The world needs to do something for posterity

Can I comment on recent letters from Mr J. Craige and Mr R. Arnot regarding Ms Cat Turner’s Green Column and anthropogenic climate change/global warming?

Both correspondents are extremely exercised over her piece, Mr Craige asserting that Ms Turner said ‘anyone’ dissenting with her views on AGW is ‘a LIAR’(his emphasis).

Well, actually, no she didn’t, and I quote her column saying ‘there are still those willing’ to peddle lies, and she provides an accessible and transparent example.

It’s not fair to exaggerate what she said to this extreme degree, and the record needs to be put straight.

There are many examples of ACC deniers, anti-wind power campaigners etc promoting misleading and biased material.

For example, page 29 of the Sunday Telegraph August 21 has an article by Christopher Brooker ‘The great wind delusion’, with a photograph of turbines captioned ‘A glimpse of the future...’.

The image of a dense forest of wind turbines is completely unrepresentative of any wind farm extant or planned in the British Isles, and is clearly intended to scaremonger readers about the future of their landscape.

Messrs Craige and Arnot make similar arguments that we should all beware of, variously, Price Waterhouse Cooper, Bloomberg Weekly, Munich RE, the Smith School at Oxford University, and in previous letters the IPCC, the IAC, in fact anyone producing research demonstrating ACC, or promoting development of renewable power.

Their stance appears to be that all these people are either unreliable or seeking to line their own pockets, and/or are part of an unspecified global conspiracy, and all politicians pursuing renewables are either implicated in the conspiracy, or too stupid to see through it.

It’s healthy to have a referenced debate about the science, but please let’s drop the conspiracy theory nonsense, or at least provide some evidence. And let’s not be naive about the realities of infrastructure development: of course renewables developers have to prove financial feasibility, they have to reassure investors and fund R and D.

Renewables developers are no more purely altruistic or philanthropic than any fossil fuel power generator, but at least they’re trying to save life on the planet from the worst consequences of untrammelled fossil fuel use.

Finally may I address Mr Arnot’s theories about CO2 not being implicated in ACC as it is heavier than air.

Yes, it is heavier, but when emitted by cars on the road, power stations, ships at sea or high altitude aeroplanes it is not like pouring out a bottle of concentrated liquid pollutant.

It is mixed with other gases and water vapour, generally in a hot mix which will initially rise, and be subject to forces such as evaporation, thermal updraught, all swirled around by wind.

Yes, concentrations of CO2 are higher at ground level than the top of the Andes, where again they are higher than the upper reaches of the troposphere, but its presence in the atmosphere in increasing amounts, and its differential light and heat absorption characteristics which cause it to be a greenhouse gas, are beyond challenge.

Mr Arnot is right to be concerned about CO2 damaging the oceans, but that’s an additional effect, not the only one. And there’s an awful lot of CO2 being pumped out by mankind. Consider that approximately 44g of CO2 occupies 22.4litres, and the average vehicle on Manx roads emits probably around five times this amount for every kilometre of travel. It’s happening all around us, and the world needs to do something urgently for all our sakes, and posterity.

Peter Christian



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