Alarm bells should ring

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MY use of colloquial hyperbole has been taken to task. I said (letters, November 18) only two people care a hoot about turbine efficiency. I wasn’t expecting to be taken literally about the ‘only’ any more than the ‘hooting’. If I misled anyone to the extent they thought I was ‘rewriting history’, mea culpa.

But let’s not confuse two issues. Reg Keeping (letters, November 25) is right – there are others opposed to the turbine, but I have met few who want even more letters about turbine efficiency.

And I promise I won’t bore readers by correcting the historical public opinion surveys nonsense – you’ve heard enough on that, too. Let’s look forward.

Brian Beck (letters, November 25) says Berkeley Earth Project team member, Prof Judith Curry was unconvinced by all her colleagues’ analyses. But, this month, Lawrence Livermore’s statisticians show Curry is ‘cherry picking’ – drawing the wrong conclusion from statistically short periods.

Also, data in Curry’s paper stops mid-2010, but if you include all 2010, it is the warmest year recorded. This is despite some man-made greenhouse gases reducing in effect since 1990, while CO2 increases.

So the probability remains that CO2 release and climate change are related, and we have to tackle CO2.

But forget statistics. Let’s use our own experience. We of Nigel Lawson’s generation remember the 1958 floods. But in the past 11 years we remember Lewes, Boscastle, Hull, Tewksbury, Cockermouth, and York. Our insurers remember to increase our premiums!

In 2010-2011 unprecedented drought fires ravaged Australia and Russia, while once-in-a- thousand-year floods inundated Tennessee, and other historic floods engulfed China, Brazil, Queensland, Thailand, Cambodia, Namibia, South Africa, Indonesia and Pakistan.

Direct effects on the UK economy include lower car production, computer chip delays, export losses; the resulting boost to world cereal prices has pushed 40 million people into food poverty (see The Australian, this week). Doesn’t this ring any alarm bells in my opponents?

The scientific community (IPCC November 2011 SRX report) reports, with over 99 percent certainty, that temperature extremes will increase globally if we do nothing. They show economic losses due to climate change are worse in the developed world, and are increasing. Climate change is already costing us dearly.

Peter Gardiner, Ringmer