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‘Scaremongering’ over climate change

Here we go again. The litany of alarmist predictions for the future fills a few pages of your paper once more (1 April) as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) publishes its latest report, this time on the impacts of climate change.

I am what might be called a lukewarmer. I believe the world has warmed in the past 200 years, that carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has increased through human-caused emissions and that human activity can be expected to contribute to a temperature rise.

Organic produce

In HER support of organic farming, Laura Stewart (Letters, 29 March) omitted common organic claims of better health.

A meta-analysis of 1.3 million women over a nine-year period in the UK, published recently in the British Journal of Cancer, indicated that continual consumption of organic food (compared to other produce) had no effect on any cancer rates – except for a slightly higher rate of breast cancer and slightly lower one of lymphoma. Breast cancer is ten times more common than lymphoma.

Truth on turbines

The statement that a renewable energy source could “power” so many homes (your report, 12 March) is thoroughly inappropriate.

The figures quoted usually refer only to domestic electricity consumption, and indeed in your particularly slanted article, “Weather can power 4m households”, even exclude electric heating, the largest part of electricity consumption in many rural homes.

Fossil fuels are still necessary

I WAS concerned at your report that Glasgow University would divest itself of funds in fossil fuel companies after pressure from environmental organisations and students alike ("University to end investment in oil", The Herald, October 9).

I expect naivety from environmental organisations; their utopian visions rarely if ever connect with reality. But I would expect students at a university to be able to apply their critical faculties to any common assumptions made about fossil fuels.

Gas will remain

Having read Clark Cross’s apocalyptic letter (21 February) regarding the phasing out of gas within five years, my initial ­reaction was to bin it as complete nonsense.

However, I decided perhaps I should check the facts, just in case there was some truth there. I am glad to report that, having read The Carbon Brief, what is ­actually proposed is that coal-fired power stations will be phased out by 2027.

All three Westminster party leaders have signed up to this and it’s very sensible, because coal is a major cause of carbon emissions.

Frackers’ case

THERE are costs and benefits to everything in life. But Andrew ­Eaton-Lewis’s rant (“How dare the frackers label me an extremist”, Perspective, 28 February) about coal gasification and fracking concerned only supposed costs and failed to mention the benefits from cheaper gas for heating and transport fuel, reductions in fuel poverty, security of supply and freedom from arbitrary control by wayward regimes of our energy ­supplies.

Useless wind

I do not often agree with Niall Stuart of Scottish Renewables (Friends of The Scotsman, 11 March) but for once “changing land” unarguably describes what his trade association’s members are doing to our countryside.

Their wind turbines may be “largely out of sight of the 
energy consuming public” but they are very visible (and audible) to those who are forced to live near them.

However, he also repeats his industry’s misleading claim that the recent Contracts for Difference auction shows onshore wind power to be cheaper than nuclear.

Time to wake up to risk posed by outages and their impact

Powerful thoughts

THERE are costs and benefits to everything in life. In relevant areas it is the job of scientists and engineers to assess all the evidence for costs and benefits, indicate where in their view the balance lies and if necessary change it as evidence and improved understanding dictate. Lang Banks (Letters, March 14) who, as WWF director in Scotland espouses an environmental ideology, writes that he has sparked a debate.

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