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Vital that we all make a green effort.

Byline: MICHAEL WILKES

Dear Editor, Coun Nigel Dawkins (Post, Oct 7) is right to say that action is needed to avert climate catastrophe, but he is wrong to say that individual people and councils can play no effective part in this.

I believe Coun Dawkins' analysis is flawed because (a) individuals are the ultimate consumers of goods and services and what goes into producing them and (b) oil supply, dominated by a price-fixing cartel and fellow travellers, is a long way from a proper market.

It is true that if we consume less, the price reacts by going down, inviting other countries to buy somewhat more. But cartels do not like lower prices, so they take action by restricting supply - ie less oil is extracted and burnt and a contribution has been made to global emissions.

The biggest polluter by far is the United States. If USA consumers changed their behaviour to use a third less oil - an entirely possible goal - this alone would remove the carbon equivalent of the entire Chinese economy. So it's encouraging to see states and councils in the USA breaking ranks with the Bush regime and bringing in measures to combat global warming. Very rightly, we in Birmingham have similar goals and aim higher still.

We should remember when the USA had inspiring presidents such as Kennedy, whose maxim was "an individual can make a difference - and should try". This doesn't just mean trying for the top job, but making an effort in one's own life and in the community.

Cynics might say it's just a drop in the ocean, but remember - no drops, no ocean.

Coun MICHAEL WILKES Hall Green

CAPTION(S):

It's encouraging to see states and councils in the USA breaking ranks with Bush in an effort to combat global warming
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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Oct 10, 2006
Words:299
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