DEAR SIR: I just want to preface this letter on the fact that I consider myself to be a “card carrying” environmentalist.

I was president of the environmental club in my high school, I studied environmental science in college, I give hundreds of euros to environmental charities each year, I am a professional beekeeper and a farmer.

I am very disturbed by this aggressive push to reduce cattle numbers in Ireland. Ireland produces less than 1% of global CO2 emissions.

According to NASA, even if humans stopped emitting all CO2 into the atmosphere tomorrow, there is still so much carbon in the atmosphere the planet will continue to warm for hundreds of years.

By gutting farming the Government is doing nothing to stop or even mitigate the climate catastrophe. It will only destroy an industry that employs thousands of people, keeps rural communities alive and the production of high-quality beef and dairy products. The tourism industry is an enormous economic driver in this country. As an American, I will tell you: people want to come here and see cows and rolling green hills. They want to see a bucolic farming scene that they think of when they think of Ireland. They don’t want to see abandoned country houses with a matted mess of brambles and ferns growing in the fields surrounded by depressed towns. Depressed country towns are already a problem and if the cattle herd is reduced it will be devastating to these already struggling communities. Farming has created good jobs for people and in some cases a livelihood and legacy that has gone on for generations. These jobs are meaningful and give people a real sense of purpose and pride.