THE elephant in the room during this General Election campaign is climate change. There was some discussion about this in a recent TV Leaders Debate and most of that discussion focused around the need for a just transition.

The need for a transition was highlighted by the recent public statement from over 400 senior climate scientists of the threat of climate change and how it is already having a detrimental effect on our world. Now I am sure that all of the major political parties, except Reform (more about them later) and maybe the Conservatives, would agree with the scientists and that a just transition is part of the answer.

But exactly what does a just transition look like? How long does it take to get there? What are the first steps? What will it cost? Have any of these questions been answered, or even approached by the political parties? I see no evidence of this so far. What I suspect is that whoever gets into power at the next election, except perhaps Reform, will set up some sort of high-level review of the issues and produce a report in a few years time. Very good, except evidence suggests that the report will be put on a shelf with the numerous others that have been produced in the past on climate change issues. Reports may make politicians feel better and lead them, and the general public, to think that something is happening but what we need is action that starts immediately. There are already things that can be done, more support for insulation of houses, taxes on flying, windfall taxes from oil companies invested in renewables, etc. Produce a report by all means, but let’s start on the things that can be done easily immediately.

Returning to Reform, its new idea is, apparently, that climate change is happening but it is a natural phenomenon caused by increased volcanic activity. Wouldn’t it be great if this were true. Can Reform give us the scientific data which supports this assertion, scientific data from research which is not funded by the oil industry?

So please let’s have some serious thoughts about the just transition. I guess it is too late to do much about this before the forthcoming General Election but, if climate change means anything to your readers, please encourage them to engage with their new MPs on the matter as soon as possible after the election.

John Palfreyman, Coupar Angus.

• SHOWING its age after all of its17 years of power, the SNP is now attempting to pretend it is not quite against oil exploration in the North Sea whilst not being quite for it at the same time. Kate Forbes has twisted herself in knots but there is an underlying truth that net zero is becoming ever more difficult to achieve under any circumstances.

Europe has just demonstrated through the ballot box that draconian measures to drastically alter our current way of life are understandably unacceptable. This is true in Scotland too hence the ditching of the Greens as they were making life too uncomfortable for the SNP but trying to rail back on a previous solid position against oil and gas exploration comes with a big problem. Many voters, particularly in the north, do not believe it. The SNP is floundering.

Dr Gerald Edwards, Glasgow.

READ MORE: Why can't the SNP respect the voters and accept that indy is dead?

READ MORE: Our only hope is to vote SNP – even if we have to hold our noses

Plundering our waters

IN her signature dismissive and factually inaccurate indictment of all who dare to interrogate the current constitutional arrangements in Scotland Jill Stephenson surpasses her personal best in this regard in her letter of June 12 headlined "Resources not Scotland's". In this she has concluded that the entire panel of recognised commentators assembled by the BBC to debate the Scottish economy were not sufficiently "au fait" with Scottish politics and international law. As regards Scotland's wind and wave energy resources, on the one hand she tells us that "nobody owns the winds and waves" and then goes on in almost the next breath to to inform us that they are presently owned by kindly foreign governments and corporations and that the "Scots", whoever she thinks they are, are not aware that these great benefactors are plundering their territorial waters with a granted licence.

Let me first thank Ms Stephenson for giving further information to your readers about this scandalous hole in our energy revenues and then assure her that every day Scottish citizens are becoming more and more "au fait" with Westminster's plundering agenda in North Britain.

I wish that the prowess of Ms Stephenson's pen could be marshalled to constructing a vision of a future for the children and grandchildren of Scottish citizens rather than insulting the intelligence of their parents and grandparents.

Dr Andrew Docherty, Selkirk.

Westminster is a lost cause

THE first election campaign I took part in was for New Labour in 1997, and it was hugely optimistic, exciting and fun. Elections have gone downhill since then and this one is particularly empty, reminiscent of the proverbial two bald men fighting over a comb.

On the one hand we have Rishi Sunak and the Tories, asking us to forget the 14 years of mismanagement, rule-breaking and cronyism. Give us another chance and it will all be different, they say. Aye, right.

On the other side, we have Sir Keir Starmer and the Lino Party: Labour in name only. Having enthusiastically supported a genuinely socialist leader, Sir Keir took over and drove the party rapidly towards the centre. The problem is that he didn’t apply the brakes, and Labour careered on so far to the right that rabid Tories like Natalie Elphicke are welcome, but anyone with a socialist bone in their body is either sidelined or ejected.

If we look across the Atlantic, democracy is in an even worse situation there. The next US President will be a man who will be 86 at the end of his term, or a convicted criminal who has no respect for his country’s laws. It’s shocking and alarming that Donald Trump has managed to capture the Republican party, the party of Abraham Lincoln, and turn it into a vehicle for his own ambition and prejudices.

Westminster is a lost cause. Things aren’t brilliant at Holyrood either, but Scotland has strong fundamentals: our universities, some of our industries, our natural resources, our international reputation. Britannia is slowly sinking beneath the waves and there’s nothing we can do to prevent it. However we can, if we so choose, build a markedly different Scotland, and the first step towards that is to take responsibility for our own future.

I’ll be voting SNP on July 4; not because I think its record is wonderful, but because it's the only party that believes in a better Scotland and wants to give us the opportunity to make of the future what we will. I’d rather have some chance than nae chance.

Doug Maughan, Dunblane.

Don't add to the uncertainty

WHAT evidence is it that convinces supporters of the SNP and the other separatist parties that the politicians in Holyrood and Westminster have the capacity to deliver an independent Scotland without disastrous consequences?

Perhaps they are impressed with the way things have been handled in health, education, the economy, cost of living, energy, climate change, foreign policy and all the other challenges facing the country. Do they think that our parliamentarians need a new and more complex challenge to their legislative ability? Do they believe that the Brexit referendum and subsequent negotiations has left both Brexiters and Remainers happy with the outcome, providing an excellent template on which to base separation from the Union?

For those who see that there is more than enough for MPs and MSPs to contend with, but are uncertain as to which, if any, of the parties is offering the solutions, there is an easy way to decide. Don't add to the uncertainty. Vote for the party in your constituency which, based on previous election results and local issues, has the best chance of keeping the SNP out.

Mark Openshaw, Aberdeen.

Labour's nuclear fault

IT has been pointed out that one (of many) reasons to no longer support the Labour Party was not only its decision to instigate the Iraq War but its ongoing failure to apologise for it. However, a further transgression on its part is its switch from opposition to nuclear weapons, ie weapons of mass destruction, yet to be found in Iraq but easy to find on the Clyde and at Faslane, to support. In addition to that and despite the huge costs and overruns in England, it is keen to build more nuclear power stations in Scotland. Not in my name.

Patricia Fort, Glasgow.

Labour is in favour of the UK retaining nuclear weaponsLabour is in favour of the UK retaining nuclear weapons (Image: PA)

The problem with PR

THE problem with a proportional representation system, such as D'Hondt (Letters, June 13), is that the list candidates are parachuted in by their parties and are not subject to the intense public scrutiny that the primary candidates are. It is a charter for the unelectable to be elected.

Peter Wright, West Kilbride.