Switch fuels

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You report that Policy Exchange calls for the government to tackle climate change by improving household energy efficiency and encouraging more onshore wind farms (“Government’s green vision adds £60 to energy bills”, 16 July).

Unfortunately, since the mid -19th century, it has been known that increasing the efficiency with which a fuel is used actually increases demand for it and greater use. Despite laudable attempts to reduce the household use of electricity, national demand continues to increase.

There is also evidence that, for various reasons, renewable energy systems do not reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions (emissions are still increasing).

The only effective way to reduce carbon and other emissions is to switch fuels. For electricity generation there should be an immediate switch from the burning of coal to burning gas, with the hope that even gas can be phased out in preference to nuclear and hydro with more storage systems.

For road transport, petrol and diesel need to be replaced in the short term by LPG and later by electricity and/or fuel cells.

However, I despair at the short-sightedness and overall technical ignorance of governments and expect that whatever is done will be too little too late and that anthropogenic global warming will relentlessly continue with dire effects for civilisation.

Steuart Campbell

Dovecot Loan

Edinburgh