IoS letters, emails & online postings (20 January 2013)

Share

The Met Office did not state, in its December revision of its short-term global temperature forecasts, as David Bellamy claims, that "by 2017 average temperatures will have remained about the same for two decades" (David Bellamy interview, 13 January). Global temperature records clearly show each decade since the 1970s, including 2000-2010, has been successively warmer than the last. Unfortunately, many reports have repeated inaccurate and misleading claims by the Global Warming Policy Foundation, a "climate sceptic" body launched by Lord Lawson.

The essence of the latest Met Office view is that warming is continuing, though at a variable and currently reduced pace. Such variation is to be expected given the interactions between the underlying trend and the natural fluctuations in weather and climate.

Mr Bellamy is entitled to repeat his oddball views, but it's a pity that he cannot bring himself to properly evaluate the evidence. We must be careful about believing the assertions of any scientist commenting on matters outside their expertise.

Nigel Watson

East Horsley, Cambridge

I sleep very soundly at the top of a 20-storey tower block, 30 yards and four doors from the only staircase ("The menace of UK's firetrap tower blocks", 13 January). But when I came here in 2007, I found nine of the staircase fire doors jammed wide open. I fixed them with cardboard under the hinges. Thousands of tower blocks in the UK have safely housed many thousands of residents for more than 40 years. Compare this with the real catastrophe of thousands killed or injured every year by cars.

Robin Clarke

Birmingham

David Willetts highlights our US summer schools, which have led to substantial scholarships for bright British students from low- and middle-income families ("Overseas study is good for business", 13 January 2013). He suggests that such scholarships are rare. In fact, 240 US universities offer substantial scholarships. The majority pay most or all of the cost of fees and living expenses. Total scholarships for overseas students at these universities are worth nearly £400m a year. With US universities offering four-year courses combining breadth with depth, and the chance to graduate with little or no debt, British young people should consider studying in the US a serious option.

Sir Peter Lampl

Chairman, Sutton Trust and Education Endowment Foundation

London SW1

The Duke of Westminster's plan to create a Defence and National Rehabilitation Centre (DNRC) at Stanford Hall is about serious medicine, caring for those who have been injured in the Armed Forces or in civilian life ("Duke's scheme rings down the curtain", 13 January). Across the estate, we intend to fulfil our heritage responsibilities and that includes the private theatre built by Sir Julien Cahn.

Contrary to the impression given in your article, our proposal is to restore and preserve the theatre and make it fit for use. After consulting interested parties, we propose to investigate the potential for amateur dramatic use. There is no question of the theatre being "closed for good". Indeed, our proposals will safeguard that remarkable Art Deco building, now in a very poor state of repair, which, were it not for the duke's initiative, could be lost for ever.

James Lough

Arup

London W1

Janet Street-Porter thinks she looks better than Bowie ("Leave me out of this Bowiemania", 13 January). Sorry Janet, but you look like yourself at 66, in your way, as I do in my way. No more, no less.

Emily Scattergood

Brixham, Devon

You say Pride and Prejudice is "the world's most influential novel ever" (13 January). But unlike the works of Dickens, it didn't draw attention to conditions endured by the poor, forcing society to take action. A century later, Orwell's 1984 and Animal Farm had arguably more impact, warning us against the dangers of totalitarian society and how a radical revolution can end up with rulers as bad as those they replaced.

Tim Mickleburgh

Grimsby, Lincolnshire

Have your say

Letters to the Editor, The Independent on Sunday, 2 Derry Street, London W8 5HF. Email: sundayletters@independent.co.uk. Online: independent.co.uk/dayinapage/2013/January/20

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Agile Tester

£28000 - £30000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: An ambitious...

Senior SAP MM Consultant, £50,000 - £60,000, Birmingham

£50000 - £60000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: Senior SAP MM C...

SAP BW BO

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: SAP BW BO - 6 MONTHS - LONDON London (Gr...

HSE Manger - Solar

£40000 - £45000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: HSE Mana...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Tulisa Contostavlos arrives to face drug charges at Southwark Crown Court on July 14, 2014  

Tulisa might have been attacked for being working class, but she still has to take some responsibility

Chloe Hamilton
Is Ed Miliband a natural born leader? Or could he become one?  

Wanted: a leader with the strength to withstand criticism from the media

Steve Richards
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried