Fear factor

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I wonder whether the use of fear identified by Clark Cross (Letters, 18 November) in attempts to persuade us of man-made climate change also lies behind the inevitable exaggeration colouring reports of such disasters, most of which appear to take place in particular areas.

Typhoons are certainly common in the Philippines.

When no-one had the slightest idea of the extent of casualties, the figure of 10,000 deaths was immediately promulgated, though later greatly reduced. Harrowing though the experience is for the islanders, who will undoubtedly recover from it – and be better prepared for the next one – the experience of Bangladesh is even worse.

In 1970, the then East Pakistan – regularly visited by such weather systems – was hit by deadliest tropical storm ever recorded, one of the worst natural disasters ever known, resulting in up to half a million fatalities.

All such events are tragic, but some global-warming campaigners seize on them for propaganda purposes. They are, in my belief,g purely natural occurrences.

Robert Dow

Tranent, East Lothian

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