YEP Letters: April 20

Check out today's YEP letters

Mankind to blame for plastic problem

Phil Roche, Garforth

The heat certainly seems to be on the problems being caused in our planet but I believe that despite the urgency required we are once again side-stepping the issue and overlooking the root cause of the situation - mankind.

The litter louts, the lazy picnickers, beach dwellers, the toilet-blockers, drain obstructers, giving opportunity for these plastics to end up where they should not be.... the streets, the sea, the countryside etc. With a little thought, consideration and consistent education (especially what can be recycled) the problem could be eradicated to a large degree; although I do appreciate that there will always be those individuals with that tunnel-visioned selfish mentality who will continue with there inverted lives, without a care for anyone or indeed anything.

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Yes we do need to review the whole picture of plastics and recycling but let us also not forget the litter louts or give them even more reason to dispose of their litter openly as they may have that twisted logic of believing it is now okay as the plastics may be biodegradable.

Brexit should end with a referendum

James Bovington, Horsforth.

I WAS proud to join other pro-Europeans in Harrogate for our recent day of action launching ‘People’s Vote’.

Our message is that as Brexit started with a referendum it should end with one, giving people the choice as to whether to accept the deal eventually agreed, exit with no deal or remain in the EU.

My choice is obviously the latter, but if a new deal is endorsed then it will have to be accepted by all as the destination will be clear and hopefully unambiguous.

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The June 2016 referendum left us as the imprisoned passengers of the good ship Britannia with the captain having little knowledge of where to take those on the cruise. No one would purchase passage on that basis, yet that was our starting point.

Why are the anti-Europeans so fearful of a second vote which would give people a further opportunity to endorse their desire to disconnect from our major allies? Countries that have joined the EU following referenda knew what to expect. A referendum offering us the choice of accepting a new negotiated relationship with the EU, remaining a full member or simply walking away would do the same.

The support received from our European allies in Britain’s recent stand-off with Russia has been heartening, and our military co-operation with France shows us as one of the two leading European nations in meeting the challenges of world affairs. France no more than Britain needed EU consent to act in Syria and most French people don’t see the EU as a threat to their power and identity.

So is it so wrong to think again about disengaging from the EU which, with Nato, has promoted the mainly peaceful development of this continent?

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On a practical level, the EU has promoted cultural exchanges, made low-cost airline carriers possible, ensured that exploitative mobile roaming charges have been abolished and facilitated cancer treatment through the Euratom agreement. A future deal needs to include these achievements. I am proud therefore to join Sir Patrick Stewart, an expert in dealing with alien civilisations, in calling for a vote on any future deal with the EU.

The issue could be solved by asking us to vote on accepting the deal, crashing out with no deal or remaining. I look forward to campaigning for remain but who knows, Theresa May might just tempt me to vote for the deal.

If it included the single market and the customs union, I’d definitely be for it. Give me the opportunity.

Potholes prevention better than cure

Andrew Murday, Harrogate.

Recent letters pages have been full of holes – potholes that is. The recent torrential rain has added to the problem. Estimates that there are 14 years’ worth of repairs are surely well short of the mark now. Indeed, some of our local roads are close to being washed away. As a medical doctor, I know that prevention is better than cure.

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So whilst it is important to repair the damaged roads, it is just as important to try to prevent the damage which is no longer just wear and tear but is exacerbated by manmade changes in our climate. The repairs are the responsibility of our local and national governments. They need to invest more or else our economy will be brought to a halt by the condition of our roads. But climate change is the responsibility of us all.

As individuals, we should do all we can to reduce our carbon footprint and we should be pressurising our elected representatives to ensure that environmental considerations are a primary consideration in all their decision-making.

In praise of smart meters

Adam Bull, by email

Just thought I’d like to put in my tuppence worth about smart meters, which seem to be getting unfairly bad press recently.

Personally, we’ve found our smart meter to be really useful in checking what we’re spending on gas and electricity.

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We can see an instant display of how much money we’re spending so we’ve been able to find out which things in our home cost the most to run just by turning them on and off and watching how the reading changes.For example we learned that our old kitchen lights almost doubled the usual electricity usage for the whole house …so now we’ve got much more efficient LED bulbs. We also found that the computing equipment in my home office doesn’t use nearly as much electricity as we’d always feared, which put my mind at ease. In general it’s quite reassuring to just be able to see our hourly spending rate so we know we’re not unexpectedly sucking up loads of energy.

It’s also nice not to have to shift all the kitchen furniture around to let someone read the meter!

Get rid of hatemongers

Edna Levi, by email

Listening to the media news reports, I am wondering if the clock has been turned back to years ago.

Again we have anti-semitism especially in the Labour party (what are you doing to stamp this out, Mr Corbyn?), the Windrush disgrace (yes, Mrs May?) and the homophobia aimed at decent people who should be free to live their lives 
without vile beings targeting them. All those responsible for stemming these matters always blame each other; how about getting down to brass tacks and getting rid of these guilty ignoramous hatemongers.

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