Those making decisions in this country at present show at best a laissez faire attitude to their plight; at worst a downright antagonism to the industry, which altogether employs tens of thousands. It is a ruthless, Margaret Thatcher-style approach in all but name.
To the SNP/Green coalition now in control, posturing policies are far more important than serious and joined-up thinking and planning ahead.
Fortune had brought these energy riches to Scotland, the SNP are taking them away decades prematurely. No-one is suggesting that these industries could last forever. Oil, like coal, is a finite substance. But the strategy and methods used and, most importantly, the timing involved in the gradual rundown of the old fossil fuels while new and secure sources and methods of keeping the people alive and well are found, is critical.
And, of course, to complete the picture of gross incompetence and an irony to end all ironies, we shall have to import the oil and gas needed to survive at vastly inflated prices.
Rushing into banning and virtue-signalling is catastrophically the wrong thing to do and using this looming crisis as a political football is criminal. Our children and grandchildren will be the ones to pay.
Alexander McKay, Edinburgh
As we mark the end of the first year of new trade terms between the UK and EU, the predicted negative impacts of Brexit on the economy and on living standards are becoming clearer.
According to the Office for Budget Responsibility, it has been estimated that the UK economy will be roughly four per cent worse off that it would have been had the 2016 EU referendum gone the other way. As of October, the latest month for which data is available, UK imports and exports were 15.7 per cent below the level that could have been expected had the UK not left the EU’s customs union and single market in January. In parallel with this, the ending of freedom of labour has led to much-publicised shortages of lorry drivers, farm labourers and abattoir workers. Reinforced with the impacts of Covid-19, this has seen UK growth lag behind the US and the eurozone. Gross domestic product in the UK was 3.9 per cent higher in the third quarter of 2021 than in the second quarter of 2016. Over the same period the eurozone produced 6.2 per cent growth and the US 10.6 per cent.
Brexit has had a devastating impact on the UK economy, which has to an extent been masked by Covid. As the pandemic recedes, these impacts will become obvious for all to see.
Alex Orr, Edinburgh
Planting a seed
If you could save 200 animals in 2022 and help heal the planet, too, would you do it? Well, every single one of us can – by eating vegan.
Going plant-based prevents animals from enduring miserable lives and violent, terrifying deaths. It’s better for the environment and slashes your risk of suffering from cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and strokes.
Fortunately, ditching meat, eggs, and dairy has never been easier and PETA is offering a free vegan starter kit and 30-day January Vegan Challenge to support you with top tips and easy recipes. Eating vegan is a compassionate choice that stops suffering and can boost your health. Now that’s a New Year’s resolution to keep.
Jennifer White, PETA UK, London
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