Enviro – 5th December 2016

Robert Navan talked about the send off which the Cuban people gave to the leader of the Cuban revolution Fidel Castro, who died on November 25 2016 aged 90. In the discussion which followed, it referred to last week’s explanation by Simon McGuiness’ explanation of the World Wildlife Fund’s conclusion that ecologically Cuba is the most sustainable country in the world.

Robert pointed out that Fidel’s ashes were placed in the niche of a boulder and its final resting place was in the Santa Ifigenia Cemetery, in Santiago de Cuba. A dark plaque engraved with the word ‘Fidel’ was fixed over the niche. Fidel’s memorial at the cemetery is a large, round stone placed close to but dwarfed by independence hero Jose Marti’s mausoleum. Marti was another towering figure of Cuban history that Castro long admired. Fidel had requested that no effigies of him should be erected and no roads or streets named after him. It was pointed out that following the 1916 Rebellion in Ireland there was a bitter civil war and war of independence and this did not occur in Cuba.

Robert Navan updated the listeners of developments in Columbia where another peace agreement with the FARC rebels has been prepared following the rejection of the first. Parliament had now agreed it. Asked if he thought that this peace agreement would end the FARK revolt he said that some dissenters were anxious to continue the offensive and also that the US influence with its use of Agent Orange which had caused so much casualties in Vietnam would be a real problem. Also the fact that there is oil to be harvested would create resource conflict problems.

The program continued with a short discussion on the serious homeless problem in Ireland which has reached an all time high unfortunately. At present 400 homes are repossessed each month and reliable predictions suggest that this will double in 2017. Reference was made to an article on the subject inn the Sunday Mirror on the 4th December 2016 by Sylvia Pownall in which Senior Counsel Ross Maguire said foreclosure orders are set to spike after Christmas as banks get tough on cash homeowners in mortgage distress.

Robert Glynn who has a MSc in Sustainable Development introduced a wide ranging discussion on the subject of man’s evolution and there was a consensus that property and wealth has been concentrated in a small number of wealthy people and there was a system’s failure that would be very difficult to reverse. Joe pointed out that from a situation where mankind was nomadic and matriarchal and did not acquire land. But that all has changed. In the discussion which followed it was pointed out that we probably had evolved from a matriarchal society. The discussion centred on the question as to what kind of a system should replace the capitalist system which clearly had failed due to the concentration of wealth in the hands of the few. Robert Glynn gave references and examples showing how societies had evolved over time.

Presenter: John Haughton

Panellists: Joe Dunne and Robert Navan

Observers: Students Julia and Vaneese