WELL done to Mike Small for highlighting how tourism can be a massive contributor to climate change, something on which most people rarely reflect.

This past month, with its fires in Canada, floods in the north-eastern US and now the fires in Greece are proof of the climate’s ability to cause chaos.

People who have never actually experienced this themselves are finding out what it feels like when it hits you. But why the surprise? We’ve been warned about this prospect for far longer than we like to admit. So what is it about people that they disregard this?

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Since last century, a magazine called Resurgence has covered all this frequently and extensively. Over the last two or three years, I’ve set myself the task of re-reading issues from the 1990s until now. It’s amazing how prescient it has been all these decades. This has made me pay more attention to the current issues as they come out, even if some of the ideas might seem incredible.

The May/June issue for this year reviewed a book by Gaia Vince about nomads and what climate upheaval will mean. She reckons that continuing as we live today will mean several billion people relocating, such that there will need to be planning for cities in Canada, Russia, Greenland and in the Arctic as only the polar areas will be habitable with 2-4C of global warming (which so far we don’t seem to be doing enough to prevent.)

Far fetched? Well, several decades ago Juliet Stevenson starred in a film as a UN representative not knowing how to cope with boatloads of African migrants landing on the shores of southern Europe.

Far fetched? That’s what I thought then, even after having lived in West Africa only a few years previously and so knowing a bit about life there. How innocent I was!

What it needs is for each one of us to look ourselves in the mirror and ask that face: “What have I done, personally, to change the way I live, so that climate chaos could maybe be helped before it gets much worse?”

If your answer is “nothing!” then get started on thinking about how you could be active on this.
Catriona de Voil

I read with interest Kate Forbes’s piece on dualling the A75 and A77. She should get out more – congestion is what you get on English motorways, where hours of standstill are not uncommon.

But if she really thinks that road building would not contribute to climate change then she needs to apply her reported intelligence to reading the extensive research that demonstrates how expanding roads simply expands road use.

As for “muirburn” to prevent wildfires, I think just a little bit more research on her part would show that the increase in long, dry springs may not be co-incidental to the increase in wildfires.

And now Keir Starmer appears to be following Forbes’s example by thinking that dissing policies that at least attempt to slow the dreadful consequences of climate change will win votes. Both are, I hope, wrong about that.

In the face of the catastrophic impacts of climate change that are already upon us, politicians need to spend their time understanding what needs to be done and why, then exerting all their effort in explaining that to the public. The world desperately needs strong leadership from elected politicians to drive through every possible action to mitigate climate change. Heaven forfend we end up with politicians prepared to bend to the easy, populist way.

Lisa Smith

Newton Stewart

DR Iain Evans (Letters, Jul 20) suggests Scotland cannot begin to solve such problems as drugs, smoking/vaping, marine protection, recycling and gender recognition. He considers proposed changes to be worthless and presumably also that a Scottish Government should not be free to improve the social and physical environment.

He is wrong. We must be free. We have much more radical adjustments to our way of life than that in the near future.

Oxford University research suggests that reducing intake of meat will reduce carbon production to compensate for that coming from a large number of cars. This is deceptive because we are soon going to have to do without cars powered by whatever manner as well as meat. We must cut out the pollution both from cars and cows. We will have to have rationing of one type or another of the goods and services we are used to. Dr Evans’s bete noires are just the start.

On a more positive note,

Scotland has a large amount of hill grazing for Highland cattle, hill sheep and red deer which will provide meat without the pollution from slurry, which is a problem in English rivers.

The model is the Jura in France where timber houses, forests and hill meadows are intermingled. The rivers will be protected by fish ponds, beaver dams and riverine

tree planting.

What has this to do with drugs? The problem with drugs is caused by quality of life which today translates as money but in future will be signified by quality of environment.

Iain WD Forde