GEORGE Kerevan’s warning about the downside of battery electric cars is telling indeed. The dependence on the democratic Republic of Congo as the main source of the cobalt necessary to recharge lithium batteries is surely environmentally and morally unsustainable in the long run.

There is a viable alternative, however, namely green hydrogen, which can be made from two ingredients that Scotland has in abundance: water and renewal electricity generated either from wind turbines or increasingly from tidal stream turbines. Scotland’s potential for tidal steam energy in particular is enormous and ultimately much greater than our current electricity requirement.

READ MORE: George Kerevan: Forget electric cars as a solution ... they will only lead us to another disaster

As tidal steams run at different but predictable times round our coast, a base load is always capable of being generated, although generation peaks on spring tides and troughs on neaps. By stripping out tidal peaks and other surplus generation from wind turbines to electrolyse water, “green” hydrogen can be generated at marginal cost.

Such hydrogen can readily be utilised as an automotive fuel either through fuel cells to drive electric motors or directly in conventional internal combustion engines. Either way the only emission is water vapour, which ultimately ends up back in the sea from whence it came. No need for large batteries. What could be greener?

Several countries, such as Iceland, Norway and Canada, are investing heavily in this technology. Although hampered by misplaced UK energy policy, hydrogen should be a top priority for Scotland – Scotland’s new oil.

Roy Pedersen

GEORGE Kerevan in his far-sighted article (Forget electric cars as a solution ... they will only lead us to another disaster, July 15) sees beyond the political gossip and celebrity trash fed to obese Western consumers busy texting Amazon.

The multinational grip tightens. Power falls into fewer, more dangerous hands hovering over nuclear buttons. As capitalist-lead consumerism kills a fast-warming planet and food supplies begin to fail, Western society’s comfort zone will be eroded. Many benefits so far enjoyed could vanish. A curb on lifestyles which are squandering this planet’s resources will start at the lower end of the wealth graph and be followed by social disruption. Mining Mars is still light years away.

Moderating greed and adopting sustainable behaviour is an individual responsibility. Given old-fashioned will power, and a little intelligence, all is not lost. An outdated political system and a shortage of sane politicians is our immediate problem.

Iain R Thomson

SINCE 2017 Spain has deprived nine peaceful Catalan leaders of their freedom. They are accused of violent crimes.

Amnesty International and the UN call for the immediate release of these political prisoners in Spain. What do European politicians say about this situation? They don’t want to get involved because they call it “an internal affair” or claim that Spain is a rule of law. But what does it say about an alleged rule of law that the police should be sent to brutally repress the voters in a peaceful referendum? Or that 13 musicians should be locked up by their song lyrics? What if it’s not the ballot boxes, but the judges who actually mandate who can sit in parliament and who can’t? What if the Spanish Government response to the UN’s statements is to call into question those who have written the conclusions?

The fact that the other European representatives remain silent about these events that are happening in Spain is surprising. And this is why I have initiated a petition to the representatives of my country. The Netherlands, as one of the founding countries of the European Union and as host of the International Court of Justice, has an obligation to defend human rights. I call on the Dutch Parliament to do their utmost to ensure the release of the political prisoners in Spain.

The imprisonment of peaceful leaders in Spain is something that concerns us all. Therefore this petition is open to all European citizens. Let your voice be heard and please sign the petition:

Laura Prat Bertrams
Amsterdam, Netherlands

HAVING worked for Children 1st, I was delighted to hear they had been granted a major lottery grant to help fund the Parentline project (Scots children’s charities secure almost £1m funding to boost their digital services, July 15).

However, at the risk of being picky, Children 1st was not founded in 1995. The name Children 1st came about after a comprehensive project to give the Royal Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children a modern name and less anachronistic image. Children 1st continued the excellent work of the RSSPCC, which was founded in 1884.

Douglas Turner