I feel compelled to write about your coverage of the oil exploration in Cardigan Bay.

I would start by saying I am not a climate change denier, or opposed to nature conservation and environmental enhancement measures, but I would like to make three points.

Whatever measures we take now we are likely to remain, in part at least, a carbonbased economy, our quality of life, health, welfare and prosperity depend upon it.

That being the case, owning the responsibility for carbon production and utilisation within Wales and managing the inherent risks in its exploitation and usage here is more responsible than exporting the environmental damage to other countries.

Secondly there are environmental risks, but risks can be managed. We all risk our lives every day, driving, in our work, eating, flying, holidaying in exotic places, but we assess, manage and limit those risks intelligently. The risks of oil exploitation in Cardigan Bay can likewise be assessed, managed and minimised. As an example, which can be improved upon, take Shetland which is not to my knowledge an environmental desert despite 40 years of oil exploitation.

My third point is an economic one. The development of a well-regulated minimally polluting oil economy in mid Wales offers sustainable economic development, providing much-needed higher-paid employment for both locals and skilled incomers, giving wider opportunities within the community for training and education, allowing ambitious and intelligent young people to stay in the area. Once again the oil industry in N E Scotland provides an example where it is a major economic driver and has not, from what I have seen, created an industrial polluted wasteland.

Our local political representatives and the Welsh Government on the other hand offer rural mid, west and north Wales little or nothing in terms of sustainable development other than minimum wage seasonal tourist-based jobs, or insecure government paid jobs. So, let’s have less knee-jerk bunny-hugging from Plaid and more intelligent discussion about important economic matters so we can tackle global warming responsibly and effectively.

Yours etc, John Downes, Aberystwyth.

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