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'Green' brigade jibe ignores evidence that burning of fossil fuels is main factor in humans changing climate

letter of the day: future fuels

Published 04/10/2016

I write in response to Alan Love's letter, "'Green' brigade's argument regarding way forward on our national energy needs is simply unrealistic" (Write Back, September 29).

I have researched both climate change and the necessary transition from carbon (coal, oil and gas) energy to renewable energy for a number of years and do not recognise the 'green brigade' so colourfully described by Mr Love.

It is only on the grounds of his evident climate change denial that we can properly understand Mr Love's position.

In this, he denies the overwhelming scientific evidence pointing to the burning of fossil fuels as the main cause of human-caused climate change. Those who reject the transition (the inevitable transition, I would add) of our energy system to renewables are ignorant (wilfully?) of the benefits of this in terms of jobs, inward investment, energy security, lowering electricity prices - and combating climate change.

And renewable energy goes beyond solar and wind to include tidal, wave, hydro and biomass - not forgetting about the importance of saving and conserving energy through efficiency measures.

I fear people like Mr Love, who both deny the reality of climate change, its potentially devastating impacts on economies, livelihoods and human health and dismiss those who advocate for a renewable energy economy as a 'green brigade', do not understand the basic laws of physics, ecosystems, or the energy dependence of complex societies.

We can only be grateful that the carbon, climate-denying brigade of which he seems to be a fully paid-up member is a minority - and a declining tribe on the wrong side of history, science and discharging our ethical obligations to future generations.

JOHN BARRY

Professor of Green Political Economy

Queen's University, Belfast

Belfast Telegraph

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