I was astonished to read the news item claiming that 70% of all commercial properties could be made unusable by the effects of global warming (5 September, page 11).
Surely, this is sensationalism of the worst kind.

First of all, even the most advanced scientific studies conclude that weather modelling is limited, as there are too many global factors and influences to take into account to make definitive long-range predictions. While some experts suggest that mankind's influence on the Earth's ecosystems is relatively meaningless, others believe that the effects of the past 400 industrial years could cause the Earth's entire life structure to collapse rapidly once global warming begins in earnest. Some western governments still do not officially recognise the term "global warming" while others consider another ice age cycle more likely!

Despite this, the experts mentioned in your article seem confident enough about the future local effects of global warming to prescribe the reintroduction of air-conditioning systems, mass concrete and stone construction, and the wholesale elimination of lightweight construction. Surely this is similar to the thinking that led to the creation of some of the most damaging buildings of the post-war era, when the construction industry was hell bent on engineering out the effects of the environment, good and bad, regardless of location.

To rule out timber framing and prefabrication wholesale to counter the effects of a general warming is nonsense. Lightweight construction in timber has been used for thousands of years in all climates, including extremely hot and cold. A lightweight and well-insulated timber building will probably always produce less of a burden on the planet than mass construction.

Please, let's cut out the mass generalisations and baseless alarmism. Of course designers should be thinking about the future but I can guarantee that we lightweights are every bit as sensitive to what the future might hold as you heavyweights.