As the great and good discuss the ongoing crisis to our Earth at COP26, there are two things which won’t be discussed by the most powerful of governments: that is the market economy and the continued building of huge defence systems that are threatening our children’s and grandchildren’s future.
When it comes to dairy farming’s climate effect, the picture is not quite as clear-cut as your weekend comment piece (Irish Independent, October 31) would suggest. For example, while agriculture is indeed the largest contributor to Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions – because we are an agricultural nation – the majority of our emissions come from energy, transport, residential, industrial processes and manufacturing.
Your correspondent rightly says that 65pc of dairy’s emissions are methane – he neglects to mention that biogenic methane is a short-lived greenhouse gas, hanging around for a dozen years only in the atmosphere, as opposed to CO2 from fossil fuels, which is there for hundreds of years.
The national herd has grown over the past decade, but it is still smaller than it was in 1986 – and Irish dairy is producing more with less. Careful breeding programmes ensure more milk from each cow and as a result, emissions per litre of milk are down.
Your correspondent omits to say that Irish dairy is the most GHG-emissions efficient in Europe. The implications of that are summed up by three Bs – Buoyant, Better and Best. Globally – like it or not – demand for dairy is buoyant. Ireland is better at producing dairy than most other countries. The best way of meeting demand for dairy, sustainably and with due regard for the environment, is by producing in a country that’s better at it.
Chief Executive, National Dairy Council
I read Oliver McGrane’s letter (Irish Independent, November 1) with great interest. However, Mary Lou McDonald yearns to be Taoiseach so should be given the chance. FF and FG have governed Ireland for decades, let’s see what Sinn Féin can do.
Although English and Protestant, I hope Northern Ireland will have a successful referendum on reunification in the near-future. Scotland’s SNP rules in Edinburgh and narrowly lost a 2014 independence plebiscite and is poised to gain a second one within a decade.
Mary Lou McDonald could well be the leader of a united Ireland held accountable by Catholic and Protestant alike.
Protestants are an integral and important part of Ireland and its future. A peacefully reunited Ireland will be an important player on the world scene. Sinn Féin and McDonald could well be the ones to achieve that.
I am currently living in Vietnam and the staff that I have been in contact with at our embassy in Hanoi could not have been more helpful.
They all reply to any question, often within the hour. People from some other countries say they do not get looked after by their embassies like we do.
So credit where credit is due.
Sinn Féin has voted in favour of using non-jury courts in certain circumstances.
Has that not always been their policy?
Firhouse, Dublin 24
It is utterly naive to believe that world leaders will find solutions to climate change when they collectively failed to solve issues from the plight of Palestinians to Uyghurs, Rohingya, Syrians, Libyans, Yemenis.
For example, over 80pc of Yemenis live under the poverty line, millions suffer from cholera, severe malnutrition and chronic poverty.
Uyghurs in China experience coercive labour, re-education camps, confiscation of children, destruction of religion, mass sterilisations and forced abortions.
My question is how do you expect the UK, the USA, France, etc, to mitigate climate change while at the same time selling arms to tyrannical regimes like Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates and Israel?
Dr Munjed Farid Al Qutob
London, United Kingdom