WE write as younger members of the Church of Scotland (all under 40) in response to the letter published earlier this week entitled “Why it is right for the Church of Scotland to sit at the same table as the big oil companies” (The Herald, October 28). The writer, Ian Cooper, suggests that “a sound knowledge of basic economics” is required in order to debate divestment. However, it is blind faith in our existing economic model solving climate change that has led us to this crisis point and continued adherence to it will not solve the problems.

The writer points out Ros Greer’s youth, and it is notable that campaigning on the climate crisis is being led by younger people. Last week another young politician, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, questioned a scientist from Exxon in the US Congress and confirmed that fossil fuel companies were able to predict with remarkable accuracy the rise in CO2 emissions and the Earth’s temperature as far back as the early 80s. Mr Cooper would like us to believe that these same companies, who have had scientific evidence for almost 40 years of the catastrophic effect their actions would cause, will somehow lead the dramatic changes in society which scientists tell us needs to happen in less than 11 years in order to stop climate breakdown. We do not have the same faith.

Furthermore, Mr Cooper is rather disparaging of being the voice “crying in the wilderness”. Yet, as Christians this is exactly where we are called to be, standing alongside the poorest and most marginalised in society. The church surrenders that prophetic voice when it takes its place in the boardrooms of the fossil fuel companies rather than alongside the young protesters on the streets. No doubt Jesus would engage with oil barons just as he did with tax collectors, but engagement does not require investment. The Church of Scotland is kidding itself if it thinks that its voice carries more weight in the boardroom than it does by standing shoulder to shoulder with those who are already suffering from the impacts of the climate crisis and those who fear for their future.

Iain McLarty, Member of St Giles' Cathedral, Edinburgh and National Youth Assembly (NYA) Moderator 2008, 2009; Seonaid Knox, Elder of St. John’s Parish Church, Gourock and NYA Clerk 2018; Fiona Buchanan, Elder of Carrick Knowe Church, Edinburgh; Chris Long, Gorbals Parish Church, Glasgow; Fiona Marshall, Elder of St Andrews Church, Port Glasgow; Andrew Kimmitt, Probationary Minister, Kinnoull Parish Church, Perth; Rev. Michael Mair, Minister, St. David's Broomhouse Church, Edinburgh; Tara Shannon, Member of Dalgety Parish Church; Hannah Dunlop, Elder of Dalgety Parish Church and NYA Clerk 2019; Lauren Asher, Member of Troqueer Parish Church and Church of Scotland MSYP 2019-2021; Alison Marshall, Church of the Holy Rude, Stirling; Iona Kimmitt, Elder of Glenrothes:St Columba's; Lyndsay Kennedy, Elder of Greenbank Parish Church, Edinburgh and NYA Clerk 2016; Lynsey Martin Kimmitt, Member of Barnhill St Margaret's Parish Church, Dundee and NYA Moderator 2013; Blythe Rodger, Uphall South Parish Church; Cllr Kim Long, Gorbals Parish Church, Glasgow and NYA Moderator 2010; Kirsty Watson, Member of Wellington Church, Glasgow; Isabel McFarlane, Member of St Andrew's West, Glasgow; Tommy Herbert, Adherent of St Andrew's West, Glasgow; Catriona Muckart, Member of Dornoch Cathedral and NYA Clerk 2015; Dana McQuater, Member of Alloa Ludgate and NYA Moderator 2019; Rev Dan Harper, Minister, Bridge of Allan Parish Church; Esther Nisbet, Member of St Leonard's, Dunfermline and NYA Clerk 2013; Nicola Whyte, Member of Colinton Parish Church.

THE latest demand that the Kirk divest itself of the few remaining funds it has in fossil fuels reinforces the belief that the only morality the counts is "green ethics".

Undermining the production of fossil fuel will hold back development in the Third World and increase fuel poverty in the cold northern nations of Europe.

Like the propaganda tract Silent Spring which led to the banning of DDT in Africa and the death of millions from malaria, it satisfies green misanthropes.

Rev Dr John Cameron, St Andrews.