THE efforts of Cllr Dyan Jones (Letters, February 20, ‘Join the conversation) and Cllr Giles Archibald towards a zero-carbon South Lakeland are doubtless commendable, but it should not be assumed their efforts will have any effect in the great scheme of things.

You have only to look around our towns to see reducing carbon footprints is not something which comes naturally to people.

Cars get bigger every year, commuting distances longer, and how many of the countless housing developments rubber-stamped by South Lakeland District Council require owning a car: there is no infrastructure, not even a corner shop.

In addition, buildings are commonly overheated (it is now accepted that personnel in supermarkets dress as if they are in the tropics - whatever happened to the woolly jumper?).

Moreover, double doors are commonly left wide open so heat is blasted out into the great blue yonder while in another part of the store refrigerated air is often being dissipated.

To make the country zero-carbon will require an unprecedented effort: probably no private cars, no jetting off several times a year to exotic locations and no out-of-season fruits and vegetables flown in from halfway round the world.

Will the populace vote in politicians who implement such policies?

As mentioned above, efforts to make our society greener are commendable (elimination of waste is always a good idea) but we must be clear that to stop global warming requires a major sacrifice by everyone.

However, we are in danger of introducing costly but ineffective measures and convincing ourselves we are doing good.

An example of this is the recent campaign against Cumbrian coal which, if the coal is not mined in Cumbria, will be mined elsewhere and we will have sacrificed many well-paid jobs to no avail.

Probably another is the construction of cycle tracks around Kendal which are barely used but come at a cost of months of work by polluting machinery and further disruption to already congested traffic.

I sometimes get the impression that, like the flood protection scheme, it is more important that “something is done” regardless of whether the “something” is helpful or not.

Kent Brooks