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Letter: Too little too late on climate action

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SIR – I was pleased that Mr Dunning attributed the correct motivation to King Cnut (Letters, 19th November), as this legend is so often told wrongly. He knew that he could not hold back the tide.

Perhaps scientists in the 1970s were surprised when they found that much has happened in the centuries since then, and we humans do now have the power to alter our environment – although not to change the rhythm of the tides.

But they had the courage of their convictions, based on the evidence that they saw, to publish their findings.

(Picture: Keith Heppell)
(Picture: Keith Heppell)

So, it’s some 40 years since we have known that our industrial world has been impacting the environment.

Well, those of us who were open to reading challenging ideas.

It’s not hard to understand the motivation of the oil companies who campaigned for a long time against the science – even against their own scientists; they had a lot to lose until they could change their entire business.

It’s much harder to understand the motivation of those who continue to campaign against the well evidenced theory that burning fossil fuels has caused much of the change, or even against the observable facts – that the climate is changing.

One wonders whether they are happy for a future of mass migration and starvation, perhaps because it will mainly happen to people far away whom they will never meet.

Yes, the effects here will be less, and we’ll be cushioned by the finances that give us the ability to adapt, although thousands in the UK will lose their houses and have to move elsewhere.

And our children will have every right to mourn our decades of near inaction.

I hope they can see it in their hearts to forgive us, as we change too little and too late.

Peter Parslow,
New Milton

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