Longford Leader columnist Mattie Fox: People shouldn’t forget that farmers are lifeblood of country

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Mattie Fox

Longford Leader columnist, Mattie Fox

It’s no wonder that the Irish people, as a whole, don’t seem to care enough about the earth’s warming effect.

It’s clear that they aren’t sufficiently educated about the phenomenon of the earth’s continually increasing temperature.

Ironically this leads to tougher winters, this side of the world.

Contradictory, yes. But factual nonetheless.

It’s April now, and still no sign of real growth.

Irish Governments, for several years have been happy to pay exorbitant penalties, rather than face up to the problem and start trying to educate the public. Ireland is the only country which looks like failing to meet its targets for 2020. It’s the one place where emissions are currently rising.

The only country which would rather pay fines, than address the problem.

In October 2017, The Irish Times had a marvellous article, about climate change. Written by Kevin O’Sullivan it shattered once and for all the claims made by successive Irish Governments which are to this very day to pay heavy fines for continually breaking the carbon footprint agreement.

I don’t propose to quote the whole article, but two parts sum up the attitude to carbon emissions in Ireland.

Consider this:

In Brussels, in October 2017, debating the carbon output of various countries, Jennifer Higgins of Christian Aid Ireland said Ireland played a very negative role in the negotiations, obstructing proposals to strengthen the outcome.

“The Minister supported a new loophole, creating a slush fund of pollution permits worth 115 million tonnes of CO2. Coupled with Ireland’s fierce opposition to Germany’s proposal to change the starting point, this would reward our laggard behaviour.”

Furthermore, Oisin Coghlan of Friends of the Earth said, “Mr Naughten has been Minister for Climate Action for 18 months now. He needs to explain why he was “looking for loopholes in our 2030 EU targets that directly contradict the Government’s own ambition for 2050!”

Farmers don’t stand a chance, not while Ireland continues to flout the agreed level of carbon emissions. In fact they’re watching a way of life disappearing from view.

People living in Dublin, who don’t know, or seemingly care, about rural Ireland think this would be solved by banning cattle.
Oh dear me, how blind can any nation become.

Farmers are and have been the lifeblood of this country since it existed. What would we do without agriculture? All the best food is produced locally, by farmers. It’s not produced by someone in Scandinavia who markets vast loads of produce. Nor Norway, nor England.

When developers fail government gets in a tizzy and makes all sorts of gestures to help them recover. Still the farmer continues to exist.

If we are more careful about our ways of living, cutting back on diesel cars, finding new ways to reduce emissions from cars, tractors, lorries, for a start. Then addressing the extraordinary amount of needless waste we produce. Using glass bottles before the entire ocean floor has been consumed by plastic.

These and other measures would slow significantly the racing cancer that is caused by emissions. The sea is currently undergoing massive change, with tons of awful plastic and the toxic gases emanating swallowing vast portions of the sea floor.

Finally the weather looks like easing the temperature upwards.

It’s taken a very long time.

Good news for the farmers, who have endured the harshest winter in some years. Many are well provided for, but most are under severe duress, and, until they finally decided to do something for themselves it wasn’t looking encouraging.

The importation of large amounts of fodder to tide people over, was critically vital, to the majority of farmers.

Government reacted to farmers action.

Maybe they’ll need a new paradigm for the farming community as the earth’s habits change even more.

It’s hard for the ordinary farmer to grasp the crisis.

Our own ministers don’t seem to have the foggiest clue about this terrible encroaching cancer. Or else they’re consciously in denial and continue to pretend there’s nothing to worry about.

It must be remembered that agriculture is responsible for less than 30% of the carbon monoxide produced. By far the biggest offenders are vehicles, and dirty fuels.