IoS letters, emails & online postings (19 July, 2009)

Share
Related Topics

With the recent deaths of eight British soldiers in 24 hours, there is a vital need for a rethink of British strategy in Afghanistan, not just to refocus efforts, but also to convince people that the best strategy is being pursued.

After the Afghan elections next month, ministers must convince us that they have a proper strategy and a proper objective which has the likelihood of success. Clearly, lack of equipment, such as helicopters, is putting soldiers' lives at risk.

But a military solution is not enough. Perhaps most crucially we need development. As Britain's former ambassador to the United Nations, Sir Jeremy Greenstock says, the Army has been "holding a wall up" in Helmand, but "no one has come along to build a buttress" of development.

What is required is a rethink that looks at all the options, and that will give people, not least our troops, the confidence that the right strategy is being pursued and is achievable.

Alex Orr

Edinburgh

***

Plans to tackle climate change in the Government's Renewable Energy Strategy are good news for Scotland, a nation which has struck gold in nature's lottery in terms of potential for delivering renewable energy.

Energy related opportunities presented by Scotland's natural capital have the potential to create tens of thousands of green jobs, providing a significant boost to the economy. Scotland can more than meet its electricity demands from renewable sources by 2020, becoming a net exporter of renewable energy, according to, the report "Power of Scotland Renewed" also published last week.

Achieving this "green vision" and ensuring security of supply will require the support of an upgraded energy grid to ensure the delivery of electricity from what tends to be sparsely populated rural and coastal areas to the urban populations of the central belt and elsewhere.

Like other wind-farm developers, we have been concerned about connection charges for accessing the grid, which makes some schemes uneconomical. The commitment from the Energy and Climate Change Secretary, Ed Miliband to look at these concerns, is to be welcomed.

Scotland is in a leading position to demonstrate how the transition to a low-carbon economy can be undertaken, with a Scottish Government target of delivering 50 per cent of electricity from renewables by 2020.

Tom Pottinger

Director, Baillie Wind Farm Ltd

Westfield, Caithness

***

It is interesting just how many reasons there are now to cut out meat ("The rise and rise of the vegetarian", 12 July). Certainly, animal welfare is the main reason for many people. Poultry, for example, endure immense suffering. As chickens' lives have got worse, so has the quality of the meat. Since 1970, the proportion of fat in a typical chicken has risen from 8.6 per cent to 23 per cent. It is no wonder that vegetarians are healthier than meat-eaters.

The British Medical Association report on "Diet, Nutrition and Health" concluded that "vegetarians have lower rates of obesity, coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, large bowel disorders and cancer and gallstones".

And now it is confirmed that eating meat is bad for the planet. The United Nations last year reported that "direct emissions from meat production account for about 18 per cent of the world's total greenhouse gas emissions", which is more than the entire transport sector.

It is time to stop eating meat.

Richard Mountford

Development Manager, Animal Aid

Tonbridge, Kent

***

The needless loss of life and the blatant cruelty to animals in the Pamplona bull run, coupled with the stupidity of the people taking part and the unnecessary demands on the resources of the medical emergency crews are reasons enough to stop this cruel spectacle.

I feel sorry for the bereaved family, but people taking part do so at their own risk, and by their own decisions. My sympathy lies with the animals who are forced to run this course and who are tortured by stupid callous humans.

It debases humankind and it should be ended immediately.

Bernie Wright

Alliance for Animal Rights

Dublin

***

In "Impressionism – the dawn of a revolution", (12 July), Charles Darwent rightly notes that "painting and politics went hand in hand". But what is truly forward-looking in Monet is his move from the tradition of modelling form and space in literal, local colour, as in his 1864 coastal view at Sainte-Adresse, to his use of invented colour in his later art (haystacks, Rouen cathedral etc). This links to Vermeer and Turner. It uses colour optically and spatially – not as an arbitrary addition or afterthought in design, but as integral to it, and as a dynamic structure, like an ecology. It presages our new age of green awareness and politics.

David Rodway

Woldingham, Surrey

Have your say

Letters to the Editor, Independent on Sunday, 2 Derry Street, London W8 5HF; email: sundayletters@independent.co.uk (no attachments, please); fax: 020-7005 2627; online: www.independent.co.uk/dayinapage/2009/July/19

React Now

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

Tradewind Recruitment: PMLD Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: PMLD Teacher A specialist primary school i...

Recruitment Genius: Online Media Sales Trainee

£15000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Now our rapidly expanding and A...

Recruitment Genius: Public House Manager / Management Couples

£15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about great ...

Recruitment Genius: Production Planner

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...

Day In a Page

 

Political satire is funny, but it also causes cynicism and apathy

Yasmin Alibhai Brown
As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links