WHAT terrific pictures Brett Ainsworth (Letters March 4) paints.
The time he speaks of is of course 400 million to 250 million years ago when what became Britain started as a little part of the seabed off the south west corner of the land mass that eventually became all the continents of the world, with a few volcanos poking up through the sea into an atmosphere that had eight times the CO2 as now and was toxic to all forms of life.
During that time our bit of Earth migrated north and west to become part of what is now Europe; some of the bacteria that was the only thing that could survive in that sea mutated and became CO2 eating vegetation, and from then on everything changed.
The CO2 levels started to fall, another half million years and the first land animals appeared, and only a short 200,000 years ago, Man.
All of those millennia of evolution and progress, and it is a testament to the power of man, or maybe a condemnation, that in the mere 200 years of the Industrial Revolution from 1800 to now, man alone has not only succeeded in halting that evolution, but actually reversing it and increasing once more the CO2 and other pollutants in his air.
As to wind turbines, Brett has listened to the people who say we use electricity to turn them.
The wind turns the blades that spin the turbines that generate the power, and then it goes on to other things.
The blades do not heat the air, they do not pollute it, they have no more effect on the air or wind than the movement it causes in the leaves and branches of the few woodlands that we have remaining.
And the energy used in the manufacture and erection of the turbines is as nothing compared to the clean power they generate once in service.
Brett Ainsworth’s description of steel making is pretty much as I remember it, but that has changed both during and since our time too.
In the days before plentiful coal the smelters used charcoal from the forests we no longer have, then came coal, both in the manufacture of iron and steel and for the machinery to work it, but now we should be using clean power, electric arc furnaces, and one day soon I hope the carbon capture that Alexander Stafford is so keen on quoting.
Fossil fuels should by now be no longer needed, not in steel or in half of the many uses for which it is still employed.
All that is really needed is a Government willing to do it.
Charles David Foulstone