I have no sympathy for the Ryanair passengers whose flights have been cancelled

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I’ve been horrified by the recent media coverage of the Ryanair flight cancellations debacle.  

In the many hours of media coverage of this issue, all I’ve heard is the “ain’t it awful” moaning of affected travellers and media commentators, but not a single mention of the appalling environmental impact of the low-cost air travel propagated by the likes of Ryanair. 

Some uncomfortable facts. On average, a plane produces more than 53 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) per mile of flight. And two years ago, The Environmental Protection Agency mooted that greenhouse gas emissions from airplanes are a danger to human health because they contribute significantly to climate change. People’s narcissistic preoccupation with cheap global travel seemingly knows no bounds.

The tragedy is that the media and the vast majority of people are in complete denial about the realities of climate change. Worst-case scenario projections are now predicting a 6C global temperature rise – which would mean that we’ll all be extinct within 25 years – period. Yet in the face of our species’ possible demise, all the deck-chair rearranging populace seems capable of is complaining about their selfish parochial deprivations, as their narcissistic self-interest is disrupted.

Heaven help us.

Dr Richard House
Gloucestershire 

We must protect women’s reproductive rights

The article titled Abortion, contraception, pregnancy: How women’s bodies became a battlezone by Sophie Cousins is timely and worth close consideration. It makes the important point that women’s reproductive rights are once again under attack across the globe and that progress is either slow or – alarmingly – going into reverse.

Women and girl’s lack of access to their reproductive rights is also exacerbated by acts of violence. Currently, one in three women experiences physical or sexual violence in her lifetime. In a relationship, this can mean intimate partners can deny women and girls access to contraception and safe abortion, forcing them to have multiple pregnancies against their will. ActionAid research shows, for example, that of an estimated 212.5 million unintended pregnancies which have occurred within 69 of the world’s poorest countries, including India, Myanmar and Rwanda, over the past five years, at least 31.8 million will have involved a woman who has experienced physical or sexual intimate partner violence.

Further, ActionAid estimates that by reducing intimate partner violence, 8.4 million unsafe abortions could be prevented each year – saving an estimated 14,100 women’s lives – the majority in sub-Saharan Africa.

It is vital we increase awareness of these issues and generate long-term funding of women’s rights organisations. 

Sarah Carson, women’s rights campaign manager, ActionAid UK

Don Quixote would be proud of the Conservatives

I must congratulate Denis MacShane on his latest article on the Tory party. Absolutely splendid and spot on!

I have been telling people for years that Labour does not win elections, the Conservatives can only lose them. Personally gratifying, although I would rather we were not in this mess!

I must add that, on top of this ludicrous quest to slay non-existent European “Géants“, they have also lost the perceived mantle of the party for law and order.

The insane cut backs throughout the police service might just bite back harder than fighting windmills?

Robert Boston
Kent

The chilling noise of fox hunting ruins the beauty of the countryside

I lived for seven years just outside York. The hunt came through on several days every year. The day before the hunt, “terrier men” would come and dig out fox dens. They would block up anywhere a fox might run and take cover. Then on the morning of the hunt, foxes that had either been caught in snares elsewhere or bred for the purpose would be “dropped”. These foxes were not familiar with the land, and didn’t know where to run to get away from the hounds. Sometimes the foxes would have a leg broken to make it easier for the hounds to catch them.

The local landowner sent his gamekeeper to stop the “sabs” – saboteurs. The gamekeeper would block lanes with his land rover to stop them getting the evidence of kills. I agree with one of your contributors. The noise of hounds on the trail of a live fox is chilling. I kept hens, and they were absolutely terrified by the noise. The peace and beauty of a rural life was well and truly destroyed on hunt day.

Name and address supplied

This is how in-work poverty happens

It should be considered “good news” that zero-hours contracts are reducing. However, this masks the fact that employers offer staff minimum-hours contracts. Some, for example, offer one hour per month.

You cannot support a family with uncertainty, the shortfall is picked up by the taxpayer, through benefit payments, and yet people struggle on, while millions go unclaimed, meaning low pay fuelling in work poverty.

All workers, and those seeking employment deserve better, don’t they?

Gary Martin
Edinburgh 

Theresa May is right about tech giants

May is right. Facebook and others can do far more to limit terrorist and other hate messaging on social media. If I can find and successfully report unacceptable postings within a couple of minutes, which I frequently do, I’m sure the tech giants need to work harder. And while she’s at it, instead of regularly threatening to close the tax loopholes that they exploit, why not impose higher levels of corporation tax that will incrementally fall to normal levels in line with their improving behaviour on policing online content?

Patrick Cosgrove
Shropshire