Orthodox greens

Why was it irresponsible of Channel 4 to broadcast Martin Durkin's documentary on climate change (Leader, 19 March)? Would you have objected if his views had been expressed in a book or magazine, or are you just concerned that TV viewers shouldn't be exposed to alternative opinions? We are talking theories here, and even those who support the orthodoxy on climate change felt the need this week to express concern about the more extreme views, which, by the way, are regularly aired in the NS.

I remain to be convinced by Durkin's thesis, although Simon Singh's portrayal of him (Diary, 19 March) seemed to continue the attacks on his character rather than his opinions. Interestingly, there has been very little criticism of any of the scientists who took part in the programme. Singh's one attempt at scientific debunking - soot caused the fall in temperature - raises more questions than it answers. What happened during those years in parts of the world where there was less soot, and what is happening now in those areas where there is more soot?

Tim Stephens

It is now taboo to question whether CO2 is the prime culprit for climate change. In uncharacteristically sloppy fashion, your editorial referred to "climate-change deniers". Climate change is a fact that no one denies; the only doubt concerns its cause. You claim that the Channel 4 documentary was irresponsible in "flying in the face of all the evidence". Quite the contrary; on a complex issue on which the jury is still out, it is essential the public should be aware that scientific opinion is divided. You complain that the BBC has encouraged debate "as if [the arguments] represent equal bodies of evidence". Suppression of debate was one of the charges brought by the Channel 4 programme.

Ray Brown
Nedderton, Northumberland

This article first appeared in the 26 March 2007 issue of the New Statesman, Scotland: Time to break free?