Letters: If ‘new for old’ is good for trees, why not councillors?

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Have your say

SHAME on Edinburgh City Council for giving the go-ahead for the felling of 23 mature trees (some 100 years old) from the West End’s Coates Crescent and Atholl Crescent to make room for tram works.

No-one agrees that we need trams in Edinburgh – the biggest waste of money since the Scottish Parliament building.

I keep asking myself who has the final decision within the council because that person doesn’t seem to have an ounce of common sense.

I think the best option would be to get rid of the councillors who have put this through and bring in new people (new for old!) just like they are doing with the older trees, planting new ones in the year 2013.

Let’s not wait that long to bring in younger councillors, ones who are conservationists and who believe in the environment.

I live in Stockbridge and the council has made the decision to bring in flood prevention. The beautiful walkway with trees, plants and flowers looks like a building site with huge blocks of cement, stones, dirt and dust everywhere.

Please Edinburgh City Council, leave the trees alone. They are older and wiser than any of you will ever be.

Mrs P Dores, Stockbridge, Edinburgh

For a quicker fix go Down Under

WE are expecting an overdue visit from my girlfriend’s daughter, all the way from Brisbane, Australia. Since her last visit, Brisbane was hit by horrendous flooding, in January 2011.

This devastated her friend’s house, an area called the South Bank, the Royal Brisbane Golf Club and the pontoons on the Brisbane River. All these have now been repaired or replaced.

On her last visit to Edinburgh, Princes Street was closed for tram work.

Brian Johnstone, South Gyle

Access to justice should be free

I REFER to the letter of January 11 suggesting that Portobello Park Action Group should be pursued for legal costs if they are unsuccessful in the judicial review of the council’s decision to build on Portobello Park.

It should be borne in mind that community groups do not bring such actions lightly and legal action is always a last resort. Access to justice for ordinary people is an extremely important part of a healthy, functioning democracy, but the current system is loaded against people without money.

In fact, the Scottish Government is currently in breach of international law for failing to provide broad and affordable access to justice in environmental matters.

It is difficult, expensive and time consuming for community groups to take public interest cases to court and they should not be financially punished for doing so.

Mary Church, Friends of the Earth Scotland, Edinburgh

Green hardships are not necessary

I READ that the Icelandic volcanic eruption wiped out five years’ efforts to reverse climate change: worse still, Mount Pinatubo’s year-long eruption in the Philippines apparently emitted more greenhouse gases than all the humans in history.

So why do we persist with the unnecessary hardship (for some) of expensive futile measures inflicted by gullible politicians?

Well, much money is being made by many people, including the government through taxes such as the doubled air passenger duty.

We’re told to accept the sacrifice for the sake of future generations; a notion nonsensical in itself and based on the assumption that the climate we’re trying to preserve is the best available.

It is also implied that today’s climate is dangerous compared to earlier times – and that it must continue to deteriorate. On what evidence?

What climatic conditions in recent years have never happened in various past ages? As a species we’ve survived them all through the powerful human attribute of adaptability.

Our hope should really be never to succeed in lowering CO2 emissions, otherwise the green “deniers” will insist on ever more curtailment until we reach dangerously low levels of this essential, life-supporting gas.

It should surely be obvious to our politicians that a moratorium is needed to allow taking stock of the situation.

Robert Dow, Ormiston Road, Tranent