There is so much trouble in our world right now. If we look at the war in Ukraine, its consequences are undoubtedly grim. The threat of climate change is also omnipresent.
With winter just around the corner, the challenge for some will be turning on the lights and heating the homes.
People at risk, or those who already feel like they can handle it, can feel completely overwhelmed, especially given the relentless negativity in some areas.
The pressure of life is felt by many. I encourage all readers to reach out and form connections with others, whether personal or otherwise, through a cup of coffee, a conversation, or, even better, a letter.
Today, more than ever, there is good news in every church, no matter how hard we search. I demand them Irish Independent to shed a light on the positive and good in our world and its people, to give us all the hope and optimism we need for the future, so we can believe that things can and will get better.
As with Covid before, we’re going to need each other and we’re really all in this together.
Stephen O’Hara, Carrowmore, Sligo
A time to reach out and forgive the wrongs of the past
Between the death of Queen Elizabeth and the rise of King Charles III, the British government is in the midst of a self-made brouhaha with the EU over the Northern Ireland Protocol.
The very respectful greeting of King Charles by Sinn Fein leader of Northern Ireland Michelle O’Neill bodes well for the future. The time of violence is long gone, and people today think broader than their ancestors.
It is high time that the people of both parts of this island treated each other with respect. A united country can only be built on trust, respect and forgiveness.
Declan Foley, Melbourne, Australia
The royal flag without a harp is a premature snub for unionists
Seanán Ó Coistín (Letters, September 16) calls for the removal of the Irish harp from the royal standard.
Such a change seems unlikely to go down well in certain northern neighborhoods at a time when, hopefully, community relations are improving.
What would he suggest for a symbol of Cornwall? A Cornish pie? Rick Stein’s chopper? Back to the drawing board I guess.
Paul Griffin, St Helen’s, Merseyside
Attention British royals, Meghan hasn’t changed
Tanya Sweeney (Irish IndependentSeptember 15) asks, “When will this disgusting public treatment of Meghan Markle end?”
No doubt Meghan has received unfair press from the start, but she hasn’t done herself much favor, has she? You don’t criticize your in-laws on a public forum like she did – with the bonus of making significant sums of money doing it – and expect praise for it.
Her track record with her own immediate family speaks volumes, all of which again are broadcast in a highly public manner. She strikes me as a very sensitive person. More recently, singer Mariah Carey called her a diva, but Meghan tried to take offense when no offense was intended.
I think the British people can judge when someone plays for the gallery in a selfish way. I feel we don’t have to wait too long for her eyes to return to The Firm. Look out William and Kate, the lady isn’t for spinning.
Aidan Roddy, Cabinteely, Dublin 18
Childish pursuit of world leadership in climate
I wonder if the purveyors of hysteria, fear and hyperbole about climate change have ever ventured into the deep rural heartlands of Ireland to spread their harsh views and vilify the farming community as irresponsible climate laggards.
On several recent trips around Ireland by car, bike and train to Mayo, Dublin, Kerry and Kilkenny and throughout Munster, one would be disappointed not to see the vast herds of cows and sheep said to be setting the world on fire put.
Even walking through the Golden Vale, the center of the much-maligned dairy industry, at a time when the animals are grazing outside, one can see some sparsely populated green fields, most of which have no burping cattle – essentially an idyllic one Image of rural tranquility and beauty.
It is difficult to reconcile this visible reality with the rhetoric and certainty of these commentators in political, media and academic circles in the burgeoning climate industry.
One reason, of course, is that the average Irish herd is around 80 head of cattle, with far fewer ranch types than we are led to believe.
The other reason lies in the irrefutable science that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the most authoritative and respected voice on climate issues, indicates that Ireland’s contribution to global warming is only 0.11 per cent of the world’s total; Consequently, that of the farming community is a tiny 0.035 percent.
In addition, the accounting system for agricultural methane emissions is deeply flawed, and many experts are arguing for a downward review.
Farmers are also discriminated against by the severe consumption/production anomaly which includes Irish agricultural exports in their total emissions as well as fuel imports from abroad.
Our impact in global terms can also be seen as a blob on a global map, where Ireland’s land area is only 0.05637 percent of the world’s total.
Climate change is an undeniable fact and the main culprits are elsewhere and well known. Common sense, therefore, would suggest that we should focus on adapting to the worst impacts of imported climate change that are yet to come, rather than wasting billions in the unattainable and childish quest to be role models and world leaders.
John Leahy, Wilton Road, Cork
If you lower the basic fees, we don’t need the subsidy
The government says it wants to help bring down the cost of electricity for consumers in Ireland.
Perhaps it could start by examining the cost of the base fee that our state electric company charges us.
Last March, the basic price for electricity was €0.5040 per day. Today, the basic fee is €0.7614 per day – an increase of 51 percent in just six months.
Interestingly, the cost of the subscription has risen at exactly the same time as the increases in unit cost of electricity caused by rising gas prices.
Have the costs of maintaining the network increased as much as gas prices? It is remarkable when this is the case. Or is the power company putting pressure on consumers and using the war in Ukraine as an excuse?
Surely, given that Electric Ireland (owned by the citizens of this country) has made record profits, the first step for the government should be to investigate – and very quickly – the unusual rate hikes that are affecting the hard-pressed be imposed on consumers.
It would be better for consumers if the artificially inflated cost of the subscription was lowered so that bills would be lower. It would also reduce the need for a ‘subsidy’, which is necessary because the base price is far too high anyway. In addition, it would reduce the additional administrative burden associated with taking profits from companies and redistributing them to consumers, and it would reduce the difficulty of getting the right subsidies to the right people.
It can hardly be overlooked that the use of the basic electricity fee is causing price gouging among consumers.
David Doran, Bagenalstown, County Carlow
https://www.independent.ie/opinion/letters/pressures-of-life-today-are-intense-so-now-more-than-ever-it-is-time-to-reach-out-to-one-another-41995657.html The pressure of today’s life is enormous, so now more than ever is the time to reach out to each other