Letters - 25 October 2019

From sustainable and simple to changing the system

Sustainable and simple

Friends seeking actions towards sustainability (Meeting for Sufferings, 11 October) should include funerals too (Claire Brandon, 4 October). Cremation is not consistent with sustainability because it uses fossil fuels and pollutes the atmosphere. Green burials are not ordinarily cheap and it seems some currently offered are commercial enterprises with conventional costs.

Instead, Friends seeking locations for sustainable and simple burials might consider the unused spaces around some Meeting houses where trees could then be planted. Some Meeting house graveyards may not be full, or green burials could take place above unmarked graves. Another potential source to explore may be disused Quaker burial grounds such as exist in parts of the country where once there were larger Quaker communities to justify them, both rural and urban. A Friends’ committee in the north east of England used to inspect and report on them periodically, and if others did too, and the records still exist that might be a fruitful source of locations to offer.

John Veit-Wilson

Left-wing label

I have a couple of thoughts in response to Tony D’Souza’s article about populism (11 October).

I believe that austerity has disproportionately affected the poorest in our society, that banks and financial institutions did not bear enough of the costs of the crash, and that multinational companies often keep wages unnecessarily low. I’m happy with the ‘left-wing’ label, but do these opinions really make me a populist? Tony says that ‘untold human suffering and the death of millions’ have resulted from attempts to create the kingdom of heaven on earth. But I can’t help wondering just how much suffering and death has resulted from people not attempting to create it.

Vincent Wood

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