Letters: You call me “feartie” – but being afraid of independence is not a bad thing
IAIN Macwhirter says in a brief rejection that “solar is not really viable in cloudy Scotland” (“Ten tough lessons from the UK’s Great Gas Gazump”, September 26). I wish he could do his research better. It is not so much sunshine that is the critical factor but solar radiation. And he is wrong.
When Germany began to develop solar energy over 30 years ago, Freiburg (230,000 inhabitants) quickly became a key center of innovation, adding to its environmental reputation as one of the world’s most green from Europe. In 2007, Freiburg had almost as much solar photovoltaic (PV) power as the whole of Britain. It is the solar city of Germany.
Photovoltaic installations are found on half of its schools, football stadium, train station and hospital, generating around 10 gigawatt hours per year. Its Fraunhofer Institute is a beacon of solar engineering and development, and generates considerable high-tech industry and jobs.
Freiburg has benefited considerably from the feed-in tariffs applied in Germany to launch its renewable energy revolution.
In the UK, the current government, led by dogma, removed this proven incentive of solar power just as installations took off. Of course, performing well in the stakes of hypocrisy means we can still find a £ 10.5bn annual subsidy for fossil fuels.
Despite myths about Scotland’s solar potential, some 380 MW of PV capacity has been installed over the past 10 years, up from virtually zero in 2010. This represents around 40,000 homes and over 600 businesses.
However, for comparison, Germany installed double Scotland’s total PV capacity in the first two months of 2020, and this during a global pandemic. It should put our political class to shame.
Despite Freiburg’s 1,800 hours of sunshine annually, there is barely 20% more sunshine than Aberdeen, and its overall level of solar radiation is about the same as western Scotland. We can use PV in innovative ways here with very positive results as a key part of our net zero strategy.
Friborg aims to achieve 100% renewable energy for the entire city by 2035.
If we are to walk in the wake of COP26, we need equivalent aspiration and ambition for Scotland – and for the UK and Scottish governments to ditch the obfuscation and claim climate change successes , and tackle real-world problem solving.
Tony Philpin, Gigha Island.
COP26 WILL ACHIEVE NOTHING
COP26 continues to dominate TV news and headlines, but why are the shows created by these COPs never disclosed?
We need an estimate of the additional greenhouse gas emissions that COP26 will create.
There will be 30,000 delegates plus press, transport, Scottish police and others. The estimate of the emissions that will be created by this latter jamboree should then be compared to the improved emission reduction promises of the 197 participating countries. If they are no better than the emissions created by COP26, COP26 should be canceled.
However, the majority of countries, led by China, have refused to give updated emission reduction targets to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Without these goals, COP26 is dead in the water. The previous 25 COPs have done nothing but hot air and COP26 will be no different.
Clark Cross, Linlithgow.
BACK TO TROUBLESHOOTING?
IF I had slept during the pandemic and woke up last week, my first impression would have been that Jeremy Corbyn won in the last election. We have historic levels of borrowing and spending not to mention exceptional taxes and nationalization.
Covid has caused a vast expansion of the state, which calls into question any possibility of sound budgeting, while Brexit contributes to crippling supply chain problems and labor shortages. Finally, a chaotic energy policy has led to the virtual certainty of winter blackouts.
I’m old enough to remember the late 1940s, those terrible postwar years when everything went wrong. Despite all the hysteria emanating from Extinction Rebellion, St Greta and the Green Radicals, I wonder if we are ready for a 75th anniversary of winter “1947”.
Dr John Cameron, St Andrews.
FEARING INDEPENDENCE IS NOT A BAD THING
GEORGE Archibald (Letters, September 26) criticizes me for being a “fervent” for Scottish independence. There is a very good reason for this.
Mr Archibald is following the usual nationalist line that everything will be fine and there is nothing to fear. Far from there. The future of 5.5 million Scots rests on these decisions which seem to be made without caring about the details.
Independence is a mistake because the SNP / Green administration simply wants to take over from Westminster and hand it over to Brussels. Scotland would go from a loud voice like one of the four to a whisper like one of the 28. Not only that, but the EU would only support us if we were a net contributor. After all, Nicola Sturgeon often says that we are the 14th richest country in the world, so we would automatically be one of the richest in Europe. Thus, independence would give us a hard border with England, no border with the EU and big bills landing on the doormat daily. It looks good?
Independence was elevated to mainstream politics by Alex Salmond, who was the best thing since sliced bread in 2014. In 2021, a recent Scottish poll voted him as Britain’s worst politician. Being afraid of independence is not a bad thing.
Dr Gerald Edwards, Glasgow.
RAYNER SCORED A OWN GOAL
UK Deputy Head of LABOR Angela Rayner may sound courageous in supporting her abusive comments about Boris Johnson, but in doing so she has shown worrying naivety.
Labor is unlikely to win another UK general election without acquiring more than a few more Scottish seats. Labor must win back the disenfranchised floating Scottish voters who deserted the party for the SNP, Greens and Tories. I’m no Boris Johnson fan, but shamelessly using the language of the gutters won’t help Labor get the many Scottish seats they desperately need. Own goal, Ms. Rayner?
Martin Redfern, Melrose.
FLAP ON THE BREXIT BUSH
WE worry about the causes of our current food and fuel supply crisis, with ministers and newspapers saying this is an international problem, that we are not the only ones, that it is Covid, that it is it is pretty much everything except themselves and the altar on which we have all been sacrificed.
Now I know that in Britain now being sovereign this cannot be the case, that now we have control of our borders, we don’t have to employ underpaid foreigners to do our dirty work that in fact most Brits don’t get the slightest interest, unless they get paid a lot more and even then. I know if we don’t have enough lorry drivers it is because we haven’t put in enough effort to recruit UK drivers, no matter how bad the working conditions and incentives are, is not surprising.
I know we all look forward to higher prices for food that we don’t want to pick ourselves and that rots in the fields, because, after all, although the Home Office is run by an immigrant from the second generation, and the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is himself a second generation immigrant, we certainly don’t want him anymore.
Brexit, the cause that does not dare to pronounce its name.
Trevor Rigg, Edinburgh.
THE BED SHORTAGE IS WORRIING
WITH a potential increase in Covid and flu cases over the coming winter months, it is worrying that the number of acute care hospital beds available in Scotland is the lowest on record in recent times.
There are obviously delays in discharging patients from hospitals due to weaknesses in the welfare system, but the government’s lack of momentum to deal with a difficult situation is concerning and is putting pressure on hard-working NHS staff . It is fine for the Scottish Government to say in its defense that the rate of decline in hospital beds is slower than in England, but this is hardly relevant for people in need of beds in Scotland and constitutes a classic case of roundabout politics.
Bob MacDougall, Kippen.
A STRANGE SET OF PRIORITIES
While the Lord Advocate has de facto decriminalized possession of Class A drugs such as heroin and cocaine, which is good news for those with dangerous drugs, these same people had better not get caught. with a dead salmon or sea trout in their possession.
It is a very serious criminal offense to catch dead salmon in a river, possibly killed by a seal or a fish that escaped from an angler’s hook and subsequently died is a very serious criminal offense and the possession of this dead fish still leads to criminal prosecution with a fine of up to £ 2,500.
What a strange country, Scotland is where dead salmon enjoy the full protection of criminal law, but disadvantaged communities consumed by violence, drug gangs and recorded drug deaths have had their criminal protection withdrawn by the Lord Advocate.
Jim Stewart, Musselburgh.
DRUGS MOVE IS A WAKE-UP SCANDAL
AMERICA is expected to see a compensation settlement for damage caused by prescribed opioids costing at least $ 26 billion. How does the administration of Nicola Sturgeon react? The de facto decriminalization of drugs into drugs in Scotland is a waking or wacky scam and scandal. It’s almost as absurd as losing energy, heat and light, while the UK leaves vast reserves of oil or coal untapped to satisfy the cult of Greta Thunberg. Would Nicola Sturgeon want Scotland to return to the Stone Age? She is expected to set up a new open-air parliament at the Callanish Stones on the Isle of Lewis.
JT Hardy, Belfast.