I’M afraid I have to take issue with the tone of the column in yesterday’s National by Michael Fry (Are we really going to choose climate action over higher living standards?, June 18).

He refers to schoolkids “skiving” off for demonstrations when he’s lucky enough to be probably too old to have to live with the worst consequences of climate change.

He points out that Nicola Sturgeon left it to her Environment Secretary to come up with details on changes to the climate change bill. Why wouldn’t she? It’s Roseanna Cunningham’s job!

He guesses that today humans are healthier than ever before?

And yet the younger generation is the first who have a shorter life expectancy than their parents due to lifestyle choices, including those brought on by our desire for higher living standards.

He implies that there is no urgency since the timescales are more like “26 years”. Perhaps he thinks we should leave it for another few decades? It’s because we have such a reliance on fossil fuels that we need to recognise the need for change and plan it now. It might not feel urgent to him, but if he were 40 years younger he would probably feel differently.

I don’t think the Scottish government have done enough to prevent climate change either. Perhaps that’s why Greenpeace have decided to disturb the “peace and quiet”, perhaps they also feel progress is too slow?

I also think there are conflicts at play when we consider Scotland’s oil assets so I agree he makes some valid points.

He suggests when language is too loose, people “seize on it”. Well in my opinion his language in this article is condescending and trivialises the single most important issue for youngsters. They don’t need to be undermined and patronised, they need us to listen and act, now!

Maggie Rankin

A HOUSE on fire, a river about to burst its banks, a ship drifting towards rocks in a storm: these are clearly emergencies. A world threatened with rising seas, famine, drought decades in the future, can these really be called emergencies, Michael Fry asks. What is the difference?

The first kind are local and here and now, the second are global and over the horizon. That Michael only regards the first as emergencies betrays a root of our problems.

We are living in a society long in thrall to short-term thinking and one yet to properly appreciate the worldwide web of the problems that confront us.

And the choice Michael presents – climate action or raising living standards – is a false one. We can have both. We can also have neither. Failure to tackle the impending climate catastrophe will ensure a collapse in living standards, if not for Michael then certainly for his children and grandchildren.

Richard Gault
via thenational.scot

IF Scotland never produced even a single puff of smoke, carbon dioxide, or even one plastic bag, it would make absolutely no difference to the  contamination of the world.

If we really want to reduce pollution in the atmosphere or our oceans, then let us start with the major polluters, China, India and the USA. Sure Scotland can help, but only a little.

As for Greenpeace and their stunt against BP oil. Greenpeace use a diesel-powered ship that travels all over the world, inflatables made from the by-products of oil/gas and powered by petrol outboard motors. They wear weatherproof clothing made from similar oil gas by-products. Hypocrisy at its worst!

Roy Linton
via thenational.scot

I HOPE the details stated by William Purves (Letters, June 18) are correct.

If so, a date should be decided on and publicised for individually notifying the Scottish Government in a legally worded way that we, the Scottish people, wish the treaty to be repealed.

They can then count the millions of notifications and then state to the relevant authorities that they have no choice but to adhere to the instructions by the sovereign Scottish people, if this is a majority of them, and carry it through.

We will then once again become an independent country with a brighter future ahead of us. As Brexit approaches, it’s time to get on with it.

Marie McIlwham

IT is deeply gratifying to know that the full and mighty forces of the English military intelligences, ever alert, are “almost certain” that the attack on the tanker was by Iran (UK: Attack ‘almost certainly’ by Iran, June 18).

They were equally sure about the weapons of mass destruction that could, in 45 minutes, have struck some British arms dealers working out of Cyprus.

I wonder how many unnecessary deaths there will be this time.

Christopher Bruce