Dying by degrees

PEMBROKESHIRE councillor John Cole, who stated that a two degree rise in temperature would enable him to grow oranges and lemons, should be aware of one simple geographical fact (‘Climate change will let me grow lemons’, June 11).

North Pembrokeshire lies at 52 degrees North. Therefore it is at the same latitude as Labrador and Newfoundland in Canada and Siberia in Russia. It is only the wonderful Gulf Stream ocean current that gives the UK, especially West Wales, such a mild winter climate.

However, on occasion, a high pressure area builds up over Scandinavia in winter as a mass of heavy cold air tumbles down from the North Pole.

This is what occurred in late February 2018 triggering “the beast from the East” cold snap.

The wind blows clockwise around a high pressure zone, or anticyclone, in the northern hemisphere and the opposite in the southern hemisphere.

Just as well it happened in late February. It had been minus 62 Celsius in Central Siberia in January 2018. No global warming there!

Now, if a high pressure in future builds up over southern Sweden before Christmas and sticks there all winter, look out.

The poor UK won’t know what’s hit it. It will be a repeat of the severe winter of 1962- 63.

The location of Sweden means that moist Atlantic westerlies reaching the UK will drop vast amounts of snow on us as they meet the severely cold easterlies from Siberia.

It could happen any winter soon or maybe in 10 years’ time.

But it will happen.

However, since the UK Government wants to scrap fossil fuel energy in favour of wind turbines, there will be another major, major problem.

If the bitterly cold easterlies blow below 15mph, tens of thousands of wind turbines, supposedly providing our UK electricity, will be completely on stop, possibly for weeks or months.

Then, very thick ice will build up on their massive blades. Huge chunks, weighing half a tonne or more, could be thrown dangerously up to 300 metres when the thaw eventually arrives.

Without enough fossil fuel electricity, the UK will grind to a total halt and thousands will die of hypothermia.

Electric cars? Forget them - there will be nowhere near the 60,000 MW required for our homes, offices and factories let alone another 30,000 MW to charge millions of electric cars.

A “zero carbon area” is planned at Milford Haven waterfront. How bizarrely ironic is that?

The 2,000 MW gas-fired power station at Pembroke alone oversupplies the whole of Wales with electricity, since Wales uses 1,850 MW on average.

Then, of course, the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) from Qatar supplies much of England.

Milford Haven is one of the chief fossil fuel - ie carbon energy - suppliers of the whole UK.

A very important place, it will be desperately needed in a severe winter, make no mistake.

The 1962-63 winter was about pure survival with months of severe cold. It will return sooner or later.

Here’s a thought. In 1963, farmers were milking 30 cows. Now it’s 300 plus. A nightmare in a severe winter without electricity.

To shed more light on this “global warming” debate, I suggest that readers Google the “Evidence-based climate science, 2011” report by Don Easterbrook.

It makes fascinating reading.

L J Jenkins


County clowns

NOTHING, it seemed, could add to the absurdity of the elitist battle of egos taking place in Westminster at the moment.

But not to be outdone by those Londoners, some Pembrokeshire councillors have now voiced their scientific opinion on climate change.

Despite the vast majority of scientists warning of the dangers of climate change (no matter what is causing it) we have the carefully researched evidence of three councillors who welcome or remain ‘healthily’ sceptical of its consequences.

You couldn’t teach them to suck lemons!

Maybe it will be a surprise to them that due to rising sea levels, caused by climate change, some coastal areas in Pembrokeshire would eventually succumb to the waves. Do they represent these areas?

Maybe they follow the same politics as Boris Johnson of evading every fact and truth.

Whatever, it would seem time for a more clued-up person to stand against them who could add their voice to the increasing calls for governments to act against the climate emergency.

Dafydd Ladd


Ticking clock

WHOEVER wrote the comment in the Tivyside (Lemons not much use, June 11) hit the nail squarely on the head.

To have a Pembrokeshire County Councillor make light of climate change is deeply worrying and for a person in a responsible position, extremely irresponsible.

Climate change is real, not some passing phase.

We are seeing its effects worldwide with fast melting ice caps, rising sea levels, floods, droughts, causing extinction of many species and massive drops in numbers of others.

Time to be serious, not make crass jokes.

Time is running out.

Penny Cross


And from elsewhere in Pembrokeshire....

Trivial pursuit

WITH regards to your article ‘Climate change will let me grow lemons’, June 11, while warmly welcoming Pembrokeshire County Council’s recognition of the fact that they have a responsibility to act pro-actively to minimise the county’s impact on climate change, I was not impressed with the flippantly trivialising comments of Cllr John Cole (Merlins Bridge).

Perhaps he should reflect on whether or not he has the necessary gravitas and awareness of global issues to represent the people of Pembrokeshire or if his time might be better spent in tending his plants.

Alternatively, Cllr Cole could travel the world and enlighten himself over the inevitable famine, mass migration, flood, drought and conflict over fast-diminishing resources that will ensue should the temperature rise by the two degrees necessary for him to grow his lemons.

Mark Lumley


Look again

I WAS disheartened to read your article with a number of local councillors (including Cllr John Cole, who said climate change would be a chance to grow oranges and lemons) displaying their scepticism toward climate change.

I would implore these decision-makers to take another look at this viewpoint.

Six years ago a study concluded that 97 per cent of 12,000 peer-reviewed papers on climate science agree that climate change is happening now, and it’s human-led.

A total of 195 countries have pledged to reduce carbon emissions to lessen the impact of climate change, with the UK recently declaring it a national emergency.

It is not scaremongering, it is happening.

Pembrokeshire is not immune to climate change and with its extensive coastline, areas of important ecological significance as well as widespread agriculture, it is more at risk of irreversible change to the landscape than most.

So, while we may be able to grow lemons in Pembrokeshire at some point in the future, some of the current flora and fauna we have here might not survive unless we mitigate climate change.

Nick Packman

Nolton Haven

Face our kids

I WELCOME your newspaper’s reporting on the attitudes of certain county councillors.

Cllr Jacob Williams favours “separating eco and green issues from climate change concerns”; you might as well try to debate capital punishment without touching on ethics!

Cllr Mike Stoddart questions the efficiency of renewable energy, when the Government’s own statistics and the Committee on Climate Change confirm that onshore wind turbines generate the cheapest electricity, bar none.

Meanwhile Cllr John Cole says “the damage climate change would do is scaremongering” – but sea level rise could hit his Merlin’s Bridge ward very hard indeed.

The climate emergency is all about trying to safeguard the future.

So, whenever visiting the county’s schools, these councillors should nail their colours to the mast: let’s have them face the pupils, and explain why they refuse to accept the overwhelming scientific consensus on climate change.

Let these men also explain to our children and grandchildren why they might oppose county council policies which could steer us all in a safer direction; and, cards on the table – are there any County Hall dinosaurs intending to vote down renewable energy planning applications despite the pollution reduction, the quality jobs, and the communal prosperity they could bring to west Wales?

Christopher Jessop