Fight global warming even if it's untrue
SIR – The longer I work on climate change, the less important I think it is whether or not the warmists or the sceptics are right. This may seem a rash statement, but hear me out. Just imagine a future where the majority of the world's climate scientists are proved wrong and global warming does not occur at the rates predicted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
If we hadn't listened to them, we might enjoy the satisfaction of saying "told you so", but we'd still be living in a pretty miserable world. That world might not be much warmer but, my goodness, it would be beset by a host of other serious environmental issues: diminishing water resources, rampant deforestation, massive soil erosion, uncontrollable urbanisation and the frightening loss of biodiversity.
Peoples lives would be threatened and whole ecosystems destroyed because we hadn't bothered to address the causes of this environmental degradation under a global economic system that, in its current state, can only grow if nature dies.
Now imagine a world where we had listened to the climate scientists and started to change our resource-consuming behaviour and address the inequities of the global economic system. Although the warming still didn't materialise, we would have addressed a host of environmental issues and be living a largely pollution-free existence.
We may even be saying thank you to the climate scientists who, although they got it wrong, provided us the opportunity to create a cleaner, brighter and fairer world.
Dr Mike Edwards, CAFOD
And I think they should go ahead with the Severn barrage!