I ENJOY reading your Letters pages. They are informative, entertaining and sometimes downright hilarious. However, I haven’t felt the urge to write myself – until now.

Your October 11 issue had two highlighted articles on the front page – the retired couple “trekking across the world”, and the Shelbourn cartoon covering climate change.

Is it me? If we are to have any chance of tackling climate change then is reducing air travel not a key part of this?

I think it is excellent that the retired couple are making the most of their lives – you only get one chance. But what about the effect on our children and grandchildren? They are also encouraging others to do the same!

Your Shelbourn cartoon says it all – it is the child who is aghast at the thought of climate change, not the parents.

There have recently been local meetings on climate change. To put some figures into the discussion:

• It takes around 300,000 litres of fuel to fly to Pakistan and back. The average annual mileage of cars in the UK is 7,800 and the average mpg is 40 – you could therefore take 4,000 cars off the roads for a month for the cost in carbon of one return flight.

• In ice cores taken from Antarctica (British Antarctic Survey figures) the Co2 parts per million had never been above 290 over the last 800,000 years. We are now standing at 412.

• In 800,000 years the rate of increase in Co2 parts per million has never exceeded 30 in 1,000 years. In 2009 it had gone up by 30 ppm in 17 years. In the nine years since then it has gone up by another 26.

Just think about those figures – if that doesn’t worry you, then nothing will.

I would love to see the government launch a personal carbon allowance scheme, giving everyone an annual allowance. Those who insisted on using more than the average would have to pay for it, and those who used less could sell their surplus back to the scheme. (The Kyoto Protocol did, after all, introduce carbon emission trading).

I can’t see it happening. However, in view of the fact that very few people seem to equate their own personal carbon emissions with the problem of climate change, we could make changes to highlight this.

The government is banging on about electric cars. Where is that electricity going to come from? And the National Grid hasn’t got big enough wires to get it to us (if we all plug in our electric cars at night we will blow up the sub-station down the road).

Instead, why not put in large writing (like they do on cigarette packets) how much Co2 we’ve just used?

Our quarterly gas and electric bills could be headed up with how much we’ve used compared to the national average. Every receipt for petrol/diesel could tell us how long that fuel should last for on average. Every flight should have the details of Co2 compared to the national average usage. Plus, get some focussed media comment on personal use, rather than lauding adding to our Co2 emissions as a good idea.

If each of us doesn’t do something, in 50 years' time our grandchildren will sit in a world ravaged by extreme weather, droughts and rising sea levels - and they will be asking one question “How did they let that happen?”

Tom Wilkinson