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Alternative methods

I AM sure Des Morgan was being mischievous when he ended his letter about veganism versus eating meat (SA, August 8) with “live and let live”.

But this is a serious issue and the UN on the same day said raising animals for meat was major contributed to global warming and so it is. But arable farming also produces CO2. There is three times the carbon held in the soil that there is in the atmosphere and every time the soil is ploughed it releases carbon into the air. Scientists say there are only 50 to 60 years of harvests left before the soil carbon has gone and it will be in the atmosphere – and then the soil will not grow anything.

All is not necessarily lost however. Unimaginable numbers of ruminants once roamed the American prairies and large numbers still roam the African savannah, they have done so for millions of years without causing global warming and plants have grown for billions of years without causing global warming the opposite in fact. We can use methods similar to nature that would actually sequester carbon from the atmosphere.

Rhodesian farmer Alan Savary came up with a method called mob grazing whereby you keep high density of cattle on a small area of pasture and move them daily in a rotation that allows the grass to regrow before putting the cattle back. This method actually increases the carbon in the soil.

Crops can be grown on arable land without tilling by planting cover crops mowing them and planting through them. This reduces or does away with the need for fertilisers.

I would suggest anyone interested should investigate these methods online.

Steve Thompson, Norman Road, Swindon

Give Boris a chance

Peter Smith (SA, August 8) got really hot under the collar about a previous letter of mine, saying I “occasionally draw on real life events and examples”.

Let’s take one – Brunel. Did I claim he was British? No, but he was working in Britain and accomplished most of his finest examples of engineering here. Yes, his father was a immigrant but he didn’t come from France, as Mr Smith claims. He was originally from Belgium but came to Britain from the United States, where he was working at that time.

And no, I have never said we shouldn’t take immigrants into the country, but we should ensure that they can bring something to our country. Brunel obviously did.

Anyone who takes this to mean that I am anti-immigration should wake up. Our country has always welcomed immigrants who bring something to our shores. It’s this diversity that makes us what we are.

And did I ever state that it was our composers who were always played at the proms? No. I was talking about how well these proms are received by the British public and others who visit our shores. It’s the enjoyment that counts, not who wrote it.

Now we come to the EU negotiators.

Michel Barnier stated he was going to make things so bad for the British that “they would be afraid to leave the EU.” If Mr Smith looks it up he will find I am correct.

Next he has a bash not only at me but at Boris Johnson as well.

Let’s be fair about this. We needed austerity measures to counteract what the previous so-called socialist government had done to our economy.

Most people recognised that even if they didn’t like it. The very least we can do is to give Boris a chance. If he brings it off, which I personally think he can do, perhaps Mr Smith will admit he was wrong.

David Collins, Blake Crescent, Swindon

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