Silence on climate change




The Observer, 27 November 2016:

The key element missing from Hillary Clinton’s campaign was the emotional force of Trump’s campaign, plus any hope for the future of the planet (“The shock lessons for liberals from Brexit and the Trumpquake”, Comment). Thanks to TV programmes about the natural world, of which Planet Earth II is a shining example, the public is well aware of the dangers of global warming, even if David Attenborough is prohibited by the BBC from uttering the words “climate change”.

In the same vein, global warming did not feature in the Brexit debate or the US presidential election, even though Trump’s position – that climate change is a hoax invented by the Chinese – is absurd. Although Trump is a major climate change denier, most politicians, like much of the media, are in the minor denial camp. They take the view that it is happening, but now is not the time to deal with it as it is going to upset voters or persuade viewers to switch off.

Dr Robin Russell-Jones
Chair, Help Rescue the Planet
Stoke Poges


Tax on toxic diesels


Times, 5 November 2016:

Sir, The judgment against the government on air pollution is momentous (“Drivers of toxic diesels must pay to enter cities”, Nov 3). Not only does it spell the end of a filthy fossil fuel, it also demonstrates the vulnerability of the government’s plans for Heathrow to legal challenge. The most likely government response is to extend clean emission zones, but studies in the UK have shown no improvement in the lung function of children before and after the introduction of such schemes. Far more effective is to increase the tax on diesel to a level where drivers opt for genuinely clean alternatives.


Former chairman, Campaign for Lead-Free Air, Stoke Poges, Bucks