I NOTE with interest the letter from Dr Iain Wilkie (October 21); I had to smile that he should thank me for pointing out that the UK contributes 1.02 per cent of global carbon emissions. Scotland, responsible for a tenth of that, he argues, is too small to make a difference. He would welcome a rational explanation as to why Scotland needs to do more to tackle climate change.

I can think of two reasons. There are more than 200 sovereign nations in the world and therefore the average contribution of each nation to global carbon emissions is going to be of the order of 0.5 per cent. In fact, there are only six nations whose contribution exceeds two per cent – China, the United States, India, Russia, Japan, and Germany. China is often depicted as the bogeyman, but China has a population of 1.43 billion, therefore her contribution is bound to be significantly higher than the average. In fact, per capita, China’s contribution is only one-sixth of the biggest polluter, Qatar, whose total contribution in turn is only 0.26 per cent. So Greta Thunberg is right. No one is too small to make a difference.

But there is another flaw in the “what’s the point?” argument. A black US serviceman spent some time in Glasgow in the 1950s (I heard this story in Dunblane Cathedral, so I know it must be true). His wife was utterly astonished when she got on a bus and a Glaswegian rose to give her his seat. She went back home in due course to Montgomery, Alabama and recounted this episode to her friend Rosa Parks. The rest, as they say, is history. So you just never know what may happen when you do the right thing.

Dr Hamish Maclaren, Stirling.

IN your article "Dundee shows e-vehicles offer more than just electric dreams" (The Herald, October 17) you quote Neil Swanson, a director of the Electric Vehicle Association Scotland, enthusing about electric vehicles "because there's no fuel cost or road tax".

That's fine just now, but for how long will this elysian situation remain?

Taxation levied on motorists currently provides about seven per cent of the UK Treasury's income from taxation, particularly from levies such as Vehicle Excise Duty and the (hydrocarbon) fuel tax. This will be bound to fall considerably once electric vehicles become a significant part of the traffic scene, and I'm sure that the Chancellor of the Exchequer will be looking for other sources of revenue to make up the shortfall.

Christopher W Ide, Waterfoot.