IN October National Grid warned of possible power cuts in the coming winter. How is this possible in the world's sixth-largest economy, in a country which pioneered every form of electricity generation through its innovating engineers and entrepreneurs?

I'll tell you why. It was because of (EC) Directive 2001/80/EC taken up by Ed Miliband and his 2008 Climate Change Act to enact in law CO2 reduction which sealed the fate of the coal-fired power stations which provided abundant 365-day electricity using British coal and British turbines, generators, instrumentation and cabling. Theresa May's Climate Act, passed without debate, committing the UK to "net zero" ensured their demise.

In December 2012 Kingsnorth power station in Kent closed; 1940MW gone. In March 2013 Cockenzie power station, East Lothian, closed; 1152MW lost. In March 2013 Didcot A power station closed; 1958MW lost. In August 2013 Tilbury B power station closed;1428MW gone. In November 2015 Ironbridge B, Shropshire, closed; 1,000MW lost. In March 2016 Ferrybridge C closed; 2,000 MW lost. In March 2016 Longannet in Fife closed; 2,400 MW offline. Scotland's First Minister would in 2021 be chauffeured from Edinburgh to press the button on the explosives which demolished its tall chimney. In June 2016 Rugley B, Staffordshire, closed; 1,000 MW offline. In March 2018 Eggborough power station, Yorkshire, closed; another 2,000 MW offline. In September 2019 Cottam power station closed; another 2,000 MW offline. In March 2020 Aberthaw B, Glamorgan closed; 1586MW lost. In March 2020 Fiddlers Ferry, on the Mersey, closed; 1961MW gone.

Just think of the enormity of the power that was lost – and the energy security. Compared with the output of these thermal power stations, the rated output of wind farms is small. Consequently, there have to be hundreds of them all over the countryside, and around our coasts. Most onshore wind farms are within the 20MW to 60MW range. A 2,000MW thermal power station will power two million homes. Not "could" but "will".

This has been one of the greatest policy disasters of modern times.
William Loneskie, Lauder

COP27 hot air will not prevail

THE biggest threat to the world is not climate change (and I don’t dismiss the possibility of humankind’s part in its acceleration) but rather the delusional fools who have the cheek to call themselves politicians and who would devastate national economies by going for the mythical "net zero" CO2 at all costs within a finite time period.

Just one instance of this gross mismanagement of public funds by these gullible, incompetent fantasists has been and continues to be massively subsidising the building of wind farms seemingly everywhere and then continuing to subsidise them whether they produce electricity or not.

Thankfully, almost all their massive amounts of fantasising hot air at this year’s massively expensive, totally unnecessary, virtue-signalling, CO2-spewing, COP 27 will not come to pass as more economy-breaking implementations on the ground. The politicians will come back to reality in their home countries and go back to "business as usual" – which needn’t be a bad thing if this addresses "going green" realistically as innovative implementations affordable within currently working economies.
Philip Adams, Crosslee

We must reduce the birth rate

REPORTS from COP27 remind us that global warming is mainly caused by man-made activities. We are advised to cut back on anything that adds greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. However, we are rarely told that one of the main causes of greenhouse gases is overpopulation of the planet.

We should reduce the birth rate, particularly in the equatorial regions that are becoming uninhabitable. That means providing free contraception and abortion on demand. We should also enable assisted dying for those people anywhere who do not want to live any longer. But these views are not politically correct – it is much easier to say that this planet can sustain any number of people provided we go vegan and turn down the thermostat.
Helen Ross, Bridge of Allan

Mind how you go

THOMAS Law (Letters, November 9) is absolutely correct. Motor cars proceeding at 40mph on single-carriageway roads should not be allowed.

The safety of non-motorised road users must be protected.
Patricia Fort, Glasgow

Poetry master

CORRESPONDENCE relating to Goldsmith's The Village Schoolmaster (Letters, November 8 & 9) reminds me of a member of said profession, lacking in the warmth and humour of Goldsmith's version. "Oor wee school's a guid wee school/ it's made o' bricks and mortar/ the only thing that's wrang wi' it is the baldy-heided master/ he goes to the pub on Saturday/ he goes to the church on Sunday/ tae pray tae God to gie him strength/ tae murder the weans on Monday".

The lines are anonymous. Take your pick.
David Miller, Milngavie

• ANOTHER of my senior moments exposed. Robin Johnston (Letters, November 9) is of course right in pointing out that my “Village Schoolmaster” was only a wee part of “The Deserted Village”,

Another of Oliver Goldsmith’s poems is “Elegy in a Country Churchyard”, which I seem to remember goes along the lines of:

“The curfew tolls the knell of parting day./ The line of cars winds slowly o’er the lea./ The pedestrian homeward plods his weary way./ And leaves the world quite unexpectedly.”

Correct me if I’m wrong.
Russell Smith, Largs

Reach for the sighs

IAN McCallum (Letters, November 9) makes a very good point on the ubiquitous pulley of yore. I don't have one in my present home, using a winterdykes in front of a radiator instead, but I did in my former home; there it was strategically placed in a room beside the conservatory and it worked a treat.

However, in my council house childhood home, it was lofted in the kitchen over the dining table. Memories of peering at my brothers through pyjama trousers and jumper arms along with more intimate apparel, and smelling of fish and chips and mince and tatties all week are with me still.
John Jamieson, Ayr


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