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

Mainstreaming doubt and nurturing climate denial

Fake news has, since January 2017, received a whole new lease of life, with peddlers of misinformation greatly emboldened by the installation of the Liar-In-Chief at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. However, climate science denial has been in full swing for decades; … Continue reading

Posted in Agriculture, Global Warming, Sceptics | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

World awakens slowly to unfolding plastics catastrophe

Below, my article as published in the April 2018 edition of Village magazine. I’ve been writing for years about the pervasive and ever-expanding threats posed by plastic wastes, but have found few takers in the mainstream media; given the staggering … Continue reading

Posted in Global Warming, Irish Focus, Pollution | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Failing farmers, the environment & wider society

My article on our broken agricultural system, as it appeared in the Irish Times on April 7th last. Getting a decent splash on the main OpEd page in the Saturday edition (the IT’s most read day of the week by … Continue reading

Posted in Global Warming, Irish Focus | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Day of reckoning on global extinction crisis draws near

Below, my article as it was published in the Irish Times last month, with some referencing added back in. To borrow one of my own lines, “A solitary species has, in a heartbeat of geological time, overturned and routed half … Continue reading

Posted in Biodiversity, Global Warming, Habitat/Species, Sustainability | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

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

Tall tales trump Varadkar’s Washington debut

Below, my piece published on DeSmog.uk from March detailing our Taoiseach’s travails when attempting to cosy up to the US president during the traditional St. Patrick’s Day visit. IRISH prime minister, Leo Varadkar dropped a major climate clanger in Washington this … Continue reading

Posted in Global Warming, Irish Focus, Sceptics | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

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 , , , | 8 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 , , | 5 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 , , , , , | 3 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 , , , | 3 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 | 3 Comments