In his 'Talking Point article (MR, 28 Nov) John Anderson states, "The question now is not 'Is the globe heating up?' but 'What can I do about it?'"
In as far as his answers to the first question amount to an avoidance of waste in our use of the earth's resources, I have no argument with him.
However, I do not believe that the first question has gone away, nor that some of the assumptions he seems to be making in relation to it are beyond dispute.
In the last 15 years or so the warming trend which began in the early 70s seems to have "plateaued", much to the puzzlement of many of the advocates of the theory of anthropogenic global warming (AGW), whose computer models had convinced them that more carbon dioxide would necessarily and inevitably lead to more warming.
No-one denies that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, but it is simply not true that "almost all climate scientists" - the expression used by the Rev. David Haslam in his letter (MR 23 Jan) - believe that climate change is driven by the burning of fossil fuels. That is perhaps the impression that the IPCC wishes to give with its use of the term "consensus", but it must not be forgotten that the IPCC is, in many ways, as much a political organization as a scientific one.
Although the mainstream media did not take much notice, it is a fact that in 2007, 2009, and again in 2012, groups of highly qualified scientists wrote to the Secretary-General of the United Nations expressing their concerns about some of the science which was being presented as a "consensus" and about some of the political decisions taken as a result. These letters can be found online.
In most areas of study these days, people are encouraged to question and probe, not simply to accept, what they are told. When it comes to the climate, however, it seems that honest questioning is not welcome and that those who persist in asking questions are labelled as 'deniers'.
The initial "proof" of AGM came from a correlation between carbon dioxide levelas and global temperatures in the years after the early 1970s. However, many in the media never seem to be aware of the fact that a correlation between two sets of figures is not proof that there is a causal relationship between the two things the figures represent.
Since over the last 15 years or so carbon dioxide levels have continued to rise without there being a corresponding rise in global temperature, it would seem to be clear that the relationship between the two is much more complex than the AGW theory suggested.
And, if that is the case, it is not immediately obvious that de-carbonising the world is the only way to ensure the world and humanity have a future together.