Dear Sir,

I read with interest the range of viewpoints in your readers’ letters.

I am struck by the polarised views on climate change. I thought Councillor Clare gave useful advice on how individuals can make small changes to their own habits, which collectively, would benefit the environment now and, perhaps, lessen the detrimental effect of human activity.

Covid-19 has curtailed many activities and has given us time to reflect. I noted the letter suggesting changes will occur through the natural process of evolution but these are out-weighed by the impact of modern living.

People born between the 1960s and 2020 who live in developed countries have really lived through the time of plenty. Twenty-first century living utilises technological advances which make life easier and safer. We demand high quality products which may travel hundreds of miles around the world – ranging from food to clothes and electricals. It is easy to enjoy them but surely there is a responsibility to consider future generations.

The consequences associated with industrialisation and urbanisation such as extinction of species and habitats, production of waste, rising sea levels and global warming are all well documented.

Now is the time to take stock.

Although there is a move to “greener” solutions and recycling, there are many challenges ahead. There are no simple choices. There are unseen consequences to technological developments. Take for instance the production of phones, tablets and electric cars. These require lithium and cobalt for their batteries. Is there enough available to supply demand? Mining of these can be devastating to landscapes and communities. Cobalt is almost exclusively found in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It is toxic as a metal ore and is often extracted by hand using child labour. On a global scale do the benefits outweigh the costs?

Everyone needs to look objectively at the facts and do their bit so that when the children growing up today become adults, they don’t have to wonder why we knew so much and did so little.

Remember, all disaster movies start with someone ignoring a scientist!


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