Government’s Climate Action Plan

 

Sir, – I recently left Dublin and my permanent pensionable career in a prestigious hospital where I had a pleasant cycle commute over the Liffey and through leafy Dublin 4. After three landlords in as many years in accommodation which was far from salubrious, we could no longer afford our rent or creche fees and lived in monthly fear of an eviction notice. While we have greater housing security as we are renting from a relative, in order to work in my chosen profession I have to travel a 180km round-trip from Connemara to Galway city two days a week in my 2008 diesel Ford Focus, which is slowly being rattled to death by the shamefully neglected N59.

We are both professionals working in healthcare and the public service and cannot afford to rent or buy in Dublin or Galway city.

Judging by the well-meaning plans announced this week, I will soon be unable to afford to drive to work.

What do Shane Ross and Leo Varadkar suggest rural Ireland do for transport, jobs and housing in the wake of these plans, I wonder? Perhaps we’ll all be able to work from home with our high-speed broadband, but we’ll likely never know. – Yours, etc,

MARY McDONAGH,

Cleggan,

Co Galway.

Sir, – I noted with incredulity Minister for the Environment Richard Bruton’s extremely ambitious climate action plan. This followed very rapidly on from his failure to sign off on the nationwide smoky coal ban, which has been postponed year after year due to concerns for the “financial health” of the smoky-coal dealers. – Yours, etc,

BARRY O’DONOHOE,

Delgany,

Co Wicklow.

Sir, – May I be so bold to suggest three simple ideas to start changing our environment? Plant trees everywhere. Protect our hedgerows. Free bus and Luas into our city centre. Let’s get going and be imaginative. – Yours, etc,

PAUL DORAN,

Clondalkin,

Dublin 22.

Sir, – Climate change responses require joined-up thinking. Trees need to be part of any plan. So does greater support for public transport. The biggest joined-up initiative we could take is to proceed with the Dart interconnector, joining Heuston to Pearse and the Docklands. Much more than the one-off Metro North, this could genuinely transform access to the city centre.

Almost every capital city in Europe has a functioning underground system. Why are our politicians so resistant to this inevitable development? – Yours, etc,

ARNOLD HORNER,

Glenageary,

Co Dublin.

Sir, – If Christopher McMahon (Letters, June 19th) is suggesting, as I think he is, that we should allow “no cars between the canals”, then I’m sure he is aware of the need to build a third canal somewhere in the west of the city – lest we risk pedestrianising a vast swathe of the Midlands. – Yours, etc,

ALAN EUSTACE,

Oxford, UK.

Sir, – In keeping with future proposals to ban all petrol and diesel engines from Dublin city centre, can we also expect a Government proposal that in the future only gliders will be allowed to land at Dublin Airport? – Yours, etc,

CHARLES SMYTH,

Kells,

Co Meath.

Sir, – You inform us that soon all new cars sold in Ireland will have to be electric powered. Surely you are referring to cloud cuckoo land? An increasing number of Irish people are now resident there, including members of Dáil Éireann. – Yours, etc,

EDWARD HANLON,

Kilkenny.

Sir, – If the Taoiseach is serious about the introduction of electric vehicles, let him lead by example and change all State cars to electric. Let him start his exhaust-pipe ban in the Leinster House car park. – Yours, etc,

JOHN O’CONNOR,

Raheny,

Dublin 5.

A chara, – If our Government were genuinely serious about climate change then it would have already given each citizen a free bicycle and incentivise them to use it, on a daily basis.

This gesture would not only demonstrate tangible commitment to change but it would have an immediate and radical impact on our climate, our health system and traffic congestion. – Is mise,

JASON POWER,

Dartry,

Dublin 6.

Sir, – Does one think that all the new school, hospital (including the new children’s hospital), university and train station car parks, along with the streets of our towns being presently upgraded with new paving, are now being fitted with multiple electric charging points for the target of 995,000 electric cars on the road by 2030?

The “retrofitting” costs could be ridiculous! – Yours, etc,

HERMIONE DUFFY,

Blackrock, Co Louth.

Sir, – I wonder if I’m alone in being pleasantly surprised to learn that our Government has suddenly acquired such incredible, superhero-level capabilities. Apparently, they will favourably alter the Earth’s climate by digging even deeper into the pockets of Irish taxpayers. Whoever would have thought?

Perhaps, when our great leaders have optimised the planet’s climate to their satisfaction, they might consider applying their amazing newfound talents to more mundane tasks, such as providing a functioning health service and modest homes which can be purchased by Irish citizens for slightly less than a lifetime of debt slavery.

Just a suggestion. – Yours, etc,

GAVIN LACY,

Lucan,

Co Dublin.