Letters: It’s ice work if you can get it at the Antarctic

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The 52 scientists and tourists aboard the Russian research ship trapped in Antarctic ice have been airlifted off.

Their mission to establish solid evidence of melting ice caps resulting from climate change was embarrassingly abandoned because the ice was too thick.

The expedition was supposed to repeat scientific investigations made by Douglas Mawson a century ago and to compare then and now.

It would be churlish to point out that Mawson’s ship was never icebound.

The winter sea ice cover in the Antarctic has grown to its largest extent since satellite records began in the late 1970s, thus defying alarmists’ climate models.

Now they must have “snowy egg on their faces”as three rescue ships and a helicopter, all fuelled by fossil fuels, and all belching substantial carbon emissions, have had to rescue them.

It is therefore ironic that the scientists looking for evidence of global warming were trapped by local 
cooling.

This is a salutary lesson for those with vested interests who persistently exaggerate the impact of global warming especially the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Clark Cross, Springfield Road, Linlithgow

Free transport would be just the ticket

It appears that commuters are ditching public transport in favor of their car.

Whilst walking and cycling are clearly to be encouraged, we are in Scotland and the weather, as well as the extended hours people have to work, limit this option. The cost of public transport means that if you already have a car then the savings are questionable.

Whilst in parliament, The Scottish Socialist Party proposed free public transport.

It would pay for itself through savings in health care, road maintenance and congestion.

It would cut carbon emissions, air and noise pollution. Improve social inclusion and general well being.

Isolated communities and tourism would also benefit. Inexplicably the Greens opposed it.

Paul Jordan, Scottish Socialist Party, McNeill Street, Edinburgh

Thatcher’s papers reveal harsh truths

The recent release of Cabinet papers reveals all too starkly the perfidy of Thatcher’s government.

Thousands of miners were earmarked to lose their livelihoods six months BEFORE they took strike action. The claim made by Arthur Scargill (pictured) of a “hidden agenda”, at the time sneered at, was in fact absolutely true.

Furthermore, George Younger, then Secretary of State for Scotland, was instructed not only to instigate severe cuts to Scotland’s budget, but to take care to “cover up” those cuts!

Add to this Westminster’s assurance, 40 years ago, that by now the oil would have run out.

Include Blair’s war on imaginary Weapons of Mass Destruction and the credibility of those public servants is surely damaged beyond repair.

These people speak with forked tongues. We should therefore perhaps note how with might and main, they are urging us to vote “No” and after the minimum amount of cogitation, act far from accordingly.

Joseph G Miller, Gardeners Street, Dunfermline

It’s time to get real over North Sea oil

Colin Fox and Nichola Sturgeon’s recent comments on the regional nature of UK economic policy are just bilge.

For your readers’ information, the City of London alone generates £50-£60 billion in revenue for the country. North Sea oil, on the other hand, merely generates only about £10bn a year (and reducing).

The Nationalists really need to get real about how important North Sea oil and the Scottish economy is to the UK and European economies as this will become all too apparent if they start negotiations with the beliefs they currently hold.

As the chief economist at HSBC, said: “Independence would be a disaster for Scotland, a shrug of the shoulders for everybody else.”

Alan Mclay, West Fenton Road, Aberlady

Resolve to go vegan and feel the benefits

Anyone who has not already made their New Year resolution may wish to consider adopting a vegan diet. Not only will it mean no animals are harmed to produce the food they eat, but it is also very good for human health as vegans suffer less from 
cardiovascular disease, obesity and certain types of cancer. It’s the ideal way to counteract the gluttony of Christmas.

I would also urge anyone who has pledged to give more to charity to choose only those that do not conduct tests on animals. A list of these, as well as information on going vegan, can be requested by calling Animal Aid on 01732 364546.

Ben Martin, Animal Aid, Tonbridge

No thought given to danger for rescuers

As the country settles into a New Year the reckless behaviour of some people during the recent stormy and unsettled weather beggars belief.

Extreme weather events might be spectacular and dramatic but people ought to think very carefully before embarking upon action which might not only endanger their own lives but also the the lives of those who might have to rescue them should the worst happen.

Angus McGregor, Edinburgh