Letters to the editor – 5.11.20

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A83 Glen Croe option

It was very interesting to read the article in this week’s Oban Times that Argyll & Bute Council favour the Glen Croe option running adjacent to A83 to be a permanent solution to this ongoing threat.

I really do hope this means using the forestry road on the opposite side of the valley “adjacent” to current A83. This really does seem to be the ideal solution.

Yes, it would no doubt cost a lot but the alternatives mean an ongoing struggle with no really sound final solution to this very serious problem

Argyll & Bute residents/businesses have been amazingly patient over the years but we all live with the knowledge that the current road is so unsafe and dangerous, and the day could easily come that we hear of a fatal accident due to yet another landslide.

Argyll has always been a very beautiful, special part of Scotland. What a boost it would be to the economy for visitors to come here with no threat to their lives as they travel in.

The expense of completing this major new road would be more than justified in a prosperous new outlook for our beloved Argyll.

Scotland has boasted great engineers in its past history, let’s trust there are still those out there capable of the task.
Moreen Moller, Clachan

Salmon study is just a PR exercise

The residents of Arran became familiar with dead salmon after the escapes from Mowi’s Carradale North salmon farm in August – 48,834 farmed salmon escaped, 30,616 died.

Launching a genetics study with funding by Mowi will just delay any solution to the problems of fish escapes and their impact on our genetically different wild Scottish salmon and comes too late. Farmed salmon of Norwegian origin, compromised by weakness and disease and with clear evidence that they have contributed to the inexorable decline in our wild salmonid populations, no longer often seen in the famous fast running West Coast salmon rivers of Scotland, including Arran.

This is more a PR exercise. In the past five years Mowi have managed to lose through six large escape events, 188,800 salmon from their farms, from Colonsay, Hellisay, Loch Alsh and Carradale.

Research is often a delaying tactic to avoid making hard decisions. No further planning permissions for more and large biomass salmon farms in Kilbrannan Sound or other high energy sites, or indeed any increases in biomass anywhere, should be approved by the local councillors in the west of Scotland.

Sally Campbell, Lamlash

Threatening free speech in our homes?

The SNP’s dangerous Hate Crime Bill could threaten free speech in our homes.

Humza Yousaf has confirmed controversial offences will apply inside the home, essentially criminalising free speech at the dinner table.

The SNP must withdraw this Bill and think again instead of trying to force through dangerous attacks on our freedoms. Our fundamental right to freedom of speech remains under threat.

Councillor Alastair Redman, Kintyre and Islands ward.

 

I am suffering from Ecological Anxiety Syndrome. The symptoms are mixed but are characterised by night-sweats, unexpected bouts of crying over the stumps of what were once trees and an unwholesome desire to grab some people by the shoulders and shake them repeatedly whilst shouting, ‘Can’t you see what you’re doing!’, until they ask me to stop.

I have been to the doctor and he tells me it is just a symptom of my ardent belief that we are killing the planet. He’s put me on a course of pills called Idongivadam. Apparently if I take three a day with meals I will be over the worst within a few weeks and be able to integrate back into a society whose bodies naturally manufacture this wonder-drug.

Seriously, though, how much do we care about the destruction of our environment? Every day I read or hear about some new type of poison we have thrown in extravagant quantities into our lochs, see waterfalls of newly-fallen rain washing out of our increasingly bare hillsides, or listen to more news about valuable peat being dug up so we can grow a few flowers.

Should we care? After all, our lifespans are finite and in a few decades it won’t be our problem any more. Of course we should because it will be our children left holding back the tide. Unfortunately, by then, the tide may just overwhelm them.

We have to start doing more than congratulating ourselves on producing electricity by wind power alone. We have to care whether Forestry and Land Scotland wants to  actually look after the environment entrusted to them or wants to remove as much tree cover as it can in order to make money. We have to ask if NatureScot should really be the organisation responsible for looking after our wildlife or should instead be rebranded WildliferemovalScot.

If we don’t, the agencies to whom we have given the authority to ‘manage’ our vanishing planet will likely contribute to killing it.

I have decided not to take the pills after all and just live with the symptoms – after all, I would rather care about the world, and Scotland’s future, than do nothing.

Nick MacIneskar,  Tayvallich