Letter: Autumn leaves them in denial

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THE SENIOR official at the Department of the Environment quoted in Geoffrey Lean's disturbing but unsurprising update on the effects of air pollution on trees ('Ozone to blame for early autumn', 11 September) deserves thanks for admitting that 'as a member of the public I feel that autumn has started early'.

Sadly, as a senior official at the Department of the Environment, he has no such unfettered clear-sightedness. Connoisseurs of black irony were doubtless struck by the double- think of the Forestry Com-

mission, which acknowledged: 'There is some yellowing of leaves', but no early autumn. This reminded me of the God- fearing man who, discovering that he had died and gone to hell, sat in the flames with his eyes tightly closed murmuring, 'It's not hot and I'm not here]'.

Nick Dowson