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A hard rain


I have to take issue with Rennie Witt's letter (NCE last week) that the debate about global warming has been stagemanaged. Unless 99% of the world's scientists are having a collective delusion - together with the UN, the Department for International Development, Al Gore and many others - then the inconvenient truth is that climate change is being caused by carbon emissions.

I was in Malawi last November. The country was suffering its worst drought for many years. The UN had declared many parts emergency relief zones. People were dying from hunger and thirst. The pain and anguish of government personnel responsible for supplying water to those affected was clear.

And it's not just Malawi - the same is true of Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia and many other sub-Saharan African countries. As rainfalls reduce so the water table drops and the millions of pounds in aid spent on drilling boreholes to produce drinking water is wasted.

Climate change is affecting the most vulnerable on a massive scale. Yet it's business as usual in the UK. We go blindly on planning airport expansions and motorway improvements as though nothing is happening.

Surely it's time to take a deep breath, reect on the very serious mess we have got ourselves into, and change direction.

Paul Shaw, chartered geomatics surveyor, 20 Argyle Way, Dunblane, Perthshire FK15 9DX

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