To the Irish Government,
Though I doubt this will be read, I will write it anyway.
I am writing to you in regard to a piece I read in the Irish Wildlife Trust. I was appalled to read that Ireland will be on track to miss its targets for the 2020 emission reduction. Not only that but it has also, on top of this, been offered concessions for the 2030 targets due to our need to rely on agricultural. production.
Now, I’m am not a foolish person, I understand you, like every government before you has challenging decisions to make that do not always appease everyone. I understand too our economy is largely based on agriculture and that this is not an easy thing to change.
But this country is doing nothing to change it.
I am also well aware of the political pull that the agricultural sector has in government. A lot of the TD’s come from a farming background and will happily back this sector due to its importance and power; even if it to the detriment of Ireland as a whole. I understand you are most likely appeasing these people as we rely on them too heavily for the goods they produce and export.
But, may I ask you, do you not understand that at some point in the very near future we are going to have to make the change from agriculture (relying on cattle and dairy) to another more sustainable exportable product and way of living? With the amount of water needing to farm large animals and grow feed to give them there is a terrible amount of waste. As water pollution and droughts increasing, clean water will become scarce. I was actually in favour of charging for water if it prevented waste, though I imagine it was more seen as a revenue stream in government. With the seas losing fish and the land losing mammals of every species (are own country is no exception), we are running out of time.
I was further disgusted to read a statement by our Minister for the Environment in the last day or so who argued that the emissions reduction target was unfair to our country and “inappropriate” because of our recently unstable economic situation. It is as if, in the ministers mind, the economic crisis affected only Ireland, and not the entire world, like it actually did. Again Ireland wants to be a special case as we rely heavily on agriculture and intensive farming so, naturally, that we should be excused. Many countries across the world could easily peddle out that excuse! How can the minister for the environment come out with such a stupid statement especially when are emissions have actually increased by 3.7% across all sectors. The person who is meant to protect out environment is the very person whose thinking and remarks will destroy it. As a first world nation we have the money, the resources and the ability to make changes that will effect every other nation on the earth, but we are too lazy). This is not acceptable.
Maybe you see it as not a problem that concerns you, as you will only be in politics for a set number of years and will most likely not have to see the horrific effects that farming pollution/overfishing will have on Ireland and the wider world. Agriculture is the number cause of pollution in Ireland. But hey, we’re a small country right? We may be small in size but, as you have state before we can be a big influence when we want (first to implement the smoking ban) and in terms of emissions every small effort will make a difference. People thinking that the small things won’t make any changes are part of the problem.
I was very annoyed to hear that the Paris agreement would not implement any penalties for countries missing deadlines. I understood they had a tough battle on their hands, with countries showing resistance (including your own government) and at least they came to some agreement, but really it will do nothing. Words on a page mean nothing without action. China and Indian are a number of countries not interested in halting emissions, and though they are a massive contributor to emissions, it is in some ways unfair to force developing countries to halt any development when they have had up to now, only a small carbon footprint. But still alternatives in solar energy and wave energy must be implemented, even if grants have to be given to countries to implement this change or countries that lower emissions enough would be given more financial aid within the EU and if possible in the large UN.
Maybe as well you are reluctant to change this because you, and a lot of people in this country don’t see the effects of this problem when they look out their front doors. But the certain developing countries within Africa are feeling it, the Arctic is feeling it, India is feeling it. Before long it will be at our doorstep, and then it will be too late. I worry about the quality of life my children and your grandchildren will have in this uncertain future. How will future generations look at us? Will they be sickened at the thought that we did nothing? By 2030 THREE QUARTERS of all mammals will be extinct. What kind of a world is that for my children and your grandchildren to see? I understand you have a difficult job, a job I wouldn’t make the foolish assumption of thinking it’s easy but I would like to see some changes implemented so the future can be made viable. Soon it’ll be too late and it is only then we will be wishing we had done more.