Sir, – We are told that Scottish ambulances have lost 70 days of operational service in recent years because of hoax calls.
Presumably the ambulance service has the technology used by taxi companies – they know your number when you phone them.
That should enable the easy tracing of vandals who make hoax calls.
These vandals should be charged and sentenced.
Jill Stephenson. Morningside, Edinburgh.
Connected thinking needed on BT network
Sir, – In 2025 BT is switching off the traditional copper line telephone network, the Public Switch Phone Network, or PSPN.
It is replacing it with a broadband connection such as Voice Over Internet Protocol or VOIP.
Broadband connections are susceptible to outages and power cuts.
During Storm Arwen the only phone I could use was the BT line into the master socket using a simple cabled handset – the copper wires supply their own electricity. The digital (portable) phones were down, as were all the mobile networks. If I and my neighbours had been on VOIP during the power cut, we would have been unable to dial 999 – or any other number.
The same would apply to thousands of people in the affected rural areas.
BT are offering a battery back-up for customers who are already on VOIP, at the cost of £85, but these are in short supply, and only last for one hour.
But this will only work if your broadband works and clearly this isn’t always the case. It isn’t really a back-up at all.
We should be making the phone system more reliable, not less.
William Loneskie. Justice Park, Oxton.
Politicians could learn from people
Sir, – It is nine years since my mother died and 20 years since my father passed away and the support from family, neighbours of my late parents and those in my home village of St Monans was first class.
The ability of folk to put aside their differences was great to see as was a church working as you would hope a local parish church should, in my opinion.
Our politicians could take note as, at times, the petty bickering and politicking has been quite sad to see, especially during a time when politicians should be working together.
Thankfully, apart from sadly necessary Protection of Workers (Retail and Age Restricted Goods) (Scotland) legislation and face coverings, the politicians have let folk in food retail get on with the job.
Unlike those in offices, our work cannot be done from home and, as shown by Tour of Britain – Stage 8, Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire is a wonderfully scenic part of the world to work in with a language and dialect that’s a bit different.
You certainly see the differences between areas in Aberdeen that have done well from the oil industry and other parts that have been left behind.
Peter Ovenstone. Orchard Grove, Peterhead.
Decarbonising costs may lead to rioting
Sir, – We in the UK, including Scotland, are now confronted with two vast drains on our national resources.
These are, first, the Covid plague now besetting us and, secondly, the hypothetical threat of world crises from climate change.
These are postulated to be caused by the man-made carbon dioxide CO2 emitted from domestic, industrial and many other sources.
It is clear that the billion-pound cost of Covid must be spent now to minimise the disease’s impact on our people and the economy.
However, despite reports of recent dire climatic conditions, these exemplify not climate change but the very bad weather we all know.
The hypothetical, computer model-based predictions of worldwide climate crises decades hence have already cost us vast sums.
These expenditures are made in the hope of future amelioration of dangers of worldwide climate change.
They are based on the unproven remedy of decarbonisation, set to cost us many trillions in the UK alone.
That risks very major societal disruptions, even rioting in the streets.
Moreover, our present horrendous indebtedness makes our nations poor.
Therefore, so as to preserve our civilisation, we must opt out of worldwide decarbonisation, instead using the resources for today’s very many necessities.
We could do that with clear consciences, since our man-made CO2 output is negligible at 0.008645% of the planet’s total emissions.
Charles Wardrop. Viewlands Road West, Perth.