Category Archives: Biodiversity

When nature is the enemy, whose side are you really on?

The iron grip of agri PLCs and the farm lobbyists who work on their behalf on the EU’s agriculture policy was seen yet again in the outright rejection of modest proposals to give nature restoration a chance amid an ever-deepening … Continue reading

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Romantic Ireland’s dead and gone

They say that, given half a chance, most people would instinctively love and cherish nature. If that’s the case, then something must have gone seriously awry in Ireland in recent decades, given our collective neglect of our natural heritage, along … Continue reading

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Natural-born killers wreak ecological havoc

According to the French Novelist, Victor Hugo, “God has made the cat to give man the pleasure of caressing the tiger”. It’s an apt description of these scaled-down apex predators. The fearsome toll they take on wildlife may come as … Continue reading

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When all hope is lost, keep fighting

On the one hand, it’s simply impossible to overstate just how dire the climate and biodiversity emergency really is, and in truth, most people either have no idea, or else are in absolute denial. So, is it already Game Over? … Continue reading

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To save our world, we must fall in love with nature

“In the end we will conserve only what we love, we will love only what we understand, and we will understand only what we are taught”. These words were spoken at the 1968 General Assembly of the International Union for … Continue reading

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Bringing airborne plastic pollution down to earth

What goes up, must eventually come down again, and so it is with helium balloons, a pernicious form of pollution that rarely receives the critical attention it warrants. One happy side-effect of writing the below piece for the Irish Examiner … Continue reading

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Cutting down on global deforestation

For as long as I can remember, we’ve been hearing about deforestation, usually expressed as an area of old-growth forest the size of x number of soccer pitches being lost per minute/hour. Globally, more than two billion hectares of forest … Continue reading

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Silent killers of the biosphere revealed

I ran this article in the Irish Examiner in early October to mark and honour the 60th anniversary of the publication of ‘Silent Spring’ by Rachel Carson, the book that was arguably the foundation event for the modern environmental movement. Vilified … Continue reading

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A walk on the wild side in the Beara peninsula

Ever wonder what Ireland might look like in its primordial condition? One man set about not just finding out, but recreating this, in a remote corner of south-west Ireland. I filed this review of the book he has just written … Continue reading

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Message remains the same, but who’s listening?

I filed this comment piece for the Irish Examiner in May to coincide with the publication of the WMO ‘State of the Climate’ report. The science gets clearer and clearer, the direct evidence of global climate destabilisation is now evident for … Continue reading

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The ecological point of no return draws ever closer

The first invasion of a sovereign European state since the second world war got underway on February 24th with the Russian assault into Ukraine. Just four days later, the IPCC Working Group 2 report, “Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability” … Continue reading

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Big trouble as world’s tiny empires crumble

As recently as 30, even 20 years ago, when at night across Ireland, by the time you reached your destination, the front of your car would be caked in hundreds, even thousands, of dead insects. Commonly known as ‘bug splat’ … Continue reading

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No national security without food security

We often hear about Ireland’s supposed role in “feeding the world”. The reality is altogether different. Despite the hype, domestic food insecurity is a very real concern in the difficult decades ahead. I explored this issue in detail in a … Continue reading

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The heat is on: climate emergency deepens

After the savage heatwaves that swept the northern hemisphere in June and continuing into July, I was asked by TheJournal.ie to contribute a piece putting these ominous events into context. Here’s what I wrote: “WORDS CANNOT DESCRIBE this historic event”. That’s … Continue reading

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Do we care enough about nature to bother saving it?

This piece ran in the Business Post in early May, inspired at least in part by the devastating fires that swept many of Ireland’s uplands yet again this Spring, an annual ritual, it seems, that comes around with depressing regularity, … Continue reading

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