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Dr David Bellamy, President of all the Wildlife Trusts in the UK and world famous environmentalist.

“For his immense service to the global environment, David Bellamy has received the Dutch Order of the Golden Ark and the U.N.E.P. (United Nations Environmental Programme) Global 500 Award. “ ( http://www.speakers.co.uk/Retro/5138.htm)

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Dr John Etherington, formerly Reader in Ecology in the University of Wales until his retirement in the early 1990s.

He was educated at Imperial College in the 1950s-60s. Much of his research and teaching was in the field of environmental chemistry and physics. He first wrote, en passant, about the impact of human activity on carbon dioxide emission and the possible "greenhouse effect" in a book published in 1975 and re-editioned in 1982.


THE INDEPENDENT                                            23rd February 2005

Wind, gas and global warming

Sir: Please can one of your columnists explain in simple terms how the coldest winter on record in Afghanistan provides "the final proof: global warming is a man-made disaster" (headline, 19 February). If I am convinced then I and thousands of others might be able to believe Sir David King's statement that man-made global warming is a greater threat to humankind than international terrorism and we might also be able to believe that it can be cured by the industrialisation of Britain's countryside with monstrous wind "farms".

Please also note in passing that although most carbon dioxide comes from industry and cars, the average UK household creates an astonishing six tonnes a year - enough to fill six hot-air balloons. Perhaps these balloons could be deployed to find Bin Laden's footsteps in the snow?

Dr DAVID BELLAMY
The Conservation Foundation
London SW7
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Sir: So we now have ultimate "proof" that man-made global warming is real and that carbon dioxide is the culprit. However I question whether our own Government has the slightest belief in this.

Three years ago the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution warned that, "by 2050 air transport, unless curbed, will be one of the principal contributors to climate change caused by human activities". On 18 January, Mr Blair celebrated the unveiling of the A380 Airbus, the world's largest airliner, which will emit over 400 tonnes of carbon dioxide per 24-hour operational cycle.

Road transport policy has been responsible for an enormous increase in fossil fuel use in unnecessary 4x4s and overpowered large family cars, together with more and more freightage by road. In the South we have proposals for massive widening of the M25, despite the repeatedly proven case that increased capacity simply promotes more road traffic. Elsewhere there are proposals for a new tolled motorway and countless local "improvement" schemes driven by the internal combustion engine.

The list is endless but the one action government is taking is to promote renewable energy, on which the customer-derived subsidy is gigantic, and forms a new tranche of taxable income. I draw my own conclusion.

Dr JOHN ETHERINGTON
Llanhowell, Pembrokeshire