IoS letters, emails & messages (21 December 2008)

Share
Related Topics

As someone who works with small-scale farmers in Peru, now considered to be one of the countries most vulnerable to climate change, I am saddened to read the recent catalogue of weak progress by rich countries towards tackling it, whether in the UK ("Red tape strangles Whitehall's plans to boost green energy", 14 December), or the recent climate summits in Brussels and Poznan.

Here in Peru, climate change is already having a devastating impact on the natural environment. In the valley of Huaral, one of the country's most fragile zones, where a third of people rely on small-scale farming to make a living and feed their families, glaciers and snow-caps are melting, rains are less frequent and water resources are running dry.

In lowland areas too, farmers are reporting that seasons are disappearing, making it difficult to plan watering times, sowing and harvesting. Others say water pollution and changes in water temperature are affecting fish stocks. And they worry that climatic phenomena such as El Niño are becoming more frequent and increasingly devastating.

In one community, people are taking decisive action in response to water shortages – all but the elderly are leaving their ancestral lands. People here have little hope that richer countries will tackle climate change if it means their own economic development is compromised.

If politicians persist in evading the necessary targets and weakening their resolve, whether through red tape or self-interest, millions of poor people will, in effect, be abandoned by the West to the escalating impact of an unpredictable and increasingly merciless climate.

Bruno Guemes

Development Worker, Progressio

Huaral, Peru

The Government is not "strangling" progress in the renewables sector, but is committed to a massive increase in green energy by 2020 to fight the damaging effects of climate change and further secure our energy supplies.

The Marine Renewables Deployment Fund was set up to help an industry in its infancy to allow commercial-scale prototypes to be tested in UK waters – a point which the marine energy sector is now approaching. We will help fund projects which stand the best chance of commercial success.

We are world leaders in marine energy: Marine Current Turbine's "SeaGen", the world's first commercial-scale tidal turbine, which had significant levels of government research funding, was last week operating up to full power – a great success story.

As for "civil service obstruction" holding up the roll-out of rooftop wind turbines: we have to make sure that, if we let householders put wind turbines up without planning permission, it doesn't create a flurry of noise-related complaints. Meanwhile more people are now able to apply for money to help towards the costs of installation. We are currently awarding £400,000 per month in grants to householders.

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath

Sustainable Development and Energy Innovation Minister, Department of Energy and Climate Change

Your articles on the Jean Charles De Menezes inquest ("Family wants commanding officer sacked", 14 December) did not consider why the Kratos execution policy was kept secret, even though everyone would know about it immediately after the first execution. The senior officers involved didn't think through the secrecy aspect, let alone the need for utter diligence. And who outside of the police knew about Kratos in advance?

It is questionable whether Cressida Dick, head of operations on the day, was at all clear on anything. Why, then, has former London mayor Ken Livingstone come to her defence? Or, was he one of those who knew in advance but gave no words of caution and said nothing?

Ian Kirk

Cheadle, Cheshire

The British public should not be encouraged to give any more oxygen of publicity to "celebrities", even if negative ("50 most ludicrous Britons", 14 December). What would be worth discovering is what the public thinks makes for a great journalist.

Mike Bor

London W2

Sarah Sands tells us that some electors respond to David Cameron's Eton education by thinking "I wish I could send my own children there" ("The true message of Dave's Christmas card", 14 December). Clearly aspirational fantasies are still as important as ever in garnering support for the Tories among those who stand to lose from rule by the super-privileged.

Christopher Clayton

Waverton, Cheshire

Many readers will be using their holiday time to think about the year ahead, as well as their achievements so far. Volunteering is a great way to do something worthwhile as well as learn new skills, gain experience, make new friends and have a lot of fun. By logging on to do-it.org.uk and entering their postcode, would-be volunteers can search from over a million opportunities to volunteer in national and international charities. By next December, new volunteers could have something to look back on and feel proud of.

Martyn Lewis CBE

Chairman and founder, YouthNet

London EC4

React Now

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (B2B) - Romford - £40,000 + car

£35000 - £40000 per annum + car and benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager...

Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000 ...

Ashdown Group: Data Scientist - London - £50,000 + bonus

£35000 - £50000 per annum + generous bonus: Ashdown Group: Business Analytics ...

Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Development) - Kingston

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Dev...

Day In a Page

Read Next
David Blunkett joins the Labour candidate for Redcar Anna Turley on a campaigning visit last month  

General Election 2015: Politics is the messy art of compromise, unpopular as it may be

David Blunkett
File: David Cameron offers a toast during a State Dinner in his honour March 14, 2012  

Vote Tory and you’re voting for the rich to get richer and the poor to get poorer

Mark Steel
General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'