Scientific climate

2
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Like Clark Cross (Letters, 27 
November), I doubt the Met 
Office’s ability to predict either the weather or climate change. Their forecasts are often wrong – but climate is different, they say, dignifying their predictions with the name of “science”.

For us laymen, there are three sorts of science. The basics we can check at home if we want 
to – Newtonian mechanics, for 
instance.

We can see indirectly that other theories must be right. If quantum mechanics were wrong, none of our electronic goodies would work.

Then there is climate. We must just have faith that scientists 
understand the world and are modelling it accurately. We may have to wait 50 years to know if they are right.

Meanwhile, what do we do? Should we let those who
would cool the Earth have their way? We had better be damn sure before we start playing that game.

Or should we do nothing? Was Arthur C Clarke right – might burning carbon save us from the next ice age?

George Byron

Comely Bank Avenue

Edinburgh

Unlike Clark Cross, I do believe in global warming, but from our very different viewpoints on that issue we obviously concur (Letters passim) in our condemnation of the political management of Scotland’s future energy 
provision.

For believers the crucial factor is the likely increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide by 5.5 gigatonnes by mid-century.

North Sea oil will equate to about 2 per cent of that, yet those who would do anything to take full responsibility for “Scotland’s oil” and seek to maximise production are the self-same politicians who prevent us from having new nuclear because of its (comparatively trivial) environmental consequences.

However, global efforts have been and likely will be such that nothing significant will be done towards avoiding the forecast warming.

To mitigate the effects, we will almost certainly require a huge increase in domestic energy provision. Studies of a few years ago indicated a likely maximum of 30 kilowatt-hours per head per day for UK renewables.

Our current average energy consumption is 125 kilowatt- hours per head per day!

May I, tongue in cheek (I hope), echo the catchphrase of a late fellow townsman of Dad’s Army fame: “We’re a’ doomed.”

(Dr) A McCormick

Kirkland Road

Dumfries

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