Regarding ‘Reduced risk’ (Letters, November 29).  A mature debate on climate change would indeed be welcome, but unlikely due to the possible, even likely, ramifications. All we get is the oft repeated mantra of ‘the science is settled’. But wait!  Haven’t I just read Mr Fornal, himself, declaring there are no certainties in life? 

One of the central tenets of the scepticism is indeed just that, that there are no certainties, that science is never settled. Was it not, for example (using one of Mr Fornal’s own analogies), the persistent scepticism of tobacco industry pseudo-science which eventually won the day? 

Researching the climate issue, rather than merely scratching at its surface, one will discover a great deal of commonality between consensus and sceptic viewpoints. Is climate changing; undoubtedly, it always has. Have temperatures and CO2 levels risen; yes, they have varied considerably throughout the millennia. However, what does concern sceptics is the ‘weaponising’ of a long known correlation, the singular pursuit of a minor component of a vastly complex (nothing like fully understood) climate system, claiming it to be the major driver of said system (offering certainty where none actually exists), the poor, shoddy and sometimes highly questionable science being used to underpin this, and the enormously expensive (socially and as well as financially) policies being demanded and enacted as a result.

We’ve now had 30 years of '10 years to save the planet’, but other than it becoming slightly balmier (scant regard is given to the positive benefits of increased atmospheric CO2) little has changed; though one could be forgiven for not realising this given the outrageously partisan reporting by an overly compliant MSM (the BBC in particular). One, however, doesn’t need to be a climate scientist to appreciate the litany of failed climate predictions, the overarching hubris, and the divergence between greenhouse gas biased climate models and the wealth of accumulated empirical data. If the science is indeed so robust and settled why is this? It’s asking simple, but highly relevant, questions such as this which gets one quickly labelled a ‘denier’. 

We should heed the warning of Dwight D. Eisenhower…“Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.”

We are already living with the consequences of ill-thought-through policy: an energy industry in disarray, rising energy prices, fuel poverty, pollution and environmental damage. The recent proposals from the IPCC et al, however, go way beyond this and would, if followed, lead to social and political upheaval on a truly unprecedented scale; one only has to see what has recently been happening in France to appreciate this. 

It’s time for a rethink, to assess whether adaption and mitigation is a better alternative to pursing the ridiculous fallacy of believing that by somehow controlling CO2 we can actually control climate.

David Young