Letters to the Editor – July 26, 2021

A writer says the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) had recently and unequivocally stated that “climate change was the root cause for the torrential rainstorms and deadly fl oods ravaging across Western Europe this summer. Picture: https://www.nytimes.com

Climate change

THE World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) had recently and unequivocally stated that “climate  change was the root cause for the torrential rainstorms and deadly floods ravaging across Western Europe this summer”. The WMO also rightly added “we have always had extreme weather events but because of climate change, we have started seeing them more often and they are more intense”. That’s all very true and experiences around the world over the years have clearly borne this out as well, with verifiable data and information to boot. The WMO statement went further to talk about the need to stop using fossil fuels and that in order to reach a climate neutral world by mid century, we need to achieve the pledged  target for greenhouse gas emissions. Unfortunately, the jury is still very much out in a huddle on this latter part. The jury is still yet to decide – and pronto – as to which school of thought is really the reality behind climate change, knowing that thetwo schools of thought are diametrically  opposed to each other. One cannot be so bold as to claim  either way right now, when the “cause(s) of climate change” is still very much inconclusive. Granted, the popular mantra is the human-induced carbon emission one but, please, do not belittle our intelligence when the issue is not really settled as yet.  Human existence is less than a nano-second in comparison with the universal timescale or to our earth’s own timeframe, for that matter. Let’s not be too hasty to so quickly attribute human actions that just may not be of any real consequence in the big picture. That’s my layman’s view anyway. EDWARD BLAKELOCK Admiral Circle, Pacific Harbour

Bigger crisis

WHILE the world is engaged in tackling COVID-19, extreme weather events across the globe are reminding us about the biggest crisis facing life on Earth. It’s climate change. There are unprecedented heatwaves and wildfires in some of the coldest regions on Earth while unbelievable floods have ravaged many countries in more than one continent. Too much water in some parts against water supply systems collapsing in countries which have led to protests from citizens. The COVID-19 period will surely pass and economies will eventually recover but due to human activities, when will Earth start to recover? MOHAMMED IMRAZ JANIF Natabua, Lautoka

Herbal medicine

A STATEMENT in the media (F/T 20/07) that “there are no reliable herbal medicines,” deserves a comment. The world of nature is vast and complex. Mankind’s wisdom pales to nothing when face to face with nature. Man simply  doesn’t have the ability and capability to fully unravel natural things. To say “there are no reliable herbal medicines,” is the easiest way for scientists to explain something beyond their understanding. It is more correct to say “there are no reliable vaccines and western medicine”. Everyone knows that western medicine always has side effects. To counter the side effects, two or three other pills are  prescribed for a single ailment. These extra pills are to counter the side effects of each drug. And there are “booster shots”. As a result, many persons become drug-dependent. No such thing with the herbal medicine. Take the humble wabosucu or mile-a-minute. The leaves are crushed and the juice is squeezed on a fresh cut. The human system recognises and accepts the natural elements in  the plant. The blood clots. Bleeding stops. The wound closes up. The body repairs itself. Viruses, bacteria, germs are baffled by the complex nature of herbs, plants, leaves, roots, natural juices, vegetables. And scientists and doctors are baffled too by how the human body reacts to the cures in herbal medicine. It is in the complex nature of herbs that lies their effectiveness which scientists and doctors have yet to fathom. Hence, to say “there are no reliable herbal medicines” is an affront to the wonder-world of nature, an over-simplification and completely misses the mark. WILLIAM ROSA Ba

Popcorn and masala chai

THE parliamentary session starts today. I am looking forward to watching the Opposition members struggle to put two coherent sentences or arguments together. They will be trying hard to pretend they are earning their money. Let’s see what they come up with in response to the Budget, apart from racial rhetoric. I will be having my popcorn and masala chai on the ready. That is what you do when you watch a cartoon, right. I mean it is no different to the grog swipers, except I will be having popcorn and special homebrewed masala chai. JAN NISSAR NSW Australia

Proposed changes

WHILE there may be good intentions behind the proposed amendments to the State Land Act and iTaukei Land Trust Act, the manner in which they are being imposed is, in my view, not right. We should have known  better, based on the lessons learnt in the past. Any changes to the laws governing native land must be done in consultation with the relevant stakeholders,  given the sensitivity of the issues and the legal rights attached to the ownership of the land. I wonder if the iTaukei Trust Board was a privy to the discussions on the changes. Anyway, let’s hope Parliament will agree to assign the relevant parliamentary select committees to undertake public consultation and invite submissions from all key stakeholders. If the Government is really serious about eliminating bureaucracy, then it could start by tidying up its own Ministry of Lands first. In my view, the proposed changes will only address part of the problems. A more holistic approach should be taken to transform its business model to become more service-oriented by modernising its business processes to align them to the needs of its customers. It will not only save a lot of time and cost but also promote efficiency and transparency. Otherwise the fi les will keep shifting from table to table. Many promises were made in the past to reform the archaic systems and processes but nothing has changed. There seems to be an element of resistance to change as there is a tendency to cling on to comfort zones for obvious reasons. In his reports, the Auditor- General has highlighted many instances where unsupervised discretion could be open for abuse. SELWA NANDAN Lautoka

Time for 7s action

AFTER five years of waiting, the Tokyo Olympic Games 7s competition kicks off today as Fiji takes on hosts Japan and underdogs Canada. A lot is at stake for Gareth Baber, our boys and the entire nation. Ben Ryan and his heroes sacrificed so much to get that elusive gold medal from Rio, and I’m sure our boys have seen the footage of the 2016 win and the passion and emotions that followed with the epic and historic win. Today, our boys will carry the pride, aspirations and hopes of a rugby crazy nation, and I would love to see a bullet start, a hard-hit outing full of flair, thrills and spice that will not only entertain, but keep fans at the edge of their smiles and bring back smiles amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, we will see fans in Fiji jerseys. Flags will be flying high. Excitement will be high. That’s the beauty about the 7s game, it will bring every Fijian together. My pick–– forwards: Meli Derenalagi, Kalione Nasoko, and Josua Vakurinabili/ Semi Radradra; backs – Jerry Tuwai (half back), Vilimoni Botitu/Jiuta Wainiqolo (rover), Napolioni Bolaca/ Waisea Nacuqu (playmaker) and Aminiasi Tuimaba (wing). Boys, let’s get the basics right. Let’s get the ball rolling. Let’s play as brothers, for victory lies in our unity and team bonding. Let’s get Ben Ryan’s mana –– talanoa and veilomani rolling! Let’s show the world that we mean business. Let’s play for the families affected by COVID-19. Our prayers and support are with you. Toso Viti, toso! RAJNESH ISHWAR LINGAM Balgovind Rd,Nadawa, Nasinu

Hemp study

ONE item in the new budget that went under the public and mainstream radar was the allocation of funds ($30,000) for a study on medicinal industrial hemp. Wow! That is a big turnaround from what people have been saying in the past in terms of the hemp plant of which the dried leaves and flowers are regarded as a narcotic. It’s a bold, but good move. But before you can jump up and down in ecstacy, the approach I believe is less ecstatic and more sober than that. The expected outcome, if it ever comes into fruition after the study, is more medicinal as well as industrial, such as the use of hemp fibres for rope and clothing and so on. Any silly ideas of this being a way to eventually legitimise the smoking of its dried leaves and flowers should immediately be puffed away into thin air. Don’t even think of inhaling that smoking idea. Just exhale it into a puff of smoke and blow away! The outcome is supposed to be much more positive, more beneficial and of course more mainstream than that. EDWARD BLAKELOCK Admiral Circle, Pacific Harbour

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