LAST month Gillian Dymond wrote an open letter to Dame Norma Redfearn, Mayor of North Tyneside, about North Tyneside Council’s signing up to UK100, ‘a network of local leaders who have pledged to lead a rapid transition to Net Zero with Clean Air in their communities ahead of the government’s legal target’. She reported here on Dame Norma’s reply, and has now returned to the fray with a new letter to the Mayor.
Dear Dame Norma
Open letter: A copy of UK100’s Membership Pledge does not address my concerns
Thank you for your response to my open letter regarding North Tyneside’s membership of UK100, which has been sent to me twice. You dismiss my grave misgivings regarding the benefits of signing us up to the UK100 network by regaling me with that organisation’s Membership Pledge, word for word. Some might consider this an insulting way to treat the honest concerns of a person who has been paying taxes to North Tyneside for close on 50 years.
Dame Norma, I am well aware of UK100’s ‘net-zero ambitions’: it is precisely because I take issue with those ambitions that I contacted you. You will not dispel my lack of faith in either the need for, or the efficacy of, the measures which you are imposing on us by simply declaring your own pride in them, even if you do so ad nauseam.
Let us get down to brass tacks. Please will you:
1. explain why you feel justified in acting as if there were a ‘consensus’ regarding cataclysmic, human-induced climate change when this is, in fact, a hotly disputed hypothesis which is convincingly challenged by a wealth of evidence and by numerous scientists and professionals, including two Nobel Laureates and many researchers from prestigious universities;
2. show me evidence that you have carried out a cost/benefit analysis in relation to your net-zero agenda, as required by the precautionary principle;
3. tell me when a public consultation on your plan to sign up North Tyneside residents to UK100 took place.
Somehow I must have missed any meeting where the latter decision was publicised and debated. My own view, after reviewing the evidence widely, is that your financial commitment to possibly ill-founded policies which residents have not asked for detracts from your capacity to discharge your basic duties. Maintenance of our streets, for instance, is something which residents require of you. Extra cycle paths, narrowing of traffic lanes, and 20mph limits are not.
Please will you spend a little time absorbing the information made available to you in my previous letter. I think that any intelligent and fair-minded person hitherto unaware of how many reputable scientists contest the ‘settled science’ upon which your ‘net-zero ambitions’ are based would find the links I provided you with challenging: but if, after a thorough assessment of the evidence, you remain convinced of the pivotal role of carbon dioxide in driving apocalyptic climate change, you may nevertheless recognise the futility of your present puny attempts to turn the tide.
Should you persist in believing that human beings are overwhelmingly responsible for the state of the climate, allow me to suggest more effective measures for averting the catastrophe you fear.
You could, perhaps, contact President Xi Jinping of China and suggest that he call a halt to his country’s prodigal construction of coal-fired power stations which, at a stroke, render your ‘net-zero ambitions’ futile.
You could ask Shri Narendra Modi to veto the addition of ‘17 gigawatts of coal-based power generation capacity’ to India’s energy arsenal over the next 16 months.
Or you could just accept that, as things stand, the measures which you, the Government and UK100 are imposing must be judged ineffectual even by a dedicated climate hysteric, and apply yourself to the less exciting, but more useful, housekeeping tasks which the electorate expects you to perform.
In the sincere hope that common sense will prevail,