TO ask Dr Sparks to sum up a subject as complex as climate change in two thirds of a page of a newspaper is a tall order (The Hunts Post, April 30). However, I don t feel comfortable with words like denier even if they are used as a sort of shorthand. I
TO ask Dr Sparks to sum up a subject as complex as climate change in two thirds of a page of a newspaper is a tall order (The Hunts Post, April 30).
However, I don't feel comfortable with words like "denier" even if they are used as a sort of shorthand. It is not clear whether Dr Sparks includes in this definition those who, like Sir David King - the government's recently retired chief scientist - are unable to agree that all of the change is the responsibility of human activity. Dr King said he guessed at 50 per cent human and 50 per cent natural - clearly more a case of intelligent guesswork than scientific proof.
Dr Sparks's final sentence concludes that the future of climate change is all up to us but, if we are unable to measure our contribution, how can he claim that?
Obviously anyone who believes the climate isn't changing must live in a padded cell and have never read any of the history of the last 1,000 years. We have all seen the pictures of oxen roasting on the frozen Thames in the mini ice-age, which lasted from the early 1300s to 1850. Perhaps not many of us are aware that from 1695 to 1733 the average mean temperature rose 3.25 degrees Celsius.
What do I deduce from all this? Firstly that if we wish our species to survive then it is sensible not to pollute our environment, but that, secondly and just as importantly, we must expect change and learn how to adapt to it, whether it be to a warmer or a colder climate. What is no help is thinking we have some wildly exaggerated power over the complex world we live in.
LORD De RAMSEY
Former chairman, Environment Agency