AS a follow-on from letters from Raymond Hall and George Herraghty (April 24), I would like to endorse the general argument of both correspondents by asking readers to consider the following facts:

The UK’s total CO2 emissions for 2017 amounted to 376Mt, of which generation of electricity contributed 72Mt; business and industry 76Mt; transport 125Mt; domestic heating and cooking 64Mt; offshore, refineries and others 34Mt. The remaining balance is from agriculture (this however excludes methane which is 20 times more potent than CO2). Unfortunately this is less than half the story. The UK has an economy dominated by services rather than manufacture but our population still require manufactured goods so they have to be imported. The UK’s "proxy’" CO2 emission budget was calculated to exceed 420Mt in 2015, meaning that the UK is responsible for loading the atmosphere by approximately 800Mt (cars from Europe, white goods from China, textiles and electronics from the far east, and so on).

I appreciate that readers will not be enthusiastic about reading a long list of figures, but the following is important: of the preceding total CO2 produced, about nine per cent results from generating electricity. Readers need to question why our Government is so preoccupied with renewables and particularly the destructive long-term implication of land-based wind farms. It is a leitmotiv out of tune with reality. The building of wind farms in areas of great landscape beauty is at best quixotic and at worst vandalism.

Transport is a much greater source of CO2 production than electricity. Private cars and light commercial vehicles alone contribute about 90Mt, more than 11 per cent, out of the total 125mt for Transport. Imported goods a huge 53 per cent.

From this it is obviously impossible for Scotland to reduce emissions to zero. Indeed, it is worth noting that places, like Eigg, lauded for being carbon-free because of "green electricity", are far from it. To claim this figure, they would need to manufacture on the island everything from tractors to clothes, wind generators, batteries, televisions, computers, toys and all food. I am not critical of the principle of green energy, but critical of the lack of intelligent consideration of the truth.

However, what the truth about CO2 emissions tells us is that we must severely limit our consumption of everything and recognise that a system predicated on continued growth has to stop and stop fast. We are let down by politicians pursuing populism and independence when we need national and international legislation to curb consumption. Brexit and Scottish independence are dangerous reactionary and selfish diversions from the real challenge.

Taxation alone will not manage a reduction in consumption because the wealthy will have many means of evasion. The earth’s atmosphere belongs to all its citizens and has to be shared equally. The ability to contaminate the atmosphere disproportionately has to be curtailed by legislation.

Our children have a vested interest in the future. They need to know the truth and thereby what it means in terms of sacrifice.

As an engineer I am confident that all the technical problems could eventually be resolved and the future quality of life protected, but the caveat is, only with intelligent political leadership. Where is it?

Norman McNab,

Branziert Road North, Killearn.

DR Charles Wardrop (Letters, April 25) maintains that “the role of greenhouse gases as the main cause of climate changes is controversial”.

On the other hand the Engineering and Technology Magazine (published by a wholly-owned subsidiary of the globally renowned Institution of Engineering and Technology) reported that “evidence that human activities are responsible for climate change has reached a gold standard, making it virtually irrefutable from a scientific perspective ... there being only a one-in-a-million chance that the current evidence will be proved to be incorrect.”

Given that represents the opinion of 97 per cent of the global scientific community why should I put the future of my grandchildren and their children in the hands of a dwindling minority of anthropogenic climate change denialists represented by the likes of Dr Wardrop? Especially when the world’s governments – those not in the hands of right-wing extremists such as Donald Trump and Jair Messias Bolsonaro – accept the scientific consensus, although their records of acting on it may not be particularly impressive.

John Milne,

9 Ardgowan Drive, Uddingston.