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Unless we ditch our luxuries, debate is nothing but hot air

Letters to the Editor


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Although I do not have a farming background, I am a bit bewildered by the direction the climate change debate is going, with an increasing emphasis on methane reduction. We live in a world where many of us have an embarrassing wealth of unnecessary luxuries, such as obscenely large fuel-guzzling vehicles, increasingly sophisticated mobile phones, extravagant foreign holidays and expensive technological toys for our children, all of which leave a substantial carbon footprint.

Yet the priority proposal seems to be to reduce the production of food?

Hopefully, some smart person will invent an edible mobile phone.

Tom Fanthom

Newcastle, Co Wicklow


Irish Rail must lead way in tackling train thuggery

TAOISEACH Micheál Martin states that the Government will work with gardaí and transport chiefs to crack down on anti-social behaviour on public transport (‘Taoiseach vows to beat the scourge of ‘thuggery’ on trains’, Irish Independent, November 1).

I have travelled thousands of miles in Europe in the last two months by rail and did not come across one incident of anti-social behaviour.

The rules for behaviour on trains are clear, established by the operating companies and implemented by the staff, with any breaches effectively dealt with by the railway company personnel.

Surely it is up to the board and executives of Irish Rail to agree the rules and conditions for travel on trains with their employee and gardaí and ensure they are implemented within the company operations, with proper procedures adopted to prevent and deter behaviour inconsistent with mannerly rail travel.

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It is remiss of the board and executives to allow this situation to reach a level where workers are prepared to go on strike to get attention and resolution.

Hugh McDermott

Dromahair, Co Leitrim


Voucher scheme will lead to three-tier healthcare system

JUST when we thought healthcare inequity could not get any worse, the Government proves us wrong (‘New service launched for people without health insurance to buy vouchers to pay for treatments’, Independent.ie, November 2). We had a two-tier system, and now a three-tier system is being allowed to develop in front of our eyes.

This will further fine-tune unfair access to healthcare. The many on the lowest rungs of the socio-economic ladder who can’t afford these vouchers will see their waiting times for treatments soar as those among their ranks who can afford the vouchers will join the fully insured farther up the ‘queue’.

I recall from study days that the key causes of social unrest and upheaval are unstable social equilibrium and widespread popular anger at injustices. We are fast running out of time.

Jim O’Sullivan

Rathedmond, Co Sligo


It takes a grandmother to talk sense into world leaders

AS A teacher, I was often asked by students for general advice on life. Mine was to not do anything you couldn’t tell your grandmother and to seek your grandparents’ advice as they had seen much of life and didn’t have to be nice to you, unlike your parents.

This week, we have seen some wise advice from a grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, yet few seem to be listening to it.

There seems to be a lot of spoilt children in Glasgow who might benefit from a smack, although no longer appropriate, for the damage they have caused to the world. It isn’t helped that a couple of the most troublesome children, Putin and Xi Jinping, have refused to participate.

It’s time to grow up and plan for the future in 2021: start making changes in 2021, not 2030, 2050 or, worse still, 2070.

Why is this not obvious to all of them?

Dennis Fitzgerald

Melbourne, Australia


Wrong people being blamed for today’s climate crisis

THE cost of cleaning up the now irreversible climate problem is, as usual, foisted on to those with the smallest incomes. The wrong people are being blamed for having caused this damage.

I’m sure that today’s children won’t blame farmers for having taken the Earth from them. They will, instead, rightly blame governments, large countries and multinationals.

I’m not at all optimistic about the risible COP26; just think about the pollution caused by the numerous planes arriving in Glasgow. It’s bad enough that much of the west imports vegetables from half a world away.

Florence Craven

Bracknagh, Co Offaly

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