Is climate change claim just hot air?


- Credit: © Eastern Counties Newspapers

Well, really – I am amazed that a thirty-acre array of solar panels would cause a disaster of such biblical proportions!

Tourists deterred from visiting the area, local wildlife and agriculture ruined, floods, spirits and remains of our ancestors defiled, a visual blot on the landscape in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – good grief! All we need now is a plague of frogs, the River Sid running with blood and families keeping a watchful eye on their firstborn!

Now, I readily admit that such a scheme is not likely to save the planet, especially in the winter nights when the wind is not blowing and conventional power sources will need to kick in to stop folk freezing to death, but at least it would be a twitch in the right direction while our scientists work out a viable, economic and efficient way of actually STORING our green, gathered energy harvest which is currently (sorry – no pun intended) only there for immediate use and disappears the moment it is ignored.

Climate is, of course, changing. It has been changing ever since it was invented. It is very difficult to argue that humankind has no effect whatsoever – just as difficult, in fact, as to argue that humankind is the sole cause of climate change. Somewhere between the two lies reality. If climate is changing anyway through natural causes, the thought that we, King Cnut-like, can reverse the change, has more than a whiff of fantasy about it. Our actions may possibly slow it down a bit, so that instead of affecting our children the changes affect our grandchildren, but reverse it? I think not.

We can argue at length the merits and dangers of extensive use of oil, coal and gas and the effects or not on our climate, but the fact which cannot be argued is that supplies are finite. It could be ten years, it could be a thousand years, but assuredly, eventually, we will run out. We can only hope that by then, the large-scale, practical energy storage techniques will be up and running; and it is surely up to us to give the science community a sporting chance to develop these politically uncontroversial energy capture techniques by meanwhile making good use of all energy sources from wind and solar, through nuclear, to fracking.

David Barber

Ottery St Mary

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