SOME people want us to revert to burning coal, some want increased oil and gas production; this as carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere continue to increase rather than fall, and the proposed COP mitigations fail to materialise.

The atmosphere monitoring station at Moana Loa, Hawaii, averaged 421 parts per million (ppm) of carbon dioxide for the month of May – a year on year increase of almost 2ppm. This represents an increase in carbon dioxide levels of more than 50% since pre-industrial times, and is at the highest levels since the Pliocene era 4.5 million years ago. Temperatures then were 3.9C hotter than now, and sea levels 25 metres higher.

COP 26 was a conjuror's delusion, with dignitaries flying in from all over the globe, and Boris Johnson even managing a private jet excursion to London for dinner with his chums at the Garrick Club. Greenhouse gases tend to linger in the atmosphere for millennia, so this is a slow-motion disaster, but disaster it is going to be. Our political masters cannot see further than “tomorrow’s election”, and when the waters are lapping at the Smiddy Brae in Ochiltree, they will all be long gone, and humanity with them.

GR Weir, Ochiltree.


DAVID Patrick (Letters, June 6) writes about the superiority of Scottish maths over the English at school level. This may be the case nowadays, but it wasn’t always so.

I came to Scotland in the mid-1950s to work at what became the National Engineering Laboratory at East Kilbride with four A levels: mathematics and theoretical mechanics (a double subject), physics and chemistry, these under the auspices of the magnificently-named Northern Universities Joint Matriculation Board. I quickly realised that my education in these disciplines was far ahead of my peers, although I was also aware that Scottish education covered a much wider spectrum and exposed my ignorance in other subjects.

A few years ago I came across the exam papers which I had passed when I was 17 and showed them to a university maths lecturer friend. "These are second-year university standard" was his verdict. Since those far-off days it would seem that standards in maths have either improved or declined. What has not changed is the contention, of which I am constantly reminded, that Scottish education is superior to the English. Mebbes aye, mebbes no.

David Waters, Blackwood.


I TOOK my grandson to his first rock concert in the Glasgow Concert Hall to what was possibly the last tour of the guitar legend Jeff Beck. Akin to all the grey or partially-haired attendees, most of whom had bought tickets last summer, I wanted to hear him play in his unique style; unfortunately for half the performance we couldn’t.

Unbeknown to me until very recently, Johnny Depp had been added as a guest performer, which meant that any remaining seats in the auditorium had been snapped up by his fans. Rather than listening to his performance they seemed intent on vocalising their undying affection for him and their availability for post-performance recreational purposes. Because the audience at times created more volume than the stage, I’ve no idea what Mr Depp’s singing abilities are, but he certainly is convincing at carrying various guitars and pretending to be a rock star.

In short, my enjoyment and that of many of other Jeff Beck fans was ruined by a significant number of mindless inconsiderate morons intent on screaming at an actor rather than listening to the music. Perhaps the organisers and Mr Beck might have factored that possibility into the £66 per seat ticket price.

David J Crawford, Glasgow.

* JUBILEE weekend in Glasgow, and the Saturday evening concert-going crowd is making its way to the Royal Concert Hall, to hear Beethoven’s great hymn to humanity, his Ninth Symphony. Up Buchanan Street they come to the imposing steps which sweep up to the hall, conceived as the crowning glory of Glasgow’s year as City of Culture, 1990. Here, they pick their way through the broken glass and empty vodka bottles, past knots of swearing drunkards, breathing shallowly to avoid the reek of cannabis which drifts across the steps.

Yes, this is Glasgow’s premiere cultural venue: inside, drunk on fire; outside, drunk on Buckie. Time for a clean-up?

Tim Reilly, Glasgow.


I WAS interested in your item which included AJ Cronin among the new best-selling authors of 1964 ("Remember when ... John Menzies opened a new bookstore in Glasgow", The Herald, June 6). This would have been the novel A Song of Sixpence, which was Cronin’s 20th novel. His final novel was in 1978, thus spanning a remarkable 47 years of writing best sellers.

His most famous novel remains The Citadel (1937). It is debatable how influential this novel was in the foundation of the NHS. However, it helped channel the public mood and provoked discussion about the need to address the social inequalities in health delivery and the need to improve the standards of practice and postgraduate education within the medical profession. It remains a captivating read 85 years after its initial publication.

Frank Dunn, Lenzie.


READING of the change in chairmanship of the Scottish Fiscal Commission ("Long-term sustainability of country’s finances in focus", The Herald, June 6), I was persuaded to seek information about this organisation's activities. I see from Google that they buy in some administrative support services from the Scottish Government. This suggests a possible conflict of interests, but my main point is to ask why they do not just buy, like everyone else. They can hardly buy out.

Off now to buy in the shopping for today.

David Miller, Milngavie.


CATRIONA Stewart ("Sports fans might be daft but I do envy them their passion", The Herald, June 3, and Letters, June 4 & 6)may like to consider joining the rest of us aficionados at Firhill and enjoy the Partick Thistle community. Rest assured her self- professed ignorance of the game would in no way be considered a handicap but would prove a distinct advantage in enabling her to fit right in.

Sid Leslie, Kirkintilloch.