Climate change denial is deluded, irresponsible and dangerous - Yorkshire Post Letters

From: Chris Snow, Stoke Gabriel, Totnes, Devon.

I often wonder about the mindset of those correspondents who oppose the transition to clean, renewable energy and the drive towards net zero. Is it just tribal? If “green” types are for it, then by reflex, they oppose it, however spurious the reasons.

So it is with Neil Bryce (letters, April 17) who complains of “massive environmental degradation” caused by mining materials for EVs and battery storage. Let’s look at the numbers.

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The worldwide production of lithium and cobalt, the two elements most often cited for criticism of EV and battery production, is around 100 thousand and 130 thousand tonnes respectively per year.

Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images.Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images.
Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images.

That compares to around 140 million tonnes for aluminium and a massive 2.5 billion tonnes for iron ore.

All mining and extraction is environmentally destructive, so why just focus on those materials used for EV batteries?

I don’t think that those of us who advocate the rapid transition to a clean energy future are blind to the environmental impacts of mining rare materials, but it’s far, far better than the fossil - fuelled energy system that it is going to replace.

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In a few years’ time I’m sure we won’t be using either lithium or cobalt in EV batteries. Indeed, around half the EVs that Tesla now makes have cobalt-free batteries.

And at least these metals can be recycled. Not so with oil (4.25 billion tonnes) or coal (8 billion tonnes) which we just set fire to every year. I would suggest that if he’s really concerned about massive environmental degradation, he takes a look at the Niger Delta or the Alberta Tar Sands in Canada where an area the size of England and Wales combined has been turned into a hellish industrial landscape.

From: Peter Scott, Prospect Place, South Brent, Devon.

Charles Wardrop (April 17) says ‘the planet’s temperature, as monitored by reliable satellite sensors, has been virtually static for 20 or more years’. What utter nonsense!

The experts from every climate research organisation you care to mention all agree the opposite, and have done for many years.

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You can quickly Google it - ‘2011–2020 was the warmest decade on record for the globe . . .this passed the previous decadal record (2001–2010)’.

The impact of CO2 is far from minimal. Lightfoot and Ratzer, in the paper Mr Wardrop quotes, say all sorts of outrageous things that were debunked a very long time ago (it’s not CO2 it’s water vapour; it’s the Grand Solar Minimum etc).

This is not peer reviewed science and is simply regurgitating disinformation from climate denier sources which has long been discredited.

Misinformation funded by people benefitting handsomely from fossil fuels continues.

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Perhaps Mr Wardrop is one of them or perhaps he is simply a victim of their deception.

Whichever, the temperature continues to rise (the UK hit 40 degrees C last summer for the first time in history) and decarbonisation is completely necessary.

To say otherwise is deluded, irresponsible and dangerous.