Author Archives: John Gibbons

About John Gibbons

ThinkOrSwim is a blog focusing on the inter-related crises involving climate change, sustainability, resource depletion, energy and biodiversity loss

Pinker serves up a Panglossian three-card trick

“Things can only get better”, went the lyrics to the hit by D:Ream which became the anthem of the incoming New Labour government in 1997, fronted by the relentlessly upbeat Tony Blair. Six years later, Blair joined the US in … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Global Warming, Habitat/Species, Psychology | Tagged , | 3 Comments

All talk, no action: agri sector’s spin over substance

My article, which ran in the Irish Examiner in early February, is below IRISH agriculture faces enormous threats, both from direct climate change impacts and the urgent need to sharply reduce emissions, yet the sector has been remarkably slow to engage … Continue reading

Posted in Global Warming, Irish Focus, Sustainability | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Sinking ever deeper into ecological debt and climate denial

Eschatology, or the study of the end of times, is at least as old as the written word. The concept spans many of the world’s major religions, usually referring to some future day of judgement or reckoning. Beyond the realms … Continue reading

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2017: yet another year of living dangerously

And so 2017 comes, at last, to a close. From a climate and wider environmental standpoint, it has been an unmitigated disaster. It hardly bears repeating that the installation of the Trump regime in Washington was the worst possible news, … Continue reading

Posted in Global Warming, Habitat/Species, Sustainability | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

Unmasking Ireland’s real ‘climate radicals’

Below, my article as it appeared earlier this month on the OpEd page of the Irish Times. I’ve been intrigued for many years at the way some people are automatically pigeon-holed as outliers and ‘radicals’ in certain debates. Nowhere is … Continue reading

Posted in Global Warming, Irish Focus, Media | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Don’t give up on democracy just yet

Below, my article from the November edition of Village magazine, looking back on the historic proceedings of the Citizens’ Assembly: It’s been a bad couple of years for democracy. The Brexit fiasco was the most humiliating British retreat from Europe … Continue reading

Posted in Global Warming, Irish Focus, Sustainability | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Not waving, drowning: Ten years of ThinkOrSwim

This evening, exactly ten years ago, I tentatively pressed the ‘Publish’ button on my brand new blog, and released the first ThinkOrSwim posting into the wild. Titled ‘Wind of change finally reaches Ireland?’ it foolishly opined that the new government was … Continue reading

Posted in Global Warming, Irish Focus, Media | 10 Comments

Pushing back against the tide of junk science

I published two articles over the summer in Village magazine on the subject of the new Irish climate denier group, the self-styled Irish Climate Science Forum (ICSF), founded by retired UCD meteorologist, Ray Bates. The first of these, in the … Continue reading

Posted in Global Warming, Irish Focus, Media, Sceptics | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Can direct democracy succeed where politics has failed?

Earlier this month, I was pleased to have my third article appear on Guardian Environment. The topic was one I have previously teased around the edges, here and elsewhere, on numerous occasions. In a nutshell: once we’ve figured out our … Continue reading

Posted in Global Warming, Media, Psychology | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

The Citizens have spoken: no more excuses, climate action now

I spent all day Saturday November 5th in the Grand Hotel, Malahide, covering the penultimate session of the Citizens’ Assembly hearings on climate change. Having watched much of the previous weekend’s deliberations via live stream, I had the sense that … Continue reading

Posted in Global Warming, Irish Focus, Sustainability | 2 Comments

Eating the future, one bite at a time

Futurology is a favourite journalistic parlour game, usually reserved for a slow news week or the lifestyle section. When I saw the following bold opening statement in a recent Irish Times magazine cover story, “Half of the babies born today … Continue reading

Posted in Global Warming, Irish Focus, Psychology, Sustainability | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Nuclear near-miss a chilling portend of our climate future

Below, my article as it appears in the current issue of ‘Village’ magazine. I’ve included links to watch the film in its entirety, as well as the subsequent ABC studio discussion. A third of a century later, it’s still strangely … Continue reading

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When our leaders won’t lead, can Citizens’ Assembly step up?

Below, an article I ran in a well-known magazine earlier this month in the light of what we learned from the first weekend of the Citizens’ Assembly. I wasn’t able to attend the session in Malahide, but spent much of … Continue reading

Posted in Global Warming, Irish Focus, Sustainability | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

Climate denial and the ‘white male effect’

In recent months I’ve found myself in a bit of a running battle with some of Ireland’s leading (I use the word advisedly) climate contrarians. It stems back to the inaugural meeting of the so-called Irish Climate Science Forum in … Continue reading

Posted in Global Warming, Irish Focus, Media, Sceptics | Tagged , | 61 Comments

‘I have fed – and starved – species greater than you’

Back in the bleak 1980s, some 500 Irish river locations boasted pure, clean water. What of today’s modern, sustainable and super-green Ireland? Now, a mere 21 river locations remain of very high quality, according to the EPA’s newly published Water … Continue reading

Posted in Global Warming, Habitat/Species, Irish Focus | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments