Letter: Global gloom

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The Independent Culture
Sir: You recent correspondence on global warming has had a somewhat predictable tone of "Things certainly can't go on the way they are." But the sentiment that we must "do something" would be more helpful if anyone could persuasively suggest exactly what it is we ought to do.

Past experience has taught me to mistrust anyone promising a new energy source to get us out of the fix: it will have its limitations and drawbacks, just like coal, wind, nuclear power and so forth, and over-reliance will bring the usual outcomes.

Beware of the merchants of sustainability. We would all like to find a sustainable way of carrying on in the manner to which we have become accustomed, and the politicians know this: they offer to manage our guilt for us. The only sustainable course is for there to be fewer of us and for us to do less of what we find necessary or enjoyable at present, but I cannot see the democratic process delivering that for a long while yet.

A more likely outcome is a faith that our hybrid variety of capitalism will solve our problems as best it can, as they arise. And if that fails, then rest assured that the Earth will carry on without us: it does not need any self-serving custodians.


Shipley, West Yorkshire