In a kingdom of the blind there is one man who sees

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From Ryan McMullen.

WITH regard to the viewpoints expressed in the JEP on 24 February by the angry ‘anti-green’ lobby, I am not entirely convinced by the eloquence of one letter in particular that incineration is the best way.

It may be entirely true that Daniel Wimberley, the man to whom I believe Peter Titterington is referring, was elected by ‘maybe 1% of the Island’s population’.

However, I’d rather see an elected Deputy voice his concerns over such a large project than for all of the States Chamber to nod their heads in concurrence.

It seems fairly odd that the States are willing to pay £106 million for an incinerator without trying to seek a less expensive alternative. It is a shame that the more popular States Members — who received more than 1% of the vote — have not taken such a passionate stance on a matter which will affect the whole of Jersey.

Congratulations are due to Deputy Wimberley for expressing my sentiments exactly, because none of the other Deputies or States Members has done so, even if I am included in only 1% of the population who support him. The only people who are blind in this situation are the Members who are backing a plan which has not been thoroughly investigated, not Deputy Wimberley, who in this case is cast in the paradoxical shadow of enlightenment which is hence allowing him to see more clearly that any of the others who are blinded by such overzealous plans.

I would also like to question whether the global need for recycling really has decreased. If my dubiety is non-founded, and the need for recycling has decreased, I can use the point given by Robert Kisch that recessions do not last forever. My point being that when the financial situation has stabilised, the demand will in due course increase again. Because the need for recycled goods fluctuates from year to year, this does not mean that the average trend is decreasing, because I am sure that statistics will show evidence to the contrary.

Cancelling the project will cost around £50 million, which leads some people to think that the project should continue regardless of any circumstances which have arisen. This argument should not be focused on Deputy Wimberley et al, who care more about the common man and the environment, but on those who established the idea in the first place, as it is they who have made the rash decisions.

It is time that Jersey woke up and realised that there are many people still left in this Island, albeit a dying breed, who have the prudence to care about providing a sustainable future for following generations. I am amazed that in the economic downturn people still talk about how Jersey can live off the finance industry indefinitely.

Once we have burnt all of our plastics and other non-renewables, and crude oil has run out, where will we go? Of course, landfill! We could buy from landfill! In times of need we could buy all of the rubbish from landfill and use that again.

A problem. Once that has been used, what do we do with it? I suppose we could burn it . . ? A very vicious cycle, but it will not be a repeating one.

Health issues have already been brought to the attention of the States by parishioners of St Clement in particular about the composting site based at La Collette. Numerous claims have been made that even the smell has been making residents ill. I myself can testify that the smell is quite abhorrent, although I am unsure whether there is a case for it making people ill, but I am sure that other readers of the JEP who live in the area can make a case about this.

My last point is one raised by Mr Kisch about energy-from-waste being a tried and tested method. Here is an analogous case proving that ‘tried and tested’ does not always mean best.

It was once discovered that asbestos was a very good flame-retardant material. Because of this property, many manufacturers used it in construction and car brake pads, to give just a few examples. Asbestos was a ‘tried and tested’ material — very good, in fact, at being fire-resistant. It continued to be used for many years until some people decided it had ever-so-slight health effects with long-term exposure.

The rest, as they say, is history. It may not be a perfect analogy, but only time will tell if the incinerator project is allowed to continue unhindered.

5 Ednor Villas,

Grève d’Azette,

St Clement.

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