STRUAN Stevenson puts forward several dubious facts and raises many questions in his article condemning the Scottish Government for the current carbon reduction policy of windfarm power generation in order to cut CO2 emissions (“Scottish Government cannot see the wood for the trees”, The Herald, February, 15).
He omits to state that much of the timber which he claims has been uprooted will have been from mature forests due to be harvested in any case and sent for processing to the Irvine Pulp Mill and for other national timber requirements such as wood pellets and the construction industry.
I also know from personal experience that many of the windfarms he complains about are located in upland moorland where few forests were or are located.
With regard to constraint payments, these apply to all power generators in the UK and are used to balance the power to supply the National Grid, with adjustments made every 15 minutes, depending on demand from consumers.
He fails to mention Scotland has been exporting power through the National Grid to England and Northern Ireland for decades, from various sources, including nuclear, coal, hydro schemes and wind power.
He also raises the fact that the North Sea still has millions of barrels of oil in reserves, quite right, but these reserves should gradually be run down in a managed way, while other means of power generation are developed.
Is Mr Stevenson seriously suggesting the UK suddenly halts production of this valuable resource, which has benefited the UK Treasury for the last 45 years or more? Tell that to the oil companies, the oil workers, the Prime Minister, and the few remaining north-east Tory MPs.
While Mr Stevenson raises many questions, he provides precious few answers on how the UK will develop a response to the climate emergency, while the United States, China, Brazil, India, Poland, Australia and several other countries, continue to burn and export fossil fuels in an irresponsible manner.
Alec Oattes, Ayr.
OTTO Inglis and Ian Moir (Letters, February 17 display a cavalier attitude to facts and evidence, from Mr Inglis’s doubts about the reality of climate change to the costs of renewable energy and the wilful disregard of the economics and environmental problems of nuclear power. Unlike Mr Inglis, the world’s reputable scientists have actually examined the evidence and are now clear about the reality of anthropogenic climate change.
Current figures for the cost of renewable energy show that it is already cheaper by a significant margin than nuclear energy (remember the claims about nuclear power being “too cheap to meter”, anyone?). It is a relief that, at last, the amount of radioactivity found on the beaches near Dounreay has begun to decline (there has been a drop in radioactive particles). It should still be a salutary reminder to the blind advocates of nuclear power that even well-run research installations can cause pollution; how much more tempting for commercial generation stations to cut the odd corner?
The predictions of the additional electricity needed for electric cars may or may not be right, but fossil fuel fans like your correspondents overlook that one of the ways to smooth out fluctuations in renewable electricity is to use batteries. Remind me, what is it that electric cars depend upon? The potential for using the batteries in electric cars as storage is already being realised and has much to offer in the medium to longer term.
Dr RM Morris, Ellon.
WHY do those apparently middle class and affluent young people in Extinction Rebellion protesting at lack of action on climate change, instead of vandalising university lawns or blocking off access to hospitals, not use their seemingly endless energy, free time and funds on a more productive demonstration of showing what they feel?
Why not, for example, perhaps in a campaign led by Greta Thunberg, use their time and energy on planting trees, cleaning up polluted beaches and open spaces and generally show by example how serious they are? As it is, they merely demean their cause.
Then they would win recruits and convince those they need to convince that they are serious, not merely the young and well-off having destructive fun.
Alexander McKay, Edinburgh EH6.