Lifestyle adjustments are the only way to fight climate change
James Chawke is looking at the wrong picture on climate change (‘Climate change intrinsically linked to overpopulation’ – Letters, March 27). Climate change begins and ends with greed and selfishness on the part of some of the population. This includes the destruction of natural resources worldwide, overfishing, etc. In Melbourne, each council allows two annual collections per household of large waste which is put on the kerbside on a specified date.
Furniture, toys, fridges, TVs are all pulped in a waste collection vehicle and put into landfill. Also, large amounts of food are dumped daily internationally.
The lifestyle of the population is what needs to be reduced drastically, and failure to do simply means Gaia will protect herself irrespective of mankind.
There was a time when we knew how to house citizens
Back in 1950, when I was one year old, my family had the good fortune to be granted a lovely local authority house in west Cork.
This was at a time when the country was impoverished and unemployment was at its highest. The difference between then and now is that the State concentrated on attempting to provide housing for its citizens, especially the poor.
Before the current distraction and the “lack of everything”, there was the knowledge that housing people was a national priority.
That successful strategy of regularity in providing local authority houses is now abandoned to all intent and purposes, with stock of housing down to almost zero. This is because successive governments have opted out of spending and building homes for those who cannot get mortgages and can barely afford to fend for themselves, due to persistent poverty.
This is mainly due to paltry wages at many levels, coupled with government policy to heap blame and responsibility for homelessness on the shoulders of private landlords.
This sector of property providers as a business is now portrayed, conveniently, as the new enemy of the State. It is an appalling injustice that anyone with left-leaning and quasi-republican credentials can produce rhetoric akin to the run-up to the French Revolution.
Many Irish citizens have been, and are, grateful for private landlords who have housed them at crucial times and at decent rates of rent, when needed.
A special thank you to one of the country’s unsung heroes
My son Jack has been in hospital for over four months. It’s been a long and difficult admission for him, with many trips to theatre and a couple of admissions to intensive care.
Jack is 17, he has Down syndrome and a rare auto-inflammatory disease. He has severe/profound intellectual disability and is non-verbal. He is a wheelchair user and has hugely complex medical needs. He requires 24-hour care. Jack’s general paediatrician, Dr Susan Finn in CHI at Crumlin Hospital, oversees all that’s going on. Jack is under the care of 12 other medical teams, and it’s a lot to keep track of.
Jack needs some home nursing. He goes to a special school but hasn’t been able to attend for three years due to Covid. He has a disability team and he attends respite in Laura Lynn. There’s a lot of management and having a great paediatrician really helps with letters, referrals and organisation.
When Dr Finn walks into the room she knows how unwell Jack is by how close he is clutching his Peppa Pig toy. She has also been known to tell the nurses in ICU (in my absence) that he prefers to watch his favourite show Schitt’s Creek rather than the usual kids’ stuff.
So I would like to say a big thank you to Dr Finn who helps us all the time during every admission (of which there are many) and also in between admissions and appointments. Communication has always been easy with her and I know I can confide in her all my concerns and worries. She truly listens.
Dr Finn also works in the national rehabilitation hospital and has spent time with Enable Ireland. She is a real asset to our health service and maybe doesn’t get the recognition for all that she does.
So, thank you, Dr Finn, for all that you have done for Jack.
Ardclough, Co Kildare
Keeping an eye on the weather tells us what time it really is
March is famous for bringing us four seasons in a day. We seem to be experiencing as much on the hour. The clock can spring forward – the weather makes its own time.