JIM Sillars (Letters, January 12) accuses the SNP/Green Government of economic lunacy by denying us the growth that would be generated from further exploiting Scotland’s oil and gas fields.

Despite a detailed, well-argued letter, he appears to have missed the elephant in the room, perhaps because GDP growth ignores it too, the greatest existential crisis that our planet has faced – climate change. Either he is still a denier or he is optimistically and unfairly expecting that other countries will cut their emissions drastically so we don’t have to.

There’s no need to repeat the warnings of climate change here, now in our news daily and observed by us all, with Scotland experiencing the warmest year ever in 2022, no snow in most European ski resorts and the carbon counter at Mauna Loa steadily ticking up currently at 419ppm, well above the safe 350.

We are very close to the tipping points on our “highway to hell” as the UN Secretary-General terms it, and most of your readers and the general public understand that, are concerned and will have welcomed the Scottish Government proposing the fastest-possible just transition away from oil and gas that Mr Sillars criticises.

So can I ask on behalf of many of your readers that just as you would not publish the irresponsible and uninformed views of flat earthers, that you ensure that the views of wilfully-blind climate change deniers are not amplified through your paper? Can you also consider publishing the carbon count alongside your now extensive coverage of climate change news which I and many others appreciate?
Susan Lane, Edinburgh

Missing out because he wasn't poor

SOME years ago my grandson applied for a place at Edinburgh University. He had attended college to obtain the necessary qualifications and worked very hard. There was one place available in his particular course. He had come first in his class but the place went to a boy who had come lower down because he came from a disadvantaged background.

My grandson was not a coddled darling as Catriona Stewart so sneeringly put it ("Middle-class pupils missing out may finally push change", The Herald, January 13), but an ordinary boy from an ordinary home who went to an ordinary local comprehensive school.

He didn't get the place because he wasn't poor enough. Was that fair? That was the point Michael Marra ("Sturgeon shock at claim on students from deprived backgrounds", The Herald, January 13, and Letters, January 14) was making. It was not right then and it is still not right today.
Jane Stewart, Melrose

Get tough on gambling scourge

DR Heather Wardle and Professor Gerda Reith of Gambling Research Glasgow are to be applauded for their informative and timely exposition of the perils of gambling addiction in Scotland ("Gambling – we cannot wait any longer’, The Herald, January 11). It is troubling to learn, for example, that while the NHS funds several gambling treatment clinics in England, there are no equivalent facilities north of the Border.

At CARE for Scotland we have a particular concern about the deep and exploitative links between gambling and football. People are being bombarded with betting adverts. It is estimated that during a televised match, a viewer is subjected to more than 300 impressions of gambling advertisements and company logos. Problem gamblers are vulnerable to relapse given this onslaught.

In these times of a cost of living crisis, politicians at Westminster and Holyrood are rightly articulating concern for the vulnerable and exploited. If they are serious in this objective, it is to be hoped that in the year ahead they will prioritise action to tackle the scourge of gambling addiction in Scotland at source.
Michael Veitch, Parliamentary Officer, CARE for Scotland, Glasgow

Crack down on selfish parking

I WAS surprised at the small number of parking fines being imposed in the UK ("20,000 parking fines per day in UK", The Herald, January 13). Only 20,000?

There is certainly the potential to increase that in Glasgow, where many drivers abandon, oh sorry, park, their cars and vans just anywhere convenient for them. Vehicles can regularly be seen on double yellow lines, on footways/pavements, on grass verges (even with "no-parking" signs), at street corners, blocking cycle lanes and dropped kerbs, and double parking – and that's all within one kilometre of my home.

This selfish behaviour prevents free movement for emergency vehicles, buses, wheelchair users, people pushing prams, people with poor eyesight, people cycling, trying to walk across roads and oh yes, it even impedes other car and van users. It's time it was stopped.
Patricia Fort, Glasgow

It's not all Greek to me

CONGRATULATIONS are due to your correspondent Gordon Robinson (Letters, January 13) for his informative research on Greek island ferry services which may even be helpful to my wife and I, since we intend travelling to Crete from Piraeus, via Aegean islands, in May. Mr Robinson, however, made an omission, a simple one, perhaps, but one which might reasonably be expected to have a considerable bearing on the operational efficiency of any vessel engaged in seagoing activity: namely, the 20 degrees of difference in latitude between Skyros and Stornoway, coupled with our Atlantic weather system with a fetch of some three thousand miles or more of unobstructed water.
Niall McKillop, Fort William

Another beach landing

YOU report that Wired magazine stated that "Barra is in fact the only airport in the world whose runway is a beach" ("Why Barra is one of the most extreme runways in the world", The Herald, January 13). Not so, this assertion is regretfully not true. There is another contender in the Southern Hemisphere.

In 1982 I recall both flying in and out on a regular scheduled flight from Port Stanley, in the Falkland Islands, to the Northern Island of Pebble Beach where, tide permitting, one lands on the beach.

This was the island where the SAS carried out the destruction of the Pucarra aircraft in one of the most audacious raids of the war.

The Air Traffic Controller at Stanley Airport assures me that they still regularly fly to Pebble Island and land on the beach and that the timetable varies with the moon.
Robin Johnston, Newton Mearns


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