We will all pay the price of Holyrood's grandiose dreams on climate change
If we are to preserve our few remaining wild areas while also ensuring our standard of living is maintained in the face of this legislative onslaught it is vital the opposition parties in Holyrood ensure the proper monitoring of the criteria for the setting and modification of the net Scottish emissions target for the year 2020. These include the likely impact on the competitiveness of particular sectors of the Scottish economy, jobs and employment opportunities, taxation, energy supplies and the environment.
With an ineffective opposition in Holyrood we face the prospect of unreliable energy supplies and significantly higher energy prices, with significant collateral damage to our recession-hit commercial and industrial base alongside increased visual pollution of our beautiful countryside and coastline by wind factories.
As an environmental scientist with a longstanding interest in Scottish Government policy relating to global warming, I find it astonishing that MSPs have agreed to slash greenhouse gas emissions by 42 per cent by 2020. This is evidently no more than a political target that makes no reference to how it could be achieved.
Although there is now a general move towards renewable energy sources such as solar, tidal, wind, and hydro schemes, the effect of future developments is largely unpredictable. For example, it is not clear whether excess carbon dioxide produced by combustion of fossil fuels and shunted into another part of the biosphere will be included in this fanciful 42 per cent reduction.
It is downright silly to conduct an auction among political parties in the Scottish Parliament involving imaginary targets for reducing carbon dioxide emissions.
For Scotland, there needs to be only one target, with an urgent timescale of "as soon as possible": a general move towards complete abandonment of combustion of carbon-containing fuels as a source of energy.
DR DAVID PURVES
With MSPs having signed up to what they suggest is the world's most ambitious of targets, and with the country about to embark on a series of measures to alter the carbon balance of the world to a degree of such insignificance that modern instrumental techniques will be incapable of detecting the effect on atmospheric concentration, there can be little doubt that this country has taken one more step closer to a state of green fascist insanity. Given some of the draconian measures contained in the bill, imposed austerity is going to be its citizens' future.
Mike Robinson, chairman of Stop the Climate Chaos Coalition (your report, June 24), claims he represents the views of two million Scots. The RSPB is a member of this coalition, with 80,000 members in Scotland. As an RSPB member of 50 years' standing, I can assure Mr Robinson he does not represent my views, nor can he claim to represent those of any other RSPB member. The RSPB executive has never consulted its members on this issue.
Easter Currie Place