Letters: Cockenzie plans show red light to green credentials

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Whatever happened to the First Minister’s commitment to tackling climate change (Cockenzie plant set to burn brighter as plans approved, News, October 6)?

Surely it must be obvious that converting one of the country’s worst polluting power stations into a gas-fired power station is a major backwards step.

Gas is just as much a finite resource as coal. If we have to rely on gas, it is essential that it is used to the best advantage. Burning gas to make electricity is far from efficient.

Much has been spoken of new technologies such as carbon-capture, but until these have been developed beyond the experimental stage, it is premature to think that they can be relied on. The SNP’s green credentials are not worth the paper they are written on.

Jenny Mollison, Inveresk Village, East Lothian

Let government beat social blights

It is reported that Bishop Tartaglia of the Diocese of Paisley has written to First Minister Alex Salmond warning that the Scottish Government’s stance on the issues of sectarianism and same-sex marriages could damage relations with the Roman Catholic church.

While no-one would wish to see this happen, shouldn’t we recognise that what the government is seeking to do with the shame of sectarianism is to address a social blight on Scotland, its people and its reputation abroad, particularly with those who would spend their money visiting us or buying the goods and services we depend on for our livelihoods?

Shouldn’t the Bishop be congratulating and giving constructive input rather than denigrating?

And isn’t the issue of same-sex marriages a fundamental blight on our social landscape too?

Aren’t same sex couples, committed to their partnerships through love and commitment, entitled to the same rights as opposite-sex couples?

How can any reasonable church deny intrinsic rights to those who base their union on such laudable qualities?

Marriage is not the sole preserve of religious groups. We have long had a tradition of civil marriage for those without faith.

Shouldn’t our tradition of freedom, supported by the European Convention on Human Rights, extend to all of us irrespective of religion, race, sex, as was originally intended?

Aren’t Nicola Sturgeon and her colleagues proving that the Scottish Enlightenment is still alive and thriving today?

And, aren’t they creating a beacon of Scots humanity that will shine proudly around the world?

Jim Taylor, The Murrays Brae, Edinburgh

Stressing desire to keep open spaces

DUE to the continuing growth in population along with the need for new homes and modern buildings, it is probably not feasible to preserve all green landscapes in the city.

However, those that are kept should be well maintained and accessible to all as locations in which to relax and unwind.

City-centre living can be stressful at the best of times and if people were denied the opportunity to “get away from it all” the stress of modern-day living may be all the more heightened.

Angus McGregor, Albion Road, Edinburgh

Women crucial in new Afghanistan

october marks the ten-year anniversary since the start of UK military intervention in Afghanistan. Whilst much news centres on the withdrawal of military troops, I would like to draw readers’ attention to another aspect of the conflict – women’s forgotten role in building peace.

Afghanistan is still one of the most dangerous countries in the world to be a woman. 87 per cent of women report having experienced at least one form of violence. Despite this, women have made progress. More girls are in school, women have the right to vote and stand for office. However, when it comes to the future, women’s voices are sidelined.

Foreign Secretary William Hague must take to peace talks a strong message from Afghan women and their supporters in the UK. Women’s involvement is crucial to ensuring a just and sustainable peace.

Bridget Schuil, Edinburgh