I dare you to try living without fossil fuels- Readers' Letters

I suggest those living in the UK who are campaining against the continued use of fossil fuels and the development of the Cambo oil field in particular should immediatley lead by example and start living without any reliance on fossil fuels whatsoever.

The oil industry in Scotland is coming in for criticism - but could you survive without using its product?

The use of fossil fuels to heat their homes or cook must stop immediatley until their homes are changed to only use electicity. If they do use mains electricity, as renewables only provide an average 30 per cent of current electricicty demand, they must reduce their electricity consumption by 70 per cent.

Likewise, they must avoid the use of any form of personal transport powered by fossil fuels and ensure a strict 70 per cent reduction in time spent charging electric vehicles (including electric bicycles), using trams, zero emission buses and electric trains.

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They may only consume food which they can guarantee has not required fossil fuels for the use of ground perparation, planting, fertilising, harvesting, transportation for processing, and transportation to shops or home delivery.

Clothing and household materials which require products refined from crude oil as their basic components must be not be used. This includes many synthetic materials found in modern clothing including waterproofs, insulating products in warm jackets and duvets, and many household floor coverings. Importing clothing made overseas from natural products which have been transported by fossil-fuelled ships would also not be allowed.

Finally, when they have succmbed to malnutrition and hypothermia, they must only accept transport to hosptial by electic ambulance which can be guaranteed to have been charged by renewable electricity and only accept treament in hospital using products which do not require refined crude oil products in their manufacture.

Or perhaps a simple reality check might suffice.

Donald McCallum

Strathaven, South Lanarkshire

A moral duty?

As part of her plan to team up with the Scottish Greens Nicola Sturgeon wants the brake put on an industry that is worth more than ten per cent of Scotland’s GDP.

She claims that " we have a moral duty to act" against North Sea Oil. Do we therefore have "a moral duty to act" against the £85bn whisky industry? After all, alcohol kills 3,000 Scots each year. By Ms Sturgeon's logic our distilleries should all be closed along with our oil fields.

Scotland cannot afford virtue-signalling; we need a strong economy to raise living standards and lift a million Scots out of poverty.

William Loneskie

Lauder, Scottish Borders

Sturgeon’s options

Is the criticism of First Minister Nicola Sturgeon over what appears to be her equivocal approach over the Cambo oil field development fair?

Whilst Joyce McMillan clearly feels that it is time for the Scottish Government to in some way disassociate itself from what she calls “Big Oil” (Scotsman, 13 August), there are a number of counter-arguments to consider.

Firstly, the intellectual leap from the old SNP slogan “It's Scotland's Oil” to something along the lines of “OIl – Your Time has Gone” is just not realistic in political terms. Secondly, the First Minister has made the valid point that the question of licensing and contracts in the North Sea lies largely outwith the powers of Holyrood. Thirdly, there is still a good case for trying to balance the case for economic progress against the needs of the environment. There may well be a case for urging the oil industry to use its technology and expertise to develop fuels and products that that are less hostile to the planet and its surroundings. It is difficult to argue the case for a green transition if the oil industry is slowly but surely decimated.

Any responsible government needs to strike the right balance between economic progress and environmental protection. The economy of the north-east of Scotland has suffered badly in the last five years because of the relatively low oil price.

Can we really expect the First Minister to make a stark statement lowering confidence in what is still a major industry on which so many jobs and tax revenue depend? It is more positive to support a case for a civilised transition based on the case for the gradual development of alternative green products.

Bob Taylor, Glenrothes, Fife

Who’s oil is it?

If the SNP do form a coalition with the Greens, who seem even more desperate than the SNP for Indyref2, I wonder how many votes the slogan "it's not Scotland's oil, nothing to do with us" will get?

Allan Sutherland, Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire

Afghan division

There was no such country as Afghanistan until Ahmad Shah Durrani, the cut -throat king, established it in 1747. The Imperial powers have been trying to control it since First Afghan war in 1838. No permanent solution has evolved yet.

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It is a land-locked country and anyone aware of its history and composition will know that there is a natural barrier in the middle of the country, the Hindu Kush mountains which divide it into the southern Pakhtoon area, the western Persian population and the northern Tajik areas.

Thus the possible solution to the Afghanistan problem is to dismantle this landlocked, artificial country and merge the south with Pakistan, the west with Iran and the north with Tajkistan or Uzbakistan. This is a simple division which would suit the ethnicity of this ever-divided country. It would also reduce the tensions which are caused between Pakistan and India.

Hasan Beg, Kirkcaldy, Fife

Labour irrelevant

Brian Wilson thinks that making the Scottish Parliament full-time will somehow make it better (Scotsman, 14 August). As someone who makes no apology for being an independence supporter, I seriously doubt it.

Living in Peterhead I probably won't get the opportunity to vote for a Labour candidate even if I wanted to at the local council elections in 2022, so maybe the party needs to acknowledge that rural areas like Peterhead and nationalists actually exist and can vote Labour first.

As usual, the Labour Party would either prefer to be in opposition or thinks it perfectly reasonable to have the Single Transferable Vote system for local council elections, that probably in their mind don't really matter, but not in such institutions as the Scottish Parliament or Westminster.

They also think it perfectly reasonable having an unelected second chamber where Baroness Davidson of Lundin Links, who went Buckhaven High School, gets in because she is a unionist but Peter Ovenstone who went to Waid Academy does not simply because he supports Scottish independence.

Until such time as the Labour Party backs the need for major electoral reform – not tinkering at the edges with making the Scottish Parliament full-time or giving us a little more “devolution” – they will continue to be an irrelevance in both Scotland and England.

I mean they don't even want to engage in adult conversation with “separatists” like myself.

Peter Ovenstone, Peterhead, Aberdeenshire

Franchise football

In Saturday's Scottish Lowland League, the reserve teams of the Old Firm beat Vale of Leithan 10-0 and Gretna 9-1 respectively.

What was it again Neil Doncaster and the rest of those in charge of Scottish football were saying in their desperation to give the Old Firm two bites of the Scottish professional football cherry? Something about not going to lead to farcical results disincentivising support for other clubs?

Herein endeth the lesson about what franchise football leads to, killing your own domestic game stone dead.

Mark Boyle, Johnstone, Renfrewshire

Woolly thinking

Our Scottish crofters are being hit by rock bottom wool prices.

Wool processors have a surplus due to the slump in demand for premium wool carpeting, for hospitality and cruise lines, because of the Covid pandemic.

As a result, prices have fallen so low that crofters are only getting £5 for about 200 kilos of woollen fleece. Some crofters are having to resort to burning the wool as it is not viable to transport it to the processors.

Most crofters are dependent on every penny of revenue to keep their head above water, so this is a critical situation for them.

The Scottish Government is said to be “reviewing the situation”. Why does our Scottish Government have no vision? Wool fleece can be used for loft and wall insulation and is more environmentally friendly than man-made fibreglass alternatives.

Come on cabinet ministers responsible for Covid recovery, economy, rural affairs and energy, get your heads together with urgency and be innovative to tackle the problems facing our communities. Turn a disaster for crofters into a win-win for the environment and our rural economy.

Iris Graham, Edinburgh

Local knowledge

I refer to your large coverage of the proposed name for the new Edinburgh primary school to replace the present South Morningside Primary.

Writing as a past pupil of the school, as were my father and grandfather, I feel I have right to express my opinions.

Saroj Lal, the lady who it is proposed should give her name to the new school, was undoubtedly a person who achieved a great deal of good during her lifetime and deserves to be remembered, but not by a new school building.

The name of the new school, in common with the majority of Edinburgh schools, depict its catchment area, one to take pride in. I would suggest that it be called Morningside Primary School, situated in the heart of its community.

Catherine Macpherson, Edinburgh

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