Amusing letter but it's a serious issue

PUBLISHED: 16:18 03 May 2007 | UPDATED: 10:21 31 May 2010

I ENJOYED reading Norman Wells amusing letter about Mayor Hilary Shibata s Carbon Footprint Show ( Town alone can t save the planet April 26). Amid the knockabout humour he does of course raise an important point about the growing carbon footprint of C

I ENJOYED reading Norman Wells' amusing letter about Mayor Hilary Shibata's Carbon Footprint Show ('Town alone can't save the planet' April 26).

Amid the knockabout humour he does of course raise an important point about the growing carbon footprint of China. This is something of which we who were helping the mayor are fully aware, but we don't draw the same negative conclusion.

Of course the UK's contribution to CO2 emissions is minuscule compared with those of China. Of course it would make no difference in the long run if we in Saffron Walden reduced our emissions even to zero, if nobody else reduced theirs.

Of course the problem of global warming will only really be solved by drastic international action involving major CO2 emitters like China.

But that isn't really the point. The point is that governments will only be bold enough to take the action needed if they can see that people will support it and are prepared to make changes to their own lifestyles.

Mr Wells should be aware communities throughout the world are taking what action they can and urging governments and local authorities to do likewise.

They believe, as we do, that just because the problem is not entirely our responsibility, that shouldn't mean that we have no responsibility to act at all. The whole world is facing a climate change crisis which, if it isn't dealt with soon, will threaten the human race with unimaginable suffering in the future.

We in Uttlesford Local Agenda 21, a voluntary organisation with counterparts around the world concerned to promote environmental sustainability, are grateful to the mayor for dedicating her year of office to the cause, which she has done with enormous enthusiasm and inventiveness.

We are proud to have been able to help her. That hundreds of people turned up to have their carbon footprint calculated and to learn how they might reduce it suggests that Mr Wells' view of her efforts is not widely shared.

Paul Garland

Chairman

Uttlesford Local Agenda 21

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