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Climate change could affect our ability to produce food

April 7th, 2024 10:30 PM

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EDITOR – If we have learned anything in recent times from the growing impacts of climate change, it’s that the dire predictions that we have been listening to for over a decade were 100% correct.

Of course, as human beings, we all have a fall-back position called ‘survival’, which helps us to stay positive when we hear bad news, despite the threat of an advancing monster called ‘climate change’.

Clearly the risk of a nuclear war is frightening, but equally the threat from the predicted impacts of climate change comes a close second – for the 7bn people that occupy this planet.

Of course, climate change will affect different countries and regions of the world with variable levels of ferocity.

However, climate change experts predict that all regions of planet Earth will be affected to some extent, with some areas being directly affected and other areas being indirectly affected. The directly affected areas are likely to suffer soaring summer temperatures leading to huge wildfires, especially along forestry countryside and areas with dry vegetation.

Other countries with low-lying urban areas and flat countryside are predicted to be seriously impacted by severe flooding with some areas – including parts of Africa – being decimated from drought. There are a multitude of other serious impacts that will be indirectly triggered by climate change, with the most serious being food scarcity leading to hunger.

Few of us in Ireland would have little direct knowledge of food scarcity, although some of us would have heard from our parents and grandparents about the existence of food coupons during, and after, WWII. Since then, thanks to our hard-working farmers, Irish citizens have enjoyed full and plenty of the very best food at a relatively low price.

In contrast, a recent study by the World Bank has found that 80% of the global population most at risk from hunger due to crop failure from the impacts of climate change are in sub-Saharan Africa – and in south Asian countries, where rice production is being affected by climate change.

Also, the number of people suffering from acute food insecurity in 82 countries has increased from 135m in 2019 to 345m in June 2022, which is clearly alarming. With declining food production, the future cost of food to Irish consumer is likely to rocket.

While Irish farmers may receive more for their produce, it’s highly probable that a continuation of the horrendous weather that farmers have experienced both this year and last year could negatively impact the future of food production in Ireland.

Diarmuid Cohalan,

Minister Harris has no great track record

EDITOR – Revently we had the shock announcement of our Taoiseach Leo Varadkar resigning from Government for various reasons. As he was on his second term as Taoiseach it was a surprise for a relatively young man to resign from his post and also as leader of Fine Gael.

The following day we had the news that only one candidate from the Fine Gael front bench, Minister Simon Harris, was going forward for the leadership of Fine Gael and to be the new Taoiseach.

I could not understand why the other more experienced ministers could not throw their hats into the ring and contest the leadership. Surely they are not all ‘yes’ people.

It does not seem very healthy in any party to have an agreement like this. Minister Harris has no great track record in government.

While Minister for Health, he presided over the contracts and the building of the new Children’s Hospital in Dublin which is now estimated to be most expensive hospital build in Europe.

He also, as Minister, drove the most extreme form of abortion to be brought into Ireland. As temporary Minister for Justice, he wanted to ban all protests from areas around public hospitals, public buildings, etc and was quite vocal on the proposed hate crimes bill.

I hope our precious-won right of free speech, and the right to protest will not be compromised with the rise of Minister Harris to the office of Taoiseach.

Jeremiah McCarthy,
Tawnies Grove,

Rebuilding the bridges destroyed by the IRA

EDITOR – The prudent management of the economy has made it possible for this government to promise €800m for the construction of roads, bridges and stadia in Northern Ireland.

For 30 years, the IRA campaign in Northern Ireland succeeded in destroying bridges in Northern Ireland, both factually and literally, between the two communities on this island.

As was said at the funeral of Sean MacEntee – each brutal action, each sectarian killing, divides more and more of the communities, and sets further back the attainment of the unity dreamed of by those brave and highly motivated men and women. Who are the real patriots?

Michael Hallissey,

Why aren't Pope and clergy condemning war in Gaza?

EDITOR – Why is the Pope and the rest of the clergy not condemning Israel for the murders of 30,000+ Palestinians, most of them children who have nothing to do with Hamas?

Joe Biden could stop the slaughter tomorrow by not supplyingweapons to Israel and now they are using phosphorus chemicals against Hezbollah.

We all thought we have moved on from the Vietnam war when America used chemicals against the Viet Cong with terrible consequences. It burns the skin to the bone.

Has America not learned anything from these futile wars? People want to live in peace again.

Noel Harrington,

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