WITH reference to recent opinions in your pages for or against the development of Cambo oil field. In itself, the Cambo oil field can neither save our economy nor destroy the planet. Its approval would merely be an acknowledgement of reality.

To continue with a semblance of our current lifestyle expectations, and at the same time carry out the enormous task of transitioning to carbon-neutral energy, will likely require secure and reliable energy over and above current demand. Accessing the raw materials, processing, constructing, transporting and installing the new infrastructure will be a colossal and energy-intensive global effort over decades.

WATCH: Nicola Sturgeon says Cambo oil field should 'not be given green light'

One would think that with their poor record of delivering relatively minor projects such as ferries, hospitals, roads, bridges, and even bottle deposit return schemes, the SNP/Greens of all people would not want to gamble on achieving net zero before our current oil and gas fields run dry – leaving us even more dependent on scarce imported energy. However, unable to resist the opportunity to bash Westminster and polish their green credentials against big oil, they advocate exactly that.

Let’s hope that the UK Government regard Cambo and other developments as an insurance policy and a signal that they accept the wisdom of maintaining existing domestic energy sources. If by some miracle we have sufficient alternatives by the time new fields come onstream, we can opt to leave it in the ground. In the meantime, governments and energy companies must encourage low-carbon investment and we the public can alter our own lifestyles to reduce emissions.

The SNP/Green alternative means that years from now we risk sitting shivering in the darkness on a still winter’s night because the wind is insufficient to run the turbines, the hydrogen plant has been delayed again and the truck delivering our new heat source pump is awaiting a supply of rationed diesel.

Mark Openshaw

I STILL have a lot of respect for Alex Salmond; he did a great job as leader of the SNP prior to his resignation.

Having read his article in this week’s Sunday Mail he talks a lot of sense, as he says oil and gas matters. Norway pledged to cut greenhouse emissions by 55% and to develop, not dismantle, the oil and gas industry.

The Cambo oil field is expected to generate $40 billion over the next 25 years. Where is the Scottish Government going to find that sort of money? The UK Government has accumulated £30 billion over the last four years, but the Scottish Government claim to be able to fund the “just” transition themselves.

READ MORE: SNP deny rumours of split over proposed Cambo oil field

Scotland’s wind energy is our biggest and cheapest method of generating electricity with the potential of earning billions annually. Another asset is carbon capture, we have the best sites in our part of the North Sea and the Aberdeen carbon capture site waiting to go.

If Cambo is licensed it should be made clear for it to be a zero-carbon development and we should ensure the oil magnates pay to help finance carbon capture.

So you see that although Alex Salmond is deemed to be yesterday’s man, he is still on top of his game as today’s man.

George Mckenzie

THE fast track to independence proposed by the Scottish Sovereignty Research Group is a beguiling one. But we are not simply trying to exit a Union, we are trying to build a nation. A nation must have unity, identity and sovereignty both internally and externally. Our own citizens must overwhelmingly believe in Scotland and other nations must recognise an independent Scotland.

The inconvenient truth is that the majority of our citizens have voted against independence. Defying the expressed will of the majority will only result in insurrection. The UK will not accept it and other nations, minding their own backs, will side with the UK. In 2014 we put our faith in a referendum as our route to independence. I am afraid we are stuck with it. We need to come back together and work towards another referendum to overturn the disastrous result of the last one.

Ian Richmond
via email

THE article about the Scottish Sovereignty Research Group’s proposals provides answers that the ordinary members have been looking for a very long time. The stand the SNP appears to be taking regarding the necessity of seeking permission for a Section 30 order is futile in the face of Westminster’s uncompromising attitude. Nobody in the independence movement believes London will ever grant this order unless they control such a decision. There must be the reaffirmation of the sovereignty of the Scottish people that they and only they have the right to decide their future, NOT Westminster.

So when will the SNP tell Westminster we are leaving this blasted Union? As a 90-year-old member of the SNP for much longer than most MP/MSPs, when are you lot going to make Scotland an INDEPENDANT NATION before I go?

John McCulloch
via email