PETER Holme, in his letter ‘Carbon Cost’ (Gazette, November 7) seeks to highlight an apparent contradiction between Extinction Rebellion’s aim to protect the planet while burning fossil fuels travelling to London to protest.

Unless we walk, he argues, we’re contributing to the problem. This thinking is unsound because it considers only the carbon costs of travelling to protest, not the benefits.

Leaving aside that Peter’s calculation for a return trip to London is incorrect by several orders of magnitude (the carbon cost is in fact around 4.5kg CO2e, not 3.1 tons), the inescapable truth is that Extinction Rebellion (XR), together with the school strikes, has succeeded in putting the climate crisis on the political agenda in a way nothing else has: within days of the April rebellion, Parliament declared a climate emergency, as did local councils across the country, including our own. The Government announced a target of net zero emissions by 2050, while Labour, as a direct result of XR's actions, has adopted a far more ambitious target of 2030.

But perhaps the most telling impact of XR’s rebellions can be seen here on the pages of the Westmorland Gazette. A year ago there was a sprinkling of articles and letters discussing the climate crisis; now we see several each week. People are talking about it. Those who might previously have denied the climate science now find that position untenable, so instead argue either that we’re doomed so there’s no point, or that anyone calling for climate action is a hypocrite unless they live in a cave.

It’s easy to criticise the actions of others but, as is so often the case with XR’s detractors, Mr Holme fails to offer a viable alternative for triggering the rapid decarbonisation scientists tell us is necessary. If he has one, I can assure him that those of us who’ve protested with XR will be the first to jump on board. But meanwhile we'll continue our protest, because it's working.

Gwen Harrison