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  • Mailbag

Letters to the editor


Fritz Osterwalder and the protests of 1968 – 50 years on

As a Swiss of a similar generation to Professor Osterwalder but living in Britain I remember the events of that time well. In Cambridge in the late 1970s we pushed the University to start child care for staff and students through petitions, marches and occupations. The radical movement was democratic, socialist and feminist. I disagree with Fritz that if there had been a revolution it would have been undemocratic, chaotic and totalitarian. The revolutions in Russia and China took place in societies with very deep poverty and oppression and were opposed violently by internal and external forces that were recognizably fascist. There is no reason to suppose that the same trajectory would have been followed in Europe.

Greg Kaser, United Kingdom

Secret ideas factory. The hydrogen-powered lorry from Switzerland

Fantastic that the Swiss have come up with this! I know that hydrogen is the fuel of the future. The sooner we get more hydrogen fueled vehicles the better the world will be. I have thought about this for well over 20 years. Every city, town and village has to have electricity and water so hydrogen can be produced everywhere. It can also be produced during low peak electricity hours and stored. The pollution is distilled water! Who can argue with that? Probably the oil companies, the biggest polluters of the world!

John Bosshard, USA

Interesting to hear about hydrogen power which seems to have been supplanted in development terms by electric or battery power. If we can get over the initial development and production costs it looks to be a better solution than just electric batteries which looks to be storing up problems for the future with a huge problem being what to do with spent batteries.

Moritz Steiger, United Kingdom

It is a shame that this technology will not survive as it is too complex. It is hard to imagine that “filling up” in this way at home or on longer journeys is feasible. The technology and infrastructure are much too expensive compared with electricity.

Jen le Grand, Canada

Swiss aid in Libya. CHF 1 million for the coastguard

As long as no or only poor economic, social and hygiene-related infrastructure exists in the African countries, there will be no positive outlook for the future. People will flee to places where they can hope for a better life. Everything else is just a pipe dream. After all, this continent has been exploited for centuries and proper development has been avoided. Put simply, a huge amount of money is needed to help develop the above-mentioned infrastructure. This must happen as quickly as possible as Africa’s population is set to double over the next 40 years. I cannot imagine what lies in store for merry old Europe then.

Erwin Balli-Bautista, Spain