Letters: Edinburgh must seize its chance for jobs bonanza

Pelamis wave power device pictured at Leith. Picture:  Jane Barlow
Pelamis wave power device pictured at Leith. Picture: Jane Barlow
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CITY council economic convener Councillor Frank Ross is quite right to draw attention to the massive jobs bonanza from a green investment programme (Evening News, January 15).

The immediate focus is on high-quality jobs in renewables manufacture, clustered in Leith, drawing on the stellar reputation Scotland has for engineering.

We used to build warships and oil-rigs; why not use these same skills to power us into a low carbon future?

But the potential of green jobs is far larger than renewables. Between now and 2020 a huge programme of repair and improvement is needed to property, to protect against a backdrop of rising energy prices – jobs galore there. So too with zero-waste projects – a whole new sector in re-use, repair and recovery.

And the good news is that small local businesses and social enterprises are best-placed to take advantage of this boon.

In my own area, sustainable packaging company Vegware has grown from operating in a garage a few years ago to being Scotland’s third fastest growing firm, with jobs to boot.

Never has the employment potential of living within the planet’s capacity been so starkly obvious. The city needs to seize the opportunity.

Gavin Corbett, Green economy spokesperson

Abortion shouldn’t be a lifestyle choice

It has been impossible to pick up a newspaper, or listen to the radio, recently without being informed and misinformed of alleged abortions in the UK of foetuses of children unwanted simply because they are female.

We shouldn’t be surprised if some of these reports prove to be true – after all, we live in a multi-cultural society, and for some people (hopefully a minority) in some of those cultures this practice may be acceptable.

You can’t have a multi-cultural society without recognising cultural differences, which means that leaping up and down in protest about gender-based abortions is shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted.

What I do have difficulty in understanding is the rationale of private and public health services who are willing, on one hand, to correctly spend tens, maybe hundreds, of thousands of pounds to enable a childless mother conceive, and, on the other hand, abort a perfectly viable foetus because it is the wrong sex for its parents’ lifestyle.

I want a politician to stand up and say “I will not let this happen on my watch”, but won’t hold my breath waiting, because it is more likely that I shall live to hear of the aborting of a foetus likely to mature with blue eyes, whereas its parents wanted brown.

Who knows? Perhaps it’s happened already.

David Fiddimore, Nether Craigwell, Calton Road

Litter-strewn streets are embarrassing

I READ the online views column regarding rubbish in Edinburgh (News, January 11) and wholeheartedly agree with the comments.

Our city is an embarrassment. I live in Sighthill and our streets are a disgrace – plastics, dog poo, cigarette ends everywhere.

Surely signs should be erected to warn people – littering is on the increase and no wonder. Perhaps environment convener Councillor Lesley Hinds, pictured, has read the comments.

Edinburgh, get a grip.

Ms Kath Taylor, Sighthill Gardens, Edinburgh

Give Scots the tools to make minds up

IT’S the year Scotland decides on independence.

Let all involved ensure the debate and the information is fair and offers real hope to the people of Scotland, who for decades have had governments thrust upon them.

Let there be fair play and compassion at the very heart of politics and not self-interest or favouritism. Let the Unionists state exactly what options they will offer Scotland if Scotland chooses the UK over independence.

And let there finally be an end to the scare-mongering from certain elements in the ‘No’ camp.

Trevor Swistchew, Victoria Park Terrace, Edinburgh

Putin cannot decide the will of the people

ACCORDING to the press in Moscow, sources close to David Cameron made it clear Britain is keen to get President Putin’s support before the September independence poll.

The very notion of the Prime Minister trying to recruit the Kremlin to save the Union has suddenly made people sit up and take notice. This is nothing less than an international conspiracy against independence.

I remember the riots in Russia when Putin was re-elected. They said it was fixed, but to involve a former KGB officer, it was shocking.

We Scots are not that daft. We have heard all the scare stories and it will be the people of Scotland that will decide, not David Cameron, not Labour nor the Lib Dems, and for sure not President Putin.

Why are they all scared of Scots voting for independence?

J Hill, Stenhouse Avenue, Edinburgh

Terrible way for a young whale to die

IT’S deeply sad a young sperm whale was found on the beach in Joppa because it was stranded and died.

Such a terrible shame the creature’s life ended in this way.

June Fleming, Hercus Loan, Edinburgh