THE issue I have raised about climate change not being an emergency has generated four responses in the Craven Herald or the letters website.

Matthew Annable ‘s reference to 11,000 scientist saying that there is a climate change emergency reminded me of the story of the proud mum whose son joined the Territorial Army.

As they came marching down the street she exclaimed “Oh look; our Johnny is the only one in step.” Well on this one I am quite willing to be out of step.

Ann Brown reminded that the UK’s output of CO2 should include the goods that we import. Well the figure of the UK contributing two per cent of the world’s emissions does take this into account. The point is that whatever we do with that figure of two per cent we are hardly going to change the world position.

It would be helpful if people grasped this instead of inconveniencing the general public.

China contributes more than a quarter of the world’s CO2 emissions while several other countries, the USA, India, Japan and Russia bring the figure up to 50 per cent.

In recent years China has been commissioning a new coal-fired power station every few weeks. They now say that they plan to become carbon neutral by 2050; presumably when those power stations approach the end of their useful lives.

In the meantime the levels of CO2 in the atmosphere are likely to have increased from 418ppm (parts per million) to over 450ppm. The world will be a hotter place with more violent and changeable weather.

Councillor Brown (last week) provided a rather more detailed appraisal of the consequences of climate change and the need for action both to tackle and alleviate some of the consequences.

I am with him in the need to take more flood precaution measure. We will also need to make changes in agriculture to take account of increasing temperatures, take measures against insects and pests from warmer climates etc. But he does not answer the question of how quickly the “emergency” is to be dealt with. Nor, I am afraid can I, given the wide range of attitudes to the problem.

In the UK we can continue the change to green technology and mitigate the consequences of climate change beyond our control.

On the world stage we can continue to exhort other countries, particularly the above mentioned, to move quickly from fossil fuels. We can also help other countries with our experience and technology. But I am afraid it is a long haul, not an emergency.

Bernard Peel

Cross Hills.