THE climate change protestors causing gridlock on the streets of London should be careful what they wish for lets they engender the very extinction they wish to prevent. Their central demand for zero CO2 emissions by 2025 is deliberately devoid of any detail as to what this actually means in policy outcomes for fear of eliminating the support they claim to speak for. But even a few moments of thought reveal a very bleak future if this vision were to be implemented; modern lifestyles would cease to exist, a return to an almost medieval society beckons.

A few highlights: zero CO2 emissions would entail the rapid closure of the airline industry (shorthand for an end to foreign holidays), international sporting competitions (no more World Cup, Olympics, Champions League football and so on). The closure of the UK manufacturing industry and an end to most private motoring. Even electric cars require tyres (made from oil), plastic for construction and tarmac roads to run on. UK power generation still relies on fossil fuels for more than 50 per cent of supply and a greater proportion of capacity, so if this is closed by 2025 get used to frequent and unpredictable blackouts whenever the wind falls calm. Whilst you can no longer go skiing in winter at least you can wear your ski outfit in your living room to avoid freezing by candle light as all forms of fossil fuel heating will be banned.

Clearly the modern economy as we know it would rapidly collapse, with mass unemployment the inevitable consequence. Think Venezuela but without the sun. As with so much of the Climate Change debate the medicine is much worse than the disease. Zero emissions is little more than a slogan, for sure it can be delivered by 2100 but not 2025 or even 2050; energy systems change slowly and require enormous investment under a stable policy framework.

The protestors in their naivety are looking in the wrong direction. Solutions to reducing CO2 emissions lie with technology and engineering, not with politicians and lobbyists. The UK has already achieved a near 50 per cent reduction in emissions since 1990 driven by simple but powerful economic forces (energy efficiency and the shift in electricity generation from coal to gas), not by policy diktats or international climate conferences. The schoolkids skiving off lessons every Friday would be better advised to spend more time in the classroom studying the laws of physics and principles of engineering. This is where the zero emissions solutions remain to be discovered. But that is not nearly so much fun. is it?

Raymond Hall,

Gartness Road, Killearn.

EASTER holidaymakers will have been delighted by the recent record-breaking temperatures. As we swelter in this incendiary heatwave I wonder if readers are aware that we could all be in grave danger from a potential firestorm much, much closer to home.

With the recent prolonged drought, many gorse, farm and moorland fires have been raging with obvious, disastrous consequences.

Our once-beautiful countryside is now littered with giant industrial wind turbines now becoming known in Germany and around the world as “ticking time bombs”.

Because of poor maintenance, oil leaks, and extremely high gear ratios, many old wind turbines pose an increasing risk of spontaneous combustion and collapse. This is happening alarmingly often, particularly in Germany.

Hundreds of Scotland’s wind farms have been stupidly built in forests, or on fragile peat-covered moorland, where because of ecological reasons they should never have been in the first place, in reality a tinder-dry touchpaper at the moment.

If one of these giant turbines bursts into flames, scattering debris and sparks, they could quickly start a rapidly-spreading, raging inferno because they are proving impossible to extinguish at such a height.

I raised this issue before without a response, but surely it must again be raised with local authorities, and an urgent risk assessment carried out.

It must be asked: What country-wide, specialist equipment is available, at a moment’s notice, to extinguish fires at such a height?

George Herraghty,

Lothlorien, Lhanbryde, Elgin, Moray.