Thank you for running Roger Highfield’s piece looking at some of the elephants in the room when it comes to cracking the great energy conundrum of providing increasing quantities of energy with reducing quantities of carbon dioxide (OT, Trinity 2017). It is, however, a pity that he ignored the biggest pachyderm of them all; the economic assumption that destroying the planet’s climatic system (and, indeed polluting the oceans and eliminating entire species and habitats) comes with no financial cost. The fossil fuel industry is welcomed, even encouraged by public subsidy, to destroy the climate for profit but pay nothing towards transitioning towards a sustainable future.

Perhaps to answer the question ‘Can Oxford save the world?’ you should ask the Department of Economics to come up with some ideas of how we can reorder the working of the global economy to reward activities that nourish the future rather than those that destroy it.