Author Archives: John Gibbons

About John Gibbons

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

Another year for the record books?

I filed this piece, a combined review of 2023 and preview of 2024 on the climate and wider environmental front for the Irish Examiner just before the holidays and it ran in early January. And if I sound like a … Continue reading

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Winning slowly still means we’re losing

I filed my final Irish Examiner report on the Cop28 conference as it came to an end in Dubai. Next stop: Cop28 in Azerbaijan in November 2024 another petro-state, and yes, this event will also be presided over by a senior … Continue reading

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Seriously, why not just use a rake?

Have to admit that this one has long been a personal bugbear: the petrol leaf-blower. These are the proverbial solution to which there is no known problem, yet they are now so commonplace as to be unremarkable. I filed this … Continue reading

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Do as I say, just not as I do

While it’s easy to finger-wag and point to the failures of others on achieving climate targets, how does Ireland stack up in terms of delivering on its own legally-binging commitments? In short, not very well, as I explained in this … Continue reading

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Taking the man in charge down a peg or two

The Cop28 conference got off to an eventful start in Dubai, with our own former president grabbing international headlines in her forthright exchanges with the new president of Cop, as I reported in the Irish Examiner in early December. IT … Continue reading

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No quick climate techno-fixes at Cop28

November each year sees the annual gathering of the Conference Of the Parties, or Cop, to discuss and agree steps at Intergovernmental level to address climate change. This year’s set piece conference, Cop28, took place in the oil-rich state of … Continue reading

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An ill wind that blows no good

Cast your mind forward two decades and into the 2040s, what might Ireland be like by then? Let’s just hope it’s nothing at all like the hellscape vividly painted in Irish author Daniel Mooney’s new novel, which I reviewed for … Continue reading

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What economists get wrong about climate

Whether or not you believe that the dangerously foolish advice issued by climate economists will in fact kill billions of people this century, there is little doubt that we have been poorly served and grievously misled on the true costs … Continue reading

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Mitigation, adaptation – or suffering

Years and decades of dithering, denial and inaction mean that the remaining options open to humanity grow more limited and more unpalatable by the day. I explained in this Irish Examiner piece in late October the crucial differences between climate … Continue reading

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Climate impacts hitting home

The below piece ran as full pages in the Irish Mirror and Irish Daily Star in late October, to mark the UN’s International Day Against Climate Change. IT IS ALMOST certain that 2023 will be the hottest year globally since … Continue reading

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Nature holds key to tackling flood risks

Flooding remains Ireland’s top climate vulnerability, and it once again came home to bite in county Cork in October 2023 when the town of Midleton and some surrounding areas were inundated, with millions of euros in damages, but thankfully, no … Continue reading

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Planetary lines we shouldn’t cross

I filed this piece with Village magazine in October, charting the growing number of critical planetary boundaries that have now been breached, and why this matters. ON ANCIENT mariners’ maps, areas of uncharted waters were often marked with illustrations of … Continue reading

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When it gets too hot, things die

Heat is a silent, stealthy killer. As climate change accelerates, the regions in the world becoming too hot for human habitation or even survival are set to expand rapidly. US journalist Jeff Goodell has been on the climate beat for … Continue reading

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Green shoots of climate progress appear

Budget 2024 was announced in mid-October and was, by any stretch, a very good day for the Greens in government. Despite being the perennial butt of political and media jokes, they have by and large kept their heads down and … Continue reading

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The hazards of homicidal pragmatism

Whatever you may think of the Catholic Church (I’m certainly not a fan), it’s hard to dispute the fact that the current pope is unlike any of his predecessors. As I explained in the Irish Examiner in October, he has … Continue reading

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