ROXANNE Sorooshian should rest easy about young children using/playing with real scissors, knives and hammers rather than with (as she recommends) “plastic toys” (Primary school adds a fourth R for young children ... risk, September 29).

Those who know about young children’s learning about and experience of the world – which is done through play in its widest sense – like Froebel, Steiner and many others, testify to the importance of young children having experience of real things. This includes water and sand, trees and grass, buckets and cups that hold things, and scissors or knives that really cut. How else will they learn about the sharpness of tools? Or indeed the wetness of water?

READ MORE: Primary school adds a fourth R for young children ... risk

It is well known that modern children are much less safe in many ways because they are prevented from learning about danger to themselves FOR themselves. Being delivered places by car does not help develop safety about roads.

In the days when Moray House teacher training college had a “demonstration” school – from age three to 18 – their nursery section, which lasted long after the rest of the school, was famous for its wonderfully free and open nature – giving young children the widest possible opportunities, just as a parent would do: allowing experience and practice with everything available.

Ms Sorooshian’s approach is perhaps based on ignorance of the way this is managed, and the tone is biased – she has prejudged the issue – not encouraging a more open debate.

Susan FG Forde

WHO are the “we” in Michael Fry’s article (How do we solve the problems of climate change? Capitalism!, October 1)? The more I read this man, the angrier I get for capitalist apologists.

Fry says “we may have more than a century to think about countervailing measures”, ignoring entirely those people around the world who are dying through climate change right now. These people of course are generally the most-poverty stricken in the world and so don’t matter to the capitalist vanguard, they never have and that includes all of those thousands who died in abject poverty at every stage of industrialisation in all of the so-called wealthy countries, not forgetting the millions who died in the colonies.

READ MORE: How do we solve the problems of climate change? Capitalism!

Fry’s attack on Greta Thunberg is reminiscent of Trump’s recent patronising comment about this young person, and as usual both support an economic system that has caused the problems in the first place.

I’m not denying that William Nordhaus is a well-meaning person with his take on economics and climate change, however as Fry states, his first work on climate change was in 1992, 27 years ago.What impact did it have? None. Greta Thunberg’s impact has been almost immediate.

I’m not in the game of blackening people’s names but it is a fact that Nordhous was (probably still is) a member of Skull and Bones, that very secret brotherhood of Yale University whose very powerful alumni include both George Bush and his father. Read into that what you will.

Buckminster Fuller, another American, was expelled from Harvard on two occasions, the last time for being a non-conformist. He was an architect, president of Mensa, inventor (populariser of the geodesic dome etc) and one of the many statements he made was “you never change things by fighting against the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the old model obsolete”. Now that is something to aspire to, and Greta is doing just that.

Incidentally I have now decided not to buy The National on Tuesdays, because I am fed up to the back teeth in being confronted by Fry’s articles which are reactionary to the extreme.

Alan Hind
Old Kilpatrick

I FIND a common thread in both Michael Fry’s climate change back-pedalling column this week and the report about the BBC back-pedalling on its previous criticism of morning news presenter Naga Munchetty for her comment about Donald Trump and the accusation against him of racism towards four US Democrat congresswomen.

Michael Fry narrows his previous comments about climate change protest to dismissing the Swedish schoolgirl Greta Thunberg, and this somewhat on the grounds of her well-off family background. As if the capitalism that Michael so fervently espouses isn’t a nurturer of such privilege – the social inequality that Michael finds no fault with.

Much the same self-contradiction from the BBC, who apparently went straight for Ms Munchetty while ignoring co-presenter Dan Walker who in fact first raised the topic of Trump’s comments about the four congresswomen of colour. In doing this the BBC can justifiably themselves be accused of racism in that Mr Walker is white and Ms Munchetty is a woman of colour.

Perhaps us newspaper readers and television viewers are not expected to notice the Freudian slips of columnists and broadcasters. I hope that no offence is taken when we take the trouble to point these out.

Ian Johnstone