IN my previous letter (September 1), I ­outlined the arguments for and against wind turbines, and suggested a very viable ­alternative in the form of a highly efficient waste to energy system that did not use ­incineration to produce electricity.

IN my previous letter (September 1), I ­outlined the arguments for and against wind turbines, and suggested a very viable ­alternative in the form of a highly efficient waste to energy system that did not use ­incineration to produce electricity.

In all of these debates, I believe that it is very important that we do not lose sight of the need for alternative ways of creating power. Until recently, the energy we use has been consumed in such a wasteful manner that the fact that we are consuming fossil fuel at a ­tremendous rate has almost been forgotten. Look at the heat produced from car engines, and the exhausts from our gas boilers and smoky old coal fires. It's just too easy to let the unwanted pollution and heat generated escape into the atmosphere.

But step back and take a look at these fossil fuels, whether they be coal, gas or any other product derived from them, and think how they were formed.

Millions of years ago, Mother Nature created trees and plants, to be highly effective means of sucking carbon (in the form of carbon dioxide) out of the atmosphere to build their trunks, stems and leaves, while they also spewed out oxygen as a by-product. What they left behind for us were all the fossil fuels - coal, gas, and oil.

Just about every fifth breath of oxygen we take comes from places like the Amazon Rain Forest, and rain falls on many areas of Africa as a direct result of the humidity from this rain forest.

So, we shouldn't burn fossil fuel any more due to the masses of carbon released, and we shouldn't illegally chop down trees like teak for our furniture or to burn on our log fires.

Previously, I discussed how there are now non-incinerating processes for turning our waste products into electricity, gas, diesel and even jet fuel. These processes can also be fuelled very effectively by trees that have been converted into wood chips (and from some garden waste and from recovered wood).

Not only that, but there are a number of ­species of trees that are so prolific in the way they grow that they suck in carbon at a ­massive rate to sustain their growth, and release tons of oxygen in the process. Chop these trees down every year, and next year you have a new tree in its place.

How far towards the needs of tomorrow's humanitarian needs will a wind turbine go?

There is more to this argument than whether we object to whirring turbine blades in our back gardens.

GEOFF MORRIS

Collingwood Road

Eaton Socon