Readers' letters: Electric car cabling will cause massive disruption

I was intrigued by Richard Dixon’s article regarding the demise of the internal combustion engine and its replacement by electric cars (Scotsman, 13 April).

I live at the edge of what was once Europe's largest private housing development – Cornbank in Penicuik – some 1,000 houses of three-up two-down villas. They were built in the 1960s and 1970s.

All well and good until outside my house contractors arrived with traffic lights and all the equipment required to dig up the street. My unfounded curiosity got the better of me and when questioned the contractor stated that a house had an electric car and the 25 amp power cable to the house had to be upgraded.

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The cable has to be replaced for all the Cornbank houses where there is an electric car. Our friendly contractor stated that it would likely be a two-day job to upgrade the cable.

Is the rise of the electric car inevitable, a reader asksIs the rise of the electric car inevitable, a reader asks
Is the rise of the electric car inevitable, a reader asks

Hence if Richard Dixon is correct and electric cars are the answer, to my mind it was a particularly stupid question.

Alternatives must be found but surely not this way to recable an entire estate, never mind the question of cabling tenements in our cities.

Give this sort of money to the scientists to research different propulsion methods before all our streets are construction sites. Surely someone in government has thought this through?

​Dr Alan Naylor, Penicuik, Midlothian

Solar activity

I was intrigued by Dr G Cochrane’s letter (15 April) relating global temperatures to solar activity as measured by sunspots, so I went to the original data published by Nasa and NOAA.

The graph of temperature against time shows a rising trend from 1904-2022 with an overall increase in average surface temperature of ca..1.6C. There are wiggles and it was particularly warm in the forties.

Helpfully, Nasa overlay graphs of solar irradiance (related to sunspots, being higher when there are fewer sunspots on an eleven-year cycle), and of global temperature over the years.

There is little correlation between the two graphs, although some of the wiggles in the overall trend may relate to sunspot activity since 1980 but not before and it is striking that the solar irradiance has been going down since 1980 whilst the global temperature has been increasing. This is especially clear when 11-year rolling averages are plotted.

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Nasa concludes: “It is therefore extremely unlikely that the Sun has caused the observed global temperature warming trend over the past half-century.”

David Cole-Hamilton, St Andrews, Fife

Windy Burn s

Wales has just announced that the famous Brecon Beacons are to be called by its ancient Welsh name of Bannau Brycheiniog. The now Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority has decided to scrap a picture of a burning beacon from its logo. Apparently the high carbon symbol is no longer fitting with its climate change ideals.

What next? Burns Night renamed by the Greens because the original title will be deemed offensive and a celebration of the fossil fuel industry?

Here’s an idea. Let’s call it Windy Night instead in homage to the thousands of wind turbines the Scottish Government has allowed to be speared into our rural spaces and to the natural and always available renewable gas emitted from the over-indulging in haggis, neeps and tatties all washed down with a wee dram or three. Slàinte Mhath!

Lyndsey Ward, Beauly, H ighland

Latin lesson

I read with interest the article written by Michael Sturrock (Scotsman, 17 April), who raises relevent points which could be debated for or against.

Then he goes and spoils it by writing: “Along came the 2014 independence referendum. Regardless of how we voted (mea culpa).” I took from his sarcastic Latin insult we are to blame for not voting Independence. Well for (referat tuum) Mr Sturrock we didnt vote for independence simply because your party’s arguments for it didn’t stand up to us non-Latin speakers.

J Moore, Glasgow

Sturgeon AWOL

I can't understand why Former First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will be reportedly working from home or otherwise absent from the Scottish Parliament following her sudden resignation as SNP leader (Scotsman, 18 April). She is still an MSP with a duty to represent the interests of her constituents and surely she can best do this by attending Holyrood in person.

Ms Sturgeon has never been a shrinking violet when it comes to public appearances and I am sure she is not doing it because her personal appearance might overshadow Humza Yousaf's official debut on the world stage. If Mr Yousaf's message is strong enough and delivered convincingly, he could still be seen as the ringmaster within the Holyrood circus whether Ms Sturgeon is there or not!

Bob MacDougall, Kippen, Stirling

Driving test

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As someone who sat their initial driving test on 31January, 1990 in Cupar and was sitting my large vehicle theory test on the day Nicola Sturgeon announced her impending resignation, I think she should be commended for sitting her driving test (Letters, 18 April).

Hopefully, if she passes she will be able to visit places such as Aberdeenshire that the Scottish Labour Party can only dream of winning in and speak to people considered second-class Scots by the Conservative and Unionist Party.

The days of either of these parties wanting working-class Scots outside the Central Belt of Scotland who voted for Scottish independence in 2014 to vote for them are long gone.

Peter Ovenstone, Peterhead, Aberdeenshire

Time for a vote

The SNP cause has imploded. How much longer do we have to tolerate the current situation, including Nicola Sturgeon's continuing presence on the back benches?

What Scotland really needs right now is a complete clear-out at Holyrood. It is not in the interests of the electorate to have to wait until the Spring of 2026 for Scottish Parliamentary elections to be held.

Under the dire situation at Holyrood, there is a need for voters to go to the polls at the earliest possible opportunity. The SNP has undermined the credibility of the Scottish political scene – the people have the right to choose a new administration.

Indeed, judging by the deteriorating state of Scotland’s health, education, transport – including ferries – welfare, and even its police force, perhaps the only way forward would be to return to centralised Government at Westminster, with a Scottish Office based in Edinburgh. The saga of Scottish nationalism has been a total failure.

Robert IG Scott, Ceres, Fife

Ending poverty

Scottish politicians talk endlessly about eradicating poverty (“Number of Scots in very deep poverty rises by almost half since 1997”, Scotsman, 18 April), but don’t acknowledge the root cause – that Scotland’s wealth is controlled by Westminster.

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Take North Sea Oil, 90 per cent of which lay in Scottish waters. The 1975 McCrone report, buried by Westminster, revealed that an independent Scotland’s budget surpluses would be so large as to be “embarrassing”, and Scotland’s currency would become the hardest in Europe, making Scotland far wealthier than England, and putting it in the position of lending to our indebted southern neighbour.

Instead, the entire value of North Sea oil – hundreds of billions of pounds – flowed to the UK Treasury where it was squandered on tax cuts, mass privatisations, English infrastructure projects – Channel Tunnel, Eurostar, Canary Wharf – and nuclear weapons sited near Scotland’s largest city.

In 1999, before the Scottish Parliament opened, Tony Blair’s government secretly moved Scotland’s maritime border north, transferring 6,255 statute square miles of Scottish waters to English jurisdiction, in violation of the Treaty and Acts of Union. Blair’s government feared that after devolution Scotland would leave the UK, so this was designed to neutralised its claim to North Sea Oil.

Twelve producing oil and gas fields are in the stolen area, each of which sends taxes and licence fees to the UK Treasury. Not a penny of this money is credited to Scotland, significantly understating the GERS accounts to Scotland’s disadvantage.

The union has impoverished Scots and impeded Scotland’s economic development in comparison with its prosperous Nordic neighbours. The people’s wealth was stolen and sold on the cheap to foreign entities.

It’s simple. To end poverty, stop the theft.

Leah Gunn Barrett, Edinburgh

Tartan Week

Brian Ferguson reports on the politicians who travelled to New York for the annual Tartan Week celebrations (Scotsman, 17 April).

Did we, the long-suffering taxpayers fund the bill for this jolly? I can imagine it costs several thousand pounds for airfares and hotel accommodation in New York for each politician.

Given the state of Scotland’s finances, I hope the politicians involved paid their own way. Or maybe New York City paid for it all. If not, please can the politicians involved demonstrate the financial benefit to the Scottish people in new contracts for our national and local businesses, as a result of their visits.

Fiona Garwood, Edinburgh

Own goal

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Is there any chance that Hibernian’s Josh Campbell (the club’s second highest goal scorer) will be included in your table of Scottish Premiership scorers. You have left him out all season. Perhaps a preponderance of Gorgie-leaning statisticians at The Scotsman.

Ian Lewis, Edinburgh



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