Middle-class pressure group

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 02 January, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 02 January, 1997, 12:00am

I write in the spirit of debate in response to the letter from Edwin Lau Che Feng, Assistant Director of Friends of the Earth (South China Morning Post, December 27), concerning the use that old yuletide cards can be put to and proposed alternatives that people should use in future.

Disregarding the tradition and pleasure of sending and receiving Christmas cards, the use of technological alternatives such as the Internet are, even in the perceived affluence and technology of the Western world, restricted to a relatively small economic and educated elite with access to equipment and skills to use such methods.

However, even the poorest person generally has a postal address as discovered by a certain good king on the feast of Stephen! The suggested technological alternatives reinforce my perception of Friends of the Earth as an affluent and middle-class pressure group, removed from the everyday lives of most people on this planet and an organisation which has false perceptions of the impact of Christmas cards on global deforestation. A recent report on the BBC World Service suggested that recent concessions for massive logging in West Africa and South America have been granted to Indonesian and other Asian companies, even against the rights and wishes of local indigenous people.

I am sure that the trees felled will not be used, in the main, for the production of greetings cards which, certainly in Europe, are manufactured from a variety of sources including sustainable, managed forests and re-cycled paper.