Letters: Burning more coal as the temperature rises

These letters appear in the June 21 issue of the Independent

Share

Hamish McRae discusses developments in world energy markets (Voices, 18 June). He notes that fossil fuels continue to dominate; indeed coal consumption is on the rise. Renewables only account for 5.3 per cent of world generation.

Bizarrely, he concludes that we should be relieved that more fossil fuels are being found, and he welcomes “fracking”. Staggeringly, he makes no mention of issues such as carbon outputs, greenhouse gases or climate change.

This is the sort of blinkered thinking that has got us into our environmental mess. If scientists are correct in their global temperature-rise projections, then the conclusion we can actually draw from McRae’s evidence is that future generations are likely to face massive, possibly insurmountable, problems.

Keith O’Neill

Shrewsbury

 

I assume that the Nato chief who claims Russia has secretly infiltrated green groups fighting fracking  got his information from undercover police officers within those groups. What with foreign agents and incognito coppers, it’s a wonder there’s room in there for any genuine protesters.

Colin Burke

Manchester

 

Money wasted on English football

At the risk of being lynched, may I point out that it is nearly 50 years since England won the World Cup and, in the interim, they have often put up some pretty mediocre performances against teams from quite small nations.

However, it is not for the want of money. Billions of pounds have been lavished on football both by those who attend the games and in TV broadcast rights.

Yet, many lesser-supported sports such as rowing, cycling and track events exist on a far lesser income and produce many  international triumphs. In my opinion, therefore, football has become a waste of money.

Vernon J Yarker

Maldon, Essex

 

If I were an England footballer taking home an average £44,000 a week after tax – in Wayne Rooney’s case £165,000 – I would find it well nigh impossible to motivate myself, however fond I was of the game. After the England team’s dismal performances in the World Cup, is it not now time to rethink the obscene levels of pay these often mediocre players receive?

Instead, I believe they should receive a relatively low basic wage, but be paid handsomely on performance. Players would then be motivated to train hard and play to the best of their abilities.

Nathan Hunt

Datchet, Berkshire

 

Go for a registered therapist

A form of regulation for the psychotherapy and counselling professions does exist (“Stopping therapy: We have ways of making you talk”, 17 June ). People looking for therapy now have the option of seeking practitioners on a register that has been vetted and approved by a government scheme operated by the Professional Standards Authority (PSA).

Organisations including the UK Council for Psychotherapy and BACP, which have PSA-approved registers, have demonstrated that they meet the authority’s standards in areas including education and training, managing their register, and complaints.

Anyone seeking psychotherapy should check that their therapist is on a PSA-accredited register. That way they can be sure that the therapist has committed to high professional standards, abides by a robust ethical code and is subject to a rigorous complaints system.

Anyone feeling that they are being pressurised into remaining in therapy should contact the therapist’s professional body.

David Pink

Chief Executive, UK Council for Psychotherapy, London EC1

 

Market creates housing ‘shortage’

There is no shortage of housing but we have a dysfunctional housing market. Overcrowding and homelessness exist alongside under-occupied or even empty properties.

Twenty per cent of all households have a single occupant, but owners will never downsize while the house remains a privileged and profitable investment. This withholding of assets from the market causes a supply shortage, which in turn raises prices. Transaction costs are loaded by stamp duty.

Without policy change, building more houses cannot solve this problem of supply but will reduce average occupancy even further. Property taxes are easy to collect and would enforce more efficient utilisation, but are unpopular.

As homeowners are a majority of the electorate, a resolution is unlikely.

Peter Saundby

Llangynidr, Powys

 

Magna Carta? Nothing to do with us

Is whoever persuaded  David Cameron to emphasise the “Britishness” of Magna Carta (Michael Gove?) unwittingly  part of a subtle plot by the “Yes” campaign to infuriate Scots, who after all have their Declaration of Arbroath as the epitome of their nationality?   

Professor Colin Richards

Spark Bridge, Cumbria

 

How private schools damage the country

To Alan Bennett’s elegantly phrased critique of private schools (19 June) one might add that they are so inherently unpatriotic as to be detrimental to the country as a whole. 

Separating the offspring of the wealthy from everyone else and according them often undeserved privilege means that positions of influence and power are often occupied by those unfit to hold them. A glance at the current Cabinet bears this out. 

In the meantime there has to be a chance that the beleaguered state schools, under the cosh from government and Ofsted, might fail to identify and nurture those who might become distinguished scientists, diplomats, lawyers, creatives: the very people the nation needs if it is to flourish. 

The private schools are central to maintaining the class system that for too long has crippled this country.

Professor Michael Rosenthal

Brailes, Warwickshire

 

As a public school boy living next door to your correspondent Lin Hawkins, formerly of a Cardiff council estate (letter, 20 June), I also read Alan Bennett’s comments. Mr Bennett was right that if we, who received private education, couldn’t realise it was wrong it wasn’t much of an education.

I enjoyed every minute of my schooling at Charterhouse in the early 1970s, and was blessed with many wonderful teachers who adored their subjects. However, it irks me that the school I went to continues to enjoy charitable status, as I cannot, for the life of me, see the common good (unless educating the sons and daughters of Chinese or Russian oligarchs counts).

I believe the standard that schools like Charterhouse need to meet in order to maintain charitable status is too low and that they should be required to demonstrate much more clearly in what way charitable status is justified. If we are talking about unfairness, charitable status enshrines it most wonderfully.

Anthony Lipmann

Ashcott, Somerset

 

Your correspondent Lin Hawkins seems to share the strange solipsistic idea of another recent correspondent who didn’t mind paying tax spent on education even though he had no children of his own – as though he had never used, directly or indirectly, the services of a doctor, a teacher, a food scientist, a care worker, an electrician, a plumber, or any other valuable professional who needed to be educated.

Education isn’t primarily for the benefit of individual children, it’s for the benefit of all of us – society as a whole. This is both practically and in terms of simply making the country culturally a better place to live. That’s why it’s not just misguided to try to eliminate the best bits of our education system, because we all need and deserve the best; it’s positively wicked: level up, not down.

Dr S R Hills

Milton Keynes

 

Alan Bennett’s “sermon” expressed my own feelings, not just on private education but on the creeping privatisation of everything in public life.  

While no one wants our public institutions to be inefficient and wasteful, their effectiveness should not only be measured in terms of profit and loss. This is to ignore their symbolic significance to the national psyche.

At a time when politicians are finding it difficult to articulate British values they should look no further than the NHS, which embodies the essence of our values.

Remember the swell of pride and recognition felt by most of the population when the NHS was represented in Danny Boyle’s opening ceremony for the Olympic Games? Most of our government just didn’t get it, but the rest of us did. 

So reform and refresh our public services, but reject the politicians’ drive to reduce us to consumers. Let us fight back and demand to be treated again as citizens and stakeholders. 

Chris Elshaw

Headley Down, Hampshire

React Now

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

Employment Solicitor

Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: MANCHESTER - Senior Employment Solici...

Senior Risk Manager - Banking - London - £650

£600 - £650 per day: Orgtel: Conduct Risk Liaison Manager - Banking - London -...

Commercial Litigation Associate

Highly Attractive Package: Austen Lloyd: CITY - COMMERCIAL LITIGATION - GLOBAL...

Systems Manager - Dynamics AX

£65000 - £75000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: The client is a...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Opponents of Israel's military operation in Gaza are the real enemies of Middle Eastern peace

Gabriel Sassoon
The economy expanded by 0.8 per cent in the second quarter of 2014  

Government hails latest GDP figures, but there is still room for scepticism over this 'glorious recovery'

Ben Chu
Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little