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It falls on all of us to pass the planet on in good condition

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Climate activist Greta Thunberg during a demonstration at Festival Park, Glasgow, on the first day of the COP26 summit. Photo: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

Climate activist Greta Thunberg during a demonstration at Festival Park, Glasgow, on the first day of the COP26 summit. Photo: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

Climate activist Greta Thunberg during a demonstration at Festival Park, Glasgow, on the first day of the COP26 summit. Photo: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

Yesterday’s letter writers – Tom Fanthom, Hugh McDermott, Jim O’Sullivan, Dennis Fitzgerald and Florence Craven – have much more in common than some may realise.

It was Margaret Thatcher who announced “there is no such thing as society”. Today, in 2021, we see the price to be paid for individual pursuit of wealth and luxurious living.

Political party leadership has now become like the church of old – “do as you are told” or leave. Far worse is the grip on political parties the money classes have, and some media owners.

Many people around the globe are angst-ridden over the future, more so those of us who have grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

If every reader of the Irish Independent set out to save even a drop of water each day, used the car only when necessary, used less electricity and even grew their own salad vegetables, it would make a big difference in a short time.

As with Covid, it is up to each of us as individuals to take personal care of our health while at the same time understanding we are not the sole person in the world.

We are all part and parcel of the world, as the entire world is part and parcel of each of us. It starts here with me.

Declan Foley

Melbourne, Australia

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The ‘adults in the room’ have forgotten about sustainability

A modest annual growth rate of 3pc means the total value of goods and services produced in an economy will double every 24 years.

Ireland’s economy will, therefore, at current rates of economic growth, have doubled by 2046. That total of economic output will again double by 2070 at the same growth rates.

The world’s accounting bodies, the World Bank, the IMF and governments, subscribe to this economic theory and how it is measured. The opposite is recession, livelihoods destroyed and, most likely, anarchy.

Until such time as the so-called grown-ups in the room figure out a way to include sustainability in their economic models that can be measured accurately and verified independently, then all the talk and conferences about climate change and impending disaster will come to nought. The world needs to level down, not up.

Tom McElligott

Listowel, Co Kerry

Ireland must stop talking and lead the way through actions

As the Taoiseach tells the world Ireland is ready to play its part in averting climate disaster, the truth of our problem lies in this very statement.

We should not be standing in the wings, awaiting instruction at the ready – we should already be acting.

Had we acted 20 years ago, the pain would be far less now. Had we acted 20 years ago, we would be in a better place now.

Listening to the finalists of the Earthshot prize and hearing all the solutions to our problems, it’s clear the only impediment to our future is our world leaders – the people allowing the production of fossil fuels to continue behind paid lip service.

In this country, PV panel users are still not allowed to sell their excess green energy back to the national grid.

That is an illustration of just how far behind we are. In order to move forward, we as consumers need to finally start badgering the status quo.

We need to begin thinking for ourselves, turn to our communities and design our own way forward, with or without our Government by our side.

If we do as the Taoiseach says, we will be standing ready for the next decade.

Now is not the time for standing – now is the time to run.

Marie Hanna Curran

Ballinasloe, Co Galway

 

Criticism of the Irish dairy industry is badly misplaced

Much of the debate surrounding global warming issues in this country appears to lay the blame on agriculture.

When Ireland joined the European Union, Irish milk output doubled before quotas were imposed. When quotas were removed, Irish milk output once again grew and is well on the way to doubling. Yet somehow that seems to be a matter for blame.

Surely we should see that the Irish dairy industry is very competitive in producing food and should not be blamed for that.

A Leavy

Dublin 13

 

Last thing the struggling world needs is more hot air

 

The Taoiseach said Ireland would sign a pledge to cut methane emissions by 30pc, but in what appears like a cop-out he stressed “we will contribute globally to a reduction. It’s a global pledge, it’s not country specific”. His comments may bring some relief to our farmers but our pledges don’t turn out to be a lot of hot air.

Aidan Roddy

Cabinteely, Dublin 18


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