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We must set an example for the rest of the world and seize the future of renewable energy

Renewables aren’t just about wind: solar power, along with tidal power, will be part of Scotland’s future

ANDY Cartwright’s letter titled “Pursuing a green dream at the expense of our well-being is virtue-signalling nonsense” (The Herald, July 22) was astounding on so many levels that it’s hard to know by where to start.

After 200 years of an economic system based on fossil fuels, we have a world with huge disparities in wealth, with billions of people living in poverty without access to proper medical care and the poor suffering from poor health from disproportionately to the more affluent. So we could start by redefining the way we measure well-being.

Mr Cartwright assumes that the development of fossil fuels was inevitable. But suppose there were no oil reserves and the power of coal was not discovered until much later? Assuming James Watt et al have turned their attention to harnessing solar power? Suppose we developed cellulose instead of petroleum to produce so many of our products? Ironically, we would have produced a virtuous circle rather than the cycle of destruction we currently find ourselves in.

A fossil fuel-based economy was an accident of nature. There is another way to go.

Fossil fuels have been a drug that has made us feel good on the surface and has, indeed, given us benefits. But we are now discovering the serious side effects of our addiction.

Mr. Cartwright appears to derive his information from sources that can hardly be called impartial. He cites JP Morgan and BP. Barely objective sources with no direct interest in the status quo.

He also seems to think that we rely solely on wind power. What about solar, waves, tides, hydrogen? They may be more expensive now than fossil fuels, but we must not forget that fossil fuels were also expensive in their early stages of exploitation, not to mention the cost in human lives, but they have been decreasing over time. as technology developed. Keep in mind that much of the true cost of fossil fuels in terms of their effect on climate change has been externalized, so they haven’t been as cheap as we imagine. If these costs, past and future, were to be taken into account, renewable energy would already be taken for granted, even for people like Mr. Cartwright.

Mr. Cartwright says the markets don’t like renewables. Markets don’t like renewables because markets are lazy and short-term.

The planet is not “warming slightly” as Mr Cartwright suggests. He burns. We must do our best to persuade India and China that fossil fuels are not the way to go. But we must lead by example. This does not go back to the time of the Empire.

Mr Cartwright must be careful not to make his own unintended contribution to climate change. It has made me, and I’m sure many others, glow with frustration that these unreconstructed views persist despite the overwhelming evidence. I am now in danger of self-combustion. I will retire to a safe place far from our dry forests.

William Thomson, Denny.

• THE Herald, Saturday July 23, p21: “The climate horn is sounding. But are our leaders really listening?”.

The Herald Magazine, Saturday July 23, Magazine, p37: “Test drive: Lamborghini Huracan STO”.

Lizbeth Collie, bank head.

THE HYPOCRISY OF THE GREENS

I read with interest the Scottish Greens’ Twitter campaign to save Loch Lomond from potential Flamingoland development. They state that this development must be stopped as ancient forests will be destroyed and the natural beauty of the area will be devastated.

I can’t help but think there’s a bit of hypocrisy in their campaign as across Scotland every day areas of old growth forest are cut down, tons of carbon rich peat are dug up , covered with driveways or having hundreds of tons of concrete poured into them. Beautiful, unspoilt rural areas are transformed into industrialized landscapes, and the daily lives of local residents are marred by the flickering of shadows and the thud of turbine blades turning 24 hours a day. Tourist business owners wait nervously to see if those who love peace and quiet and appreciate the wildlife and nature found there will continue to visit when the hills are covered with turbines.

Can we look forward to the Greens’ campaign to stop this destruction of Scotland’s wonderful wild lands being carried out by wind farm developers? No, I didn’t think so.

Tracey Smith, Lairg.

BITE THE HURT ON THE BOSS

I’ve been a huge Bruce Springsteen fan for many years and have seen him nine times in various venues. So I was excited when the UK leg of the 2023 tour was announced.

I signed up for the Live Nation presale for Murrayfield on Wednesday morning but failed to get any tickets. Within minutes, a large number of tickets were on sale on Viagogo, a secondary ticketing site, at greatly inflated prices. Secondary ticketing websites claim to be platforms for fans to resell unwanted tickets, but in many cases (but not all) they appear to be technology-driven platforms for selling tickets to the industrial scale – i.e. people who do not intend to go to a concert buy tickets, thus depriving fans of the possibility of buying them and then immediately posting them on sites resale at twice, three times, four times their face value. Live Nation and Ticketmaster have mechanisms and conditions in place to prevent this, but they are clearly ineffective.

Not to be put off, I went online for the general online sale at 9 am Thursday morning. Although I was in line at 9am and quickly entered the anti-bot codes, I joined the queue at over 10,000 and inevitably by the time I crossed the line waiting, all the tickets were gone – except of course the platinum tickets at several hundred pounds each. Once again, pages and pages of tickets immediately appeared on Viagogo.

I later discovered that on top of that, Live Nation/Ticketmaster had introduced dynamic pricing and ticket prices on the Ticketmaster website were going up in front of people’s eyes. A cynical way to extract the maximum amount of money from the fans.

I’m holding my hands out to be a grumpy old man who’s disappointed that I don’t have tickets but I’ve decided to do the following:

• I will not purchase tickets from a secondary ticketing site unless they are sold at or near face value;

• I will not engage in dynamic ticket pricing;

• I will make it a point to go see more of the many great musicians and bands around and play in smaller, independent venues with tickets sold at a fair price.

I invite everyone to do the same.

Malcolm Close, Glasgow.

YOUR MIDGE

R RUSSELL Smith (Letters, July 21) could be wrong in making anthropomorphic assumptions about the attitudes of midges. Para Handy cautioned against unwarranted generalization. Regarding the suggested use of paraffin as a repellent, he said, “It’s only for Ro’sa’ gnats; Sprinkle midges wid perhaps consider paraffining a rate.

Robin Dow, Rothesay.


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