Independent, 4 November 2011:
There is nothing remotely funny about Mark Steel’s attempt to belittle overpopulation (“Seven Billion? That’s not a problem”, 2 November). The potentially disastrous effects of climate change depend upon world population and carbon emissions per head of population.
Our attempts to limit the rise in emissions of carbon dioxide have been spectacularly unsuccessful, as emissions have risen 40 per cent since 1990, the base-line year for the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio.
Atmospheric levels of CO2 are roughly 380 parts per million (ppm) and are likely to reach 550 or even 600 ppm by the end of this century. This will produce catastrophic and irreversible climate change.
When the Greenland ice-sheet melts, world sea levels will rise by six metres, and if the Antarctic ice sheets melt then sea levels will rise by 60 metres. That is goodbye to human civilisation as we know it.
Dr Robin Russell-Jones
Help Rescue The Planet
Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire