Act now on climate change or face disaster

IN response to Mr Talton’s letter on climate change (Don’t waste cash on climate change myth, February 1) there are any number of flaws in his arguments. To begin with human-caused climate change is by no means a myth. It may be something people would rather were not true, but that has no bearing on whether it is true or not.

He states that human carbon dioxide emissions are ‘only’ 4 per cent of the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. He clearly does not realise that the climate is a balanced system, with a 4 per cent change being enough to unbalance it, with possibly catastrophic consequences. He also fails to mention that the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has risen by some 38 per cent since industrialisation began, making it 30 per cent higher than at any time in the last 800,000 years. Has he not heard of the phrase ‘the straw that broke the camels back’?

He also rather disingenuously fails to mention that in the aftermath of the so-called ‘climategate’, the research that was done has been investigated by eight separate and independent groups both inside and outside the UK, and none of them have found any evidence of fraud or scientific misconduct. For some reason this fact seems to have received far less coverage in the media than the initial ‘climategate’ reports.

The quote stating ‘we can’t account for the lack of warming’ is very much taken out of context and misses a couple of important points. Firstly, that it continues ‘at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t’. This is hardly evidence of conspiracy, but instead is evidence of the scientists involved being aware of a problem and working to overcome it.

The statement that there has been no warming in the last 10 years seems to not be based on fact at all – the warmest 10 years on record have all been since 1998.

The number of people willing to change their way of life to ameliorate climate change is no indicator of the truth (or otherwise) of the need for change, more of public attitudes to it, which particularly in these tough times are probably going to be more influenced by immediate economic concerns rather than long-term needs.

As for spending money, all of the evidence indicates we have two choices. Firstly, invest some money now to combat human-driven climate change or, secondly, have to spend much, much more later to combat its disastrous effects and the deaths it will inevitably cause. We have to decide which of these we prefer before things progress to the point where the second choice is made by default.

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