Sir, Your report (April 15) on the late arrival of the osprey Lady at Loch of the Lowes reminds us that ospreys have been breeding in Perthshire for more than 25 years.
They are actually relatively common. There are plenty of other nest sites which are often not publicised to reduce the risk of illegal egg collecting.
This makes it even more ludicrous that such a fuss is being made about the nest at Strathallan.
T in the Park only lasts for three days and will provide a huge boost to the local economy and to the finances of one of Perthshire’s historic houses.
All the evidence is that steps can be taken to minimise disturbance to the ospreys and other wildlife.
To me, it made complete sense to encourage the birds to move their nest site.
I suspect Geoff Ellis of T in the park may well be right: a minority just do not want T in the Park to go ahead and will find any excuse to try to stop it, whether it is ospreys or increased traffic.
As a long-time Crieff area resident, I totally support T in the Park moving to Strath-allan, even though I have not the slightest intention of attending it.
J.A. Burdon-Cooper. Cret William, Crieff.
Private schools do open doors
Sir, Your columnist Dudley Treffry (April 13) attacked proposals before the Scottish Parliament to abolish charitable status for private, fee-paying schools on the basis that there is no evidence “to equate education provided independently of the state with static social mobility”.
Yet according to last year’s report from the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission, in the UK, under seven per cent of the public attended a private school but more than 70% of top judges and 62% of senior officers in the army did so, as well as more than 50% of permanent secretaries in the UK Civil Service and 25% of senior executives in the BBC.
If we look at any sector of UK life, the same tendency is apparent.
Mr Treffry suggests that this might be explained by “a self-perpetuating meritocracy”. I would be interested to know exactly what he means by this, and how he can reconcile it with the view stated in paragraph one.
Les Mackay. 5 Carmichael Gardens, Dundee.
Crack down on rogue smokers
Sir, Having attended Ninewells Hospital in Dundee for treatment for over 10 years, I would say that the no-smoking policy relating to hospital grounds has had little or no effect.
At all entrances, particularly the main one, hardened smokers totally ignore the warnings.
The sight of patients on drips and oxygen puffing away is disgusting.
Taxi drivers and bus drivers use the drop-off areas for a fly puff too. Even the monotonous audio warning falls on deaf ears.
If the powers-that-be were as ruthless as the parking attendants, the grounds really would be a no-smoking area.
Bob Smart. 55 Bellevue Gardens, Arbroath.
Man’s role in climate change
Sir, The misleading letter from Dan Arnott about research into the effect of volcanic eruptions on climate (April 15) needs a response.
The research he is referring to indicates that it was massive amounts of carbon dioxide from unprecedented volcanic activity that led to the acidification of the oceans and to the destruction of 90% of the world’s species.
Over the 252 million years since then, the planet has slowly regenerated itself and come to some stability with the oceans becoming much less acidic Since the beginning of the industrial revolution, the human race has been emitting more and more carbon dioxide and we are now at the highest concentration in the atmosphere ever.
Over a quarter of thecarbon dioxide that humans have released has been absorbed by the world’s oceans and become carbonic acid, leading to oceans’ acid levels rising by 26% over the last 200 years. The oceans could be acidifying even faster than during the period 250 million years ago, although it has not been going on for so long.
The acidification of the ocean affects the lowest levels of the food chain fastest and this directly affects those marine fish and animals that depend upon them.
Walter Attwood. Co-ordinator. Friends of the Earth, Stirling.
Coal looks attractive
Sir, Japan’s blueprint for its energy future envisages a return of nuclear power after the absurd over-reaction to Fukushima and a newly dominant role for coal in the energy mix.
By 2030, round-the-clock power sources such as nuclear, hydro-electric, natural gas and coal will provide well over 90%, with the rest coming from less stable renewables.
In contrast to other advanced economies that are trying to nudge carbon out of the energy mix, coal will supply one third of the total, well up from the old nuclear days.
Like India, Japan is tired of being bullied by Europe-based green NGOs and rock-bottom coal prices, brought on by dwindling global demand, are proving irresistible.
Dr John Cameron. 10 Howard Place, St Andrews.