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Planet's future in our hands


Despite his apologist preface for the views of Donald Holliday, Alan Watson makes a valid contribution to the energy debate (Letters last week).

His letter serves to emphasise the enormous complexities of global carbon science and the general limitation of all 'technical fixes'.

By themselves, neither biomass, sequestration or indeed any of the renewable sources of energy provide the solution to the problem of global warming. All of them together, however, if developed within the context of an internationally coordinated energy plan may offer our grandchildren some hope of avoiding an impending climatic catastrophe. When complimented by an energy conservation plan to encourage alternative lifestyles with reduced energy dependency, a truly sustainable and rewarding future may even yet be within our grasp.

To these ends, socially responsible engineers must avoid giving any encouragement to the global warming denialists whose sole agenda is 'business as usual' for short-term self interest. Theirs is a discredited and intellectually bankrupt philosophy that must perish in the furnace of the social and technological changes that now confront us all.

Brian Hanson (M), brianhanson@lycos. co. uk

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