THERE will always be a place for an optimistic mindset, but not at the cost of ignoring the evidence. On global warming, Michael Fry says he is no longer a sceptic, but thinks there is no real urgency for radical change (I am now a climate convert – but I don’t believe humantiy is facing extinction, April 23).

He quotes the economist William Nordhaus in support of his argument. But Nordhaus appears to believe that a significant global temperature increase would be manageable. This flies in the face of the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report which argues that even two degrees is dangerous and the target should be 1.5 degrees. We need “urgent and unprecedented changes” to meet this target.

READ MORE: I am now a climate convert – but humanity isn't facing extinction

Nordhaus does not appear to have reckoned with the high likelihood of global tipping points being triggered. Who could not be shocked by the recent footage of methane already leaking out from the melting Siberian permafrost and being flared dramatically? And methane is a greenhouse gas 30 times more potent than carbon dioxide.

We should not condemn future generations to a disastrous heating world. We face a climate emergency and only emergency responses, national and global, will suffice. We should listen to the scientists.

Robin Waterston
St Andrews

THERE’S an inescapable suspicion on my part that the environmental protesters are in the pay of some political interest that has nothing whatsoever to do with greenhouse heating in the Arctic and any imminent detriments of global warming.

It could be to distract from the more overtly political weekend activities of France’s Yellow Vests, even though zero attention is paid to them by our mainstream media. It’s just that there is something very bourgeois about this “bum glue” caper of the climate change protesters.

Maybe I am too much a skeptic, but I felt similarly when Greenpeace activists were clambering over large boats out on the high seas to demonstrate their fossil fuel fury, using motorised carbon-emission transport to reach the targeted vessels. Often it was by aeroplane, motor vehicle and motor boat that they achieved this.

At the same time I prefer to believe they are well-meaning people who opt for all this awkward way of life maybe because, understandably, most regular jobs are so humdrum and unexciting.

In the sixties the hippies were also up to suchlike dubious practices and to some extent messed up a real ongoing political protest across the developed world against political policies that are still around today and still proving dislikeable – hence the Yellow Vests. Just like us skeptics who never go away!

Ian Johnstone

IS anyone really surprised by low viewer numbers for the new BBC Scotland channel – a project set up to fail (BBC Scotland bosses defend new channel, April 22)? There was never any great call for a separate channel from the Scottish public. A Scottish six o’clock news was all that was required, which of course the British state could never allow.

I would say that some of the channel output is good, but expecting people to switch from prime nine o’clock main channel programmes to watch Scotland’s news was never going to attract many.

Colin Tainsh
via email

READ MORE: BBC Scotland bosses defend new channel after plummeting viewing figures​

TRAVELLING up to Carnoustie on Saturday, I had wondered out loud to my husband whether there might be another Yes stone waiting for me. My gate was bare, but when I opened up the French windows to allow my wee house to feel the Easter sun, there was a parcel tucked behind one of my beach stones.

It contained two beautiful Yes artifacts which, this time, had been varnished and parcelled in polythene to protect them from the elements. And “the fairy” had enclosed a letter.

The secret giver of joy had seen my letter to The National earlier in the month and had been so pleased that her/ his stone brightened my day.

I cannot thank “the fairy” enough for giving hope in these times and restoring my faith in the kindness of strangers.

I believe thet The National will publish our “sequel” and I hope that if you again see my letter you will accept the wee Saltire stone that is on my windowsill waiting for you.

Of course I know that there were gestures of goodwill before 2014, but as the Yesses all know, Scotland became a different place during and after that referendum and I for one – along with “my fairy” – will journey on, marching, painting, writing and giving until we are free.

I also hope the fairy won’t mind if I start working (with The National’s help) on a small book inspired by the gifts of unique stones painted with much love.

I wonder if we may march together this summer and by chance discover each other? Or will the wonderful, uplifting mystery continue?

Jenny Pearson