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Letters

Letters: Mother Earth is trying to rid herself of the parasite that is killing her – mankind

A Big Issue reader warns that despite having had 28 COP meetings, Governments have done “very little” to bring in legislation to combat climate change.

Big Issue readers react to articles on COP28, King Charles, cashless vendors and, of course, Christmas.

Climate cop-out

So here we are, COP28, the 28th time for the world to come together to save planet Earth. They are still saying they will limit the rise in temperature to 1.5°C, it has reached 1.4°C already. I saw a Tory minister on TV saying: “All this climate nonsense started with Greta Thunberg.” What utter rubbish, do these people know nothing? We have been warned for decades. The first I remember was Jacques Cousteau in 1957 warning about coral reef bleaching because of rising water temperatures.

Back in the 1960s, I joined a number of others in a call to save mankind and our planet Earth. In A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall (1963), Bob Dylan sang about the sound of a wave that could drown the whole world and pellets of poison flooding our waters. Others like Joan Baez, Pete Seeger and Mike Pinder of The Moody Blues were calling on governments to bring in legislation to combat climate change.

Here we are 60 years later and they have done very little in this regard. Now Mother Earth is fighting back trying to rid herself of the parasite that is killing her – mankind.

Tony Bourner, Axminster

Natural leaders?

Paul McNamee, in his piece about education [Issue 1592, 27 November], states, “the aspiration should be to make state schools every bit as good as private”. Private schools are socially divisive institutions which sell education as a commodity, and produce arrogant, entitled individuals, like Boris Johnson, who are groomed from birth to believe they are ‘natural leaders’. These schools are a throwback to an era of rigid, repressive classism and have no place in a progressive, pluralistic, inclusive society. Does Paul really want state schools to be like them? I hope not.

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Max Fishel, former assistant headteacher in a brilliant state school

It’s ironic that a privately educated cabinet still lacks essential skills for understanding how to govern. Yet they don’t seem to understand their own inadequacy and fall back on arrogance when faced with genuine experts who do understand stuff properly.

@JimHigham

Move with the times

Cashless vendors are a great idea. People are generally using cards rather than cash these days. Poppy sellers had card readers this year. I try to remember to have some cash, but don’t always.

@Rosie_bethany

Hard graft

More folk need to acknowledge Big Issue vendors. They’re out in all weathers doing a job we could be doing tomorrow.

@mumsy9

Wasted opportunity?

So King Charles has added another organisation to those like FareShare which is tackling the issue of food waste from producers, retailers and hospitality [The King’s Message, Issue 1590, 13 November]. While this is to be applauded, I do wonder what’s being done about the bigger issue of food waste from households.

According to the statistics, this amounts to 70% of the total food waste per year. Why are households wasting 6.66m tonnes per year? Why is the average household throwing £470 per year in the bin? Is anyone trying to find out?

I would suggest that one of the reasons is that people rely on the ‘best before’ and ‘use by’ dates rather than their eyes and noses. I learned from my mother and grandmother how to tell when food is no longer good to eat. I also shop sensibly, which is why there is very little food waste in my household.

Paul Lancaster, Mexborough

Christmas cheer

I wanted to tell you how much we’ve enjoyed doing your Christmas Kids Cover competition this year with our Year 7 children (11-12 years).

At the minute, we’re reading the novel Stone Cold by Robert Swindells, in which the main character is homeless and, as a result, we have looked at articles from The Big Issue which pupils have found really insightful. It’s certainly helped to broaden their views and understanding about such a serious social issue.

Lindsay Hamilton, deputy headteacher, Ovingham Prudhoe

Entitled inequality

I just wonder if all our focus on preventing poverty is doomed to failure because we are tackling it from the wrong angle. Maybe the real problem is not the poor, maybe it is the very rich who feel entitled to take way more than their fair share, and not pay their taxes properly.

Seems to me we need to return to a system where to do the right thing was to make sure that everybody was looked after, not just the most powerful and greedy.

Kate Taylor, Bristol

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