Letters to the Editor: 'We must all be invested in lowering carbon footprints'

We must all be invested in lowering carbon footprints

Food and shelter are basic human rights. Producing them leaves a substantial carbon footprint. However, without them we cannot exist. The best way to drastically reduce this carbon footprint is to remain local: grow local, manufacture local, build local, educate local, shop local, stay local. The only way to promote local is to invest in the local economy and incentivise local production.

The carbon footprint of local production and local consumption is nothing compared to the carbon footprint of globalisation, centralisation, and international trade and travel: imported electricity produced by burning fossil fuels; food produced in large overseas chemically treated monocultures; urban concentration and pollution, air and sea traffic including our holidays abroad.

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The consumer, not the producer, controls the carbon footprint. But the policy-makers have it in their hand to steer both, by enabling or disabling local production and consumption. Instead of giving out about greenhouse gases on the farms of rural Ireland, reward biodiversity and penalise monoculture. Make renewable energy cheaper than fossil energy, incentivise cost- and energy-efficient Universal Design for affordable housing. Provide public transport in rural areas instead of forcing people to drive or driving people into more urbanised areas, create and retain jobs and multi-purpose amenities like post offices, schools, banks, health centres, shops, mobile coverage and broadband to reduce car travel.

The producers of our basic human rights, like farmers and builders, can only reduce the carbon footprint if the policy-makers make eco-friendlier production more affordable, and if the consumers, like you and I, change our behaviour and support them.

Corinne Maguire

Skibbereen, Co Cork


Cross-Border roadlink cash diversion is a U-turn by Leo

The flagship scheme of cross-Border co-operation of the 2006 St Andrews Agreement was a pledge to build a Derry to Dublin motorway. Since then, the scheme has been delayed, downgraded and deferred.

The biggest item in the €100m diverted to cover the cost overruns on the National Children’s Hospital is the €27m taken from this cross-Border roadlink.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar helpfully explained in the Dáil that it’s not a deferral as there’s currently no Northern Ireland Executive in place. However, speaking in Derry in October 2017, Mr Varadkar emphasised his “cast-iron” commitment to the road to help ameliorate the likely adverse impact of Brexit on Derry and Donegal. He added: “I want to see that project go ahead as quickly as possible. I also believe that the completion of routes from Dublin to Derry and Donegal should be a strategic priority for governments both north and south.”

Dr John Doherty

Gaoth Dobhair, Co Dhún na nGall


Spirituality is something to be shared for all mankind

Anthony O’Leary says that for religion to create happiness, it has to be voluntary (‘Religion can bring happiness – if it is practised voluntarily’, Letters, February 13).

But, voluntary religion, even if it does make people happy, is still a lonely thing for most people because it is a private thing. Even at Mass no one ever talks seriously about the messages of holy scripture.

But while religion is deemed private, the spiritual aspect of religion should not be private at all because the aim of spirituality is the total benefit of all mankind and the world in which mankind exists.

So, I think it is high time now for someone to invent a new type of electronic book with the best and most spiritual quotes in all mankind’s literature for anyone to read in public. Such quotations might be the most enlightening that Shakespeare, Buddha, Ovid, Oscar Wilde, WB Yeats, Martin Luther King, the Dalai Lama, etc, have to offer.

Spiritual quotes from such a new book could be picked totally at random from an internal hard drive of specially selected quotes. A potential reader might have the help of a spiritual adviser to pick their quotes. Spiritual quotes might also be chosen just because they mean something very profound to the person whose turn has come to read.                       

Sean O’Brien

Kilrush, Co Clare


May’s Brexit dithering has become music to my ears

Every time I hear Theresa May these days, I am reminded of a 1970s pop group, The Chairmen Of The Board, and their hit ‘Give Me Just A Little More Time’.

Tom Gilsenan

Beaumont, D9


Unions should learn to leave all talks to the daylight hours

You would have thought that at this stage trade union leaders would have learned not to be continuing negotiations into the small hours of the morning, when all the evidence shows that they are far more likely to make concessions than win gains.

Liam Power

Dundalk, Co Louth

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