I READ the piece in last Wednesday’s National about the warming of lochs and reservoirs with some incredulity (Climate fears for safe Scots drinking water). It appeared to say that in some waters the temperature has risen by more than 1C on average every year for the last seven years.

I followed this up with some correspondence with staff at the National. The story was based on a wide-ranging report on the effects of global warming on aquatic life.

The report does make the statement of rises of more than 1C a year that I found incredible but this probably only relates to shallow or small bodies of water which are more easily affected by air temperatures. Larger and deeper waters do have temperature rises but on a much smaller scale.

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This effect is important, as aquatic life in both the short and long term and may lead to catastrophic loss of habitat in the aquatic food chain. Warmer waters bring on algal blooms that kill off much of the life in our waters; you may remember that happened in Loch Leven some years ago and killed all the fish. No food means things like frogs, toads and newts struggling to survive in a warmer world.

The report also indicates an expected average rise in temperatures to be about 3C in the next 60 years: “Average April to September air temperatures are projected to rise by about 2.5C between 2020 and 2080; because loch and reservoir temperatures appear to be increasing by 1.2 times the rate of increase in air temperature, this equates to a corresponding increase of about 3C in Scottish standing waters by 2080.”

This longer-term effect is something our children will have to suffer with in a warming world.

Dougie Blackwood

THE problem for all those like Rev Douglas Whyte (Letters, Apr 29) who claim the Bible is the “word of God” and must be taken as the literal truth and the truth about the world’s creation, is that this falls to bits when you do some research into the Councils of Antioch in the fourth century.

The problem for Emperor Constantine was that there was no clear central Christian creed and there was great concern that many Christian teachings went against Roman Law, thus he as emperor could not acknowledge Christianity as the new state religion.

This led to a number of meetings to decide what was “in” and what was “out”, in terms of the future Gospels and “holy guidance”, to enable Christianity to become the Roman State religion, undertaken by prelates from the Western, Eastern and Coptic Churches.

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The Coptic Church walked out of the final council calling its theological gyrations to appease the Roman Emperor as heresy. The Western and Eastern Churches came to a deal which left them to agree to disagree on certain key issues but at least present a unified front to Emperor Constantine in terms of core teachings and a Gospel which would be compatible with Roman Law and the Emperor Constantines’ sensitivities. They even invented a conversion story for Constantine to sell to the Senate and his closest advisors while putting in neat lines about “rendering unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s” and the like, into pertinent parts of the Gospels.

Even then the Western and Eastern churches fell out, as the Western Church was sidelined in the power and influence game when Constantine moved the HQ of the Roman Empire from Rome to Constantinople. A schism that still interferes in the relationship between the Roman and Orthodox Churches to this day.

This leaves the creationists with one other problem: Bishop Usher and his calculation of the age of the Earth, now universally acknowledged as being erroneous in the extreme.

So I will side with the contention that Edwin Poots and his fellow creationists are either a bit batty or in intense denial, in their desire to cling to ancient shibboleths and myths, based as they are on the need to sell Christianity to a Roman Emperor to gain power, wealth and influence, within the Roman Empire, for some ancient prelates.

Peter Thomson

A BIG thank you to the Sunday National (May 1) for the coverage of the upcoming election in Orkney.

From a standing start in autumn 2014, to getting the first party-affiliated councillor since who knows when, to having five excellent candidates standing in this election, is, I believe, one hell of a big achievement for such a small group of activists. From one small acorn planted on an autumn evening, something impressive is growing in Orkney, which I think shows what vision and willpower can achieve.

Jon Southerington
Deerness, Orkney

THE editing of the West Lothian Council Wikipedia page is a scandal – no doubt election meddling on behalf of the Westminster ministry of dirty tricks. The only way to change the English grip is to vote for independence and reject the lies and cons.

Glen Peters