AS one in the latter half of his eighth decade I want to applaud the actions of the many young scholars from Scotland, and indeed around the world, who went on "strike" last Friday (" Rebels with a cause as pupils take to streets to save planet", The Herald, March 16). Their attitude towards climate change, the most pressing issue facing this planet today, was refreshing and hopeful.

To those who advocated that they should have remained in their schools learning their lessons all I can say is that, on this extremely important issue, they have a very good grasp of the basic facts relating to climate change and the future of this planet.

The reason people want the students back in schools is because on the streets they are an embarrassment to them. The "striking" students are pointing out the grave shortcomings of the political leadership, locally, nationally and internationally throughout the world to address climate change. They are also pointing out the shortcomings of the fossil fuel industry which, despite all the evidence, is still exploiting for profit the known reserves and discovering new reserves of these highly damaging carbon-intensive fuels to exploit . These reserves, for the good of the planet, should be left in the ground.

These companies should instead be investing the huge sums involved in further exploration and exploitation of fossil fuels in renewable energy and the long-term sustainability of this planet, thus investing in the futures of the young people on "strike" last Friday, their health, wellbeing and indeed very lives.

The First Minister said some pretty bland words of support for the students whilst saying that she could not condone repeated absences from school. Earlier last week she was speaking warmly about the upward revised figures from oil production from the North Sea. This has led to some speculation that this announcement will lead to another bid for independence.

An independent Scotland built on fossil fuel extraction and use is doomed to be short-lived as global warming will, in the short to medium term, so change the face of the planet that there will be a complete breakdown of order and civilisation as we know it. It is duplicity like this, bland words of support for those campaigning to preserve the planet and warm words for those seeking to destroy it that is bringing the young people out onto the streets. We need a great deal more honesty and transparency from politicians.

The First Minister leads a Government that is bringing forward a bill to tackle climate change. This bill is one that is very short on ambition. It does not come anywhere near meeting the necessary targets for cutting greenhouse gases required by Scotland to make a meaningful contribution to curbing climate change and global warming. It will, if agreed in its present form, leave the young Scottish people who were on "strike" last Friday in a world where their country continues to contribute unnecessarily to the destruction of this planet.

My grateful thanks to all those young people for boldly challenging the older generations who, for too long, have been complacent about the future.

Walter Attwood,

7 James Street,

Whins of Milton, Stirling