I CAN readily understand the feelings being expressed by relatives at the planned closure of two council care homes in South Lanarkshire ("Anger at care homes closure", The Herald, May 2). This is clearly difficult for the elderly residents who at this advanced stage of their lives are to be subjected to such upset and disruption. Some may not be able to comprehend fully why such events are to take place. One fears that events similar to those in South Lanarkshire could also arise in other parts of the country.

The situation in South Lanarkshire is another illustration of the failures by successive governments over decades to address comprehensively the matter of social care for the elderly in this country. People are, of course, living longer than previous generations, largely as a result of advances in medical treatment and changes in lifestyle. The nature of the provision in our country can hardly be described as uniform and can at times be difficult to negotiate. It is a mixture of homes being run by councils and those being run by private concerns. A further division arises between those residents being cared for at public expense and those deemed able to pay. It has also been reported that the service has difficulties in finding and retaining staff, largely because of current remuneration levels.

Are we really saying that we have reached the stage that we are unable or unwilling to provide properly for the care of our elderly people, to whom we owe so much?

Ian W Thomson, Lenzie.

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Keep climate fear out of schools

AJ CLARENCE (Letters, April 30) criticises Richard Lucas (Letters, April 26) for using the words "Green Party indoctrination" to describe how fear about climate change is percolating into our schools. Five years ago pupils were allowed to walk out of school to protest about the Government's supposed lack of action in "tackling climate change". The pupils involved were most certainly subjected to green indoctrination. The walk-out caused disruption to routine and contributed to indiscipline which is a major problem today in some of our city schools. Pupils go to school to learn, not to engage in the virtue-signalling of which AJ Clarence approves. The basics of behaviour, numeracy and literacy must come first.

As a retired geography teacher I disagree with AJ Clarence's alarmism about climate change and economic advancement. He rails against oil and gas which are foundations of modern economies, and wrongly states that extreme weather events are getting worse. Even the UN disagrees with that. The longest heatwave on record was 182 days over 38C in Marble Bar, Australia, between 1923 and 1924. The wettest place over 12 months was in Cherrapunji, India, from August 1860 to July 1861 when 1042 inches of rain fell.

There is an organisation, Teach the Future Scotland, which is pressurising Education Secretary Jenny Gilruth to include "climate justice" across the curriculum, include "the climate emergency" in teacher training, prioritise "sustainability" in school inspections, and prioritise all schools to be retrofitted to meet net zero targets. Leaving to one side the fact that there is no "climate emergency", if followed, all these demands would make education worse. Last December after the latest PISA report, the BBC's James Cook said "Scotland's performance in maths, science, and reading has been on a downward trend for 15 years". He should have added "since the SNP Government took power". The last thing Ms Gilruth should do is adopt Teach the Future Scotland's manifesto and ensure that children do not leave school fearing for their future because of some looming climate disaster.

What is required is not the teaching of UN sustainability goals and placing extra burdens on teachers, but a concentration on the basics.

William Loneskie, Lauder.

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The myth of consultation

IN the debate about new energy infrastructure in the Scottish Parliament today (May 2), Gillian Martin, Minister for Energy, Just Transition and Fair Work, repeatedly spoke about the importance of "meaningful engagement" with communities in relation to energy infrastructure projects.

However, the following fable shows the pointlessness of the current consultation process.

• Developer: here is our plan to give you liver and bacon.

• Local residents: there is no need for it, we don’t want it.

• Developer: thank you for your feedback, it is important to us. We will give you bacon and liver instead.

Local people the length and breadth of Scotland, who are fighting to protect the environment and their neighbourhoods against unwanted development, are being ignored. This is not a "just transition" by anyone’s definition.

Karin Coltart, Thornhill.

Why did it take them so long?

IT is good to see that the Moderator of the Church of Scotland and the Archbishop of Glasgow think "enough is enough" and have this week issued a joint statement calling for "an end to war in the Middle East".

Two points spring to mind.

First, it’s not a war when one side is trapped and defenceless and the other employs a huge array of sophisticated weaponry.

Secondly, why did it take six months and 34,000 dead Gazans, mainly women and children, before enough was enough?

Douglas Simpson, Fortrose.

The Herald: Pupils taking part in a climate change protest in 2019Pupils taking part in a climate change protest in 2019 (Image: PA)

Membership declined

I RECENTLY sent a formal complaint to OVO energy and in a reply from a complaints manager, they referred to me as a “member”. I was surprised by that term so I queried it, only to be told: “We tend to refer to customers as members as we feel it is more inclusive, as our members are what make our company and without you we wouldn't be here, so it makes more sense to us to refer to you as a member. I feel it makes us feel more united.”

I’ve been a member of many types of organisations in my life, such as the church, my local library, professional institutions, a political party; sports clubs and so on, but I never in my wildest dreams considered myself a potential member of an energy company. You should see the annual “subscription” I paid last year.

Brian Watt, Edinburgh.