda.

Allan C Steele, Giffnock.


DID Bernard Zonfrillo (Letters, April 13) actually witness the devouring of new-born lambs by sea eagles? If not, how can he be so sure that they were already dead? Did he ask the farmers?

The deification (good word, Angus MacNeil MSP) of these birds is more to do with bringing tourism to the islands regardless of the harm done to livestock. I agree they should be controlled.

Elizabeth Mueller, Glasgow.


I APPRECIATED Rosemary Goring’s column about the Pilgrimage programme on TV (“A life free of God is still a life that is full of meaning and joy”, The Herald, April 14), and agree with her – I’m sure we all know people to whom that applies. But she is surely also someone sufficiently acquainted with what Christians, as one set of believers, believe about God to know that we do not imagine God to be “an omnipotent entity hovering over our heads”.

In Jesus of Nazareth, whose passion we remember this week, we believe we meet God intimately, and sacrificially, involved with every aspect of our lives, right up to death and beyond.

(Rev Dr) John Harvey, Glasgow.


MY curiosity was alerted and hopes stirred briefly by the trend taken up by millennials inspired by the aspirational lives of elegantly stylish matriarchs, embodying elements of coastal living and homemaking ("Issue of the Day: The ‘coastal grandmother’ trend", The Herald, April 14 ).

However, with my style and elegance regularly in doubt, and culinary input mainly homemade soup, a breadmaking machine, and oven chips, patriarch status questionable, a keyboard with sea view in the living room instead of a grand piano, and no backers, good luck to those better qualified for the role of “coastal grandfather”.

Anyway, one coastal granny in the house is enough for anyone.

R Russell Smith, Largs.