Too big a risk

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IN RESPONDING to councillor Cameron Rose (Letters, 10 August), I ask him one straightforward question: by whose statistics are those of us who are not climate scientists to be persuaded, those who present the case for anthropogenic climate change or the deniers?

Speaking for myself, I choose to listen to the former given that if we do not and the latter are wrong, then the consequences for the ecosystems upon which we and other species depend are dire. I am not prepared to take that risk. I have been challenged on that stance on the grounds that risk-taking is an inescapable and essential element of living. Indeed it is, but surely there are risks and there are risks?

We in the West have no right whatsoever to take risks the potentially dreadful consequences of which would fall initially upon the billions of our already poverty-stricken fellow humans. The billions currently being spent on the subsidy regime which props up and encourages the highly debatable activities of the wind farmers ought to be diverted to financing, inter alia, climate adaptation measures.

John Milne

Scottish Wild Land Group

Ardgowan Drive

Uddingston, Lanarkshire

DR STEPHEN Moreton’s letter (Flat Denials, 10 August) lacks objectivity; in using the word denier he indicates his own attitude is based on belief and certainty, words normally associated with religion, not science.

There is nothing unique about the present climate temperature or its recent record. It was much warmer when the world came out of the last glaciation and for thousands of years after that. Medieval times and those during Roman domination were again almost certainly warmer. The “little ice age” starting in the 15th century only ceased in the early 19th. Temperatures have been slowly rising ever since as the climate recovered.

It’s not a matter of climate change that is of concern because the climate is always changing. It is instead the contribution of mankind to climate that is crucial and the periods of temperature hiatus indicate it is a lot less than some assume.

As for cherry picking, Dr Moreton, like some others, concentrates only on the very short record of the 20-30 years prior to 1999. It is instead essential to gain a balanced perspective of the whole record of temperature variation, not to act on short-term changes

Prof Tony Trewavas

Scientific Alliance Scotland

North St David Street, Edinburgh

If I climb a mountain and reach a plateau, the level section will be higher than the ground I have climbed to get there. So, Stephen Moreton is correct to claim that the past ten years were warmer than other decades in recent climate history (Letters, 10 August). But that is irrelevant to the point that Professor Tony Trewavas made (5 August) that temperature has failed to rise for 15 years – running counter to the “settled science”, which led us to expect temperatures to rise alongside increasing CO2 emissions.

Dr Moreton alleges cherry picking of dates. The recent climate alarm has focused on the increase in temperature from the late 1970s to 1998 – around 20 years. No cherry picking there, then? But it is entirely appropriate to work out how far back in time from the present there has been no increase in temperature. Some climate scientists accept that the pause in average temperatures reaches back several years – even before the 1998 peak

Cameron Rose

Conservative group leader

City Chambers, Edinburgh

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