Letters - Letter of the week

Your Leader (11 July) unreservedly welcomes the decision that London is to host the 2012 Olympics - "a spectacular opportunity . . . for the whole of the United Kingdom". It is ironic that this should appear only one week after your special G8 issue covering, inter alia, climate change, and only a few days after the G8 summit failed by common consent to reach a meaningful agreement on the essential action needed on this one of its top two agenda items.

Were the Olympics to go ahead, in any city, it would entail hundreds of thousands of spectators and participants making long-distance flights. A return from New York to London, for example, results in carbon-dioxide emissions per passenger equivalent to more than three times the ration each individual can be allowed for all his or her fossil fuel-using purposes for a

year if the world's climate is not to be destabilised disastrously. Excessively damaging activities can have no future in a world that urgently needs to adopt carbon-thrifty lifestyles.

Failure to make the connection between climate change and activities dependent upon any intensive use of fossil fuels is a disturbing illustration of our collective amnesia in relation to the implications of continuing with these activities.

Dr Mayer Hillman
Senior Fellow Emeritus, Policy Studies Institute
London NW3