LETTER: We need to think about making a better future

A reader discusses climate change.

North Leverton Windmill in Leverton
North Leverton Windmill in Leverton

The issue of climate change has reared its head in your columns again recently. It comes as no surprise that W F Kerswell regards it as “nonsense”, and believes that if we emit less CO2 we will be heading for another ice age (letters, October 6), but it is disappointing to see an intelligent person like Peter Rhodes celebrating the potential opening of a new deep coal mine in Britain (October 7).

He puts on his “I’m from the working class” cap and goes on about all the proud miners he has interviewed over the years, while dismissing the views of “people who work in suits”, and he denigrates the “self-righteous middle classes with their banners, blockades and bizarre dance routines, trying to prevent the working classes from working”.

Does he not understand that something much bigger is going on here? It is true that for the time being it is impossible to produce steel at scale without coal, and that a new mine would create jobs.

But the Swedes, Germans and others are already developing fossil-fuel-free steel making plants.

Would it not be better to invest in jobs in that kind of technology than to go backwards into coal?

Climate change is a pernicious process. It acts slowly and invisibly, but the scientific evidence is there to show that it is happening and that it has largely been caused by human industrial activity over the last 250 years. We are now getting used to years or months being the hottest, driest, or wettest on record, and we know that if we continue as we are it will almost certainly get worse. We therefore need to think about how we can create a better future without relying on the technologies of the past. Opening a new coal mine is not the way to do that.

Robert Monro, Whitchurch

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