Madam, – For the past five years, the entire political debate has been dominated by broadly constitutional issues, namely Scottish Independence and then Brexit.
Significant as their impact would be, the real world and ongoing issues which need tackled continue unabated and struggle to command much public attention.
For large communities like Levenmouth, which have fallen behind much of the rest of Scotland, this ongoing neglect is criminal.
The local low-wage economy limps along with few jobs available, and education performance and training provision remain poor by any national standard.
Meanwhile the drag effect of multiple deprivation arising from poor health, limited employment and income levels, low educational attainment and aspects such as crime continue to blight our community.
The strain of squeezed public services is clear to all and felt greatest here and in other similar ex-mining communities which have never recovered.
While Levenmouth needs major private investment to help restore its fortunes, it will need the catalyst of focused public investment to make this happen.
The recent privately-mooted giant whale sculptures and pier might form part of the area’s regeneration jigsaw but where is the drive and initiative from the public sector to facilitate the necessary transformation?
Opening the Levenmouth Campus was one of the positive measures a few years back but we really need a branch of a university to open a wing here alongside.
The rail connection is the elephant in the room. It is not a panacea but reopening the line is such a simple and inexpensive “no-brainer” to kickstart Levenmouth’s recovery.
Given Government commitments to inclusive economic growth, it’s amazing this has not yet happened, but no doubt the distractions of indy and Brexit referendums will be cited as excuses.
It is time for politics to get real again.
UK veterans denied legal aid
Madam, – I was interested to read the article regarding IS bride Shamima Begum being denied legal aid (Courier, April 16).
Jeremy Corbyn says she is entitled to legal aid as she is British.
I am also British but I have been denied legal aid.
I was a loyal serviceman, prepared to defend our country, who was ordered to attend the British nuclear experiments at Christmas Island in 1958.
In my case, it was the Government who decided that all nuclear veterans be denied legal aid, when dealing with matters regarding the nuclear fiasco.
What a pity Mr Corbyn did not voice an opinion on this matter when he was a back-bench member at the time.
Link road will hit air quality
Madam, – To improve air quality for people who live and work in London a sizeable Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) has recently been announced, with other cities soon to follow suit.
There was no mention of the displacement of traffic that will almost certainly occur as older and bigger vehicles circumvent ULEZ.
The environmental cost in scrapping older vehicles and making the new ones compliant is quietly forgotten as this is something that other parts of the world’s ecosystem just has to put up with. It is not just in London where this happening. Many of the world’s major cities are cleaning up their own air while damaging the atmosphere that belongs to everyone.
One of the principle arguments used for building the new Cross Tay Link Road is relieve traffic congestion in Bridgend and to improve air quality in Perth.
Unfortunately all of the people who live on or near the A94 will soon find that, with the inevitable increase in congestion and the stop start of traffic, the environment will be compromised and the air quality will go down as the volume of traffic on the road through their communities increases.
CO2 theory never proven
Madam, – Extinction Rebellion activists, who believe that carbon dioxide drives the climate, have been causing disruption in London and other cities.
They need to understand that CO2 theory has never been proven, and there are other theories including volcanism.
In 2017 physicist and nuclear chemist Marvin Herndon wrote a paper which suggested major earthquakes during 1973-2015 are increasing and therefore earth-heat, ocean acidification and volcanic CO2 are increasing.
In 2018 Sean Birkel, PhD in earth sciences, led a study which suggested that, in the recent past, declines in global sea surface temperatures coincided with major explosive volcanic activity which released aerosols including sulphur into the stratosphere.
He wrote that many climate models filter out this effect.
In 2018 geographer Arthur Viterito wrote a paper which discusses the high correlation between mid-ocean seismic activity and global temperatures between 1979 and 2017.
He states “mid ocean seismicity is a significant prediction of global temperatures but CO2 is not”.
In 2017 oceanographer Deborah Kelley suggested that more than 70% of the volcanism on earth occurs beneath an ocean veil and the significance of these volcanos as part of the carbon and sulphur cycles on a global scale is unknown.
Renewable energy will not stop volcanism.
Young recognise climate truth
Madam, – I wanted to thank Jenny Hjul personally for all the nice publicity she gave the Scottish Green Party in her column (Green Party wants to quit UK at all costs, Courier, April 10).
I must admit I thought it was the Brexiteers who wanted to leave the European Union even after they admitted it would cost jobs and lower the amount of money people would have.
It is nice to see she recognises the unique identity of the Scottish Green Party and that it is founded on “peaceful ecological principles”.
Green voters want to save the planet, which Scotland is part of.
Climate Change may be “an inconvenient truth” but it is a truth more and more people, especially young people, are recognising.
122 Dunsinane Drive,
No-one owns the Spring
Madam, – In the run up to the holidays, the Advertising Standards Authority has highlighted its concern that advertisers should “Avoid causing religious offence during Easter”.
This is both concerning for free speech and infantilising of religious sensibilities.
Religious belief is a choice which surely doesn’t come complete with a package deal of insulation from satire.
Eostre to give it its original pagan name, with its imagery of life returning, resonates for everyone whether Christian or not.
Let’s enjoy the weekend and remember that no one owns the Spring.
Edinburgh Secular Society,