SIR - Well, now I've read it all (Traffic is the primary cause of pollution, Craven Herald letters, January 31).

There's an acknowledged hierarchy of denial by polluters (and that potentially includes us all). At first they assert they cause no pollution; then they admit it but claim it's only minor, and certainly not as great as others' emissions; then it is acknowledged to be significant but with compensating benefits (eg enjoyment if it's a noisy open air pop concert, or jobs if it's industrial pollution). Only when these arguments have been deployed in vain, does the polluter acknowledge the issue and address it.

However, last week's letter added a new one: pollution is not an issue when created in an otherwise unpolluted environment, as opposed for example to 'the centre of Settle where the air quality is worst'.

From wood-burning stoves to diesel engines, people have been encouraged to adopt allegedly environmentally responsible alternatives, strongly promoted by politicians seeking both a quick fix and to be seen to be doing something, and by commercial interests keen to take the profits in manufacture, distribution, supply and installation (often in a subsidised market decreed by the politicians). Smart meters are a current example (no pun intended), where in excess of £11bn (raised on our fuel bills) is being spent so the average dual-fuel household can save £11 pa; and I'm sure that, when the consequences become fully apparent, the present increasingly profligate, high-power, use of batteries (from cordless-vacs to electric vehicles to large warehouses stacked solid with batteries storing energy from wind and solar sources) will one day be viewed in the same aghast manner that responsible people now have regarding the historic use of plastics.

Last week's correspondent is faced with adjusting to the altered opinions on his wood-burner: as diesel owners are with their vehicles. (I just hope he doesn't clean up the ash with a cordless-vac.) Other realignments of environmental orthodoxy will undoubtedly follow. It is unrealistic to assume the path to the goal of greatly reduced pollution is going to be a linear one.

H J Hill