Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 25 December 2014

Natural world is not a 'free gift'

The Belfast Telegraph is to be congratulated on its recent series, Save Our Seas. In recent weeks, it has also reported the Met Office's Peter Stott as saying that: "Overall, we're seeing that human influence is having a marked impact on some types of extreme weather." (News, July 11).

What can be done about this catastrophic human influence on our seas and weather systems? For some, the answer lies in consumers deciding to use resources more sustainably and this makes sense - up to a point.

But consumers are not the main producers of waste. For example, in Northern Ireland we produce more than six million tonnes of waste from a range of sources each year. Of this, domestic waste accounts for just more than one million tonnes, while the construction, demolition and excavation sector produces four million tonnes, with the remaining one million coming from the commercial and industrial sector.

The kinds of degradation outlined in the Belfast Telegraph are repeated throughout the world. These environmental problems are caused by the capitalist system, which treats the natural world as a free gift and pursues profit above every other concern.

JUSTIN O'HAGAN

The Workers' Party

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