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Timely article on waste of natural capital

Given the problems caused by the decisions of powerful people in governments, financial institutions, etc., the article by Paddy Woodworth (May 17) is very timely.

In it he states that the ‘pursuit of wealth depletes natural capital and threatens human species’.

He derives much of the source of our ills from the fact that ‘skilful manipulation of illusion, envy and greed by the advertising industry convinces us that one more acquisition ... will bring us happiness’.

None of us are immune to these influences.

The whole idea of planned obsolescence, in which a perfectly functional machine or utensil has to be got rid of because it is no longer in fashion, or is deliberately made incompatible with the newest of the new, is unsustainable.

All of us have experience of examples, such as PCs having to be got rid of because they were not compatible with more modern programmes, or of toilets having to be replaced with inferior modern ones just because a replacement valve could not be found.

Our dumps are full of such material. It is very wasteful and I congratulate Paddy Woodworth for drawing attention to the issue.

A Leavy


Dublin 13


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