Category Archives: Habitat/Species

Window on ecological annihilation closing fast

Below, my article that appeared in the Irish Times at the beginning of this month, inspired by the publication in October of the WWF’s ‘Living Planet Report‘. Even when generally inured to the drumbeat of ecological bad news, the Living … Continue reading

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RTE bog broadcast sinks into mire of low standards

Below, a piece I ran in a well-known satirical magazine in May 2018. It was subsequently picked up by the Sunday Times, who also gave the show a bit of a scalding under a piece headed: ‘RTE turfed into trouble over … Continue reading

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

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

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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

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

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‘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

Too big to fail? Great Barrier Reef nears final collapse

Below, my article on the plight of reef systems worldwide, with a focus on the Great Barrier Reef, as it appeared in the Irish Times earlier this month… AUSTRALIA’S Great Barrier Reef is best described in superlatives. Covering an area … Continue reading

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Nature is the silent victim of Nimbyism

Last November Sir David Attenborough’s Planet Earth 2 attracted 9.4 million viewers for one episode- two million more than watched the X-Factor that night. It was the most watched nature show in the UK for 15 years. No doubt, like … Continue reading

Posted in Biodiversity, Habitat/Species, Irish Focus, Sustainability | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Toothless watchdog lets its Standards slip

{PROLOGUE} LOCATION: Bord Na Mona conference room* DATE: Early 2016. TOPIC: Ad planning meeting (*fictional) BnaM Marketing Exec: ‘I’ll cut to the chase. Here’s the challenge: we’re a company that, pound for pound, is the biggest polluter in Ireland. We’ve wrecked … Continue reading

Posted in Global Warming, Habitat/Species, Irish Focus, Media, Sustainability | Tagged , , , | 18 Comments

We mourn for Cecil while ignoring destruction of natural world

Below, my article, as it appears in this weekend’s Irish Times. WITH modern technology and firepower, it takes little courage and even less skill to kill wild animals. This week US dentist and recreational ‘big game hunter’ Walter James Palmer found … Continue reading

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Breaching our planetary boundaries, one by one

Below, my article, as it will appear in the latest Village magazine: BACK IN 2009, some months before the ill-fated UN climate conference in Copenhagen, an Earth system framework was proposed by an international collaboration of environmental scientists. Their aim … Continue reading

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The oceans: cradle and graveyard of life on Earth

My first newspaper environmental column appeared in mid-March 2008, headlined: ‘Out of our depth in tackling overfishing disaster’. In researching the piece, I was staggered to read a quote from a senior UNEP official to the effect that even if … Continue reading

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It’s a race to the bottom – we’re winning as the oceans die

To me, nothing says summer down-time quite like finding a shady spot on a warm day and settling in for a great read. This year, I had the good fortune of picking two exceptional books – ‘The Ocean of Life’ … Continue reading

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Life on Earth now under threat as never before

Below, my opinion article, as it appears in today’s Irish Times: WHEN WE put our mind to it, it’s amazing what we can learn to forget. Rio de Janeiro in June 1992 hosted one of the most important international conferences … Continue reading

Posted in Global Warming, Habitat/Species, Media, Sustainability | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

Crutzen’s tough medicine for a sick planet

Arguably one of the most significant figures of the last two centuries was in Dublin last night, where he presented a lecture in TCD, organised by the Royal Irish Academy. The man in question is Prof Paul Crutzen, the brilliant … Continue reading

Posted in Biodiversity, Global Warming, Habitat/Species | Tagged , , , , | 12 Comments