Still debate on causes of climate change
Dear Editor, While I welcome somebody in the media recognising that it has an important part to play in informing the public about crucial issues, I was disappointed to read that you take as a "fact" that changes in the Earth's climate are man made (Why I want a change of climate over this issue, Post Agenda January 17).
In my understanding, the predictions of future climate changes are made using models which have several serious uncertainties, and there is still debate within the scientific field about the reliability of such models.
I would refer you to the article Climate Stability: an inconvenient proof by David Bellamy and Jack Barrett, published in the May 2007 issue of the Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers.
I would suggest that you concentrate your efforts on a related subject, namely the prudent use of the Earth's resources and encourage readers to reduce, reuse and recycle.
It's frustrating that many of my neighbours do not make use of the various recycling collections which councils now provide (and I live in the suburbs where there are no excuses).
I assume that this is due to both ignorance and laziness - but wouldn't you agree that making a new year resolution to recycle more would be worthwhile?
Worth a thought when considering your own New Year resolution?
Delays and laughing all the way to the bank
Dear Editor, The Commons Transport Committee and its usually determined chair, Gwyneth Dunwoody, were obviously having a bad day when reviewing the rail chaos over Christmas (Post, Jan 24).
Since rail privatisation, fragmentation of contracting companies has been a major problem with five engineering firms swapping blame for the delays at Rugby alone.
With several train companies facing disrupted services due to over-runs, problems are compounded when this contract was never put out to competitive tendering, no measurement for attainment of tasks was made and the strange practice of taxpayers paying engineers to work even when half of them fail to turn up!
Mrs Dunwoody ought to have anticipated private sector excuses for this chaos. She represents Crewe where upgrades at Wilmslow took double the planned time, shutting the Stockport - Crewe line for half a year after abandoning some of those upgrade plans.
This Christmas rail chaos wasn't due to over-ambition, half the staff stuffing too many mince pies or requiring power cable re-instatement at both Liverpool Street and Rugby over the holiday.
The problems are built into sundry contractors and consultants with a private profit system in tatters. By next December (2008) additional and more reliable trains ought to be on the West Coast line.
Post readers might buy a trackside seat now for what will prove delays, over-runs, claims from corporate lawyers and works abandoned or deferred again as the Fat Controllers laugh all the way to the bank.
Exhibits are worth a visit
Dear Editor, I hope that your correspondent Ian Oliver will not be put off visiting the exhibition currently showing at the Barber Institute because of his dislike for a single work on display (Letters, January 29).
The exhibits are extremely varied, and I would be surprised if he should fail to find anything there that he likes. There are some gems.
I admit that I too was a bit puzzled by the exhibit based on an A-Z map, but we have to accept that tastes vary a great deal.
We are extremely fortunate that so many private owners have lent their precious items so that other people can enjoy them, and we should make the most of the opportunity.
I for one certainly hope to pay another visit before the exhibition ends in April.
STANLEY A HOLLAND
Getting to the meat of the story
Congratulations on the photograph of the Home Secretary and her escort, that appeared in Friday's Post.
However the text is surely incomplete: had she eaten her kebab or on her way to fetch it?
An odd valuation
Dear Editor, How daft can we get? A lady soldier, a Lance Bombardier no less, has her feelings hurt by a senior officer.
She sues and receives £400,000 in compensation.
However, a serving soldier who gets his or her limbs blown off in combat can only qualify for up to £287,000.
The Lance Bombardier still has all of her limbs and yet receives considerably more and has become rich quickly.
Is this how our Government says thank you to brave serving soldiers?
Access to basic dental care
Dear Editor, I am absolutely fed up of reading stories about the lack of NHS dentists in the country.
Just over a year ago, I very unfortunately cracked a tooth and was desperate to find a dentist for emergency treatment as I was about to fly out of the country.
Having just moved to the city from London, I had not yet registered with a local practice. But when I logged on to the PCT website, I found most of the nearby practices had either stopped taking new patients or had waiting lists. Those offering emergency treatment could only do so during my work hours. So much for being able to easily access emergency treatment.
I eventually gave up trying and settled for a trek back to the capital to get it fixed.
I have since registered with a private practice in Edgbaston. It pains me to see my money leave my account every month for a service that should really be free.
This week, you have published two stories about NHS dental practices who have thousands of places on their books.
Do they honestly want to blame people for not coming forward and joining their practices?
Surely if dentists and the PCTs made more of an effort to publicise these practices, they wouldn't end up with a situation where thousands of people cannot access basic dental care.
Achieving the required standard
Dear Editor, In view of the public concern being expressed over the allocation of a third ministerial post to Liam Byrne MP, can a firm assurance be given that he has the time and adequate facilities to ensure that members of the public receive the standard of service they are entitled to expect?
Coun HAROLD JACKSON