Category Archives: Sustainability

Species Extinction, loss of biodiversity

On the brink of history, at the edge of the abyss

News tonight from Paris is surprisingly good. The latest Draft text catches up with scientific reality in emphasising that the mythical +2C global average temperature rise is not some political bargaining chip; rather, it is the place no sane climate … Continue reading

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“Well, here’s another fine mess you’ve gotten us into!”

Coalition partners Fine Gael and Labour are fast becoming the Laurel and Hardy of environmental regulation, with chaotic, contradictory and just plain wrong statements emanating from the government parties as they attempt to talk their way out of their shambolic … Continue reading

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Microbeads – tiny pollutants with a fearsome impact

Below, my article, as it appears in the Sept/October 2015 edition of Village magazine: THERE ARE some products, notably tobacco, that are only tolerated by dint of having been around for a very long time. These days, no one in … Continue reading

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We’re in a war with the Earth where no one wins

Below, my article, as it appears in the September edition of Forum, journal of the Irish College of General Practitioners BY ALMOST any measure, climate change poses the greatest threat to human health and well being in the 21st century. An … Continue reading

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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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Francis speaks frankly on the crisis of civilisation

Below, text of my article that first appeared on TheJournal.ie last night, just ahead of the unveiling of the eagerly awaited Papal Encyclical. Thus far, it has been read over 48,000 times, with well over 1,000 shares via Facebook and solid … Continue reading

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Europe’s air pollution crisis brings climate reality close to home

Below, my article as it appears in this month’s Village magazine… WHILE global pollution crises, from climate change to plastics in the oceans, are showing no signs of abating, the worst effects are, we in the ‘developed world’ are reassured … Continue reading

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Guardian seeks to rouse media from its climate torpor

Below is my article as it appears in the current edition of Village magazine: THERE is nothing new about newspapers striking poses over climate change. On December 7th, 2009, some 55 major newspapers from all over the world (including the Irish Times) … Continue reading

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Come back, Liz McManus – your country needs you!

In case you haven’t heard, our current Minister for the Environment is a Labour party TD called Alan Kelly. He is the man who brought us the no-lobbyist-left-behind Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Bill 2015, a piece of draft … 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

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

Milking the (climate) system, Irish-style

Below, article as it appears in the current edition of ‘Village’ magazine. (I co-authored this piece with Paul Price). “IT IS DIFFICULT to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it”. Novelist Upton … Continue reading

Posted in Global Warming, Irish Focus, Sustainability | 38 Comments

What next for the apes who went to space?

I have no idea where I was on the night of July 20-21, 1969, being far too young to grasp the historic events that were unfolding, as Apollo 11 became the first spacecraft to land humans on a world other … Continue reading

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‘We asked for signs. The signs were sent’

We are the children of the Enlightenment. Our ancestors lived for countless centuries with only the vaguest idea of the world around or beyond them. Education and literacy was the preserve of tiny elites, usually in the service of religious … Continue reading

Posted in Global Warming, Media, Psychology, Sustainability | Tagged , , | 13 Comments

Climate change fuelling our weather extremes

Below, my article as it appeared in the Irish Times this week: IN THE FIRST week of January last year, I placed an 80 euro bet that 2013 would be among the top ten hottest years since global instrumental records … Continue reading

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

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

Posted in Biodiversity, Global Warming, Habitat/Species, Sustainability | 3 Comments