Readers' reactions

December 17, 1999

Two weeks ago in The THES... Philip Stott argued that rainforests are not essential to our survival on this planet

Nick Brooks

Department of geography University of Reading Philip Stott seeks to counter uninformed green hysteria with an equally hysterical denial of the need better to understand the global environment before undertaking action that may radically modify it.

It is in our interest to perturb the global environment as little as possible until we understand what impact it is likely to have. Despite millions of pounds spent observing and modelling the global climate, we still do not have a good understanding of how the land surface interacts with the atmosphere.

Ill-founded eco-hype does not negate serious science, much of which indicates we should be more, rather than less, concerned about the impact of today's commercial activities on the environment of tomorrow.

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