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There’s no beef with farmers, but cows are major polluters

Letters to the Editor



Cows are emitters of greenhouse gas. Photo: Stock image

Cows are emitters of greenhouse gas. Photo: Stock image

Cows are emitters of greenhouse gas. Photo: Stock image

The argument that reducing beef and dairy production in Ireland is likely to increase global emissions on the basis that people would buy these products from another country with an even more polluting system is a specious one.

According to research published in the journal Science in 2018, avoiding meat and dairy products is the single biggest way we as individuals can reduce our environmental impact on the planet.

Online publication Our World in Data has reported that beef topped the table of food products for greenhouse gas emissions per 100g of protein produced at 49.89kg.

The fact that Ireland may produce slightly less environmentally damaging products is a flawed argument. What would you say to a cigarette manufacturer who argued that people should smoke their cigarettes because they are marginally less damaging than cigarettes produced by others?

The argument that we need to produce dairy and beef to ensure food security is another canard. We need food, and we need food security, but nobody needs to consume beef and dairy products. Farmers, like the rest of humanity, will suffer if we do not take meaningful action to combat the prospect of impending catastrophic climate change.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has warned that farmers face intense rainfall, floods and droughts resulting from climate change.

Farmers should not be unfairly targeted, but agriculture is by far our largest sectoral emitter of greenhouse gases.

We need our farmers and we need food, but we cannot continue as things are.

Rob Sadlier, Rathfarnham, Dublin 16

What’s in a name? There are a few Truss issues to consider

“Truss” is a noun that means a post or a strut that can be used to support an establishment that’s about to fall down. It’s also an old-fashioned surgical appliance designed to hold back a rupture of the body (including, presumably, the body politic).

“Truss” is also a verb that means to tie up the wings of a dead bird (including, presumably, the right and left wings of a dead-duck parliament).

Of course, for most of us, when we heard the word “truss” for the first time, we thought it was “trust” – and then we realised it has nothing to do with that word at all.

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Chris Fitzpatrick, Terenure, Dublin 6

Ryan has a one-track mind as common sense is derailed

Once again we have a disconnect between what the public want and need and what the authorities should provide.

Iarnród Éireann, with the support of Transport Minister Eamon Ryan of the Greens, intends to extend the Dart system to the Maynooth and M3 Parkway lines.

Both lines are currently providing excellent and frequent service. Why put expense and displacement on people for four years as those lines are “upgraded” when what’s needed is the extension at M3 Parkway Dunboyne to Navan, a big supply town currently poorly serviced transport-wise.

When the M3 Parkway was being built, common sense suggested continuing the old British-built line to Navan. However, the powers that be chose not to.

John Cuffe, Dunboyne, Co Meath

Cody, a giant of Irish sport, who is a role model for all

While his remarkable career in a very distinct sense pertains to the people of Kilkenny and more generally belongs to your sports pages, the stature of hurling legend Brian Cody in Irish life is, I think, also deserving of mention in this section of your paper.

Kilkenny people all over the world will have sadly realised as they rose on Sunday morning that the sense of loss that tinged their awakening was likely attributable to Brian Cody having concluded his service to their county.

Cody will be remembered for many noteworthy reasons in the annals of Irish sport.

However, his personal qualities – not least his selflessness, determination, paucity of egotism and devotion and passion to his native place and its tradition – makes for an irrefutable role model in Irish society generally, but especially to our young people.

Thank you, Brian, not just for the memories but for the joy you brought to so many of us.

Michael Gannon, Saint Thomas’s Square, Kilkenny

David Trimble, a statesman who leaves a legacy of peace

What greater legacy can there be than to leave your area more peaceful and prosperous than when you were born into it?

RIP David Trimble, Northern Ireland statesman.

Breda Gahan, Cabra, Dublin 7

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