Letter: Overheating world threatens all life

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Sir: Scientists at this week's climate change conference have issued a succession of warnings about the dire consequences of climate change for mankind and wildlife.

Plants, mammals and birds are heading for extinction; rising seas are eroding coasts and swallowing up coastal homes; coral reefs are losing their capacity to soak up carbon dioxide - the gas most responsible for climate change - while storms, floods, droughts and heatwaves are all set to increase in number. And all this, we have been told, could happen far more quickly than we originally thought. We are calling it "global warming" but more accurately, we are cooking our planet.

There are more than four million references to global warming on the internet search engine Google but "global overheating" merits just 123 mentions, "global scorching", 175; "global frying", 68; and even "global heating" only 6,000. Yet none of these phrases is adequate for the devastation we are facing.

Cooking our planet will disrupt and devastate all life and giving this process the cosy name global warming only makes it easier for all of us, especially politicians, to ignore the consequences.

Dr MARK AVERY

Director of Conservation

Royal Society for the Protection of Birds

Sandy, Bedfordshire

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