Having lived in the Western Isles all my life (except for a year in Inverness Tech College) I know my environment, yet I am always being told what is good for my environment from people that were trained, so they said, by reading from books and got a bit of paper to say that they passed an exam for what they read from those books, but never saw anything about real life.

And I suppose that can happen all over Scotland, when we meet experts.

I have always wondered how arable farmers are able to grow crops. Do they need all the sprays they use? Being a crofter here we do not use but very little 'chemicals'. Probably all that is used you could put into a 45gallon drum!

What amount of 'chemicals' are used to grow crops in Scotland, can anyone tell me?

From my experience in Civil Engineering, one would have to be very careful how chemicals were mixed, especially if contaminated by soil as they then tended to give off noxious gases, that could be fatal.

I did meet with a farmer from Perthshire that used to sell hay, and the poor man died of cancer – he said that his cancer was due to spraying when there were no cabs on tractors.

So if large amounts of chemicals worldwide are used to produce grain and fruit crops, could this be the prime cause of global warming and not farting cows?

For instance if two camps of science met, and one was trying to debate using reason whereas the other had a chest full of money and promises, what camp would win?

Angus A Macdonald,