AS ever, the Wee Ginger Dug hits the nail squarely on the head in his analysis of British representation at the COP26 conference (Macron nailed why Scots must vote Yes in indyref2, Nov 2). Though Scotland is host to the conference, there is no seat at the table for our outstanding First Minister lest she eclipse the performance of the blond Downing Street buffoon (not overly difficult, admittedly) but keynote speeches were delivered by members of the absurd and anachronistic royal family.

The sanctimonious and pseudo-communal banalities were trotted out to the plebs by Prince Charles and his mammy, but the reality, as the Wee Ginger Dug so adroitly summed up, is that the royals are cynical climate-change hypocrites who, like Johnson and his caste, believe that it is enough to dictate to the little people without actually having to play their own part in saving the planet or making any sacrifices to their pampered existence.

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Recently the heir to the throne clocked up 16,000 miles in the space of two weeks via private air travel at the cost of £280,000, thereby emitting 162 tons of CO2. He and his parasitical family routinely make use of helicopters and private jets instead of cars and trains and maintain multiple large houses that will have an enormous carbon footprint. Yet he feels no need for self-reflection or reform when lecturing the world at large about global warming, just as the Queen sees no reason why the Scottish Government should not grant her exemptions from environmental protection laws.

Clearly they and their class feel that their exceptionalism must continue to be the norm without question and that the fawning masses, led by the usual reverential right-wing press, will remain slavishly obedient and firmly in their place.

To some international observers the royal family’s presence at the conference will doubtless be regarded as quaint and paying homage to tradition. For many Scots, however, their tired pietism and incongruity to 21st-century democratic values must result in their merciful exclusion from an independent country. And the sooner the better.

Owen Kelly

GROSS Domestic Product (GDP) is driving the increase of global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions – that is the stark message from the data analysts who monitor these systems.  In short, the more the world produces and consumes, the greater the increase in CO2.

Some folks ask what is driving this and cite population is the other key driver. Not so, it seems. A graph displayed shown on the Channel 4 Dispatches programme indicated that the increase in CO2 is rising very steeply, when viewed against time, whereas population growth when overlaid on the same timescale also increases, but – and this is important – population growth is at a lower rate than the CO2 increases.

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What seems to be clear is that the population of the earth are consuming too much. Well, maybe but not all of us. GDP growth is the way that the current financial structures are driven to recover from debt.

So the more debt is created, the more GDP is driven or needed to mitigate against the increasing debt.

Nowhere in the global financial modelling is the environment included. The environment seems to be viewed as “unlimited”, which we all know is not true.

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It is therefore unsustainable to consume globally at this rate The “market” should drive the price up, so the item becomes unaffordable, but we are innovative and find new sources to continue the consumption, until exhaustion.

A pity if the damage (CO2 generation) is beyond the tipping point and temperature rises beyond the limit at which our food supplies can be sustained.

In the film The Matrix, one of the “agents” advised Neo (Keanu Reeves) that he did not know how to classify the human race. He thought that they mostly resembled a virus, where they moved to new locations and consumed the resources until exhaustion, then moved on. From afar this is a very accurate model.

We don’t need the Bozo Bezos’s plan to mine asteroids to get more material, to create more GDP. We need to stop letting the market drive our behaviour.

Alistair Ballantyne
Birkhill, Angus

IN response to the letter from Catriona de Voil (Nov 2), I have also been involved in environmental education. And I have also thought that despite my efforts, nothing is changing. I am heartened by Greta’s leadership of young activists. But in the early 90s there was a teenage girl who spoke to the United Nations about the danger to the planet. Who remembers her, or what her name was? Nobody! This is why this time things MUST CHANGE. It has been done before without success, so this time young people must take charge. Boris and his generation must be sidelined, ignored, for positive things to happen. Otherwise it’s just more blah blah blah.

Margaret Forbes

IN her letter of Oct 30, Elsie Boyle rightly points out that her list of concerns about the Assisted Dying Bill are being discussed by religious and non-religious people alike. However, she misrepresents me when she depicts my position as “anyone with religious affiliation should be disregarded”. I was concerned only that some religious views distil unhelpfully into “only my god can give and take life.”

It is quite legitimate to allow religious belief to inform your own choices but not those of others and certainly not from a privileged platform in government. Speaking from his unelected seat in the House of Lords, Martin Warner, the bishop of Chichester, has said: “God does not inflict evil on people”. What esoteric and empty concepts to bring to an important and nuanced moral debate!

Neil Barber
Edinburgh Secular Society