I WOULD like to think those of us who live in affluent countries with good housing and infrastructure, and with the financial and logistical resources to cope with a natural disaster, have both the humility to concede that we are very fortunate and the honesty to admit that complacency about climate warming is not an option.
The cyclone which hit the Pacific island of Vanuatu at the weekend did so with unprecedented ferocity. The saddest words from a distraught president Baldwin Lonsdale summed up the enormity of this disaster for his country: “All I can say is that our hope for prospering into the future has been shattered.”
This is the reality for millions of people living in those regions of the planet which are currently most vulnerable to the devastating impact of climate warming.
The opinions expressed by some contributors to The Scotsman suggest that, as far as they’re concerned, if their lives are not noticeably affected by climate warming, then it’s not happening. No dramatic wave surges through the streets of Edinburgh? It must be a lie, then.
For those who live in close harmony with the natural world, the impact and immediacy of climate change on their lives is a current reality, not a future possibility. Like the unfortunate canaries taken down mine shafts, their deaths are a warning of danger to the rest of us.
Broughty Ferry, Dundee
Alan Hinnrichs (Letters, 16 March) claims extreme weather – hurricanes, tornadoes, droughts, floods – is due to global warming, a claim with which even the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) has taken care to disassociate itself. Since 1998, there has been no statistically significant rise in global temperatures and this has led to more than 60 different explanations being proposed to explain this lengthy “pause”.
The sheer number is the clearest evidence that the system climate scientists seek to model is irreducibly complex and common sense should moderate warmist scaremongering. The fact is levels of CO2 have been higher through most of Earth’s history, with climate both warmer and colder than at present co-existing with these levels. Human-sourced CO2 is but one of many factors and the demands of the Climate Change Act are unrealizable with the costs to the poorest sections of mankind beyond contemplation.
(DR) JOHN CAMERON