IN a couple of decades’ time when, due to environmental degradation, the world is becoming an increasingly hostile place to live, our children and grandchildren will ask us, why?
Why, in the face of obvious changes such as rising sea levels, uncontrollable forest fires and record high temperatures, did our generation refuse to reduce its CO2 production by changing the way we live?
Why did we sleepwalk into a global crisis which, by then, may well be irreversible?
They will say we had the information, we had the technologies, and the wealth, to do something about the climate emergency – but we refused and just sat on our hands.
I do hope that the climate-change deniers who write articles and letters for the Herald can give us some answers.
John Palfreyman, Coupar Angus, Perthshire.
PESSIMISM OVER GLOBAL EFFORTS
IT is greatly encouraging that so many private individuals and businesses, are doing what they can to lessen their impact on the environment.
People such as Sir David Attenborough and Greta Thunberg, and television documentaries, and the recent UN report on climate change, have compelled many of us to do what we can.
Many governments have also been stirred into action, with coherent and achievable plans of their own.
But does the global political will exist to actually meet stringent targets before irreversible damage is done?
China and other big countries seem content to promote growth ahead of tackling the climate issue. The more they steam ahead with damaging and large-scale industrial projects, the further away any worldwide meeting of targets seems.
The fragmented nature of global power, and competing national priorities, do not bode well for us, or for the generations that will come after us.
D. Blair, Glasgow.
CO-OPERATION IS SURELY THE KEY
WHAT climate change, air pollution, plastic pollution and Covid-19 all carry the same message.
What they tell us is that the only reliable way to protect our shared environment, all our people and our economies, is to co-operate across all sectors, openly, honestly and transparently.
We must work with all the available tested reliable evidence before us to solve problems and develop healthier behaviours that repair the damage and prevent further harms.
The apparent short-term costs of taking corrective action fade into insignificance compared to the medium- and long-term costs of failing to do so, on every meaningful measure.
We must do what can be done, without fear or favour, for all our children’s futures, and we must do it diligently, every day.
Corneilius Crowley, London.
EMISSIONS FROM THE PAPER ROUND
I AM sure that the COP26 Glasgow agenda is full of items designed to tackle the very real climate emergency, but I wonder if we could could squeeze in one more? How much of a reduction in emissions would we get if parents stop driving their kids around on their paper run?
Carl McCoy, Paisley.
CARS ARE KILLING TOWNS AND CITIES
WHO are these people, the Scottish Retail Consortium, who are calling for free parking, (August 14)?
Which massive bucket of sand have they had their collective heads in for the last decade or two? Are they completely unaware of the current climate crisis that is contributing to the ill-health of many of our citizens?
Private cars are killing our town and city centres, bringing congestion and pollution, and kerbs and pavements blocked by parked cars.
The answer is to bring in free bus fares, free train fares, to widen footpaths and construct good cycleways, so that only the very needy need to use a motor vehicle.
Then the rest of us can enjoy strolling through our streets, browsing in shops, making purchases and enjoying a cup of tea or a glass of beer in all the new pavement cafes and bars with family and friends.
Patricia Fort, Glasgow.
IT’S ALWAYS ABOUT THE MONEY
The COPs over the last 25 years have been spectacular failures. COP26 will also be a monumental failure but the spin doctors will say otherwise.
The stage has already been set since China, India and 85 other nations ignored the deadline for submitting their “nationally determined contributions” for cutting their emissions. Without firm commitments COP26 is pointless.
These countries will still come because they all want a slice of the $100 billion a year climate ‘cake’ they were promised. Now South Africa is demanding that this juicy morsel is increased to $750 billion a year. It was always about money.
Six years ago the Paris Agreement was claimed to be an outstanding success but later it was revealed that the promises given were not sufficient to keep the global temperature rise to under 2C.
While Western governments, the biased BBC and green media appear to take climate change very seriously, the rest of the world continues to burn fossil fuels, grow their economies, drive 1.2 billion vehicles and continue to have large families.
Clark Cross, Linlithgow.
LABOUR’S DILEMMA OVER EXPULSIONS
IT seems strange that the Labour Party has promptly expelled Ken Loach for refusing to disown those who had already been expelled, but has never got round to expelling the man who ordered the illegal invasion of Iraq.
Ruth Marr, Stirling.
ARE WE DEGRADING THE PASS GRADES?
THE exceptionally high percentage of Higher and Advanced Higher A passes has caused me to think back to my school examinations, too many years ago. There were exceptionally clever people at my school, but A passes were quite rare.
My unconditional acceptance for civil engineering at Glasgow University required three B passes in maths, physics and chemistry, and this was considered to be strict admission criteria at the time.
I have taken an interest in recruitment all my professional life and have seen no change in intelligence from my time till now so can only conclude that exams are either easier or the thresholds for grades of pass are much less onerous.
I suspect that various governments have influenced this to give the impression that their actions have produced a more intelligent and better educated society.
Duncan Sooman, Milngavie.
MASKS RESULT IN WEDDING BLUES
WHY is Nicola Sturgeon’s government insisting that guests at wedding ceremonies still have to wear face masks, when football thugs and people in nightclubs are free to gather and spit and breathe Covid all over each other?
It’s moronic and makes no sense. They are ruining people’s weddings, a one-off day that can never be repeated, for nothing, for a petty regulation that will do nothing to reduce Covid infections.
Guests at a wedding reception just stand there while their loved ones are married, they’re not coughing or breathing over one another. It’s completely sedate and calm and Covid safe.
This policy is just dumb and spiteful, and should be changed to exempt wedding receptions from wearing face coverings immediately. If this does not happen, they will go down in history as a pathetic, incompetent and cruel government.
Patrick Fenn, Edinburgh.
REAL ABSENCE OF POSITIVE HEADLINES
“ANGER as £3.5m ferry spare parts fund is ‘repurposed’” (The Herald, August 12). Just when was there last a positive headline about our current Scottish government?
Ever since the recent “landslide” win we have witnessed stories of problems with vaccinations, hospital waiting lists, ferry services themselves, issues with Covid restrictions, questionable exam results, yet more shocking record drug deaths and an economy in meltdown.
In response, the SNP have mounted contrived attacks on Brexit and attempted to belittle Boris Johnson and the Tory government, who have provided vaccines and cash far in excess of what an independent Scotland could have achieved. Nicola Sturgeon’s “landslide” win is rapidly bottoming out.
Dr Gerald Edwards, Glasgow.
HERE is the tree that never grew,
here is the bird that never flew.
Here is the bell that never rang,
here is the fish that never swam.
Here is the ferry that never sails, one of many Nationalist fails.
Let Scotland flourish. Get rid of nationalist knotweed.
Allan Thompson, Bearsden.