Air quality

FURTHER to the article "More ambition on climate change call" (D&S Times County Durham edition, Dec 3).

It is my opinion that Darlington Councillor Matthew Snedker made a good and sound proposal that "council measures the carbon impact of its decisions and monitor and declare the borough's carbon emissions".

In my view Councillor Snedker's proposal is particularly important in respect of proposed major housing developments that are swamping areas of Darlington.

I find it quite unsettling that major planning applications requiring environmental impact assessments are undertaken by planning consultants engaged and acting on behalf of the applicant. Could this be biased?

I understand that Darlington Borough Council undertake annual air monitoring procedures from various locations in and around around Darlington.

Some considerable time ago the equipment for measuring air quality in the Cockerton area of Darlington was removed and to date has never been replaced.

Two submitted major developments covering the Staindrop Road and Coniscliffe Road areas of Darlington comprising of about 1,500 housing units have been submitted to the council. The environmental air impact on the areas of Cockerton, Mowden and the west end of Darlington (Coniscliffes) will be significant, and potentially damaging to people's health, this is excluding the M1 emissions which would adjoin the proposed developments.

Has the council considered the medical health data for Darlington in respect of respiratory diseases?

If they represent the people of Darlington then I think they should.

Peter Ellerton, Darlington.

No 10 “party”

I WAS shocked to hear the leader of the Labour Party, Sir Keir Starmer, within the last week accuse Downing Street of holding a boozy Christmas party a year ago.

It would appear that this party has just come to light and we are being drip fed statements very slowly. These statements have been made to respected journalists with the clear instruction that their names must not be disclosed.

Dominic Raab, when questioned, dismissed this as being “unsubstantiated”. It is obvious what has happened, the party did take place and it was against all government rules at the time. Those people at the party will never admit that they were there. If they did Boris Johnson would have to sack them for telling the truth and for discrediting him and the party.

Boris Johnson’s reply to Keir Starmer was the usual political drivel, he completely evaded answering the question. If the PM refuses to answer this question, what else is he and MPs not telling us the truth about?

Brian Tyldesley, Middleham.

Different rules

WHY are there any arguments about the No 10 “office Christmas party" from 2020?

Even as a student at Eton, it has often been reported that the staff were clear that Boris believed that rules and regulations applied to others but did not apply to him.

Eric Gendle, Nunthorpe, Middlesbrough

Best of luck

I REFER to Trevor Nicholson’s letter requesting answers from climate change warriors (in particular, Frank Broughton and Bob Sampson) “Nature’s impact” (D&S Times letters, Dec 3).

My advice to Trevor is, don’t hold your breath. I would have thought that he would have realised by now that the matter is no longer open to rational debate. We have moved on.

You can only save the world by gluing your hands to motorways, in the hope that someone else will pay to insulate your property. The debate is not about climate change it is now about how to create anarchy so as to overthrow our democracy and the free market economy which has, alongside increasing CO2, elevated millions out of abject poverty and starvation.

I have repeatedly asked the climate warriors the following, question. “If we are successful in reducing the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere, how are we going to be able to feed the current world population?

CO2 is plant food. The world has become progressively greener with the increased concentration of CO2. Reduce CO2 and you condemn millions to certain starvation. How do the climate warriors intend to deal with this (unintended?) consequence of their success?

Trevor Nicholson mentions the "climate models" and Mr Broughton’s propensity to trust scientists with "gongs".

Only recently has the archaeological orthodoxy, on when and from where the first humans arrived in America, been overthrown. For most of my adult life well rewarded and honoured archaeologists denigrated those who challenged the "established science".

They were wrong, both in facts, and the unscientific tactics they used to protect their professional reputations (and their version of the truth).

Climate science is now in the political arena. Scientists are now political animals who, unfortunately, place undue value on their reputation and rewards. They now value consensus more than proper science and truth.

Alastair PG Welsh, Newton Aycliffe.


TREVOR NICHOLSON poses two questions in the letter you published last week “Nature’s impact” (D&S Times letters, Dec 3).

The first asks why the planet has been affected by a number of ice ages in the past. The second, about coal seams, appears to relate to inter-glacial warm periods.

It is, in fact, universally accepted by climate scientists that the earth has experienced cycles of cooling and warming in the past.

These temperature changes are due to variations in solar activity and volcanic action, plus the effect of changes in the earth’s orbit and its attitude in relation to the sun.

However, detailed research carried out over decades has confirmed that none of these factors is responsible for the recent dramatic rises in global temperatures and that the observed increases are overwhelmingly due to human activity.

I recommend to Mr Nicholson that he reads the comprehensive article about global warming and cooling cycles on the NASA website.

I doubt he will do so, for he exhibits all the characteristics of an entrenched climate change denier, notably the inability to accept evidence, however overwhelming, that runs counter to his prejudices.

Frank Broughton, Brompton-on-Swale.

Power suggestion

OVER a week after storm Arwen there were still many people suffering through lack of power.

I can remember this happening many times over previous winters, is it not time that the power transmission companies put all cables underground to save the damage that wind and trees can do to the system?

After all they have the technology to bring cables in from places such as Iceland and France.

CP Atkinson, Great Ayton.

Cold coal

RECENTLY, weather fine, light wind, clear skies, sun shining prior to Storm Arwen I started a moorland walk from Bowes, off the A66.

As I turned the street corner to walk along the main road I was confronted by a large motor wagon fully loaded with bags of coal, bearing the name of Copley Coal, an unusual sight thought long gone, especially for a townie like me.

On speaking to the driver-owner, on my question he said that he was as busy as he’d ever been in supplying coal to customers and again to my question he replied stating that the coal came from America. How ridiculous with all that we have under our feet in the North East.

The UK was once the main provider of coal to the world, now that industry has gone we have to import it from far distant corners of the world for our needs.

On returning to Bowes some three days later after the storm had passed, it was a different picture, the weather was dull, and there were freezing conditions with several inches of lying snow.

On the journey I passed and saw untold number of bent power posts with lines lying on the ground, all resulting in the local people being without electricity for four days at that point.

No doubt the locals were very glad for that visit by that cold coal merchant.

David Reed, Darlington.

Mixed messages

MANDATORY mask wearing in some situations came into effect again on November 30.

The word mandatory is supposed to mean commanded by authority.

But if there is no authority it is pointless introducing it.

Just pop into any store or supermarket, you are guaranteed to see dozens of maskless shoppers.

Supermarkets don't even have marshals on the door anymore and the staff have been instructed not to engage in any kind of confrontation.

So what's the point making it mandatory?

Does it make the government look like they are in control of this new variant of the Covid virus?

Or does it make them look like a bunch of total amateurs?

One can only guess this new virus does not come out at night and hates clubbing.

Stephen Dixon, Redcar.

Knife crime

HEART-BREAKING news of a 12-year-old girl stabbed to death in Liverpool at the Christmas lights switch on.

A husband and wife stabbed to death by their neighbour over parking in Somerset.

The story of a Stockton boy writing a heart-breaking letter after his big brother was stabbed to death.

It’s time for it to stop.

Come on crime commissioners, local judges and local magistrates – it’s time to step up and enforce the law to its maximum.

Anyone who brandishes a knife, machete or sword-like weapon or is in possession of these items should be jailed if they use or threaten anyone.

It’s time to make our cities, villages, neighbourhoods estates and streets safe again.

The police do their best – it’s down to judges and magistrates to do their duty.

D Williams, address supplied.

BBC bias

EARLY on last Friday (Dec 3) I heard that the Conservative party had retained the Old Bexley and Sidcup seat as a result of winning the by-election held due to the death of James Brokenshire.

I said to my wife "that's interesting – I wonder where the result will feature on the BBC's television news at 6pm". I watched the news and the item came on at about 6.25pm for all of 30 seconds.

The exact same thing happened on their television news at 10pm.

I do appreciate there were other serious news items being featured but I bet my Elvis record collection if the Conservatives had lost the by-election the story would have been the first item reported on.

The more I watch the BBC news journalists, the more it directs me to vote Conservative in 2024 (I shall do my best to be still around as I also want to be here when Darlington FC reclaim their league status).

The BBC do seem to hold an uncomfortable level of bias against the present government.

Mike Taylor, Darlington.

Christmas meaning

I AM a regular customer at Tesco in Catterick and this week I did my usual shop and tried to buy Christmas cards.

There were only secular cards on display.

I went to the help desk and asked where the sacred cards were and I was asked what I meant.

I was referred to a senior lady who I assumed to be a supervisor, who took me to the display and again asked me what I meant.

I said that Christmas is the celebration of Jesus’ birthday, and again asked where the religious cards were.

She said these are the cards we have and showed me a sparkly card with a tree on it. I was made to feel that I was being unreasonable.

Tesco obviously did not stock Christmas cards, only Xmas cards.

I am very saddened that our main retail outlet has forgotten what Christmas really means.

Merry Christmas to you all.

Josh Harrison, Catterick.