August 14, 2022

In each remark he makes on the Scottish drug demise drawback, Dr. Sandesh Gulhane, Scottish Tory well being spokesman, ignores some essential information (Name for Progress on Drug Dying, The Herald, July 29).

He ignores the truth that the most recent annual drug-related demise determine of 1,330 almost matches Scotland’s annual alcohol-related demise of 1,020 – a determine that’s rising 12 months on 12 months and rising attributable to Covid. Dr Gulhane, a common practitioner and in addition an MD, ought to know that 61,500 Scots are hooked on unlawful medicine and that 106,500 individuals are hooked on alcohol. Alcohol is our greatest drug-related drawback, leading to 35,499 folks staying in hospitals in comparison with 10,509 hospitalizations for drug addicts.

Scottish Conservatives constantly ignore the truth that all Scottish drug addictions – smoking, ingesting and unlawful medicine – are most prevalent in our most deprived communities, the place poverty is at its peak. Over the previous 12 years, they’ve finished nothing to cut back poverty. Their authorities additionally made it tough to seek out new options to the issue of illicit drug use and mortality by refusing to reform the 1971 drug legal guidelines.

As a substitute, the Scottish Conservatives try to cross a invoice within the Scottish Parliament that may give folks hooked on alcohol and unlawful medicine instantaneous entry to therapy and particularly to rehabilitation locally. This proposal, if accepted, is not possible to implement as a result of it will require a number of thousand extremely educated medical doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists and a variety of consultants who would take a long time to recruit and prepare. If Dr. Gulhane and his occasion are severe about decreasing all deaths from drug abuse, they should take an in depth have a look at what their insurance policies have finished over the a long time to make it so tough for drug customers to entry care. they want.

Max Cruickshank, Glasgow.


I LOVED Bjorn Lomberg’s article on world meals manufacturing (“The International Meals Disaster…and the Soiled Secret of Natural Farming”, The Herald, July 28). His sometimes irreverent views on the dangerously destructive results of a number of the concepts of the environmental motion, on this case natural farming, are refreshingly compelling in a world of environmental activism of individuals whose ardour is commonly matched solely by their ignorance. (Might such folks object to using water in the event that they realized that it had a chemical components?)

Nevertheless, on this specific article, he offers a deceptive image of the “various” to “scientific” agriculture, particularly the function of mineral fertilizers and particularly artificial nitrogen fertilizers, which he describes as a “fashionable miracle”.

Vegetation want three macronutrients—nitrogen, phosphoric acid, and potassium—together with a wide range of micronutrients (hint components) corresponding to boron, calcium, copper, and cobalt. With out a balanced provide of those chemical substances, plant uptake of vitamins and water from the soil is not going to be optimum. One of many issues of the Inexperienced Revolution in South Asia, for instance, was an excessive amount of coverage emphasis on subsidy-encouraged nitrogen fertilizer use on the expense of different important vitamins, resulting in unbalanced fertilizer use. in flip, not solely decreasing crop yields under their pure potential, but additionally forcing crops to “extract” different soil vitamins, with antagonistic results on land productiveness in the long term.

One other difficulty with using artificial fertilizers is that whereas they will significantly enhance soil chemistry, they do little to enhance soil physics – principally soil construction – to supply an optimum setting for fundamental processes like soil aeration. , branching of roots and absorption of vitamins and water. Soil construction is finest improved by introducing natural matter corresponding to crop residue and manure to interrupt down into humus. Nevertheless, natural matter itself has two drawbacks. It isn’t wealthy sufficient within the above chemical substances, and there are usually not sufficient of them (because the expertise of Sri Lanka clearly demonstrates). A very good steadiness of soil vitamins and soil construction is required. Thus, not solely are chemical and natural agriculture not another, however they play a really complementary function within the seek for world meals safety.

Jerry Gill, Glasgow.


Disappointing reviews have been relayed to the BBC, out there on iPlayer, of one other truck accident attributable to a driver utilizing his telephone on the motorway. Ion Onut, who crashed into site visitors on the A1(M) in County Durham and killed three folks minutes earlier whereas shopping grownup courting websites on his telephone, was jailed for eight years and 10 months final week.

Final Wednesday, attributable to yet one more railroad strike, I traveled from Edinburgh to Dundee by bus. The automobile on the best way residence was a type of touring automobiles with a single however excessive passenger deck. The proper top to look into the cabs of vans and vans.

Utilizing the telephone within the cab whereas driving appears regular. The one one which even made me suppose was the man behind the wheel of a small truck, sitting sideways on the highway, half dealing with the opposite man within the cab, with what appeared to be one knee up. He had one finger – sure, one finger – on the steering wheel, and within the different hand he had a telephone.

There are two crosswalks not removed from the place I stay the place the locals know that automobiles do not cease whatever the coloration of the lights.

Acceleration in built-up areas returned throughout Covid and has not gone away. I am simply questioning how a lot highway deaths need to rise earlier than we get again to making an attempt to stop this completely preventable carnage.

Amanda Baker, Edinburgh.


The picture of Jack Home (“Mr. Glasgow in George Sq.”, The Herald, July 229) introduced again many reminiscences. Sooner or later he remarked that he thought-about himself one of many “smart males of the East”, that’s, the East of Glasgow.

Most of all, nonetheless, I bear in mind him for his distinctive, reassuring voice. For a few years within the Nineteen Forties, 50s and 60s his voice was heard all through Britain when he appeared incessantly on The Gentle and in a while Dwelling Service as a member of the Scottish quiz group “Round Britain”. He typically appeared on this group with Sir James Fergusson. They had been typically profitable, which he attributed to the truth that “James is a public faculty and I’m a public home.”

Jack Home is much from a resident of Glasgow.

Jan W. Thomson, Lenzi.

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