Letter: Climate puzzle

If there is one thing clear about the ongoing global warming debate in your columns, it is that it is going nowhere. Correspondents provide increasingly detailed evidence to back up their stance, only to be shot down by someone from the opposing lobby, who counters with a sheaf of contradictory figures.

The arguments become more technical and heated, and range from a recent correspondent who simply pointed out that the last two winters have been unseasonably cold (this was blown out of the water for being too small a sample, although, had the last two winters been exceptionally warm, no doubt the "warming" lobby would be saying "I told you so"), to the letter from Robert Pate (7 December), which quotes a raft of facts and figures and mentions a document called the "Oregon Petition", signed by 32,000 scientists and academics who are unconvinced that the phenomenon exists.

How can 32,000 learned people be wrong, you might ask, but, sure enough, your website was immediately full of e-mails claiming this document had been since debunked numerous times, again with sources.

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I hope the protagonists in this argument can appreciate that this is becoming increasingly bewildering for the ordinary punter. So, having weighed the evidence, and in light of the fact that the scientific world's finest, with more degrees than the thermometer, cannot reach agreement, I have come to the considered decision on global warming that it might be, might not be.

Walter J Allan

Colinton Mains Drive


John Eoin Douglas (Letters, 7 December) is wrong: the European Union has not "mandated the adoption of the SI system of units" (the EU gave up trying to get the UK to go fully metric three years ago).

Meteorologists prefer SI mensuration and temperatures in Celsius because they are scientists, and science worldwide uses SI metric. However, Mr Douglas may be right about it being more sensational for the press to express freezing point as zero rather then 32. But look what happens when the temperature is high: suddenly it's 100 (F) rather than 37.7 (C).

Steuart Campbell

Dovecot Loan