I am puzzled at the suggestion by John Ashford (CM June letters) that a think-tank could solve all the problems of a future low-carbon world and that the old politics of ‘let the markets decide’ will not do any more. Whatever our individual dreams for the world might entail, the last thing that will achieve them is a think tank

Mr Ashford’s letter correctly spells out the reality of the downturn: we shall all be at war with one another over contracts and payments and he may be right, fraud could increase, rules may be ignored. A very bloody war, as he suggests. But how can he conclude that ‘let the markets decide’ won’t do any more?

When times are hard everyone fights for survival and looks after their own. He may not think it Christian, he may not think it ethical but if my family were starving I’d look after them first and worry about a low-carbon world only after they were sheltered, fed and watered. Shall we let the markets decide? Of course we must, it is always the survival of the fittest and all our pontificating about a low-carbon world will not change economic and primeval reality.

When times are good we can afford intellectual posturing. We should always try to improve society but education hasn’t changed human nature yet and I doubt it ever will.

Grahame Wiggin MCIOB