Sir, the Government has demonstrated its ability to move heaven and Earth in the face a threat to our collective well-being. What will the government do to address the much greater crisis facing this island, if any, other than pandemic preoccupations?
Half of our rivers have effluent pollution; deforestation of the already sparsely populated native forests and removals of hedgerows continue at an alarming rate; 25% of our bird species face extinction as their habitats are lost and their numbers plummet from pesticide use; carbon emissions continue rising; single-use plastics multiply and litter our landscapes. This list goes on.
The interdependence of human health and the planet’s health is evident in the fact that Ireland has over 1000 premature deaths each year due to air pollution
It is no longer a matter of speculation to say that our mental health is directly linked to the integrity and frequency of the natural world around our bodies.
These issues are all within the reach of our government, provided that the political will is there. Yours, etc,
Dr DAVID OCONNELL