Readers' Letters: Save us from extreme climate warriors

Henryk Belda (Letters, 25 September) displays all the faults of the extreme climate warrior.

Extinction Rebellion Activists block roads near the Glasgow Tron Clock tower in 2019 (Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
Extinction Rebellion Activists block roads near the Glasgow Tron Clock tower in 2019 (Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Using language like “pumping fossil fuel carbon dioxide into the atmosphere” and “the good people who use the M25 to belch toxic filth and stench into everyone’s air so they can rake in the profit for their businesses”, shows what is wrong with the climate warriors’ arguments. The majority of people on the M25 are not raking in any profits, they are using a route to get to and from work in order to pay bills, put food on the table and take their children to school.

There is no doubt that action must be taken to address the climate issues surrounding us, but this neanderthal approach of the eco warrior is not the way to do anything.

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As with all things needing change, a gradual approach must be taken. Blocking the M25, causing utter chaos and putting lives at risk are the actions of the privileged few who already have their pensions and mortgages paid off.

The “I want it now, I want it yesterday” philosophy is impossible, and the sooner people like Mr Belda, who no doubt either owns a car, uses public transport, turns his hot water tap on, wears clothes, uses a mobile phone and probably a computer, thus requiring third world people to get the raw ingredients for these services, realises that these extreme views do nothing other than alienate the “argument” they put forward.

No doubt, when next driving through Penicuik, I will instantly recognise MrBelda, as he will be wearing sackcloth, be shoeless and have a beard three feet long.

I’ll give him a toot!

David Millar, Lauder, Berwickshire

A small project

Henryk Belda says that the M25 protesters were justified in their actions. He then, outrageously, states that fossil-fuelled cars should not be on the M25 and, by inference, on roads anywhere in the UK.

He and any brave climate change demonstrators should go to the countries where they can make a difference and not the safe UK, which has a miniscule 1.0 per cent of global emissions. They should demonstrate in China, India, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, United Arab Emirates, Brazil, Iran, Nigeria and many more places. China is the biggest polluter, at 30 per cent, so Henryk Belda should immediately go there and demand that China get rid of their 281 million petrol/diesel vehicles. There are 1.42 billion cars in the world, so lots for him to do.

After he successfully persuades these countries to take vehicles off the world's roads, closing down the thousands of coal-fired power plants around the world would be an easy task for him.

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Clark Cross, Linlithgow, West Lothian

Markers at ready

The non-examinable SQA subject of Un-accountability in the Scottish Government deserves full points.

The post of chief invigilator for this same body at a local school was rewarded with zero-hours contracts that prohibited alternative employment in 2020 with risk of being sued for breach of terms, and was deprived of the support of a furlough portion in order to pay council tax, enforceable by the Sheriff Officer on behalf of the same Scottish Government, with threat of penalty, interest, and sequestration.Prohibition and enforcement being the key ingredients of any successful extortion racket, I first tried the Secretary for Education, then Communities, even the First Minister herself, asking whether it would be constitutionally lawful to imprison a man for doing nothing wrong and, during the period of his incarceration, present a bill for the cost of accommodation.

The final deflected response when addressing directly the Minister for Employment & Fair Work, and Cabinet Secretary for the Constitution, tells me I am welcome to make contact on any other subject but future correspondence on the matter will be “filed without response”!

The Office of Circumlocution model withstands current rigours. In-house assessments are clearly the way ahead to perpetuate self-empowerment.

Donald M Henry, Kirkcudbright, Dumfries & Galloway

Nowt so QR

It's not often that I have felt embarrassed, humiliated and a second-class citizen merely because I came from Scotland, yet during the last two weeks I have been all three.

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Yes, I've been on holiday to Europe. In addition to the usual holiday hassle I have had to cope with pre-flight Covid testing (outward), pre-flight Covid testing (return), post-return two-day Covid testing, the Passenger Locator Form and finally, and the source of my embarrassment, the NHS Scotland Record of Vaccination. The latter (or "Green Pass", as it appears to be known in Europe) is used in many countries, including Italy from where I returned, and is required for entry to many locations. Having replaced my initial NHS Scotland paper certificate with the newer version which had the important QR code, I felt fully equipped for my fortnight away – only to find that my Scottish credentials, and in particular the QR code, could not be scanned by any restaurant, gallery, museum or even archaeological site that I visited.

My travelling companions, Scots living in London equipped with the English version on their smartphones, had no such problem, leaving me to explain why Scotland is different and why I should be granted entrance.

The lowest point came whilst queuing at Naples Airport. With most people simply flashing their mobile phones and passing through, I once again produced my NHS Scotland piece of paper, which was once again refused. Explaining that my wife and I were from Scotland, the official concerned rolled his eyes, shook his head and muttered: "We know about Scotland". We really should not have been put in this position – how can England get it sorted and not Scotland? Let’s hope the latest Scottish version, which must be the fourth in about as many months, allows us to feel less of a second class citizen and gets us into foreign restaurants for a meal.

James Douglas, Eskbank, Midlothian

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Enough whining

Why is the Scottish Government whining about labour shortages, including lorry drivers, when we have tens of thousands of people unemployed and several hundreds of thousands likely to come off furlough shortly, many of whom may well, unfortunately, discover that their previous jobs are no longer sustainable?

We all understand the barriers that there are to taking up new or different employment, but when supply and demand are out of sync, it is the role of government to try to address this. Through education, training and transport initiatives, the Scottish Government has a role to play in all this, but it doesn’t appear to occur to them that this is the case.

Those of us who can remember being out of work 30 years ago struggle to understand why too many jobs and upward pressure on wages is such a problem.

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My conclusion is that our politicians simply do not have the ability to deliver practical changes that improve life for working people, and they are more comfortable falling back on their established rhetoric. If they are genuinely interested in helping people, they should stop whining and do something about it.

Victor Clements, Aberfeldy, Perthshire

Sshhh, Brexit

Not since Basil Fawlty implored his hotel staff, “Don't mention the war”. has a word been so assiduously avoided on the BBC.Night after night, on the BBC news bulletins, evidence of the unfolding disaster which is Brexit is explained in detail; the lack of haulage drivers being only the most recent.However, unlike ITN, local commercial radio and the print media, the poor beleaguered BBC cannot afford to antagonise their paymasters, the UK Government, by pointing out these are a direct consequence of (whisper it) “Brexit”, thus endangering their reputable historic impartiality.

John V Lloyd, Inverkeithing, Fife

Praise Merkel?

Matt Qvortrup, Angela Merkel’s biographer (though he does not declare that interest) praises her scientific background and “evidence-based policy making”, says that she “preferred to do her homework and mull over a decision before action is taken and make a decision based on the facts”, was “willing to collaborate and find common ground” and “defended the rule-based international order” (Perspective, 23 September). Mmm.

She advocated EU solidarity, but days later unilaterally invited 1 million Middle Eastern refugees into the EU. She breaks the EU’s Dublin Agreement that such immigrants be given sanctuary in the first EU country they enter.

After Fukushima, she cancelled overnight Germany’s nuclear programme, reverting to coal, despite the danger being caused by the tsunami flooding into the site, not the nuclear plant per se.

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She cosies up to Putin and his gas pipeline despite concerns from other EU members (and the USA) and downright opposition from Ukraine and Poland, her EU colleague. She is at the forefront of the EU’s kowtowing to China and Iran.

She forced high youth unemployment on southern Europe through the flawed, premature Euro while Germany benefits overwhelmingly from its distorted exchange rate; she happily breaks the EU trade surpluses rule; and after 2008 confirmed her objective was to save unwisely exposed German banks rather than other EU economies.

She agreed with David Cameron that Jean-Claude Juncker was entirely unsuitable as EU Commission President, then reneged; she forced on the UK an extortionate EU-exit fee despite our waiving all reparations for Germany’s Second World War deaths, destruction and ongoing global disorder; she even insists Germany will not pay its fair share of Nato defence costs until the early 2030s.

With Macron, she rushed to condemn the Astro-Zeneca vaccine based on partial data.

John Birkett, St Andrews, Fife

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