IoS letters, emails & online postings (11/12/11)


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The Independent Online

The "war on global warming" looks set to become genuine and bloody global war ("Whatever happened to the war on global warming?", 4 December). In 2007, International Alert identified 46 countries at high risk from violent armed conflict due to climate change, and 56 others at high risk from political instability. Both climate change effects and political instability have increased since then.

Localised conflicts over water supplies and land affected by the changing climate are already common. With China and other powerful states buying up agricultural land in other countries to grow food and bio-fuel crops for their own use (land that should be feeding the local populations), global corporations committed to exploiting every form of fossil fuel and the West determined to go on doing its best to control the world's oil supplies, the inevitable result will be war on a global scale.

We need to do all we can to drastically cut our emissions – and that means accepting a life of zero growth rather than the nonsense of "sustainable" growth and sharing our resources. And we must make the utmost use of genuine diplomacy and international law to prevent small conflicts from escalating into wars.

Life on earth might survive either damaging climate change or global war. But not both.

Lesley Docksey

Buckland Newton, Dorset

Belief in man-made global warming, and passion about doing something to arrest climate change, is not what it was, even five years ago. However, there is progress; in Australia, a new carbon tax bill will put a price on carbon emissions. Australia has spent more than 10 years bitterly divided over this issue. In the end, weather was probably the deciding factor, not climate. In 2009, the Black Saturday bushfires erupted after record hot and dry weather resulting in the loss of over 210 lives and the destruction of 1,830 homes. What will it take to wake up the politicians and the people in the United Kingdom to the perils of climate change?

Nigel Bywater


There are two reasons why I have a problem with Trudie Styler and her husband, Sting. Neither is a vegan and they have four children. If they really wanted to save the rainforests and the environment, they would give up all animal products. Not only would this help reduce treefelling in rainforests to grow soya for cattle, but also stop methane being emitted by livestock. A smaller family would minimise their impact on the planet.

I have bought a copy of the seasonal The Big Issue, but I will be taking Trudie Styler's concerns for the planet with a pinch of salt.

Delphine Penfold

Hampton Poyle, Oxfordshire

Mark Leftly reports on housebuilders McCarthy and Stone's talks with banks on relaxing lending terms ("Let us expand", 4 December). Am I missing something? The Government seems hell-bent on hurling money at the construction industry. But what is the point of building houses when people on miserable incomes who are already stretched by the huge increases in transport and utility costs cannot even think of taking on a mortgage, however low the interest rates?

Anna Farlow

London NW2

Who with a shred of human decency would deny an intelligent and aware animal a comfortable retirement ("It's time to liberate Lolita", 4 December)? Lolita the orca whale was ripped from her mother and family as a baby and has spent her life in a cramped concrete tank. A protected sea pen would allow her greater freedom of movement; the ability to see, sense, and communicate with her wild cousins and other ocean animals as well as to feel the tides and waves; and opportunities to engage in the behaviours that she's long been denied. The Seaquarium has made considerable profit by Lolita's confinement. It's time to pay her back: let her go.

Jennifer O'Connor

Peta Foundation

Norfolk, Virginia, USA

As Paul Vallely points out, war with Iran neither addresses issues with Iran, any more than wars in Iraq and Afghanistan did in those countries, nor helps the crisis-ridden West ("War on Iran has begun", 4 December). Nick Clegg should show the article to David Cameron.

Keith Flett

London N17

We are told that "Less than a quarter of disabled people, and just 11 per cent of Britons overall are excited about the Paralympics" ("Paralympics 'patronising to disabled people'", 4 December). I applaud the people who take part in the Paralympics and hope they inspire others. However, I personally have little interest in sport in general, and when I do watch it, only want to see the strongest, fastest and best in the world. I am not bigoted in any way and greatly respect the Paralympics – I just don't want to watch it.

Emilie Lamplough

Trowbridge, Wiltshire

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