SIR - We take it for granted that democracy, that is governments run by the party with over half the public vote and normally using elected representatives, Is the ideal way forward.

It certainly could be if the driving force behind it was a much more equal distribution of wealth, without the capitalist extremes that are now the norm, especially in the developed industrial world.

Unfortunately France has recently demonstrated that the current global extremes of wealth distribution with less income for most and unrestricted amounts for the few make it difficult for those on the lowest pay while the wealthy are pigging it without any concern for those struggling.

While the French basic pay is a little higher than in the UK the extremes are similar and they take to the streets with gusto to make the point. The most recent rioting was inspired by a proposed car fuel tax increase and this just shows how difficult it’ll be to encourage folk to change their behaviour.

Until all our cars use electricity from renewable sources it will be impossible to reduce the current high level of CO2 from car engines and start to stabilise the growth in carbon emissions, let alone begin the necessary reduction.

At the same time buying food at the end of the month is always going to be the priority rather than reducing the level of an invisible gas in the atmosphere, though this would certainly be more likely if the money available was shared out more equally.

Currently in the UK some 50,000 earn over one million pounds a year and over one million, some four percent of the workforce, take home £100,000. Indeed around one third of the working population earn £50,000 plus while at least five million are paid below the living wage.

If governments wish to reduce the amount of driving and CO2 production they should make public transport free and more frequent, using defence money, and increase the tax rate substantially for the highest earners.

The public might then also accept a significant tax on air travel.