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Try living in a cave

Manmade climate change is a pressing issue today.

Extinction rebellion and school students who have pushed the debate up the agenda are to be congratulated.

Before those initiatives the public consensus was, yes climate change is having and will have disastrous consequences, but it’s all so difficult let’s just maintain business as usual.

The question of disruption is a tactical question and obviously needs to be thought through and discussed.

How much is useful and where should it be targeted. But what has no value at all is the view argued by Chris Gleed (July 2) that making any kind of public protest is automatically “hypocritical”. By Chris’ reasoning the only unhypocritical act by campaigners on climate change is to live in a cave somewhere eschewing all trappings of modern life.

In the UK the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries were times of furious ferment where mass campaigns of ordinary people fought violent repression from the state to win many of the reforms which make life bearable today. Given his vehement opposition to all forms of protest I propose he gives up all living conditions which were won through those struggles and reverts to the vote-less poverty tainted life experienced by most working people before improvements were won. After all, freeloading on improvements won by others in struggles you would oppose must surely be hypocritical.

Peter Smith, Woodside Avenue

No need for self-loathing

In his reply to my letter containing condemnation of the British empire Jeff Adams accuses me of being PC.

If it is PC to think the Atlantic slave trade was wrong and a terrible stain on our reputation then I plead guilty. If it is PC to think it wrong to invade other countries and subjugate them then I plead guilty. If it is PC to think that it is wrong to then let millions of them starve to death then I plead guilty. No I am wrong, if the above is the case then I am proud to be PC!

He accuses me of being self loathing, in the days of empire we lived in a non democratic country and my ancestors being poor folk and half of them women had no influence on the running of the country. I have nothing to self loath.

Steve Thompson, Norman Road

The earth will wear out

Re Hypocrisy in protest (Chris Gleed, SA July 26), we are one humanity on one planet. There is no planet B.

In Genesis God tells us to look after His earth. When Sir David Attenborough talks of the collapse of civilisations, it means violence that most of us in the privilged West cannot even comprehend.

In 2018 even just one warmer summer in the northern hemisphere reduced yields of wheat and staples like potatoes by about one quarter in the UK. Globally we only have grain reserves for about four months, so a few consecutive summers like 2018 and the predicted return of El Nino droughts in Asia could cause food shortages on a global scale.

People have joined Extinction Rebellion from many fields: scientists, lawyers, academics, diplomats, nurses, doctors, teachers, artists, writers, actors, politicians and more. Conventional campaigning does not work.

The movement is now active in every single continent except Antarctica. The rich and powerful are making too much money from our present suicidal course. You cannot overcome such entrenched power by persuasion. Only disruption works.

The authorities now have a serious dilemma: let people continue to party in the streets, or opt for repression. Four environmental campaigners are killed every week in the world. The Honduran activist Berta Caceras was murdered for her activism.

“The earth will wear out like a garment, and its inhabitants die like flies.” (Isaiah 51:6)

Jeff Adams, Bloomsbury

Sort out recycling

I FEEL I must write to the Swindon Advertiser to say how disgusted I am with the dreadful recycling service in the Eastcott area.

Back in May/June I went six weeks without the plastic recycling being taken.

I contacted both my local councillor Imtiyaz Shaikh and Maureen Penny ( Con ) who is responsible for highways and environment in Swindon, back in June to let them know of the problems I was having.

Both got back within a day, which I thank them for their efficiency. However last Friday lunchtime arriving home from work I found only part of the plastics taken, and despite the glass and paper/cardboard being placed in the usual place none of this was taken.

It has been an on going problem now for at least two years. All this Tory rhetoric of pay less get more for your council tax in Tory controlled areas is quite simply not true in Swindon. We have just spent over a thousand pounds on garden work in the past month and don’t expect it to look like a recycling plant rather than a place to relax in the summer. If Mr.Renard or any Eastcott councillor is reading this letter would you please kindly get this ongoing problem sorted once and for all.

Mark Webb, Old Town

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