Tuesday 15 October 2019

Letters to the Editor: 'Our planet can only take so much damage and abuse'

'The Earth is like each and every human being: it can only take so much abuse, and neglect, before it expires' (stock photo)
'The Earth is like each and every human being: it can only take so much abuse, and neglect, before it expires' (stock photo)
Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

Pat Swords (Letters, Irish Independent, October 10) quotes Mark Twain to validate his wisdom on the argument against climate change.

Please allow me to quote a living poet and farmer from Scone, in New South Wales, Peter Bishop, who received a commendation for his poem ‘Conversations’ in the recent Australian Yeats Poetry Prize.

“For years and years my family and I have raised sheep and cattle and horses in the Upper Hunter.

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“We had some bad droughts, but this (current) one is up there with the worst of them.”

I invite your readers to read up on the events in Australia in this current year of harsh drought, including the loss of a major river, in which thousands of fish (including cod more than a century old) died; not to mention a scarcity of drinking water looming over the entire continent, as we approach summer.

I respectfully suggest Mr Swords, and those who ignore climate change, examine the facts of large scale deforestation on South America (the lungs of the earth), and deforestation in parts of Asia: to provide pittance wages for workers, in atrocious conditions, but massive profits for CEOs.

The Earth is like each and every human being: it can only take so much abuse, and neglect, before it expires.

Declan Foley

Berwick, Australia

 

Why phone a friend could be better than a referendum

I think this Brexit fiasco is beginning to look a lot like a nightmare game of ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire’.

Firstly the quiz-master and compere gave the potential audience participants a question with A or B answer options when there should have been A, B, C or D.

The participants have been tinkering with the 50-50 lifeline option of Deal or No Deal for more than three years, can’t make up their minds and the time is running out fast.

The audience lifeline was used and 52pc said ‘leave’.

However, the audience members from Northern Ireland, Scotland and London said stay, clearly leaving naked a huge dilemma.

Beyond ridiculous. Who said that referendums were a good idea?

It’s no wonder Churchill disapproved of them.

Paul Horan

Trinity College Dublin

 

Frank’s right – too many of us are afflicted by Brexititis

I love the headline on Frank Coughlan’s notebook article ‘Brexit misery has left us all a bit unhinged’ (Irish Independent, October 8).

Personally, I have had this particular illness since the summer of 2016.

Brian Mc Devitt

Glenties, Co Donegal

 

Lessons from ‘Unplanned’ should be reflected on by all

The film ‘Unplanned’ comes like a gift to us at this time.

It tells a true story with compassion and, sometimes, shocking honesty.

It also encompasses repentance and forgiveness.

Whether we voted ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ in the recent referendum, I think we owe it to ourselves to see it. As the caption says: “What she saw changed everything.”

Eamon Fitzpatrick

Strandhill Road, Co Sligo

 

Smoke and mirrors can’t stop NTPF being seen for what it is

It was odd indeed to hear Fianna Fáil finance spokesman Michael McGrath seeking kudos for the “€100m to tackle waiting lists” on foot of the budget (‘Budget debate frames key battlegrounds for the coming election’, Irish Independent, October 9).

What Mr McGrath is referring to is the €25m to be added to the existing National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) yearly spend of €75m.

But how effective is the NTPF? It is in existence since 2004, and despite the millions it has spent, waiting times have never been worse.

The problem it was supposedly set up to address remains as bad as ever.

So it seems very odd indeed that Fianna Fáil persists with promoting this particular turkey.

Instead of throwing good money after bad, tackling the dreadful waiting lists would be far better served by tighter controls and ploughing whatever money is available into building up the public healthcare infrastructure.

The NTPF is nothing other than a wasteful conduit through which large amounts of public money can be shifted into private pockets. No amount of smoke and mirrors can camouflage that reality.

Jim O’Sullivan

Rathedmond, Co Sligo

Irish Independent

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