SANDRA Phelps (Letters, January 23) needs to be careful what she wishes for. Rightly, she calls for humane relief for victims of war, famine, fire and floods, and technical help for China and India, heavy polluters non-compliant in decarbonising. An "endless" list, as she says.

However, she has rather discounted the huge monetary costs and complications inevitably associated with decarbonisation, the untested remedy for the putative man-made climate problems.

Reports from the Infrastructure Committee for Scotland, just released, anticipate costs of no less than £7 billion over the next 30 years for our decarbonisation to achieve a zero-neutral carbon economy.

In doing so, our homes, hospitals, industry and lifestyles will be very seriously and irrevocably damaged.

There may be very few resources remaining to meet the costs of the vital good purposes Sandra Phelps earnestly seeks.

There is a let-out, though: since the UK emits a negligible one-third of one per cent of the planet's man-made carbon dioxide (Scotland's one-tenth of that), there really is no practical justification for us to continue participation in international efforts to curb carbon dioxide release.

Those in charge must know, or learn, that good news.

(Dr) Charles Wardrop, Perth.

HOW appropriate, in your valley of dry bones, aka your Obituaries page, that you should publish in your Scripture Text (January 22) God’s promise in Isaiah 43:19 " do something new... to make a pathway through the wilderness... to create rivers in the dry wasteland". Please let me offer another text which transforms that dry pathway from deceptive mirage to bubbling reality: "Believe that you have received it and it will be yours" – Mark 11:24.

Malcolm Ritchie, Campbeltown.

Perfect depiction

IT’S not often that a newspaper cartoon brings a lump to my throat, but Steven Camley managed it with his lovely, poignant drawing of Terry Jones meeting fellow Python Graham Chapman in Heaven (The Herald, January 23). For my generation, the Pythons were the antidote to the dreary sitcom-style comedies of the sixties, just as Spike Milligan and the Goons had revolutionised radio comedy for our parents in the fifties.

Steven Camley’s cartoon is a memento mori for those of us who revelled in Monty Python and Terry Jones’s wonderful, surreal humour all those years ago. Thank you, Steven, your cartoon captured the mood perfectly.

Tony Griffin, Ellon.

Ditch the spares

WITH Prince Harry leaving the royal team it is perhaps appropriate to have a spring clean of the Royal Family in getting rid of our funding of the "spares" as opposed to the heirs.

We do greatly benefit from having a Royal Family in the UK but the extensive list of those living off the public purse is too great to continue with and need to be radically slimmed down to suit our future needs.

This would also present as a good opportunity to cut ties with those who have become an embarrassment to the Royal Family and to the UK.

Dennis Forbes Grattan, Aberdeen AB21.

Tax the gamblers

JAMES Eglinton's Agenda article on gambling ("Let's say no to a state education that is funded on gambling", The Herald, January 23) was excellent. Gambling is exploitation and failure. It can only work if the vast majority loose and to base helping others on the basis of gambling is pathetic. Let's grow up and tax it out of existence.

B McKenna, Dumbarton.