Saturday 23 March 2019

Letters to the Editor: 'Children should continue the climate crusade at weekends'

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg. Photo: Getty
Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg. Photo: Getty
Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

Greta Thunberg’s idealism is hard not to admire (‘Take action on climate, children urge politicians’, Irish Independent, February 14).

One is reminded of the Children’s Crusade of the year 1212. Her leadership skills have already been noted and no doubt when she leaves school she will be head-hunted by big companies and her career assured.

However, her fellow student ‘strikers’ may not be so lucky. Their ongoing absences from school are unlikely to change the political mindset, but will surely impact negatively on their education. One protesting student carried a placard reading, ‘I’m missing science class for this’. Indeed. Any normal, well-adjusted child would rather crawl a thousand miles over broken glass than spend a minute extra in school – no matter how brilliant the classes or teachers.

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The world’s leaders and richest elite have so far shown themselves to be impervious to the plight of millions of the world’s poorest threatened with displacement or death because of climate change. They hardly even seem to care about the water rising around their own ears.

What makes these latter-day crusaders so sure they will be listened to? Keep the protests for Saturdays. By sacrificing your personal free time you will both demonstrate your seriousness and maintain your important education.

Nick Folley

Carrigaline, Co Cork

Taxpayers left to carry the can over coffee cup hat stunt

Will Josepha Madigan and Katherine Zappone stop at nothing to self publicise? (‘Creative flair: €6m fund to help students be imaginative’, Irish Independent, February 15). Wearing hats made of coffee cup lids and empty soft drink bottles makes them look ridiculous: spending €6m of our money to encourage this kind of activity makes us taxpayers look like right mugs.

Michael Anderson

Balgriffin, Dublin 13

We should not rejoice as UK wrestles with Brexit turmoil

As a citizen of a state whose political institutions were overwhelmed by an existential crisis between 2008 and 2010, and severely shaken by the farce that was the water charges issue between 2014 and 2016, I have great sympathy for the current political difficulties faced by our neighbours.

The fact that politics is not an exact science is a complicating factor as the UK’s political elites must divine what exactly was meant by that “Leave” vote on the June 23, 2016.

Perhaps 100 years ago “England’s difficulty was our opportunity”, but that adage no longer holds, thankfully.

While our modern relationship has been a complex and, at times, fraught one, it should be remembered by all that the UK, under a Tory government, contributed £7bn (€8bn) to an international rescue package for Ireland, in October 2010, at a time when we were relying on the “kindness of strangers”.

PJ O’Meara

Cahir, Co Tipperary

Varadkar and Harris to pay most for hospital cost fiasco

The spiralling cost of the children’s hospital has the potential to undermine the Government. Apart from blowing a big hole in its glossy capital development plan, more significantly perhaps the controversy has blown a big hole in the Government’s public relations image. In particular it has taken the sheen off two of its star performers. From now on the Taoiseach will be seen as ‘Low-balling’ Leo and the Health Minister as ‘I’m Sorry’ Simon.

John Glennon

Hollywood, Co Wicklow

How simple words of wisdom can carry so much meaning

Just a little quote to add to the spirituality of letters of late. From the Dalai Lama as follows: “My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.” Hard to beat that.

Brian McDevitt

Glenties, Co Donegal

Trump’s hopes of peace prize are demolished by his wall

It appears that President Trump thinks he deserves a Nobel Peace Prize just like former president Obama’s one. The Nobel should go to only the best of the best, although sometimes hindsight adds more to the story.

With the Mexican wall now a possibility the idea of peace is being challenged. Peace cannot ever be enforced or imprisoned, it must be earned and especially protected by all. Sorry, Mr President. No prize for you.

Dennis Fitzgerald

Melbourne, Australia

Irish Independent

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